Thursday, June 9, 2011

Product review: OPI Black Shatter

I went to the mall today to spend my $20 Old Navy Groupon. I failed. There was nothing there I wanted. As consolation, I wandered over to Trade Secret, hoping to see if the rest of the Pirates of the Caribbean Collection from OPI was in. I have Planks A Lot on my nails right now. I wanted Mermaid's Tears. They were sold out. :(

They did, however, have Black Shatter, which I have been wanting to try but has been sold out EVERYWHERE. So I got it.

These are my most recent colors:
From left to right: Black Shatter, Y'All Come Back, Hear?,
Do You Think I'm Tex-y?, and Planks A Lot
I am currently wearing Planks A Lot on my hands. It's a soft, fresh color for spring. I don't love it. (But my 3 year old niece complimented me on it. And she always has her nails done. That isn't sarcasm.)
It's a bit too pastel for my tastes. I usually go for bright, bold colors, but wanted to try something different. I added the Black Shatter.
Much better. The Shatter was easy to apply, goof proof, and dried quickly. I like how it quickly and easily transformed a color I didn't love to something bold and unexpected. As you can tell from the photo, I'm not the neatest when I do my nails, but the edges cleaned up easily after it was dry. I LOVE the effect. It definitely needs a top coat to seal the effect in and add shine. The Shatter also served a dual purpose in refreshing my week old (and starting to chip) manicure. I didn't have to start over from scratch! I'm definitely going to experiment more with this.

Since pushing the publish button, I have changed both the color on both my toes and my fingers. I was itching to try the Texas colors.

The orange Y'All Come Back, Hear? is now on my toes. It took 4 coats for it to really show up. I suspect if I had lighter skin, it wouldn't have taken as many. It's a pretty color, but not very well suited for my skin tone. I may like it better in the daylight. I left it on. It may grow on me. If I add the Black Shatter, it will be perfect for Halloween.
Please disregard the messy-ness. Also, my camera was acting up
so these aren't very clear. You get the idea, though.
I put the very pink Do You Think I'm Tex-y? on my fingers. I love this color. It's bright, happy, and bold. Exactly what I wanted for a summer color. Like Y'All Come Back, it needed additional coats to really stand out. This may be my go-to for the summer. It will also work really well with the Black Shatter.
Again. Messy. It will be fine after I shower. That's how I roll.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lemon Cilantro Chicken Soup

I decided to cook today. The recipe is one of my own: lemon cilantro chicken soup. I've made it before and each time it's a little bit different. I used the bare minimum of dishes (I hate doing dishes). It's SO easy. It's also celery-free, since celery is of the devil.

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken (usually sold hot at most supermarkets. I got mine at A&P for $6)
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 carrot
  • 5 red potatoes
  • 1 package button mushrooms
  • 3 32 ounce boxes of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1/2 cup dry barley
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (I used egg noodles, but any pasta works)
Pour 2 boxes of the chicken broth and the barley into a large pot and set it on the stove on medium heat. While the broth is heating up, cut up the turnip, carrot, potatoes, and mushrooms, adding each to the broth as you cut them up. Cut the carrot and turnip small, and cut the potatoes into quarters. Slice the mushrooms  thick.

At this point, the broth should be boiling.

I purchased the chicken the night before so it would be cold when I needed it, otherwise it would be too hot to rip apart. Tear it into small pieces with your hands (the most fun part) and toss it in the pot. (Maya sat patiently at my feet, hoping something would fall.) Take about half of the bunch of cilantro, chop fine, and toss in. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pot, making sure not to include the seeds.

If you notice that the soup is getting a bit thick, you can add more broth or water.

Add the 2 cups of pasta, cover the pot, and leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.

And that's it! Cleanup is super easy; I only had the knife and cutting board to wash.

It's so fresh and summery with the lemon and cilantro. After refrigeration, the broth will get absorbed by the pasta, so I keep a box of chicken broth to add before reheating.

