READ: Kill All Muggles

My wife had to explain to me that “muggle” is from Harry Potter. She claims she was reading it for the benefit of a friend. I’m not convinced. But don’t worry. The divorce papers have been filed.

It came up because my Facebook feed was filled with this video, last month. “Muggle” was being thrown around like whatever they throw around in that Harry Potter game. I know it as internet slang for those nerds who don’t know about magic. Christians and accountants, mostly.

The video is a short report from Colorado’s 9 NEWS, concerning the finding of an “occult altar” in a deceased man’s backyard shed. Amongst the paraphernalia was found human bones. Most likely, it was connected to Palo, a Cuban magical tradition.

(Read the rest here...)

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READ: The Miracle Staircase of Loretto Chapel

In the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico, stands the Loretto Chapel, home of a famous spiral staircase said to have been built by a divine stranger who was passing through in 1878.  Unsolved Mysteries did a piece on it, and there’s even a 1998 made-for-TV film, The Staircase. According to the legend, the chapel, which was stationed at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, was completed without a set of stairs leading to the choir loft.  The Sisters of the Chapel were uncomfortable with their practice of climbing a ladder to the loft before mass, as it allowed any passerby the opportunity to look up their habits.  Plans to install a standard staircase were rejected, since the chapel was fairly small, and space was limited as it was.
To solve the problem, the nuns began a nine-day novena to St. Joseph, patron of carpenters, in the hopes that he would give them some sort of solution.  On the final day, out of nowhere, a man with a donkey and a box of tools appeared, looking for work.
(Read the rest here...)
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READ: Hundreds of mourners bid farewell to Walter White


The first hint that the service Saturday at Sunset Memorial Park wasn’t a typical funeral came when eulogist Michael Flowers got cheers when he spoke of the dearly departed.
Another giveaway came from the prominent bright colors, T-shirts, sandals and ubiquitous black pork pie hats that broke up the typical formal black.
The funeral for Walter White, the fictional chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin in AMC’s television drama “Breaking Bad,” drew about 200 mourners to the cemetery after a funeral procession that rolled 80 cars deep down Second Street in the North Valley.
Leading the procession were a few Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies, followed by a tan, beat-up RV made famous in the show, a hearse and then around 80 diehard fans. The procession shut down streets and took 10 minutes to pass.

(Read the rest here...)
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CRAFT: Electrical Tape is a Girl's Best Friend


        I used to think those people who bought duplicates of things were crazy.  Now I understand.  To say I get a little attached to my things is an understatement.  There's that one sweater that hangs just so, the pair of shoes that are stylish AND comfortable, the pants that make my ass look great... and now they're all wearing out!  ACK!!!

        Maybe I'm getting old, maybe it's because I'm broke, but DAMMIT!  Why can't I find anything affordable and cute when I go shopping?!  Something needed to be done, and fast.  Having just completed our giant move out of state, there are still boxes and tools laying around the apartment.  I happened to spy the electrical tape in the tool box and had a flash of creativity.  (My best ideas seem to be born from frustration.)  I realized I could totally fix my shoes with tape!  AWWW YEAH!

        I know, I know, I know.  I should just get new shoes.  But it's not that easy, I swear!  Let me reveal a not-so-secret, secret:  I have big honkin' feet.  My grandpa even used to call them gunboats.  This puts me at a disadvantage to finding cute shoes, not counting my limited funds.  I guess I'm also a bit picky, but whatever!

I dug out my favorite ankle boots that were starting to get pretty beat up and got to work.

