Fill Up in the Open Thread

Published in: Just For Fun

Oh, heavens, I’m full. Like, even my stretchy pants are struggling. This morning I had brunch at a local breakfast joint here in Novato called Marvin’s. That was a couple of hours ago, and I’m still beyond stuffed. I think I even ate the plate when I finished what was on it — two eggs Benedict topped with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and avocados (no Hollandaise sauce for me, please) and a big helping of hash browns. All washed down with about four cups of coffee (WHEE!). If you’re ever in the neighborhood, swing by Marvin’s for breakfast or brunch if you can. The food is delish!


How’s it going today? Tabs is soaking up a little sunshine by the window. I can tell he wants to go for a walk outside, but my allergies have put me on self-imposed house arrest. I think I’ll stick to writing, surfing the web and updating my running music list instead.

I haven’t updated it in months. I know for sure I’m adding a few tunes from the soundtrack to Once. Have you seen it? It’s an Irish film about two friends, one a struggling street musician, and the other a woman he meets one night during one of his performances. SO touching, soulful and bittersweet. Their relationship really got to me, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Also going on the list — a few songs from a British band called The Go! Team. Their stuff has a lot of kick to it. It’s peppy, with a good dose of hip-hop, kinda like Gnarls Barkley meets Cibo Matto.

If you like their sound and live in the Bay Area, they’re playing at The Mezzanine next Wednesday, April 20 in SF. I bet they’d be a lot of fun to see live.

What are you up to now? Can you come say hi in the open thread? πŸ™‚

A little about the open threadÒ€¦

Makeup and Beauty Blog Open ThreadIf youÒ€ℒre new to the open thread, here it is in a nutshell:

It’s just a post where we leave comments for each other and talk about whatever’s on our minds — music, food, beauty (of course!), TV shows, pets, whatever! Stop by if/when you can.

Can’t wait to see you inside!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Just so I can say there was something makeup related in this post, NARS summer 2011 is now online. WOOT!


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So far, 214 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Ellie says:

    Hello everyone! I have pink eye on the first day of my spring break. It sucks. And I have a question… I used my new Blacktrack Fluidline before I realized I had it, and it was only a redness in one eye… do you all think I’d have to throw it away? Or maybe I could just scoop the top layer out? For me, it was quite expensive so I’m hoping I won’t have to. I’m assuming I’ll have to throw out the Falsies mascara I used that day too :/

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ellie,

      Do you still have your receipt? I would try exchanging it.

      Pink eye is very contagious (I’ve had it before), so if I couldn’t exchange it I’d probably throw it out.

      • Ellie says:

        Well I’m a teenager and they hate kids in the MAC store so I’m kind of scared to, haha. What am I supposed to say to them?

        • Jessi says:

          Ellie, you have just as much right to be there as anyone else! Your money works just as well and shame on them if they treat you any differently.
          Jessi recently posted … Im Too Foxy For My Blush- Hard Candy Fox in A Box Blush swatches and review

          • Karen says:

            It’s a tough situation, and I agree with Jessi. I’d definitely be straight with them and tell them that I used it, got pink eye and didn’t realize it, and would like to exchange the pot for a fresh one (all said politely, of course). If I couldn’t return it, I’d throw it out. I don’t like wasting money, but pink eye is nothing to mess around with.

          • Ellie says:

            Thanks to both of you for the advice! I’ll have to work up the courage to do that as soon as my eyes clear up.

          • Courtney says:

            They treat me like that all the time!
            I know what you say is true, but sometimes I feel bad returning stuff to. Just because I’m a teenager

        • raquel says:

          although i am 24 (i look 16-17) and whenever i went to a certain MAC they think im a kid playing with makeup so after a couple times of rude customer service (until they realized i knew what i was talking about) i decide to switch counters (i go to the one next to my workplace instead of home) but i can understand how frustrating it is for you so, don’t let them intimidate you! also if you go with your mom it helps cuz they won’t feel like you are there to play πŸ™‚ anyways, hope you can get rid of your pink eye soon

          • Kaelin Chan says:

            I’m a teenager too, and i know exactly what you’re feeling. People at makeup counters never take me seriously, and if they don’t ignore me completely, they’re outright rude. SA’s work off of commision, so unless that person is decent and respectful I take my business else where. People shouldn’t make money off of mean service.
            Kaelin Chan recently posted … A yummy OTD

    • Nina says:

      oh you can totally exchange it. MAC is pretty good about exchanges. πŸ™‚ esp if its an allergic reaction you have to it.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Need a break from all our visitors! Ahh. Highlight though was receiving Bobbi brown lipstick in mod pink! Also super pumped aboutmthe nars summer collection!

  3. Jessi says:

    Hey Karen! I watched 127 Hours last night and I thought of you because I know you’re a big James Franco fan (but who isn’t?!). Have you seen it? It’s hard to watch, not so much the gore aspect of it for me, but just because I can’t imagine being in that situation. It was a good movie though!
    Jessi recently posted … Im Too Foxy For My Blush- Hard Candy Fox in A Box Blush swatches and review

  4. Terri says:

    Hi everyone! I hope you are having a lovely Saturday. It’s cloudy and chilly here, so I’m making bread and playing around online.

