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Stuttering Shell: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

on the move.

i'm not a spontaneous person, but - every now & again - i get impulsive. this is kind of surprising to some who really know me because a) i'm not a fan of surprises and b) i don't always welcome change with open arms.

where am i going with this? i'm saying goodbye to blogger.

no, i'm not giving up blogging. i'm moving stuttering shell to wordpress {didn't you see the message above??}. a move to wordpress has always been in the back of my mind, but i was never quite ready to take the leap.

until now.


why? that is the most popular question i've been asked since announcing on the twit that i was jumping ship.

well, first of all, i owe a lot to mrs. monologues for really making me consider the move. and, side note, she's moving to wordpress, too, so if you follow her blog then you need to make sure you follow the same steps listed above for her blog. second, although it's going to cost me more money in the long run {right now i only pay for my domain which is like $10 a year}, i like knowing that my blog will really be my blog. blogger has been good to me - really good to me - but i want to own my content. i also want my blog to have more security. i mean, if blogger were to ever go away, so would my blog {remember the blogger glitch a while back? yeah. not cool.}.

so, in the coming month, please be prepared for some downtime as i move my blog to my own web hosting space & transfer my domain. and, get excited because my new move also means a new blog layout courtesy of the amazing brea of utterly chaotic.

in the meantime, just remember to copy & paste my blog's url into your google reader or subscribe via rss feed. you know, so you can still keep up with me. if not, you'll miss seeing this face...

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

valentine's day à la tiny prints.

i've professed my love for tiny prints before and, here i am, professing my love for their super cute, personalized cards once again. valentine's day is fast approaching and i love being able to send my children to school with sweet notes and cards for their classmates and teachers. personally, if you ask me, i think valentine's day is overrated, but it think it's such a fun holiday for children.


ask anyone who is a fan of tiny prints and they'll tell you: the selection of cards is amazing. once again, tiny prints has outdone themselves with their section of valentine cards. tiny prints doesn't just offer valentine's day greeting cards, but you can also get photo cards and party invitations, too, each with a valentine's day theme.

it's hard to choose just one card that would be perfect for either of my children's classmates, but here are a few of the designs that we are currently in love with...


my daughter is quite the baker and is in love with cupcakes, so this would be the perfect card for her to share with her classmates this valentine's day. 


and another valentine's day card contender...another cupcake themed card! the simplicity of this design is perfect for exchanging with classmates.


this option is great for my son who isn't quite into all of the lovey-dovey valentine's day cards. i like that this card - in addition to all of the tiny prints valentine's day cards - is different from what you'll find in your nearest discount store.


and we just loved this fortune cookie valentine's day card. it's perfect for both my daughter & son to share with their classmates.  

like what you're seeing? then i urge you to check out all of the valentine's day cards that tiny prints has to offer.  in addition, you can follow tiny prints on twitter, facebook & pinterest. check them out!


disclaimer: in exchange for a blog post showcasing their valentine's day collection, tiny prints is giving me 50 free kids valentine's day cards of my choice. all opinions in this post are my own & tiny prints did not influence my opinion or the wording of this blog post.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

guest post: polka dot mani

hey y'all! i'm so excited to have my friend, andrea, from my chihuahua bites guest posting on the blog today. she's talking about something near & dear to my heart: nail polish. for as long as i can remember, i've always loved a mani that was different and what andrea has created is so fun & i cannot wait to recreate her look on my own nails. 

enjoy!!




Hey friends! I’m so excited to be guest posting on Stuttering Shell today. I’m Andrea, a 30 something mommy addicted to Sephora, makeup brushes, reality TV, and nail polish. I found Michelle on Twitter through a friend, and I soon realized we have a ton in common - we share of a love of nail polish, k-cups, and Lis.

I haven’t always been into nail polish. Up until about a year ago, I was strictly a special occasion mani type of girl. I didn’t polish my nails at home, and on the rare occasion I did, I ran around with polish smeared all over my fingers and cuticles.

Not cute.

