Friday, December 31, 2010


A bonus entry for the day.  The hubs is playing Star Wars on the Wii with Nate and Mason is napping.  I was going through my pending and pics folders and realized that I had a couple manis I hadn't shown you.  Why?  Maybe because they only had a pic or two or because they just weren't all that great (in my mind).  Either way, in an effort to start the new year off right and a bit more organized than when I left it, I'm going to show you some randomness.

I did this one for a black & white challenge on FAB UR NAILS.  I didn't really care for it, so I never submitted it.  Therefore, I never posted it.  Til now.  This is SH Black Out, Maybeline Express Finish in Shooting Stars (the glitter) and Finger Paints Papier Mache (white) with light blue rhinestones.  I'm still meh about this one.  I really like the glitter but it's PIA and takes FOREVER to dry - even with FDTC.

This is another FAB UR NAILS challenge, but I submitted this one.  I really do like this one; I don't know why I didn't post it on my blog.  This is ChG Foxy with gold and green acrylic paint and a gold rhinestone in the corner on the ring finger and thumb.

Love. Love. Love this color but it's super PIA to capture accurately.  This is OPI DS Extravagance - a GORGEOUS berry holo.  I think I didn't post this because I wasn't happy with the pics.

Another OPI.  This is Rumples Wiggin.  I like the color and the stamping (Color Club Wild At Heart) is cute, but I only got two good pics out of the mani.

OPI again.  This time it's William Tell Me About OPI.  I loved this color in the bottle because you can actually see the super dark plum color, but once it dried, it was darker and it was practically black unless you were in bright sun/light.  I think I wore this mani plain for a day and then added SH Hidden Treasure over top.  I liked it a little better after that.  Again, the pics aren't the greatest.

One more OPI for good measure.  This is Yodel Me on My Cell.  I do like this color, but it ended up be quite a bit more sheer than I expected it to be.  This was the standard 3 coats, but you can see on my thumb and pinkie that it could've used another coat.  Oh, and the stamps (stars done with Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go) didn't show up as much as I would've liked.  That's my big fat fatty kitteh, Sol, in the first pic of this set.

Zoya has yet to let me down and this one is no exception.  However, the pics aren't great and that's why I never showed you.  This is Gloria from the Fire & Ice Flame collection.  It's a really pretty light raspberry pink glass fleck.  The pictures aren't great (are you noticing a trend here?) and so it stayed in my blog pics file.

Zoya Mimi.  Beautiful medium purple glass fleck.  This is the *only* pic I have of this one for whatever reason.  This is more purple than blue as it shows here.  Why are purples so hard to capture accurately?

So, there ya go.  I get to clean up my folders a bit and you get to point and laugh at the horrible pics.  Which one is your favorite out of this?  And the worst?

Review Extravaganza - Fourth Quarter 2010

Can you believe it's the last day of 2010?!  The last day of the first decade of the new millennium.  Where has the time gone?!  It's been a super busy year, as always, and thanks to Emmy Mom, these reviews make it just a little easier to remember.  I have so enjoyed putting these collages together.  I think I might just do these as the months go on so I don't forget a thing.  It feels like I did this last review a month ago - that's what happens when you get so busy with the holidays.  So, here we are...the final review of the year.  Remember that all pics are clickable to make biggable.

In October, the bestie and her hubs and my hubs and I went on a little getaway to Ruidoso, NM.  We spent a couple nights in a great cabin in the woods.  Good food, great friends and good times.  The boys and I went to the Albuquerque Aquarium and then to a park for lunch.  We also took many trips to the neighborhood park and even spent a couple hours at the play place in the mall!  Oh, and don't forget Halloween!  Nate was Darth Vader and Mason was a cute little lion (though he wasn't very happy about it). 

Going through my pics, I realized that I didn't take many in November.  The hubs went hunting and ended up with a good-sized deer.  We now have venison for days!  It *was* a big month, of sorts, for Mason.  He had his first hair cut!  He was so handsome, but again, he wasn't very happy about it.  Sometimes, my boys make me want to pull my hair out.  It seems that Nate does everything possible to make Mason scream.  And then, there's times when I just want to grab them and hug on them, like the picture on the bottom left.  I love when they play together like that.  And then Nate gets tired of playing with Mason and sits quietly and plays by himself.  That doesn't happen very often.

