Saturday, December 29, 2012

Short post, update

Obviously I'm on a blogging spree today, so I'm going to keep this short. I just have a couple of pictures to share with you. First up, here is what Mike ended up cooking for our supper. I give you, Mike's porkchops.

Also, we finally got some decent snow so of course I had to share some pictures with you. We got maybe 6 inches, which really isn't much. My first winter in our apartment we had a couple of feet of snow in just a day and a half.

I might add that's my neighbor's trash in our backyard, which has been a source of annoyance to me for quite some time....

Anyway, that's it from me today! Have a good weekend everyone :)

nail strips are the worst invention ever....

... at least as far as nail related items go, as far as I'm concerned. Seriously.

Since my throat is all messed up right now and I don't want to bother with nail polish because the fumes might make it worse, I thought.. gee! Perfect chance to try out some more nail strips!

EEEEP! Wrong!

So. Today I'm trying out Momentum Brands Nail Strips which I won in a giveaway recently. These strips are absolutely beautiful, and very easy to apply. In fact, they are much easier to use than the Jamberry nails I've tried previously, so I will give them that - which is about the only good thing I have to say about them.

Here's why I detest these things so much:
  • they did not lay flat
  • as you can see in this picture, they rip very easily. 
  • despite ripping easily, I still have some snaggle spots where they do not lay flat but worse, they do not file well AT ALL. The instructions specifically say to file them down which I might add was a little tricky, so for them to rip so easily yet file with difficulty is... shall I say obnoxious?
  • edit: it hasn't even been an hour since I posted this, and two of the strips fell off and I have no idea where they went. I'm not even doing anything with my nails. I'm sitting at the computer typing and they fell off! :(
So yes, they're pretty... but look at how pretty they were after just ten minutes! This is immediately after using the bathroom because yes, apparently even when nail strips are concerned the bathroom rule still applies.

 Did I mention the package comes with 16 strips? 16. So now I have 6 more left over for my toes, I suppose?

I AM very thankful I was able to try these for free. I would have been very upset if I had paid for them... and I am very disappointed, as I was really hoping these would be better than the Jamberrys. I still have.. I think 3 other brands of nail strips to try out sometime. Hopefully one of those will be better than these things!

I know some people love their nail strips, but as you can tell.. so far I am not one of them!

More Christmas presents!

I was going to work on my New Years manicure today, but I woke up with a swollen uvula. For those who don't know, the uvula is the wobbly thing at the back of your throat. Mine was basically touching my tongue when I woke up.. so no going outside to play in the snow, no painting my nails.. basically no fun for me today :(

Since I can't do any of that stuff, I thought I'd take a minute to share some more of our Christmas presents with you. Not polish related, but I promise it will still be fun!

Mike basically used to live off of cashews and peanuts. They are pretty expensive up here in Wisconsin, so we rarely ever have them now. His mom was nice enough to buy him some mixed nuts. The other package is a bunch of food goodies from Josh and Amanda. I don't know if it's because we have such a large Hmong population here in my city, but we do have some pretty good Asian food stores here. Josh and Amanda bought us a bunch of goodies I will share with you here! Most of our goodies were made in Thailand.

First is this package labelled Bird's brand Thai Seasoning Mix. We have absolutely no idea what you're supposed to do with this, so if you happen to know, I'd appreciate it if you let me know!

There's also a coconut layer cake batter mix which looks kind of strange but sounds good! Requires a steamer, which we don't have.. so not sure what or when we're going to do with this. Also made in Thailand. It's basically a coconut cake mix made with tapioca flour, sugar, rice flour and vanila powder and you're supposed to add coconut milk and food coloring to it (hmm.. my dad bought me some neon food coloring for Christmas!)

This is Nam Ya Curry Paste, also a product of Thailand. We love spicy foods, so can't wait to try this. Mike loves to cook Asian style foods, so I'm sure he's going to have a lot of fun using this. Contains chilli, galangal, lemon grass, garlic, shallot, salt, kra-chai (whatever that is!), kaffir lime peel and coriander seed.

Next are two of my favorites of the bunch: Madam Pum Chilli Sauce for Seafood and Dragonfly Hot Chili Oil. The Madam Pum sauce tastes sooooo good from the little bit I tasted. It is another product of Thailand and contains chilli, garlic, acetic acid, sugar, salt and water. Sounds simple, but there are so many spicy sweet flavors going on in this little bottle. I can't wait to try it with fish.

