Mar 31, 2011

Ear Candy: Your Love

Last Train to Paris is still one of my favorite albums out right now... and "Your Love" is one of my favorite songs on the album. Check out the video below - - sidebar: I'm loving Dawn's hair cut and color!!! Very hot.

Shea Moisture Buy 1 Get 1 @ Walgreens

Thanks to a few subscribers on my YouTube channel I was made aware of the awesome deal Shea Moisture is having this week at Walgreens. The entire line is Buy 1 Get 1 free until April 2nd (Saturday) so anyone that has been wanting to give their products a try should jump on this deal.

Despite being advertised in their weekly circular the first Walgreens I went to was a bust. Nobody in the store had even heard of Shea Moisture. In order to not waste another trip I had them call a different store to see if they carried the line and I was in luck because they did! I headed to the 2nd store and at first couldn't find the products - - I was searching with the rest of the hair stuff - - but ended up finding it in the cosmetics section.

Unfortunately they were sold out of my favorite Coconut/Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk, but I figured this was the perfect time to experiment with other products (I already know the curl/style milk is awesome and worth the $9.99). I got the Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, and the Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.

 I'm excited to give everything a try and will be following up with a YouTube/blog review in the coming weeks. Did anyone else score some products?

Mar 28, 2011

My life in the Dental Chair...

Okay, I'm back! Well, kinda... I went in for another round of dental work on Thursday: 2 root canals, 2 temporary crowns, and 1 temp filling.

I'm a trooper and can usually handle pain well, but 5 hrs of dental work and getting numbed up 4 times left me in a bit of pain. This is actually the first time I took my pain meds which of course made me sleepy, but feeling as if you've just been punched in the face is not what's up.

It seems like my life wouldn't be complete without some level of dental drama and this visit didn't disappoint. After my 5 hr marathon treatment I was notified that my dentist would no longer be working with my insurance company as of May 1st. Hearing the news felt like getting punched in the stomach. I had finally worked out the kinks with my dentist and was enjoying this practice. Just being with people that I was starting to build a relationship with and starting to trust... only to find out that I had to complete my dental work with another office. Even though this round of work maxed out my dental benefits for this year, as I stated in a previous blog, I'm still able to receive services at the discounted rate (sans the provider co-pay), so financially I must find a new office to keep my bill affordable.

On a happier note, I only have 1 round of things left to do: 1 root canal/crown and a few fillings! I plan on finishing up my treatment by mid summer so going into the fall my mouth will be operating at nearly 100% - - only leaving my wisdom teeth left up to be removed. I've been sticking my feelers out to get a better understanding of the process of getting my wisdom teeth pulled out. I'm on the fence about having a doctor put me under and using an IV... but still foggy on the other options.

For now, I'm closing in on the final laps of my preventative care. Again, I urge everyone to stay on top of their annual dental visits. Preventative care really is everything. Catch those cavities early on, get them filled, and live your life!! I'm over root canals at this point.

Mar 23, 2011

N♥il Art: Fun with Crackle

The other day I came across a nail art design Lala Vasquez was rocking and decided to give it a try.

It's rather simple: 2 colors of polish topped with crackle.

 I used E.L.F.'s Lilac and Blue Mist as my base coats, topped with China Glaze Crackle, and used Essie "Good to Go" as my top coat.

This is a super quick design to rock, but I probably won't have it on for more than a few days. My nails are growing like weeds and at this length it's nearly impossible to have a manicure last.

Mar 22, 2011

Expanding our family...

My husband and I decided to expand our feline family last week with the addition of Misty!

I fell in love with her in the store and knew we had to bring her into our home. Due to her being an extremely shy cat we had a rocky start... but I'm glad we went through with the adoption. There really is no better feeling that providing a loving home to a pet in need.

I never thought I would own 1 cat let alone 2, but I can assure everyone that this is the final addition to the family. No more cats, no dogs, no kids... Between cleaning up after these cats and my husband I'm busy enough.

