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Breast Cancer Awareness Nails 2014

Hi everyone! October is here and it is widely known all over the world as Breast Cancer Awareness month. I thought I would kick October off with a Breast Cancer Awareness mani :) Let’s get on with it!

 

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 2 coats of L.A. Girl 3D Effects Dazzling Pink on all of my nails except my ring finger. Dazzling Pink is a gorgeous pink scattered holographic polish. It is very pigmented, even the 1st coat looked good. I firmly believe you don’t judge a polish by the first coat, but this one was great even then! It also dried very well. On my ring nail I painted 3 coats of Tip Top Melting Marshmallows. Once my index nail was dry I stamped over it using my essence white stampy polish and the right hand image on PUEEN 41. I used the interlocking hearts to symbolize how everybody has been touched by some form of cancer at some point in their lives. I painted a regular top coat on my middle nail and used 2 mm pastel pink round studs I purchased from Born Pretty store (purchase here*) to form the Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon. I was quite pleased with how it turned out! Over the Melting Marshmallows on my ring nail I painted a coat of L.A. Girl Sprinkle from their Splatter collection. Sprinkle has bright pink and matte white glitter in varying sizes suspended in a clear base. This is definitely a blob and spread glitter. I sealed it all in with Seche Vite. I added a macro shot of Dazzling Pink to show you the holo goodness :) I realize the polish itself is out of focus, but my camera completely freaks out when I show it sparkly things. The result:

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Nails

Breast Cancer Awareness Nails

 

L.A. Girl Dazzling Pink Macro

 

 

I finally got the light tent and camera lenses I ordered. I am still getting used to them and learning how to get my lighting, etc right so please bear with me while I improve on my photos :) I really loved how this mani turned out! I really am very chuffed with it :D I also think the Sprinkle looks awesome over Melting Marshmallows! Almost like the O.P.I. Breast Cancer polishes for 2014 layered over each other. I really wanted that set, but now I’m thinking I don’t need it!

 

What would the point of all this be if we didn’t do something more than just “create awareness”? I think there is sufficient awareness about cancer, like I said before…everyone has been affected or knows of someone that has had cancer. Personally, I lost my grandfather to cancer almost 4 years ago. More recently, this year @sanitashimmy‘s godmother passed away from cancer that started in her breasts. Cancer touches us all in one way or another. To donate to the Breast Health foundation, I sent an SMS to 40158 with the keyword nailcancer. SMS cost R20.00. Below is a screenshot of my confirmation SMS:

 

Screenshot_2014-09-29-13-40-41

 

As always, early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer. Examine yourself! Have yourself checked. If you are not sure how, you may check out this link which has pictures and an explanation on how to examine yourself in 5 steps. Did you know that breastfeeding helps reduce the chances of developing breast cancer and the longer you breastfeed the better the benefit? Of course there are never any guarantees, but it is nice to know that breastfeeding also has health benefits for me and not just my child/ren.

I hope that those that are able will also help to donate to this cause. Thanks so much for reading!

*If you do not already have an account with Born Pretty Store you can use my affiliate link in the right hand side bar to register as well as my 10% discount code for non discounted items :)

Avalon Springs 2014

For the past 4 years we have gone to Avalon Springs with my in laws for a weekend away. My father and brother in law celebrate their birthdays in September, so it is always around that time of year that we go. It is a lovely resort with hot springs and jacuzzis and we always enjoy it. We stay in the mountain chalets which are beautiful self catering units. They also include housekeeping services and you can order some room service if you wish. The outdoor braai (BBQ) facilities are lovely and each chalet has its own jacuzzi a stone throw away. It is quite a mission to get to the chalet from the main pool area as they are literally situated on the mountain slope and it is a steeeeep climb!  They do have a golf cart that transports guests to and from chalets which is especially handy when you have luggage. I climbed to our chalet twice over the weekend and my legs definitely felt it! The rest of the time I either had Gabby with me or some form of shopping/luggage to carry, so took the golf cart up.

 

We arrived on the Friday evening around 18:00, everyone else was already there. I unpacked, but it was already getting chilly, so we didn’t swim upon arrival like we normally do. The next morning we headed down to the hotel for their buffet breakfast which is always a hit. Gabby destroyed half an omelette, while Elijah was so excited about swimming he barely ate. I took advantage of the bulk bacon and blue cheese on offer :P We went shopping in town for food supplies for the rest of the weekend and swam before we all had a braai together. We have discovered that Gabby does NOT like swimming. She is okay in the bath, but we had to pick her lip up off the bottom of the swimming pool. She absolutely hated it! I’m not sure why, but hopefully she will outgrow this.