    Do any of you use Birchbox? I got my first box on Thursday, and even though I was whelmed when I first opened it, the products are really growing on me.

    Karen – I’m sorry your allergies are acting up. Mine were horrible earlier this week, so I feel for you πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Hi Terri,

      I love the scent of baking bread. What kind are you making?

      As for Birchbox, nope I haven’t tried it. It looks kinda cool, though! I bet it would be handy to have all those samples around if you traveled a lot.

      Sorry to hear about your allergies too. What kind of meds do you take? I’m all about the Zyrtec.

      • Terri says:

        I’m making Sally Lunn bread ( It is so easy, but it makes me feel very domestic.

        While I love trying out new products, I have a hard time figuring out whether I will like a color or whether a particular product will work for my skin. Because of this, I don’t take a lot of chances when I purchase things. So the entire Birchbox premise should be good for me (at least in theory). I’ll probably have a better sense after next month’s box.

        For allergies, I use a spray and I’m taking CVS-brand Claritin, which has worked surprisingly well. However, it’s been rainy here, so that has cut down on the pollen considerably.

        • Karen says:

          That looks delish! I bet it smells so good while it’s baking.

          Birchbox sounds like fun. Do you have any say in what comes every month? Like, can you tell them you prefer certain colors or products for a specific skin type?

          Just you wait until the rain stops and everything starts blooming again like crazy! That’s what’s happening here now. The wind isn’t helping the situation either, boo. πŸ™

          • Terri says:

            It’s in the oven now and it smells really good! It’s no-knead, which is nice (even though Tabs might be willing to help you in that department).

            You don’t get to pick what you get in your box, but you do fill out a beauty profile when you first sign up. This profile asks you about your beauty concerns and your skin and hair type. So there might be some personalization, but we never really know what we’re getting.

          • Karen says:

            LOL. Tabs has been in biscuit mode overdrive ever since I got back from Toronto. I think he’s trying to make up for lost time.

            That’s cool that they allow for some customization. It sounds like a neat service!

    • Tiffany says:

      Oh I’m trying out birchbox also! Of the three I’ve gotten so far, this one excited me the least. I’ll probably keep it one more month and then decide if I want to stick with it or not. It’s nice to get surprises in the mail!

      • Terri says:

        Tiffany – what did you get in your Birchbox this month? I didn’t love my products at first, but they are working out well for me.

        I agree that getting it once a month in the mail is fun. It’s like getting a surprise present :).

        • Tiffany says:

          I got a mini Zoya nail polish in a light blue shade, juice beauty green apple peel, a weleda facial lotion, and a perfume sample (the scent is so not for me!). I am mostly excited to try the juice beauty peel.

          • Terri says:

            I got the mini Zoya polish in a light gray, a foaming facial scrub/cleanser, the weleda facial lotion, and the perfume sample.

            So far, I LOVE the foaming facial scrub – it’s very light and gentle, even though I can tell it is exfoliating. The perfume is nice, but I would never buy it. The facial lotion seems to be a good spring moisturizer – it isn’t too heavy or too light. My biggest letdown was the nail polish. Even though I like Zoya, gray polish isn’t my thing, and the polish itself was really thick and hard to work with.

            I also got tea as my extra, which is nice but I wasn’t expecting it.

          • Karen says:

            What scent did you get? I’m so curious now!

          • Terri says:

            Karen – The perfume I got was from LIV GRN. According to the box, the scent is “bright, grassy, and laced with orange and neroli.” I like the scent, even if it is a little on the sweet side for me, but I would never actually buy it, since the full size is $60.

          • Karen says:

            Hi Terri,

            It sounds pretty and refreshing. Lately I’ve been really into fragrances, and I’ve never heard of that line, so I hope I can find it to sniff it.

      • Nina says:

        im prolly going to sign up for birchbox this may. πŸ™‚

        • Terri says:

          Nina – You should definitely try it out for a few months (you can cancel it at anytime if you don’t think it is working for you). The samples that you get are around the size of Sephora deluxe (100 point) samples, so there is enough for you to use for a while and to get a sense of what the product is like.

          • Nina says:

            thanks for the info, Terri. i believe you just sold me on it! πŸ™‚ signing up tomorrow! omg i cant wait!

  5. KAREN says:

    What a great day in Socal!!! 85 degree!! woooo hooo spring is here!!

    I realized the other day that make up makes me sooooo very happpy! I mean, I always KNEW this, but I guess I have been in a slump for a while, the other day I started playing with my INFINTE stash, and when I was done, I was glowing! not just cause of the bronzer and highlighter,=) but I remembered why I love make up so much.. it’s art, it’s an expression of oneself, it’s fun!

    karen =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen,

      Sounds like you had a great time! Sometimes it’s fun to just play and explore and try new techniques and combos, right?

