Bloggers Biggest Loser!

Hey guys! I just wanted to post a quick blurb about my and Vicki's plans for Bloggers Biggest Loser!  The idea came to me after seeing a lot of Twitter friends posting about wanting to lose some weight, tone up, or just get healthy.  I am co-hosting this with Vicki from My Vickilicious Life!

We're still working out details, but join us for our first link up, Tuesday, January 3rd talking about what your health goals are for 2012. 

From there we'll link up every other Tuesday here on At the Pink of Perfection's Ten Pound Tuesdays, posting our results, recipes, fitness tips, etc!

We haven't determined if we want to have prizes yet, or to even make this a competition.  For now, join us here, January 3rd for the first Bloggers Biggest Loser link-up!

Merry Christmas My Friends

Merry Christmas!

Manicure Musts: Julep Maven

Hey guys! I want to share with you a deal that is SO amazing, you cannot pass it up.  Those of you in the blogosphere I'm sure have heard of 'Julep Maven,' but if you haven't, you're in for a treat. 
Julep Maven is a monthly program that delivers nail polish to you based on the results of a style quiz you take when you join.  My result was 'American Beauty', but there's 'It Girl', 'Bombshell', 'Boho Glam', and 'Classic With a Twist.' Fun, right?  The style quiz is fun even in itself:
Each month, Julep will email you showing you what's in your box.  If you don't like it, you can pick another style, send the box to a friend, or skip that month entirely.  How cool is that?

Here, I'll let them describe it:

Your customized beauty editor Sneak Peek Box:

Being a Maven, gives you exclusive access to COLOR!  You get it first, and YOU decide how often you want to receive your beauty editor Sneak Peek Box
For just $19.99 a month, you'll receive over $40 worth of trendsetting polish colors and cutting-edge treatment products each month customized in a gift-able Sneak Peek Box
Each Sneak Peek Box features new, never before released colors and treatments FIRST to you, before anyone else
Your box also includes hits and cult favorites - the products we like to keep on the top of editors' minds

20% off all purchases
FREE shipping on ALL your purchases
Each box also comes with a surprise and delight element- something to look forward to!
Receive additional membership perks throughout the year

I mean seriously, who wouldn't want this showing up on their doorstep??!!??

I actually just joined this week and will be receiving my box shortly! The box is $19.99 a month, but I got mine for a special at $5.  Wait, it gets better.  If you use the code 'SHAREON', you can get your first box for a penny.  Seriously, $.01!

So, if I were you, I'd join, get your $40+ worth of nail polish for a penny, and then decide if you want to keep it or not.  Seriously, it's worth a few bottles of nail polish for a penny, right!?!!?

So, stop what you're doing, click on the photo, use the code 'SHAREON'. and get some nail polish for a penny:
If you want more info, visit their website here

What do you have to lose?!?

Manicure Musts Part I: Preparation Products

When it comes to my manicures, I like to take time before painting to prep my hands, cuticles, and nails.  I think that's just as (or even more) important than the painting step.  Since I began following the nail board on MakeUp Alley and other nail blogs, I've become more (anal) about my hands and cuticles.  Today I want to show you what I do to take care of my hands! My mom always said you can tell a woman's age by her hands.  Two celebrities that come to mind are Kyra Sedgwick and Joan Rivers.  They both look fabulous for their age due to plastic surgery, but look closely at their hands next time...

Anyways, here is a picture of the products I use in preparation of a manicure:

1.) 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub by True Blue Spa, Bath & Body Works, $12.

I cannot praise this stuff enough.  If I had to choose 1 product out of all of these you must buy, this would be it.  It's available in B&BWorks stores as well as online, and fully worth the price.  This is one of my newest obsessions and take it with me whenever I travel.  (I'm going slightly out of order here, I apologize.)  After you've removed your previous manicure with #2 or #3, wash your hands thoroughly with this stuff.
As you can see from the title, it's best to keep massaging this into your hands for at least 60 seconds.  It is the consistency of a sugar-scrub, but after you work it into your hands for at least 60 seconds, it turns into a lotion-like consistency.  I keep working it into my hands until all the (crystals) are dissolved and I'm left with a thick lotion all over my hands.  It's important to pay special care to your cuticles and nail beds.  When you rinse your hands, you'll be amazed.  They're so soft! By the way, you're welcome.