 

I actually didn’t get to take many photos. I was too busy relaxing and enjoying myself. Elijah was off on his own mission often, so most of the photos I got are of Gabby. I did, however, get to spend some one on one, quality time with Elijah which I rarely do and it was lovely. I think I should make a concerted effort to do so more often in future. Since Gabby has been born I have spent the majority of my time with her (breastfeeding has contributed towards this, more so in the beginning) and Elijah and I don’t get to be alone together. Here are a few pics I managed to snap:

 

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Morning swing

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Blowing out the candles with our uncle

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Could she get any cuter?

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Little poser with ouma

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Baby ducks!

 

All in all we had a good weekend. Coming back home was traumatic. Our Monday started with checking that all the towels, cutlery, crockery, etc for our unit were still there and packing up all our stuff. Somehow we couldn’t fit everything we brought back into our suitcase! We managed to stuff everything into the little gaps we could find and ventured down the mountain again. We decided to make a stop at Boogaloo’s house in Swellendam. It took us an hour to drive there. I thought it was on our way to Montagu, but it turns out it is about an hour out of the way. When we got there Boogs was meeting with a client and the meeting went on for loooooong. The kids got tired and cranky and we decided that we needed to leave. I didn’t want to disturb Boogs while he was with his client, so I had to send him a message to say goodbye. I felt so bad! Our journey home from there was 3 hours, instead of 2 which was frustrating. I just wanted to be home. About an hour in the kids started going nuts. Gabby was tired and kept crying. We stopped off for some food and after eating and chucking most of the food out onto the back seat Gabby finally dozed off and a little later Elijah did too! The rest of the journey was quiet and peaceful ;) When we arrived home it was time to unpack everything and prepare for back to work/school the next day. I also had to do my nails, so it felt like a Sunday night which sucks!

 

The little break was a lovely change of scenery, but it doesn’t matter where you go or how awesome it is, it is always good to be home!

Weekend Away Nails

Happy Friday everyone! For our weekend away last week I was quite undecided about a mani. I eventually settled on wearing textured polishes, because it is possible to “patch” chips and tip wear. I thought this would be ideal for a weekend in the water. This mani was very simple and quick to do.

 

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 4 thin coats of China Glaze Teal The Tide Turns on all my nails except my index and middle fingers. On those I painted 3 thin coats of Shell We Dance? Teal The Tide Turns was quite sheer. After 3 coats I felt it needed another one and I regretted adding it because it wouldn’t dry properly and didn’t ‘texturize’ nicely. In hindsight I should have done 3 slightly thicker coats for opacity and optimal texture. I will certainly do this when I use it again. It is a gorgeous green polish with green glitter, while Shell We Dance? is a pinky coral colour with pink glitter. Obviously there was no top coat involved here. The results:

 

China Glaze Shell We Dance Teal The Tide Turns

 

This mani felt so…simple to me. I guess I am used to having some sort of pattern or something flashy. It felt like solid colours and even though the colours were different, it didn’t feel fancy enough. I am weird, no? These nails survived my first swim beautifully, but the next day they chipped very badly. I actually didn’t even bother repairing them as we were leaving the next day and I was going to do a new mani anyway. I also wasn’t going anywhere else in the interim, so nobody was going to see :P

 

Do you ever do your nails and feel they are too boring?

Jackson’s Polish

Hi everyone. Happy Heritage Day to all my South African readers! It is a public holiday here for us, but I am working some overtime. Hopefully I won’t be stuck in the office too long. We’ve been away the past weekend and it was a crazy time. I will totally write a post about that soon. I needed a mani to tide me over between my regular Wednesday mani day and Friday morning when I would do my nails for the weekend away.  I looked at my untrieds and decided to use a polish I wouldn’t mind wearing only for a short while. I picked up a Revlon Expressionist duo called Jackson’s Polish and tried it out.

