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Wear, Watch, Want #5: The Cocaine-Fueled Japanese Ear Candy Edition

13 Sep


Wear: Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Jeans

I was really unhappy with the state of my jeans. So much so that I decided to try on some at Uniqlo, despite the fact that I didn’t really have high hopes for them. I mean, it was desperate times. If they were even just ok, I’d have thrown my money down and said, “FINE.” But in fact, the jeans I tried on were awesome. So awesome that I bought two pairs: One dark wash and another in gray. I love them, and I can’t wait till fall when it’s cool enough for me to wear them without my legs feeling all stifled and sweaty. Summer! It’s the worst!

Watch: The Knick

I wasn’t planning on watching The Knick. I didn’t really know what much about it, and who watches shows on Cinemax, anyway? But the pilot was available on HBOGo and I watched it and fell in love in about four seconds. The Knick is now officially what I’m calling my Unexpected New Favorite Show. It’s about New York City’s Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900, and the surgeons and staff that work there. The show deals with turn of the century race and class issues, but what I’m particularly drawn to is the nasty medical stuff. I love medical history, and gross stuff is general, so this is right up my alley. Some of the surgical scenes on the show will make you wonder how humanity managed to survive this long because shit, man. But at the same time, it makes you think about what current medical practices will seem completely insane 100 years from now. (I talk about this a lot: Doesn’t it make sense, for example, that 100 years from now someone will be talking about those nuts in the olden days who used radiation (radiation!) to treat cancer?) Warning! If you’re the squeamish type, this show may not be for you. In the first episode Clive Owen has a nurse inject cocaine into his penis, and recently we’ve seen a woman who’s nose fell off due to syphilis have a pretty insane skin graft procedure to give her a pseudo-nose. Also, this poor woman (as well as ol’ Dr. Clive) thinks her problems are going to be solved by this weird nose-surgery, but the audience at home is like, “GURL, you have syphilis and your doctor doesn’t know about penicillin yet, so yeah, your new nose will probably fall off too.”

Want: Over-Ear Headphones

I don’t actually wear headphones that often, but when I do, I want them to look cool. Sad to say, at this point my headphone game is pretty weak. These headphones from Frends are my dream ‘phones, but even though they’re currently on sale, the sale price is still $100. And that’s 50% off. WHAT. Maybe if I wore headphones all the time, but I’m just looking to seem unapproachable when I’m working in my office (aka various coffee shops). Anyway, these are what I’m dreaming of lately. I doubt this dream will ever become a reality, but you never know. I’ll be stalking you, gorgeous headphones. Watch your back.


I Got Free Candles, and You Can Too!

9 Sep

Due to a combination of unpreparedness and neurobiological disease, there were no posts last week. Thanks for understanding! And if you aren’t understanding, then thanks for being true to your emotions! It was a rough week, but I’m determined for this one to be better. Hmmm… you know what makes life exponentially better? FREE MONEY!

“What?” You may be asking. “Is this post guest written by a Nigerian prince? Because this sounds like a scam and a half!” Firstly, you should assume ALL posts are guest written by a Nigerian prince, just to be on the safe side. Secondly, I’m not even joking about the free money. It’s real and it’s fun and it’s easy and it’s REAL.

SurveyMini is basically like getting paid to have opinions

Sometime in the Spring I downloaded an app called SurveyMini. It uses the GPS in your phone to know your location and send you surveys based on where you’ve been and what businesses you may have visited while you were there. In exchange for answering a few questions, you get points, and you redeem those points for gift cards. Gift cards, mind you, that are for actual businesses that you will actually patronize. So, basically, free money.

The surveys are pretty straightforward, and you get points even if you didn’t actually visit a business. For example, I’ll sometimes get a survey for a hotel that is on the route I take while walking Hero. The app will tell me I have a new survey, and when I go check it’ll say “Did you visit X Hotel recently?” When I say no, it will give me 100 (or sometimes even more) points. If you did visit a business though, you say “Yes” because lying is bad, and you will then get subsequent questions about your experience. Examples of common questions include: Did you have a good trip? Who made the decision to go here? How much money did you spend? Once your survey is finished, you’ll see the points added to your account. The points do not correlate to your review, i.e., you don’t get more or less points depending on whether your review was positive or negative. In fact, I played around with the app and (from the user’s end) it all seems pretty randomized. Once I got 500 points for saying I didn’t visit a business. Many times I’ve filled out surveys with dedication only to end up with 100 points.

SurveyMini is basically like getting paid to have opinions

As for redeeming points, this is where it gets odd. Not odd in a sketchy way, odd in a snail mail way. See, everything is done through your phone and the app, but when it’s time for SurveyMini to send you your gift card, they do so through the good old fashioned USPS. There must be some reason for this, but I don’t know what it is. Maybe you can’t just be giving what is essentially free money away to someone without an address? Anyway, don’t expect to redeem your points and then go running off to TJ Maxx to spend your money three minutes later. I was bummed to see that I would need to wait for my gift card to arrive, but I was equally thrilled when it came in three days (they told me a week to ten, I believe).

