Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's New? 5-30-12

Hi everyone,

A few new things today. No mail AT all, grrr.. so nothing there.

If you've been here before, you'll notice I made a new banner for my site. That sucker was a pain in the butt to make and I'm not sure if I'm happy with it yet. I made it in PhotoShop using several pictures of manicures I've done so far. I'll be adding it to my Facebook page here in a few minutes as well.

I want to talk about a few things today. I've been anxiously waiting for today. My mom's birthday was Monday, and of course being the slacker I am, she got her card from me a day late. I've been waiting for her to get it so I could share it with you. I did a diorama inspired by That Artist Woman's page instructions.

So here it is, let me know what you think :)

I also want to make a couple of product recommendations for any insomniacs out there. I've suffered from insomnia off and on all of my life but I've finally found a few things which help. First up is Melatonin. I take Spring Valley's Melatonin @ 3mg, but I take 2 at once. This helps me get to sleep so I rarely have trouble getting to sleep anymore.

My big insomnia problem is staying asleep. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and I am wide awake. It can take me hours to get back to sleep or other times I may never get back to sleep. What helps me with this is Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Herbal Tea. If I wake up and can't get back to sleep, I just drag myself up out of bed, make this tea, let it steep, drink it, and I fall back to sleep faster. It still takes awhile for me to fall back to sleep but this does help! To my surprise, I just looked at their Web site and discovered they have a whole line of Sleepytime products! I'll definitely have to try out some of the others if I can find it in my store. I've just tried the original so far but we both love it!

Just one more thing before I move on to the giveaways.... it's that time of year again! BUG SEASON! Yuck! We let the spiders live free in our home, because in part they do eat the other insects. However, here are a few tried and true tips for getting rid of bugs:

Ants: Got ants? Simple! Just figure out where they're coming into your home and sprinkle some powdered Cayenne on the floor in their track. This does not kill them, it repels them! The first Spring we moved into our apartment, just over 2 years ago, we had ants in our kitchen. I just put some Cayenne down and the ants left our house and never came back. End of story.

Mosquito: Now if I could just figure out a way to get the mosquitoes out of my house... We always have a swarm of them every Summer. I haven't figured out how to repel them, but here's how to kill them!
Find an old squirt bottle (old Windex bottle or something similar) and fill it part way with Listerine or other mouthwash. Combine that with some water, and a little bit of dish soap. That's it! Now just be on your guard and start squirting! It sometimes takes a few squirts to kill them but it does work!

Hope that helps :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Retrospective

I was reviewing some updates by the always beautiful Pretty Face, Happy Bank and it got me thinking about some things. My first thought when I saw her pictures was "Wow, she's brave" assuming she gets some stares and rude comments from people in real life. I know I certainly did, back in the day. I just have to wonder how much this holds true these days. These days, I have walked around town with people dressed in all kinds of crazy outfits. Awesome, but definitely not your "norm" whatever that may be. Overall, in a world filled with Lady Gaga, furries, Anime and Star Trek conventions, weird just doesn't seem to be so... well, weird anymore. It seems to be more acceptable.

Let me try to explain where I'm coming from on some of this. When I was in high school (late 90s) I was called a lot of names, got a lot of stares, lost a lot of friends, almost got into trouble with the principal on more than 1 occasion due to my idea of fashion. What warranted all of this?

- the name calling & stares: bell bottom pants and tie dye shirts OR wearing all black (because you know only witches wear all black! *ahem* sorry, Wiccans)
- trouble with the authorities: wearing black lipstick
- friend loss: who knows? combination of all of the above + I started having seizures right about this time so my own behavior changed

Yes, back in the day, wearing all black clothes plus black lipstick was enough for people to call me a freak, and for the principal to make comment. I also almost got into trouble once for letting people color my hair with markers. (BTW - if you ever get bored, have lots of temporary markers and want to do something REALLY different with your hair....... this worked better than the KoolAid treatment.)

Of course, this is the same school system which sent me to the principal's office for getting into a snowball fight on the way home from school, not even on the school's property. -end of bad girl stories -

Back in those days, my creativity was at an all time high, so if I had had the money and the supplies, I could have made Lady GaGa look tame. My unique, "weird" fashion that I was able to accomplish back then was very tame in comparison to today's fashion trends, and in comparison to my own fashion ideas. I used to be way ahead of the industry when it came to fashion. It's just very interesting to me how much things have changed in 15 years.

