Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Nights

I just took a fun survey... "Which Grease Character Are You". I answered a series of maybe 12 questions and the character that I'm supposedly most like popped up: Sandra Dee! Can you believe it?!? Well, anyway, this silly little quiz got the song Summer Nights stuck in my head and before I knew it, I was sifting through my nail stuff to find the perfect summer look.
This is beyond cute!!! The ladybug smeared just a little (I used the Konad special polish which is very touchy with topcoats), but it's still cute as all get out. The nail polish was recommended to me by a very wonderful clerk at Beauty Brands. I'm suspicious that it was just an up-sell, however, it certainly came in handy today. The color is OPI's Lunch At The Delhi. The image is a 'Fauxnad' image from plate K05. This manicure takes me to a meadow on a red and white gingham table cloth next to a huge rattan picnic basket under an amazing blue sky that is cradling white puffy clouds. I can almost feel the breeze! Now that is inspiration, and all from a little polish and nail art.... I just had a mental vacation.... that's not too bad for a quick manicure!
The other little "happy" that I picked up at Beauty Brands (and the whole reason for my visit in the first place) was for a bottle of Art of Beauty's Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator - the makers of Zoya Nail Polish. I watched a vlog done by Leesha at XSparkage.com. She is serious about her beauty and cute as a button, so when she said that she was trying out this product, OF COURSE I had to run out and try it myself. It claims 1/4 inch growth in two weeks... which is HUGE! And ever since I had to clip my nails after starting the garden, the growth has been seemingly slow without the help of a nail treatment. I needed a new base coat anyway, so I thought I would give it a shot. I will be sure to update in two weeks! OH YEAH... EXPERIMENT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not So Torn

So I'm tweeting (yes, on Twitter) and I see a reference from one of my Twitter friends about a seriously funny blog. Being a lover of 'funny', I clicked the link and down the rabbit hole I went. Now, for the record, I'm not a big fan of profanity, but I'm also not a big fan of 'being offended'. I am a HUGE fan of funny and an even bigger fan of telling it like it is, so while I should be completely torn on whether to read this blog or not... yah, I'm not. So much so (not, that is) that I'm devoting an entire blog post to.... The Bloggess.
This will probably be a first for her... her blog sharing credits with various Bible studies... but then again, after reading her blog, she'll probably LOVE IT and shout it to the world cuz after all she is a saint and just about everything she does and thinks is justifiable and for the betterment of human kind. I LOVE IT! I liken her to my favorite of faves Stephen Colbert whose egomaniac persona drives home some pretty relevant points, adding a little common sense by taking on the opposing (mostly non common sense) back-handed view. The man is absolutely gifted "supporting" someone all the while giving every reason NOT to support this or that... again, in the form of support. It's genius, really! Yep, The Bloggess is no different as she wittily points out the various elephants in the room. And her vulgarity just adds to the likability of her persona (whether real or pretend). I think the difference here is that she's just so positive and upbeat when putting down this or that. It's just great! By far, this blog is the best entertainment since South Park (Yes, Matt and Trey's brilliance in vulgarity), both of which remind me not to take myself too seriously! And that IS a lesson from the Bible!

Three thumbs up! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Nail Stamp: Special Polish vs. Regular Polish

I do quite a few posts about the Konad nail stamper, I also READ a lot of other's posts about it. I've noticed that quite a few people ask about what to use: the Konad special polish vs. regular polish. Well, here is the low down! I use BOTH and I also use nail art paint. Each of them have pros and cons. Here's what I have found.

NAIL ART PAINT

PROS: Is thicker than regular nail polish (depending on the brand), but not as thick as the special nail polish. The nail art paint is usually HIGHLY pigmented due to the intended use. "Stickier" than regular nail polish which usually means a crisper image when stamped. It's usually super cheap. I buy mine from a local beauty supply store and spend $1 for each color. With some nail art paint brands, simple rubbing alcohol will remove a stamped image from your nail without removing your nail polish base color.

CONS: The nail art brush is usually VERY thin making it harder to use. Image plate HAS to be cleaned in between each stamp. Some brands streak with certain topcoats. Some brands dry very quickly.


SPECIAL NAIL POLISH

PROS: The thickest of all three and does make a very crisp image when stamped. Dries slower than regular polish and nail art paint allowing you to work with an image before stamping (example: removing a leaf from a flower with a qtip). Clean up of all the stamping tools is usually the easiest for the same reason... it's sticky but pliable. Also, I find that when I use the special nail polish, I am able to stamp every nail without having to clean the image plate which saves a ton of time and you all know how I love to save time. Simple rubbing alcohol removes a stamped image from your nail without disturbing the nail polish base color (should you want to redo a stamp).

CONS: At $6-$7, this is the most expensive of the three. Because of the cost, I find myself only investing in black and white (these two are a must) and maybe a couple of other colors. A LOT of topcoats will cause streaking/smearing. Follow the manufactures instructions for topcoat application to the letter!


