Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TESTING....

So, last week I started my garden (my second one ever!). I found out the hard way that working in the dirt wreaks havoc on natural nails. I am gardening with gloves on this year, but there are just some things (planting seeds and pulling weeds) that are impossible to do with gloves on. This year I made a commitment (wow, really?!? Isn't that a little dramatic? Nah!) to protect my nails until the garden is up and running.

I searched last year, long after it was too late, for something to protect my nails and THIS YEAR I think I found it. Thanx to a new friend of mine, who also happens to be a nail technician, I've discovered OPI's Axxium. It is a soak-off sealer for gel nails that MAGICALLY works on polish without puckering or cracking the color below. And let me tell you, I have been through enough gel "polishes", sealers, etc. that ruined the hard work below them to believe that REAL gel topcoats that would work over regular nail polish were probably not in existence. I spent hours upon hours trying to protect my nails without damaging the manicure or my natural nails underneath... gels and nail lacquer just didn't mix. Until now.

So I did this gorgeous Konadicure and then topped it with the Axxium soak-off sealer and then cured in a UV lamp (Yes! I'm THAT big of a nail crackhead that I actually own a professional's UV lamp) for three minutes. Nails were done IMMEDIATELY after the 3 minute cure time. I wiped them with a piece of cotton saturated in alcohol, applied my NEW homemade cuticle oil and I was done. I now have a nicely thick (but not too thick) protective coating on the nails on my left hand. The mani on my right hand is without the Axxium coat. I'm wearing both for as long as I can to see how this Axxium REALLY holds up. So far so good... nice and shiny, no puckering and no cracking! I'll keep you all posted.

LEFT HAND MANI:

  • 1 coat Nail Aid Pink Natural Nail Growth Therapy
  • 2 coats China Glaze GR8
  • 1 coat Seche Vite (waited 20 minutes to set up... I had to eat lunch anyway)
  • Konad image from plate M64 stamped with Konad black special polish
  • 1 coat Axxium soak-off sealer (cured 30 seconds after each nail application. When whole hand was done, I cured for an additional 3 minutes)

RIGHT HAND MANI:

  • Same, but replaced the Axxium coat with another Seche Vite coat
Now lets see how long these puppies last!!! ;)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alice In Wonderland Give-Away Winner!!!

Wow... I am super psyched! I love giving away stuff I love! Is that weird? For me it's a sign that I'm giving the BEST when I'm tempted to keep them!!! I can clearly see another person's excitement simply because I'm so excited... more on that in a sec.

So with these Alice In Wonderland sparkle polishes by OPI, I HAD to buy one of each so that I WOULD be able to let go of these amazing polishes.

Thanx to random.org, the winner is # 6 susies1955 said...
I've been a follower through bloglines for a while now but decided to follow through google friend too. :) Nice giveway,Susie

CONGRATULATIONS SUSIE!!! And thank you for following my blog! I know that you are going to LOVE these polishes as much as I do. I am sending you an email to the address you provided as soon as this announcement posts. Please let us all know what you think of them when you get them... don't be afraid to share some pics! LOL! Thank you to EVERYONE who participated! :)

Now for SOME MORE fun and the reason I mentioned giving away the stuff I love! I am ALREADY prepping for my 100 follower give-away. I have received a generous donation from OC Nail Art and Nail Aid has also recently agreed to donate prizes to the winner of this upcoming give-away. I AM SO EXCITED! I want it to be huge, giving away everything that I love. And, so far, I'm right on track. If you read this blog, you KNOW I love Konad nail art stamping and I LOVE Nail Aid. There are still a couple of more things in the works as far as the prize goes and I also have to figure out what the qualifiers are going to be before I actually announce the new give-away... but as soon as everything comes together... WATCH OUT! The next give-away is right around the corner here at Fun And Mental Changes, and it's going to ROCK! OH! And THIS TIME it will be open to EVERYONE so stay tuned!!! :)

GIVE-AWAY DEADLINE TODAY!

Yep, the give away deadline is today. It's open to my followers only (the greatest people in the world), so if you're not a follower, you're gonna wanna be one! :) Then click on THIS LINK and go to the give-away announcement to leave a comment. Tonight at 11:59 p.m. I will have random.org pick a number and will announce the winner. Good luck to everyone! :)
In the meantime... here's some sexy Konadicure goodness.
I ADORE those vampie colors! China glaze hit a home run with VII. It's a drop dead gorgeous vampie purplish-brown wine color. This color is IT! Then, to add a little romance to that sexy, I added those flowers with the amazing holo of China Glaze's TTYL from their OMG collection (I love those colors). Yah, I'm wearing this one OUT!!! It's so beautiful. The Konad image disc I used was M20.
I have really fallen in love with China Glaze... now, if they could JUST make those brushes larger!
*** Base coat is one coat of Nail Aid's Pink Growth Therapy and the top coat is Seche Vite.

I GOT AN AWARD! WOO HOO!

Bunny... THANK YOU! This is sooooo nice!

Ok y'all! Bunny over at Konad & Me tagged me for this award and I'm speechless!!! This is just so incredibly nice, especially coming from someone whose blog inspires ME! :)

So I'm supposed to tag 10 of my favorite blogs, so here-goes (it's going to be SO HARD to keep it to JUST 10)!

