Pretty Polish: Orly Androgynie

Weird name.  Unique polish.

In theory, it’s awesome but in practice, it’s a nightmare.  Perfect for Halloween!  😉

Orly Androgynie has a black base with fine gold glitter and a splattering of fine holo glitter too but what makes it really unique are the larger multicolored hex glitters.  I see blue, green and copper.

The problem with this pretty is that the black base covers up the large hexes.  It’s ok if you only use 1 coat of polish but that means you have to layer Androgynie over another polish since 1 coat looks uneven.  I used Orly Liquid Vinyl, a basic black creme.

There’s something else too…  The glitter sinks in the bottle and it’s hard to mix it up so then you end up with little to none of the large hexes on your nails.  I applied 1 coat and then fished for hexes to apply them to the nails that didn’t have any or very many.  I had to be careful because if I went over a hex that was already there, it got covered up.  The experience was very sad for a polish junkie like me.  😦  I’ve finally decided to give up on this pretty and offer it up for swap on one of my favorite websites, MakeupAlley.com.

Mani Info:

Base coat- Orly Nailtrition

2 coats- Orly Liquid Vinyl

1.5 coats- Orly Androgynie

Top coat- Poshe Super Fast Drying

My Faves: Giovanni Shampoo & Conditioner

I may not know how to successfully touch up my dyed roots but I have unearthed my HG (holy grail) shampoo and conditioner combination.

Introducing Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo and Smooth as Silk Conditioner!

For a while, I was going to the local Paul Mitchell school to get my hair cut.  One of the students used their Tea Tree Special products on me.  Why, I don’t know cause as a curly haired person I would think they would try a smoothing or moisturizing line but it did turn me on to the tingling scalp sensation.  It’s wonderful!!!

A bit of background…  I do have an oily scalp which can lead to some weird and unwanted flakiness with the wrong products.  Add my frizzy, curly hair texture (which needs really good moisture) to the mix and it complicates things.  With really moisturizing products, it can exaggerate my oiliness at my roots.  I don’t like.  😦  Another thing I don’t like is that dirty hair feeling.  I feel like I have an inch of gunk sitting on top of my head with some products I’ve tried in the past.

I was a bit obsessed with the squeaky clean, tingling scalp feeling.  I did some minimal research and found that Paul Mitchell makes a moisturizing tea tree line with lavender.  I was blinded by my infatuation and used it for a while but realized I didn’t like how it performed.  So I did more research…

I wanted something that had no sulfates since I dye my hair now.  (Sulfates suck the life out of a dye job.)  So I got turned on to different “natural” product lines when I stumbled across Giovanni.  Great reviews were found and I decided to test it out.  The Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo gave me the coveted squeaky clean, tingling scalp feeling.  Check!  The Smooth as Silk conditioner instantly made my hair feel softer and, dare I say, silkier strands than I’ve ever had.  Double check!  I think this is true love…  le sigh!

I don’t think I shampoo my hair any differently than anyone else so no details on that.  I do want to note that since this is a no sulfate shampoo, it doesn’t get as bubbly lathery as regular ones do.  It does lather up, just not as much as you may be used to.  My hair is getting super long so I concentrate the conditioner on my ends and run any remaining product through the rest of my hair.  Don’t rinse yet!  I leave it in until I’m done showering.  Then, I rinse only my scalp for 2 seconds (yes, I count) and squeeze the water out of my hair.  This way, I keep my scalp from premature greasies but the curls get moisturized.

You can find Giovanni at any superstore/drugstore place with the other “natural” lines like Burt’s Bees.  Not next to Suave.  You won’t find it there.  It is a little more expensive than regular shampoos but I go for value with beauty products not just cost.  Buuuuuut I’ll let you in on a little secret…  Marshalls.  Or TJ Maxx and the like.  There, you can find 32 ounce bottles for about $12.99 which makes it a bit more than half-price per ounce from regular retail.  Booyah!  Of course, these types of stores don’t carry the same items all the time so you have to have some luck on your side.  I usually don’t have much luck but the beauty gods smiled down upon me on one random visit.  Hopefully, the same will happen to you!

Have you found your HG shampoo and conditioner?

Chocolate = Happiness?

I looooove chocolate.

