Monday, April 12, 2021

List: Ten fabulous gift ideas for Mother's Day to make mommy feel special.

 Believe it or not, it's almost time for Mother's Day!  With less than a month to prepare, I started doing some brainstorming on gift ideas for my own mother.  No worries, I'll share.

thoughtful and inexpensive presents to give mom mommy

If I'm being honest, we don't do Mother's Day gifts.  My family spoils me with fresh flowers,  vegetable seedlings, and a homemade brunch every year.  I love it because it's family time and we all get to reap the benefits for a solid part of the year.  Regarding my own mother and grandmother, we'll surprise them with a plant or a small bag of chocolates to acknowledge the day.  That being said, we do get birthday gifts.  And, it just so happens that Madre's birthday is only a week away from Mother's day so I take advantage of Mother's Day promotions Sorry, not sorry.

thoughtful and inexpensive presents to give mom mommy

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten fabulous Mother's day gift ideas.

This cute keepsake may bring mom to tears.  She'll appreciate the thought and treasure the gift.  While I personally would not actually wear the necklace, I would drape it over a decorative box I have in my bedroom.
Can be found here.

For the mother's out there that don't have time for a bath or just skeeve them, these shower steamers are perfect!  They boast essential oil ingredients that boost relaxation, reduce stress and give sinus relief.
Can be found here.

This is the perfect Mother's Day gift for those Mommas with a lot going on.  So, basically every mom.  I carry around a notebook and pencil everywhere I go for notes, to do lists, and whatever else I'll need to remember.  The notebooks usually last me about a year.  When it gets filled, I can never bring myself to throw them out because who knows what important information is scribbled in there.  A personalized notebook makes it that much easier to keep!
Can be found here.

This small watering can is perfect to keep inside the house for your mother's houseplants.  The saying on it will make her laugh every time she takes it out to water her indoor plants.  It's pretty, funny, and useful.  The perfect Mother's Day gift!
Can be found here.

While I'm not a huge jewelry person, I do love a cute Kate Spade bangle!  This one is absolutely perfect with it's scalloped edges that make it look like a wearable flowerIt comes in silver or gold, has some bling, is versatile, and isn't super expensive.
Can be found here.

This super cute Mother's Day gift reads "The best treats come from Grandma's Kitchen".  Around the words are 6 cookies each labeled with the name of grandma's little cookie monsters.
Can be found here.

Because, us mommas totally need that "mommy juice" from time to time.  You can admit it, we won't judge.  As a double bonus, try adding these wine glass markers (link) to the gift.  Triple bonus points if you use the markers to write a special note on the wine glass for her to read on Mother's Day.
Can be found here.

Some of you may remember this book review post about The Happiness Journal (link)It was from 2015, so I won't be insulted if you forgot.  The book does a great job of teaching you "how to be happy" without really trying.  This book is partnered with a five year journal where you're encouraged to write one sentence a day.  Write something, no matter how small or large, that made you happy that day.  This Mother's Day gift will be a unique one, but it's a great way to remind mom to be happy!
Can be found here.

A pair of Tom's make the perfect Mother's Day gift because we're always on the go, need something comfortable to slip on at a moment's notice, and are probably getting old.
Can be found here.

Exactly one year ago, my husband and the kiddies surprised me with my first bird feeder to help with the stress of the lockdown.  It was by far the best gift that I have ever received because it really brought so much joy to my life and opened the door to a new hobby.  Do the same for your mommy this Mother's Day by gifting this beautiful bird feeder!
Can be found here.

What do you do on Mother's Day?

Friday, April 9, 2021

Life: Friday Ramblings


We had a very HOPPY...
...Easter!  The kids scavenged the house for Easter eggs that were filled with chocolate.  Except for two eggs that had carrots in them.  They weren't appreciated!  Then they dove into their Easter baskets, ate bunny pancakes, dressed up Thor the Puppy of Thunder, blew bubbles, went to Nanny and Papa's house, fell into plates of lasagna and pizza rustica, played LRC with the family, ate dessert, and then finally fell fast asleep.

Speaking of bunny-tastic desserts...
...we had the most FABULOUS thing ever!  Our favorite bakery made a New York style cheese cake with cannoli cream frosting.  Then it was topped with several cannolis in the shape of a cross for Easter.  It's the first time that I have ever ate such a mix and it was amazing.