The Sunny Raw Kitchen - Amazing content! What a great writer too. All of her content is also accompanied with Amazing photos as well. But those recipes.... :)

Cutting Above - For any crafter/artist looking for how-to's and inspiration... this is just a great site. They will ALWAYS be one of my loved blogs.... they gave me my Gypsy! :)

Casual Lavish - Aside from being one of the most friendly bloggers I've had the chance to talk with, Vanessa over at Casual Lavish gives some pretty great review (honest reviews) of some pretty great products. She has introduced me to SO MANY new things! This is just a great all-around beauty site! :)

Chalene Johnson's Blog - She is my all time favorite DVD exercise instructor!!!! I also LOVE her vlogs. If you're looking to get fit with a TON OF FUN, check out Chalene's Turbo Jam workout DVD's and then head over to her blog for tons of info and tons of laughs!!! :)

Cricutters Anonymous - One of the things that I LOVE is crafting/scrapping... this is a WONDERFUL site for inspiration and projects! :)

Kandee The Make-up Artist - I just LOVE her blogs and the videos she posts. If you ever get a moment to check out her wedding make-up video, it is a MUST SEE for anyone who wants PERFECT make-up! :) She's also gorgeous inside and out. I SO wanna be Kandee when I grow up! hahahahaha! :)

Nail Addicts Anonymous - my nails are my obsession! I used to be a nail biter, so having nails and making them look pretty after spending my WHOLE LIFE with dreadful nails... well, it's like crack. I'm serious! And it's people like the wonderful girls at Nail Addicts Anonymous that remind me that I'm not alone. It helps that their pics are out of this world with polish swatches and manis that make me want to run and buy stock in nail polish remover!!! This is definitely one of my new faves! :)

Polish and Powder - Again... another source of enabling... uh, I mean inspiration for my nails! :)

Tuesday Treats - This blog is a MUST FOLLOW for any crafter who owns a Gypsy. The ladies who started this blog have a PASSION for creating the most amazing crafts. This is a new favorite that I hope to be a part of VERY SOON!!! :)

Konad & Me - Ok, so as I mentioned before Bunny's blog inspires me! If you are looking for some amazing ideas for nail art from someone who has GORGEOUS nails and BRILLIANT ideas, then THIS is the blog for you. Also, anyone new to the world of Konad can really benefit because she posts VERY regularly and ALWAYS on Konad Nail Art! :)

Welp, there's 10. I WISH I could tag 30! Thanx again for this award Bunny! You made my night, hence all the smiley faces! hahahahahahahaha! :)

I Love Your Blog Award Rules:
*Post the award on your blog
*Link the person who has given you the award
*Pass the award to 10 other blogs you've discovered

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Leopard

Awe! Thanx for the inspiration BabyD... this GORGEOUS Konadicure rocks! I just LOVE that For Audrey polish from China Glaze and I would have NEVER thought of using the leopard image with those color combinations. This turned out WONDERFUL!!!
So, the base coat is For Audrey (of course) and the yellow color is China Glaze's Lemon Fizz (on the thumb). The yellow of the remaining digits is Konad's special polish in yellow and the black is also Konad's special stamping polish. This really is a sweet manicure just in time for Easter. I bet this would also look AMAZING with lavender and the Psyche Pink Konad special polish! Oh, wow... I'm going to be giving THAT combo a try before Easter gets here as well. That one will be AWESOME!!!
To check out BabyD's wonderful Konadicure... here's the link: Polish And Powder
*** Don't forget!!! Tomorrow's the last day to enter the Alice In Wonderland polish give-away!!! Check out the announcement here: Calling All Lacquer Heads!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pass The Ketchup?

So I'm gonna have to eat a little crow here.... but only a little.... regarding the receipt of my Kindle in the 5-9 day delivery estimate that Amazon DID IN FACT end up honoring (I just got my Kindle). However, the fact that the first customer service contact I had the other day DID NOT make me feel like a valued customer means that I'm only taking a nibble. When a customer is having an impatience issue with a product that they ordered, THE LAST thing they want to hear is, "you should have picked a quicker shipping speed" or "we pick the most economical method of shipping", ESPECIALLY when that customer spent better than $200 with your company to qualify for "Super Saver Shipping". Earning "Super Saver Shipping" with higher purchase amounts SHOULD encourage customers to spend more with your company. Making your customer feel like they have been pushed to the back of the line BECAUSE they spent more money with you will only cause the customer TO NOT WANT TO SHOP WITH YOUR COMPANY. Now... that being said, the SECOND point of contact with Amazon customer service (Mr. Scott V.) NAILED the service response.

When dealing with ANY customer issue, "I'm sorry" goes a VERY long way. Me, being the impatient (and slightly rude) customer who was freaking out about my birthday present not shipping six days after it was ordered is a VALID issue especially when the item was in stock at the time of ordering. The fact that Mr. Scott V. began his email with "I'm sorry" immediately made me receptive to the rest of his email message. He showed that Amazon may have just cared a little what their customer was going through. He then struck gold and followed up the "I'm sorry" with telling me that Amazon wanted to rectify my issue quickly and did in fact want me to have my Kindle for my birthday. He gave me a full delivery status and followed that with Amazon's intention to fulfill the estimated time frame. It was not until I received The Kindle that I saw the fulfillment of my order WAS FROM WITHIN the state that I live. Right from the start, I was believing that the fulfillment of my order was coming from out of state and after 6 days of my item not shipping, I had a real worry that it may not make it to me in the 5-9 day delivery estimate that set the expectation in the first place. Ok, so I was wrong. But I STILL stand by the fact that withholding a shipment for 6 days for the person who EARNED (remember, you have to qualify for that "super saver shipping") is quite a demotivator to spend the extra cash to qualify... I mean, what's the REAL benefit? Add to that a customer service representative that spews logistics at an emotional purchase and you have a rather distasteful shopping experience.

Ok, so I was wrong and flew off the handle waging a complaint with Amazon prematurely, however, I stand by my comment that customer service was severely lacking with that initial customer service contact and COULD have quelled my issues quickly before I got rude and now have to eat crow. Yuck! Can someone pass the ketchup?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amazon... What Is Wrong?

