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February Nail Anarchy Challenge

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Hi everyone! We’ve knocked the second month of 2015 out of the park. Wait, what? Sheesh! Bye bye February! It’s time for another Nail Anarchy challenge! This month it was Ordinary Misfit‘s turn to pick the theme for our manis. It’s the month of love and she decided on “Tainted Love” as the theme for this month. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so it took me a while to wrap my head around this one. I do like what I came up with though. Let me show you!

Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose Stamped with Pueen

Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose Stamped with Pueen

Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose Stamped with Pueen

 

I just had to squeeze in a sun shot here! This photo really doesn’t do the holo justice. Look at the thumb! For this mani I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat and painted 2 coats of Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose on all of my nails. This polish was a gift from my Belgian friend. I went absolutely nuts when I saw Emily swatch this polish and lusted after it to the point where I think he bought it for me to get me to shut up about it ;) Black Rose is a gorgeous dark purple polish with scattered holographic particles throughout. It dries matte, so you’ll want to add a top coat for a beautiful shine. Once the base was dry I used Tip Top Armour Plate and 3 images on PUEEN 37 to stamp the broken heart images as well as the rings. The rings on my ring nail (that was unintentional!) symbolise how you are hypnotised by love. The other images I chose are pretty self explanatory. I sealed everything in with a coat of Dashing Diva Top Seal. Tainted Love breaks my heart! Strangely it also fit in with how I felt when I did this mani. I’ve been going through a lot of changes in my personal life and it has been very stressful. Nothing to worry about, just big life changes that will take some adaptation. It’s weird but when I photograph scattered holos in my lightbox with my new camera they polish almost looks grainy. I don’t know if my camera just picks up the holo particles causing this, but it just shows the level of detail my Note 4 camera sees.

Be sure to check out the posts from all my Nail Anarchy buddies in the Inlinkz below :)

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Elijah’s First Cinema Movie!

On Sunday I finally took Elijah to see his very first movie in the cinema! I have been wanting to do this for the longest time and definitely wanted to be with him when he has his first cinema experience. Gosh, I haven’t been to the movies in so long myself, it was just nice to go again ;) I was supposed to take him the weekend before as my Valentine’s date, but my Valentine’s weekend took a bad turn and it didn’t happen. I was lucky enough to have won 3D movie tickets at work and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take him. I was a bit worried about the 3D part of things. I’ve heard that young children get scared by things flying out of the screen and also that they didn’t want to keep the glasses on all the time. Rudi and I explained to him before the time that he needed to keep the glasses on to see the movie properly and that the things that looked close were not real and that he didn’t have to be scared. He was so very excited. He was almost unbearable from the time we got to the mall directly after church, till the time when the movie started.

We went to purchase our tickets as soon as we arrived at the mall and then browsed through a few shops and bought a few grocery items. Elijah simply couldn’t wait! He kept asking when we were going. Eventually I left his father and sister in the parking garage and we set off to the movies. We did a toilet run to make sure nobody wanted to get up mid movie and then went to queue for popcorn. Maybe going on a different weekend wasn’t such a bad thing as the queues were fast moving and completely bearable. If we had run into the 50 shades rush I might have wanted to stab my eye out with a straw. We went the whole 9 yards with popcorn, a blue Slush Puppy and Astros for Elijah. I had popcorn, a mixed Slush Puppy and Smarties. We went to settle into our seats. Elijah could barely wipe the grin off his face. I saw another parent fetch their child a little cushion to sit on. I didn’t even realize these things existed! I quickly left the cinema to go and fetch one for Elijah too. Elijah asked when the movie would start and a few minutes later the previews began. Elijah isn’t one for ads. He asked me again when Spongebob was going to start. Yes! I forgot to say we went to watch Spongebob Out of Water :) Eventually the movie started.

