Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Born Pretty Store - A Review

Good morning, Kitschies!  It's a little less chaotic here in the clinic today - thank buddah.  I was about ready to pull my hair out by the end of the day yesterday.  What a difference a day makes, right?

Today I have my first official review for you.  A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Kevin at Born Pretty asking me if I'd be interested in reviewing some items from their store.  I roamed around their site and came across a few things I had already had my eye on (score!) and placed my order.  About 10 days later I got my package in the mail, which is pretty quick considering how far it has to travel!  Let's see what I got, shall we?

I picked the 5-piece 2-way dotting tool set.  I love that these come with different colored acrylic barrels with a fun swirl insert.  The sizes of the tips range from pretty big to itty bitty and there are more options than previous sets I've tried before.  The quality of these tools is better than others I've tried before - they have a good weight in my hand and the tips are well-anchored so you won't end up with a wobbly tip a few months down the road.  Of course I had to take these for a spin.  Wanna see?

I's a sue me.  Anyway...I started with a base of Sparkly Smurf (a Franken color I'll post on later) and then using red, orange, yellow and green acrylic paint, I dotted a rainbow on each big toe.

I've been kinda meh about my pedies lately, but I really like this, and it's mostly because of the little rainbow.  Using the dotting tools was super easy and they cleaned up nicely.  Sometimes it's hard to get all the paint off the tips of the tools, but I didn't have that issue with these. 

So...go now to Born Pretty and check out their dotting tools.  A set of 5 (seen at top) run $4.74.  Not bad, right?  Especially good since Born Pretty offers free shipping (a similar set on Amazon will run about $6 +shipping). 

The items reviewed in this post were provided to me by Born Pretty Store.  The information provided is my honest opinion and has not been influenced by the products in any way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did Somebody Say Ranch?

Holy shitballs, people!  What the heck happened to the day?!  It was super chaotic today.  First, my cell phone beeped at 6:10 this morning.  It was my co-worker telling me she wasn't coming in because she's sick.  Not a big deal; I'd rather her stay home with her sickness than share it with me.  Second, I get to work and I hear that one of the other medical assistants isn't coming in because she had to take her daughter to the doctor.  Nice.  So, I'm short-handed on my end of the world and now the *other* end of the world is minus an MA.  Luckily there was somebody else to cover because I was really busy with my two docs.  THIRD...the powers that be (read: the docs) decided to fire one of the front desk girls and we had a replacement starting this morning.  This means the front desk is doubly short-handed because one regular is gone and the other regular has to train the noob.  *sigh*  And add in there one of the new practitioners coming down to my station every 30 minutes to tell me about something he wants me to do with his EMR form (I told him he's not allowed to come to my part of the world anymore - he's used all his passes for the week.  Somehow I don't think that matters).  This was all before lunch.  Somehow, it all kept flowing and I got a lunch.  A 45-minute lunch!  The afternoon was much better but at that point, I realized I forgot my flash drive with all my blog pics.  Can I go home yet?  I finished out the afternoon and got out only 15 minutes later than usual.  The boys were pretty quiet on the way home, which is good because I am exhausted!  So, here I's 8:15.  The boys are bathed and in bed.  The hubs has gone to Planet Ego.  My nails are done.  Glee was a repeat.  I have to do a load of laundry and finish this post.  And then...I don't care if it's before 9...I'm going to bed. 

Enough of that.  On to the food!

A couple weeks ago, the hubs decided that he wanted to try a new recipe.  The hubs is really a good cook.  He just doesn't like to make things that require a recipe.  So I was pretty excited when he said HE wanted to try something new.  He went digging through a bunch of my recipe books, stickied the pages he was interested in, and then passed them over to me for my opinion.  You long as he wants to make dinner and it doesn't contain fish or lamb, it's all good with me.  We both agreed on a promising looking recipe from Best Burgers, a recipe book we got who knows when.  I don't know if we've ever used a recipe out of it...until now.

Ranch Burger
1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
3/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine beef, salad dressing, bread crumbs, onion, salt and pepper.  Shape into 6 patties.  Grill over medium-hot coals 5-6 minutes until no longer pink in center (160*).  Place on sesame seed buns with lettuce, tomato and red onion slices, if desired.  Serve with a generous amount of additional Ranch dressing.

