Saturday, May 30, 2015

What I'm Looking Forward To

It's kind of hard to believe that I'm almost done with Blog Every Day in May. It seems like I was just finalizing my list of prompts a day or two ago! Spring is almost over, but that doesn't mean there aren't a whole lot of things coming up that I'm looking forward to!

1. The return of Mr. Sparkle... Quite easily thee thing I'm looking forward to most. He's been gone since January, so it's been a long time coming! Very excited to have him home to enjoy all the warm summer weather that he loves so much.

2. Le Nouveau Chez Sparkle... The return of Mr. Sparkle also means the end of the gypsy lifestyle Peanut and I have been living for over a year now. I'm soooooo ready to have all my things in one place. I'll be able to unpack my stash, my makeup bag, and have access to every. single. article. of clothing I own. No more packing a bag! Woohoo!

3. Peanut and her Big Girl Bed... I'm excited to see how this transition goes. The nighttime routine and stalling methods are constantly changing. I can't wait to see how the new bed figures into the mix!

4. Grilling... Mr. Sparkle and I like to grill a lot. Specifically, I'm really looking forward to swordfish on the grill. Pizza Rolls are good too! And cookies. I think we've thrown just about everything possible on the grill at some point in time!

5. SinfulColors Street Fusion Collection... I'm hoping that I'll find these displays soon. There are a couple of polishes that I need to add to my stash. Baila Baila, Sky Teal, Cherry Blossom, and Hazard are just a few.

6. Wet n Wild California Dreaming Collection... I feel like I've been looking for this collection forever, but I think it was the same way with last year's All Access Beauty Collection. So there's still hope that I'll be able to add this to the sparklestash!

7. Hard Candy 20th Anniversary Collection... I got the original 5 shades, but there are a couple more in the collection that I'd love to have! There's a pretty coral shade and a hot pink that are calling my name!

8. Pretty Little Liars Season 6A... Lastly, it's hard to believe that Pretty Little Liars comes back in less than a week! I know they've said that this is the Summer of Answers, but I'm really not buying that 100%. I think we might get some answers, but they're not going to answer all of our questions. I just don't think there's time, and there's still 6B and all of Season 7 to go!

#BEDM

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Meaning Behind Seize the Sparkle

When I sat down to start a blog for the 4th time, Seize the Sparkle was the result. I had a little bit of experience blogging previously, so I knew that the name was important. I probably spent about a week researching and testing out names I liked.

Seize the Sparkle came about early on, and was a growing favorite over that week. I wanted to make sure that the name I chose would eventually allow me to branch out beyond my original mission statement. It also helped that Seize the Sparkle was available across every social media platform I planned to utilize.

The name stems from the Latin phrase Carpe Diem. In 10th grade, we watched Dead Poet's Society in my Honors English class. The movie made an immediate impression on me, and has been amongst my favorites ever since. In the movie, Robin Williams' character John Keating whispers to his students "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."

Replace boys with girls, add in a little glitter, and there you have it!

Going forward from an extrememly difficult and tumultuous time period in my life, Seize the Sparkle wasn't just the name of my blog, it became (and still is) my mantra! It's about taking the time to pamper yourself a little bit. It's all about grabbing opportunity by the horns. It's about having faith; choosing love and positivity. It's about being your own person and staying true to yourself.

#BEDM

Fishbowl Friday *030*

Out of all the prompts I chose to include in La Fishbowl, today's prompt is easily one of my favorites! Just like how every blogger has their own unique voice... every nail blogger has their own SIGNATURE STYLE!

