This Blog is Moving!

I have finally finished setting up my new site! It is basically the same as it is here, but new!

So, please visit the new A Map to Beautiful, at http://www.maptobeautiful.com

If you have me bookmarked or linked on your blog, please update those so you will see my new posts!


EDIT: Sorry, technical difficulties prevent me from using the new site- any new posts from me will be back on this wordpress blog!


You may have noticed that I have a couple of links over on the side under Shopping. One of them is Nail de Royale, and while I haven’t ordered much from the site (serious no-buy, you guys!) I was given a chance to review some of their products, so I’d like to share that with you guys!

Here’s a sneak peek of what they sent:

Today I’m just gonna talk about that orange one. It is in fact LaRosa Crackle Shatter in Orange Red.

I’m not super experienced with crackles, but I didn’t have any problems applying it or getting it to crackle. I got some big chunks and some smaller bits, but I kind of liked the uneven look. One thing, this is one of the crackles where the base coat needs to be really dry, or else the crackle will pull the base coat off the nail.

I swatched it over a few colors, but my camera has died so I can’t show you at the moment. It’s pretty sheer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing-  It’s kind of a pinky orange over white, but it shows a true orange over a tangerine like Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up. And over blues you see berry and plum! It looked like crap over black though, so you do have to choose your base color wisely.

Here is my favorite look with this, over Wet n Wild Rustic.

See how red it looks over the bronze shimmer? LOVE IT.

This product was given to me by Nail de Royale. I accept free products with the understanding that I am not obligated to post a review on my blog, and that any review that I do post is made up of my own true and honest opinions and is not compensated in any other way.

Pretty Fancy

I haven’t been doing my nails much lately, they are all broken and jankey… :-( I did these today and felt like putting them up.

Had some friends over for a barbecue, and I made ice cream sandwiches for dessert! Let’s just say they were a hit:-)

Sounds pretty simple, ice cream between two cookies, but as I learned today there is definitely a way to do it wrong.

I’m not going to give you a cookie recipe, because there’s one on the back of every bag of chocolate chips! These are classic tollhouse style chocolate chip cookies, of course you can use whatever kind of cookies you want. I use a 1TBSP scoop to make the cookies, which is super easy and results in evenly sized cookies, and is also the perfect amount of ice cream to go inside the sandwiches.

So here are my tips!

1. Freeze the cookies before assembling your sandwiches. This helps keep the ice cream from getting too soft.

2. Don’t soften the ice cream too much. You want it scoopable, but not stirrable.

3. Keep the sandwiches flat until they are fully frozen together.

If you don’t do these 3 things, you will end up with my first attempt, which was finding all the ice cream melted out when I opened the freezer an hour after making the sandwiches. LOL. Nothing I couldn’t fix, and everybody loved them! Well, except for baby O… Guess he hasn’t figured out messy dessert fun quite yet:-)

So, the other day I helped my brother splatter paint the valve cover for his car. I don’t really do cars, but I assume that this particular part does something in the way of covering valves, and looks pretty when you paint it… Although the amount of time you spend  looking at your engine is probably a fraction of the time you spend using it, apparently it’s important to look nice!

We used spoons to make this splatter effect, which i realized would not be very effective on fingernails. But since I had already decided to recreate the look on my nails, I was determined to find a way! Which, actually wasn’t too hard, because I had already seen Jen’s tutorial on ThePolishAholic. It involves a straw. And I will say that the splatter pattern turned out quite different. The spoon method was mostly droplets of various sizes with a few long thin lines, but the straw method tends to make crazier shapes and is less even (but no less cool!)

I used Sally Hansen Wet Cement  (the base) and Gunmetal (the splatter) because I wasn’t too fond of the black and white look. I love the contrast between the light creme and dark shimmer in the same color. I recently got some small pendant blanks and so I decided to see how hard it would be to make some matching earrings. It worked great.

So anyway, sorry for such a long delay in posting. Some weeks it just doesn’t happen. We’re going to be working on moving my blog soon, so stay tuned for any updates:-)

GlitterBomb, Baby!



WOW so much glitter! I wouldn’t wear this normally… but it’s GlitterBomb monday on PAA:-)


Harry Potter nails

I am not going to see Harry Potter 7: part 2 tonight, because it is only in 3-d at my theatre and that makes me sick. But I am going to see part 1, because it is showing right before, so friends will be there:-) So I did my nails anyway

Pretty! I wanted to do all the horcruxes and the hallows, but my freehanding skills aren’t great. Oh well! Happy Harry Potter, everyone!


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