Choppin' the onions.  I don't know what it is, but the hubs has a *thing* for red onion.  I'm not complaining, but that's the first thing he grabs for when I tell him I need an onion.

The mix.  Bread crumbs, Ranch dressing and onions.  I don't have anything against bread crumbs, but they don't belong in a burger.  They just don't.

The blob 'o meat.  When I saw this, all I could think of is this...

Meatwad a la Aqua Team Hunger Force.  No, I've never watched it, but there was a time when his image was inescapable on the internets.

All prettily shaped in to patties.  3 adult-size and 2 little kid-size. 

I don't know if it was the dressing, but these got the Cajun treatment.  And for once, it wasn't me who burned the chicken.

The finished product.  Isn't it pretty?  We had some spicy fried onion petals for added spiciness (we also added a piece of pepper jack to the adult burgers). I was saying...bread crumbs do not belong in a burger.  Meatballs?  Sure.  Meatloaf?  Sometimes.  Burgers?  Never.  The bread crumbs made the burgers all mushy and more like a big flattened meatball than a burger.  Next time I'll opt out of the bread crumbs and change the prepared Ranch dressing for Ranch seasoning...the kind in a packet.  Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the flavor of these.  Or the consistency.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give these a 2, but with a few changes, these could be 4-star burgers!

Have you ever tried a recipe that looked good on paper but ended up being less than stellar?  Do you rely on recipes or do you wing it?  I'm definitely a recipe kind of gal.  It takes me a LONG time to be comfortable enough with a recipe before I try to mix things up.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meh Monday? Have Some Bling!

Good Monday, Kitschies!  Did you enjoy your weekend?  I know I did!  Sorta.  We went to a 5-year-old's birthday party at the craziest place on Earth on Saturday - the boys had sensory overload and we threw them in bed by 7 that night.  Seriously.  They were totally out of hand and all we could do is put them to bed - for our sanity.  Don't get me wrong.  They had a blast (and the hubs and I had a good time, too), but it was just too much for them!  LOL  Then Sunday we had a little picnic at a park where we tried to fly a kite.  The wind just wasn't cooperative and we ended up holding the kite up more than it spent in the sky.  It didn't matter too much because the boys had fun anyway.

On to the polish, shall we?  I have a double-dose of holo bling for you today.  When I first started on this whole polish addiction thing, I craved holo polish.  I'd ask people if they'd heard of it and I got a blank stare.  How bad does that bug you?  Cuz I want to poke somebody in the eye when all I get is a blank stare.  ANYWAY...I did manage to get a few (thanks to some awesome bloggy buddies) and then my Mom had a couple (kinda by mistake) and she decided she didn't care for them, so she gave them to me! First, the old.

ChG TMI from the OMG Collection.  This collection came out before I rediscovered my love affair with nail polish so I missed the boat.  This is indoors with flash.

Outside with bright sun.  Do you hear the angels singing?  I do every time I wear one of the colors from the OMG collection.  Sound corny?  I know it does, but unless you see them in person, you just don't understand.

TMI is a pretty coral-y pink.  It's not quite as holo as 2NITE, but it's still full of holo bling!

Now the new.   I could hardly wait til ChG released their Tronica collection.  I called Sally Beauty and Ulta pretty much every week until I heard the magic words: Yeah, we have them.  Before that, I would get the phone equivalent to the blank stare.  I rushed down to Sallys as soon as I could and I picked up some of the collection.  This is the first mani I used them for.

This is ChG Techno Teal and Hyper Haute.  These were my favorite from Tronica.  As I'm sure you've seen on other blogs, Tronica isn't quite as holo as OMG, but for girls like me who can't get enough holo, this works.  This pic was taken in direct bright sunlight.  It's so hard to capture on (digital) film.

And with flash.  It's sparkly even when you can't see the rainbow, but it's prettier when you can.  When I picked these up, the sales assistant had no idea what it was about these polishes that makes them special.  And when I told her they're holographic, I had to explain to her what I meant by *holographic*.  C'mon people!

Ignore the smear of green on my index nail - I was playing around with a neon green and the Crackles I picked up at the same time.  LOL  I think these show up more holo IRL - cameras see what they want to see (they're so closed minded sometimes).

I have others from Tronica, but I haven't had a chance to try them out yet.  Which are your favorites from Tronica?  How 'bout all-time favorite holo?