About 6 months ago, I picked up some Sally Hansen polish from Wal-Mart and decided to carpe diem and give myself a mani. I learned to erase my polish mistakes with q-tips and acetone, and I’ve never looked back. I don’t know what got into me that day, but I’ve had polish on my nails every day since. I’m about to enter Nail Polish Addicts, as my polish collection is starting to get quite out of control.

Today I want to share a fun (and easy!) Valentine’s Day mani with you. Polka dots are one of the easiest forms of nail art, and you can do it to your nails with stuff you already have at home.

I apologize in advance for the pictures – it is impossibly hard to take pictures of yourself with only one hand.


You’ll need the following tools:

  • Red, white, and pink nail polish
  • A dotting tool – mine came from Sally’s, but you could also use a pointed q-tip or even a toothpick.
I’ll share the exact brands/names of the polishes at the end of the post.

Start by painting the ring finger of each hand with two coats of pink polish. Paint the rest of your nails with two coats of white polish.


Let your nails fully dry; however, do not yet apply a top coat.  Drop 2 dots of each color of polish onto a paper plate. You can see I have a dot of red, white, and pink on the plate.


Using your dotting tool, q-tip, or toothpick pick up a small amount of polish on the tip of your tool. Start with pink; gently dot in a random pattern all over your white nails. Leave room for red dots!


After you’ve applied the pink polka dots, wipe off your tool (or get a new q-tip!) and start with red dots.  Apply to both the white and pink ring finger nails.


Now it’s time for the white! The white dots only go on your pink ring fingers.  Seal off your mani with a top coat, and you’re done! 

Enjoy your polka dot nails!


Base Coat: OPI Nail Envy & Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat
Pink: OPI Pink Friday
White: OPI Alpine Snow
Red: China Glaze Poinsettia
Top Coat: INM Out The Door 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

my eight year old eats what?

so there is a pretty popular book circulating the parenting set about expanding your child's particular palate. i haven't read it, so please forgive me if what i'm about to say seems harsh but...

do you really need to read a book to figure out how to get your picky eater to eat?

in my opinion, no. i believe that picky parents produce picky children. why? well, if you don't like it, what makes you think your child is going to like it? i was raised by parents who believed that you ate what you were given. if you didn't like it, you either sat there until you ate it or you went hungry. and - surprise, surprise - i am raising my children the same way. 

i'm not a short order cook. my kitchen is not a restaurant. there is a menu, but there is only one thing on it: you get what you get & you don't throw a fit.

don't get me wrong, there are things my children choose not to eat. malia refuses to eat tomatoes, brussel sprouts & blueberries. aidan also doesn't care for brussel sprouts {but he'll eat them...reluctantly}. but, what my children will and do eat amazes people. i've blogged about it before, but my children are actually quite adventurous when it comes to food. i think a lot of that is due to the fact that adam & i are not picky eaters and are quite adventurous ourselves. are we foodies? i guess so. but, i do the draw the line at certain things and - more often than not - my children surprise me and show that they are more adventurous than i am when it comes to culinary deliciousness. 

case in point...

{gotta love a blurry cell phone pic}

that picture above? that's aidan eating a duck foot. yes, a duck foot. and, that particular duck foot was wrapped in a skin made from tofu. there was also taro root & steamed shrimp inside {my father & i joked that was the duck's toe jam}

i know, i know...ew, right? i don't even eat duck feet. but, aidan wasn't made to eat it. we were at our favorite dim sum spot in boston. my mom ordered them and we asked the kids, "do you want to try one?" malia said no. aidan said sure. i always tell my kids to give something a shot before they decide they don't like it, especially when it comes to food. this is what aidan did and guess what? he liked the duck foot.

so, while some of you are battling the "i only want chicken nuggets" blues, don't get frustrated. instead, get smart. hell, outsmart your child. stop catering. serve what you are eating. your child might surprise you. but, if you're picky, well, i don't know what to tell you. this mama doesn't do picky.

p.s. food allergies and other sensitivities do not count as being picky. 

