Category:Nature’

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

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

A Snake on the Trail!

 - by Playing with Polish

I was planning on writing finally writing about the OPI Shrek Collection today. I will by this afternoon, but I wanted to share a real life beast that I cam across. This morning I was hiking in the hills with my husband, and we saw this guy sunning himself right in the middle of the trail! Very cool!

Garter snake sunning on a hiking trail

Gopher snake sunning himself

Sunny Morning Hike

 - by Playing with Polish

We are generally spoiled with fantastic weather, but the past week has been rainy and grey. This morning I woke-up to a bright sunny day. Ahhhhhh! My husband doesn’t usually start work until 11:00, so we decided to eat a quick breakfast and go on a short hike. The hills were a riot of wild flowers and vibrant green grass! With the exception of a little mud it was honestly perfect! I was enjoying myself so much, that I did not think to snap any pictures until the hike was almost over (this is the best one). Ask anyone who knows me – I am not a morning person. Still I have to say there are few better ways to start the day than basking in nature’s beauty with my love :-)

Sunny hillside path

Sunny hillside path

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