Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve: Recap!

So it's finally New Years Eve and a time to look back on the good things that have happened in the past year. I'm definitely ready to start a new year and hope you guys all are too! One of my new years goals for this year (and hopefully life..eventually) is definitely to stop procrastinating things and just getting them done right away. It's been on the of the things that I've struggled for a while and yup, time to get it under control! I also want to start getting more organized with everything and keeping things nice and neat instead of just placing things wherever there's room for it. Of course I would also like to expand my book collection (I now have itches to go to Barnes & Noble) and to keep up my gym schedule along with getting my diet back on track. Just some personal goals that I have for myself and could probably sit here listing 10 more but I'll just stop with those! Now onto a list of the good things that have happened in the past year. I want to make sure I say this and it's that I am NOT, in any way, shape, or form, trying to brag about things that have become good memories to me. They're just things that make me feel good and I want to share those with you; I'll try to keep the list to a limit of about 30 things (if I can get there!).
  1. I became a redhead!
  2. Bought a new cell phone
  3. Went to the Chicago Vampire Diaries Convention
  4. Met Nathaniel Buzolic & Candice Accola at the convention as well as Paul Wesley & Ian Somerhalder again (first time was Labor Day 2012)
  5. Got my braces back on (it's a love/hate relationship ha)
  6. Had my 1 year anniversary with my hedgehog (LOL)
  7. My birthday happened (though nobody likes you when you're 23!)
  8. Started going to the gym
  9. One of my best friends got married!
  10. Went to the Renaissance Faire (a couple times)
  11. I finished my Bachelor's Degree
  12. I started my Master's Degree program at a new school
  13. I started a Substance Abuse Counseling certificate at a new but different school
  14. I met new friends at my school orientation
  15. Have taken the train downtown to the city more than I have in my life
  16. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones finally came out on movie in the theaters
  17. Joined the huge book fandom that I never knew existed
  18. Got a cab by myself downtown for the first time (which also took FOREVER)
  19. Got some extensions from Intense Extensions
  20. Read a 4 book series in 1.5-2 weeks (Fallen series)
  21. I met Sasha Alsberg in real life who is Lily Collins' 90% twin (I swear!) and owner of @theshadowhunters and @abookutopia on Instagram. I definitely recommend you check her out! Especially if you love The Mortal Instruments (like my obsessive self) and reading books in general. She also started following me on Twitter (@sashaalsberg); I feel the Sasha love! (& fan-girling)
  22. Steve Gonsalves (@stevegonsalves1) from Ghost Hunters (@ghosthunters) started following me on Twitter (which I'm still fan-girling about)
  23. Jay Verburg (@Jay_Verburg) from Ghost Mine (@ghostmine) started to follow me on Twitter & Patrick Doyle (@phtdoyle) followed me on Instagram (also still fan-girling about)
  24. Carmen Seda started to follow me on Twitter (@CarmenSeda) and on Instagram (@homeofnephilim fandom account; personal @carmensedda) which I'm also fan-girling about, which has been a really common happening this semester!
  25. Nadia Luna started following me on Instagram (personal: @@nadclubfan ; fandom: @clubfandemonium) and on Twitter (@0h_na_na) so many fan-girling moments!
  26. Visited family in Florida for a week
  27. Won a giveaway from Grown Up Fangirl (@grownupfangirl Instagram and Twitter @grownupfangal)
  28. Made plans to visited my friend in St. Louis, in 10 days now, for a weekend
  29. Expanded, and still expanding, my book collection
  30. Got a new tattoo!

Well I made it to 30! And I'm sure I could gather up some more memories but I'll just leave it at this for now :). I'd love hear some of the good memories that you guys have had the past year! Leave a comment below or if you make up your own post, let me know and I'll check it out! Have a safe New Years Eve, don't drink and drink, have fun, and bring in the new year right! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Semi-Early New Years Post

I've had it planned for a couple of months now of two different things to start doing for the New Year. No it's not "let's go get a gym membership and go for 3 weeks!" because I already have a membership and have been going (more lately than during the semester shhh). I like to go explore on Pinterest every now and then, because let's face it, who doesn't, and I discovered/found the 52 Week Money Challenge! The pin that I found came from Life As You Live It's blog and I found it to be an absolutely fantastic idea! Especially for the New Year coming up and everybody likes to do new things, you know how it goes. The second thing that I'm going to start doing is a good memory jar which I also found on Pinterest though it was just a photograph and not linked to a blog post.

