Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To: Beautiful and Healthy Looking Nails

Not all of us has the time/money to spend on getting manicures all the time, but we still want to have nice nails.  While getting pampered at a salon is nice, you can get great results from home for a fraction of the price!

♥ Bowl of soapy hot water
♥ Cuticle trimmers
♥ Nail cutters
♥ Nail file (non-metals work best)
♥ Nail buffer
♥ Cuticle Oil
♥ Cotton Balls
♥ Lotion
♥ Clear base coat on nail polic
♥ Colored nail polish and topcoat (optional)

Start by soaking your hands in the hot soapy water (ordinary liquid hand soap is just fine, we don't need fancy stuff) for about 5 minutes.  This softens the cuticles and makes it easier to manipulate.  Once you are done soaking, push the cuticle back as far as it will go (you will see a semi-circle shape.  That is entirely fine).  Trim off any dead cuticle (hard/dry and white in color).  DO NOT cut living cuticle skin as it will hurt and can cause infection!

Now, trim nails to desired length (making sure to cut off any damaged nail (if your nail is chipping/spitting into small sheets) and file them into shape.  Note while filing: make sure to only go one way, not back and forth, as this could damage your nail and this is about taking care of damaged nails!  Once your nails are at desired length/shape, get out your buffer and have at it!  You can find a buffer at any beauty supply place.  I like the buffer blocks because they look fun!

Now that all the trimming is done, we move onto the easy stuff!  The next time we do is apply cuticle oil to all the fingers.  You only need a small amount of this to be effective.  Take a cotton ball and message the oil into the cuticle area and the nails.  Here is a guide to make your own cuticle oil, otherwise, I found it for about $6 just by doing a Google search (Ulta has the $6 cuticle pen which seems like it would offer high quality).

After you messaged the oil into your nails, apply a lotion to your hands.  Any lotion seems like it would be effective, but if your collect lotions, you probably have a collection of both hand and body lotions.  After the lotion, apply the clear base coat.  This will chip and take damage so your nails won't!  You also have the option of appling all the color in the world to your nails at this step (or what colors of nail polish you own).

Pro Tip: This process also works well on your feet!  For particularly stubborn dryness in your feet, use a pumice stone in the shower on calluses then, while feet still have some water on them, apply a lotion and put socks on.  The socks take up some of the lotion so your feet get the lotion applied all over for hours!  You will have softer feet in just a day!

This entire process takes about 15-ish minutes and after doing it just once, you see amazing results.  Plus, all you are purchasing is supplies (which will last for a long time) so it is ultimately much cheaper.  In the eyes of a poor college student, this is amazing news!

I hope after doing this you have happy and healthy nails!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Breakfast EVER!

Alright, so being home alone, I have to cook for myself.  I am not much of a cook at all (I'm suprised I haven't caught anything on fire to be honest).  I was really hungry, so I made myself a large plate of eggs.  Here is what all was in it:
♥ 3 eggs
♥spash of milk (it really gives it fluffiness and I never knew that before)
♥1 slice turkey bacon (because I don't like the fatty texture of pork bacon)
♥1/4 red pepper (chopped)
♥1/4 green pepper (chopped)
♥1/8 sweet onion (chopped)
♥1/4 teaspoon garlic (minced)
♥ pinch of shredded cheese

Cook bacon to taste (crispy or tender/juicy).  Put onions and peppers in the same pan (I used a skillet which gave me a lot of space) and let them heat up and get tastified!  When those are ready, take them off the heat.  At this point, cut the bacon into little squares.

In a separate bowl, crack the 3 eggs and spash in the milk.  Wisk until evenly conbined.  Add the garlic and cheese, wisk, then add the peppers, onions, and bacon, wisk again.  Pour mixture into a greased pan and cook it like you would normally cook scrambled eggs.  Serve with toast and juice.

For juice, I got Simply Organge with mango (no pulp) and combined with pineapple juice (I have lots of canned pineapple and the juice from that is amazing).  Propotion everything how you like and drink up.  Delicious!!!

Hope you all can enjoy a scrumptious breakfast/brunch.  You could split this with somebody as a side to something or as a smaller portion for breakfast.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lush Haul: March

So, I only get the chance to stop by Lush once every few months.  I stopped by there about a week ago and picked up a bunch of stuff!  My list of purchases goes as:

Coolaulin conditioner: My hair has never felt soft in my LIFE!  Seriously, this is the best conditioner I have ever used.  I am not too fond of the smokey scent (It claims to be coconut, but that isn't what I smell).  I got this as a free sample (I don't know if all stores do this, but mine does and I LOVE it) and I really think I will make a point to purchase it!