      Did you re-discover anything good in your stash?

  6. Tiffany says:

    Yay! I’ve missed the open thread! That movie sounds great – I’ll have to Netflix it.

    I’m currently watching iron chef while my little one naps on my lap. I’m also avoiding the outside world until the pollen subsides πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      It’s really, REALLY good. I think you’ll enjoy it!

      Awww, gotta love the look (and sound) of a sleeping baby. They’re so cute. πŸ™‚

      The pollen here is out of control! It’s sunny, windy and everything is blooming like crazy. Just thinking about it makes my skin itch, yikes.

      Got any plans for the rest of the weekend?

      • Tiffany says:

        Just added it on Netflix!

        No plans really, might try a short walk tomorrow if the pollen isn’t too bad. Oh and we have to go to a baptism class tomorrow evening. What do you have planned this weekend?!

        • Karen says:

          Yay! I still can’t believe you are mommy. It feels like only yesterday when you told me you guys were expecting. Time really flies by so quickly!

          Today I’ve got product shots to take and writing today. Maybe tonight we’ll try to go to the movies or just stay in… I’ve had way too much excitement over the last few days and need to lay low and chill.

          • Tiffany says:

            I can’t believe it sometimes either! The pregnancy really did fly by.

            I love just chilling at home after a trip. Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

          • Karen says:

            Mine has been really mellow so far, and I’m loving it. Last night we ended up staying in and watching a movie (Shades of Ray) and eating fro-yo. I’m debating on whether I should go get more fro-yo today. I’ve been craving it big time and if I get it again today I’ll have had it three days in a row (I usually just have it once on the weekend). I’m almost embarrassed to go back to the shop. πŸ™‚

            Anywho, I hope your Sunday is going well. πŸ™‚

  7. KAREN says:


    As a matter of fact YES!!! Do you remember the Estee Lauder Collection that Tom Ford collaborated on a few years back??? Found the WHOLE line in my closet!!! and I am trying to master the Kevyn Aucoin SSE, playing with fushia lips, and brushing up on my bronzing skills, now that the sun’s out…


    • Karen says:

      OH, the one from 2007? I remember the blue bottle from the skin scent well!

      • KAREN says:

        yes the blue and gold bottle….. i bought everything in that collection, skin oil, glosses, lipstcks, shadows….

        I have been in love with Tom Ford ever since…

        dying to go to Rodeo and see his new store and shop his bath line!!!!

        come to LA Karen and we can go!!! πŸ˜‰

        • Karen says:

          PRETTY! That’s great that you took it out again… that was a really pretty release. I love finding things in my stash that I haven’t used in a while. It’s like discovering buried treasure. πŸ™‚

          And LOL, that would be so much fun! I like LA. It has a unique vibe and energy.

  8. KAREN says:

    Am I the only one, or does anyone else watch AI JUST to see what Jennifer Lopez is wearing and how she has her make up done those 2 nights??? lololol

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t been watching the show! It seems to have rejuvenated her career, though. Did you see how she was chosen as the world’s most beautiful person by People?

  9. Rads says:

    It’s my first time in the open thread πŸ˜€ Hiiiiiiiiiiiii..

  10. snoopysteph says:

    Open Thread, Open Thread, Open Thread!! πŸ˜€

    Is it bad that I ditched going to my office early this morning to finish up the few remaining taxes left to prepare and went to Nordstrom instead? I couldn’t resist the Chanel summer collection. Yes, I bought Mimosa! I’m still unsure how it’s going to look with my fair skin with pink undertones. I also (unexpectedly) picked up the Lilium quad, the Rose Platine eyeliner, the bronzing powder in Bronze Rose, and another Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur (I already have Aventure).

    • Karen says:

      Ah, a girl after my own heart (I’m going later on today, LOL!).

      I was wondering if you were done with the last-minute tax rush! Do you have a lot left to finish?

      • snoopysteph says:

        I have less than 10 clients left to do (all of whom normally get refunds so the deadline doesn’t apply to them – did you know that the deadline only applies if you OWE taxes but you have 3 years to file if you are getting a refund?). BUT, I have to prepare our 2 business returns AND my in-laws’ return from 2008…eek.

        I also picked up Giggly, In Synch & Strobe Cream from MAC (they were out of Syrup, boo!).

        You’ve officially turned me into a Chanel junkie, my dear!

        • Karen says:

          I had no idea! You can power through the rest of them… maybe bribe yourself with more Chanel?! πŸ™‚

          We just finished ours and all I have to say is BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

          And WOOOOT, Strobe Cream! I’m actually about to finish off my tube.

    • Terri says:

      It sounds like you got some lovely products.

      I’m trying to convince myself that going to the Chanel counter at Lord & Taylor for the Friends and Family discount would be a bad idea. However, it isn’t working out so far.

