Monday, March 7, 2011

Man I Love Finding A Deal

Saturday kicked my butt. Badly.

Sunday wasn't as bad, but still busy. I did manage to get a manicure in, but no picture.

Instead I will share with you what I did get:


Yeesh, bad lighting. I know better than to trust my point and shoot's auto mode. This is a little haul from the Ross right next to my gym. I can't believe the steals in beauty products you can get. I got two sets of Color Club polishes. The top set is the Electro Candy collection. The colors are insanely bright. Some flat neons and some with a beautiful shimmer. I will definitely have to swatch these.

The bottom set is from the Rebel Debutante collection. Soft cremes, no shimmer to be seen in the bottles. Nothing terribly exciting, but I ask you, could YOU pass up SIX bottles of polish for $7.99? See, I knew you couldn't.

Oddly enough (or maybe I'm just a n00b) but the bottles that came in the packaged set do not have labels on the bottom of each bottom with names. Kind of lame, but in no way a deal breaker. When I post swatch pics, I will label each one.

Lastly, I was able to find a Nailtek set which included a bottle of Nailtek II, for soft peeling nails, a bottle of Speed 10 polish drying drops, and a bottle of hand cream. I have used Nailtek products in the past with great results. So for $8.99 for all three products, I knew I had found another steal. However, some of the claims on the back of the products are amazing claims. We'll see if the stand up to their promises.

Not pictured, but equally as exciting, I bought a bottle of CHI Enviroflex Hairspray for $7.99. The bottle was dented and didn't have a cap, but I would have done those things to the bottle myself anyway. About a $5 savings.

I have also been using L'oreal's Sulfate Free hair care system for a while. I like the results I get, but I also get restless. Plus, per ounce, it get's quite expensive. The cheapest place I can find this stuff is my local Bed, Bath and Beyond for $5.99 for a 8.5 ounce bottle.

While at Ross I found some Big, Sexy Hair products. I am familiar with the brand, and have used the hairspray, but was never impressed. Lately I have been on a more "natural product" kick, which prompted my switch in haircare to sulfate-free products. I decided to skip out on the Big, Sexy Hair products, but decided to give Healthy, Sexy Hair a try. Though it isn't sulfate-free, it's claims are what I want, "Smooths hair cuticle and detangles. Helps prevent damage and enhance shine. Preserves color." Seems achievable. I was able to get a 33.8 ounce bottle for $9.99 - again $5 cheaper than prices listed online.

L'oreal Sulfate-free shampoo: 71 cents/ounce
Healthy, Sexy Hair: 30 cents/ounce

Like I said, I love finding a deal. :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Projects Keeping Me Busy

Time for an update in my hobbies. Picture time!

I bought a camera. The Nikon D5000. I did a lot of soul searching on this camera. I've been wanting a DSLR camera for quite some time and I always thought I would buy a Canon when the time came. But after tons of online reviews, I just felt like this was the best bang for the buck. And with a closeout price at Sears, it pushed me over the edge. I still have a lot of playing around to do with the camera (I even bought a Nikon D5000 for Dummies book) but these two have been my best test subjects:

Sleepy Elphie


And these shots are as good as my amateur abilities allow me. Once I get through that book, I hope I can use a lot more of the features.

Onto obsession number two: Spinning.

BFL on my Ashford drop spindle

Skeined on a cookie sheet
Skeined on a cookie sheet (I now own a Niddy Noddy)

Water, Neon Purple Food Coloring and White Vinegar
Dyeing with Neon Purple Food Coloring

Rinsed and Drying

My First Handspun
And KNITTED!!! (But not blocked)

I took a drop spindle class at Alamitos Bay Yarn Company, the LYS by my alma mater, CSULB. I would have been happy keeping my very first handspun in a neat little hank or center-pull ball forever, but my instructor, Angie, says that you should knit everything you spin (short of spinning commercially, like she does.) And so I knit it. A little lace sample of what I produced.