Signature Style Seize the Sparkle

Layering Manicure

Signature Style Seize the Sparkle

Purple Glitter Nails

Seize the Sparkle Signature Style Mani

Layering Manicure

Layering Glitter Manicure

Seize the Sparkle Signature Style Mani

Seize the Sparkle Signature Style Layering Mani

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
2 Coats Orly On The Edge
1 Coat Pure Ice Oh, Baby
1 Coat Sally Girl Trapeze Artist
1 Coat Max Factor Fantasy Fire
1 Coat Sally Girl Trapeze Artist
2 Coats SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

What is my SIGNATURE STYLE? Definitely layering manicures like the one you see above. It's an easy enough kind of manicure to do. Depending on what polishes you layer, and how you layer them, you can create all kinds of really fun and neat effects!

This layering has been on my mind for quite a while. On The Edge is seriously such a fun bright blue-leaning purple, that it needed to be in a mani with Fantasy Fire. But then there's Trapeze Artist, which is just about the coolest mix of glitter in a jelly base that I've come across in a long time. And then I figured I'd add a little purple shimmer in the way of Oh, Baby.

When I first started painting my nails, I came in on the high of jelly glitter sandwiches, and knew nothing about layering polish. Reading The Swatchaholic quickly changed that around, and it became my favorite way to paint my nails. I know that you could probably achieve a look similar to this with just one bottle of an indie polish, but I really prefer layering to create my own look! I like how I can create depth by layering glitters, shimmers, and colors in different layers. Definitely one of the biggest reasons I don't pull the plug and order more of my indie lemmings!

In other news... Just two more days of May left, and Blog Every Day in May is over! I'm really excited that I made it through, even if posting on the weekends became a little problematic. Home renovation projects and a toddler named Peanut will do that to you! This weekend will be no different, but it will all be worth it in the end! If you've got plans to be outside or just relax... Have a sip of iced tea for me, and have a great weekend! And as always... yaaaaaaaaaaay! It's Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday!!!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

3 Characteristics I Admire in Others

I'd like to think that I'm a pretty welcoming kind of person when it comes to meeting new people. Labels and stereotypes have always really bothered me. I can't say that there's any specific type of person that could be my friend. I always prided myself on having friends all over the spectrum when it comes to personalities. It makes life a whole lot more fun! But when it comes down to it, there are characteristics that are really important to me...

1. Good Sense of Humor... I'm kind of a goofball, and I don't take myself too seriously. So I like having friends who can laugh at themselves and make me laugh. Total bonus points if you've got a quick wit and a little bit of snark to your personality.

2. Individuality... Maybe it's the contrary in me, maybe it's the fact that I was raised in an extremely accepting home. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's fake people. Especially when you can see right through all the fakeness. Being yourself is humbling, involves transparency, and sometimes, it can be downright embarassing. But we've all got that stuff. I'd rather be friends with someone who owns it, rather than someone who tries to hide it!

3. Honesty... I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this one, but I despise being lied to. And I really don't like being told things just to placate me or make me feel better. Also, don't tell me something if you have no plans to do it. I'm a card-carrying member of the if-you-don't-mean-it-don't-say-it club.



Pure Ice Tickle Me Pink

Tickle Me Pink Pure Ice

Pure Ice Tickle Me Pink

Tickle Me Pink Pure Ice

Tickle Me Pink Pure Ice

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
5 Coats Pure Ice Tickle Me Pink*
1 Coat Pure Ice Top Coat
1 Coat Pure Ice Girl on the Run

It's been a very, very long time since I have worn a sheer, pale pink polish. I forgot how much I really like shades like this. Classic, clean, and really pretty. Also a great contender for wedding season!

Tickle Me Pink has the same great formula that I've come to expect from Pure Ice. Not too thick, and buildable to an opaque finish without getting incredibly thick or goopy. But it did take five coats to get to what you see in my photos. In real life, there's still a little bit of visible streaking, but only if you're right on top of my nails.

If I were to use this polish again, I'm not sure that I would wear it alone. I think it would look really cool as the base polish for a neon tip French manicure. I'm curious what it would look like mattified. And, I did contemplate using the Pure Ice Shimmer-Wing toppers that I just picked up. There are so many possibilities for Tickle Me Pink.