      • snoopysteph says:

        Be sure to swatch the Lilium quad! I didn’t expect the shades to be as workable & every day-able as they really are. Especially the taupe shade, it’s gorgeous!

        And…how can you pass up a friends & family discount?! πŸ˜€

        • Terri says:

          Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely check it out when I go next week.

          I’ve gotten a flurry of notices about discounts lately, so I’m trying to pace myself. Between the Friends and Family at L&T and Sephora’s 15% off discount for Beauty Insiders, I’m going to be in major trouble πŸ˜‰

          • snoopysteph says:

            I know! I have to narrow down what I want at Sephora…since they usually have that 15% discount twice a year I’m not AS tempted to go crazy with buying stuff to get the discount. It’s a good chance to pick up some essentials though.

  11. Nina says:

    youre home yay! πŸ™‚

    how are you? and yes, i do watch AI to see what JLo’s makeup is all about each night. πŸ˜€

    • Karen says:

      Yup, yup, I got in yesterday! I’m a little PMS-y and eating everything in sight, LOL, but other than that I’m great. How are you? I feel like I haven’t talked to you in FOREVER.

      • Nina says:

        hi hi! πŸ™‚

        we’re having a lazy weekend. we just went to lunch (austrian german place – yum!), costco and a pet store run. πŸ™‚

        i did go to the sephora thingy last friday and picked up some new stuff. πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          Lazy weekends are great! πŸ™‚ What did you get from Sephora?

          • Nina says:

            i got a Skyn Iceland eye cream, a UD 24×7 shadow pencil (the black one w/ sparkles, i restrained myself bec i also got 5 of those babies on a previous order). i also got a tarte amazonian clay blush in blissful.

            so happy with everything!

          • Karen says:

            Fun haul! I know what UD shade you’re talking about… it’s very pretty!

            I think I’m going to do a mini one online today. I haven’t used my discount yet and need to stock up on some essentials. πŸ™‚

          • Nina says:

            vibchic for 15% off! πŸ™‚

  12. steph b says:

    That’s the next movie in my Netflix queue. I wish I had it here — it is a rainy, gray day. I’ve been reading, watching movies all day. Painted my toenails a pretty peach color to perk me up. Also, been organizing recipes and shopping list for Passover. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so I want to do some of the prep work today so that I can frolic in the sun tomorrow. I have new sneakers and I’m itching to walk!

    • Terri says:

      Steph – Are you reading anything good?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph!

      Have you seen anything good? I’m always looking for movie recs.

      Random thought re: books — I’m itching to read Matched by Ally Condie.

      • steph b says:

        I’m reading The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely. It is a very readable book on behavioral economics and how you can use the predictability of irrational behavior to your advantage. Sounds odd, but the author makes this really accessible. I like to alternate the fluff books with something a little meatier.

        Watched Shades of Ray earlier and really liked it. Has the guy from Chuck and the girl from Fairly Legal. A really funny family dynamic story and how we all deal with our ethnic baggage. They upgraded my cable as part of an area promotion and I get Showtime. I watched all the episodes of The Big C and it is really fantastic. Such great character development.

        Thanks for the book rec — I’ll check it out.

        • Terri says:

          That book sounds fascinating! Thanks for the recommendation and great synopsis.

          I’m currently juggling the latest Sarah Vowell book on the history of Hawaii and a scholarly examination of the Sweet Valley High series. The Vowell book, “Unfamiliar Fishes,” is interesting and very informative, even if it isn’t one of her strongest works (I think she does better with essays).

          • steph b says:

            Interesting – will need to check that out. I used to live in Hawaii and like reading Hawaii stories. The place has such an interesting history and cultural dynamic.

          • Karen says:

            Both of those sound very interesting. I actually loved Sweet Valley High books when I was kid!

          • Terri says:

            I was a big Sweet Valley High junkie too! Did you see that a new book came out? The story is set 10 years after the SVH books, with Elizabeth living in New York because she and Jessica had a fight. It sounds like a hot mess, but I might have to try to read it when it comes out in paperback.

          • steph b says:

            Several of my middle school friends are doing an online book club to read the new Sweet Valley High book.. πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          You’re welcome. Thank you for the movie recs. I just realized that I have Shades of Ray from Netflix. Maybe I’ll watch that tonight…

      • Nina says:

        i am reading 2 books at the moment.

        the latest jim butcher paperback called Changes and a book called Incendiary by chris cleave (the guy who wrote Little Bee). both are pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

  13. Karen says:

    So, this is totally not makeup related, but can anyone recommend a furniture brand that’s like Pottery Barn but not as pricey? I would also prefer to not have to build the stuff (a la IKEA). I have NO SKILLS at all when it comes to home decorating and have been putting off getting real “grown up” furniture for the condo, and figure it’s time to get cracking.

    • snoopysteph says:

      Crate & Barrel is one step down from PB (owned by the same company) and they seem to be more reasonably priced. Pier 1 is a good option too (I worked there for 7 years!).

