Thursday, December 29, 2011

Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Let's (finally) finish up with all my Christmas manicures, shall we?  Well, technically I still have one more, but it's not actually a Christmas polish, it's just a polish I happened to wear before Christmas, so it's fair game for after the Holidays.  ;-)  I would've shown this to you in order, but I got so excited I just HAD to show you Smitten with Mittens and Party Hearty first.  You forgive me, right?  Excellent.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is a deep blue-leaning pine green with a finish that falls somewhere between a glass-fleck and a foil.  I'm gonna say it's more of a glass-fleck.  Anywho, application was great on this one, although it did take a good three coats for opacity.  If you're a thinner coat kinda person you may need four.  I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, since Rach from stuff i (s)watched  loved it, but Piff from Polish or Perish hated it.  So, how did I feel about this one?...

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Meh.  Just completely meh.  Right in the middle.  I don't hate it.  I don't love it.  I like it okay, but not really that much.  It was nice and pretty and got a couple of compliments, but it just didn't wow me.  I think it may actually have been just a smidge too blue-toned for me.  From what I can tell, China Glaze Glittering Garland seems to be a warmer and more vibrant version of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, so I may need to try that one out.  You can see photos and comparisons of the two here from Cilucia.

I swapped for my bottle, but if you're interested in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, there's great news!  As of a couple of months(ish) ago, it's part of the core collection at Sally's, so you can easily get your hands on this one.  I can't put my whole heart into recommending this one, but I know a ton of people are really fond of it.  Different strokes for different folks, right?  :-)

Well, in case I don't make it back here before the end of the week, I hope you all have a fun and safe and happy New Year!  :-D

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Mani 1: China Glaze Party Hearty over butter LONDON British Racing Green

It's been 23 days since I posted :(.  Epic Fail.

They say the guide to successful change is to set a goal and then go public.  So I'm setting a goal today, and I'm going public so ya'll can hold me accountable.  I will post every day in January.  I have so many untrieds no, changing my mani everyday will be necessary just to get caught up.  Plus I really need to start making an effort to take better care of my nails and cuticles; I've really fallen off the band wagon!

So what better way to usher out 2011 by sharing with you my 1st Christmas mani, which I wore a few weeks ago in NYC for SantaCon.  For those of you that don't know what SantaCon in, thousands (I think) of people dress up as Santa and parade around NYC to different meeting points.  I decided this year to go as a Christmas Tree, complete with lights.  The costume was particularly a big hit once it got darker out and lots of children said "She looks like a Christmas Tree!", which led us to promptly give out my candy cane decorations.  We had a ball, and my manicure was just the icing on the cake.

Blending in with the kin!
I'm a Christmas Tree at SantaCon!
For this manicure, I started off with butter LONDON's British Racing Green, which Courtney reviewed here.  I'd have to say, Courtney did a great job showcasing this polish.  Its a beautiful forest green with shimmer.  I was really really happy with this polish, especially since it's been sitting in my untrieds since St. Patrick's Day!  I also thought it made a really stellar backdrop for China Glaze's Party Hearty, which Courtney just wore as well.  And while you may feel the need to skip on a $14 bottle of green polish when there are so many others out there, skipping out on Party Hearty would be very sad indeed!  Like Courtney mentioned, while it is discontinued, you can still find it.  And I urge you to look :)!

China Glaze Party Hearty over butter LONDON British Racing Green
China Glaze Party Hearty over butter LONDON British Racing Green
I'm a big fan of this.  I think British Racing Green is just the right shade for this combo.  I do like it better than Courtney's swatch of it over China Glaze's Jolly Holly.  British Racing Green can be bought at Ulta or off the butter LONDON website.  Party Hearty will take more work - heed Courtney's advice and snag this one off of Ebay!

Christmas Mani 2: OPI Silver Shatter over RBL Recycle

Happy 2012 guys!  While I should be kicking off the new year with my NYE mani, I'm a bit behind on posting from my 3 week hiatus, so I'm going to get caught up on those manicures first.