Is any-bunny sick of...
...the bunny idioms yet?  I promise that was my last one for the year!

We can't stop laughing at...
...the VERY ridiculous cartoon called Larva on Netflix.  It's about two little larvas that live in a storm drain in the city.  They have no hands and they don't speak, yet they get into these silly situations that make my kids laugh so hard that it makes me laugh.

I finally applied for...
...GRADUATION from college!  I have one course left which I plan on taking over the Summer.  I applied for a September graduation where I will receive my Bachelors degree in Business Management with a concentration in accounting.  It took me over a decade excuse me while I bow my head in shame, but I DID IT!  I will finally have my degree and my life will be a little less hectic because no more classwork.

What are your Friday Ramblings?
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Ideas: How to plan the perfect communion party with an easy to follow checklist.

 As I've mentioned several times already, my daughter will be receiving her first holy communion on May 1st.  Directly following her communion, we're going to have a small celebration to acknowledge my daughter's special day.  The invite list is VIP only which is great for our pockets and makes it easier for everyone to remain relatively safe when gathering.  With such a short time to plan her communion party, I resorted to my usual aid and comfort, a list!  Today I'm sharing with you my communion party check list that you're more than welcome to steal for your own use.

the only checklist you will need for a communion celebration reception

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

How to plan a communion party with a checklist.

__  Get the communion date and time from your church.

__ Send a message to the God parents to "save the date".

__ Confirm your budget.

__ Pick a color theme.

__ Try to coordinate the best time for the reception considering the length of ceremony.

__ Put together a guest list.  I recommend doing this electronically to easily track responses.

__ Choose a venue to host the reception or simply choose to do it at home.

__ If using a venue, reserve the date and put down a deposit.

__ Decide if you will be hiring a communion photographer.  Yes, this is a thing.  Yes, people do this.  No, I will not be.

Idea:  If you will not be hiring a photographer, I recommend asking a close family member or friend to do their best to take pictures throughout the night.  If you know someone who has a decent camera, borrow it.  While a photographer is a little too "extra" for some, this could be a good compromise.

__ If doing the party at home, reserve any rentals that you may need.  This could include tents, heaters, tables, and/or chairs.

Idea:  Don't want to rent?  We found it more economical to purchase a party tent (link).  We've used it for 2 events already, but got our money's worth after the first one.

__ Purchase your invitations.

Idea:  You can opt for some beautiful standard communion invitations (link) or be a little "extra" like I tend to be during special events and order custom communion invitations like these (link).  I did this for my son's baptism and it made for a beautiful memento that I still see displayed at people's homes.

__ Shop for a communion outfit.

Note:  This has become over the top and I am admittedly extra.  I've seen pictures of little girls in bridal shops wearing magnificent, expensive gowns saying "I said yes to the dress".  My daughter's Godmother and I found a beautiful dress that we loved on Amazon.  It cost us ~$60 yet Mushy still looks like a princess.  If you're interested, this is the dress (link).

__ Shop for communion shoes and accessories to complete the outfit.

__ If applicable, decide if your daughter will be wearing a veil.

Idea:  Many women use their wedding veil for their daughter's communion.  This is what we will be doing since it's both economical and very special.

__  Mail out the invitations approximately (1) month before the event.  Include the necessary  additional information for those invited to the ceremony.

__ Decide on centerpieces.

Idea:  Keep it super simple and inexpensive by spray painting glass mason jars (link) and filling them with inexpensive flowers.

__ Keep track of responses on your guest list.

__ Consider meal options.  If not using a venue, will you be cooking or ordering food?

__  Plan a finalized menu.  This includes appetizers, the main course, dessert, and drinks.

Idea:  To save money, limit drinks to beer and wine only and run a tab.  We did this for my son's baptism and it cost 1/8 of the price of a beer and wine package for adults.  Remember, it's a communion reception, not a frat party.

__  If applicable, place your meal order for catering or let the venue know your choices.

__ Order a cake.

__ Order corsage and boutonniere for God parents.  

__ If applicable, order cookie trays for the event.

__  Purchase themed decorations.  Keep it simple and tasteful.

Idea:  My favorite ideas have been simple kits like this one with balloons, a banner, and paper lanterns (link).  We will keep it all white and gold to be traditional.  Another fun idea is this cute backdrop (link) to take pictures in front of.