We'll start off with the 52 week challenge first! Basically what you do is get a jar, or I got a tall plastic storage container from Walmart for around $2-$3, put the 52 weeks on the outside of the jar, and put money in every week! You can get the spreadsheet that I used from Life As You Live It since she has attached to her post. Each week has it's own number so the first week in January, which is the 1st through the 7th, is Week 1; the second week, the 8th through the 14th, is Week 2. Whatever number the week is, you put that amount of money into your jar. So since January 1st starts this upcoming Wednesday, I'll put $1 into my jar sometime between Wednesday the 1st and Tuesday the 7th. When the second week of January comes on Wednesday the 8th, I'll put $2 into my jar between then and Tuesday the 14th. Make sense? By the time you reach this time next year, you'll have almost $1,400 saved up! You are always welcome to put more money in for a certain week than just the week number. For example, I've already added $5 in change to my jar because I had that much money in dimes and nickels and it doesn't hurt to put a little extra in right?! It also took me a whole maybe 5 minutes to create my jar between printing, cutting, taping, and writing! My jar is pretty plain but it'll do the job.

 This is what the top looks like. SO fancy right?

 I took pictures of the left side of the jar containing half of the first part of the year, the middle where both sides meet and my Sharpie "52 Week Challenge Jar" mark is, and then the other side of the jar containing the second half of the year. 

Now onto the good memory jar! This is one that I really wanted to do because I tend to veer towards to negative side of things. The good memory jar works like this: every time something good happens, you write it down on a piece of paper, you can date it if you want, and you throw it into your jar and one New Years Eve, you go back through the jar to remember all the good things that happened that year! I think it's a really good way at the end of the year to look back and see how many good things really did happen. I also love reading books and on Instagram saw my book fandom post about doing pretty much the same thing as the memory jar but instead writing all the books you read throughout the year and then see how many you had been able to read! The jar that I ended up getting was from Joanne Fabrics, it's actually a paint tin apparently, and it was about $4!
This is how my jar looked before I partially decorated it.

This is my lovely end result! Had some funny using Sharpie markers.

And since I had some extra change to spare, I decided to throw it in there!

Hope that you guys give these two/three things a try in the new year and please do let me know how it goes! I'll have a post on New Years Eve of a list of good memories that I have from this year. It won't be as long as it would if I had started last year but it'll be a decent size. Hope you guys have a good New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Procrastinating Beauty Tag

So I have decided to steal/do the Procrastinating Beauty Tag from Nski Beauty since procrastination seems to be my super, highly used middle name. Working on getting some more posts together and figured I'd do this quick little one to tide over!

1. Name a beauty regime that you rarely do?
Well I wouldn't say that I rarely do it, but I don't wash my face every day, but I do still do it weekly.

2. Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?
It definitely isn't and I think that's because I hardly ever put make-up on unless it's a little bit of foundation or eye liner and mascara.

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
When I first started painting my own nails and not getting acrylics done I used to go a while with horrible chipped nail polish. Now since my nail polish collection is a lot bigger (like in the 250 bottles range) I'll go maybe a day with chipped nail polish. If I paint my nails the night before and they chip the next day and I have time, oh you bet they'll be repainted!

4. How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
Since I don't do my make-up that much/often I can usually go a while without buying new product, mainly because I forget and/or are too lazy to stop.

5. What is your worst beauty habit?
I'm gonna go with just putting anything beauty on in general, seems fitting enough?

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?

Organizing all the stuff in my room, sometimes homework, and probably laundry too.

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?
If I know that I'm going out somewhere I usually don't leave getting ready to the last minute considering it probably takes me about at least an hour to shower, blow dry, & straighten my hair. If I decided to put more make-up on than usual, then it's probably about 15-ish minutes more. Trying to figure out to wear? Yeah, takes FOREVER!

8. Can you commit to spending bans?
I've only put myself on one official spending ban and that lasted a whole 24 hours.

9. How organized is your make-up and nail polish collections?
My make-up..not so much, it's pretty much just all in a drawer. My nail polish though I have organized in drawers by brand name and I have all the nail polishes I have cataloged in an Excel spreadsheet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Two In One Post: NCLA Nail Polish Review and Partial Winstonia Review

School is finally done for the semester! So now I'll have more time to, hopefully, paint my nails and write more blog posts! I decided for this post to make it more of two reviews in one post since I used some of my Winstonia order with one of my NCLA nail polishes. Thought it would be appropriate, yes? 

