Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Favorite Nail Products

I thought I'd update you a bit today and blog about my about my current favorite nail products. NYC Grand Central Station has officially replaced Seche Vite as my fast-dry top coat!

1. Sally Hanson Instant Cuticle Remover. To have a long-lasting mani, you've really got to prep your nails. Removing cuticle overgrowth is a key step. I apply this all around my cuticles, wait a bit (you can wait longer that it says), then use the thumbnail of my opposite hand to push back/scrape the cuticles. I typically do this twice.

2. Orly Bonder. This rubberized basecoat overrides any oily residue on your nails and gives your polish something to stick to, another secret of a long-lasting mani.

3. NYC Grand Central Station. This is my new HG topcoat... it works just as well as the pricy Seche Vite, but it's only $2! You know I love a bargain.

4. Poshe Cuticle Care.  Keeping your cuticles neat and free of hang-nails is another secret to making your manicure last longer. This product is fabulous and I massage this into my cuticles twice a day to prevent hangnails and prevent cuticle buildup.

5. Nail Polish Remover Dip-It. I change my polish pretty often, and this little treasure makes it quick and easy. Inside this tub are plastic bristles that really help scrub the polish off.


Now, if you are trying to remove a glitterbomb polish, that's another issue, and you'll need to visit this post on my nail blog to see the trick for that.

Do you have any nail products to recommend to me?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Perfect Birthday Gift: Neft FireVision Football

Have you seen the new Neft FireVison sports products? They are so cool!

With NERF FireVision Sports, the magic happens when you put the FireVision Frames on. To turn up the heat on throws and catches, slip on your futuristically cool NERF FireVision Frames and start tossing around your FireVision Football — you'll see the game in a whole new light. Literally! Thanks to innovative new FireVision Microprism Technology, you and anyone wearing a pair of FireVision Frames will see an illuminated football in the daytime and in dim or low lighting.

BzzAgent sent our family a football set to try and the kids have had a great time with it. The football comes with two pair of glasses- red and green. I had P and WC put them on so you could see what they look like. Now, when I took this photo, it was too bright out for the effect to really work, but I wanted you to see the lights on the glasses. 

When it gets a bit darker in the evenings, the ball literally glows when you have a pair of these glasses on. People without the glasse on don't see the effect.

P loved his set so much that we've purchased three sets to give as birthday gifts this month! Definitely a hit with my 9 year old!

Here's some more details on the products in the FireVison line:

Nerf FireVision Football
  • Foam football sized for kids ages 6 and up
  • When wearing the FireVision Frames in dim or low lighting, light can be seen from over 100 feet
  • Glows red or green depending on the color FireVision Frames you're wearing (so you can form teams!)
  • $19.99 SRP, includes 2 pairs of FireVision Frames

NERF FireVision Hyperbounce Ball
  • $9.99 SRP, includes 1 pair of FireVision Frames

NERF FireVision Nerfoop
  • $14.99 SRP, includes 1 pair of FireVision Frames
Additional NERF FireVision Frames
  • $5.99 SRP
  • Available in red or green

Disclosure: BzzAgent provided the FireVision Football set for word-of-mouth marketing purposes. The Amazon link above is a referral link.

China Glaze Giveaway at My Nail Blog

When Beauty Stop Online sent me some China Glaze purples to review, they offered to send me 3 bottles to giveaway as well!

Left to Right:
Royal Tease
Draped in Velvet
Let's Groove

The winner of this giveaway will win a brand new bottle of each of the shades pictured above. I'll use Rafflecopter to manage the giveaway and choose the winner over at my nail blog. Come visit me there and enter! Good luck!

Disclosure: Polish for giveaway was provided by Beauty Stop Online (thanks guys!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hunger Games movie companion books bargain

I saw these on Amazon for cheap and I'm such a nerd about Hunger Games, I had to order them. I LOVE them!

The smaller one is The World of the Hunger Games for $2.21 and it's hardback and 192 pages. Mostly pics from the movie. Some text that is just plot-summary and super-obvious and repetitive if you'd read the books, but I like it nonetheless because I love the book. There's a glossary at the end which is neat.

The bigger book is The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion for $1.54 and is soft cover and 8.5 X 11.

It has six parts and here's info on them from the review section on Amazon:

Part 1: "The History of The Hunger Games" details the film industry's immediate interest following the publication of the book, Suzanne Collins's selection of a producer for the film, and the hiring of Gary Ross as director.

Part 2: "The Cast of The Hunger Games" focuses heavily on the casting of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta. The book also, ahem, pays tribute to the actors playing the other main tributes, as well as to the casting of major Capitol characters including Cinna, Effie, and President Snow.

Part 3: "The Look of The Hunger Games: Places and Props" details the areas in North Carolina used in the film and has many photos of various sets in District 12, the Arena, and the Capitol. One of the photos shows all of the tributes seated in the hovercraft, on the way to the Arena, and another shows the construction of the cornucopia.

Part 4: "The Look of The Hunger Games: People" shows Capitol residents in their garish clothing and makeup, along with the much more subdued residents of District 12. This section has photos of perhaps all of Katniss's outfits and costumes, from her drab District 12 duds to her "Girl on Fire" dress.

Part 5: "The Filming of The Hunger Games" details the challenges of filming in the summer heat and rain in the North Carolina forest. Particular attention is paid to the fireball scene.

Part 6: "The Legacy of The Hunger Games" sets the stage for the filming of the sequel, "Catching Fire."

Bottom line- if you like the book/movie, there are super cool and CHEAP.

Oh, and full disclosure- there ARE referral links. But I'd only make like 4 cents if anyone used them, so don't feel obligated to use them! :-)

The Hot Nail Color for Fall: Purple

Yesterday I posted some swatches at my nail blog of some new-to-me China Glaze purple shades that I think are just perfect for fall. Purple is a great shade for those that want to be a bit adventurous with their nail polish color, but don't want to go crazy with a color like blue or green.

So here's a few ideas for you, with three very different purples.

Left to Right:
Royal Tease
Draped in Velvet
Let's Groove

Each swatch is two coats, and I cannot get over how much I love all three- even though they are pretty different!

Royal Treasure - A light purple frost. I got good application with two thinner coats.
Draped in Velvet - Magenta with small blue and pink shimmers. Fabulous application.
Let's Groove - Deep purple with violet and red shimmer. Easy application.

Beauty Stop Online offers these shades for just $2.99. I'm planning a giveaway to post at my nail blog later this week, so I hope you can stop by and enter!

Disclosure: The nail polish swatched in this post were provided to me for review purposes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Will Not Rest (and you shouldn't either)

This is a pic of P in his new Irlen Filters.

It's been a long and winding road, folks, but I will not rest until this little boy reaches his potential.

School was so easy for me, I don't even think I ever took home a book to study until college. Really. I scored well on my ACT and was awarded a full 4-year academic scholarship to a local regional university.

And I always assumed that school would be easy for my kiddos too. Especially P- he's got a steel-trap memory and connects the dots in life so easily. But when reading wasn't coming easily to him in first grade, I started researching. And googling. And making appointments and asking questions. Time was flying by! I had to do something NOW!

And down the road of intervention we went.

We did bi-lateral eye muscle surgery for Exotropia, 28 weeks of Vision Therapy, followed by 16 weeks of Interactive Metronome. During this, P also received twice-a-week Lindamood Bell reading tutoring.

Things were better, but still not where they should be. For such a smart little boy, reading was so so so difficult for him. And time was flying by. Why was time flying by SO FAST??????

So I googled "visual processing" and found out about Irlen Syndrome. After two rounds of testing, we found out that P indeed had a visual processing problem and needed 6 filters added on to a pair of glasses to help filter out the wavelengths of light his little brain can't process correctly. Actually, he needs 7, but he wasn't able to tolerate the 7th during testing, so we will see about adding that one later.

I trusted my gut, knew something wasn't right, and found some puzzle pieces to fit together to help P. And we may not be done.... there may still be some puzzle pieces yet to be found. BUT I WILL FIND THEM!

I won't rest until I do.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Does your face get as red as mine when you run?

I can't believe I am posting this pic, but I wanted you to see how crazy red my face gets after I run.

Folks, this picture was taken ONE HOUR after I finished running a 5K. No wonder people ask me if I'm OK when they see me out for a run! I look like I am about to have a heart attack!

I recently received some information about this very issue from Dr. James Marotta.

Ever wonder why your face gets so flushed after you workout, and why this seems to happen to some people and not others? Moreover, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do about it.

Patients who get pink in the face following exercise usually have more superficial blood vessels in the skin of the cheeks and chin. Exercise causes blood vessels to dilate all over the body including the face.  The result is that temporarily more blood is flowing through these superficial vessels resulting in a pink or ruddy complexion.  Rosacea is a common condition which causes more of these blood vessels to form in the face.  This condition is primarily related to accumulated sun damage.  Intense pulsed light or laser treatments can diminish the overall number of blood vessels, rid patients of unwanted spider veins, and diminish overly ruddy or reactive facial skin.

Here are some quick facts/solutions:
-Avoid things that cause facial vessels to dilate like alcohol, heat, or getting overheated.
-Ice or cool could alleviate the problem but only temporarily.
-Intense pulsed light can diminish the size and number of these blood vessels leading to less redness.

– Dr. James Marotta, dual board certified facial plastic surgeon, Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery, Long Island

Dr. James Marotta is a dual Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery with particular expertise and interest in minimally invasive (endoscopic) facial plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation/anti-aging (surgical and non-surgical). He attended Columbia University and graduated as president of the medical honor society at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. He trained at Yale University in head and neck surgery and was consistently recognized as the top head and neck surgeon in the program. He achieved board certification upon completion of his residency. Dr. Marotta then completed additional subspecialty training as a fellow in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at one of the leading facial plastic fellowships in the country.

Friday, September 21, 2012

September Birchbox

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Just when I was about to cancel, the September box arrived and renewed my interest and I actually got some things I LOVE!

1. First was a sample of the Benefit Cosmetics Foaming Clean Facial Wash and Refined Finish Facial Polish. I have wanted to try these, so I am super-excited about this sample.

2. Next was a twistband hair tie- these are all the rage, and I've even seen people wearing them as bracelets. This is a cute taupe color.

3. A sample of Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum. I prefer serums to heavy moisturizers since my skin can be oily so this is something I will definitely try.

4. A sample of Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm. I actually have the full size of this and love it- so this will be perfect for travel.

5. AND A NAIL POLISH! Finally! I received Color Club Status Update, which is a Birchbox Custom Polish. I have heard great things about Color Club, but have never tried the brand so I'm excited to try it out.  It's a deep grey, and I'm wondering if it might be a bit of a jelly finish. We shall see.

You can see underneath my goodies is a decorated zip-lock type bag by tili.

Not familiar with Birchbox? Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase.

For $10 each month, Birchbox sends a new box with samples. Since I loved this box, I'll definitely be continuing my membership to see what they send next.
If you are so inclined, here is my referral link: Birchbox has a point system and rewards members with store credit using points earned from referrals.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alice in Wonderland eos lip balm

Are you a fan of eos lip balm? WC and I are, especially the lemon

I was in Target last week and spied the cutest Alice in Wonderland set with three balms for $8 on an endcap near the pharmacy. How adorable is the Mickey silhouette on the side?

Here's the front of the package.

The three flavors are new and Alice-themed: Blueberry Potion (my favorite), Watermelon Wonderland (2nd favorite), and Sweet Vanilla Nonsense.

When you open the package, behind the balms is this adorable scene and phrase: "Very few things indeed were really impossible."

Here's a close-up pic I took of the Alice graphic detail. Isn't that adorable?

I would assume this set is limited-edition. Have you seen this set in your stores yet?

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Will I Be Watching?

Oh how I love the start of the new fall TV season. I think I've told you before of my love for TV Guide.... my mom and I would go to the grocery store every week to get the newest issues and I'd read it cover to cover. (Yes, that's weird for a kid, and also, why didn't we have a subscription?)

But lately I've gotten frustrated that the networks don't give shows a chance. If they aren't a big hit right out of the gate, it's cancellation time. So I'm a bit choosy in terms of new shows and what I'm willing to invest my time in. I pay attention to what's getting press and the most advertising time.

We've actually already seen two episodes of Go On and we love it. Of course, Matthew Perry in anything is fine by me. But can he play anyone other than Chandler? (Said in my best Chandler Bing voice.)  I'm not complaining, I love Chandler with all my heart.

We were big fans of Mr. Sunshine last year, which of course was cancelled. Here's hoping this one sticks around. It's got a crazy cat lady, March Sadness, and his character does sports radio, so Mr. Sasha's in.

We were so done with The Office when Michael left, so I'm glad to see Mindy Kaling elsewhere. I'm anxious to see this one and hope it lives up to the promo vid here. Pretty please?

ABC is playing so many ads for Nashville on their iPad app that they are practically insisting I watch it. And I'm gonna. Because Connie Britton is the bomb and my life has been empty without her since Friday Night Lights ended.

666 Park Avenue is the wild card here..... I haven't seen much about it but I'm intrigued enough to watch the first episode. Based on number of advertisements I've seen, this one wins the award for Most Likely To Be Cancelled Now That Sasha's Watching It, because we all know at least one of these won't make it past sweeps.

So what are you planning on watching? Any good ones I've missed?

Friday, September 14, 2012

What Am I Watching?

Still on theme with "What I Am Into", today I thought we'd discuss the TV I've been watching over the summer.

I am obsessed with Scandal! It's a fast-paced, quick-witted legal drama, and a show that the Mr. and I both enjoy. I love finding shows we can watch together.

I got behind a bit during Spring baseball, so over the past few weeks, I've re-watched all 7 episodes from the first season and am ready for the new season to start on the 27th.

Another show we watch together is Swamp People. Good stuff. We still laugh at the subtitles... we totally don't need them, since we can understand every word just fine. Anyone else? Or just it is just us hick Okies that can understand them?

I can't talk my husband into watching Big Brother with me, but I don't miss it. I've watched every single season and although other reality competition shows like Survivor and Amazing Race have lost my interest, Big Brother still holds it and it's always a fun summer diversion.

What have you been watching this summer?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Multi-Sensory Learning

Having two kids with sensory/learning difficulties has taught me one thing: Everyone learns differently. We have found "multi-sensory" techniques work best for us.

From Multisensory learning happens when more than one sense is used to acquire and retain information.  Learning is typically categorized into three modes or types: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.

My kids are kinesthetic learners. 

Kinesthetic learners acquire information best when it is presented in a way that can be touched and experienced- hands-on. They succeed best by participating in field trips, science labs, using manipulatives (blocks, felt, props), and by being actively involved in some type of activity.

So WC and I have been using our Leap Frog Word Whammer to work on our 1st grade spelling lists. I lay out all the letters and give her a word and let her find the letters and build the word.

This is a pic of WC doing the little dance we do when the Word Whammer tells her she made a word "super-duper excellently". We do a little "scratching" and do some rapper-type moves. Well, as rapper-type as these two southern girls can get.

I am pretty sure this is discontinued, but it looks like there is a newer version.

Sadly, this little gem only has space for three letters. But I've ordered some Unifix letter cubes for us to use on longer words. And I guess I'll just have to sing the song myself!

Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon referral link.