The Dragonfly Hot Chili Oil is good, but not quite as spicy hot as I would like. It definitely has a strong after kick, but I'm used to hotter foods. It does have a good flavor. We've already used about a fourth of the bottle, which is only 7 ounces.  It contains soy bean oil, red chilli pepper and paprika color, and again.. made in Thailand.

We also got a packet of NOH Foods of Hawaii Chinese Barbecue seasoning mix. I find it strange to have a Chinese Hawaiian mix, but upon reflection I guess it makes sense. The ingredients are natural cane sugar, powdered soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, spices, red no. 3.

This is galanga powder, also a product of Thailand. I got to learn what galanga is, as I had never heard of it until this week. Apparently it's a root, related to ginger but with a stronger flavor. I used this in some of my cooking yesterday and it was very good. I'm not crazy about ginger; this, I think has a little nicer flavor.

This is our singular product from Singapore (and of course Samantha I'm thinking of you!) This is Meiji Hello Panda biscuits with strawberry cream. Haven't tried them yet, and I'm not going into all of the ingredients because it's a long artificial food list :P Can't wait to try these, and we may just save the packaging.

We also received these bottles of something called Ginseng UP which is marketed as "the root of all power" and "a Caribbean favorite Kola Champagne." Looking at the ingredients, it basically looks like a soda flavored with ginseng tea. I'm drinking mine now as I type this, and the flavor is very nice. I can't think of anything in particular it reminds me of, but it's very good.

Mike also basically used to live off of ramen noodles, and now we have a couple of samples of the real thing.

The first package, the blue one, reminds us of Yu-Gi-Oh which we find amusing,  and it is described as Tom Klong flavor instant noodles, whatever that means. On the back of the package is a label which includes the ingredients as: artificial smoked fish flavor, sugar, salt?, onion powder, chili powder, MSG & citric acid. I think I'll leave this one for Mike to eat...

The other two are just simple Oriental Style Instant Noodles Wai Wai brand instant noodles, and they're flavored with garlic powder, pepper, salt, MSG, and dried chives. Sounds much safer to me, although I do try to stay away from MSG!

Mike is going to cook supper with pork, using something from among these goodies, I just don't know what yet. Hopefully it's something good!

Thanks for reading and letting me share our presents with you :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas followup

Today I have my Christmas goodies to share with you, or at least the nail polish related ones! All of the items in this picture were presents from my sister!

She got me a ton of nail wheels so you know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks? Yep, cataloging all of my nail polish and sharing it with you! She also got me two of the Ciate kits, one in Velvet and the other in Caviar beads. I'm really excited to try out the flocking powder! She also got me a ton of tape which came with some nail stickers, the Bundle Monster 2011 plates and the Konad plate holder.

So while it was a great day for receiving nail polish goodies, it wasn't a very good day for my actual nails. If you saw my Facebook page at all, you'll know I've been complaining about my polish falling off. It was fine until Christmas day and then for whatever reason my polish just completely fell off several of my nails. I lost 3 Christmas Day, then lost 2 more today. I don't know why this happened but it was very annoying!! My nails were clean when I painted them, and the polish was new and of course it was different polishes so it's not like I can blame one polish. Oh well, it meant I got to try out a few different polishes.

So here's a few updates on my manicure. Sorry for the mess, but I was not about to do cleanup with as little sleep as I've gotten the past few days :P

2 coats Pure Ice Champagne, topped with 365 Days of Color Come Little Children. So yes, I'm wearing a Winter polish topped with a Halloween polish for Christmas :D

The overall effect is really pretty... Champagne is more teal but at a distance it looks a bit more green.

I was thinking about trying out Color Club Gingerbread over top Zoya Ziv sometime, and then another nail fell off and I couldn't find it so that's exactly what I tried out! Again, sorry for the mess :P

So, I'm probably going to start trying out my nail wheels tonight or sometime soon.. I'm expecting one more nail package in the mail so I may just wait for it, I haven't decided yet. I was thinking about how I was going to catalog all of my polishes and I realized I don't have to do most of my Zoyas because they sent me a ton of spoons! I thought I would share the pictures of my spoons with you at least :) I never really knew what to do with these spoons, but now that I'm cataloging all of my polishes I'm glad to have them!

