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PPSA Nail Challenge – Needle

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallenge

 

 

Wow! It’s the last prompt for the PPSA Nail challenge! I’ve never made it through an entire challenge that had limited time frames. The only other challenge I did was a very long time ago to try and get through my untrieds. Yay me! I did it! The last prompt was “Needle”. My first thoughts were to try and do a needle drag mani, but I tried it on my wheel and as I predicted, I scraped right through all of the layers of polish. I seem to have been skipped when they were handing out the ability to do things with a “light touch”.  I also thought of just painting an actual needle…until I was inspired by a post I saw done by Squeaky Nails. You can see the post here. Let me show you what I did :)PPSA Nail Challenge NeedlePPSA Nail Challenge NeedlePPSA Nail Challenge Needle

 

Tattoo nails! I started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Hean 639 on all of my nails. This polish is extremely sheer. You can see my swatch of it here. Even with 4 coats, you can still see right through it. I wanted a base that emulated “skin” and this one seemed to be the best fit. Even though this just looks like negative space stamping, there is a base – promise! I used Sinful Colors Black on Black and the BP 28 stamping plate from Born Pretty Store (purchase here*) to stamp on all of my nails. I chose Black on Black because it is not quite as black as my black stamping polish and since tattoos are rarely very black I thought this was best. I specifically chose this image because it reminds me of Samoan tattoos. I used my Gosh Matte Top Coat to seal everything since skin doesn’t shine…unless you’re Edward Cullen.

I would love to hear what you think of my interpretation of this prompt in the comments below :) Don’t forget to check out the other contributions on the inlinkz!

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*Don’t forget you can use my affiliate link in the sidebar on the right to register on Born Pretty Store, as well as my 10% discount code for non discounted items :)

Rolling in the Deep End – Rudi’s New Job

Life has been super hectic lately. Rudi has been permanently appointed at his new job. This is absolutely great news for us! It means that we will at least have a basic salary to rely on at the end of each month as opposed to the drips and drabs we have been getting since the beginning of the year. He was supposed to be permanent from the first of June, but an administrative balls up at the office means he only signed his contract on the 16th of June. This means that all the work he did from the 1st to the 16th he was still classified as a contractor and will be paid less than he would have if his contract had been signed on time. It is so very annoying because we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, only for the light to be switched off. Not by Eskom, mind you! So he’ll likely only get half a salary this month and since the overtime cut off is the 16th of the month, any overtime he has worked while permanent will only be paid out at the end of July. Now we’ll be wishing another month away in the hopes of having some extra cash flow. He has been working so very hard. We barely see him. From the first of June he did not have one day off until the 21st where he finally got one day off, only to return back to the grindstone the next day. I have been concerned about him not having any time off and not getting enough rest, but he insists he is fine.

I don’t know who this is harder for, me or the kids. Elijah has always been very close with his dad. Since he was a baby, really and never having him around has been really hard on him. He regularly expresses sadness because his father is not home with us. Often Rudi only comes home after they have gone to bed and leaves again before they get up in the morning, sometimes days go by without them seeing him. Since Gabby is very attached to me it doesn’t seem to bother her too much, but she is still really excited when daddy does come home before bedtime. As for me…while I do miss Rudi, we chat during the day via Whatsapp and phone, so we do have constant contact. Rudi used to be very hands on when he was home. He used to cook and help out bathing the kids. Now I’m doing it all alone. Do we need something from the shop? I’ll get it. Do we need to eat? I’ll cook. Kids need to bath? I’ll bath them. The day mother needs bags packed? Sure thing (this has always been my responsibility). Dishes? Here, let me. Clean the house? I’ll get it! Kids sick? I’ll get them to the doctor, get meds and administer them. It is chaos. All.The.Time. I knew I had it easy with all the help I had before. I appreciated it then, but even more now.  Throw loadshedding into the mix and I am totally screwed some evenings. If we have the 18:00 – 20:30 slot and I don’t get home around 17:00 like we do most days, I can forget about cooking, we have to bath/shower in the dark and the kids go to sleep super early because it is dark and they are bored. If we have the 16:00 – 18:30 slot, I have to start cooking much later and that delays everything. I can’t exactly bath the kids at 17:00 and keep them indoors. Elijah wants to play with his friends outside/at their house so I have to wait. Thanks Eskom!