Pure Ice polishes retail exclusively in Walmart stores and on their website for $1.97/bottle. Pure Ice is a salon-inspired long-wear nail formula that's available in over 96 stunning and on-trend shades. The shade library contains a striking variety of colors and finishes - from iridescent pearls to bright creams, holographic and chunky glitters to mirror-like metallics; every shade is beautiful and unique. Pure Ice nail enamels are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. Follow Pure Ice on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

*provided by PR for review. All thoughts, views, and opinions are my own.

Screenshot Your Desktop

Blog Every Day in May

Yep. That's my Chromey. Pretty sure this is one of the default images that came pre-installed, too. Love this photo, and I also really love how clean and uncluttered the "dekstop" is. Although, it's not really a desktop in the traditional sense... but still!

#BEDM

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creative & Current Projects

For some people, warmer weather equals project season, but around Studio Sparkle, there are projects in various stages of completion all year long. With so many great articles, blog posts, and TV shows documenting every aspect of the DIY process... It's kind of hard not to have a lengthy To-Do project list. What's on mine? I'm so glad you asked...

c/o Ikea

1. Helmer #2... I receive a 2nd one for my Birthday and still haven't put it together.  Mainly because I just haven't had the time! There's the bedtime routine with Peanut, which keeps getting elongated as her stall tactics become more elaborate. Then there's the fact that in order for her to go to sleep, I've gotta lay down too. So, I typically play on my phone while I sing to her for a little, and wait for her to go to sleep. Once she's out, I'm free to do what I need to do, but that usually times out to around 8ish if I'm lucky, closer to 9 if I'm not. Most nights, I have just enough energy to do my exercises, paint my nails, and crash out. And lately, weekends have been filled with renovation projects on Le Nouveau Chez Sparkle, so... putting-together-Helmer-time has been scarce. I've been saying "maybe tonight" for quite a few "tonights" now!

2. Helmer Desk... A while ago, I came across a Pin on Pinterest that showed 2 Helmers being used as the base for a desk. The idea has definitely stuck in my mind ever since. But I'm not sure what material I'd like for the desktop. Originally, I was thinking glass, because it would be easy to clean the polish off of it. Then I was thinking about some sort of wood to collect paint splatters like an artist's easel. Of course, I could also take that same piece of wood, cover it in glitter, then clear coat it until smooth. So many choices. But I should probably start with putting the 2nd Helmer together.

3. Portfolio Blog/Site... I'm currently mulling over exactly how I want to do this, but it's one of those long-time-coming type projects. There are just so many things that I would want to include, I want to be sure that they're organized in just the right way. On just the right layout.

4. Swatch Book... I have gone from notebook to binder to notebook in an attempt to keep all my blogging stuffs organized. Very Emily posted about her swatch book the other week, and I've got the perfect empty notebook to use. I juuuust have to find it. Might do this to the cover.

c/o Merrick's Art

5. Sequin Spray Tee... I know this tutorial is from 2013, but I still want to make it. I even bought the fabric pen for it. I'm constantly buying all the supplies for a Pin, only to never end up actually doing it. I'm not the only one, right? There are seriously sooooo many sewing projects I could work on if I just had the time!

6. Jewelry... A couple of years ago, my mom and I went on a big jewelry-making kick and bought all kinds of supplies. I made a few bracelets here and there, but that's really it. I still have a whole lot of supplies leftover! 

7. Packing... Not really creative, but certainly current! Getting everything ready for the move so that we're super organized. When Mr. Sparkle and I moved out for the first time, it helped to have every box labeled and organized so we knew exactly what was in it and where it went. It seriously made the unpacking process go so much more quickly and smoothly.

That's about all that I can think of at the moment. It's funny how a lot of these things are so based on just having the time to be able to do them! Having a toddler is a very time-consuming thing, but I wouldn't have it any other way! The fun thing, is that as Peanut gets older, I'll be able to do some of these things with her. That's something I'm definitely looking forward to. I'm sure she'll add plenty of projects to my list!