      • Terri says:

        Snoopysteph – I worked at a Pier 1 for 5 years!

        • snoopysteph says:

          Oh cool! Where at & when? I worked at 2 different stores in Las Vegas from 1997-2003.

          • Terri says:

            I worked at one in Nashville from 1998-2003 (all through undergrad and then during my first year of grad school). I also was seasonal help there during the holidays. Good times πŸ™‚

          • snoopysteph says:

            It’s a really great company to work for! If I ever was forced back into retail, I’d go back in heartbeat. I started as a sales assistant & worked my way up to sales manager. I always felt so appreciated & still keep in touch with a lot of my old co-workers!

    • Terri says:

      Hi Karen,

      Hmmm… some of Crate and Barrel’s furniture is cheaper than PB’s but they have a similar aesthetic. I believe that West Elm’s furniture might also be cheaper than PB even though they are owned by the same company.

      Pier 1 has some surprisingly grown-up furniture (just ignore the mountains of white wicker), and it is usually considerably cheaper than PB’s stuff.

    • steph b says:

      I’ve had luck with Rowe Furniture. They have a lot of stuff with that easy, casual, but still tailored look that CB and PB do but at a better price point. I had this gorgeous dusty plum sofa from them that lasted 8 years and 3 moves before I sold it. I’m still bummed I sold it, but I wasn’t going to do a moving truck that FL-NE move.

      • Karen says:

        Thanks, Steph! That’s a brand I’ve never heard of before. I just checked their store locator and there are several within driving distance here in the Bay Area. πŸ™‚ Do you have any idea of their range of prices? Unfortch, they don’t have them listed on the site.

        • steph b says:

          They have a range of prices depending on style and fabric. I’ve heard rumor that this one manufacturer makes multiple lines including CB and Rowe (Storehouse used to be another of their brands but they merged that into Rowe a few years back) but this is the most reasonable under that style. What I loved about it was the wide range of fabric options.

    • Amber says:

      We got our bedroom furniture from Rooms to Go. I was surprised to find furniture that fit our aesthetic (clean lines, dark wood). Price was really good!
      Amber recently posted … Playa del Carmen- under the sea- part 1

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, everyone. Now if only I could find somebody to just do the whole thing for me, LOL! Furniture is such a big commitment, and I get very doe in the headlights when it comes to making choices, sigh.

      To all the gals who have home decorating skills, I salute you!

    • Nina says:

      i was gonna suggest crate and barrel too. πŸ™‚

      my dream furniture line though is from restoration hardware. πŸ™‚

  14. I went to a trend show at Macy’s this morning and it was sooo much fun! I just blogged about it cuz I had to tell someone, and el hub isn’t that interested in hearing about my new love for a Bobbi Brown neutral pink lipstick. Have you been to a trend show? What are your fave Bobbi products?
    Kajal Couture recently posted … Bobbi Brown Sale and Favorites

  15. Elle says:

    I just did some groceries, had to dig my down jacket back OUT of the closet because Chi-town is still freezing (although to be honest, it didn’t get very far back INTO my closet in the first place), had an awesome lunch with the bf at our favorite Italian restaurant (if anyone’s in/going to Chicago, check out Davanti Enoteca πŸ™‚ ) and I’m regretting the fact that I can’t go for a run because 1) my food coma/laziness kicked in and 2) don’t feel like running in 20 layers of clothes.

    Oh, and I need a new book. I just finished “One Day” and cried like a baby. I am looking forward to the movie but now that I know who’s going to be in it, it kind of messes with my head since I had my own visions of the characters, ya know? I can see Jim Sturgess in it, but Anne Hathaway, not so much.

    • snoopysteph says:

      Thanks for the restaurant recommendation! I live in Albany Park. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Italian food sounds SO good right now. I’m PMS-y and wanting to eat everything in striking distance. What did you order for lunch?

      Okay, so I get what you mean about having a different vision of the characters. I’m looking forward to watching Water for Elephants because I like the book so much, but I would’ve never imagined Robert Pattinson as the lead character.

      How are your boxing lessons going? Can you lay down some serious punishment with your right hooks now?

      • Elle says:

        Karen, this place is the shizz! It is “Italian small plates” so the portions are pretty small, but good for two-three people depending on the dish. We got grilled asparagus with this mascarpone cheese sauce, pork belly with apples, a risotto with carbonara sauce (every time we go, we have to get this), truffle egg toast with fontina cheese and asparagus (it’s kind of like an ‘egg in the hole’ type thing, but with cheese and asparagus slices on top), and a burger topped with cheese curds, arugula, roasted tomatoes, and something glorious called bacon jam. I don’t know what bacon jam is, but I’m glad it’s in my life.

        Yeah, I’m still going to watch the movie version of “One Day” but I’m wondering how it will affect my lurve for the book. Are you going to see Water for Elephants?