Elijah was transfixed throughout the entire show. He inhaled his popcorn, Astros and Slush Puppy throughout the movie. He sat completely still, did not fiddle with his glasses or try to take them off and only near the end of the movie told me he was Plankton after seeing Plankton in all his glory at the end of the movie. I had to word that sentence so carefully to not reveal any spoilers. You never know if an adult fan of Spongebob reads here :P

Elijah really surprised me. I thought he would chatter non stop, be disruptive or get bored during the movie. I was so happy that he enjoyed it and look forward to taking him to the movies again! :)

While we were at the movies Rudi had his own problems to deal with. An overtired breastfed toddler with no mommy in sight does not a happy outing make. He took Gabby to Panarottis while Elijah and I were at the movies. She ended up throwing such a huge tantrum that he was forced to leave the restaurant. Luckily they were understanding (and perhaps even glad to have him leave with her) and cancelled the food order he had placed, letting him pay for the milkshake and beer he had as quickly as possible. While he was walking around in the mall Gabby fell asleep in her stroller and stayed that way until Elijah and I caught up with them there. Movie and a pizza? Sounds like a great date to me! Elijah absolutely adores going to Panarottis, so it must have been an amazing day for him!

Have you taken your kids to the cinema? What was your experience like? Tell me in the comments below :)

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Bridal Nails with the Hean Wedding Garden Collection – 641

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Hi everyone! The lovely Gael from Glamore Cosmetics sent me two Hean polishes from the Wedding Garden collection to swatch for her. I really did not expect to completely fall in love with them, but I am smitten! Today I want to show you number 641. After I applied this polish I was so in love I ordered the rest of the collection and was inspired to do a “Bridal Nails” series using all 5 polishes. Today’s post is the first installment. It’s the first time I’m doing this kind of thing on the blog and I’m rather excited about it. I hope you like it too :) I intend to show you swatches of the Wedding Garden collection and then soft, subtle nail art to make any bride feel special. Let me show you this absolutely divine polish!

Hean Wedding Garden 641

Hean Wedding Garden 641Shown above is 3 coats over a base coat with no top coat. 641 is a soft pastel blue that has a lilac tinge to it in certain light. This polish applies beautifully. It is sheer on the first coat, but builds easily to full opacity at 3 coats. I was considering stamping over this colour, but then I thought of this:

Hean Wedding Garden 641 Bridal Nails

Hean Wedding Garden 641 Bridal Nails

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat, painted the 3 coats of 641, after that was dry I used Sinful Colors Queen of Beauty and a make up sponge to sponge on the glitter. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. I cannot say enough how in love I was with this mani. I wanted to swatch more than one polish on a weekend and thought I would like the blue the least since I don’t normally like blues, but I wanted to cry real tears when I had to take this off! I was literally staring at my nails, a lot more than I usually do! I love, love, love it!

If you would like to purchase 641, click here. You can find Glamore Cosmetics on their other social media channels too:

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What do you think of this polish and nail art? Are you looking forward to seeing more of these posts? Please let me know in the comments below :)

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Purple Bow Peep & Hello Marshmallow (new)

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Hi everyone! The mani I’m showing you today made me feel really meh. I’m just going to show you and then go into details about why.

Tip Top Purple Bow Peep

I started off with my regular Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 2 coats of Purple Bow Peep on all my nails except my ring. Purple Bow Peep is an extremely opaque dark purple polish. You could really, really get away with one coat. I just did 2 because I always do. The formula was good and it dried pretty quickly too. On my ring nails I painted 3 coats of essence hello marshmallow (the new one). This is the first time an essence polish has disappointed me. essence released a new formula under the same name as a previous polish, they do this quite regularly and it is annoying. In the bottle it looked like a foil and I was excited because I thought it would be the lilac version of pink & proud. It isn’t. It is what I can only describe as “watery”. It isn’t even because the polish is runny, it is almost like a clear polish with some lilac pearl pigment which is sheer and inconsistent. I don’t like it. I much prefer the old version which is a soft lilac creme. I tried to make decals again and they completely failed. I think my problem is related to the top coat I was using to make the decals. On my first attempt it distorted the design on my stamper head and on the second attempt the decal hadn’t dried properly and even though I removed it from the stamper head intact, the decal wouldn’t release the tweezer and it stretched and tore. The one I managed to apply successfully dragged very badly when I top coated it. I had to redo two nails and go back to the drawing board. Eventually I took essence pink & proud and BP-17 (press sample) to stamp on all the PBP nails and I used PBP to stamp onto my ring nails. I knew PBP would stamp like a boss as soon as I discovered it was a one coater. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

You might notice that you are seeing my Cinderella hand here and not the hand that you usually see. Somehow my other hand got dinged and you could still see my peachy coloured base coat through the essence on my ring nail because it is so sheer, yes, 3 coats later! After looking at the photos I hated my mani and wanted to take it off. Luckily the Nail Anarchy girls talked me out of it and I decided to photograph my other hand which came out ok.

