Friday, August 31, 2012

2012 Summertime Challenge! Week 6: Favorite Summer Snack

Hello! It's Friday! TGIF! I have been working like crazy on the blog. I really hope you guys will enjoy the improvements. It's week 6 of my summertime challenge. This week's theme is favorite summer snack(s). My favorite snacks to eat during the summer are popsicles, ice cream, strawberries, melon, and fruit salad.

Wait a minute...that picture looks like all the rest of my pictures. Yep! I wanted to show you one last photo using my old desk lamp. Now feast your eyes on what my new pictures are going to look like!

Brighter, more focused. I feel like you can really see the detail on the new pictures too. I'm excited. So as I was saying, during the summer I love to eat popsicles, ice cream, strawberries, melon, and fruit salad. My favorite popsicles are the firecracker ones! I also love ice cream cones. For this manicure I choose to use nail art brushes and fimo canes. I really like how my nails came out, especially how the Popsicle dripped in the right way!

What I used:

  • Base colors from thumb to pinky: Nubar Reclaim, OPI Skull and Glossbones, Essie Really Red and NYC Fuchsia Shock. 
  • Assorted fruit fimo canes for the thumb and pinky. 
  • Acrylic paint: Red, white, blue, peach, yellow.
  • Julep Carrie for ice cream.
  • China Glaze Street Chic for cone.
  • OPI Jade is the New Black for the strawberry stem. 
  • Variety of nail art brushes.

I haven't used my fimo canes in a while! I don't even think they have made it onto the blog before! Fimo canes are really cool if you want to go for a fun 3D nail art look. I purchased mine off of Amazon. Fimo canes are very easy to use too, here's how.

  1. Carefully take a razor blade and slice off a piece of the cane. 
  2. While the polish is still wet, add the piece of fimo to the nail. 
  3. Gently poke the piece with a toothpick to secure it to the nail. 
  4. Top with a generous amount of top coat and viola! 

What do you guys think of fimo canes? I think they are perfect for those lazy days when you want something fun on your nails.

Only three weeks left of the challenge!

I am very excited for next week's challenge, though I think it's going to be very hard! Next week's theme is: 

Week 7: Inspired by a movie that takes place during the summer--- Pick your favorite movie that has summer fun in it!

I already have my movie picked out but I'm going to leave it as a surprise. Don't forget, I'm going to be starting the 30 Day Nail Art Challenge/ 30 Days of "Untrieds" on tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to it. 

Until then! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blog Update!

Hello all! Today's post is an update explaining what I've been up to and what I have planned for the month of September! 

I have been making some changes to the blog, in order to make it easier to navigate and prettier to look at. The biggest change has to do with my pictures! I finally was able to get everything I needed to make a light box! It's relatively inexpensive to buy the materials to make one but being unemployed and broke was getting me nowhere. Thanks to my wonderful and supportive boyfriend, I was able to get the materials. He spoils me!  So expect to see new and improved pictures and some new polishes soon. 

Here's a preview of what's to come!

Now on to the plans! As you may or may not know, I have been posting at least three times a week. My tasty treat posts every Tuesday, my challenge posts every Friday and my stamping posts on Sundays. Right when I am getting the hang of a schedule, I'm going to mess it up! For the month of September, I will be taking part in another challenge.  Polished Criminails is going to be doing a 30 day nail art challenge along with 30 days of "untrieds." This means everyday she will do a new nail art design using a polish she hasn't tried out before. You can read more on her post here. 

I snagged this picture from her site:

I was thinking of doing the 31 Day Challenge in October but this seems like as good a time as any! Since there is only 30 days in September, day 31 is being left out. I may decide to do it on October 1st, since it's to "recreate your favorite challenge" and I am thinking of doing a recap of the whole month anyways. As for the second part of this challenge, 30 days of "untrieds," I’m not sure if I have 30 polishes I haven’t tried yet but I figured this is the perfect time to bring out the yet to be used polishes! I will still continue to do my 2012 Summertime Challenge that ends on September 21st. Unfortunately I will have to hold off on any more regular tasty treats until the challenge is over. Same goes for my stamping Sundays.