__ If having the party at home, try to find matching paper goods so that they blend with the decorations.  Remember you will need table clothes, plates, cake plates, napkins, cups and cutlery.

__ If having a lot of guests under the age of 10, put together a children's table.  This table should be equipped with coloring books, crayons, card games, and similar activities to keep the kiddies entertained.

__ Purchase party favors for your guests.

Idea:  Try to keep this simple as well.  It could be a small scented candle in a first communion box (link) or something edible.  We may make our own white chocolate crosses and put out Hershey's kisses with these sticker on them (link) yum.

__ Get creative with table numbers.

Idea:  For my son's baptism, we got plain table numbers like this (link) and then painted them to a mint green color which was his theme.

__ Prepare a party playlist.  Thank you, Amazon Alexa..

__ If celebrating at home, be prepared with enough serving dishes and spoons.

__  Plan a seating arrangement.

__ Fill out place cards for confirmed guests.

__ Make final confirmations.  Call the caterer, the entertainer, and the baker!

__ Charge your camcorder, camera, and phones.

__ Put it all together.  If using a venue, drop off everything they need.

__ Don't forget to have LOTS of fun!

What are you looking forward to lately?
Monday, April 5, 2021

List: Ten appropriate gift ideas for a child's first holy communion.

With the exception of my God children, I've always struggled with first communion gifts.  Out of frustration, I usually settle for a fancy card with a crisp dollar bill inside.  Yes, I go to the bank and ask for a "crisp" bill.  Don't judge.  While I'm sure that cash is appreciated, sometimes you want to give something more personal.

what to get someone for their communion

With my daughter's communion and all of her friend's communions around the corner, I decided to put together a list of ten gift ideas that are appropriate for a first holy communion.  Here we go!

ten gender neutral gifts ideas for a holy first communion

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten gift ideas for a first communion.

This is my favorite so excuse me while I go purchase one for my baby girl.  The rosary beads come in a gorgeous, ornate box made out of zinc alloy.  There are two boxes to choose from.  One with the image of a girl and the other with the image of a boy.  The box is engraved with a short prayer that reads "May His light shine in your heart today and always".  This gift is a sentimental keepsake that will be cherished and possibly even passed down to children of their own.

This frame is gorgeous and gender neutral.  It can hold a 4x6 photograph of the event to be displayed in the child's bedroom.

This bangle bracelet is trendy meaning totally in style right now.  Every young girl would love to add this "big girl" bracelet to their collection.  This communion gift idea comes in gold, silver, and midnight finish.  These bracelets are meant to be stacked on a wrist so it could be the start of a collection of bracelets to commemorate every special moment.

For a more traditional communion gift, try a genuine leather bound bible.  They will be needing this on their journey through religion classes and will have it to reference for the rest of their lives.

One my favorite ideas is to create special photobooks that document important events with both words and pictures.  Think modern day scrapbook After the reception and celebration, put together a photobook as a special communion gift to be treasured forever.

6.  St. Christopher's Metal | Amazon Collection
St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers which makes this a very appropriate gift so that St. Christopher can help guide the child through their religious journey.  This chain is an economical choice but still very pretty and functional.

I find the stories and symbolisms of patron saints very interesting.  This book does a great job of explaining saints in a way that can make kids interested too.  This simple book is the perfect communion gift for a child of any gender.

This beautiful box can be used to store special moments and keepsakes from their communion day.  Whether full or empty, this box makes for a pretty keepsake to display and remember their special day.

Getting children into the habit of praying every night can be a struggle especially since it's a very personal thing that can't be forced.  To help persuade a child to pray in the form of counting their blessings instead of begging God for the "it" toy of the moment, use a prayer journal.

These adorable figurines come in both male and female versions.  Both are on their knees praying with rosary beads wrapped around their wrists and a hanging cross.  These keepsakes will be a constant reminder of their special day!  Plus, who doesn't love Precious Moments?

What do you think, cash or gift?
Friday, April 2, 2021

Life: Friday Ramblings

We had a great time...
...painting Easter eggs!  Prince Charming painted butterflies and self portraits that all looked like blobs of paint.  Mushy Face painted a pig, a clown, and a bunny in a basket.  I painted an apple tree with a cardinal flying towards it.  We would laugh at each other as we tried to guess what the other was making.  The mess was a bit of a pain to clean up, but it was worth the artistic fun.

