FabFitFun Summer 2015 Box

I will start off by saying, I purchased the Spring box after finding out what was in it and deciding I wanted it, and ended up disappointed with about 1/3 of it. Once I was in, I saw that I would be getting the Summer one automatically and decided to just go with it anyway, sight unseen. I love everything in this box! I’m so glad I kept the subscription! If you find this post helpful and choose to join, I’d be honored if you used my referral code for $10 off!

  • Wren 14Kt Gold and Black Sapphire Necklace: I received a small rose gold heart with a tiny black sapphire embedded in it. I didn’t know what this was going to be, but it’s so cute! Even though I’m selling my own necklaces and wear them 101% of the time, I had to wear this one to work the very next day! (Bonus – it would look great layered.) Love it, as I’m kind of obsessed with rose gold right now :o)
  • The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun: I haven’t tried using this yet, but mine is hot pink. You can either plug in your audio source, or pair it wirelessly with your phone (it also has a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone). It has an FM radio, and a carabiner clip so you can hang it from your beach umbrella or wherever…
  • Inkling Scents Sultry Roll-On Oil Perfume: When I first opened my box, something smelled really good. Turns out it was this perfume, which wasn’t very tightly sealed (and I see other people’s bottles leaked all over their boxes). It smells nice, and the small roller bottle would be great for travel, I’m just not sure the scent lasts that long…
  • Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray: Very excited for this spray, which claims to be a leave-in conditioner that offers heat protection, among other things. It has a really nice lemon/coconut scent, that dissipates pretty quickly. I sprayed a few squirts into my hands, and then ran them through my hair, to make sure it got where I wanted. So far, so good!
  • Targe LipSurgence Lip Gloss: I think FFF released a preview of this and I was looking forward to it, but honestly this was probably one of my least favorite things in the box. I just do not like the texture of this gloss. It claims to have “plumping” properties, but I didn’t really notice any change there, either.
  • FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope: This hot pink rubber jump rope has really nice, cushy handles, and if I had ever in my life been able to successfully jump rope, I would have been very excited to get it. However, I’m just not that coordinated, so I gave it to GG – the pink color will inspire him to man up and work out.
  • Scratch Nail Wraps: You know I’ve been trying all kind of nail wraps lately!! Per the package, “Scratch is an LA based company that works with artists to create unique nail wrap designs.” These are a white nail wrap with different patterns of pink triangles on them – kind of ’80s retro, and perfect for summer. There are eight different sizes, and like the Sally Hansen wraps, they come in a sealed package and must be used within one month of opening. A small orange stick and nail file were also included. I will report back on these!
  • Headspace 3-Month Subscription: Probably won’t use this, but it’s a card to redeem for three free months of an app called Headspace that guides you through a series of meditations. Gwyneth Paltrow uses it, sooo…
  • Hello Konjac Cleansing Sponge: This is a little white half-sphere sponge. You run it under water to soften it, then use it to wash your face, with or without cleanser. There was no other information on the package, and the card from FFF doesn’t really have much info either, so I’m not sure if the benefit is exfoliation, or if the konjac vegetable fibers it’s made from impart some type of nutrients to your skin or something, just that it’s “an all-natural way to restore the skin and balance your face’s pH level.” (I also just got a Clarisonic, so who knows what’s going on with my face right now. It’s not a very controlled experiment.)
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer: Call me boring, but I’d been thinking of trying this lotion and was so excited to see it in the box – a full-size can, too! It has a nice cool cucumber scent, and the light spray just stays where you put it until you rub it in, no running down your legs or anything. It’s certainly plenty moisturizing for summer.

In total, the FabFitFun Summer 2015 box contains over $275 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! I think it’s definitely worth it, it was a fun treat and is packed with products that are perfect for summer. At first I was kind of wary of joining an automatic subscription service, but now I’m really excited to see what the Fall brings!

Photo borrowed from Hello Subscription – check out their post for more detailed photos of the products!