First I'll start off with my partial Winstonia review which the items that I purchased are in one of my previous posts. The one thing that I forget to purchase from Winstonia was nail glue (I would do that) so I had to get some at the store first.  I decided to try out my skull charms because I find them highly awesome and loved them. One thing I learned though from my experience with this? I am horrible at using nail glue! I got some all over my fingers and tried not to get them stuck together and I did make a little bit of a mess on my right hand ring finger. Practice makes perfect right? I was worried about how the charms would stay on my nails because they aren't completely flat. Other than the fact that they aren't exactly best friends when you run your fingers through your hair, they actually stayed on pretty well. I was impressed with them for staying on overnight and then I of course always end up doing something to make one pop off! I'm going to say that was because of my lack of nail glue skills and not the charms themselves. I have a little bit of practice ahead of me! Here's what the skull charms looked like on my mani I had on at the time:
This photo is outside with the flash on my camera.

 This photo is outside without the flash on my camera.

The second item from my purchase that I tried were the glow in the dark bead studs and like I previously said, I am horrible at nail glue. Before I had left for my Thanksgiving vacation, I did a simple white mani and tried to add these on since I thought it would be cool. It was honestly a bad experience and I'm going to say that it was also because of the nail glue and probably the fact that I don't have the best pair of tweezers to apply them. If I had used some of my topcoat instead of the nail glue I feel that it would have been a better outcome but I didn't think it would cause such a problem. I'm sad that it turned out the way it did but I did try to make the beads glow by holding my hand up to the ceiling fan light for about 30 seconds.  Since it wasn't a long time that the beads were exposed to the light, there was a noticeable, slight glow coming from them. Hopefully I'll be able to try using these again while taking a different approach to the application of them.

The third item I tried were the present bow water transfer tattoo stickers and there's a story for this one! I think the one problem that I have with these is just the instructions that are on the back of the package where it doesn't say to not put it on like a temporary tattoo. That is exactly what I did and it came out the right way on my right hand..for the most part. The problems that I had with these tattoo stickers were not the fault of the product itself but my own doing. I would like to say thought that after the step of soaking the tattoo sticker in water that you actually take your finger and press it on the tattoo which will pick it up the correct way. My left hand came out looking like this: 
With and without flash the bow is on the ring finger.

Can anybody tell what my mistake is?  It's funny to me that I didn't think about what was happening while I was in the process of doing it. The bow is definitely on backwards but I do think it still looks pretty decent! Now I re-read through the instructions on the back and it took me a moment to put two and two together but I had finally got it. I went through the process again but got the bow the correct way and I was amazed by it....until I put my topcoat on. It clearly states in the last few steps that after applying the tattoo sticker, dabbing off the extra water, and before putting the topcoat on, is to blow dry it. And that would be the step that I forgot to do! I tell you guys, I'm making a lot of mistakes with these first tries on items! But nonetheless I will definitely keep using them until I find out a good way to do it! Here's what the correct tattoo sticker should have looked like and part of the middle of it came off with the topcoat since I forgot to blow dry it before putting it on

This is what the bow is supposed to look like. Notice the missing part in the middle?

This now brings me to the second part of my review post with is about my NCLA nail polishes. Back when I had my weekend nail polish haul I had order two different nail polishes from NCLA but then realized I already had one of them.  When I got the package in the mail I wasn't satisfied with the second nail polish since I felt it didn't look the way the picture online showed it. After emailing their customer service, who were very helpful and nice, they had sent me exchange nail polishes which I then received. I decided to exchange them for "Without Me, There's No VIP!" and "Dead End Gorgeous" and they provided me with a tracking number as well. I'm extremely pleased with how NCLA had handled this and they were nothing but sincere and nice about it which is why I didn't mind waiting for my exchanges. "Without Me, There's No VIP!" is in the photos above with the tattoo sticker bows and I really like the color. Of course it wasn't sheer enough with just one coat on so I put my usual 2 coats on and was pleased with how it looked. I was worried at first that it wouldn't cover well with 2 coats on but it actually did the job! 

"Dead End Gorgeous" is a mix of blue and purple shimmer and even though the photo they have on the website is a bit brighter than the bottle I have, I still love the color. I used this one first because I loved how it looked and on my nails it looked more like a darker black with a glimpse of purple and blue shimmer. I wasn't disappointed though with the photos on the website and my actual nails and honestly really love this color. As hard as I tried though, it was really hard to capture the nail polish on camera and it's a little darker than real life, but I still think it looks great. 