I don't have all of these polishes of course, just the spoons, but it's pretty cool Zoya sometimes provides you with spoons for free in your orders.. there are a few polishes here I didn't really want until I saw the spoons. I really want the entire Diva collection now!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I would love to know what nail polish goodies you got! Looks like I'm going to have my hands full swatching and resting up this week :)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas manicure part 2

One of the annoying things about being on night shift is trying to plan holidays, and trying to plan around other people's schedules. When do you open presents? Do you open them when you wake up on Christmas Eve night or do you wait a couple of hours until it's actually Christmas? Do you wait until Christmas morning or do you wait until you wake up Christmas night? These are just a few of the things I've been pondering the past few days. I finally decided we're going to open presents Christmas Eve evening when we wake up, but Christmas Day we'll be heading over to Josh & Amanda's (my boyfriend's sister and her family) for presents just about the time we would normally be going to sleep. It's going to be a long day. So I'm working on some of the Christmas cooking now so we don't have to do it all in one night.

Traditionally, we have Jello cake for dessert on Christmas day. If you don't know what Jello cake is, basically you make a white cake, let it cool for about 20 seconds, poke holes in the cake, and poor Jello over the whole thing while it's still warm. We typically do a layer cake and do lime and strawberry or cherry. Then we frost the whole thing using whipped cream mixed with vanilla and vanilla pudding mix. My cake is currently cooking in the oven, so I figured I'd take the time to write a little bit here ;)

I don't remember when but at some point in time my mom started making pizza for supper on Christmas Eve and it somehow became traditional as well (probably because there was a time when just about all I would eat was pizza.) Funny enough, I had all of my grocery shopping done for this coming week and then I realized I forgot about our traditional pizza. So I'll be making some non-traditional pizzas for supper this morning and because Mike doesn't like turkey or ham we're having lasagna for our Christmas supper, and I'll be making the noodles from scratch. So I'll have my fair share of cooking to do over the next day or so but at least Mike will help me with the lasagna!

So that's my big plans, let me show you my manicure.

This is a continuation from part 1 in case you didn't see it. I started with bases of: two coats of Model's Own Red Alert, three coats of Barielle Elle's Spell, two coats of China Glaze Pure Joy and three coats of Above the Curve Oh, the Who-manity and finally three coats of Barielle Elle's Spell again. Here's a peek at where I'm starting from with this:

 I had a lot of difficulty getting nice pictures, so I do apologize in advance.

For this I used Pure Ice Champagne, nail art fish egg beads, Barry M Racing Green, Zoya Ziv which apparently is my new go to gold, and Sinful Colors This Is It.

On my thumbs I'm wearing Color Club Gingerbread, which is absolutely gorgeous!
I'm also wearing a Santa decal from the KKCenterHK 3D Nail Seal Christmas Design Nail Seal 373 set, and this is kind of disappointing. The first Santa I applied curled up really bad and I ended up removing it and trying with a second seal. The second seal applied just fine, as did the third seal on my other thumb. However, I don't think they look quite as nice in real life as they do in the picture on KKCenterHK's Web site. This manicure in particular was VERY difficult to photograph well because Gingerbread is just so sparkly! I should have thought about that. :P

Here's another photo of my thumb without the flash.

More pictures, all with the flash.

Here are a couple in natural light.

So I guess that's it for my Christmas manicures for this year! Still will probably have some Winter related ones to do for awhile though :) This will probably be my last post for a couple of days as well as I spend time with my family and finish up cooking, wrapping gifts, etc. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Julep Age Defying Hand Brightener and Glycolic Hand Scrub Review

A couple of weeks ago, Julep provided me with two new hand products to try out: their Glycolic Hand Scrub and Age Defying Hand Brightener. I was really excited to try both of these out because the cold, harsh Wisconsin winds can be so tough on my hands.

Unfortunately, I've only been able to try the Age Defying Hand Brightener 4 or 5 times. The first time I used it, I got a migraine from the scent. My head can be very sensitive to smells, so this is unfortunate and I've been a little weary about using it again. It does have a slight almost waxy residue which I don't quite like, either. Because of the scent issue I would not buy this product.

The Glycolic Hand Scrub I do like; as the name implies, it is a scrub made of apricot seeds which I like. However, I wouldn't buy this product for myself, either. I do have some skin sensitivities or allergies to some chemicals found in soaps or detergents, and after using this for a few weeks my skin is really drying out and getting the red glove look which seems to be an indication of a product allergy/sensitivity for me. So that's very disappointing, because I did like the product itself. No complaints about it!

