Friday, December 29, 2006

Obagi, Day Four

Well, the Retin-A has turned my face red, and it, combined with the Exfoderm product have made my face begin to peel in earnest.

It would be much harder to deal with in the summer. It's annoying, but I know that the end result will be worth it as my skin begins to regenerate.

Revisiting Nail Polish

So folks, here, I told y'all about Sally Hanson's Diamond Strength "No Chip" nail color. I believe my exact words were: "New Favorite Nail Polish"


Let me begin by saying that while my toenails haven't been without nail polish on them in, like, YEARS, I can count about three times since my three year old son was born that I actually polished my fingernails.

Because this stuff was so great on my toes (and still is great there), I decided to give it a whirl on my fingernails (it was Christmas, after all, and I wanted to be festive).

Day 1: Fine. Looks good.
Day 2: One nail has chipped. It could be my application. No big deal.
Day 3: All but three nails have chipped.
Day 4: All nails have a chip or five.
Day 5: I'm going out and don't have time to re-do my nails, so I apply another coat on top of my nails. BIG mistake. Three coats of polish apparently turn it into some soft and waxy, never-quite-dry sludge. After three hours, it still wasn't hard. Or dry. So I took it off.

I don't want to give up completely on this stuff, so I will try it again on my fingernails. I still love it on my toes, too, so I'm sort of 50/50 on it right now. I'll let you know if I have a better experience the second time around.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


A few years ago, I went through the entire Obagi regimen ( for about four months. My love for all things Obagi culminated in a partial Blue Peel (I didn't turn blue because they didn't go all the way with it). Honestly, my skin never looked better than it did at that moment in time. I went without any kind of foundation for almost two weeks and there were no fine lines at my eyes or around my mouth. I just had this amazing, clear, perfect, smooth skin.

So what do I do? That's right. I start using something else right away. I found a system that combines the ONLY approved and proven anti-wrinkle, skin lightening products (Retin-A and hydroquinone), loved it, saw results, and decided to quit. Brilliant.

Some people HATE Retin-A with a passion. It's too harsh, it makes the skin peel, the face turn red, blah, blah, blah... Of course it does and it is harsh. We all would like there to be a miracle product out there that doesn't have TEMPORARY side effects, but, well, there isn't one. And Retin-A is about as miraculous as it gets. Yes. There is redness and peeling. But you get through it. And results are noticable.

Almost three years after the first time I tried Obagi, I'm going to do it again. I'm also going to post before and after pictures for the world (or just my three readers) to see. I started on the products Tuesday morning, but forgot to take a photo. Last night, I had a petite facial and a microdermabrasion (an in-office one, NOT an at-home one... DON'T get me started on my feelings about THOSE) to sort of prepare myself for the coming weeks... I then came home and had Dr Pop take the most unflattering and horrible photo of my make-up free face. I'm still debating on waiting to post the picture until I have an "after" shot. :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've found religion...*

True Religion, that is...

The cut and fit is flattering. It has a slender leg without being a "skinny" jean, and the stitching detail on the pocket is just right and not over the top.
Add 'em to my wish list!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Need a last-minute gift for the lady in your life?

This Bracelet Is Stunning

Hey, Santa...

Will you please destroy all copies of Madonna's version of Santa Baby? If I hear it again, I may smash something...

What's wrong with Eartha Kitt's version, anyway?

Oh, and by the way, Judy Garland did a MUCH better job at singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas than ANYONE ELSE. So why on earth isn't her version getting more airplay?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Christmas List

Okay... So I'm making this because Dr Pop is insisting... Aside from the items on my "wish lists" below, I have a few more trinkets that I wouldn't mind calling my own. ;-)

From Sak's:
These bracelets

This purse

These makeup brushes
Or this tunic
From Nordstrom's:
These cashmere lounge pants
This Vera Wang chemise
This sweater jacket

Those are some ideas, but what I keep telling him, and what I really, truly mean with all my heart is that I will treasure ANY gift he chooses for me as long as it is something that comes directly from his heart.

And that's the truth. It's not what you get from people this season in terms of "stuff," but rather what you give of yourself. The more joy you can spread, at any time of year, not just Christmas, the more joy you will receive.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wish List, continued...

So, let's say I win the lottery and go on the below shopping spree... I'm going to need something pretty to haul the purchases home... What better than the Porsche Cayenne S Titanium Edition? That's what I thought. As an added bonus, it's RED!
A girl can dream... Which reminds me, I need to buy a lottery ticket today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wish List...

