Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Hope you guys are as excited for the new year as I am. 2012 was not a good year for me at all. I had 5 deaths and various other incidents throughout this past year that I would rather not repeat for this coming year. 13 is my lucky number and 2013 will also be a Year of the Snake (which is my year) and hopefully only good things will come this year. I am moving into a new apartment which I am super excited about and I want to make some positive changes to my lifestyle. I used to eat much better than I have this past year and I want to get back into that habit. I also want to make more time for myself and try to be less stressed out than I was this past year.  I also want to really get this blog up and running and I'm going to try to make a least one new recipe a week and post it here. Other than that I really want to get all of my bills paid off completely this year, since that will also get rid of a lot of stress. I want to take this year as it comes and not stress about everything and not worry about things before I need to, it's unnecessary stress that I want to be free of. 

Hope 2013 brings nothing but wonderful things for all of us.

What are some of your resolutions?

Monday, December 24, 2012

How to fix your completely destroyed nails

So maybe you've been being a little rough with your nails, maybe someone else was (link), or maybe you've never really known what to do with them. My nails got absolutely murdered so I had to do what I could to salvage them. I'll do a video on nail maintenance another time so you can avoid this kind of situation.

Hopefully my video helps a little bit!
Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Local Love: Go See Go Wreath Co

Hey everyone. Today I want to talk about a local small business that you have to check out. Tis the season for wreaths, so look no further than Go See Go Wreath Co. Fawn is a very crafty friend of mine and a huge supporter of local artisans, she's the creative mind behind Go See Go Wreath Co and mother to one adorably chubby baby boy. I sat down with her to see how she does it.

How did you get started making wreaths?

Honestly - it started when I was cooped up at the end of my pregnancy. It was the late summer, hot, and I was pregnant for a 9lb+ child. I had a lot of time to read and study and a lot of creative "joneses" to get out of my system. I kept seeing beautiful wreaths everywhere in my travels as well as online and just KNEW I could do something similar with my own twists and turns to make them completely unique and out of the box. I read anything and everything I could; from basic wreath design info to floral design & embellishment techniques. I made one simple wreath without many frills once I settled into a flow with my new family and I was instantly hooked. With each one I try new things, as well as try to push the envelope. I love it!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere and everything. Vintage fabrics. Time periods. Music. Color combinations/color theory. Personalities. Movies. Interior design (I love matching a wreath to a room!). Certain embellishments that I see out. I'll buy one little piece of ornamentation or a really cool silk flower and that's it, I'm off like someone dropped the starting gate. Of course the magic of the holidays always sweeps me off my feet too, I love pretty much every holiday there is!

What sizes do they come in and what's the cost?

I can do everything from teensie tiny six inch mini wreaths all the way to 24" in certain circumstances. In most cases I price based on size and detail. The one I sell the most of is my 16 inch size, and for a basic design I usually charge around $35.
I also do yarn wrapped wooden letters that start at $15.

Is there anything you can't do?

In my opinon, no! I'm always up to do something new and exciting when it comes to design. Where there's a will, there's a way! Right now I'm looking for someone interested in having me create something that can light up! I have several other new ideas as well that I'm dying to do, such as a "wreath chandelier!" A nice, modern piece of art to hang from your celing instead of your door!

Where can people get your wreaths and how can they get in touch with you for a custom order?

You can find and message me on facebook at (where you can see great examples of my work - including custom pieces and ones that have been sold), on etsy at or you can send an email to

I asked Fawn to make an ivory, gold, and burgundy creation for my mom and everyone has been wowed. It's elegant and beautiful (like my mom) and it's very much my mom's style. As soon as she received it, my mother removed what she had on the door and promptly hung up her new wreath. Make sure to check out Fawn's Etsy shop as well as her Facebook page where she updates with new available wreaths as well as past creations. Don't see what you're looking for, don't hesitate to get in touch for a custom order! You will be pleasantly surprised!

 Above: My mom's beautiful new wreath!

My birthday weekend with the naughty monkey + birthday freebies!