How can December be almost over?  Seriously.  Too much stuff to do and I'm not ready for the new year.  This collage is a collection of some of my favorite pics from December.  Starting at the top left corner and coming down.  Nate on a big twisty slide in Bakersfield.  I love it when I can get a good pic of Nate!  Nate with Santa - it was an impromptu pic, so that's why Nate has big holes in the knees of his pants.  Mason didn't like Santa.  Big surprise, right?  That poor boy has a great case of "stranger danger".  The first snow in Rio Rancho was a good one (6-8").  A couple days before Christmas, we had a gorgeous sunrise.  Views like this make me love NM.  The Christmas chaos before everything was opened.  You should've seen how much of a mess there was after everything was open!!  My parents were much too generous (and the boys - and us - love them for it)!  After Christmas Eve at my grandma's house, Beba read The Night Before Christmas to Nate.  It was supposed to include Mason, but he wasn't having it.  I love quiet times with the boys!

Not only am I linking up with Emmy Mom's Review Extravaganza, I'm also hooking up with Christopher & Tia's Flashback Friday.  I love the blogging community.  A special thanks to my bestie for introducing me to blogging.  Putting this blog together has been a great source of happiness.

Whatever you do tonight, please be safe!  See you next year!!  And remember...a new giveaway will pop up soon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Swingin' Christmas Mani

Good evening, Kitschies!  I don't know how it is where you live, but it is FREEZING here in good 'ol New Mexico.  According to the thermometer on the patio, it is 16* and it's only 9 pm!  Good thing I have a heated mattress pad on the bed.  The boys are all snug in their extra warm jammies and as soon as I get things straightened up around here, I think I'm going to do the same.

As you've probably read, I went to Cali to visit my family for the holidays. We left super, super early on the 23rd, got there by dinner time, and left pretty early on the 28th, got home, unpacked, rested a bit and then the usual routine began the next morning.  Needless to say, I did not have a whole lot of time to do my nails.  I did, however, take a little time before we left to do a pre-Christmas mani.

This isn't the best pic to show off my nails, but it's a good one of the polish.  This is Swing Baby! from the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection released this Fall.  I'm not really one for foil-y gold polishes, but this one is pretty.  It's a champagne gold foil that begs to be stamped!  So, stamp I did.

I managed to get just a bit of sun one morning and that was just enough to show off my nail art.  I grabbed plate BM14, China Glaze Jolly Holly and stamped a holly leaf design on each finger.  It was lacking something so I put one red rhinestone in the middle of each holly stamp.  I think it turned out pretty good.  I got lots of "Oh, your nails are cute" comments which is fine with me.  I ended up taking this off the first full day I was "home" because it was chipping pretty bad.  I know this was just last week, but it feels like forever ago and I have no idea how long I actually wore this mani. 

A closeup of one of my fingers - a blurry pic, but a more detailed image, nonetheless.  Do you like it?

Well, I put together my Helmer last night.  Usually I am no good at putting things like that together.  You know...things that require you to read directions?  Yeah.  Well.  I made a comment to the hubs that it was easier than I thought it would be.  Then I went to put the first drawer in.  I quickly realized that "easier than I thought it would be" wasn't quite the case.  It would've only taken me about 45 minutes to put it all together, but since I put the drawer guides on UPSIDE DOWN, it took me 90 minutes to put it all together.  Nice.  So, after a scraped knuckle (thanks to the fact I had to tear it all apart), a pinched finger (also from the deconstruction) and a chipped nail, I got the dang thing together.  And it looks pretty good!  As soon as things here at the house settle down a bit, I'll post some stash pics (the current count: 178!).  And just so you know...I'll be hosting a giveaway within the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

OK.  I'm cold.  I'm going to get some stuff done around the house and then I'm snuggling up under the covers and watching some TV.  G'night.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Still Alive!!

Long time, no see, Kitschies!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of family and friends.  I spent time in Cali with my parents, sister, BIL and extended family.  My mom did a blog post with a great collage of pictures from our visit.  You can check it out HERE.  We had SO much fun, but I'm glad to be home (I about melted in to my bed last night).  I'll have more on our trip in a later post, but for now, it's back to business as usual.

Just a little side note...the gift gods were good to me!  The hubs surprised me with a new camera (like this one, only silver).  I squeed when I opened this!
And my parents got me a Helmer!  It's really red - my favorite color.  I can't wait to put it all together and see how much I have to stash in it.  I can't wait!!

