Zoya Pixie Dust: Miranda, Stevie, Liberty

A few weeks ago Zoya had a free shipping deal. So I took advantage of it and ordered three colors from the new Summer 2013 PixieDust collection. I ordered Miranda, Stevie & Liberty. They are so pretty in person, matte when dry, but very sparkly.

All nail photos taken in the sunlight.
Miranda is a gorgeous fuchsia pink.

Stevie is a pretty lavender.

And Liberty is a stunning blue.

I'm going to wear Liberty this week. I do my nails once a week. Then they have to last the entire work week. (Seche Vite top coat helps regular polish last longer. Don't use a top coat on texture polish). I can tell you from using Zoya NYX before, the PixieDust wore a whole week with no chipping! I really love these new summer colors!

If you haven't already. Check out my Complete Nail Polish Collection!

*All nail polish purchased with my own money

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Immigration Update: APPROVED!

I got some great news today! An email from our immigration lawyer saying Vermont USCIS had finally processed our immigration paperwork for the removal of my husband's conditional status. It took them 5 months to process everything. (Which was better than the estimate of 8 months to 1 year we were given because they were backlogged).

He is approved! And we are done immigration for a good long while! He will get his permanent resident card in the mail soon and we won't have to renew that for quite some time. His card will be good for 10 years. (And renewing won't be half the paperwork it took to get this far!)

 Approved Yay! (Important information blurred obviously)

Below are some key blog posts documenting our entire immigration process up until now. (If you want to see all the posts you can click here: Immigration Process).

Our immigration process started back in 2008. We started doing research the year before we were married because we knew we would have to save money for the fee's.

8-20-2008: Immigration Lawyers 

12-19-2009: F.B. & I were married in the Philippines. After we were married I came back to the USA so we could start our immigration process.

01-31-2010: 1st Meeting: Immigration Lawyer

02-24-2010: Moving along in our immigration process

04-11-2010: The Waiting Game...

06-01-2010: Now we're getting somewhere!

07-23-2010: Finally completed our I-864

10-14-2010: NVC: Step 4 of 6.

01-12-2011: Immigration Update

01-19-2011: Yikes! Just 2 weeks until.... (F.B.'s Visa Interview in Manila, Philippines). 

02-03-2011: WHOO HOO! (Visa Approved!)

Busy First Week! (F.B. arrived in the USA)

03-06-2012: 1 Year in the USA!

10-10-2012: Hubby's birthday & getting immigration started again.

12-01-2012: Thanksgiving and Immigration... (Removing conditional status from F.B.'s resident card).

12-20-2012: 3 Year Anniversary! (Immigration & the Holidays)

05-09-2013: Immigration Update: Approved!

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, and still located in Philadelphia.

Shannon Stanton lawyer profile on on Avvo.com

Peter J. Gonzales lawyer profile on Avvo.com


E-Books I've Read Lately.

I love to read. I read every day. Mostly on the way home from work on the train, and before I go to sleep. Reading a book before bed is how I unwind. The majority of the books I read are History, Historical Fiction, Biography or Memoirs. I do read some Fiction and Classics.

Here are some books I've finished lately and purchased for my Kindle Fire HD 8.9". I definitely recommend these! (They are also available in paper or hardback).

1. Waiting to Be Heard- Amanda Knox

Wow... I just finished this. And I am started to read it again. (I like to read books through multiple times). Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This book was so well written and brutally honest. Let me just take a quote from the book that struck me to share with you:

"The prosecution said they were certain the murder had been a group attack. Why, then, was none of my DNA or Raffaele’s DNA in Meredith’s bedroom? Their answer: because Raffaele and I had scrubbed the crime scene clean of our DNA, leaving only Guede’s. That theory gave me super powers. DNA is not something you can cherry-pick; it’s invisible. Even if I could somehow magically see DNA, there is no way I could tell one person’s DNA from another’s just by looking—no one can"

This is well worth a read or buy!

2. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness- Susannah Cahalan

I bought this for $2.99 for my Kindle Fire HD. I had heard about it on the news before. I really liked this book. I've read it 2 times already.

Here is a brief summary from Amazon:

One day in 2009, twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. A wristband marked her as a “flight risk,” and her medical records—chronicling a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory at all—showed hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability. Only weeks earlier, Susannah had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: a healthy, ambitious college grad a few months into her first serious relationship and a promising career as a cub reporter at a major New York newspaper. Who was the stranger who had taken over her body? What was happening to her mind?

In this swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. A team of doctors would spend a month—and more than a million dollars—trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Yet even as this period nearly tore her family apart, it offered an extraordinary testament to their faith in Susannah and their refusal to let her go.

