Monday, July 21, 2014

Accumulating or Using Nail Polish? (Part III)

In the past, I used to think that it didn't matter what season it was when choosing a nail polish. I still don't think it's that important, but I really do enjoy the fact that bright colors really work for warmer weather especially since I wear flip-flops in the summer. This is the color that I had on my fingers and toes during our church summer retreat.

It's the Revlon Colorstay in "Coastal Surf (170)." It was pretty easy to apply. I do think I've used it before in the past when I first got it at CVS. It does have a flat brush, so it doesn't take as long to cover the nail. Plus, the polish is a good consistency so I don't have to worry about it running the way I do when I use my free Sinful Colors polishes. I took the photo with the bottle after retreat, so if you actually look at it closely, I have cracks and tip wear, but it's nice that even though it cracked quite a lot, it wasn't flaking off.

When I change my nail color, I like to use one that's completely different. Typically, I'd go to a pink or something like that, but I was feeling purple. I also really wanted to use a Sally Hansen one since for me, they apply so easily. This is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in "Deep Purple (170)." Haha, I just realized both of these polishes are 170! 

Though the bottle looks full, it's actually about a quarter empty. This is one of the first nail polishes I bought when I initially went to CVS in search of colors! I purchased a bunch of Sally Hansen ones with an ExtraBucks deal even before I started couponing, so I actually used this one quite a few times. Though it's not seen in the photo, there's actually really fine blue shimmer in it. The first coat was a little patchy on some nails, but the second coat evened it out. I think mine got a little thicker because I didn't put the cap on as tightly, but I was still able to work with it.

Personally, I don't need to have a perfect manicure. As long as the color stays on for almost a week without noticeable chipping, I'm fine. Nail polish is the only way that I "accessorize" since I don't wear jewelry, and it does make me feel happy when I see the colors!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lego Sushi

Let's be like Howard today and look at some Lego since we have a brand new Lego store at our local mall!

Lego sushi.

Now I hope I can sleep. Dumb insomina. Good night.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Secret Crafting

This is a zoomed up portion of something I've been working on lately. I can't post the exact project just yet since I don't want anyone to see it until the person I'm making it for uses it, but I have to say that I'm really excited with how some of the things turned out! It's very different than just plain ol' cards, so I've been able to use some cuts and shapes from my Cricut cartridges that I haven't used before.

I do wish that my Cricut didn't make so much noise when cutting because these past few days, I've dealt with pretty bad insomnia during the night. I'd stay up and craft if I didn't have to worry about the sounds waking up Howard or our neighbors!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Wow, it's already Friday, so how about an edition of Friday Favorites?

Favorite #1: Yankee Candle Votive Samplers

It's easy to see that I'm a huge fan of Bath & Body Works based on how many times I've posted about candles on this blog. I mean, I even wrote about my 6 new candles yesterday! When I was first starting out, i didn't know whether I should go for BBW only or branch out into Yankee Candle as well. Basically, BBW candles are actually cheaper with the sales. However, Yankee supposedly burns longer, so the price is supposed to be better in that regard. Unfortunately, the scents aren't as nice as BBW candles, in my opinion. Yankee candles are sharper and don't seem as smooth, so I never felt the need to buy their jars or tumblers. Their votives, on the other hand, are definitely enjoyable!

I wanted to have more options of scents. Plus, using a 3-wick candle means you need to make sure you have enough time to let the wax completely pool to the edge of the glass. Sometimes I just want to light a candle at night before bed, but I don't know that I will have an hour to let the wax pool correctly. These votive samplers are the best for that. I ordered a bunch of these when they had their $1 sale because I was able to get free shipping, and I still had money in a Paypal account from a large card order. I also purchased two of the votive holders. I burned part of two of them and really liked that I could get a quick scent. 

The ones in the picture above are a few I picked up at Yankee Candle's semi-annual sale a little over a month ago. They had a selection of votives for just $0.50. I would suggest buying them then, but there aren't as many choices as you'd probably like. Even when I was choosing $1 ones online during the sale, they would run out because I have a tendency to add things to my cart and just wait (sometimes I just like picking things out, and I end up not buying at all!).

