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Things I’ll miss about Alaska (in no particular order)/Things I won’t miss

Published April 2, 2013 by krystal

Living in Alaska seems to be such a novel idea.  Whenever we visit the lower 48 for the summer, EVERYONE has a story of when their third cousins neighbors sister’s brother in law’s aunt came to Alaska on vacation in 1986.  Or… they want to come.  I’m not kidding.  Few understand the vastness that is Alaska, so it is difficult for them to fathom that people don’t come to rural (bush) Alaska to visit, or tour on vacation.  There are no hotels or souvenir shops.  I have yet to meet the owner of the fishing charter (because it is non-existent) There is one store.  It is the size of a small Dollar General or large convenience store.

That being said, it’s funny when people ask what tourist things are around here.  Fortunately, Joey and I had the opportunity to do an interior tour in the summer of 2011 with his parents.  We got to see Mt. McKinley up close and personal in an air taxi.  We were close to bears, rafted the Chena River, panned for gold, and saw a glacier (there was more, but you get the point)!

Last summer (2012) we had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks in Fairbanks for my schooling.  That, plus the many trips we have taken to Anchorage for medical/personal reasons have shown us unique things we like about Anchorage/Alaska there are not in Arkansas.

Image1. Fred Meyer Oh how I will miss “Fast Freddies!”  Ok, so it’s basically a more expensive Wal-Mart with higher quality goods.  They sell OPI nail polish and Levi’s jeans.  They also sell men’s Hanes whitey tighties 6 for $32.  They have this beauty line called “essence.”  I’ve only tried the nail polish.  It’s $1.99 (sometimes $.99) and is worth every single cent!

When I was in Fast Freddies this weekend checking out the essence polish, this lady walked up and asked me what I though of the brand.  I told her I loved the polish, it usually lasts 5 days or so, but haven’t tried anything else.  She responded, “Well it’s just so cheap… you probably get what you pay.”  Didn’t I just say the stuff was top of the line, regardless of price?

2. Red Robin Yumm!  There is a reason their slogan is just Image “Yumm!”  They really don’t need any other words to describe the place!  I am sad that we will probably not get to see another Red Robin for years.  The Crispy Chicken sandwich is off the chain.  All burgers/sandwiches come with bottomless french fries, but with large and delicious sandwich portions, who needs endless french fries?  I think there is a Red Robin in Memphis, so perhaps Joey will take me one day!

3. OPI Nail Polish Yes, there is OPI in Arkansas, I’m just not sure where (Besides Cosmo Prof, which I don’t have a license to).  In Anchorage, it’s at Fast Freddies and several stores in the mall.  It seems like it’s everywhere I go, which is fabulous.  It will be difficult to go from having all the polish I can imagine at the tip of my fingers, to not knowing where to get them!  Perhaps I can just buy them on Amazon or something.

4. Views from the Plane  I will NOT miss having to fly to get to a decent-sized store, or to see a doctor.  I will miss the beautiful view from the air, though.

Several years ago, I was on a short flight with a coworker between two villages.  Looking out the window, we could see a Momma moose and her baby.  The pilot swooped down so we could get a better look!  It scared the moose and they took off!  😦  Of course, being in a plane, we got to follow them a little ways before getting back on the course to the village.  That was truly a once in a lifetime experience–chasing moose in a plane.

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Things I’ll Be Happy to Have (Again) (In no particular order)

1. Bath & Body Works For some reason, this wonderfully smelling store and it’s contents have yet to make it to the Last Frontier.  Many summers/Christmas breaks have been spent stocking up on body cream, soap, and hand sanitizer so that we have plenty to last for the semester.  It will be very nice to not have to stock up!  Also, I will be able to buy and use the seasonal scents BEFORE the season (It’s March and we are using Candy Cane and have “Vanilla Bean Noel up next)!

2. Victoria’s Secret This store has yet to grace the Land of the Midnight Sun.  Joey and I have gotten pretty good at ordering from them online, but it’s still not the same as actually going to the store.  There’s just something about the pink stripes that get me!