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Monday, January 23, 2012

gung hay fat choy.

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we're wearing red, eating noodles and celebrating the new year...again.

happy chinese new year, y'all!



psst...did you enter my giveaway?

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

coffee date & a giveaway.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
THANKS FOR ENTERING!



before i catch you up on some of the yummy portion packs we've been indulging in, i want to let you know that you can get free shipping and 15% off your purchase at green mountain coffee by using the code
AM0016-3605. this code is good until february 29th.
{no minimum purchase required & offer is valid in the u.s. only}

once upon a time, i referred to myself as the ambassador of coffee quan.
of course, anyone who owns a keurig might think of themselves in the same way. 
but, you & i both know that the keurig is not just for coffee lovers.

one of my family's favorite portion packs is the hot apple cider.

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made from real apples, this is a warm, refreshing drink that the whole family enjoys. my children love that it's an alternative to hot chocolate and they have a lot of fun using the keurig to make a cup. the hot apple cider portion packs are available year round.

another favorite are the fair trade coffees.

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the sumatran reserve is just one example of the variety of fair trade coffees offered at green mountain coffee. my husband and i loved the bold flavor of this blend. 

it's no secret that i love iced coffee. while it's convenient to swing into my favorite coffee shop and order an iced coffee to go, it is certainly cheaper to be able to make them at home. i'll admit...i was skeptical of the iced coffee portion packs at first. but, add in some hazelnut syrup and some half & half and i'm good to go.

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everyone i know how has a keurig has tried the donut house variety of portion packs. the flavor is familiar...it's described as "easy going, bold, and dependable."

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we enjoyed the "regular" variety of donut house, but we did not care for the cinnamon roll portion pack by donut house. my husband and i prefer bolder, stronger coffees and the cinnamon roll was a bit too weak for our taste.

for the holidays, we had the privilege of sampling two seasonal portion packs: spicy eggnog & gingerbread.

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my husband and i are not big fans of flavored coffees. yes, we'll use flavored creamers or add syrups to our coffee, but we prefer a nice, bold coffee taste for our coffee {if that makes any sense at all}. my father enjoyed the gingerbread coffee. it had a nice, spicy flavor and he enjoyed it black. the spicy eggnog's flavor, however, was inconsistent. sometimes it tasted like eggnog, sometimes it did not.

one seasonal flavor i did enjoy was the pumpkin spice. yum, yum!

perhaps the most favorite portion pack we've sampled thus far has been the barista prima variety: french roast, italian roast, house blend & colombia.

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out of the four varieties, the house blend was our least favorite. why? because it wasn't as bold as the other three. the italian roast was my husband's favorite. i preferred the french roast. both were smooth, bold and tasty. in many ways, the rich flavor reminded me a lot of the coffee we enjoy whenever we vacation in mexico.

and, if you've made it this far, you have the chance to win a four pack sampler of the barista prima variety {one serving of each blend}. and, as an added bonus, i'll even throw in a box of your favorite portion pack!

here's how to enter...
in a comment, let me know your favorite keurig portion pack.
for an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway. leave proof of the tweet in a separate comment.


please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so i have a way to contact you if you're the winner.

Winner will be announced on Friday, February 3rd!

disclosure:  i am a k-cup ambassador working in conjunction with green mountain coffee roasters & the your perfect cup program.  i was given all of the k-cups mentioned as compensation for my review.  all opinions in this review are my own. regarding the giveaway, the barista prima sampler has been provided by green mountain roasters. the bonus portion pack will be paid for and provided by me.

