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Showing posts from January, 2014

Ergonomic Pen Giveaway: UGLee Pen

EDIT:
We have a winner for the UGLee Pen giveaway! Congratulations to Michelle from California, and thank you to everyone who entered!

Remember how much writing you did in school? Even with everyone having iPads and laptops, you probably find yourself bringing a pen to office meetings or class and after a while, your hand hurts. I was an art history major, so you can imagine there was a LOT of writing going on. Even though I tried to use my laptop in grad school as much as possible, I still went through a ton of notebooks and sore hands.

Stanford educated physician, Dr. James Lee, developed an ergonomic pen to help people who have to write a lot (even those who don't do much writing may want to try it). If you suffer from carpal tunnel or arthritis, or have trouble holding a traditional pen, the unique soft grip of the UGLee Pen may make writing easier.


I received a set of pens to try, letting my husband use one and a good friend try another. If you're curious to see what it wa…

Trying out the agile development guide, Professional Mentor

I have a real job and I spend a lot of time with developers and interaction designers, trying to make amazing web and mobile experiences for millions of people around the world. Yep, millions. I think it's hundreds of millions at this point. So I know web and product strategy, management, and analysis fairly well. I don't know much about agile though.

Several years ago, I took a workshop at my friend's user experience conference in Boston. I spent hours learning how to integrate user experience methods into an agile development cycle, and with all that focus, I still went home thinking agile and user experience methods just don't play nice together. They have different goals without the timeline to make true research happen, unless it's done before the project exists. It's not impossible. It's just very difficult.

Professional Mentor by Quick Focus, is a web experience offering a lot of documentation, videos, and process information, plus one-on-one mentors…

It's THAT Kind of Morning

Today is one of those days. I am fairly active at my daughter's school, and one of my volunteer roles is to pick up donated flowers from local shops and bring them to school, clean them up, make little bunches and give those to the younger kids' classrooms, leave a few bunches for teachers in the language and media center rooms, and make vased bouquets for the teacher's lounge, front lobby, reception desk, and anywhere else could use a pick-me-up.

It isn't difficult work, but there is a good deal of time involved first thing in the morning, usually a Monday. I try to leave before 8, drop the dog at his favorite spot (playcare at Completely Canines), head to a couple shops and be at school by 8:30, which is just about the time my husband is dropping my daughter off for school.

Today, I left nice and early, about 7:50 but nothing went my way. The roads were slick, so I took my time. A woman with an adorable pitt arrived just before me, so I needed to wait at playcare for…

Sinful Colors Pink Forever vs SinfulShine VIP

I decided to try the pink nail polish that Penny picked, Sinful Colors Pink Forever #313 to compare to SinfulShine VIP #1231.

Pink Forever is much more pale and lighter than VIP, but like VIP, looks best with two coats and takes about the same amount of time to dry. I found the SinfulShine to be thicker and more long-lasting. It only took 24 hours for my nails to look a little worn out and in need of a touch-up. However, I do like the lighter Pink Forever shade more. If I could have that in a SinfulShine formula, I'd be super happy.



For the full scoop on SinfulShine, check out my December post on the VIP shade!

Book Review: Too Much Information by David Haskell

I was looking for new ways to find out about upcoming products and signed up for a service called Tomoson. The primary goal of Tomoson.com seems to be to match businesses with bloggers who enjoy reviewing products and while I don't necessarily want to go out and review free stuff all the time, I thought it would be interesting to check out the service.

My first match with Tomoson was a review of a book called Too Much Information by new author, David Haskell. I do secretly enjoy science-themed thrillers (I proclaim to love biographies) and sneak off and read my husband's Robin Cook books frequently, so a chance at a totally new novel by an emerging author sounded quite awesome.
David Haskell gave me a free copy of the Kindle version of his book, which I was able to read on my iPad with the free Kindle app. For an eBook, it was well-formatted and easy to work with. We have gone through three Nooks in our house and I don't find those very pleasant to read for too long. Readi…

Maybelline Color Show Nail Strips: Not a Fan

When I was in Walmart the other day, I grabbed Maybelline's Color Show nail strips. The fun, bold design caught my eye and I do love nail stickers.


