Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dazzle & Chunk Cupcake Necklace Giveaway!!

Win a Rhinestone Cupcake 
Necklace from Dazzle & Chunk!!

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 12.

I am elated to have this utterly adorable pink cupcake rhinestone necklace from
Dazzle & Chunk to gift to one very lucky reader!

Dazzle & Chunk has tons of unique, handcrafted charms for everything from necklaces to charm bracelets.  At Dazzle & Chunk, variety is key.  They offer a huge selection, so finding that special charm you have been looking for is never difficult.  Dazzle & Chunk has 35 different cupcake charms alone!  You can also create one-of-a-kind charm bracelets, custom built just for you.

I adore their charms!

Now you can own a Dazzle & Chunk charm necklace of your own!

One winner will receive a brand new cupcake necklace from Dazzle & Chunk.
The necklace features eight rhinestones set in a pink iced cupcake charm.  The delicious little treat dangles from an 16" necklace chain complete with Dazzle &  Chunk heart charm.
The cupcake is rhodium plated and is not hollow - this is a heavy, solid charm.

To win, you must be a follower of Babbling Brooke then 
visit Dazzle & Chunk and tell me what your favorite charm is.
And for two bonus entries, blog about this giveaway and show me the link :)

First entry: Follower status, email, and favorite Dazzle & Chunk charm

TWO additional entries: Blog about this giveaway
ONE additional entry: Tweet about this giveaway @BBabblingBrooke
ONE additional entry: email 5 friends about this giveaway! CC to

Giveaway ends at midnight EST May 8, 2010.
Winner will be selected using and will be announced at Babbling Brooke.
Good Luck!!

Charm images copyright Dazzle & Chunk
Thank you so much to Dazzle & Chunk for sponsoring this deliciously fun giveaway!

She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

I knew I had to do this manicure as soon as I saw China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.  What color would the dots be in a yellow polka dot bikini?  I decided white, since I have a pink polka dot bikini with white dots.  I want to try it with some other colors as the dots, because so many shades go with yellow.

China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini with Konad m79 and Konad special white polish

Let's all sing it together now!
"She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini for the first time today!"

I used four coats of China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, stamped with Konad plate m79 using Konad special white polish.  I love this sunny, summery mani :D
Left: natural light
Right: flash

Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Towel Boy Toy gets Glittered Up!

Towel Boy Toy Glitter Tips

The glitter tips aren't showing up too well in my pictures, but IRL they have rainbow glitter on them :)  I painted two coats of China Glaze Towel Boy Toy, and then topped it with two coats of Sally Hansen Star Opal in Red Opal.  Once that dried, I painted Sally Hansen Shooting Star on my tips using Nailene French Mani Guides.  Then I painted silver stripes with LAColors Art Deco silver striper.

Left: Red Opal on Towel Boy Toy
Right: Glitter tips before silver stripes

Hello Spring!
I'm excited because tomorrow is the start of spring break for the class I am teaching.  Plus, I don't babysit next week.  Yay!!

Happy Spring!

Polish Blogger's Network Lacquer Link Love 3/30/10

Tuli shows us some super sweet and very pretty manicure ideas in honour of the Passover holiday.
Konadomania gives us some animal magic with a ggggggreat OPI Dim Sum Plum konadicure.
Check out Naive Nails modeling an all time classic China Glaze - such a QT!
Brooke traveled from Hong Kong to Japan for her latest manicure! Check out her Konad design with OPI Red My Fortune Cookie and KOH Black Stars.
Warning – if you click here, you will create a new lemming with this amazing mermaid shimmer shown by Perfect10 Beauty. She also brings news on a bargain matte topcoat.
Evil Angel does Cute! Check here to see her brilliant Cute As Hell Konad extravaganza!
The Swatchaholic keeps us craving softer shades with some amazing shots of Illamasqua's new pastel collection.
Cucumpear shows off some striking nail art with a cool mix of gloss on matte.
Head on over to Polish on Digital Paper to remember your childhood with the cutest Care Bear themed nail art.
Moncoinamoua gets her hands on the ones everyone’s been waiting for. Click here to see her amazing swatches of OPI’s new Shrek collection, and be prepared to fall accidentally in love with them.
You’re the one that I want! Helen shows off her Pink Lady credentials with a fab fuschia from Models Own.
Sasha shows off her BFF Best Boyfriend over at Manicure Mommas.

Brooke Cooks - Mashed Cauliflower

J and I need to eat more veggies.  I grabbed this head of cauliflower when we went grocery shopping Saturday.  I LOVE broccoli, but I despise cauliflower.  I feel like I should love it - it looks just like broccoli, but white.

