Pictures & Video of the Gang!

I haven't posted many recent pictures of my pet rats lately. (I have 10 at the moment. 3 boys and 7 girls.) This is isn't everyone, but I thought I'd upload some random photos and share a few videos I've posted to YouTube. :-p

Daisy & Buttercup
Daisy in her wheel
Pumpkin sleeping on her back in our bed.
Teddy bear having a treat.


More Nail Mail!

Here are some of the newest nail colors I've gotten this month...yes I have a polish addiction ;-)
(Click on each photo to enlarge)
My very first Zoya nail polishes! I loved these two colors of the most out of the new Holiday 2012 collection. They have holographic sparkles in them and are gorgeous in person! I found them on eBay through this seller. (Who even sent a cute gold nail file along as a free gift).
Aurora (3 coats).

Another of Aurora (4 coats)

 Storm (3 coats)

The coveted Two Fingered Salute color from Butter London. It's a Nordstrom's exclusive color. It was on back order for awhile, but finally arrived! I love it! It has a matte finish. It's really unique, kind of a faded sage green with copper shimmer in it. It reminds me of stone or marble.

Pudding Lane from Nails Inc London. I found this on eBay too. It's actually more aqua in person. It's got bits of purple and gold glitter. And the aqua blue color is creamy like icing. It's pretty in person, but a pain in the ass to take off, lol!

Speaking of which, if you're on Pinterest maybe you've seen this pin going around. I've also seen people blog about this method for removing glitter polish. So today I tried it out for myself. You take cotton balls soak them in nail polish remover then place the cotton ball over each nail and wrap with foil. (I used cheap foil from Dollar Tree because it's not as sharp and tears easily.) 

Obviously you have to do one hand at a time, lol. I waited about 15 minutes per hand. When you remove them, you twist and rub the foil with the cotton ball and it removes the glitter polish like nothing. I was pretty impressed. I will definitely be doing it again when I have to remove stubborn polish!

P.S. And just to show you what it's like to try & take nail swatch photographs when you have pet rats, lol. Pumpkin got her nose in the picture:

LOL! And yes, I'm wearing 2 kinds of polish in that photo. Sometimes I get so excited when I get a new color & don't feel like changing colors right away on all my nails, I'll only test the new color on 1 or 2 nails to photograph it.

*No top or base coats were used in the photos above.
Edited To Add: 11/4/2012
 Zoya Blaze

*All polish was purchased by myself. 

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More Foreign Snack Foods (Philippines)

Because October has 5 Monday's this month, I somehow get three paychecks instead of two.. It's always fun when that happens, because then we get just a little bit of extra spending money. So the husband & I decided to order from Phil-Am Foods again. We ordered so much this time, it came in 2 boxes, lol.

(Click on each photo to enlarge it).

All the goodies! I also ordered more Vaseline shampoo again.

The frozen goods. We've tried the Siopao & Pork Tocino before. The Fish & Shrimp Balls will be boiled in soup, they are like dumplings. The pastry Ensaymada; look like round biscuits, they have shredded cheese on top, but are sweet and remind me of a cheese danish.

Squid & Anchovy jerky. It's crispy & crunchy and a bit fishy tasting. But not too salty. We love these. Of course... you may be a bit freaked out, because the crispy little anchovies still have eyes! :-p

Haven't tried this yet, Spicy Squid Cubes, but I love trying new or exotic foods. We will probably have it with some white rice. 

This just look fun & interesting. Curly Spaghetti! Lucky Me Brand makes a lot of ramen noodle soups. 

 Haven't tried these yet either, but Leslie's Brand makes Clover Chips which we love.

These were just okay- the flavoring could have been stronger. We really liked the Green/Yellow Bag of the Marco Polo Shrimp onion & garlic chips better, those melted in your mouth!

Regent makes our all time favorite chips, Tempura, Sashimi & Labzter. These Chicken Teriyaki ones are new. The flavoring is strong and I really liked them.