        ***DISCLAIMER:  Please read through the entire tutorial before you begin!  I need to emphasis before we start that you need to be 100% confident in your skills with an x-acto knife or else you'll end up with uglier shoes than you had before!  This method may not work for your pair, i.e. shoes with heels/soles that are not solid.  If the material has any give to it, the tape will come off.  (I tried to fix the soles of some black flats I have, but they were made of rubber and it resulted in an ugly flapping tape mess after I wore them!)  Black electrical tape matches the faux leather shoes I own just right, but it might not look so good next to real leather or more textured material.  Use your best judgement and fashion sense.  ***

        First you need to make sure the material is clean so that the tape will stick properly.  Some water and a paper towel should fix this if the shoe is man-made materials, otherwise use a fabric-appropriate cleaner.  Next, line the tape up with the edge of the heel, leaving a tiny bit of overlap that will be pressed into the crease after you cut it to size.  IMPORTANT:  Make sure not to stretch the tape as you wrap it along the heel or else it will recede once you stop messing with it, causing strange lumps and making it flap off.  Just line the tape up and lay it flat, smoothing out any creases. 

        This is where your x-acto knife skills come into play.  Slice the tape along the edge of the heel, making sure you leave a little of an edge so you can tuck it neatly into the top of the heel where it meets the rest of the shoe.  Use the point of the knife to do this or even your fingernail if they're strong/long enough.  This give the heel a more finished look and helps prevent ragged edges of tape.

        Not so terrible, right?  Now repeat this process until you cover the entire heel of your shoe!  Keeping the tape straight and un-stretched is the key to success here.  Thankfully, electrical tape is pretty forgiving.  It won't leave a nasty residue if you need to take it off to reposition it again.  I tried to keep the strips of tape a uniform amount of space apart to create a "stacked heel" effect.  You can overlap the tape here as much or as little as you want, do what you think makes the shoe look best.

        When you get down to the area where the tape can start wrapping around the heel, make sure to cut your tape long enough to do so on both sides.  Mine ended up in a crisscross pattern due to the curve of the heel.  Wrapping the tape around will keep it from flapping!  (Have you noticed flapping things are the arch villain in this post?)  I made sure I didn't tape the bottom of the heel; I cut it along the edge of plastic so that the tape wouldn't make the heels slippery when I walked.

        And that's it!  Below I have the taped and un-taped heels side by side so you can see the difference!  Not bad, right?  Congrats!  You have just extended the life of your favorite shoes!  I suppose if you were feeling particularly industrious or possess advanced knowledge of repairing shoes, you could remove the material before you tape it to help reduce any lumps.  I didn't feel too sure about doing that, and with the tape method, if it turns out horrible, you can easily take it off right away.  (Wait more than a day though and the tape will become stickier, making it more difficult to remove, so you need to decide right away if you like your new kicks or not.)

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On Vacation!


        Sorry for the lack of new posts...  As you can tell I'm VERY busy right now, so my Etsy shop and blog will be on hiatus until next month!  I'm sure this is incredibly disappointing to um, maybe all of the three people who read this.  To those dear readers I send my condolences and probably more pictures to make you jealous.  HA!  Stay tuned, things are about to get crazy over here and I'm sure I'll be itching to ramble about it once I have internet access again...
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LISTEN: The Microphones - "The Glow" Pt. 2

        Do you have ten minutes and thirty-three seconds to spare today?  If you do (and I hope you do) please sit quietly and listen to these two lovely songs by The Microphones:  I Want Wind to Blow and The Glow Pt.2.

Just sit and listen.  

        The Glow Pt.2, released back in 2001, is perfect for people who still love to make an event of listening to an album with little to no interruptions.  This lo-fi psych pop epic, written and engineered by Phil Elvrum, (you can find more of his music under the moniker Mount Eerie) will take you on a journey filled with beautiful, singing-in-the-room-with-you vocals, dense, fuzzed-out noise, and intimate guitars.  Whenever I hear The Glow Pt.2, it evokes tall trees and mountainous peaks; a desolate paradise all my own.  It may be a bit lonesome at times, but it is always beautiful and always welcoming.  The songs seamlessly melt into one another, which makes it a shame to listen to the album cut into pieces on YouTube.  If you have the chance, (I think you should make the chance) buy this record.  Sit and listen to it in its entirety.  Before you know it, the whole sixty-six minutes of this recording has past you by.  And that time is never enough; it feels like there is always so much more to listen to, so many more roads to venture down accompanied by the distorted drums, creeping organs, and xylophone flourishes.  Even after all the years of hearing this on repeat, I swear there is always something new to marvel at with each listen.  The only way you could enjoy this more is with a good set of headphones, a nice cup of something warm, and a furry, four-legged companion to curl up under your arm.  Sit in your favorite chair or lay on your bed.  Let the outside world melt away.  Be still for just one moment and listen.

