Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Quick Update, and a Look at My Other Half's Work

Wow. I seriously thought I'd have my video look at the various full-nail sticker/appliques up by now, but man, video editing is hard! It's getting there, though, and I'm really excited. I think you guys are going to like this one. I know I'm happy with it already!

However, since I've been either sick or getting ready to take the kid to camp, I thought I'd give you a glimpse at what my other half does. (OMG, 1300 miles by car in 2 days... man, we're insane!) We leave Saturday, so posts may be a bit more sparse than usual around here. Don't worry though, I'll be back! But til then, I have such cute things to show you!

See, I'm not the only artist in the family. My husband actually has his master's degree in it! His day job is teaching, and then we both have lots of fun working on various other artsy-type things in our spare time. One thing we work on together is MazeParty.com. If you have kids, you guys will definitely want to check this one out! It's a site filled with free activity pages for kids, and you don't even need to register! There are mazes and coloring pages so far, and we're adding to it all the time. So if your kids bug you this summer with, "I'm Bored," head over to Maze Party and give them something fun to do!

 Then there's my husband's redbubble site. This is where he puts his adorable designs for tee shirts, stickers, and more! I've been dying to get my own Monkey Power tee shirt, just because it's so darned cute.

 And sometimes, he'll put up something he made especially for me, like the Shy Bug illustration that works so well both as a tee shirt and as a sticker. So if you're looking for adorable tees or gifts, definitely stop by his redbubble!

Unfortunately, I've still got a LOT of editing to do on the video I'm working on, so I'm going to go bury myself in my video editor and my books. However, next time I've got an adorable Hawaiian-inspired look using the latest Deborah Lippmann polish and some adorable KISS nail decals! If you can put on a sticker, you can do this look!

Til next time!

I love monkeys, they're so adorable!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thank you, and updated videos for Glitter Gal 3D Purple

This is just a quick message tonight to address a couple of things that have been on my mind. First off- to those of you who threw a few bucks in the camp fund, I thank you. To those of you who haven't, but continue to read and support this blog? Thank you as well... You all bring me more joy than you realize.

Second, I had a mini breakthrough while digging through AfterEffects this morning. And this afternoon. And... well, tonight, too. What can I say, I really want to up the content quality around here! So, I'm including the videos I shot for Glitter Gal 3D Purple Holographic polish.  That first video sort of accidentally got deleted, and I'm still not sure how, but as a result I was able to upload a better version of it! Also, I shot a VERY short video of the bottle, so you can truly see how holographic this beauty is.

In short? If you like holographic polishes, you're going to love Glitter Gal. Til next time!

Glitter Gal Polish was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I hate needing help.

I hate to ask this, and if it were for me I wouldn't. But you know, sometimes you do what you can for your kids, and I can't think of any other way to accomplish this.

My son has type 1 diabetes and has been attending Camp Sweeney for the past 6 years. This will be his seventh (and we think last) year to attend, and it's something he looks forward to every year. For three weeks out of the year, he can be like everyone else: checking blood sugars isn't something people stare at, and no one questions the many shots he takes daily. He's made friends at Camp Sweeney that have honestly changed his life, and I will do anything I can to get him there.

Unfortunately, my husband is underemployed at the moment, and the money we'd hoped to be set aside for camp this year ended up spent on doctor visits and medications and heaven knows what else. I'm disabled and haven't been able to work in years. The money's just not there, and this year they've raised the costs significantly.

See, Kiddo has been attending on a scholarship, and that hasn't changed. The problem is that there's a deposit to pay as well as the cost to get him there and back. We live in South Louisiana, and camp is in Northern Texas. The deposit has changed this year from $100 to $500, and the fact of the matter is that we just don't have the money to get there. I don't know how we're going to make it happen in the short time we've got left.

In the meantime, I'm going to swallow my pride and put up a paypal link. I just don't know what else to do. If you have a few bucks to toss in, I will be eternally in your debt.

I'm going to be posting a blog sale with the polishes I have, as well as the barrettes and jewelry I've made over the past few years. I have nothing else to sell, but I'm willing to sell whatever I can. It's going to take time, though, time I don't have thanks to being so late and being disabled. Even posting blogs has been too much for me lately. It will be going up soon, though...

Thank you for reading.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Deborah Lippmann's Lara's Theme = LOVE!

Let's be honest here... I've never worn a fluorescent polish. I know, it's strange, but I've never had one I thought would look good on me. I did win a couple of fluorescent yellows a while back, but...  let's just say they're still in my untrieds box.