I failed to reacquaint you all with... carrot car racing Easter bunny cookie jar!  He's been enjoying the not so fast lanes of our kitchen counter since early March.  The way my vampire piggy brings me seasonal joy, so does this guy!  I think we'll let him stay out for the rest of Spring just because he makes everyone so happy.

We have lots to look forward to... the month of April.  First is Easter, quickly followed by my Aunt's birthday, Papa's birthday, AND my daughters 8th I cry birthday.  As if that's not enough, May 1st is my daughter's communion.  Here's to a month out and about with lots of memories!

I was shook by...
...a picture that my coworker took of me.  It was from an unflattering angle and completely unexpected, but all I could see was my thin hair!  I raced to the salon this weekend and my hair lady assured me that I'm not going bald.  My hair fell out after I gave birth to my son and is slowly growing back.  She showed me the regrowth which calmed me down.  You could literally see the line of where my hair goes from thin to thickish. She chopped a lot of it off and my hair feels a lot less thin.  Hair emergency averted.

My son got in trouble for...
...cursing at school!  He had an accident and told the teacher "It's just f**king poop."  When the school told me about the incident, I reprimanded him for using such bad language.  Well, now the school is telling me it's MY FAULT that he's repeating the word because I acknowledged it.  Ok.. but.. if you didn't want me to acknowledge it, then WHY did you even tell me about it?!

Finally, I wanted to send everyone a giant...
...HAPPY EASTER!  For those that celebrate, I hope that your day is filled with love, family, friends, and lots of chocolate.

What are your Friday Ramblings?
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Book Review: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

I finally finished my most recent read.  Craving a change from World War II novels, I opted for a book about World War I.  When searching for a good read on the topic, the same nonfiction novel kept popping up as a recommendation.  That book was Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (link) by Erik Larson.  Intrigued to learn more about the tragedy, I purchased the audiobook.

The novel is titled Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.
The book is read by Scott Brick.
The unabridged version is 14 hours and 4 minutes long.

best novels about world war 1 or the lusitania

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Book Review:  Dead Wake by Erik Larson

When starting this novel, I knew that it would be an educational, historically accurate, unbiased account of the sinking of the Lusitania.  What I didn't expect was the text book like information that the book used to tell the story of the infamous event.  After the first 6 hours of the book, I found myself begging the boat to sink already.  Joking, obviously.  But, it was painful to listen to.  More than the first half the book was used to give the reader a very in depth background on submarines, naval warfare, "room 40", the background of the wealthy passengers aboard, and the love life of President Woodrow Wilson.  It was great information for someone researching the topic, but made it difficult to listen to for long stretches.

The Lusitania was THE boat of the time.  It was a British ocean liner that boasted being the biggest, fastest ship around.  Because of it's reputation, many people chose to sail on the vessel despite the high risk of the seas.  Passengers ignored the fact that they would be sailing through a war zone based on the false safety of the ship's size and speed and a false promise given by the British government to protect the boat.  When a German submarine sunk the Lusitania with ONE torpedo, people, not two, it killed over 1,000 people and sunk in about 20 minutes.  This tragic event left countless passengers dead, including several children ranging from newborn age to toddlers to teenagers.

When hearing about the tragic lives lost during the sinking, you want to blame someone.  This book educates the reader on how the blame is shared.  It's part the fault of the glory hogged, submarine captain.  It's part the fault of the German government allowing passenger liners filled with CHILDREN to be sunk and celebrated afterwards.  It's also part the fault of the British government.  After hearing the facts, one can't help but suspect the British government of wanting the ship to be sunk to encourage the United States to enter the war.  To increase suspicion, the British blamed the Captain of the boat who was also a victim and WENT DOWN WITH THE SHIP heroically for the sinking.  They took the poor guy to court and put him through months of hell trying to put all blame on him like he shot the torpedo and wanted to murder 1200 innocent people!

Once I got through the first painfully boring half the novel, Dead Wake became a very interesting read.  It brought me to tears when hearing about separated families and dead children.  It made me angry when they laid out the facts of the British government's involvement in the affair.  It gave me goosebumps when hearing first hand accounts after the sinking of the ship.  It also provided closure following some stories through to the end of the survivor's lives.

If you're looking for a juicy read, I would not recommend Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.  Although, if you're looking for facts and enjoy naval warfare, this is the book for you.

If you're looking for more information on Dead Wake by Erik Larson --> Then click this link.

