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Sierra Sugar

Tough Tested - "Driver" mono earbuds Review

I have been hesitant to write this review because it isn't entirely a positive review.  It isn't entirely a negative review either.  I struggle with saying negative things about great companies such at Tough Tested.  After a bit of internal debate and a talk with the always wonderful Gigi, I realized they don't become great without overcoming those little bumps in the road.  This is where Tough Tested shines! Their customer service and their willingness to work out the kinks.


A while ago I received a set of their Driver Noise Control Mono Earbuds with In-Line Mic as part of a gift pack for winning a contest. Also included in the pack was their Tech Gear Bag and an iPhone charger.  Being an Android user I was unable to use the iPhone charger, but it made a great gift to a friend who loves it!  Review of the Tech Gear Bag will follow shortly.

The Good:



All of Tough Tested's earbuds come packed in a study hard plastic case that while sealed and secure it is not "adult proof".  You know that dreaded so called child proof stuffed that dulls scissors, breaks can openers, shatters ceramic knives, and sends c14 explosive running away in tears.  Thank you Tough Tested for not using that stuff!  


Also, in a sea of black cords, Tough Tested stands out with a touch of Orange.  After all Orange is the New Black.  And in the trucking world Orange is safety too.  It's easy to see. It's nice touch.  


The single over the ear hook is comfortable even for small ears.  It doesn't pinch or dig.  I especially loved Tough Tested choice of earbud tips.  They offer two; the standard half sphere, and a diminishing three tiered set.  Both sets come in a soft silicon.  For me having small ears and even smaller ear canals the tiered set were the most comfortable.  



The in-line mic has a clip that allows it to be placed anywhere on your shirt for maximum control of voice output quality.  There are volume controls and a switch for EQ when you just want to listen to music, and voice for when you are talking on the phone.  Now let me tell you the sound quality is EXCELLENT even for a single earbud.  Whether you are listening to music, youtube, or an important business conference you are going to hear everything, and hear it comfortably.


The Bad:


Unfortunately, people on the other end could not hear me very well. No matter where I placed the mic, even holding it up close to my mouth I was told I sounded muffled.  This was a problem with the Marine set as well.  I tried using both sets with a different phone and in different conditions with no change.  After talking with a few other people who have used the Tough Tested earbuds we came to the conclusion that it was most likely an issue with the pitch/tone of my voice not being compatible with the internal mic settings, as they have not had this problem. For those that don't know me, I have a soft, unique highish pitch voice. Men and women with a stronger or deeper voice have no problems talking into these and being heard by those on the other end.  After talking with Gigi, we plan on getting together at GATS and doing a few tests to work out the kinks.  Now that is customer service!


The Overall:


Despite actually being unable to talk on the Driver Earbud set at this time, I still would give Tough Tested high marks for quality, durability, versatility, comfort, and customer service. After GATS I plan to do an update on the earbuds and see if we were able to work out the voice issues.  

If you are looking for a sturdy set of comfortable earbuds to wear while you are driving that are both durable and offer good sound quality I would recommend any of the Tough Tested brand earbuds, single or double.  Please don't let my issue stop you from trying them. I've spoken with several people who use them regularly and it appears my situation is unique.  Beyond that, their custom service is top notch!  If you're not familiar with their brand of products look for them in any of the major truck stops, especially Love's.  

Or you can check out their website:  http://mizco.com/tough-tested/
From there you can find both their Facebook and Twitter links!  If you're going to GATS make sure to stop by their booth too!



~Sierra Sugar



America, just stop!

America.

It has often been stated as being the greatest nation on earth by both Americans and foreigners alike.  Every year there are not hundreds, not thousands, but hundreds of thousands of people that come to America both legally and illegally.  This has been going on for a couple hundred years. Which just by itself says something.  Parts of our history is ugly, yes.  Parts of our present is ugly too.  But a few things everyone needs to consider since America became, well...America.

We have freedom of speech.  This allows people to speak out publicly with out fear of persecution from their government.  That's right.  All those things you don't like, are offended by, disagree with, you can say so without fear of the government throwing you in jail, or worse.  Some countries behead you.  That doesn't mean your speaking out against what ever offends you gives you the right to take away some one else's rights.  You just have the right to complain.

We have freedom of religion.  Which allows every one to practice what ever religion they want, or no religion at all.  You don't like Christianity?  That's fine!  Great!  Don't go to church, or buy crosses, or say the words "...under God" when reciting the pledge.  That's your right.  Practice what ever religion you want, or don't practice any.  Don't take away someone else's ability to practice theirs.  You do not have that right.

We have a government system set up, while not perfect, it in theory has a checks and balance within it self.  Further, it is ultimately purviewed by the very people it is governing, that means you and me.  And we have always had the right to bear arms.
Not for hunting.
Not for protection against robbery.

**But for protection against a tyrannical government should it try to grow too powerful like governments from world history.**

Do Hitler and Stalin ring any bells?  What about the British government the American Revolution fought to escape?  THAT is our INALIENABLE right to bear arms.  Untouchable. Undeniable.  Can't be taken away.  Not just shot guns, but all guns. Our forefathers were smart enough set in motion the legal necessities to protect us, US, the people.

These are just some of the many reasons millions of people have come to America since the beginning of America.  It's worked for over 200 years.  Certainly not everything is perfect.  And not all citizens like all these things, but they don't have to like them, just abide by them.  Laws, from our ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION , were not made to be liked.  It's called compromise for the sake of order and safety. These are the reasons America has been called such a great nation, a nation of opportunity. Our freedom and foundation is strong.  Stop chipping away at it!!!

Just because you are offended doesn't make it wrong!

~Sierra Sugar

Influenster and the VowVoxBox

"Vow Vox Box"? Don't Panic!