OOOOH!  I have a giveaway coming up soon...keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Got Nuthin

Happy Friday!!  It's super busy today and I haven't had any time to sit and do my own thing at work today.  Bummer, huh?  Anyway...I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs with you today.  The video is the suck, but the song is awesome.  Enjoy!

Wow...could YouTube have gotten a *worse* freeze frame? Seriously. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bring Me Berries!

First...a moment of silence for the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor.  The world has lost one of the old-time screen beauties and we will be a little less glamorous because of the loss.

Good morning, Kitschies!  After a stoopid windy day on Monday and a really chilly day yesterday, it's gorgeous here in the Land of Entrapment Enchantment with a projected high of 65.  My allergies have eased up just a bit and I'm looking forward to running an errand at lunch so I can soak up some sun.  I love the warm weather and the budding trees of Spring.  But I do not love the wind and the pollen and the resulting allergies.

Last weekend it was pretty windy too.  I wanted to do something but it wasn't worth it to go outside.  Nate and I made cookies on Sunday (recipe will follow in another post soon) and on Saturday night, I made this great, simple recipe.  I found this on Epicurious - that was the first recipe database I tried waaay back in the day (I still use that recipe from time to time).  I need to remember to check that site more often because it really does have great recipes.

Mixed Berry Crisp
 2 12-ounce packages frozen mixed berries (such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries; about 6 cups), unthawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine berries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and lemon juice in large bowl; toss to blend well. Transfer berry mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping holds together in small moist clumps. Sprinkle over berry mixture.
Bake crisp until berry mixture bubbles thickly and topping is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTES:  I used an 8x8 square baking pan instead of the pie plate and it worked just fine.  I usually don't care for the topping of crisps like this, but this one was great!

I love this recipe because you don't have to wait for fruit to come in season - it uses frozen berries and because of that, it's quick to put together, too.  
Nate threw the BIGGEST fit about trying this (the turd).  After lots and lots of deal making, he finally tried a bite and he liked it (of course).  And Mason?  He devoured his serving (of course)!

This isn't the greatest picture, but trust me...this was so good!  I'll absolutely be making this again.  You could serve it with ice cream, which I considered but decided against because the hubs gives me a hard time when I bring home "plain vanilla" ice cream.  And this time he gave me a hard time because I *didn't* bring home "plain vanilla" ice cream.  Damned if I do, right?
Speaking of great recipe databases, I found DinnerTool yesterday and it's got some great tools (as it should since *tool* is right there in the name!).  I especially love the meal planner - find a recipe, drag it to the day and you've got your menu made out for you.  And then once you get your menu set, you can use the shopping list to add and edit your list for your next trip to the grocery store.  If you're anything like me, there's always *something* you forget and have to go back at the last minute because it's a key ingredient in what you're making for dinner that night!  Do you have a favorite recipe database?

It's been really nice here overall.  Despite the wind, the trees and flowers are blooming like crazy!  

This is the view out the back of the clinic.  The trees are all blooming and while they're pretty, they're dropping pollen bombs like it's WWIII.  Thankfully they'll finish their blooming cycle soon and leaf out and my allergies should subside a bit.  See...there is beauty in the desert.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OPI + SH = *winning*

Good morning, Kitschies!  I hope the boogie man didn't keep you up last night and you got a good restful sleep.  The boogie man kept me up last night - but it wasn't the scare-the-kids kind of boogie man (if you catch my drift).  I feel like a zombie this morning and the overcast skies aren't helping.  It's SUPER slow here at the clinic this morning, so I thought I'd get my post up and out of the way.

A couple weeks ago...I dunno, maybe even a month ago...I wore this mani.  I originally saw it posted on Nailstah and I finally remembered got around to giving it a go myself.

This is OPI Ski Teal We Drop from the Winter 2010 collection with a coat of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure on top.  I did a mani with STWD back in October and I thought it was time to drag it back out.

Let me tell you...this combo is gorgeous!  STWD is pretty by itself, but when you add HT on top, it's eye catching.  And that's just when it's in the sun.  It's even better when in indirect light!

It's like Hidden Treasure has little hidden lights that makes it glow in indirect light.  I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on this mani!

I was wearing this when I went to pick up some of the Tronica collection and the sales clerk could not stop commenting on this.  She had me write down the names of the polishes for her so she could do it herself.  I couldn't believe she hadn't heard of Hidden Treasure before and I wished her luck in finding one (now that it's been almost a year since it was released).