2.) Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover, by Zoya, $9.99

As you can see by the photo, I only have a small container of this, a sample size actually.  I really love this stuff, but I don't think it's worth the price tag for the amount of nail polish remover that I go through.  I go with Target brand (#3) due to the sheer volume of remover I go through.  I received the Zoya remover for free when I ordered from them awhile ago and only recently tried it. 

Zoya describes it as an "award wining, gentle, yet highly effective 3-in-1 nail polish remover, nail prep and nail conditioner", which does make it worth the extra cost.  The small 2oz. size that is in my picture above will cost you $4.60 plus shipping.  If you don't do your nails very often, it may be worth the cost.  It doesn't smell as harsh as regular nail polish, nor does it dry out your nails, cuticles, and fingers while using it. As part of a Christmas FlashCode from Zoya I received the $9.99 8oz. size free, but after I've gone through that I probably won't pay to replace it.

3.) Target Up & Up Acetone Nail Polish Remover, Target, $2-3

This is by far the best nail polish remover you can buy.  Bar none.  When I lived in NJ, I lived within a block from a CVS, so I used their store brand version of salon strength nail polish remover, and switched to Target's brand upon moving to VA.  It's stronger and works better at removing all polishes, even difficult glitters.  (Google the 'foil method' for removing glitter nail polish, but use this as the remover!)

I like that it's called 'Delete and Repeat', very appropriate in my case!

4.) Vaseline Deep Moisture, Target, etc., Under $3.

My sister Re hooked me on this stuff and I use it on my hands every night.  You only need a little bit and it moisturizes your hands incredibly.  It's very reasonably priced too for good lotion.  Over the years I've accumulated quite the collection of lotions, haven't you? I now have a massive basket of lotions in my bathroom closet that I don't use use infrequently, and I wish I had half the money I spent on all of it!

Although it's a fragrance-free lotion, it does leave a pleasantly light, clean smell that I love.  For everyday moisturizing of your hands, you need this stuff! My husband loves it too.  Don't tell him I just said that.  It actually may be more the hand massage I give him when I put it on the more I think about it.  But hey, everyone gets dry skin!

5.) Ultra Conditioning Gloves, by True Blue Spa, Bath & Body Works, $25.

These are definitely the most fun thing on the tray! When I was in B&BWorks, I debated on getting these, but then saw the Buy 2, Get 1 Free sign and grabbed them immediately. I'm about 75% glad I did.  I don't know if they're worth $25, but they work. Really well.

I didn't realize until I got home that they're more than just gloves.  I had been looking for a pair of manicure gloves to put on after applying intense moisturizer, and thought these were it.  Much to my surprise, they're to be used on their own without adding lotion.  You can wear them for 20 minutes for a quick treatment or overnight for a more intense moisturizing treatment.  They're a little awkward to get on and off, but feel like a paraffin dip if you've ever experienced one.  I made it til about 3am the night I wore them to bed and took them off due to waking up on the warm side.  You definitely feel a difference even wearing them for 20 minutes.  I think in the future I'll wear them to bed once a week and maybe wear them 2-3 times a week while catching up on DVR.

6.) Super Softening Hand Lotion- Look Ma, New Hands, True Blue Spa, Bath & Body Works, $10.50

I've actually been using B&BWorks Look Ma, New Hands for years now in the smaller travel size.  It's been my go-to lotion for my purse, and I decided to go with the larger spa size to go with the rest of the set.  I can't describe it as well as B&BWorks does, so I'll just paste here what they say about it:

"Formulated with paraffin, olive, avocado and apricot oils plus antioxidant Vitamin E to leave hands as soft as cashmere and lightly fragranced with an addictive blend of sweet Tahitian vanilla, whipped shea and golden amber."