You haven't missed any invitations or save the date notices.  There are no wedding plans, secret or otherwise.  However, #Influenster recently had another vox box program of products to sample that would go well with the pending blushing bride or possible potential maybe perhaps one day bride. Anyway, breathe.....

This was a smaller vox box but it was packed with some pretty great items from #SallyHansen, #Ecotools, #Puresilk, #Tide, and a coupon for a wedding website by #Riley&Grey.  So let me give you guys the run down.


The first item to try was of course Sally Hansen's the complete manicure nail polish in Barracuda Blue.  What a fun summer name for a pretty light blue polish.  Initially I tried it on both my fingers and toes.  As I figured, I'm not a color on my fingernails kind of girl.  I'm fairly boring in that department sticking with the tried and true french manicure.  But oh my little toesies!  They loved the blue, especially at the beach.  As you can see above.

It was just light enough to brighten up the toes, but not so dark to make people give your feet funny looks.  Well more funny looks.  Lets face it, feet can be kind of funny looking on their own.  But my little toes felt so pretty in pink.... er blushing in blue with this color.  It's a matte babyish sky blue.  Very pretty and feminine.  And definitely an option for the bride who might need that little "something in blue" on her special day.  Try doing a french manicure with Barracuda Blue colored tips instead of the normal white.  Elegant, colorful, and whimsical all in one.

Pure Silk shaving cream was the next up to try.  I've never been one to use shaving cream, instead opting for body soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotion... Basically just what ever was handy.  I have latin (Cuban) blood in my so unfortunately I tend to have to shave my legs rather frequently, especially in the summer.  Every other day isn't unheard of for me.  The first thing I noticed with the Pure Silk was I got a much closer shave.  This was honestly somewhat of a surprise for me because I didn't think it would make that much of a difference.  So close in fact that it was 5 days before I had to shave again.  A few shaves latter I started with a fresh razor and that familiar dread as they always leave me with little nicks and cuts the first shave or two.  Much to my surprise I walked away without even the tiniest cut.  I was so surprised by this fact that I spend a full 5 minutes standing in the bathroom in front of the mirror looking at my legs examining them for any tell-tale trickle of blood and just flabbergasted that I couldn't see even one drop.  Yay for Pure Silk.  It has turned my shaving routine from a torture to just routine.

The Tide To Go pen was the object I was least looking forward to testing as I have an allergy to Tide.  After much debate and thought I decided it would be safe to try.  It is after all just a small amount on a small spot on a single item of clothing.  It couldn't possibly cause too bad of an allergic reaction.  Of course, I had just spilled coffee on my favorite white tank top that I sleep in.  Tide to the rescue.  Coffee and mornings.... no I wasn't coherent enough to take pictures.  I wish I had.  The pen took the stain out in just seconds.  When I washed the shirt, I did so with regular laundry and not whites with beach.  When it came out of the dryer it was all pretty white with no coffee spots on it.  The Tide To Go pen found a new home in my purse.

Sadly, I did not use the website offer as I have no wedding to plan.  I did look around at their site a little and their offers.  This seems like it would be a great thing to do, especially if you are a bride planning a large wedding, or have family and/or bridal party members who do not live close to you.  It's just another wonderful way to commemorate your beautiful and special day.

Once again, thank you to Influenster, Sally Hansen, Ecotools, Pure Silk, Tide, and Riley & Grey for the items in the Vow Vox Box and allowing me to sample and test them.  The VoxBox program is always fun, helpful, and every time I learn both about new products and known products with new product line that I might not have otherwise.

~sierra

Clear Skin and Blue Skies Ahead. It's Summertime!

It's summer time.  The weather is warmer.  The sun is out.  And you want to be out in that fresh air enjoying life.  Sunshine and the subsequent Vitamin D from sun exposure has its benefits.  We need a little bit of those UV rays to prevent things like Rickets and Depression.  Not all sun exposure is bad.  Moderation is the key to life.  But this post isn't about the pros and cons of lazy days out on the beach, in the sand and salt water, soaking up copious amounts of natural Vitamin D in the form of refreshing, warming tropical sunshine...... sorry, got a little sidetracked there with my day dream.

Ok, so you want to be out enjoying the summer life.  Lazy days on the beach, or lake, or any other outdoor activity.  But, if you're like me sunshine puts a nice spotlight on any problem areas on your face.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I have always struggled with acne and large pores.  I remember being in the 6th grade and begging my mom to let me wear make up so I could try to hide the large dark pores across my nose.  And as an adult, I still suffer from this less than flattering condition.

Another guilty confession:  I am addicted to Pinterest.

Last night while waiting out my frequent visitor, insomnia, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I spied something that really caught my attention.  A natural skin treatment to help reduce large pores (blackheads) on the nose and smooth skin.  I couldn't wait to try it.  In my haste I failed to take a picture for before and after results.  My apologies.

What was this remedy?  Something most of us have in our kitchens.  Lemon juice and baking soda!



After doing a little research on the subject and finding many variables to this "recipe" I decided to go with the simplest method.  Hey, simple is better!  I used a small ramekin,

These are Ramekins!


squeezed in about a Tablespoon of lemon juice (the recipe said to squeeze a lemon for fresh juice.  I didn't have one on hand but I had a bottle of lemon juice *not from concentrate*)



then started adding baking soda a little at a time, stirring to make a paste.  Don't be alarmed, it will fizz and foam.  It is a chemical reaction between the two ingredients and shows that your baking soda hasn't gone stale.  Just keep adding a little at a time and stirring until the foaming goes down enough to add some more.

