Random Thursday: A random fact that blew my mind

There are lots of mind-blowing facts out there, but I’m always amazed when I read the numbers on the amount of undiscovered species of plants and animals in the world. I’ve read studies that estimate just a small fraction of species have been discovered and cataloged, with millions and millions of species yet to be discovered and no real grasp of the total number still out there. And what’s worse, human destruction of natural habitats means that thousands (if not millions) of species of plants, animals, insects and more could die off before we have a chance to make that discovery. It’s mind-blowing and frankly pretty sad.

Review: SendOutCards.com (greeting card service)

I received one or more of the products mentioned below for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


How’s this for pulling a two-for-one on my to-do list: not only did I get to give this service a test spin this week, I got a much-needed birthday card in the mail as well! How? Read on and find out!

SendOutCards.com lets you create and mail a greeting card from the comfort of your home, and it quite literally takes just minutes to do so. I could see this being an incredibly useful tool for anyone who has difficulty getting out of the house, is too pressed for time to head to the store and the post office–or, like me, is simply very good at forgetting to buy cards in a timely fashion! Unlike your typical card-creation software or service that lets you print cards at home, Send Out Cards handles the physical printing and shipping for you, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of ink or stamps and you don’t have to drive to the post office. Genius, right?
I needed to put together a birthday card for my grandpa and knew I wasn’t going to make it to the store to buy one any time soon, so I decided this would be a perfect chance to test out the process of creating and mailing a card online! I picked out this cute one with a cat (what else?) and a blank inside, but there are lots to choose from that have a pre-printed message inside as well. You can also create postcards or giant cards, if that’s more to your taste.

So here’s how it works: go to the website and browse through their card collections, which include everything you’d expect to find in the greeting card aisle of the drugstore (birthdays, holidays, friendship, sympathy, and more) and even Spanish and French cards. There are thousands of cards here to choose from! Once you’ve picked out a card and set the size, you can “write” your message on the inside. There are some cool script-y fonts to choose from that make it look less like a computer-printed message and more like very tidy handwriting. 

And that’s basically it! When you’re done with your card, you’ll just put in the return and mailing addresses and pay at the checkout! Your card is created and mailed and you never have to leave the keyboard.
The pricing is competitive, too. When you create a customer account, you can choose from various bundles of points, which are used to buy your cards. Your average greeting card costs two points and depending on the bundle you purchase, each point costs 49-99 cents, so do the math: your card costs less than two dollars. That’s on par (if not a little cheaper) than the card aisle at the drugstore. Mailing costs the standard postal stamp rate for U.S. addresses (right now, that’s 46 cents). Overall, it’s a pretty good deal, and then you have to consider that your time is worth something too, and you’re not spending a lot of time and energy running around town to get a card in the mail before the pickup time!
Overall this is a pretty cool service and I’m thrilled I got a chance to test it out. It’s definitely a service I could see using in the future when I’m in a pinch and don’t want to leave the house to purchase and mail a card! 


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Ten on Tuesday: I can’t even…

1. I just got back from my mini weekend road trip, and I can’t even pick my brain for anything coherent today. So here are a bunch of random “I can’t even” bullet points instead!

2. Have you guys seen those ads for Poo-Pourri? I can’t even…apparently this is a real product? How does that girl do the ads without turning beet red from suppressed laughter? Who actually came up with this?

3. And then there’s Ylvis. Spoiler alert: these guys make music videos that pretty much spoof everything we love to hate about music videos: the fake “deep” lyrics, the slow-mo shots, dance parties in odd places, scripted stories against the dramatic backdrop of the music. It’s comedy. But if you were foreign to earth and stumbled on this video, you would surely get back in your spaceship and exit ASAP. Who would want to risk catching whatever it is we’ve apparently got?