Early Adopter

Originally I had titled this post “Things I’ve been doing since before they were cool,” but that sounds like I’m such a hipster. Although there are lots of things that I’m late getting into (e.g. I didn’t have a smartphone until, like, forever), I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve been doing that have only recently become very popular.

Greek Yogurt: GG and I were talking the other night about how Greek yogurt has really taken over. At our regular supermarket, Greek yogurt probably fills about 2/3 of the yogurt case, and even the regular brands seem to have a Greek version. But I have been eating it for years! When I started eating Greek yogurt, you couldn’t even get it at the regular supermarket, they only had it at specialty stores like Trader Joe’s. And there was one flavor: Greek! Want honey in it? Add in your own honey! I like that there are so many options and it’s so easy to get now, but I’m sure the trend will die down eventually. (I hope Australian style is the next trend – that stuff is delicious!)

BB Cream: I used to read this makeup/beauty message board and years ago they were all going nuts over BB cream, this lotion/foundation/SPF combo coming out of Korea. It was huge in Korea and there were many brands to choose from, that you could order online. I picked a brand and purchased a sampler pack so I could try out six of their options. The differences were so minimal, I actually made myself a spreadsheet to track what each bottle said and what my impression of each was! Anyway, I ended up choosing a favorite and ordering a full-size bottle, and I’ve been using it ever since! Of course, now every mainstream makeup company has their own version of BB cream (and now there’s “CC cream” and other iterations).

Quinoa: This is another food that I discovered long ago at Trader Joe’s – thank you for helping me be ahead of the curve, TJ’s! I remember cooking quinoa back in college, circa 2003-2004. There are people today who have never heard of or tried quinoa, even though it seems to be in everything lately!

Edamame: I found this in high school (around 1999-2000?) from – guess where – Trader Joe’s! I used to get the bags of frozen edamame, cook it all up at once, and store it in a container in the fridge, to snack on with a little salt. I specifically remember one time I went to the movies with a friend and we sneaked in our own little containers of edamame in a backpack for a snack. I was just talking to someone recently who had never tried edamame (or quinoa)!

Etsy: Per Wikipedia, Etsy launched on June 18, 2005. Looking at my profile on the site, I joined on Dec. 15, 2005. I actually did a bit of selling back in the olden days – first little things that I had sewn, then I got into knitting adult and baby hats, and I also started sewing cloth pads. Someone asked me to knit a red and white Where’s Waldo had for a costume one year, and that led to my selling thirty-three more (I just counted) over the next couple Halloweens. I probably could still sell a bunch at Halloween time, just through people searching for them, but the site has changed a ton since it started. You used to be able to launch and promote your business solely through the site; now you really need to establish and market yourself outside Etsy, and just use the site as your shopping cart application. I still do shop there frequently for gifts and and for myself!

Nailipop Review 2!

I hope nobody thought my Nailipop review was really negative. Overall, it was pretty positive – they weren’t perfect, but also I kind of expected a lot.

So I gave Nailipop another shot (I had to, I had more stickers). This time, I took a little more care with application, trimming things that didn’t fit quite right (minimal effort), and being more careful about filing the edges. I also painted over everything with a clear top coat. The results were pretty amazing. I used Galaxy Party, and got more compliments on this than any crazy manicure thing I have ever done! Not just from friends and coworkers, but from the girl at the Target customer service desk, waitresses, and other random people. It is a gorgeous pattern, and really striking when it makes up your entire manicure!

I applied them on a Sunday night, and they had a pretty good run, lasting until Thursday, when I decided to switch them up for something else I’d been wanting to try. The background of the Handcrafted Roses stickers is the exact same shade of green as Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet.” I had a couple leftover stickers from my first attempt with Nailipop, so I cut them down to ring finger size and used them as accent nails! I love the way they turned out, and they really lasted well.