REGULAR NAIL POLISH

PROS: Endless color options!!!! Price is also a huge plus, because most of us can pick up super cheap nail polish from just about any drugstore. Regular nail polish will not smear or streak when topcoat is applied.

CONS: While most of the time you can get a pretty good image stamped...SOMETIMES you just can't because of a particular nail polish's formula. The regular nail polish is very thin. Regular nail polish dries quickly, you must clean the image plate after each stamp. Also, finding just the right opacity of polish is important. Most polishes are pretty translucent (and get darker with multiple coats) so unfortunately there's a lot of trial and error using regular polish. I've had tons of luck with the "one coat, quick dry" polishes that seem to always be on sale at the drugstore. If you mess up a stamp, the only way to remove the image is to use nail polish remover and risk ruining the nail polish base coat and having to do the entire nail from scratch.


I hope that this post answers some questions out there that I'm reading. Personally I ALWAYS have the Konad Special Polish in black and white. I purchase a ton of nail art paint because it seems to fall somewhere in between regular nail polish and the special polish and the price for me can't be beat. Finally, I pick up the quick dry one coats when they are on sale. Oh, I'm also finding that the exact same holds true for the "Fauxnad" image plates. Happy stamping folks.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Miracle Moisture and 5 Meal Time Saving Tip

Ever wonder why homemade zucchini bread is so moist and yummy? Are you looking for a super moist cake recipe?

I was throwing together a box cake mix and realized that I did not have the vegetable oil that the recipe called for. Remembering the snippet I read from the New McDougall's Cookbook regarding oil substitutions, and really not wanting to drive to the store, I quickly grabbed two small apples from the fridge. It took me about a minute to cored them, peel them and throw them into the Vitamix with 3 Tbsp of water to make applesauce. The recipe called for a half a cup of oil. I ended up with about 2/3 cup of organic, unsweetened applesauce... I added the whole 2/3 cup to the recipe. That little substitution was the difference between a good cake and a GREAT cake. I have NEVER had a more moist cake! The same principal applied a few weeks ago when I was preparing a meatloaf. After reading a blog post at PeerTrainer.com about hiding vegetables in everyday recipes to increase vegetable intake (i.e. spinach in spaghetti sauce or zucchini in meatloaf), I decided to give it a try. I had just pulled a few zucchini from the garden and decided to julienne one of them and mix it into my meatloaf with the onion, celery and bell pepper. Worrying that the meatloaf might be a little too "wet" because of this addition, I increased the amount of whole wheat bread crumbs and oatmeal that I added to the recipe. It turned out PERFECT! That little addition made the BEST meatloaf. It was moist but firm and the outer edges still got super crispy the way I love it! I ended up making a batch of 5 loaves to freeze so that I always have an easy meal to prepare any time. <-- That's my little time saving tip. You all know how I love to save time! Here's how I prepared it... not bad for 5 ready to cook meals that I only did the prep work for once! Love it.....

I went to the store and bought:
3-1 lb. chubs of 99% lean ground beef
3 lbs. of lean ground turkey
2 large onions
3 large bell peppers (colors varied)
1 stalk of celery
1 large bottle of Worcestershire sauce
1 large jar of salsa
1 large container of quick oats
1 loaf of whole wheat bread
1 bottle of Tabasco
3 limes
6 eggs
Seasonings of choice; I use: sea salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, turmeric, and cayenne pepper
5 aluminum bread pans (I bought the disposable ones in the baking isle, however, I will be purchasing the silicone bread pans so that I'm not wasting money to freeze pre-prepared meatloaves)

When I got home, I pulled out the Vitamix and ground up the whole wheat bread into bread crumbs. I put about five cups of bread crumbs into a large bowl. I chopped all the veggies and julienned three super large zucchini (from the garden) and added all of that to the bowl. I then added about three cups of salsa (which ended up being the entire jar) and about 1/2 cup of Tabasco. I juiced the limes and added the juice to the mixture. I added three whole eggs and three egg whites with about 1 1/2 cups of Worcestershire sauce. I added all the spices to taste and set out all the aluminum pans to line the counter of my work surface. I then washed my hands, rolled up my sleeves and dove in! The bowl was full the top, so it took me a little bit to get everything incorporated. Once everything was squished together, I didn't have to worry about overflow as much. The next time I do this, I will cut and measure, divide everything in half then mix it all in two batches using my Kitchenaid mixer... trust me... it will save me so much time. It took me FOREVER to mix all the ingredients by hand and the overflowing bowl only made it take longer. I then divided the mixture into 5 equal parts and shaped each part into a loaf to place in the loaf pans. I then sealed each of them in the Foodsaver, dated each one and I was done. It took me about two hours to prep everything. I'm estimating that if I used the Kitchenaid mixer next time, I can probably shave about a half an hour off my time. Not bad for five meals!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Great Escape and Back From The Dead

They had been planning since the early part of spring. Being transplanted in this place was seemingly more than they could bare. Oh, at first they thought they could make it work, possibly even thrive, but extreme circumstances drove them to their end. Were there others to share their fate? Being brought in second hand to mature just to be used, eaten up by this hungry world! A glimpse in either direction gave them their answer... death was all around them. It looked like it was inevitable. But wait! A spark of life! Others were moving into place and from the looks of things were planning a great escape. There was hope! To reach up and out might mean freedom. They discovered a new-found will to live. This feeling was something they couldn't even have dreamed just a few months back. All of a sudden others were inspiring a new hope of an abundant life where they could thrive and be fruitful....


