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.

Nailipop Review

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 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.

The HapTEAest Place on Earth

There is a new loose leaf tea shop in town, and GG and I are huge fans! DAVIDsTEA is a Canada-based tea shop that sells loose teas, drinks, and paraphernalia like mugs and steepers and spoons. They also sell really cute gift sets and sampler packs, and have recently launched a line of tea-based skincare products (lotions and lip balms). We have been longtime customers of that other tea shop (GG even worked there for a week once!), and the vibe is just so much nicer here! Brighter and more colorful and generally more happy.

I also have to compliment the staff. Every time we’re in this store, it’s like a party, and we leave with huge smiles on our faces! They are super friendly, happy, knowledgeable, and helpful. You can tell they really love what they’re selling, and want to help you pick just the right thing.

On Friday, GG and I came by after dinner to get some tea drinks. The woman making them was positively giddy about my choice and kept saying how excited she was to make this drink – an iced latte made with Forever Nuts tea, which brewed up to be a really pretty pink color.

Their teas have really unique flavors/ingredients and cute names (there is one called Movie Night that includes popcorn!), and the other products are nicely designed. I’ve given a couple mugs as gifts, and this last time I picked up an iced tea pitcher, which I wanted to get anyway, plus it enrolled me in their Summer Steeper program for the next couple months (check it out – can be done online, too!). So expect lots more “selfteas” coming up :o)

PS: This post was totally unsponsored, I just really like this store!

April

  • GG got some bad news at the end of March and April started a new and hopefully ultimately positive and exciting chapter of our lives/year.
  • We did Easter Brunch with my family at our current favorite local brunch spot (those Eggs Benedict, mmm!), followed by Easter Dinner with GG’s family, which, like most holidays, was a lot of food for one day!
  • Celebrated National Cheese Fondue Day at The Melting Pot; I signed up for their “fondue club” or whatever, and learned of a special member deal they were doing. I do love me some cheese…
  • Spent a very hipster night out in Philly to celebrate GG’s friend’s birthday – we went to Barcade, Johnny Brenda’s, and Frankford Hall. Because it was the first gorgeous weekend day of the year, these places were all packed. If nothing else, Frankford Hall totally sold me on building my own fire pit at home ASAP.
  • GG took his annual plane trip to visit friends out of state, and I stayed home and enjoyed having the place to myself for a week ;o)
  • We saw TMBG in Philly!! I know, the last time we saw them at the TLA we decided we were too old (or their new child fans were too inconsiderate and unaware), but we decided to give it another try. We actually had a decent time. It was “An Evening With TMBG,” so there was no opening act, just two long TMBG sets. They played a lot of their new Dial-A-Song tunes, but it turns out that “Glean” is a great album, and they meshed well with their other classic songs. Stage banter was fabulous – I was so glad there were no sock puppets! But I loved the phone calls from Mama and Papa TMBG (including callbacks to earlier jokes, like a warehouse full of all the rats’ asses they don’t give about flash photography). We met up with a guy GG knows while we were waiting in line, so we had someone else to chat with. There were a few annoying kids (like, teenagers, and actual kids who were there with their parents even though this was explicitly not a kids’ show), but all-in-all, it was a good night. This was my 13th TMBG show!
  • Went to a breast cancer fundraiser/fashion show with my breast cancer survivor friend J :o) It was a really nice venue, nice set-up and decor, little bar when you came in, the fashion show was fun, good raffle prizes, etc. but, we were told there would be brunch. They finally served everyone a small wedge of quiche and a handful of lettuce leaves, and… that was it. They collected our plates and there was nothing more. Everyone at our table was like, “Was that it?” (They did eventually release us for cookies and coffee/tea :o/)
  • I read Growing Up Duggar and tweeted my thoughts as I went through it. If you are a fan (or anti-fan) of the Duggars and don’t follow me on Twitter, you’re really missing out. I have a bunch of followers who basically like me just for my Tuesday night live commentary of the show.