So, you live and you learn. I did a GREAT review for The Kindle the other day. In fact, I did the review touting how WONDERFUL The Kindle was compared to The Nook... well, I just so happened to have written that post the day after I ordered The Kindle from Amazon.com.
Since then (going on 6 DAYS AGO) Amazon STILL hasn't shipped it. That's right. My order purchase came to a whopping total of $259 and for that amount included free super saver shipping. Is "super saver" code for "this person's gonna get HORRIBLE service and have to wait FOREVER to even get what they ordered"? Really, I'm just curious. Had I known that I wouldn't have an e-reader right now (in my hot little hands) to enjoy, I WOULD have opted for The Nook. The differences between the two readers are SLIGHT at best (although I stick with that hinge being oh so cool! Barnes and Noble, LISTEN TO ME!).... but if Barnes and Noble's customer service is only minimally better than what I've gotten from Amazon so far, The Nook WOULD DEFINITELY be the way to go.

So now, for those who haven't read my review, here's the link: MY ONCE RAVING FAN REVIEW. And for those who have read it, I RETRACT! Now let me tell you what The Nook has going for it. 1) You can share your books with your friends!!! 2) The battery is removable and finally 3) The screen appears to be BIGGER. So yes, I know that two of the three items listed here were also listed in my previous review, but if you add #4 as being GREAT SERVICE, I probably would have ordered The Nook all day long even without the hinge. Although (LISTEN TO ME) The Nook REALLY needs a hinge to integrate that e-reader with a cover. But the hinge means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the person who STILL DOESN'T HAVE THE KINDLE SHE ORDERED... and for her birthday no less!!! Amazon, you really could have done better for a birthday girl!!!

Note: I sent an email to customer service at Amazon... as of yet, I haven't gotten a response.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This American

This American believes:
No matter what side of ANY issue "the people" are on, it is NEVER alright for a representative "of the people" to shirk their fiduciary responsibilities. If discovered (even worse if openly admitted) that our representatives are not even reading bills that are presented to them, they ABSOLUTELY should be tried for HIGH treason. What is it going to take....

There is no greater #FAIL than what has become of America right now. What WE have allowed to transpire over the years, our lack of personal responsibility and integrity and the laziness that has been cultivated in this country makes my heart cry. I am truly worried for America. Who we are right now.... are we really worth ANYONE dying for? All those who sacrificed to make America great, was it all in vain? Can we REALLY look at ourselves as one nation... under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL??? I think we are SOON to find out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Give Aways Everywhere!!!

So, as some of you may or may not know, Fun And Mental Changes is having a give away! We are days away from announcing a winner... March 27th is the deadline for entries and I will post the winner at 11:59 (PST) p.m. on March 27th. The prize is OPI's Mad as a Hatter and Absolutely Alice in honor of the Alice In Wonderland opening this month. These colors are VERY hard to find (trust me on that one) and because of that, I expected a ton of entries. But as it stands right now, there's only 8 entries, so there are GREAT ODDS of winning right now. To enter, simply become a follower (if you aren't already) and click HERE to leave a comment on the post titled Calling All Lacquer Heads!

But in the spirit of give aways.... OF COURSE I've entered a couple myself, and want to share where you too can find some more "prize hauls"!!!

Nail Addicts Anonymous... giving away a HUGE polish haul!!!

Konadomania... giving away a mish mosh of GREAT products + a $25 gift code to OC Nail Art!!!

Honestly... I love give aways. I love winning them (I won a Cricut Gypsy y'all! I'm so serious!!! Check out the post HERE), I love hosting them and I'm super psyched for my 100 follower give away hopefully coming shortly! I'm planning something HUGE!!! After seeing the great stuff these blogs are giving away, I'm thinking I need to amp things up a bit. So stay tuned for THAT!!! And the remainder of this year will be filled with give aways for all the things that I love, from cricut cartridges and craft supplies, to healthy cook books, to nail care and polish, to (OF COURSE) nail art stuff. So be sure to check back often. Good luck to everyone who enters! :)

*** The Fun And Mental Changes giveaway is only open to US residents this time (my apologies). Future give aways WILL NOT be restricted.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

My first attempt at Stuffed Cabbage Rolls for dinner last night.... SUCCESS!!! These beauties were yummy! And I have the ladies over at Skinny Scoopers to thank for it!

About a week ago they posted a healthy recipe for these awesome rolls. And while their recipe looked VERY good... OF COURSE I altered it a bit. I ended up with an amazingly flavorful dish that I THINK might be even less calories than the recipe posted at Skinny Scoopers. So, I thought I would post my recipe and then direct everyone here to check out the link above to see the ORIGINAL recipe.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 heads of green cabbage (1 head if very large)
  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 Tbsp McKay's Beef Style Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth

Brown the turkey with the onion and garlic, set aside to cool. Remove all outer leaves from your cabbage. In a large stockpot, cover the cabbage leaves with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, drain, CAREFULLY rinse with cold water to stop cooking and set aside.

Combine diced tomatoes, broth, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Add just enough of this combination back to stockpot to cover the bottom. Reserve the rest.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Divide the turkey filling among the cabbage leaves, carefully wrapping all contents safely & snugly inside (I did not remove the thick portion of the cabbage leaf. Instead, I STARTED by putting my filling there and rolling toward the outer edge of the leaf being sure to fold in my sides for a tight roll. The rolls turned out great! I was so impressed with myself!). Place rolls atop the layer of tomato sauce in stockpot, then pour remaining tomato sauce on top.

