Guest Post: The Product That Saves Dying Nails

 Beauty advice interlude: My super cool friend Debie is a makeup artist in New York, and today she was nice enough to share one of her tricks of the trade. 

Ladies-- when it comes to first world problems, we know that chipped, broken nails can be one of the worst offenses.  They snag our most delicate of clothing, ruin our favorite tights, and leave us living in fear of every soda can top.  As a former nail biter (I was one of those “I didn’t even know I was doing it and oops now my nails are bleeding” die-hard addicts), a part of me wonders if the nail gods are making me pay for my once-terrible habit with the curse of weak, brittle tips.


Fortunately for those of us not blessed with naturally fierce claws, relief is found in the form of Rejuvacote, a miracle product manufactured by Duri Cosmetics, a company operating out of Brooklyn.  This humble pink antidote has transformed my cracked and peeling nubs into healthy tips, growing stronger by the day with each slick application.  Directions suggest you apply a fresh coat daily for 7 days but I found it hard to resist applying multiple coats in one sitting to achieve a finish that’s distractingly glossy.  One brief week later and my “dying nails” might not be “to die for” as their tagline promises, but they do look and feel pretty darn good.

Rejuvacote certainly isn’t the only effective nail strengthener out there but for about $8 a pop (I purchased mine from my local Bed Bath & Beyond), it’s a much cheaper option than other strengtheners (comparable alternates are OPI Nail Envy which retails for $17 and Nail Tek Xtra which retails for $12) and infinitely more practical than indulging in a weekly manicure.  Armed with Rejuvacote and a little patience, let those fear of pop tops fade away and instead let those nails shine (literally)!


Paris vs DC Bikeshare: Joe's Adventures in Bikesharing


I asked Joe to write about Paris Bikeshare vs. DC Bikeshare.  Before he gets to it, I just wanted to share a tip if you decide to try the Vélib’ system when you are in Paris.  I was worried about whether our American credit cards would work in the bikeshare machine.  I tried to research this but it was inconclusive as to whether you need a chip and pin credit card.   So on the advice of Oh Happy Day, I bought my pass online.  I didn't bother with the Navigo pass she mentions, and instead just bought the 7-day pass off the Vélib’ website.  That gave me an ID number, I create a pin code, I then printed out the sheet with that info and carried it in my purse.  When you get to station, head to the computer terminal, hit the language button, enter those codes and select your bike!  Worked like a charm.

I also wanted to add another note about how nice people were - a young guy saw us struggling with the computer and came over to help.  So nice!

And now here's Joe:

Adele was kind enough to invite me to pen a guest post about our adventures in shared bicycling. Many of you know that I’ve been trying to ride my bicycle as much as possible recently. Not only is it nice to get out in the fresh air and burn a few calories, but every trip I take by bike means those miles don’t go on the odometer of the 1996 Honda Civic that was handed down to me by my younger sister (it is the last in a long line of hand me down automobiles that started with a beautiful 1986 Saab 9000 that I bought with money earned by selling some cannily bought Microsoft stock, so it’s not like I’m a complete charity case).

After buying an (expensive) starter bike a few years ago I enjoyed it so much decided I needed a completely unnecessary upgrade. Too many hours perusing what I lovingly refer to as “bike porn,” I settled on my beautiful 2009 Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod. Full carbon. SRAM Red group. Helluva bike. Race ready.

My second bike is decidedly more humble. Fenders. Whitewall tires. Did I mention I have to share it with 25,000 of my closest friends? That said, I might derive both more pleasure and utility from the Bikeshare bike. For $75 a year I have access to caches of bikes spread across the city. For no additional fee, I can grab one and sprint off to any neighborhood I can get to in 30 minutes or less. If you hustle, you can get almost anywhere worth visiting. Some of my favorite memories over the past year have been riding to or from a new bar or sandwich shop and just enjoying the sights and sounds of the city with Adele and our friends.

As Adele and I (read: Adele) started planning our recent trip to France, we learned that Paris has a similar system, Velib, which is decidedly more expansive due to what I can only guess are more generous taxpayer subsidies. They did just elect a socialist president, after all.

Knowing that I’m obsessed with the DC version, Adele jumped online and purchased two temporary Velib passes. The French system did not disappoint. The bikes are basically the same. Ours are much easier to dock. Theirs ride a bit faster and have a basket that is infinitely more useful than the stupid half-basket/bungy system here in DC. Their stations are a bit closer together with many more docks per station, but from my observations they have the same problems with the most popular stations emptying out when you really want a bike and being full when you arrive in a hurry.