 

I started out with my regular Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted two easy coats of the polish side of the duo on all of my nails. It is a orangey red colour. The formula was really easy to work with, it glided on. This colour reminds me of watermelons for some reason, so I’ll reach for it if I ever decide to do watermelon nails :P I thought I would attempt swirly patterns with the striping brush, but I didn’t wipe enough polish off of the brush on my first attempt and as I laid it down it covered about half my nail with polish. I started over with that one and abandoned the idea of swirls and decided to do actual stripes. I kept both hands rested on the table and moved my nail instead of my striping brush and still managed to make them skew. Tsk. I added some gold studs I bought from Born Pretty Store and top coated over everything with Seche Vite. The result:

 

Revlon Expressionist Jackson's Polish

 

Initially, I hated. it…but you know what? It isn’t that ugly at all! I am kind of bummed that I messed up the stripes and I’m not sure why I did. If I could do Superman nails with a striping brush, surely I could do some straight lines?! I wish there was a bit more contract between the two polishes, but it isn’t too bad. I really grew to like them and did kind of wish I could keep them on a little longer, but I had to get around to my weekend nails before we departed.

 

So you like these nails and the colours? I couldn’t decide if this was red or orange. What do you think?

Sand Dolla Make You Holla – Dance Baby

Hi everyone. Happy Friday! When this post goes live I’ll probably still be snuggled up in bed, only to fly out of it a little later to pack for our weekend away in Montagu. We’re going to Avalon Springs for the weekend with the in laws. It has become a tradition for us to go every year and I’m really looking forward to it! I’ll be sure to blog about how it was :) Onto the nails! I was really in the mood for a texture and I had two untried textures on my shelf. Let’s have a look.

 

I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 thin coats of China Glaze Sand Dolla Make You Holla on all my nails except my ring nails. Sand Dolla Make You Holla is an off white/very pale pink texture polish with pink, blue, green, gold and silver glitter. It looked a little sheer to me and I felt I needed a 3rd coat to even it out and reach full opacity all over the nail. As with all my other China Glaze textures it dried beautifully. On my ring nails I painted 2 coats of China Glaze Dance Baby. Dance Baby is a gorgeous purple toned pink creme which applied like a dream. After it was relatively dry I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White and a dotting tool to place dots in a circular pattern. I used essence wanna be your sunshine to make yellow dots in the center to complete the flowers and went back in with a smaller dotting tool to fill up the blank spaces with white dots. I sealed in the ring nails with Seche Vite. Unfortunately one of my flowers dragged when I put on the top coat. Poo. The result:

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I really love how this turned out. It felt so soft and feminine. It seems that Spring is inspiring me! As always I loved playing with the texture on my nails. I know texture isn’t for everyone, but I really like it. It also stops me from playing with my cuticles which is a good thing! This mani would be easy for anyone to do. You can use a lot of household items as a dotting tool if you don’t have one. A ballpoint pen, bobby pin, toothpick, pencil, head of a pin or anything small with a point can be dipped into polish and dotted onto your nail. If you’re not sure, try on a piece of paper to see what size the dots will come out with different tools.

What do you think of this mani? Would you give it a try?

AMAZING INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone!

I have an AMAZING giveaway for you today! I teamed up with some of the international bloggers on a Facebook group I’m part of called Hobby Polish Bloggers. We’ve decided to do a Facebook only giveaway, meaning you’ll just need to like Facebook pages to earn entries. The prize is actual cash dollars in your Paypal account that you can spend anywhere on the internet that accepts Paypal! Anything you want! Check it out:

 

Hobby Polish Blogger Giveaway 2

 

The prizes are as follows:

1st Prize

$165 via Paypal

2nd Prize

$90 via Paypal

3rd Prize

$75 via Paypal

Thanks to all the ladies that helped sponsor this giveaway! Here they all are:

 

A Little Polish
Addicted to Polish
BeginNails: Every Journey Has A Beginning
B’Nails
Canadian Nail Fanatic
Carinae L’etoile’s polish stash
Copycat Claws
Doctor Crafty
Fashion Footing
I Feel Polished
Imperfectly Painted
LacqueredGeek
Lavish Layerings
Les essais beauté de Schette
Lit From Within
Lustrous Lacquer
Manic Talons
Manicure Addict
Pamper with Polish
Peer Pressure Polish
Plump and Polished
Polish Galore
Polished and Glittered
ProcrastiNails
Sammy Gail’s Nails
Sassy Shelly
Shelby Lou Nails
The Dalai Lama’s Nails
The Polished Hippy
The Polished Mommy
The Sparkling Hoard
xoxo, Jen 

 

You must be 18+ to enter and the giveaway is open internationally. You will need a Paypal account to receive your prize. Use the rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tag You’re It! The Summer Edition

The Stilletto Mum tagged me in her post to answer some questions and to tag 3 other people. You can read her post here.  So here goes!