4. This is so me I can’t even…though to be fair, half the time I’m leaping over a cat and not from some sudden inner burst of delight.

http://writergirlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tumblr_mc2keem0xe1rrqglzo1_500-300x240.gif

5. I can’t even. Oh my gosh. Dying.

Lolcats: O_o
(via Pinterest via icanhascheezburger.com)
6. I can’t even drink an opaque liquid now. Oh my gahd Tumblr WHY.
DO NOT WANT
(via Pinterest via themetapicture.com)
7. Speaking of which…do you guys remember that news story about the family who all fell mysteriously ill, and then they found the giant ball of mold in the bottom of their orange juice carton? I know I just put you off orange juice forever. Me too.

8. I can’t even explain why, but I was doubled over laughing for five minutes straight when I saw this picture. Someone please tell me I’m not the only one.

St. Elmos
(via Pinterest)
9. For some reason I recently remembered how badly I wanted to dye my hair pink or burgundy when I was younger. Now I can’t even explain why.

10. I can’t even wrap my mind around this. M.C. Escher. Wow. The amount of talent here is mind-blowing!

MC Escher
(via Pinterest)

$100 Sephora gift card giveaway from Beauty By Arielle!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=c2ee1d9d5d&view=att&th=1418f0a7f6991e2e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_hmglpr7l0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-vRK_05JL8Ki9OxfFi3rdr&sadet=1381163848500&sads=3gw9rA_8HrDi8BJ9ptH1uUrg5rs&sadssc=1

Yay, it’s giveaway time once again! This month Beauty By Arielle is marking her blog’s second anniversary, and to celebrate she’s created a group giveaway for a $100 Sephora e-gift card! I thought it would be fun to do something a little different this month so I was thrilled when she asked me to join in. :)

The giveaway is open internationally and closes October 21st. All you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product review: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons

Happy weekend everyone! Today I’ve got a review from the vault, as it were, for one of the items I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul. Hard Candy products have always been kind of hit-and-miss with me but I was really curious to see how these jumbo shadow pencils would stack up, and at just $6 apiece they seemed like a worthwhile gamble. Read on for the review and swatches!

The product: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons; $6 at Walmart stores

The claim: Twelve hours of waterproof wear. Creamy color that won’t budge, fade, or crease.

Ingredient notes: I don’t have the packaging for these, but I do remember that they contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. However, Hard Candy does not test their products on animals, so they are suitable for some vegetarians.

I tried it: I’ve been searching for hot pink and purple shadow pencils for a while, but didn’t really want to plunk down the cash for Urban Decay’s pencils. I was hoping that these would be a suitable dupe at a lower price point, and from the swatch on my arm (above) they look gorgeous! A little skippy perhaps, but pigmented and very budge-proof. The purple is, thank heavens, on the warm side–not the standard bluish-purple, which is fine I guess but just not really up my alley.

I decided to create an exaggerated wing with After Hours all across my lid, and use Pink Lady as a liner and accent on the lower lid. Right away, I ran into problems: these pencils skipped and dragged horribly, and there was virtually no color payoff. It took a lot of work to get a decent amount of color onto the lid, and good grief it hurt. I’ve never had to press so hard with a pencil that it left my eyelid sore! Obviously from the look I posted here, working out the edges of this color was difficult and in the end I was left with a pretty oddball look. Oy.

Once the color is on, it stays put, which is awesome…but it’s so hard to get the color on in the first place, it’s just ridiculous. These pencils are beyond dry, even after sharpening off the top layer. I just don’t get it, because I’ve seen other bloggers use them with better results. These are the polar opposite of the NYX shadow pencils; whereas those are so creamy they smudge and crease like no tomorrow, these are so dry you can barely apply the color.
 
My final thoughts: I really hesitate to say that these are bad pencils per se, because as I said–other bloggers whose reviews I trust seem to have not had the same issues that I did. So with that in mind, I’m willing to say that perhaps I got old pencils or pencils with a bad formula. But I definitely wouldn’t repurchase or recommend these. I’m thinking I will find some way to use them, perhaps by crushing up the crayon and mixing with another formula to create something creamier, and then applying with a brush. But man, what a disappointment! I guess my search continues…