Thursday, September 29, 2011

#8. Find a pretty fall nail polish color

The other day while I was visiting my local drugstore (picking up supplies for a school assignment of course), I couldn't resist walking through the beauty department.  I decided that it was time to pick out my fall nail polish color.  After all, it is part of my fall challenge!  There were so many pretty colors to choose from.  During the summer, my nail polish motto is, "the brighter, the better!"  Now that it's fall, I decided to try something a little different.  After much deliberation, I chose a bottle of NYC In A New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in a pretty shade called Manhattan.  Manhattan is a dark purple color (maybe you could call it mauve).  My favorite thing about the NYC nail polish line is how inexpensive it is.  I bought a 0.33 oz bottle for $2.  Although this nail polish is not a top of the line polish, I change colors frequently (I try to repaint them at least once a week), I can't afford to buy the expensive brands every time.  All in all, I was happy with my purchase and I love my new fall color! :)

From NYC:
"At last, a manicure that moves at the speed of Manhattan. NYC's In a New York Color Minute nail polish is slick, glossy polish that goes from wet to set in less than 60 seconds with a special control-flow brush that dispenses just the right amount of color for perfect application…even if you need to apply while heading across town in a taxi. Be vibrant, be brilliant and be bright for less."

Wide range of colors
Dries quickly
Full brush

Needs top coat for shine/even finish
Must use at least 2 coats for even color

Here is a photo.  It isn't great but that is only because my camera cord is missing and I had to use my phone. :)  Also, I'm out of clear top coat, so I will have to post another photo once I restock so my nails will look all pretty and shiny.

Here is another photo featuring someone with very pretty nails and a very nice camera. :)

As you can see, the color is dark purple, but in certain light, you can see a hint of red.

Have you every tried NYC nail polish?  What is your favorite "on-a-budget" nail polish line?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#14. Go to a flea market

First of all, happy fall!

As of last Friday, September 23, it is officially the fall season!  If you have been reading my blog lately, you will probably remember that I started a fall challenge as a way to get more into the spirit of fall (if you missed my post, check it out here).

Item number 14 on my list was to visit a flea market.  Today after church, my husband and I thought we would venture out to our local flea market.  The first thing I learned was that if you want to go to the flea market, it is probably best to go early on Saturday morning.  By the time we got there it was late Sunday afternoon (but still a few hours before closing).  Many of the vendors had already packed up and  left.  We did still find some interesting things (though we came home empty handed).  For one, did you know that you can buy socks and underwear and the flea market?  Did you know that you can also have moles removed at the flea market?  Yep, you read that right.  We also found a vendor selling homemade soap (which I must say, it was pretty cool), another selling adorable purses, and another selling more sports memorabilia than I cared to see.  I look forward to going back during the busier hours to see what else I can find.

Wandering around the flea market made me think to myself, "where in the world did they get the name 'flea market' from?"  I decided to look it up.  According to, we don't know for sure where the name came from.  The best guess, however, comes from the popular Le Marche aux Puces (that's the "market of the fleas" for all you non-French speakers) in Paris.  The name came from the belief that the merchants' goods were more than likely infested with fleas.  For more information, you can read the full article here.

Have you ever been to the flea market?  If so, what did you think?  What was your best find?  Are you willing to check one out now that you know more about them?

I look forward to my next adventure, and I hope you do too! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Worst Book Ever Written

As you may know, my major is elementary education.  Because of this, many of my professors read books to us in class that we can use later in our classrooms.  Today one of my professors read this book:

The book is Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya.

Summary:  During World War II, Japanese officials decided that all of the "dangerous" animals at the Uneo Zoo in Tokyo, Japan needed to be killed.  Their reasoning was that if the zoo were to be bombed and the cages were ruined, the animals would not injure the people of Tokyo.  After killing many of the more dangerous animals, it was time to kill the three performing elephants at the zoo.  The elephants would not eat poisoned food, and their hides were too tough to puncture with needles, so they were starved to death.  It was a long and brutal death and although the zookeepers did not agree, they went along with it.  This book was based on a true story.

About halfway through reading the book, most of my classmates either had tears in their eyes or looks of disgust upon their faces.  Our professor recommended that we only read this books to fifth graders and above, and that the book could be used to show the other side of war.  Personally, I could never, ever, read this book to children.  I feel that it could possibly be used in upper levels (middle to high school) in a World War II unit, but even then, I probably couldn't read it.  The language of the book is horribly descriptive and the illustrations are even more vivid.

What upset me most of all was that my professor mentioned that she read the book to a classroom of students after many of their parents had been deployed in the Gulf War.  The purpose was to show them that negative effects of war.  I was shocked.  How could that be an appropriate use for this book???  When used in that context, it makes military men and women look like cruel elephant killers.  Is that the message we should give children about their parents?  Especially while their parents are deployed.  I understand that we should view both sides of every conflict, but I do not think that it was an appropriate time or place for it.  I also know that many people do not agree with wars, and you are entitled to your opinion.  However, I feel that my professor chose an inappropriate time and place to read this book.