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BEAUTIFY: Strange Hand Photo, Tiny Glitter Bottles.


        Here is the other glitter set I ordered!  Aren't they precious?!  Why are miniature things so cute?!  I don't understand.  Ben & Jerry's ice cream pints?  They're super good, but nothing special.  MINI-SIZED Ben & Jerry's ice cream?  IRRESISTIBLE!!!  It's stupid, but I can't help it.  Apparently neither can anyone else.  Just sneak a peek at Etsy and you'll find tons of crafts dedicated to things in miniature.

But I digress.

        This is the manicure I came up with to showcase my lovely new glitter treasures:  strategically placed chevrons and lots of shiny topcoat.  I used my nifty dotter tool again to set each glitter piece just right.  (Maybe I should get a photo of it?  Poor thing does all the work and gets no credit!  hahaha)  I'm glad I was able to photograph it okay, I wasn't sure the hologram glitter would show up too well.  Pretty and practical, I figured something understated and easily repaired was best since I have tons of packing to do and not really much time to sit and play with nail polish right now.  Boo-hoo.
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BEAUTIFY: I Could Use A Rainbow

         Been on a bit of a writing hiatus this week... reading all the nonsense in the news this week has really got me down and I didn't want to spew any more vitriol into the world by adding another angry blog to the pack.  I have a few posts in bones right now, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish them.  Next week looks promising -- I'll just have to make sure I finish writing before I read the news.  (Wah-wah.)

        Doom and gloom aside, I finally got one of the new glitter packs I ordered!  This one is a pretty rainbow mix I ordered from pinkypoo39 on Ebay.  I thought the squares were gonna be a bit bigger, but apparently I don't know how to read!  (It clearly has them listed as .8mm, but duh! I didn't pay attention to that!)  Since I have all those other glitter pots from last time, I'm thinking I should make a custom mix with some of them.  We'll see.  I have another order of glitter on the way which I know is also going to be awesome.  Horray for cheap entertainment!

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EAT: Everything I Needed to Know About Cooking I Learned From the Veganomicon

This beautiful gem has been in my possession since 01.07.08!
        This is the post where I'm gonna get all mushy-like and profess my love for all things food.  I must admit, we haven't always been best friends; there is a formidable period of time when I hated my body and we were downright bitter enemies, food and I.  Now as a woman on the cusp of turning thirty (ZOMG!) who has weighed approximately the same weight for around 10 years, it's safe to say this is the body I'm made with and I should probably accept it because it seems to like being how it is.  My acceptance does not equal negligence; I have maintained a more-healthy-than-not diet and prefer to stay fairly active to avoid stress and boredom.  It's a pretty average body, but together we have done extraordinary things.  And without it, well... I'd be dead and that would be boring.

        Because of this love for food, cookbooks hold a very special place in my heart.  I don't just look up recipes in them, I learn an entire new way of life.  Cookbooks have become significant enough in my life to have attained the status of being regarded as a "holy book" for at least the past five years.  When I first moved out on my own, my cooking skill was just high enough to keep starvation at bay.  Eating out at fast food places was too expensive and not to mention wildly unhealthy.  I was also a pretty strict vegetarian at the time too, so even when I did have money to go out, most of the enjoyment was lost due to the time spent scouring the menus for items other than salads and french fries that I could feel okay about eating.

