Saturday, March 30, 2013

Simple Pleasures polishes

I have nothing to disclose. All polishes mentioned here I won in a giveaway.

The past few weeks I've been doing a lot of nail art using my Simple Pleasures polishes, but I realized I hadn't done a full manicure with them so I decided to do one to show them to you. The colors just happen to be perfect for Easter, also!

This is what the collection I own looks like.

There are 6 colors plus 1 glitter, so what I did was a skittle but I painted one accent nail one shade of purple and the other accent the other shade.

(please pardon my goofy thumb nail.. I've had issues with it for the past month or so but that's a story for another blog post.)

Then I added the glitter polish to all of the nails and now they look like Easter eggs! :)

If you've glanced at my Facebook page at all, you've probably seen me complain about the Spring colors this year.. I am not a fan of pastel colors. This is probably the only time you'll see pastels on my blog and this is about as pastel as I am going to get. However, I do love all of these colors.. except for the orange because it's just too peachy in my opinion and I don't like peach.

These polishes are on the cheapy side, but so far the polish itself has lasted longer than some other higher end polishes I can think of (*ahem* Zoya). I meant to get a picture of the brushes but alas, I forgot so maybe I'll add that to my post tomorrow.. anyway, the brushes are very chintzy. The brush for the glitter polish literally bends to the side.

These polishes are great for doing nail art, though! I've actually been thinking about getting another set someday just to have for more nail art. These would also be great for kids.

I'm not sure where you can find this specific set, but just browsing online, Kohls and Younkers both sell Simple Pleasures and you can also buy them online at Amazon or eBay. They also make a bunch of scented polishes.. I don't think these smell like anything unique. I could be wrong though!

Have you tried Simple Pleasures? What do you think?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Julep Brooke

This post contains an affiliate link. 

This is the last of my Julep posts for this week, and today I am showing you Brooke. Julep describes this one as "Sheer purple micro-glitter." This is one of the first Julep polishes I bought; I got it last year with my Julep intro box so I literally paid less than a penny for it! Gotta love all of the deals available from polish makers. Anyway..

I thought this one was a bit disappointing, but it is still pretty. I had trouble photographing it, but I do have a few good photos for you. This is one coat of Brooke over 1 coat of Melissa over 1 thick coat of Nora.

First, here are a couple of photos with just the flash. As you can see, Brooke gets washed out and you can't even see that it's there really.

Here's a photo under artificial light. Here you can see Brooke much better, but it still didn't really capture the glitter or color effect that was created with this combo. Disappointing that I couldn't capture it true to color. Since the photos couldn't capture it true to color, let me just tell you that I ended up with a very pretty suede type finish. I don't know how much of this had to do with wearing Nora underneath the other coats, but it definitely ended up looking like a foil suede. Very pretty.

 I couldn't leave it at that, so I decided to matte the accent nails using Julep's Matte Top Coat (which I also paid for myself.) This bottle doesn't seem to last long, which is why I only did the accent nails.

 Here's one last look, in natural light.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed my little experiment playing with my Julep polishes. I do have a few more things to show you this weekend and I suppose early next week.

Happy Good Friday :)

To be clear, the following link is a referral link. If anyone signs up for Julep using my link, I will receive site credits. However, all opinions expressed here are my honest thoughts. You can purchase Julep Melissa on their Web site for $14 or $11.20 for Julep Mavens.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Julep Melissa

This post contains an affiliate link. 

I'm continuing my manicure today with another Julep polish, Melissa. I bought this one last July during a flash sale and got it for about $1.25. Julep describes Melissa as "Sheer opalescent shimmer." I bought this one specifically because I think one of the bloggers mentioned that it can be used to transform any polish into a holo? Yeah, not true. It can however make a pretty iridescent look of course!

Here, I just applied 1 coat of Melissa over a thick coat of Nora.

I didn't quite get the look I wanted, but it was still pretty and it definitely transformed Nora into something quite different, wouldn't you say? Definitely a fun and simple way to transform a simple manicure.