What do you think of this mani? Am I being too hard on myself? Let me know in the comments below :)

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OPI Bastille My Heart Swatch

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Hi everyone! I don’t normally do swatch posts unless something was sent to me for review, in which case I feel it is only right for me to go to the trouble of swatching and photographing polishes individually. There is, however, one polish in my collection that totally warranted a swatch post. I received this polish as a gift from my BFF Sanita for my birthday in 2014 along with 2 mini OPI polishes. This is currently the only full sized OPI that I own. I’ve used this polish before as a base for nail art, but when I pulled it out again and painted it I just knew I had to do a swatch post for it. This is the most gorgeous, deep, rich and vampy red in my collection. I absolutely adore it. The formula is perfect, it is practically opaque in 1 coat, but as we all know I’m going to do 2 anyway. Below I’m showing you 2 coats with no top coat:

OPI Bastille My Heart

OPI Bastille My Heart

I’ll let you catch your breath.

Isn’t that gorgeous?! So shiny! So squishy! So delicious! I am not one for dark colours or vampy polishes, but this? This! I think it is safe to say that this is my favourite red in my collection. Every time I wear this polish I feel so sophisticated and elegant. It just feels so luxurious! It stirs the feelings in me!

That’s all I wanted to show you for today. What do you think of this polish? Does anything in your collection give you “the feels”? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Omega Purple Rain

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Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know I’ve been judging a local nail art competition for Glamore Cosmetics along with Ordinary Misfit and Samantha. What an honour! While discussing the competition I suggested to Gael (the owner of Glamore), that she might upload some swatches of the polishes she is selling onto her website to give buyers a better idea of what the polishes would look like on the nail. Gael has asked the judges to swatch a few polishes for her to upload to their site. I was so excited! Today I have a metallic polish from the Omega range to show you.

Omega Purple Rain

Omega Purple Rain

Purple Rain is a dark purple polish with a metallic finish. Shown above is 3 coats over a base coat and no top coat. When I tested this polish on my nail wheel I was a bit worried that it would be very sheer and the formula is a bit thin, so I thought I would flood my cuticles when I painted it. When I painted it on my nail, however, I didn’t have any problems. I didn’t flood one cuticle! This polish is quite sheer on the first coat, but builds beautifully and is perfectly opaque in 3 coats. As you can see it dries to a beautiful shiny finish. Rumour has it that the Omega polishes are also great for watermarbling, which I will need to keep in mind the next time I attempt it!

I know I promised you guys that I would do some “traditional” Valentine’s Day nail art, but that kind of fell by the wayside when I received these polishes to swatch. I do have something else that I’ll be doing on the blog which I’m rather excited about, but you’ll have to wait and see ;) The art I chose to do was inspired by a mani that Ordinary Misfit did for Valentine’s Day this year. You can see her post here. Mine was supposed to be a copy of hers in different colours, but it kind of went awry. I’ll explain after the pics ;)

Omega Purple Rain Valentine's Nail Art

Omega Purple Rain Valentine's Nail Art

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat and then painted 3 coats of Purple Rain for the swatches above. I tried to use tape guides to do the ruffian since I was technically doing it the “wrong way” around. Normally I would have started with the white base and filled in the purple, but since I was doing the swatches anyway I figured I would do it this way around. The guides just didn’t work for me so I freehanded the white bits with Sinful Colors Snow Me White and a striping brush. I let that dry and stamped on all my nails except my ring with the top image of PUEEN 43 and the ring with the bottom image. I used Snow Me White for the stamping as well. The freehanded white spaces looked extremely stark and made me want to take the mani off. I thought it might help if I fill it in with something, so I used Tip Top Purple Reign and a dotting tool to add the dots into the white and it transformed the entire mani. I loved it! I sealed everything in with Seche Vite.

If you would like to purchase Omega Purple Rain, click here. You can find Glamore Cosmetics on their other social media channels too:

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Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

What do you think of this polish and my failed attempt of ruffians?

Thanks for reading!

