When I first heard of Marvis toothpaste I was pretty intrigued. This stuff costs somewhere North of $10 a tube and it’s just toothpaste, what could possibly make a toothpaste so expensive? The packaging is beautiful and hip, the flavors are unique, and it’s Italian. I can’t remember the first time I heard of the decadent dental product. It might have been from watching Queer Eye re-runs on Netflix. It might have been a blog somewhere. Doesn’t matter. But this stuff is like a unicorn, you can’t find it ANYWHERE. Like everything else I do, I researched. The stuff comes in seven flavors: Cinnamint, Aquatic Mint, Ginger Mint, Jasmin Mint, Classic Mint, Whitening Mint, and Amarelli Licorice. Marvis Toothpaste has been around for over 50 years and was originally intended to clean the teeth of smokers. The packaging is so beautiful and is reminiscent of a time when things were made better, when quality was king. Reviews I read claimed that the toothpaste leaves the mouth feeling clean all day, has a great flavor, and does all the other great stuff toothpaste does, only it does them better. The review that really sold me said, “This it the greatest toothpaste ever. It is like you just went to to the mouth store and purchased a new mouth.” I finally bit the bullet and ordered a tube, playing it safe with Classic Strong Mint (off Amazon, of all places), but you can get it from C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries online.
The toothpaste arrived quickly, because for some reason I still have an Amazon Prime membership. It was time for the maiden voyage. My first impression was that I liked the texture, it seemed to have a lot of body to it. I must say, I think it’s incredibly commendable that Marvis took something mundane and made it pretty extraordinary and luxurious. The mint flavor was sweet and rich and strong but not overpowering. It lathered up quickly and easily. My teeth felt very clean and smooth and my whole mouth was refreshed. Damn. It was awesome.
I don’t know if I’ll make the permanent switch to Marvis because it’s so expensive, but I do want to try each flavor. This stuff is seriously awesome, but no amount of awesomeness could justify spending over $10 on a 4oz tube of toothpaste.
My latest obsession has been nail polish and my collection has doubled this past month. The best brands in my opinion are OPI, Chanel, and Butter. Chanel has the most beautiful colors but at $26 a bottle it’s a little pricy. OPI nail polish is such a quality product I can’t say enough about it. I love the way OPI colors look on the nails, the clever names, the polish consistency, everything. I only recently discovered Butter’s products but I’m already in love with the polish. Butter also makes a really great nail polish remover. More on that later. Here are some of my current favorite colors.
OPI launched their Germany collection and I want every single one. My favorite is Don’t Pretzel My Buttons, which I think is the perfect nude. Nude polish is a on trend right now and for me it’s a staple. I think it’s great for a clean, no frills look. I never really wore metallics before but now I love them. Metallic colors are very forgiving if you make a mistake while polishing. Some people complain about removing glittery polish, but I haven’t really had a problem with it. Check out my gallery for more favorites.
Recently I purchased an Italian coffee pot and it makes a truly great product. I love coffee and espresso but not enough to spend thousands of dollars on a legit espresso machine, but my Bialetti Moka Pot works just fine. From what I’ve heard, the more the pot is used, the better the coffee tastes. The Internet is full of stories about people pulling these out of their grandma’s attic and using them for years. They are relatively inexpensive ranging from about $20 upwards depending on retailer and capacity (note that the capacity is measured expresso cups, approximately 2 oz, not 8 0z of liquid). The coffee is not a true espresso but it is very strong and richer in taste than drip coffee. I hear the coffee produced makes a great cappuccino or latte but I only like black coffee. These little pots are pretty intuitive but don’t actually come with instructions. After scouring YouTube tutorials, articles, and forums, lots of trial and error, and a moderate dose of patience, I think I’ve come up with a good method.
Here’s what to do:
Warm up a burner to medium heat
Once water is boiled and the burner is warm, add hot water to the bottom chamber of the moka pot, fill just below the steam valve
Place in coffee holder and fill with coffee (I used Illy), then screw on top. Make sure to hold the bottom with a pot holder (it’s hot)
Set the pot directly on the stove until coffee erupts and fills the pot (listen for a gurgling noise), remove from heat when top is full
After a few months of trying to decided whether or not I could pull off a backpack, I finally got my Fjällräven Kånken Classic. Kånken backpacks are made by Fjällräven, which is like the Swedish equivalent to The North Face. Fjällräven literally translates to Arctic Fox. They make outdoor activewear (jackets, pants, sweaters, hats, etc.) and a collection of rucksacks. The Kånken first hit shelves in 1978 and the design hasn’t changed since. The backpacks are available in a wide range of colors and various sizes.
I ordered my through J Crew (because of their convenient return options), but I’ve seen them on many other third-party reseller websites ranging in price from $45-75. The most colors are available through the official site. I selected the Ice Blue color because it reminded me of the Team Zissou uniforms. It fits the perfect about of stuff. It easily holds my 13″ MacBook Air so I think it would be great for travel. There are side compartments that fit a standard plastic water bottle (16.9 oz); however, my 27 oz Classic Kleen Kanteen does not fit in the pocket. The front pocket is great for keys, earbuds, sunglasses, phones, or other small go-to items. Because the main compartment is a rectangle it is very easy to organize the contents.
Here are some pictures that provide a better look at the size of the Fjällräven Kånken Classic:
Just because I’ve always wanted to, I made a chalk board the other day. It’s a project that is easily completed in one day, the only part that’s time consuming is letting the chalk board paint dry. You can purchase all the supplies for around $20-25 depending on whether or not you already have some basic painting supplies. Mine came out looking a little rough, but I kind of wanted it to look like that. I used a piece of cheap plywood, but any surface will do. Here’s what I did:
1. Plywood cut to 18″ x 24″ (If you go to Home Depot they will cut it for you for free!)
2. Chalk Board paint
3. Foam paint brushes
4. Paint stirring stick (you can get them free in the paint department of any hardware store)
5. Paint can opener (I had one in my house, they are probably inexpensive)
6. Painter’s tape
7. No. 2 pencil.
I started by covering my workspace with newspaper for easy clean up. A drop cloth works, too. I used my paint stirring stick to draw a border as a guide to ensure a straight line with the painter’s tape. I lined the tape up with the marks I had made then covered the border and edge with tape. The paint can recommended a coat of primer, but I skipped that because I didn’t want my chalk board to look fancy or perfect. I used foam brushes but would recommend a roller so the paint dries more smoothly. I applied three coats of paint, letting the board dry for four hours between coats. Overall I think it looks pretty good!