This is a little story about the bell peppers that I planted when we started our first garden (click on the pic to enlarge). I bought 5 pepper plants along with strawberry plants and cucumber plants to transplant into my prepared soil. I lost every one of the strawberry and cucumber plants shortly after transplant. Strawberries were planted to the left of the peppers and cucumbers were planted to the right. The pepper plants had also died, but amazingly all of them came back to life and struggled for quite some time. I then replanted cucumbers (organic this time from seed) next to the peppers where the transplanted cucumbers had died. Well, I'm happy to report that ever since the cucumber sprouted, the bell peppers have gotten better and better and along with cucumber flowers, I also got bell pepper flowers! It's been an amazing journey of death, resurrection and companionship that has brought this little bell pepper to fruition! hahaha! And now, the cucumbers are breaking out... past the bars that once kept them contained all while the bell peppers next to them watch. I'm happy to report... both are strong. I can tell you that this bell pepper will be the sweetest bell pepper ever, even before I harvest! I played it all off in this blog post as this dramatic story taking place, but in reality it was kind of dramatic watching nature take it's course! Yah, I put the cool in dork! LOL!
This Pic: "Proof of The Great Escape!" HAHAHAHAHA!

SURPRISE!

Wow... this garden is taking on a life of it's own. From weekend to weekend fruit and veggies seem to pop up out of nowhere! Quite frankly, I'm very shocked by how quickly we are getting a harvest. Had I really known how easy gardening was, I would have done it much sooner! But when I say easy, please understand that it does and did require gathing information on how to garden, but beyond that, the work is very minimal.

I sent my husband out to the garden this morning to water for 15 or 20 minutes only to have him burst into the house about an hour later exclaiming, "We have pumpkins!" Apparently he was out there pulling weeds, cutting back over growth (with a tear that he had to lose a couple of buds) and playing farmer when he noticed there was a pumpkin in our one row patch. How fun is this!?! Well the first surprise led to the second and then the third.....


Another Pumpkin! How the heck did we not see that during the week? The second pumpkin is HUGE! No wonder he was so excited. Every weekend we venture out to the garden and are always excited by what we find.
Ok... here's the watermelon! We LOVE watermelon. Judging by all the buds on these vines... we are going to have a TON of them! Our two dogs happen to love watermelon as well... they do not even suspect the wonderful surprise of their own that is coming their way. From the looks of this first one, that surprise is not very far away!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dark Romance!

Well, just a quick post tonight gang! For some reason I am on a black polish kick lately! I can honestly say, black is one of my favorite colors! And look how pretty (and even understated) black is!


But then, of course, black is also dramatic! I was inspired to play with the black after reading Mary's "Dark Romance" at Etsy.com. She writes: Lately I've found myself gravitating toward the idea of a Gothic love story. I've fallen prey to the hit vampire series True Blood, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming sequel to Twilight, a movie series depicting the notion of a forbidden dark love. There's just something mysterious about an unattainable, slightly supernatural romance: am I right, ladies? If you're drawn to a darker aesthetic, I think you might like our Steampunk and Noir style guide.
Without further ado, I bring you my Etsyfied interpretation of a dark romance.


Wow... she's quite the writer, and we all know how much I LOVE Twilight! After reading that I found myself running for my Color Club Black polish (my absolute favorite black nail polish). For the top pic, I used the IMN Northern Lights topcoat for the sparkle with Konad plate M56. For the lower pic I used China Glaze OMG with Fauxnad plate K04 and Seche Vite topcoat. Both of them turned out GORGEOUS and now I suddenly can't wait for Halloween to get here! HAHAHA! Oh, and by the way, be sure to click on the links for Etsy... it's one of my new favorite online stores. I love anything hand made and they sell EVERYTHING hand made! Maybe you all can find a little dark romance too!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gold Rush!

Wow! These look like a million bucks! I have four gold polishes (more than enough for anyone.... or maybe not! LOL) that are my favies... and here's why!