To be clear, the following link is a referral link. If anyone signs up for Julep using my link, I will receive site credits. However, all opinions expressed here are my honest thoughts. You can purchase Julep Melissa on their Web site for $14 or $11.20 for Julep Mavens.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Julep Nora

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last week I decided to continue with taking a break from my Pokemon nails. I've also been using a lot of Zoya polish lately, so I decided to take a break from it as well. Instead, I picked up a couple of Julep polishes out of my stash to play with. Just to be clear, I paid for this polish using Julep Jules (site credits.)

The first polish I have to share with you today is Nora. If you're not familiar with Nora, it is one of their suede polishes. It's a lovely very dark purple which dries to matte in just a few minutes.

I have to say, while I'm impressed with the dry time and I do love the color, I was a bit disappointed at how dark it is. I wish it were more purple. The only issue I had with this polish was that I first tried doing a thin coat. It does not apply well at all this way; it's streaky and gunky and just NO. So I definitely recommend using 1 thick coat for this polish as opposed to two thin coats. That's all you really need, is just one heavy coat.

 What do you think of Nora? I do really love the color and surprisingly enough I'm finding that I really love matte polishes.

I hope to have several more posts for you featuring Julep polishes later this week :) Thanks for reading!

To be clear, the following link is a referral link. If anyone signs up for Julep using my link, I will receive site credits. However, all opinions expressed here are my honest thoughts. You can purchase Julep Nora on their Web site for $14 or $11.20 for Julep Mavens.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, yesterday was Purple Day! I also forgot to mention the entire reason I tried out this polish... ironically, it's because it is Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada. So please forgive my epileptic memory for forgetting to comment about that :P

Nail Narcotics has been posting in support of Epilepsy Awareness Month all month long, and I wanted to show my support. :) You can find my Epilepsy Awareness posts from last November here, in addition to my Brain Injury Awareness post for this month.

Prize mail from Parnevu

I have nothing to disclose.

A couple of weeks ago I won Beyond Beauty Lounge's Parnevu giveaway
and this past week I received my prizes in the mail.

Thanks to Mercedes of Beyond Beauty Lounge and Parnevu for these awesome prizes! You can read my review of the Scalp Therapy Conditioner here. I also received the T-tree Spray glosser and Extra-dry hair Shining Gel. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of these products ;)

If you haven't tried Parnevu, I really recommend them. I seriously love their Scalp Therapy conditioner.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

National Brain Injury Awareness Month

This post contains an affiliate link.
I meant to get started on this post weeks ago.. and here it is almost April and I'm just now writing. So typical :P Anyway, March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month so I wanted to talk about it a little, which of course means I'll be talking a lot.

There are numerous causes of brain injuries. Some people are born with it, others such as myself have it as a result of actual injury after birth.

I was diagnosed with migraines at the age of 4. By the time I was 10, I realized my head hurt every day and at some point it started hurting permanently. Right around the age of 9 or 10, I joined the school soccer team. There was one incident in which I must have gotten hit in the head or something, I'm not sure what happened exactly. I just know that I blacked out and I don't know what happened. By the time I was a pre-teen, my headaches were getting worse so I started seeing a doctor for them. It was found that I had some seizurely activity but that doesn't necessarily mean I was having seizures.

At the age of 14, I one day went for a walk with my boyfriend at that time. We were attacked by 3 boys, 1 of which I knew from school. I was punched in the face and I was knocked out. My head hit black pavement. I only vaguely remember being escorted into a police car, driven to my house, and then taken to the emergency room. At this time they said I probably sustained a concussion. Roughly a month later, I was back in the ER again because I had a seizure at school (Complex partial, I believe.)

The following years, I had several seizures, probably more than we know; I had to under go a lot of tests and try many different medications. I really don't remember much about those years. When I was about 17 or 18 I was finally diagnosed with Petit Mal seizures as well as the Complex Partial after going through a video EEG. It was at this time I was finally diagnosed with Epilepsy because it was finally understood that I had had more seizures than what anyone realized. It wasn't until I was 20 that we finally found the right medicine to control my seizures.

Fast forward to last year, when I was 32 years old. I finally researched brain injuries and understood exactly what had happened to me, why I am the way I am. It was my understanding that Epilepsy was my big problem in life, which never made any sense to me... it never made sense to me how epilepsy could cause my headaches, for instance, because the headaches as far as I know started before we were aware of the seizures. Key word there - aware.