Then I got Lara's Theme. It doesn't hurt that I've really been enjoying orange as a color lately, or that this particular orange is almost fluorescent, but not quite. It probably helped that it also looked like it just might look decent with my skin tone.

Whatever the reason, I tried this the same day I got it. That's downright unheard of for me. Usually I'll wait a bit, or work through some more untrieds first, but this one absolutely called my name. What can I say, it's gorgeous!!

However, even though this polish is absolutely juicy-looking, it was a bit of a pain to work with. I'm assuming this is because it's a fluorescent (ok, how many times will I type the word fluorescent in this post?), but still I was swearing a bit by the time I was done. I think a good coat of Seche Vite would have helped loads, but I was out at the time.

Lara's Theme was very streaky for me, which is a first for Deborah Lippmann polishes. Normally they go on like butter, but this one was grumpy. Still, it was tolerable after two coats, so I don't think it's worth much complaining!

It's funny to me, because while I wore this (for either four or five days, I don't quite remember!) I would find myself looking for things to compare it to. I think I found several good comparisons! It's the orange of traffic cones, of hunters' caps, of traffic workers' vests. In shot, this baby is VISIBLE!

After a few days, though, I got bored as I normally do. I decided to pull out my China Glaze crackle polishes...

... but that's a story for next time! Til then, you'll have to be content with this video!

Til next time!

Lara's Theme was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Top Five Favorite Bloggers

Thanks to Trop50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 Fabulous Wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous!

After blogging for almost a year, I've been given the opportunity to write about my favorite blogs: the ones that inspire me, the ones that make me laugh. They aren't all beauty/nail blogs because I've got a wide range of interests! These are the bloggers that excite me, that make me want to read. These are the bloggers I want to grow up to be like!

To start with, I had to include Melissa at The Daily Nail. Don't get me wrong, I could have filled out my top 20 favorite nail blogs and still have plenty left to write about. But The Daily Nail stands out for several reasons. First, she does absolutely incredible nail art that never fails to blow my mind. She also manages to photograph her nail art to make it look absolutely gorgeous. Trust me, I never realized how hard it can be to get great pictures of your nails!

She's got more than just pretty photos, though. The Daily Nail is filled with wonderful creativity and writing that moves me in many ways. I've laughed, I've wept. Melissa is a sweet, charming lady and this shines through in her writing. She definitely deserves to be listed in this top five!

Next comes Dooce, a snarky chick from Utah who has been blogging about her life for ten years. In fact, she was one of the first people to demonstrate how dangerous blogging can be to your professional life: in 2002 she was fired from her job because of things she'd written on her blog! It's ok, though... she's lived through that to find a soul mate, two children, and two of the cutest dogs I've ever seen!

What does she write about, you ask? To be honest, she writes about just about everything, from her post-partum depression to dog farts, her obsession with chickens and all the joys of being a mom. The best part is that she does it with style and panache, and she manages to be real enough that I feel like if I were to meet her, I'd feel as if I already knew her. She's genuine, and I like that. She's also a total smartass, and I really like that!

Then there's Allie, who writes Hyperbole and a Half. I'm not quite sure how to explain this blog. Allie writes about the things in her life that affect her somehow, either frightening her, making her laugh, making her angry, or simply making her look foolish. She also illustrates her posts with a style that is truly her own. At first glance it seems child-like and simple, but once you watch her blog for a while you begin to see there's more to it than random scribbling.

The main thing I would say about Hyperbole and a Half is do not read it while you're eating or drinking anything. If you do, you will wind out with whatever is in your mouth coming out your nose while you laugh hysterically. I've laughed until I cried reading her blog, and I've actually laughed until I passed out. Coming from me, that's the highest praise! Also, it's not terribly safe for work, because she does sometimes use words that aren't appropriate for kids or office mates. However, if you are in a place you can read words like that, then I highly recommend you read these entries as a way of getting to know Allie's blog:

Speaking of words you wouldn't want your children or your boss to find you reading, Jenny The Bloggess is another absolutely hysterical blogger that I absolutely adore. I'm not quite sure how to describe her either, really. She's saucy, sarcastic, and has a strange side that is... well... really interesting! For example, her site has an unofficial mascot named James Garfield.  She had this to say when trying to describe it on a post around Christmas last year:
Quick note for anyone who hasn’t been here forever. James Garfield is what I named the giant, tattered, taxidermied head of a wild boar that I made my husband buy at an estate sale last year because James Garfield looked SO D@#N HAPPY. Then every time Victor would walk in my office he’d huff that he couldn’t believe I’d spent $90 on James Garfield so I decided to make back the money to get Victor to shut up so I offered on my blog to make homemade Christmas Cards with James Garfield’s face on them saying things like “OH IT JUST GOT ALL KINDS OF MOTHER*#@%$N’ FESTIVE IN HERE, Y’ALL” for $10 each. I made back the $90 and made so much extra that I got carpal tunnel and was able to donate a few hundred dollars to a fellow blogger recovering from a stroke. She wasn’t doing well at the time but now she’s kicking as much ass as you can from a wheelchair (which is a s#*tload, apparently). Probably due to the James Garfield cards if I had to give my professional medical opinion.
Not only is she crazy, but she's also got a warm heart (although she'll never admit it!). Over Christmas of last year, she managed to raise over $42,000 in toys, food, car seats, gift cards, and more. The best part? It was almost accidental, starting with her own wish to simply give back with the bit of cash she could spare and snowballing into more and more people joining in the spirit of Christmas to help others put a bit of magic into their kids hearts.

So you've got holiday miracles, hysterical laughter, and a style of writing that just draws you in? Come on, what more could you ask for?! I love reading her blog and seeing how she writes about her world and experiences. You might love her too!

You may have noticed that I read a variety of bloggers with a variety of styles. I also love Neil Gaiman's blog. I started out by reading his novels- he's an amazing writer of fantasy and... well, weird stuff. (If you get the chance be sure and read American Gods, as well as Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. Great stuff, those!) I love his voice, and his novels draw me into another world, one filled with mystery and drama... worlds I can't wait to explore, and often don't want to leave.

However, his blog is just as good! Instead of writing about the weird, his blog is simply writings about his life: his kids, his dogs, the bees he's been cultivating for the past few years. He writes about visiting the Dr. Who set and feeling like an excited kid because he got to be inside the Tardis! He's warm and inviting, and often very funny. He's the sort of guy I'd like to sit down and buy a beer so we could just talk about the world.

And finally, I know this is more than five, but I absolutely couldn't leave out my favorite kitty blog! I've followed Maru for ages now, and whenever I'm sad or anxious I click over to Maru's blog and find myself feeling better! Maru is a sweet Scottish Fold kitty who lives in Japan and his owner clearly dotes on him.

Maru is also famous! You may have seen him in videos of Maru sliding into boxes, Maru jumping in and out of boxes, and Maru wearing boxes or bags as fashion. He really loves boxes!

Whew! This was one heck of a blog! I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it, and I really hope you find a new blog to love because of it! Leave a comment below sharing some of your favorite blogs with me, I'd love to find more blogs to love!

Til next time!

Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Glitter Gal 3D Holographic Purple and an Update

I have a new obsession. I'm waiting for my Sally Hansen Salon Effect Nail Polish Strips to reach a point where they absolutely have to be removed, either because they've chipped or because they've simply grown out too far. So far, we're at day 15 and I have a tiny bit of tipwear on my right index finger, although I have to look at it up close to notice it.

Unfortunately, that makes for a very boring blog. I can't exactly show you guys another photo of the same nails, with the same polish, just a fraction of a smidge farther out on my nail thanks to new growth. (Although this gives me an idea for the next set I wear!) I think you guys would be even more bored to tears than I am with this manicure.

So, in the interest of keeping people awake, I've decided to show some things I've had sitting in the archive, waiting to be posted about. One of those things is an utterly fabulous polish from Glitter Gal. For those of you who aren't familiar with Glitter Gal, they're a wonderful Australian cosmetics company that do an absolutely gorgeous line of holographic polishes, as well as lots of other goodies that I'm dying to get my fingers on.

I've had this polish for a little while now, and I've worn it a couple of times but had problems getting photos of it. Even now, the best photo I have of it simply doesn't capture the beauty of the holo in this one. But it comes pretty close... This polish is absolutely gorgeous.

What you can't see in this photo is the amount of holographic beauty this baby shows. I even decided I would do a video to try and show you how wonderfully it flashes in the sun... except that you actually need sunlight to do that. It was a gorgeous sunny day, too, so I grabbed my husband and said, "Quick, let's take video of my nails!"

We rushed outside and got set up, only to see a giant cloud bank roll in. We stayed out for half an hour, getting brief flashes of sun that would disappear before we got a chance to video anything. Finally as we were giving up the clouds parted and I managed the brief video below. If you look closely, you can see the light disappear at the end of it!