Mar 19, 2011

Frank & Myrrh Jewelry Review

Like many others I took part in the insane 50% off sale Frank & Myrrh had back in December. The brain child of Nikole Crowe (Moptop Maven), the line features tons of handcrafted pieces with a vibrant, ethnic flair.

Being 100% honest the ordering process was a nightmare. For a while Nikole was missing in action and I was definitely filled with tons of question marks. However, I soon found out that it was all due to her being sick which put everything into perspective. I'm really glad she posted this blog explaining what was going on because everyone was speculating and I was definitely one of her customers that was aggravated from a business standpoint, however, still concerned about why she had disappeared.

Something I learned from this situation was the importance of protecting yourself as a buyer. Pay Pal offers great online features that allow for you to get your money back and dispute any orders that are not up to par. I enjoy Nikole's blog posts so much and have conversed with her a few times so I felt bad having doubt over the validity of my order... still, looking at things from a business end I made sure to file a claim with Pay Pal within the 45 day window to make sure I covered myself so I could get a refund if needed.

Bloggers and vloggers can seem like 'friends in our head' but at the end of the day unless we're interacting in person and establishing some sort of real-life friendship, we don't really know one another. I would definitely urge everyone that no matter how much you "like" someone be sure to keep your business mindset when money is being exchanged. This may seem like commonsense, but I really struggled with this. I didn't want to seem "mean" or like I was being a "bitch", but I had to remind myself that if she was a regular business owner and not a blogger that I liked, I would handle the situation in a different way.

With that out of the way, I must say that I do love the quality of the earrings that I received. Nikole is uber talented and the earrings are top notch. I would recommend her designs to everyone as long as she's healthy and able to run her business.

Please check out my video for a full review on each pair of earrings I received!

For more information on Frank & Myrrh click here.

Mar 18, 2011

N♥tural Hair: Pantene Curly Hair Series Review

Getting my first package from was beyond exciting. I literally ripped open the box the moment it was delivered and was happy to see the Pantene Curly Hair Series on deck for my first review.

The Curly Hair Series features shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and stylers all aimed at offering frizz control and curl definition. I received the Dry to Moisturized 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner, Light Conditioning Detangler, Heat Protection & Shine Spray, Curl Shaping Gel, and the Fine Hair Solutions Ultra-Light Moisturizing Treatment (which could have possibly been a mistake but I still chose to use and review).

You can watch my video for a full review, but I'll give a quick overview for those that prefer the written word:

Dry to Moisturized 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner
I've never been a fan of 2-in-1 products because I never felt the conditioning aspect was substantial enough. It's a great idea, but I believe more beneficial to those that don't require intense conditioning for their hair. This was more of a conditioning shampoo that didn't leave my hair feeling stripped, but not something I would incorporate into my routine and make a staple product.

Fine Hair Solutions Ultra-Light Moisturizing Treatment
The name is right because this was a super light moisturizer. I don't know if I was sent this product in error because it's from their Fine Hair Solutions line, but it definitely didn't offer the level of moisture I needed. I think this product would be good for those with a looser curl pattern whose hair is easily weighed down.

Curl Shaping Gel
Ahhh, the Curl Shaping Gel! I had a love/hate relationship with this product. I loved the LOOK of the results it offered me, but loathed the actual feel of my hair. I used this stuff everyday for a week and ended up with overly dried locks. Seriously, my hair was on its last leg and needed life support to bounce back from continued use of this product. I tried a few combos to make this work, but have yet to strike gold. I'll keep playing around with this product, but definitely can't use it daily... Maybe once every other week.

Heat Protection & Shine Spray
I didn't get a chance to straighten my hair during the week I tried these products due to being consumed with trying to find a combo that made the Curl Shaping Gel work lol. I will review this once I do my next blow out.

Light Conditioning Detangler
My hair is rather easy to detangle so I can't say this product did much for me in that area. It is also marketed as a curl refresher, but while it made my hair wet it also dried it out when I used it the next morning. I'll have to stick with water as my preferred curl refresher.

Mar 17, 2011


I can't believe it's been a week since my last post....

Suffice it to say that I've been busy living life, balancing marriage and fulltime school, and just spending some quality time with my husband... precious moments that I've not been blogging or tweeting lol.