My absolute favorite strips are by Kiss, "Cocktail," in the Classic Nail Dress collection. They stay on for seemingly forever, look fantastic, and aren't difficult to work with. I have a hard time getting used to textures like rhinestones and such, but the look is worth it. I've mostly used Cocktail on my toes, though, since I otherwise fidget by messing with the texture on my fingernails.

The other brand I like is Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips. I used Pink Argyle several times (discontinued). The strips are super stretchy and easy to smooth out but don't last as long as the Kiss strips.

So, did I like Maybelline's attempt at nail strips?

Nope.


They look pretty cool, eh? Each set comes with 20 stickers, a nail file/buffer, and a plastic tool to help push the stickers into the sides of the nail.

Fabulous New Sneakers from Payless

I was at the mall this weekend when I realized I can't keep wearing my 10-year-old sneakers. There are cracks that let moisture in, I've worn out the soles, and they're looking a bit faded. I don't wear sneakers often, but when I do, I like them to be simple, flat, and fitted. I've got very small feet and wear skinny jeans, so I don't want a clunky shoe making me look like a clown.

Since January is usually somewhat tighter, budget-wise, I didn't want to spend a lot on a brand-name shoe and breezed in Payless while Penny and my husband were at the mall's play area.

It didn't take long to find a cute pair of grey sneakers with white and purple laces. These City Sneaks canvas shoes from Payless have a padded insole, but are very light and flexible. I'm able to slip them on and off without untying, making them perfect for taking the dog out in the morning.


They're also super cute with both my jeans and skirts and will probably look super in a dr…

Girls' Trip to Sally Beauty Supply

My daughter has been watching a lot of Frozen promos on the Disney Roku channel and especially loves watching girls getting their hair done like Elsa and Anna, so I thought I'd take her to Sally and see if there was a cute braided headband like the ones we've seen in the promos.

We didn't exactly come home with what we went to Sally for, but we did come home with some fun girlie stuff.

Optimum Care Salon Collection Essential Nutrients for Dry Scalp


I've got terribly dry, itchy scalp but no dandruff. I've also got course, dense, thick hair and often rely on what are typically branded "ethnic hair" products. I picked up a discounted pack of Optimum Care Salon Collection Essential Nutrients for Dry Scalp. The box comes with four weekly treatments (can be used more frequently, if needed). Using it is so easy - just apply to the scalp with the hair damp or dry and work it in with fingers. I absolutely loved how nourishing it felt, like when I get conditioning t…

Smart-Fab Giveaway is Over

I just wanted to post a note of thanks to everyone who entered the Smart-Fab craft fabric giveaway. The contest has ended and Rafflecopter selected a random winner from all the entries. I'm pleased to announce that a Minnesota teacher won three sample rolls that she'll be using in her classroom!

If you're still curious to try Smart-Fab, you can visit the Where to Buy section of the Smart-Fab website for a list of retailers (online and brick-and-mortar). There are so many uses for Smart-Fab from education to crafting, so definitely check it out!

Sinful Colors: Penny's Favorites

Penny wanted me to share her favorite shades of Sinful Colors. She generally picks purples, but recently selected both a purple and a pink.

The purple below doesn't look that purple in the photo, but it is. It's like a plum purple, really warm and rich, definitely dark. If you are looking for a fabulous date night purple, or lovely day look for winter, Sinful Colors Fig #961 is a great choice. The color is shiny but not glittery and goes on thick. Two coats is plenty.

Penny also really likes Pink Forever #313, which is a lovely pale pink, very feminine. You can find Fig and Pink Forever on Amazon or your local retailer.

If you are looking for fun, kid-friendly colors you can also wear (share with your daughter!), definitely look for these super affordable, pretty shades!