Beauty Reviews

A few things I’ve been using recently…

Jamberry_IndulgenceJamberry Indulgence Hand Care Set: If you read my nail blog, then you know that for all the funky manicures I do, I just cannot get Jamberry wraps to stay on my fingers. I don’t have the patience to wear the same design for two weeks, anyway! So I’ve given up on the wraps, but a number of my friends are selling Jamberry now and I want to support them, so I’m trying their hand and nail care products. This is a nice kit, with four different components:

  • You start by washing your hands with the biotin-enriched Cleanse soap. It has a nice scent, but it’s a teeny bottle. Also, it’s apparently a “bonus” item with this kit, so don’t expect to have it always.
  • Next comes my favorite part, the Buff exfoliating sugar scrub. A note on the web site told me that due to the cold temperatures during shipping, the coconut oil in it may solidify, and it can be revived by running under warm water. What they don’t say is that it requires a long soak in very hot water to be able to dispense it from the tube, and it will re-solidify every time. So now using this stuff requires some planning, as I need to get it to a point where I can get it out of the tube. That said, this is the best product in the box. If they tinker with the formula, so it doesn’t turn into a solid chunk every time, I would buy this by itself for sure. Probably the best hand scrub I’ve ever used.
  • The Nourish hand cream is used next, and meh – it’s a nice smelling lotion. I have other hand lotions I like. It’s fine, but nothing to write home about. Not greasy, which is a plus.
  • Finally, you apply the Quench cuticle cream. This stuff is great, and I’ve used it on its own without going through the rest of the routine. It helps to warm it up a little, too (you can just hold it in a pocket while you’re getting ready), but it goes on nicely and really hydrates your dry spots. Definitely the runner-up product in this set.

So would I buy the whole set again? Probably not. If Buff and maybe Quench were available separately, I would probably purchase them. I’d definitely get Buff if it were reformulated so it didn’t harden in the tube, or maybe if it were packaged in a jar so you could dig out a scoop and warm it up in your hands.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows and Pigments: I tried these based on the review of another blogger I follow, before I realized that they’d been popping up everywhere a few months earlier. I am totally hooked! They’re amazing. I am mostly sticking to the more neutral colors (Girl Crush is amazing, as are the other browns and grays I’ve tried), but I have a couple of the more colorful, sparkly ones (Rex is a gorgeous blue, and Lace is a beautiful, rich purple). The texture is fabulous, they last all day, and once you get the hang of applying with your finger, they’re easy to apply and blend. You can use a brush, too, though I would just use it to blend once it’s already on. I will say, the container is a little misleading – the actual pot of color fell out of one of mine, and it’s not even 1/4 the depth of the white container, so don’t be surprised when you reach the bottom. On the plus side, these are only supposed to last a year once opened, so I guess this will ensure that you keep them fresh.

ColourPop Lippie Stix and Pencils: I do not recommend these :o( The colors are great, and I’ve tried a few of them, but they are just a mess. I have Button (a nice nude), Lumiere (a neutral everyone raves about because it looks good on everybody, but somehow it really just ages my face), and Heart On (a gorgeous magenta that I continue to try to wear because I’m obsessed with it). They go on nicely and have a nice vanilla kind of scent. That’s where the positives end. They then smudge all over your face, slide off your lips, and look like a disaster. I have two of the matching pencils, thinking that would help keep the color in place, but I think they just make things worse. (Also, the pencils come in a plastic tube that you need to sharpen? They don’t just twist up…) My best tip is to apply a small amount in the center of your lip and then spread it with your finger.

March

This has been a really tough month, understandably, but it’s had ups and downs. Some of the ups:

  • Had a nice off-season trip to OCMD with GG and his family to attend a hotel and restaurant convention (aka: excuse to eat and drink all the samples). We found a nice new (to me) restaurant down there, Hooked. And it was nice to just get away for a few days.
  • Went to a middle school play… The play itself was cute, but the real highlight for me was my band friend C yelling at the rude middle school boys next to us during the intermission, then ending with a threat, “You don’t know who I am, but I know who you are, and I’ll see you when you get to high school!”
  • Had another great event for my second side business! I’d been working with this hostess for months, and she just did not have any confidence in herself – so it made me so happy to see what a great turnout and event she had, and how that made her feel better about herself, too!
  • And of course … the new guy. I’ll have to write more about him later.