The great thing about this app is that the rewards are real, the effort you have to put in is extremely minimal (seriously, a survey takes about two minutes) and it’s all completely free. You don’t even have to pay for the gift card to be sent to you! It took me about five months to accumulate the 25,000 points necessary for a $25 gift card, but I’m a professional homebody. I bet if you’re out in the world doing stuff, you could get your rewards even faster.

SurveyMini is basically like getting paid to have opinions

It should be clear that if you don’t want any record of your GPS activity, or don’t want to give your name and address to a business, then this isn’t the app for you. You need to leave it running in the background of your phone for the GPS to be able to find you surveys, but I haven’t noticed any effect on my battery life. I have, however, received my gift card and used it to buy candles at Marshall’s, so it’s safe to say I think it’s worth it. FREE CANDLES, GUYS!

I will always disclose any sponsorships, but I wanted to add an extra disclaimer just in case you saw this post as a huge ad for an app, so here it is: I am in no way affiliated with SurveyMini or any of the businesses that use its services. I was not compensated in exchange for this review. I just really like candles. I burn through a lot of them. GET IT?! 

SurveyMini for iPhone3GS and later with iOS 7.0 and Android 4.0 and later: Free

Wear, Watch, Want #4: The Pretty Little Sweaty Cat Eye Edition

30 Aug



Wear: Anthropologie Dresses

It’s been so hot in LA this week, I’ve actually thought my organs were melting. I’m great at coming up with a fashionable layered ensemble in the cooler months, but when it’s as hot as it’s been lately? Forget it. I do, however, have a little secret to looking polished when you’re sweating buckets: Dresses. Specifically, dresses from Anthropologie. Anthro is the perfect place to go for a casual, comfy, hot-weather-friendly dress that will make you look like you’ve put effort into your style, when really, you’ve just tugged a dress over your head. I’ve tried casual dresses from other retailers, but Anthropologie (specifically, the Anthropologie sale room) is where all my favorites and go-tos are from. I don’t own the dress in the photo, but it’s from Anthro and it’s by Tracy Reese (who as you know is MAH FAVE), so once it hits the sale there’s a good chance it’ll be joining my collection.

Watch: Pretty Little Liars

Devoted readers may remember me telling you to watch Pretty Little Liars already. A lot of you are new around these parts, though, and especially after this week’s summer finale, it bears repeating: You should be watching Pretty Little Liars. Not only is this show endlessly entertaining and dear to me, but it’s a show that loves its fans. If you read my previous plea to watch Pretty Little Liars and DIDN’T start reading Heather Hogan’s absolutely perfect recaps on AfterEllen, HOW DARE YOU. You probably watched the finale and were like (and here be spoilers) “Oh nuts, Mona is dead.” But for those of us who are disciples of #BooRadleyVanCullen, that last scene had us screaming, “VANDERJESUS! VAN. DER. FREAKIN’. JESUS.” Seriously, that Vanderjesus reference was the greatest, sweetest, most wonderful way Marlene King could tell her devoted fans, “Sorry, guys.” RIP Vanderjesus. May you be hacking into Heaven’s quadruple-firewalled database as I type this. *Pours out a Pink Drink*

Want: Marc by Marc Jacobs Cat Eye Sunglasses

I have been wearing the same pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses for about 4 or 5 years now (They are kinda like these, but kinda not). They’re fine, but I know I need a new pair. These ones will just die on me one day when I least expect it (not unlike our blessed, holy Vanderjesus) and I will be left heartbroken. SO! I’m shopping for a new pair. Actually, I’m done shopping. I know what I want, and what I want are these M by MJ Cat Eye peeper protectors.

Wear, Watch, Want #3: The Comfy Teenage Ampersand Edition

23 Aug


Wear: Mossimo Perfect Fit Longsleeve V-Neck Tee

I love a good tee. I have strict standards for what makes a good tee, so when I find one that fits my criteria, I fall for it hard. I bought this super soft, comfy tee at Target without even trying it on (it’s so easy to return to Target that sometimes trying on just seems unnecessary), and once I got home and put it on I was IN LOVE. This week on my Target run I picked up another, because in the week that I owned this tee I wore it four times. I have the pictured dark turquoise color, and now I have the black too. It’s so perfect for throwing on with leggings or jeans or ANYTHING, and you’ll be cozy and comfortable and even a little bit fashionable. Plus, one of these perfect tees will only set you back $15. Now that I’ve written this I think I need two more. Seriously. It’s that good.