It wasn't until I researched brain injuries that everything clicked into place. The frustrating thing about the nature of brain injuries is that you can be told FACT 1, and FACT 2, etc. but until your brain puts the pieces together, you just don't get it. Obviously in my case, this took a very long time. I've also just recently come to realize that I've been dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder all of these years as a result of the assault and injuries I sustained 19 years ago. So in short, someone with brain injuries can be told they have a brain injury but often apparently will be in denial.

I can only tell you how this has impacted my life. I suppose it's different for everyone. For me, it's like being two people: there was the ME before all of this happened. Pretty much a normal person, except I had more headaches than most. Then there's the person I've been for the past 20 years or so... which actually feels more like half a person. I am a perfectionist, so needless to say I've made this very hard on myself.. probably harder than other people would take it. I know I can't be perfect, but I still strive to do better all the time and I still yell at myself if I do something wrong, no matter how silly and meaningless it is.

Aside from being in pain 24/7, there are a few other things I now deal with. The pain makes me depressed, of course. I have a lot of difficulty concentrating and keeping my thoughts organized. Sometimes I try to think of something and I just get this mental block.. like there's literally a brick wall in my way, preventing me from thinking things. Additionally, I suffer from really bad anxiety... I tend to think of it in terms of an "anxiety switch" like when the brain injury occurred, my anxiety switch or button got permanently pressed to the "ON" position. I know this is partly why I have hypertension, but just nothing so far has fixed this.

Here's a very short list of the changes that I've had to deal with as a result of the brain injuries I've sustained:
  • Lethargy, daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased memory and new learning
  • Decreased attention and speed of processing
  • Decreased judgment, insight, and planning
  • Decreased language abilities (understanding another’s speech or finding words)
  • Decreased speech abilities to articulate words so that others understand
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Irritability and explosive anger
  • Impulsivity
  • Visual disturbance
  • Decreased balance and vertigo
  • Decreased hearing (not so much hearing per say.. but understanding what I'm hearing. sometimes I hear words and it takes a few minutes for my brain to process what I've heard.)
  • Chronic headache
  • Muscle and joint pain from trauma at the time of injury
  • Burning/electric type pain  from nerve dysfunction
  • Motor Weakness
  • Decreased coordination

 Some of those issues I've had for as long as I can remember, such as insomnia, so it may just be part of my personality but I have to believe the brain injuries have made it worse. Additionally, the emotional swings can be some of the worst. I'll cry sometimes and I don't even know why I'm crying. Try explaining that to someone observing who doesn't understand it.

Due to all of those things, I am unable to work. Obviously, I am able to do some things such as chores, write this blog, school work, babysitting, etc. I can't even imagine trying to hold down a permanent job, however. Not the typical 9 - 5. Most days I have to take my chores in increments, working for 10 minutes or so, resting for a few minutes, then working for a few minutes again. Otherwise I end up in worse pain. It's not because I'm lazy - I know it's easy to mistake how I have to handle my time as being lazy. Quite often I just simply do not have the energy to tackle doing things all at once. Most of the time I'm just in too much pain.  I'm also unable to receive disability because the US government assumes I am not disabled simply because I do not have seizures.

So all in all, it's really easy to get depressed at times. My birthday has been especially depressing. I want to work; I don't like having to rely on other people for my needs. Quite frankly, it's frightening to not know if you can support yourself if needed. I've never been in a situation in which I had to financially support myself, thank goodness. I've been fortunate. As a nail blogger, I might add, my birthday was the most depressing thing ever. I got a ton of sales and even credits and I couldn't use any of them because I just can't justify spending the money. It's depressing wanting to buy things for yourself but not being able to when it's not your money you're spending.. or even when it is your money. It's depressing wanting to change that but not knowing how to. Not to mention worrying about what will happen when I'm old. These are just a few of the things I've had on my brain for the past few weeks.. and partly why I haven't been blogging as much... and I wanted to share these thoughts to get them out of my head.