I've blogged about these before. Baconette Strips are so good! They are shaped like little bacon slices. But they are light and crispy with a nice bacon flavoring. There is no meat in this product.

My brother Scott did a review of them on YouTube here:

Dinner tonight! Shrimp soup with shrimp balls. Pork barbecue on a stick and a salted duck egg. Everything was delicious!

Similar Blog Posts:

Goodies from Phil-Am again!

Yay! More Phil-Am goodies!

Phil-Am Foods

Philippine Snack Foods

Foreign Food Cravings

Taste Testing (Asian Aisle) 

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Polish Addiction...

My addiction with nail polish continues... lol. I've gotten some lovely new colors again.

New China Glaze Halloween 2012 colors. These were my favorites. The gray 'Immortal' has different colors of shimmer in it. And 'Make a Spectacle' is my new favorite glitter topcoat. This blog post on The PolishAholic is what made me want these two colors so much. In the bottle, 'Make a Spectacle' looks very similar to China Glaze 'Luxe & Lush', but 'Luxe & Lush' shows up gold on your nails. 'Make a Spectacle' is iridescent and has larger circles of glitter, plus shimmer. I was lucky to get each of the new colors for $3 on ebay.

And my Layla polish obsession! I'm so glad Ninja Polish carries this brand. These are my first two non holographic Layla polishes.

I ordered Layla Softouch Effects in: Aqua Zen. I love this color and the finish is so unique from any of my other nail polishes. It's not matte, it's more a ceramic or rubber/vinyl finish. (I wore this color for 1 full week with no base or top coat and had NO CHIPS at all. Just tip wear- AMAZING polish!)

And Layla Mirror Effect in: Metal Chrome. This one is pretty neat, it's not too streaky, it does show every imperfection on your nail though, you're supposed to soft buff your nails before applying this. But what I did was do 1 coat, then a coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and then 3 more coats of the Metal Chrome and it smoothed it out. It's super shiny in person like I have foil on my nails. :-)

Also I know I've talked about Butter London before. How it takes forever to dry and stains my nails and how I don't think it's worth the price. (Not like Layla!) Well... then I saw this picture of the Butter London Nordstrom Exclusive color 'Two Fingered Salute' and I had to have it...

Not my picture. This is from The PolishAholic blog.


Actually, they were out of stock and I couldn't find the color on ebay so I thought I would never own it. But Nordstrom's finally restocked so I ordered it! It's so pretty... it reminds me of marble or stone. A subtle goldish greenish color. It's gorgeous! It's not shipping until October 20th though. :-(

P.S. Check out KJPugs blog! She received her prizes from the Krazy Candle giveaway I hosted and she blogged all about it. :-) Congrats again! *Krazy Candle is no longer open* 

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Hubby's birthday & getting immigration started again.

It was F.B.'s birthday yesterday. It's the 2nd birthday he's spent in the USA. We went to a Chinese Buffet near Franklin Mill's Mall for lunch.

 Hubby wearing his Nintendo t-shirt I got him for his birthday.

 Yay! Starting to look more like Fall!

Another birthday gift. 42 mini bags of Herr's Potato Chips. (I believe 4 bags were missing already when this picture was taken, lol.)

Birthday brownies. With chocolate coffee buttercream icing. Sugar High!

September 28th, I contacted our immigration lawyers again. It will be time to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s permanent resident card soon. Last August I asked how much it would cost to rehire the firm and was quoted $1,200. So that's what we saved towards. I also know it will cost $590 to file the form with immigration.

When I heard a reply back a week ago I was told the cost to rehire the firm was now $1,950. Wow... $750 dollars more than we were expecting. I really love our immigration lawyers and they did an amazing job last time, but that price jump definitely made me feel a bit sick in the stomach. So, I found the email where I was quoted the $1,200 and forwarded it just to ask why the fee's had increased so much. I wasn't really expecting much, just an explanation. But thankfully, (and this is why they are great lawyers!) They changed the paperwork to reflect the $1,200 we were quoted last year. (Save your old emails!)