What do you think?  Have you read the book?  Do you think my professor picked a good time to read the book?  Do you think that all books can be read at any time, or do you think that certain books should only be read at certain times?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Fall "Bucket List"

As the fall quickly approaches (according to, Fall officially begins September 23), I thought it would be fun to make a fall "bucket list."  Here in Florida, it is sometimes to get into the seasonal spirit, simply because we don't have much of a "fall."  I know it may seem like much, but I thought it might be fun to try out some new things.  I plan to write about all of my adventures here.  As for my "bucket list," here goes:

1. Carve a pumpkin
2. Make at least 1 DIY Halloween decoration (so that our apartment will be festive)
3. Make at least 1 DIY Thanksgiving decoration
4. Make popcorn balls
5. Bake a pumpkin pie
6. Make carmel apples
7. Knit something for fall
8. Find a pretty fall nail polish color
9. Find a tree with leaves that change colors (after all, most trees in Florida stay green year round)
10. Bake an apple pie
11. Try a new dinner recipe
12. Bake bread from scratch
13. Go to a farmer's market
14. Go to a flea market
15. Go on a hay ride
16. Help someone else in some way
17. Do something good for the environment
18. Start Christmas shopping (find some good deals)
19. Try couponing
20. Read a good book
21. Learn how to do something new
22. Learn about something new
23. Go to a sporting event
24. Make some homemade birthday gifts (my husband's, sister's, and mother's birthdays are all in the fall)
25. Make some treats to give to someone else
26. Learn how to make chicken noodle soup
27. Work on my photography skills
28. Go on a picnic
29. Take one last trip to the beach
30. Improve my (insert random sport here) skills. (Side note, I am terrible at putt-putt golf and bowling, both of which my husband enjoys)

So there you go!  I don't really have any rules for following this list, other than I would like to try to accomplish as many as possible.  I may or may not finish them all, but I will give it a shot.  They don't need to be done in a specific order.  I guess that's all for now.  Who knows, maybe I will be super productive, accomplish all of my goals, and then add more to it.  Well... maybe not, but you never know! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Forget

Photo found at
Photo Credit: Yoni Brook/Corbis

On September 11, 2001, as I walked into the girls locker room at my middle school to get read for my first period PE class.  The first thing I noticed was that no one was getting changed.  One of the boys' PE coaches came into the locker room visibly upset.  He and the two girls' coaches went into their office and started talking.  The coaches came out and turned the television on.  That is when I saw what was happening.  I saw the smoke billowing out of one of the World Trade Center buildings.  I sat there, transfixed.  I couldn't really understand what was happening, but I knew that it was bad.  I found out later that the boys' PE coach's brother was a New York Fire Fighter.  In second period my mother, like many others, signed me out of school.  I remember walking quickly down the hall knowing that if my mother had signed me out early and if she was that worried, whatever was happening was really, really bad.  Later, at home, I remember watching the footage on television.  I still didn't completely understand what was going on, but I was scared.  I remember watching the footage of the rubble.  The billowing smoke.  The flames.  The people with no choice but to end their lives.  The crying.  It was a lot to take in for a seventh grader.

Even though I did not lose a love one on September 11, I cried along with the rest of the country.  The biggest impact that 9/11 had on me, was that it was the day that my husband decided that he was going to join the military.  At the time, he was only in eighth grade.  Since we met, I have had the opportunity to meet many brave soldiers who love our country and will do whatever it takes to protect it.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who lost family and friends on 9/11.  My heart breaks for you and what you are going through.  To those who serve our community, fire fighters, police officers, and other first responders, I am so thankful to know that there are so many who are willing to help me if something happens.  To those who serve in our military, I sleep better at night knowing that you are out there protecting our country and defending my freedom.

Never forget to be thankful.
Never forget what happened.
Never forget those who lost their lives.

I will never forget.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fairy Tales

When I was a little girl, I loved fairy tales.  I spent many hours reenacting my favorite fairy tale of all, Cinderella.  I loved dressing up in my purple princess dress, and scrubbing the kitchen floor while singing, "Someday My Prince Will Come."  I would run through the house, "lose" one of my shoes, and make my poor father bring it back to me (he would have to make sure it fit of course!)  I dreamed that I would one day find a prince, move into a fancy castle, and live happily ever after.

Today, I still believe in fairy tales, only a different kind of fairy tales.  Not make believe fairy tales, with dragons and knights, but the real, true-life kind.  I did meet my prince charming, but he isn’t royalty.  He is a country guy who is often found in Guy Harvey t-shirts and something camo.  He doesn’t ride a white horse; he has a pickup truck.  We don’t live in a big, fancy castle; we live in a tiny apartment in the city.

Sadly, I am not exactly the princess I thought I would be.  When I was a kid, I imagined that when I grew up, I would be the perfect princess.  I would be a wonderful cook, whipping up 5 course dinners for my husband.  I would have the cleanest, most organized house in all the land.  I would always be perfectly dressed (as all princesses are).  In reality, I am a beginner when it comes to cooking.  I have been known to burn things, or pick up the wrong ingredients for recipes.  There isn’t much room to organize in an apartment.  I am often too busy to clean or organize.  To top it off, Florida humidity makes my hair frizz and sometimes, I just don’t feel like dressing up.

The point of all this is not to say that my life is not perfect.  Instead, it is to point out that life is perfect because it isn’t perfect.  What fun would it be if things always turned out how we planned?  Not knowing what to expect is what makes life the experience that it is.  It is always wonderful to dream.  But if things don’t turn out the way that you have planned since you were 5 years old, it doesn’t mean that you wont be able to live happily ever after.  My life didn’t turn out exactly as I planned, but you know what?  I wouldn’t want it any other way.