Adventures with Lush Caca Noir

I had a Twitter request to post the details from when I dyed my hair with Lush's Caca Noir Mama natural henna hair color. Since I'm thinking about repeating the process, I thought this would be a good time to put it up. Apologies to those who already saw this on my Facebook page. I'll have something new for you very soon. :)

This is my hair pre-henna, freshly washed with no product in it.

The henna comes in blocks of 6. I used half of the total. To use it, I broke off the portion I needed and grated it into a powder using a box grater. Another option would have been to use a food processor to grind it up, but mine isn't big enough. (Nail polish: OPI Plugged in Plum :) )
After it was all grated, I added hot water to the powder until it was the consistency of pudding, then placed the bowl in a small pot of hot water on the stove to keep it hot and pliable while I applied it. I wore gloves and applied it by hand. I did the application in the kitchen next to the stove to keep the henna warm. (Spread newspapers or old wrapping paper on the floor to catch any spills. It can get messy.)

This is me looking ridiculous with plastic wrap on my head. I wrapped it to keep the heat in, which activates the henna. The smell of the henna is very earthy, but not too bad. I had the windows open and it didn't bother me too much.

I kept it on for 6 hours total; 3 hours wrapped, 3 open because the indigo needs air to develop. The henna dried into a SOLID MASS. At this point, the hair clips were totally redundant. I took this picture right before I washed it out.

I washed it out in the shower using a cheap shampoo. I washed it 4 times to make sure it was all out, then conditioned once. This is me right after washing and drying it.

Next morning! It is already darker, and continued to get darker over the next few days. In addition to the henna and indigo, Caca Noir also has cocoa butter, which left my hair super soft and shiny. I also woke up with no tangles, which is rare!
I'm definitely going to repeat the process soon. It took most of a day to do, but it was totally worth it. I'm so glad I found hair color that is natural!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stupid moves

You guys. I was just a total idiot. And I need to tell you all about it. I just called him. It was awful. I am an idiot and deserve your mocking in the comments.

As you know (if you've been reading this), Steve and I are not currently speaking. His choice. As the caring person that I am, I was concerned after not hearing from him in over a week. So I texted him. No response. So I called him. He answered after the third try. It wasn't pleasant. So to recap: I still don't know what his issues are. He still doesn't want me to know what is bothering him. I am super frustrated. And sad. And drinking some Three Buck Chuck.

I am fully aware that I should not have called. I was silently berating myself the whole time. But that doesn't change the fact that I miss him more than I can bear.

I'm going to go cry over some ice cream now.

Fixing the skin you're in

I am a girl. Sometimes, I am a girly girl. I have an unhealthy addiction to Sephora. Ridiculously expensive mascara? Yes please. OPI nailpolish? Oh goodness yes. I bought three new colors yesterday. (OMG THE PIRATES COLLECTION!!!)

I recently bought some products from Bliss. I purchased the Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask, and the No "Zit" Sherlock collection. I've been using the No Zit collection daily, and have used the mask twice. I adore them.

The mask is a dual formula (mix in hand) mask that you leave on for 15 minutes. When I washed it off, my skin was super soft. I've used it twice so far (once per week) and have no complaints.

The No Zit Sherlock collection (cleanser, serum, moisturizer) has been working so far. I tend to have mini breakouts every once in a while, but my skin has been clear since I've started using this. (For spot treatments, I've been using Burt's Bees Targeted Spot Treatment. I've had overnight success getting rid of pimples using this. Let's not get into my Burt's Bees addiction.) I expected some dryness since I'm using a whole slew of products, but I'm happy to report that my skin has been fine.

The correcting serum claims to correct dark spots from old pimples. This was a major selling point because I have some discoloration from past breakouts and want them to go away without resorting to chemical peels or anything more drastic. I like being able to go out with minimal makeup on. (Minimal = eyeliner, mascara only. I feel naked without eyeliner.) Having scrutinized my face since buying these, I haven't really seen a change in the discoloration, but it's only been two weeks. I'm keeping the faith on this.

These products are on the expensive side, but Bliss has an excellent reputation for skin care. And I had a gift card.