Put stockpot back on stove top and turn heat to medium high. Once bubbling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. I don't know exactly what the calorie count is with this meal, but the Skinny Scoopers version was made with beef so I'm guessing these will be significantly less being made with the turkey. I'll try to input my ingredients for a calorie count later next week. In the meantime, enjoy these babies. They are AWESOME!!! Thanx Skinny Scoopers... you guys ROCK and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kindle vs. Nook

Wow... another birthday is fast approaching and as is customary for my wonderful, awesome, out-of-this-world husband, I could pick anything I wanted to get. Well, this year I wanted a Kindle. This wasn't a willy-nilly decision. I've spent about a year mulling over whether or not to even convert to an e-reader. My concern was the strain on my eyes and, well, I wouldn't be reading real books anymore. There's something so organic with the look and feel of books... even the smell cannot be replaced. But thanx to a Kindle demo done by my sister, I got over that fast. THE SCREEN LOOKS LIKE THE REAL THING!!! She also purchased a super special cover (I'll be going into that quite a bit in a sec) that REALLY helped me decide to venture into the digital world of reading. And when I said a moment ago that I will not be reading real books anymore, I mean it. With the $200-$400* pricetag on these e-readers, the 'ORGANIZATIONAL' aspect of this item was a huge driving factor on my decision. You don't go spending that kind of money if you don't intend on replacing pricey books AND the furniture to house them. For me, NOT filling bookshelves (and having to clean them) is just SO attractive. Just about the only book that I WON'T be replacing is my Bible. That's only because NO E-READER IN THE WORLD can simulate the Bible reading experience. Well with THAT business out of way... why did I choose The Kindle?

Yes, it's true, the Barnes and Noble Nook has some pretty great and functional features that The Kindle does not have. One of those features being that you can share books. That's a pretty valuable feature. Another great feature (at least for me anyway because I spend quite a bit of time at Barnes and Noble) is that I can "pull" any book off the e-shelf and read it for free while I'm in the store...only with The Nook. No longer do you have to leave the reading chair that took you an hour to find to put a book back only to return to your seat and it's gone. Also, the digital color display on the bottom of the e-reader might be an attraction for some, but was more of a distraction for me. Finally, the screen on The Nook DOES appear to be slightly bigger to me, over the screen on The Kindle, but The Kindle's screen also appears to be slightly more crisp. The screen alone was not a deal breaker for me.

The deal breaker: Going back to the loss of reading real books, The Kindle has an option of "locking" the e-reader into a case. And for me... a leather case. DING, DING, DING! The makers of The Kindle BRILLIANTLY thought to integrate the e-reader into a case making the reader itself be a "page" so when you "open" your e-book, fold the case cover back and hold it in your hand, it feels like the real book-reading experience. Add to that brilliance the fact that my case is leather and I can ALMOST pretend I have a real book in my hand. Even the timing on the page turn mimics the rhythm of actual page turning. The Nook takes a bit longer, and for me that made a difference.

So, while The Nook certainly has more value-added features and a smaller price tag, something seemingly simple and VERY aesthetic won me over in the end. But honestly, either way you go with an e-reader, it makes perfect sense to this reader for no other reason than the cost savings on books and the space savings with less stuff to have to dust! Woo Hoo... no more bookshelves! Guess who will be taking an ENTIRE LIBRARY with her on vacation this year packed in the size of a small paperback???

* The only other e-reader that I know about is made by Sony. This reader has never seen one in person and didn't want to when I found out the screen on it is back lit, therefore, the Sony was not included in this comparison.

***I did however see, hold and use The Kindle (my sister's) and The Nook (at Barnes and Noble).
UPDATE: I may have spoken too soon... THERE'S MORE YOU PROBABLY SHOULD KNOW.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck o' The Irish

These are my 2010 St. Patty's nails. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that holographic green of China Glaze's L8R G8R. I topped it with a simple Konad Celtic-ish image from image plate M80 in Konad's special green polish. This turned out GORGEOUS!

Can you believe that I found this China Glaze halo for $3.50 last year... now THAT'S lucky! It's kinda fitting to be using it on a day like today! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Girl Power

Spring Break 2010 and the girls get together for some play time and power mani's! And these Konadicures ROCKED! I'll show each of them and let you know how it was done. For more info on the konad images pictured, check out OC Nail Art and tell Kathleen that FitterTwit sent ya! :) Be sure to click on all the pics to enlarge. I'd also like to say a special thanx to Megan, Gabby, Delaney and Jordyn for being SUPER models for today's post! Ladies... Girl's Day was AWESOME!!!
FLOWER POWER
What could be MORE IN than neon pink with black beaded flowers? Jordyn says "Nothing!" as she's sportin these totally rad flowers on Color Club's Pink Lust. The image is from Konad image plate M69 done in Konad's black special polish and then topped with Northern Lights holo topcoat. Dazzling Dahling! :)


ELECTRIC YOUTH
Delaney diggs this green holo polish by China Glaze. L8R G8R was the perfect backdrop for those sweet flowers that seem to POP off those nails. This image was also done with Konad's special polish in black on image plate M3. The image was just enough to add a little something without taking away from that AMAZING green holo! Good job Delaney.... very nice choice!

SWIMMIN IN STYLE
Nail art says a lot about a girl, and THIS one in particular says that Gabby's ready for a fun spring break! The bubbles add the perfect touch to the already fun Color Club Pink Lust. The bubbles can be found on Konad image plate M16. This image was stamped using Konad's special polish in black and topped with Northern Lights holo topcoat. Gabby, the bubbles are PERFECT!