Do you like nonfiction, factual novels?

Monday, March 29, 2021

List: Ten flowers that really attract hummingbirds.

 Today is almost the end of March.  It's also the 10th day of Spring.  What does this have to do with anything, you ask?  Well, it simply means that you should have put up your hummingbird feeders (link) already!  If you haven't, let this be your reminder.  Take a break from this post, put up your feeder, and then come right back.

There's a lot more to attracting hummingbirds than a simple feeder.  You need to create a space that's inviting to hummingbirds, supply nectar they'll actually eat, and even plant their favorite flowers.  This post is all about that latter.  If you need the other information, click the related post linked below.  Today we're going to talk about ten flowers that will attract hummingbirds.

A quick PSA before we go on.  Try to do some research and only plant flowers that are native to your area.  They will flourish, attract insects which hummingbirds also eat, and not harm the ecosystem.

how to get hummingbirds and butterflies in your backyard

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Butterfly bushes, also known as buddleia, produce gorgeous, cone shaped blooms with hundreds of little flowers on each bloom.  These blooms are so packed with nectar that they're known for attracting wildlife such as butterflies, honey bees, and hummingbirds!  Since they do such a great job of attracting things like stinging insects, you will want to plant these away from entertaining areas.
Can be found here.

Daylilies are another plant that produce large, cone shaped flowers that are abundant in nectar.  Hummingbirds will be sure to stop by for some nectar or the ants that are practically guaranteed to be hanging out too.  The only downfall to this plant is the short blooming season.  To attract hummingbirds all season long, you may want to opt for a long lasting flower such as the other options on here.
Can be found here.

Foxglove plants produce the most beautiful cone shaped blooms.  Each bloom is filled with dozens of bell shaped flowers.  Unlike the butterfly bushes where the flowers bloom outwards, these bloom vertically.  They're extra pretty, bloom for long periods of time, and will attract loads of hummingbirds!
Can be found here.

These gorgeous flowers also grow in vertical cones.  Are we seeing a trend yet, people?!  Each cone is filled with hundres of little flowers in vibrant colors.  They are a statement flower that look beautiful in a garden to both humans and hummingbirds.
Can be found here.

If you're a regular here, you may remember this post where I confess my love for these flowers (link).  They are beautiful, resilient, and do a great job of attracting hummingbirds.  Scarlet Sage flowers are known for being bell shaped, having a long blooming season, and for their vibrant red coloring.  Hummingbirds are not only attracted to the shape and nectar of this plant, but they're strongly attracted to the red coloring of it.  If you opt for one flower on this entire list, it should be either this one or #10.
Can be found here.

Another flower that I mentioned previously are calla lilies.  This is the flower that introduced me to hummingbirds on Long Island.  Hummingbirds love these flowers and can't resist stopping by to drink from these long blooming, cone shaped buds.
Can be found here.

These flowers may look a little crazy like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, but they do a fabulous job of attracting hummingbirds.  They produce high quantities of nectar and are the perfect shade of red to attract our tiniest feathered friends.
Can be found here.

These little bell shaped flowers do a great job of attracting hummingbirds.  They grow dozens of little, bell shaped flowers along a long, extended stem.  While not as cone shaped as our other flowers, it does have some cone shape properties.
Can be found here.

These little flowers resemble wait for it pincushions.  They're best described as cute flowers.  While I may find them "cute", hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees seem to think they're a delight thanks to all the nectar that they produce.
Can be found here.

10.  Petunias
Last year we got super lucky with our petunias.  Our bright pink petunias flourished from mid-spring all the way through mid-fall.  I was absolutely ecstatic.  I was happy because they really made our backyard look gorgeous, but also because they did such a great job of attracting hummingbirds.  They would stop by our window feeder, then try some of our petunias, go back to the window feeder, and then fly off.  The hummingbirds would linger for more than 15 minutes at a time several times a day.  Of all our flowers, this is definitely the one that gave us the best luck with attracting hummingbirds.
Can be found here.