 

What is your favourite thing about Summer?

I much prefer summer over winter. I would rather be hot than cold. So the warmer weather is really up my alley! My favourite things about summer are sandals and neon/bright nail polish.

Do you have a favourite Summer drink?

I really like fruit juice mixed with Sprite Zero. It’s like fruit juice with bubbles!

Is there a location you like to go to each Summer?

For the last 3 years we have gone to Avalon Springs in Montagu for a weekend away with the in laws between September and November. We’ll be going this weekend again! :)

Favourite makeup look for Summer?

I wear the “natural” look a lot. Basically foundation, powder, mascara, eye liner and a lip colour. This is my go to all year around actually :)

Dresses or skirts?

Skirts. Especially now that I am still breastfeeding. I can’t very well lift my whole dress up to pop my boob out, now can I? :P

Sandals or ballet pumps?

Summer is sandal season!

Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for Summer?

Up. It is cooler!

Deep smokey eyes or bold lips?

Both! But not at the same time! I alternate the two.

Favourite perfume for Summer?

Clinique Happy, Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison, Issey Miyake (original). I wear these year round too.

Last but not least, favourite music for Summer

I am usually rocking out to whatever is popular in the season. Summer usually spells poppy dance songs and I am okay with that.

 

Now I get to tag people :)

  1. Angel
  2. Painted Fingertips
  3. Because I can

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy™ – Pic Heavy

Press Sample Button

 

 

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Swatches

 

Hi there everyone. I have something new from Revlon to show you today.

Introducing Revlon’s new ColorStay Gel Envy™ collection:

From the press release:

We like to think of these nail enamels as life-compatible. Not enough time on your hands? Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy™ Longwear Nail Enamel combines base coat and colour in one convenient formula for time-saving application.

Colour commitment issues? That’s the beauty of an at-home solution – flexibility, The Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy™ comes in 30 easy-to-remove shades, allowing you to change your nail enamel as often as you want.

Time-saving application, easy-to-remove shades and a formula containing optical brighteners to provide superior, vivid colour in 30 shades of possibility – and that’s just step 1.

The finishing touch in the 2-step system is our revolutionary ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. The top coat was developed to compliment the ColorStay Gel Envy™ Shades, providing protective coating for long lasting strength and shine. The finishing touch to be life-resistant; allowing you to go about your daily activities betting on your nail enamel’s staying power.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy™ Longwear Nail Enamel will be available in 30 vibrant shades. Recommended Retail Price: R110.00.

 

So, the question is…do these polishes live up to the hype? I have 3 shades to show you today. There are 16 limited edition and 14 basic colours in the collection. Let’s get to the pretty pictures!

 

Let’s start with the brushes in these bottles. The lids are light and made it easy to control the brush. It might seem like a strange thing to take note of, but it was something that I noticed, so I thought I would mention it. These brushes are nice and wide, which is something I prefer. I took a picture of the top coat brush as you can clearly see how this was achieved:

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy brush

 

The first polish I have to show you is a limited edition in this collection. It is called Showtime and I simply had to try it out first because it is a gorgeous purple beauty. I did not use any base coat with this polish because of the 2 in 1 aspect and I wanted to test out the wear time using it as advertised. I was terrified of having to use a different top coat. I adore my Seche Vite and the super fast drying time and did not know if I would be able to keep from knocking my nails while I waited for them to dry. I have two small children. Ain’t nobody got time to wait for their nails to dry! I wanted to use the top coat with the polish though and decided to use both for a comparison. I painted two coats of Showtime on all of my nails. On my index and pinky I used Seche Vite top coat and on my middle and ring nails I used the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat. Can you see the difference?

