Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zoya Reece

Zoya Reece

My mom and sister wore this polish the entire time we were at the beach (and, of course, now they both want it).  Reece is a gorgeous plumy pink with lots of gold duochromy shimmer.  Plumy, duochromy, shimmery.  It covered with two coats and dried moderately fast.  Really, really pretty.  I'm really loving this and Zoya Happi.


Have a great day!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brooke Cooks - Vegetarian "Meaty" Spaghetti Sauce


Every summer, I love to use a bunch of the tomatoes in the garden to make a big pot of delicious spaghetti sauce.  I've used this recipe for years because it makes a fantastic homemade vegetarian 'meat' sauce, plus it is SO fast and easy.


Ingredients
About 8 cups whole fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion
1 TB chopped garlic
3 LBs crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 TB white sugar
1/2 bottle red wine (or to taste)
fresh basil
a pinch of salt
1 package Quorn or Morningstar Ground Crumbles - 
(located in frozen/vegetarian section of grocery store)
1 box dry pasta

PEEL & PUREE TOMATOES: Boil a large pot of water.  When water boils, add tomatoes for about 1-2 minutes (or until skins split and tomatoes are easy to peel).  Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon, place in colander, and allow to cool.  Once tomatoes are comfortable to touch, peel off skins.  Place peeled tomatoes in a blender.  Peel and blend tomatoes in batches.

SAUTE ONIONS: Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan.  Dice onion and add to olive oil with garlic (I like the kind that is pre-chopped in the jar because it is easier, but freshly chopped garlic would probably taste even better and may require less than 1 TB).  Sauté onions until soft.

ADD TOMATO, SUGAR, WINE, BASIL, & SALT: Add pureed tomato to onions and garlic and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add 3 pounds crushed tomato (I used half of a gigantic can I bought at BJs for around $1), sugar, red wine (I prefer a wine that is under $8 a bottle - use something cheap for cooking), some fresh basil (I picked around 10-12 leaves out of the garden), and a pinch of salt (add more to taste if desired).

COOK FOR 1 HOUR, ADD VEGETARIAN CRUMBLES, COOK 30 MINUTES: Simmer at low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, then add Quorn or Morningstar ground crumbles and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Sauce will cook down some.

BOIL PASTA: During the last twenty minutes of cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta.  I have been eating Barilla Plus because it has protein and Omega 3, but it still tastes like 'normal' pasta.

EAT: Serve and enjoy!!  Store leftovers for the following day.  Leftover sauce can also be used as a  base for chili.




Alternative: I typically make this recipe without canned crushed tomato; instead, I replace the 3 pounds of crushed tomato with around 3 additional pounds of pureed tomatoes from the garden plus 1 small can of tomato paste.  If you have a lot of tomatoes in your garden, go ahead and make the sauce that way.

Happy Birthday to one of my biggest blog supporters and fabulous longtime bestie, Melanie!!  Have a great one!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman - Fall 2010

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman
Limited Edition Breast Cancer Awareness Collection
Fall 2010

Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, China Glaze is introducing three lovely new shades of pink in order to help give back.

Breast cancer awareness is an issue very near and dear to my heart, so I feel very fortunate to be able to share this collection with all of you.  Both of my Grandmothers are breast cancer survivors; my mom's mother was diagnosed 15 years ago and my dad's mother was diagnosed more than 30 years ago.  Unfortunately, I've also lost two close family friends to breast cancer. Another close friend was diagnosed just two months ago and is currently undergoing chemotherapy and doing very well.  Sadly, many of us have been touched by breast cancer in similar ways.

Early detection is extremely important, and funds from the sale of China Glaze's Fight Like a Woman polish collection help to fund education about early detection and also help provide mammograms for women in need.  It is also just as important for women battling breast cancer to remember that they are not alone and that we are fighting right alongside them.  We can all join together in October - and anytime of the year - by wearing pink to show our support for breast cancer awareness.  These three brand new colors all help support breast cancer; a portion of the funds are donated to IRAC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer.  This limited edition collection will be available at salons &  ULTA, beginning in September 2010.

These colors all caught my attention because, a) they support a very worthwhile cause, and b) they are ALL pink!!  Please take a moment to check them out and let me know what you think :)

Endurance

Endurance is a fun, sparkly bright pink and my favorite of the collection.  This is such a gorgeous, fun pink and it is right up my alley.  It covered nicely with two coats and, like all China Glaze polishes, dried insanely fast.  I LOVE this color - it is so pretty!!  Plus, the shimmery glitter looks great.

Empowerment


Empowerment is a pretty light, creme pink.  It covered great with two coats and dried quickly.  This is a very cute baby pink (kind of reminds me of Zoya Sweet).  I really like this one - as you guys know, I LOVE pink polish of all shades, and I think this is a really pretty light pink (I painted a cabinet for my mom in a very similar shade).  I can see this being a good go-to color for interviews and meetings with the boss.  Empowerment is a very girly, pretty color.



Encouragement

Encouragement is a pale, almost-sheer pink with very fine silvery shimmer.  It is a really sweet, delicate color that covers with three to four dry-fast coats.  It is a much lighter pink than Empowerment, but with gorgeous shimmer.  I was surprised how much I liked this one; it is a nice neutral with a touch of shimmer.  Very pretty!!



This collection will be able at the beginning of September 2010 in fine salons, ULTA, Trade Secret, and many other stores for a limited time only.  A portion of proceeds from the sale of this collection benefits breast cancer awareness and research.

To learn more, visit ChinaGlaze.com.

What do you think of China Glaze's new Fight Like a Woman collection?
Thanks for reading!!

Featured products provided by company/PR for review purposes.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Zebra of a Different Color

As a child, I loved watching The Wizard of Oz.  I have a number of memories watching it on different occasions: sitting in my blue Playskool chair in front of the family room television watching with my mom, laying in my parents' bed watching it on their (even then) very dated tv, and sitting on the La-Z-Boy in the family room with my dad.  I also remember having a strange tradition of eating a slice of those individually wrapped Kraft American cheese slices, which I disliked even then (and rather despise now), but found fascinating for the fun-to-open wrapper.

I had two favorite parts of the Wizard of Oz: Dorothy's fabulous sparkly, red heels (oh, how I coveted those) and the color-changing horse.  Whose to say a horse can't be purple?

So today I have a zebra of a different color.  Black and white is totally chic (and I believe some type of zebra-preserving camouflage), but how often do you see a green and gold zebra?  Now that's a zebra of a different color :)



For the base, I used two coats of OPI Cuckoo for this Color, topped with Konaded zebra stripes in OPI Glitzerland.

Do childhood memories ever influence your fashion choices?
Have a nice weekend, and thanks for reading!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Diva of Geneva is the One to Watch


Base: 3 coats OPI Diva of Geneva
Design: OPI The Color to Watch
Konad: Plate m65

I'm really loving both of these colors (and Glitzerland!!), but I especially love the way Diva of Geneva and The Color to Watch look together.  I've used this plate with silvers before and it had a very technical, almost inside-of-a-watch look to it, but with these colors, it looks like Cinderella-esque bubbles (you know, in the Disney version, when she's mopping the floor?  Right?  I haven't seen that movie for at least 15 years, probably longer though, so my memory is a bit hazy).



And here they are separately, just because I kind of love the way these colors (and pictures) look.

So what do you think - is this mani a Do or a Don't?
TGIF!!  Have an awesome Friday!!

On a totally unrelated note, I have a question about nerve damage to ask anyone who has any knowledge about that stuff.  About a year ago, I accidently closed a car window on my finger... stupid mistake that involved trying to get a lady bug out of the window and almost being rear ended - trying to do too much at once, basically, and pressing the window button 'up' instead of 'down' because of that.  After it happened, I had a lot of numbness in my finger and two dark purple lines on the inside of my finger where the window crushed it against the top of my car door.  The lines went away after a few months and most of the feeling returned after 5 or 6 months, but just today, out of the blue, my finger went totally numb again and the two lines came back.  I'm kind of freaking out.  Why would the lines come back and the numbness return?

Guess that Nail Polish - REVEAL!

First off, this was a pretty difficult one - some of these were really obscure.  I should also say I've been really happy with all 8 colors and I'm pretty proud of my choices - not like I can take even half the credit, since many of them were suggestions and the other half were swatches I discovered while perusing through MANY, MANY blogs.  I'm a bit of an overthinker when I shop; I have to be absolutely certain of what I want before I buy it, and I can say with certainty that I am really happy with these choices.

But enough about that - what about the polish names?  You guys did really well on this Guess that Nail Polish.  There were 31 guesses total and all but 2 correctly guessed polish number 2: Harlow.  The ones that werern't so easy?  Numbers 1, 7, and 8 - and I've got to say - I couldn't have gotten those.  Amazingly, 4 people got #1, Lilith, correct, and 3 people got #7, Lola, correct (I saw Lola swatched on Brooke's blog, Getcha Nails Did, and HAD to have it!).  Only ONE person got number 8 right (to be honest, I didn't think anyone would) - Laura J., you totally deserve a standing ovation for correctly guessing Emme because that is a polish that is HTF pictures of online!

I love this picture!
The pretty colorful polishes, my plants going wild in the background, great sunlight :)

1. Lilith (looks kind of like Zoya Brooke, doesn't it?)
2. Harlow
3. Happi (love this one!)
4. Charla (got this for my sister)
5. Adina
6. Reece
7. Lola
8. Emme

So, now for the miracle guessers who got 6 out of 8...

Amber V.
Laura J.
Kellie Gonzo
Amanda K.
Jackie S.
Erika

CONGRATS!!!

Great job guys!!  Any themes for the next Guess that Nail Polish?  I'll post it in a week and a half on Tuesday :)  Thanks again for playing, everyone!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

OPI Swiss - Fall 2010 Collection


OPI Swiss
Fall 2010 Collection
Part II

Today I have the second half of OPI's Swiss Collection for fall 2010.  This half of the collection is composed entirely of glittery, shimmery polishes and is, aside from Ski Teal We Drop, the standout half of the collection in my opinion.

Check out the swatches and let me know what you think!


Glitzerland
I'm of the opinion that a good gold is hard to find.  I have a lot of polish, but there is only ONE gold polish that I truly love: OPI I Get a Kick Out of Gold.  I have been searching long and hard for a similar gold because I LOVE I Get a Kick Out of Gold so much.  My search has ended here.  Glitzerland is a STUNNING, shimmer gold.  It is just stunning without being gaudy or too sparkly.  I am absolutely buying another bottle of this - I love it!  Glitzerland covered well with three coats and dried very quickly.  It also works great as a Konad stamping polish, as you can see HERE.


Diva of Geneva
Gah, this is so GORGEOUS!!  Shimmery jewel-toned purple loaded with pink and gold microshimmer.  This is such a pretty color, indoors and in the sun.  I used three coats, but it covered really well with two.  It dried very quickly (I was able to stamp over it in just a few minutes) and has a great shine even without a topcoat.  Diva of Geneva (isn't that such a cute name?) is a beautiful polish.


Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous
Lucerne-Tainly Look Marvelous (ok, that is a tough on to type) is a dark, gunmetal silver with lots of shimmer.  This is a very unique silver because it is a) dark, b) shimmery.  I kind of wish this had some glass-flecked glitter in it - not saying I don't love it though, because I'm actually really excited about it.  Maybe I'm just craving glassy glitter flecks right now.  It's a cool color, and I know I'll be doing something with this and snowflake designs come winter.  It covered great with two coats, the formula was just excellent, and it dried quickly.


The Color to Watch
Slightly frosty pale silvery purple with a moderate amount of microshimmer.  It took four coats for full coverage, but applied nicely and had an average dry time.  This worked really nicely as a Konad stamping polish.  Very pretty - I can see myself wearing this during the winter.


Cuckoo for this Color
Dark green with lots of very fine shimmer.  Covered well with two coats.  Dried moderately fast (not as quick as the other for some reason, but still pretty fast).  It has a very nice formula and is a rich emerald green polish.


Yodel Me on My Cell
Yodel Me on My Cell is a medium vibrant blue with lots of bright, sparkling shimmer.  It covered well with two coats and dried very fast.  This is a very pretty, standout shade that will be great for summer as well as winter.

The entire OPI Swiss Collection will be available in most salons as well as Ulta & Trade Secret in early August.  To learn more, visit OPI.com.


Which glitters are your favorite in OPI's Swiss Collection?
Do you like the cremes/jellies best, or are you more partial to the shimmery polishes?

Thanks for checking out the OPI Swiss Collection!!

Featured products provided by company/PR for review purposes. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Final 4 Guess that Nail Polish Zoya swatches

I'm all swatched out - I did 15 different nail swatches today - so I decided to take pictures of the final four Zoyas in a Skittles mani.

