Tag Archives: spring

Zoya Awaken Spring 2014 Collection Nail Polish Trend Alternatives

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Pastels are always on trend for Spring and Zoya released a new Spring 2014 collection named Awaken. It is a beautiful range of 7 new colors.
Zoya Awaken Spring 2014 Collection Nail Polish

Left to right the Zoya Awaken polishes pictured are:
Dot- full-coverage pink petal cream (Originally released as “Dot” for fashion designer Zang Toi’s SS14 collection).
Hudson- full-coverage, purple orchid metallic with a silver shimmer.
Rebel- full-coverage blue sky metallic with a silver shimmer.
Brooklyn- full-coverage, white-gold shimmer metallic.
Dillon- full-coverage, green mint metallic with a silver shimmer.
Cole- full-coverage peach whisper cream (originally released during NYFW as Stella for Peter Som’s SS14 Collection).

full-coverage, purple orchid metallic with a silver shimmer. – See more at: http://www.zoya.com/content/item/Zoya/Zoya-Nail-Polish-Hudson-ZP722.html#sthash.fg84XORp.dpuf
full-coverage pink petal cream (originally released as Dot for fashion designer Zang Toi’s SS14 Collection). – See more at: http://www.zoya.com/content/category/Zoya_Awaken_Spring_2014_Nail_Polish_Collection.html#sthash.8TJWRmAY.dpuf
full-coverage pink petal cream (originally released as Dot for fashion designer Zang Toi’s SS14 Collection). – See more at: http://www.zoya.com/content/category/Zoya_Awaken_Spring_2014_Nail_Polish_Collection.html#sthash.8TJWRmAY.dpuf
full-coverage pink petal cream (originally released as Dot for fashion designer Zang Toi’s SS14 Collection). – See more at: http://www.zoya.com/content/category/Zoya_Awaken_Spring_2014_Nail_Polish_Collection.html#sthash.8TJWRmAY.dpuf

As much as I love Zoya polishes and this beautiful spring palette, I just don’t want to spend $64 on the new collection.  I thought I’d look in my current Zoya stash and see what I had that could compare.

I ended up with a really pretty combination although I couldn’t find anything comparable to the orange, yellow, or blue shades because I just don’t usually buy those colors.

Zoya Spring Polish Alternatives

Zoya Spring Polish Alternatives Apple (green), Happi (bright pink), Erika (milky pink peach), Julie (lavender)

Apple is a Luminous yellow-toned apple green packed with gold metallic sparkle. A dimensional green that’s clean and bright.
Happi is a Pink metallic duochrome. A frosty hint of gold creates a unique peachy-pink.
Erika is a soft, girly pale baby pink with lots of fine gold shimmer. A work appropriate soft pink with a shimmery twist.
Juile is a full-coverage, soft, wisteria purple metallic (no longer sold on Zoya’s website)

Zoya Spring Alternative Polishes swatched: Erika, Julie, Happi, Apple

Zoya Spring Alternative Polishes swatched:
Erika, Julie, Happi, Apple

I sampled these each on a nail and it looked happy and fun but some great 2-color combos for nail art would be:

Erika & JulieHappi & AppleJulie & Happi

 

Zoya Julie, Erika, Apple, Happi, Julie swatched on paper in sunlight

Zoya Julie, Erika, Apple, Happi, Julie swatched on paper in sunlight

I know I don’t have model-nails/hands like some of you! I did take these photos in sunlight and the colors on my screen are pretty true.  They all wore exactly like they look in the bottle with 2 coats over one coat of Zoya’s Get Even Ridge-filling basecoat (which is great BTW) so if you see them in person be assured that what you see is what you get with these!

I thought I’d get a little artsy and make you a rainbow for spring 🙂

I hope the flowers will be blooming soon wherever you are!

 What are your favorite spring nail colors?

Zoya Nail Polish Rainbow Art swatch

Zoya Nail Polish Rainbow Art swatch

Daily Journal 3-21-2014

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My first week back to the land of the living has been busy and I’m so thankful!!  If you’ve read my previous posts from the 18th and the 28th, you’ll know that I’ve been feeling b l a h for quite a while, so getting some pep back in my step feels like a big deal!  I wish I knew what exactly to attribute it to as I have been eating a little better, taking an herbal supplement, and spring has finally graced our hillsides with warm breezes, but I like to think it’s because my Shoulder Angel has been looking out for me ♥

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Spring is Almost Here Pineapple Cake

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Spring is Almost Here Pineapple Cake

Spring is Almost Here Pineapple Cake

This is a light, refreshing cake that is great anytime of year, but really gets me in the mood for spring.  It is super easy and would be great for beginner bakers AND has no oil or butter! WooHoo! That makes it a winner in my book!

There are also lots of little ways to tweak this recipe to make it your own.
Share your substitutions in the comments. I’d love to try them!

Getting Ready to Bake a Cake!

