Bright Lights, Big City

    As long as I can remember, I have felt a pull between two opposites- a love for the countryside and a love for the city. While I am completely at peace in the country, there is something about big cities that makes my pulse race in the most exhilarating way.

    Helena Palazzi Photography

    The traffic. The noise. The people. The lights. The buildings. All of these things and more capture a piece of my heart.

    Martin Rusch

    I love staring out a window many stories in the air, taking in building upon building with skyscrapers lined up as far as the eye can see.

    Helena Palazzi Photography

    Especially at night. When light and darkness meet halfway.

    Troy House Photography

    For the next few days I will be in and around New York City, and my heart is filled with happiness. I have a weekend filled with not only the excitement of the city, but also the company of family and friends, ones who it has been too long since I've last seen.

    Midweek, I move on to Massachusetts to spend time with some more close friends who I also haven't seen in far too many years, and I most likely will be MIA for a little over the next week; I hope during that time you have many moments of sweet bliss, as I intend to enjoy many of the same.
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University of Cookie: Royal Icing

Wags 'n Whiskers flower challenge, a sale, and news about the next release!

    Yay! It's Friday! :) Hope everyone is having a fabulous week! It's time for a new Wags 'n Whiskers challenge, and this week, the fabulously talented Jeanette is asking us to use flowers. I was commissioned to make a Mother's Day card with two boys with skin of color. So I chose both Super Ryan and Just For You. Aren't they too cute? I love these two together, because "Just For You" does indeed look like the older brother, don't you think? I stamped them in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored them with Sketch Copics. I then cut them out and double popped them off the card.

    And right now, both of these stamps, as well as all the Wags 'n Whiskers stamps illustrated by Crissy Armstrong, are on sale for 25% off!!! How cool is that!! If you've been wanting to get some of them, now is the time!

    Please be sure and pop over to the challenge blog to see the rest of the Divas fabulous creations! We're sadly saying goodbye to Bree from her GDT spot, and welcoming Melanie on board as our new GDT. We'd love it if you played along with the challenge, and this time you have two weeks to play along, because next week is the NEW SUMMER RELEASE of Wags 'n Whiskers! So hope you stop by on Wednesday and Thursday for the sneak peeks, and then again on Friday for the celebration blog hop for the new release! The new stamps are sooooo CUTE, and I can't wait for you to see them! Thanks for stopping by to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! Hugs!
    Images: Super Ryan and Just For You - Wags 'n Whiskers; background and sentiment banner - Magnolia-licious
    paper - DP - Nitwits; cardstock is Bazzill
    ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Copic Sketch markers
    Misc: silk ribbon, charms, machine stitching, oval Nestabilities, dimensional tape
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Mother's Day Cards By Andrea

    Oh Hello!  Guess who entered her photos  but forgot to type in the text??  Yes, that would be me!

    This is a lovely card designed by my neighbor, Andrea.  Andrea had the scrapping ladies over to make Mother's Day cards.  Andrea has a plethora of stamps and ink pads; the woman could easily start her own store!  Or maybe start giving stamping lessons!

    I only made one change on Andrea's design, I added doodle dots.  But even then Andrea made suggestions.  I am so lucky to have such a talented and super-nice neighbor!!

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For a very POPular Teacher . . .

    Can it be? Summer is almost here? But before's time for teacher appreciation gifts!

    Welcome to those of you coming from Woodlands Family Magazine (and to everybody else, too)! I'm so happy to be working with Melissa of Domesticated Lady (you're going to love her!) to bring you not only a how-to for cookies, but an adorable FREE printable topper as well!

    Let's get started on the cookies (you can make these NOW and freeze them until the end of school!):

    • Make sugar cookies using a candy corn cookie cutter (it's a multi-tasker) and let cool.

    Using red royal icing and a #3 tip, pipe the outline of a popcorn box (AmeriColor Super Red).

    • With a #2 tip, pipe a wide oval in yellow icing (AmeriColor Egg Yellow).

    • With another #2 tip, pipe the outline of popped popcorn above the box in white (add AmeriColor Bright White for extra white).
    • Thin the yellow icing with a bit of water, stirring gently until it is the consistency of thick syrup. Let sit several minutes covered with a damp dishtowel (see a video of this process here).
    • Gently stir the icing with a rubber spatula to pop any air bubbles that have risen to the surface and transfer to a squeeze bottle.