I suppose what I'm getting at also is... have things really changed this much? Are people really more acceptable?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 28, 2012

New for today: I've got nothing. Literally. No mail for 2 days, since Monday is Memorial Day here in the US. However, three big cheers for my mom because it's her birthday!!! :)
Have a great Memorial Day everyone and enjoy your day off if you have it!

Here's how we were celebrating the weekend:

Notice I said WERE. I was really excited and happy with my cake until my boyfriend pointed out I used food dye and not gel icing for the lettering :/ The cake is now a very pretty purplish grey. Pretty but not what I had in mind!! Big oops!!

Sample Mail!

I'm behind on everything, so I'm breaking today's regular post into 2. If you saw my posts on Facebook, and my earlier blog post, you'll know today was a pretty good day for me! I won 1 Deborah Lippmann nail polish, and Clear Dri antiperspirant. I also got some great Sample mail!

Friday I received mail from o.b. It looks like this promotion has ended, but I wanted to warn those of you who may not have received yours yet. I opened my package, then discovered there was a coupon behind the case so when I opened the package, I ripped the coupon clear in half :/ That being said, the case itself is really cute, and I'll definitely be reusing it. I never use tampons, so trying these out will be... different.

Today I received my Always Tampax radiant sample. I'm really excited about this one and unfortunately this one is over, too. It includes a small purse, 1 scented pad, 3 unscented daily liners, 2 unscented tampons and 2 coupons. I have to add that this is the first thing I've received from so even though this is the only sample I've encountered from that at all in the 2 months I've been a member... I'm happy! Not much more to add about these, since the products are new but I do have to say the purse is super cute! It's not as well made as my Target Spring Beauty bag, but it is a little bit larger.

Lastly, I received my Invisible Glass Wipe sample. This promotion is still available! Truth be told, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my sample, but I'm sure I'll figure it out ;)

So here's what I got: 2 wipes sample, 2 rebate coupons for $2, plus 3 coupons: $5 off orders over $40, $6 off Reach & Clean and another $2 rebate. The last 3 coupons were attached to a magnet. I'm excited about the magnet, I wasn't expecting that! (Yes, I know... I get excited over the silliest and simplest of things.)

Just a few more comments in regards to a few products I've tried these past few days, and then I'll wrap this up.

First up, I haven't tried it yet, but I was looking at my samples and discovered Metamucil contains Aspartame. I was not happy when I discovered this. I'll try the samples, but I definitely won't be buying the product. Aspartame can cause a lot of damage to your body! I also recently bought Dannon Light & Fit yogurt in a 10/$5 sale. Again, Aspartame. The flavors are awesome, and I love Dannon yogurt but I won't be being Light & Fit again, ever. I need to pay better attention to the labels on new products before I buy them. I'm pretty bummed about the yogurt; the strawberry cheesecake really does taste like cheesecake, and the key lime yogurt is soooo good! I should have known by the fewer calories that these were a 'no, no' item however. Ah well.

Last night we took a walk to our local Walmart and yes I looked at some of the polishes, and yes, I walked away without any in hand. (To quote my boyfriend: "You have enough polishes to last a life time." 54 polishes, a lifetime?? pah!) What I did walk away with was this super cute hat. I would model it for you but my face is currently a mess. This hat was only $5, it's super cute and best of all it doesn't make my head hurt. I typically don't wear hats often because they do tend to make my head hurt, but so far this one has been OK. It's solid black, fedora style. I may figure out something I can put on it just to give it a little more color when I want, or take off if I want just a classical look.

Lastly, I tried out my Garnier Fructis Pure Clean sample yesterday. The first thing which struck me as I opened the package was the smell: fruit! This was unexpected, but it smelled good :) Upon inspection of the ingredients, I discovered it contains apple and lemon peel extract but also caffeine. So this smells great, but I hate it when companies sneak caffeine into their products. That's about all I'm going to say on that. I got this sample from Walmart, so it's no longer available. There were a few new things available from Walmart today, finally but wow, they're gone already. These sure don't last long.

Just a reminder that all of these samples are still available while supplies last! This is an updated, revised list; I just made certain all of these are still good so go grab some freebies if you haven't already :) Some may be available at certain times of the day, however.