My Version of the Chili’s Fresh Mex Bowl


I few weeks ago, I had dinner at Chili’s, which I hadn’t been to in a couple years. There were a few new items on their menu in the “Fresh Mex” category, including two versions of a Fresh Mex bowl. The one I had was really good, just the right amount of food, and still felt light and healthy. So the next week, I decided to make my own version at home.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you could totally customize it. Leave something off, add something in. When I ate at the restaurant, my bowl had some sliced chicken on it, so marinate a chicken breast and add it to the recipe below. If you’d like something a little spicier, you can adjust the seasonings, or add some jalapeno or maybe chipotle in adobo. But here is the recipe for two of the bowls pictured above:

Ingredients: (these are all kind of estimates because I “cook from the heart”)

  • 2 cups brown rice (dry)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • salt & pepper

Rice: Prepare rice in a pot with boiling water, according to its directions. When almost finished, add about 3 tsp vegetable oil, salt, 1/4 cup cilantro, juice of half a lime, and combine. Keep warm until ready to assemble.

Beans: Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a pot, add rinsed and drained beans. Sprinkle with chili powder and cumin to taste. Cook until warmed through and keep warm until ready to assemble.

Corn: Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a pan, add thawed corn. When almost fully cooked, add about 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/8 cup cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. (This would be a good place to add some chopped jalepenos, too.) Keep warm until ready to assemble.

Sour Cream: To 1/2 cup sour cream, add 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 cup cilantro. Combine and keep cool until ready to assemble.

Assemble the bowl: starting with a base of rice, add beans, corn, half a sliced avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

February

Between snow and sickness, I was home a couple extra days each week this month. I actually never made it to the office for a full week (or my usual 3 days) all month! Some highlights:

  • More of a low-light, but I got food poisoning from wonton soup and/or egg rolls from our favorite Chinese restaurant, the night of the Super Bowl. I felt bad immediately after eating, and was up all night throwing up and whatnot. Then it continued for the next couple days. On the plus side, I lost 5 pounds!
  • Just when I got over this illness, I got a mega cold. Then GG got sick (and he is never sick)!
  • I finally got my shelves hung in my office! And then found the perfect desk (which is actually two kitchen tables from Ikea, but trust me, they look and work great). Now I just need to finish getting things organized, I really need a free weekend to work on this…
  • We went to see Birdman, just in time for the Oscars…
  • Went to what was actually a student music recital at Drexel, but GG knew the director/teacher of the group. Also discovered Zavino, which had great food, good prices, and the most generous cheese and charcuterie board we have ever had (seriously, we couldn’t finish all that meat).
  • Had a really neat opportunity to meet and have dinner with the founder of Ruby Ribbon, thanks to my Director from my side biz!
  • We celebrated Valentine’s Day a day early by going out to dinner Friday night at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. The food was good, but for those prices, I’d like to be spoiled a little more (e.g. Capital Grille). The whole meal and situation was kind of weird – for instance, they apparently cleared out the regular tables from one room and replaced them with rinky-dink folding tables for all the couples out celebrating, which looked really junky.
  • On Valentine’s Day, we went to see Thank You Scientist. I’d never even heard their music until the week before, but they are amazing. Really incredibly skillful musicians, and they put on a great show! Such a shame they were the opening act, but on the other hand, we left right after their set and got home nice and early! (Also, District N9ne is a great venue, I’d go to another show there, although it’s kind of in a weird location.)
  • Went to the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention (not my usual scene, but I knew someone working there) – no, I still do not like anything enough that I need it tattooed on my body forever.
  • I tried Colour Pop, and I am hooked! The eyeshadow is amazing – goes on creamy, blends nicely, and lasts really well all day without creasing. I can’t say the same for the lipsticks, which are a mess, but I have a couple of those, too.
  • I continued working my second side business and had an amazing month!