    • Fill in the oval and part of each popcorn piece.
    • Thin the white icing in a similar fashion.

    • Fill in the popcorn box and the remainder of the popcorn. Swirl the yellow and white icings together on the popcorn.
    • Let dry at least 1 hour.

    • Using a #5 tip, add wide red stripes to the popcorn boxes.
    • Switch to a #2 tip and pipe "POPcorn" in red on the oval.

    • Outline the oval in red using the #2 tip.

    • Let the cookies dry overnight before packaging.
    My favorite part? The swirly popcorn pieces:

    The free printable topper is available from Domesticated Lady here.

    Melissa, of Domesticated Lady) has so many wonderful ideas...I know you'll want to check out the rest of her darling blog while you're there! (And the online version of her article about the toppers/cookies is here.) It was a pleasure working with Melissa...this theme was all her idea...she is so creative!!!

    If you want to make a few individual popcorn pieces to go along with these, check out these too cute cookies from The Decorated Cookie! Is that the cutest idea, or what?

    You know what? I made popcorn cookies about 5 years ago and I am so glad to get a chance to update them. Wanna see?

    I like this year's version much better!

    I'll be linking it to TidyMom's I'm Lovin' It linky party. :)

    Have you planned your teacher gifts yet?

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Going to the Dogs

♥ Giveaways. Win Me Plss ♥

Making Extra Cookies . . . Works For Me Wednesday

    Well, you probably knew it was coming after last week's WFMW, but something simple that works for me is making extra cookies.

    I *always* make a mistake when decorating cookies. Even if only I can see it...there's always "the ugly one." Knowing I have cushion (and not just on my hips) takes the pressure off and I actually think I make fewer mistakes because of it.

    Example...I made these 40th birthday cookies a few weeks ago. Next to last cookie, I spelled "Robyn" as "Roybn." ROYbn. There is no recovery from that. I had extras, so....I ate it.

    Besides eating them myself, I find my husband is more than willing to eat the evidence of ugly cookies as are my neighbors. (Good neighbors like that are hard to find.)

    What is working for you this week? I'll be linking to Works For Me Wednesday!

    Our Homeschool Home

    PS....any grill queens out there? I'm honored to be guest judging On The Grill at Our Homeschool Home starting tomorrow (Thursday). Link up your recipes and pictures. You'll get bragging rights, a darling WINNER button for your blog and a FANTASTIC prize! Get your GRILL on!!!Source URL:
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Papertake Weekly - Something Different

    Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope your week is off to a fantastic start! We're supposed to be WINDY here today. YUCK! I don't mean's always breezy here in Reno. We're talking windy, windy, windy. The losing shingles kind of windy. So hopefully it won't do too much damage. Well enough about the weather. :) With the arrival of Tuesday, that means it's time for a new challenge from Dawny at Papertake Weekly. This week, she is asking everyone to do something different, and since it's the last Tuesday of the month, we're being sponsored by the fabulous Simon Says Stamp! Whether it be a different type of fold for your card, a different technique, different colors than your norm, whatever. It doesn't matter as long as it's something different for you. Me? I chose shabby chic! I hope I accomplished it. I sure did try, anyway.

    The teapot was cut with my Cricut Expression using the Dreams Come True cartridge. I cut out several and layered the pot three deep and the handle and spout two deep, all with dimensional tape between them. I took my scissors to the edges and used lots of Cat's Eye Jumbo Java chalk ink around the edges.

    The gorgeous lace and ribbon is from Stamp and Create, the tea stamp is from Magnolia-licious, the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts, the papers are Nitwit Buds n Blossoms, and the leaves are made with the Martha Stewart frond punch. I tied a piece of twine around the handle of the teapot and looped it around and tied the other end throught the tea stamp. I wanted to simulate a tea bag. I finished it all off by using some Kaiser flat backed pearls.

    Because of the dimension, I also made an envelope box to hold it. So what do you think? Did I accomplish the shabby chic look? Please be sure and hop over to Papertake Weekly to see what fabulous creations the rest of the design team came up with. Then grab your paper, your glue, and then figure out what "something new" you've been wanting to do. We'd love to see it, and you just might win a prize! Thanks for stopping by to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! Hugs!
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Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries Cards

    I recently added a new stamp set to my collection:  Berries and Cherries was purchased from Taylored Expressions.  Taylor has some of the cutest themed cupcake stamps on the markets.  But at the moment I in a fruit phase so I chose cherries.