While supplies last
Invisible Glass Wipe Sample
Free Emergen-C samples You can also request samples on their Facebook page.
Loreal EverPure

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream
Swiss Army Fragrance
Lacoste Perfume
Eucerin Moisturizing Lotion
Lipton Tea & Honey
Quaker Oatmeal Squares
Boss Orange Frangrance
Miracle Whip
Scented Trash Bag  
Mrs. Dash 
Breathe Right Nasal Strips 
Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylic
Clear Men Scalp Therapy
Perky Jerky
Sebamed USA liquid face & body wash

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 26, 2012

A few things, but I'm spending most of the weekend with family, so I won't be posting here much. Everyone have a good Memorial Day weekend
I just won my first Deborah Lippmann polish!!! 
edit: I woke up and found out I won this one, too! Beyond Beauty Lounge: Certain Dri 
Good day for me :) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Water marble, 2nd attempt part 3

I decided to try a galaxy mani over my water marble. It turned out really well, I think, although not quite as expected and of course my photos don't do it justice. Here are a few, let me know what you think :) It looks very different in different light, at different angles, etc. so I took a bunch.

The first and last photos pretty well demonstrate how dark these are. The others really capture the silver I used for the center of the galaxy but I couldn't really capture on camera just how well blended the colors are. The topcoat blended the colors a little bit too much, but I think it still turned out nicely.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 25, 2012

I haven't had a chance to look at it much, but I'm over at Pinterest now if anyone is interested. My username is MetalMinky.
Sample mail alert!
I got my sample of Garnier Fructis Shampoo & Conditioner in the mail today. Once again, this is no longer available from Walmart, so sorry to those of you who didn't get it. I keep checking back at Walmart's samples, but they just haven't been updating with anything new. Here are the offers I'm seeing right now: Poise, Depends, and Milk Bone. I'm not interested in any of these, buy maybe some of you are?

I got a few new things in the mail today as well: first up, my new soap dish. I have to say, my little soap dish temp fix actually worked really well. Moving on to the new soap dish, my boyfriend wasn't very happy about the price: "5 dollars for a soap dish?!?" Yes, well, I did pick out one of the cheaper ones ( I guess I should point out some of the $30 soap dishes from Walmart, hmmm??) I got the Japanese Soap Tray Amber Color from It works fine so far, and it's pretty much as described. I was concerned it might be a little bit bigger than I wanted, but it turned out to be smaller than expected which works out perfectly. So, no complaints. It has two parts, the lid and a bowl so all you have to do is remove the lid and dump out the excess water. I couldn't even tell that it was two parts when I first looked at it. So, no complaints here and thus far, thumbs up.

I also got a pair of pj pants from Walmart.  I got the cherry print ones, and first of all, they look black on my monitor. In real life they are very dark blue. This is OK with me, just not what I was expecting. Secondly, I must have been not away when I made this purchase: I was not expecting hemp pants, nor was I expecting cropped pants. This will work out fine, because I need new summer pj pants, but once again, not what I was expecting. They're on clearance for $7 though so I won't complain. The one thing I am very happy about is the size: I ordered an XL which is 16/18. Going by Walmart's sizing charts, I should be wearing a larger size, but these fit me just fine. It might just me personally though: my hips are almost at a size 14 while their size chart puts my waist at about a 20 or 22. Whatever. The point is, these fit great on me, so I'm happy. Hopefully they don't shrink when I wash them, which I haven't done yet.

Nail polish quickfix

Real quick, just wanted to post something I tried. I don't know if it's because I'm wearing cheap nail polish or if it's just old, but my nail polish tends to not just chip but come off in sheets.. Seriously, sometimes I look down and there is half of my nail polish missing off of a finger. Tonight I caught it on one finger, just in time. So here's what I did:

  • Gently lifted the nail polish which was chipping away from my finger nail.
  • Applied a very thin coat of top coat.
  • Pressed the polish back down onto the top coat to secure it in place.
  • Applied 2 coats of top coat over the entire finger nail just to secure it back in place.
This seems to have done the trick, at least for a temporary fix. We'll see, I suppose. It hasn't come off at all, and seems to be holding on pretty well so I think it's good to go for awhile. I tried taking a picture so you could see, it looks pretty much like normal. I couldn't get a good photo in this light, though.

So here's a question for you: does this happen to you and what do you do to fix it? Do you just let it go and rip it off, or do you try to repair it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012

I signed up for my Target Summer Beauty Bag, did you? Looks like there's going to be a lipstick in this one, I'm excited about that! If you haven't gotten a Target Beauty Bag before, or you haven't seen them then you'll want to check out my blog entry.