Getting Ready to Bake a Cake!

Here’s what I used:

For the Spring is Almost Here Pineapple Cake

For the Topping
Click this link to go to my post for the complete recipe for my Deliciously Unctuous Lemony Topping

Toast the pecans until they smell nutty. About 3 minutes in a pan on the stove or on a sheet-pan in the oven. Let them cool.

Toasting pecans in a cast iron skillet

Toasting pecans in a cast iron skillet

Butter and line a 9″X13″ baking dish with parchment paper and then butter it again.
This will ensure that the cake comes out beautifully easy AND my baking dish won’t get wrecked by knife cuts!

Parchment-lined 9"X13" Stoneware Baking Dish. Make one piece to go length-wise and another to go the other way for easy lifting and no sticking!

Parchment-lined 9″X13″ Stoneware Baking Dish.
Make one piece to go length-wise and another to go the other way for easy lifting and no sticking!

Once the butter and cream cheese are soft, and I mean really soft, it’s time to pre-heat the oven to 350°.
Do NOT melt or soften in a microwave.  The consistency of these 2 ingredients will be the consistency of your topping.  If it’s runny, you’ll have a runny frosting- yuck!

Sift the flours and sugars and other dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them together.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl just to homogenize them and add the pineapple and all the juice from the can. Barely combine them and then pour into the dry mixture. Do NOT whip the eggs.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, add the toasted pecans, and mix with a spatula just until everything is moistened and combined.  To keep it tender, do not over mix.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the middle of the pre-heated 350° oven.  Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes with a toothpick in the center.  It should not have batter on it.

Cake batter in lined baking dish.  Give it a couple of gentle drops onto a towel-topped counter to ease any air bubbles out.

Cake batter in lined baking dish. Give it a couple of gentle drops onto a towel-topped counter to ease any air bubbles out.

Allow the cake to rest at room temperature for about half an hour and then pull it out with the handy-dandy parchment paper liner and place the cake on a baking rack to cool completely.

This is about when I sneak a “tester” portion 🙂
You know, for quality control! Tee-hee 😉

A naked Spring is Almost Here cake.  Its nuts are showing! :P

A naked Spring is Almost Here cake. Its nuts are showing! 😛

I make the topping while the cake is cooling.

My favorite topping for this cake is my DELICIOUSLY UNCTUOUS LEMONY TOPPING, but you can top it with anything you want…or not at all!  This recipe would make a fantastic breakfast muffin or lunch snack cake with no topping at all.

Perfectly Pinnable naked Spring is Almost Here cake glamor shot

Perfectly Pinnable naked Spring is Almost Here cake glamor shot

Some notes:

I tend to be very specific about what ingredients I use.  I do this in case I want to adjust the recipe or experiment with it later.  I also find that when recreating someone else’s recipes, it can make a difference what brands are used in getting similar final results.  If I don’t mention a brand then I probably don’t remember what I used; I usually decant my bulk ingredients.
I do not receive compensation for linking to, using, or mentioning any brands.  I simply link to them to make it easy for you to know exactly what I’m using and help you to locate where it’s sold in case you’d like to try it.

t: little “t” is a teaspoon. ’cause it’s cute and little
T: big “T” is a Tablespoon. ’cause he’s the big brother
C: Cup

Daily Journal

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The last month or so has been a blur; usually that means things have just been so busy that nothing of note comes quickly to mind. In this case, I have been so lethargic (because I’ve been unwell) and anxious (about our upcoming move and lack of a location to move to yet) that I have mentally been on vacation.  Days run together like butter melting into the soup that is my mind.

BUT

I don’t know if it was the change in weather, time changing, or the new herbal supplement I’m taking, but the last few days have been pretty wonderful.

We’ve had a lot of snowfall here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains this winter.  I really enjoy the snow; it’s so beautiful and quiet, and people tend to stay home so there’s no traffic (not that there is usually more than a couple of cars an hour!).  Sledding down the hills with my Honey is so much fun!  Last weekend the temperature rose to about 70° and most of the snow melted.  The temp dipped during the week but this past Saturday it rose to just above 70° and it was gloriously sunny. Shorts, sunglasses, sunscreen, and Katy Perry singing about California Girls on my SoundSpot while I rocked in the hammock overlooking the shimmery lake and grasses bowing under the breeze had me in a summery state of mind.  It was a wonderful respite to the glumness.

This was Saturday:

Sunny view overlooking the lake and mountains from the hammock

Sunny view overlooking the lake from the hammock

And this was Sunday:

Snowy Day

SNOW!

Hubby had Monday off since he couldn’t get his work truck out of the driveway because of all the snow.  It was a great day to spend together.  We did some Spring Cleaning and got a great video of some deer looking for some bushes to nibble near the house.

We also made a simple but yummy St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  Well, I thought it was yummy, but Mr. Picky Eater didn’t like the cabbage! Oh well, he’s getting better…at least he ate it.