    I stamped the bowl of cherries image in Stampin' Up's chocolate brown classic ink.  I colored in with Copic markers.  I cut the bowl image and the background scalloped matting using my nestabilities.  I also used a new Stampin' Up border punch to finish the edges of the red and gold papers.

    I used a circle punch to cut out the phrase cirlce: "Life is just a blow of Cherries".  I mounted the phrase over a strip of yellow-gold ribbon which I tied into a little knot.  The card front section is mounted on a plain white A2 cardstock card base. 

    I know this was a quicky post, but I am having a busy week!! 

    Remember to leave a comment under my Monday's BBTB2 blog hop post to be in the drawing for the Mother's Day mini cartridge.
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Bee Happy with the BBTB2 BLOG HOP and BLOG CANDY

    Don't worry, Bee happy - it's a Bitten By the Bug 2 Monday with the April Blog Hop!!  How great is that?   The Monday Blog Hop is enough to chase away all of your Monday blues.  If you are following the blog hop you probably arrived here from Margie's blog, if not, you may want to start the at the beginning of the Blog Hop at BBTB2 (after you read my post and register for my great blog candy, of course!). 

    This week's challenge cut is the Bee from the Sentimentals cartridge.  I made a sweet little yellow and black bee, with a yellow and green shadow cut.  I matted the bee with pop dots onto a label cut also from Sentimentals.  I trimmed the label with flowers because the bee must have been searching for pollen.  Silly Bee.

    I added more ribbon and flowers to the bottom of portion of the card and topped the ribbon with the phrase Bee happy.  There is also a sneaky little bee hiding behind the ribbon. 

    Did I mention that there would be blog candy??? Oh indeed there IS blog candy.  I have a new, unopened Mother's Day mini cartridge in need of a home!  I will be drawing a winner on Saturday from the comments on this blog post.  So before you hop along, be sure to leave a comment!!!!

    So, you have read the post? Yes.  You have left a comment below? Yes.  Okay then, that means it is time for you to hop along to the next stop on the blog hop.  Your next stop is at the blog of the FABULOUS Heather.  I love Heather!  She is super person as well as a super wonderful paper crafter!!  Have a great visit at Heather's blog!!!  Thanks for stopping by!
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♥ Hair Conditioner Reviews & My Comparison on L'oreal, Dove, & Asience ♥

    as promised, I will now tell my experience of different hair conditioners that I have tried recently~

    1. Loreal Elseve Smooth Intense Cream Conditioner (for Frizzy, Dry and Rebellious Hair)
    2. Dove Therapy Conditioner (for Dry, Rough, Frizzy Hair)
    3.Asience Inner Rich Conditioner (for Normal to Dry, Damaged Hair, and Prone to Breakage Hair)

    My Hair
    My hair is damaged. They're very dry & frizzy because I curled them twice this year.
    I also dye my hair quite a lot and don't go for regular trimming, treatment, or creambath.
    I took my hair for granted because of my lazyness *:(
    but now I promise to take more care of them^^
    as you can see here how dry & frizzy my hair are.
    and you can see the difference my of color of my hair.
    I need to re-dye them, I know!

    kay, first..
    Loreal Elseve Smooth-Intense Cream Conditioner
    for Frizzy, Dry and rebellious Hair
    (Nourishes, Calms, Smoothes Silky, Sleek, Manageable Result)

    Color: Pale Yellow Orange-ish
    Consistency: Rich and Creamy
    Scent: Smells really good. Medium strong.
    Place Bought: Watsons in Bangkok
    Country of Origin: Paris

