Monday, April 30, 2012

Vintage & Couture meet “Shabby Apple” on Mother's Day 5/18

Shabby Apple” is a fashion company for women, by women, and of women. We’re an online dress boutique selling flirty and stylish dresses, skirts, and apparel a woman can wear just as comfortably in the office, at a family dinner, or on a date. We started Shabby Apple because we saw a need in women’s fashion that was not being met. A need to make women feel feminine and beautiful for what they wear, not what they bare. We recognize that finding the perfect dress can sometimes be challenging, which is why we strive to design highly fashionable dresses for all types of women.

Coupon code "NaturalHairLatina10off" at “Shabby Apple”
  (This is for 10% off anything Shabby Apple for one  month) 5/18

a Rafflecopter giveaway

****DISCLAIMER**** This Giveaway ends 5/18/2012. Open to US ONLY! and the winner must be 18 years old or older. Winner contact via email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. Rafflecopter will randomly select the winner using No purchase necessary. This giveaway is NOT associated, sponsored nor endorsed by Facebook or Twitter. The information you enter is collected by Rafflecopter and viewed by Host NaturalHairLatina in order to facilitate this giveaway. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions.”NaturalHairLatina or fellow blogger is in no way responsible for shipping of prize or any duties associated with fulfillment (Sponsor)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beauty in a Bottle "Ageless" -- End 5/15


Guest giveaway post on behalf of NaturalHairLatina

Size: 50ml 1.7 oz
Now, smell as young as you feel. 

Prize: Ageless Eco friendly perfume.
2 winners $55.00 value each

18+ World Wide

Enter, rafflecopter form below. 
End 5/15

Friday, April 20, 2012


If you are a college student, continuing your education, or even studying for an admissions test for a professional school, you could benefit greatly from Campus Book Rentals. began operation in 2007, and has grown to represent nearly 5,000 different college campuses. If you are currently taking classes, or you are close to someone who is, you know that textbooks are severely overpriced; once the cellophane comes off, the books also suffer a huge reduction in value. Generally, college textbooks are good for a maximum of one-two semesters -- then what do you do with them? I graduated from college in May of 2011, and I still have some books from freshman year sitting on the shelf, gathering dust. Many textbooks are too "course specific" and rarely sell at yard sales. In the bookstore, or even on various websites that sell books, you will never make close to what you paid when you try to resell them. Campus Book Rentals offers you another option... instead of buying the books, why not just rent them for the time that you need them?

At Campus Book Rentals, the process of renting a book is quick, easy, and painless. They have almost every quirky or practical textbook that you could want. I was very surprised to see that they had an entire collection of MCAT (medical school admissions test) books available. Clearly, they cater to a variety of needs so don't count them out even if you have already graduated from college. Once you find the books you are looking for, you can manually choose the lending period -- you can rent a book for one semester (130 days), a quarter (85 days) or even the summer (55 days) if you need to. If you order a book and then can't stand your professor, or decide to change your major, Campus Book Rentals has you covered. They have a 30 day guarantee to cover any issues, in which your money will be refunded 100%! Also, if you find out you needed the textbook an extra week or two to study for the final, they offer a 15 day grace period at no extra charge. Customer service is important to this company, and it shows through their generous policies and active communication. 

Campus Book Rentals also gives free shipping in both directions. You are provided with a pre-paid and pre-addressed USPS shipping envelope to return your textbooks in. See...isn't that easy? You can also buy the book if you become attached to it. One of the coolest things about this company is that, minimally, you can highlight relevant information in the textbooks. Really, there is no reason to own the book and to have to go through the hassle of reselling it!

So, what about the cost? Well, Campus Book Rentals offers textbooks at anywhere from 40%-90% off of original bookstore prices. For example, the MCAT General Chemistry Review by Kaplan retails for $45.00, and you can get it at for only $38.00 for the summer. Each book is different, but you will always find savings of some caliber. If this isn't intriguing by itself, the company also has perks for its members -- scholarships, monthly giveaways, and refer-a-friend prizes. I know how important scholarships or any form of money can be to a college student!