My 2nd Christmas themed manicure was the one I actually worse for Christmas Eve/Day.  In an effort to get through some more untrieds, I picked Rescue Beauty Lounge's Recycle and OPI Silver Shatter.  (I have Recycle thanks to the lovely Pam of Polish Police - Thanks Pam!) I think it turned out pretty good.  Recycle is a deep forest green creme, although I do feel like it's a little squishy.  Like a jelly/creme hybrid - barely.  This puppy went on nice and smooth and needed 2 coats.  Since I was topping it with Silver Shatter, I could have probably left it at one.  There is no sparkle or nothing to Recycle. Just straight up green.  I actually had been toying with the idea of adding Recycle to the blog sale, but decided against it.  I own about 6 green cremes that all seem to look the same, and Recycle is one of the darker ones.  Maybe sometime in January I'll show you it all by itself with some comparison swathes.  One thing to note about the pictures below, Recycle does not look black at all in real life.  It is VERY dark green, but it's obviously green.  I had a hard time getting the light to pick it up through the shatter.  It is darker than the bottle shot below though.

Silver Shatter on the other hand is AWESOME. :)  I really love these metallic shatters.  So much better than the other ones.  Silver Shatter went on super easy and shattered great.  You've got both hands in this picture below.  And be warned, I did tell you earlier my cuticles are a mess, so I photoshopped these so you guys didn't have to see the sad.

OPI Silver Shatter over RBL Recycle
OPI Silver Shatter over RBL Recycle
Close up of OPI Silver Shatter over RBL Recycle
I liked this combo a lot.  Recycle still isn't my favorite of the RBLs, but Silver Shatter is definitely a new love.  Recycle is discontinued, but there are plenty of other good green cremes out there.  I wouldn't bother tracking this one down unless you are a hard core RBL collector.  Silver Shatter is still very readily available online and in salons.  RBLs retail for $18 a bottle and OPI's will set you back $8.50.

See you all tomorrow!!!!! :)

A-England Tristam

Here is another polish from 2011, that made it's way into my life through the generosity and amazingness of my blogging buddy Courtney.  She, out of nowhere, sent me A-England's Tristam and Lady of the Lake!!!!!!!!! Seriously????? Words can not express how beautiful this polish is, and how thankful I am to Courtney for sending me this HUGE gift in the middle of my crazy, hectic, stressful month.  She is an amazing friend and person.

Tristam is my first A-England ever.  I've read plenty of blog posts about it and people just can't get enough of the formula and colors.  Now I know why.  Lets start with the formula.  Super smooth, flows like butter, self levels and cleans up easy.  A-England just might be my new favorite formula.  And then, there is the color.  Descriptions I read call it a sapphire blue, but I don't know, I totally see a dark purple-y blue when I look at this.  Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with the color.  I just see purple.  Weird...

Any way this "blue" is PACKED with holographic shimmer creating this great holographic effect.  I could see it in almost every light.  Unfortunately the camera wouldn't capture the beauty I saw under the Ott-Lite.  And I wore this when it was cloudy and generally cruddy outside, so no sunlight pictures here.  If you go back here at Courtney's post of Lady of the Lake, and take a look at the sunlight picture, that's what you get with Tristam.

A-England Tristam
A-England Tristam
A-England Tristam
Close up of A-England Tristam
Really?!?!?!  How can you not love this?  How can I not love Courtney?!?!  I mean I did before, but now she's got a new title of the Queen of Awesome-Sauce.  Did I mention that Courtney?  Queen of Awesome-Sauce! :)

Tristam is part of A-england's Mythicals collection.  You can pick this up from A-England's website or at Llarowe's.  Either way the polish will run you around $15 with shipping.  I suggest if you are into scattered holos, blues or purples, you RUN to buy this and Lady of the Lake.  You won't regret it :).