In mid November our lawyer will begin all the paperwork. Immigration will not allow the forms to be submitted early. It has to be submitted 90 days before F.B.'s permanent resident card expires or else immigration could reject everything. Rules... rules....

We've also had to collect paperwork that proves our marriage is valid and that we live together. Some of the paperwork I've gathered is:
  • Federal & State Tax copies filed jointly.
  • Bank statement copies with both of our names
  • Copy of our lease for our apartment in both our names
  • Copy of insurance declaration in both our names
  • Copies of our driver licenses showing our current address.
  • Photos with family.
  • Letters from Family/Friends
Speaking of that... you wouldn't think collecting letters from family & friends with a short statement saying how long they've known you & your spouse, how they've interacted with you & that your marriage appears to be valid, etc; would be that difficult to get... but it was like pulling teeth. Literally. I let so many of our friends and family know 3-4 months in advance that we would need these letters and still they've trickled in... I'm grateful for the ones who have written us letters, but we definitely expected a lot more support and a lot more letters... but enough about that.... blah. Rant over...

Anyway that's where we stand right now with immigration. In mid November our lawyers will prepare the paperwork and by December 5th, 2012 the form should be filed with immigration and then fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly so the conditional status will be removed from F.B.'s resident card. (Ugh... he will also have to get a new driver's license in March because that expires when his resident cards expires). I just can't wait until we are finished with immigration!

(I know he will have to renew his resident card every 10 years or so, but that won't be as bad compared to all the rules and paperwork over the past 3 years!)

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


A week with Instagram photos.

Some photos that I've uploaded to Instagram during the past week.

 (My username on Instagram: tunaynamahal82). :-)

 My adorable little pumpkin. I love Fall. ♥

My cute new Crocs leopard flats. They are causing me blisters though... thank God for band aids. :-(

Melting Pumpkin Crunch from Krazy Candle, I love this scent so much! (*Krazy Candle is no longer open*)

My new favorite coffee, Starbucks Sumatra. I love rich BOLD coffee's. Especially brewed in my bright green french press! 

It took me 30 years, but I've finally tried a bagel with lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese. Yummy, so good! (Onion bagel).

It was good, but the original Pumpkin Spice Latte's are way better. If you're curious and want to try it, click here.

My husband's birthday is tomorrow. So we will be off to the Chinese Buffet for lunch and I have some gifts for him. I have a few days off work and today is a holiday, yay! Thanks Columbus! The weather is getting chilly and it definitely feels more like fall now. I can't wait to go to the park and get some pictures of the leaves changing color soon.


Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This is not my recipe, but one I've used for quite a few years already and love. I just baked two fresh loaves today. Yummy!

NOTE: I have altered the spices in the original recipe. I like my version better because you taste the spices more than what the original recipe recommends. (Recipe source is here). This recipe makes 2 loaves of Pumpkin Bread. You can freeze one or give it to a friend. :-)

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of Mccormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease and flour two large bread pans.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, canola oil, and water. Beat at medium spread until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, or until well combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the two bread pans.
  7. Bake at 350º F. for 1 hour 15 minutes
  8. Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes before removing the loaves from each pan.

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Pet Rats and Rat Food.

*As of 2017, I currently feed my pet rats Oxbow Regal Rat. 

Since 2007, I have mainly used Nutro Natural Lite dog food for my rats base diet. It had all natural ingredients and the fat and protein contents were low. When I first started feeding them Nutro, the protein was around 15-18% and the fat 7-8% over the years.

Fast Forward to 2012. Nutro has decided to change all of their foods to a 'New and Improved'formula. The fat is still 7% but the Protein is now 23%! Which is really too high for adult rats. I'm very disappointed, as I've been using Nutro Natural Lite for almost 5 years. All of their other formulas the fat and protein contents are just too high.