OK.  Enough gloating.  I found this recipe on a blog and I hate that I can't remember which one.  Just a friendly word of not make these cookies unless you have a *severe* sweet tooth!  You'll see why in a minute.

Chewy Chocolate Gobs

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos) coarsely chopped (16 cookies)
3 (1.75 oz) Mounds bars, chilled and chopped
1 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cookies, candy bars, and desired amount of chocolate morsels. Chill dough 30 minutes.

Drop dough by 1⁄4 cupfuls 2" apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until barely set. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

NOTES:  I don't have dark brown sugar on hand and I couldn't see buying a bag just for this recipe, so I used light brown sugar.  Really...with all this stuff, who cares?!  I dropped by "rounded quarter cupfuls and that was a little big.  I think if you just did not quite full quarter cupfuls, you'd be good to go!
This dough is a little difficult to work with because it's so thick, but once it warms up a bit, it's not bad.
Fresh out of the oven.  They don't look quite so big when they're lined up side-by-side.  My eyes popped out of my head when I read that they're supposed to be scooped up with a quarter cup!
Mmmmm!!!  Chocolaty goodness.  This is making me drool.
For size comparison, here's a Choco Gob compared to a regular Oreo.  See how HUGE it is?  Usually I can pack away at least two or three cookies, but one of these bad boys is enough for me!

It's been pretty steady at work, but when I have so much fun stuff waiting for me to play with at home, it's hard to be here and concentrate.  So, I guess I better get to that - it *is* what they're paying me for, after all!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review Extravaganza - Third Quarter 2010

I'm about to go spend the day getting ready for our epic road trip and I won't be around all my stuffs to post this on Friday, so I'm going to just go ahead and post this now.  I'll try to link this up to Emmy Mom's linky party on Friday.

 It's that time of week again!  Time for another Review Extravaganza!!  Though it's time consuming, I've really enjoyed putting together these little review collages.  I love scrapbooking, but I rarely have enough time to sit down and actually get all the stuff together.  This review has kinda forced me to sit down, wade through photos and make something to remember the days that have flown by.  If only I had a week off with nothing to do!  LOL  Let's get started, shall we?  And remember that all the pictures are clickable to make bigger.

This week's review includes July, August and September.  Right off the top of my head, I remember that it was HOT!  It seems that this summer was hotter and more humid than usual.  That's never good.  But, the pictures show that we did manage to have a good time, despite the heat.

It was Nate's 4th birthday on July 16th.  We usually have a party for him, but he was being especially turd-a-riffic, so instead of a party, we had his cousins over for a sleepover.  I learned (through Housewife Eclectic's tutorial on focal black and white) how to make cool color splash photos.  The boys spent a lot of time in the little kiddie pool in the backyard and we enjoyed some yummy grilled corn on the cob.  I also enlisted Nate to help me out in the kitchen to make an ugly (but good tasting) strawberry cake.  And last, but not least, my favorite picture of the month: Nate surprised by a big bang (firework) that happened at the same time I snapped the picture.

August is my birthday!  We took a trip up to Sandia Crest to escape the heat and do some hiking.  The picture in the top right corner was taken *just* before the camera fell. *shakes head*  The hubs made me an awesome cake inspired by a sugar skull and he had Nate help.  I love the picture in the top right corner.  The hubs said Nate kept saying the batter looked like blood.  Nice.  The bottom left corner is one of my favorite pictures of Mason.  I caught him playing in the dirt and the dog water bowl.  It's just one of those classic kid pictures.

We went out early one weekend morning and took a short drive to some unactive volcanoes.  Nate always likes climbing up on the rocks and acting like he's king of the world.  Mason insisted on walking by himself rather than being carried, so he and I lagged back for a while.  The middle (biggest) picture is one of my favorites of the boys.  It's funny how different they look right now, but when you compare pictures at the same ages, they're pretty similar.  Oh!  And we had a barn owl living in the cottonwood tree in our front yard.  While it was *super* cool that he was there, he definitely made a mess!  Between the pellets and the poop, I had to move my car to avoid the fallout.