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lilo prints giveaway winner.

i'm pleased to announce the winner of the lilo prints giveaway...


i will put you in contact with lindsay so you can claim your custom print.

congratulations!

thank you to all who entered. i encourage you to contact lindsay for any & all of your custom print needs. 

p.s. more giveaways are coming. and, make sure you check out my post about homemade laundry detergent.


psst...giveaway winner was chosen using random.org. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

the one about laundry detergent.

i stopped buying & using store bought laundry detergent a few months ago.

my first attempt at making homemade laundry detergent was a success. i followed the recipe that just about everyone uses:

1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda
1 grated bar of soap like fels naptha

blend ingredients together in a food processor and use two tablespoons per load

i was pleasantly surprised by how effective this detergent was and how cheap it was to make. i made a second batch and i fell even more in love with homemade laundry detergent. i thought everything was perfect.

but then i read a blog post that made reference to another blog post...and my love for homemade laundry detergent was taken to a new level.

behold, gel-ish laundry detergent:

{detergent i gave to my favorite beach bum}

making this detergent used exactly the same recipe as the one above except i needed to use my stove instead of a food processor. i also needed a five gallon bucket. oh, and a lot of water.

for the exact specifics on how to make the detergent, please check out this blog post at she-laughs.

honestly, making the detergent took no more than a half an hour one evening. i did require my husband's help {he poured the hot detergent mixture into the five gallon bucket for me while i stirred}. and, i'll be honest, i had a hard time waiting the full twenty-four hours for the detergent to congeal. but, the payoff has been great...and bountiful, too!

{that funny looking spot towards the bottom of the picture? yeah, i stuck my hand in the jelly-like detergent.}

{i now have five gallons of laundry detergent}

yes, you read right...five gallons of laundry detergent. well, it's close enough to five gallons. five gallons equals to 640 ounces {correct me, please, if i'm wrong!}. do you know what it cost me to make this much laundry detergent? less than $2. say what?!




i realize prices will vary by state and store, but those pictures above show what i paid for each item at my local wally world. and, just so you know, the five gallon bucket cost me roughly $5 from the home depot. so, yeah, for less than $2 {$7ish if you count the bucket} and about a half an hour of my time i have an approximately six month supply of laundry detergent. six months. y'all, i was spending like $20 a month or so on detergent {i do a lot of laundry}

my thoughts:
  • this detergent cleans well. i'm going to start adding in a scoop of washing soda for an added boost. you can use oxyclean, but clearly, washing soda is cheaper.
  • i call this detergent gel-ish because it is. honestly, it reminds me of chunky snot {hey, i'm a mom}. you have to stir the detergent after it sets for the initial 24 hour period. i can't seem to get the chunks out. but, the chunks don't take away from the detergent...it just makes for some interesting pouring.
  • this detergent is safe for high efficiency/front loading machines. speaking of h.e./front loaders, my washer has two loading options for detergent, one for powder and one for liquid. i use the powder option.
  • i try not to go into the five gallon bucket in an effort to keep it air tight. i keep a stash of the detergent in a smaller container on my washing machine. i was asked if this will mold or mildew. i honestly don't know. 
  • call me crazy, but i've noticed a change in my skin since using homemade laundry detergent. i don't have sensitive skin, but i would guess that this detergent is safe for everyone to use.
if you're feeling adventurous and looking to rev up your budget and be more conscious of the products you are using, i urge you to make homemade laundry detergent. if you don't want to go the gel-ish route, definitely try the powder detergent {same ingredients, super easy to make}.

if you have any questions, just ask. i'll do my best to answer them. 

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the nail files {1.20.12}

The Nail Files

before i share with you my nails for the week, let me go back & touch upon a few things regarding the at home gel mani i blogged about last week.

1.  after hitting publish on that post, my nails started to chip. go figure. but, having polish last a week {with minimal wear} on my fingernails is a big deal. remember, i'm brutal on my hands. 
2.  i used regular nail polish remover to take it off. i didn't need to buy acetone. so, use whatever you have.
3.  a lot of people have asked...no uv light is necessary for that particular at home gel mani.
4.  i haven't used the polish that came with the gel mani set, but i plan on using it soon.
5.  for the price, i'll definitely give myself an at home gel mani again and again. it's so much more cheaper than going to the salon.

i visited my parents over the weekend & while i was there i raided my mother's nail polish stash. she's got quite the collection {she's probably the reason i'm hooked on polish...ha!}. you'll be happy to know that i finally jumped on board the single glitter nail train, too.