        I knew how to cook a few staple meals:  spaghetti, burritos, rice, oatmeal, brownies...  uhhh... now that I think about it, what the hell WAS I eating?!  Hrm...  I think I ate a lot of cold cereals and noodles with frozen veggies -- cheap, easy, and (mostly) fool proof.  It was around this time I found out the hard way that my oven didn't work.  I had waited the obligatory 15-20 minutes for a frozen pizza to bake, only to I realize, "hey, it doesn't smell like pizza in here."  I ended up having to chop it into chunks and cook it piece by piece in the toaster oven.  Wah-wah.  (Thankfully maintenance fixed this problem once I alerted them to it.)  Spaghetti was a tasty, easy meal to make, but I'd only ever made it for my family, so me, not knowing how to adjust for less people, would end up eating a mountain of spaghetti for a week.  I didn't have easy access to the internet (hello free wifi hotspots!) and I never thought to look recipes up when I did.  If I had, maybe the two meals that went horribly wrong (and still haunt me to this day) could've been avoided.

        I had been trying to be fancy and make a "restaurant" dinner for myself.  The easiest meal I could think of was fettuccine alfredo with spinach.  Not too difficult, right?  HA!  It would've been fine had I not used CANNED spinach instead of FRESH.  I don't remember if the canned spinach was flavored or not, all I know is that it DID NOT make my meal taste like the pasta I got at the restaurant.  I didn't drain it, I just opened the can and tossed it right on top of my lovely noodles and sauce (which was also from a can.) It was just wrong and icky and I didn't know how to fix it.  And to make things worse?  I HAD TO EAT IT.  I had a strict budget for food so that meant what was in my pantry was all I had to eat.  Ugh.  What better incentive to learn how to cook than to be stuck eating the gross nonsense you thought up!

        The other incident involved jalapeno poppers. This was not as dire a mistake as the alfredo, just a very painful one.  I thought you could just shove some cream cheese in a hollowed out jalapeno, stick it in the oven and call it awesome.  Nope.  Truth is, you burn your face off and have to give in and throw them away because they're just TOO DAMN HOT!  I'd had enough.  I was tired of eating crappy food.

        That's when the magick happened.  I was wandering around Barnes & Noble one day after work and a book left on a table caught my eye called the VEGANOMICON: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook (written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano).  All I could think was "What the hell, this looks good, what is it?!"  I sat down, cracked it open and am forever grateful I did!  Though I was a vegetarian at the time, I didn't really have the convictions or the know-how to become a vegan.  I had a couple of friends who were, but no one really close who could teach me how to cook.  I also thought it would be too expensive to go vegan since the majority of things on the market are horribly over-priced.  This book quickly changed my mind.

        With an emphasis on using real foods rather than over-processed imitation foods, Veganomicon teaches you how to create all kinds of delicious meals that are often quick and cost-effective.  It has everything from breakfast to dessert to snacks and gourmet dishes!  I only scanned a few of the pages, but it was enough to convince me that this was the book I needed to treat myself to.  (I had started a habit of saving a bit of money each month to allow myself to purchase something nice for myself, often times it was an art book from B&N since I got a discount there for being a GameStop employee.)  I left cradling my lovely new possession under my arm, not knowing at the time how great an impact it was about to have on my life.

        Actually READING this book can teach you what foods make good staples to stock your pantry with, what equipment is most useful to keep in your kitchen, definitions of commonly used cooking terms, and basic instructions for cooking most veggies, beans, and grains.  Again I applaud the author for not relying on commercially produced vegan/vegetarian products and teaching you how to make real, made-from-scratch food.  I feel it's an essential skill to have and saves you a lot of money in the long run.  (Not to mention the health benefits received by eating non-overly processed foods.)  And to make things even more interesting, each recipe is often embellished with a cute anecdote worth reading too!

