Top 5 Posts of 2014

by Jamie Sanford on December 31, 2014

So here we are, at the end of 2014. The year was filled with blog posts that I really enjoyed creating and worked very hard on. None of those ended up being in the top 5! I will admit though, that the ones I love are also the longest and maybe a bit harder to digest.

So here are the top 5 for this year!

1. Broadway Lighted Vanity Makeup Desk from Vanity Girl Hollywood

From October 2012, I feel like this is a completely unhelpful post for most people. However, the title and such make for happiness in Googleland.

2. Product Picks #3: Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Hydrating Keratin Masque

This is from March 2013. Actually helpful though, I give my honest review of this hair masque.

3. Video Shopping: Adam Savage – Everyday Carry

From April 2013, the Adam Savage Everyday Carry post was sparked by watching Adam’s video on Tested.com and looking up every single thing.

4. Product Review: Aura Paint by Benjamin Moore.

Way back in January 2010, I reviewed Aura paint, and it is STILL my most visited blog post. Benjamin Moore should be paying me for this.

5. Product Pick #6: OPI Natural Nail Strengthener

From August 2013. Another product review that hopefully is helpful! I do love the product.


Is this a bad sign for my content? Everything with the most activity is pretty old. Which means it has had more time to be indexed. I am happy with the content in 2014 and intend to continue on the brand experience journey in 2015.

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Formula One -Derland: Abu Dhabi 2014

by Jamie Sanford on December 30, 2014

Click here for all Formula One-related posts on JamieSanford.com.

It’s been a bit over a month since the last Formula One race of 2014 – my first time attending a race, the last race of the season, etc.

I cannot tell you how much fun we had, how exciting it is, how the sound is NOTHING like what I expected, how watching races on TV is so far removed from the live experience. It was overwhelming and amazing and reverberating through my chest and WOW.

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I planned because I was doing the right thing and taking it all in.

We arrived at such a time that we would be able to see the driver’s parade at 3:30. The race was scheduled to start at 5. We got there early enough to walk through a large area of shops and food merchants. After some chicken nuggets – yes, I went all the way to Abu Dhabi and had chicken nuggets – we got to watch the podium presentation for the GP2 race that had just finished and start waiting for the F1 action.

Will bought me this in the airport on the way to Abu Dhabi.

Pre-race selfie with William and his brother Andrew.

The biggest downside of going to a race live is that you can’t see the whole track. Luckily there are giant monitors showing the feed that we see on TV to keep updated on the rest of the race.

There was a HUGE contingent of #teamLH at the race, supporting championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

It was Fernando’s last race for Ferrari. He’s off to McLaren with Jenson Button as his teammate!

Ferrari World was viewable through the marina. We didn’t get a chance to go but we will make it back at some point.

Our view to the left, unfortunately blocked, but we could see all the way down the straight. This was the DRS zone going into turn 11, we saw lots of action!

Here’s a distorted panorama of our view. It was the turns in quick succession that were wonderful. Plus, after the hard braking, the guttural sound of the engine hit you square in the chest, which was amazing and intense!

Did I mention the start? It was crazy.

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Here’s my Instagram video from lap 1. The crowd around us REALLY enjoyed Lewis’ blazing start.

Lap 1. The crowd went nuts when we saw the start! #abudhabi #abudhabigp #teamlh #golewis

A video posted by Jamie Sanford (@jamiesanford) on

The transition from day to night was so well done – the track lighting is no joke. It was also noticeably cooler in the desert after the sun went down.

So, after the most insane start, Lewis managed to pull away from Nico quite effectively. Andrew used his phone to get access to a live feed of the team radio transmissions that we were not privy to since we were not watching the race on TV. We knew something was wrong with Nico Rosberg’s car, which was confirmed later. Not the best for him, but ultimately, he and Lewis both finished the season with 3 races in which the car failed. Nico did manage to finish the race, but he was pretty far back as the car had multiple issues. Meanwhile, Lewis’ car wasn’t perfect either. If Felipe Massa had been given a few more laps, it might have been a victorious day for him.

We also watched some amazing moves and passes by Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bulls had started in the pit lane because of illegal wings on the cars during qualifying, and both drivers did really well. Ricciardo finished 4th, Vettel 7th.

Side note – Formula One cars are BEAUTIFUL in person. It is not something you capture on television, but they are absolutely lovely. My favorites were the Red Bulls, Ferraris, and Caterhams. I really need to make sure I get a pit walk on my next race outing because I need to see them closer than we could from our seats.

As it was, the podium finishers were Hamilton, Massa, and Valtteri Bottas. It was wonderful to watch Lewis’ victory lap and also the podium ceremony. I am not sure that anyone isn’t happy for him, he drove his ass off all season and I think is the clear champion. Nico Rosberg performed in qualifying, but races actually count and Lewis had MANY more victories.