GETTIN HER GROWL ON
Spring break for many can be wild. So for this Konadicure, I thought we'd tap into that with the leopard print from Konad image plate M57. I have done this Konadicure before, but NEVER on a GORGEOUS holo!!! China Glaze's OMG is JUST the polish to show Megan's wild side. And the splash of the baby pink spots (done with Art Deco pink) peeking through Konad's black special polish makes this mani GRRRRREAT!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Going Out On A Limb Here

So! There have been a few pivotal bonding moments between me and my sister over the years. 1) When I saved her life from a pending scorpion attack. 2) When we stayed up all night playing Super Mario Brothers. 3) When we saw Road Trip in the theater. AND 4) When we went to see Hot Tub Time Machine... oh, wait, that hasn't happened yet! hahaha!

I'm going out on a limb here and saying that this is going to be the MUST SEE MOVIE event of the year. Not only does it star one of the best known heart throbs of the 80's, Mr. John Cusack, but the premise of the film is (DARE I SAY?) BRILLIANT!!!!

The movie is set back in the 80's, probably THE SINGLE BEST DECADE EVER, which leads me to believe that the soundtrack ALONE is going to be worth the price of admission. Did I mention that 80's heart throb John Cusack is in this??? Those who have seen Better Off Dead know EXACTLY why this is significant. Where was I? OH! And the plot line is hysterical with four grown men going back in time and landing in their teen selves in 1986. Now, grown men on any adventure is funny (Really! You need to be in my garage on Saturday mornings). We've seen that dynamic in films such as City Slickers, Wild Hogs, Without A Paddle, the aforementioned Road Trip and most recently The Wrong Guys, and it is funny without a doubt. And we also know that movies about teen boys are HYSTERICAL, well, because teen boys are STUPID and it's funny!!! We've seen that in movies such as Super Bad, Napoleon Dynamite, Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, Drill Bit Taylor, Dude Where's My Car and again, the aforementioned Road Trip as well as just about any John Cusack film from the 80's, hahahaha! But meld those two together and what do you get? Probably the best movie ever made!!! Well, I hope! It HAS to be. I mean, I'm no professor of comedy, but add funny and funny together and what do you get? Freakin Hilarious!!! I cannot wait for this movie to release. I will be there opening day! For those who haven't seen the previews, here's the trailer for your viewing pleasure. The ONLY thing that could ruin this movie for me is gratuitous nudity... PULEEZE let the makers of this film NOT HAVE GONE THERE! With a storyline like this movie has... it can stand all on it's own. See you all at the movies!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Only Three Entries!!!

There's currently only three entries in this month's OPI Alice In Wonderland Polish Giveaway!!! Huge chance of winning here! And it's super easy to enter... simply leave a comment on the post at THIS link. The contest is open to my blog followers only (the coolest people in the world!!!), so if you're not a follower, be sure to become one before leaving a comment. So Easy! Click the link to get all the details!

In the meantime, here's a little mani that helped me burn the midnight oil last night... yah, my sleep patterns are still a little off. But it was worth it, and I'll be back in line by next week.

This Fauxnadicure was really hard to photograph!!! I can't seem to get a picture that shows how beautiful it turned out!!! So, all my pics were taken outside... and even then they aren't as magnificent as in real life. But they do kinda show how pretty they are, so here we go! :)

I used Color Club's Stuck On You as a basecoat, 2 coats of OPI's An Affair In Red Square, then stamped the rose with Color Club's Golden Girl and topped the whole thing with my Seche Vite top coat. IT'S GORGEOUS!!! This is something that I have been dreaming about for some time and turned out every bit as beautiful as I imagined. The image came from a fauxnad image plate #B02. This is dramatic and romantic and most importantly... SIMPLE!!! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Celestial Ruffian

Whew! Ruffian is RIGHT! After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up feeling quite the "Ruffian", but that's not where this post comes from. But SINCE I brought it up....

Let me tell you about my night! A friend of mine has a daughter who is getting ready to deliver her first child. I am so emotionally invested in this delivery, I can't see straight! I WISH I could articulate exactly why. Love for my friend? Definitely... But this is also going A LOT deeper for me. And I am truly blessed to be allowed to share in this HUGE waiting game for this newborn to make his entrance into the world. So with all this waiting and excitement and NOT SLEEPING, a "Ruffian" manicure is JUST what the doctor (not the obstetrician) ordered. Not only did this little mani kill some time during this long wait, but it went a LONG way to making me feel pretty good and distracting my mind!!! I mean, a person can only cry so much (yah, I bawled like a baby when they hooked her up to the monitor and the baby's heartbeat filled the room)! And I think it turned out GREAT for my first ruffian manicure. So I used Orly Bonder for my base coat, then one coat of OPI's Golden Rules followed by one coat of Color Club's Black 450 leaving a sliver of a crescent moon of gold showing. After all that dried, I stamped the stars with Konad image plate M3 and topped the whole thing with Esse's Matte About You matte topcoat. If you click on the pic to enlarge, you will see that the stars on the pinkie smudged a little.... Esse's Matte About You MUST be applied quickly and with as few strokes as possible. The three stroke method is a MUST here!!! Also, while wet, it is glossy and dries QUICKLY to a matte finish. GREAT STUFF!!!

So, now that my nails are done... I think it's time for sleep! After all, I only need to look at my nails for starry skies! I hope you all liked this one! :)

**** Jessica, THANK YOU for allowing me to be part of this amazing event! I was so thrilled to hang out with you and your mom during the LONG WAIT!!! Congratulations Mommy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One Girl's Adventure in C25K!

Well.. today's post is going to be a guest post of sorts. Yesterday I received an email from my sister on her FIRST DAY of C25K. For those who aren't familiar with this program, C25K stands for Couch to 5 Kilometers and is a program that gets people off the couch and running 5K in 9 weeks. That's just over 3 miles!!! The program sounds pretty great, so you can image my excitement for her when I received her email recapping her first day....