Unless I’m pregnant.  Then I like anything sour.  It’s very disappointing.  But I’m not pregnant, so chocolate is my preferred choice.

You know when you have one of those weeks when you feel like that with the amount of stress you’re experiencing you will never be able to relax enough to recuperate?  Yeah, I do too.  I may be overreacting but that’s how I feel in the moment.  When I have those moments, I try to do something to de-stress.  Go for a run, read a book, watch a movie, eat lots of chocolate…

Well, last week I had a few days where I was feeling pulled way too thin.  My adorable little toddler was the Mr. Whiny and reverted to babyhood wanting me to carry him around everywhere all the time.  I actually started getting aches where I’ve never had aches before from the carrying I did indulge him in!  Of course, there was the normal stuff to take care of like the house cleaning, homework helping, meal making, butt wiping.  The thing that made it worse was that my poor hubby was gone all day for 3 days straight.  I don’t mean all day as in gone to work for 8 or 9 hours.  I mean he’s gone before the rest of the family wakes up and comes back after all the kiddos are asleep by 8:30.  He did stop by for about an hour for dinner on two of those days…  But the point is (if you’re not a mother), is that I got no break at all from taking care of the children.

I love my boys!  I make a concentrated effort during hard days like those to remind myself how lucky I am and how wonderful they are to be with but any person would need a break.  See, I don’t even have a car (yet!) to get out of the house so I’m really a stay at home mom.  And by the third day when I knew he wouldn’t be home in the evening as well, I texted him:

Honey, I need a break.  I don’t even have any chocolate to help me.  Are there any magical brownies lying around you can bring me?

When he came home for a dinner break before heading out again, he had a wonderful brown bag of goodies for me.

He told me that he got me a Kit Kat cause of their famous slogan, “Give me a break!”, the Fast Break is self-explanatory and the Laffy Taffy Sour Apple cause I had a sour day.  It was very sweet that he took a few minutes of his crazy day to make me smile.  That’s why I married him, he can always make me smile.  🙂

I didn’t devour the chocolate right away though I wanted to.  I was making dinner and I had enough self-restraint to wait until afterwards.  But then I realized I didn’t want the chocolate anymore.  I was already emotionally fed.  I really didn’t need the chocolate like I had thought.  I needed to feel better and my husband did that for me by showing his love and trying to help me be happy.

Luckily, my husband got misinformed about his activity that evening so he returned home much earlier than planned.  Plus, I skipped out on some cleaning and watched a movie with the kids.  And… I did end up eating my Kit Kat cause I do love those but not because I needed it to fill some emotional hole.  I hope that I can help my hubby be happy when he most needs it like he did with me!

So definitely chocolate doesn’t equal happiness but at times, it can help.  🙂  What is your happy food?

Peanut Butter Chippers

If you like crunchy cookies, then you better find a different blog.

I loooooove only soft, chewy cookies.  And these peanut butter chippers are another example of my love…

This is another “perfect” recipe.  This is not a traditional peanut butter cookie.  This is a medium to mild peanut buttery cookie that is perfect to pair any kind of baking chip.  Well, almost.  Don’t use mint or cherry… yuck!

I have several baking tips here (and while you’re at it, definitely try the recipe!) but I do have a few more I want to share.  It took me a while to figure out how to keep my cookies soft but not undone.  If you have trouble with that too, take a look at this picture.

Do you see how you can see some wetness in the cookie but overall the surface looks dry?  I circled the wet spot for ya too.  You also don’t see any significant browning.  This particular cookie was photographed right after I took it out of the oven.  Now, ovens can be different in temperature and even altitude, humidity, different baking sheets and if you’re destined to have a good day can alter your result.  I try to sit next to the first set of cookies and check on them a minute or two before the given time in an recipe.  Then I can use the same time on the rest of the batch.

If you find that a cookie is hard to lift off of the baking sheet, it could mean that you need a thinner edged spatula or the cookie is not done.  Just keep the cookies on the sheet to continue baking out of the oven and try lifting one up every minute or two.  If you need to keep them on the baking sheet more than 5 minutes, then you definitely need to increase the baking time in the oven.

