Friday, June 19, 2015

The Best-Kept Nail Polish Secret You’ll Ever Hear

For years, I avoided wearing nail polish. Why? Apparently I spend so much time typing, I knock the polish right off my nails. I'd paint them and within a day I'd see a chip.

Gel nail polish resists chipping, so I tried that for a few weeks last summer. I learned about the latest trend in nail polish: accent nails.

With an accent nail, one finger is different than the rest. But you don't have to stop there. I told the manicurist to get creative...this was the result:

After dealing with gel nail removal twice, I decided it wasn't worth the 15 minutes of soaking and scraping it required. I decided to go with normal (non-gel) nail polish. I chose a color that matched my car.

"How long will this last?" I asked. She answered, "Just put top coat on every day or two and it can last a week or longer." So I invested in the same kind of top coat she used...

...and guess what? She was right. If I start every day by brushing top coat over the tips of my nails and then putting a layer across each nail, my polish can last ten days without chipping. So, combining OPI and Incoco nail polish strips, I've been getting creative. There's this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

One layer of topcoat and it lasts 7-10 days. The nail polish strips last longer than nail polish, by the way. The moral?

Don't give away your trade secrets!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A New Kind of Podcast

I never really grasped the concept of podcasts. I tried for a while, but in the early days of the iPhone, getting content to your device wasn't easy. It involved a multi-step process that was just too much work. Then came the iCloud.

I couldn't find any podcasts I liked anyway. Most of them were how-to tips and talk shows. Blech. I like a good story. So I forgot about podcasts and returned to reading fiction and celebrity biographies.

But then a couple of months ago, I wrote about a podcast that had the entire world talking. The podcast, called Serial, chronicles one reporter's journey as she attempts to learn more about the murder of a high school student in 1999.

Serial is the first podcast to win a Peabody Award, and has been called "an audio game-changer." The free podcast series has been downloaded more than 68 million times as of February of this year and season two will begin later in 2015.

So when I used up my Audible download for the month, I decided to see how many steps it would take to get this Serial podcast to my phone. I was surprised to learn there's a podcast app on my phone and all I had to do was search, then download all 12 episodes. Took me about two minutes.

For the first few episodes, I wasn't sure what to think. I'm a huge Dateline and 20/20 fan. I love watching a mystery unfold. But it seemed to me we were following the story of a guy who was rightly convicted of a crime he committed. Not very riveting entertainment. As I kept listening, though, the story drew me in. Maybe it wasn't such a cut-and-dried case, after all...

As I near the end of this series, though, I get it. It isn't that this particular story is all that riveting. It's the fact that the producers allowed us to follow along on the journey as it unfolded. The story was originally aired in real-time, as Sarah Koenig investigated it. How often does that happen?

But most of all, what sets Serial apart is that it's a unique kind of podcast. It tells a story in a unique way. We need many, many, many more podcasts like that! a result of the series' success, the Maryland Court of Appeals is taking another look at the case.

Have you ever listened to a podcast?

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Recycling Nuts Always Attack

It seems like only yesterday that I was chided by a co-worker for not washing my water bottle out before tossing it in the recycle bin. I checked out the rules on the top of the bin. 

Somewhere in all those rules it indeed said you're supposed to thoroughly wash your trash before you send it off to recycle.

Yes, recycle-aholics can be super annoying. We're proud of them that they refuse to use #3 plastics because the local recycling people won't accept them. We love that they drive a Smart Car because it's better for the environment. We don't, however, appreciate their disapproving stares as we toss our water bottles in the regular trash.

Recycling is, after all, a lot of work. Ridiculous work. Most workplaces don't provide recycle bins at your desk and you may not even have curbside recycling at your home, requiring you collect your trash and drive it somewhere to do the right thing.

Then there's the occasional Facebook post,reminding you that something you're doing is bad for the environment. Most recently for me was an attack on Keurig coffee makers. They're supposedly bad for the environment.

Perhaps those K-Cups would wrap around the earth 10.5 times. However, there are recyclable K-Cups, including the ones I buy (mostly because I love their crazy flavors!):

In addition, you can buy reusable K-Cup filters, toss the coffee out, and refill them. I told the recycle nuts that on Facebook, but they just wanted to keep shouting at everyone that Keurigs are evil. EVIL, I tell you!

All that shouting just makes me want to brew a cup of peanut butter and jelly coffee, kick back, and scroll to the next comment on my Facebook newsfeed!

Do you recycle? Do you follow all the rules?