The Big Two-Five

It’s weird to me how I can feel so old and so young simultaneously – I mean, I’m one of those entitled millennials that everyone hears about who enjoys double-brunch weekends and competes in a karaoke league. But I’m also a high-powered businesswoman type who works for a multinational corporation and could quite possibly climb the ladder and make something spectacular out of myself here one day. It’s all a contradiction.

A contradiction with PIRATES.
A contradiction with PIRATES.

Either way, I’m about to turn 25 and realized that…whoa, I’m certainly a grownup now. I’m in my mid-twenties. I can see 30 peeking over the horizon, and damn, I really should work on getting my life together in the meantime.

But that’s not the point. Right now, the point is to enjoy the fact that I’ve made it this far and that I’ve still got a hell of a road ahead of me, and it’ll be worth every step (I should have warned you that this would be one of those gushy introspective posts, huh).

So, sappiness aside, let’s talk about birthday nails! The traditional, I’ve heard, is the cupcake.

But there are so many other possibilities out there, my love of cupcakes notwithstanding. I mean, didn’t I just say I was going to try and be a little bit more of a grownup? I scoured the Internet for some more birthday nail tutorials.

My second google search led me to this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYjTlZCI9Hw

Which provided some more pretty cool options, described here:

  1. I might try an ombre again, although that’s never worked for me before, for the sold purpose of gathering some Birthday magic and hoping for the best. And of course, I’ll never say no to glitter. I’d probably use blue instead of pink though, because, come on, have you met me?
  2. BALLOONS! Oh HELL yes. These could be fun. Again, I wouldn’t go for the pink, but the idea seems easy and effective!
  3. Cupcakes again, but this one is a cupcake accent nail. The possibilities are endless.

So, ladies and gents, please watch the videos above and vote for whatever you’d like me to do to my birthday nails! I’ll go with whichever one you choose, although I’m probably going to put some blue in there whether you like it or not.

So let me know in the vote below:

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MERCURY BUBBLES BLAST!

Nail polish can mean so many things to me. It’s how I de-stress when I’ve had a long day, and I’ve even read about the meditative effects of stopping everything in your life and focusing on the one task of polishing your nails perfectly when you need an extra boost of relaxation or creativity. It’s how I get to show off my fun side when I have to dress in pencil skirts more often than I don’t have to dress in pencil skirts. And, lately, it’s how I’ve been connecting to friends and family old and new both through this blog and through my various other nail-polish related social media.

So anyway, about the Mercury Bubbles. Sailor Moon, and more importantly Sailor Mercury, and I have had a long and complicated relationship in the past, and by that I mean I adored the show in the fourth and fifth grades, promptly forgot about it until college, and then remembered its hilarious combination of awfulness and wonderfulness when I used it to bond with my hallmates in my dorm.

In preparation for an ocean-themed party, here is my best friend Bri in the middle as Sailor Moon. I was dressed as Ophelia, because of course the English major dressed as Ophelia.
In preparation for an ocean-themed party, here is my best friend Bri in the middle as Sailor Moon. I was dressed as Ophelia, because of course the English major dressed as Ophelia.

If you’ve read anything on this blog (and if you have, which means you’re one of my dozen or so readers, I can’t thank you enough!) you’ll know that my favorite color is blue. Additionally, I always found myself relating more to the brainy or nerdy characters in my favorite TV shows, mostly because growing up a geek sort of leads to that inevitable conclusion. So when the hallway-wide Pajamas-and-Sailor-Moon parties began, I immediately declared that my favorite character was Ami Mizuno, better known as Sailor Mercury.

In fact, it even got to the point where my one friend gave me a poorly (sorry, Lynda) photoshopped picture of some of us as the Sailor Scouts for my birthday that year.

Im on the left.
I’m on the left.

And even to this day, Sailor Moon is bringing old and new friends together. I’m still in touch with all the girls in the pictures above, and I’ll be a bridesmaid in Sailor Moon’s wedding this fall (sorry, it’s not Sailor Scout-themed). More importantly, I’ve connected more with my cousin over Facebook and through this blog, and she was kind enough to send me some pretty spectacular nail polish when she figured out my love of Sailor Mercury.

Icy Rhapsody - Sailor Mercury Inspired Indie Nail Polish - 15 ml
Pictured: Not my nails. This is the official image from the Etsy shop.

The color is a Mercury-inspired silvery-blue called “Icy Rhapsody,” probably because of Mercury’s Freeze attack (which I accomplished in elementary school games of dress-up by throwing blue beanbags at my opponents). You can find the color on Etsy at this link. The shop is called Yume Lacquer, and I’m so excited to mention them here as they’re my first official Indie polishes! Yep, I’m a full-blown lacquerista now. Or at least I’ll pretend I am.