You should have seen me on the treadmill yesterday!

  • I walked for 5 min (warm up).
  • Then the C25K said to run for 60 seconds… sure, no problem…
  • Then walk for 90 seconds …again ok….
  • Then run again for 60 second (HOLY SHMAKAKA! I thought my legs were on fire, my lungs just closed up completely… I think they went on strike).
  • Then I was really scared because I didn’t know how I was going to hang on to the side bars and push the dang button to get the speed to go down. All I kept picturing was falling on my face and getting "tread" rash. So I pulled the panic key and it all stopped.
******OMG! It was a truly horrifying experience.

Day two? I'm walking!
PS… stop laughing!!

Isn't fitness fun!?!

I'd like to extend a special thank you to my sister for allowing me to share this story. I think it's safe to say that anytime we start new exercise regimens it's a little awkward at first, to say the least. I just hope that we all manage to do it and with the same humor that she has. I think this story can help us be more willing to give new stuff a try if for no other reason than to have a story to tell. May all our stories be as funny as this one! Just think how funny this story is going to be when she DOES finish that 5K, and then think of how it will motivate others. File that in: if she can do it, so can I! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

BIG Changes Come In Small Packages

It was brought to my attention last night from my friend Lori Shemek that simply reducing your calorie intake every day by 100 calories equates to 10 pounds a year. With that I couldn't help but think about the reverse, and what exactly 100 calories looks like.
So 100 calories is a piece of buttered bread (in my case whole wheat). That's pretty nominal and insignificant when you think of ALL the food you consume throughout your day. It's not so strange to butter a piece of toast with your breakfast or to serve a buttered roll with dinner. THAT is 100 calories. And how many of us eat TWO rolls with dinner? I mean, it's relatively small... maybe 6 small bites and the roll is gone. Wow... that small shift (either way) makes that big of an impact!?! I honestly never really thought about it quite so simply before. Cut out the roll or add another.... 6 less bites or 6 more bites to make a HUGE difference. That is certainly something to think about.

And while cutting your calorie intake IS the easiest change to make on your way to slimming down, the same principal holds true with adding exercise. I know of so many people that are OVERWHELMED with the idea of getting active, but something as simple as 10 minutes of jump rope burns 100 calories. Big changes come in small packages folks!!! It just really is that simple. And for those who are not big "jumpers" into a health and fitness lifestyle, this small package could very well be the road to success. Unfortunately, the reverse (that extra 100 calories a day) is ALREADY the road to weight gain. It's that extra roll at dinner... 10 pounds a year adds up quickly. It's hard to believe that 100 calories the other direction is as small as a dinner roll.

Monday, March 8, 2010

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner (March 17th), I thought I'd share a little mani and a little story to inspire everyone. Check out "items used" at the end of this post for stuff to do this "Konadicure". But first the story....

So where the heck does this shamrock business and wearin green come from for St. Patrick's Day? Well, this is what Holidays.net has to say:

During the St. Patrick's Day season, shamrocks are everywhere from storefront displays to classroom bulletin boards. Even people's lapels sport the green three leaf clover. As the unofficial state flower of Ireland, the shamrock is the most prolific symbol of the Irish holiday. Legend teaches that the first shamrock was a sacred plant discovered by the Druids of Ireland. These Celtic pagans revered the shamrock for its triad leaf formation, as three was a mystical number in their religion. In the 5th century, Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to teach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the Irish pagans. With the three leaves representing the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Saint Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland and converting hundreds of Celtic castles.

During the 19th century Irish rebellion against England, wearing the shamrock took on political significance. Seen as a symbol of Irish pride, British law made wearing it punishable by death. It was during this period that the term "wearin' o the green" came into use.
Still today, displaying a shamrock and wearing green are considered expressions of Irish identification. Of course, they are no longer criminal offenses. Especially on St. Patrick's Day, when everyone - Irish or not - will be showing off their green pride. As the saying goes, "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day."

Yah, I gots me the shamrock mani (ok.. so it's actually the lucky four leaf clover... IT'S GREEN with a little added luck even)... I'm totally Irish!!! But you could probably tell by the red hair; I really don't need shamrocks!!! hahahahaha! Happy St. Patty's Everyone!!!

Mani Items Used: OPI My Daddy's The King, Zoya Shivon, Konad Special Polish Green, Konad plates M60 (plaid print), M19 (french tip) and M22 (shamrock). Top Coat is Northern Lights holo.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Final Day... Sad Day!!!

Welp... my 30% discount for Konad REUSABLE nail art at OC Nail Art is ending today. This was NOT Kathleen's doing, her store at OC Nail Art is phenomenal!!!! Her shipping is super quick and customer service ROCKS!!! Plus she ALWAYS appreciates the talent of her wonderful customers (check out my nails being featured HERE). Nope, this is Konad's doing. They have mandated that all authorized dealers discontinue ALL discounts effective immediately. So with today being the final day to use my wonderful, excellent and cool (I will miss you my friend) 30% discount, I thought I would share my MUST-HAVE Konad image plates. These are the plates that I absolutely adore for their versatility. Remember, until midnight tonight, 30% off using discount code 'MENTAL' at store.ocnailart.com. Don't forget the free shipping in the US for all orders over $20.

Konad Image Plate M3 - I love this one because it has smaller images and the plate can be used year round. It's also great for smaller (children) nails. I think this one was my very first plate and I STILL use it the most. Another option for the beginner is to purchase a starter set and the Konad "C" Kit has M3 and M2... that's 14 REUSABLE DESIGNS with special polish, stamper and scraper. Everything you need for around $27 (before discount)! Great deal!