I am overly excited about this challenge since it was Cristina's 31 Day Challenge that was the final inspiration for me to write a blog. I hope you will come back each day to see what all of us come up with! The new challenge starts Saturday, see you there!

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tasty Treat Tuesday: Picnic Macaroni

Hello all! I would like to apologize for my absence last Tuesday. I'm not going to lie, I honestly forgot to make something for Tasty Treat Tuesday. Oops! I have a special treat for you today! It's my absolute favorite thing to make/eat. I have been gorging on this dish for as long as I can remember. Picnic macaroni, that's what the family calls it.  It's a family favorite that has been past down through my mother's side. I am not sure who invented this recipe but I believe even my great grandmother use to make it!

Picnic Macaroni is a cheesy, gooey, delicious pasta dish with an interesting tomato sauce. My mother says it's an "acquired" taste but anyone whose tried it (except my weirdo boyfriend) loves it! He dislikes it due to it tasting too "tomato-y." The poor guy hates tomatoes. I can understand it since I hate condiments, like mayo and mustard to the same degree, but life without tomatoes would suck! If you are a fan of cheese, tomato, onion, bacon and pasta, then you will like this dish!

Keep reading to see how to make it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What a hoot! Bundle Monster 309

Hello all! Before I get started, I would like to give you all a fair warning...this post is going to be a hoot! I'm one of those people who just adore owls, so when I saw that the new Bundle Monster plate set had a couple of owl stamps, I squealed. I still can't get over how cute the owls are!

I used both the owl pattern and the itty bitty owl for this manicure. I think they came out so cute, I just wish I had a better brown polish to stamp with. Coming up with a good color combo was the hardest part about the owls. I didn't want to have white owls since they make me think of Harry Potter's owl Hedwig. I also think of snow and winter, so I was determined to have brown owls. 

I found that this manicure was very hard to photograph. Most of the pictures I took came out far to shiny! The picture below is using the lighting that I usually use, my desk lamp.

This picture was taken is the kitchen. See how shiny my nails are?

 This picture is outside. I was so mad because when I went to take pictures it was overcast. The weather was wonderful but I wanted sunshine. I used a laying combo for this manicure and one of the polishes I used is a Del Sol. Del Sol nail polish is awesome! It chances color when you go in the sunlight. I really want to get more of them. 

I know it's hard to tell but the polish changed to a brighter pink! Cool right? 

What I used:
  • Base color was a laying combo: 1 layer of Del Sol First Kiss, 1 layer of Maybelline Sparkling Champagne, and another layer of Del Sol First Kiss
  • Stamping polish: essence Date with the Night
What colors do you use for stamping? Do you just buy the special Konad stamping polishes or cheaper brands? I love black as a stamping color and white as well. I am always experimenting with my polishes to see which ones work well with stamping. I love the special stamping polishes but they can be pricey, which is why I am always on the lookout for cheaper brands that will work. If I find any great ones, I will be sure to share it with you!  

I hope you enjoyed my post, have a relaxing Sunday!

Until next time,

Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 Summertime Challenge! Week 5: Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

Hello all! Today's challenge is HOT HOT HOT! Summertime always brings warm weather, especially in Arizona where the weather is well past 100 degrees! Standing outside for a few minutes can make you feel like you are about to combust and melt down into a puddle simultaneously! I've had many days were I felt like my skin was on fire from the heat and that's the inspiration for today's design.

Have you ever been so hot that you felt like your skin was on fire? It sure isn't pleasant! So this week's challenge was to show heat on your nails. I went with flames and a thermometer with the temperature all the way up! I'm happy with the way this design came out, I used a new technique too. I made flame "stickers." The night before I painted my nails, I created flames on a Ziploc bag. I used three nail polishes and a toothpick to marble and create the flames. I allowed the flames to dry overnight and once dry, the "stickers" easily peeled on the plastic baggy. 