Sometimes my evenings look like this:wpid-img-20150603-wa0030.jpegwpid-wp-1435296954885.jpegThese 2 photos above were taken within seconds of each other. A lot of my evenings look like this at some point. Sometimes Elijah is playing with friends in the complex and they possibly look like this (if I actually have time to give them my undivided attention between the cooking/cleaning/preparing for the next day):wpid-img-20150620-wa0015.jpegRudi has migrated Elijah into our bed since he is often not there or gets home too late to go and lay down with him until he falls asleep. It’s a tight squeeze. All 4 of us in one king size bed. Although, I must admit while it is winter this is a warm arrangement. Heaven knows what we’ll do in summer. Before Elijah came over, I was able to turn around and cuddle Rudi if Gabby was content sleeping unlatched by herself. Now I turn around and am faced with Elijah, which means zero cuddle time for Rudi and I. I miss that. While I realize some people may cringe at the idea of having their children in their bed and will cluck their tongues and say “You’ll never get them out of there”, this arrangement is working for us right now. It means nobody feels left out and everybody gets a good night’s sleep. In fact, I listened to advice from people before Elijah was born and moved him into his own room when he was 4 months old. I also made sure he always slept in his cot before he moved out of our room. With Gabby co-sleeping was the only option for me as I successfully breastfed her and I’m all about that convenience. No getting up out of a warm bed for feeds for me thankyouverymuch. After co-sleeping with Gabby for a while I regretted not doing it with Elijah. I really felt like I had missed out on something special with him. My mornings look like this:wpid-img-20150612-wa0002.jpegI have been getting a lot of comments lately from people about still breastfeeding Gabby. Actually, the comments are usually directed at her. “When are you going to stop drinking boobs?” “Gabby, it’s time for you to get off the boob now”. Really? I just don’t understand how it affects anyone other than Gabby and myself. Breastfeeding is the most wonderful thing in her life and the most useful mothering tool for me. Another thing I missed out on with Elijah. No matter what crops up with Gabby, breastfeeding is the answer. Tired? Boob. Get hurt? Boob. Overstimulated? Boob. Thirsty? Boob. Bored? Boob. Tantrum? Boob. Best.Thing.Ever. When people ask ME when I plan to wean her, I usually just answer “Maybe when she is in high school”. This is normally followed by nervous laughter. I’m starting to wonder if people think I’m serious. Perhaps the statement makes them realize that nursing a 30 month old isn’t so ridiculous after all. I don’t know and I really don’t care. My circus, my monkeys – Mind your own tits.

Breastfeeding selfie…can you even tell?wpid-img-20150622-wa0026.jpegRudi’s work schedule is still completely unpredictable, so we cannot plan our lives at all. He is always at work, so if we are invited somewhere or try to make plans, I usually have to exclude him from the equation. If he is able to come along, it’s a bonus. It isn’t like we had a roaring social life before, but it is rather limiting. We cannot, for example, plan to take the kids somewhere over the weekend, or commit to popping around somewhere for a braai. I can’t even plan something for myself as we do not have anyone at our disposal that can watch the children if Rudi isn’t there to look after them if I go out. It just isn’t logistically possible. While this part is sucky, I’m sure we will adapt. It is the kind of sacrifices we’ll have to make to have more money and to progress.

Rudi has big dreams. He dreams of buying a house of our own. I have learnt to have faith in his dreams. At the beginning of this year he said “2015 is my year. I can feel it.” I didn’t believe him. He was relentless and worked extremely hard and here we are. His first goal achieved, his first dream realized. Onwards and upwards!

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PPSA Nail Challenge – Dark and Vampy

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeI used to dislike dark polish. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t like the way it looked. Slowly that started to change and suddenly this winter, I’m wearing one dark colour after the other and loving it. It’s so strange to me how my tastes have evolved and how I have learned to appreciate things I thought I would never like. So, instead of rolling my eyes at this prompt, I was excited to do it. Megan chose this prompt, so I had to ask her what she meant by “vampy”. Apparently vampy can be loosely translated to sexy too. I had something just for it in my untried stash. Here is what I came up with:PPSA Nail Challenge Dark and VampyPPSA Nail Challenge Dark and VampyPPSA Nail Challenge Dark and VampyI started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Black Forest on my index and pinkie nails. On my middle and ring nails I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Sparkle Queen. Sparkle Queen is a black crelly with different sized silver holographic glitter. As this glitter looks like Tip Top Rocky Road to me, I decided to use that for a glitter gradient on the other 2 nails. Rocky Road is the same glitter, only it is suspended in a clear base. I painted a little bit of Sinful Colors Queen of beauty which is just small silver glitter in a clear base to start the gradient. I used the brush of Tip Top Rocky Road to try to fashion a gradient. I wiped off glitter and tried to catch it from the bottle neck, but it didn’t work very well, so I ended up taking glitter out of the bottle and trying to pick it up with a dotting tool. It still came out quite thick on the nail though. This isn’t the best glitter to use for a gradient, but it is one of my favourite glitter polishes. I just LOVE that silver holo sparkle! Despite the thickness I think it turned out okay. At first I didn’t like Sparkle Queen, but once I saw it in the day light I completely change my mind! I chose to use Rocky Road over Black Forest to show the similarities between the glitters. The formula on Sparkle Queen was a little bit thicker than a regular polish, but this ensured that the glitter was suspended well in the bottle and I had no problems getting them out onto my nails.

