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Things I {don't} Love

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Thursday!
Which means it's time for another week of Things I {don't} Love. It's a great way to vent a little without sounding like a total Debbie Downer. Besides, it's been a long week and I'm sure there are quite a few things you haven't been loving this week. So link them up & find out what's irritating the crap out of everyone else!

Here's what I'm currently not loving:

Late night messes. I can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. So waking up to messes created by my kids (and husband) at night is the worst when I'm trying to make my coffee in the morning. I've resorted to this sign on the fridge, and it helps a little. I'm still holding out hope that one day they might actually clean up after themselves, but I'm not holding my breath!

Season finales. It seems like season 3 just started and we're already getting ready for the season finale. Why do the seasons seem to fly by with the shows I love? I wish they'd make more episodes in there.

Feeling scatterbrained. Lately I've been feeling like I've had so much to do but I'm not actually getting much done. Almost like I have ADD and can't concentrate on one thing. It makes writing and working on projects really hard, and I'm not usually a procrastinator! I need to snap out of it.

It's your turn to link up your own Things I {don't} Love post!

Don't forget to grab a button or link back.
Follow me on Twitter and tell me what you're not loving!





Please excuse me while I enjoy the sunshine

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

If I'm not blogging much the next few days it's because I'm doing this:
It's sunny!
It's not hot by any means.
But I'll take 45 and sunny.
It's really sad that 45 degrees sounds warm, isn't it?

For some reason my legs look like they are really shiny in that picture. I think it's just that they are so white that they kind of make you almost go blind when you look at them!

Don't forget to check out this giveaway going on right now! $ 275 in total to Target, Amazon, Forever 21, Starbucks, & Paypal! One lucky winner wins them all 5 gift cards!

I hope the weather is being nice to you wherever you are :)

My Three Bittles 1000 follower giveaway

Monday, March 25, 2013


My bloggy BFF Amber from My Three Bittles recently hit a big milestone on her blog.
1000 followers!
 
And to celebrate she's hosting a huge giveaway with all of these ladies:
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 Together, we're giving away the following to one lucky winner:
 
$100 Target gift card.
$75 Amazon gift card.
$50 Forever 21 gift card.
$25 Starbucks gift card.
$25 Paypal cash.

That's $275 in prizes! And all to places I love. I wish I could win!

Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Weekend Wrap Up

It's time for my weekend wrap up to catch you up on anything and everything in my little life (and blog) that you might have missed this week. As always, I'll be linking up with the lovely Sami, from Sami's Shenanigans.

This week I started the blog with a new gel nail tutorial!
This one is on how to remove them.

We had art night at our house

My daughter kept practicing weird faces for me

I hosted another week of Things I {don't}Love where I discussed my recent hatred of the US Postal Service

I sat and browsed Pinterest and all of my quilting magazines for some sewing & quilting inspiration. I have so much fabric but I don't know what I want to do with it yet!

On Saturday we woke up to sunshine! We headed to the store for a quick trip to grab some more sidewalk chalk and ended up getting some Ninja Turtle toys too. My brother and I would have killed for these when we were little!

Hopscotch!

I re-watched season 2 in order to prepare for the new season! HBO is re-ordered too :)

I finally blogged about my sweet little surprise from my husband

AND

last but not least, I have a giveaway for you! My bloggy BFF Amber is hosting a 1000 follower giveaway & I'm part of it. Enter to win these awesome prizes:
$100 Target gift card
$75 Amazon gift card
$50 Forever 21 gift card
$25 Starbucks gift card
$25 PayPal cash
One lucky winner will win all of these! That's $275 in prizes total.
Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below
 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zpsf6b4b014.jpg

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you all had a great weekend!


A sweet little surprise

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Have I mentioned that I love this man? 
My husband, the father of my children, the love of my life...yeah, you know the drill.
He's pretty sweet. And funny. And hot.
Sometimes he surprises me. Not often, but sometimes.

Last week he surprised the hell out of me.

He came home in the middle of the day and caught me off guard by saying "OK, I want you to close your eyes and don't peek- I have a surprise for you but I have to go get it out of my truck."

My first thought was "Please God, don't let it be an animal!" (I'm not a pet person)

 I turned around and saw this:
  A Silhouette Cameo! I could not believe my eyes.

I was completely blown away by this. As I mentioned before, he doesn't surprise me a lot. I'm a huge control freak and like picking things out myself, so the idea of him buying it without checking with me first makes me squirm now. Only because it would be like if I were trying to pick out a new guitar or tattoo machine for him. I wouldn't know which one he wanted or which one to get. There are a lot of other versions of the Silhouette out there that I had researched and knew I didn't want, so the fact that he knew exactly which model I wanted and pulled off a successful surprise really shocked and amazed me. I think I hugged and kissed him about a thousand times and kept saying "I can't believe you got the right one!" He even told the ladies at the store all about my blog and and how much I'd been wanting a Silhouette and they were all impressed that he was surprising me with it. Points for the husband with the ladies at the crafting store! I seriously love him.

I quickly went to work cleaning my "office" and made room for my new toy.

One thing I didn't think about was the learning curve involved with figuring out how to use this fancy contraption. It comes with it's own software and everything, and there are so many options for fun stuff to make that I'm a little overwhelmed. I don't know where to start! I haven't even really made anything with it yet because I'm not even sure how to do everything yet, and I need to buy more materials for some of the projects I have in mind. I need to just play around and practice for a bit before I take the plunge and start cutting vinyl. That stuff can be expensive and I'm so afraid of ruining a big project. For now I'm sticking with cutting paper for practice while I learn all of the little trick and tips for using my Silhouette.