From L to R: Color Club Golden Girl, Zoya Richelle, Essie The Cove Copper, and OPI Golden Rules.
My all time favorite gold is the OPI Golden Rules. It goes on silky smooth and two coats is PERFECT. It dries silky as well. Next is Color Club's Golden Girl. Again, it goes on very smooth, but is just a tad bit richer in color than the OPI. My next favorite is Essie The Cove Copper... yah, it's not copper... it's gold. It goes on a little streaky and required three coats to cover completely, but when it dries, it's beautiful. It does have a hint of a copper undertone, but that just makes it an even prettier gold! And last is my new Zoya Richelle. It is a great gold, don't get me wrong. The only reason I listed it as my dead last favorite gold is because it looks like a heavy texture gold that I find very distracting. It looks almost like a gold foil on my nail. I LOVE it on my toes though and can't wait to play around with some nail art with this color... we'll see.

PSSST! This is another swatch that I did over gel so that I could easily remove the polish to reveal my beautiful manicure and keep the amazing shine. For being such a high maintenance girl... I love a good low maintenance tip. It comes in handy when you want to slap on some polish to match an evening dress, but don't want to have to do another complete manicure the next day... see what I mean?




The green polish is OPI Green-Wich Village with Fauxnad plate B02. For the sparkles I used IMN's Northern Lights holo topcoat.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Choose Real Health

Today's post is inspired by a dear friend who is urging me to see a doctor for symptoms that are a toss between a sinus infection and the flu. I refuse. And this topic also happens to be one of the changes in my life that definitely gets filed under Fun and Mental! I'll explain.
This particular health journey began many years ago after sustaining an injury at work. I saw doctor after doctor and took prescription medication after prescription medication. Going from Darvocet to Ultram to Vicodin to tons of Ibuprofen all to "help manage the pain". No one was trying to cure the pain. The experience of being injured and the resulting lifestyle change along with just trying to manage pain led to deep depression and a very weak immune system. My doctor quickly prescribed Trazodone to deal with my depression which almost caused me to end my life. The weakened immune system was not dealt with at all. Thank God there were people in my life to explain that chemicals only treat depression caused by chemical imbalances, depression caused by traumatic events worsen when chemicals are added (because my doctor never explained that to me)! It was a vicious cycle that came to an abrupt halt when a friend advised I meet with her holistic doctor to discuss vitamin supplementation to battle the chronic fatigue syndrome I had newly been diagnosed with. I was falling apart fast and my health was far worse after three years with doctors than it had been just dealing with the injury alone. Surly this holistic doctor was worth one visit?

To my shock the doctor listened to me talk for an hour. He didn't say much and took many notes. I actually watched his facial expressions change as I went into my story of the injury and the effects that it had on my home life. I remember it was very amazing because every doctor I had ever seen never listened quite that way. I don't ever remember ANY doctor making any facial expression, let alone eye contact, and here this doctor went from a look of surprise to a look of anger to a reassuring smile. Before he ever actually spoke, I really felt like I was with a healer. Then it was time for him to talk. He began with my depression. He went through an inventory of what I had been through over the course of three years. The injury, the loss of my career, the weight gain, the stress on myself and my family, the various pain and mood altering medications I had been prescribed and then he said, "So after all of that, you say your depressed huh?" I could tell by his sarcastic tone that he was about to shed some light. "Well, when really great things happen to you in life and you are OVERLY happy, you come see me... I've got some pills for that." Yep... the light bulb went on. I got it. Depression was perfectly natural for me and I needed to work through it... not medicate it. He then explained that he wanted to do some blood work to see if my liver had sustained any damage from all the pain medication I had taken over the three years. He also wanted to see where I was deficient in vitamins and minerals.

This experience was the catalyst for my getting healthy as well as taking control of my health care... And I was prepared for the long haul. I felt like my body had slowed from all the medications that I had taken over the years. It made sense to me that I had taken antibiotics to fight sickness and pain medication to fight pain resulting in my body not being relied upon to handle the business of keeping me healthy. So it was time for me to stop medicating. I was fully prepared for this to be hard. I understood that because of years of taking over-the-counter pills and prescribed medications, my body was weak in the "healing itself" department which meant the pain would hurt more and I would be sicker longer until my body was used to the new state of affairs. And in return, I committed to taking care of my body. I would give it proper nutrition, proper rest, proper exercise.... and I was going to quit poisoning myself! If I was dealing with unbearable pain, or I couldn't breathe, I would certainly go to the hospital, but unless it was something serious I was NOT taking medication.

To date, it's been about 6 years since that visit to the holistic doctor. And I'm feeling a million times better. Am I perfect?... No. Am I almost there?... You betcha! When I get a cold, it lasts about a week longer than someone else's who got pills from their doctor (which is great because the first one I got after seeing the holistic doctor and stopped medicating lasted over two months.. I'm not kidding!). I no longer suffer with upper respiratory infections (I was used to having them twice a year like clockwork) and the flu doesn't send me to the emergency room. I force my body to fight. I increase my vitamin intake, I drink plenty of fluid and I take care of the body that's taking care of me.