After a brief break, my most recent mani featured The Guardian, for the 4th of July, of course! I didn’t even go that many places over the holiday, but I got tons of compliments on them at a small party I went to Friday night, and at my band concert on the 4th. This design was definitely a hit!

So yes, I highly recommend Nailipop, the product is fantastic (I know they don’t make them, they source them from elsewhere), and customer service is really top notch. They are very responsive and active on social media, and love seeing customer pics, so share them if you’ve got them!

The Busiest Month

Didn’t I say June was going to be crazy? Besides our anniversary/wedding weekend, here’s some highlights so far:

  • GG and I have been going to this weekly free outdoor yoga thing our town is offering for the summer (the weeks that we can both make it, and it doesn’t get rained out).
  • I went to Fall Product Premier in NJ (again). We didn’t have a big team there this time, just me and E (who happened to pull into the parking lot right behind me, so we didn’t even have to work on meeting up). I love everything that’s coming out for fall – this may be a problem (for my bank account)!
  • I’ve been busy with summer band concerts (the ones I can make, that aren’t rained out [actually none have been rained out, but last week’s was cancelled because power at the venue was out after a big storm the day before, and wasn’t restored until the following day]).
  • GG and I had a free Sunday, so we decided to knock a couple things off this list of “free stuff to do in Philly” that I’d put together. First we went to the Elfreth’s Alley Museum – we’d been to the street before, but hadn’t been through the museum. It was just us and one lone guy touring around with a grumpy guide. (Pro tip: the museum is not really free, there is a $5 “suggested donation.” I don’t know what she would have been like, had we chosen not to donate, since a lot of her complaints were money-related.) She cheered up once she got going, and it was an interesting tour. I’d love to come back sometime and see some of the houses that people live in today! It was pretty hot and humid by this point, so we decided to go get some lunch and cool off before making our next stop, so we went to Molly Malloy’s at the Reading Terminal. Finally, we went to the Fabric Workshop and Museum, which is totally free to tour. I’d heard of it, but didn’t really know what this place was, other than that it wasn’t just about cloth “fabric,” it was art “fabricated” from all different types of materials. They had an exhibition from the prolific and varied artist Richard Tuttle who neither of us had ever heard of. I don’t like to make fun of art, but let’s just say, some of his pieces were things I could easily make myself. (Photography was allowed for almost all the pieces, but there were a couple where photos were restricted. One was a short rope nailed to the wall at each end. I told GG, “Don’t worry, I’ll make you one when we get home.”) I checked out some reviews of the exhibit when we got home, and it looks like even the art critics were a little confused, so I didn’t feel so bad…
  • We went to see a live comedy talk show where Sasheer Zamata was appearing as a guest. We’d never been to this show before, but in honor of their second anniversary, they did some special activities, including: having a live pony (which promptly peed on stage); making waffles on stage for any audience member who asked for one; lots of games; and as a grand finale, destroying the coffee table that has appeared on set for all their episodes to that point.
  • I finally joined a CSA! Because I came in late in the season, I paid a pro-rated amount for a “small” share. Even this size share is a bit much for just the two of us (I’d be happier with more variety and less quantity), but since GG had been trying to eat healthier and more vegetables, we’ll definitely get our money’s worth. The pick-up location is really convenient, which has been one of the biggest deterrents to me joining a CSA previously. Very excited for what the summer will bring! (My first week featured candycane beets!)
  • Last weekend featured two birthday parties, each for two people, so that’s four birthdays if you’re keeping count. One of them was a one year-old, and he is adorable and did great, considering all the noise, activity, and different people passing him around! (His b-day cake was also amazing: a lemon blueberry cake!)

After the Independence Day holiday, my calendar is looking a lot more empty… At least for a few weeks!

Boxy Lady

I blame my blog friend, Product Junkie in the City, with my new found interest in subscription boxes. I’m not signing up for a ton of them, but I love reading about her experiences! I did get a couple low-risk ones recently, though. If you’ve been considering joining one of these services, My Subscription Addiction is a great resource – they have boxes listed you never even knew existed, with useful reviews of each!