Konad Image Plates M12-M13 - These are both holiday plates. The first has 7 Christmas images (not pictured) and the second has 7 Halloween images. I'm a FREAK for Halloween, and if you are too, then you'll probably want to add image plates M28 for the spider and skull and crossbones and M1 for the small spider....CREEPY!!! A WONDERFUL source for Halloween Konad nail art ideas is Konaddict. Again, each of the image plates contains 7 images per plate.

Konad Image Plate M56 - I LOVE french manicures and while Konad offers quite a few options for french manicure stamping (including a french manicure starter kit for around $36 before discount), this plate gives me flawless french manicures with a twist. You just have to check out the pic at the top to know what I'm talking about here. Those gorgeous black swirls are found on this plate! Be sure to click on all the pics to enlarge for greater detail.

Konad Image Plate M65 - Ok, last but not least is this WONDERFUL image plate. This plate has FULL Nail Coverage images to stamp. Because the images are bigger, there are only 5 images on plates like these. But THIS ONE is my absolute favorite. The images come out perfect... I haven't seen airbrushing come out better than these images. From psychedelic circles to geometric shapes to roses and beads... this plate is used A LOT!

Well, that's about it for my MUST-HAVES. I actually have 33 Konad image plates that get used sporadically, but the plates listed here get used for the majority of my "Konadicures". If I could only own these plates, I'd be a happy girl. I will be sure to keep everyone posted when and if the discount code goes back into effect in the future! Hopefully Konad will change their minds quickly!!! :)
***My friend Vanessa from Casual Lavish has a GREAT video tutorial on how to use Konad posted on her blog HERE. There are also some of her own nail art pics there too. She's AWESOME!!!
Don't forget about entering to win FREE OPI Alice In Wonderland Glitter Nail Polishes!!! Click HERE for details!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alice In Wonderland Review ***Spoiler Alert***

It hits me that the ***Spoiler Alert*** may not apply here. Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass have been around foreva! But, to cover anyone who HASN'T read those stories or seen this film, please know that I'm going to give away some stuff here that COULD ruin someone's movie-going experience. So, what I'm saying here is, if you haven't seen Alice In Wonderland yet (which I think you TOTALLY SHOULD) and don't want anything "spoiled", quit reading right here.

OMG!!! What a great movie!!! And the special effects were INCREDIBLE!!! Even the set design and wardrobe were AMAZING! Whoever cast this movie did a FANTASTIC JOB, except....

I really felt that the entire character of the White Queen did nothing for the movie. While the character is present in Through The Looking Glass (and establishes the story's 'Chess Game'), that character in the film irritated me. Anne Hathaway gave a LOUSY performance, convincing me that the White Queen being omitted from the film entirely would have only ADDED to how great the rest of this film is. The chess game and the hatter's loyalties could have all been established through Alice (and in fact were anyway because I was trying to will the image of Anne Hathaway out of my head). The White Queen REALLY took something from this film. Otherwise EVERYTHIING ELSE was superb! The effects were amazing and the REST of the casting was incredible. I've come to realize that Johnny Depp is a master celebrity impersonator and adds a little of "others" to his performances. I LOVED the intermittent "appearances" of Mel Gibson!!!! It was fitting as the Hatter rallied the troops with a Brave Heart to overcome the Red Queen. And the Cheshire Cat was portrayed perfectly!!!! I love, love, love this movie... had the White Queen been omitted, this movie would have gotten many High Fives.

P.S. While I harshly said that I felt Ms. Hathaway gave a LOUSY performance, I do not believe that it was entirely her fault.
Mr. Burton/Mr. Bruckheimer, PLEASE do not have other actors attempt what Mr. Depp has perfected. I was getting that the White Queen was gravely attempting a Good-Witch-Wizard-Of-Oz-esque character. Ms. Hathaway doesn't have it....
Had the character of the White Queen been portrayed like the character in Through The Looking Glass, Ms. Hathaway MAY have been able to pull it off. That is all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice In Wonderland Opens Today!!!!

Today's the day!!! Disney's Alice In Wonderland Opens today!!! In honor of the big day... check out my sparklies!!! The color of glitter polish that's featured here is called Absolutely Alice. It's one of the new polishes from OPI's Alice In Wonderland collection and is also one of the gorgeous polishes that I am giving away this month. All you have to do is become a follower of this blog (if you're not already) and go to this link and leave a comment on that contest announcement post. Super easy. The contest is open to all US residents however, along with the AWESOME Alice In Wonderland polishes is a free Manicure from Zolton's in Chandler, AZ. So that part of the prize might be a "little" harder to use living outside of Arizona. But hey, free polish is free polish and these polishes are AMAZING.

A couple of notes I want to make about this polish here, it is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous in real life, however, I could not seem to get a pic that did this polish justice. But All Lacquered Up gave a wonderful review of ALL the Alice In Wonderland polishes full-on with GREAT swatches, making note of the Absolutely Alice: "mingling amongst the eye catching royal blue glitter are pops of gold, the color of Alice’s blonde locks." Honestly, I couldn't put it better myself. So to better show the blue/gold effect with MY pitiful camera, I used the Absolutely Alice OVER OPI's Yoga-ta Get This Blue. It seems that the darker background made the gold glitter pop with the blue glitter. In real life, NO background is needed to make this color look amazing and I found that two coats covered PERFECTLY! This really is a great color and can't wait to get it on my toe nails. OH! And also remember that MOST glitter polishes need a clear top coat to avoid chipping.

I hope you all get a chance to enter to win the polishes (Arizona residents, don't forget about the manicure); the winner will be announced here on March 27th. I also hope to see you all at the movies!!! Trust me, I WON'T be there tonight! Can you say MAD HOUSE???!!!!??? Yah, Mad As A Hatter!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Vacation To Last A Lifetime

Today I am DRAGGING! I have been sick for a little over a week now with a cough that has kept me up for the past four nights. I am tired, bodily fatigued and full of whiny complaints. But sometimes magic occurs just when you need it most...