Well, that's a peak at my story and the fun that is my life :D I wanted to share this because it really is important to understand this could happen to anyone: through seizures, drugs, a car accident or other injury.. It sucks but you do learn to live with it. Somehow, you manage and you move on. Obviously, I'm still trying to figure out how to make myself better and stronger so I can some day have the life I want. (Side note: this reminded me - I've been trying to lose weight for the past 3 years. I still weigh about the same as when I started, but I tried on a couple of size M shirts yesterday and they fit. That's down from a XL. Brain  injury also makes it very difficult to lose weight apparently. Quite often, the brain reprograms itself so that people with brain injuries don't know they're full so they just keep eating and eating. In my case, I think some of the brain to body connections just aren't there yet :( With that being said, I need to end this shortly and go exercise...)

I do have a manicure to share with you today. This is what I wore on my birthday and St. Patrick's Day. Yes, I am Irish and in case you didn't know, the whole Irish Luck thing is in reference to our notorious bad luck. It has nothing to do with good luck, quite the opposite! I'm taking a break from the Pokemon nails for awhile. Hope to be back at it soon. For now, here is Zoya Holly and one of my Simple Pleasures polishes and just as a heads up, due to the recent FTC changes I should let you know the link to Zoya Holly is an affiliate link but regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own, blah blah blah blah blah. :P

If you read all of that, thank you! I appreciate it and I hope you'll understand me a little bit better. :) I should also briefly mention that although I have all of the above issues, it doesn't mean I'm mentally retarded or anything like that. My IQ, I have been told, is quite normal (I argue that - I know it's higher than what was said on the test but anyway I'm rambling.) Additionally, this is my perspective. Other people's perceptive may differ :)

Evolution of the Web: Sites I miss

My boyfriend recently started his own art blog, Dungeon of Sketch, and it got me thinking about some of the old sites I used to visit around the Web. So today I'm taking the liberty of blogging about something other than nails. I've been on the Web almost since it was new - since Spring of 1995. Hard to believe it's been 18 years already. I've seen a lot of sites come and go and yes, I still miss a lot of them. Ironically, one of the things that has changed is me- with the advent of Web 2.0, it changed the nature of the Web quite a bit which meant a lot of my favorite sites vanished. I say that I changed, because back then I hated blogs and declared many times I would never have one.  Boy was I ever wrong.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you some of the sites I miss.. one of the things I loved to do was adopt cyber pets, and you can still find all of mine (minus a few dozen that are still hibernating on my hard drive waiting to be published...) on my Web site. I don't know if anyone even does the cyber pets anymore.. but they were fun while they lasted!

Starluck's SweetWater Valley
is one of the sites still around, although many many years ago she changed the site to a donation site. She still has some of her graphics available as linkware. I want to add, if you've been around Neopets long enough, you'll probably recognize a lot of the Neopet user store backgrounds as they came from Starluck's.

(originally posted here: )

is one of the newer sites which fortunately means it is still around although it hasn't been updated in many years. My Jewelwing, shown below, is a special creature. There are standard basic creatures you can still adopt on the site as linkware. Other adoptions, such as my Jewelwing, you had to search through the site for and then send an email over to Bright Dreamer. Some time later, she would send over the different stages of growth until finally you got your adult form.

(originally posted here:

was one of my favorites; it is still online but adoptions have been down for many years. The EverRealm was awesome because Myrror let users somewhat pick different creatures they wanted drawn, and some creatures were only available as part of a frequent adoption program. You could also take two of your creatures and request that Myrror breed them to make a new creature. My Hunter Cat, shown below, is the result of one such breeding.
  (originally posted here:

 is another site that is still up and this looks to be the only one which is still fairly active. Most of the site activity now occurs under Secundi but there are still click and take adoptions, hunt adoptions and Silvanon even made a pretty neat generator for creating custom unicorns. I made the unicorn just now using the program to demonstrate this :)

(created March 23, 2013 using Silvanon's Make A Paint program)

Other noteworthy sites - no longer online
 Chibi Ningyo's
Lady in Black's Mystical Castle (which was seriously one of my most favorite sites ever. I can remember back in the days of dial up I would spend hours and hours on her site.) 
the Enchanted Hollow

I have literally like 100 Web pages on my site filled with my adopted pets, so of course I can't show them all here but I just wanted to take a minute to show case a few of the sites that are still up and mention the others I still really miss as well.  

