Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann; Ulysses Press


Create Unique Colors and Designs For Eye-Catching Nails

Whether you are looking to match your nails with a specific dress or just have fun playing with shades and hues, this unique guide is the key to stunning original nail art design and featuring one-of-a-kind colors. With step-by-step instructions, detailed photos, and recipes for dozens of different polishes—including cremes, shimmers, glitters, and more—Homemade Nail Polish will have you whipping up ahead-of-the-curve colors in no time.


My Review

I have always been a fan of color and design, so naturally I love anything DIY. If it’s created, I’ve thought about what it takes to make it. Nail color and designs are no exception. Do you remember my DIY Nail Art book review?


Nail color is a very easy and fun way to express your unique style. There have been MANY different colors that I’ve seen on Pinterest that I wanted to copy so badly. There are just so many beautiful mixes of colors that I am slightly addicted. Beautiful teals, turquoise, and corals. Sigh…

This 96 page book contains all the information you need to learn how to mix your own shades easily and quickly. Teaching you (and me of course) that we don’t have to be limited to the color choices at the nearest drugstore. Now the possibilities are endless.

There are two sections that are very detailed about the equipment and ingredients that are needed to begin your nail polish making journey. The ingredient list and what they are used for is extremely helpful. Glitter, glitter finishes & shapes, thinners, and bases and what to expect when you want to achieve a certain look.


This book has more than 30 recipes that help with getting used to mixing colors and even adding special effect pigments. There are very detailed pictures along with the instructions so that it IS very easy to follow along.


The pictures look absolutely amazing. Step-by-step follow along pictures are what I like to see in a DIY book, so that I know I am doing the process exactly right. This book definitely gets 2 thumbs up for how clear and detailed the pictures are! Open-mouthed smile

There is even a section in the back to help with applying the polish right so there aren’t any smears or smudges. She takes it a step beyond and even shows how to tackle the techniques I had been dying to try. Most of them weren’t as hard as they look.


I am loving that the nail polish can be made with eye shadow. This makes the options endless. She even shows how to perfectly measure the different types of eye shadows, so that you get the desired color.


I love all the cool nail tricks and techniques in the back of the book. II t covers using scrapbooking punches to make nail decals, using gel pens for nail polish, making tape stencils, and how to get the galaxy look.

I’d always wondered how to perfect the gradient/ombre style. I even bought a dotting tool (before I got this book) and still couldn’t tackle the dotted style. I was pretty sure it was going to be a piece of cake, and the dotting tool failed me lol. I didn’t realize that I could’ve just used bobby pins instead. Oh well, the dotting tool is a nice addition to my nail box anyway.

Before you go running off trying to find the ingredients and the equipment, look in the back at the resources. The best places (with the best prices) are listed, so that you spend less time comparing prices and more time to enjoy MAKING the polish. She even adds an amazing list of nail art inspiration blogs that are a definite must read. I am loving looking at all the nail designs, so make sure you bookmark them!

About the Author

Allison Rose Spiekermann is the founder and creative director of Nail Pattern Boldness, an independent nail polish company based in Burlington, VT, which specializes in unique and innovative products to help both amateur and professional nail polish enthusiasts get more out of every manicure. She lives in Burlington, VT

Get the Book: Homemade Nail Polish 


Stay updated on the recent releases and giveaways from Ulysses Press by following them on Twitter and Facebook!


XoXo Jess

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Sandals That’ll Blow Your Mind

summer shoes

After that long, long, long (did I say long?)… never-ending (well it seemed that way) winter— I know your feet were begging (and pleading and possibly crying) for a break from all those winter boots. Am I right? Those poor feet, SO I’ve made up a list of some MUSt have shoes you’ll definitely want to be sporting all summer long. Let those babies have some wriggle room!

Whether you’ll be walking on the beach, sightseeing, or dancing—there’s a pair waiting for you! (and most are under $100). Go on and splurge a little! You aren’t breaking the bank here! If you are interested in a certain pair, the pictures are clickable! Open-mouthed smile


If you love wearing sundresses, but don’t want to seem too girly you can always dress it down with a edgy pair of sandals! There have been plenty that have caught my eye, but these were at the top. These sandals would also look good with a pair of distressed capris or shorts and a retro tee!


Between the studs, chains, and braids on these sandals—I’d rock any of these with pride. I love the simple yet rebellious statement that these shoes make! Let your shoes do the talking!


Country Music Superstar Miranda Lambert just launched her very own Miranda Lambert shoe line, as if I WOULDN’T love it right? All pairs of her summer shoes say edgy with feisty and sexy wrapped into one!