Also, you can see the holo better if you watch at 720 HD. For some reason, the compression on this video sucked out all the gorgeous rainbow goodness, which made me sad. Still, the internet is pretty darned amazing, so I won't complain too much.

EDIT: And now, an additional video to show the holo in the bottle! Hopefully this one will show it a bit better...

Glitter Gal has over 70 colors to choose from, including 15 holographic polishes. They range in price from $11.95 to $14.95 and they take PayPal for those of us who don't live in Australia! I'm already planning my next order!

Polish was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Are Magic.

I've been sitting looking at the blank screen for a while now, and I just cannot think of the best way to phrase this. I keep writing things and deleting them, because about all I can come up with is, "These things are magic and they NEVER LET GO! Go buy them!"

I know, I know, marketing says they'll stay on for 10 days. They never do, right? Or maybe they do, but they're chipped and lifting and you're pulling your hair out, just wanting to take the damn things off already. But this time, I am having none of those problems.

Maybe it's my super nails, maybe it's my process. I used cuticle remover before I put these on, and then scrubbed my nails well. Before I put them on, I went over my nails again with nail polish remover just to make sure there were no oils on them, and I made sure to rub the polish strips down well after I applied them.

The result? It's day 12 and my nails are still perfect, except for new growth. I'm going to have to remove them from sheer boredom soon!! I haven't been taking it easy on these, either: I've been crafting, sewing, beading... all the usual things that will destroy my manicure. The results speak for themselves.

The best part is that because my nails are fairly short, I was able to get all my nails done with one pouch of strips, so I still have another manicure's wear out of these! So far, that's almost a month for one little box of strips!! I'm absolutely gobsmacked.

Creme colors, shimmers, glitters and designs... it's amazing the looks you can get with this simple little packet. I just can't say enough good about them. I'm actually bored with this design, but I want to see how long it will last! Let's see... will they stay on til my nails fall off? :D

Til next time...

Product was provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oops, I forgot to post... *blush*

I know, I know, I'm horrible. I thought I'd posted the winner of my giveaway! Instead, I hadn't, and hadn't even updated the blog! I'm a terrible blog mommy. I've had an interesting week, let's just leave it at that, shall we?

However, I want to give a GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Lisa Mc! She's won the kick-butt prize package so generously provided by Kiss & Broadway Nails, and I'm hoping she has as much fun with the goodies as I have!

Also, I have a great story to share. I guest-lecture in the Photoshop Basics class at the local community college every semester. This time, I'd gone in to help with the class while they worked on their final projects, as usual, and as I was helping one student, she interrupted me apologetically.

Turns out, she loved the way my nails were done, and she recognized them as the Sally Hansen Salon Effect nail polish strips. She had to tell me that she loved my nails, and that as soon as class let out, she was going to WalMart to buy a pack of the set I'm wearing! It seems that she and all of her friends absolutely love these, because they're easy, gorgeous, and stay on forever!!

I'd wondered about that, but it's true. I put this set on the afternoon of April 29 as an experiment to see how long they'd wear. As of May 7 they aren't even showing tipwear, and I only put topcoat on them once! I am showing new growth at the base of my nails, but other than that, these still look brand new. I've even been crafting with them, and that usually destroys my manicure!

So, just for the sake of thoroughness, I'm going to keep these on until they need to be changed. I'm not going to change them simply because of growth, because that's just too easy. I want to see how long these babies will stay on my nails! In the meantime, I'm going to be doing a comparison of the various types of full-nail sticker/polish tabs that I can get my hands on. This should be fun! Stick around, once I get it all organized it's going to be pretty informative!

Til next time...
This awesome giveaway was sponsored by Kiss & Broadway Nails. Show 'em some love!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Unexpected traveling and a contest extension...

I doodled this one day and thought
it would brighten up the post!
Wow. You know how sometimes you suddenly have to go out of town and whatever you had planned gets postponed? Yea. I spent the past few days hours from home with no internet access, so I had absolutely no way to verify my giveaway entries, much less to pick a winner!

This is good, though- I'm extending the deadline for my giveaway to May 3, just to give me a couple of days to go through entries and get everything sorted out. So, if you haven't entered, this is pretty much your last chance! Tell your friends, and GO ENTER!!!

I'll be posting a winner as soon as I can. Until then, be well, and may you find your most longed-for polish in a dusty clearance bin for 90% off!

Unexpected traveling can be fun!
See my disclosure statement for more information.