Hi everyone! Sorry this post is coming a little late. I was away for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday and then my uncle arrived from Germany (it's his first time in the US!) Overall I had a really great birthday. My mother surprised me with the KitchenAid Mixer I've been drooling over for eons. Now my apartment search includes the qualifier of having enough counter space for the mixer to have a permanent home. Greg has asked more than once if this is going to be the mixer that opens my bakery. It just may be.
Originally I was planning on going to Maine's Acadia State Park to try to view the Geminid meteor shower, which was supposed to peak on the night of my birthday, work schedules, however, made for difficulties. It also ended up being very cloudy that night and the following night, so I didn't get to see any. Hopefully next year I'll have a little bit better luck. Even though the original plan fell through, Greg and I spent a fantastic weekend in Newport. We visit there a few times a year, but we never stay for the weekend, so this was a nice change. If you're ever visiting there, I can highly recommend the Hotel Viking where we stayed. The hotel itself is beautiful and located right at the beginning of Bellevue Avenue. If you've never been, this is where the mansions are and I highly recommend the Cliff Walk which is open to the public and completely free. If you can, do the guided tour of at least one mansion, they are spectacular. Greg and I walked around town for a bit and went down to Thames Street where there are lots of great shops and restaurants. This is another area I highly recommend, there is lots to see and do in that neighborhood. Greg and I headed back to the hotel after a few hours (mostly to escape the cold) and he sent me for a fantastic massage as my birthday gift. The hotel's SpaTerre is truly luxurious and I felt so pampered. I got all of my knots and kinks worked out and I felt like I was walking on clouds. As I returned to my room I found a box of cupcakes and a card from the hotel which was also good for a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner to celebrate. Greg and I got ready for dinner and this is when I met the naughty monkey. After a delicious assortment of crab cakes, stuffed quahogs, and the chef specialty grand chowder (which was amazing with lobster, shrimp and scallops) I had to peek at the dessert menu. I love dessert, so trying to decide what to try is always difficult. The waiter recommended the house specialty, The Naughty Monkey. Curious Greg and I ordered it and it was delicious. The Viking describes it as "a house made nutella filled crepe topped with caramelized bananas, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a side of walnut chocolate chip ice cream." Re read that sentence and just drool, I know I am. If you are ever in Newport, even if you aren't staying at the Viking, go by there and just try the naughty monkey, it's worth it. All of the food at their restaurant, One Bellevue, is fabulous and you won't be disappointed. The next time I am up that way however, I really want to attend one of their afternoon teas, I swear I live in the wrong time period. 

After stuffing my face with delicious food for the weekend, I came home to my mother making my favorite, gnocchi and a birthday gift of Paula Deen coconut cake. Yummm.

Funny little side story. While we were out and about Greg and I went to the Alex and Ani store and he bought me the Fascinate Me with Love charm and I had my eye on one of the feather bracelets. I asked to see one out of the case and found one of the other ones I wanted to try was on the counter. I noticed that this one had a clasp instead of their usual expandable bracelet. I said to Greg, "Look this one is kind of weird, no?" The girl behind the counter looks at my wrist and says, "Oh! That one is a an earring!" I would do that... 

Anyway, on to birthday freebies! One of the best parts of getting older (one of the only good things) is getting presents! Here's a list of some of the perks and freebies you can get for your birthday.

- Free lip duo from Sephora for Beauty Insider members
- $10 for Victoria's Secret
- Free Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast at IHOP
- Free gift with $10 purchase at Godiva
- Free entree and dessert at Not Your Average Joe's
- Free box of chocolate covered strawberries with purchase of 2 4-course dinners at The Melting Pot
- $5 off $30 at Hot Topic for HT+1 members
- 50 free Swagbucks (I'll have a blog on those soon)
- Free smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe
- Free pastry at Panera Bread
- Free drink of choice at Starbucks
- $10 free game play at Dave & Buster's
- Free piece of cake from Smokey Bones
- 25 points on your A.C. Moore reward card

and there are honestly probably many more out there.