We really did have the best time. It was immediately clear that we would need to start planning to go to more races because this was GREAT. It was capped off by Romain Grosjean driving next to us in a tunnel near the circuit in a random Audi. He must really love to drive to be driving himself away from a race track where he has spent the last 3 days driving. I really hope he has a better season next year.

I don’t know what else to say. I was SO excited to be there, as were my husband and brother-in-law, and I think that the day will forever be clouded by a veil of pure joy. It only cemented my love for the sport. I am already super excited for next season, and am still contemplating if we can make it work to go to the race in Montreal in June.

Thanks to everyone who reads my Formula One-Derland posts!

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Formula One -Derland: 2014 Driver Lineup

by Jamie Sanford on March 14, 2014

Click here for all Formula One-related posts on JamieSanford.com.

I found this fantastic graphic with all of the 2014 drivers, and had to share it here. First practice is today!

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Formula One -Derland: Testing in Bahrain

by Jamie Sanford on February 25, 2014

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Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

Testing resumed in Bahrain this past week, and it was nice to see the Lotus and to have more time to focus on the colors and liveries for 2014. They are definitely all not final, and I’m even thinking we will see major changes before the first race.

Here’s one of the stories from the BBC on how Mercedes is looking great while Renault-powered teams are not doing so well, at least so far.

Caterham – Lovely green, it totally stands out. The sponsorship logos almost look too subtle.

The Ferrari is as ostentatious as ever, just taking a trip to Logotown. I love the added fun of all of the measurement devices.

Here’s a shot of the aero measurement net being used on the Lotus.

With Pastor Maldonado on board, it is no surprise to see a big Venezuela tourism banner on the back wing of the Lotus.

The Lotus is also insane with logos. The color scheme remains the same as last year.

Marussia, being one of the smaller teams, doesn’t appear as focused on making the most available space for advertisers.

McLaren is launching without a title sponsor, which makes for a pretty naked look.

The Mercedes looks very similar, but I like it even more with the orange lines on this tire compound. (All of the tires have different bands of color to make them easy to identify.)

The Red Bull still has one of the best color schemes, but it just isn’t running too well. Here’s Vettel getting out on track.

Here’s a good shot of the FlowVis paint used on the cars to see how the air behaves.

Sahara Force India has 2 new drivers and lots more black in the livery for 2014. I think this looks way sexier than last year’s car.

The Toro Rosso continues (rightly, I guess) to be the low-rent, sad version of the Red Bull livery.

Williams has Martini has a new title sponsor, but they haven’t updated the car yet. I’m expecting to see a lot more white on the car once they introduce that branding.

Just a few weeks to go until the first race in Australia. This season is looking like it will be FUN.

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Formula One -Derland: The 2014 Grid (so far)

by Jamie Sanford on January 14, 2014

Click here for all Formula One-related posts on JamieSanford.com.

Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

Here is the 2014 grid, so far. All of the team except Caterham have confirmed drivers (as of January 14th, 2014), and there are a lot of changes to the driver lineup.

  • Drivers who are no longer in Formula One–
    • Mark Webber (retired)
    • Heikki Kovalainen (he was a pinch hitter for Lotus when Raikkonen had back surgery and has not booked another drive for 2014 – Raikkonen is back now)
    • Paul di Resta (booted from Force India, not picked up by anyone else)
    • Charles Pic and Giedo Van De Garde (Caterham 2013 drivers, they might be picked up again)
  • New drivers
  • Team changes
    • Too many to count, holy crap what a mess of changes.
    • Out of 11 teams, the only 2 teams staying the same are Mercedes and Marussia. Maybe Caterham, but they won’t tell us who is driving for them.

This will be my 4th season of being a Formula One enthusiast, and I can’t remember this many team changes happening in all the time I’ve been paying attention.

I have lots of individual thoughts that do not work together, so bullets.

  • The 2 new drivers are so young that they probably don’t have all of their body hair yet.
  • I am nervous and also really excited about Alonso and Raikkonen at Ferrari together, because that might just be crazy.
  • Ricciardo has been pretty clear that he KNOWS he will be number 2 at Red Bull. I don’t think “multi 21” is going to be necessary.
  • I would love to get the info on if Grosjean is terrified to be driving on a team with Maldonado. Grosjean got a therapist and stopped crashing into other drivers, but Maldonado did not do that and crashed a lot in 2013.

I am really excited for the season to start, it’s only about 2 months away. Pre-season testing takes place later this month, and then it’s a short 6 weeks until the first race.

Side note: My condolences to Jenson Button and his family on the loss of John Button.

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