Frosty Glitter Bubble bar: I was a bit skeptical of getting this because I have a Lush bubble bar and it doesn't bubble much (It contains shea butter for skin softening, but it makes it lack bubbles).  I only used about 1/8 and I had a shocking amount of bubbly goodness!  It has a great scent and I LOVE glittery!  It even turned my bath water slightly pink!  Such a good product!

Each Peach Massage Bar: My skin feels so soft and buttery.  I use this like a body butter because it contains coco, shea, avacado, and and mango butters (I just read that list off of the product description).  It is also about half the price, so as a college student, I can actually afford this.  My skin feels so amazing I can't stop touching myself (usually my arms, but sometimes my legs.  Nothing dirty)!

Candy Fluff Dusting Powder: If the color pink had a scent, this would be it!  I smell like I just came back from a candy factory or a carnival!  It also has a TON of glittery goodness!  I use it sometimes with the massage bar so that I don't have the lotiony oily feel left on my skin (which can completely be avoided by simply rubbing the message bar into my skin more instead of just letting everything stay on top of my skin).  I have never used a dusting powder before this, and I think I found one that I will use for the rest of forever!  Also, my bathroom is covered in this stuff because it is a touch of the messy side.  I think that it makes it fun!

♥ Shower Jelly: So, the shower jelly I bought isn't on their website (I took off the label and don't remember what it is called, but it is blue, glittery, and smells like berries).  It seems like a great product and I have wanted to try a shower jelly for a while.  I am waiting for a hot summer day to use it (it is chilling, literally, in my freezer).  I do take it out every now and then to poke at it because it has such a fun texture!  I am really looking forward to using it!

This haul seems to have been a great success!  I have never been disappointed with a product I have purchased (The aforementioned bubble bar that didn't bubble was something I received with as a gift from my brother.  Let's not hold it against him.  He was being nice and that is all that matters ^_^)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ok, Wait...What???

So, my mind is always wandering and I have come up with many questions that, as far as I know, have no answers.  These things are always running through my mind and I don't know what to do about them.  So, I figured I would post them here.  Partly as a way to maybe obtain answers and partly to share with you how my mind works!  Well, let's dive in!
Why do girls use the word "ignorant" improperly and frequently?
So I am sure many people know EXACTLY what I am talking about when I say this.  Example:
     Girl 1: "So my boyfriend just dumped me!"
     Girl 2: "WHAT?  He is so ignorant!" (alternative to "ignorant" is "ignant")
I hear this mostly with girl who are black (I am not trying to be racist, it is merely an observation.  I haven't seen any other group of girls do this) and I wonder if they truely know the meaning of this word.   Ignorant means uneducated, not being a jerk.  I really don't mean for this to sound mean at all!  It is just something I have always been curious.
Crash diets sound ridiculous because they are.  Eating like that is only going to damage your body.  There are many ways to loose weight that are much safer/healthier/better than crash dieting.  Cutting out cookies and brownies in favor of fruits is a good way to keep that sweet tooth under control.  Turkey bacon instead of pork bacon is a delicious way to get your fill of bacon without the fat!  Little changes like that can have a HUGE impact on how you look.  Crash diets usually involve a quick drop in weight, then a quicker rise in weight.  The effects do not last!

Why do professors have an Attendance Policy?
If students want to do well, they will show up to class, participate, and prepare for the class.  I don't agree with "If you miss too many classes, your grade will drop because I say so".  I think having a heavier focus on participation is just fine, but if I get sick frequently or sleep through my alarm, I don't think it is fair that I get punished!  If I miss class, but still do well on the tests, that shows the professor that I know what is going on.  I really think that the professors who use an attendance policy know that the class is mostly pointless.  From personal experiance, I had an Interpreting Literature class a few semesters back.  We had to read 2 stories a week.  In class, we would each read a sentance of the story in order (similar to "popcorn reading").  This is at a college level, and if we missed more than 4 classes, we would automatically fail the course.
Why do people have such drastically different tastes?
Ok, I know that if everybody liked and disliked everything equally, we would all be robots!  I just don't quite understand the way the mind works to determine what it is that we like and dislike.  I cannot wear reds/yellows/oranges/browns yet I see so many people who LOVE those colors.  It baffles me because I can't really stand to wear those colors...I guess it involves how we were raised and what aesthetic we were surrounded by in our impressionable youths?

This is just a snipet of what I think about.  These posts seem fun so I will post a new one soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

Welcome to another Things I Love Thursday!  It seems like I just wrote my previous list yesterday.  This week just FLEW  past!  Here is what I have fallen in love with this week!