What's your favorite part of your birthday?

Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Fillable Glitter Ornaments

Hey everyone. So sorry I haven't blogged much recently, I've been working  60-70 hour weeks and got really sick because of it. This post is long overdue because of it, so again I apologize. Anyway, here they are, glitter ornaments that make lovely party favors (which is what I did with them) or even surprise gift wrap. Either way they make for pretty little things that will amuse friends and guests. I apologize in advance, this was my first ever tutorial so the camera work is not great. I'm hoping to get a tripod before I film my next one. I'm not going to pretend I've ever done this type of project before, but I wanted to experiment and figured someone had to try to do this. I wanted people to see the whole process, blunders and all. Here we go! Instructions are under the video.

Fillable acrylic ornaments (I used 70mm and liked that size, but you can use whatever you like.)
Masking tape or scotch tape
Spray paint made for use on plastic (I used Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover)
Spray glue for glitter (didn't know they made it until I went looking for it. If you wanted to you could use a craft glue and paint it on each one individually, but it will take a lot longer.) (I used Design Master Glue for Glitter invisible adhesive)
A clear spray sealant (I used Patricia Nimock's Clear Acrylic Sealer)
Fine glitter (I used Nicole Crafts Ultra Fine Premium Glitter in Iridescent Silver)
Plastic sheeting or something similar to cover your workspace (I used a surgical drape because I was in the office and some of them got stuck to it at one point, not good)
Thin ribbon of choice to string through
A mask to wear while spray painting

Make sure to work in a well ventilated area.

Open a window and get a fan going if you can. It's no good to breathe in any of the fumes from the spray paints. I mention working with kids in the video, only have them help you during parts when no spray paints are being used and once any fumes have cleared away. During the glitter step, it would be best to only have children help if you are using a paint on glue. Otherwise have them help with other tasks.

Lets get started!

Lay down protective sheeting or whatever you are using to cover your workspace.
Next star unwrapping those ornaments. Mine came individually wrapped so this could take a little while. 
Start laying down the ornaments onto your working space and try to keep your halves together as it will make matching them up later a but easier.
Next (or while unwrapping) you'll want to take a small piece of tape and wrap the loop at the top of each half, this will help to prevent it from getting clogged by paint and glitter, making it easier to string a ribbon through later.
If you are making a lot of ornaments, it may be easier to do them in batches on more than one work space.
Lay down a thin layer of your spray paint, you can go in with a second layer if you like later. If you are using the glitter (which, why wouldn't you? It's beautiful) you don't need much of the spray paint, just enough to give it a little background color and opacity. If you decide to keep a few just spray painted or want to do designs or splashes of glitter, go in for a second, more thorough coat.
Allow this to dry.
Next apply a fairly liberal amount of the spray adhesive, do only a few ornaments at a time, something I realized a little late, you'll get a better result. Have your glitter ready and liberally pour it on to the wet ornaments. Keep repeating until they are covered. Allow them to dry again. 
Shake off the excess glitter and move the ornaments to a second space if you have one, or at least off of the first workspace so you can collect the leftover glitter. I managed to gather up a lot of mine and bottled it back up. 
Check your ornaments, some might already be just the way you want them, if not, take them one at a time and apply a small amount of spray adhesive (too much and they might look blotchy and chunky, not gorgeous) and again liberally apply glitter. 
Once they have dried completely from this step as well, again shake off the loose glitter. 
Clean off your work surface and one by one liberally spray the ornaments with the sealer. You want to ensure a good even coat with this step, because it will ensure that more glitter stays on your ornament than on your guests (or your floor.)
Allow these to dry completely. Be patient. I know it's a lot of drying steps.
Remove the tape from the loops at the top
Once these lovely, glittering orbs have dried, match them up with their mate, if a little, or a lot, of glitter has made it's way into the seam, just twist them side to side as you connect them and it should loosen them up.
Once matched up use small lengths of ribbon to string them together, I choose to make bows, but do it however you like.
Now you can place small gifts, raffle tickets, etc. inside to surprise your guests. You might even be able to do a Yankee Swapper like this.
It's a fun little party favor that guests will remember.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first tutorial!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Worst nail appointment ever