{again, excuse the janky cuticles & the crummy cell phone pics.}

what am i wearing?
&
opi's bring on the bling {for my glitter accent}

when we came home on monday, my daughter asked me to paint her nails like mine. so, she's rocking a similar look, except she's wearing orly's sea gurl & i used opi's rainbow connection for her glitter accent.

go link up with vicki & tara and share with us what you're wearing on your nails this week.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

currently loving.


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korres guava bath & body collection

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paper mate inkjoy 300 rt pens

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starbucks caffe verona k-cup portion packs

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what are you currently loving?

if you own a keurig or received one for the holidays, please come back to my blog tomorrow because i'm giving away a mini sampler pack of the barista prima k-cup portion pack {when i say mini, it's one sample of each of the four barista prima roasts}. also, if you need to stock up on portion packs, please take advantage of the code at the top of my blog!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

guest post: i'm a writer.

i hope you enjoy this guest post written by one of my blog's sponsors, megg, from the life of a not so desperate housewife. i think a lot of you can relate to what she is sharing. i know her words resonated with me. enjoy!



Recently my dad told me to "write boldly". It really made me think, and questions why I write a blog.

There are many people with many more followers. People who get many comments on each post they write. Then there's me, just muddling along. I get excited when I get one comment on a post that I write! But you know what? I don't write to get followers or comments, not that I mind either of those things. I write for myself.

It took me years to realize something about myself. I'm a writer at heart. It always amuses me, because my mom is a medical biller, and my dad is an engineer. My sister and I are both writers. In a previous life I was a reporter, and though I don't write now, it's in by blood, and I have to write.

It really isn't anything I ever thought about. Growing up I never thought to myself, I want to be a writer when I grow up, and yet I am. Even now, when I say I'm a writer, I almost feel odd, because to me a writer is someone who publishes books, and is famous.And yet, I am a writer.

Writing brought me my husband. I was working at a coffee shop, and I wasn't getting my writing fix, so I started an online, text-based game. The result? A wonderful friend who was in our wedding, and my wonderful husband. Shortly after we started dating, I got the reporter job, and my writing desire was fulfilled, again.

When I went back to school I wasn't writing, though I was focused on my school work, so I suppose I was distracted. After I graduated, I was home, alone, and bored. I turned to writing, and started a blog.

Writing is in my blood. I have to do it. I've been told that I'm a good writer, but I don't see it. I just write, the words flow, and I feel better. It's a part of me, and it always has been. While I love knowing that people read what I write (any writer does, I suppose) the most important thing for me is simply to write. To let the words flow. No matter what I'm doing it my life, in either my vocation or my avocation, I need to write.

I'm a writer.



want to read more? subscribe or follow megg's blog, the life of a not so desperate housewife.

don't forget she's offering free shipping on purchases from her etsy shop, too! use the code: freeship10

psst...don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free print from lilo prints!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the state of {my marital} union.

i made a comment on twitter this morning about how i told my husband i wanted a divorce for our ten year anniversary.

it's a joke, people.

and, i know some of you out there are wondering how the hell i can even joke about something like marriage {or divorce}. well, considering i've been with the same man for nearly 18 years...

i can.

i'm entitled to feel the way that i do when my husband does something to piss me off or says something that will cause me to fly off the handle. he's not perfect. neither am i. but, are we perfect for one another? without a doubt.

i've said before that marriage is not easy. we've fallen apart more than once. we have our good moments. but, we have our share of bad moments, too. our relationship has evolved in many ways over the years. in a sense, we've grown up together. we met when we were 13. we started dating at 16. the rest, as they say, is history.

my husband was raised in a broken home. i was not. my parents are on the verge of their 40th wedding anniversary. but, even they haven't had a perfect marriage. i'm not ashamed to admit that my marriage is not perfect. we are certainly loyal to one another, but we argue, cuss & fight. throw stress into the mix and watch out. i'm nothing even close to the ideal wife. i'll admit it...i'm mean. i have demands & expectations. my husband does, too.