So I brought the cauliflower home, shoved it in the fridge, and debated about what to do with it.  I had mashed cauliflower at a restaurant once, and loved it, so that was the only thing I could think to do with it.  So I boiled it, mashed it up, added some yummy things, and gave it a try.  The verdict?  YUM!  I officially love cauliflower!  J tried it and had not just seconds but thirds!  (normally he hates both vegetables and my cooking).

It looks like polenta or cream of wheat.  Not very appealing, eh?

Mashed Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup light mozzarella cheese
1 CHOBANI plain nonfat Greek yogurt
pinch or two salt

Boil the cauliflower to obliteration.  Drain it, toss it back in the pan (or a mixer), and add the ricotta, mozzarella, and yogurt.  Using a handheld mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat everything together for a few minutes.  Add salt to taste.  How easy is that?

Butter is optional - J liked it better with butter.  He also suggested trying it with garlic, which sounds good too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

China Glaze Poolside Collection Summer 2010

China Glaze Poolside Collection
Summer 2010

Today I have the new China Glaze Poolside Collection.  If these hot colors don't get you ready to book a summer beach vacation, I don't know what will!

Pool Party
You know I love pinks, and the hotter, the better.  This is one HOT pink!
Pool Party is a neon blue-based pink.  It covered with two coats and dried fast.  It dried to a slightly chalky finish, so it requires a topcoat.  This shade takes me back to the summer after high school, when I worked in a tanning salon.  All of us super-tan girls lived in a shade so much like this - it was, and still is, the perfect summer color.  And I am happy to say that even now that I am uber-pale, it still looks awesome.  Now that's hot.
Ps: You know I have a ton (TON) of pink polishes.  No dupes for this though!

Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
I knew I would love Yellow Polka Dot Bikini on name alone (you know you've got that song running through your head too).  But I am so happy that I love the color as well.  I love yellow, yet I can't wear yellow clothing - I look like I have jaundice.  But I can pull off yellow polish.  Unfortunately, many yellow polishes are so streaky they take all the fun out of the sunny shade.  Not so here.  Yellow Polka Dot Bikini covered perfectly with three dry-fast coats and finished to a perfect, sunny, neon lemon yellow.  I've had a favorite yellow polish for a long time.  YPDB just knocked that one out of the water.  Like Pool Party, it dried to a chalky finish, but looks awesome with a topcoat.

Kiwi Cool-ada
I put off trying this one until the end because I was worried it would make me look a little too Wicked Witch of the West.  So lets say my expectations were low.  But I was surprised - and I can actually see myself wearing this one again.  It is a bright, springy green which looks totally different with each coat.  One coat is a really cool, sheer bright green, two coats is nearly-full coverage, and three coats is a medium bright/almost neon green.  It also looks brighter wet than dry.  Dries to a chalky finish, but looks awesome with a topcoat.  If you're like me and don't own a ton of neons, this is a very unique shade.  It's my first neon green!  I can see myself wearing this to a late-night summer BBQ.  This color has really grown on me.

Sun Worshipper
You're orange?  What?  I thought Sun Worshipper was yellow, but now that I've seen it in real life, it is obviously orange.  This isn't pumpkin orange or anything - it is the exact same shade as a yellow tomato (something I tried, quite unsuccessfully, to grow last year).  Sun Worshipper covered with three coats which, like the other shades, dried incredibly fast.  China Glaze, thank you for making polishes that dry unbelievably fast!  This is a fun and very unique shade.

Flip Flop Fantasy
Loving the alliteration, China Glaze!!  Flip Flop Fantasy is a crazy color.  If it was a smoothie, I'd name it watermelon-peach-mango.  If it was a crayon, I'd call it Coralmelon.  It's just something you can't really put a tag on because it is totally unique.  I'd say it leans most towards coral - but neon.  So neon coral creme?  This is one you need to see in real life to fully appreciate.  It did some really funky things to my camera.  It had the best application and covered with just two coats (and of course, dried insanely fast).  It dried with more of a sheen than the others and doesn't necessarily require a topcoat.  I love that this shade is unique.  Nice job, China Glaze!

Towel Boy Toy
Loving this!!  I've been seeing some amazing blues lately, so I was the most excited about Towel Boy Toy out of all the polishes in this collection.  Plus, the name is great.  Where can I get my own towel boy toy?  Towel Boy Toy is giving Pool Party a run for its money and to tell you the truth, it just might be winning.  This color ROCKS!  Towel Boy Toy covered with two coats, had a excellent formula, and dried fast.  It is a slightly pearly medium blue with a hint of shimmer.  It dries kind of matte - not as much as some of the others, but again, once you slap a topcoat on it is ultra shiny and good to go.  This one is not necessarily neon, so it is perfect for those who don't feel comfortable sporting neon shades on their digits.  This is a fun, pool-blue, summery color - the perfect shade for a Poolside collection!

More Poolside Fun!
Index: 1 coat Kiwi Cool-ada
Middle: 3 coats Kiwi Cool-ada

Sun Worshipper
left: with a school bus yellow swatch in left corner (in real life, the swatch is not butter yellow as it appears)
right: with a pure pumpkin orange swatch in left corner
Like I said, this color did not love the camera.  It is disguising itself as a school bus yellow, but it is totally the same shade as a yellow tomato (which is typically orange).

China Glaze's Poolside Collection is available at Ulta, Sally Beauty, and many nail salons.  The Poolside Collection releases April 1.  Yippee!

Thanks for checking out China Glaze's Poolside Collection!
Which shade is your favorite?

Products provided by the manufacturer or PR firm for review purposes.

Cats and Soft Paws revisited

I was kind of surprised that my Soft Paws post published Saturday night.  I write my posts in advance and then set them up with times and dates, and I totally set the date wrong on that one.  I was shocked when I came home from Alice in Wonderland Saturday night to find comments on a new post.  So since I feel like my Soft Paws post got a little jipped there, I wanted to put out a link to it - because I really, really want to get the word out!

Soft Paw - don't declaw!

Check out my Soft Paws post at: 


Oh, and a picture of my kitties :)  They say, 'yay, spring!' 
and I say, 'yay, you didn't knock over my flower pots!'

Heidi and Emily face off

I don't know why I've never posted this picture - I laugh every time I see it.  Heidi is a very keeps-to-herself, somewhat grumpy little cat.  If she was a person, she would be very buttoned up.  Emily is... well, a little nuts.

Emily was trying to goad Heidi into playing (good luck with that!).
That look Heidi is giving her says it all.

Happy Monday all!  Hope a few furry critters help brighten your day :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Kobe of it all

Per my sister's request, I have a slew of Kobe pictures (remember Kobe?  You can read about him HERE).  It turns out he wasn't just 'left' with my sister - her wonderful boyfriend paid his friend off for him!  The truth comes out!  Well, at least Kobe is living happily ever after now - Kelsey's cats are almost as spoiled as mine :)

I've got to admit - he is one cute kitten!  And even though he's almost one, he's still pretty tiny.  I'll have to show you all my mom's cat, Juliet sometime.  She's like a dwarf cat - plus she has seven toes on each front foot!  And she was raised by a dog!  Sounds like something out of the Grimm brother's imagination - but she actually is extremely cute.

Congratulations, Kobe.  You are now an internet kitty!  (although not yet an lolcats - that's next.)

To infinity - and beyond!

I had dinner with a friend last weekend who turned to me and said, "So, what are your plans for the future of your blog?"

Plans?  Huh?

The truth?  I don't have any plans to deviate from what I'm doing.  I'm loving what I'm doing.  I'm loving blogging, and polishing, and trying new things.  I loving sharing my life with you - and hearing all about yours!  I'm loving it all.

But my friend's question got me thinking.  Should I have future plans?  I decided I'd focus on that 'future planning' (blog and life) for that glorious point in my life when my graduate thesis is over.

Although perhaps you can tell me what YOU want to see here.  What do you love about Babbling Brooke?  What should I keep doing?  And what should I change?  And what do you want to see me start doing?  I value your opinions - a lot!  My readers help shape this blog, and your opinions mean a lot to me.  So if you have a minute, let me know what you see in Babbling Brooke's future.  Because we might just be able to make that happen :)

Thanks everyone!

And the WINNER is...

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the FABULOUS blog makeover from Designer Blogs!!  The winner will receive the premade blog design of her choice from Designer Blogs!  Yippee!
And the winner is...

Please, please, please show me your new blog once it is all fancied up!  I can't wait to see!

I did not use a spreadsheet this time - my computer is not in good shape and it took AGES to make the spreadsheet for the last giveaway.  I wrote out all the entries and it only took about 20 minutes!

Thank you ALL for entering!

Thank you again to Designer Blogs for hosting this incredible giveaway.  Please check out their great designs at

There is still time to enter the CHOBANI Greek Yogurt giveaway and the SkinMD Naturals Lotion giveaway!

