Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Heart Shellac!


Yep.... I am in manicure HEAVEN!!!  I got my nails "Shellaced" yesterday with CND's Tropix Shellac and I LOVE IT!!!  Now I've had Shellac manicures before, but I didn't realize how WONDERFUL this product was until I grabbed my Konad nail art, messed it up, then removed the nail art entirely with non-acetone nail polish remover, reapplied the nail art and NEVER ONCE messed up the nail base Shellac color or lost an ounce of shine!!!  Honestly folks.... isn't that INCREDIBLE????  Now I do want to add for those of you who tune in here on my blog and for those who have not tried a Shellac manicure, this product does not wear the full two weeks (as advertised by the company) on me.  I typically get about 8 good days of wear with Shellac and then it peels and my edges chip a little.  But for me, THAT IS OK!!!  My nails look FABULOUS for 8 solid days and because Shellac has sort of a rubbery feel to it (being a hybrid of polish AND gel), it is very comfortable to wear.  I also feel like my nails are ultra protected with this product.  And this Tropix color is a really great summer color.  My nails look like I'm on vacation!!!

So for the Konadicure above, I used Konad's special polish in white and image plates M7 and M79 and finished off with a Seche Vite top coat to set the nail art.  CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!!

Tune back in over the course of the next 8 days... I'm gonna change up the nail art and let everyone see how the Shellac holds up.  Should be a fun experiment! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh So Yummay!!!


OK..... so if you could only SMELL this loaf of gluten free banana bread you would know RIGHT away why I'm so excited about today's post.  And to TASTE it???  Oh you guys.... you have GOT to taste it!!!

Last night I made gluten free banana bread from a recipe I found in Make It Paleo (one of my favorite cook books) and it turned out better than any banana bread I have ever made OR ever ate!  I made a couple of alterations to the recipe found in Make It Paleo, so I will post my recipe here and you can click on the link above to check out the recipe from the authors' blog.  Click HERE to get your hands on the Make It Paleo Cookbook.... you will love it!!!

Gluten Free Banana Bread

6 Pitted Dates (will need boiling water to soften dates, see recipe below)
1/2 Tbsp Coconut Nectar
6 Omega 3 Eggs
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
1 Over-ripe Banana (mashed)
1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Sifted Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Crushed Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mash 6 dates with 2 Tbsp. boiling water using a fork.  Add another tablespoon of boiling water and mash again until the mixture resembles a date jam.  Add coconut nectar and mix until smooth.  Add eggs, banana, coconut oil and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.  Add coconut flour, salt and baking soda.  Mix all ingredients together and place a loaf pan that had been lightly greased with coconut oil.  Top batter with walnuts.  Bake for 50 minutes or until edges are brown and a toothpick poked into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  If you use mini loaf pans, reduce baking time to 30 minutes.

This banana bread turned out DELICIOUS!!!  Have a piece with me?


Breakfast of champions?  It's the breakfast of THIS champion!!!  You would NEVER guess that this bread was sweetened with coconut nectar and dates!  I will ABSOLUTELY be making this wonderful bread again!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Serious High Five!

Ok you guys.... it has been awhile since I've reviewed/recommended a product, but with summer here, a high-five just couldn't be put off.  My high-five for today isn't just for one product, it's for THREE products and a GENIUS YouTuber's video!!!

Since I was a teenager I've suffered with dry cracked heels and have used EVERYTHING on the market to combat the problem... well, so I thought.  Then I stumbled upon the video below and it honestly changed my life.  I know, we hear that all the time in the corniest of commercials, but this time it's really true.  Only if you've suffered with this painful problem can you appreciate what a life WITHOUT the problem would look like and how very "changed" it would be!!!  So check out the video below.  It's a long one, but she discusses all the well known treatments for the condition ending the video with some products that really do work: 



I have been using the products listed at the end of this video for less than a week and have ALREADY seen a complete turn around in my feet. I've even stopped doing my nightly regimen as my feet feel soft and smooth all day now!!! I'm hoping that I can eventually get away with only having to "sand down" my feet once a month.... wouldn't that be wonderful!?!