This is a thick, creamy lotion that definitely stays on your hands for awhile.  I use this after removing my old manicure and using the 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub. (#1) My hands are glistening and oily looking for awhile, but they feel amazing! At least pick up the travel size!

7.) Jumbo Cotton Balls

You can get these anywhere, you know that.  I just wanted to point out that I buy the "jumbo" ones for removing my nail polish as I think these work the best.

So what are your go-to products to protect and take care of your hands?

**Stay tuned for Manicure Musts Part II: Painting**

Ten Pound Tuesday: Exercise DVD's

Welcome to another Ten Pound Tuesday!
(You can read about Ten Pound Tuesday here.)

My good friend Shannon (who also happens to be a cousin-in-law) told me last month that she was saddened to see that ExerciseTV was shutting down.  When I had Comcast, she got me hooked on the workouts OnDemand, but since I've switched to DirecTV I haven't looked into their version.

Anyways, as part of their closing, they clearanced a lot of their DVD's for as low as $1. Yup, $1.  So I picked up the following:

-Nicole Eggert's 21-Day Red Hot Bikini Body Makeover $1.00
-CRUNCH Eroticise Series $1.00
-CRUNCH Dance Rhythms $1.00
-Lose Weight in 8- DVD $1.00
-Incredible Abs Volume 1 & 2- The Complete DVD Series $10.00
-Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD $12.00

I really loved the Shred on Comcast, but I haven't been able to find it on DirecTV, so I figured it was worth $12 for all 3 parts.  On Shannon's recommendation I also purchased the Incredible Abs set.  I figured it put me into the free shipping bracket, so technically only cost me ~$2, well worth it!

Now to actually USE them!

The One Hundred: The C's

In case you're a new follower of AthePofP, I've been reading Nina Garcia's The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, and have been going through the list finding out which ones I already own.  You can see the A's here and the B's here. It's actually been quite fun, and so far I've only fallen short on two, a bikini and a boyfriend sweater.

This past week while I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for others, I picked up this baby at TJMaxx for $3, and can't wait to read it:
The C's

1. ) Cable-Knit Sweater The above pictures are of some of my cable knit sweaters from years back.  They're more of a thin cable-knit as opposed to the chunky, more common cable-knit sweater, but as someone who's always been weight conscious, I know better than to wear something that adds more 'bulk.'  These pictures are from Christmas 2006 and Christmas 2007, and I found them while going through old pictures.  Man I was skinny.  And I thought I was so fat.  Anyways...

2.) Caftan (or kaftan)
I think there's a fine line with this one between stylish and the 1970's.  Why do I have one? A surprise 70's themed birthday party for my brother in law Jon last spring.  Case and point, right?

As usual, I waited until the last possible moment to shop for the party, but ended up lucking out.  Tremendously, right? Ha! I walked into Goodwill and this beaut' was hanging there.  I laugh, but this is actually a beautiful caftan and I've kept it since.  It's quite stylish over a bathing suit with metallic flip flops.  Nina writes that a caftan epitomizes "lounging and luxury," and this is so true.  It's a glorified moo-moo though, am I right?

3.) Camel Coat
Alas, I do not have a camel coat.  I have a winter-white, a burgundy, a pink (go figure!), and a black wool coat, but not camel.  Over the years I've come close to buying a camel wool coat, but always go with the more fun, bright colors! I'm sure someday I will...

4.) Cape
I actually have a few of these, I love them that much.  They are very flattering, regardless of your shape, and so warm!

Yes, this is a cell phone picture of myself taken by myself.  No, I'm not flipping you the bird.  Yes, I'm wearing a cable-knit cape!

"Go in peace, my daughter.  And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman."
-Queen Hippolyte

5.) Cashmere Sweater
I've had quite a collection of cashmere sweaters, but have given them all away due to the static with my hair.  I can't stand it.  I think I should get credit though, right?