I'm super excited to have these especially when it's a bit cooler in September. I'd still recommend BBW candles over Yankee, but I'm at that stage right now where ANY candles intrigue me! 

Favorite #2: Tums Ultra Strength 1000 in Peppermint

Oh, the "joys" of having acid reflux, Barrett's Esophagus, and no gallbladder! I'm pretty good at knowing how to avoid major heartburn because I try to avoid things that are really acidic. I also know that it's better not to have acidic things late at night. In fact, yesterday Howard and I shared two peaches after he got home from work before I even started making dinner, and I felt fine! It was much more enjoyable knowing that I wouldn't be uncomfortable later.

Even though I try to avoid things that are extremely acidic or fried or spicy, there are times I just really love a big bowl of pasta covered in tomato sauce! I also like things with a slight kick in them. Plus, anything that has noticeable fat or oil or butter in it can make me sick. Instead of waiting for any symptoms to hit me, I've learned to pop a Tums in my mouth after I finish dinner so it can start neutralizing acids right away. Silly me has been taking the Tums 750 before I realized that there was a difference in strength! I think I bought this more so because it was peppermint, which I know helps with nausea. When I took that first tablet and had it work so quickly, I was so impressed! It's peppermint Tums 1000 from now on!

Favorite #3: Pop-Tarts

Remember when Pillsbury Toaster Strudel first came out, and their commercials were always about how they were so much better than other breakfast pastries (ahem, Pop-Tarts)? I was definitely a huge fan of Toaster Strudels because they were warm, and I liked being able to control how much frosting I'd put on top because I didn't like things to be too sweet. In the more recent months, Howard and I have been enjoying Pop-Tarts!

Considering our extremely small refrigerator, I have to say that it's quite awesome not having to keep Toaster Strudels in the freezer since we just keep the Pop-Tarts on our counter. It's also really awesome that I can pay next to nothing for Pop-Tarts since I'm part of Kellogg's Family Rewards, which means I input codes from Kellogg's products and trade them in for products or coupons! I was able to get $0.75 coupons that double at my grocery stores, so I can get each box for about $0.16 when it's on sale 3 for $5. Um, yes please! Just pop them in the toaster for a quick warming, and then it's done! It's not pictured here, but the chocolate chip one is really yummy. I like that there are so many varieties these days compared to when I was a kid.

And as always, Friday nights are the best because my husband doesn't have to go to work the next day! Here's hoping I can sleep tonight because I barely got any sleep last night.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Haul: Bath & Body Works (FREE candles!)

Despite the fact that I've only completely finished 2 of the 3-wick candles I have purchased, I just bought more. And I'm not making any apologies for it! I know I have mentioned it before, but I really started burning candles more often to cover the smells from the hallway that would travel into our apartment. Once I picked up a few around Black Friday 2013, I've been loving my stops at Bath & Body Works even if I don't actually purchase anything. Sometimes it's just as much fun going in to sniff the new scents that I know I won't like (ex. bakery/dessert scents, floral scents, and pumpkin scents), but the curiosity gets the better of me because I see everyone else loving them. 

At this point, I can pretty much predict which ones I will enjoy since I'm fairly predictable! Citrus scents or musky scents (like "mandles" because they smell like men's cologne) are the ones I typically enjoy. Because I saw that the fall test candles were mainly pumpkin scents and other items that don't look like they're for me, I knew I should grab a last few summer candles and be set for the year. I still have plenty of winter candles from last year (mmm, Sparkling Icicles, Black Tuxedo, and Mahogany Teakwood!), so these would be the last set for a while. I did recently buy 2 Pomelo Grapefruit as backups just in case they don't bring it back next year since it might be my favorite summer candle, but other than that, I haven't bought any in a really long time. 

Now before I get into the actual scents I chose, I'd like to point out that I did not pay ONE CENT for any of these candles! Because of Swagbucks, as usual, I got all 6 candles absolutely FREE! I knew I would want to get some of the Summer Sips candles, so I exchanged 5000 SB for a $50 e-gift card. I used the code on that to purchase an actual gift card online, which I received in the mail to spend in the store!

Howard was with me that day, so these are the ones that we chose together.  