I have left one of the most important aspects of Campus Book Rentals for last. Every book that you rent each year helps contribute to a new humanitarian project. This year, Campus Book Rentals is giving a portion of their proceeds to Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a wonderful organization that helps change the lives of many children by performing cleft lip/cleft palette surgeries that their families could not afford. In the world, every three minutes a child is born with a cleft lip, which can impair speech and proper eating, amongst other things. Operation Smile has helped with over 2 million patient evaluations and 200,000 surgeries to help improve lives.  Campus Book Rentals has set the goal of helping Operation Smile gain enough money to perform 1,000 cleft lip surgeries this year. Why not help them exceed this goal by renting your textbooks instead of purchasing them?

Interested in learning more? You can connect with Campus Book Rentals on Facebook or Twitter.

Here is a Campus Book Rentals FAQ video:

I received a service in exchange for my review. I did not receive any other form of monetary compensation. This did not, in any way, influence my opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Avoiding April Showers Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Avoiding April Showers Giveaway Event. This event is hosted by Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink, My Mommy's World, Taking Time For Mommy and And The Little Ones Too. This event features giveaways with a value of $25 or more at each of the participating blogs! Be sure to visit each blog from the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on April 30th at 11:59 pm EST. Good Luck!

Here are the prizes that I am offering in my package -- one orange Wet n'Wild Megalast polish (211A Club Havana), one red Wet n'Wild Megalast polish (213B Red Tape), one red Wet n'Wild Lipstick (909D Coral-ine), one pink/brown Wet n' Wild Megaslick Lip gloss (570A Berry Burst), one dark green NYC In a Minute Quick Dry polish (214 Flat Iron Green), one handmade owl headband, and one digital $10 Amazon gift card!! Each of the cosmetics retails for somewhere around $2-$3, and the headband retails for $7. My mom generously donated the Spring-themed headband for this giveaway -- it is a no-slip, no-pain thick band which is perfect for both adults and children. 

This giveaway is open to the U.S ONLY, despite the Amazon gift card being delivered electronically. As usual, the only mandatory entry is to like The Second Thought on Facebook -- all others are optional! Please make your entries clear..if you have a notable picture as your GFC icon, please list that to make it easier for verification. List all links and usernames. I will verify all entries, so please don't make false ones, as it just wastes everyone's time! The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. This giveaway is open to all readers who are 18+ (younger with parent permission is fine). The $10 Amazon GC will be delivered as a series of numbers once the winner responds in the given time frame. Good luck!


Make sure to hop on over to all of the other blogs participating in the Avoiding April Showers giveaway hop. Remember, each package has a value of at LEAST twenty five dollars, so that means that entering all of the giveaways is well worth your time! The more you enter, the higher your chance of winning once or even multiple times.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please understand that Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink, My Mommy's World, Taking Time For Mommy, and And The Little Ones Too along with the other "Avoiding April Showers Event" bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. However, we are responsible for contacting our sponsors regarding the winner's prize at the close of the giveaway. We expect that our sponsors will fulfill their prize agreement and ship them to the winners in a timely manner.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Water Marble Nails

I recently came across a YouTube "how-to" video on a water marble manicure and thought it looked fascinating. It may not be the newest trend, but I was always skeptical to try it before because it seemed to be very time consuming and overly meticulous. Since my nails aren't very long, I don't like to fool with complicated/detailed manicures because I feel like I can't showcase them properly. The other day my mom decided that we should try our own version of water marbling for fun. If you have time to kill and you want a unique look, I've included a short tutorial so you can try this technique as well!

What you'll need:

  • One skewer or toothpick
  • One glass of room temperature water
  • Clear tape
  • Three bottles (or more) of complementary polish 
  • Tweezers
  • Napkins

We chose to use white nail polish as a background color because it goes with every other shade and it makes the water marbling very noticeable. I would be interested to see what black would look like for a night out, however. :) So first we put two coats of Orly "White Tips" French Manicure. Next, we filled up a glass with room temperature water. Our water is from a well, so it contains many extra minerals -- if you have a filter, it wouldn't hurt to use it. Overly "scummy" or impure water can cause the polish to clump up, and you won't be able to get the swirled patterns. After filling the glass with water, we took regular, clear Scotch tape and put about three tiny strips on each finger. You want to basically frame the outside of each nail, as you are protecting your skin from getting a coat of polish, as well as setting the boundaries for the water marbling. Once you have your nails taped up, you need to be ready to do the next series of steps rather quickly.