Then, at the last minute, celebrated neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

3. January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her- Michael Schoefield

I love this book. I have taken it out 3-4 times from my local E-Library. Then this weekend I decided to finally buy it. Michael Schoefield comes off as an asshole to some people, but to me he comes across as a father who is willing to do ANYTHING for his child.

Here is a brief summary from Amazon:

Michael Schofield’s daughter January is at the mercy of her imaginary friends, except they aren’t the imaginary friends that most young children have; they are hallucinations. And January is caught in the conflict between our world and their world, a place she calls Calalini.  Some of these hallucinations, like “24 Hours,” are friendly and some, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want.  They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother. 

At six years old, January Schofield, “Janni,” to her family, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the worst mental illnesses known to man.  What’s more, schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults and in January’s case, doctors say, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her.

(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 Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!)


More Lush goodies, a talk about deoderant & nail mail!

My 2nd Lush Cosmetics order finally arrived. (My 1st Lush experience). I had to get more of that citrus soap that smells like lemon drops (Sexy Peel). I also got facial soap (Fresh Farmacy) & a herbal deodorant (The Greeench). They also sent me a sample of demon in the dark soap. It smells like mint, it's yummy!

Let's talk deodorant. Before my job relocated to Center City in early 2010, I used to drive to work. It took 10-15 minutes. Now I have to commute on the train for 45min to 1 hour. Not to mention all the walking and anxiety of commuting. And the air not working sometimes on the train when it's hot out! I started having embarrassing issues with deodorant failing... I never had this problem before when I just used to drive to work! Arrgh!

Below you can see just how many different deoderants I've tried....

The Crystal worked for a little while. Then I guess I became immune to it. Tom's... doesn't last all day. Regular Dove and Degree same thing. I was using clinical protection Mitchum and that worked. I just switched over to Dove clinical protection when I ran out of Mitchum. That's been working pretty well, but it's expensive and I don't like the scent too much. That's why I decided to give the Lush deodorant a try. I'll update this post after I've worn it a week and let you know how it holds up!

Edited 5-10-13: The Lush deodorant held up pretty okay. It kept away odor, but it was not so good at being an anti-antiperspirant. Still, it is something I would continue to use. I want to try their T'eo bar.

And.... nail mail! Purple is my favorite color. It was even included in our wedding & reception. So you would think I would have more purple nail polishes, but I really don't. I have more blue and aqua nail polish. I ordered these two pretty polishes on eBay!

China Glaze: Spontaneous. And Color Club: Wild at Heat.

The holographic effect is not very strong on this Color Club. But the purple color was a shade I really liked. So it's pretty regardless. It dries fairly quick. This is 3 coats, no top coat. When I removed it though, it did stain the skin around my fingers...

This is China Glaze Spontaneous. It's just the shade of purple I've been wanting. Not to light and not too dark. Kind of a grape candy color. The formula is great. I just needed two coats. 

I used Sally Hansen Insta-dri in Silver Sweep to stamp. (I really recommend Insta-Dri for stamping, it's thick & dries fast and doesn't smear.) I stamped with my Winstonia Store plates. I have a lot of trouble stamping full designs though. Pictured is my right hand. My left hand does not look as good, lol. You really need a lot of patience when stamping. I used Seche Vite top coat once I was done.

If you haven't already. Check out my Complete Nail Polish Collection!
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New Layout

I've updated my Blogger Template and Header Banner and moved some things around. It's not too different, just a little change. :-)

You can also find me:

Lush Cosmetics & French Macaroons!

My cousin & I got together for her belated birthday last weekend. We hadn't seen each other... since last year! We're both either always busy working, sick, or it was snowing, lol. So it was nice to get together with her and have a girls day out. We took the train down to Center City Philadelphia so we could do some shopping on Walnut Street near Rittenhouse Square. It was a nice sunny day even though it was a bit windy and only in the low 60's.

One of the things we really wanted to do was check out Lush Cosmetics. My cousin had already gotten stuff online from them and I've heard about them so it was fun to actually visit the shop. The staff was incredibly friendly. They let you try out products, they give demonstrations. They were nice and laid back.

My Lush Haul: I got Sexy Peel soap... which smells so amazing. Like lemon candy drops. It makes my whole shower smell good. I also got Lemony Flutter cuticle butter. It smells of lemon and lavender. And Mint Julips lip scrub. It tastes like chocolate mint.

I loved the Sexy Peel soap so much. I just ordered 2 more bars online. And a facial soap I liked the smell of. And one of their all natural herbal deodorants. Can't wait until they arrive!