Add a little flair to that one tone dress. You don’t have to go all one tone. I mean, it’s SUMMER.. spice it up! Adding color and flair with an amazing pair of shoes? YES! You’ll definitely be seeing brightly colored sandals all over the walkways where ever you are, this is the IN right now!



These would even look good with a pair of skinny jeans! Choose a darker color such as blue or black and pair it with colored sandals & shirt. I love all the above and the gladiator style shoes are definitely something I like.


*Animal Print

Animal Print is something I don’t think will ever go out of style. I love seeing animal print mixed randomly in outfits. And randomly I mean JUST one print per outfit. Mixing more than one print is just too much.

Mixing an animal print shoe (or bag) with a little black dress for an outdoor summer event is definitely a YES! Or add some spice to those skinny jeans!


The python print has always been a favorite of mine, although any print looks good.


*Chunky Wedge


I am soooo loving the chunky wedge style. It pairs basically with anything in your summer wardrobe. Whether you’d like to rock a skirt, shorts, skinny jeans, capris, and even jeans a wedge spices it up.


These shoes are super sexy and you can NEVER go wrong with a wedge! Right? Right! I am loving even more that there are bright colors as well as animal prints now in wedge as well! Rock it sister!

What is your favorite summer go-to sandal?

Which style above do you like best?





4 fun and easy recipes for summer skincare

Summer SKincare

Everyone knows a superfood smoothie is great for your skin but what about other skincare treatments and exfoliants that can be whipped up in your home kitchen?

Here are 4 fun and easy recipes for summer skincare, exfoliation, and hydration that can help keep skin fresh and dewy all summer long (as well as protect you from that summer sun!) and, best of all, can be quickly made in your blender.

Nina Curtis, a beauty expert with Blendtec, has developed recipes—both edible and topical—that are perfect for healthy skin. Recipes include: Skin “Glow” Smoothie, Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator, and Pineapple Papaya Skin Smoother.

All ingredients should be organic as much as possible.


1. Skin ‘Glow’ Smoothie

Skin Glow Smoothie

Glowing skin begins from the inside out…Enjoy this smoothie three times a week.

Yield: approximately 4 cups

2 cups young Thai coconut water

1 handful organic spinach

3 stalks (single ribs) celery

1 organic apple, cored and chopped

1 ripe organic pear, cored and chopped

1 ripe organic frozen banana

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of Pink Himalayan salt, re-mineralizes the body with minerals and trace elements essential to our health and wellbeing.

Add liquid first into the Blendtec Wildside vessel, then combine all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Place any remaining smoothie in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

2. Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator

Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator

The Blendtec ‘Twister’ Vessel is ideal for making all kinds of skincare products and it’s just the right size.

Gentle exfoliation is a great to remove built up dead skin cells and simulate circulation which will leave your skin smooth and vibrant.

Using organic steel cut oatmeal, blend ½ cup of the oatmeal in the Blendtec Twister Vessel until it becomes flourlike. Combine equal parts water to create a thick paste or use the guide below to customize the appropriate recipe for your specific skin condition.

Customize: with approximately equal parts to make a thick paste.

Normal Skin~ mix with water or rose, chamomile or peppermint tea infusion

Oily Skin~ mix with goat milk yogurt and a ¼ teaspoon organic lemon juice

Dry Skin~ mix with raw, organic honey

Sensitive Skin~ mix with a ripe banana

Massage this oatmeal paste gently onto your skin, using upward and outward motions. Leave for five to ten minutes, rinse with tepid water, pat gently and apply moisturizer.


3. Pineapple Papaya Skin Smoother

Pineapple Papaya Skin Smoother

(for the face, body and feet)

1 ripe papaya

1 teaspoon papaya seeds

1 cup pineapple

1 tablespoon raw organic honey

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put all of the ingredients into the Blendtec Twister Vessel and blend until smooth. It takes a powerful blender like Blendtec to pulverize the papaya seeds into powder like particles that gently yet thoroughly exfoliate the skin. This skin smoother contains enzymes and physical particles for maximum exfoliation, to smooth, brighten and even out skin tone. If your skin is easily sensitized or sensitive use the Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator.

This is an ideal skin smoother for the face, body and feet.

Apply to dampened facial skin and gently massage all over the face for about 30 seconds, paying special attention to the t-zone area of the face. Leave on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse. Apply your favorite moisturizer.