A close up for drooling.  I just love Hidden Treasure because of the rainbow of colors.  In this pic you can see red, yellow, orange and maybe even a little red (and back again).  It may look like fish scales in the bottle, but when paired over a darker color, those fish scales just glow.

Well, I suppose I should get to *is* what they pay me for!  Too bad I don't get paid to blog.  That. would. be. awesome.  Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Colorful Bowl

Good day, Kitschies!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  The weather was gorgeous here in New Mexico and we got out to play in the sun on a couple occasions.  And then Sunday my allergies started kicking my butt.  Not good.  I took a Zyrtec to feel better.  That was not good, either.  I felt like I had been drugged!  I ended up falling asleep on the couch for a couple hours while Nate sat and watched TV.  I didn't have any trouble with the symptoms, but what good is it when you can't keep your eyes open?!  On Friday night the hubs and I started painting our old sideboard - it's going to look so good!  I can't wait til it's finished and I can share the refinishing project with you.

Anyway...a couple weeks ago, my husband and I were on a hunt for new recipes that use basil because I got a big container of it for another recipe.  We both searched and we both emailed each other this recipe.  Great minds think alike, right?

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 Tbsp packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
8 oz fresh tortellini pasta
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings. 

Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. 

Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving. 

NOTES:  This made a lot of soup and that's a good thing because this was excellent!  Even better the day after.

Even the boys liked this!  We used tri-color tortellini and it made it very colorful.  I know the weather is warming up, but you can save this recipe for a stormy, cool Spring day!

I have lots of recipes to share with you in the coming weeks.  Is there a recipe you'd like me to try?  Send me an email ( or send me a link and more than likely, I'll give it a go!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Family Friday - My Boys

Yay!  It's Friday!!!  I don't know why I'm so seems that weekends are busier than the regular week days for us.  But...I don't have to get out of bed before it's light, so there's that.  The weather should be nice so at least we won't be cooped up in the house all weekend long!

Instead of participating in a Flashback Friday, I decided to change it a bit to Family Friday.  I appreciate all my followers and I know you all come for different reasons.  I have family and friends who I call family who read my blog, too, so this post is kinda for them.  But I won't mind if you want to tag along, too. :)

A couple weekends ago, when the weather just started to warm up, we took a walk along the bosque (area around the river).  There were lots of water foul out on the sandbars and plenty of area to roam. 

Nate is my monkey, so of course he had to try to climb every tree we came upon.  This one was cool because a trunk had fallen across another trunk and created a sort of bench up in the sky.  It took him a while to get up enough courage to climb up that high, but once he did, it was hard to get him to come down.

This is my favorite picture of Nate.  I think I'm going to get this one printed.  I love digital cameras, but we rarely get actual pictures printed.  I can't believe how big he's getting!

And then there's Mason.  He's not quite big enough to climb trees (yet - though that doesn't stop him from trying).  In this picture Mason was doing a squat before a little hop.  He thinks hopping is the best thing ever!

Here's his hop.  He only got one foot off the ground this time, but there's times he clears the ground and then falls on his butt because his balance isn't perfect yet.

Late the same day, the weather turned super windy.  You know, I can handle hot.  I can handle cold.  But I can not handle wind.  Maybe it's from growing up under gigantic eucalyptus trees and being afraid that one of their giant arms branches would fall on the house.  Maybe because it throws so much dirt around.  I do live in the desert, after all.  Either way, I hate the wind.  So...we were out in the morning but stuck indoors that afternoon. 

Just recently, Mason discovered that he likes coloring.  On the table.  He grabbed the container of Crayons, causing this next picture.

This is pouty Nate.  He's pouty because his little brother took the container of Crayons and "he won't share!"  Ahhh...the joys of being a big brother.  Or little brother, depending how you look at it.

Last weekend we took a couple bags of old hamburger buns to feed the ducks at a pond in the city.  Yes, a pond in the city.  We live in the desert, remember?  *giggle*

I didn't get any great shots of the boys because they were more interested in feeding the ducks than they were in entertaining me.  I think this is still a cute picture, though.

Oh, look!  It's the return of pouty Nate.  Why is he pouty *this* time?  We ran out of bread to feed the ducks.  Pooooor Natey!  His life is so hard.