Baking Soda foaming when mixed with Lemon Juice


The goal is to create a thick, creamy paste.  Then using my fingers I smeared the paste all over my nose, cheeks, chin, and center of my forehead (typical T-zone areas).  Basically anywhere I suffer most from acne and large pores.  I spent a few minutes scrubbing it in (for exfoliation) and then I let it sit on my face for 20 minutes.  Like most face masks the paste dries and pulls at your skin.

*If you have sensitive skin, 20 minutes might be too long.  Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to what you can tolerate.  It will burn a little but shouldn't be terribly uncomfortable.

After 20 minutes I simply rinsed my face with cool water and patted dry.  I could immediately feel the change.  My skin felt noticeably smoother.  Grabbing a mirror and standing in the sunlight to examine my nose I was happily surprised to see a very noticeable shrinkage in the diameter of the pores across my nose.  Not gone, but yes smaller.

I let my face breathe for an hour or so and then applied a little bit of coconut oil, which is fantastic for skin care, especially for oily skin.  The coconut oil absorbs into your skin completely after about 5 minutes leaving it soft and supple, not greasy.  And it has antibacterial properties to help fight against breakouts.



I am thinking the lemon juice/baking soda scrub/mask is a bit too harsh to use every day, but perhaps once or twice a week.  Also of note, both lemon juice and baking soda have whitening/lightening properties.  It may take some time, but over time with continued use these ingredients may lighten skin blemishes and spots.

Of course, there are many other uses and benefits, as well as side effects.  If you have skin sensitivity test in a small area for a short amount of time first.  If you are allergic to either ingredient don't use at all.  It probably wouldn't be the best idea to use this skin scrub/mask immediately before heading out into the sunshine either.  Be good to your skin.  Be kind.  Be gentle.  Take care of it and it will take care of you.

I've also read where people have splashed their face with a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner.  ACV is another one of those handy kitchen items that has so many practical uses and is great for the body, skin, and hair.

Perhaps I'll cover uses for ACV and other kitchen items another day.  In the meantime you can do your own research and tests.  Here are a list of some great natural products to keep in the house for use on your skin, in your body, or around the house.

Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Coconut Oil
Honey
Sugar
Turmeric
Lemons/Lemon Juice
White Vinegar
Sea Salt
Essential Oils

I am sure there are many others I am forgetting to list.  Know of some or have your own experiences and tips?  Leave a comment.  I would love to hear your stories.

~sierra sugar

The Next Step from Vitamin Shoppe

I was excited to try these protein shake samples received in my‪#‎GoVoxBox‬ from Influenster




Having used Whey protein shakes in the past to help manage my weight and blood sugar levels, I am hypoglycemic.  I also used them as nutritional supplements for my mother when she was struggling with cancer and unable to eat.  There are many benefits to protein supplements and they come in a variety of types and flavors.  Even weight loss brand names have gotten in on the hype - Weight Watchers and Adkins.  

Having used many different brands in the past and tried almost every flavor, I have learned that I am not a fan of most flavors besides chocolate. That being said I started with the flavor I usually like least.  Just like our mother's used to tell us when there was something on our plate we didn't like... eat it first.  I mixed up half of the vanilla one as was instructed with water, not milk as many other brands of protein supplements suggest.  One sip and I had to throw it out. It was bitter and very watery.  




On to plan number two. Taking the remaining vanilla mix, I  mixed in some frozen peaches and a little milk to make it more like a smoothy. Again, I ended up throwing it out after one sip. 

Having confirmed my absolute dislike for the vanilla I moved on to the chocolate.  This time however, I started with skim milk instead of water, and a little ice for thickness. I was sure I would like this one.  Just about every other brand of protein shake I've ever tried I liked in the chocolate flavor.  However, after the first sip I was ready to toss it. Instead, I let it sit for a few minutes and cleaned my palate with some water just incase I was still tasting remains of the vanilla and/or peach, then tried again.  Still no improvement. After trying a few more sips just to be sure I came to the conclusion there was no possible way I could finish the shake.  The taste of these shakes was just too horrible. 

I've used several different brands of Whey protein and diet supplement shakes to include both Weight Watchers and Adkins among others from our local health food store. The‪#‎NextStepShakes‬ have a bitter taste that lingers on the tongue. I could barely swallow the first sip much less an entire 8oz. After completing the taste tests and cleaning up the kitchen I still had this lingering bitter taste in my mouth and coating my tongue and I had to go brush my teeth thoroughly.  

While I appreciate the samples sent through the ‪#‎Influenster‬ ‪#‎VoxBox‬ program and the cooperation with ‪#‎VitaminShoppe‬ and ‪#‎NextStep‬, this is one product I will not be purchasing.

~sierra


Two Happy Feet

Ok, so it is no secret that I LOVE #Influenster! In the most recent GoVoxBox I received two items from PROFOOT to try, ProFoot Triad Orthotic shoe inserts and the ProFoot Pedi-Rock. They are both wonderful!


I have suffered with Plantar Fasciitis since 2012 when I started walking at lunch and after work for exercise.  It was frustrating to have to slow and at times even stop my addictive routine.  At the suggestion of the pain management doctor I worked for I started using orthotic inserts to help the pain and healing.  And it worked!  So now I regularly replace the orthotics in my shoes to help control the plantar fasciitis with another trusted brand.  So while eager to try a new insert I was also nervous and a bit skeptical, afraid of return PF pain, especially now that I also have developed pretty severe sciatic pain on the right side (oh the joys of growing older!).  But thankfully I was in for a very pleasant surprise.  I have short wide feet and the inserts still fit nicely in my Nikes and were quite comfortable. The arch support was great for everyday walking, standing, etc...  I haven't tried them on the treadmill yet, but considering how well they feel with everyday activities I am hopeful they will hold up well under more strenuous activities.  I will be switching out the orthotics in my other shoes (boots) to the Profoot brand.