Photo Credits:Joseph Valenti
The convention: I keep going on and on about it, but it was SO MUCH FUN!  I have only gone to 1 convention a year since 2004 (my very first trip to an anime convention, Tekkoshocon) and it has always been in the spring.  A while after the convention, I have this "Con High" where it is really one of the few things on my mind.  I love going to it and meeting new people.  It is a great experiance even if you aren't into anime/video games.  The people who go to these conventions are really nice, creative, and they think rather differently (in a difficult to describe way, but it is a good differently).
Photo Credits: Scotty
Sleep: A basic human need has never been more loved.  This is also convention related because every day was really long.  I would wake up really early and get to bed far too late.  I was running on approximately 12 hours of sleep for the entire convention.  The beds at the hotel were extremely comfortable and I did NOT want to get out of them in the morning ::melt::

The Weather: Spring is finally here!  I can go outside without a jacket!  I love the warm weather.  There are a bunch of people out in the quad of my campus playing music and having fun.  Spring has so much more energy, it seems like, because it is the first time in months where people can go out and do stuff.  People get excited and it is so cool to watch!

Lunch Dates: So I have been trying to have lunch with a friend of mine for weeks, but our schedules never seem to work out.  Today was the first time in over a week that we have seen each other.  We went to one of the campus dining halls for lunch and ran into a TON of people we know.  I even ran into my friend Joe, who is a totally awesome physics major former tech-junkie.  I got to hang out with him for the first time this semester (last time I saw him it was November).

New Apartment: Today I will be putting a security deposit on a new apartment.  It is about half the size of my current place, half the rent, and I can have a kitty,  There are some downsides to it (little storage space and no bathtub, just a small shower), but the landlord is the nicest guy I have ever met.  I think things will even themselves out and everything will work for the best.

Hair accessories:  I bought some new headbands.  They are both black and totally cute.  One is a giant (and I mean GIANT) lacy bow and the other one is a mini top hat (with a really cute beading detail).  I also found my teal newsboy hat this morning (it fits better than I remember).  They are a really good way to distract from bad hair days!  Cute AND functional!

So that is it for my list this week.  Is there anything you love?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Convention Highlights!

So, A&G was amazing!  I figured it would be because my friends who run it have great taste!  Here are some of the things I thought were amazing!

Jason and Jenn Taylor: These amazing people run the convention.  They got some awesome guests this year and they provide a different atmosphere to conventions by actually participating in events.  During the rave, I saw Jason shirtless, covered in black-light paint, drinking something (clearly alcoholic) and stumbling around a bit.  It was really cute and funny!

DMAshura: DM Ashura is one of the people to provide music to hit rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution and BeatMania (more popular in Japan than America, but still so much fun to play).  I don't really know what songs he has done, so that makes me not a fan-girl.  He was a really cool guy who spent a little bit of time in Japan.  At dinner the one night (at Wendy's), we were talking about ketchup in Japanese (and how tastey we thought it was).  Later that night, he heard me sing a little bit (after loosing a bit of my voice from being sick) and I am pretty sure he suggested that I provide vocals for him music (SQEEEEE)!!!

Artist Alley: There were some amazing artists that showed up this year.  The table next to us made vinyl cut-outs (they had a big fancy cutter machine too) and had some really cute pictures.  Another table had steel cut-outs.  They had some really cute pictures too (they had one of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop and I was the first person to correctly identify him).  One girl was making the cutest hats while another table of 4 girls sold some awesome jewelry.  One other table sold the sprites like we did, but we had completely different inventory, so it was cool.  The funny thing about that table is that the one guy running it is a friend of my boyfriend from back home (we are from around pittsburgh and the convention was in Cincinatti).

The Con-goers: What convention would not be complete without the fans who go to the conventions?  These people are really cool and fun to talk to.  I particularly enjoyed the many people who asked who I was dressed up as (I wasn't dressed as any character, just myself).  One girl was dressed up as Nanami from Suikoden 2.  I was the first person in 2 years to correctly name her character (and for that, I got cookies)!!!

The Concert: I had some technical problems getting set up, but I only sung 3 short songs so time wasn't too much of an issue.  I had somebody ask me if I would be willing to do a duet, if I would take requests, and if it was a panel (some of the panels were taking place on the stage, so it was understandable).  The songs I sang (in order) were:
The Real Folk Blues (Cowboy Bebop closing theme)
Cruel Angel Thesis (Neon Genesis Evangelion opening theme)
Moonlight Densetsu (Sailormoon opening theme)

For the last song, I had a group of people cheering once they figured out what the song was (after about 2 seconds).  It was really fun, and I didn't care that my throat was in pain!  At the end of the concert, this little girl, no more than 12 years old, approaches the stage and gives me a Hershey Kiss!!!  I would have felt bad taking it, but one of the artist tables (which was actually people advertising for another convention) was giving out a bunch of Kisses.  It was so cute and fun.  I also had a professional photographer ask if it was ok that he took my picture for his website!  AWESOME!!!  I am still waiting on those pictures to post, but I should have them soon.