Target Beauty Box
I’ve gotten this one every year for the last several years. Of course, the Summer 2015 box is already out of stock, so when you hear that the next one is available, you have to grab yours quick! For $5, it’s always a great value!

  • Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream: I’ve tried this for a couple days, and it definitely does brighten your eyes, because there’s some kind of pearly material in the cream. However, after noticing pearly white smudges all over my face the first day, I’ve decided to just use this at nighttime. Otherwise, the texture is nice, and it is a very generous sample (.5 oz), considering it’s just an eye cream.
  • Revlon HD Lipstick: I got a very bright red color which actually looks pretty nice, but it doesn’t last on me at all, I’ll have to stick to my stains…
  • SinfulColors Professional Nail Color: Despite my enormous nail polish collection, I’ve actually never used this brand before! I had a bottle I got as a freebie from something else, but it’s bright yellow and I’ve never had occasion to use it. The color I got from Target is a really pretty periwinkle blue, and I am loving it! Great, fun summer color, and it goes on really nicely.
  • Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads: I was actually really excited to get these, because removing nail polish is a pain. The individually wrapped pads are convenient and would be especially good for traveling. It’s a thick cotton pad that holds together well and is soaked with just the right amount of remover to do both of my hands (it probably would have been a stretch to do all of my toes, too). It is a very strong remover – you might need to open a window – but it does the job quickly.
  • Fekkai Professional Hair Care: I was looking forward to getting the dry shampoo shown in the picture, but I actually received a little tube of “Brilliant Glossing Styling Cream.” It has a nice fresh, citrusy scent, and according to the package, “a little goes a long way,” so I applied a small amount to wet hair, instead of my usual leave-in conditioner. Now, I’m not sure if it was because of this stuff, or my new flat iron, but I was outside in 99% humidity tonight (before and especially after a giant rainstorm), and my hair looked surprisingly good, with minimal frizz. I’m sure the Fekkai stuff didn’t hurt, anyway.

FabFitFun Box
The main selling point for me getting this box was that you can order it after they reveal what’s in it. The Spring 2015 box had a few things I was excited to try, and seemed like a great value! I’ve already been billed for the Summer box and I’ve seen a couple sneak peeks of what’s coming in that, so it should be along shortly. If you’d like to try FabFitFun, I’d love it if you could use my referral link – you’ll also get $10 off your first box!