Also tested in this #GoVoxBox from #Influenster was the Profoot pedi-rock.  



I struggle with severely dry skin and rough heels ever since I was a child.  This pedi-rock is by far the best I've ever used, even better than what is used when I get a professional pedicure.  I love that it can be used both dry and wet.  Taking it out of town with me when I was working in Tampa I first used it on the go for a quick dry buff before rubbing lotion into my feet.  Then again I used it most recently at home while soaking my feet in warm water.  The pedi-rock is easy to hold with its large contoured shape fitting nicely in your hands.  It is firm yet not hard, kind of soft but not squishy so it holds up to vigorous scrubbing.  Even when it's wet it holds its shape and dries quickly.   It left my feet soft without irritating them.  No nasty scratches or "burns".  It will be interesting to see how well it holds up over time with repeated use.  But this is another item I will be adding to my shopping list.  I'm thinking one for the tub for wet use only and another to keep around for a quick dry buff to the heels before lotion and slipping on socks and shoes.

Thanks Influenster and ProFoot.  #GoPROFOOT !!!




Greek Yogurt by Muller

Muller display at the Publix in Tampa, Florida. I got the strawberry (YUM!) using the complimentary coupon sent to me in the #Influenster #GoVoxBox to try. 

In this age where fast food, processed foods, GMO's, "Low fat" but high sugar or sugar substitutes abound, choosing healthy food options is a must, yet often times a challenge.  I like to cook from scratch and avoid boxed or canned goods that are heavily processed and contain preservatives and artificial ingredients.  I also prefer natural sugar over sugar substitutes.  And along those lines I avoid "High Fructose Corn syrup"  (HFC's) like the plague!  Many of the popular brands of greek yogurt have lots of extra added sugar, and even *gasp* HFC!  So they never make it into my shopping cart.  

Yogurt is one of those healthy food choices that always find its way into my regular shopping.  Being hypoglycemic (chronic low blood sugar) I have always been advised to follow a high protein/low carb diet.  In a fast-paced world this is sometimes difficult to do.  Enter greek yogurt.  Discovering Greek yogurt a few years back I developed an even deeper love for this healthy, delicious, and very filling snack.  It has double the protein of regular yogurt, high in calcium, and can be paired with fruit like tradition yogurts or used in place of heavy cream, sour cream, etc... when cooking and baking. So needless to say, I LOVE greek yogurt.  However, I usually stick with another brand (Chobani). 




After receiving a coupon for a free sample of Muller's yogurt ( #MullerQuaker ) in the recent GoVoxBox from Influenster, I decided to give this brand a try.  To be honest, I had never even heard of it before Influenster.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how yummy and filling the Muller yogurt was.  The yogurt was creamy and there was just enough fruit to mix in to give it that sweet burst of flavor without being over powering.  The strawberries were sweet, not tangy, and had good texture, not too mushy.  And bonus, no HFC or artificial flavorings!  There is added sugar, but at least its not HFC or some other artificial sweetener. So overall I was pleased and Muller greek yogurt will definitely enter my regular shopping list.

Müller Yogurt USAInfluenster @MullerQuaker, #MullerQuaker

~sierra sugar


Goodbye traveling stress, Hello relaxation!


Working out of town last week and I took my   items with me, including  Bath Salts to help me relax after traveling over 400miles to work then busy days in a strange office processing 360 charts.  Whew!  

I am usually a shower person and not very big on Lavender. HOWEVER, I have to say the   +   Bath Salts sent to me from  to try for free was a pleasant surprise. The lavender was not overwhelming, but subtle and chamomile has a long documented calming effect both in western medicine and   approaches.  

Running a hot bat in the hotel room tub, I sprinkled a good handful of the salts into the running water and watched as warm scented bubbles filled the tub and a light pleasant aroma filled the room.  Reminded me of being a little girl with the big pink bottle of Mr. Bubble bubble bath and I had to smile.  I wasn't even in the tub and  was already working it's magic.  After sinking into the tub full of hot water and bubbles I could feel my whole body relaxing.  I can't remember the last time I took a bath instead of a shower, much less relaxed in one.  

After resting and soaking until my fingers and toes were adequately pruned I found the remaining bubbles easy to rinse off even with the soft water of the Tampa area.  I felt calm and relaxed as if most all of the traveling and other stress I'd been carrying around simply washed down the drain with the last of the bubbles.  Needless to say, I found myself using the Aqua Spa bath salts every night during my stay and still had a good bit left over to bring home to save for when life gets to be a little too overwhelming.  Forget the old saying "Calgon take me away".  Aqua Spa Lavender + Chamomile does the trick nicely, gently washing away the stress and leaving a mild, unintrusive relaxing scent.

For those that are unsure about the efficacy of such a treatment, aroma therapy is proven through many studies to be an effective tool in mood altering and stress/anxiety reduction.  It's not a dramatic change, but it does help.  Lavender and chamomile are calming, peppermint is soothing to the stomach, etc...  (though I do not have the sources to site them at the moment, google search is a good tool for those that wish to look it up)

coupon for $1.00 off: on.fb.me/1kQ2RFX

@AquaSpaBath #MyBeautyBreak #RelaxWithAquaSpa

~sierra sugar


Tameless



Tamless collection, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.


Timeless. Beautiful. Classy.

Tameless Hair Collection created by Nita Braken are all of these and more. Each style is expertly executed with a sense of elegance and character. Normally, I have not been one to wear short hair styles, especially not short straight hair styles; however the Tameless collection has won me over. Her styles are fast becoming some of my standard go-to hair when picking out an outfit.

The featured styles (listed below) are scripted for 28 color change options, and include streak coloring options, and hat/ribbon color change options. The hairstyles also come in singular colors with streak options if you wish not to have the "Megapack" style that includes all colors.