Thanks again for walking down memory lane with me!  I probably won't be around much over the next week because I'm going home to visit my family.  WOOT!!  I haven't been home for Christmas since I was pregnant with Mason.  It's going to be a tight fit in my parent's house (6 adults and 2 kids in a 1 bathroom house!), but we'll get by and I'll enjoy every minute of it!  So, since I won't be around, I wish you ALL a Merry Christmas.  I hope Santa is good to you and you get to enjoy the company of family and friends.  And if you're traveling, be safe!  See you soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jack Frost

Nothing like a fun Christmas song to start the day!

Good morning, Kitschies!!  I got some rest and I'm ready to go today!  It took a while, but I'm finally in the Christmas spirit.  I think I just let myself get too overwhelmed with everything that has to get done and then once most everything is accomplished, that's when I allow myself to enjoy the season.  Oh, and hearing Christmas music on the radio and seeing Christmas displays in the store before Thanksgiving probably doesn't help the bah humbug attitude, either.  I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

In celebration of Winter, I put together this pretty little mani last week.  I had been itching to try this polish because it's SOOO pretty in the bottle.  It did not disappoint!
Zoya Crystal from the Fire & Ice Flame collection that was released in October.  Crystal is described by the Zoya website as a light, silvered shiny blue metallic foil with sparks of brilliant yellow gold.  A cool, snowy winter blue that's ideal for any Ice Princess.  I don't usually describe myself as an Ice Princess (Ice Queen, maybe, but that's besides the point), but if it means I can rock this polish, you can call me whatever you want.
This is photographed indoors with flash.  The blue in this picture is a little deeper than it appears IRL.  I was feeling the chill of winter so I pulled out plate BM14 with the snowflake and stamped a couple flakes on my ring finger and thumb on both hands in blue Konad special polish.
This is much more color accurate.  Taken outdoors in indirect light.  See all the gold flecks?  It makes this polish GORGEOUS!  It almost looks textured but it's smooth.
You can see the stamp the best here.  My little nubbins. :(  They grow pretty fast, but not fast enough to do some funky French for Christmas.  Seeing these pictures makes me want to go home and do another mani with this color!

So, what do you think of Crystal?  Is she a keeper?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies in the Snow

Good evening, Kitschies!  I hope you had a restful weekend.  Me?  Notsomuch.  LOL  Friday night was the hubs' office Christmas party.  The party was held at a local restaurant that serves *awesome* food.  The hubs' office Christmas parties are always a good time.  They host a white elephant gift exchange that can go on *forever*, but there's usually a good assortment of goodies to be had.  This year we ended up with a digital coffee maker - YAY!  After the party I was planning on coming home and doing stuff around the house, but I was DONE.  The next morning the hubs had to take one of the dogs to the vet and I got to sleep in a bit.  Nate got up around 7:30 and he crawled in bed with me to watch cartoons for a while.  Mason didn't get up til 9!  It was so nice to get a little break!  Saturday early afternoon, we had our nephews over to spend the night.  They kept my boys occupied so I was able to get to the library and then I got started on a day of baking (that extended in to the next day).  I was a baking fool this weekend!!  The boys stayed up late watching Despicable Me and I got the ironing done.  *whew*  We're not even done yet!  Sunday afternoon/evening, we had family over to celebrate Christmas for the kids since we won't be in town for the big day.  We had TONS of food and even more goodies.  We ate as much as we could possibly eat (including two AWESOME pies made by my SIL) and the kids played and played.  Good times were had by all.  To thank me for all my hard work around the house and in the kitchen, the hubs offered to clean the kitchen.  SCORE!!  I was so busy, I didn't even have time to do my nails. *gasp*  They were nekkid in front of company!  LOL  I took advantage of the hubs cleaning the kitchen and I did my nails (that post later this week).  After that, I tried to read a book, but I couldn't get past page 3, so I gave up and went to bed.  I was exhausted!  This morning came *much* too early, but I dragged my groggy butt out of bed and started on my 2 day work week.

So, I mentioned I was a baking fool this weekend.  I'm going to share one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes with you today.  I've made these cookies before, but I couldn't find the recipe (I know, Mom.  Big surprise.), so I emailed my mom to ask her if she'd send me the recipe.  She did.  Then I got home and I realized I'd left the recipe print out at work and the email was in my work email.  So I asked her to email it to me again at home.  LOL  Good thing she knows to type up and save any recipe I ask for because I've been known to ask for the same recipe over and over (and over) again!

Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 400*.