Have you ever seen a hummingbird?
Friday, March 26, 2021

Life: Friday Ramblings

 an animal harmed and effected by garbage and pollution

I was extremely SHOCKED... have this little guy land on the feeders outside of my window in a downpour.  When the bird landed so close to me, I grabbed my camera to snap a shot for my R&W Instagram page (link).  At first glance, I thought this little guy was wearing a necklace.  After taking a closer look and remembering that birds don't wear jewelry, I realized it was a rubber band stuck around the bird's neck.  This is a house finch and is about the size of a man's thumb.  In other words, that's a very SMALL rubber band.  It immediately made sense why this guy was sitting on top of the bird feeders in the pouring rain.  He wanted help.

I ran outside to see...
...if he would let me save him.  I must have gotten too close for his comfort so he puffed out his chest and raised his wings to become the most intimidating 3 inch creature around.  The combination of the puffed chest and the cold weather caused the rubber band to snap off.  I was relieved knowing that this little guy wouldn't fly off to get strangled to death somewhere.  Him, obviously unaware of the danger, was extremely miffed that his stylish new accessory broke.  I mean, look at that grumpy face!

I decided to step up in... International Management class for college.  We were broken out into teams and assigned a group project.  Everyone in the group was floundering and making no progress so I decided to step up and lead the group.  I feel like a dictator giving them due dates and assigning them work to do, but we're finally making progress.  I mean, how do people function without a plan?!  No plan = anxiety.

We're extremely behind... life!  Remember this post about houseplants (link) where I told you all about our annual plant maintenance?  We typically do that maintenance in November.  Well, it took us to March this year, but it's finally done.  All of our houseplants are re-potted, got new soil, and have clean leaves!  Better late than never because they're much happier.  I know because they told me so.

What are your Friday Ramblings?
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review: A honest & detailed review of METALLUX UV gel nail polish by LeChat.

I'm really not that big on make up or beauty routines.  While that's true, I never miss my monthly nail appointment with my favorite nail technician.  As far as nail technicians go, she totally gets me!  It's pretty much true love..  That's why whenever she gets a new polish in that she thinks I'd like, I get a text message and the luxury of being the first one to try the color of my choice.  Back in January, I got a text regarding the Metallux nail polish collection by LeChat (link).  She knew that I wasn't too happy about the last "new" collection so she thought she'd make up for it with this one.  Well, she was 100% right!

the best metallic nail polish uv gel

For January, I tried the purplish color which is on the broken nail second from the left in the above pic.  This color is called Paradox (link) and is a combination of purple, fire orange, and crimson metallic colors.  For February, I tried a color called Mesmerize (link) which is the third color from the right that features berry, gold, and green metallic colors.

the best metallic uv gel nail polish

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Review:  METALLUX UV Gel Nail Polish by LeChat

What is METALLUX UV gel nail polish?

For starters, it's a UV gel nail polish that requires a UV light to set.  What makes it unique to other UV gel nail polishes is that the METALLUX collection is a series of nail polishes that are all metallic colors with "color shift effect".  

What exactly does a "color shift effect" mean?

The color of the polish changes with the light and angle.  To be clear, the nail polish is a different color at all times, not necessarily a mixture of all three colors at once.  See above for an example.  &, please excuse my stubby nails.  Long nails annoy me.  From one angle, they look bright green while from another angle, they look almost pinkish with a hint of gold.  Both pictures are taken with the same nail polish with only seconds in between each shot.  Still not convinced?  Check out the video at the end to see for yourself.

What do you like about the polish?

I  l o v e  that the METALLUX collection is filled with colors that are multiple colors.  If that even makes sense..  One minute I'm rocking a pretty pink and the next minute I'm rocking a funky green color.  Since they are metallic colors, the nail polish also has a sparkly look to it and we all know that I love sparkle!

While the color was what enticed me to try the METALLUX collection from the start, it's the quality of the polish that had me use it a second time.  I'm pretty strict with my monthly manicures.  This means that I need a polish that lasts that long.  LeChat has typically worked for me in the past so I wasn't too concerned about the leap.  I'm here to confirm that in both January and February the nail polish lasted the full month.  My nails grew out showing a partially unpainted nail, but there was no chips or breakage in the actual polish.

What didn't you like about the polish?

The only negative that I will say about this polish is that unless you're under the best lighting, it can be hard to pick a color since you'll only see a small fraction of the colors in each sample.  When I picked the Paradox color, I loved the shiny purplish color that I saw on the sample.  Unfortunately, the lighting in my home and at work didn't really bring out this color.  The majority of the time it looked like I was wearing crimson nail polish and I wasn't a big fan of that colorFor February, I did my research and picked a color that I was totally invested in.  Whether it was pink, gold, or green, the shades of Mesmerize didn't disappoint.  Long story short, the only downside is that you may not be fully invested in your color choice without the proper research.