  • Hello Fresh Gift Card: $40 Off First Week of Delivery: The aforementioned Product Junkie has subscribed to this, and it seems decent. I’ve been using some of Blue Apron’s recipes, but haven’t subscribed, so I’m excited to try this out! When I do, I will definitely post a new review.
  • Vow to Be Chic Gift Card: It’s a service where you can rent a bridesmaid dress or a white dress. I’ll most likely not be using this one…
  • Cosmos Creations Premium Puffed Corn: This stuff is amazing. I pretty much inhaled the whole bag.
  • OFRA Cosmetics Eyeshadow Brush Duo (#11 and #20): I was looking forward to this one because I’m always on the hunt for new makeup brushes. Well, #20 is humungous. This is for eyeshadow? You could cover your whole lid with one swipe! #11 is nice, I had another one of a similar size, but I prefer the bristles on this new one, so I’ve replaced it in my kit.
  • Sprout It App Card + Miracle Grow Gro-able Seed Pod: Guess what – I have a flower pot now! So I will be able to grow this little pod of tomato seeds! Check back for updates on my black thumb :o/
  • Rifle Paper Co. Cities Coasters Set: I guess I should have known from the name of the company, these are just cardboard coasters, like you would get at a restaurant. They are very cute, though. would make a great add-on with a gift like a bottle of wine!
  • ORLY Nail BB Creme & ORLY Nail Polish “Cake Pop”: I was excited for these, too! The BB Creme one should be great, I’ve used “almost” nail polishes like this before, where it’s something just a little more than a clear coat. Cake Pop is a very pale almost white pink, and I often have bad luck with shades like this looking streaky. This was looking pretty good after two coats, but was still just a little streaky, so I added a third. Plus, bonus: when you wear light colored nail polish, the rest of you looks more tan in comparison! [Edit: 6/16] I’ve now tried the BB Creme one, and even though it says on the bottle that it is “peach,” I see no color at all when it’s on my nails, it’s basically clear. Hopefully there’s at least good vitamins in it or something. [/Edit]
  • Merrithew 3 DVD Set “Intense Body Blast” + $25 Gift Card: I haven’t done the workout yet, but I’ll definitely use it some night where I just can’t even when I get home, and then by the time I’ve got my act together, the gym is already closed. The gift card is for the Merrithew web site, which I checked out, and they have cute yoga mats in the $30 range, so I think I’ll pick up a new one for myself! [Edit: 6/15] I ordered my mat, it was $3.99 after using my $25 gift card, but shipping is $11.13?!! Oh well, I guess I’m still paying only $15 total for what I hope will be a really nice yoga mat… [/Edit]
  • Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster and Restoration Serum: I haven’t tried this yet, but my sensitive combination skin has had some bad reactions to “serum” type products in the past. The nice glass bottle is a good size. I’ll update here if I have an overwhelmingly positive or negative experience.
  • Jules Smith Scarf in Watercolor or Modern Art Prints: I’m not sure which of the designs I got, but it’s the one with the larger patches of color, which I will assume is the “Modern Art” one. It’s not huge, but it’s a very pretty coral/turquoise/navy print on a lightweight cotton that will be great for summer!
  • Yasi Metallic Flash Tattoos: I’ve been seeing these all over since last summer. These are all different star shapes, and I bet with some creative placement you could make some cute designs. I’ll report back.

Nice Weekend for Weddings

Can you believe GG and I have been married for nine years?! Usually we try to plan a nice dinner out or even a brief trip for our anniversary, but this year GG had already made plans to play in a band with our friend A at a Relay for Life event. So we had time for a quick (but nice) dinner at home before he had to drive to the event, about an hour away.

We decided to make reservations at Seasons 52, since it was nice and close by. I guess because GG said in the reservation that it was our anniversary, they brought us a little card, and a couple free glasses of champagne. Our appetizer was amazing and something I need to re-create: blistered Shishido peppers with roasted corn, Sonoma goat-feta cheese, lemon aioli, and sumac. Apparently it’s a new menu item, and three different managers came by to see how we liked it. (We loved it! I’d just picked it on a whim!) Then I had the salad I usually get, GG had a pork tenderloin, and we each enjoyed a couple of the mini desserts :o)

Then on Sunday, we went to this wedding we were sort of accidentally invited to. So, funny story: I posted on Facebook about some cat food I couldn’t use, and a friend of mine from high school (she was a freshman when I was a senior) said she could take it, so we met up to drop it off. We talked for a while, and then she goes, “You guys are local, right?” and hands me an invitation to her wedding! My friend is Chinese, and apparently her parents were in charge of invites, and she was worried there would be “too many Chinese people” there! So GG and I ended up going, even though I was sure I would know nobody there.

It was a gorgeous day for the little outdoor garden wedding, and they did a really nice job of incorporating Chinese and western traditions (her husband is not Chinese). When we sat down for the reception, I found that we were at a table of people from my high school, but because they were all three years behind me, I didn’t really know any of them. The girl sitting next to me was actually even younger than the bride, and we started talking about how we both knew her. I shared that I was her “band mom” in marching band, and this girl goes, “Oh, she was my band mom!” So that made her my band granddaughter!