In terms of things I can update everyone on:
I received my first package to review from!! I just filmed the review and will be sharing that with everyone, along with a review of my Frank & Myrrh earrings (Moptop Maven's jewelry line). What else? My husband and I are in the process of adopting another cat! Well, we're still debating. We found one that we like and are thinking about expanding the family. She was adorable, but I want to make sure Smudge doesn't feel betrayed. Yes, I sound slightly crazy but I feel like he's our little prince and our household functions pretty well... I just want to make sure that introducing another cat to the mix goes smoothly. Oh yeah, and my husband has been obsessed with the idea of getting a greyhound, a breed that I find to be atrocious. They are WAY too lean for my taste and kinda look like they'd be the first breed to turn into zombie dogs lol. Random, I know... but I like beefier looking dogs.

Mar 11, 2011

Information Overload...

Last night my husband and I were watching TV and engaging in our usual playful banter when he said one of his many priceless comments. Almost instantly I took to Facebook to share the comment with the world when he stopped me in my tracks.

"Why does every detail have to be shared online?"

The question was valid and it got me to thinking about the life of a blogger's spouse. Of course I'm sure bloggers (and not their spouses) are reading this post right now, but if you're in a relationship how do you balance the amount of your personal life you share online while being respectful of what your spouse wants.

With Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook making it so easy to share every mundane detail of our lives with the world, when should we draw the line? My husband brought up the point that if you're sharing everything with everyone, what parts do you keep sacred and just between the two of you.

I've seen bloggers tweet throughout the birth of their children, surgery, and other moments that may seem private... but this conversation made me think of celebrity relationships and how they often crash and burn.... especially for someone like Kim Kardashian, for instance. Every part of her life is played out in front of the cameras, she is attached to her blackberry, and constantly giving her fans updates. It seems like nothing is off limits and it makes me wonder if her relationships have failed because nothing is sacred. On the flip side, I gain a bit more respect for a couple like Beyonce and Jay-Z that have managed to be in the limelight but keep their relationship private.

My husband and I were friends for years prior to dating and getting married, so my blogging was something that he accepted from the start. While he is still of the mindset that I "share too much" information, he's extremely understanding and supportive that this is something I love.

So... for the bloggers and vloggers out there, how do you determine when you need to hold back, bite your tongue, and not share something?

Mar 10, 2011

Don't get played at the Dentist's Office...

I previously blogged about how blessed I felt after being told I had a $400 credit with my dental office.... However, after letting some time pass I started to wonder how I was OVERCHARGED by $400 in the first place. I did a little bit of research and wanted to share something with everyone out there that has ever felt like they were being bent over (no vaseline) and screwed by their dentist.

Dentists make agreements with insurance companies to offer their services at a discounted fee in turn gaining the clients of the insurance company. When having a service done a portion of the fee is typically paid by the insurance company thus leaving the remaining balance to be paid by you at the time of service. Some dentists are notorious for leading clients to believe that once their insurance premium for the year is maxed out that they no longer are able to receive services at the discounted rate, but PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

Even if you have maxed out your dental benefits for the year know that you are still supposed to be receiving the services at that discounted rate. I realized that I was overcharged by my dentist's office because they were in fact charging me their regular fee for services, NOT the fees they agreed upon with the insurance company. When I spoke with them about this last month they led me to believe that the insurance company had "paid more than they anticipated" therefore causing money to be left over. I was excited about this at first, but once the warm fuzzy feelings wore off I wanted to figure out how a mistake like this happened. The extra $400 would have been money I eventually applied toward the rest of the dental work I need to have done, but having them sit on my cash is not what's up.

It took a few hours but I was able to clear up the billing errors with them and insure that this wouldn't happen again. I know some people are already aware of this, but for those that were in the dark I wanted to share this information. Dental bills can already be astronomically high and price gauging is not ethical. Make sure you're triple checking your dental bill PRIOR to services to make sure the prices match what they should be charging you, and don't hesitate to call your insurance company.