So I'm in a discussion when it veered suddenly with a question about the tee shirt I was wearing. It happened to say "I've been to Hell and back." While I'm not in the habit of wearing profanity on my body, the shirt was a memento from a trip taken some years back to Hell, Grand Cayman and I had the AWESOME pleasure of explaining that very thing. While telling the story of this wonderful trip and all the sites and memories I had, I found myself FULL of energy. Recounting the amazing blue water and unbelievable fun that I had made me feel like a million bucks. Suddenly the fatigue was gone, the aches were gone and I felt a renewed excitement like I had JUST GOTTEN BACK from this trip that I actually took 3-4 years earlier. What a wonderful experience... both the trip to Grand Cayman and telling the story today. I learned that "mind over matter" is real and that I REALLY need to have the pictures from my trip on hand AT ALL TIMES!


I got me a little happy today!!! They say that pictures do not replace being there, but they can certainly take you back ANY TIME you want!!! And the picture posted here is of another destination I had on that same vacation. COZUMEL: My Favorite Place On Earth!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Girl Scout Cookie Season Survival Guide

A couple of days ago I warned everyone of the pending doom that is the girl scout cookie drive. Well, I thought I would follow up this warning with some steadfast survival tips to get you through the cookie domination. For most critical mass situations, it is wisely advised to remain in your homes, however no one is safe... especially in your homes. So please, please, please take heed to the following tips; they could just save your life.

KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Evil presents itself in many different forms. But from January to March every year, evil looks like an angelic little girl usually sporting pig tails. They adorn themselves with sashes displaying their victories over various conquests while dressing in military-esque green uniforms. They are always accompanied with what is usually disguised as an authority figure also called "Mom" or "Troop Leader"... but don't be fooled, you can tell by the eyes that this "authority figure" is really the one being led by a slave master pushing them to one more house; always selling one more box. These evil scouts are tireless in their attempts at world domination, or at the very least, neighborhood domination.

PREPARATION IS KEY TO SURVIVAL
Stockpiling supplies, food, water and clothing during the months before January through March is strongly advised and by all means make sure that you have a savings account with enough reserve that you can survive for up to 6 months of being "cut off" from the rest of the world.

AWAY FROM HOME
Evil knows where you need to be, so they set up fortresses outside of every entrance/exit of your local grocery store, mall or home improvement outlet. If you must pass through a girl scout cookie fortress, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make eye contact. If you make eye contact you are a goner. If passing through the fortress upon exiting a store, your purchases can be used as a distraction if properly utilized. Again, do not make eye contact and when you're within 100 feet of their cookie table of terror, throw your goods on the ground and run for your life immediately. This distraction technique only gives you about a 30 second lead-time before evil is again locked on you. The benefit of this technique, though, is that you've also just lightened your load and can get away faster.

AT HOME
I would love to tell you that you are safe in your home, but you are not. Girl Scouts know where you are weak and they know where you live. If the doorbell rings, do not answer it at any cost. In fact, draw all your blinds and just don't open the door at all for the months of January through March. If you MUST work, telecommute. If you can't telecommute and you haven't stockpiled resources, then just don't pay your bills. Surviving cookie drive is far greater than having electricity and running water, but know that existing supplies must be rationed in order to make it through this evil unscathed.

AT WORK
As I just said, TELECOMMUTE! The evil minions know that it is not easy to gain access where we work but have (long ago) managed to infiltrate our workplaces. The "authority figures" have direct orders to gather our information on colorful rosters for cookies to be brought to you. The wonderful person that you once knew as "Betty in accounting", from January to March, is a hollow shell with one objective: gathering cookie orders. It is just better to avoid a work environment all together. One tip as suggested by one of this blogger's loyal readership (I have 44 followers and I love them all!!!) is to fake an illness for an extended absence at work... Malaria I think is what was suggested. That is WONDERFUL advice, but this tactic will require preparation because once this blog post hits mainstream, I'm SURE that doctors will no longer be available from January through March. Come to think of it, that's not such a good idea because EVERYONE will suddenly have Malaria and the Center For Disease Control will have everyone quarantined and.... Holy Machunka! MY READERS ARE BRILLIANT!!! OK, so strike everything I just said....
NEW PLAN
Everyone fake Malaria from January through March. Then the entire continent will be quarantined and in effect SHUT DOWN driving this evil cookie drive thing to the "other" continents. Then in April when THEY are without utilities and sustenance hiding in their homes we invade. I LOVE IT!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Green... The Color Of Doom

So, whose idea was it to form a group of overly ambitious children (girls no less) to gather and sell cookies... I mean, I never see them any other time of year! And what exactly is in those cookies that causes us to forget that the new year brings another round of pending cookie doom? There is some great "master minding" at work and these evil little cookie selling minions know, almost instinctively, how to get us to buy their evil deliciousness.
"Buy me cookies mum. It's for the children mum." Ok, so they don't actually HAVE the British accent (I'm sure some do though and then you're REALLY up a creek!), but when they look at you all doe-eyed you'd swear that every one of them methodically study Tiny Tim to get pointers on selling their evil little wares. They are evil incarnate and their Samoas are their leading device of destruction created to take over the world. Think I'm kidding? TWO Samoas are 150 calories and render a person braindead for at least five minutes after consumption... or is that just me.... in a sugar coma? Either way, you've all been warned. Green is the color of DOOM!!!!

*** And personally, they should be held liable for telling you that their cookies "freeze well" when in fact they do not. They can't seem to stay in the freezer long enough to freeze at all.