So now that I am way behind, thanks to Comcast last night, here are a few updates I wanted to post yesterday. First of all, sample mail!

I actually got the sample of Swiss Army cologne sometime last week, but I keep forgetting to post about it. I'm actually really excited about this sample, because I am 1/8th Swiss and it's just so cool to have something straight from Switzerland :) This sample is still available if you want to try it out.

I also received another Eucerin sample, actually 2 samples. One is a face moisturizer, the other is a body lotion. These also came with two coupons, one for $1.00 off one product, the other is $3.00 off two products. These samples are also still available on Facebook.

The last item pictured here is a sample of TRESemme Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner. I'm really excited about this one: it claims to repair up to 80% of split ends in just 3 uses. I think I may be able to get at least 2 uses out of this, maybe 3 of the conditioner so I'll get back to you on it. The box also came with a coupon for $1.00 off any TRESemme Split Remedy product. I love TRESemme, and my hair definitely needs some repairing, so I may actually use this one. I got this sample from Walmart, and I'm sorry to say it doesn't look like it's available now. Walmart's samples haven't been very good as of late.. not much going on there. Hope they restock soon and get some more samples in for us to try.

The last sample I received recently is actually something else I didn't request:  I got a trial offer of Prevention magazine along with my Sunday news paper. The trial offer looks pretty good, and there's even a free offer for 1 month of the magazine, plus a free book called Healing Foods, so I think I'm going to take advantage of that and see if I like the magazine or not. I'm not really a magazine reader, but I know a few people who subscribe to Prevention so I'll see if I like it or not :)

One of the samples I received from is Sundari Body Corps Healing Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil. This stuff smells amazing, along since I'm sensitive to smells I don't think it's helping my headache any. Regardless, it smells great and it's obvious why: there's rose oil and some other great smells in this little baby. But omg I didn't know it was so expensive! At $36 for 3.4 ounces, I won't be buying it anytime soon. It was great to be able to try something different, though! I'm not really sure about this product... same day, next day and my hair looks and feels greasy. It was easy to use, I'll give it that. You simply rub it into your scalp and through your hair, leave it on for half and hour, then shampoo. I think my hair does look more red today than normal, but that's about it. Here are the benefits as listed on their Web page:
  • Intensive repair and moisturization
  • Strengthening of hair fiber
  • Encourages new hair growth
  • Rejuvenates scalp
  • Calms sensitive scalp
It definitely did not calm my sensitive scalp; it made it itch. I do have to admit though, I don't think my hair looks quite as damaged as it did prior to using this product.

Moving on, I tried out Jewel Tone on my thumb yesterday. I decided not to do all of my nails in it, because it was just too much. I'm starting to think perhaps I'm no longer such a fan of glitter polishes as I used to be, and that makes me very sad! I'll have to try out Jewel Tone over a black one of these days, perhaps I'll like that better. I'm starting to think solid colors are my best friends! Oh, that's so boring though! I may have to get creative, and figure something out.

I don't know why the glitter came out blue in this picture, because it's actually more turquoise, but whatever. The shine didn't pick up well, either, and you can't even really see the purple glitter in this photo. The purple glitter really stands out in real life, so sorry I couldn't get a better photo. You can also see, my polish is wearing away at the tip already! Urgh! Polish just doesn't want to stay on my nails for very long :(

Monday, May 21, 2012

LA Colors Jewel Tone

I just got back from the store, and had to post real quick. All of Family Dollar's LA Colors polish was on clearance, so I had to pick up something :)

I got Jewel Tone on sale for 80 cents!

I think I'm going to try it out over top of my water marble tomorrow :D

Oh, and you'll notice there's tape on the bottle? LA Colors doesn't print the color of their polishes on their bottles, just on the packaging. So I wrote it down and taped it so I won't forget :b

Water marble nails, 2nd attempt Part 2

Since I pretty much repel all things unnatural, my nails were chipping severely after just 3 days. Today I decided to do a gradient tip on top of my marble nails. I used Nail Savvy Purple Magic and L'oreal Sangria once again. I managed to get a few pictures in the sun for once :)

Here's a close up!