SinfulColors Otaku Anime

Otaku Anime SinfulColors

Otaku Anime SinfulColors

SinfulColors Otaku Anime

Otaku Anime SinfulColors

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
3 Coat SinfulColors Otaku Anime*
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

These nails are giving me the most serious cravings for all things lemony right now. Lemonade, lemon drops, limoncello, lemon meringue... I seriously cannot look at them without thinking about lemons!

Otaku Anime is a sheer, lemon yellow polish packed with incredibly superfine orange, yellow, and green shimmer. There's a lot of it in there, and it builds up to a nice sheen on the nails that prevents it from being streaky. Application went really well, too. This is just three coats, and while you can see VNL, there's a lot of pigment in here for a sheer polish.

In all honesty, this isn't a shade of polish that I would normally purchase myself, and I probably wouldn't wear it on its own again. But that doesn't mean to count it out by any mean! I think it would definitely benefit from being layered over another polish... possibly SinfulColors Unicorn, or a red or blue shade that would switch to orange or green under a layer of yellow! Even more so, as far as nail art goes, I could see this one being used to create a lot of really neat fiery sunset and gradient looks. It's the perfect kind of polish for that, especially with all that shimmer!

Otaku Anime is part of SinfulColors Street Fusion Collection. You can find it on display at Walgreens and other mass retailers for $1.99 a bottle! The full Street Fusion Collection also contains 24/7, Baila Baila, Black on Black, Boom Boom, Cherry Blossom, Cinderella, Color Tag, Copper Pot, Courtney Orange, Curry UpDaredevil, Dream On, Endless Blue, Fierce Fiesta, Fuji FijiGoGo Girl, Hottie, Island Coral, Keira Blue, Lavender, Let's Meet, Love Nails, Mamasita, Maroon FineMint Apple, Paste-ered, Pink Ansen, Sky Tree, Skylark, Snow Me White, Sugar Sugar, Why Not, and Writing on the Wall. Follow SinfulColors on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!  

*provided by PR for review. All thoughts, views, and opinions are my own. 

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

Pretty sure there's not a person alive who hasn't considered how different their life might be if they just didn't do that one thing, few things, or series of things. I think we've all got regrets, myself included. If I could write a letter to my younger self and assure that it would be delivered, read, and taken seriously? Hmmmm...

I doubt it. In fact, I probably would've read it, laughed, written it off and continued to do what I wanted. Because that's just me. One of my favorite quotes comes from the musical Rent... "Forget regret, or life is yours to miss." I could sit here all day and wax philosophically about the changes I would make in my life. But the thing is, you really never know exactly the effect it would have.

Do I have the best life in the world? Oh, I'm sure as far as some people are concerned... not at all. But to me? I'm pretty damn happy with the way things are going at the moment. The only thing I could ask for, is that Mr. Sparkle would come home likerightnow. And that's happening soon enough, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to hold on.

I could go back to middle school with the knowledge of high school or college and change around events so I would never have to face adversity and I could master every test. I'd know exactly who to talk to at the right time. I'd have a wealth of future knowledge of how to style my hair and dress just right. But the fact that I did have to face times with classmates who were less than nice taught me how important it is to be kind. Having difficulty with Algebra made me try harder, and keep trying. And what fun would looking back on middle school be without the ridiculous perms I insisted on getting, the glasses that were stylish at the time, and allllll of those leggings?

Traveling back to high school would allow essentially all the same things. I could make sure to date the right guy, avoid certain events, rehearse all the right songs and dance moves so I'd get all the best solos in choir and parts in musical. I could, again, dress the part a little better and fit in to make my life easier. But really, what would be the fun in that? Not getting the part I wanted only made me learn not to quit, to double down and try harder. And really, what does avoidance get anyone? Dealing with problems head-on is really the way to go. Cuts down on the stress headaches and stomach aches. Oh, and the whole boy thing? That was just a lot of experience in learning what I did and didn't want in my husband!