Until tomorrow!!! (Man this post has me pumped - Bonus points to whoever tells me how many exclamation points I used in this post - haha)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

BEST. CHRISTMAS. POLISH. EVER - China Glaze Party Hearty

ONE MORE DAY!  So exciting!! The hubby and I actually exchanged gifts this morning, since we'll be  with family tomorrow AND since I got him an iPhone (HUGE upgrade from our crappy Blackberries).  I wanted him to be able to get it activated and set up before the big Christmas rush on Monday.  It's been funny to watch him trying to figure out how to use it!  Hehe!  

Ever since it debuted last year, I fell head over heels for China Glaze Party Hearty.  It's basically Christmas in a bottle with large red hexagonal, medium green hexagonal, and super tiny gold and silver round glitter.  It's chunky enough to build up to opacity on its own with 3-4 coats, but I love it best layered.  Over just about anything.  But I'm showing it here as one thickish layer over OPI Alpine Snow.    I probably should've gone a little lighter-handed on the glitter, but hey, it's Christmas, right?  :-)

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SO festive!  AH-MAZE-ING!  This look reminds me of those cookies you can buy in those huge containers at Christmas that are covered in white chocolate with red and green sprinkles on top.  I really don't think there's a polish out there that says "Christmas" better than this one!  It's amazing, and you NEED it!!  It looks great over just about anything, but here are two of my other favorite combinations:

Party Hearty over  (L) China Glaze Jolly Holly and (R) Color Club What a Drag!

Two totally different looks, but I love them both.  I was actually totally obsessed with wearing it over Jolly Holly last year.  I wore it like 3 times in one month.  It reminds me of red holly berries on a Christmas wreath!  Looks great over silver too - it'd be a great look for a holiday party!

Party Hearty was part of China Glaze's Holiday collection last year, so it's long discontinued, but it's still relatively available on eBay for around $10-$15.  A little steep for China Glaze, but I promise this one is worth it!  It's a Christmas staple for polish lovers!

Well, I've still got more Christmas-y polishes to show you, but I'll just have to catch up on that a little later.  I hope you all have a wonderful and happy holiday!  MUAH!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

OPI Smitten with Mittens

Holy cow guys!  Sorry this took a million years to post!  Work's been super hectic as the year's winding down, and it's just really been kicking my butt.  I come home, eat dinner, mindlessly watch episodes of Star Trek:  The Next Generation with the hubby and get myself to bed.  I'm so just ready for this year to be over.  Bring it on, 2012!  Anyway, with Christmas literally just around the corner, I FINALLY had the opportunity to try out a super special polish that I've been hoarding for WAY too long (like, since last February...*facepalm*) - OPI Smitten with Mittens.  

It's a saturated jellyish red with flecks of gold microglitter.  It looks unbelievably amazing in the bottle, but unfortunately the gold just doesn't translate to the nail.  I guess the red jelly kind of blocks it out.  I know my photos are showing some gold flashes, but I promise you I haven't seen that for even one hot second in real life.  The application is perfect and flows as easily as I'd expect from a jelly.  The bad part is that it's super saturated, so the red can be a little hard to clean up.  I used two coats here.  Probably could've done a third for photos, but the patchiness didn't show up at all in real life.  

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Super pretty!  Perfect sparkly Christmas red.  It's gorgeous, and I'm definitely glad I found this, but with it's SUPER hard-to-find-and-highly-saught-after status, let's talk about just how worth it I think it is (totally just my own opinion).

Dustying - If you can find this at a local hair/nail salon or beauty supply (or heck, some people are even finding them at CVS!) for a decent price, I'd say definitely nab this up.

Swapping - Some people may be willing to swap this for easy-to-find stuff, but more often than not I think people want to swap hard-to-find for hard-to-find.  I definitely wouldn't swap your Essie Starry Starry Night or China Glaze OMG for this, but if you've got something of decent swap value that's just not getting the love it deserves, I'd say it may be worth exploring that option.

eBay - Prices for Smitten with Mittens right now on eBay are around $20-$25.  Sounds somewhat reasonable for a hard-to-find polish, but to be completely honest, I don't think it's worth that much.  It's beautiful and gets a ton of love from everyone (Muggles included), but for around the same price you can Merry Midnight from the same collection that I think IS worth $25, despite the fact that it has a close dupe.