3. Better Chinese Anchorage has an ok Chinese restaurant.  North Pole (Fairbanks) actually has an award-winning Chinese restaurant, but we probably won’t go back.  But… there is a wonderful Chinese restaurant not too far from our new house!  🙂  I think we will go there every week for many months after we return!

4. The ability to not wear outer clothes  Putting on gloves, a hat, scarf, big heavy coat, and sometimes goggles most of the year is not fun!  I’m so excited about getting to wear flip-flops, sandals, and skirts for most of the year again!  I want to go to the tanning bed and have a reason (so I’ll look good in those skirts!).  Bottom line:  I’m tired of being covered up completely from head to toe!

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12/20/07 My BFF and I used to run around taking pics of each other. This was one of the sites we ran into one day.

5. The Great Outdoors  Five years ago I practically lived outside!  I loved to go hiking, hunting, fishing, you name it!  If it was outside, I was there.  Granted, I have a gorgeous house now (a reason to hang out indoors), but I’m just ready to go outside and do something!  I could go outside here, but it’s kinda cold, and it’s not easy walking in snow.  So… I’ll just stay in.  🙂  Fortunately, we have a Florida vacation coming up in a beach front condo at the end of May.  I think that will jump-start my outdoorsyness.  I really miss being able to go out and explore.

Joey is determined that we will return to Alaska one day to see the inside pass and maybe tour the interior again when we retire.  I don’t know about all that.  In case you can’t tell, I’m very ready for a much-needed change!  Don’t get me wrong, it is a very beautiful place, but I’m ready for trees, green grass, and dirt!

If you come to Alaska, try the burger Crispy Chicken!
Krystal*

Just Your Typical Friday Night MANi…

Published February 2, 2013 by krystal

Wow, it has been so long since I have posted!  I have been trying to work on my grad school project, so blogging hasn’t been my first priority.  Oh yeah, plus this nasty cold.  And I’ve been harboring a secret that’s eating me alive…  Anyhow, on to last night.

Joey and I constantly lose tweezers.  It’s bad.  I bought one of those fancy ones with the pretty ladies… I put them in a certain spot in the bathroom so I would never lose them.  Guess what?  After Christmas they’re lost (I’m not accusing anyone here, because I know no one was in our house but us)!  After turning the house upside down, Joey agreed we should buy some off of Amazon.  We could get 3 pairs of contoured shaped ones for $4!  Sweet!  I won’t feel bad about losing these, they’re cheaper than the cheap ones at Wally World!  The only problem:  they’re ALL blue.  Eww.  If I’m gonna pluck tiny invisible hairs out of my forehead I would like for my tweezers to be fancy.

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Last night, Joey put a movie on, and Freddy joined us.  I was painting polka dots on the first and second pairs, and decided to do swirly flowers on the third pair.  Freddy took notice and admired my abilities.  I told him I would paint his nails next, expecting him to say no.  Boy was I wrong!  He put his hand out and asked for a skull!  I painted a flower.  🙂  I removed it and tackled the skull.  I was all finished and proud of my work, and took a very fuzzy picture.  When I went to try again, I knocked the nail, smudging the polish.  The commotion got Joey’s attention.  Somehow during all that he missed the memo that Freddy was getting his nail done!  So… I removed it again, and painted the skull again.  This time it was a little better (cuz I was experienced).  I took pics and was proud of my work.  Freddy said he’d wear it to school, too!

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The Clean Up Wasn’t So Hot, But Over All, It Looks Great!

  I started off with Seche Vite Base Coat, painted 2 coats of Milani White On The Spot, then used a dotting tool to create the skull with OPI Black Onyx.  I shut the party down with CND Super Shiney Top Coat.  I think I need more Seche Vite TC…

Here are my current nails:

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Interlocking Dots

Ok, so I basically did this but stopped at #6.  I started with Seche Vite BC, then painted OPI Italian Love Affair on the top half of my nail.  I freehanded the bottom half with OPI Casino Royal (it dries so much darker than the bottle).  I freehanded it because the dots cover any mistakes, and too many coats tend to chip.  I finished with CND Super Shiney TC.  I just love the interlocking dot look!