Then there's college. I could go back and make sure that I stay at one school, graduating in four years, rather than six. I could not worry about boys at all, much less party and have any fun. But who knows where I would be now? Leaving that first school and coming home to community college for a year was insanely humbling. It wasn't long before I found a school to transfer to. One with a Professional Writing program, something the first two didn't offer. And all that partying and fun? I had a great time, but it taught me that I really need balance in my life. They don't say Work Hard, Play Hard for no reason! While attending that community college, I met and began dating Mr. Sparkle, so leaving the first school was pretty much the best thing I ever did.

Looking back can be a lot of fun, don't get me wrong. But you really don't want to look back to long, because you're not going that way. If you spend all your time looking back, even if it's not always with regret, you'll never be able to move forward and fully enjoy life.

But that doesn't mean I wouldn't tell my younger self anything. What would be the fun in that? But rather than huge suggestions or life-altering changes, I'd just offer a little positivity and love. My letter would probably go something like this...

Dearest S,

Stop worrying so much. Just be yourself, keep following your heart, even if it is on a slightly crazy whim. I promise, everything will turn out okay! You've totally got this!!!

P.S. Oh, and don't throw away any of your nail polish or makeup. Ever. As weird as it sounds, you'll want to document it on your blog someday! 

-S


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 Things I Can't Live Without

While I know that this list isn't comprised totally of "things..." Rather, it's a list of my personal righthisminute must-haves. Because while there are definitely things that we consider important, it's mainly the people who make our lives something really special, sprinkled with a little bit of how we connect to them...

1. Peanut... For the fact that I was never an "I definitely want kids" kind of person, the effect she has had on me is ridiculously amazing. When people tell you that having a child changes everything, they're really not kidding. I fell in love with her the instant that I saw her, and that love just continues to grow. She's constantly melting my heart with her silly giggles and huge smile! I'm so, so, sooooo blessed to have such a sweetie for a daughter!

2. Mr. Sparkle... It's very cool to be married to your best friend. He definitely knows me better than anyone, and it's been hard having him gone for so long. He's always been so supportive of me, whether I want to write a novel, make jewelry, start a blog, or start a business from an idea I saw on Pinterest. I love that he can see and appreciate the dreamer side in me. He keeps me grounded, which is a good thing, because I can take off for the clouds at a moment's notice! And anyone that knows him will tell you that he's got a great sense of humor and a really quick wit. I can't even tell you how many times he has made me laugh to the point of tears and side stitches! Soooooo beyond ready to have him back home!!!

3. Family... I'm seriously lucky and blessed to have such an amazing and supportive family! Both on my side of the family and on Mr. Sparkle's side. I really don't think that I would've made it through this past year or so with Mr. Sparkle being gone if I didn't have family to lean on. Peanut and I are two lucky little duckies in that regard, I'll tell you what!

4. iPhone... I know I say it a lot, but it really does keep me connected in just about every way. I can't really see not having a smartphone. I mean, I'm sure technology will change and everything, but the premise of the thing will stay the same. I mean, if I attached a keyboard to it, I'd be able to blog from it too, but really, that's what Chromey is for!

5. Notebook and Pen... Thought I was going to say nail polish, didn't you? Honestly... if I had to choose between the ability to paint my nails and the ability to write? I'd pick writing every. single. time. It's that vital and important to me. I carry around a notebook with me wherever I go, because there's just something about touching a pen to paper that I will always have a soft spot for.

#BEDM

SinfulColors Maroon Fine

I know, I know... but the craziest thing isn't the fact that I'm wearing orange polish. The crazy thing is that I actually kind of like it. And no... I don't have a fever! Allergies, maybe, but no fever. Just a really pretty, shimmery polish...

