Category:Just Living’

PwP Moved to Portland

 - by Playing with Polish

Wow, it feels like it has been forever since my last blog post! Well I’m not dead and haven’t lost interest in blogging. My husband got a new job, and we moved to Portland, OR. The past month has been crazy, but we are really starting to settle into our new home. My nails and cuticles are in bad shape from the move, but I am woking on rehabbing them. I have also picked-up a few polishes since we arrived here just before midnight on April 21st. I am looking forward to blogging again, and having fun with nail polish. Portland is a beautiful place, and hopefully it will provide a lot of inspiration! :-) We have a yard now, and I am looking forward to trying my hand at some gardening. It is likely that I will start wearing my nails a bit shorter so I can better tend to my flowers and veggies. I will need to work on getting a photo tent though, because one thing it will likely not provide is a lot of sunny days for outdoor photo shoots. Anyway, it is so good to be back! :-D

a few polishes I have picked-up since our move

a few polishes I have picked-up since our move

Coping with Cancer through Nail Polish

 - by Playing with Polish

Today I am sharing an article written by a guest blogger, Jackie Clark of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. She shares with us how feeling beautiful can help a woman cope with cancer.

Zoya Gilda

Feeling beautiful can help women feel better about themselves

Being diagnosed with cancer, such as mesothelioma can be emotionally devastating for a woman. Even though women who experience various cancer diagnoses’ can often find them depressing, there is no need for that to be the case. Not all cancer prognoses have to be bleak. Instead women need to feel beautiful in their own skin despite the hand they have been dealt.

Fashion and beauty are among the most powerful tools to boost a person’s self-confidence. They can give someone a sense of power and ability to tackle anything that the day may bring. For women, one of simplest fashion techniques is one of the most powerful and confidence boosting ones—Nails! For women, painted nails instantly gives them a feminine quality and makes them feel alluring and sexy. No matter what the nail color of choice, whether it be fire engine red, bright neon pink, or a classical French manicure, having painted nails can instantly add a sleek and polished look to any women’s appearance, thereby making her feel good about herself.

For women with mesothelioma cancer, getting their nails done is a great coping mechanism. Not only do manicured nails make a woman feel good about herself, the manicure experience itself is quite relaxing. What could be better than being pampered in such a manner? A manicure involves a complete scrub down of the nails and cuticles, and simply watching the nail art of the woman’s choice gives her a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with herself. When she sees the ending product, she feels good about herself despite any earlier emotions she felt that day. Many women find it a good stress reliever to get their nails done, especially after a bad hair day or a bad day at work. When a woman has perfectly manicured nails, even on bad hair days, she can just tell herself, “Well, at least my nails look fabulous!”

Getting your nails painted is also a good social activity. Women need social interaction. Groups of friends often go to the salon together and chitchat over this and that and enjoy simple gossip. A great idea for women with mesothelioma is to create a nail salon group. The group can meet up on certain days and discuss the trials and tribulations of their conditions and what they are going through, thereby giving each other the support they need.

Overall, it is important for women to realize that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. Beauty is an internal quality that pokes its way through to the outside world. What a better way to show off your newfound confidence than by having fabulously painted nails.

PDX Polish

 - by Playing with Polish

My husband and I just got back from a week in Portland, OR. We had a blast. We enjoyed hours of walking around and exploring the beautiful city. The vegetarian/vegan food and craft beer there is phenomenal :-D While we were there I picked-up a few of the new Butter London spring/summer colors (tax free baby!!).

Butter London Disco Biscuit, Butter London Slapper,  Butter London Knackered

Butter London Disco Biscuit, Butter London Slapper & Butter London Knackered

I managed to catch a cold on the tail end of the trip. I feel like crud, but I will try to get some swatches up soon. I can’t wait to try these! Maybe a spot of color will make me feel better.

Put a bird on it!

Put a bird on it!

St. Johns Bridge Portland, OR

St. Johns Bridge

It’s Cruelty Free for Me!

 - by Playing with Polish

Recently I had a conversation with a friend about my no longer reviewing certain brands because of animal testing issues. She said she didn’t know that I only purchase cruelty free personal care products. To be honest I was a bit surprised. Pretty much everyone who knows me is aware that I am a big animal lover, and a vegetarian for the past 20 years.  I am not saying I am perfect by any means. I eat dairy and wear leather shoes. To me it is about making informed choices, and doing the best I can. I don’t judge others for making whatever choices work for them. Testing cosmetic products on animals just doesn’t make any sense to me. Animals should not suffer so I can have prettier nails or nicer hair. There are so many awesome alternatives out there, so I will stick to those. It’s cruelty free for me! :-D

Princess Leia and Samwise

Two of my favorite animals - Princess Leia and Samwise

Samwise in a fleece jacket

Samwise playing in a fleece jacket

Samwise in a jacket sleeve

Sam trying to wiggle out of the sleeve

Portland and Purple Xtasy

 - by Playing with Polish

This year for our anniversary/summer vacation my husband and I decided to go to Portland, OR. I had read that is was a great destination for bike riding, craft brews and excellent and abundant vegetarian food. Wow, what’s not to like?!? Those are things that both of us love! :D

Jessica and Ryan at Multnomah Falls

Jessica and Ryan at Multnomah Falls

Portland turned out to be everything we hoped for! The city and surrounding areas were so green. I can’t believe how many tree pictures I took in the space of a week. This Californian was totally in awe of the lush vegetation! The food, cycling and tasty IPA were all better than I had dared hope. As far as nail polish goes, I was very restrained that week. I only bought one bottle at one at Whole Foods – a glittery purple by No Miss. Purple Xtasy practically jumped into my shopping basket :D I should have a swatch posted in the next few days. It is pretty sheer, so I will be showing it layered with another color.