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Showtime

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Showtime

I could not see a difference between the two top coats at all, even with the naked eye. That says a lot about this top coat since Seche Vite is renowned for how shiny it is. Just look at that gorgeous purple glitter! This dark purple polish is packed with a little blue and at least 2 shades of purple glitter that I could pick up. It is so pretty! I even noticed a blue shift in certain lighting which reminds me of a duochrome effect. To be honest I am not usually a fan of Revlon’s polish formulas. Mostly for me they are on the thin side which make it really easy for me to flood my cuticles with polish, which I am prone to do. I had no problems with the application of this polish at all. I was pleasantly surprised. I had very little clean up to do once I had finished painting my nails. The drying time on this polish and top coat was really not bad at all. I was expecting the worst but can honestly say my nails were dry in no time, even the ones I didn’t top coat with Seche Vite. I am suitably impressed. This was a really quick and easy mani for me to do. Two coats, top coat and done! This is what these nails looked like after 5 days of wear:

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Showtime

 

As you can see there is visible tip wear, but it isn’t bad at all. My index nail suffered some peeling, but that is because my nail had split underneath, so not the polish at all. I also noticed that the Diamond Top Coat had dulled considerably by day 5, whereas the Seche Vite was still shiny. Most top coats dull over time, so this is no surprise. I think this lasted pretty well! I know a lot of ladies would wear this kind of tip wear, but it was driving *me* nuts and I was getting bored of wearing the same colour and no art, so decided to move on when I got to day 5. As promised in the press release, this polish was easy to remove, despite the glitter particles.

 

The next colour I have to show you is called All In and it is not a limited edition shade. I did not use a base coat for this mani and painted 3 thin coats and sealed it in with the Diamond Top Coat. I only used the Diamond Top Coat for this swatches. All In is a gorgeous blue polish that leans a touch towards green. It is packed with shimmer and has a purple colour shift in certain light. The shift is not easily visible. I spotted it pretty quickly, but my husband could not see it for love or money! About 25 minutes after I painted my nails they felt dry to the touch and I took a shower. They survived the shower, I was quite surprised. I went to bed about an hour later and put on my gloves with my hand treatments like I do every night. The next morning I woke up with linen print all over my nails. I was mortified. Clearly only the top layer of my polish had dried properly and while I slept my bedding made impressions on my nails. There was no saving it and I had to redo my nails to take the pictures below.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy All In

Please ignore the dent on my middle nail. This happened several hours after I had repainted my nails.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy All In

 

See the shift? Nice! I re-painted my nails around 10 AM and went about my day. The next morning I again had light imprints on my nails from my bedding, despite my nails having had the whole day to dry. It wasn’t as bad as it had been the previous day, but it was there. It was light enough for me to live with it. For me this polish just didn’t want to dry properly. If I had to wear this polish again I would definitely use my Seche Vite top coat which penetrates all the layers of polish and dries them. Perhaps if you left the polish to dry a little more between coats it would help, but that isn’t something I personally have time for. This is a great colour though (this coming from someone who wasn’t a fan of blue polish!) and maybe Revlon can tweak the formula to get it to dry better.

I wore this mani for a full 7 days! I did do something a little different with this one. I wiped my nails down with surgical spirits before I painted to remove any oils or dirt that may have been on my nail beds. This definitely helps extend the life of your mani. This is what they looked like 7 days later:

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy All In

Yes, yes…I added a sticker around day 4. As you can see the tip wear is there and it is minimal for 7 days of wear. This mani was practically growing out! There is one chip on my index nail against the side of my cuticle. This is where my nails bend and I do get chips here if I push my luck wearing a polish for too long. It has held up very well and I’ve pictured my hand that gets the most wear and is usually the one that has the worst tip wear and chips first.  I did not notice the dulling of the top coat this time, but that is possibly because there was nothing right next to it to compare it to. I must say that on day 7 I noticed that the polish had fine cracks – this is also from my nails bending as they are very flexible and when wearing a polish for this long I almost expect it to buckle under the pressure.

 

The last shade I have to show you is called Royal Flush. Royal Flush is a dark pink creme. I used two coats and the Diamond Top Coat for the photos below. I decided to add a little something extra from the get go this time.

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Royal Flush

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Royal Flush

I am a bit bummed about this one. The formula was a bit on the thick side. Not completely unworkable, but thicker than normal. As the polish dried it bubbled terribly. I assumed that I must have done something to cause this. I considered swatching it again, but decided to rule out environmental factors and personal application error by asking two friends to paint a few of their own nails to see what happened. Both friends had the same results. Bubbles. I kept this polish on for 3 days anyway, but could not wait to take it off. It just looked horrible. I must say I really grew to love the colour of the polish more and more, but I can’t look past the formula. I can safely say I won’t wear this colour painted onto my nails solidly again. I have seen perfect swatches of this online, so it is quite possible that I got a dud bottle. Please let me know if you have this colour and can use it without problems. There is, however, hope for this polish! I decided to test all 3 polishes for stamping capabilities and Royal Flush came out tops! Of course with the stamping there are no bubbles. For the picture below I used 2 coats of Catrice The Effect Maker as a base and stamped with Royal Flush and the right hand image of PUEEN 34. I used Seche Vite as a top coat. I thought the image was fitting because of the casino themed names of the polishes. There are diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades in the image :) The stamping didn’t come out so well on my pinkie, but I’m pretty sure that was me!