Ok, so to recap the video, I now sand my dry feet with medium grit drywall mesh.  I then wash my feet with antibacterial soap, rinse well and dry thoroughly.  Next, I apply the Flexitol to the affected areas.  Finally I apply Vaseline with Cocoa Butter and put on fluffy, comfy socks.  Viola.... sheer perfection!!!  Let me know if anyone out there gives this a try!!! :)

*** While this process really does work like a charm, I'm not a fan of Vaseline and am currently looking for a "healthier" alternative.  I'll update this post when I find it.***

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Little Bit of Magic


For this lazy girl, there's nothing like a matte top coat to make a manicure look fresh and new WITHOUT having to re-polish or waiting for a brand new manicure to dry.  Really, in this way, a good matte top coat is sheer magic because a matte top coat dries in a matter of about a minute and makes any manicure look super stylin!!!


*Shown here, Nail Aid Pink Natural Growth Therapy base coat, Opi Over The Taupe, Essie Matte About You top coat.

And then there are times when you want to put in the time to add a little something special and that matte polish is, yet again, sheer magic.  I ADORE this matte/shine french mani!!!  Granted, it isn't PERFECT, but for a first attempt, I'm pretty happy with it!  If you haven't tried the matte top coat, you honestly don't know what you're missin!!!

*Shown here, Nail Aid Pink Natural Growth Therapy base coat, Opi Eiffel For This Color, Seche Vite top coat and Essie Matte About You tips.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So Much Fun!!!

Ok you guys.... here is my latest and greatest Spectrum Noir project and this time I'm featuring the cuter than cute Jude At The Movies from Simply Betty Stamps along with Make It Crafty's theater background digi.  I saw it done HERE and just knew it would be the perfect thing for my SMASH Book movie page.  On the opposite page will be a collage of all my favorite movies.  This page is just the attention getter...hahahahaha!


You see that film strip at the top of the page?  Well I'm going to go over how I made that so that you can do it too!!!  But first....
You need to start with an image.  Here's the image that was colored using Spectrum Noir pens
  • FS1,TN2 and TN3 for the skin
  • TN2, EB3 and EB8 for hair
  • DR7, DR6, CR10, BGR2, BGR5, IG1 and IG3 for the theater
  • CG2, CG4, DG3, CT1, CT2, OR1, OR2, BT3, BT7, BT8, DR6, DR7 and CR10 for the antennae, drinks and popcorn
  • IG1, IG3, IG7, and IG10 for shirt, shoes and cup lids
  • BT7, BT9 and TB1 for the jeans
  • White gel pen was added to the glasses to give them a bit of a shine.
To create the film strip featured at the top of the page, you will need clear packing tape, printer/copy paper, scissors, laserjet printer, a large bowl of water (or a sink, or a pan, or a tray... you just need water), a 35mm film strip and photo editing software.

Step 1:  Color your image and take a picture of the completed project.  Using photo editing software, convert the completed image to black and white.
Step 2:  Scan a 35 mm film strip.  If you don't have access to a scanner, you can find local pharmacies or office supply stores that may provide that service for you.  You can also try searching for a film strip template online.  Be sure that the file is saved as a JPG. 
Step 3:  Again, using photo editing software add your black and white picture to the film strip (this project features 4 copies to complete the whole film strip).  Once the filmstrip is complete, flip the image like you would to create a mirror image.


Step 4:  Using a laserjet printer, print flipped image onto regular copy paper (the thinner, the better).
Step 5:  Cover film strip using clear packing tape.  The picture below shows the tape being adhered after the image was trimmed.  It is advised that you attach the tape PRIOR to trimming as the packing tape has static electricity causing the small trimmed paper to move as the tape is being applied.  A second attempt applying the tape before trimming was MUCH more successful as the large piece of paper doesn't move as much.


Step 6:  Trim the film strip and soak in warm water for approximately 3-5 minutes.


Step 7:  Using fingers, "smudge" away the wet paper.  It removes easily to reveal a realistic film strip.


OPTIONAL STEP:  Using a rubber adhesive eraser, scrub away some of the exposed laserjet ink to create an aged and grainy film strip.


And there you have it.... an easy film strip using a completed Spectrum Noir project!!!  It was really fun and I'm now excited to collage all my movie pics.  I say that like I have any!  HAHAHAHAH!  Heck, I don't even have my favorite movie list together yet.  Time to get crackin!!!
Until next time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Productivity


You see this AWESOME layout?!?  Well, it only exists because of ME!!!  Now I'm allowing my friend Julie of Life With The Tucker and Wolek Clan to take full credit for it, but this gorgeous creation is because of MY creative genius.