Tameless always features new hairstyles and/or avatars for sale for the first week after release:
4 color packs are normally priced at $199L: sale price during first week of release is $99L
Megapack including all colors are priced at $799L: sale price during first week of release is $399L.
Complete Avatars are priced at $499 in shop: sale price during first week of release is $399L.  
All avatars are listed on the Marketplace at an ongoing reduced price of $399L.

The skin is also a new one for me from the store Mojo. The features make the face seem a little more round and softer, which I adore. The lips are pouty but not too puffy, and the overall shading throughout the skin is subtle and feminine. Freckle tattoo and makeup layers are listed below as well.

Shopping List:
Tameless Hair Collection:
(left to right)
Nadine
Charlotte
Mindi
Jolene
Norine

Skin: MOJO//ALBA EVO// 08-MILK
Eyes: Poetic Colors - Poison Ivy
Freckles: L. Fauna - Pale (tattoo layer)
Makeup: Glamorize - Dance (eyes tattoo)
Lashes: **Irresistible Look Eyelashes** (alpha lashes)

~sierra

Ozimals Winter Wonderland

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
Ring ting tingling too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you
Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "yoo hoo",
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you. 
 
Its that time of year where the snow is on the ground, a chill is in the air, the fireplace is glowing, and good cheer is all around, especially down at Ozimals!  Come join everyone at Ozimals, the bunnies, and the new Pufflings for their annual Holiday Celebrations.  Ozimals has created a beautiful winter wonderland to frolic and play.  There will be sledding, ice skating, holiday music and as always, special themed prizes from the folks at Ozimals for each of the parties.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sunday, December 18
Time: 1-3 pm SLT
Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ozimals%20Orientation/213/149/23
Theme: Winter Wonderland with Sledding, IceSkating and Holiday music provided by Sierra Sugar

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling! Its that time of year to frolic in the snow, indulge in Hot Chocolate, kiss under the mistletoe, and celebrate the season in Ozimals style.  Come join us for the Winter Wonderland Party complete with Ice Skating and Holiday music provided by Sierra Sugar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thursday, December 22
Time: 5-7pm SLT
Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ozimals%20Orientation/213/149/23
Theme: Holiday Ball with Best Dressed Contest

Ozimals is celebrating the season with a festive formal Holiday Ball.  Music provided by DJ Sierra Sugar.  Best dressed contest with prizes.

Twisted and Cute



Twisted and Cute, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.
Taking a break during the Twisted Hunt at the skybox hunt area of Lemon & Cream.
slurl.com/secondlife/Dead%20Drop/106/55/26.

The Fall 2011 Unseelie Twisted Hunt is well under way.  The hunt starts at DV8 and includes some 207 stores.  It is touted to be THE most difficult hunt to be found anywhere in Second Life all year. However, don't let that claim to fame stop you from participating.  It may be a difficult hunt with lots of decoys, prizes being moved, hypnotizing moving textures, and black and blue overload anywhere you go; BUT it is filled with some of the best gifts from all the stores in the hunt.  These are top-quality items well worth the time and effort to find them. Also, many of the participating stores have mini hunts within their stores with extra prizes, mazes to complete for more gifts, and gatchas and special gallore!  Take your time with this hunt and enjoy. Go with a friend or two, as two pair of eyes are better than one when trying to find the little blurple and black hellraiser boxes.  

Also, join the Twisted Hunt group ( secondlife:///app/group/73770da7-7d71-a54e-6e86-60a3e9281e07/about ).  THEY ARE A FANTASTIC bunch to talk with while you hunt!  Keep in mind this is an active and very social group.  There is always lots of talk and chatter, and not always on "topic". But that is the point. This is a very social, nutty, and overall friendly bunch of people.  They will often help with clues in chat, but will not tell you directly where the box is.

Skin: *League* Sia Fair FelineFemme -Frex -Cleavage
Eyes: Poetic Color: pc eyes by LL - poison ivy - small
Tattoo: Eternal Misfit by *SKC*
Whiskers: ::Jungle Voodoo:: ~Quietly's~ Neko Whiskers -Get Wild-
Ears: *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ears 1.2
Collar: *GF* Fickle Heart Choker -white-
Top:*BOOM* Hope's Tank-Ocean
Shorts: *BOOM* Wei Shorts -Blue
Gloves: (TH special) *Bad Juju* Twisted Socks and Gloves
Antenea: (TH special) *Bad Juju* Twisted Antennae
Hair: (TH special) *Bad Juju* Twisted Hair-White

Queen of Puffys


Queen of Puffys, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Second Life has gone gaga for all things Harry Potter, especially with the newest role play sim opening up soon. Hogwarts: Your Story is set to take place some 20 years after the end of the last book. And I too plan to pack my trunks and catch the Hogwarts Express back to the castle this year. Of course, I had to do a little back-to-school shopping.

The school uniform is a 25-piece set from SN@TCH, that you can either get free for a little bit of time spent fishing, or purchase outright. The set includes pants, skirts, shoes, socks, sweaters, and ties for all 4 houses. Just go to the main SN@TCH store and find their game room.

The Lemondrop Shoppe
is participating in the Hogwarts special market. Among the special items to be found there are these ADORABLE Pygmy Puff pets. You can find them in a Gatcha at the market in 24 different colors (23 shown here). They perch comfortably on your shoulder, but be mindful they have quick little tongues that will dart out and lick you when you least expect it. All Pygmy Puffs are +trans so you can collect them, trade colors, and share with your friends. And YES, you can take them to school with you.