Does this mean that I NEVER visit the MD listed on my insurance plan? No, not at all. But my visits to the doctor are for serious issues. The last time I visited my doctor was for a broken ankle. Back in the day when penicillin was first discovered, its only use was for serious, emergency situations... it was a last resort. Now it's given quite freely and I believe that society as a whole is quite dependent on medications to make them 'feel' healthy. Because of the way our bodies become immune to the medications and the way our deceases are evolving, medications have to continue to evolve and get more potent (possibly more poisonous). So how healthy are we really, if we have to depend on medication? Me I choose real health.

I would like to add, before wrapping this up, that holistic medicine treats more than just physical ailments. Holistic medicine is about making the body whole. I only touched on the one facet of holistic medicine because this is where my journey to health started. My holistic doctor, Dr. Brimhall, would like my readers to know that he never advises patients to stop taking prescribed medication. While he believes in educating his patients, he recommends consulting with your physician regarding your personal health care.

For me, I say that knowledge is power! Understanding what you are putting into your body should be your responsibility alone because it is YOU that deals with the consequences (both good and bad). Please look for more posts on this topic and be sure to check out the links for more information on holistic medicine. Here's to everyone's health!

AND THE WINNER IS....

Congratulations to Jhoannz!
You won the Seche Vite/China Glaze "A Match Made In Heaven" Set. Please contact me via email as soon as you can and I will make sure to get this to you quickly. You can find my email address in my profile. Thanks to everyone who participated!!! I promise there will be more opportunities to win more great prizes, so please check back often!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Contest Ends Today!

The nail polish giveaway ends today; the winner will receive the set pictured here!!! Be sure to read This Post and leave a comment answering the question in the post. Be sure to add me to your follow list!!!

I will be posting the winner tomorrow! Good luck everyone!
Here's a little something special.... I FINALLY got my hands on some fauxnad image plates, and I gotta say... they are almost identical to Konad. In some cases, the images are identical. There are a couple of things that I really love about these plates. The first is that some of the image plates contain mirror images which is VERY helpful when you are wanting to have the nail art placement on both hands look alike. The second is that these plates contain 9 images per plate instead of 7 and cost me around $2/plate (with shipping). The DRAWBACKS: they were VERY hard to find (I found them on ebay), I could not choose the plates that I wanted (they came in a package of 18), the edges of the plates are SUPER sharp (like 'cut you' sharp) and shipping took over 2 weeks to arrive. The image turned out nice (once I peeled the plastic off), but until I discover how to get my hands on the plates individually... I will definitely be sticking to Konad. This one I used came from GCOCL plate #E02. The polish I used was OPI's Got A Date To-Knight with a Seche Vite topcoat... of course! For the image I used a deep pink nail art paint, and then added a little rhinestone for show. Cute, Cute, Cute!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Apple Dutchess

Ok, necessity really is the mother of invention! Yesterday I had a dinner party for my in-laws and planned a wonderful meal. Zucchini burgers were the totally awesome headliners, but I still needed something to end the meal that would steal the show. So I checked the pantry... cinnamon, check! Apples, check! Whole wheat pastry flour, check! Hmmm.... What is the BEST part of the dutch apple pie? The Crumbles!!! I've got it! Note: You can click on the pictures to enlarge them! :)

Apple Dutchess! (a FitterTwit Original!)
4-5 Organic Apples Cored
1/2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup Powder
2 Tbsp. Agave Nectar

Slice apples to about 1/4 inch thickness. I use a mandolin so that all the slices are uniform. Place apple slices is a very large bowl (or, I use a Ziploc bag) along with all other ingredients. Stir well so that every slice is well coated. Place mixture into a pie plate and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then broil for 3 minutes so that top is nice and crispy.

Ok gang! That's it and it turned out AMAZING... crumbly, gooey goodness! I made two of them and they were both gone at the end of the night. What a great way to have Dutch Apple Pie without the caloric guilt!!! :) I think this is one of my best recipes yet!!! You just can't beat an incredible pie with only 5 ingredients and no crust!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zoya Polish Exchange

They FINALLY arrived!!! I participated in the Zoya polish exchange sending Art of Beauty 12 old bottles of polish in exchange for 12 NEW bottles of Zoya. I got them for FREE, but I had to pay $1.50 per bottle for shipping + postage to mail my old bottles, so I ended up spending about $23 for 12 new bottles of nail polish. Considering these polishes retail for $6-$9 a piece, getting 12 bottles for $23 was a STEAL, and these polish colors are GORGEOUS, natural, formaldehyde free and DBP free. Check em out!

The new Zoya Colors from L to R: Jo, Blair, Irene, Emme. I literally slapped two coats on over my gels, so I apologize for how they look. These polishes completely covered the Konad nail stamps in just two coats and are beautiful! Jo has me reeling... I LOVE this color!!! I can't believe that I got all these colors for free by exchanging old bottles of polish... I mean I sent them bottles that I was getting ready to throw away. Most of them were more than half used. Soooo, I exchanged nasty old nail polish for THIS! Jackpot!