    Product Description:
    For the 1st time, L'Oréal Laboratories have combined its patented ingredient Nutrileum®, a combination of a nutritive micro-oil and a smoothing agent, with Silk Protein, known for its smoothness and thermo-resistance, to deliver a double action:
    1. Intense nutrition: hair is nourished and calmed from root to tip, for an easy and homogeneous   smoothness.
    2. 48H protection: hair is protected against the effects of humid or dry condition.
    Proven results: hair 4 times smoother Anti-frizz 48H, hair is silky, brilliant, sleek and manageable.
    They rinses off easily & my hair feels so smooth when rinsing them off
    They moisture my hair nicely
    Not much hair fall
    ✔ Not oily or greasy afterward
    Smells good with long-lasting fragrance. My hair still smells good up to 2 days!
    ✔ My hair is quite long but I don't need to squirts much to condition them all over my hair
    ✔ Manages my hair on humid days
    ✔ A relatively good and really does smoothen my hair gives that softness easy to manage

    ✘ Feels very smooth but doesn't lasts long. In 24hour the smoothering effect will wear off and my hair will start to feel frizzy again
    ✘ A bit too rich formula for frequent use
    ✘ Pricey

    Will I Repurchase? 
    Yes although I might reconsider because it's quite pricey

    Dove Therapy
    Dry Therapy Conditioner for Dry, Rough, Frizzy Hair
    with Advanced Moisturising Serum
    350 ml

    Color: Pale White
    Consistency: Not too rich nor runny
    Scent: Smells really good. Not as strong buy pretty enough
    Place Bought: Watsons in Penang
    Country of Origin: ---?

    Product Description:
    Solution: Dry Therapy System
    1. Contains Advanced Moisturising Serum made up of millions of micro particles
    2. Repairs and moisturises dry hair by replenishing lost moisture even at the driest tips
    3. Leaves hair so soft and smooth that is irresistible to touch
    Diagnosis and Solution: Dry, Rough, frizzy hair due to daily moisture loss
    ✔ Rinses off easily and feels smoothly good when rinsing off
    ✔ Mild formula for frequent use
    ✔ Has a pleasant delicate fragrance 
    ✔ Nourished and shine my hair nicely. Makes my hair manageable too.
    ✔ Affordable

    ✘ Somewhat feels greasy afterward
    Needs a little bit more amount of squirts to covered my hair compare to my other conditioners
    ✘ The smells doesn't lasts long which could probably be a good thing in the same time because it's a soft delicate fragrance not a strong one

    Will I Repurchase? 
    Yes. They're affordable & can be quite rely on.

    Asience Inner Rich Conditioner
    Made for Asian Hair
    For Normal to Dry, Frizzy, Damaged Hair, and Hair that is prone to Breakage
    220 ml
    Color: Pale White
    Consistency: Rich
    Scent: smells really good. strong.
    Place Bought: Watsons, Penang
    Country of Origin: Japan

    Product Description:
    Enriched with Royal Jelly Extract (Moisturise) that penetrates into the inner fibre to soften and restrore the hair while strengthening it from the core, keeping it smooth and supple to the ends
    Japan's Advanced M-18 Hair Beautifying Technology
    Restores, replenishes and nourishes the hair's natural protective coat, 18-MEA brings hair back to its orginal lustruous condition from within.
    Asian Energy Essence Natural Precious Ingeridients
    - Pearl Protein (Repair)
    - Camellia Oil and Ginseng Extract (Moisturise)
    - Shell Ginger Extract (Soften)
    - Aloe Extract (Protect)

    ✔ Rinse smoothly after conditioning
    ✔ Only need a small amount of squirts to covered my whole hair
    ✔ Smells really good although some people find it quite strong but I don't mind..
    ✔ The smells lasts long!! up to 2 days!
    ✔ Moisture strongly, feels so soft afterwards without feeling greasy or oily at all 
    ✔ Not much hair fall
    ✔ Softness easy-to-manage, I can comb my hair easier now
    ✔ I don't feel the need of washing my hair as often anymore because the moisturizer doesn't wear off easily & the smells lasts long
    ✔ Quite Affordable 

    ✘so far none. but I will update if there are changes

    Will I Repurchase?
    Definitely Yes. I love this product. I'm planning to buy the shampoo too to see if both conditioner & shampoo will improve my hair

    >> Overall <<
    The 3 conditioner I have reviewed above are not bad at all.
    Each hair have different needs so what works for me doesn't always mean will works for you.
    My rank order choice will be the Asience, L'oreal, & then Dove.
    I've been using these products for as long as few months each except for the Asience which I only have been using for a week.
    But if there's any updates of more progress-regress or improvement-unimprovement I will definitely tell youu & update you^^ ♥♥
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