unfortunately, i don't have a filter and have no problem letting the world know when i am angry with my other half. i just don't see the point in sugar coating things. i mean, what's the point in that? in many ways, the institution of marriage has become a joke. people assume you're in for many years of blissful happiness and that things will be lovey-dovey and perfect. wrong. marriage takes a lot of work. even the happiest of married couples will admit to tough times if you ask them.

some of you will never understand the dynamics of my relationship with my husband. what seems like dysfunction to some looks like a well-oiled machine to others. i'm not making excuses for my marriage. i'm telling you like it is.

those vows i spoke on february 23, 2002? i meant every word. 

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Friday, January 13, 2012

giveaway: free custom print from lilo prints

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
THANK YOU FOR ENTERING.



lilo prints is an up & coming etsy shop owned by the hard working mama of twin boys, lindsay. she blogs at undomestic chica and she just happens to be one of my blog's sponsors for the months of january & february. in an effort to get the word out about lilo prints & help launch her business, lindsay has generously offered one of my readers a print of their choice.

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lilo prints offers a variety of fun & whimsical sayings as well as clever options to announce a birth or memorialize a special date or moment.

the prints are all 8"x10" for easy framing and lindsay works with her customers to guarantee their satisfaction. don't like the color or font? just tell lindsay and she'll collaborate with you to come up with a one of a kind design suited to your taste. in addition, the giclée prints are printed on high-quality, eco-friendly, acid-free fine art paper and are printed with professional archival pigment ink.

do you need a print for your gallery wall? is your office lacking some zest? could your child's room use a fun saying? go check out lilo prints' selection & enter to win a print of your very own.

how to enter:

visit lilo prints & let me know your favorite print. don't have a favorite, but want something custom? that's cool, too. {this is mandatory, y'all!}

for additional entries...

*like lilo prints on facebook
*follow lindsay's blog, undomestic chica
*follow lindsay on the twit
*follow me on the twit
*tweet about this giveaway {please leave proof of your tweet}
*follow my blog, stuttering shell
*blog about this giveaway

giveaway winner will be announced on friday, january 20th!

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the nail files {1.13.12}


The Nail Files


last week, vicki & tara kicked off a weekly link up that is all about nail polish. you know, trends, manis, pedis, favorite brands, what color you're currently wearing, etc. being the slacker that i am, i didn't participate last week for the inaugural post. instead, i'm a week late, but all will be forgiven when i share with you all the gel mani i gave myself last friday.

yes, instead of posting with the nail files last week i was giving myself a mani instead. a gel mani. at home.

i can't take credit for the idea of the at home gel mani. i owe a huge thanks to my favorite beach bum who not only linked me to the blog post she found on pinterest {no surprise there}, but she also showed me the stuff to get while we were at ulta last week.

this is what you'll need:

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it doesn't matter which color you choose {i bought sheer natural} because you need the small bottle of activator that is inside of the box...

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just to let you know, there are more than three color choices for this kit. the kit was $11.99 at ulta and i also found it at cvs for $11.99. cvs had a $1.50 off coupon at the display and i also had a $5 cvs gift card so i got the kit for a steal. i will admit, i was skeptical. but, where else can you get a gel mani for less than $6?! and, even if it was a total bust at least i wasn't spending a lot of money on my nails, ya know?

anyways, here was my result:

{at home mani was done on friday, january 6th}

i used my own base coat, polish color & top coat {orly bonder, orly fowl play & seche vite}. i did have to use the cleaner that came with the kit to clean off the brush for the bonder because it did get stiff from coming into contact with the activator. my nails didn't take long to dry & i was quite pleased with the result. also, i didn't need to swipe my nails with rubbing alcohol to get a shine either {like you sometimes have to do with a professional gel mani}.

here is my manicure today...one week later:


{please excuse my janky cuticles. my hands are a mess right now. blasted dry skin & eczema!}

i had minimal wear at the tips & one small chip on my left thumb. i'm super hard on my hands & nails. i don't wear gloves when i clean or wash dishes. i use my nails to peel labels and open things. i am a manicurist's worst nightmare. 

overall, i'm VERY pleased with the at home gel mani. it stinks that you have to buy a whole kit just for the  activator, but for the price i think it's still worth it because a professionally done gel mani will run you up to three times the cost of the kit. and, there is a coupon inside the kit for $2 off of your next purchase, so it's like a win-win in my book. the next time i give myself a gel mani, i will try using the polish that came with the kit. look for that in a future link up of the nail files.

oh, and if you want detailed instructions about the mani, please check out the blog post that kate put together over at the small things blog.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

it's ok thursday: #2 for 2012


Its Ok Thursdays

it's thursday. you know what to do.

IT'S OK...

...that i've been slacking on the blog posts this week because i want y'all to check out my sponsors.
click here and here.

...to dread tomorrow night's class. seriously, who schedules a graduate level education course at 7pm on a friday night? and, who signs up for stuff like that? oh, yeah...me.

...that i still need to post a couple of reviews & giveaways. it will happen this weekend. maybe.

...that i promised {two weeks ago} to write a tutorial on how to make a rag wreath. it hasn't happened...yet.

...to be beyond excited that tervis now has a dale earnhardt, jr. tumbler. {p.s. i love me some stock car racing.}

...to be pleasantly surprised by my at home gel mani. i'm linking up with vicki & tara tomorrow to share the deets.

...to dream about going to blissdom & blogher this year. neither will happen, i'm sure. blissdom falls during the weekend of my 10th wedding anniversary. blogher falls right at the end of the summer session {and this girl, unfortunately, will be in classes all summer long}.

...to want to label EVERYTHING with chalkboard contact paper.

...to be slightly obsessed with watching little gold stars fall into the mug on my phone's starbucks app.

...to want to paint stripes inside my cleaning closet because jen did it. my husband says it's not necessary. i think it is. 

...to be excited that my links now open in a new window. you can run, but you can't hide from my blog. ha!

...to be ready for warmer, spring-like weather. 

...to be happy that days are getting a little bit longer.

go link up with neely or amber & share with us what's been OK with you this week.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

january sponsor "shout out!" {part two}

if you haven't already noticed the new sponsor tab, please go check it out!

yesterday, i introduced the first half of stuttering shell's sponsors for the month of january. today, i'm excited to share rest of my blog's sponsors with you {because cramming ten sponsors in one post would have been a bit much}. just like i asked yesterday, please join me in welcoming my sponsors {you'll see them in february, too!}.


meet celia. she's the adorable author of the blog ...just trying to find my way.
she's also a bad ass scentsy consultant.


Ybarra Scentsy


"Scentsy is a safe, wickless alternative to scented candles. 

The Scentsy motto is to warm the heart, enliven the senses, and inspire the soul.

I originally started my Scentsy business knowing that one day I may want to be a stay-at-home Mom.
I am independent in every sense of the word. Scentsy would allow me to stay at home while still contributing to the household. Now, I'm engaged and planning an intimate wedding for October 2012. The goal? Pay for our wedding using money earned from my Scentsy business!

If you love a smell good home you will love Scentsy. Completely safe for your little ones, as well as your furkids! We have over 80 scents to choose from. We have warmers, room sprays, scent packs, travel tins, scent circles for your cars, and stuffed animals!"

January Warmer - Valentine $31.50 sale price for January!

like what you see?
you can follow celia on the twit, follow her blog,
AND






custom, personalized ribbon?
yes, you need it!



meet royal ribbons.
"We provide custom, personalized ribbon for every occasion starting at $2.50 a yard. Discounts apply to large orders. Ribbon widths start at 3/8" and go up to 4". Minimum purchase is 3 yards. Our ribbon is perfect for businesses, gifts, corporate events, holidays, baby and wedding showers, weddings, birthday or any other reason you want to stand out and make your mark!