The first number I drew was unfortunately disqualified because they did not meet the rules of the giveaway (must be a Babbling Brooke follower).  I hate enforcing rules :(  I'm sorry!
Oddly, I couldn't get a response from my second winner - I contacted her three times by email and once through a comment on her blog, so I had to draw a third winner.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Soft Paws

Soft Paws

Grace sporting her Soft Paws - 6 weeks after application!

Soft Paws are the first humane alternative to declawing.  I've always been against declawing.  It is horribly inhumane and unnatural.  In fact, in most European countries, declawing is illegal!  (Europeans are always more forward thinking than us).  Now people are lobbying to make declawing illegal, beginning in California.  Soft Paws is on the forefront of this initiative, working to ban declawing altogether.  This is because cat's nails are part of their bone.  When a cat is declawed, the lowest joint on each of their toes is completely amputated.  This is obviously extremely painful.  Imagine having to walk around after having your toes cut off.  Painful, right?

My sister recently became the owner of a declawed kitten named Kobe.  After a 21 college student adopted Kobe from an animal rescue this past October, he had him immediately declawed.  Then a week later, he asked my sister to 'petsit' him.  Well, needless to say, he never came back for his kitten.  We watched poor Kobe attempting to jump, run, climb, and claw.  He slipped off of everything he tried to jump onto, he was totally unable to climb and play, and he quickly developed a habit of biting (many cats that are declawed resort to biting in their frustration). He often acts as if his feet hurt him, holding one up at a time when he is sitting down or crying out when someone touches them.  

Seeing poor Kobe suffering through this reminded me of Soft Paws, a product I had heard of years before but had never tried.  I mentioned it to J and he responded quite well.  (Something along the lines of: "Something like that exists?  We need to get it - now!").  J likes/tolerates my our cats, often saying, "I'd like them much more if they weren't destroying my furniture."  And they certainly do tear his furniture apart.  His office chair is rippled with cat claws, the sides and back of our couch are pilling from cat play, and they once went to town tearing apart one of his ties.  

So I decided to give Soft Paws a try!

 Instead of inhumanely removing claws, you can cover them with Soft Paws.  Soft Paws cover the nail with a rubber sheath, making it so that cats can still detract claws but they cannot scratch.  They were invented by a veterinarian and have been on the market for twenty years now.  They have even been featured on ABC's 20/20 as a safe alternative to declawing.  The cap adheres to the nail for about 4-6 weeks at a time.  
Soft Paws should of course only be used on indoor-only house cats.  Because Soft Paws cover the claw, outdoor cats will be unable to defend themselves with their claws.

The Soft Paws kit comes with 40 nail caps (in all kinds of colors - I chose pink!), or enough for 4 nail applications for one cat.  One pack will last about 4-6 months for one cat.  It also comes with two tubes of adhesive, applicator tips, and instructions.  I watched the instructional video before I gave it a go with my mellow cat, Chloe.  The video can be found at the instructions page.
I invited my mom over to help me put them on.  She held Chloe while I trimmed each of her toe nails, then I put a drop of glue inside each pink cap and, extending her nails, gently pressed a cap onto each one.  It was SO MUCH EASIER than I was expecting it to be - and it was over in 5 minutes!  

I decided to try Grace next.  She is my rowdiest cat and she is one wiggly worm.  It was a little more difficult, but overall went really well.

Chloe wearing Soft Paws

Grace wearing Soft Paws

No more scratching!
But she still bites, haha.

Chloe wearing Soft Paws

J now notices all the damage the kitties have done to his furniture over the years (although he doesn't seem to mind the fact that he has spilled cheese fondue, beer, tomato sauce, red wine... the list could go on and on, on his precious sofa).  So now that the kitties are Soft Pawed, he wants me to buy him new furniture.  HA!

But he is completely and totally in love with the Soft Paws.  He has shown much more interest in Chloe and has actually gone out of his way to pet her, hold her, and let her sit in his lap (before he complained that her nails hurt too much).

I adore Soft Paws.  I have been SO IMPRESSED by how well they have protected the furniture, plus, the cats don't mind them at all!  There hasn't been a single downside.

Soft Paws cost $18.95 for 40 nail caps and can be purchased directly from
They come in a boatload of colors, such as green, grey, red, and color combos, like black/pink, red/green, and even sports team colors!

Check out the gallery of adorable kitties sporting their Soft Paws HERE.

Have you tried Soft Paws?  Or do you know someone who may be interested?  Consider spreading the word!  Soft Paws are humane and kitty-friendly, plus super cute.  Hopefully we can work towards a future where declawing is illegal here in the US.   

Thanks for reading!!

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