The new Zoya Colors from L to R: Harley, Ki, Shivon, Richelle. Harley is a an amazing grey, Ki looks purple, but is actually green AND purple (great mix) and Shivon actually looks like a copper color in the bottle but goes on rose. I don't know if it was by mistake, but every one of these colors but Harley is a frost color and even Harley is slightly.


Just another benefit of gel nails; no sooner did I slap these amazing Zoya colors on, I used non acetone polish remover and the gels stay perfect... shiny as ever and my Konad stamp looks perfect as well! Anyway, the Zoya colors from L to R: Marry (looks like a slightly more purple version of Shivon), Colbie (a browner version of Blair) and Freja which is a slate grey color... the pic doesn't really show the blue in the polish, but it is there and soooo pretty!!!

*** You may notice there is one color missing... I have packed it to be mailed to a friend to celebrate her losing 7 pounds last week after working her butt off. She is a loyal follower, friend and contributor to this blog... I don't want to ruin her surprise!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deadline For The Polish Give Away is Coming!

So, I really had a "nail art-fest" over the weekend. I really just wanted to play around with a couple of the french tip image discs that I have to hopefully inspire readers who are reading my blog to participate in the polish give away (click this link for details). The give away is a Seche Vite/China Glase polish set. I credit the Seche Vite for my ability to do my nails three times over the weekend with some really great designs! The quick dry topcoat works super fast and is one of my "must haves"!

Well, with the deadline fast approaching, let the inspiration begin! Oh, and don't forget that you too can get these image discs at 20% off with FREE shipping over $20. Go to http://store.ocnailart.com/ and use discount code 'MENTAL' at checkout to save 20%!

I will list the image disc numbers below the picture. For this one, I used a teal nail art paint with clear polish and Konad's black special polish. The little gems were a really cute effect! The Konad image discs that I used was M19 for the flat french tips and M9 for the flowers. For these, I used the same technique using red nail art paint with OPI's Yoga-ta Get This Blue for the stars and clear polish for the base. The image disc that I used for the star tips was M44. What a great fourth of July design. Hopefully the next time I do this technique, it will turn out a little better! Sorry folks! Finally, this one is the cutest! I got a pink and white gel manicure and topped it with flowers from Konad image disc M9! That disc is just so versatile! I used a magenta nail art paint. The nail art paints work well and are super cheap. I get them from a local beauty supply store for $1 each.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Taco Night

Since I started this "healthy" kick in my home, I've made it a point to make my family's favorites with a healthy spin. Everything I make has become my family's favorite recipes and are actually requested over the "old" way of making these meals! They do know this stuff is healthy right? So this week I'm going to share taco night with you. I serve tacos (just like we got them on a trip to Mexico) and I also make quesadillas. The quesadillas are MY favorite, so that's what I took a picture of right before hoovering! LOL! And I gotta say, these tacos are better than any taco you can get at a restaurant.
Tacos
1 pound of ground Turkey
1/4 Tspn of Cumin
1/4 Tspn of Black Pepper
1/4 Tspn of Sea Salt
1/4 Tspn of Oregano
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 small onion chopped
1 diced jalapeno (optional)
The Juice of one small lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro set aside
Cabbage
Fresh Corn Tortilla Shells (Not fried) for Tacos
Mission Carb Control Whole Wheat Tortillas for quesadillas
Fat Free mexican style shredded cheese
Additional whole limes for meal

Combine all ingredients in pan except cilantro, cabbage, shells and cheese. Brown meat on high using a spatula to mince the meat into small bits. When meat is fully cooked, at cilantro, stir and remove from heat. Set aside.

While cilantro is wilting with the meat, dice cabbage, half limes and prepare cheese. I actually buy blocked cheddar and pepper jack that I shred (and combine together) in a food processor.

On a plate, spoon one good sized spoon full of meat onto the corn tortilla straight from the packaging (just as they are eaten in Mexico), top with cheese, cabbage and a squeeze of lime and enjoy!

Quesadillas
On a plate, spoon meat and spread evenly over mission carb control tortilla shell. Top with thin layer of cheese and another tortilla shell. Place in microwave for 1.5 minutes or in a non oiled, non stick frying pan to brown both sides of quesadilla on medium high heat. The melted cheese will fuse both tortilla shells together and seal in the meat. Cut into quarters, top with cabbage and a squeeze of lime and serve. You can certainly top your own tacos and quesadillas with sour cream or salsa, but my family prefers to have them just like we got them when we went to Mexico.