You see, Julie is a cropping buddy who creates A-MA-ZING creations for BlueMoonScrapbooking.com (among others) and was hard at work on a cuter than cute kindergarten layout during one of my recent crop nights with the Paste Eaters.  She worked and worked while I quietly contrived an integral artistic expression* for the exact moment when I said in my perfectly tonal pitched and melodious voice, "Throw on some bling... bling, bling, bling!!!"  To which she added, "I can't!  It's a design team project." 

"COME OOOOOONNNNNN", I said in a voice that could only be described as a harmonic, soothing soprano.  Julie smiled and said that she didn't have any bling.  Luckily, Terre, another one of my cropping buddies happened to have a TRUCK-LOAD with her.  When she shared those precious jewels, I think Terre knew the impending masterpiece that was about to occur.  And as if the heavens opened up and a hallelujah chorus sound, Julie added those 9 rhinestones and the creation you see above came to be.... thanx to ME!!!  In case any of you might be in doubt, feel free to check it out over on Julie's blog:  HERE!  And I quote, ".....Danielle..............you............did.............it..........!"  Don't believe me?  Click on the link and read for yourself!!!  Be sure to leave some blog love for Julie when you get there! :)


*Translation for "quietly contrived an integral artistic expression":  Did absolutely nothing but watch Julie create this layout while everyone around me was productive.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Revenge Of The Nail Biter

So I know that I haven't posted in quite some time.  Actually, I've been a wee bit busy with my husband who sustained an injury at work (he's a police officer and for those of you even thinking of being with a police officer.... MAKE SURE you know EXACTLY what you're getting into.  I would NEVER EVER want any other husband and if I knew then what I know now I would DEFINITELY do it again, but I also know that I'm not the typical girl.  I'm a red head with a lot of "spunk" and was being "groomed" to marry this man long before I met him.  It is because of this man that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God and he loves me.  Ok, I'm done with the gush!  That was quite a long gush.  I think I may have achieved some kind of world record for the use of these parenthesis....hahahahaha) and has been recovering after corrective surgery.  It has been a long road for him and here we are working to get him "back".  Back to a positive mindset and back into working-order, so to speak.  Well, all that havoc brought ME back to a place I thought I long since left behind me.... I started biting my nails again!!!

My husband had a disc replaced in his back.  They went in through his abdomen, moved all his organs and replaced his L5 disc with a prosthetic over the course of a 5 hour surgery.  So you can imagine how my little nervous habit that I thought I long since overcame reared its ugly head.  My nails were down to nubs and have JUST NOW grown out enough to attempt a manicure.  But they are dreadfully short!!!  Welp here they are, my pathetically short nails.  But at least they are growing back and it seems that I've quit biting them again.  Honestly, I really hate that disgusting habit!!!  But here's the BEST part of this manicure (not exactly better than my husband making it successfully through surgery).... it features the new Don't Talk Bach To Me from OPI's new Germany line!!!  I am so in love with this color!!!  There are actually a few colors that I'm gaga over in this line and it was the PERFECT thing to bring me back to life (to see some TERRIFIC swatches of the new OPI colors, click HERE).  So here I am gang.... I'm back!!! 

This manicure also features Konad special polish in black and a stamped image from Konad image plate M64.  And for the base coat on this mani I used my beloved Nail Aid Instant Wrap hoping to get the assistance of a little strength while I try to grow these puppies back out! I already broke my middle fingernail if that's any indication how weak they are after gnawing on them for so many weeks. Whew!  I can honestly say that I feel whole again now that I have a little length and a pretty manicure.  Hopefully another few weeks of growth will help me forget the little stint where I bit my nails again.  YUCK!!!

Have a great one gang!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This Is Big

CANDY, CANDY, CANDY, CANDY, CANDY....I mean HUGE CANDY!!!  All of my crafty peeps out there, PAY ATTENTION!!!  One of my design teamies on the Spectrum Noir Design team is celebrating reaching 1000 followers (yep, it's a big one) and she's giving away A-FREAKIN-LOT!!!  Head on over to Marcea's blog and check out the deets!  Everyone has 16 chances to win!  That is a BIG DEAL!!!  So hurry over there and follow the instructions....maybe you can be one of the lucky winners!!!  Also, while you're there, check out her work.  She's super talented... there's no wonder she reached 1000!!!  Good luck everyone!