 

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Royal Flush Stamped

 

 

In conclusion, these polishes do seem to wear well. Not in the same league as gel polish, but they wear better than the average polish. I really liked all of these colours and the brushes in the bottle are awesome. My favourite out of this bunch is definitely Showtime. Not only is it ga-ga-ga-gorgeous, but it was completely problem free and the formula was great.

 

Clicks released these polishes a bit early and I’ve spotted them on the shelves already. What do you think of Revlon polishes in general? Would you buy these?

 

Thanks for reading!

Double Stamping

Hey everyone. Happy Friday! When I’ve seen double stamping on the internet I never really liked it. It just looked messy to me. Then Manic Talons did a double stamping mani that had me itching to try it. You can see her post by clicking here. I have also been wanting to do something inspired by Spring which has finally dawned here in South Africa. Let me show you what I came up with.

 

I started off with a Tip Top Nail Chic Strength and Vitality base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 4 coats of Revlon Sheer Sweetie on all of my nails excluding my ring. This polish is very aptly named. I need 4 coats to reach any sort of opacity. I started off with a thin coat and realized I would need to paint subsequent coats thicker if I did not want to end up painting a million coats. 4 coats is still a lot, but I really wanted a soft off white, neutral base for my nail art so I carried on painting. On my ring nail I painted two coats of a silver mini polish with no name on it from L.A. Girl. Over the silver I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Full Spectrum glitter. Full Spectrum is a very pretty glitter with large baby pink hexes and regular holographic glitter particles. Once my index and middle nails had dried sufficiently I used Tip Top Liquid Envy (green) and the left hand image on PUEEN 46 to stamp. I followed that up by stamping with essence sweet surprise colour changing polish (pink) over the green stamping using the top image of PUEEN 39. I added a green and pink rhinestone to my thumb and pinkie which I purchased from Born Pretty Store. You can buy them here. Don’t forget you can use my affiliate link in the sidebar if you are not registered and use the 10% discount code to get a discount on non sale items. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The results:
Double Stamping

Double Stamping Macro

 

I am totally in love with this mani! I had to try a few different pinks to find one that was opaque enough to cover the green, otherwise it just looked like random lines everywhere. I think that is the key to double stamping (in my novice opinion!). If you’re not stamping with similar shades and you want you want to create a “background” the polish you stamp over it needs to be opaque enough to cover the stamping underneath. I know that I have been posting a lot of stamping manis. Since I got my new stamper it is ALL I want to do. It is the quickest and easiest way for me to achieve an intricate design on my nails which looks like it took ages to do. Still less of a “cheat” than stickers though because it does take practice and skill to get stamping to look decent. I wasn’t sure about the glitter nail for a while, but I like it. This mani needed some sparkle! Someone said the stamped nails look like porcelain. They really do!

 

In the photo I am holding my favourite hand moisturizer at the moment. Rain Aloe & Avocado Hand Butter, you can find it in their online shop here. It costs R75.00 for 75ml and I use mine multiple times a day. I have a pot in my handbag, on my desk at work and at home. Yes. I love it that much. I got my first pot in the Durban Polish Party goodie bag that I won and have been hooked every since. At first I didn’t love the smell, but I’ve actually grown to like it.

 

What do you think of this mani? Do you like it?

Parental Wisdom Lost

The kids are growing so fast. You hear it all the time when you are young. “Where is the time going?”  “You’ve gotten so big!”  “Every time I see you you’ve grown!” Then it happens to you. It happens to your children and you see for yourself. I am going to turn into one of those parents who tell my children that they will only understand one day when they have their own, because that is the truth. You just do not have any concept of how much wisdom your parents (in my case grandparents) pass on to you as a child or teenager until your time comes. It is such a shame. I just know that my children will also roll their eyes at me when I tell theme these wise things and one day they will look back and they will get it.