New Ideas:  Ideas for cosplays and ideas for new items to sell.  The cosplay thing I am going to keep a secret, but I think I will sell my stuff under "Delightful Designs" and each item will fall into a different "Delight".  It sounds kind of dorky, but cute and I am super pumped!

I have more Con-related posts on the way, so sit tight!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Style tips for the timid

So, many people out there (including myself) are scared to push the fashion envelope.  Here is a good tip for those who want to go outside of their comfort zone, but are scared.

Find an event where the fashion rule is "Anything Goes".  I think of anime conventions (or other conventions where people cosplay as something).  Put together a few outfits that you have never created before.  Some people even go so far as to change what they wear throughout the day, so don't be scared of having too many outfits.  If you are having trouble with this part (or if you only own jeans and t-shirts), borrow a friend.  Borrow their opinion, their clothes (with permission), whatever.  This may be a good time to get some new items.  An easy way to put together a new outfit is:
~Favorite T-shirt
Most people have those kinds of items in their wardrobe, so it is an inexpensive way to put together a new look.

If your problem is in body issues (you may feel like you are "chubby" or "fat", but that is no reason you can't dress how you want), here are some pictures of people who put caution to the wind and went for a more risque look.

Felicia from Darkstalkers

Naga from Slayers
Just be sure that if you decide to dress in a costume, it is clean, and you don't come off as creepy.  The following are examples of what NOT to look like

I hope this helps.  If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me here!

Things I Love Thursday

Photo credits:haraju2girls
BlazBlue Cosplay of Rachel Alucard (good cosplay)
Hi all!  It has been one busy week here!  I still have things to be happy about and things that I love.  Let's check it out!

Being Useful: My boyfriend has been sick the last few days (OH NO!!!) and I have been taking care of him.  It may not be the best idea since I have a concert on Saturday, but I am not heartless!  I love making him feel better.  I am constantly making him tea or driving him around.  I LOVE it!

My Concert: My voice has an inconsistant quality about it right now (it is just because of the season, but sick boyfriends probably dont help), but I am so pumped.  This is my first concert since 2006, and my first solo performance ever.  I have 4 songs prepared and I am super pumped!  Video to come (I always say this, but I end up forgetting to take the pictures/videos off of my phone).

A&G: This is such a cool convention!  It is a family friendly convention, so many cosplayers (people who dress up as a specific character) have to tone down the amount of skin shown (I have seen some very skimpy cosplays (the costume of the character)), but the people who run the con are absolutely AMAZING!  I met these people back about 2004, and soon after, they started dating, got married, and had a little girl (she is an absolute DOLL!!!).  What a happy story!?!?

Impending Birthday:  My birthday is coming up (the big 22), and I am just excited about the idea of shopping.  I have already picked out a bunch of things I want to get (see last weeks post about the tutu heaven), but am just waiting on the funds.

I swear, I had more, but I didn't write it down and now I forget.  :'(
Photo Credits: Unknown (I see this everywhere on the internet)
Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop (bad cosplay) 
What has got your heart twitter-patted?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

So, the last few weeks has been crazy and I haven't been able to update. I'm so sorry about missing a post! But, what's done is done. Now, ON WITH THE SHOW!

Zima: Zima is the only surviving kitten of her litter. She is a little ball of white fluff (she is getting dark grey on her nose, ears, back legs, and tail) and makes the cutest little sounds ever! There was a fear that she wouldn't survive after an incident with a pomeranian, but she appears to be fine!  She is starting to even get playful!  She was batting me with her out-of-proportion paws and play biting!  SO CUTE!

Designing: Inspiration struck while in class. I am going to design my own tutu. I want to keep as much a secret as possible, but you get this bit: silk ribbon embroidery. I haven't learned how to do this yet, but I have the supplies and books. I also have a mom who is knowledgeable on the subject, so if all else fails, she can help me!

A&G Ohio: This is an anime con out in Cincinnati that my friend runs. I just got confirmation today that, not only do I get an artist table, I also am giving a concert. I have been making up items to restock my inventory as well as rehearsing all that I can. I will get you a video of the concert when it comes. The con is March 12-14 and is a 24 hour con (there is literally something always going on). This is the coolest thing EVER (If you want to read more, check out my previous post)!