        To give you an idea of the range of recipes you'll find in this book, I'll list some of my favorites (in order of appearance in the book, I don't think I could pick a favorite!!):
  • Everyday Chipotle-Vegetable Tamales
  • Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes
  • Blueberry Corn Pancakes
  • Snobby Joes
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Coriander Seeds
  • Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple
  • Almost All-American Seitan Potpie
  • Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chili Sauce
  • Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-fry
  • Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies
  • Individual Heart-Shaped Apple Galettes

        I wish I could thank whoever it was that left this book on the table that day at the bookstore!  My copy is so well-loved now:  bulldog clips dividing each chapter, stuffed with recipes I've found from different sources, all the notes I've scrawled on the pages while cooking each recipe...   Though I never went full vegan and have since incorporated meat back into my diet, I still rely heavily on the recipes in this book.  It makes it easy to add (or sneak!) more veggies into your diet by providing countless examples that go above and beyond the standard flavors of steamed or sautéed side dishes while maintaining the amount of ease with which you can cook them.  Want to make pancakes but you don't have any eggs or butter?  I know how to make that happen now!  Learning vegan substitution for common foods comes in handy when you're missing certain items or want to make your groceries stretch a little further than normal.  Plus when you do entertain company with special food preferences, you'll be able to accommodate them without pressure! 

        The authors have several other delicious cookbooks which you can find listed at their website The Post Punk Kitchen!  You should just check out the website in general because it's awesome and there are tons of recipes on there for free if you're not convinced you need to buy this book yet.  (Well why not?!)  I can't tell you enough how much I love this book.  Well, yes I can, but I don't think a page full of OMGGGILOOOOVETHIS!!!111!! would make for good reading. 

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BEAUTIFY: Maaaaaan...


        I waited a week for my awesome shipment of awesome to come in and this was all I got.  Poop.  Okay, this is better than poop, but only slightly because it'll prove to be just as versatile for my nail art as poop would.  "There was a mix up with inventory, yadda yadda yadda, keep what we sent you, we'll refund your money."  That's cool and all, I appreciate your prompt response, but dammit!  I wanted what I ordered!!!  Round two of internet glitter hunting has begun; this time I took my search to Ebay since Amazon is full of disappointment right now.

        Oh, and the glitter on my nails in this pic isn't even anything from this set.  It's just some random old craft store glitter I had stashed in a box!  Gold squares and black mini-rectangles over Sally Hansen's "Blue Me Away!" with lots of top coat. 

        What better blow me away are my shipments from Ebay...dammit.
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ENLIGHTEN: A Lesson in Submission, Or, Why I Don't Go to S&M Clubs Anymore


Vice's Doggie Fashion Show
        Maybe I should've done what the average modern bride does and blog about all the ooey gooey details of planning the wedding and adjusting to married life, but there were plenty of other things going on in our lives that preoccupied a good chunk of that time.  While I would never say I'm happy that my dad got sick, I will acknowledge how grateful I am for the months of reflection it offered me.  2012 was the most crazy shake-up year of my life (let's pretend puberty never happened, okay?) and I feel it would benefit me to analyze the spectrum of emotions I felt and to take a closer look at all the events which occurred to better understand where I am right now.  (Not to mention it'll offer me a semi-regular topic to blog about for awhile until I can think of more.  HA!)

        I think the biggest light bulb that went off in my head actually had a little something to do with the following Bible verse:

Ephesians 5: 21-24  
 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

        I've always hated these verses and I've engaged myself in countless debates with Sunday school teachers and other conservative religious types about "a woman's place".  I was never taught growing up that it was right to judge someone by class, race, sex, ability, or orientation.  I was raised to believe that I was equal, intelligent, and had just as much of a right to make my place in this world as anyone else.  So when my family started going to a Lutheran church, (which was my idea, really) it was understandable that after awhile I began to have my reservations about the whole "religion thing".  At first it seemed great:  I got to hang out with my best friend, eat delicious food at potlucks, find salvation, be forgiven, yadda yadda yadda.  But it wasn't for me in the long once I realized I was supposed to be taking a back seat to the dudes! (I have countless other complaints, but for the sake of trying to write a semi-coherent post, I'll save my rantings for a different time.)  Why did I have to be the one to submit and all he had to do was love me?  It didn't seem fair.