Both photos are with the flash on my camera.

 In the next photo I tried taking a picture of the nail polish in a brighter light (actually while I was getting my hair done at the salon, but sh!) and it was still difficult to capture.

Well that now concludes my double review post! Hope you guys enjoyed it and with the holidays coming up, maybe have gotten some gift ideas?! I'll have another review post soon about my I Love Nail Polish purchases which I was super excited for! So keep a look out for that post by checking back here, my Google + account, Twitter, or Instagram! Links are up at the top right of the page and feel free to click away! Also leave any comments you want in the post below or send me an email! Have a good day guys :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Florida Trip

Hey guys! I know it's been quite a while since I've done a new blog post but since it was Thanksgiving break last week, I shipped myself off to Florida for the week! Which I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving and that it was another memorable holiday. :) I figured that I would just do a little post about my vacation for now and I'll hopefully be able to get another new nail post up soon. Since I'm such a lucky person, the last couple days of my trip I was sick/attached by my allergies, one of the two, and I've been out of commission lately. School is also coming to an end for the semester (yay!) and that's a whole other story I won't get into!

Well now onto the trip! I spent a couple days down at the parks in Orlando and when I was at Magic Kingdom I had 2 mission oriented goals: 1. Get a photo with Tigger and Pooh and 2. Devour another delicious chocolate croissant. I'm telling you all that I swear by the chocolate croissants that are at Magic Kingdom! They have them at Epcot in the French part of the countries but in my opinion, they're more air and less bread and chocolate. This is what the magical croissants look like:

Topped with powdered sugar and chocolate drizzle! Although I do have to say that since it was colder out, it cooled my croissant down a little, so it's even better when it's a bit more warm and toasty. Nonetheless, still delicious!

My dad is a huge Tigger fan so I always have to try to get a picture with Tigger because who doesn't love him? This time I did score Pooh along with Tigger and they were definitely warm and fuzzy and tried to warm me up which was pretty funny. They also smushed me to help try and keep me warm, such great fellows! And of course I couldn't go to Magic Kingdom without sporting my twin tee with Ariel and her nerd glasses (though they aren't pictured here).

I was also lucky enough to get pretty good front row spots for the parade as well which was loaded with a bunch of characters. It was a pretty neat thing to see and loved seeing everybody in the parade interact with the crowd and the floats were just amazing as well.

Found me a Chip and a Dale!                                 Wendy and Peter Pan.

 Cinderella and the Prince.                                Belle and the Beast (who was a little scary to me!)

And of course had to get a picture of my twin Ariel with Prince Eric!

Since I wasn't there at night I wasn't able to get a glorified picture of the castle lit up but here's one that will hopefully be worthy enough of it.

The front entrance was all nice and Christmas-like and of course couldn't pass up a picture of it. Also went to Hollywood Studios which has a ginormous Christmas tree all decorated which I still don't know how they do it!

I spent the week at my aunt and uncle's house and we went to an art walk nearby and there were a ton of people with their dogs. Seems pretty normal right? Well there was one "dog" that was quite deceiving until you took a closer look at her:

Any guess at what she might be?
Cutest thing ever.

 Anyways! That's a little bit about my trip for now, if you want more details of the other things I did, just leave it in the comments below! I should probably get back to my homework (though I don't want to) but once again, I'll hopefully have another new nail blog post up soon! Definitely next week since I'll be on break starting next Wednesday night. Have a good day! <3

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nail Polish Haul Swatches

In my previous post Haul Overview I posted the different nail polishes that I had bought during my haul weekend, which don't happen very often, at all. Since then I have received all my nail polishes and of course have worn them all already since you can't just get new things and NOT make them the next thing you wear! My first purchase was "Set Fire To The Rain" by Too Fancy Lacquer which I saw a swatch online, looked at her Instagram page, and knew I just had to buy it when it was restocked. If you're wondering, yes I was super super glad that I made the purchase! When it came in the mail it really had no chance of not being used so I put it on right away and was pretty surprised. Doing 1 coat would probably be decent enough but I always like to put 2 coats on just in case I missed some spots with my first coat. I'm pretty sure a little light from heaven shined done on my nails once I was done because my oh my the blue color is just gorgeous.