On another note, I'm going in for another round of root canals/crowns in 2 weeks and this appointment will be a doozy. Supposedly it will take all day because they're tackling numerous teeth. I'm actually hoping that these are the final root canals I'll have to get done. Advice for the week? Preventative care is everything!!

Mar 9, 2011

N♥il Art: Essie hits Walgreens

I'm not sure how late (or early) I am on this one, but while in Walgreens a few days ago I stumbled upon a whole setup of Essie polish! Previously only available at major retailers like Ulta, I was excited to find them in a store like Walgreens. Before you rush out to stock up on this uber cute polish, I wanted to share a few tidbits:

1) They don't offer the full range of colors, but do seem to have the most popular ones. I wasn't blown away by the stock, but I was definitely pleased with the options they had.

2) Walgreens is selling them for $7.99 each so the price isn't cheaper than if you were to go to Ulta. I would still prefer to go to Ulta if they were running one of their "Buy 2 get 1" sales... Otherwise, I'll save myself a 25 min trip and hit Walgreens.

3) Every Walgreens doesn't have them so you may want to call before dropping into your local store.

4) The packaging is slightly different. Mainly you have a white "Essie" label on the side of the bottle along with the name of the shade on the top (instead of the bottom).

5) The overall presentation in the store I went to was kinda the pits. I mean, this is my favorite polish and nothing beats going into Ulta and seeing the organized display. I had to pop a squat and work my way through the semi clusterf*ck of colors, but I was so happy to find them at the store I didn't mind too much. I'm glad I don't have to drive a million miles to get this polish, but I do prefer the visual presentation at Ulta.

If you're a polish fiend like myself I'm sure you'll be happy about this merger. I'm looking forward to seeing what other brands make their way into Walgreens - - I know Shea Moisture is headed there next... so that's 2 products I love!

Mar 8, 2011

Reality Check: All About Aubrey

Getting played to the 10th degree by Diddy and fired on national TV is enough to derail someone for a while. But after a much needed break, Aubrey O'Day is back in her new series All About Aubrey on Oxygen ( Mondays 10/9c).

I was a fan of Danity Kane and enjoyed watching them on Making the Band. I mean, I even bought both of their albums!! No illegal downloading for me. Seeing Aubrey back on TV is nice, However... let me just point out that she looks different. She fessed up to being an emotional eater having gained about 15 lbs post Danity Kane drama, as well as a sporting a blank forehead - - an easy giveaway for overdosing on Botox.  Sidebar: Why are women under the age of 40 even getting Botox? Still, Aubrey is giving fame another shot and reaching for her dream of becoming a solo performer.

For those that think this show will be a lot of fluff can I just point out how brutally honest the team Aubrey has around her is... and I don't mean her friends, but the actual music insiders helping her along the way. Her weight is definitely priority number one. Within 10 mins of her first studio session her choreographer tells her she needs to lose 10-15 lbs, take off her lashes, wash her makeup off, and strip away the facade. It was refreshing watching Aubrey put the Hollywood bullshit act on *pause* for a moment so she could get down to work. Aubrey is really talented and I loved her voice. I actually enjoyed the music showcased throughout the premiere so I'm hoping she was able to land a record deal... I'd buy her solo album.

Did anyone else watch last night?

Mar 4, 2011

Better late than never...

It's probably a result of the insane amount of reality TV I watch each week, but I'm usually late to jump on the bandwagon of popular scripted shows. Girlfriends and Sex and the City were the two major shows I caught after the fact, making me realize how much I had been missing, but also how nice it was to watch all of the episodes at once. My husband is a movie buff with a vast collection of anything and everything. Our nighttime tradition is to work our way through seasons and seasons of series that he owns. I've become a fan of How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, and even 30 Rock due to this... all shows I would never have watched on my own.