Homemade soap dish (temp fix)

Since I'm cheap, and don't like spending money unless  I absolutely have to... I've been putting off buying a soap dish. I've been getting by with just an old plastic lid. Well, I finally got sick of it and ordered a soap dish. My local stores, of course, don't sell just a soap dish, so I had to order online. Anyway, I finally got smart and came up with a better solution while I wait for my new soap dish to arrive in the mail. This almost makes me want to cancel my order; almost :-D

I just took an old plastic container and cut some holes in the lid, and there ya go! Instant soap dish! Why didn't I think of this sooner? At any rate, it should hold up until I get my real one in the mail.

Speaking of these plastic containers.. if you're not saving your old lunch meat containers or other such things, you should! I always save them, and reuse them to store food in, use for my water marbeling, or anything else I can think of :)

Saving Money

I was reading a blog post the other night, and the writer said something along the lines of "I could save $10 a day" and my first thought was, "Gee, there's your problem!" If you're trying to save money, don't spend it. It's as simple as that. I cannot imagine how broke we would be if we were spending money every single day. Do people really do that? I'm not saying I'm rich; I'm not: I'm definitely poor. However, we manage to get by with a lot less than other people. We don't go to McDonald's every day to buy coffee (actually, we never go to McDonald's, and we don't drink coffee.) We walk; we don't even own a vehicle. We don't watch TV, we don't have cable service. I have no need to want to go to McDonald's; it would be nice to be able to go for a drive every now and then, but we can walk just about anywhere we need to go; TV is a waste of money, simple as that.

Let me tell you a little bit about how I spend money, because I find it very amusing I've been told I waste money. A certain individual I know, who buys energy drinks, fast food, etc. on just about a daily basis, once told me I waste money. How much is that, 10 - 20 dollars or more a day? Let's be conservative here: $10 a day, wasted on fast food or drinks adds up to about $300 a month. Let's cut that: say you only spend $5 a day on a drink and a candy bar, that's still $150 a month! So while they were spending at least $300 a month more than I, they were telling me I waste money.

My method of saving money is pretty simple: if I don't need it immediately, I don't buy it. If I want something, I typically put off buying it for at least a month although I've been known to put it off for years, haha. If, after a month or so, I still want it, I usually buy it. I eventually talk myself into buying it, even though I hate spending the money. The point is, however, that by doing this, if there's something we absolutely need or want immediately we don't have to sit there and save for months until we can afford it. Last month our computer broke. We didn't have to save for months and months until we could afford it; we just bought it because we had the extra money to do so.

Anyway, here are a few simple ideas to help you save money.

- Abandon the coffee! Yes, I said it! Coffee is addictive, and your body actually gets used to relying upon the coffee for energy. Some people, like me, who are caffeine sensitive, actually may drink caffeine and find that it makes them tired, so they go back for more, and the tiredness continues, and so on. You get the picture. If you don't want to completely give up your morning coffee, at least make it at home. It has got to be healthier for you.

- Walk instead of driving. I've known people who lived just 2 minutes away from a store, literally right down the road, yet drove to the store all the time. I live just 5 minutes away from most of the stores I shop, so I'm able to do almost all of my shopping on foot. Partly because I have to, but I know that even if we did have a car I would still be walking because I enjoy it. I've gotten a lot stronger because I can now carry 4 - 6 bags of groceries at once. Yes, people look at me strangely. But, I'm saving money while doing something good for myself just by doing this.

- Speaking of shopping, when buying groceries I try to only buy things on sale. My store has 10 for $10 sales all the time, as well as a lot of great weekly savings. I buy almost all ingredient type foods. Rarely do I buy things out of a box. Simply by buying food while on sale, I saved $60 on my groceries last week. I typically save at least $20 a week, depending upon how many groceries I buy. I believe it evens out to over $100 savings each month. That's $100 a month I can put into savings, or spend on other things I need or want. For example, this past week I saved $60 on groceries, so I finally bought a few of the things I've been wanting for the past month or so, like CDs. I mentioned before buying ingredients compared to boxed foods saves money, right?

My brain is getting tired, as it's past my lunch time, so just let me close with one more tip which I really believe everyone should follow!

- If you have a computer and Internet service, stop paying for cable! It is such a waste of money to have both Internet and cable TV. I haven't watched cable TV since 2009. I have so much more time to do other things, such as write this and my other blogs, because I'm not sitting in front of a TV all the time. I have more time, and energy, to exercise, clean house, work on my crafts, etc. I haven't completely given up on TV. I watch DVDs on rare occasion, and we watch 1 show on while we eat supper. We watch random weird things on when we're bored or just want to learn something. You can learn just about anything these days by watching Youtube. We've watched videos about my ancestors, how to learn Finnish, Danish, etc., and of course, a multitude of makeup and nail polish how to videos. We've found new music we love, that we just couldn't find on cable TV. It's a big world out there, and Youtube is a great research if you take advantage of it. I also still watch a few TV shows, such as House MD, NCIS and Bones. Most cable networks allow viewers to watch their shows online, with commercials. Some of them even allow you to watch retro shows for free. As long as all of these sources are available, we won't ever pay for cable TV service again.