Watch: My Mad Fat Diary

I already told you to watch My Mad Fat Diary in my post about distractions. But I recently finished the second season and I need to tell you again: WATCH. THIS. SHOW. Series 2 was finished at the end of March, and I was watching it in real time, until the second episode. Then I had to take a break that lasted until this week. No spoilers, but there was an event at the end of that episode that utterly destroyed me, and I couldn’t watch for a few months. It’s rare that I feel so strongly for a character and what they’re going through that I just have to quit for a minute, but that is how much I love Rae Earl, and My Mad Fat Diary in general. If you love My So-Called Life, I cannot recommend My Mad Fat Diary enough. But comparing it to MSCL isn’t even fair to My Mad Fat Diary, because it stands on its own as an amazing, true, sometimes so-heartbreaking-you-have-to-quit-for-a-minute, depiction of the teenage experience. Oh, and in case your heart breaks into a million pieces for Rae at the end of episode 2.02, let me tell you, I cried during the season finale because I was so, so happy for her. So there, there, everything will be ok. (Also, I am purposely not going to discuss the planned MTV remake because I CANNOT.)

Want: & Other Stories

For those of you reading in the US, you may not know that H&M is actually part of the H&M Group, a retail group that presides over SIX different stores. If you live in Sweden, or many other European countries, you’re probably like, “DUH.” But I don’t think many Americans are aware of the H&M Empire, so let me tell you: We are seriously missing out. I have been known to stalk the websites of COS, or Monki, or & Other Stories, and just stare longingly at all the things I want but, as long as I’m in the US, I can’t have. COS has recently started shipping to the states, and are opening stores in New York and Beverly Hills this fall. I’m incredibly excited for this, but I’m also a bit miffed, because New York is ALSO getting & Other Stories, while us losers in Beverly Hills are not. I think if I had to choose I’d RATHER have & Other Stories, but I’m hopeful that eventually there will be an outpost on the left coast. They are going to start shipping across the US once the New York store is open, but it’s just not the same, you know? I want a brick and mortar store! I’m ready, & Other Stories, TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

Wear, Watch, Want #2: The Bloody Naked Leopard Edition

16 Aug


Wear: Nike Free Leopard Print Sneakers

I bought these shoes during Nordsrtom’s Anniversary Sale, and I’m so, so happy I did. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Leopard print is my favorite color. I’ve been wearing these babies so much, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments on them. They’re sleek and streamlined, but also fashionable. They work equally well as full-on workout shoes as well as comfy sneaks to wear when running errands. The day after I bought them I posted a picture on Instagram (feel free to follow me for a million dog photos), but because of my need to use an average of three photo editing apps before posting any photos, the coloring was way off. In reality the pair I bought is like the above photo, all black and white and gray and BEAUTIFUL.

Watch: You’re Next

I’m so not a horror fan. Not by a long shot. BUT I love knowing the plots of horror movies. I’ll see trailers for horror movies and then read spoilers to find out exactly what happens, so I can know the twists and endings without seeing actually seeing any horrific stuff. That being said, I’ve gotten interested in watching horror movies in the past few years. I still wouldn’t call myself a fan of horror; you’d have to pull some crazy Clockwork Orange shenanigans to get me to watch torture porn. But there are some horror movies that I enjoy and like a lot, no matter how unfortunate their classification may be. I was interested in You’re Next when I read some reviews of it last year (you can watch the trailer here). I’m still too much of a horror wuss to see a scary movie in theaters, but this week You’re Next was released on Netflix Instant, and I immediately added it to my queue.

The movie isn’t horribly gory, and the scary home invasion aspect is explained and becomes a lot less scary pretty quickly. There’s one aspect that is never explained and that bugged me a lot, but other than that I really enjoyed You’re Next. I’m trying to avoid revealing any plot points in case you’re as afraid of spoilers as I am of being “entertained” by a story about a psychopath chopping women up into little pieces. I will say though, that the thing I liked most about this movie was the humor. It’s funny. But intentionally funny, not like, Hemlock Grove funny. If you’re looking to laugh at some smart jokes while watching WASPs get shot with a crossbow, look no further.

Want: Naked2 Basics Palette

Yes, last week I also said I wanted an eyeshadow palette. And again this week, I want another one. I swear when I came up with the idea for this feature, I did not intend the “want” section to just be eyeshadow palettes. But then Urban Decay had to go and announce that they are releasing a second Naked Basics Palette later this month. The Naked Basics Palette was actually the first eyeshadow palette I ever owned. I’m slowly getting more comfortable with experimenting with eyeshadow, and the Naked Basics Palette helped me learn how to apply and blend eyeshadow like a… person that wears eyeshadow. Like I said, I’m a newbie. I like the colors, and while I only wear a few of them regularly, it’s still a great palette and was a perfect intro to the World of Eyeshadow. But once I saw the cooler shades in the Naked2 Basics Palette I knew I was going to be snatching it up as soon as it hit the shelves. August 21st can’t come soon enough.