So I'm a wee bit disappointed with this one, but even so, it's a very gorgeous polish.  I've gotten several compliments on it, and I'm glad I waited for the Holidays to break it out.  I can't wait for Christmas, and I've got my all-time favorite Christmas polish to show you guys next!!  :-D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Butter London West End Wonderland

Last weekend the hubby and I went to visit my parents in Richmond, Virginia.  It's a yearly tradition of going out to our favorite restaurant, The Tobacco Company for their AH-MAZE-ING blackened prime rib (yummmmmm!) and then riding around looking at tacky Christmas lights.  It's actually been WAY too long since we've been able to visit them at Christmas time, so we were long overdue, but I was super excited!

I wore this sparkly sequined golden top under a black blazer to dinner, so I thought it'd be the perfect chance to wear Butter London West End Wonderland.  It's a golden glitter made up of two different colors - your typical pale yellow old, and more sparse orange-y gold.  You can see both colors in these photos, and it's what makes it so special.  The texture is that super fine glitter (like Henley Regatta) that Butter London does so well and makes it easy to smooth over with just a couple coats of top coat.  You can definitely build this one to opacity, but it'll take you at least 3-4 coats.  I'd recommend layering it to preserve the precious! I used two coats of West End Wonderland over OPI Glitzerland.

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I'm really no typically into gold tones, but I LOVE this!  It's a more delicate glitter look (thanks to the fine textured particles), but it still sparkles out the wazoo.  I was actually surprised at how much I loved it, and I'd even say it seriously rivals OPI Spark de Triomphe for the title of my Favorite Gold Glitter.  I was head over heels for that one, so I think that says a lot.  I think it'd be perfect for Christmas or New Year's, and it's TOTALLY worth the price for me!

And now for the name!  Apparently (forgive me UK girls, I'm still learning here!) London's West End is akin to New York City's Broadway.  Makes perfect sense that its namesake polish is a golden sparklefest!

Ironically, Richmond, Virginia also has a "West End," and it just so happens to be where my parents live.  It's certainly not anything like Broadway (though there is a Broad Street!), but it IS where I had a fantabulous lunch date with Rach from stuff i (s)watched!  FINALLY met her for the first time!  We met for honey mustard (the food is just a vehicle for the dressing) at O'Charley's, which was decided upon based off a mutual fondness for the dressing that we discovered when Rach posted her review of Barielle Aura Angora.  Check out her post, and you'll understand why!

I had a blast at lunch with Rach, and she's every bit as funny and easy-going as her blog posts.  Surprisingly we didn't talk much about nail polish, but there was much discussed over the awesomeness of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and the Jersey Shore (only on our blogs would those three shows go in the same sentence) and the equally terrible turrible Two and a Half Men.  In short, she's awesome, but we all knew that anyway, right?!  :-D  Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, 'cause we've got another stash swap coming up soon!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red Obsession: OPI Keys to My Karma

A few days into December I said to myself, "Self, it's just not Christmas without a good red."  So true, right?  Of course.  I had scheduled myself (Yes, I created a manicure schedule to make sure I cover all of my Christmas-y polishes and fun glitters for the month!  Nerd, I know.) to wear a sparkly green - and forgive me if you're a green fan - I just had to go with red!

The winner of the day is OPI Keys to My Karma, a squishy red jelly!  I know, right?!  OPI did a JELLY!  The color is slightly bluer than what's showing here.  Think a little less orange.  It's not super sheer like some jellies I've shown you, but it's definitely gonna show some VNL.  I used two coats, and the application was superb.  It cleaned up easily for a red, and it's supah shiny all on its own!

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Red.  Jelly.  I DIE!  It's no secret around these parts that I love me some jellies, but it IS a surprise that I waited so long to finally bring this one home!  I seriously picked it up and put it down at least four times over the last year.  Finally I caught wind that it was being discontinued, so I finally caved before I REALLY regretted it.  I'm glad I did, 'cause it's super pretty!  Darn shame it's discontinued.