If I won the lottery, after sectioning a large chunk off into savings/investments, buying a house, and giving rather substantial gifts to my family and friends, but before the vacation, I would go on a shopping spree and buy the following items:

The tote bag.

Cartier Pasha C Unisex watch with the pink face. The better to tell time with, my dear.

Christopher Blue jeans. They seem to have such a flattering fit!

This outfit by "Just Cavalli" or something similar.

These need no explanation.

The Jimmy Choo boots I so covet.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dressing up for the holidays

Yeah, yeah, I know. What, in fact, DO I know about fashion? Not a thing except what I like and what is tacky.
Folks, we know it's Christmas. We see it everywhere, we hear it everywhere, and there are currently TWO radio stations in the Greater Austin Area playing Christmas music 24/7. That being said, when you are interested in showing your holiday spirit, it is truly not necessary to do so by wearing the Santa earrings, Christmas tree watch, and reindeer sweater.
If you are headed to an event this holiday season, there are ways to look festive without wearing ornaments from your tree. Ladies, a pair of black velvet pants or a black velvet skirt, paired with either a metallic or deep burgundy or emerald blouse or sweater is always a classic. Not feeling quite festive enough? Well, you can always try a sparkling and dangling crystal earring. So much more classic. Use your imagination and be creative. There are more ways to spell festive than simply going with the cheesy aspect of it all.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Samsung Blackjack

Coolest. Phone. Ever.
I actually blogged last night from a bar with this phone. I want one. Maybe. I'm torn between this, the LG Chocolate Bar phone, and the Krazr. This thing, though, isn't much bigger than Dr Pop's old Razr phone.
You know, I remember when my brother and I got our own phone line in our house and it was the biggest deal ever. My, how things have changed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Posture, Posture, Posture!!!

One of my biggest pet peeves dates back to my 7th grade year... My friend, A, wore a pair of "high" heeled pumps to school (I say "high" because I think the heel was only an inch and a half or so, but still...). She walked the same awkward walk all day: Shoulders hunched forward, the top half of her body leaning forward at a slight angle, knees perpetually bent. From that moment on, I cringe at the way certain women walk in heels...
Look, it is never necessary for a girl to wear high heels, no matter how tall or short one may be. There are benefits to wearing a nice, high-heeled shoe, however, and the main one is that it lenghthens the leg and causes the calves to contract in such a way that the shoes can make anyone's legs look stunning.
The caveat here is that you MUST stand up straight and walk normally. It is not NORMAL for a perfectly healthy human being to walk around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! If you are unwilling to stand up tall and be proud and show off your legs (even when wearing pants), then retire your heels. You aren't showing yourself off to your best advantage.
And here are a few posture-improving tips:
  • Take a ballet class (there are tons of beginner adult classes available all over the place and many of them offer a "pay as you go" alternative so that you are not locked into a several-month commitment.
  • Take a modeling class (see above).
  • In lieu of either of the above two options, practice. Use the old book-balance routine. Shoulders back, head up, and center your core (you should imagine your back is up against a pole running straight up and down).


I recently went to Old Navy and purchased some new thongs. They were on sale for 5 for $15. I absolutely, positively HATE thongs, but hey, for $15, I thought I'd try these.
Now, these are actually MORE comfortable than any others I've tried (and believe me, I've tried many different varieties from department store brands, to Victoria's Secret, to Fredrick's of Hollywood), but they are NOT 100% comfortable.
It is my contention that any woman who says that she actually prefers thongs to regular underwear is lying. I've had women tell me the following about thongs:
  • I love thongs!
  • I wouldn't wear anything else.
  • I don't even feel uncomfortable.
  • You forget that it's there.

And the list goes on and on and on and I call them LIARS! It is not natural to have a slim piece of lace or fabric wedged up one's ass. It just isn't. And it ISN'T comfortable. So far, all morning long, I've wanted to reach in there and pull out the wedgie.

In my quest for a better way to not have panty lines, I've tried many things. I've tried boy shorts. I've tried lace boy shorts with no seams. I've tried seamless panties. I've even been lied to by Jockey's No Panty Line Promise. No panty line, my ass! (pun intended).
I will continue my endeavor to find the perfect underwear solution, because right now there is not a win out there to have comfort and no panty lines. Help!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Looking to get me a gift for Christmas?

Yeah, I didn't think so...
But in case you were wondering, anything from here (or maybe a gift card) would do nicely.

Tights, pantyhose, leggings, and stockings, and seasonal dressing...

Do me a favor, please...

