Mini-Gallery Wall Wishlist

I’m throwing a Super Bowl party, and I really want to have my mini-gallery wall hung by then. Unfortunately, that only leaves me five days to find five pieces of “art,” and that might not be possible.

The two I think I’m definitely going to order are:

Society6 - Tchmo - Untitled Cloudscape
Untitled (Cloudscape) by Tchmo – from society6. $22 for 13″x16″ print.

Society6 - Wobins - Earl - Octopus
earl by Wobins – from society6. $20 for 13″x17″ print.

The prices at society6 are so good. The only problem is that their standard printed sizes don’t fit quite right in the mats that come in the Ikea Ribba frames I’m using. I sent an email to ask if they ever print custom sizes, but if not, I might need to get creative. I have some ideas, though – I think I could make it work.

In a perfect world with unlimited space and unlimited funds, I’d also add these pieces to my wall (warning: if you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve likely already seen them all):

Society6 - Knowing Glance - Jacqueline Maldonado
Knowing Glance by Jacqueline Maldonado – from society6. $22 for 17″x13″ print.

Theo Altenberg - Stewart Brand
Stewart Brand by Theo Altenberg – from but does it float. Not for sale, as far as I know.

Cocoa And Hearts - Being
Being by Jen Ramos – from Cocoa & Hearts. $425 for 48″x24″ oil painting. (No longer available)

Nicole Cohen - Shower Print 2
Shower Print #2 by Nicole Cohen – from Nicole Cohen Art. $50 for 8″x10″ print.

Nancy Ramirez - Cozamia - Electric Garden Blue
Electric Garden (Blue) by Nancy Ramirez – from Cozamia. $36.99 for 14.7″x11″ print from imagekind.

Aeropagita Prints - Metallon Alchemical
Metallon (alchemical) by Mishel Valenton – from Aeropagita Prints on Etsy. $30 for 11″x11″ print.

Nancy Ramirez - Cozamia - Brittle Stars - Baby Blue
Brittle Stars (Baby Blue) by Nancy Ramirez – from Cozamia. $36.99 for 11″x14.7″ print from imagekind.

Society6 - Tchmo - Untitled Abstract
Untitled (Abstract) by Tchmo – from society6. $22 for 13″x16″ print.

I guess I’m into abstracts (with the exception of the octopus) and bright colors for the foyer. But for our living room, some day, I have to get this one.
Carrie Booth - fox
fox by Carrie Booth – from society6. $20 for 13″x17″.

It looks just like my Macy!

Macy - Fox

Realistically, I’m not going to have any prints by Sunday, but maybe if Brad will hang up the frames for me, I can just slop some metallic craft paint and glitter onto some paper and stick that in there for the time being. Yay glitter and metallics!

What’s on your gallery wall wishlist?

     

Marbled Paper Deserves a Frame

… And I intend to give it one!

Here are a few sneak peeks at the latest items to grace the Glitter & Goat Cheese house. As per usual, not a single one has been hung yet.

Paper Mojo Pirouette Marbled Paper - Turquoise Apricot and Raspberry - Ikea Ribba Frame
Pirouette Marbled Paper in Turquoise, Apricot & Raspberry ($4.50 from Paper Mojo) in a seriously large Ikea Ribba frame ($24.99). A big, beautiful piece of original art for under $30. I believe Kristin F. Davis did this first, and Danielle Oakey also framed a gorgeous piece. It’s sweeping the interwebs! You’re next – you know it!

It’s so vibrant in person. I’m obsessed.

Pirouette Marbled Paper - Turquoise Apricot and Raspberry - CloseUp

Let it be known that this particular Ribba frame (the 28″ x 40″) is a huge pain in the ass. The clear piece is actually plastic, not glass, which is fine. It makes it lighter, safer and easier to hang. However, when you remove the plastic wrap that the frame comes in, it makes the plastic piece extremely static-y, and if your frame happens to be lying on a carpet where your pets hang out, it’s going to get COVERED in fur. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was to bend down those stupid pieces of metal 87 times only to flip the frame over and find ANOTHER piece of hair caught in between the paper and the plastic. UGH. It was AWFUL. Anyway. Moving on.

These two are just a small part of my upcoming mini-gallery wall.

Paper Mojo Marbled Paper - Ikea Ribba Frames - Ikea Rast Dressers

The fuchsia is Agate Marbled Paper in Purple and Pink in a 20″x16″ Ribba frame, and the grey is Pirouette Marbled Paper in Black, Gold and Silver in a 20″x28″ Ribba frame.

