A little late to the party with this particular meme, as per usual, but, better late than never, right? Anyway, here are some of my favourite things from the month of July:
Ebags. These are by far THE best investment I have made in a long, LONG time! They made packing, repacking, and travelling SO much easier! I bought 1 set of the slim packing cubes (this 3-piece set fit perfectly in the backpack mentioned below), and two sets of the 3-piece assorted packing cubes (1 small, 1 medium, 1 large in each set) for my suitcase (also described below).
20" SwissGear Zurich Pilot roller suitcase and backpack. I honestly wasn't sure I could make it travelling for a week-and-a-half with such a small suitcase, but in combination with the Ebags, and the SwissGear backpack it worked. The smaller suitcase was much easier to maneuver in and out of the car and through the airport, and the backpack was very comfortable to wear even when it was packed full. I love that both of them had a laptop compartment - I primarily used the one in the suitcase. My only complaint with the suitcase is that the handle kept collapsing on me as I was rolling it along, but other than that, it was great. I did check both items on the plane, though I probably could've carried on one, but it's just easier for me to check as many bags as possible when travelling. I purchased both items at Target during my "OMG I'm Going on Vacation!! Panic Packing and Shopping Extravaganza" (ditto the Ebags; total panic buy!), and thankfully, it worked!
Godefroy 28 day eyebrow tint. This was super quick and easy to use, and saved me some time with my daily make-up routine. I used this about a week before I left for my vacation (about 30 days ago), and even today my brows are still pretty dark. I don't think I'll have to dye them again for a couple more weeks at least; maybe I'll just wait till September! I did buy the 28 day eyelash dye kit as well, but, honestly, I was too chicken to try it. What with my chronic iritis and all, I just didn't want to mess up my eyes or my vision just before my vacation! Or, you know, ever, really.
CoverGirl Professional All-in-One Remarkable Waterproof mascara. Since I didn't dye my own lashes, and ran out of time to have it done professionally before my vacation, this mascara was the next best thing! It was waterproof, smudge-resistant, easy to apply (meaning with very little mess or flaking), lasted pretty much all day, and washed off fairly easily. There was some residual mascara flakes around my eyes after using makeup remover wipes and washing my face, but it wasn't too inconvenient. My favourite thing about it is that it's not too wet, so it's not gloppy and doesn't drip on my face when I blink. Also, the brush is small enough that I don't make too much of a mess of it, particularly with my lower lashes, which are so light they're almost invisible.
NYX Eyebrow Shaper. I love this waxy, crayon thing SO much better than the mascara gel-type brow sealers I've used in the past. I don't have to wait for this to dry, and it never gets crusty. Love it!
L'Oreal Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Lotion for Face in SPF 50+. This is a great sunscreen for the face - it's silky soft, absorbs quickly, and I basically used this in place of my morning moisturizer during my entire vacation. My face never got sunburned the entire time I was gone, and despite using a really good (70 SPF) sunscreen on the rest of my body, my shoulders, upper back, and chest all got a little pink. So did my scalp but that's because I totally forgot to put sunscreen on my exposed scalp, so that's my bad.
My go-to hair colour right now is Revlon Luxurious Coloursilk buttercream hair colour number 42R - medium auburn. Love the colour, love the easy, no-drip application, and the quick, almost total rinse out. Very little colour comes off on my towels. Yes there's some, but not as bad, as say, the Natural Instincts or the L'Oreal Preference haircolours I've used in the past.
L'Oreal Elnet hairspray. I love how this holds without being stiff or sticky, and also that there's one with a UV filter to protect my haircolour (and my scalp! I could've used this during my vacay, but I just had the travel size, and it's just the regular formula).
Fragrance: I think my signature scent might be Burberry Brit. I love the fresh scent and how it's really soft, not terribly sweet and fruity like so many women's fragrances. I really liked their Summer fragrence from last year as well, but I didn't see one this year, so maybe they didn't do one.
Fashion: I've been loving maxi skirts and t-shirts lately. I wore several during my vacation, and they were so comfortable and convenient, I wish I'd packed ONLY maxi skirts and tees! Oh, but also, palazzo pants. I'm loving palazzo pants as well. Maxi skirts and palazzo pants just seem to scream SUMMER!
Book: The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena. I've already mentioned how much I loved this book a couple times, but it was the best new book I've read in a long time. If you need a reference, it's up there with Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, and pretty much everything written by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Music: It's no secret I'm a huge "Weird Al" Yankovic fan from way WAY back. Like, in the 80s, in high school, when I first heard Another One Rides the Bus on the Doctor Demento Show, and immediatly ran down to Musicland to buy the cassette of his first album, which by the way, I still have (along with a CD version and also have it downloaded on an ipod. LOVE that album!). I have every single album he's ever recorded, so when Mandatory Fun came out I downloaded that puppy really super fast!
TV: I've been loving a lot of shows lately (Defiance, The Last Ship, Falling Skies, Rizzoli and Isles, and Major Crimes), but the cream of the crop is, by far, Last Tango in Halifax. Yes, it stars one of my all-time favourite actors (and the second love of my life), the beautiful Sir Derek Jacobi, so obviously I gonna think it's the best thing EVER, but it's also a sweet, adorable little show with romance, comedy, drama, and outrageous and uncomfortable situations, with great writing and acting all-around. Two thumbs up!
Food: I had a lot of amazing meals during my vacation in July, but if I had to pick my all-time fave, it would be the Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel with my two friends Pammie Sue and Darlene. We had three tiers of deliciousness brought to us: sandwiches, scones, and desserts. All that with some amazingly delicious tea! Our server was delightful, the decor was lovely, and the overall atmosphere was relaxed despite the number of guests partaking in the wonderful and scrumptious English ritual.
Beverages: During my vacation I noticed a lot of bars and restaurants offering a "smokey" martini, which is a gin martini with a shot of single malt scotch in place of vermouth. I don't know if it's a new thing, or what, but I tried several during my vacation, and they were all pretty darn good. The best by far, though, was the Signature Smokestack martini from what simply has to be my favourite restaurant/bar in all the world, Tini Bigs in Seattle. Seriously. I stayed in Seattle an extra night just so Darlene and I could go there. Amazing!
Okay, so I think that covers everything for July, which was an amazingly awesome month that went by way too quickly! I'll try to keep track of stuff that catches my fancy in August for a future entry. Hey, maybe I'll even start a VLOG like everyone else! Ha! Not likely, but hey, you never know! (winks)
Until next time, cheers, dears!!