        The boxing lessons are going really great, thanks for asking! Honestly it has taken me a loooong time to get it right – I don’t think it looks easy at all, and the fact that I am completely non-athletic makes matters worse – but I think I *finally* threw my first decent punches this past week. (I also think my huge – 6’9″ – teacher got tired of bending at the waist to yell in my ear about my technique so I somehow pulled it together…lolz). I gotta say though, it is worth it for the cardio, because I’ve seriously noticed that my clothes are fitting better after only a month of classes. And I’m not a dieter, so I attribute that to the boxing. Now all I gotta do is track down C-Bale as a sparring partner… πŸ™‚

        Hope you’re having a great Saturday!

        • steph b says:

          Bacon jam is da bomb! I love putting this on burgers, eggs, tossed with pasta and veggies, etc.

        • Karen says:

          Hi Elle,

          Sounds like my kind of restaurant. Italian food is my favorite, and I’d totally eat almost everything you listed, NOM!

          Re: bacon jam. Bacon seems to be having a moment in the sun. Did I ever tell you about the candy store in my town that sells chocolate covered bacon on a stick? I get that the contrast between salty and sweet must be good, but I just can’t go there. My friend swears by it though.

          (Oh, and did you know that there’s a bacon fragrance?! So crazy!)

          I’ll probably end up watching Water For Elephants because I love Reese Witherspoon. Will let you know if it’s good!

          Glad to hear the boxing lessons are going well. I’ve heard that it’s one of the best sports to get you in shape, fast. Will you eventually get to spar?

  16. Vicki says:

    My first time in open thread and I’m enjoying reading all the comments.

    What is on my mind is my nephew, he was born on Friday and I am besotted with him already. I’m not maternal and have no wish for my own children but I’m going to love that little dude with all my heart. I hate it when I have to leave him.

    • Terri says:

      Vicki – congratulations on the new nephew! That is so exciting :D.

      One of my close friends adopted a baby last year, and even though I don’t consider myself maternal in the least, I love that kid.

    • steph b says:

      I’m the same way. I’m not likely to have kids, but my 20 month old nephew just kills me. Our skype sessions are just the funniest mish-mash of things.

      • Karen says:

        Isn’t Skype the best thing ever?

        I know this is going to make me sound like an OTT cat lady, but when I travel by myself I have El Hub set up Skype sessions for me and Tabs, haha.

        • steph b says:

          About 6-7 years ago, I went to a month-long training program and left my cat with my parents. My dad sent me funny emails about what she was up to (going to the gym, getting her hair done, etc.). If there was skype then, I totally would’ve had sessions with her.

          • Karen says:

            Aww! That’s so sweet of your dad. πŸ™‚ Yeah, Tabs’ Skype sessions are fun. It’s especially cute when Tabs tries to paw the computer screen when he sees me. It makes me think that he actually doesn’t hate me, haha.

    • Nina says:

      Congratulations on the new nephew. we are a child free couple but i do enjoy babies and kids so i borrow my besties 2 boys and my goddaughter all the time. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vicki!

      Welcome to the open thread. πŸ™‚

      Congrats to you and your family! What’s his name?

      BTW, I just found out my BFF is having a boy. She’s the first one of our group to get pregnant… I can’t wait to spoil him!

      • Vicki says:

        Thanks everyone! His name is Benjamin.

        Karen – is your friend happy to be having a boy? That lucky baby is going to have lots of aunts to spoil him.

        I am a recent Skype convert, it is brilliant. I would totally have conversations with my cat too (albeit a little one-sided!). She lives with my parents and I’m always texting my dad for updates (they are pretty much always the same too – she’s asleep on the bed!).

        • Karen says:

          That’s a good name with excellent nicknames (I’m all about the nicknames) — Ben, Benny, B. πŸ™‚

          Yes, my friend Jen is stoked to have a boy! I was kinda hoping she’d have a girl so we could dress her up in cute outfits, but apparently stuff for boys has come a long way, and there’s lots of cute things for them too.

          We’ve known each other since we were kids so it’s kind of trippy, but at the same time very cool.

          How cute that your dad gives you real-time kitty text updates. What kind of cat is she? Have you had her for long?

          • Barb says:

            Aww, I love the name Benjamin!! Congrats!!

            I was leaning towards Ben when I was pregnant but my husband won out and we named him Max (full name Maximus). I couldn’t imagine him with another name now.

  17. Charisse says:

    So I’m deep conditioning my hair with my Yes to Cucumbers leave-in (but I digress), when a commercial for Justified goes on. Then I ask the boy about Tim Olyphant vs. Josh Duhamel… apparently HE knows the difference. Go figure!

  18. Heidi says:

    Hey, Karen. Welcome back!

    Busy day today. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, put up the hummingbird feeder, and just did my nails. A gorgeous grassy green shimmery shade that’s a part of ULTA’s Under the Sea set.