By this time you're probably starting to think all these red polishes I'm showing you are looking awfully alike.  They are, but I promise you they each have their own special differences.  I've got one more "Red Obsession" polish to show you (plus a shimmery red that I just had to include while it's Christmas time), and I'll be sure to show you all of them compared to each other in that post.  Just hold on to your hats!  :-D

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lynnderella Love Potion No. 99

Sorry to overload you guys, but there's one thing the (nail polish) world could always use - MOAR LYNNDERELLAS!  (Am I right, or am I right?!)  I'm determined that I WILL use my new Lynnderellas in a timely fashion, and I WILL NOT just let them sit in my Helmer and look pretty.  I attended my office's Holiday Party over the weekend, so it was the perfect excuse to bust one out!  

I went with Love Potion No. 99 - an unbelievably complex purple concoction.  There's hexagonal and square blue and purple glitter with smaller purple shimmer and (the best part!) round holographic shimmer all packed in a purple jelly base.  As usual, it photographed much bluer than it shows in real life, so I did my best to adjust the color with my handy dandy Photoshop Elements (wo0t!).  I think these photos are pretty close to accurate.  I wanted as much glitter as I could get, so I went with two layers over Zoya Mimi, which turned out to be a perfect match for the base color!  Pleeeeease click on these photos to enlarge!  You MUST see how awesome this polish is (though I admit that these photos don't even come close to doing it justice)!  

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Love Potion No. 99 - what a perfect name!  It's hard not to fall head over heels for this one.  It's stunning!  It shows off well in just about every lighting, and it worked really well in the lower lighting at my office party!

Before I added LP99, I wore Zoya Mimi as a full manicure, so I thought I'd show you that as well.  A gorgeous and sparkly grape-colored glass-fleck.  It's on the sheer side, so it took three coats to reach full opacity.  It's worth the extra coat though, because DUDE.  Look at it...

Makes a darn good pedi too!  I've worn it three times on my toes, but this was the first time wearing it as a mani, and I loved it just as much.  Perfect on its own and perfect spouse to LP99.

If you couldn't tell from my gushing already, I totally ADORE both of these polishes!  MUST-haves!  Though Mimi was released with Zoya's Sparkle collection in Summer 2010, it's still easily available at Zoya's website.  Definitely worth picking up, if you don't already own it.  Love Potion No. 99, along with other Lynnderella polishes, will be available VERY soon at llarowe, and I can't wait!  I see an EPIC haul in my future!  :-D

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Butter London Primrose Hill Picnic

I admit that usually I have a long, drawn out reasoning behind just about every polish I put on.  With so many untrieds, I have to find something that makes one polish say "Choose me!" over the others.  After a long and exhausting Thanksgiving weekend, and the unnecessarily long removal of Warm & Fozzie, I just needed something quick and easy, and it really doesn't get any easier than a creme finish.  (I really thought there wasn't much methodology behind this choice, but I guess I was wrong, lol.)  It's definitely not a Holiday-season appropriate color, but Primrose Hill Picnic has been sitting in my untrieds for far long enough, so it was time to bust that baby out!

For all of us Yankees across the pond, my trusty Butter London Dictionary tells me that Primrose Hill is a "famous park in North West London frequented by rock stars, yummy mummies, actors, and paparazzi."  Sounds like a place that celebs like to go to be sure they'll be photographed - much like The Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles.  Don't famewhores just make you all warm and fuzzy inside?  Bleh.

Anywho, on to the polish!  Primrose Hill Picnic is a heavily blue-leaning bright pink creme.  Even bluer than these photos show, but not quite as bright.  Definitely not a neon.  Blogger didn't really like this color at all and tried to mutate it into some weird salmon-y color when I uploaded my photos.  Photobucket saves the day again!  Phew!  The formula was perfect (as expected), and I this is two coats below.