I then placed the stickers onto my tacky nails. By tacky, I mean my nails weren't completely dry yet. The tacky texture allowed the flames to stuck to my nails. Next, I carefully used scissors to cut off the remainder of the stickers that didn't fit on my nails. Finally, I painted on a layer of top coat.

I should also mention that under the flames, I painted my nails two layers of OPI's Skull and Glossbones, then used a piece of saran wrap that I balled up to add on some black nail polish. I was attempting to make smoke but it doesn't really look like smoke. Oh well, I still think the nails came out looking pretty good. 

What I used:
  • Base coat: OPI Skull and Glossbones
  • Black for smoke effect: Sinful Colors Black on Black
  • Flames: Ulta Non-stop red, Sally Hansen Sun kissed and Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
  • Thermometer: White and red acrylic paint
  • Balled up saran wrap or plastic wrap (for the black smoke) 
  • Small nail art brush

I'm excited for next week's challenge, since it's about food! I'm thinking of making a skittle mani since I love so many different things. Though I must admit, when I was thinking up this challenge I had one thing in mind, so we will see... Here's a reminder of next week's challenge.

Week 6: Favorite summer snack--- What is something you love to eat during the summer? Think treats that cool you off or things only available during the summer months.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Smile, it's Sunday! Bundle Monster 304

Hello all! I can't believe it is Sunday already! Where has the week gone? Today is one of those lazy Sundays too. You know what goes good with a lazy Sunday? Stamping! My new Bundle Monster plates arrived the other day and I couldn't be more excited. There are 150 images to play around with; some patterns, others just cute little images. I plan to use all of them and today is the start of achieving that goal!

My new plates brought a smile to my face, so I thought it would be appropriate to begin with some smiles!

How cute is this? I just can't stop looking at my nails and smiling. BM 304 is a very cute plate and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face....and your nails. 

I look forward to using the other images on this plate, it's just so cute! I originally thought about doing the smiley faces yellow but I hate how yellow tends to look against my skin tone. So the hints of yellow you are seeing is the one coat I had painted on before I switched to pink. 

After painting one coat of yellow and hating it, I used one coat of hot pink. Once dry, I sponged on Orly After Party, a dark blue-ish color with itty bitty pink and purple glitter.

What I used:
  • 1 coat Ulta Sun-sational
  • 1 coat OPI  La Paz-itively Hot
  • Orly After Party
  • Make up sponge
  • Konad white stamping polish, Princess
  • BM 304
Overall I am happy with this stamp and the color combo I used. As I mentioned before, I plan to use all 150 images included in the new Bundle Monster plates, so make sure to come back every Sunday to see some stamping! 

Until next time, 

Friday, August 17, 2012

2012 Summertime Challenge! Week 4: Sea, Sand and Surf

Hello! Today starts week 4 of the challenge! This week's theme is sea, sand and surf. The idea was to do either one category or a combo of categories to make a nail art design that would make anyone wish they were at the beach. I think I succeeded combining sea animals and sand. 

It took some time to create this mani but overall I think it came out pretty good. I do love how my design came out, especially my thumbs. I was very unhappy with the way my right hand was photographing though! Apologies for that crappy work. 

I could probably spend all afternoon telling you guys all that I did and what I used to create this nail art but instead I'll just list supplies and tell you a little bit about my techniques.  The back grounds of my thumbs, middle fingers and ring fingers where sponged. I used two nail stickers for my right ring finger and right pinky. Everything else I painted by hand. 

What I used:
  • CND Stickey base coat*
  • Piggy Polish Blue-ming Romance
  • Ulta Maine attraction
  • Orly Decades of Dsyfunction
  • China Glaze Street chic
  • L.A. Colors Art Deco Bright Green
  • Orly Bell of the ball
  • Ulta Encore pink
  • Claire's Beachy Keen
  • Acrylic paints: Whtie, peach, red, yellow, blue, black
  • Make up sponge for sponging
  • Dotting tool
  • Variety of nail art brushes
  • Nail stickers I got from Walmart years ago
  • Seche Vite fast drying top coat

*I just purchased CND Stickey base coat and this is the first mani were I have used it. I can already tell that this base coat and I are going to be friends. I sure hope so, my last one was awful. At first it was ok but it started peeling my nails and it was so tacky, applying polish was a nightmare. I have heard good things about CND Stickey and it's what Chalkboard Nails uses for her nails. I am curious if it's suppose to feel cool when you are applying it to nails, has anyone else experienced that with is? 

So we are already four weeks into the challenge! I am having a lot of fun coming up with ideas. I hope you guys are enjoying them. 

Next week should definitely be interesting. I've lived in Arizona since I was five and there's never been a shortage of scorching weather during the summer. Needless to say, I have inspiration for Hot hot hot! 

Week 5: Feelin’ HOT HOT HOT--- It’s scorching outside. Show it on your nails! 

Just a reminder: If you are interested in joining in the fun, you can! It's not too late! Everyone is welcome to participate and if you can't commit to every week, that's ok! I want to see what you guys can come up with. If you are interested contact me! 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tasty Treat Tuesdays: Simple Brown Sauce/ Homemade Chinese Food

Hand-y Feats and Other Treats proudly presents: Tasty Treat Tuesdays!

A new segment that will take place every Tuesday!

Hello all and welcome to the very first Tasty Treat Tuesday. Since beginning my blog late last year, I have been randomly posting recipes for your enjoyment. I wanted to be more structured with my posting of treats and I think this way I will be more inclined to post more. 

I can get pretty lazy...especially when it comes to cooking. With that said, most of the recipes I plan to share with all of you will be simple and easy to make, this one included. For the first segment of Tasty Treat Tuesdays, I am going to do a recipe that I have tried out several times now and have altered several times. I hope you enjoy!

The recipe I have to share with you today is for my homemade Chinese food, that uses a simple brown sauce!

Sauce is essential to creating Chinese food and in my opinion, one of the most common sauces used is a brown sauce. Since I love Chinese food, I figured I should learn how to make it at home and so my research into recipes began. Just by typing brown sauce into Google, I found all sorts of recipes on how to make it. But I kept running into a problem. I didn't have all of the ingredients! So with some experimenting and combining, I developed an easy brown sauce recipe.

Simple Brown Sauce

4 and 1/2 cups of water
3 tsp. beef base*
3 TB. low sodium soy sauce**
7 TB. Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup water combined with 6 TB of cornstarch (set aside)
1 tsp or more of red pepper flakes (optional)

*I use beef base because I feel it gives more flavor to the broth. Beef bullion cubes can be used if you have those, however I am not sure how many cubes you would need. 

**I suggest using low sodium soy sauce. The beef base and Worcestershire sauce already has enough sodium, you do not need more. 

Additional ingredients you will need:

What ever meat you desire, cooked and cubed
An assortment of vegetables.

 I used:
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of a very large zucchini, you can probably get a way with using 1 small one
  • 2 cups of frozen broccoli 
  • some olive oil
Using a large pan, saute the raw vegetables in some olive oil until they appear to be translucent. Set aside. If using frozen, you will add them in later. Begin by bringing the water and beef base to a boil. While waiting, combine water and cornstarch. Set aside. Once the liquid is at a boil, reduce to a simmer. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire and sugar. Mix well into the broth. Add in frozen vegetables. Once the frozen vegetables start to get tender, add in the other cooked vegetables and the chicken. If desired add red pepper flakes, this is to create heat to the sauce. If you want a lot of heat add more pepper flakes. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remix the cornstarch mixture, add into the sauce pan. The cornstarch will thicken up the sauce. Cook for another 3-5 minutes and viola! Homemade Chinese food!

Best served over rice.

This recipe yields... a lot. I live with hungry guys so I am required to make a lot of food at once. This recipe is great for hungry lads and left overs. 

What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. I have made this using pork and chicken, with a variety of different vegetables, like brocolli, stir fry veggies, and even bell peppers. I imagine it would taste great with beef and even shrimp and you can add what ever vegetables you want! 

What combination will you try? If you try out this recipe, make sure to give me feedback! I hope it comes out delicious for you!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Watermelon Nails

Hello all! I have a fun post for you today! Something I love about summertime is being able to eat a nice juicy piece of watermelon to help cool off during these scorching summer months. But do you know what I love even more? Watermelon nails! I have seen so many cute designs online, that I had to try it for myself.

I've been wanting to do watermelon nails for some time now but I wasn't sure how to go about it without feeling like I was copying someone else. Then I saw this picture:

This picture inspired my design!
It was perfect! This photo of a beautifully carved watermelon screamed plastic wrap mani! So that's what I did. I waded up some plastic wrap and I went crazy! Now this is the same technique I used for this watermelon. If you are reading this post and saying to yourself plastic wrap, what?! Well this is what I am taking about. I waited for my base color to be completely dry then I dipped the waded up plastic wrap into a darker green and dabbed onto my nails. Volia! A simple marble looking design.

What I used:
  • Base color: Sinful Colors Happy Ending
  • Darker green: OPI Jade is the New Black
  • Pink: OPI Rodeo Rose
  • Seeds: Black acrylic paint
  • Nail art brush
  • Waded up plastic wrap
I think next time I'm just going to do my accent nails just pink with some seeds and leave the green out. I feel like the green really took away from the pink of the watermelon. What do you guys think? Have you ever tried watermelon nails before? What technique did you use? If you haven't tried watermelon nails you should! They are perfect for the summer. I have a real treat for you guys starting next week. Stay tuned. 

Until next time,

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 Summertime Challenge! Week 3: Inspired by a bathing suit

Hello! It's Friday, which means it's the start of week 3 of my 2012 Summertime Challenge! This week's theme is 'inspired by a bathing suit.' I ran into a snag with this week's challenge. I couldn't find any of my bathing suits, which means they are probably in storage somewhere. So I improvised! Tara and I went to Target and took a couple of photos of some cute bathing suits. Fair warning, this post is picture heavy.

So like I said, Tara and I went to Target and after we looked around for a bit we found a cute top and a cute bottom. However, they do not match each other but I liked them both so much that I had to do a design for each.

Make sure to keep reading to see what the suits looked like and how I achieved each look.

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 Summertime Challenge! Week 2: Grill it up!

Hello all! Today's Friday! Which means it's the start of the second week of the challenge. Boy it was a challenge too! I had to redo this mani several times and I had to scrap a couple of my original ideas. Nonetheless, I'm happy with the way this weeks challenge turned out.

The theme for this week is 'Grill it up!' When I think of summertime, I think picnics and grilling outdoors. That's what my nail art is all about. I have the picnic table cloth, a hamburger, watermelon, hot dog and the grill marks.

Most of this design was done by hand, except for some stamping and I did try a new technique. I used saran wrap or plastic wrap to get the effect on my watermelon. I had seen an awesome mani on Pinterest that used this technique and I just had to try it out. You can see the pin here.

With Flash
What I used: 
  • OPI: Alpine Snow, Jade is the New Black
  • Ulta Concrete Evidence
  • Konad black stamping polish
  • NYC Fuchia Shock
  • China Glaze Street Chic
  • Acrylic paint: Black, red, peach, yellow, blue
  • Konad Stamping set, BM 209
  • Variety of nail art brushes
I'm looking forward to next weeks challenge. I'm going to have to stop by a store to take a photo of a swim suit though. It appears that all of mine are in storage. 

Here's a reminder of next weeks challenge:

Week 3: Inspired by a bathing suit--- Pick your favorite swim suit and create a design based on it. Make sure to include a photo of the suit! 

Thank you again to all those participating. If anyone is interested in taking part, please do! You can contact me on twitter or by emailing me at

Until next time,
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