I'm sure I'll think of some more money saving tips for you guys, so that's about it for now :) I'll post more later!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Color Runway Eyeshadow Review

If you've read my old posts at all, you'll know that last month I ordered some makeup from Amazon, they shipped me the wrong makeup, and I ended up getting it for free :) That makeup was Color Runway eyeshadow, sold on for $9.99. The packaging is similar to the Shany Cosmetics I had actually ordered, but at a lower price and different palette of colors. I'm not really certain if the maker of this particular palette is called Color Runway, or if that is just the name of the line of makeup or what. Anyway. At $9.99, I didn't have high expectations for this palette.

I was pleasantly surprised. I expected the eyeshadow to be very dry, dusty. It's not at all. The outside of each shadow is very glittery, and hard. It's a little flaky at first, but once you've used a color a few times it's actually very creamy and very, very easy to work with. I mention the glittery colors because I expected these to have some shimmer when applied, but they don't. The colors I've used so far have all been very nice, easy to apply, and look great. I have no complaints about this palette, and I think it's a pretty good buy for the price.

I should mention I'm still very much a novice when it comes to makeup, but at least for the beginner I highly recommend this palette. There's a nice selection of colors, I love the creaminess of these shadows and you can't beat the price. The only problem I have is there are a few too many blues, too many browns, but otherwise it's great. I do love there are so many almost white colors; those are great for priming, or highlighting. I bought a Shany palette at the same time and I think I've actually used this one more.

Thanks for reading my blog! Hope this helps someone out :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Money Saving Tips: Make Food From Scratch!

I've been wanting to add some money saving tips to the blog for awhile now, and since I made homemade pasta for supper I thought this was a great place to start. About a year ago, I decided to start eating healthier. I started buying more veggies and fruit. I wasn't really buying too much junk, but I wasn't planning meals balanced enough. Just by adding more veggies and fruit into my meals, and less junk, I started saving between $25 - $50 a month on groceries. Later, I started making bread from scratch, and then eventually noodles. I would typically spend about $8 a week on bread; about $10 on noodles would last us a few months. For less than $10 I can make almost twice the amount of noodles! It only takes about an hour to make noodles, plus time to let them dry, but they typically cook faster than store bought noodles and they are so much healthier, and they taste so much better! I know some of you are thinking it's just too much work to make pasta from scratch, but it seriously does only take about an hour and I only have to do it about once a week. I make one batch of noodles, and it makes enough for about 8 servings.

Some day I would like to try making other things from scratch, such as mayo. I make my sauces from scratch also, and my pizza sauce is absolutely yummy! Plus, I love knowing that I'm making healthier choices for myself and my family, while being so much better tasting than the stuff you buy in the stores. I really love that I'm able to take the time to do this for us :)

You can also make your toothpaste from scratch! I do this myself, and wow it's amazing how much better it works than store bought toothpaste. I'll never need whitening, that's for certain! My boyfriend smokes cigarettes, and he was even amazed at how well this worked against his yellow teeth. Just after 1 use his teeth were remarkably whiter. I use a simple mixture: equal amounts baking soda and salt. I usually put some hydrogen peroxide on my toothbrush first, then just dump some of the "paste" on my brush. It really does work great. My friend Trisch makes a bit more advanced formula and explains it on her blog.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Water marble nails, 2nd attempt

Photo intense post! :)

My black leopard nails didn't last long, for whatever reason, so I decided to wipe them off and try again today with another water marble. I think it turned out better this time, but I wish I would have picked different colors. The look is nice, and the colors are pretty, but they're too similar so there just isn't enough contrast.

So, getting started, here are all of my tools for this look.
Newspaper, to protect the work area (I'm messing so of course I still managed to get polish on the carpet, 1 foot away from the work area :/ )
masking tape
emery board

1st step, I cleaned my nails with some rubbing alcohol, then pushed my cuticles back.
Then I applied my fortifier.
Next, I applied 1 coat of Wet n' Wild Excusez - Moi and let dry.