For information or to order please contact us at RoyalRibbon@yahoo.com."


just one example of a custom ribbon order...
{via}

like what you see?
you can follow royal ribbons on facebook and you can follow the shop's owner on the twit.
royal ribbons' owner also blogs at the life of a suburban princess.








need the perfect gift?
well, look no further & let the preppy poppy help you with all of your personalized gift needs. 

owner & designer angela takes pride in creating one-of-a kind, monogrammed items for her customers.

from the preppy poppy website:

"Initiated by her creativeness and her need for adorable personalized items, she created, The Preppy Poppy.  Named after her love affair with Poppy flowers and her love for always Preppy J. Crew (she was not paid for this endorsement - but wishes she was) clothing, she joined the two names. 
 Angela's creations are inspired by her children, for whom she insists on dressing in personalized matching outfits every chance she gets!
 What was once intended to be an online boutique for all ages has now been centered on children.  Though we carry some personalized items for adults, it appears our kids items are a hit!
 The Preppy Poppy strives to create original and quality merchandise.  How do we know that people like us - because they always come back! 
 We appreciate your interest in The Preppy Poppy. We hope you have as much fun shopping the site, as we do creating the products!"

the preppy poppy can also be found on etsy.


{via}


like what you see?
you can follow the preppy poppy on the twit. you can also keep up with the owner, angela, on her blog, diary of a domestic failure.





meet lindsay.
she's known around the blogoverse as the undomestic chica
she's a hard workin' mama of twin boys who recently turned a year old...happy birthday e & e!!
if you already love her blog, then you're going to love her etsy store...




custom prints {you know, like subway art} are hot, hot, hot right now.
at lilo prints, you'll find a wide variety of prints at an affordable price.

even better? everything can be customized.
promise.
why? because lindsay said so:
"the biggest thing i want everyone to know is everything can be completely customized. if they don't like the background color posted in the shop, let me know and i'll change it. if they want the font to be just a bit different, let me know and i'll create a custom posting for them. if they don't see a quote they like, i can make a custom listing so they'll get exactly what they want. the possibilities are endless with lilo prints!"


like what you see? well, then go favorite lilo prints in etsy. you can also like lilo prints on facebook.


psst...lindsay has generously offered one of my readers a free print.
details on a giveaway from lilo prints is coming soon, but for now, start making a list of your favorites or think about a customized order.








meet gina.
she is the mastermind behind all of the personalized paper goodies & more at
a touch of whimsy.



i know many of you are already fans of a touch of whimsy, so i'm excited to share a discount code with you all! from now until january 31st, you can get 15% off of your order* when you use the code: shell15


new products are continually being added to the shop and right now a touch of whimsy is offering a faster processing time AND lower shipping rates.

are you looking for a pretty case for the iphone you got for christmas? 


{via}


what about some fun address labels like these envelope label wraps?
{via}


personally, i'm just slightly obsessed with chalkboard labels & i'm beyond thrilled to find that a touch of whimsy carries them in a variety of styles & sizes. 
{via}


a touch of whimsy has you covered whether you're looking for personalized paper goods or a fun, cute personalized gift idea. 


to quote gina...
"you'll quickly come to realize that i love what i do and want you to have the best experience possible. i truly hope you enjoy shopping here & find a way to add a little touch of whimsy to someones day!"



don't forget to use the code shell15 for 15% off of your order* until january 31st!
*code not valid on gift certificate purchases, sale or custom items


like what you see?
you can follow a touch of whimsy on the twit and you can like a touch of whimsy on facebook, too!



i cannot thank my TEN inaugural blog sponsors enough for coming along on this journey with me.
it is my desire to create a mutually beneficial relationship with all of my sponsors.
i hope stuttering shell readers will reach out & welcome my sponsors with open arms. 

please take the time to read their blogs & browse their sites. get to know them & consider their shops for any or all of your next gift purchases. 

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