Blend together
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Beat in
1 egg, unbeaten
2 Tbsp milk

Stir in
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Drop by rounded teaspoonful on to greased baking sheet.  Grease bottom of glass.  Dip glass bottom in sugar.  Press cookies to flatten.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Now that I'm seeing these, I'm wishing I made a double batch.  These are super easy cookies to make.  If Nate hadn't been busy with his cousins, I would've asked him to help.

Since I didn't have very many pictures of the cookies, I thought I'd share some pics of our first snow that started this last Thursday night.

It had snowed on and off Thursday afternoon so there was a dusting by the time I got home.  But by 8 pm, this is what our front yard looked like.

Our backyard.  Nate wanted to go out and play in the snow - I wouldn't let him (it was already past his bedtime).  Every time I looked out the door that night, it was snowing.  It was so peaceful!

The morning after.  Our front pine tree was feeling the weight of all the snow - good thing we didn't get *that* much!

The backyard.  Brrrrrr!  We got about 6" of snow in Rio Rancho - the valley didn't get quite as much.  This was more snow than we got last winter.

This is the view straight out our back door.  It was so pretty!  Most of the snow stuck around until Sunday afternoon.

I don't mind the snow - especially if we don't have to be out in it.  I texted my boss Friday morning to tell him that I was going to be late.  His reply?  I need to get reindeer.  LOL

I have a couple more things left to do this evening, so I better get off the computer.  I was going to wrap the rest of the gifts tonight, but the hubs decided he'd take all the wrapping paper with him to the studio tonight so he could do his own wrapping.  *sigh*  Best laid plans...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review Extravaganza - Second Quarter 2010


Today is my second link up with Emmy Mom's Review Extravaganza.  To make it easier on everyone, she divided the year in to three-month chunks.  You can find my First Quarter review HERE.  Once again, each image is make big-able.  I'm not a pro at my digital scrapbooking program, so the pics aren't the best, but I like how all three of these turned out!

Here's what's going on in the pics, starting at the top left corner and going down.  Easter - the family.  Me and Mason (also Easter).  Me and Nate at the opening of a lava tube.  Now top right corner and going down.  The hubs and the boys at the opening of a lava tube.  Mason at 10 months (Easter).  Nate at 3 years, 9 months (Easter).

April was a big month!!  There was Easter that we celebrated at my MIL's house.  My addiction to nail polish started with a measly three polishes and I started blogging. I also started exercising, but that didn't last very long.  LOL

Starting at the top left corner and going clockwise.  My bestie's son, her daughter and Nate at Soda Dam in Jemez Springs (Mother's Day).  Mason and Nate's first time in the pool in the backyard (Mason looks COLD!).  Me and the boys on Mother's Day.  The hubs and I in the Jemez at a little waterfall.  Mr Mason at 11 months (not quite walking yet).  Mr Nate and his girlfriend (my bestie's daughter).

We spent Mother's Day with my bestie and her family in the Jemez on a picnic.  The weather was perfect and we had a great time hiking around the area.  My parents and sister came to visit for Mason's first birthday (in the next collage).

Starting at top left corner and going clockwise.  My mom and the boys at Mason's first birthday party.  The birthday party gang.  Mason, the birthday boy!  Carlsbad Caverns.  A barn owl that took up residence in a tree in our front yard (Nate named it Sugar).  Beba (my dad) and Nate.  Mason enjoying his first cake.  Mason's 1st birthday (actual day) cupcake.

My little boy Mason turned 1!  We had a party with all the cousins (and my mom, dad and sister joined in the fun, too) and Mason dug in to his cake!  It was a big month for Mason.  He also started walking around Father's Day.  June is also my wedding anniversary (it was celebration #6 this year).  The hubs surprised me with a trip to Carlsbad, NM for a few nights without the boys where we went to the Carlsbad Caverns.  I've lived in New Mexico for 10 years and I'd never been there!  I continued my addiction to nail polish with my introduction to the Zoya polish exchange program.  I also started participating in Polish Hoarder Disorder's weekly challenges (oh, how I miss them!).

I'm also linking up with Christopher and Tia: Flashback Friday.

Second quarter of 2010 is finished.  It seems like these reviews are going by just as fast as the year itself did!!  I hope everybody enjoys their weekend and gets a chance to relax a bit before Christmas gets here (it's just around the corner!).