        But there is actually a lot more going on here.  When looking up this verse to quote it properly, I ran across Provocative Christian Living, offering their explanation of it.  As with anything, if you only look at something piece by piece, rather than as a whole, it's easy to draw drastically different conclusions if you can't see the entire picture.  This made me think about what caused the REAL change in my life this past year.  It wasn't finding my forever best friend, it wasn't facing the mortality of my father, it wasn't losing my job and the people who I thought were my friends.  It was the submission of my ego.

Every kind of ignorance in the world all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don't even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality. – Robert Anton Wilson

        My ego was out of control.  I didn't believe that someone else should come before me.  MY feelings and MY opinions were the ones that mattered most because in the end, who is the one that's stuck with them?  ME.  It made sense and that ideology carried me through a decent part of my adult life.  (This seems to be a common sentiment now, check out this article on A Generation's Vanity, showing how we're apparently the most narcissistic generation to date.)  I'm sure this makes me sound like an inconsiderate asshole, which I probably still am in many ways.  It was just a defense mechanism that happened to work for me.  I was too kind and trusting for my own good when I was younger; I got taken advantage of because of it and feel like I lost a good chunk of myself to other people by giving and loving endlessly to psychic vampires.  So, the natural reaction was to snap back completely the opposite direction.

         I don't want to sound like one of those overly-ardent wives who always talk about their husbands, but I really feel he played a great role in helping turn me around.  He was NOT going to put up with my bullshit and he wasn't afraid to call me out on it either.  He made me uncomfortable, he challenged my ideas; he was a real pain in the ass sometimes to be quite honest.  But he gave me what I needed.  I needed the mirror held up to my face for a nice, close inspection of all the things I was covering up with my inflated ego.  As I learned to really trust someone again and feel good about myself, it was only natural to want to open up and share again too.  Which brings me back to that much maligned Bible verse.  What's often missed is that the verse is actually being continued from the one ahead of it:

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.           

        BOTH parties are to submit, so I guess this verse is fair after all. Thanks to the publisher adding a title between the verses, it causes some extra anger and grief that probably could've been avoided, at least in this instance.  Doesn't the Bible say somewhere that God told people not to add or subtract to it?!  Oh yeah, it's in Deuteronomy 4:2.  I'm sure someone will be offended by the fact that I keep quoting Bible verses while professing my desire to not be seen as a Christian, but these are the texts I am familiar with and are [primarily] what have caused the various beliefs/dis-beliefs in my life.  Isn't the common saying: 'go with what you know'?

        Submission, to me, means destroying your ego.  I am no longer the most important.  I don't need to exist purely to satisfy myself.  I am bigger and more meaningful when I becomes WE.  Something magickal happens when you allow yourself to lose the concept of being the most important, most meaningful, singular being in the world (heaven forbid you think outside of existence on Earth!) and realizing that you are part of something bigger:  the collective unconscious.  You don't need to do this in order to please Christ, Buddha, the Great Goddess, the Spaghetti Monster, or whatever.  You do this to be a decent, sentient being who shares the world with countless other decent, sentient beings as long as your conscious mind remains intact.  If everyone would submit to the idea that there are other important things in the world besides themselves, where could we be now?  What impact could the simple change of losing your narcissism have on your life?  On others?  I found a soul mate.  I found love.  I found trust.  I found an inner peace that I had been lusting after for far too long.  What will you find? 

“Consider that you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.” –Sergio Toporek

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BEAUTIFY: Sad Nails Need Love Too!