 

Loadshedding

All my South African readers will know exactly what I am talking about when I mention loadshedding. It has been a reality in our country for a number of months and previously in 2008. It will be with us for the foreseeable future as well. If you google loadshedding, this is what you will see:

load-shedding
ˈləʊdʃedɪŋ/
noun
noun: loadshedding
  1. action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

It sure is a pain in the butt. I don’t want to complain about it though. Sure, it is super annoying. It is, however, well organized. We have different loadshedding schedules which vary depending on the strain on supply and the demand for electricity. Schedule 1 is the least severe, then we also have Schedule 2, 3A and 3B which is the most severe. The power is off for 2.5 hours at a time. On Schedule 1 your power will be off once a day, but on subsequent schedules it may be off up to 3 times a day. We are mostly on Schedule 1 and 2 though. Having no electricity sucks, but if you are informed and you know when to expect to have no power, you can plan accordingly.

We only have one electricity provider in our country. No competition. They have not been maintaining our power stations well or building new ones to make provision for downtime/maintenance/increased demand. I am no authority on the matter and I don’t want to pretend I know how to fix the problem, I don’t. All I know is that there is a lot of covering up and mismanagement going on within the company and the nation is suffering the consequences. One thing that does piss me off is that they have been hiking our electricity prices astronomically in the past few years, while literally begging us not to use their product because they can’t supply it reliably. It is currently summer and I am worried about the demand in winter where we have less daylight and where hot showers are the order of the day for those who have access to them.

There are definitely productive things you can do while the power is off. I like to spend time with the children, shower, bath the kids or even wash dishes (which I would otherwise probably not have done, I don’t love to wash dishes). If it is light enough I could read (not that I do anyway). There are worse things than not having electricity for a few hours. We are healthy. We are not hungry. We have a roof over our heads. We love each other. I couldn’t ask for more.

Loadshedding is not however just impacting on my personal comfort and luxury. It is also impacting our economy. We were at a place of business looking at items to purchase when the power went off. We could not pay with our cards as the computer and card machine would not work. We went next door to a bakery, they could not assist us with card purchases either. We got into the car and drove to a local fast food place, the drive through closed for business while the electricity is off. That’s 2.5 hours that a slew of businesses could not trade at full capacity. Who carries cash nowadays? Certainly not me. This is having a ripple effect on our economy and hurting investor confidence in our country…which is just bad news for us.

When speaking to my Belgian friend about this, he was not unfamiliar with loadshedding. They had had this in Belgium too! I was surprised. I thought this kind of problem was unique to our country. It’s not. I bet a lot of people don’t know that. Even “first world” European countries have these kinds of issues. Maybe not for as long as we will likely have them, but it is not unheard of. I just hope that someone can jump in and help our energy provider to have an action plan for the future, to prevent a total system meltdown, which would be catastrophic.

These are just a few of my thoughts on our current situation. If/when you have no electricity, what do you do to keep busy?

****EDIT****

I had already finished writing this post when I came across this news article. I will suck it up and not rant and bitch about it, because *I* cannot change the situation. I just really wish someone would DO something about it!

Then, this article came to light and I started to panic a little.

Although when I wrote this post I didn’t want to bitch about it, it is getting a bit hard to be optimistic and to just suck it up.

Gah!

Dark Valentine’s Nails

 

 

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Hi everyone! Today I revisited a polish I absolutely love for a Valentine’s Day manicure. I received this polish from my BFF for my birthday last year and it is the only full sized OPI I own. When I was thinking of using a red, I didn’t have to think twice to settle on this one. Inevitably when I wear red, I always want to pair it with gold. I don’t know why, but it just kind of happens. Maybe it is the Christmas lover in me. Let me show you what I came up with.

OPI Bastille My Heart stamped with Tip Top Hot Fudge and PUEEN

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 2 coats of OPI Bastille My Heart on all my nails. Man I love this polish! It is gorgeous and squishy and has a deep, rich colour. It is almost a sin to cover her up. I’ll do a swatch post with just this polish for you after all the Valentine’s Day posts as well. Once it was dry I used Tip Top Hot Fudge and the top image of PUEEN 41 to stamp all my nails except my ring nail. I stamped my ring nail with the top right hand image on PUEEN 35. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite.