Lastly I have to mention Faeries Are Among Us, created by Wandering Faerie. This site was absolutely awesome, among my top favorite sites ever. The graphics blew me away. It was the first time I ever really saw animated GIFs  and there was just so much creativity on that one little site.. literally hours of fun. I think it miss it more than any other site. It inspired me to learn graphic design and Web design. 

I seriously miss those days.. back before Web 2.0, everyone had to be more creative with things because sites were just more static. It was more interesting. People came up with their own stories, own worlds, and their own games to keep users interacting. These days it's all about Facebook, email, shopping, etc. A lot of the original fun of the Web is lost, I think. Well, I've seen sites like MySpace come and go, so I know Facebook won't last forever either. I hope someday there will be a revival of the kind of creativity once found around the Web. Until then, I have my memories of some of my favorite old sites :) 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Helpful blog posts

The past few weeks I've been favoriting a bunch of blog posts with good tips so I can share some of them with you! I know I for one still feel like a newbie despite doing this blog for almost a year now *hint hint* so I'm always looking for more tips to improve my technique.

5 Minutes nail polish removal tutorial
I've been doing this for the past few weeks and it works really well! I've been using a lot of layers, so I've used more than 1 cotton ball BUT I've mostly been staying away from Acetone! I'm really happy with this method because it will save me maybe pennies, but I do believe taking a break from too much acetone should help improve the condition of my nails. I first read about this method on Very Enchanting and she has lots of other great tips there. You can also try the tin foil trick, which I have not tried yet.

How to take Care of Your Nails
I don't do any of this except I always use a base coat (Sally Hansen Hardener) and I use a cuticle cream when I actually remember. Yes, I'm a slacker :P good tips for those who wish to use them!

Stamping Tips
I need to practice myself!

How to Repair a Broken Nail
some good basic tips.. you can also try regular old super glue if you don't have any nail glue. Here's another one on Nail Patching.

Kelsie's Nail Files: My Nail Art Tools
good general breakdown of the tools of the trade ;)

How I Do It: Filing
Good info.. except I thought you were always supposed to file downwards? I don't know, I don't file :P

DIY Hair Mask
Because I want to try this again sometime.. haven't done this since I was a teenager!

Nail Whitening
I haven't tried tooth paste yet.. I don't buy anything with whitening because it's bad for your teeth. So I have another idea in mind, and I'll let you know if it works :)

Water Marbling and some tips
I haven't tried this in ages.. I definitely think I should do another one what with my blogiversary coming up and a water marble was one of my first nail posts :) Speaking of water marbling, Shatter Me Claire mentioned using gels as a base? I haven't tried this yet.. may have to!

I *love* this post from Oh Three Oh Four:  Reusing Polish Bottles and Decanting Tutorial

Why did I not think of this? Instead of ice cream...

DIY Nail Polish Desk using Melmers 

Polished Pisces had the brilliant idea of creating this page with polish short hand. Great starting resource for those new to the polish blogging world :) is starting a series of posts called Nail Art 101. This should be pretty helpful, I'm looking forward to the other posts, thanks Vic! 

Just in case you didn't know... chocolate is good for you! I believe dark chocolate is even better. 

Check out this great guide for buying and swapping nail polish online. 

How to make your own decals.

How to make your own makeup remover. Not polish related but I think still worth reading :) 

Very Enchanting posted a DIY hand santizer which I think is awesome because the commercial hand sanitizers have been found to cause nerve damage, so I never use them. 

Nuthin' but a nail thing did a tutorial on dry water marble nails and you should definitely check that out. I need to try it out myself sometime. 

I started this post ages ago and I've been meaning to get caught up on my blog reads and add to it.. but that isn't going to happen right now so I figured I'd just post it now. I'll probably have more of these types of posts in the future, hopefully more organized though :P 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't be me... GFC update

For the past several days I've been feeling overwhelmed by this whole GFC/Bloglovin' thing. I follow over 800 blogs on GFC. I've been trying to add each of these blogs to Bloglovin' manually. Let's just say that after about doing about ten manually, I gave up. This is going to take forever!!!