You’re also getting a first look at my two Ikea dressers, which are in the middle of being hacked. Can you guess where I’m going with them?

When I get around to replacing the three frames I smashed – don’t ask – the gallery wall will hopefully look like this:

Foyer - Gallery Wall - Ribba Frame - Layout

I don’t have pieces planned for each frame quite yet, but I do have some more paper from my Paper Mojo order.

Paper Mojo - Ikat And Marbled Paper

The pink paper – Agate Marbled Paper in Rose and Blue – will probably be the only one used in the gallery wall. I think the two ikat sheets – in turquoise & gold and yellow & gold – will go in our bedroom somewhere.

I also have some of the grey and fuchsia left, and just hate the idea of throwing them away … Should I use them elsewhere in the house, or is that just too much marbled paper for one abode?

Pirouette Marbled Paper - Black Gold and Silver

It’s just so damn pretty!

I think the rest of the gallery wall needs to stick to the simple, abstract look. I’d really love to order an Electric Garden print from Cozamia, but I feel like that insanity deserves a GIANT frame and its very own wall, don’t you?

Stay tuned for more photos after I get these puppies hung on the wall!

Have you found inexpensive artwork substitutes to frame in your home? I’d love to see!

     

Red Carpet Manicure – Removing the Gel

Hello there! Just popping in, in the midst of a very busy week, to give a quick update on the removal process of my Red Carpet Manicure colored gel.

Some of you glitter nail polish lovers may already be familiar with the tin foil trick. Basically, when you place a nail polish remover-soaked cotton ball over your nail and then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, your body heat speeds up the removal process while the foil keeps the remover from evaporating. It’s one of the only ways to get glitter polish off without rubbing for hours, and it works the same way with soak-off gels.

Red Carpet Manicure Removal Supplies

The Red Carpet Manicure starter kit comes with a bottle of remover, but I believe you can also use pure acetone. The first step was lightly scuffing up the surface of the nail with a nail file.

Next, you soak your cotton balls – one per nail – and then strap ‘em onto your nails with aluminum foil. I started off with little pieces of foil, then quickly realized I’d get a much better seal if I used more.

Red Carpet Manicure Removal Foil Pieces

Red Carpet Manicure Removal With Foil

The instructions recommended leaving the remover on for 10-15 minutes. I waited the full 15 to be on the safe side. When I pulled off the foil, I still had some color left on my nails, but if came off really easily with an orangewood stick. Here’s how my thumb looked after I gently scraped off the color.

Red Carpet Manicure Removal Thumb

By the time I was done, my nails were enamel-free, and in pretty decent shape. They were a teensy bit beat up from the scraping, but nowhere near as bad as they would be after drilling off non-soak-off gel. Trust me – I’ve been through that process, and it ain’t pretty.

Red Carpet Manicure After Removal

Soaking off the Red Carpet Manicure gel took about the same amount of time as the OPI Gelcolor, and left my nails in about the same condition. The two products seem to be pretty similar to me. The main differences are the color options and, of course, the fact that you apply the Red Carpet Manicure yourself.

So that’s it! Anybody have any questions about Red Carpet Manicure? I think I’m going to invest in a color that’s more me soon. Midnight Affair, Glitteratzzi or It’s Not A Taupe, perhaps?

Red Carpet Manicure Color Options

I think the gold glitter would look amazing over the taupe! Can’t you just picture it now?

     

Still Going: A Running Update

I’m sure most of you don’t care much about my new hobby, but a few of you commented and said that you did, so … this post is for you!

The Hubs and I have officially surpassed the two week mark, and we’re still running. That’s an accomplishment in itself to us. Sure, our bodies hurt and we do a fair amount of complaining, but overall, we’re kind of loving it. Weird, right?!

Because this is me we’re talking about, there has been a lot of shopping to go along with all the running. Whoops. But I do think that most of the things I’ve purchased have really helped – if not with my stride or my comfort level, at least with my motivation. These are a few of my favorite running-related items right now:

My favorite running items

  1. Balega Hidden Comfort Low-Cut Socks in “Zesty Yellow” – $9.95: Before I found out that running in regular cotton socks is a HUGE no-no, I had never had any reason to look at running socks, and therefore, I had no idea that there was such thing as cushioned socks. Guys, cushioned socks are heaven. Also, these are neon yellow. I only have one pair – because even I can see that $10 for one pair of socks is kind of nutty – so I save them for special occasions.
  2. Bula Sublimation Gator in “Black Tie Dye” – $15: I don’t know what the hell a “sublimation gator” is, but I do know that this thing is cool. As shown by the handy infographic on the package, it can be worn in a plethora (word!) of ways, and everybody loves a multipurpose item, right?
    Bula Sublimation Gator Infographic
    It can even make you into Hulk Hogan! I actually wore mine as a hat the other day, which ISN’T EVEN ONE OF THE LISTED OPTIONS! I just pulled it over my head and tied a knot under my ponytail. Cool, right?
    Bula Gator Worn As Hat
    Don’t look at my face. I blurred the crap out of it in Photoshop because I had no makeup on when I took the picture, and I don’t let people see me without makeup. I SAID DON’T LOOK AT IT. Also, kindly ignore my ratty hair. (Oh, by the way, you may notice in the photo that I ended up buying the Lululemon Stay on Course Jacket. I love it! Two enthusiastic thumbs up!)

  3. Nike Element Print Half-Zip in “Stealth/Reflective Silver” – $41.97: Man, I love this shirt. It has a cool pattern and a neon zipper, and wearing it makes me feel hip and sporty and urban. And like a yuppie who shops at the Nike Store. Whatever. It was on sale! I love it so much that I had to buy one more:
    Nike Element Half Zip Turquoise
    It’s the perfect top layer for the weather we’ve been having lately, because you can zip it all the way up to your chin when you first start out, then unzip it as you warm up.

  4. PB Elite Foam Rollers – $12.95 or $21.95: This isn’t the exact one that I have, but I think it’s pretty similar. These things are lifesavers. As of Friday, I’d been in nonstop agony all week long. My legs were crazy-sore from top to bottom, but there was also some kind of weird pain that I couldn’t identify. I read online that foam rollers were great for breaking down knots and improving circulation, so I picked one up from Big Peach Running Co. I found a few videos on how to use them, and after a few sessions, the soreness I’d been dealing with all week was gone. I know you think I’m exaggerating – I’m really not. I must have had knots all the way up and down my legs, and the roller got rid of all of them! Once my muscles were back in working order, I could pinpoint that the weird pain was on the inside of my knee, so I iced it a few times, and by Saturday night, I was pain-free. Magic, I tell you. I plan to keep using the roller on a daily basis to keep my muscles in good shape – they’ll need it.

This past weekend, I went on my first few runs without Brad. At first, it sucked. I was bored, I had no one to complain to, and I was stuck holding Macy’s leash. Don’t get me wrong – Macy is actually very well-behaved on our runs. But she’s a dog. She’s distracted by things like sewer grates and empty plastic bags and people wearing hats. And yesterday, some young hooligan threw one of those popper things at us! You know, those little things that make a loud noise when you throw them and they hit the ground? Macy FLIPPED. I could not get her to slow down until we had put at least half a mile between us and said hooligan. It was good sprinting practice, but I was still pretty pissed.

Anyway though, like I said, running without Brad sucked at first, but then I noticed a few new facts:

I was walking less. I ran a whole solid mile without stopping for a break. I realize that sounds like no big deal, but I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before (other than on the treadmill, which doesn’t count).

I was going further. My two runs without Brad were 2.75 miles and 3.08 miles – the furthest I’ve ever gone. Again, probably sounds like nothing, but it was tough for me, so BACK OFF!

And even though I felt like I was running much, much more slowly, I was actually going faster. My overall pace on my first run was 25 seconds less than our average pace up until then, and my pace on my next run was 7 seconds less than that. Weird, right?

The moral of this story is that apparently, it’s a lot easier to find and keep your own comfortable pace when you’re running by yourself. I knew when we started that Brad was a faster runner than me, but I guess I didn’t realize that I was going too fast with him until I slowed down on my own. So, I’m not sure what this will mean going forward. Brad and I both need to work on our form and endurance, and we like running together, so his plan is to try and stick with my pace for the time being. But if I can’t catch up with him as I improve, I’m not sure if he’s going to want to purposely slow himself down for the rest of our running days. We’ll see what happens.

Any other aspiring or current runners out there? Got any awesome products to share? Lemme hear it!

     

Red Carpet Manicure – A Review

I’ve shared my love for gel manicures before, and after I posted a review of OPI Gelcolor, the team at Red Carpet Manicure asked if I’d like to try out their product. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t!