Here’s how the color looks on me. I’m absolutely in love with it.


I think it’s a great color both for lying by the pool in August and for making my nails sparkle in January, and I can’t thank my cousin enough (she also got me a Final Fantasy color from Yume Lacquer and some Doctor Who-themed perfumes from Fresh&Geeky, which I’ve been wearing daily because, come on, one of them is called Petrichor). It’s a great way to show my Mercury love, and to represent how Sailor Moon has helped me bond with so many amazing people.

Mercury Power,

Mary

He’s a what? He’s a what?

And more importantly, she’s a where?

Yep, that’s right, somehow I’ve manged to go the entire month of July without updating this blog. I wish I could say that I had better excuses than work, but I haven’t. I could say I’ve been busy, but I just haven’t been able to manage my time as well as I’d hoped recently, and for that I apologize.

One of the things that’s kept me busy these past few weekends is attempting to see Sterling Playmakers’ production of The Music Man as many times as possible during its run. I was in a production of The Music Man myself a few years ago…

I'm the one on the left, and I'm not sure what the Mayor's Wife is going for with her hand there...
I’m the one on the left, and I’m not sure what the Mayor’s Wife is going for with her hand there…

…so obviously this show is very near and dear to my heart. More importantly, The Boyfriend has a pretty large role in the Sterling Playmakers’ version – he plays Marcellus, who sings the fabulous Shipoopi while wearing a plaid wool suit that I swear I’m going to acquire photographic evidence of before the show closes. For the record, I didn’t kiss him on the very first date, so I suppose I’m not usually a hussy.

He's pictured here with Sara, aka Ethel, with whom I had a stern talking-to about their onstage
He’s pictured here with Sara, aka Ethel, with whom I had a stern talking-to about their onstage “romance.”

And of course, I won’t leave you hanging about what I did with my nails for opening night. The band uniforms are always depicted as red and white in this show, so I thought it was appropriate to do some red and white stripes on the majority of my nails using Julep Ellen (which is far more of a red in real life than the “deep berry creme” described on its page) and the classic Julep Brigitte.

The black music note accents were done with Sinful Colors’ Black on Black and my trusty dotting tools – I used a larger dot for the two notes themselves, and then a very thin dotting tool to draw the staffs and the connecting bar. And I was SO MAD when the note smudged a little when I put on the Seche Vite top coat – seriously, isn’t that the exact opposite of what Seche Vite is going for?

Smudged and chipped, but the effort is there.
Smudged and chipped, but the effort is there.

Either way, if you’re in the Norther Virginia/DC area, I’d recommend stopping by Potomac Falls High School and seeing The Boyfriend in his ridiculous suit, as well as one of the happiest and most uplifting musicals of all time (and this is coming from someone who loves things like Les Mis and who can’t stop listening to Fun Home, so enjoying a happy musical is rare).

Goodnight, my someones,

Mary

It’s a Wednesday, and my nails are broken.

I really don’t have much more to say about it than that.

The Boyfriend and I went bowling with a few of our friends the other night, and at least three of my nails were casualties. I still haven’t been able to file them into a perfect shape without some pain in the nail bed, so I resigned myself to letting them be and not painting them for a few days. This is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

Displaying IMG_2040.JPG
How short…how uneven…how sad. Biting them doesn’t help.

While I wallow in my misery, I’ll share a few pictures from the last couple of weeks, including a few more entries checked off on the Summer 2015 Bucket List:

I took a road trip!

road trip

Admittedly, the road trip wasn’t very long, and it wasn’t to a particularly amazing location, but we had a blast getting out to Tangier Island, in the middle of the Chesapeake bay, to celebrate our good friend Bri’s bridal shower. The picture above contains three of the four BRIdesmaids, and yes, I’m having shirts made.

I’ve seen a bunch of movies lately, which shouldn’t surprise you even a bit. I gave a presentation at one of the most secure facilities in the United States (gulp). I put in an application for a new place to live when my current apartment lease runs out at the end of the summer.

Is that enough for an update, or at least to prove I’m still alive? If you’re still with me, I can’t thank you enough. I’ve got more posts in the queue and coming up super soon.

Love,

Mary

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

How much are you freaking out over Florence + The Machine’s new album? I pre-ordered my copy months ago, and I am now the proud owner of a hard copy CD and a printed booklet of beautiful and ethereal shots of the woman herself, Florence Welch.

