The Mani-Cure

Disclaimer:  The following post is, much like the current state of my life, a bit disjointed.  So, I ask you to bear with me just this one time.

As some of my readers know, I lost my beloved Vienna just yesterday.  The title of this post therefore stems from a emotionally-exhausted attempt to seek some comfort, a ‘cure’ if you will, from something as simple as a ‘mani’cure.

My Beloved Dog, Vienna:

vienna

She was a sweet, sweet dog.  Loved to chase after squirrels.  Had an insatiable appetite. Loved to burrow under a doggie blanket before falling asleep in her doggie bed at night.  Loved us unconditionally.  Sigh, so difficult to write this just a day later.

Not skipping a beat, off to work I went today.  The morning was tough, but I managed to check some things off my list.  As lunch time approached, the tears were starting to overwhelm me.  Hoping to find something to take my mind off of the sadness, I left my office for a lunch break away from my desk.

There are usually two things that can make me feel comforted when away from my loved ones: a mani with a manicurist who is a good listener and comfort food…Mexican.

So, off to lunch I went.  In one hour, I managed to drive to the restaurant, eat my food (I ate it too fast to capture a picture of it, oops!), get my nails done, and drive back to my office. Pretty impressive, right?  I thought so!  Efficiency at its best. 🙂

Post-mani:

mani_insta

Often a manicure will eat up a large chunk of time, but over time and after numerous smudged manicures, I have identified two items that make for quick-drying, long-lasting, glossy manicure.

The first is this Deborah Lippman ‘It’s Raining Men’ polish:

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Or, another favorite, Sinful ‘Ruby Ruby’ polish:

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…and the second, a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri:

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That’s it.  The no-nonsense mani for the working, professional woman.  The red hues described are not obnoxious and the SH Insta-Dri dries in literally 5-7 minutes!!  The SH Insta-Dri I totally recommend.  In fact, I suggest you hop in your car after reading this post, and run to the drugstore to buy one for yourself!  I joke, I joke. Seriously, though, finish reading my post. 😉

So, much like Elle Woods (yes, that’s a Legally Blonde reference), I too sought a ‘Mani-Cure’ for my bad-day woes.

But, was I cured of my doggie-blues?  Not quite unfortunately.

Grieving, from what I am gathering, is not a one-day experience; even when grieving over a pet.  Although I felt momentarily happy, I kept thinking of Vienna. For example, how I will miss hearing her nails on our wood floors at home, despite how much it sometimes irked me to hear them at 6am when she would rush to our room to alert us that the sun was out and she needed to be fed.

Also hard, is explaining to my four-year old where his doggie is now.  Of course we explained that she is now in heaven.  We pointed to the sky in an attempt to explain where heaven is.  Thinking we had appeased his intrigue of heaven, we left the subject alone only to be confronted with, “Mommy, but I still want my Vienna,” when we tucked him in at night.  Followed by, “Vienna is going to be scared in the sky because it’s dark now”.  “What if the lightning and thunder hurt her??”

Together, we are working towards healing.  They – the experts and others – say that talking about it, writing about, etc., can be therapeutic.  Alas, this post, is an attempt to do just that; heal.  If anything, it helps me maintain a sense of normalcy for a few minutes out of the day, by telling you about how my ‘Mani-Cure’ temporarily helped to heal my emotional wounds.

We love you, Vienna (2007-2013).  Forever you will be the heartbeat at our feet.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM)?  Well it is! According to Wikipedia (you know, the bearer of ALL knowledge), “NBCAM was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs).

The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.”

As an epidemiologist (and no, I am not a skin doctor…I do have a doctorate, but am not a skin specialist, ahem!), I often think in terms of numbers (yay, numbers!!).  The following statistics come from the American Cancer Society’s ‘Cancer Facts & Figures, 2013’:

New cases:  “An estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the US during 2013; about 2,240 new cases are expected in men.”

Deaths:  “An estimated 40,030 breast cancer deaths (39,620 women, 410 men) are expected in 2013. Breast cancer ranks second as a cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).”

Although much progress has been made with regard to breast cancer prevention and control, much remains to be done.  You can help by becoming informed, spreading the word, and helping any way you can to advance our science and other efforts to help fight the battle against breast cancer.

For additional information on signs/symptoms, treatment, survival rates, etc., consult the full report here, or visit www.cancer.org, and/or consult with your doctor.

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To bring it back full circle to topics related to staying ‘chic’ in the workplace, I’ve put together a collection of pink items to help you both raise awareness, as well as help raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!  Portions of sales for items listed with an asterisk go towards funding the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  The ones without an asterisk were, well…cute. 🙂

The Work Flat

It is not often that you will catch me wearing flats.  I am – and have been since about age 12 – a high-heels-wearer.  It’s innate…possibly even coded in my genes! On occasion, though, I too will dabble in flats-wearing.

Example #1 (actually, it’s probably the ONLY example I have!!):

flats

There are only two types of occasions that have required flats-wearing in my life:

1) During and after pregnancy (swollen feet are no match for ANY pair of high-heels!!).

2) Days when I have to run around campus, walk from building to building, or walk a long distance with bags in tow (e.g. at the ariport).

For those occasions, or when I simply cannot bear the thought of balancing the majority of my weight on the balls of your heels for more than 5 seconds (trust me though, this is rarely the case for me), I recommend the following flats:

1.  The Tory Burch ‘Reva’ Ballerina Flat – Of course!!  Made with a soft buttery leather, these flats are a bit uncomfortable at first; once you break in the leather though, they are quite comfy!  The gold medallion adds a bit of accessorizing without it being too obnoxiously ‘bling’, in my opinion.  I also like that it comes in a variety of colors!  One for each outfit you say?  Why not, I say!! 😉

Tory Burch 'Reva' Ballerina Flat

Tory Burch ‘Reva’ Ballerina Flat

2.  If I am wearing heels to work, to the airport, or any other place really, I make sure to keep a pair of flats in my bag.  Flats creators have innovated the most amazing types of flats recently…the folding flat!  There are two types that I would recommend:

-The Tieks, by Gavrieli Foldable Flat.  Created by a Stanford Alum (Go Cardinal!!), these flats come in about 47 different colors and styles.  They come with a cute, drawstring bag for storage.  Although I would probably default to a black foldable flat (especially if your base wardrobe color tends to be black), I would not shy away from this copper, textured flat, as it is also a great neutral option:

Wild Copper
 
 
 
-Love the idea of the Tieks flat, but can’t fathom shelling out nearly $300 for them?  Worry not, as the Gap has a similar foldable flat!  The City Flat.  I am a fan of this one, actually, owning 4 pairs of these myself (hey, they were on sale!!)!
Gap Womens The City Flat
-When opting for flats, I would recommend buying flats that are all-leather.  You are likely wearing flats to walk around, not just sit at your desk, so wear a materials that won’t have you reaching for band-aids and tending to blisters!
 
-Also, as you would do with any other type of shoe, break them in before wearing them.  You are likely choosing to wear flats to seek comfort when dressing your feet, so make sure that they have stretched out a bit and are going to make your walking experience a pleasant one.
 
-Finally, I leave you with these words of wisdom from one shoe lover to another: “If the shoe fits, BUY IT!!”
 
 

-Stay ‘Chic’!