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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Gift from Past Jeanne - 3-in-1 Hydration Lotion Jelly

Lately I've been having this running joke with myself about "Past Jeanne" and "Future Jeanne".

See, while I have a roommate, I have my own bedroom and my own bathroom, and sometimes just having that section of the apartment (plus the kitchen) to myself makes it like I have another couple of roommates -- "Past Jeanne" and "Future Jeanne".

Sometimes Past Jeanne is a little bit of a slacker, someone who likes to snack in bed, which ultimately becomes Future Jeanne's problem when she finds crumbs in the bed (and then I'll grouse, "Oh, Past Jeanne, whyyy"). But sometimes Past Jeanne is thoughtful, and does things like put dishes away or put the toilet paper in the holder so that Future Jeanne doesn't have to deal with it later. And I'll quietly say to myself, "Thanks, Past Jeanne."

So when I was at the Renegade Craft Fair a week and a half ago, my real-live roommate, K, and I stopped at the Birdy Botanicals booth. They offered us free lotion samples, but then the woman manning the booth pointed out that they had a 3-in-1 hydration lotion jelly that was great for sunburns -- she had noticed that K was a little pink.

Standing there in the booth, something pinged in my mind -- hmmm, I *do* need something in case I get sunburned. I should buy it just in case I get sunburned. Since three of the first four ingredients are aloe vera, cucumber, and witch hazel (the other is vegetable gelatin), I knew it would certainly be soothing. And even if I didn't get sunburned, it's also recommended as a post-shaving treatment, which I could also use. And so I bought it.

Needless to say, as I sat on my hot and uncomfortable flight back from Chicago with my shoulders so angry that if they had teeth they would be biting people, I thought about the 3-in-1 lotion waiting at home for me... and I thanked Past Jeanne for looking out for me.

image from birdybotanicals.com

Monday, July 27, 2009

Going a little Mad

I just got home from Chicago yesterday, and after a bacon waffle (a waffle with bacon pieces inside -- trust me, it is delicious), and a lovely and much-needed massage, I'm still putting all of my pieces back in order and back onto Pacific time. I'm massively sunburned (you would think I would know better than to go sit in the bleachers without sunscreen, but no) and a little jet-lagged, but all will be well!

Anyway, while I get myself back to normal, I found the awesome and amazing Mad Men Yourself avatar creator courtesy of Jezebel, and thus I decided to play with it. I'm a sucker for avatar-creators, and so off I went! (Fair warning, it plays music, so if you're peeking at this at work or school, turn off the sound first.) Feel free to click and look at the bigger sizes if you like, and definitely check out the art of Dyna Moe, the artist behind all of these rad illustrations.

Look! It's me! This was the best I could do for short-haired options -- personally, I can't wait for this season to start so we can see if the British invasion and the Twiggy-style haircut catches on in Sterling Cooper offices. (That said, if they need a charming Mod ingenue secretary character, I know someone who can type over 90 wpm and already has the haircut. Ahem.) Here I am having a cocktail with the dashing Don Draper, and apparently I am so excited my feet aren't even touching the ground. Cheers to you, Mr. Draper.

Karen has arrived at Sterling Cooper to take care of business, and by business I mean Don Draper and Roger Sterling. Hey-yo! Check out her foxy curls and her navy dress. This is an outfit I think Karen would definitely wear, oh, *tomorrow* if she had it.

Finally, Kati is so in charge of things in the secretary bullpen that she's gone and put her foot down and out of the fourth wall. Fierce!

Of course, this is just me putting them together for Karen and Kati, so ladies, please feel free to go ahead and make your own. (You may also make them of me, because I am always amused when people make avatars of me for me.)

Check it out at http://www.amctv.com/originals/madmen/madmenyourself/ -- and remember, the new season starts in a few weeks!

images from www.amctv.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glad Midsommar!

I'll admit it, this post is already several weeks late. Amidst all of our American summer celebrations, I've been distracting myself with thoughts of Scandinavia. Summer here is all lemonade stands, fireworks, sandy picnics at the beach, you know the drill. It's high time we talked about celebrating midsummer right! This week's particular summer-themed Scandinavian fascination comes in the form of Midsommar, the (obviously) mid-summer holiday celebrated in Sweden in late June. Summer in Sweden sounds like a cool drink of fizzy, ergonomically designed minimalist lemonade to me, and I want to go, desperately. Who cares if there are only two months of sunshine every year? The same is true for much of the United States!

