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Not Worth the Money: China Glaze Magnetix Polish

31 Mar

A month or so ago I found this really interesting nail polish in Ulta from China Glaze called Magnetix. Basically it was advertised as a nail polish that, when met with a special magnet, would create really unique patterns on the wet nail polish. I instantly though, “oh yeah, I want that,” but it was $10 for the polish and an additional $10 for the magnet and I didn’t feel like spending that much on a product I had never heard of before. So, being the frugal style hound that I am, I went trolling on the Internet for a good deal.

I found the polish for $4 and the magnet for about the same price, but with shipping it came to a whopping $15. And then I played the waiting game.

Don't mind the cuticle mess, I was rushing!

When I got my Magnetix polish and magnet I was so excited that I ripped open the package next to my dad and tried it out on my already-painted nails. The first two fingers I did (see the photo on the left) worked! Basically what you do is paint the polish on and then quickly hold the desired pattern over the polish for 10 seconds. I did the starburst and the kind of chevron pattern thing, and while I did hit the first nail with the magnet I still saw really interesting patterns.

Naturally my next move was to run upstairs, wipe all of the polish off my nails, and paint all of my nails with a pattern, which I decided was going to be the starburst. I was already planning on what I would say on here, how much I loved it and how great it looked. But then I started hitting snags.

The next round didn’t work at all. They all remained blank. Then I realized that hitting the magnet against my nail had become an actual issue with every nail. You couldn’t really avoid it, and it was so frustrating.

I tried over and over again over the course of a few days, but never got a matching pattern that worked for all of my nails. So I’ve ditched it into the bottom of my polish box to come across another day.

Overall I wouldn’t suggest this product to anyone. It’s really expensive and doesn’t give you a really great result. Plus, the colors are super glittery and all very dark, which don’t really work for someone like me who has to show up to work in an office with a bunch of adults 5 days a week. Once I get over my frustration of it I might try applying it to one nail and leaving the rest neutral, but it’s definitely not my style for a full set. If you’re up for spending three hours painting your nails, give it a try, if not, don’t waste the money.

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Try This: Easy, Grilled Dinner

30 Mar

Tonight was a tricky night for dinner for Alex and me. It’s Thursday, which is the best day of the week (30 Rock, Community, Swamp People… you get the picture), but it’s also a very, very, very crazy week at work so I’ve been stuck at the office fairly late.

Considering that I love Thursdays so much I really wanted to cook a nice dinner, but I needed to find something that was very quick (my Thursday shows start at 8 p.m. AKA way too early) and still very cheap. So a little searching on the FoodNetwork.com and I found my answer.

It may be a little bit cold for the spring time in New Jersey, but we still decided to celebrate the season and do some grilling. Peeled, raw, extra large shrimp were on sale at the grocery store, and I almost never eat shrimp for dinner, so Alex and I decided to make Bobby Flay’s Gambas al Ajillo. My favorite vegetable in the world, asparagus, is in season so I knew we had to make that too.  I have been dreaming about grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and once again I turned to my main man Bobby Flay.

Now if you’re having a fancy dinner party or something lavish, stick to Bobby’s recipe word-for-word. If you’re like me and are not trying to buy a million ingredients, simply take your asparagus, snap off the ends, toss them lightly in olive oil, salt and then wrap 3 pieces together in one piece of prosciutto and grill for about 15 minutes. We threw some french fries into the oven as well, but you don’t really need them. Take the fries off the plate and you still have a very full plate! They didn’t really get eaten because everything else was so insanely delicious.

Voila, a dinner that took maybe 25 minutes tops. Give it a try!

What’s the Deal with Baylor?

15 Mar

It is, of course, March Madness time. My bracket is already showing signs of breaking into a million tiny pieces, but that’s not what gets me the most heated.

It’s the stupid, ugly neon uniforms at Baylor.

When I originally saw these uniforms I didn’t like them. Animal print neon shorts… really? Stupid youths. But what can I say? I’m a traditionalist. I like big block letters, nice primary colors and a sharp fitting uniform. I tried to be optimistic and push past my old-school ways, but even still the uniform is actually incredibly annoying. When they’re all together and running back and forth it’s dizzying and really nauseating to watch.

Let’s stick to the basics, boys. Time to bring back the short shorts and Chuck Taylors.

Product Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

14 Mar

I have wanted Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects nail polish strips since I’ve discovered them. I have this bad habit of painting my nails at night, then accidentally falling asleep while waiting for them to dry so I wake up with once-pristine nails covered in smudges and lines where my hair has pressed against them. These stick on nail polish strips could solve that problem. They dry instantly leaving you with a really neat design you could never do yourself.

The problem? They are pretty expensive. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $10 for a product I would only end up using once for maybe a week. So I got savvy this weekend and went clearance hunting at Ulta where I found markdown nail strips from Valentine’s Day styles. A lot of them were tacky hearts and “Love” in comic sans over and over again, but I did find a sharp mix or red, pink and plum color blocks for $5, and I snatched them up really quick.