 Hopefully next time won’t be so long!
Krystal*

Swirly flowers

Published January 15, 2013 by krystal

Greetings, WordPress.  Today I will share with you this lovely masterpiece I created last night.  First, I used Seche Vite base coat to get the party started.  I used OPI Gargantuan Green Grape as my base, which is a minty green.  One of my favorites, OPI’s Italian Love Affair was gooped on with a dotting tool.  I immediately applied OPI’s You Only Live Twice and swirled it into the Italian Love Affair.  The leaves were made using OPI’s Jade is the New Black, with a small stripe of essence’s Lime UP!  I thought it needed a little more, so I added “puppy feet” with Milani’s White On the Spot and a dotting tool.  I finished up with Seche Vite’s top coat and admired the beauty of it!  I hope you like it too!

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Swirly flowers without flash

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Swirly flowers with flash

Winter is in full bloom!
Krystal*

A Few of My Favorite Things

Published December 19, 2012 by krystal
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1. Cats

1.  Cats–  I have loved cats as long as I can remember. My older brother named a series of male orange tabby cats “Peanut Butter.”  I asked my mom once how many Peanut Butters graced our lives in the late 80’s/early 90’s, and she was unsure.  None of them stayed too long, a lot of them ran away.  Since then, I have had several different cats.  Some are a little more “special” than others (Pacey).  They were all very special to me at one time.  Currently, Mason is my loving cat.

2. OPI/Seche Vite–  As a kid I was a nail biter.  Oh, it’s true.  As a teen/young adult I got where I could grow them out for a while before biting them all off.  I’m so glad that I no longer bite them off, because I just love painting them!  They are the greatest accessory!  OPI and Seche Vite are among my favorite polishes, one is a top/base coat, and the other is color.

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3. Sandcastles

3. Swimming/The Beach/Sandcastles–  As a kid, I always begged my parents to get hotel rooms with pools.  As an adult, I often opt for hotels with pools, still.  I want my future house to have a pool.  I was a lifeguard for 3 years in my twenties.  I just love swimming!  Swimming is my favorite.  Oh, and building sandcastles and hanging at the beach are cool too.

4. Laughing–  I love to laugh, period.

5. Coloring– I have never outgrown my love for a box of crayons or markers and a nice color sheet.  I also love making things with construction paper!

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5. Coloring

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6. Sausage Balls

6.  Sausage Balls–  You know that saying, “You better get ’em while the gettin’s good?”  Totally applies here.  I know they are supposed to be a hors d’œuvre, but we like to make them and have them for breakfast!  When made with muenster cheese, they almost taste just like a sausage biscuit from McDonald’s, which is a treat to a rural Alaskan.  We like to mix up the cheese, and Joey sometimes adds garlic, in case a vampire comes for us.  He just likes to follow recipes to a T.

7.  Long Hair–  I love my long hair!  I got it cut pretty short (still past my shoulders) at the end of the summer to get rid of what was left of a dye job.  It’s getting a lot longer now and I’m so happy!  I just love my hair!

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8. Flare Jeans

8.  Flare Jeans–  I have big feet (size 10) and big hips.  My favorite jeans are flares, the bigger, the better!  They help hide my hips and feet, which makes me feel better about myself.  The only downside is when it’s windy out, sometimes the wind creeps up them.

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9. These Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

9. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies–  In particular, these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I do not know the girl who ate everything, but if she ever takes her blog down I will be so sad.  I just love these cookies.  Joey or I have made them probably a dozen times since September.  Our students know all about our love for this cookie, as we have shared it with them on a few occasions.  You should totes try it if you need a good cookie recipe over Christmas!  I probably will!  There is something “homey” about the oatmeal raisin cookie.  For me, it just makes me feel all snug and warm, especially on cold, snowy, or blizzard days.  Interestingly enough, I’ve always been more of Chocolate Chip Cookie lover, until I met this cookie.  As with the sausage balls, sometimes things get added.  The cookies in the picture actually have crushed almonds added!  Yumm!