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."
-Coco Chanel
6.) Charm Bracelet
This is the closest I have to a charm bracelet, as I'm not a huge fan.  Charm bracelet's are a great way to carry memories around with you on your arm.  I remember when I sold jewelry charms were quite popular and it was interesting to see what charms we would get in.

I have the above Pandora bracelet, but it's completely void of charms.  I bought it as an incentive to lose weight, buying myself the beads for certain amounts of weight lost.  As you can see, that never happened.  I did lose enough (from that point) for 2 beads, but I'm not a fan of Pandora beads and decided I liked it plain!

Here are some famous charm bracelets:
Marlene Dietrich- one made out of poker chips given to her by Frank Sinatra
Elizabeth Taylor- one of all hearts signifying her love of her children, friends, and husbands.
Mrs. Walt Disney- bracelet from Walt with 22 miniature Oscar's, one for every one he won.

7.) Clutch
I have a few I've picked up over the years, but thought this Michael Kors' one was gorgeous! Then again, I don't think I've ever seen anything by Michael Kors that I didn't absolutely love...

I think I can count on one hand the times I've actually carried a clutch as I am a fan of big bags. 
8.) Cocktail Ring
If you know me, you know I'm a jewelry freak, so of course I have multiple cocktail rings, including quite a few from my stint as a lia sophia advisor. 
But seriously, look at those 'cocktail' rings!

9.) Converse
Yeah...I was as surprised as you are, but it's another check mark for me, so I'll take it! I learned that the term "chucks" refers to the high top version, after Chuck Taylor, a high school basketball start in 1918 began wearing them.  Later, he promoted and lent his name to the high topped version.

I want these:
I'd never wear them, they're just pretty to look at!

10.) Cosmetic Bag
I used a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag for years that my sister in law gave me for Christmas, but only recently switched it up as it was looking quite worn.  Oh, and I got this one for under $10 at Bath & Body Works.  Seriously.  Pink and Purple Cheetah.  This is inspiring me to do a mani to match...  Anyways, like Nina says, it's what's on the inside that counts! (Another blog post for another day...)

11.) Cowboy Boots
Ugh...sometimes blogger REALLY gets on my nerves...this city girl does have a pair of cowboy boots, but it keeps uploading my picture horizontal.  Boo.  The funny thing is I had these boots long before meeting my husband, let alone moving to VA!

"Living on nothing but a young girl's dreams, with my cowboy boots and my old six string..."
-Mary Chapin Carpenter

12.) Cuff
I also have a beautiful cuff bracelet that my brother bought me overseas:

So that's the C's...I didn't realize there were so many until I was at least halfway through, I apologize for the heavy post!

How many of the C's do you have?

My score so far:
A's: 4:4
B's: 7:9
C's: 11:12

A Christmas Manicure

I had so much fun with this! Tomorrow my husband and I are hosting my in-laws for an ugly sweater party, the first of many, and I am so excited! I know my family will come up with some gems for their sweaters, so I felt the need to do my nails to go along with mine.

These are not in place of my sweater, just an added bonus! Just looking at them reminds me of a tacky sweater, I love it!

These aren't the best of pictures as they're from my blackberry, but my camera battery is dead and I'd rather show this to you than wait for it to charge.  I will definitely have it charged and ready to go for tomorrow!

And FYI- on my right's supposed to be a santa hat, not what it looks like!

What do you think?

Christmas Wrapping Inspiration

So now that all the presents have been bought, now it's time to wrap them.  Fun, right?

My sister-in-law Kim used to work for Macy's wrapping gifts each Christmas season, so her presents are gorgeously wrapped! She inspires me to go above and beyond wrapping my gifts in the wrapping paper we bought at Target two years ago on clearance at 90% off. Yep. 90% off.  We probably have 20-30 rolls of it.

Instead, maybe this year I'll get a little more creative.  Not with the kid's (nieces and nephews) gifts, but for the adults who will appreciate it.

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Seriously WANT:
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Pinterest: User Upload

Pinterest: User Upload

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And my favorite...
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So, are you inspired now?