Another thing my cousin & I have wanted to do is try French Macaroons! You see them everywhere online, in blogs. They are always so colorful and pretty. But boy are they tough to find around here! We found out there's a patisserie & coffee shop down near 17th & Walnut Street. Miel Patisserie. So we were super excited to stop there and try some French Macaroons for the 1st time ever!

The shop is really cute. They serve coffee, some food items. They have gorgeous looking pastries and chocolates. And soooo many flavors of French Macaroons. I wish I could have tried every flavor! (They are $1.50 each). I ordered an iced coffee & a Cappuccino and Pistachio French Macaroon. My cousin ordered Blueberry Lemon & Salted Caramel.

Oh. My. Gosh. They were beyond what we both imagined. At first we were scared to try them because of all the hype and we were afraid they wouldn't be what we were thinking. But wow. French Macaroons are small, they have a crispy exterior, but when you bite into it it's more a chewy cake consistency. And the filling... oh my wow.... the ones I ordered had a very rich sweet cream center. The Blueberry Lemon one I tried of my cousins had the most amazing sweet blueberry center. They were so good we got some more to take home.

Leftover French Macaroons.
(I took home Raspberry, Pistachio & Cappuccino).

To finish our shopping adventures. We stopped at Ruby Tuesday's near Liberty Place for an early dinner. I got a yummy salmon salad. And we both got top shelf long island iced teas. We did so much walking downtown! We were exhausted on the train ride back home.
 Other Philadelphia Adventures:
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Another Nail Polish Post.

I've gotten some new polishes in the past few weeks, so I've updated my Complete Nail Polish Collection post. Here's some of my recent nail colors and designs.

I was able to get a mini collection of some of OPI's Euro Centrale for $8 on eBay. I've really been wanting the first two. Can't find my Czechbook & Suzi's Hungary again. It also includes You're Such a Budapest & Oy-Another Polish Joke.

My 1st Orly polish! I've been wanting Miss Conduct forever!

I loved OPI's Where's my Czechbook so much I wore it for 3 weeks, with different designs. lol. The 1st picture is more accurate of how it looks in person.

I did feathers with my Winstonia Store stamping plates. No Flash because my camera was washing out the feather design.

Then another week, I did a tropical theme. I have Ninja Polish Caribbean Reef on my ring finger. (When my cousin & I visited Lush Cosmetics last weekend, I had 3 of the salesgirls trying to check out my nails when they were testing a product on me, lol!)

*All polish was purchased by myself.

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Aspen: 2010 - April 2013

Aspen passed away on April 16th, 2013. He was a few months past 3 years old. He was born sometime in 2010, though we didn't adopt him until April 2011 from Star's Rat Rescue of South Dakota.

He was also featured in my work's newsletter with his brother Curry who passed away Sept 2011 in an article about pet rats & rescues. Aspen was frail in his old age and had lost the use of his back legs due to Degenerative Osteoarthritis, but he still got around pretty well.


More Stamping Adventures...

I still need practice stamping. But these still turned out cute, even though some of the designs didn't stamp on fully, and some smeared a bit. My left hand is more messy than my right hand in this picture.

I call these my Katy Perry nails, hehe! Candy Themed. :-) I did these with my Winstonia Store stamping plates.

I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White & Lively Lilac. And Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Blue Me Away & Fuchsia Power.

Other Blog Posts:

Adventures in Nail Stamping...

My Complete Nail Polish Collection 

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Easter, an Anniversary & other ramblings.

It's been 9 years since F.B. & I defined our long distance relationship, back on April 1st, 2004! (See our Relationship Timeline). The picture above is the card he got me. :-)

We had a quiet Easter dinner here at home. I made homemade pound cake, (using this recipe). It turned out gorgeous!

Our Easter Dinner. Roast Beef, Onions & Mushrooms, Roasted Seasoned Potatoes, Creamed Corn & Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider. We still have leftovers.

I also made lemon butter cream icing to go with our pound cake. 

Peeps & the Little Chick are from my co-worker. 

Also, I'm now obsessed with these iced & frozen cappuccinos from Wawa. They have a specialty drink bar now and you can customize your coffee drink. Soooo good.

I took advantage of the 20% off coupon L'Occitane sent me in the mail.  I got Almond soap, Verbena soap & Rose soap. Love them.

I've been having green smoothies in the morning for breakfast now. I do 1 whole banana, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, Half cup of almond milk, Big handful of fresh spinach, tablespoon of PB2 powder, & some protein powder. Might do some strawberry or blueberry, fruit smoothies this week too.

New favorite wine (Besides Sutter Home Sweet Red). I never had Pink Moscato before! It's really fruity and tangy. LOVE!

Typical commuting to work week. I ride these trains 2 times a day, 5 times a week. 45min to 1 hour commute...
Pictures are from my Instagram: @tunaynamahal82

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