When I found out that it’s an at-home gel manicure system, though, I was on board right away. Y’all know I’m all about DIY, and I’m all about gel manicures, so it was kind of a no-brainer. The fact that it’s way cheaper than a salon gel manicure didn’t hurt, either. The starter kit is $59.99 on the Red Carpet Manicure site, and claims to contain enough for 20 manicures (albeit only in the one color provided). That’s only $3 a manicure – a little different from the $25 my salon charges.

The only question was whether someone with my shaky hands, bad vision and lack of patience was capable of giving myself a manicure usually only applied by trained professionals. And, well, you’ll see for yourself how that turned out, and you can tell me what you think.

The starter kit comes with everything you need, with the exception of a few supplies that are provided in the $3.99 accesories kit, but I actually had most of those supplies at home anyway.

The first instructions were to push back my cuticles with an orangewood stick.

Then I used a nail file (one of the ones with multiple surfaces) to shape and buff my nails. I was following the instructions, but I’m honestly not sure it was the greatest idea to shape right before the manicure. As you can see, my nails were kind of torn up. I guess I didn’t do a very good job?

Next time, I think I’ll shape with clippers and then just smooth them out with a less-rough section of the nail file.

The first product application was the Red Carpet Cleanser, which was supposed to remove dirt and oil. The instructions recommended using a lint-free pad, but I used a makeup wedge sponge. Then, I brushed on the pH Nail Prep, which went on like a thin liquid and then evaporated right away.

Then, it was time for some gel! This was the scary part, but it really wasn’t so hard. It was basically a clear base coat, except slightly thicker. I was supposed to apply it over the whole nail and over the top edge, but that’s easier said than done. The trick is to get any extra product off your skin BEFORE you cure it under the light.

Because only four fingers fit under the light at once, the instructions recommended applying the base coat and curing the first four fingers separately from the thumb. To save time, I did the four fingers on one hand, then the four fingers on another hand, then my thumbs together. I used my iPhone timer to make sure I was curing for exactly one minute.

When all 10 fingers were cured, the clear gel looked a lot like the base coat you get in a salon – thin but glossy.

After that, I applied two coats of the gel enamel, curing for two minutes between each coat. The color that came with the kit was “Red Carpet Reddy,” which might not have been my first choice, but it’s a nice, bright shade. I believe you can get more shades at Ulta, Fred Meyer and Meijer. You can also buy them on the Red Carpet Manicure site.

The instructions, again, said to cover the entire nail and the free edge, but I just couldn’t get the edge without getting it all over my skin. Other than that, applying the gel enamel really felt the same as applying regular nail polish.

I found that tilting the light made it a lot easier to get all my fingers in line.

The clear sealing top coat went on the same way, with two minutes to cure.

Now, here comes the cool part. Even after curing each coat, your nails still feel slightly tacky. But when you’re finally finished, you apply the Red Carpet Cleanser again, and it just … wipes the tackiness away. I can’t explain it. It’s weird. But it works!

AND – somehow, the cleanser takes the color off your skin, but not your nails. It’s kind of magical.

If you’re sloppy like me, this is key, because nothing else gets that color off after it’s cured. Of course, I tried to get it off before curing, but … easier said than done. No matter – after the cleanser, my nails were hard, glossy and oooh, pretty.

The last (optional) step was to use the Nourishing Cuticle Oil, which comes with the kit, too.

Two and a half weeks later, the color is still hangin’ in there. I have a few small chips, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because I didn’t coat the free edge like I was supposed to.

One main thing I learned is that if you let the extra enamel puddle in the crevice at the edge of your nail, then it will harden under the light, and eventually, it separates from your skin. Then, the edge isn’t really attached to your nail as securely, and it can lift. For me, it was only a real problem with one pinky, and I’ve managed to resist picking at it so far, so it’s still hanging in there.

Overall, this stuff really does work. It lasted eons longer than a regular manicure – I chip even the professional kind within days. And strangely, I have a lot less growth at the base of my nails than I usually get with regular manicures. It could be because I applied right up to my skin. I’m going to remove the gel soon so that I can report back on that process – the starter kit came with special remover – but I think if it didn’t, it would last at least another week.

UPDATE: Click here to read about the removal process!

I think the few issues I had with Red Carpet Manicure had to do with my inability to apply it properly, but that’s definitely something to consider if you’re semi-sloppy like me! However, if you’re an at-home manicure pro, I really think you could nail this. It’s not that hard, and it looks pretty damn good. Plus, it’s just cool to have your own LED light.

Have you ever tried an at-home gel manicure? Leave me comments if you have any questions!

Disclaimer: I was given the Red Carpet Manicure starter kit for free in return for editorial consideration, but everything in this review is my own unbiased opinion.