Next, taped up my fingers to protect them. I did a better job of this than last time, but I still managed to get polish up to my knuckles on a few fingers. I guess I didn't make certain to get all of the polish out of the water before removing my finger.

As you can see, pretty messy! A few of my fingers ended up looking like this, but the biggest problem I had this time was the polish didn't lay flat on my pinky nail so it kind of gunked up on the end.

Anyway, here's the polishes I used:
Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Ruby Diamond
Loreal Paris Sangria
Nail Savvy Purple Magic

finished with 1 coat of Cover Girl Amethyst Mist. I think I'm going to top it all off with another coat of plain old clear coat, however, because my nails aren't quite smooth enough to my liking. I had planned on using OPI's Pirouette My Whistle but I decided I didn't like it for this look.

It turned out complete opposite of what I had planned; Ruby Diamond just kind of took over, so it turned out a lot more glittery and raspberry than I intended. It's pretty, regardless, just not what I had in mind.

Flash Photos

What I do like is Sangria is a reddish color, while Purple Magic is a bluish purple so every now and then there are small solid areas of reddish or bluish purples so it does look pretty neat. You can kind of see in the picture above, my first two fingers I did at the same time and each of those nearly got perfect stripes.
No Flash

You can't really tell by these photos, but also for some reason the left hand turned out more of a raspberry grape color while the right hand turned out more purple. I'm not really sure why! Next time, I am definitely doing a different color. I've done 2 water marbles now, and they're both purple so I'm already ready for a different color and different look. I am happy these turned out a lot nicer than my first attempt, though! :)

Any tips, suggestions, comments? I'd love to hear them! Thanks :)

edit: now that the sun is out, I thought I'd add some pictures under natural light. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Review

I just finished trying my free sample of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, and I have to say I was very much unimpressed. To start with, the serving size was fairly small. I used to count calories, so I know what a serving of cereal looks like, at least what I'm used to seeing as a serving and this was smaller. The cereal itself was bland; it is supposed to have a honey nut flavor but I didn't really notice it. There was just a slight hint of some kind of sweetness, but overall this cereal was just bland. Definitely nothing to write home about. I ate about half of it just by itself in milk, just to give it a chance and to see if I liked it or not. I ended up throwing a few chunks of strawberry in just to give it some kind of taste but even then it was still pretty bland. The box has a $1.00 off coupon on it; I don't think I'll be using it though. I definitely prefer Post over Quaker. I don't typically  get filled by eating cereal, and Quaker's Oatmeal Squares doesn't seem to have done the trick either. Post cereal, however, have been leaving me full.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nail mail

I got my Jamberry Nails in the mail today. I won these pretties from Jilltastic Nail Designs, sponsored by Mary Flanagan. I still have my Black Leopard nail art on, but I'll definitely be trying and reviewing these babies sometime! :)

I took the photo of my shields next to the catalog I received, so you can see, the shields are pretty close to how they look in the catalog. Lots of pretty stuff in this little catalog :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012

First of all, a few new things going on at my house today. We got a new computer, so hurray! I should be able to spend a little more time checking e-mails, updating my blog, etc. I had never used Windows 7 before, but so far so good.
Here's what else I got:

 Zoya's Share the Love Programs's special for May @ 200 points is 1 free polish and 1 free Hot Lips. I somehow got 200 points, so I decided to go for it. I've been wanting a new lip color anyway. Shipping was $6.95 so basically I got the polish for a dollar off, with the bonus of the free lip balm. I bought Holly and Luck. I've been wanting Holly for awhile, mostly I just wanted a nice green for holidays and Holly will definitely do the trick. I painted one layer on one toe, and it's pretty. I'm sure 2 coats is even prettier. Luck I'm not so sure about. It has a nice berry smell or flavor, haha I can't tell which. Raspberry, I think. It's a really pretty color, probably a perfect color for me in fact. The texture I'm not too crazy about. It leaves my lips feeling kind of... well, lumpy, I guess, and sticky. It is a very nice, natural but glossy look so I do like it.

Lastly, the other day I received my order from, which was supposed to include 3 samples as gifts. However, when I received my package, no samples were included. I wrote them to check it out, and within the same day they wrote back letting me know there was a problem with their Web site, and to let them know which samples I wanted. Next day, I received 2 e-mails letting me know the samples had been shipped. Wow! E-mails, just for sample shipping?, I love your Customer Support, thank you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Black Leopard Nail Art

Yesterday I got a few new pretties in the mail, which inspired me to do something different with my nails. Here's what I got, OPI Black Shatter and Zoya's Opal.