        Ugggh..... so my nails are worn all the way back down to stubs again! *poutpout*  Please don't gawk at my painfully short ring-finger nail...ouch!  Sadly, this hand was actually the better looking of the two!  My poor right hand has a band aid on it from a dish washing accident... don't ask, I'm a klutz.  The anxiety of getting a root canal the other week and forgetting to take my vitamins has done a number on my nails (not to mention my bank account too, BOO URNS to dentist bills!!!)  But I decided to try making them pretty again anyway.  Used three coats of my favorite nail color (Whimsical by Revlon) and added tiny silver hearts from the polish my husband bought me for Valentine's day.  They're pretty cute, not quite the best polish job this time around, but it'll have to do because I'm lazy and don't feel like taking it all off to start over!

        In good news though, the nail art bundle I order from Amazon this week should be on its way!  SOON, VERY SOON, I will have 72 new styles, colors, and/or types of glitter and things to put on my nails!!!  I am so excited for this stupid package, it's, well... stupid.  But hey, it's cheap entertainment and it keeps me out of trouble!  (Mostly...)
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The End Is Near!


But it's really the beginning...

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BEAUTIFY: I Still Always Think of Men When I Hear the Word "Ombré"

        But some of my nails broke so they're starting to look a bit stumpy all around...GRR!!  My fabulous spouse-man bought me this ombré set of five purple polishes just because he got them in at work and he knew I'd like them!  He sent me a pic of all the color choices and said "Pick one."  D'aww, he's so sweet!  I asked if his assistants tease him at work for buying so much nail polish... because really they should.  HAHA!

        This is just a rehash of my Pop Art Girly Freak Out nails but with a better quality photo so you can actually see what's going on:  DOTS GALORE!!  I keep coming back to this style because IT IS SO EASY TO DO.
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BEAUTIFY: Triangle Man, Triangle Man...


        I'm gonna go ahead and say it:  I have attempted this manicure several times before and it always ends in FAIL.  I've tried using triangle-shaped tape decals, a mini paint brush, and have now had mild success with using a tape stencil as a guide.  I had higher hopes (and more detail) in mind for this but ended up so frustrated that my lines STILL weren't perfectly straight that I just left them like this.  I know, it's not the worst, but I'm a little OCD and these crooked triangles kinda bug me.  At least the colors complement each other and my skin well; I still think it's funny that I actually really like to wear gold now.  It all started with my wedding ring... I had to have nail polish to match it!  I still love all things silver, but this past year has been all about change and I'm more than willing to dive head first into something new... even when that something is as simple as adding a new color to my wardrobe.

        As an added bonus, here is Particle Man by They Might Be Giants.  I was trying to think of a title for this post and this silly song popped into my head, so I went with it.  And if you actually remember seeing this on Tiny Toons, there is a high possibility that we could be friends.

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BEAUTIFY: Blue Valentine!


        Okay, so maybe that's a bad title because all I think about is that terribly sad but also very beautiful movie starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.  Haven't seen it?  Go rent it already!  (I think it's on Netflix right now too.)  But be prepared to cry your face off for the rest of the day!  (Or is that just me?)  Anyway, here is my version of the stupidly cute Valentine's day manicure that everyone loves to do!  (It's not everyone you say?  Just dorks like me?  Hey, YOU'RE the one still reading this post, so... )  I think this is the fanciest I've made my nails look yet and it was surprisingly pretty easy to do.

        First I painted my nails blue, and while they were drying I painted some scotch tape with the darker polish I was going to cut into strips for the stripes... try saying that five times fast!  I got the idea to paint tape with polish hereNote:  I would've linked to the site it's actually on, but when clicking through on Pinterest, the picture didn't link to the post with the tutorial and the site was loading terribly slow on my computer so I gave up searching.  Sorry.  You'll just have to forgive my bad netiquette this time.  Once the polish was dry on the tape, I cut it into little slivers and stuck it to my nails.  This was probably the hardest part because I had trouble cutting them all the same width.