(Pet rats should have no more than 8% fat and their protein should really be no more than 20% in a base food. Less is better, 5% fat and around 15-18% protein is ideal). 

Sooo... the search for a new food begins. I've fed Harlan Teklad lab blocks in the past. They are just hard to buy in big quantities because the brand mostly sells to labs or rescues. You can buy Harlan Teklad lab blocks on MRR or The Rat Shop
(Lab Blocks are the most nutritionally complete diet to feed pet rats). 

Harlan does sell their product under the name 'Native Earth' on Pet Food Direct. (*As of 2017 petfooddirect was sold to, & they've discontinued Native Earth. A 40lb bag of Native Earth 4018 (4018 is equivalent to Harlan Teklad 2018), only costs $20. I've also heard of Oxbow Regal Rat. Which is supposed to be almost as good as lab blocks. 

There are also two more dog foods I was considering: Natural Balance Reduced Calorie dog food. (Very similar ingredients to Nutro Natural Lite, but the protein is 18% the fat is 8%) And a food one of my rat blogging friends recommended: Solid Gold Holistique Blendz. Another all natural dog food. With 6% fat and 18% protein.

There are also mixes you can feed like Suebee's diet, but I myself don't like those so much for their staple diet, because the rats can pick & choose what they want to eat out of the mix.

For now I've just decided to go back to ordering the 40lb bag of Native Earth (Harlan Teklad) lab blocks. Eventually, I may try either Natural Balance or Solid Gold. I was thinking about it though... and spending $14 on a 5lb bag of Nutro Natural every month, compared to the 40lb bag of Native Earth for $20, does save me some money. *As of 2017 petfooddirect was sold to, & they've discontinued Native Earth.

Of course remember, you should try to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruit into your pet rats diet. And it's always best to check the Forbidden Food List before feeding any new food to your rats.  

Another tip for new rat owners: That bag of "rat" food from the small animal aisle at the pet store; (Petco, Pet Smart, etc), is usually no good for rats at all. Foods like Kaytee pellets, contain alfalfa which is hard for rats to digest. And other bagged mixes contain dried corn (may cause cancer) and other fattening nuts, etc; that rats should not have as a staple diet. The foods mentioned above are much better choices for the health of your pet rats. 

Check out my blog article about pet rats: Why Rats?!?

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!  

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Krazy Candle Fall Giveaway!

*Krazy Candle is no longer open* 

The contest is over now! Winner has been announced below! 

Congratulations kjpugs!

I've blogged before about Krazy Candle! My friend Brittney makes and sells homemade all natural soy tarts (for warmers), and all natural soy candles!

I've ordered three times from Krazy Candle already! I've tried a bunch of different scents and I haven't had one I didn't like yet. My two very favorite scents are Pumpkin Crunch & Lilac Mist. (Lilac Mist reminds me of the Yankee Candle scent, Calla Lily). Pumpkin Crunch smells so good! I always think someone has been baking when I walk through my living room. It has a cinnamon pumpkin muffin kind of smell. I love it!

I told Brittney, I would like to have a Krazy Candle giveaway here on my blog! So, I am giving away 4 Pumpkin Crunch soy tarts and one 2 oz. tart of Lilac mist! (If you don't have a warmer already, Krazy Candle has a variety of warmers!)

All you have to do to enter the giveway is fill out the Rafflecopter form below! It is mandatory that you leave a blog comment: (What is your favorite thing about Fall?) & follow the Krazy Candle Facebook page to qualify for the giveaway! (You can also earn extra entries by following me or Krazy Candle on Twitter & Tweeting about the giveaway!) Good Luck!

NOTE: (If you don't follow the 2 mandatory rules above- your contest entries will be deleted. I've had a few people enter that did not complete the mandatory 'leave a comment' rule. Anyone can comment, you don't have to be registered on Blogger! Thanks!)

USA & Canada Entries Only! Thanks!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway    
*The prize package was purchased by myself from Krazy Candle*


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