Also, I wore a very cool maxi dress, so I didn’t even need to shave my legs ;o)

May

Looking back on it, I had a pretty nice, calm May, compared to the crazy June I’m about to face! Some highlights:

  • We had our spring band concert. Nothing I was super excited to play, but it wasn’t terrible. I also wasn’t thrilled about the posters and programs I’d designed, but everyone seemed to like them, so that’s always good.
  • I took my mom and grandmom out for a really nice Mother’s Day lunch, and then afterward my brother came over and hung out and it was a very nice time.
  • We saw John Mulaney at the Merriam Theater! He’s really hit the big time :o)
  • After resuming regular orthodontist appointments a couple years ago when I had my retainers modified to be TMJ night guards, I have now officially “graduated” from orthodontia (again)! Instead of telling me to come back in a year, they said, “Call if you need us.”
  • I continued my David’s Tea obsession.
  • I also discovered this crazy vegan place in our area, Gangster Vegan. After meeting the owner at our farmers’ market and trying some of their juice, GG and I went there to pick up dinner one night, and he’s been talking about it ever since! Everything is vegan and organic, and also a lot is raw. (Did you know that vegan pie “crust” is a delicious date paste?!)
  • Had a relaxing and productive Memorial Day weekend while GG was away working. Having been an “ice cream widow” over summer holiday weekends for years now, I’ve learned how to make my own plans and keep myself occupied.
  • The TLC Block Party!
  • Hosted a ladies’ brunch/Ruby Ribbon trunk show that turned out pretty well. I might do brunches for all my parties from now on – the food is fun and easy, and you still have the whole day after it’s over! My friend L stayed after the party and we hit up the KoP Mall.

TLC Summer Block Party

Weeks ago, a friend alerted me to the fact that a TLC Summer Block Party was going to be held in Philadelphia, featuring appearances by a number of their reality stars, including the Duggar family. I talked GG into taking me and put it on the calendar, canceling all my other plans for the day. I didn’t know what it was going to be like, if they were going to perform or if we’d have a chance to meet them or what, but on the off chance that I had the opportunity to speak to them, and I had to limit myself to just one question, I had it ready to go: if they were so confident that they’d trained and educated their children the “right” way according to their beliefs, why keep them so isolated? Shouldn’t they be out interacting and sharing their beliefs with others? That’s sort of the question that all other questions would be based on.

Well, then it came out that Josh had molested his sisters, and the Duggars were obviously taken off the bill for this event.

I had my schedule cleared for the day, and GG was interested in seeing some of the little people families who were scheduled to be there. The weather was beautiful, so we still went! The event started at 12, and there was already a long line of people outside the gate when we got to Penn’s Landing around 11:30. It moved pretty quickly once the gates opened, though, and when we got inside, it was pretty empty.

We made our way down to the main stage, where the guy who was the host/MC for the day was calling for volunteers for the first trivia game of the day. GG for some reason thought I would want to participate? So the guy started interviewing us (and some other couples), asking what TLC shows we liked to watch. For some reason, besides the Duggars, I wasn’t even thinking of other shows beyond those that were represented at the event, so I was just like, “I don’t know, midgets?” Thinking back on it, I should have said My 600 Lb. Life, Sex Sent Me to the ER, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, My Strange Addiction, etc. Oh well. Anyway, I couldn’t get through an answer without saying “midget,” and I didn’t want to be on stage (and potentially on TV) anyway, so we passed on playing the game (with the married Roloff kids and their wives). Watching the game play later, I was glad not to be participating!

We didn’t really do a lot of the activities, but there was a lot going on. Kate Gosselin, Cara, and Mady from Kate Plus 8; Buddy from Cake Boss; Randy from Say Yes to the Dress; Monty and Lori from SYTTD Atlanta; Whitney from My Big Fat Fabulous Life; the Hamill family from Our Little Family; and the entire Roloff family from Little People Big World were on site. They all participated in games on stage, and were available for photos and autographs at various times. (It was probably actually a good thing the Duggars weren’t there – it was a hot day and there was a lot of “Nike” going on, plus if they’d done some game on stage they would be interacting with heathens and the host made jokes that would have gone over their heads.) There were also different games and activities (like face painting, balloon animals, or decorating cupcakes from the new Carlo’s Bakery that opened in Philly the same day). One neat thing they did was if you posted a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #TLCBlockParty, they would print it out and you could pick it up later.