My midsommar inspiration was initially sparked by Emmas Designblogg's posts on summer in Sweden: warm days, green grass, sunny skies, what more could you want? Admittedly, living in California as Jeanne and I do, we have a lot of sunny days and green grass, but the allure of Sweden just does not stop. I think it's the novelty of summer days in Sweden and the exuberance of the midsommar celebration is so exciting!

Ida at Interior & Inspiration has lovely pink and white table settings for your summer picnic lunches. Add a couple of citronella candles and we're in business! I love the haphazard flower arrangements, as if the flowers are all just plucked from a sun-drenched field and thrown into glass receptacles from the recycling bin--voila, beautiful!

There's even snapshots of midsommar moments on Flickr, including this mouth-watering gem from Flickr user Staffan Ekstrand:

Mmm, strawberry pavlova...as a summer birthday girl, I can't get enough of desserts like this. This past week, I celebrated my 25th with ice cream cupcakes from Rick's Rather Rich Creamery here in California--a layer of yellow cake, a generous scoop of lemon lavender premium ice cream, topped with a hefty spiral of real lemon frosting with lemon sprinkles. It was HEAVEN.

A cute post at Asian Living in Sweden takes a different perspective on midsommar celebrations--how must Sweden seem to the outside world? In college, we had a huge maypole out on the lawn every single year, with students in dresses and ribbons in their hair dancing around. It was pretty kooky, but a fun, exuberant celebration of springtime when Massachusetts finally starts to thaw out, just a little. Everything seems so simple around the maypole or the midsommar ring dances, the rhythm of life is the easiest to fall into and stay there. I imagine it's a lot like those shows where they put a dozen people in yurts on the English moors and make them live as if it were the year 5 B.C. I'm only exaggerating a little bit.

Food photographer Sweet Paul shares his grandmother's Norwegian recipe for "farmers' daughters dressed in veils," also known as an apple compote parfait. How simple and lovely is that? Obviously, Scandinavia has cornered the market on efficiency and streamlined, flatpacked design, but you can't get any better than a cold dessert designed for maximum deliciousness in every bite. (Note: Japan also has a large stake in the deliciousness factor of parfaits, particularly those involving green tea pudding and ice cream. More on that later.)

Speaking of food, check out Swedish brand Indiska's soft, casual models' summer picnic, just for midsommar. And here's the video for Jonna Lee's second single, "Lake Chermain"--hanging out, rocking out, walking backwards:

THAT's the life, my friends. Cold sparkling drinks, delightful nibbly bits, good friends, short pants, hot summer days, all bound together with a whiff of nostalgia and a touch of whimsy. That's what midsommar is to me, so I'm going to go out and celebrate!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things I'm loving this summer

It's crazy-crunch time for me here, and while I'm fielding a bazillion emails and preparing to meet Tim Gunn (omg), here are some of the things that are making my life easier and prettier while I'm trying not to a. melt into a puddle or b. breathe fire.

- Band-Aid Friction Block stick. It's summer, it's hot, I'm walking three miles a day in sandals and my feet are tender. The Friction Block stick is definitely helping me out here.

- Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in "Bourbon". This came with the Get Baked set, and I love it. Normally you wouldn't think that I'd get excited over a brown eyeliner pencil, but it's really flipping pretty and lasts all day.

- Keeping a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge at home. I know I should have been doing this all along, but I finally got myself a cheap plastic pitcher and have been drinking it like crazy. Amazing! (I make unsweetened mugicha, but any iced tea would be delicious.)

- A nude American Apparel bra. I don't know why I didn't have one sooner, but it's great. I'm finally wearing summer shirts I'd previously banned for being too, shall we say, showy without a camisole underneath.

- Butter London nail polish in HRH. Really, I'm waiting for Mismas, but I'm still excited by the lovely purple HRH. (I think Karen will love it too!)

- Gel lip stains. You all know I love my Benetint, but lately I'm more interested in the gel lip stains like Stila's Cherry Crush Lip and Cheek Stain (I have Cherry and am waiting for Mango) or the MAC See Thru lip colors (I have the Ungaro one swatched there). Yes, they still get eaten off mid-day, because I do eat all day, but they're very pretty and, paired with a clear SPF balm like Softlips, boom -- tinted lips with SPF. Hooray!

- Speaking of tinted lips with SPF, I'm loving the Fresh Rose lip treatment balm. Like the classic Fresh Sugar balm, but with a rosy red tint. Fantastic, holy grail-worthy for someone like me who wants color and protection. The only problem is that it's so rich and so lovely that I'm terrified it's going to melt in my purse, so I've been leaving it at home on the scorcher days.