This meal has a way of whisking me back to my favorite place on earth... Cozumel! I've been considering playing mexican mood music during this meal, but thought that might scare my family! Ole'

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gratuitous Dancing

Ok folks! Life is NOT like High School Musical... unfortunately. People do not break out in song and dance at pivotal moments throughout their day. That is unfortunate too because song and dance is so good for the soul. Fortunately, we DO have workout DVD's. I hate that we call them that. While most do a great job of working up a sweat, some DVD's are more like a dance party. Popping in certain DVDs elicits gratuitous dancing. And when you're done, you HAVE gotten a great workout, your energy is heightened and your spirit soars. I have found one such gold mine and it can be found at http://www.beachbody.com/. So far I have Slim in Six, Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs. I love them all! I really think that Beachbody.com has hit the jackpot... they seem to be one of the few fitness companies to actually understand that if you're REALLY having fun, you will stick with it... and it really is all about the instructor. You just cannot find the caliber of instructors like you find at BeachBody.com. These people draw you in to the workout with their encouragement and they're amazingly fun personalities. Beachbody has really honed in on bringing the instructors who speak through the camera instead of at the camera and invite you into their world for brief (I'm currently still doing the 20 minute routines) segments of gratuitous dancing. I am just amazingly blown away. I say, "Anything that gets me in touch with my inner seven year old... bring it on!!!" And these DVDs certainly do the trick!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Should My Family Worry?

I just got a new Konad Nail Art image disc, M28. Should my family be worried? I mean, I have like 27 of these image discs now... well, of course they shouldn't! Really, I kind of HAD to get this one... oh and a couple of others. With free shipping over $20 at http://store.ocnailart.com/, well that would just be leaving money on the table... right? And this was my first purchase with the new 20% off discount code (MENTAL... for all of you who haven't heard me the first 100 times that I mentioned it... hahahahaha!)! And this one rocks... literally! Take a look at this beauty! I used Color Club's Lazer Pink, which is my all time favorite pink with Konad's special polish in white and black. PS... this neon pink took a while to dry and dried to a matte finish. From what I hear, that's pretty typical of neon colors.I also got image disc M63 to do a very special Konadicure. And it turned out BEAUTIFUL! I wanted to copy the Konadicure that I saw here. I think it's a pretty good likeness... what do you think? I used Exclusive 5 Stars Hot Green from Omega Labs which was the worst polish formula I have ever put on. The application was 'goopy' and I really had to load the brush in order to get the full three swipe application accomplished. Ugh! It was HORRIBLE. Surprisingly though, I didn't have any bubbles (I was sure I would with how much I had to put on the brush) and it turned out beautiful with the nail art stamp done with China Glaze's L8R G8R! The green holo was gorgeous!!! I topped both Konadicures with Seche Vite topcoat and they turned out stunning!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Let The Fun Begin

When we started this garden, we had no way of knowing how it would take off. Some of our crops didn't make it and others seemed to do very well with little effort, which is very surprising since we live in a desert climate. But we were able to relax and have fun with our garden once we took the time to prepare.

I've said in past posts that Extreme Gardening by has been a valuable source for us. I would probably have stopped gardening all together if it hadn't been for this book. We lost just about EVERY crop that we transplanted (from Home Depot at about $3/pot), but every crop that we planted from seed has thrived. That was the first thing we noted... nothing beats 'from scratch' and nothing beats organic.
The second thing that we have noticed is that once the prep work is completed (soil turned, organic compost added and the garden actually mapped out), the bulk of the work is pretty much done. We have been spending all of about 15 minutes every other day watering and about 1 hour on Saturday pulling weeds and actually tending to the crops. We actually credit this very low maintenance to the prep work.To prepare the ground, we tilled it every third day for a week an a half. The purpose of the constant tilling was to expose weeds and kill them at the root. Any that were starting below the surface would then be pulled to the surface on the third day to die, and then the next three days and so on until most of the weeds had been eradicated. Don't get me wrong, we still get weeds, but very few.

Admittedly, our garden would have gone far more smoothly if we had mapped out the garden beforehand, but I didn't get Extreme Gardening until the garden was well underway and I discovered that I needed some help. After losing all the transplanted crops, I then took the time to map out where the future seeds would be planted based on what crops grew well with others. For example, corn thrives when grown next to melons and strawberries grow well next to ONIONS!!! But now we know better and reaping this harvest is becoming so much fun! I wanted to take the time to share our garden update. Let me know if your green thumb has been inspired! Let the fun begin!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It All About Sharing!