For the body, step into your shower and apply all over the body paying special attention to areas where the skin is dryer and or thicker, like the elbows and knees. Vigorously massage the thighs, buttocks and back of the arms to exfoliate thoroughly and stimulate blood circulation. Finish with your favorite body cream.

For the feet, apply onto feet and wrap with saran wrap and cover each foot with a hand towel for 10- 15 minutes. Remove saran wrap, massage feet well and rinse off. Complete with your favorite foot cream.

4. The Hand Smoother

Hand Smoother

Ever notice how people ask your age and then look at your hands? Well you don’t have to

give it away. During fall and winter our overall skin condition can look and feel drier and our hands tend to suffer the most. Gentle hand exfoliation is great to do on a regular basis to improve skin texture, tone and smoothness. Follow with your favorite hand cream.


4oz. ground almonds or almond meal

4 tsp almond oil

4tsp lemon juice

1 ½-2 oz organic goat milk yogurt

Put all of the ingredients into the Blendtec Twister Vessel and blend until smooth, to a thick consistency. Use about the size of a walnut and rub over both hands as if you were using soap, for one to two minutes, rinse off and apply hand cream….Voila!

Store remaining product in a glass container, label and keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Use daily or two to three times a week depending on skin condition.


Guest Post Author: Nina Curtis with Blendtec


Thanks for Stopping by,

(Don’t forget to follow on FB & Twitter!)



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5 Cocktails to Celebrate the First Day of Summer

This Saturday, why not celebrate the first day of summer with some low-calorie cocktails? Easy to make - with minimal ingredients required - these first day of summer cocktails are great for toasting to warm weather, poolside parties and fun summer adventures ahead.

Mango Sunrise


3 oz.  Mango Lemonade Sparkling ICE

1.5 oz. Tequila

Splash of Grenadine syrup

Lemon slices and mint for garnish (optional)


Using a tall Collins glass, pour tequila, then Mango Lemonade Sparkling ICE over ice.  Stir gently to mix.

Top with a splash of Grenadine syrup.

Garnish with lime slices and mint sprigs. 

Summer Lovin'


4 ounces of VOGA Italia Premium Sparkling

1 ounce of vanilla flavored vodka

A splash of pomegranate juice

Lime for garnish


Add vodka and pomegranate juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake gently. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top off with VOGA Italia Premium Sparkling. Garnish with a lime. 


Teeny Bikini Coffee Martini


3 oz. RealBeanz Diet Cappuccino

1 oz. vanilla vodka

½ oz sugar syrup

Coffee beans to garnish


Combine all ingredients together with cubed ice in a Boston and shake. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with coffee beans.

Beach Breeze


3 oz. VOGA Italia Sparkling

.75 oz. Strawberry Liqueur

2 oz. Strawberry Puree

0.5 oz Lemon Juice

1.5 Tsp. Sugar

Mint leaves for garnish


Combine VOGA Italia Sparkling, strawberry liqueur, strawberry puree, lemon juice and sugar in a glass. Stir and garnish with mint.

Pool Party


3 oz. Lemonade Sparkling ICE

1 oz. white rum

Mint leaves



Muddle mint leaves with rum.

Strain and pour over ice.

Top with Lemonade Sparkling ICE.

Garnish with a fresh lime and mint leaves. 


Have any more drinks that is perfect for summer? Leave them below! Have fun!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Educational Insights Design & Drill Socket to Me Review & Giveaway #ToyReview

diclosure-review giveaway

Design a boat, robot, race car, or rocket with a real, working socket wrench and rugged bolts – then play with your creations! Endless construction fun for preschoolers.

Preschoolers love designing, building, banging, and using their imagination. The Design & Drill Socket to Me Play Set lets them do all the above. I love the fact that every toy that is on the Educational Insights website teaches while they play.

Play isn’t all fun it games, it’s very beneficial for kids and their growing minds. When preschoolers play and design with small pieces it teaches hand-eye coordination as well as problem solving and creativity. Adisyn couldn’t wait to get started after the box came in the mail. She even put them all in a certain tote so she could keep up with all the pieces after she was done.


The set comes with 4 different hands-on pieces which include a boat, a race car, a rocket, and a robot. The socket wrench actually works like normal and makes the clicking sounds as well. They use the socket wrench to attach different colored bolts to the pieces. She had tons of fun “building” her creations. She thought she was miss fix it all after this, lol.

This doesn’t require any batteries at all, so it makes it the perfect take along toy. You can throw this in your beach bag for a day at the beach, or in your kids backpack for long doctor waits.

Win your OWN! Smile
Good Luck!

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