Left photo is with no flash and the right photo is with flash; both are indoors.
If I have not previously stated, I'm totally a Starbucks addict, so I of course had to take a picture while holding my coffee in the sun. Picture still doesn't do this nail polish justice in my opinion, and beware, WILL cause staring while driving in the sun!
My next purchases were from Serum No5: "Day Glow" (previous may be found here), "Burning Orchid", and "Twilight Sparks." I started with "Burning Orchid" first and did about 3 coats with it on top of just plain, no base color nails. I would recommend using it as a topcoat on another polish as it is a little shear when it's just on it's own but either way, it's still great! And I, of course, forgot to super charge my nails to be able to get an in the dark photo of the glow.
Both photos were taken with flash.

 "Twilight Sparks" to me is a shimmery forest green polish that may be a little sheer for just one coat, but with a second coat, it's much better. A third coat would be necessary if you find some other spots that are quite as covered as the rest of the nail. I also once again forgot to super charge my nails and get an in dark picture with this one as well (can you tell that I may be a little stressed out?)
Both photos were taken with flash.

My last purchase that I'm able to show you guys for now (I'll get to that soon) is "Nightcrawler" from Polished by KPT which I had on for basically a week straight, kid you not! I had the normal tip wear and also a small chip or 2 on a nail or so which was amazing to me. "Nightcrawler" is a thermal which I love because it's really nice to see whether my hands are hot or cold by noticing what color my nails are. It's also really fun to make a gradient/ombre with the polish too by sticking part of the nail into either hot or cold water and watch it change! I took several photos on my nails while I had this polish on but I'll just show you a couple.
When the your hands are warm this is the color that the nail polish turns. It's a light, shimmery purple and it still covers completely with no seeing your nail underneath.

When your hands are cold this is the color that the nail polish turns and is the color you see when you look at the website. It's an awesome "deep but not so deep" purple and I absolutely love it.


In these two photos you can (hopefully) see the subtle gradient/ombre effect that happens in the process of your hands going from hot to cold. This is definitely quite amusing to me because it just looks so awesome and cool when it's shifting colors! Guess you guys will just have to purchase the polish and try it out for yourselves! ;)
My last order was from NCLA but when I received my package and looked at "Eight Days A Week" I noticed that it was not the same color that the website shows it as. The website photo makes it look more of a light blue when in real life it is more of a lavendar purple. Seeing as this was disappointing, I sent an email to NCLA and within a short period of time I got a nice response. Even though I wasn't happy with the nail polish, their customer service has always been wonderful to me and I've never had problems with them. They were very nice about the matter and let me know that I was more than welcome to exchange the nail polish so I sent both back since I already had "Pick Me Up At Melrose Place."  It's been a few weeks since I've sent them back and yesterday I sent another email asking about the situation and was once again emailed in a timely manner with a very nice response. After I replied about which nail polishes I wanted for my exchange a couple hours later I got an email response back along with a tracking number for my package from them. Usually I would be really annoyed by a situation like this but the fact that I got email responses, in general, and very nice replies and a lot of help, made the situation not so big of a deal. That is the great thing about NCLA is that they really care about their customers and are willing to help with whatever they can!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winstonia Order

So I decided that maybe I should try out some new ideas to make my nails pop a little more and I've seen a handful of people on Instagram reviewing items from Winstonia. I started following their Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I decided that I'd go grab some stuff for myself and check it out! I snagged a total of 5 items starting with 3D Glow in the Dark Bead Studs which of course caught my attention because who doesn't like to get distracted by your nails at 12am when you're trying to go to bed?!
My next two items were 3D Alloy Decoration Bling Rhinestone Charms, #4 and #14 (for now at least!) #4 are black bows with silver lining and a nice shiny rhinestone/bling in the middle of the bow. #14 is a pretty good skull with some more nice shiny rhinestones on top of the head! Now to remember to go get the nail glue for these that I forgot to buy so I can actually try them out!

The last two items that I got from Winstonia are Water Transfer Tattoo Stickers; number 02 and number 05. Number 02 is a set of awesome nautical tattoo stickers which I am a sucker for and number 05 is a set of different types of bows which I felt were appropriate since Christmas is coming up quite soon (34 days, not that I'm counting or anything).

Once I get the chance to try all of these fabulous items out I will definitely make sure to make a nice little post about each one! For now I will just create ideas with ways to use each one in a semi-normal fashion. I'll also be gone until next month (get it? Ha) as of this Saturday so hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
*All photos shown in this post are from the Winstonia website