Maroon Fine SinfulColors

SinfulColors Maroon Fine

Maroon Fine SinfulColors

Maroon Fine SinfulColors

Maroon Fine SinfulColors

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
3 Coats SinfulColors Maroon Fine*
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

So, it's definitely safe to say that if I had seen this on a display in the store, I would've walked right by it. I just don't do orange polish. I'm not a big fan of the color, or the way it looks on my skin. But technically speaking, this is described by SinfulColors as a "high-shine metallic copper." So... does it really count as orange? Because honestly, it's growing on me the longer I wear it!

Maroon Fine is a burnt orange, almost caramel colored polish with superfine pink and orange shimmer. Maybe it's that signature SinfulColors shimmer that I've come to really love that make me like this? I'm not sure. Application was great. Three easy coats and I was ready to hang it up for the night! Most people could probably get away with 2 coats, but I like to err on the side of more layers!

The photos above make Maroon Fine look more like an orange leaning tomato red, but this is definitely an orange polish. If anything, the orange leans more towards a tan or brown. It's actually a great color, and I'm sure it's probably flattering on a wide variety of skin tones. I was surprised that it didn't look garish on me. Normally oranges and my olive skintone do nawt get along!

Maroon Fine is part of SinfulColors Street Fusion Collection. You can find it on display at Walgreens and other mass retailers for $1.99 a bottle! The full Street Fusion Collection also contains 24/7, Baila Baila, Black on Black, Boom Boom, Cherry Blossom, Cinderella, Color Tag, Copper Pot, Courtney Orange, Curry Up, Daredevil, Dream On, Endless Blue, Fierce Fiesta, Fuji Fiji, GoGo Girl, Hottie, Island Coral, Keira Blue, Lavender, Let's Meet, Love Nails, Mamasita, Mint Apple, Otaku Anime, Paste-ered, Pink Ansen, Sky Tree, Skylark, Snow Me White, Sugar Sugar, Why Not, and Writing on the Wall. Follow SinfulColors on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!  

*provided by PR for review. All thoughts, views, and opinions are my own. 

Piercings & Tattoos

Apologies again for the lack of posts over the weekend. It was definitely busy, busy, busy around Chez Sparkle! Lots of sanding and painting trim, coupled with Memorial Day Weekend picnics and fun stuff. Soooo... I was pretty much ready to crash at the exact time Peanut did every night. That definitely happened on Friday. I was seriously exhausted!

Let's start with piercings, since I have more of those...

I've got two holes in each ear, but I only wear earrings in the lowest set of holes. I got my ears pierced in 1st grade, and I remember feeling so cool, because my teacher didn't even have pierced ears! My second holes... I can't really remember when I got them. I think sometime during high school? They're not evenly placed, so I really don't put anything in them. Ever. They're just kind of... there.

Both of my ears have had cartiledge piercings. The first grew shut, and the 2nd developed a really weird bubble next to it after piercing. After a little while, I ended up letting the 2nd one grow shut, too.

In Fall 2002, I got my belly button pierced. I thought I would get into switching out the jewelry a little more, but I never really did. I wore it until I found out I was pregnant with Peanut, but I haven't had the urge to put it back in.

Back in the day, I would've liked to get my eyebrow or lip pierced. That ship has definitely sailed, though. I just don't have the interest in it that I once did. But in the future, I could definitely see getting my nose pierced. That's something I've always wanted to do that has stuck with me over time.

And onto the tattoos...

I've got an Ohm tattoo on my big toe. There's a lot of different meanings you could take on the tattoo, but for me... it's always been a reminder to myself to live my life like an open prayer. A reminder that there's something more, and to be driven to do better. To be better. I also like the fact that it looks like an R, and when I married Mr. Sparkle, my new last name started with an R. 

Tat-toe

As far as future tattoos, there are so many possibilities! I really want to get an infinity sign, a semi-colon, a cross, something to do with Peanut, definitely something to do with writing, and possibly an ampersand in the mix. I don't have any plans for more tattoos on my toes or feet, but I'd like to get a few on my wrist. Right now, I see Peanut's tattoo going on my ribcage, but that's all subject to change. My ideas and the subject matter are constantly changing! 