These four are from the Summer Sips line: 

Nectarine Green Tea (Japanese green tea and ripe nectarines): This was the one I was looking forward to getting when I saw the Summer Sips candles online and on Instagram during the testing phase. I adore London Calling (Tea & Lemon) because it's just so calming. I was hoping this tea scent would come through fairly strongly too, but at first sniff, I was actually a little disappointed. I didn't think it was too special because all I could smell at first was the nectarine. Later on, I took another whiff and got some of that green tea. I'm hoping it burns really well too, so I chose to get two of them instead of one of the Pink Apple Punch candles in the same line. That one smelled a lot like Jolly Ranchers to me, so it was just a bit too sweet. 

Sparkling Berry Fizz (sweet elderberry, tart black currants and bubbly spring water): So I don't know what elderberry or black currants are supposed to smell like, but this is a pleasantly sweet candle. I'm okay when candles have a sweet fruity scent, but I don't like sweet bakery scents. This is actually very close to the "almost too sweet" side of things for me. The first whiff smells a bit like candy, but then when I smell it a bit more, I get a deeper berry scent. I was okay just having one of these. I have to say that the wax colors in this line are really pretty!

Peach Cilantro Twist (summer peach, garden cilantro, and a hint of juicy mango): Howard really enjoyed this candle! He really zoned in on the peach aspect of it, but when I smelled it, it was almost all cilantro! If you don't cilantro, steer clear of this one. I feel as if there's no escaping it. I said that it reminded me of fish, haha. It's not that it smells like fish, but my mom used to grow cilantro and use it on whole fish because that along with ginger really takes away fishiness (it's the equivalent of other types of cuisine that use lemon or other acids to remove fishiness). I admit I actually chose this one because he liked it so much. If I were choosing them quickly, I might have chosen a Pink Apple Punch instead. I have a feeling it's going to burn very well though and work very well in our apartment since burning a candle in the apartment means burning it in the bedroom, the computer area, and the kitchen since we're in a studio.

These two are from the Coastal Cool collection, and are in frosted holders without lids: 

Sunset Beach (pineapple, papaya & sugarcane fragrance although the paper lid says "Fruit Pops, Sugarcane, & Sunrays"): First of all, I'm really hoping that this burns well because I did see after the fact that many people had bad experiences with it having no throw. We'll see what happens when I try it out myself. In terms of the cold sniff, it has a fruity scent, but it's very different than the other ones that I already have. It must be the papaya since it has a bit of tropicalness to it. If there are issues with the burn though, it'll have to go back. I do love the colors of these frosted holders though. Haha, that did sway us a bit in terms of narrowing it down. I do wish they had lids though for easier storage and also knowing that the wax is protected from losing all of its scent.

Beach Day (saltwater, lemon leaves and citrus musk): The thing that I think of when I sniff this candle is "summer musk." I do like the musky scents when it gets warmer because when I'm cold, the smell just fills the room and makes it much more inviting. This candle is a much lighter version of the muskier scents from the winter lines, but if you don't like that aspect of candles, this is another you'd have to avoid. I was actually thinking of getting the Coastal Sun one because it was orange and grapefruit, but Howard pointed out that I like it because it's citrus ... just like other candles I already have. He said that the Beach Day is much more unique, and he was absolutely right. I like having quite a large variety instead of having the same ol' same ol'. 

Yesterday I took the time to pull out the two candles I finished from the one Expedit square I have reserved for candles (one Sparkling Icicles and one Flannel), so I could fit the new ones in. Of course, I didn't have enough room, so I had to pull out the ones I had triples of and put them in the big BBW bag I have off to the side with extra lotions and body washes I bought at the last winter semi-annual sale. Do I have a ton of candles now? Yes, I absolutely do! But I know I'm really going to appreciate them even more when it gets cooler out, and I look forward to returning home each day in September and then throughout the winter!

Oh, can I just end by reiterating that I got these new candles for free? Okay, just had to get that out again.


I just wanted to add for my own records that the candles were on sale 2 for $22, and RetailMeNot had a coupon for a free 3-wick when spending $20. That meant that each candle was only $7.33 not including tax. We split this up into two transactions (Howard had to pull up the coupon on RetailMeNot on his phone), so that means I still have money left on my gift card too!