Finally, today I saw some other users post. Bloglovin can import our GFC subscriptions, yay!!!!!

Go here to import your GFC reads to Bloglovin.

Follow me here.

Please continue to support my blog, thank you!

My birthday part 2

I didn't really do anything too special for my birthday.. Mike and I walked down to Lake Michigan, and it was the first time I had been out of the house aside from going to the store and whatnot in about 6 months! I definitely needed out. It was good to get out, and looking at the lake frozen over was pretty cool. Sorry, I didn't think to bring my camera :P

We just had leftovers for supper, and then made lasagna for supper the next day, but check out the dessert I made:

I found this recipe last month and just had to try it for my birthday. It's an Oreo ice cream cake and it does taste a lot like the ice cream cakes you get from the store. I made mine a little healthier, I used a different brand other than Oreos so I'm *hoping* it was healthier but I made the whipped topping myself. Mine is a bit messy looking because I put the lid on my bowl and it froze to the top so I had to wipe everything off the lid and put it back on the dessert. Someday I'll learn not to be so messy! Maybe :P

My family pretty much just got me gift cards this year so no pretties to show you.. but I do hope to pick some up at Walmart whenever I get out there.

Mike's sister & her husband bought me a couple of nice surprises though!

 We got our niece a bunch of Perler beads for Christmas, so they gave me one of her creations.
 They also gave me this water bottle filled with Simple Pleasures body scrub, wash and lotion in Cherry Vanilla. Amanda and I were commenting on how strange it is that everything is sold in water bottles now.. but I guess it reduces packaging waste? At least in theory.

They also gave me this really beautiful sweater! I love it, but sorry I'm not modelling it for you :P

My last gift was a head massager. Haven't used it much but I'm hoping it might help a little bit?

I'll have more to show you once I'm able to get out and spend some of my gift cards.. but I was able to pre-order the new book from Terry Goodkind, so that I'm really excited about!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My birthday surprises

My birthday was last Friday and of course I meant to get something typed up but never did get around to it..  so better late than never, right?

I have a few pictures to show you but first I want to talk a little bit about my birthday: March 15. Most people know this as the Ides of March. Growing up in Ohio, however, I know that traditionally this is also Buzzard Day: the day the buzzards return to Hinckley Township in Medina County, Ohio. I think you can imagine, I've gotten a few jokes about being born on this day :P It's also the day H.P. Lovecraft died, but there are quite a few famous birthday twins I have:

Sean Biggerstaff, or as we Harry Potter fans know him, Oliver Wood

Mark McGrath of the band Sugar Ray

my personal favorite of all my birthday twins: 
Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon

and of course I can't leave out the single person I get teased about the most:
Dee Snider of Twisted Sister
(in addition to my Snyder relatives, I have Sniders, and Schneiders on my mom's side of the family.. so that ever increases the odds Dee and I may be related :P ....and I just read this little tidbit from Wikipedia: his mother was from a Catholic family of Swiss descent and as you know, I'm also part Swiss. Dee is truly the male version of me?)

That was enough to make my head spin, so ignoring my birthday twins.. in addition to Buzzard Day, there apparently are a few more things March 15 is known for:

 Apparently it's World Contact Day, who knew?

 In Japan, it is H┼Źnen Matsuri or Harvest Festival. From Wikipedia: "The festival's main features are Shinto priests playing musical instruments, a parade of ceremonially garbed participants, all-you-can-drink sake, and a 280 kg (620 pound), 2.5 meter (96 inch)-long wooden phallus. The wooden phallus is carried from a shrine called Shinmei Sha (in even-numbered years) on a large hill or from Kumano-sha Shrine (in odd-numbered years), to a shrine called Tagata Jinja."

In short, I was born on weiner day.

It's reflections like these which make me wonder if the Roman's knew something we don't...

Anyway, this post has gotten long enough so I will post my birthday surprises in another post :P 

If you want to know more, you can read all about my special day here on Wikipedia. Or if you want to read about another date, just replace March with the month you're interested in, followed by an underscore _ and the date you're interested in. You can also look by year, although just looking at the date I was born was enough to make my head spin.. I don't want to look at the year. 

Thanks for reading!