Lily will love these!

I started a whole Silhouette board on Pinterest to give me some ideas...not that I need more ideas. I have plenty of those. Maybe soon I'll take the plunge and actually create something. For now I'm having fun just sitting and staring at it though because it's just so pretty!

Hopefully soon you'll see lots of fun crafty ideas and projects brought to you by new toy! Just as soon as I figure out how to use it...

Things I {don't} Love

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's that time again! We made it past Hump Day, and Friday is so close. It's been a long week. Anyone else feel that way?! I like to start my Thursday mornings with a cup of coffee and a little linky party called Things I {don't} Love. So grab a cup and let loose! Tell me what you're currently not loving this week. 

Here's what I'm currently not loving:

Craft fails. Yep, they suck. Especially when you're trying to mod podge and you end up ripping all of the wet paper off in a fit of rage! Don't ask...
Snail mail. And by that, I literally mean a snail must be delivering my mail. I won a little gift card in a blog giveaway a while back. I had been waiting for what seemed like forever when the card finally showed up the other day...postmarked January 22nd! Which means it took almost two full months to get an envelope sent from Virgina to Washington. Ridiculous!

Back pain. I don't know what I did to my back this time but it hurts! I had surgery to correct a herniated disc about 2 years ago and I feel like something is wrong again. I'm really hoping I didn't re-injure it again.

It's your turn to link up your own Things I {don't} Love post!

I wanna hear what's pissing you off this week!


DIY Gel Nail Removal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


So you followed my fabulous DIY Gel Nail tutorial and now it's time to remove them.
 

By the way, if you need a good gel nail kit, this is an awesome one, plus it's the best deal I've seen around for Gelish products. This one is also a good option if you want to use a different lamp.

If you paid attention and followed the instructions your nails should still be shiny and pretty much chip free, but now you have a bunch of grow out around the cuticle area. 

It's time to remove your gels and put on a new set.

So just how do you remove them?

I'm glad you asked.

Almost all of the tutorials I've seen online tell you to that you need to wrap your nails in foil and acetone soaked cotton balls. While that method may work, it's not for me. I tried it once after my first attempt at my own gels and I found it just too messy and wasteful with the foil and everything. 

Since I'm a nail tech I thought back to my days of doing acrylics, and I figured I'd just remove gels the same way I'd been soaking off acrylics for years. 

 

  • Pure acetone
  • A nail file
  • An orangewood stick
  • A small bowl or dish (still large enough to stick 1 hand in)
  • A medium sized bowl(optional)
  • Cuticle oil (not pictured) 
Use your file to lightly file/buff off just the very top coat of gel. Don't want to press hard- be gentle and just remove the shine. You want to break the seal in the gel's topcoat so that the acetone can really go to work.

 See? I didn't file off any of the color. I just removed the shine on the top coat and roughed it up a little.
Grab the two bowls or dishes. The reason for the optional 2nd bowl is this- the small one will be filled with acetone and will be the bowl you will soak your nails in. The 2nd one will be filled with very warm tap water, and the bowl of acetone will sit inside the water bowl, like this:
The warm water in the outer bowl will help gently warm the acetone in the inner bowl, which will then help remove the gel faster. Please be aware: Acetone is extremely flammable, much like rubbing alcohol is. You cannot heat up acetone in a microwave or on the stove- this will cause a fire or explosion. Using the warm water is the only safe way to give the acetone a "little boost" in temperature when removing artificial nails. This is the same way I've been removing acrylics for years, only acrylics take a lot longer to soak off. 
Submerge your finger tips as comfortably as you can in the dish of acetone. Make sure all of the nails are completely covered with the liquid. Leave them soaking for about 10 minutes before you check on them. You might be tempted to peek early, but it'll be much quicker if you just keep them soaking for the first 10 minutes without taking them out to look at them.
Remove your hand from the acetone. The gel should look like it's started to peel up in places, like this:
{Yep, those are my Harry Potter tattoos. More on my tattoos here}
Stick your fingers back in the acetone and while the nail is submerged, use the end of the orangewood stick to gently try to scrape the gel off, starting by the cuticles and working your way down to the free edge. If the gel sloughs off easily you can continue to do this to each finger until all of the gel is removed.

If it's not coming off easily or if you're really having to work to get the gel off you may need to let them soak for a few more minutes, then try the orangewood stick again.

 Once all the gel is removed, your nails will probably look like this:

They may be in need of a trim, especially if your gel manicure lasted for a long time like mine did. They'll also need some cuticle oil and a little mini manicure because the acetone is very drying. Slather them in some oil and give your cuticles some love. Then apply some really nice, moisturinzing hand lotion and you'll be set.

Now that the old gel is off you're free to apply a new set or polish your nails as usual.

*UPDATE*
March 2015

I recently started using NailMates for my soak-off process. You can read more about them in my blog post here, complete with instructions on how to use them and links to the website where you can purchase them. I highly recommend them!

Questions? Leave a comment below or send me an email!


This is not a sponsored post or paid review. All opinions are, as always, my own. I bought all of the products shown above and I in no way represent any of the brands I use in these tutorials.


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Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea