A Difficult Time

My family and I are going through a very difficult time.  So as not to neglect the blog, I will occasionally be posting inspirational or uplifting quotes.  I ask for understanding during my absence at this time.  
Thank you

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Photo Credit:  http://www.squidoo.com/quotes-about-strength?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster

Sweet and Frugal Gift for My Valentine

Today’s post is to show you how simple, and frugal a valentine gift can be.  This is the little care package I am sent to my man for Feb 14th.  My husband and I have had a long distance relationship, pretty much since we met, due to career stuff and life stuff.  I am accustomed to sending him care packages to let him know how much I care, and sometimes they can get a little silly.  I was working on a valentine theme package to send, nothing extravagant, just a little token.  So I was thinking about all of the special moments that we shared leading up to our marriage, and decided to find little items to represent those moments that mean so much to me.  Here is the collection of items I purchased at the local Dollar Tree.  For $9, I think this is a cute little valentine to brighten his day a bit.
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Each gift represents a memory from our past together.  (FYI, the folded origami star dollar bill is a play on words for “Starbucks” since one of our early dates led us there.)  I then wrapped each item and labeled it with the order I want him to open them, so he can walk down memory lane from our first date to the present.  I also wrote a little note on each gift so he can know what memory it corresponds with.  Sometimes it’s hard for anyone to know how the connections are made in my brain!
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Lastly, I decorated the packages with these cute foamy glitter heart stickers, also found at the Dollar Tree.
20150204_153228  As you can see, it didn’t take much time, or money to put together this little thoughtful gift.  Hopefully he has fun opening these items, and reminiscing about our journey together thus far. 

Why I’ll Never Care About the “Best and Worst Anything on the Red Carpet” List

Hey, we all have opinions.  And as you can see, I’m going to state mine here.  I’ll never NOT have an opinion, BUT I also am becoming more forgiving with age, and less worried about the trivial things of the world.  So when those best dressed/ worst dressed lists come out after the red carpet events that celebs attend, I look at them, but I form my own opinions.  Sometimes I might agree with the list, and sometimes I might not.  But more than agreeing or disagreeing, I’m just purely interested from a fashion standpoint about what everyone was wearing.  Fashion is an interesting topic to me, because like anything else in life, it comes down to personal flavor, interest, and likes/ dislikes.  Different strokes for different folks as they say.
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(Photo Dailymail.co.uk)
I guess it’s just hard for me to understand who decides these “worst” and “best” fashion decisions.  If there is some super secret panel out there, wouldn’t these uber successful and wealthy designers making these dresses (that sometimes end up on the worst lists) have access to this esoteric group?  Wouldn’t the group tell them to just back down from that design because it’s so bad no one will ever EVER want to put it on?  But a celebrity did put it on.  And one of those celebrities was most likely dressed by someone equally as plugged into the fashion industry, so much so in fact that their only job is to select outfits for celebrities.  And my friends, you must have a better success rate at that job than a weatherperson, or else you will never work in the field again!  So there’s at least three people right there that liked that look!mtv.com
(Photo mtv.com)
We tend to think of bullying as a children centered topic, but where does it start?  What’s so different about this secret fashion panel, than the self appointed fashionistas of the high school, middle school, or elementary school?  The self appointed kids also let everyone know who is best and worst dressed daily.  What makes THEIR opinions the end all and be all?  Why do they get to make “THE LIST?”  I know the world isn’t going to change, but I think we need to change the way we look at the world.  We need to tell our youth, and ourselves, that our opinions are as different as our choices in life.  Until we make it the norm to teach acceptance, we can continue to expect the trickle down into our youth, that follows with us sometimes for life.
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(Photo zap2it.com)
Who cares what she is wearing?  If I don’t like it, I won’t wear it.   (Btw I think all of the above ladies look fabulous!)

NutraNail Gel Perfect Review

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I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  This Monday I’d like to welcome you to my first product review!  Recently I found this NutraNail Gel Perfect 5 minute gel-color manicure.  I purchased the colors Peony and Lotus when I found them on clearance at the Rite Aid from $7.99 to only $1.99 each.  This color here is the Lotus.  The instructions on the box say that you can remove the polish with 100% pure acetone, so I got some of this at the drugstore as well.  The polish color itself is a very small bottle at .17 fl oz.  The kit also comes with a brush cleaner in the same size, and a .25oz activator.  
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(Note:  this is the brush cleaner after use.  It started out clear but became this pink tinted shade from the gel color.)

I read the directions quite thoroughly, and read them a second time because I thought the steps were a bit confusing.  The basic set up is as follows:
1. Unscrew all bottles
2. Brush the activator on the nails, working with only one hand at a time so that the activator does not dry.  It says to brush the activator over the edge of the nail, but to avoid cuticles.  Because I had my nails very short, there wasn’t a way for me to easily brush the activator over the edge, while working quickly, WHILE ALSO avoiding my skin.  (I assumed if you were not supposed to get it on the cuticle, you also should attempt to avoid your skin)
3. Brush on color in thin coat.  Use slight pressure.  After applying the color, you are instructed to wipe off the excess color on a paper towel, and then told to put that brush into the brush cleaner, while also swapping the brush cleaner brush into the gel color for the next application.  
4.  Do your other hand same way as you did in steps 1-3.
5.  Second coat of both the activator and color to nails once more.
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Review:
The first thing:  The smell of the activator is a strong, and i mean STRONG, chemical odor, that actually made my eyes burn and hurt like i was slicin and dicin an onion!  So I actually had to keep my face away from my hand, and was surveying the situation from afar.
The second thing:  The color seemed very thin, and I wanted to do three coats, but stopped at two as to follow the directions fully.  On one finger on the second coat while applying the “slight pressure”  I dug a canal into the polish, and it dried that way.  ):
The third thing:  The brushes got thick and stiff pretty quickly, even with swapping them out in the brush cleaner.
Here’s the manicure right after I finished it.  Nice, but truthfully I wasn’t all that impressed.
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After 40 minutes, I accidentally brushed my nail against a piece of paper, and the color transferred to the page.  After an hour, the smell was still horrendous, and I went to wash my hands.  Prior to washing my hands, the nails felt a bit tacky, but that vanished after the first washing.  I washed my hands two times however, because of the smell, and it still remained.  I actually thought about removing the gel manicure at this point because the smell was so jarring, but I stayed strong in the honor of the review!
The next day, the smell still remained, and I was worried others could smell it while i was out and about.  As I went about my day, that smell kept haunting me!  
Just one day in and I noticed this small chip already.  
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By the second day, I had a few more chips on my left hand and one on my right hand.
Overall I kept the gel on for a solid week, and each day after doing the dishes and showering, I noticed more and more decline in the appearance of the polish.  
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Here’s the 7th day of the manicure:
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Overall:
I will try this again with the other color, and now that I have the hang of it, I might have better luck.  However, that smell NEVER went away.  It changed slightly, and lessened, but never went away.  In fact, the smell surely outlasted the actual manicure.  It was very unappealing when I did my makeup, or ate anything.  I wouldn’t want to wear this gel color if I was doing a client’s makeup, or putting my hands up by anyone’s face.  I kind of think that the Activator is just simply super glue.  It sure does smell just like super glue and the warning on the directions tells that the activator will bond skin on contact.  Sounds a lot like super glue to me.  
To remove:  I first tried regular nail polish remover, and it worked a little but not quite effective.  I then used the 100% acetone and it removed the color immediately.  A second swipe, with a new cotton ball, got the remaining activator off quickly.  I followed up with some cuticle oil because acetone can be very drying.  Here is the end result right after the acetone.  As you can see there is no damage to the nail.

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If you have tried this Gel Color, and you have any advice for my next manicure, I welcome the tips.  Also If you would like a drugstore product reviewed, comment down below!  

I am not being paid for this review, and the opinions are my own.

Last Minute Rite Aid Run

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So you have waited till about the last dying minute (or you will wait to the last dying minute) to order a gift for your valentine, and the thought of going to a mall or department store for an overpriced and under thought out gift is causing you to groan.  You aren’t a marathon shopper, and you don’t have a clue.  If any of these scenarios sound like you, then these simple gift ideas might be just what you need to save Valentine’s Day.
Believe it or not, you CAN get your hunnie a cute gift at the Rite Aid, or local drugstore, and I mean outside of the few aisles they have specifically designated for Valentine’s Day (though that is a perfect place to start.)  
  • Pizza/ Ice Cream:  Many drugstores have a small frozen foods section where you can pick up a frozen pizza and some pints of ice cream.  
  • Tech Stuff:  Power banks, flash drives, cds, dvds, batteries, etc.
  • Garden Accessories:  It’s that time and retailers have already begun to stock garden pots, decor, solar lights, and plant foods.  Put together a little spring themed gift for the gardener in your life.
  • Body Scents:  Travel or larger size body sprays, colognes and perfumes, are perfect for throwing in a desk or bag, and the smaller sizes are often TSA accepted.  
  • Minty Surprise:  Mints, Gum, Mouthwash, and lip balms to suggest that smooches will be occurring later!
  • Bath Products:  Bubble bath, epsom salts, bath salts, lotions in a favorite scent.
  • Hand Care/ Foot Care:  Bath Salts, pumice stone, lotions, scrubs, nail polish
  • Photo Gifts: If you have a little more time, some drugstores create customized photo gifts like mousepads, mugs, etc.  But if time is a factor, print out one nice photo instantly, and put it in a nice frame.
  • Lottery:  Tell him/ her you won the lotto, and give your love some scratch offs, or lotto tickets!
  • Curl up with a good read:  Assortment of magazines, or books.
  • Tea/ Coffee themed gift:  Tea assortments, coffee selections, cookies, chocolates, candies, valentine mug.
  • Artsy:  Art supplies.  You aren’t going to find any professional art supplies here, but if your honey is a crafter, they might appreciate some fresh markers, sharp colored pencils, and vibrant paper.
  • Electronic Stuff:  Headphones, speakers, computer mice.
  • Movie Night:  DVD player, Popcorn, Movies, Movie theatre candy, and drinks.  Create an at home movie night date.
  • As Seen On TV:  Many drugstores have an endcap or area with only As Seen On TV products.  Many of these products are neat, useful, or quirky gadgets that are actually quite effective or useful.  My Rite Aid has the Magic Bullet Mini advertised right now!
  • Thermometer:  Include a tag that says “You give me fever!”  (Ok this one is a bit cheesy, but so is a lot of other Valentine merchandise, right?!)

(I do not professionally or personally endorse any products or companies mentioned in this post.  This should be used only as a guide.)

20 Amazon.com Valentine Gift Ideas under $20 for Him

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Today I am featuring 20 Frugal gift ideas for him.  Enjoy!

Please note:  Amazon prices can change at anytime, so please use your personal discretion when ordering.  I always read reviews on products as well, and I encourage you to do the same.  If you feel a product is not up to standards, Amazon has many similar options and would not take long to do a search. This is to be used as a guide only.   I do not personally or professionally endorse any of these companies or products.

Men’s Stainless Steel CZ Bracelet: $8.99  http://www.amazon.com/KONOV-Jewelry-Zirconia-Stainless-Valentines/dp/B00RDYU4VQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649435&sr=8-2&keywords=Konov+Jewelry+cubic+zirconia+stainless+steel+mens+bracelet
Why I Love You Journal: $6.59  http://www.amazon.com/Why-Love-You-Journal-About/dp/1441307435/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649679&sr=8-1&keywords=why+i+love+you+journal+of+us
What I Love About You Hardcover: $10.48   http://www.amazon.com/What-I-Love-About-You/dp/0767923154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649750&sr=8-1&keywords=what+i+love+about+you+hardcover
Best Boyfriend Ever Mouse Pad: $11.99  http://www.amazon.com/3dRose-Boyfriend-Computer-Microchip-mp_179714_1/dp/B00IT6XXV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649794&sr=8-1&keywords=Best+Boyfriend+ever+3d+rose
Date Night Darth Vader: $12.31  http://www.amazon.com/Galerie-Night-Darth-Vader-Plush/dp/B00HZ1CSAM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649917&sr=8-1&keywords=galerie+star+wars+date+night+darth+vader+plush+toy+7+inch
Key to My Heart Keychain Set:  65 cents   http://www.amazon.com/World-Pride-Heart-Couple-Keychain/dp/B0075079JS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422649977&sr=8-1&keywords=world+pride+key+to+my+heart+cute+couple+keychain+love+keychain+key+ring
Credit Card Companion Tool:  $11.69  http://www.amazon.com/Tool-Logic-Companion-Serrated-CC1SB/dp/B0001WOKWQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650054&sr=8-1&keywords=tool+logic+credit+card+companion
O’Keefe’s Working Hands Cream:  $6.98  http://www.amazon.com/OKeeffes-Working-Hands-Cream-3-4/dp/B00121UVU0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650113&sr=8-1&keywords=o+keefe%27s+working+hands
O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet:  $7.85  http://www.amazon.com/OKeeffes-Healthy-Feet-Cream-3-2oz/dp/B0002QB9NE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650167&sr=8-1&keywords=o+keefe%27s+healthy+feet
Clamplight Flashlight:  $15.40  http://www.amazon.com/Blackfire-BBM888-2-Clamplight-100-Lumen-Flashlight/dp/B003ZK56CE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650230&sr=8-2&keywords=Flashlight+blackfire+clamplight
Bacon Shaped Bandages:  $6.95  http://www.amazon.com/shaped-Adhesive-Bandages-Die-Cut-Sterile/dp/B000SSV8AA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650325&sr=8-1&keywords=Bacon+shaped+adhesive+bandages
Multi-Tool:  $6.88  http://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Tech-ST53100-Micro-Max-Multi-Function/dp/B001AY2WLU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650409&sr=8-1&keywords=Swiss+tech+ST53100+Micro-max
Warm Face COver:  $6.98  http://www.amazon.com/Double-Layers-Thicken-Winter-Beanie/dp/B00PSGHXGK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650480&sr=8-1&keywords=new+double+layers+thicken+warm+full+face+cover+winter+ski+mask+beanie+cs+hat
The Go Plate:  $18.99  http://www.amazon.com/The-Go-Plate-M1025PET24M-10PK-C-Plate-Clear-10/dp/B002VS8RB8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650526&sr=8-1&keywords=The+go+plate
CrossBody Bag/Satchel:  $9.16  http://www.amazon.com/Capacity-Multipurpose-Crossbody-Credentials-Automatic/dp/B00IQOFNR2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650589&sr=8-2&keywords=Big+mango+satchel
Bullet Shaped Flashlight/ Laser/ Pen:  $4.31  http://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Flashlight-Pointer-Ballpoint-Multifunctional/dp/B00HRTB25E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650663&sr=8-1&keywords=Bullet+shaped+led+flashlight+pen
Bear Grylls Fire Starter:  $9.99  http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-31-000699-Grylls-Survival-Starter/dp/B004DT6TEK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650718&sr=8-1&keywords=Bear+Grylls+Fire+Starter
Digital Tire Pressure Gauge:  $9.95  http://www.amazon.com/Accutire-MS-4021B-Digital-Pressure-Gauge/dp/B00080QHMM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650825&sr=8-1&keywords=Digital+Tire+pressure+gauge
Camera Lens Coffee Mug:  $8.29  http://www.amazon.com/EastVita-Travel-Coffee-Mug-24-105mm/dp/B0077761MU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422650920&sr=8-1&keywords=eastvita+coffee+mug
Whiskey Stones:  $11.95  http://www.amazon.com/Sipping-Stones-Chilling-Carrying-Soapstone/dp/B005D78RPU/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1422651047&sr=1-1&keywords=Whiskey+stones