Tomorrow is the last day to try your nail polish expertise at Guess that Nail Polish Zoya :)  I'll post the correct answers tomorrow!


Pinky to index: #5, #6, #8, #7

It turned out that the one on my pinkie (#5) broke in transit around the neck of the bottle and the broken pieces all fell off when I opened it :(  It is really dried inside, so my sample swatch isn't too great for that one.


I wore #7 the first few days at the beach - it is really pretty!


Thanks for playing Guess that Nail Polish - and I hope everyone had a fabulous Wednesday!

OPI Swiss - Fall 2010 Collection


OPI Swiss
Fall 2010 Collection
Part I

Today I have swatches of the first 6 polishes in OPI's new Swiss Collection for fall, available early August 2010 in many nail salons, ULTA, Trade Secret, and many other locations.  To learn more about OPI, visit OPI.com.

Check out the swatches and let me know what you think!




Ski Teal We Drop
Love Ski Teal We Drop!!  Not a Suzi Says Feng Shui dupe, not an Ogre the Top Dupe either.  Ski Teal We Drop is darker than Suzi Says and Ogre, but still a medium blue.  It covered really well with two coats (and actually looked pretty good with just one coat too).  The formula was also great.  It dried VERY fast - I was able to Konad over it within just a few minutes.  This is my favorite of the creme/jellies - it is just a beautiful color.  I also think the name is really cute :)  Love this!


Color So Hot it Berns
Color So Hot it Berns is a bright, blue-toned red that is very iconically OPI in my opinion.  It covered very well with two coats and the formula was really nice and easy to work with.  Unfortunately, this one stained my nails, so make sure you wear a base coat underneath it to prevent staining.  It reminds me of OPI Red My Fortune Cookie but more blue-toned - this goes really, really well with my skin tone.  



Just a Little Rosti at This
Just a Little Rosti at This is a jelly-based red wine colored burgundy polish.  I actually really like this!  Very fall such a different color than what I normally wear.  It is perfectly wine colored (and I'd say it perfectly matches this little image to the left that is a little darker).  This kind of reminds me of Boris & Natasha, but I don't think it is as dark.  It just seems familiar - not to something I own, but to another OPI I've seen.  I plan on wearing this one when I go to the wine festival this year!!  Rosti covered with two coats and dried very fast.  I give Just a Little Rosti at This an A+!




From A to Z-urich
Another name I really like - plus, how often do you see the letter "Z" in polish names?  From A to Z-urich had a very nice formula - honestly, ever polish in this polish did, just like we know and expect from OPI.  It covered well with two coats and dried very quickly.  It is kind of a spice color and I'm not really sure how to describe it.  Kind of... mauve?  Is mauve the right word?  The pictures are perfectly color accurate; the large one was taken in sun, the smaller one was taken in the shade.  I don't love-love this color on me, but I think it would look really great one someone with darker skin than I have.



William Tell Me About OPI
It wasn't until I stepped outside that I realized that this polish is purple; indoors, it looked nearly jet-black.  William Tell Me About OPI is an extremely dark purple - eggplant in the sun, burnt eggplant indoors.  It covered really nicely with just two coats and dried quickly - it was on the thinner side (and jelly-ish), so not much dry time was needed.  Very vampy and fall - I can see this looking really great on shorter nails especially.  Left: sun; right: shade.



I'm Suzi & I'm a Chocoholic
I'm Suzi & I'm a Chocoholic is a reddish brown that applied nicely and covered well with two coats.  Like the others, this one was fairly thin, therefore it dried nice and fast.  A nice, warm, medium reddish-brown polish.  When I think of Switzerland, I instantly think of chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate (I'm really cultured, right?).  When I was younger, we had a Girl Scout event each year called Thinking Day.  Every year we studied a different part of the world.  The year that we did Switzerland, Toblerone donated HUNDREDS of Toblerone bars for the event.  We also had some Lindt chocolate too, purchased with our cookie sale money (as well as a number of other non-food related activities).  After that stomachache inducing chocolate-fest, all I ever think of when I hear "Switzerland" is chocolate.  So I'm glad that one of these polishes pays homage to my favorite product from Switzerland: chocolate!

Thanks so much for checking out OPI's new Swiss Collection!!
Which OPI Swiss polishes are your favorite?
I'll have the second half of this fabulous cool-weather collection soon!

Featured products provided by company/PR for review purposes. 
 
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