Tuesday, August 21, 2012

my first birchbox

holy moly, I am so excited! I spent a few days at my parents' house, and when I got back, my Birchbox had arrived! eee!

Laura of Caffeinated Pinkaholic gifted me a 3-month subscription as a giveaway on her blog! she's the best!
what's in ze box:
 CleanWell | individual hand sanitizing wipes
Germ-busting cloths made with thyme oil

Juicy Couture | Viva la Juicy La Fleur
A "feminine blend" of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily

TALIKA | lipocils expert
Plant-derived lash serum to spur growth with no side effects

theBalm | Stainiac in beauty queen
A long-lasting sheer gel lip and cheek stain

Yu-Be | moisturizing skin cream
Best-selling Japanese cream for lips, heels, and hands

and my lifestyle extra was:
 LÄRABAR | über in Apple Turnover
Fruit and nut bar

I'm over the moon. this Birchbox thing is so cool. you fill out a profile and they send you samples suited to your preferences. freaking brilliant!

I already tried the Viva la Juicy perfume; it's really nice! I'm soo picky with perfumes, so I'm surprised that I like it. perfect size for my purse too!

I'm excited to use the Lipocils Expert, mostly because I have a nasty habit of pulling out my loose eyelashes. I've seen commercials for lash-growing serums on tv, but I've been wary to try them because of all the horrible side effects (like permanent darkening of the skin and/or irises of your eyes!), and I have super sensitive skin, so it'd likely happen to me. but this TALIKA is made only from botanical ingredients, so it has virtually no side effects. not to mention, it's French.

I also have no experience with lip stains. it says it's for cheeks too, but due to my sensitive/acne prone skin, I'll probably only use the Stainiac on my lips.

there's also some individually-wrapped hand sanitizing wipes, some skin cream, and a Larabar in my box. excited to use them all and will definitely tell about the results!

oh yeah, and you can use this fabulous link to sign up for your very own Birchbox subscription. only $10/month! I know you'll love it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

thank you, gr

I miss Grand Rapids already. it's not that our apartment was the greatest (it wasn't), or the cleanest (it wasn't), or the most updated and modern (it certainly wasn't), but I knew just how to perfectly toast a bagel in our old-school broiler because the rarely fit in our janky little toaster. well, so long as I didn't walk away and scorch the little sucker under the open flame.

no matter what I had a craving for, whether it was Indian food, Chinese, a burger, calamari, Mediterranean, pizza, a latte, fresh produce, vegetarian, pub food, a great martini, or something vegan, I always knew exactly where to go to find it and more than 90% of the time, I could walk a mile or less to get there.

so, thank you, HopCat, for providing the best brews in town. not to mention the best bartenders (hi Jake!) and some tasty, tasty grub to boot.
many a tulip of IPA enjoyed bellied up to this bar
thank you, Stella's, for wowing us with the most delicious burgers we've ever had. and for selling them for cheap on Sundays. ditto, O'Toole's.
thank you, Bartertown Diner, for introducing to Grand Rapids the tastiest vegetarian and vegan dishes, made with local ingredients. if I could eat there every day, I wouldn't miss meat one bit.
vegan burrito so good I might have cried a little...also it was REALLY HOT
thank you, Graydon's Crossing, for always being accommodating when we were craving something different (which we often were). Indian nachos are worth the 2-hour drive back to Grand Rapids. and Mojo Rising on nitro, of course.
beer flight,
and Indian nachos via Graydon's
thank you, XO Asian, for the most cost-effective and delicious lunch specials in town. $7 for a giant bowl of red curry, rice, AND two sides? yes, please!
thank you Rockwell's and Tavern on the Square for mixing the best dirty martini I've ever laid my lips on. bleu cheese stuffed olives FTW!!!
thank you, One Trick Pony for booking some awesome live music and serving up some dynamite calamari. my go-to place when the craving hits!
thank you, Wolfgang's, for rocking breakfast food how it's never been rocked before. guac in an omelet never tasted so good.
do yourself a favor, and order the richard app
 thank you, Martha's Vineyard, for your fantastic, booze and cheese selection. and keep making those peanut butter bars. and Nantucket, I could chow on that awesome bread allllll day.
breakfast with Nantucket bread, mmm
always, always raspberry lambic from Martha's

thank you, Sushi Yama, for the best sushi in town. eel and crispy snapper are the best!
thank you, Fulton Street Farmers' Market, for all the lovely fresh produce West Michigan has to offer. but mostly for heirloom tomatoes. and loads of fresh herbs.
farmers' market fare
thank you, One Stop Coney Shop, for creatively concocting the most delicious hot dogs ever, and turning me back on to the one food I once considered unequivocally unhealthy. sooo worth it.
tell me that's not worth a lost IQ point or two...

all in all, I'll sorely miss Grand Rapids. I'd gotten to know the city well over two years, and I'm not ready to leave. I've also come to know and love the school districts in the area well, especially GRPS. it's just such a bummer that I got to know so many teachers and I think that would have helped me find a job, but there are prospects in Ann Arbor too.

I grew up in the Ann Arbor area, so I'm familiar at least, but I really found my home in Grand Rapids. I've felt most like myself here. and so many good things are happening in Grand Rapids, especially considering this crappy, crappy economy. ah, well, c'est la vie. hopefully I'll find myself residing there again someday. for now, aloha, Ann Arbor. please be fun. and please have apartments available that I like close to the city.