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love nail polish. It's just one of those cheap luxuries that satisfies my yearnings for shopping and being "girly" without wrecking my budget. In an economy when we all have very little time and very little money, a new polish can be quite therapeutic. Which was the very discussion I had with my oldest, dearest girl friend (I don't mean she's old, I mean that we've been friends since I was in the 8th grade! LOL). She swore to me that she did not have time to spend even a couple of minutes on herself, for herself. So I sent her the coolest polish staple in my arsenal... Seche Vite. In fact, check out this Polish Give Away post! That's the same set that I sent her! And while her life is uber chaotic (you'll see what I'm talking about in a sec), I think she too discovered the pleasures of spending just a couple of minutes pampering herself. Because, believe it or not, with Seche Vite... that's all you need. And she's a believer now! Here's her experience... prepare to laugh... HARD!
Let me start out by introducing myself, my name is Roxanne. I am a mother of 5 (yes 5 and on purpose, 3 step children) I work an xtra-full time job. I work 50 hrs a week, and I live about an hour away from work, so I am gone away from my home at least 70hrs a week. As soon as I get home from work, it seems like my day is starting all over again with the kids, hubby, animals, etc. So when my best friend told me about this awesome quick dry nail product, I had to try it!!!
First step: let me find a room to hide in really quick-like to put the base coat on, 1 min past, first coat on….looks nice, (sighs) brb, kids sound like a herd of elephants running through my house, screaming “MOM!!! HE IS TOUCHING ME!!!!” Sighs….. so I get up, go yell at my son, “Stop touching your sister!” My son says, but mom it wasn’t me, it was the dog…. GOOD LORD, Fine, but if you were thinking about touching your sister….DONT!!
Ok, step 2: second coat, the color looks a little pale for my taste, but you never know, it may show off my tan… goes on smooth, very smooth, doesn’t look all that bad…..”SMASH” I yell, “What was that?” My husband yells back, “Nothing Honey!!!” Ok girls, in all of my 34 yrs when a man says, “nothing honey” it is NEVER just nothing, so I get up to see what “nothing”is, and mumbling under my breath, “if I mess up my nails, someone is going to get it, because we all know how much time I have for myself to even GET to my nails” So I go into the kitchen where my husband is, and one of my favorite glasses is on the floor shattered, so there I am, cleaning up the glass.
Step 3: I look at my nails to make sure I don’t have to hurt anyone yet, oooooooooooooooo they are soooooooooo lucky, second coat of color goes on, not bad, I like it, very nice, pretty color, goes on nicely, no bubbles, clean strokes. GRRRRRRREAT there goes the cats screaming, ok sooooo which dog do I need to put in the cage now for attacking the cat? I go out in the other room (because NO ONE in the house heard it but me) I yell at the dogs, send them out side for trying to play dodge ball with the kitty, as I am coming in from outside I yell at the kids and hubby, and they look at me like I am the insane one.
Step 4: look at my nails again to see if I need to send someone packing down the road, again they are safe, Last coat goes on just as good as the last 3 coats, smooth, perfect!!! So far so good with the home front, Silence!! Wow, So I sit, head back on wall, admiring my nails, they look awesome, ever since I took my fake nails off I haven’t had the time to put 4 coats on, so there I sit in silence 5 mins of silence, peacefulness, and then all of a sudden, someone has let the dogs in from outside, How do I know this you ask? Because here comes the cat, racing across my lap because the dogs where chasing it, and here comes the dogs, on my lap, and then here comes the kids chasing the dogs, and they trip over the cat that now has raced past my chair, out goes the cat, out goes the dogs, and then out goes the kids, at this time I am in tears, all that time I spent on my nails, RUINED, I looked down to see how bad they really were….WHAT???????????????????? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT A MARK ON THEM!!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE COMPLETELY DRY AFTER ONLY 5 MINS!!!! This nail polish has saved my sanity, beauty, and my family’s life, I feel like a woman again!!! Thank you Seche Vite, and my best friend for telling me about this awesome product!!!
*** 20% off and FREE shipping over $20 here when you use discount code "MENTAL"!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

OPI My Private Jet


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this color!!! I was originally looking for a black with pink sparkles, but this one is WAY better. It is actually a charcoal-grey with tiny pink sparkles (reminds me of pink gunmetal). I absolutely adore this color. I did need to apply three coats, but it went on nicely. I then used my Konad Nail Stamper (M24) and China Glaze OMG for the nail art. I think it turned out PERFECT. The picture just does NOT do this nail polish justice! It's beautiful indoors, but changes outdoors and is even more beautiful.

NOTICE: I am going to make a bigger effort to post the colors that I'm using along with the nail art images.

To purchase Konad Nail Stamper kits or accessories at 20% off with FREE shipping over $20, go to OCNailArt.com and use discount code "MENTAL" at checkout. And don't forget about my nail polish give-away that ends June 15th! It's a Seche Vite set... one of my staples! Click the link for details.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recycle for Beauty

Well, I don't have anything big to share today other than how I organize my Konad image plates. If you've ever read my closet conversion post, you know how big I am on organization that is mobile. My nail art isn't any different and I wanted to show you my trick. The pic you see here is a clam shell case that had an acrylic stamp set in it... you know, the kind of stamps for card making, scrapbooking, etc. The case was the perfect size (well so far) and currently holds approximately 24 plates with room for a FEW more.

I then printed a list of all the plates that I have and what images are on the plate so that I can find them easily when doing my nails. I cut the list to fit the lid and attached with a dot of acid free glue. This little thing has been gold for me and was a "free" fix to the clutter that was forming in my bathroom from the nail art.
Gotta love recycling!!!