Monday, July 26, 2010

review: Paige Denim Jimmy 2 Jean Shorts

Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Jean Shorts

Retail: $129.00
Review: Perfect fit and great not-too-short length. Good quality denim. Run big.

I've been wearing a pair of $11 Forever 21 denim shorts for most of the summer. They were originally cuffed and had a 3'' inseam. I decided long before turning 30 that any shorts I donned must have at least a 5'' inseam. I also have abnormally long legs for a short person, so 3-inchers tend to look a little obscene on me. Anyway, it took all of 10 minutes to undo the hem and I had a pair of cut-off denim shorts that were the perfect length. One small problem. The stretchy denim-like material would not let go of the crease from the cuff. No matter how much heat or steam or pressure I applied, the crease remained...and the cuff inevitably returns with every wear.

When Shopbop had one of their recent (and super rare) 20% off sale items discount, I jumped on these Paige denim shorts. I ordered a 27 (my usual size these days) and a 28 (Paige has almost always run small on me, plus Shopbop's free return policy makes ordering extra sizes an easy decision). It was love at first sight. The fading is pretty perfect and the fraying is set with a row of stitching. The color is just what I've been looking for - a darker blue that isn't too deep. The best part, aside from the length, color, feel and fit? The vanity sizing! Perhaps because they are a 'boyfriend,' relaxed fit, but these run AT LEAST a full size big. I could have easily fit into a 26 (possibly even a 25), but the 27 gave the fit I was looking for. With plenty of summer left (and suffering through what feels like a month-long heatwave), I will get plenty of use from these shorts!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

review: Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

$18 for 6 oz.
Review: Cleans thoroughly without leaving that tight, super dry feeling. Good for sensitive skin.

During my freshman year of college, a girl lived on my hall who I was envious of. I've mentioned before that it took years for my skin to finally become clear, and when I started college, my skin was a blotchy mess. She, on the other hand, had glowy, porcelain skin (along with exceptionally shiny long red hair). I remember scoffing at her great genetics when I checked out the contents of her bath caddy in the communal bathrooms - every night she'd use St. Ives Apricot Scrub (back then it came in a tub) and a generic Witch Hazel for toner. Surely these products weren't solely responsible for her crystal clear face?

Fast forward to 2010, and I find myself hunting for a new face cleanser. I had picked up an Origins cleanser for free but suspected that it wasn't cleaning well and also clogging pores. I was also interested in finding a more natural cleanser, and one that lacked too many sulfates that could irritate my sensitive skin. A quick search on Sephora's site led me to the Jack Black cleanser. Husband had used the shave cream in the past, so I was familiar with the line, and the reviews included many women who were really happy with the product. It's described as a 2-in-1, serving as a cleanser and toner (this is where the witch hazel ingredient comes in), and is made of mostly natural ingredients.

The cleanser has a milky texture to it, and produces a light lather. The instructions advise using a nickel-size amount, but I found a dime size works for me. There is a faint smell that isn't really herbal or soapy, just 'clean.' My face was left feeling clean and refreshed (even on days when I wore some makeup), but not tight in the least bit. Other cleansers that claim to be moisturizing seem to leave a film on my face, but Jack Black manages to be effective and gentle (the elusive combination, probably due to the witch hazel!). My face appeared almost glowy and radiant after washing, and any 'damage' done by the Origins cleanser has been reversed in just a few weeks.

I'm still keeping my other cleansers in the rotation (Aveeno's Ultra Calming Cream Cleanser for mornings before the gym, and Philosophy's Purity Made Simple for use with the Clarisonic or when I put on heavier makeup), but this is a great everyday choice. At $18, it's a bit spendy, but the 6oz. will probably last a while. Highly recommended!

Monday, July 19, 2010

lazy weekend

I finally had Husband all to myself for the entire weekend, with no interruptions from the work email via Blackberry. It was a much-needed break for him, and I thought a relaxing picnic with an easy summery lunch was in order. We trekked out to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, wanting to avoid the crowds (and the scene) at Central Park. What we found was just idyllic...a few couples laying out, young families playing frisbee, and a shaded spot under a newly planted tree with our names on it.

A few pics we snapped from Husband's new BB Tour. Insanely jealous about the quality of the pics as compared to my Curve, but I have the Droid Incredible coming my way, which I hope is as amazing as I hear.

First thing's first

Picnic essentials

The view

Watching the clouds go by

Thursday, July 15, 2010

simmer down

It's official...we're moving in the fall! To where, we haven't decided (staying within NYC). Moving is a huge pain for everyone involved, but it's also a great excuse to clean house, so to speak. I've been purging our closets in a big way since the beginning of the year, and am moving on to the kitchen cupboards. How much stuff is in your cupboards and freezer that is random and never gets used? For us, it's too much. I've embraced the slow cooker to use up about a pound of lentils, and am busy making old-school fruit-suspended-in-jello to get rid of the canned pineapple. Randomness!

We've also acquired tea, and don't drink it regularly enough to have a need for 10 different varieties. On one of our 100+ degree days, I had the idea of making a super strong batch of tea and sweeten it with nothing but lemonade Crystal Light. It's really tasty and refreshing and practically makes itself.

I just fill a medium saucepan with water, boil, and then drop about 10 tea bags in (pull off the strings beforehand). Steep for maybe 15 minutes, remove the bags, mix in the Crystal Light, and let the tea cool. Pour it into a pitcher, and fill the rest of the way with water. Cool and enjoy.

I don't measure a thing, but I do know my pitcher is 2.5 quarts, and I use one small plastic Crystal Light container. The tea is strong, but the lemonade takes the bite out. I guess it's technically an Arnold Palmer, but tastes way better than others that I've had. Maybe because the tea is actually brewed fresh?