Outfits:  I have been putting together so many cute outfits recently (not my typical jeans/t-shirt).  I may have to start a section for all the awesome outfits I come up with!  My 2 main pieces that I use are my tutu (bright pink and glittery) and my Gala Darling Dress (which is a bit too full in the hips, but it provides a fun challenge)!

eBay: eBay is a treasure trove waiting to be found!  Check out some of the loot I have found!
Harley Avenue
Vivienne Westwood Rocking Horse Ballerina (knockoffs) - THE most comfortable thing I think I have ever worn (the bottoms are foam, not wood)!
Adorable Bunny Jumper - I have it and it is comfy, but I am not small enough to wear it by itself.
Awesome Cosplay Costumes (this is a lolita vampire from a 2D Fighting game called Blazblue)
Hair Falls (very in with the raver crowd right now)

Productivity: The past few Thursdays, I have been waking up early.  On these days, I clean, do homework, make calls, make merchandise, or something!  I always get SOMETHING done in this time.  It feels really good too!  I never was a fan of getting things done before.  I always wanted to just be lazy and play video games!  NOT ANYMORE WORLD! ;-)

Friends: Ok, so everybody has friends, and they love them dearly!  I was very close friends with a girl I went to school with.  We had a bit of a falling out a year ago, and only just yesterday started talking to her.  She was my "go-to" friend if ever I needed anything.  She always made time for me and listened to my problems.  I have that friend back.

Apartment: My lease ends in August, so I need to move out before then (and trust me, renewing my lease is NOT an option).  I called today to an apartment complex just outside of town.  They have availabilities, they won't double charge me rent for my boyfriend, AND I can have pets!!!  I am SO getting a kitty!!!

Special Mentions: Gatoraid (yummy), Turkey Bacon (I'm hungry.  can you tell?), cat ears, yarn, magic pills (at least, I was told they would be magic.  That is a post for another time), cuddling, watching anime, my boyfriend, anything clean, magic drinks (it is just a hot cocoa and peppermint schnauppes, but it is oh so tasty!), snow melting (it is pretty, but I am ready for warm), music, netflix instant queue (my internet is spotty, so it is only fun when the internet works properly), personal growth.

So, what are you absolutely in love with this week?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Apology + upcoming events

I am so sorry for taking so much time off. I have been swamped with classwork and, since I want to graduate, takes a bit of precedence.  Aside from class work, I have been busying myself with a lot of other things.  I have an anime convention coming up in 2 weeks.  For me, that means making a bunch of stuff to sell and rehearsing for a concert.  I am so pumped about this con.  Don't worry, I will post lots of pictures and other goodies.

Thinking of the upcoming anime convention reminds me of cosplaying and Japanese street fashion.  A few months ago, I found the cutest hakama shorts EVER!  Hakama are traditionally worn by men when they are practicing/competing in martial arts OR on formal occasions (hakama are the mens version of kimono in this case) as well as shrine maidens.  Japanese lesson for the day!

I also think about how I used to be good at certain video games.  I used to play DDR all the time, but moving to college and having bad knees prevents that.  I am now working on being good at fighting games, but my Irish temper gets the better of me and I usually break down and cry (thinking about it, it is funny, but I don't see it as such while I fail at killing certain enemies).

My artist table is going to have even more merchandise than last year.  I have expanded what I make and am working on building up inventory.  My table is a mess because of one project or another, but it is TOTALLY worth all the fuss.  My boyfriend helps where he can (it was originally his idea to get an artist table anyway), but he isn't as crafty as me (and he admits that my ability to crochet is like magic).

This year is going to be exciting also because I will be putting on a concert.  Not having too much time to prepare, I can only perform a few songs, but I will TOTALLY make them count.  I have been listening to Japanese music for many years and I have wanted to be a professional singer for years.  Now is the time to see if I even have what it takes.  I am so nervious and excited about this that my heart is racing!

The guests they have are pretty cool too.  Last year, they had Steve Blum.  STEVE BLUM!!!!  He has done too many voices to even think about.  He puts up with so many fangirls and fanboys and makes the best of it.  AMAZING!

The best part about this convention is that my good friends Jason and Jenn Taylor are putting it on.  I absolutely LOVE these two (and their little girl is SO CUTE)!  They keep putting up with me despite all the hassling I do to them (I REALLY am sorry), and they are fun to hang out with.  I have never before got to hang out in the "Con Ops" room of a convention.

Anyways, I promise I will be better about posting.  I do like to post, so I really should find the time to do so. 

PS: I found so many apology pictures, but I couldn't get them too work.  BOO!!!