Happy Hogwarting everyone *snugglepuffs*

Shape: My Own
Skin: *League* Sia Fair FelineFemme -Frex
Freckles: L.Fauna EXTRA FRECKLES [Tan] (tattoo layer)
Eyes: pc eyes by LL - poison ivy - small
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Neko Ears: *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ear 1.2

Outfit: SN@TCH Mary Potter (free 7seas Fishing prizes - 25 pieces in total, including ties for all 4 houses)
Shirt: 18 :::Sn@tch Mary Blouse (White-S)::: + 12 :::Sn@tch Slytherin Collar:::
Jacket: 20 :::Sn@tch Mary Cardigan (Grey-J):::
Skirt: 23 :::Sn@tch Tweed Mini Skirt (Grey-P)::: + 21 :::Sn@tch Plaid Ruffle Skirt (Black):::
Socks: 16 :::Sn@tch Lolli Socks (Grey)::: + 14 :::Sn@tch Lolli Sock Ruffle (Grey-LF)::: + 15 :::Sn@tch Lolli Sock Ruffle (Grey-RT):::
Shoes: 5 :::Sn@tch Ballet Slipper Shoe Shape::: + 3 :::Sn@tch Ballet Slipper (Black-LF)::: + 4 :::Sn@tch Ballet Slipper (Black/RT):::

Ohmai Emporium: Pygmy Puff (Crimson) from The Lemondrop Shoppe
slurl.com/secondlife/The%20Hidden%20Isle/21/218/1002
Gatcha 30L per: 24 colors total.
Shown: Anemysk
Antique
Ash
Candy
Celeste
Crimson
Custard
Lilac
Luxe
Magenta
Mink
Nettles
Peach
Pistachio
Polly
Prussian
Pumpkin
Sable
Sakura
Snow
Tea Rose 1
Wisteria
Wolfsbane
Not show "Chocolate Frog"

Chasing Pirates


Pirate Kitty faded, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.


In your message you said, you were goin' to bed, but I'm not done with the night.
So I stayed up and read, but your words in my head, got me mixed up so I turned out the light.

And I, don't know how, to slow it down.
My mind's racing from chasing pirates.

Well the man in there swings while the silliest things, floppin around in my brain.
And I try not to dream but them possible schemes, swim around, wanna drown me in synch.

And I, don't know how, to slow it down.
Oh my mind's racing from chasing pirates.

Ears - *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ear 1.2
Skin - *League* Sia Fair FelineFemme -Frex -Cleavage
Eyes - sa_ForestElfEyes_CelinFerns
Lashes - Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Hair - [Nikita] Bright Choque Hair - Ice
Shape - My own

Boots - *~*Illusion*~* *~*Pirate Boot Base: Fop/Strapped/Small Divided
Stockings - + ezura + Thigh-High Sheer Stockings *Stripes
Garter - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Black Lace Garter w/Gun
Corset (prim) - Schadenfreude Corset (Frozen Waist) - Wider Ribs
Corset (alpha layer) - Schadenfreude Underbust Corset Alpha
Corset top (prim) - [Black] CorsetTop
Corset top (clothing jacket layer) - [Black] Corset
Skirt - Indyra Orginals - Bastille BustleSkirt
Pants - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Velvet & Satin Gray Pinstripe Garter Belt
Panties - ~Blacklace~ Trouble: Black Velvet Panties
Collar - Indyra Orginals - Victorian Choker Ascot
Arm cuffs - Indyra Orginals - Bastille Cuff
Hat - Indyra Orginals - Bastille Tri-Corner hat

Sierra's Numbers



Sierra's Nummbers, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.
Completing Strawberry Singh's challenge to list our shape numbers. It's wonderful to see such diversity in Second Life and everyone's idea is aesthetics when creating their avatar.

Please take a look at her Flickr group "What's your Digits" to see everyone who has participlated.

Other Credits:

Shape: My own custom creation
Skin: *League* Sia Fair Ruby -Frex -Cleavage
Hair: VIXEN - Besom - White
Eyes: sa_ForestElfEyes_CelinFerns
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01
Nails: [ Love Soul ] Prim nails*Charme*White
Neko Ears: *Dreams* Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ears (now Sanu)
Neko Tail: Psychotic Neko - Extreme Corset Tail
Outfit: ~Blacklace~ Crush: Pink Satin Mesh Camisole Set

H2 Photography

Emerald_Dreams


Late nights in Second Life can bring about some interesting results. The other night I was standing on my land in SL AFK and windowed out responding to something on Plurk, not terribly uncommon of me. When I looked back at Second Life there was a strange man standing next to me on my property. Like most of you, coming back to SL and finding a stranger on your land can be somewhat disconcerting. But this was not some nosy, annoying newb, this was a well-put-together male Avatar just standing there quietly next to me, respectful would be the word I would use.

Meet Homer Hanly. The photographer and graphic artist behind H2 Photography in Second Life. Homer is a real life photographer and artist practicing and expanding his techniques in SL with the world of 3D Digital Artistry. Now here is where I blush and am ever so grateful. Homer was checking old LMs in his inventory and hopping around SL looking for scenic places to take pictures when he stumbled across my Caribbean Island Oasis and me, oblivious in AFK land. He watched and seemed to like the movements of my AO and the poses it created so decided to take some pictures. What he did with them is just simply amazing. Most of ya'll know I do most of my own photography for eMOTIONS and for fun. But I would (and plan to) hire Homer for a photo session for a personal collection. Check out his blog, Homer's Place and his Flickr! He's got a fun sense of humor and sometimes a daring voyeuristic style I think most of you will enjoy thoroughly.

Thank you, Homer for the wonderful pictures and the new found friendship. Thank you for the late night phantom chasing and Photoshop circles of confusion (my confusion creating not yours, lol).