        I then fished around in one of the lovely new heart glitter polishes the husband gave me as a gift for V-Day and stuck those itty bitty hearts on top of the stripes with my ulta high-tech, homemade nail dotter tool!  (It's really just a mechanical pencil with a pin stuck in the end... STAY CLASSY!)  The extra glitter on my ring finger is from the polish I'm holding:  Rainbow in the S-Kylie by Nicole.  Pro tip:  Ulta makes a glitter polish that is almost identical to this one and it's cheaper!  I very rarely buy nail polish that costs more than about $3, but when I do it's because I either have a coupon or I just absolutely, positively NEED that specific color.  A lot of the nail art blogs I come across all use the super-cool, custom blended stuff they find online, but I honestly just don't have and can't justify spending as much money as they do on polish.  So if you're looking to make your nails pretty for cheap, you've found the right blog!  But if you're too fancy to use dollar store polish, well... can you send me money?  Hahahah

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BEAUTIFY: Pop Art Girly Freak Out!


        Why was the only photo I took of this manicure done with my stupid phone camera?  It's only my FAVORITE color combo and design I've made for my nails thus far!  DUH!  So why would I want to take a decent photo of THAT?!

The universe holds many mysteries and stupid things...

        It's February and I'm feeling all happy and loved, so I thought I'd go with some pastel girly pink!  But me being me, I couldn't survive with pink alone, so plop! plop! plop! I added some splashes of turquoise, navy, fuchsia, and yellow with my handy-dandy nail dotter.  (It's made from a mechanical pencil with a pin stuck in the eraser. DIY FTW!)

Next time I'll remember to take better pictures.

P.S. - No, I am NOT watching Downton Abbey back there...
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        Yucky yuck yuck ew!  I decided to try out the nail marbling trend at home which resulted in very mild success.  At least I was a source of entertainment for my hubby who watched as I unceremoniously stuck my fingers into strange, swirly liquids, hoping for the best.  I think I did a decent job not turning my hands into a globbly nail polish mess thanks to the tips from others who have tried this (put tape your fingers or use vaseline, etc.), but it seems almost inevitable that you WILL make some kind of a mess during this process...

Like this!  (from http://www.emybloom.com)
        Thankfully the polish is only a very thin layer, so it's not that hard to clean off.  The designs came out pretty cool on my nails but I had some problems with bubbles and wrinkling on the edges where my nails meet my skin.  Overall it was fun but slightly tedious and I feel like I was using a lot of nail polish for just one nail at a time.  I think I might be happier if I practice this and experiment with proper color combinations because the white base looked really bad with the colors I chose.  (I picked a white base because most of the tutorials suggested that.)  I will totally attempt this again at some point.
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BEAUTIFY: Playing With Glitter or How to Go Cross-Eyed and Love It

        So for the first time in my entire life, I HAVE NAILS!  I've never really been a nail biter, I just tend to pick at them when I'm nervous which causes them to weaken and flake, causing breakage.  But I've been taking my vitamins regularly and learned not to be such a stress-mess!  The results?  I have pretty, adult-looking hands.  Okay, I admit they're still not up to par with what most would consider to be "long" nails, but there is no way I could do anything if I had talons of doom!

There was a woman who worked at my old bank with nails like these.
        Here is my first attempt at artfully placing individual pieces of glitter on my nail polish!  This isn't as [technically] difficult as it may seem, but I only had the patience to do this for two of my nails at the time.  The result was a pretty and not too over-the-top manicure.  I bet this would look really cool with a silver base coat... it would be like a mirror ball effect!  The awesome blog at Polish All the Nails has been a great source of inspiration; I highly recommend checking out some of her amazingly intricate manicures!  Maybe soon I'll be able to do full mermaid nails like hers without going cross-eyed before it's done!  Maybe.

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