    Tomorrow afternoon I’m heading down to Novato. Going to Vintage Oaks with a friend and going to use my coupon at Sephora. Where would you suggest we go for lunch at Vintage Oaks? I usually go to Jennie Low’s, but wondered if there’s anything new since last I was there.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Heidi! πŸ™‚ Sounds like you had a very productive day. Oh, I bet your nails look fly!

      Re: lunch recs at Vintage Oaks — I like the salads at Pasta Pomodoro. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve hit up the Chevy’s, but I remember liking the chicken tacos when I was there. The pizza at Extremem pizza is pretty good too. Oh! I would caution you against Sushiholic. Both El Hub and I have gotten food poisoning there, unfortunately. πŸ™

      If you’ve got a sweet tooth, save room for Tuttimelon. They’ve got AH-mazing frozen yogurt! Taro and Angel Food Cake are my favorite flavors.

      • Heidi says:

        Oh yeah, Past Pomodoro! I remember going there a few times after work when I was still working in Marin. I was rather obsessed with their butternut squash ravioli! I’ll see what my friend thinks, but that gets my vote!

        Oh, and I also love the movie Once. The soundtrack is gorgeous.

        Do you guys have a Scandinavian Designs furniture store in Marin? We’ve bought a few nice pieces from the one up here.

        • Karen says:

          Have fun with your friend today! I hope you get find good things at Sephora.

          We do have a Scandinavian Designs in San Rafael, I think. Thank you for the rec — I’ll pop by next time I’m downtown. πŸ™‚

  19. Ichha says:

    I absolutely love the song “huddle formation” by the go! team! I think their music is great to work out to πŸ™‚

  20. Jennifer says:


    Is Marvin’s the spot on Grant Ave one block from the Fire Station and across from the OLD Pini Hardware? They have the world’s second best pancakes (if it that is the place). Have not been there in years–I live in the East Bay now. Grew up in Novato.

    Best pancakes in the world are at Sinton’s in North Hollywood. DE-VINE!!!! Was once there with my sister and mum and we were talking about some TV show we couldn’t remember the name to but talked about the plot, who was in it, etc. The men at the next table leaned over and said “The show you are thinking about is blahblahblah.” We said, “YES! That’s it.” The men said, “We were the producers.” Such a Hollywood hotspot!

    Thinking I might be making pancakes tomorrow. With REAL maple syrup–not the fake kind. I’ve found the Fiber One Pancake mix to be really quite delicious–just need to make it thinner than the reciped calls for.

    Meow to Tabs.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Yes it is! They’ve got great pancakes! I order them when I’ve got a sweet tooth. If I’m in the mood for savory I go with the Farmer’s Benedict with hash browns.

      Now I’m dying to try those pancakes. If I’m ever in North Hollywood I’ll see if I can try to make it to Sinton’s. I’m personally a banana pancake kind of girl, but blueberry and plain will also do as well. πŸ™‚

      Tabs sends you plenty of kitty love. He’s sitting in a patch of sunshine cleaning his tummy right now!

  21. Nina says:

    just a little announcement to Target loving ladies — they will be giving away free eco bags tomorrow for earth day. so if you use them and love them like i do, drop by Target tomorrow.

    i got last year’s and its gotten a lot of use. πŸ™‚

    plus — if you use their eco bag you get 5 cents off your purchase. not much but … not bad for using something you got for free.

  22. Terri says:

    Does anyone here have a good recipe for salmon? I’m trying to eat more fish, but I’m not certain what to do with it beyond roasting it…

  23. hello, lovelies!

    my brain’s a bit all over the place right now. i’ve got future blog posts in mind, i’m obsessing over bright nails (here’s my latest –, trying to decide whether or not i should fake tan, thinking of what foundation to get if i DO end up fake tanning… all while trying to muster up the energy to FINALLY clean my brushes :p.

    • Nina says:

      ohh lovely bright nails! πŸ™‚ id say go for everything and have fun w/ it! πŸ™‚

      • thanks, nina! i do want a tan (i’ve been keeping myself pale for YEARS now), i’m just not looking forward to getting a new foundation. especially if i’m not going to use it for long.

        • Tiffany says:

          Dani – when I self tan it evens my skin out so I don’t use foundation at all. I just use powder bronzer to keep shiny-ness away. That might work for you – just a thought! Or maybe mix a liquid bronzer with your regular foundation to get the right shade?

        • Nina says:

          maybe what you can do is get a drusgstore foundie or even a tinted moisturizer.

          or – change the color of your powder only, if you dont intend to tan too deeply. πŸ™‚

          • thanks for the tips, nina!

            i think i might get a tinted moisturizer or get a liquid bronzer to mix with my foundation, like tiffany suggested.

            if i do get a regular foundation, i’ll definitely stick to drugstore. but i’m hoping the self tan will even me out enough that i won’t even need any base products πŸ™‚

          • Karen says:

            Okay, so this is kinda off topic and probably TMI, but I’m finally gonna try self tanner, too (it’s this new one from LORAC). Since I’m pretty tan on my face and body the only place I can really think of to give it a go is my bum, LOL. We’ll see what happens!