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Such a gorgeous pink!  It definitely falls hard on the cool-toned side, but I think it's well suited even on my heavily yellow-toned skin.  I actually think it would look PERFECT with a Butter London Blagger pedi.  I'll have to try that in the spring when I can actually show it off!

So, at $14 a bottle, do you NEED Primrose Hill Picnic?  Probably not, but I can't really think of any dupes for this color either.  I find that most pinks lean heavily on the warm side (which looks AWFUL on me - see OPI Sparrow Me the Drama here), so this is a great option for cool-toned girls.  I'd say definitely keep this one on your lists for springtime - it'd make a great pedi color itself!

So whaddaya think about Primrose Hill Picnic?  Love it?  Hate it?  Own it?  On your Christmas List?  :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue

I told you I was in a blue mood!!!!!!!!  Seriously I wasn't kidding.  And since I hadn't worn Lynderella's Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue yet, I knew it was next.  For this particular mani, I used OPI's Yoga-to Get This Blue as a base.  I didn't include it on it's own because I only did one coat of it.  It's not a 1-coater, but it's REALLY close.  Anyway, I thought it would be a good backdrop for my precious Lynderella.

OH MAN!  Was I right or what?  Can anyone say mermaid nails?  And these pictures don't even do it justice.  I mean - wow!  Wow!    I can't even put into words how beautiful this is.

So Yoga-to Get This Blue is pretty standard.  Most blue-lovers have it.  It's Navy with dark blue shimmer in it and it's pretty beautiful on it's own.  I'd say that I'd swatch it for you on it's own some time.  But let's be real here, after seeing this, it will ALWAYS be topped with Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue (BBBB).  BBBB on the other hand is a clear base PACKED full off blue, teal, and purple glitter.  I see small round blue. medium hexagon purple, larger teal and blue squares, and even bigger silver hexagon glitter.  You can tell I'm really obsessed with this due to all the caps.  Maybe I should use some bold too.  RUN to get this combo! :) hehe

And as I saw someone say the other day about a polish on MUA: Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue: A photo essay.

Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Close up of Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Bottle Shot of Lynderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue
Lynderella polishes are only available from her website, but sometime this month will start carrying them too.  They are $12 each, which is a total splurge. But you can usually layer them, so using 1 coat only makes them last longer.  They do need lots of thick top coat though to get them smooth.  Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue is part of the Early Halloween collection, and I have no idea how long it will be around.  This is a must have in your blue glitter collection, so if I were you, I would get it before it's too late!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Catrice I'm a Star...

*Evil snickers*...just when you thought I was done with olive greens, I've got one more!  Jessie, being the AMAZING friend and co-blogger she is, decided to pick up a couple of Catrice polishes for me while she was off in Europe getting ENGAGED!  (YAY!!!)  One was Dirty Berry and the other was one I wasn't so familiar with, but the color had my name written all over it.

I'm a Star (It actually has an ellipsis at the end, like I put in the title, but I'm dropping the unnecessary punctuation for the purposes of this post, lol.) is a bronze-y golden olive green shimmer.  The color almost has an antique look to it, and it darkens around the edges, which adds some really great depth to it.  I was almost positive from looking at the bottle that the finish was going to be metallic, but it's really not at all.  The shimmer is super fine and any brush strokes disappear quickly as it dries.  The formula was incredible too.  The polish just flowed onto my nails and stayed right where I put it.  I used two coats here.

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I knew I was going to like I'm a Star, but I honestly didn't expect to LOVE it.  You'd think I'd be sick of these colors by now, but each one is special and has its own qualities to love.  I'm a Star is the clean-cut look of the bunch, and I just found it really easy to wear.  Perfection!

I apologize to the non-European ladies, as I know Catrice is hard to come by across the pond.  The closest dupe I can think of might be China Glaze Peace on Earth, but unfortunately I don't own that one to compare.  Anyone own it?  Think it may fulfill some lemmings?

I'm a Star is my first Catrice, and I'm liking how this relationship is starting off.  I can't wait to try Dirty Berry and then get my hands on some more!  A HUGE thank you to Jessie for this one!  :-D