See the recipe post HERE!

St. Patrick's Day Irish Cabbage and Golden Hashbrown Nuggets

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Cabbage and Golden Hashbrown Nuggets

Spring Cleaning

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Spring is a time of renewal both in nature and in our lives.  Just as a good assessment of a plant in need of pruning is necessary for it’s healthy growth and development, so is the evaluation of our lives.  Think of it as a New Year’s Resolution part 2.  I stay fairly organized and clean throughout the year but spring is a good time to assess what’s working and what isn’t and clean up my act so-to-speak.  I have taken the time this spring to spruce up my video game collection, garden, home, and health.

The first thing I started to tackle is a fun one; I was inspired to finish some of the great 2012 video games on my shelf by the Raptr Spring Cleaning Challenge and am blogging about my success with it on my gaming blog, Saving the World from Evil…again!.  I have completed The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Far Cry 3, The Darkness II, and am currently finishing Lollipop Chainsaw, Halo 4, Borderlands 2, and Call of Duty Black Ops II.  I had finished Dishonored, which is on the Raptr challenge list, but I completed it a couple of days before the challenge started.  I feel really good about finally finishing some of these games! They were all pretty great and were begging to be played but sometimes I just get busy with other projects.  These are games that I have picked up during a sale and just could not pass up, but they sit half completed or, too often, unopened.  This was a great opportunity to play them and have the incentive of a chance of winning prizes. Who doesn’t love prizes?!

Having recently moved into my current house on almost 7 acres in a beautiful rural area of Virginia, I had so many plans for the house itself and the areas I could garden, but knowing I would only live here a year or so has made me consider carefully what I’m willing to put into it (time and money-wise).  I am a planner and designer by nature and so I’ve been teeming with ideas of what I could do, but have limited my scope to what Hubby and I can enjoy for the short time we are here and take with us easily when we move again.  I love gardening and so this spring has had me itching to plant but I have reined in and just bought a beautiful Queen Elizabeth Rose, about a dozen violas and pansy’s, a Carnaby clematis, marigolds, and a couple of Blue Moon phlox.  Most are in containers now but I still have to get the others in the ground. We were at the hardware store buying screening to replace what’s torn on the patio from the snow this winter and I caught a great sale on the clearance plants; I got all of them with what I had leftover in our grocery budget for the week!

The house has been a bit of a challenge as it is quite large.  We have only lived here a few months so we are still setting up the house and figuring where we want everything to be.  I have gotten some projects done, more-or-less.  I got all of my game collectibles on a shelving system and dust-proofed them in an original way: a shower curtain!

The curtain still needs to be steamed but I was waiting until I got casters for the shelf because I’m going to have to take everything off then anyway.  I will probably pull some of my statuettes and figures out then to display.  Some of them are really interesting! The curtain is just hung with small S-hooks I got from Tractor Supply. If I can make room, I’m going to set up another one to flank the other side of my desk as well.  Then I’ll have room to put my old consoles and the rest of my gaming collectibles and magazines out!  The next project is the walk-in closet  and laundry area which is coming along nicely but isn’t done.

I’m also writing much more than I have in years! I missed it greatly and it is truly a joy for me.  I feel more like me when I am translating the stuff of my mind into something slightly more coherent.  I have lost my “voice” over the years but I hope it will be restored and develop as I continue to feed it.  Writing has always been my Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel).  I have found that it’s one of the best tools I have to help preserve the memories I am making in this life.  I hope to one day be able to have illustration as a tool as well.  The images in my mind could fill a million books.  Today though, the best I can manage is stick figures and child-like sketches.  It’s embarrassing but seeing as I haven’t had an art class since elementary school, it’s fitting I suppose.

The last area of my life I have spruced up this spring is my health.  I care about my health but I don’t always give it the priority it should. Hubby and I are planning a family vacation to the Outer Banks soon so I was inspired to lose a few pounds to look and feel better for that.  I started counting calories and have already lost 8.5 pounds since I started just a couple of weeks ago.  The tendency to become obsessive about it is a concern for me as I did a similar “diet” a year or so ago and it left me tired, cranky, and completely obsessive over what I was eating and it’s nutritional content. That was definitely NOT healthy. This time around, I am making sure to eat what I usually do, but just keep track of the calories and portion accordingly so that I don’t go over my calorie cap.  So far, so good.  I don’t feel more fatigued than usual, but I do miss cooking wonderfully comforting meals.  Grocery shopping while on a diet makes me look at food as the enemy, but I’m sure that’s just temporary, LoL!  Hubby’s employer has changed it’s insurance compensation package (for the better I think) and so we are evaluating which insurance company to buy from.  Health insurance will help in my endeavor to enjoy many more springs to come!

Now that I’m temporarily done with all this spring’s assessment and pruning, it’s time for some renewal!  I think I’ll start with  a calorie-counted glass of local wine, a warm bubbly bath, and some classical music…