You can get a 20% off purchases of $20 or more by using the discount code VIP20 at checkout! If you don't have a Julep account yet, you can sign up here or you can use my invitation code 3495954 when joining.

Thank you to Julep for providing me with these products in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas manicure Part 1

So as you can tell, our computers are up and functioning again! I'm working on my Christmas manicure tonight and so I thought I would give you a sneak peak at what I'm wearing, and while I was at it I decided to go ahead and update the blog layout. Better late than never, right? I probably won't be blogging much this next week or so as I spend time with family, but I did want to share a few pictures with you.

Today I'm wearing two coats of Model's Own Red Alert, three coats of Barielle Elle's Spell, two coats of China Glaze Pure Joy and three coats of Above the Curve Oh, the Who-manity and finally three coats of Barielle Elle's Spell again.

(please ignore the ugly bandaid, I have a boo boo :P)

I also have a short video to share with you... and there is a story behind this. Months ago my boyfriend suggested that when I put up our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, I put all of my polishes under it. We don't have much room for a real tree in our apartment so a few years ago my dad bought us the Charlie Brown tree to make sure we had a tree. Anyway, Santa Mouse was always my favorite Christmas story when I was little and a few years ago my sister bought me the Santa Mouse you see in the blog header. I thought I would play him for you ;)


Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have to say, the past few days have just sucked. Mike went on his computer last night and within a few minutes,  it got zapped.  Black screen of death.  No idea what mine is doing from second to second because it seems to change depending on whatever mood it is in.
So, I do have a few obligations and I will figure out how to get around to those eventually but for the moment I just really need a break!
So, until further notice I'll be taking a break from the blog. No idea how long it might be before we get one of the computers working, so I will go ahead and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!
Edit: forgot to mention,  I do have access to my email so if need be E-mail away. Facebook access is limited :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter Holiday Challenge Week 2

This is an update to my previous post about Zoya Ornate. This week for the challenge we're doing Festival of Lights and also Presents and Gift Wrap. I decided to once again combine the two themes for a manicure... and also looking at next week's themes I kind of went ahead with the first one as well. So anyway, since my family hasn't been Jewish for a few hundred years (to the best of my knowledge) and I was raised Protestant, I went ahead and did a Christmas lights theme for the Festival of Lights theme.

So this manicure did not come out as planned AT ALL. I was planning on doing some stamping, but it just did not want to work for me. It was just one of those days. So instead, I just did some freehand work using Zoya Holly, Konad Special Polish Green, Kiss Nail Art Polish in Black, and miscellaneous glitter polishes. I wanted it to look like you were looking down through the branches of a Christmas tree, down at the presents. I used Zoya Electra as a final touch to give it a hint of tinsel or garland. We always used tinsel on our Christmas trees in my family, so my first thought was tinsel. It definitely looks like a Christmas tree exploded on my nails, but not quite what I had in mind :P

eh, I tried!

Friday, December 14, 2012

TRIB3 Contest Results

TRIB3 Community Contest Results | TRIB3
I want to take a minute today to thank TRIB3 for their mention. I love to write,  but sometimes I forget that other people actually enjoy my writing. This means even more to me because due to my brain injury,  I have this strange disconnect when I speak but when I write I feel much more like myself.
I would like to encourage all of my readers to go over to TRIB3 and vote in their people's choice contest. Thank you!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zoya Ornate

So as usual, I'm way behind on everything this week.. I've just been feeling very moody and didn't feel like doing much around the blog as of late. Hope to get caught up a bit on the giveaway stuff tonight, but for now I have the first of two manicure posts to share with you. First up is Zoya Ornate.

I have swatches of all of the collection except for Electra for you today.. and I think I'm just going to keep it short and simple and just share the photos. I used 2 coats each of Aurora, Blaze, Storm, Logan and Ziv. I did a skittle, and I think my favorite of these turned out to be Blaze. My boyfriend's favorite was Ziv. I'll apologize straight up because my camera doesn't do any of these justice.

Thanks again to my sister for this awesome early Christmas present!

What do you think of Ornate? Have you tried them yet and which one is your favorite?

(BTW - today's your last day to try to win this collection in the giveaway from Let them Have Polish!)