Is there anything else the reader may want to know?

Yes!  There is one last thing.  Since the METALLUX UV gel nail polish collection by LeChat is a "perfect match" collection, your toes will always match your fingers.  Each box comes with a UV gel for your mani and a regular polish for your pedi.

What is your top beauty related pleasure?

Monday, March 22, 2021

List: Ten fun, family friendly activities to do this Spring.

Saturday was the first official day of Spring.  We're already starting to see the temperatures rise, the Spring birds appear, and the green stems of bulbs breaking through the ground.  These are all indications that Winter is now behind us making it the perfect time to start our Springtime planning.  To celebrate the change of seasons, let's put out some fresh cut tulips and start our Springtime bucket list with ten family friendly activities to do this season!

Ten fun, family friendly activities to do this spring

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Ten family activities to do this Spring.

1.  Plant a hummingbird & butterfly garden in your yard.
Last year we planted two buddleia shrubs (link) which are known for it's sweet nectar that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  We planted them late into the Summer so we didn't really get to reap the benefits, but we're looking forward to all the wildlife that they will attract this year!  If you have kids, you could make a chart and list all of the different species that are attracted to your shrub.

Note:  If you do choose to do this in the early Spring, be smart about where you plant these bushes.  Put them away from entertaining areas because they will attract bees, other horrid, stinging creatures, and they're an invasive plant.  If you don't have the perfect spot in the ground for an invasive bush, opt to plant them in a large planter.

2.  Visit your local community center and participate in a seasonal event.
We take advantage of the inexpensive events hosted by a local nature preserve near our home and our community library.  Do a quick search to see what's available near you and participate.

3.  Celebrate Earth day with a season of eco-friendly changes.
If you need some ideas click this link for last year's Earth Day post.  They're all simple yet effective!

4.  Visit a petting zoo or farm.
Spring is the best time to do these fun activities.  Why?  Because all the babies are being born!  Try to time your visit right so that you can see and maybe even interact with some adorable baby animals.  Social media is a great way to gauge when the babies are born.

5.  Make your own kite and then fly it.
Flying a kite is a fun activity on its own.  Add a little DIY to it and it becomes even better.  You could get a kite making kit like this one (link), decorate it, and then head on out to a windy area to fly it as high as it can go!  If you're super crafty or extra bored try to really make a kite from scratch.  As a kid we used to do this with wire hangers and garbage bags.  They didn't always work, but they were always fun to make.

6.  Plant a vegetable garden.
Towards the end of Spring we always aim for Mother's Day start to plant your vegetable garden.  This is something that you can either do in the ground or in pots.  Last year was our first time gardening in pots and we had some great crops!  The plants that did really well were the Japanese eggplant, grape tomatoes, and red peppers.

Idea:  We always plant our indoor garden on Mother's Day as well.  This includes our indoor herb garden (link).  We've had lots of luck with planting indoor herbs like basil and having it last for a very long time.  As long as you keep removing the leaves regularly, the plant won't seed and will keep producing herbs.  Don't believe me?  My freezer has basil for days!

7.  Do a Spring clean out and have a yard sale.
This is the perfect time of year to start your Spring cleaning efforts (link) which includes purging and identifying items that you don't really need.  Ask your friends and family to do the same and have a May yard sale.  It's a great way to get a little extra cash while making space in your home.  Not to mention, I think yard sales are fun!  Whatever you don't sell, package up neatly and donate to a local charity.

8.  Attend a local tulip festival.
While the rest of the world is having a ball at the local strawberry ew festivals, you can find me at the local tulip festival!  There's booths with activities for the kids to participate in, pony rides, local vendors selling handmade items, and lots of tulips!

9.  Volunteer at an animal shelter.
A friend of mine does this and I thought it was such a great idea!  With the weather getting more bearable, animals shelters could be looking for volunteer dog walkers.  You'll be able to get some exercise, play with some fun pooches, and do a good deed, even if it's just for a day!

10.  Make a backyard bird sanctuary.
Since you're all probably sick of hearing me talk about this, I'll just add a link.  Click here for all you need to know (link).  You never know, you may get addicted to birding and just in time for the season of babies!

What's on your bucket list this Spring?