I was so excited about these things that I peeled all of my nail polish I had on completely off on the drive home. I feel like it’s pretty hard to mess up putting the strips on, you stick them on and press them down,then file off at the end of your nail. Trust me, I’m a total klutz and it was easy for me so you know it was good. When I put them on they looked cute! I was excited to have a really cool design that I didn’t have to spend 2 hours on. Plus at the end I had 5 extra stick-ons to hold onto, which would look cute on a single finger with some nude or red polish on all the others.

And then I went out.

I was heading to my friends house for a party, so I stopped at the liquor store and then sat in the car with Alex for 45 minutes on the way to her house. In that time I managed to get three big chips on the tips on my nails. By the end of the night, which consisted of a lot of sitting around with some beers catching up, not arduous things like building a new house or something, all the nails on my right hand had some chip or another. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

At least with real nail polish I could go ahead and touch it up, but this was different. As the days wore on I realized how much I missed real nail polish. The Salon Effects stick-ons are much shinier than polish and end up looking much more artificial, pretty much like stickers on your nails. I was starting to be a little embarrassed, too, at how obviously fake the design was. It just looked lazy. What really drove me crazy was the edges around my cuticles. They all sort of buckled up a little bit, just enough for a person like me to notice and sit around pulling at all day.

I kept them on my nails for five days. That way I figured I was getting $1 use a day out of them and it wasn’t a waste. But today they ended up in a nice little pile of sticker paper on my desk. As cute as the design was, and as easy as it was to use, I don’t think I’ll end up buying these again, and I definitely won’t pay full price for them. Maybe if I had a special occasion, but I’m not going to any balls or weddings or anything anytime soon. If you’re like me, and you can’t help but pick at your nails when your bored or nervous, these are torture. It’s easier just to set a half hour aside and paint your nails yourself.

Try This: The Works at Mac’s

1 Mar

There is nothing better to me on a sunny day then settling in at a bar in Philadelphia, having a few beers, and watching a game on tv. Alex and I did that the other day at Mac’s Tavern in Philadelphia (yes, the same Mac’s Tavern that is owned by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob and Kait McElhenney).

After two or three (or four…or five… who’s counting?) beers Alex and I were feeling a bit starving. This is the reason I love Philadelphia. You can walk into any ordinary bar on any ordinary street and find out-of-this-world food. Unbelievably amazing, ridiculously delicious options that you never thought you would find. Mac’s is no exception. This is the second time I’ve eaten here, but people rave about certain dishes on their menu, like their meatball hoagie and lobster mac and cheese. Alex and I were feeling the buzz and needed something big, greasy and terrible for you, so we opted for The Works.

Ohhhh The Works. The Works. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. A huge plate of chunky fries smothered in the best gravy you’ve ever had, ginormous slices of steak, thick-cut bacon, onions and mushrooms, then topped with ridiculously gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s like the ultimate drunk food, but classier and better than anything you could ever make drunk.

Life doesn’t get any better than good game, a beer, some food and a bar. Wait… I take that back. It only gets better when you have the french fries of the gods. The servers and bartenders at Mac’s better prepared for me to invade their bar when baseball season starts….

*Note* I did not take a photo of these beauties while I was there, but if someone reads this and decides to share one with me I would love it!

Drinking Like a Lady: Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot

28 Feb

My sweet tooth is bigger than any bone in my body. I love a nice, fruity beer and even ciders, which always leads to slack from my male beer-drinking friends. So imagine my surprise when everyone reacted so enthusiastically to Dogfish Head‘s new Noble Rot.

The first line in the description online is “Hmmm. We wonder if anyone will buy a beer with the word ‘rot’ in the name?” I honestly almost didn’t buy it because of that reason. When I hear “rot” I instantly think of weird smells and colors that I shouldn’t be drinking. Luckily, my boyfriend trusts Sam and the rest of the crew at Dogfish whole-heartily, and picked up a bottle for dinner after its Jan. 2012 release, because I did not want to miss out on this beer.

Listed as a “saison-esque project,” Noble Rot is a unique combination of two different kinds of wine grapes combined with pilsner and wheat malts. Mashed together, you get a really unique, beyond interesting beer… no wait, wine… no wait…?

I kind of wish I had payed more attention to the description of Noble Rot before I went through the process of drinking it, because I would have appreciated it much more. The beer drinks more like a wine, with a sweet, champagne-esque bite that overpowers the hops and malt. Were I to have sipped this drink a bit more slowly, I don’t think I would have been so overpowered by the taste, which was so delicious. Through all these new flavors, I can’t help but appreciate that distinct Dogfish taste that you get at the end of a sip. There’s a familiarity amid this strange, wacky brew, a taste that inspires me to buy Dogfish beer in the first place.

If you are just starting out in the craft beer world, it takes some refining. I wouldn’t expect someone who’s lived on Natty Light and Franzia to dive head first into a Double IPA anytime soon, but Noble Rot might be a good start. There’s a balance of flavors that doesn’t make it overly-hoppy or bitter, which can be kind of abrasive when adjusting to the craft beer scene.

One of the great things about craft beers is that each brewery has their own little signature, a taste or flavor that always ends up hitting home and making you say, “Hey, I know where this is from!” I’ve got to love Dogfish’s absolutely off-the-wall approach to beer, it’s what keeps me coming back.

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