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10.  The Waffle Sandwich–  Joey and I got really sick back in late September.  It was similar to Strep Throat, our rapid strep tests came back negative, but the fever and white patches told a different story!  We were both so ill and just wanted a grilled cheese.  Unfortunately, neither of us had enough energy to stand over a skillet for that long.  Our fatigue give rise to the waffle sandwich!  All we had to do was throw the sandwich in the waffle maker and Voila!  We had grilled cheese!  Since, we have had grilled ham & cheese, grilled turkey, grilled roast beef, grilled sausage and grilled turkey & cheese sandwiches.  I love that our waffle maker serves at least two purposes!

I bet you thought I was gonna sing about raindrops and whiskers…
Krystal*

Santa Hats & Christmas Tree Nails

Published December 17, 2012 by krystal

I finished all of my final exams on Wednesday Tuesday someday last week.  It was such a relief to be done!  I didn’t have as many large, spread out assignments this semester, like in the past.  This semester I had a lot of little assignments due each week.  I thought this would be easier to deal with, but as it turns out, I just ended up constantly worrying if I turned EVERYTHING in or not!  Needless to say, I’m glad it is over!  So glad, in fact, that I eventually got around to doing my nails fabulously at 10:00 Sunday night.  🙂  I got some nail art stickers in Anchorage a few weeks ago, but decided to stick to paint this time.  I got inspiration for the trees here.  And for the Santa hats here.  I just love Christmas!

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I used:
Red- Milani Rapid Cherry
Dark Green- OPI Jade Is The New Black
Light Green- essence Lime Up!
Silver- OPI DS Silver Shimmer
White- Milani White On The Spot
Yellow- essence Little Miss Sunrise
Top coat- CND Super Shiney & Seche Vite

I really like how they turned out, but next time I probably won’t put white on silver.
Thanks for looking!
Merry (early) Christmas!
Krystal*

Polka dot Rain

Published December 6, 2012 by krystal

I’ve been a little busy lately, and haven’t really been rocking any pretty nails.  I finally made time to do them tonight, and I think they turned out cute!  I used essence colour & go in Little Miss Sunrise, and OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts.  The dots were done using a bobby pin (maybe Santa will bring me dotting tools?).  It was all topped off with Seche Vite!

ImageI should probably start some Christmas nails…

Krystal*

Did I mention I like to paint my nails?

Published November 7, 2012 by krystal

Did I mention I like to paint my nails?  Well, I do.  A lot, actually.  I usually use OPI nail polish, though I have a few other brands here and there.  I use Konad to make the super cool patterns.  Seche Vite or CND Super Shiney are my top coats of choice, in that order.  What is my favorite color?  Why, Italian Love Affair, of course!  Paired with a black design it is just perfect.  OPI describes it as romantic and pearly.  I agree.

I am kind of into the accent nail, but not as much as some people.  I hate explaining why one is different, so it’s usually easier to just do them all the same.  I am definitely not a pro, but I try, and get lots of compliments irl.

Here are some of my faves over the last year:

This is plaid Italian Love Affair with Maroon. I like the ILA/maroon combo, it’s probably one of my faves!

Dotted Love Affair, my current look! It’s black with ILA.  My ring finger was done with one of the reinforcement stickers.

Half moons over Italy- ILA with a black swirly Konad stamp. Half moons were achieved by using reinforcement stickers.

Italians Love Hounds Tooth- Do they? IDK. This is ILA mixed with maroon hounds tooth.

A Wild Italian Ride! This is the famous water marble technique. I used ILA, yellow, brown, and baby blue.  It turned out a little sloppy, and weighed down my nails more than I usually like. It was fun for a once in a while thing.

Blue Zebra- This reminds me of a candy cane I ate once. I really like using the pastel and regular version of a color.

Hot Pink Zebra- I love pink, and I love zebra! I’ve probably done this combo many many times.

Strawberries! This was one of my cute summer designs. The dots were done using a Konad plate. The green tops were done using regular scotch tape that was cut crooked.

Hounds Tooth & Red. A classic, it reminds me of winter, even though I painted it over the summer.

A Palm Sunset. I did this design for our trip to Virginia Beach. One of my favorites ever. I used a regular kitchen sponge to make the orange, red, and purple. The arch was made using reinforcement stickers.

Woo Pig Sooie! A shade of OPI brown, topped with white laces, hand drawn, clearly. The red is a Melani shade, with Melani glitter.

I hope you enjoyed my hard work!

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