The latest addition to the lineup has been Seinfeld, a show I never watched. I must admit that this show is pretty good. I can't say I would have had the patience to watch it each week, especially since it ran from '89 - '98 and I wasn't checking for him when I was that young lol... but now I find myself wanting to take in 3-4 episodes a night! The comedic timing is perfect, the writing spot on, and the characters great. I'm even starting to feel like George Costanza is my real life friend... albeit an annoying one lol. Right now we're waiting for the current seasons of How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory to finish airing so the DVDs can come out. I'm not ready to give up my reality TV addiction, but I love adding some scripted comedy to my life.

What are your favorite scripted shows? Do you and your spouse have any nighttime traditions?

Mar 3, 2011

Newly Nesting: Lanuage of Love

To overhear an intimate conversation between my husband and I you would think we were from another planet. Not only do we have our own accents, tones, and words... but we have a slew of characters that we seamlessly fall in and out of. It's actually quite funny to think about, but it makes us US!

I was wondering if all couples had their own language they used to communicate... and I'm not talking about the 5 love languages either. I mean something cute and quirky that's all your own.

Mar 2, 2011

N♥il Art: China Glaze "Shatter"

Much to my surprise (and delight) China Glaze recently launched their "Crackle" line of polishes - - the perfect dupe for the OPI "Shatter" line. They are currently offering their "Crackle" polish in 6 shades so the color combos you can experiment with are endless and they're available for $4.99 @ Sally's and Ulta locations!

I fought the urge to buy every shade and just got "Black Mesh". I had never tried a shatter/crackle type of polish before and didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of shades that I potentially didn't like.

Using Orly's "Luxe" as a base coat, I applied 1 coat of China Glaze "Black Mesh" to achieve the crackled look. Please note that when using these colors your base coat must dry completely before you add the crackle. Also, the crackle effect works better with a lighter coat. Heavier application does not yield good results so be sure to stick to 1 coat of the polish.

Tip: These shades dry matte so it's recommended to use a top coat to finish your look. I applied Essie's "Good to Go".

*Please note that my nails weren't "cleaned up" in the pics below... I was just eager to share the results with everyone lol

If you've been going nuts looking for the OPI version head to your nearest Sally's and grab this quick. I've just started seeing folks talk about this so I'm assuming that come this weekend everyone would have found out and they'll be sold out. This is definitely a fun way to change up your nails, and with 6 shades to choose from you can really let your creative juices flow.

Has anyone else bought this yet? I'm tempted to go back and pick up a few more shades...

N♥tural Hair: Turban Wrap

A few days ago I came across this video on showing how to wrap your hair in the popular turban style. I actually was rocking this style last year in AZ, thought I wasn't aware of what it was exactly called at the time. I just wanted a cuter way to rock my scarf around the house.

This is actually a cute way to salvage a bad hair day or if you're like me and won't step foot out the house with your hair in twists or braids, throw this on and show off the front. I'm going to shop around for some cute scarves to try this style out again.

Mar 1, 2011

Bootcamp Body. Amazing Price.

I was just sent this amazing deal from LivingSocial for 1 month of unlimited boot camp classes in Columbia, SC!  Under the guidance of Army vet and Columbia firefighter Michael Thomas, get ready to sweat, burn, and drop the pounds and inches. Boot camp sessions meet 3 days a week for 4 weeks (about a month) and usually costs $140. LivingSocial is offering this amazing deal for $30! Yes... $30!!!

This deal is really too good to pass up so I wanted to share with everyone. Take advantage of this amazing deal by clicking here because it ends in 16 hours.

Brow Challenge

I'm one of those people that tend to over-tweeze due to stress, boredom, or even a spurt of ocd. Going into Spring I really want to ditch the look of battered brows and give myself a fresh start. It may require me to sit on my hands for the entire month, but I'm determined to put down my tweezers, hide them if need be, and leave my brows alone!! I've tried to do this a few times in the past and usually fall off the wagon after a week or so. It starts out innocent enough with me wanting to just pull out a few stray hairs, soon turning into all out warfare on my brows. As many of you know I'm participating in Moptop Maven's Healthy Hair in 2011 challenge... so I want to take this from the hair on my head, to the hair on my face lol. I'm not even sure how long it takes to grow out your brows, but you can't win a race you never enter. Let the below pic serve as my starting off point! Can only go up from here...

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