- The Flip Video! Yes, I've added a new gadget to my repertoire. I'm super-excited to have this tiny little video camera in my purse so that I can record my adventures (or misadventures) and share them with everyone. Yay!

- And now, anticipation for the Treasure Island Music Festival! Karen and I are both in, and I'd love to get Ms. Kati to come with us as well. It seriously looks like two days of awesome music. I've also never spent any time on Treasure Island, so it will be exciting!

What's rocking your summer?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Science Fair for July 5th-11th

Summer has finally come to Silicon Valley! We had a little scare yesterday with freak rainshowers, but I have been pushing myself to hit up the gym pool as often as possible. As such, I've already managed to wear out a couple of bathing suits. I am not a bikini wearer, and after a long struggle with tankinis trying to find two matching pieces, I've finally come back to wearing one-piece bathing suits made for actual swimming. The suit by Longitudes (I have two of the same, shhh it's a secret) I've gotten bucketloads of comments on, but now it's time to change it again:

-I was looking at Unique Vintage's selection of retro bathing suits, including the ESTHER WILLIAMS collection (awesome!!) and came across this TOTAL GEM. For some retro, extravagant synchro inspiration, check out the Darling Mermaid Darlings from Pushing Daisies!

-Jeanne and I have agreed that despite our deep, undying love of shopping in Japan, it just isn't going to be feasible unless the yen-US dollar exchange rate returns to the 1960s rates of 360 yen to the dollar. Not joking, can you imagine the absolutely hedonistic partying and gluttony that would happen at those prices? The highest I've ever seen in my lifetime was 121 yen/dollar, so fingers crossed... The San Francisco Chronicle has a quick'n'dirty guide to traveling in Japan on the cheap. I would agree with all of Armstrong's points, and suggest being as adventurous as possible for your eating options to find cheap, fabulous eats. It's amazing what a 500-yen coin can get you at lunchtime in Tokyo. Ah, great bento and lunch special memories...

-The lovely Mademoiselle Robot needs to stop reading my mind, seriously, because I am way jealous that she was just in Stockholm recently. She's got a whole Google map shopping guide (LET'S ALL GO TO SODERMALM NOW!), love it love it love it! I just told my boss recently that I'd love to live and work in Europe someday, for the adventure of it, and she said, "Switzerland?" NO, SCANDINAVIA ALL THE WAY.

-Here at Periodic Style, we love cooking and eating and making a total mess, so we're shamelessly excited about seeing Julie and Julia this summer. I am still flabbergasted by the thought that a humble blog could turn into a book deal, much less a major motion picture seen by millions--certainly, it IS a unique story, but hot-damn! Crazy. Using that as inspiration, the amazing Whisk blog has compiled a massive online compendium of Julia Child recipes made by food bloggers. I'm half-tempted to do a "year of cooking dangerously", only using Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence!

-I'm compiling a list of songs for summer here at Periodic HQ, and here's one I love, if you are into watching a couple of effing hipsters make out in France: "French Navy," by Camera Obscura off of their newest album, My Maudlin Career:

Enjoy, and have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Science Fair for June 28th to July 4th

Happy (belated) 4th of July! Today's Science Fair will probably be a little sparse, but hopefully you'll enjoy it!

- First off, don't forget that we have a lovely Tumblr -- it's got a lot of cool links to go check out if your Science Fair craving isn't satisfied. Karen updates it a couple of times a week (I know, I should be updating it too). I just added the little bookmarklet dealiebopper, so maybe things will improve there.

- Every Thursday, I'm writing up my recaps of So You Think You Can Dance at BlogHer. There you will see me fuss about producer shenanigans and dance styles and my predictions.

- This is possibly the most amazing house in the world. It comes fully furnished as is, and I would possibly like to live there, except for the fact that it is in Palm Springs, a place I do not care for.

- Speaking of the phrase "I do not care for", I *do* care for Arrested Development, and it *is* fully available on Hulu.com. (I just realized that I can't have The Final Countdown as a ringtone on my phone, and now I am sad. Curse you, iTunes protections!)

- Since everything is a tangent of everything else, Mad Men returns on August 16th. If you haven't yet caught up or even started, you can catch Season One of Mad Men on Comcast On Demand now, then Season Two after July 20th. Do iiit. And while you're waiting, check out Beauty Blogging Junkie's interview with Lana Horochowski, the head make-up artist for Mad Men. Product recs ahoy!

- I usually don't bring my baseball stuff into here, but I need you to go vote for San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval for the All-Star Game. Seriously. Do it. Voting ends July 9th.

Have a great week!

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