This polish feels so rich and decadent…and elegant. I always feel like my nails look elegant when I am wearing it. Do you have a polish that makes you feel sophisticated? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

 

Princess and Knight Nails

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Hi everyone! As always I interrupt the Valentine’s Day manicures to show you what I was wearing on my nails for my son’s birthday party. Last year I did a mani I was super proud of, my Superman nails turned out so great. About 2 weeks before the party this year I came across a design on The Lacquerologist’s blog which I thought would fit the theme beautifully. I don’t think mine turned out quite as beautiful as hers, but I’ll take it! This is what I ended up with:

Princess and Knight Nail Art

Princess and Knight Nail Art

I started off with my regular Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of Tip Top Speck-tacular (blue) and Tip Top Love That Shine (pink) on my nails alternating colours. The blue nails represent my son, the knight and the pink nails my daughter, the princess. On the pink nails I added crown stickers from the same pack that I used for her 2nd birthday. On the blue nails I freehanded little castle type things using a striping brush and  essence As Long As You Love Me (grey), an L.A. girl mini I won from Ordinary Misfit (black) and I filled in the flags with a dotting tool using Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite.

I was happy with the way these turned out and once again I thought my dominant hand (left) turned out better than my non dominant hand. What do you think? Are they appropriate for the theme? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Elijah is 5!

So it was Elijah’s birthday on Monday and we had a party for him. Technically it was a combined party for him and Gabby as her birthday is in the middle of the festive season and school holidays, but on the day it really felt like Elijah’s party. Perhaps because Gabby is still so small and doesn’t understand much around birthdays and parties. Elijah was sent off to school wearing a badge that said “It’s my birthday!” so when he came home from school I was pretty disappointed that they had not even sang for him.

While he was at school Sanita and I went to fetch the ice cream cake I ordered for his birthday and made our way back to the day mother’s house to do party set up. This year everything seemed to go smoothly and it was a lot more chilled for us than it was the previous year. It also wasn’t as hot as it was last year which was very welcome! The weather forecast said it would be 32 degrees, so we were worried that it would be a scorcher and that we would have a melting ice cream cake on our hands! Rudi was also able to leave work early which was lovely. The kids loved the jumping castle and the treats. Somehow we forgot about the candyfloss I had ordered as we stored it in a cool, dark spot. We also forgot about the lollipops and some marshmallow fish we had for the party packs. This year we bought paper bags and allowed the kids to fill them with sweets from the tables before they went home. Luckily we discovered the candyfloss before it was too late for everyone and we were able to dish a lot of it out before we packed it in. Two girls separately came to thank me for the party of their own accord. It made my heart melt and made all the stress, effort and money spent seem worth it. The kids were thoroughly spoilt with gifts. It was a lovely day all around. The next day Elijah returned from school with a special crown they made for him and they had sung happy birthday for him too. I was pleased that they made an effort to make him feel special. Even if it was a day late, it extended his celebrations somewhat and he didn’t seem to mind. Some pictures from the party:

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The very next day Rudi and I had our very first PTA meeting! I was excited to hear how things were going with him. The day mother graciously offered to look after the kids while we attended. We gathered in the school hall. It was quite a flashback for me since I attended the same school for my entire primary school career! We even have the same principal! He introduced himself and told us more about the school and how they are geared towards the future. A lot of the classes in the higher standards all have interactive white boards. How cool is that? He also warned us by the time our children were in Grade 4 (Grade 3 for Elijah as he was speaking to the Grade R parents) that there would be no more school books and that tablets would be required. He told us that the school was already ready for this. The principle will be retiring at the end of next year though and then we’ll adapt to a new regime. They also had a short presentation and demonstration by a karate instructor as karate is offered as an extra mural at the school. We’re interested in signing Elijah up, depending on the cost and we’re waiting for more information with regards to that. The karate demonstration was very cool! We were then sent off to class with our respective teachers. They called out a teacher’s name that I recognized from when I was there! Talk about a tenure!

In the classroom the teacher introduced herself and explained to us what the children’s daily routine encompasses. It was really nice to hear what the children do every day since Elijah isn’t very forthcoming when we ask him. According to him he does “nothing” in school and learns much of the same :P  The teacher opened the floor to questions and afterwards we waited to speak to her one on one. When we told her we were Elijah’s parents we were pleased to hear her comments. Firstly she said he is a very gifted boy – *BEAM*, she said she can already tell and then she told us something we already knew – HE TALKS A LOT! We left the meeting with high spirits and I know it won’t always be positive and fun and games, but I’ll ride on this here cloud while it lasts :)

I’m so happy my boy is adjusting well in school and it looks like he is going to make us really proud!