#BEDM

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fishbowl Friday *029*

When I picked the prompt for the 29th edition of Fishbowl Friday... I was a little smug. TRIANGLE nails? Easy, right? Wroooooong. What you're seeing below is actually my 4th attempt at making this prompt work. They might be a bit... abstract... but here they are. TRIANGLE nails... 

Fishbowl Friday Triangle Mani

Triangle Seriotype Manicure

Fishbowl Friday Triangle Nails

Triangle Seriotype Manicure

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
OPI Indigo Motif
OPI Pen & Pink
OPI Purple Perspective
OPI Turquoise Aesthetic
2 Coats SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Some nights, you just can't get a design to translate from your brain onto your nails. Last night was one of those nights, three times over. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for hanging in there until something worked! 

Attempt #1... I taped off my nails to create triangles at the bottom, and did a little seriotype. Pulled the tape off, then went on to what were going to be my accent nails. I was planning on stamping them, and that just didn't work. I went back to erase my work and took off a little Endless Blue. I wasn't really happy with my triangles, so I scrapped everything and started over. 

Attempt #2... Nude nails stamped with hot pink triangle designs. Only, I didn't think about the fact that my nails had been freshly painted. I stamped and the polish slid and smeared. I took the polish off that nail and reached for the bottle to repaint. Dinged a nail. Scrapped everything again and started over. 

Attempt #3... Some sort of Color Paints jelly glitter sandwich with Rainbow Honey Best Friend sandwiched in the middle. It has triangle glitter, so it would've fulfilled the prompt. Only... it was really thick. Thicker than I remember it being. So, it went on gloppy, but I tried my best to make it work. It wasn't until after I went over it with more of the Color Paints and tried to put on clear that it smeared. And smeared. Aaaaaand smeared. Boo. Feeling super defeated, I scrapped everything for a third time and started over. 

Attempt #4... I started out with a triangle of Indigo Motif on each nail. My ring fingers got inverted triangles. Then, I played around with Pen & Pink, Purple Perspective, and Turquoise Aesthetic until I was happy with what I got. Kind of the opposite of what I was going for in my first attempt. With waaaaay more abstract triangles. 

I'm liking this a whole lot more today than I was last night. I was really at the point where I just wanted to get something on my nails and call it a night. I'm still a little sick, and I was definitely tired. I'm not quite sure what got into Sparklegirl last night, but from post-bath to her being asleep... she was a curly headed little monster. Thankfully, we both slept well and woke up in better moods this morning! 

And while I'm thinking about this mani... I managed to acheive a pretty cool galaxy-esque mani, which was totally not what I was going for. I never really thought of using the Color Paints collection that way, but I think they would work really well! The way they blend and meld together is perfect for galaxification! That's probably something I'll try when it gets a little closer to Fall. 

As much as I would like to take this off and try something else tonight... I'll probably leave this on. Tomorrow is another renovating/painting day, and that is never kind to my nails. My pointer and middle finger nails on my right hand need a whooooole lot of TLC. STAT! 

Other than that, not really too much on the books for the Holiday weekend. Possible picnicking on Sunday, then probably grilling on Monday. Very low-key! Whatever your plans, hope you have a great weekend!!! 

#FF2015

Old Photo(s)

Isn't looking at old photos the best? Remembering moments you've completely forgotten, or in some cases, still not remembering those funny stories only parents can tell! I guess that's probably why I try to capture so many snaps of Peanut. I want her to be able to look back see what her early years were like! So... here's a couple shots of my early years. I wish I could say I remember anything about these, or the days that they were taken, but I remember nothing! I might have been a little nixie back then, but it certainly looks like I was having fun...

an early love for flowers

posing nicely with my sister

yep. that's beer.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

10 Favorite Foods, 1 Non-Fave

While I wouldn't say that I'm an extremely well-versed foodie... I do looooove trying new foods. Asian, Thai, Greek, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, all of it. So, I've got a pretty big repertoire of what I've tried and what I love, what I would order again, and the one food that I will always, ALWAYS pull a Bartleby over. So let's get started, shall we?  