So after painting almost every toe nail, plus 2 glass jars, and a piece of the box the polishes arrived in, with a different idea... I finally decided on doing a Leopard design. However, upon reflection I decided to do something different since everyone does leopard prints. So I looked at Margays, then Panthers, then.. AHA! I was already set on using Zoya's Cynthia so I decided to do a Black Panther, which is really just a black Leopard :)

Here are all of the many polishes I used for this manicure:

1. a fortifier; I'm not really sure what brand this is. I got it as part of a kit many years ago and of course I no longer have the box. The bottle says "Professional Series" on it, but that's not much help! Regardless, I believe it's enriched with fiberglass and so far it's been a pretty good fortifier.
2. Zoya's Cynthia
3. Zoya's  Fleck Effects Opal
4. L.A. Colors Color Craze Circuits
5.  Loud! Music: I have no clue what this color is, but the picture is pretty true.
6. Sally Hansen's Teflon Tuff Clear top coat

So here's what I did:
1 thin coat of the fortifier.
1 thin coat of Cynthia.
1 thicker coat of Cynthia. I usually just do one thicker coat of polish, but I wanted this to dry fast so I did 2 thinner coats.
1 coat of Opal.
On each nail, I made a few small brush strokes in random places to look like spots using Circuits.
Using the round end of a straight pin, I filled in each black spot using the Loud! Music color. I don't have any dotting tools, so I had to make do with my sewing tools :b
Then I decided I wanted it to be a little bit more realistic, so I made a few black spots on each nail using Circuits and the pin.
Last of all, 2 layers of the top coat.

I also tried setting my nails faster by using the cold water/ ice technique shown here. I did this after each layer, but I still waited several minutes in between each layer to make sure they were dry. I'm still iffy on whether or not this actually did much. My boyfriend, who has many, many years experience painting, and airbrushing, swears it shouldn't do anything other than harden the top layer while keeping the paint underneath wet. Next time, I'll try using a blow dryer on the coolest setting because despite everything I did to try to speed up the process, it still took me 8 hours overall to complete this look, and I still woke up with my nails being messed up because the clear hadn't dried enough!

Here are a few step by step photos:
Here's just a shot of the nails with the fortifier on. I wasn't too worried about getting it perfect, just pretty good coverage is enough so you can tell it's a little streaky. The other problem with a fiber enhanced fortifier is that some of the fibers end up sticking out past the end of the nails. I later went back through and trimmed them off with nail trimmers.

I LOVE Cynthia. I've said this before and I know others may disagree with me, but I just love the dark color. When used with other colors as I did in this manicure, it really does look very different. Opal really helped to enhance the blue and green in it.

I tried tried tried to photograph Opal after applying it, but try as I might, it just wasn't happening. One of the problems with living at night, I'm afraid. As for Opal, I LOVE it! I only used 1 coat for this manicure but you can tell in all of the pictures, it really covered well. It actually covered a little bit too well, so my manicure turned about a little bit more green than expected but that's OK because I love it.

I have to say a few things about Opal, because after I bought it, I read a few reviews about it. I have to say ladies, whatever you were doing with Opal, you weren't doing it right! Some of the reviews I read stated that it only stayed 1 color: green or that it changed between green and blue. That just simply is not true! Even over top of Cynthia, in different light it takes on almost a rainbow hue. It's true that most of the time it looks green or blue, however, it all really depends on the light, the angle, and what you're wearing it on top of. I swatched some of Opal over top of a pink color, and at some angles it looks a greenish gold. In fact, the PolishAholic got some really good photos of these in her review. The only problem I had with Opal is the difficulty of taking accurate photos with it. It just really wants to capture the light!

I love how this manicure turned out. Aside from being greener than expected, it turned out just about as I planned. It's stunning under light, but even in the shadows where it looks almost black, Opal brings in some of the light and makes it shine. Here are some more photos for your viewing please :)

Natural Light

I *think* this one is with a flash. Sorry so messy, hadn't had a chance to clean them up yet :b

 These two I took during the morning hours, so a little better light. I think the one with Opal is a truer colors. I love the picture with Opal, because you can see the blue sparkles coming from Opal on a few of the fingers :)

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

All images are copyrighted 2012 Melanie Snyder.