Her latest album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is named after the third track, which she wrote for “someone [she cares] about.” She encourages all of us to share it with the people we care about, and I’m not one to disappoint a musical goddess, so of course I had to provide the link:

Honestly, I think it’s a masterpiece. In honor of this album, I of course had to do an appropriate manicure. My nails have been taking on either a very bright or a very dark tone as of late, so it was fun to use the white to lighten them up a bit. And, as always, making them blue makes me happy and fits in perfectly with the theme of the album.

I promise, I’ll take a blue hiatus for a couple of weeks, seeing as I’ve posted so many blue manicures lately (it’s my favorite color!). At least comfort yourselves with the thought that I used a white this time. And it was blacklight reactive, for reasons I’ll go into later.

The hangnail was unfortitunate…and painful.IMG_1850
The blue background makes it more fun.

The colors are mostly repeats that I’ve used in other manicures: Essie’s Bikini So Teeny and China Glaze’s DJ Blue My Mind. The new blacklight-reactive twist is Julep Dana, which has blue shimmery undertones if you hold it in just the right light. How blue, how beautiful indeed!

But…why the album nails? Well, one of the things that kept me very busy this week was my trip to…SEE FLORENCE IN CONCERT!

My friend Helena and I were able to get pre-sale tickets (which were my main reasons for buying the actual CD instead of downloading HBHBHB) and wound up sitting five rows away from the stage. I swear, Florence and I made eye contact at one point. It was amazing.

I’ll be out of town this weekend, but many new movies and manicures will be headed your way. While I’m gone, I’ll leave you with some cool concert shots I got when I wasn’t too busy rocking out and singing along.

Stay beautiful,

Mary

“Beyond the Tartan” – An Exploration in Priorities

I got that first bit off the Carnegie Mellon website.

I was in Pittsburgh this weekend because The Sister, who is seven years old and who will forever remain that age no matter how many times she makes me do the math to prove she’s 21, graduated from college. She officially has a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I’m sitting here writing a blog about movies and my fingernails. You can tell who the smart one is.

Anyway, if there’s one thing that Carnegie Mellon kids are proud of (I mean, besides their ridiculously talented alumni and the crazy stuff they’re doing in the sciences), it’s their Scottish heritage. The actual school mascot is the Tartan. That’s a form of plaid. Compared to my UVA Cavaliers, I can’t seem to take it too seriously, but I digress. Tartan Plaid has a long and storied history, which I know nothing about.

It makes a pretty cool nail design though!

INSERT PICTURE HERE

No, that’s not a typo.

When I drafted this post, I had every intention of doing my nails in Carnegie Mellon Plaid in honor of my sister’s graduation. Then, I went to my friend’s house to celebrate her birthday. I got up far before my preferred time on a Saturday in order to make it to Pittsburgh. I attended my sister’s diploma ceremony, and went out with my family to a fabulous French restaurant (shoutout to Paris 66 in Pittsburgh for a steak that made me want to congratulate the cow it came from), and generally spent time with the people I love at the expense of painting my nails for the fourth time in a week.

I panicked at first, when I realized I simply didn’t have enough time to do a creative nail design. I’m trying to build up a blog readership here, so how could I possibly slack on my nail art? Would anyone read a post that didn’t have a ton of nail pictures or a fun review of a new summer color? Would I have to wait days to build back the momentum I’d lost?

Then I realized something: I was in Pittsburgh, a fun city that I don’t often get to explore. I was with my family, who I love and don’t see much since I moved out. I was celebrating The Sister, who has worked so hard to earn her degree. I had a chance to have fun with the people I love. My nails weren’t the priority. My blog wasn’t the priority. I had to focus on my sister this weekend, and as I type this on Monday morning, my nails remain bare. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Sometimes, you have to realize that family comes first.

So, I’m sorry(ish) for a post without some fun manicure pictures. To make up for it, here’s a picture of the graduate herself posing with some insane person. I’m ridiculously proud of The Sister and love her to bits and pieces.

Here’s hoping your weekends were as great as mine!

Mary

Lady Thor’s Identity Revealed!

Sorry guys, I couldn’t pass this one up. Lady Thor has been one of the coolest developments in comics as of late, and today her identity was finally revealed! Click here if you’re not afraid of Thor spoilers.

I wanted to talk about this because…well, because I wanted to show off. My friends and I went as the Lady Avengers for Halloween this past year, and, what with being a blonde and all, I was selected to be our Lady Thor. Here is photographic evidence of me bringing the justice of Mjolnir down on our entryway table.

It was a ridiculously fun costume to wear, and I had such a great time that night! A random passerby even had our group join him in a group chant of “Avengers Assemble!”

Look out for some fun nail posts in the next couple of days, folks! In the meantime, here are a few more pictures of my amazing friends as the Lady Avengers:

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. We didn’t even know Lady Iron Man! We happened to run into her during the evening and got her to pose for this awesome photo for us.