After an hour or so, we were ready for lunch, but the food cart options were limited and expensive. So since we learned we could leave and come back, we walked a few blocks over to The Continental for brunch. Then we checked out Shane Confectionery, which we’d wanted to visit for a while, and got a frozen chocolate drink to go. We finished it as we walked back to the TLC event. It was a nice little break, and by the time we got back, the crowd had thinned significantly.

There was a tent up on a high terrace with a big “VIP” sign, and I just commented to GG that I wondered what VIP entailed, because it looked like just regular people up there. He went over and started chatting with the guy at the entrance, and next thing I knew, he was waving me over! Apparently, the tent was for the stars of the shows and the media (people from the local paper, etc.), but they actually had free reign to let anyone into the area, as long as they were cool about it! So GG and I got wristbands and went in! I got to see up-close the SYTTD Atlanta people, the Gosselins, and all the Roloffs! I didn’t talk to them to try to get pictures because I didn’t want to bother them in this area, but it was neat to see them all up close. (Kate Gosselin and Audrey Roloff are both gorgeous in person! So are Cara and Mady.) There was also a buffet of food, free drinks, and at one point they brought in some pastries from Carlo’s Bakery (we split one, they were amazing). And free t-shirts we picked up. Honestly, it was worth getting in just for the nice breeze we got up there!

The event went until 5PM, but we left just before the finale, a band coming on at 4. I think that was just long enough to be out in the heat and sun. It was a crazy experience!

Josh Duggar, You Messed Up

I guess I need to write about this, because for years, “Josh Duggar sex offender” has been one of the top search results for my blog, due to a comment someone left here in 2008. (And wow, is this site blowing up today!) As an avid and somewhat vocal Duggar watcher, I’ve been inundated for the last couple days with people sending me the articles about Josh’s alleged molestation charges, which have come back up in the news for some reason. But I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt because a) the story originated years ago from some very dubious sources and couldn’t really cite any hard facts or details, and b) in the Duggars’ world, “inappropriate touching” could be as innocent as holding hands before you’re engaged!

But now that Josh has come out and admitted it, I guess it’s true! (The one good thing to come from this may be that he’s resigned from his job with that hate group!)

Everything in the police report lines up with the rumors we’ve been hearing for years: Josh touching girls while they slept; the timing of the whole thing related to Jim Holt’s campaigns (“sin in the camp”); being sent away to ALERT (a “Christian program” that “consisted of hard physical work and counseling”); the part about how they were supposed to go on Oprah in 2006 but then didn’t. [Edit: 5/22] If you don’t have time to read all 33 pages of the police report, here’s a short summary and timeline. Here’s an even more detailed article that puts the events into a timeline with the Duggars’ TV shows, and asks the question we’re probably all wondering: how did Oprah, the police, the internet, and others know about these accusations, yet TLC didn’t seem to find out until this week? [/Edit]

I have been saying for years that I didn’t understand how other celebrities could say or do one wrong thing (e.g. Paula Deen’s racist remarks, Mama June’s pedophile boyfriend) and lose their shows, endorsements, etc., yet the Duggars went on and on despite all the controversial stuff they were mixed up in (politics, ATI, blanket training, etc.). Well, now here is a real scandal that really affects them (not tangentially, like the allegations against Bill Gothard). I’m very curious to see what this means for the rest of the family and the 19 Kids and Counting show. Will the Josh and Anna family just not be featured anymore? Or will the whole thing go off the air? As of the season finale two days ago, they were planning for and showing clips of what would be coming up in the “next season.” (Good thing Derick Dillard has his day job to fall back on; Ben and Jessa Seewald are kind of screwed, though!)