Emerald_Dreams2

Emerald_Dreams4

Emerald_Dreams3

A Gift for Everyone

It's the holiday season and we all like to be able to give and receive presents. Over the years more and more content creators have followed the trend of making items "No Trans" which makes gifting difficult. Sure many stores offer the "buy now as a gift" options which allows you to purchase and have the item sent directly to the person at that moment. But its not the same as buying a gift, wrapping it up and giving it to the certain someone at a specific time, date, place, and setting of your choosing to make the moment special.

With this in mind I decided to compile a list of stores in Second Life that still offer transferable items, or at the very least have a Gift Card system. This will be a running list of all types of stores from clothing, hair, skins, poses, furniture, etc... That I will update regularly. Gifting isn't just for Christmas. Its great for birthdays, rez days, valentines day, anniversaries, and the always wonderful "just because".

Continue to check here for store updates. Or visit eMOTIONS and JJ Lanes">JJ Lanes Furniture in world at the SL Gifts Kiosk to get the current notecard with landmarks.

If you have or know of a store that offers transfer items or gift cards, or if a store on the list changes their location, please reply here or send me a notecard in world with the information.

2010 HOLIDAY SPECIALS

Twisted Krissmuss Holiday Hunt: 200+ Stores offering a specialty item that is +Trans and only 100L
Starting Dec 4th, you can swing by Twisted Krissmuss HQ and pick up:
— A guide book
— LMs to over 200 participating merchants
— A few little holiday goodies for you
— An invite to the group (easiest to get info that way)
— And possibly other cool things. ;)

ACCESSORIES

Accessories by Eolande: +Trans & Gift Cards

APPAREL

aDiva: +Trans
Alphamale: +Trans & Gift Cards
BareRose (B@R): +Trans
Basics: +Trans
     BLOG:  http://basics.ashleighdickins.com
Blacklace: +Trans & Gift Cards
BlakOpal Design: Gift Cards
Calla: +Trans (must request +Trans from TigerLily Koi)
Clio: +Trans
BLOG: http://cliosmessyroom.blogspot.com
Courtisan Silks: +Trans
DARE DESIGNS: +Trans
Blog: http://newsfromtheloft.wordpress.com/
+DV8+: Gift Cards
HTC: Gift Cards
HUDSON'S: +Trans
INSOLENCE: +Trans
Kismet: Gift Cards

MaiMai
: Gift Cards
PajamaRama: +Trans
PomPomPom (formerly *evie's*): +trans
     BLOG:  http://pompompomstoreblog.wordpress.com/
QQ Fashion: +Trans
R:A:D: Gift Cards
Ravenwear: + : +Trans & Gift Cards
Rfrye
: +Trans & Gift Cards
Sage Fashion: Gift Card
Sascha's: +Trans & Gift Cards
~Scribble~: +Trans
SF Design: Gift Cards
Blog: http://sfd-secondlife.blogspot.com/
Shiki Design: Gift Card
Blog: http://shikidesign.blogspot.com
Sn@tch: +Trans
Solange: Gift Cards
BLOG: http://www.solangefashions.blogspot.com/
Somnia: Gift Cards
SySy's: Gift Cards (also has limited holiday items that are +Trans)
Blog: http://sydesigns.blogspot.com
TempT: +Trans
The Curious Seemstress:  +Trans
     BLOG:  http://gwd-greenwooddesigns.blogspot.com/


Artwork

Laval Photography Gallery: +Trans
Virtual Alchemy Photography :+Trans (on first floor only)

Baby

Breedables

*all Breedable animals are transferable. The food/stat items are usually not.
Only the MAINSTORE for the original creator of each breedable type will be listed. There are many in-world groups for breeders's stores, auctions, etc.

Ozimals (Bunnies)
(Chickens)
(Horses)
(Kitties)
(Lizards)
(Quail)
(Turtles)

Christmas

HUDSON'S: +Trans
Kismet: +Trans & Gift Cards
Laval Christmas Shop: +Trans

DISCOUNTED, FREE & FOR NEWBIES

DARE DESIGNS NEWBPOCALYPSE

Blog: http://newsfromtheloft.wordpress.com/


EYES


FOOD & DRINKS

THE FOODING: +Trans


FURNITURE

AA Garden Center: +Trans
DAMNED GOOD DESIGN: +Trans
EarthDwellings: +Trans
HUDSON'S: +Trans
JJ Lanes">JJ Lanes: Gift Cards
Kismet: +Trans & Gift Cards
Tiki Tattoo: +Trans
::WetCat:: Builds&Poses: +Trans

HAIR

Alli&Ali Designs
: Gift Boxes (UNopened - rez on ground, recipient clicks the TOP of the gift box to receive item.)
Blog: http://www.allialidesigns.com/
Calla: Gift Cards (for both Men's & Women's Hair)


Homes, Buildings, Structures

JJ Lanes Prefab Homes: Gift Cards
Kismet: +Trans & Gift Cards

Jewelry

Carolina Jewelry: Gift Cards (IM owner and she will make any requested item +trans for purchase)
BLOG: www.capollo.blogspot.com
EarthStones: +Trans & Gift Cards


LANDSCAPING

Botanical: +Trans

**forest feast**
: +Trans
Heart Garden: +Trans
Tiki Tattoo: +Trans


Maternity


Misc

Happy Mood: +Trans
Mechanized Life (FilterCam, MachimaCam): Gift Cards
Blog: http://www.mechanizedlife.com/
~Scribble~: +Trans
*~Zanzibar creationZ~* (costumes, facepaint, unique items): +Trans


NEKO ACCESSORIES


Pets & Animals (NOT BREEDABLES)

AKK Horse Ranch: +Trans
VKC Dogs: +Trans
X Fusion (mean little kitty, puppeteer): +Trans