January

Highlights of the month:

  • Rang in the new year on the couch with GG, my BIL, and his girlfriend.
  • Have been very angry at the new coffee makers they put in our kitchens at work (supposedly an “improvement,” but coffee mugs don’t fit in them, and if you’re a tea drinker like me, just getting hot water is a pain).
  • Maybe that doesn’t matter since I never made it to work for a full day all month – thanks, endless snowstorms!
  • I finally used the cart escalator at our new Target! (I am probably there an average of once a week, but maybe that’s the problem: I never got enough in one trip that I needed to use a cart.)
  • Made our annual trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show with L and S. We’re old pros at this now, and know the areas to focus on, e.g. the food hall (for that early morning milkshake before the lines get too long), wine tasting booths, and the aisles of food vendors. We also learned a lot of about nuts and tree grafting, and bought a ton of stuff. (Blind Spot Nut Butters are fabulous, try the Sea Salt Caramel!)
  • Had a terrible experience with Ideel.com and cannot dis-recommend them enough! Why would you let me buy something you don’t actually have? And then not tell me when the order couldn’t go through? And then let me buy it again? And then tell me it was shipping soon when you were never even going to have the item? Oh well, it probably wouldn’t have fit me, anyway. But I will never be shopping there again.
  • After a long time on my wish list, I finally bought a spiralizer. Love it! I’ve been spiralizing everything.
  • Went to the Philadelphia Home Show and saw Josh and Brent, the Beekman Boys! GG even ended up really liking the talk they gave on what they’ve learned about life from raising their goats. (Also, in person, they are exactly like they were on their show.)
  • After three years, Ivan finally figured out how to get into the basket under my office window! Now Sacha has some competition for his favorite sleeping spot.
  • Celebrated the official launch of my second side business I’ve been working since August!
  • My Christmas gift from GG was a gift card to one of our favorite restaurants. What I didn’t know was that he made plans for a limo to drive us there and home! (And while I kind of wish I had known in advance that our plans were set in stone, it was super sweet of him and really fun!)

December

  • I helped organize an Ugly Sweater / Second Annual Cookie Bake-Off party at work – it was a success! My rosemary butter cookies came in a respectable second place (that new Kitchenaid mixer helped!); one relatively new colleague went all out with super cute cookies and the only ugly sweater of the day; and I played Fay’s 12 Days of Christmas on a loop for background ambiance.
  • I got a cute haircut that has gotten me more compliments than any other haircut I’ve gotten as an adult. And you know I usually do one big chop once a year and then let it grow, so it’s not like people haven’t seen me with shorter hair before, but I’m really getting a lot of feedback about this one.
  • Did a couple more vendor events for my second side biz. I’m glad I was able to get the name out there, but boy do I hate doing these shows! So glad “vendor season” is over for me!
  • Did my minimal Christmas decorating, which actually seems to grow slightly each year. I am now up to: small tree (with ornaments), a couple doo-dads sitting in the living room, ornaments in dining room centerpiece, holiday towels and soap in powder room.
  • We hosted our second annual holiday party for our friends. Remember last year when I surprised GG by hiring a clown? This year I got The Grinch!! It was also our second annual Battle of the Dips; winners included pumpkin dip, hoagie dip, and salmon dip. The winners received weird sex shop novelties as their prizes! Next year’s party is going to have a lot to live up to…
  • We saw John Mulaney at the Troc (with opening act Seaton Smith)! As usual, I was pretty much in tears by the end of his set. Fabulous. Also, we found a new place near the theater for dinner, GG is kind of obsessed with it now…
  • Took a day off with MB and A to do all the most Christmassy stuff in Philadelphia: Comcast show, Macy’s show, Love Park Christmas village, lunch at DiBruno Brothers, a train ride there and back, and of course a gift exchange :o)
  • Went to a live nativity/Christmas Eve service at a friend’s church. I think she was super excited to recruit us for the church, but really I just wanted to see the animals on stage (and also they had a good band, which GG liked). It was nice, but we’re not going to be regular churchgoers anytime soon.
  • Celebrated Christmas first with my family, then with GG’s. For Christmas lunch at our place, we had a great spread, including a great pomegranite and lime sangria, perfect red and green for Christmas!
  • Took another trip into Philly during our week off to have lunch at Rosa Blanca and check out the Constitution Center (kind of on a whim).
  • My holiday break home improvement project this year: painted a bedroom a gorgeous turquoise/teal color. It’s really dramatic and I love it!