Paris traffic was a bit intimidating at first, but the network of bike/bus lanes and more or less unused back roads offered what turned out to be a wonderful way to explore the neighborhoods around our apartment. Aside from the occasional inconveniently full or empty station, I really do think bike sharing is the wave of the urban future. One of the main reasons I moved back to DC from Indiana after college was because I pined for a dense urban core that lent itself to walking and public transit. The bikeshare has more or less replaced the bus and the train in my arsenal of transportation options. I can hop on a bike and be almost anywhere in the city much faster and more cheaply than I could get there by car, bus, or train. For free. While getting a bit of exercise.

I have to admit I haven’t researched how much DMV taxpayers have had to put up for the system. I just know that the $75 annual fee is a steal as far as I’m concerned. I’ve also ridden hundreds of miles while my car has sat safely parked and I didn’t burden the roads or the public transit system. A little government-led problem solving has gone a long way. Approximately 340 miles in my case.


Guest Post: New Year Sure Sure - Radio for an Iceland Road Trip

Happy Friday everyone! Julie, my super cool friend from San Francisco who traveled with me to Iceland, is taking over today. I thought she could write about the radio stations we listened in Iceland, mainly one that seemed to be called "New Year Sure Sure" but my Icelandic is a little spotty, so take that with a grain of salt. Here's Julie's rundown of Icelandic top 40 and beyond:

Greetings everyone, this is Julie, guest blogging on GGG this week. Adele graciously asked me to write about something “cool” in music and all I could really think of is Kreayshawn’s viral single “Gucci Gucci”. Clearly I should just stick with writing about Iceland.

Besides basking in the magic that is Iceland, we spent a good chunk of our time there driving around in our rental car. Like all our past road trips, we forgot to bring our own music and had to heavily rely on the radio. You can learn a lot about a place from its local radio stations and Iceland’s radio stations were like a breath of fresh hipster air with a hint of Norwegian Death Metal.

Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, Adele were on heavy rotation, but not much of Katy Perry or Britney and strangely enough, not a single Bieber song on the radio! That makes me wonder where those Icelandic Bieberers get their fix and why is he everywhere but the radio, I just don’t get it!

Over the course of five days of driving, we switched from our favorite station that sounded like “New Year Sure Sure” to their top 40 station with lots of Lil Wayne and Rihanna. Every once awhile we would hear the latest single from Cake. Yes, you heard me, Cake and it has nothing to do with short skirts nor going for the distance. Cake, have no fear, Iceland has not forgotten you yet, while the world has since the 90s.

Another popular band was called Awolnation, which we had never heard of before Iceland. If AFI and Bassnectar had an emo angsy dubstep lovechild, it would be them. I’m assuming they were very popular there since their single came on like a broken record. Somewhere between being wet and cold from our horseback riding and getting lost on our way to the Blue Lagoon, I saw Adele’s angry fingers fumbling to switch stations when that song came on for the fifty-millionth time.

The radio highlight? Going apeshit for Bjork. What would Icelandic roadtrip be without Bjork?! Not gonna lie, it was epic when her songs came on the radio. Something about the combination of the desolated landscape in Snæfellsjökull and her music made us realized, “holy shit, we’re in muthafuckin’ Iceland, AHHHH!” It made me want to just pull over our VW and break out running with the sheep and smallish horses! But instead Adele just filmed us going gaga with her iPhone (a much safer alternative).

Who knows what would’ve happened if Sigur Rós came on, we might have made a beeline straight for the ocean. Too much Iceland to handle!

Editor's note: We never heard Sigur Rós on the radio, so that theory wasn't tested. Instead, they played a lot of Jessie J, who just doesn't inspire the same reaction. And here's that iPhone video with Bjork playing on the radio whilst driving in the Icelandic countryside.

Rules to D.C. Dating According to the Post's Date Lab

My friend Autumn and I love to read and analyze the Post Magazine's Date Lab. She sent me an email with some rules of dating in D.C. that she gleaned from reading Date Lab columns, and they were so funny and spot on. I asked Autumn if I could post her rules here and she graciously agreed, so without further ado, here they are:
  1. Always present yourself as super-happy, care-free and lacking any psychiatric diagnoses.
  2. Have a minimum of 15 interests (Two of which MUST be travel and exercise).
  3. Act very picky/judgmental (you MUST have a type and decide within the first 3 minutes whether your date matches your type).
  4. No matter the circumstances, do NOT let the first question you ask be "so, what do you do for a living?" (even though you really, really, REALLY want to know).
  5. Do NOT talk politics but do drop enough hints to make it clear you're on the same "side."
I will add that based on Date Lab's pool of daters, if you really want to get in the game, you better speak three languages with varying degrees of fluency, have taught for a few years in Asia or spent a summer surfing in Mallorca or something.