          • Nina says:

            liquid bronzer sounds great too πŸ™‚

        • Tiffany says:

          Maybe try out Stila’s bronzing tinted moisturizer? The tube would last a long time if you’re just mixing a bit in with your foundation.

    • Karen says:

      What a fun mani! πŸ™‚ You did a great job!

    • Terri says:

      Those nails are adorable! I wish I were dexterous enough to paint my nails like that.

      I usually avoid cleaning brushes, but ever since a commenter on this site told me about using The Masters brush cleaner, I’ve found it to be a more enjoyable (or at least more novel) experience.

      • Karen says:

        I know I’m definitely not skilled enough to handle that mani, LOL! I could probably do my left hand easily (I’m right handed), but the right hand would look a hot mess.

        I’ve GOT to track down some of that brush cleaner. I’ve been using the Becca one and it’s pretty much the jam (gets the job done so quickly), but it’s always nice to have a budget option!

  24. Cheree says:

    Hi Karen,
    I love your blog!! I am new to the blog and posting my first message. Have you tried any of the lipsticks/glosses by Edward Bess? I am anxious to see what it looks like for us medium-tan ladies.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cheree,

      Thanks for popping into the Open Thread! πŸ™‚ It’s nice to meet you.

      Ya know, I’ve had Edward Bess on my to-try list FOREVER, but have yet to get around to the line. Next time I’m in San Francisco I’ll make a note to myself to check it out. If I find anything good I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚ I’ve heard they’re really nice, though.

  25. Kate & Zena says:


    Is it just me or has it been forevah since the last Open Thread?

    I just got back from having my brows done at the Benefit Brow Bar and my poor little brow area stings. I’m normally not so sensitive, but I got stabbed there by my neurologist (i.e. got Trigger Point Therapy for my migraines) on Thursday and that area is ALWAYS sensitive for days afterward. Katie (my brow girl…yes, her name was Katie. My mom kept getting confused. Two Katies at once! Double trouble!) looked at me and said, “Are you okay? You’re normally not so sensitive?” because I kept wincing. I normally sail through my tweezing session. So, the new rule is to not get my brows done within five days of having TPT. It hurts!

    Oh, Zena would say hi but she’s off napping. She’s pretty tired after having ONE cup of her new doggy food (she was on a one-day food strike because she refused to eat ONE MORE BITE of her old dog food). She was telling me yesterday to send many, many, many puppy eyed looks because she got an owie the day before from banging into Mommy’s dresser. Only MY dog would be dumb enough to bang into my mom’s dresser and come out with a owie on her eyebrow.

    • Nina says:

      awwww poor Zena. your dog isnt the only dumbie. our Mojo is the same way – he on the other hand, is afraid of his own shadow.

      get well soon Zena! <3

      • Kate & Zena says:

        Poor Mojo! It must make for great entertainment though! The good thing is you can train him to like his shadow though. πŸ™‚ That’s an easy little phobia to train out. Zena, on the other hand, has a horrible phobia of thunderstorms. We just bought her a Thundershirt to help with her phobia in conjunction with medicine. It’s been helping her a lot! She’s no longer running to the basement or panting and shivering like she normally does, even when she had her medicine. We think we may be able to reduce her medicine soon! We’re going to try the Thundershirt with her car anxiety (I swear Zena has as much anxiety as the rest of us) next.

        I think Zena failed Common Sense 101 in puppyhood. She can play dead but not realize she’s going to run into a dresser drawer (resulting in said owie). She’s smart, don’t get me wrong, but she’s incredibly stupid in the common sense department.

    • Karen says:

      Oh no! I hope your brows are feeling better. And I hope that Zena is doing better too. Give her a hug and a kiss for me. πŸ™‚

      • Kate & Zena says:

        They’re a lot better, I was just sensitive! Boy, those shots really leave you sensitive for a few days!

        Zena gives many kisses back. It’s scabbing over, but she’s was like all, “Look at me! I’m the one with the owie here!”

  26. Terri says:

    Has anyone tried L’Oreal Studio Secrets primer? I desperately need to get some primer, and I’ve been eying this one for a while. However, if there’s another primer you like you better, I’d love some recommendations.

  27. Adria says:

    Can’t stay long, ladies, cuz I have 3 papers to write that I totally don’t want to, but if their is one thing I leave you with today, it is this: “you’ve got to know your chicken”- Cibo Matto.

    Have a great weekend!!

  28. Bren Flowers says:

    I am actually in the Bay Area for work. We are doing a chemical peel class in Walnut Creek. And I have to tell you- you could be the long-lost identical twin of one of our reps. It is sooooo weird!!

  29. kalcedon says:

    As much as I’m a music FREAK, I haven’t really updated my collection recently, either :). Some random Eurovision songs and Melissa Nkonda’s Nouevaux horizons come to my mind… and Mike Posner’s Cooler than me, but that’s a re-discovery, I guess :P.

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