Another baking tool that I love is Pampered Chef’s stackable cooling rack.  I love how it’s a grid so my soft cookies don’t sink in between the slats even with small cookies.  And during holidays when I’m really cranking the baked goods out, I can stack them and still have some counter space to prep dinner.

Peanut Butter Chippers

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softenend

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1 package baking chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream the butters and sugars.  Add the vanilla and eggs.  Mix until creamy.  Mix in soda, salt and flour.  Add chips.  Drop onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Fall TV Update

There are some spoilers so don’t read if you don’t want to ruin a surprise!

Warning!  Warning!  There are a few new fall shows that will suck the life out of you!

Life is short.  And watching bad tv even if it’s only 30 minutes long is wasting precious time.  I’m here to help a little.  If you look back at this post, there was a list of shows I was testing out.  Let me share what has changed in the past two weeks…

Revolution (NBC):

This was almost instantly cut from my viewing list.  If it wasn’t for my husband, I would have never seen it again.  The acting is remedial.  The main supposed Katniss-like character is a whiny girl who keeps screwing up.  She’s very annoying.  Then, the writers throw in some grotesque violence.  Some things are best left to the imagination but this show doesn’t believe in that method.  I think the only reason my husband tunes in is to complain about how bad the show is.  So if you need to waste some time to make fun of a fictional show, then watch it.  Otherwise, leave your late Monday nights open.

Ben and Kate (FOX):

I’m still keeping this show.  It is funny and endearing.  Plus, the characters are well-developed.  You can’t help but love the main characters and the other characters are interesting too.  Definitely a feel-good type of show!

Go On (NBC):

Keeping this one for sure!  Each show has been great at balancing the comedy and drama-esque situation.  Tons of quirky characters and it’s entertaining to laugh at them.  Ryan, Matthew Perry’s character, is sarcastic which fits me very well.  😉    Great acting and stories.

The Mindy Project (FOX):

Mindy is great to watch.  She’s easy to love and goes about solving her problems the wrong way but in comedic fashion.  The writing is fantastic and the actors are up for the job to produce some funny characters.  Add to your list!

Guys with Kids (NBC):

I really wanted this show to work out but…  it hasn’t been able to live up to my expectations. The jokes and situations could be funny but the delivery is seriously lacking.  It’s like all the actors were told to put in lots of unnatural pauses at the end of a joke to allow for laughing.  I guess the lack of chemistry between the actors is to blame.  It’s just off and it’s off my list.

The Neighbors (ABC):

This show has surprised me in a good way!  I have a gnawing feeling that it will become one of the shows I like that gets cancelled but I think you should give it a chance.  If you find the supernatural entertaining, then tune in!  It has great situational comedy and it’s fun to learn more about the alien neighbors.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS):

There’s a good reason why this show is on it’s 6th season.  If you haven’t ever watched it, then you must give it a try.  Unless you hate comedy.

Up All Night (NBC):

I was shocked that the writer’s cancelled the Ava show for the second season.  On top of that, they introduced a new significant character- Reagan’s brother, Scott.  Plus, Raegan and Chris switched parental roles.  Reagan is staying home while Chris works.  I think that changing the whole dynamics should have been saved for a third season but in spite of my opinion, the writing and acting is spot on so I can’t complain… much.  😉

Grimm (NBC):

Grimm has also gone through a mini-makeover of sorts and I’m disappointed.  Last year Grimm was more of a twist on classic fairy tales with more emphasis on the characters’ developing relationships.  This year it has been downgraded to more of a super violent, dark tale with snippets of character building.  Just watch the new opening credits and you will instantly understand the take they’re going with the show.  I will give it another episode or two just because I love Monroe’s character and if Grimm gives more time back to the characters, then I’ll continue to watch.

Made in Jersey (CBS):

This show is okay but not great.  It is an hour long show and parts of it are entertaining and parts of it are too contrived to be believable.  I don’t think I’m going to watch it on a regular basis but it’s pleasant enough to tune in if you have nothing to do on a Friday night.

Once Upon a Time (ABC):

Another show that’s gone topsy-turvy!  With this show it works, since breaking the spell was the mission of the first season.  The story telling is still great this time and we’re taken on a journey with the characters as they figure out their new world.  Good fantasy!

So what shows are you tuning out?