I love doing my nails, I mean, I LOVE doing my nails, and getting them done. I got turned on to gel nails way in the beginning of the year and I loved them. They lasted for forever and people loved them, plus they were super durable which was great for work. I got them initially because I had been doing my own nails weekly as sort of ritual to keep myself from biting and picking at my nails, an awful habit I had. It was working, until I got super busy and was having trouble devoting my time to it each week. The idea of having someone do my nails once a month (sometimes longer) and still having them strong and beautiful was amazing. The caveat, the girl who does an amazing job on my nails is an hour away for me... Yeah that bit makes it a bit harder. I know there are plenty of places that do gel nails, but I've seen many in my area that their work just looks plain tacky, not classy.
I made the decision to get rid of my gels after several weeks of debating it. I called to make an appointment for a fill and since my usual was not available, I figured I'd spare her the breakup and get them off while she wasn't around. Trust me my friends, there is a price to pay for cheating, no matter the kind.

I got to my appointment, and the man who was supposed to be taking off my nails was still busy with his previous appointment and handed me off to another man. Unfortunately it was the one tech in the nail salon people tell you to avoid. There's always one that people warn you "if so and so can't take you, at least don't go to _____" or they tell you who's just as good I case of emergency. So my luck, I get the guy no one wants. He begins my asking why I want them off and I explain, to which he begins chastising me, saying a fill would be better. I explained a second time and he shrugged it off. He asked if I at least wanted a manicure and I said yes, please. Then I got the lecture about why Shellac is better than polish, I explained I just wanted regular polish. Apparently, none of my answers were good enough. He started to drill off the top layers of the gel, which is fine and dandy, but then he grabs a fake nail and starts trying to pry them off of my fingers and a cuticle clipper to start clipping chunks of my nails parallel to my nail. Now mind you, not only is this not the right way to take off my nails, but pieces are flying into my face and onto the girl at my side (who at this point I believe was equally disgusted. The right way is to soak the nails in a solution to break down the remaining gel.  Next he had one of the other techs come over to look at my nails, the other tech proceeded to ask my how long I wanted them and I showed him a specific length, not super long, but a little long, I had plenty for him to work with. He then proceeded to use the drill again to get more of the gel off and all of a sudden nicks me with the drill and says, "whoops, guess I can't save that one!" He then proceeded to whoops at least 3 more healthy nails. After annihilating my length he managed to whittle my nails down to a ridiculous thinness, so much so that it was painful and I had a burn from the drill on my right thumbnail. Once he decided he'd done enough damage with the drill he began to wipe my nails with acetone (now he decided to use it.) I had a scab that had finally formed where I cut my ring finger, it ended probably about a half centimeter below my nail bed, I say had because he decided to grab a little lower on that particular finger and ripped the whole scab off. He looked at me and shrugged it off. Once that was done he filed my nails and proceeded to break pieces off the rest of them and then painted them saying, your nails will be weak for a while so expect them to break easily. I was so upset. I understand that the techs make money based on how much you have done, but I am a generous tipper, even when I don't spend a lot, and had he done a quality job I would have tipped him well. I nearly cried on the way home. I was so upset and I will NEVER go back there again. I should have complained as soon as he started trying to pry off my nails, but some stupid part of me kept quiet and that stupid little man gave me a burn, cuts and ripped off a scab on top of ruining my nails, it was truly insult on top of injury.

If something like this ever happens to you, at a salon or restaurant or any kind of business, speak up immediately, don't do what I did. I want to kick my own butt for it. 

So now my precious nails are torn to shreds right as I had a work holiday event, my birthday, and Christmas and New Year's Eve with all their parties coming up. I'm going to have to figure out a way to rescue my nails. I would show you how bad they look, but it's truly awful. I might do a nail rescue video and you might see them there.

Have you ever been through an awful experience like this? Did you speak up and if so what did you say? I didn't want to make a huge scene.