Also, I will note the ironic fact that the Duggars have been campaigning against measures that would support LGBT people, saying they are pedophiles and predators, and yet here their own kid is a predator…

Side note: I bet that within their own Christian circles, this not only doesn’t disgrace Josh, but in fact makes him look better. The way Josh, Anna, and his parents described it, it sounds like this great trial that he’s gone through and been strengthened by.

[Edit: 6/3] I wanted to document this – check out the hits to this blog since the story broke! [/Edit]

Nailipop Review

[Edit: 7/7] Jamberry ladies, I would love to know the context through which you’ve found this post. Someone shared it on Facebook? Leave me a comment! [/Edit]

If you know me either online or in real life, you probably have noticed that I do a lot of fancy nail art, usually thanks to my collection of stamping plates. I’ve never had much luck with Jamberry wraps, and I’ve successfully used Sally Hansen’s nail polish strips, but once you open the package, all the strips start to harden, so it seems kind of wasteful.

Iris has been talking about Nailipop for a little while, and encouraged me to give them a try. The web site does not have a ton of info, just a single set of photos showing how to apply the strips, and a note that they are based in California. I decided to go ahead and order a couple designs – I chose multi-colored patterns that I would not easily be able to achieve myself with stamps or dotting tools.

I didn’t get any shipping notification or anything, they just magically appeared in a regular, hand-addressed envelope four days after I placed my order, which was pretty good for CA to PA. I was a little disappointed to see that the nail stickers come in generic packaging, complete with broken English instructions on the back. In fact, Nailipop even replied to a photo I posted on Instagram, saying “we know, we got these nail wraps from different countries and we have no control over what’s on the package.”

Application was pretty easy. There are only seven different sizes of stickers, which on one hand I like, because having a billion different Jamberry ones is kind of overwhelming, but on the other hand, my nails are apparently a different size and shape than they’re supposed to be, because most of them didn’t fit me quite right. I did the best I could, but the overall look is kind of janky… (And I refuse to get out little scissors and trim things like this, because isn’t the point that it’s supposed to be quick and easy?) Also, you trim off the excess by running a vertical nail file along the edge, and no matter how well I tried to pull the sticker over the tip, they all came out looking torn and pre-chipped along the tip.

Day 1: I applied the stickers on a Sunday afternoon. If these were Jamberry wraps, they would be coming off right away due to the edges overlapping my skin, and the lumpiness at the tips from trying to pull and stretch as I applied them was annoying. Immediately after applying, I washed and chopped a bunch of vegetables, did laundry, and did some other cleaning, and they held on just fine.

Day 2: Based on past experiences with Jamberry, I was worried about those loose edges when I washed my hair, but there was no problem – the stickers never harden, they remain soft and flexible, so nothing got caught in my hair. The removal method is to soak your fingers in hot water, and I did notice after getting out of the shower that one of the edges was peeling up (which was reassuring, because I always get nervous about how well things will come off). I just pressed it back on. While at work, some of those edges started flaking off a couple of nails.

Day 3: Most of the loose edges around my cuticles have now kind of worn themselves off. However, the tips of a couple nails are also wearing pretty badly. I fear they may not be long for this world :o( One other thing I’ve noticed is that the finish feels kind of tacky on a couple nails. Painting a clear top coat over the stickers is an optional step that I didn’t take this time, but perhaps that would help with the wearing and give them a smoother finish.

I ended up removing them tonight, because by the end of the day, the tips were starting to chip and look bad. I probably could have gotten another day out of them, but I would have needed to repaint my nails after, and I’m not going to have time tomorrow, so I did it tonight. Removal was a breeze! I soaked my fingers in some hot water for just a minute, and then started peeling them off. For the most part, they all came right off in a single piece, and there’s no damage to my nails, which was my biggest concern. I’d use them again, just based on how well they stayed on yet how easy they were to remove.

[Edit: 7/5] I wrote a new review after trying them a few more times – you should check it out! [/Edit]