After the ducks, we headed home for a nap (unfortunately not for me).  When Mason got up, he was in the WORST mood!  I don't know if he didn't get enough sleep, or what, but the only thing that worked to calm him down was to plop him in front of the TV to watch Sesame Street.

He was transfixed!  He sat in that chair, unblinking, for the whole episode. 

He did look at me for a second to babble something about Big Bird, but then he went right back to being a TV zombie.  Once the show was over, he was better and all was right in the world.

So...any plans for you this weekend?  I have girl's night out on Saturday, but other than that, there's nothing going on.  Next week, though, the hubs has to go out of town for work - I hate those nights and the following mornings. least we both have jobs, right?  Have a great weekend.  And whatever you do, enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kiss Me...

...I'm not Irish.  Well, maybe a little, but not enough to count.  LOL

Good morning, Kitschies!  I hope you have beautiful weather wherever you are.  It's supposed to be in the high 70s today and right now it's clear and not a breath of wind.  I got to bed at a half-way decent hour last night and I feel a little more rested today.  It could partly be because I'm only working half-day today.  I'm playing hookie and taking Nate to see a movie.  Is it considered hookie if my employer knows and already granted my time off request?  *giggle*  I was supposed to take my bestie's oldest boy along with, but...*some*body had other plans.  Anyway...I'm almost out of here for the day and that makes me feel good!!

Last week I dug out my green and white polish to do a water marble for St Patty's Day.  Out of all the marbling I've done, I think this one is my favorite.  And not only do you get to see the end result, I'm going to share a sort of tutorial with you on how I do my water marbling.  Take a seat...there's gonna be a lot of pics to share.

First...gather your equipment including scissors, paint brush for clean up, Scotch tape, toothpicks, acetone (also for clean up), a cup with room temperature filtered water, base coat, polish colors and top coat.  The colors I picked for this marble are Sally Hansen White On and ChG Jolly Holly from the 2010 holiday collection.

After you apply your base coat, start with one coat of one of your colors.  You don't have to worry too much about application because this is just a base - you won't see much of it.  If you're unsure of which color to use as a base, pick one of the lighter colors or a color you think will be thinner than the others to give it a bit more opacity in the marbling.

Once your base color has dried a bit, wrap each finger with Scotch tape to give a barrier to your skin.  If you don't do this, you'll have quite the mess to clean up when you're finished.  Be sure to get the tape all the way to the nail on the under side of your fingers.

Using your polish, alternate drops, creating a bulls eye pattern like you see here.  It took me a while to figure out how to get this just right.  The thing that worked for me is having room temperature filtered water.  If it's too cold, the polish hardens and glops and won't spread well.

Then using your toothpick, lightly drag it across the rings of polish to create a design like you have here. You can play around with it as much as you like, but know that the more you move the polish around, the finer, more lined design you'll get.

Pick an area of the design you want on your nails, place your finger nail down in to the image.  Be sure to use your toothpick to collect any polish that's floating around on the water before you bring your finger back up.  The tape shields your fingers from a lot of the excess polish, but every once in a while, some sneaks past the tape (notice my middle finger).

Once you are finished with all the fingers on one hand, peel or cut off the tape using scissors.  You won't have much to clean up if you taped good enough.  Either way, though, using straight acetone makes clean up a breeze.

Let's see the end result, shall we?

Please excuse the whiteness on my middle finger - that's from having to use acetone to clean up what wasn't shielded by the tape.  I really, really like how this one turned out.  Definitely my favorite so far!

This is my left hand with flash (above) and in sunlight (below).  It's hard to pick a favorite, but on this hand it would have to be my index and ring fingers.

I'm horrible at taking pics of my right hand so there's only one (this was taken in indirect sunlight).  On this hand, I like the pinkie and index the best.  I liked the thumb a lot too, but my topcoat caused a little drag.

This marble even gave me great designs on the under side of my nails!  I usually have great wear with my marbles because the tips are already wrapped with polish - hard to get tip wear when the tips are wrapped!

Last one - promise.  Here's a closer look at my thumbs.  I like them both - probably the left more than the right because the pattern is so different from the others.

*whew*  Tired of pictures?  Yeah, me too.  Kinda.  If you'd like a better tutorial for water marbling, check out My Simple Little Pleasures.  She does awesome marbles and provides a tutorial for pretty much each design she does.

Happy St Patty's Day!  If you go out to careful!!  Don't drink too many green beers.