  1. Don't wear tights or pantyhose with open-toed shoes. It's ugly.
  2. Don't wear leggings with a long top if you look in the mirror and see that you don't look good in it (since the only people who ACTUALLY look good in leggings are anorexic models, trust me, you DON'T look good).
  3. If you wear stockings, please don't wear a skirt short enough to show off their tops. Unless you are a stripper... And at work.
  4. Unless you live in Miami, LA, or south of the equator, it is NOT appropriate to wear your summer clothes in November. Seriously. It may be 75 degrees outside (like it has been here in Central Texas), but again, it is NOVEMBER. And tights don't make an outfit winter-ready.

Please use common sense when getting dressed. Don't use whatever fad of the second celebutantes are wearing as your guide. :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Foundation update...

I mentioned Here that I really loved Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra foundation. I still do. But being lazy, cheap, and not one to turn my nose up at free stuff, I rummaged through some of the samples my mother brought me at the same time and found this:

On my hairdresser's suggestion, I had purchased IsaDora bronzing powder ages ago and it is still a staple in my daily routine. The sample of the "Sheer to Cover" foundation that my mom brought over was the right shade as well, so I decided to give it a whirl.
It goes on as smoothly as the Lancome and stays all freaking day (just like the Lancome). I will be purchasing this for myself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to look better in clothes...

Rule #1: Stand up straight with your head held high.
Rule #2: Wear clothes that fit. Seriously? Squeezing yourself into a size smaller just to say you're wearing that size doesn't do anyone ANY favors!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A slave to mass marketing...

If a commercial tells me that I absolutely HAVE to have something to make my skin clearer, wrinkles less noticable, abs tighter, hair softer, cleaning simpler, well you get the picture, I really decide that I must buy it.

I typically don't buy it. But it's oh-so-hard to resist.

My parents own enough items of work out equipment to warrant their own home gym. Literally. My dad built a 16 x 20 standalone workout center out behind their house. With air-conditioning and cable. They can't resist a good infomercial!

Me? I am proud to say that I have only made one purchase from an infomercial and it's something that even if I don't ever use it again (don't worry Dr Pop! I'll use it again, I promise!) I'll have gotten my money's worth. But that's not to say that the lovely in-store displays don't draw me in like the Pied Piper.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Makup Goodies...

My mom brought me the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base yesterday. Love it!

I went to Sephora yesterday and purchased the following items:

Tarte Cheek Stain in "Blushing Bride"

Smashbox Eyeshadow Trio in "Shutterspeed"

Plus, the lovely people who work there gave me TONS of free samples when I asked. I got a Cosmedicine eye cream that I'm trying out, plus some Dr Brandt Vitamin C gel, and tons of Cosmedicine moisturizers. Hooray! I love samples!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Old Navy? Wow!

I went to Old Navy yesterday to find a pair of corduroy pants. I did find them, and they are the most comfortable pants I've purchased in a long, long time. Here they are if you want to take a look. Of course, in my tunnel-vision shopping mode, I completely missed tons of other cute stuff that I think I want.
I knew that Old Navy had cute, inexpensive, trendy clothes. But I truly think they've outdone themselves with their Holiday Collection this season. So many things here that I want!

New Favorite Nail Polish

Admittedly, I was initially drawn to the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color because of the sparkly rhinestone on the bottle. What can I say? My eyes are drawn to things that sparkle. :) But then I saw the new fall/winter colors and got hooked. I puchased the color "chocolate kiss" (sorry, I don't have a picture of it), which is actually more red than chocolate, but a lovely, rich, deep brownish red that is way too flattering for words. I put it on my toenails almost two weeks ago and it is still perfect. Good stuff!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I love this stuff!!!

From softening my lips, to smoothing my cuticles, this stuff is incredible. There are some who say that this product is a trifle overrated, but I'm definitely not one of them. I keep it by my desk at work, in my purse, and by my bed. And for around $6, really, can you ask for more? It keeps my hands smooth in a non-greasy way and is even working miracles on my husband's dry, cracked skin. It definitely works hard for a small pricetag.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Boots and Capri Pants

You know, I could almost get into the whole gaucho pants with tall boots movement. I mean there are certain types of women who can really carry that look well. Sadly, I am not one of those women. At least, I don't think I am one, therefore, I am not, because really, fashion and all that is about feeling good about what you are wearing and how you look in it. If I'm not happy about what I'm wearing (like today, for example), then I'm pretty much uncomfortable until I am able to change clothes.
So, like I said, SOME people can get away with gaucho pants and tall boots. The deal with making it work, in my not-at-all humble opinion, is that the pants MUST cover part of the boots. Knees should not be visible, people!
What I could not wrap my head around today was the sight of some girl wearing a short pair of capri pants that were, sadly, at least one size too small, and a pair of boots that hit below the knee. Knees and lower-knee area were clearly visible and not at all covered.
Do people like this really think they look good when they leave their houses in the morning?
Now, I have constantly bemoaned the fact that I often feel hopelessly out of date and that my clothes aren't "hip" enough. But does that mean that I should buy an outfit that doesn't fit my personality? Just because I see an outfit in a magazine does not mean that I should go all The Look For Less on the world and try to recreate it via my local discount store. Sometimes it DOES. NOT. WORK. This was one of those cases.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Book

So, okay. I know I said that my next book was the Anna Quindlen book, but I got sidetracked and busy, and ended up reading other things (comments and reviews later, I promise!). I've read one other book by Gregory McGuire:
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I absolutely loved that one. I will definitely read his other tales because I thoroughly enjoy his take on the classic fairy tales of my youth.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Today's little bit of fabulous...

When I saw these hot pink and chocolate brown leather mules with a 4" heel last year at Nordstrom's, I knew that they would be mine. I ended up having to order them because they didn't have my size, so I did not get my instant gratification that day. {sigh!} I did receive these lovely Paolo shoes (size 9 1/2) in the mail that week, however. And the icing on the cake? They were ON. SALE.

Trying something new..

My name is Ellen and I'm obsessed with shoes. There. I've said it. Nothing gives me the warm fuzzies quite as much as finding and purchasing that perfect pair of shoes. You know the ones I'm talking about. These are the shoes that you see someone else wearing and know you MUST own them. Or something with the same amount of fabulousness. The shoes that you see in the stall next to yours and you immediately as, "Where did you get your shoes?" much to the discomfort of the poor soul who just wanted to pee.

Every now and then, I have myself discovered the perfect accessory. And on a down day, nothing really makes me feel better than knowing that even at my worst, at least some part of my outfit is fabulous. So from time to time, I'm going to post what makes me feel fabulous.

And, uh, yeah, this is slightly narcissistic. But really, aren't most blogs?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is it wrong to want...

I didn't think so.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's coming together

I got my brown cowl-neck long sweater (sleeveless), long-sleeved white t-shirt, and grey flat-front pants the other day. I did pretty good on the spending, too, having a gift card to Ann Taylor and taking advantage of a sale at Express. :-)

The unfortunate thing, though, is that I've added lots more stuff to my list. Oh well. I'm a shopaholic, I guess. Or perhaps I'm just a "want"aholic. I want everything. I did find the leopard shoes that I plan to get. They're so cute! Peep-toe 4.5" platforms from bebe. I found them online, though, so I need to try them on this weekend.

I see a trip to Last Call and that mall down south with the Nordstrom's in my not so distant future...

I've decided that I need limitless funds and a personal shopper to keep me content with my wardrobe. That and a professional organizer and custom closet. Sadly, those things are slightly out of reach at the moment. Ah, well... A girl can dream.

And on a side note, our Sak's is finally stepping up to the plate in the shoe department. Manolo and Jimmy are in abundance!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hair Color

Y'all, I've been unnaturally blonde for the past, oh, 17 years or so. I know that there is a huge market out there for over-the-counter/do-it-yourself hair color and honestly, I just don't get it!

Maybe it's the blondes that I have trouble with, I don't know. I'm just going by experience and I don't really know about the darker hair colors. But what I do know is that having your hair professionally colored by someone isn't just about the color.

I see my colorist on average about once every five to six weeks. My hairstylist and I have been together for over 10 years now, and I can't imagine not going to him. For almost three hours, I get therapy, a healthy dose of "you're fabulous!" and my roots get touched up! It's a win-win!

It doesn't come cheap, but neither does therapy. ;-) And when you look at it that way, you are actually saving money!

But that's just me. I think my husband might disagree, BUT, he loves the color!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Update on the "List" and other randomness

Actually, there is no update other than to say that I've purchased and returned a pair of Merrill sneakers that I LOVED, but realized didn't quite fit. : (
I'm still on the lookout for all of my fall items...
I'm also getting ready to read the new Anna Quindlen book: Rise and Shine: A Novel. As a side note, I don't quite get why books use the words "a novel" in the titles of their books. Is the publishing world really that worried that we'll think it's a calendar or something?

My New Favorite Foundation!

From the site:

Enduringly Divine & Comfortable Makeup 14-Hour Retouch-Free, Oil-Free
Discover a 14-hour ultra-resistant makeup with divine comfort. This retouch-free, oil-free foundation features innovative highly resistant pigments for 14-hour wear. SoftFeel™ technology glides on to comfort skin with flawless full coverage that lasts all day.

I have used so many different types of foundation (powder, liquid, cream, mousse, expensive, cheap, you name it!) and this is far and away the best feeling stuff I have ever tried. It goes on evenly with just my fingers, evens out my skin tone, and stays on all day! I've been using it for about a week now and I absolutely love it!
*Thanks, Mom, for giving it to me!*

Friday, September 22, 2006

Finished the Book

Candace Bushnell's The Lipstick Jungle was much more than I expected.

If you are a fan of what I call "snapshot" stories, or stories that provide a current snapshot view into the main characters' lives, without delving too deeply into their backstories, then you'll enjoy this.

The novel revolves around three New York City power-women (Wendy -- President of a motion picture company, Nico -- Editor-in-chief of a magazine, and Victory -- Successful fashion designer) who are in their early forties. The novel goes back and forth between the three women's perspectives, but it is told in the third person.

The formula used in the writing is simple: Protagonist is successful and has it all, comes to a crossroads, faces challenges, has resolution. Most stories fall into this category, but not all of them work. It may be cliche to say so, but I like the formula and I like the content and the way it was put together. Another bonus is the fact that the author is writing from an insider's perspective, and her attention to detail is excellent.

If you are looking for a super-fast read, this is not your book. While it is a page-turner, it is 435 pages long, and does take some time. I can usually blast through your basic fluff novel in one to two evenings. This one took me a week.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Here you will see the main ingredient of one of my favorite summer drinks... The Cherry Limeade. Think back to when you were a kid at Sonic. Now fast forward to now. This is so much better! Mainly because of, well, you know, the vodka!

Recipe for a killer Cherry Lime-ade:

  • Glass of Ice
  • Add a shot or two (okay, three) of cherry-flavored vodka
  • Fill to almost the top with 7-up or Sprite
  • Squeeze in the juice of half a lime
  • Add a splash of grenadine
  • Stir and enjoy

*recipe courtesy of my husband, Dr. Pop, and also Carlos and Charlie's on Lake Travis

What's your favorite mixed drink?

What I'm Reading

Yes, I totally get the shoe thing...

I haven't been a huge fan of Candace Bushnell's writing (other than Sex and the City -- the show, not the book). I read Sex and the City and 4 Blondes and I just wasn't that into either one. I can usually tell by the first sentence whether or not I'm going to love the book or not. It took a page with this one, but I do love it. It's about three friends in their early forties, living in NYC, enjoying hugely successful careers, two have families, one is single. It is almost a "coming of age" story despite their ages, though, as each goes through their own set of challenges both with their careers and families. I cannot wait to finish it... And then I'll have to get Trading Up (the book she wrote just before this). It all goes to show you that you shouldn't give up completely on a writer, especially when she has proven she can be vastly entertaining (again with the SATC!).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Objects of Desire

Oh Mr. Choo... Oh Mr. Blahnik...
I love shoes that have a touch of pink. These definitely fit the bill.

These could count for my "something animal print" that is on my list to buy. This shoe (I have it in acid green -- purchased at Last Call by Neiman Marcus in South Austin) is one of my all-time favorite shoes in terms of comfort and style. Plus, did I tell you it's ACID GREEN??? It looks great with jeans, black pants, khaki pants, skirts. Who knew green was so versatile?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Time for a shopping trip...

It's time to update the old wardrobe for fall and winter. Here's what's on my list:

  • Grey flat-front boot cut pants
  • Black, high-heeled, pointy toe boots
  • Long sleeve white t-shirt
  • Violet pin-striped shirt
  • New pair of Merrill sneakers
  • Long denim skirt
  • New brown belt
  • Khaki boot cut cords
  • Chocolate brown cowl-neck fitted long sweater
  • Something animal print
  • Long black skirt in either a jersey or knit

That's all I can think of for now on the clothing front.

I also need to purchase some beading wire and pull out my beads. It's been a few years, but I need to start making necklaces again. I cannot for the life of me justify spending money on chunky beaded necklaces when I have the most gorgeous turquoise, garnet, and red coral beads around!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Because sometimes shoes deserve a home of their own...

Just having a boredom attack and wanting to get in on all the fashion blogs out there. Actually, that's not really quite true. I just want a place to dish about clothes, shoes, hair, books, and stuff that takes up slightly too much room over at Mrs. Pop's place. :)