What are your plans for this summer? Did you pick-up any polish along the way?

Jessica and Ryan on Mt. Hood

Jessica and Ryan on Mt. Hood

No Miss Purple Xtasy

No Miss Purple Xtasy

Sustainability Base at NASA Ames Research Center

 - by Playing with Polish

On June the 29th my husband and I got to tour NASA Ames’ Sustainability Base! This new building is really cool. It was designed to use water and energy very efficiently, and includes many recycled (and even some reclaimed) materials. Good stuff! :-D

Sustainability Base

Sustainability Base at NASA Ames Research Center

The building is oriented to maximize the use of natural light. It also uses photo voltaic power, LED lighting and skylights. In addition it has systems to greatly reduce the use of potable water (projected to reach 90% reduction in potable water use).  The building is LEED Certified Gold, although the goal is to become Platinum certified (the highest rating).

Sustainability Base makes use of an exoskeleton in its design

Sustainability Base makes use of an exoskeleton in its design

Native and drought tolerant plants were used for the landscaping (they will be irrigated using recycled water from the building). The building is supported by an exoskeleton (the exoskeleton  echos NASA’s wind tunnel design and in conjunction with flexible building connectors is excellent for seismic safety).

Playing with Polish and Mr. Playing With Polish

Me and Mr. Playing with Polish in the required hardhats! :-)

inside Sustainability Base

Inside Sustainability Base

The building is cooled using a radiant cooling system in the ceiling (uses naturally cool water pumped from the adjacent field). Moving water for climate control is much more energy efficient than air. Radiators under the windows provide efficient heating. The windows are oriented to maximize penetration of natural light, and provide every occupant with an outside view. Skylights on the second floor provide further natural lighting. LED and compact fluorescent lights provide efficient supplemental lighting as needed. Windows are energy efficient, and employ glazing technology from the Apollo missions! They also open to allow fresh air flow which reduces the need for cooling (the bottom windows are can be opened by occupants while the top windows are controlled by computers using temperature sensors). The carpeting is recycled and recyclable, and the tiles are modular so they can be replaced if one becomes damaged. They are low VOC along with the paint and other building materials. Vents in the floor allow the building to intake fresh air overnight. I was amazed at how fresh the building smelled!

View of the iconic Hanger One and the field where the cooling water is stored

View of the iconic Hanger One and the field where the cooling water is stored

Here is a beautiful view from the open workspace (the workspace was designed to foster collaboration).

What did you do for Earth Day?

 - by Playing with Polish

Although I follow more of a “make Earth Day every day” philosophy, this year I did some volunteer work to celebrate Earth Day. My husband and I planted native and drought tolerant plants with a group of other dedicated volunteers. It was hard work, but we had a great time! :-D We have been working on this sustainable demonstration garden for the past two years, and it is really starting to come together. Many of the plants from last year are in bloom and they look great! In the Bay Area’s semi-arid climate it is important to use water wisely, but you can still have an amazing garden using native and drought tolerant plants!

What did  you do for Earth Day this year?

native and drought tolerant plants

Sustainable Grounds Project

native and drought tolerant plants

Sustainable Grounds Project 2

native and drought tolerant plants

Sustainable Grounds Project 3

Not a Polish Post – The Fresh Air Fund Needs Host Families

 - by Playing with Polish

Usually I stick to posts about nail polish. Although I think it is good to be focused, I have decided that I am going to include a few posts on other topics too. Two things this week inspired me to branch out a little bit. First was chatting with Debbie a woman from my Internet Marketing class. She also has a makeup blog, Nineveh Makeup Ministries, but she uses her blog to bring attention to makeup artists and companies that are making positive contributions to the world. I really like that idea! Volunteer work is an important activity in my life, so why not shine a little of that spirit on my own blog?? :-D Almost immediately after my exchange with Debbie,  Sara from the Fresh Air Fund emailed to ask if be willing to tweet or blog about their need for summer host families. Their organization sends low-income kids from New York City on two week vacations so they can enjoy some fresh air and play outside. For many of these kids this is their first chance to venture outside of the city.

Although we live in a major metropolitan area, both my husband and I enjoy spending time biking, hiking and enjoying nature (the Bay Area is blessed with some beautiful natural places). Sara’s email made me realize that tend to take that luxury for granted.

What do Fresh Air children enjoy?

  • Playing in the backyard
  • Laughing in the sunshine
  • Catching fireflies
  • Riding bicycles
  • Learning to swim
  • Running barefoot through the grass
  • Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights
  • Building sandcastles
  • Making new friends
  • Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city

If you or someone you know is able to host, please sign up now.

In 2010, The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program, called Friendly Town, gave close to 5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences in the country and the suburbs. Volunteer host families shared their friendship and homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.

The Fresh Air Found

I’m Not Dead…Just Studying! ;-)

 - by Playing with Polish

It feels like it has been forever since I last posted. I’m not dead…just studying! It seems like this quarter moved so quickly, and I never quite got it together while the sun was shining! Of course I kept painting my nails and even snapped a few pics, but they did not turn into posts (yet anyway). I have some new polish, and I hope to have some new posts up during spring break. I also have to decide on a good luck mani for finals (this week and part of the next). Any good suggestions?

CSS textbook nail polish and glasses

Just studying...

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