POSES and ANIMATIONS

Boudoir Rouge
BeScene Poses: Gift Cards
eMOTIONS: +Trans
Blog: http://emotions-byskc.blogspot.com/
Props-N-Poses: +Trans
.:S:. Stance Poses & Props: Gift Cards
+Studio Sidhe+: Gift Cards


SHOES

AVA CHOO Fantastic Footwear: Gift Cards


SKIN


Textures

Kismet: Gift Cards
Laval Christmas Shop: +Trans

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


Christmas2010a, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Where I come from in Real Life we have seasons such as "Summer", "August", "Hot" and "February" (where we get a slight reprieve from the heat and humidity). So Fall and Winter in Second Life for me are the most enjoyable. I love to see Sim landscaping change with the seasons. I love how all the stores fashions reflect the colder weather of wintry climates. I love the warm fuzzy sweaters and boots of all varieties. And I love to decorate for the holidays with all the little pretties I find around the grid.

Second Life is a great big play ground of amazing possibilities, fantastical creations, and imagination without boundaries. So as I sit here sipping hot chocolate in my house cooled to a comfortable 70 degrees thanks to the modern luxury of air conditioning, I decorate my home Sim for Christmas. Caribbean Islands are not known for their blustery winters and snow days, so I build up in the sky. SL is great for defying the laws of physics too! In my little skybox I'm able to create a cozy snowy scene complete with frozen pond, frost covered evergreens, and a cute little wooden cabin.

I string some paper snowflakes across the doorway and hang a pretty wreath on the wall. A simple Christmas tree with its twinkling lights brings a touch of festive cheer. As I sit all warm and cozy inside my cabin I can look out on my perfect little winter scene and smile. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Skin: [PXL] - Kasumi SK RoseLips P
Makeup: [PXL] - Kasumi SK Smoke Eyes
Lashes: MaiMai - No Alpha Lashes N01
Hair: Damselfly - Whiskey in Ruby Twilight Blend
Eyes: Poetic Colors - Poison Ivy
Ears: *Dreams* - Tied with a Bow Snowy White Ears
sweater: !BDC FIRESIDE FAWN SWEATER MINI
Cabin: {what next} - Nordic Cabin
Photo Credits: *SKC* Photography

A little bit of sugar

Reposting this from a recent Surf Watch entry, check out the full article Here. One little, very little, kitty DJ was spotted doing a unique spin on the decks.



And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the waters...

The Reason ~In Loving Memory of Thor Bishop~



or copy/paste this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4eajJDtN9M


A love story that transcended time, distance and worlds. Its taken me over two years to be able to start writing about and sharing my memories of Him. We had two amazing years together with enough memories both in Second Life and Real Life to last many lifetimes. With His birthday fast approaching, He would have been 41, thoughts of Him have been prominent in my mind.

This video is for our time spent in Second Life where we met. It was only a bridge to bring us together in the real world. In SL He was known as Thor Bishop. On the air (radio DJ) He was known as Loki. To friends and family He was Teddy Prohinsie. To me He was and always will be my Love, my Bear, my Heart.

i've tried to keep the pictures as chronologically correct as possible.  Most are old snapshops with no, little or very poor photoshop work.  But they are memories.  Our time goes back before flexi, before sculpties, even before "private islands".  Our time crosses an eternity in SL yet seemed so very short.  When i was sorting through pictures i was amazed and the sheer number of pictures i had.  There were far too many to put into one video, even a long video.  But then, many are memories special perhaps to me only.  There are some that i may share here over time with stories to narrate them.  For now, this video says more than any of my words could possible hope to do.

These two songs used in the video were very special songs for us. "Secret Garden" was playing the first time i told Him i loved Him. "The Reason" was the song He sang to me and used as part of His wedding vows to me. For two years i couldn't listen to either of these songs. Only now have i been able. Its taken many tears to put this together. i miss Him still.

~sierra
In loving memory of Thor Biship
4/22/1969 - 10/09/2007

Questionable Accessories


Optical Mouse, originally uploaded by snowtigress.

***DISCLAIMER: pet peeve rant below.***

I follow a few fashion blogs, ok well more than a few. Anyway, I've noticed a trend lately that has me shaking my head. A few years ago Nitty Gritty made these adorably fun little attachments for nekos. They made cute little house mice, optical (computer) mice, fish, fish skeletons, bird feathers, and a few other kitty themed items that we could appear to have gobbled. They were cute and playful, and most of all fit with what a cat might actually get caught doing.

Lately, I've noticed a steady stream of fashion bloggers posting pictures with avatars standing there with food hanging from their mouth. Most of them look as if it has been stuck to their bottom lip with super glue. I've seen pop tarts, lollipops, and even toast. I do get the essence of cute, but do we really walk around with food hanging out of our mouths? And that is more to the point of my post here. Not only have I seen pictures splashed all over the net with various morsels of food prominently featured precariously dangling from otherwise beautiful Avatar's bottom lips, I have actually seen people walking around the grid with these things. Just seems like bad manners. Maybe its just me.

We all have our own personal tastes, pun intended. But while I'm pictured playfully here with a mouse that I caught and ran away with (please note I made an effort to hide with my captured treasure in a tree), I wouldn't walk around with it rudely sticking out of my mouth. I'd finish my meal or hide my treat. And I would never be caught with sugary little pop tart stuck to my bottom lip, just as I would assume a non-feline creature would not walk around with a cat-nip filled toy in their mouth.

For those of you who find the sweet-filled pastry turned mouth adornments fashionable, photo worthy and posted on the high profile fashion blogs please note this is not a personal affront to you. Just an observation, quirk if you will, and isolated opinion of one little kitty trying to find her own individuality in this great big SL.