But drop spindling is what I would call a "gateway drug" in the world of fiber. Once I spun with a spindle, I knew I wanted more. And so I signed up for the spinning with a wheel class. Here is a sample of a single I produced:

Gray Merino Top Single
A dyed gray merino top, 2 ounces. I am currently in the middle of plying this. Stay tuned for more.

Endeavor number three: a vegetable garden.

2011 Garden
My Container Vegetable Garden

Each square container is 18 inches. I purchased seedlings from Lowes. One of each: Roma tomato, red bell pepper, zucchini, cucumber, and one strawberry plant. I love the idea of starting a vegetable garden. When I was a girl, I had a Molly doll from the original American Girl's Collection. Molly grew up in the World War II era, and I remember reading stories of her victory garden she kept with her mother. Times were tough then and they are nearly as tough now. My family regularly searches our local 99 cents only stores for produce. It's funny, but when times were better, we could get top quality produce for a buck. Now that the economy has gotten worse, so has the produce selection. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini are the vegetables my family eats the most. I thought I'd give growing them myself a go. The total startup cost for this project was just under $70. My family spends far more than that in a season's worth of vegetables. Hopefully I can call this undertaking a "victory garden" one day.

Strawberry Plant
Strawberry Plant

Zucchini and Cucumber
Cucumber and Zucchini

Red Bell Pepper and Roma Tomato
Red Bell Pepper and Roma Tomato

And just to round things out, here is what I currently have on my needles:



If you're interested in how these projects turn out, follow the Ravelry link. Otherwise, I may post FO pictures when I get these babies off the needles.

And finally for my lacquerheads, I will post a new manicure tomorrow after I handle my chores. I've got some heavy duty things to do and I don't want to risk screwing up a manicure.

Until tomorrow!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Blog FAR Better Than Mine To Follow

Hey guys. I've been snapping up pictures of things I have been doing to keep me busy. I have been blessed with steady work (for now) and find projects to work on in my down time. I have joined a gym :-) and now that I have a more regular schedule, I should have time to really concentrate on losing a lot of my college weight.

But I have still neglected to post regular updates about my life and hobbies. I will return shortly with news of my doings. Promise!

In the mean time, I would like to tell you about a blog that I enjoy reading as much as she enjoys writing. Anita at A Splash of Serendipity writes a nail blog. And she does it with admirable regularity (unlike someone we all know (coughAshleycough.)

Anita somehow manages to keep up with all the latest collection (a hobby I attempted that just about broke me :-/) , trends and treatment, and posts pictures for all to see. Now, I suppose you could go an any nail blog and see swatch pictures, or even directly to the company's website to see swatches. What makes a nail blog special is the care, attention, and personality the write puts into each and every entry. Come for the swatches, stay for the content!

Aside from simply plugging this amazing blogger, I speak of her for another reason. Owing it to her own merit, Anita has earned over 100 followers on her blog and is hosting a giveaway: the entire Katy Perry Collection, by OPI including the lemming Black Shatter Polish. PLEASE check out this giveaway here.

Now I can tell you that if you are a polish hoarder, like myself, you should enter this giveaway if only to win Black Shatter. I stalked my local Sally Beauty Supply for the Ching Glaze Crackle polishes for WEEKS, only to spontaneously show up in the store one day to find they had just been delivered, still in the shipping box. Was the salesperson happy I made her open the newly delivered? No. Did I care she was put out? No - because after weeks of stalking I really felt I deserved them. Did I feel bad for the other people awaiting the arrival of the polish because I had them purchase exactly one half of their entire shipment of this polish? Only a little bit...I really did feel entitled to these. I had missed so many collections delivered to Sally's in the past, I just knew I deserved this one, LOL!

But after knowing how tough it was to get a hold of special crackle polish, I am telling you reader that if you love polish, you would be a fool to not at least leave a comment on the giveaway post. Who could regret having a free bottle of Black Shattered polish delivered to your door?

That is all for now dear reader, but I also leave you with this. Another nail blogger I followed just came out - she is a knitter.