1. Surf & Turf... Crab Cakes & Filet Mignon. It's usually between these two for a special meal out with Mr. Sparkle. I like my Crab Cakes with very little filler and lots of lemon juice. Then, for my Filet, medium, no fancy sauces or dressings required!

2. Cheeseburgers... We have a couple good burger places around here, one in particular that is constanstly switching up their menu. Regular burgers, Angus burgers, Elk burgers... slather it in cheese and I'm there. I could never be a vegetarian. Oh, and make it medium. It tastes better that way!

3. Grilled Swordfish a la Mr. Sparkle... He usually makes this with a green veggie and rosemary potatoes on the grill. So far, I've only had it prepared on charcoal, but oh my goodness. It's sooooo delicious. And this is coming from someone who didn't like it baked in the oven one. single. bit.

4. Lasagna... This is one thing that I make at Chez Sparkle. I've tried a lot of different combinations, but my favorite so far used Ground Turkey, Hot Italian Sausage, Provolone Cheese, and Vodka Sauce. Sooooo seriously yummy! I'm definitely planning on sharing the recipe the next time I make it.

5. Sushi... We have a great sushi bar in town that has the most amazing white tuna nigiri. And I've never met an eel roll that I haven't immediately loved. Pretty sure I could live on eel and avocado rolls!

6. Popcorn... Definitely my favorite snack food. Probably the fave snack food of my little wolfpack. Mr. Sparkle and Peanut both love it!

7. Fish Tacos... Seriously delicious and addicting little buggers. I've had them friend and grilled, but if I had my preference, Grilled Mahi Mahi all the way!

8. Quesadillas... I have what would probably be considered an unhealthy love for cheese. I usually opt for steak or crab.

9. Triscuits... My 2nd favorite snack food. Right now, I'm loving the Balsamic Vinegar flavor, but I also really love the Dill and Rosemary flavors!

10. Chicken Caesar Salad... Sometimes I cheat and pick up a pre-made salad from the store. Surprisingly, little Peanut LOVES salad, especially if she's helping eat it from my plate! If I'm making this at home, we mix spinach and arugula, add in pulled apart rotisserie chicken and croutons, then top with anchovy-laden Caesar dressing.

...aaaaaand for the non-favorite, pack it up and send it anywhere else other than my plate... CARROTS. To quote Bartleby the Scrivener, "I'd rather not." Sure, they're okay in an egg roll or a spring roll, but that's honestly as far as it goes. And if there's a restaurant out there that would like to prepare a fried roll without them? You'd have my business for-ev-er. Blech. I mean, they're even orange, too. Just... no. Not on my plate, thankyouverymuch!


SinfulColors Endless Blue

After posting yesterday about brights and neons for Summer... it seemed only natural to go that route for my nails today. Endless Blue is thee cobalt blue you need in your collection and on your nails!

Endless Blue by SinfulColors

Endless Blue by SinfulColors

Endless Blue by SinfulColors

Endless Blue by SinfulColors

SinfulColors Endless Blue

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler
3 Coats SinfulColors Endless Blue
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Cobalt is definitely riding on a high at the moment, and I'm not ready to let it go anytime soon! It's such a fun way to add a bright pop of color to your outfit. Like I said, if you don't have it in your collection, you really need to get a bottle and see for yourself! 

The formula on Endless Blue was excellent, which always makes application easier! This polish is really pigmented, so most people would probably only need 2 coats. I added a 3rd because that's what I do! A layer of clear and a layer of Seche, and I was ready to call it a night. 

Theoretically, I could use this as a base for Fishbowl Friday 029. Buuuuuut I'm also tossing around a couple other mani ideas. It all depends on the prompt! 

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