We used Revlon #410 "Dreamer", Revlon #250 "Flirt", and Revlon #510 "Sassy". The pastel blue, pink, and green worked well together to achieve a nice spring manicure. There is really no limit to the color combinations you could pick, or even the number of polishes you could use. If you have small nails like mine, I would suggest a maximum of three colors, as beyond that the colors just seem to melt together and make an ugly brown shade. You take the first polish and carefully let one drop fall into the glass of water. Have all of the polishes uncapped so that you can quickly add another drop of the next color directly into the drop of the first. You can add as many drops of each color as you see fit, essentially creating one giant "bullseye". If you wait too long in between each drop, the nail polish will dissipate through the water and vanish, or it will start to create a thick layer on top of the water. If you get a layer, simply take a skewer or toothpaste, collect the polish, and then wipe it off on a napkin. If you try to use this "layer" to paint your nails, you will end up with sticky, gooey globs on your fingers...not the desired look! Once you have added the drops of polish on top of one another, you need to quickly take the skewer and draw patterns in the polish. Try to pull from the inside of the "bullseye" towards the outside of the glass. Some people draw designs, such as flowers...I like a general swirl or spiral because it is fast and looks nice on any nail type. Once you have your pattern "drawn", quickly submerge ONE taped up nail into the center of it. Make sure to angle your nail so that the pattern runs over it and not the tape -- don't just put your finger straight down into the water. Then, before pulling your nail out, collect the excess polish "layer" with your skewer and dab it away on a napkin. Don't bring your nail out of the water until you remove the polish floating on top of the water, or you will end up with a layer of gooey gunk on your nails. All you do is rinse and repeat until all nails have a pattern. The great thing is that if you are unhappy, you can dip the nail in a second time and layer your patterns. Once every nail is done, carefully take a pair of tweezers and pull the tape off. If you taped your fingers well enough, there should be minimal mess to clean up. Any polish that does manage to get on your skin can be removed with nail polish remover/ a cotton swab or scrubbing with soap and water.

I ran into two problems with the water marble technique. The first is that if you try to use water that is NOT room temperature (too hot or too cold), your polish will not "spread" out in the water, but will just automatically clump up. This may sound like it is hard to spot, but if it happens you will not be able to swirl the polish around in the glass with the skewer to make a pattern, so you will notice. If this happens, you can warm the water in the microwave or cool it in the fridge until it is the right temperature. The second problem was the tape. Do NOT use "invisible" tape, or cheap quality tape. The first time I tried this I was left with a sticky mess all over my fingers, as the tape disintegrated when making contact with the water. Also, since it wasn't sticking to my skin very well, it was picking up most of the nail polish and I barely got any patterns on my nails. When you are dropping the nail polish into the glass, be careful with the size of the drop and how fast you "fling" it in -- too quick of a motion or too big of a drop will result in the drop going to the bottom of the glass and "polluting" your container. Also, you do not need to touch the tip of the brush to the water to get the drop to come want to try to avoid this if possible.

This took me about 45 minutes-an hour, mostly because I was new at it. I would not get into this project right before an event... give yourself time to try it out with multiple attempts. It does get pretty frustrating when you can't seem to get the swirly pattern on your nails, but practice makes perfect. I hope to experiment with darker colors another time, but for now I leave you with an April look. :)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Winners, winners, winners!


I have a bunch of winners to announce this week, and hopefully many more to come as I get over this sickness and get some new giveaways going for you! The following are the winners of the Sally Hansen HD Polish, the two Wet n'Wild Polishes, and the five signed ReVamped Books. All winners will be emailed shortly and will have 48 hours to respond with the appropriate information. Congrats!!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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