#onceuponaroadtrip: Anastasia at Hartford Stage.

This is a post about something that made me happy this weekend.

If I’ve ever seen the animated Anastasia movie, I was so young that I have literally no recollection of it whatsoever. But after the cast and creative team were announced for the musical adaptation, which premiered this month at Hartford Stage, I was immediately excited.

I decided not to watch the movie before seeing the musical because I really strongly believe that adaptations, even of the most well loved and popular work, need to be able to stand on their own. I knew the basic story of the show, but really had no idea what to expect when we got to the theater.

On Saturday, my mom and I rented a car in Queens and road tripped up to Hartford for the day to see the show, and we arrived at the theatre tired and starving, so I bypassed the costume exhibit in the lobby to scarf down a soft pretzel from the bar before we took our seats.

As soon as I saw the show’s curtain, animated with projections of gently falling snow, I expected a show full of lush design and Anastasia didn’t disappoint in that regard. I loved the entire cast’s performances, but I ultimately left the theatre a little confused about the story that had happened on stage during the previous two-and-a-half hours. Regardless, I loved this show and genuinely enjoyed my afternoon at the theatre this Saturday.

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the best restaurant meals i’ve eaten since moving to st. louis.

I grew up incredibly bored with the food options in my hometown, so moving to a real city in January was a delight. I’ve alway been an adventurous eater – my parents had me eating spicy Indian curry when I was not yet 2 years old, and I loved it – so the monotonous selection of fast food chains, bland and poorly run local joints, and Chinese and Mexican restaurants with menus designed to appeal to the palettes of the many Jefferson City residents who had never left Missouri were disappointing.

Now I live near St. Louis’ South Grand strip, known for its array of ethnic food options, offering everything from sushi to Somali meals. But I quickly discovered that St. Louis’ food scene runs far deeper and wider than the bounds of the neighborhood that I fell in love with.

I’ve had some excellent meals since living here, some walking distance from my apartment and some out by the city’s airport. I’m maintaining a list, currently with over 15 restaurants, of places to check out. I’m an avid Yelper (I know, I disgust myself too) and have been #grateful for the St. Louis food blogs I’ve found like Whiskey and Soba and Off the Eaten Path.

So far, these four joints have been my favorites.

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four favorite weird girl lipsticks.

My favorite lipsticks have always been ones that freak my grandma out a little bit and make me just off-putting but still cute enough that everyone leaves me alone on the street. Here are four of my current favorites. (Excuse the sloppy application – applying and photographing six of so lipsticks in a row and then choosing favorites is harder than one would expect).

MAC Matte Royal

This MAC lipstick reads bluer than all my other dark purple lipsticks, and for that I love it. Dark purple has become almost a neutral for me – my go to lipstick, and I have far, far too many of them – so this lipstick is an opportunity for me to mix it up a bit. MAC’s formula is excellent, and I’ll definitely be heading back in to the MAC store to pick up some more of their lipsticks when I have some money to throw around. I have my eye on Morange and Stone. The only thing I don’t like about this is that it could be just a little bit more opaque. I think it would seem even bluer if the pink of my lips didn’t show through some. Overall would rate it a 3/5 on the startle your grandma/put off creepy men scale.

NYX Cold Hearted

Definitely one of the spookier of the bunch, this NYX Wicked Lippie could be a good Halloween option for some, and is another weird girl go to for me. The formula has a lot of slip and can be a tiny bit gritty from the shimmer, but it goes on really smoothly and precisely and is better than a lot of drugstore lipsticks I have tried. This color is a perfect, smoky gunmetal gray that reminds me of some of my favorite eyeshadows, but as a lip product. This is also a great option to do a sort of black-lip-lite. Although I’m not obsessed with the formula, this gets a 5/5.

OCC Sebastian

The night before the first day of classes my freshman year, I was sitting in my dorm room with my soon to be best friend and my roommate painting our nails. I decided that I wanted to look cute but a little bit dead and painted my nails a gray-beige that did just that. This lipstick is the perfect answer to that look as well. While it is probably much more neutral on someone with darker skin, the gray brown tones in this lipstick wash me out in a way that I like, and get that spooky but daytime appropriate look that I love going. This formula is hard to work with (I don’t like wearing it out to dinner, for example, because carrying a tiny brush and reapplying in public is a huge pain in the ass) but is one of my favorites – I own too many OCC lip tars to be healthy, tbh. 4/5.

OCC Technopagan

Arguably my favorite lipstick of all time is OCC’s Technopagan. It’s dark purple. It’s completely metallic. It goes on like paint. It’s the most intense and one of the least pink of all the dark purples I own. I would wear this every day if it weren’t too intense for work. Perhaps I can get away with Sebastian, though. This, of course, gets a 5/5.