 

I am watching my children grow and it truly is a privilege to see them develop and come into their own. Sometimes I catch myself listening to one of them breathe, or their heartbeat and sit in awe of these people I had a hand in creating. It truly is a miracle and I pause to acknowledge this every now and then. A friend asked me the other day “Don’t you sometimes look at your life and wonder: Is this it?”. No. I can’t say that I do. I look at my life and I think “This is it!” I must say that I am grateful and content. Yes, I could use more money. Who couldn’t? Yes, I want a house of my own, but I have a roof over my head. Yes, a new car would be nice, but I have a functioning car right now which takes us everywhere we need to be.  It would be greedy to ask for more.
Elijah is a cheeky bugger. Always has to have the last word. Underneath that prickliness there is a soft heart and tender soul. He is so gentle with his sister and he can be so kind. He can also be strong willed and defiant. He did the sweetest thing the other night. I just wanted to kiss his face! We were sitting on the couch and he wanted to take his socks off. I said no. It went like this:

Elijah: “Why can’t I take my socks off?”

Me: “It’s cold, Elijah.”

Elijah: “But I’m not cold.”

Me: “I’m cold. My feet are freezing!”

Elijah: “Let me go and fetch you some socks. Where are your socks?”

Me: “Don’t worry my boy, it is okay.”

Elijah: “I know! I’ll go fetch your slippers!”

*runs off to fetch slippers*

Elijah: “Here you go mommy. You can wear these slippers. I couldn’t find your Eeyore slippers. Only one of them.” and then he put them on for me.

Does your heart not just *MELT*? I really wanted to document this, in case I forget about it someday. Maybe someday when he turns around and spews hatred at me when he is a teenager. I suppose that is bound to happen at some point, no matter how you raise them. Please don’t let me forget this sweet boy.

Gabby is RUNNING around. Remember 5 months ago I thought she would never get up off her lazy bum and walk? Well, here she is…chasing me all over. She is quite clingy at the moment. This is new territory to me. Elijah used to be clingy with Rudi. It is endearing, but can be frustrating at the same time. When I am frustrated I try to remember that it will not be this way forever. Elijah is already running away and playing at a friends’ house for hours at a time. Sometimes on a weekend he will go play and we won’t see him for ages. We have to go and check up on him. He has completely forgotten about us. Someday, too soon, Gabby will do this too. She is slowly starting to speak. I see her watching our mouths when we say words and then try to mimic the shapes we make. I suppose she has some sort of vocabulary now, but it is at a point where Rudi and I *might* understand what she is saying (it is very helpful that she points) and where nobody else will. Any day now she is going to say “Fuck!” and we’ll laugh and scold. We are still breastfeeding, 20 months in. I feel very lucky to have come this far. Haters will hate. I am far beyond fearing judgement. My family (in laws included) don’t ever ask me when we plan to stop. People do and I find that it is quite easy to blow them off, you know, since it is none of their business in the first place. We are trying to set nursing boundaries and limit breastfeeding to happen at home only and no longer in public and so far it is working well. I don’t foresee the end of our breastfeeding journey in the near future and I am okay with that. I suspect I might have a personal cut off at 3 years, but that is not set in stone. We will see.

 

On Sunday in church I prayed to be a better mother. Sometimes I hear myself saying something to Elijah and recoiling at my own words. Sometimes I don’t like the way I speak to him, but by the time I realize it, the damage is done. I want to shout less. I want to be more patient. I want to be more kind. I want to be less frustrated. I want to be more present. I want to be better. It is hard. It is an uphill battle and constant work on myself. Sometimes I want to shake Rudi. I don’t know if he sees what I see. I want to smack him when he undermines my authority. He may not see the harm in something small and he undercuts me. For example, Elijah went looking for his friend. He came back with an empty bottle of Barbie bubbles. When we asked where he had found the bubbles he told us his friend and her parents weren’t home, but the door was open and he took the bubbles. I told him to take it back immediately. I explained to him that it is stealing. Rudi did not want him to take it back. He reasoned that it was empty and that if the neighbours were home now they would judge Elijah for taking the bubbles. Point completely missed. It is the principle of the matter. We ended up refilling the bubbles with bubble mixture and Elijah took it back. I don’t think they were home yet, but they are probably still scratching their heads as to how the container refilled itself.  This is a classic example of where we disagree on something and it comes out in front of the kids. I know it should not. It is hard to find a moment alone to discuss these kinds of things. I am still convinced I was right though :P

 

And so we will just stumble along in this parenting adventure, hoping for the best.