What do you think of this look? I would love to hear in the comments below. Don’t forget to see what everyone else did in the link up :)

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PPSA Nail Challenge – Your Favourite Villain

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeThis prompt had me proper stumped. I don’t like villains. I like the heroes! Or even the anti-hero. The underdog. Everyone but the villain! I had a good think about what I could do and with the passing of Sir Christopher Lee one of my favourite books/movies was in the forefront of my mind. I decided I would try to paint the eye of Sauron. Here is how it came out:Lord of the Rings Nails - Eye of SauronLord of the Rings Nails - Eye of SauronLord of the Rings Nails - Eye of SauronI started off with an L.A. girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Black Forest on all of my nails. I used a nail art brush with red, yellow and orange acrylic paint to create the eye. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite.  Here is the picture I was working from:

Eye of SauronI was absolutely over the moon with how these turned out! I think it is safe to say that this is my favourite nail art to date. I really had no confidence in my ability to freehand this, but I surprised myself and I’m so very glad I attempted it! With the picture for guidance it was actually fairly easy. What you see is my first attempt. I didn’t take off or redo anything. So many people tell me they can’t possibly do nail art and I always tell them that they don’t know until they try. I really should follow my own advice.

I would love to hear what you think of this in the comments below :) Don’t forget to check out what everyone else did in the inlinkz :)

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My Bestie Welcomes Her Baby Into the World

Hi everyone! I have something a little different for you today. On the 17th of June my bestie finally gave birth to her little boy! I was so excited all day long waiting for him to arrive. At one point I was freaked out worrying something had gone wrong after not hearing from her or her husband for hours and hours. Eventually I phoned the hospital as I had arranged to leave early from work to go and meet the little man myself. They put me through to her room directly and I was relieved and overjoyed to hear that she had given birth just a little while earlier.

This baby really is a blessing for them. My bestie’s husband wasn’t ready to have kids for the longest time. They were married the same year as Rudi and I. She patiently waited. Her biological clock started ticking very loudly and became a drone she couldn’t block out anymore. Her husband gave her the green light and after almost 2 years of trying to get pregnant, they sought professional help. My friend suffers from PCOS and wasn’t ovulating on her own. When we were together at work and it was time for her injections I shot her up with some good hormones which allowed her to pop some eggs. Lots of money and a couple of cycles later she received the amazing news that the treatment had been successful and she was pregnant!

Her pregnancy flew by at the speed of light. It really felt like 3 months to me…zooooooom and she was in hospital to have her baby! Unfortunately she couldn’t have the natural birth she wanted because her stubborn boy refused to turn around. She has high blood pressure and our gynae decided that it would be best for her to have a c section. We share the same gynae and he is amazing. He is very pro natural birth and won’t do a c section unless it is medically necessary, so no questions asked. In fact, he was so busy catching unscheduled babies, my bestie was only seen to after 13:00, despite being booked into hospital from 5:30 AM. She was huuuuuuuuuungry!

Here they are!

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HUGE CONGRATULATIONS MY FRIEND! 

My heart is so full I could explode! All the best with your breastfeeding journey <3 I am so glad I am a part of your life and get to experience this joy with you.

PPSA Nail Challenge – Go Wild With Dots

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeToday I’m going to show you what I did for the “Go Wild With Dots” prompt. I’m not sure exactly how “wild” one can go with dots, but I dotted none the less. This is what I came up with:PPSA Nail Challenge Go Wild With DotsPPSA Nail Challenge Go Wild With DotsPPSA Nail Challenge Go Wild With DotsI started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. I painted 2 coats of essence wonderfuel on all of my nails. You can’t really tell how amazingly gorgeous this polish is underneath the dots, but you can get an idea from looking at the bottle. It is a dark purple polish with a fierce blue shimmer that gives you an almost duochrome effect. Absolutely stunning! For the pink dots I used Nubar Amazon Coral and the silver dots are Tip Top Armour Plate. I used 2 different sized dotting tools and dotted at random, it’s the only way I know. I can’t dot uniform dots to save my life, so this had to do! Luckily there are lots of dot designs that don’t require uniformity!

What do you think of this mani? I would love to hear in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out all the other ladies’ creations on the inlinkz :)

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PPSA Nail Challenge – Purple

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeToday I’ll be showing you my creation for the Purple prompt. I’m really stoked about this mani, because it is the very first time I have managed to make my own decals! Some people refer to it as reverse stamping or advanced stamping. I’ve tried this on a few previous occasions and never got it to work properly, so this was a small triumph for me. Let me show you what I came up with:

PPSA Nail Challenge Purple

PPSA Nail Challenge Purple

PPSA Nail Challenge PurpleI started off with an L.A. Girl base coat to protect my nails. On my index and pinkie I am wearing 2 coats of Sinful Colors Amethyst. This creme is totally delicious! I glides on like butter and cleans up like a dream too! It just so happens to be my favourite colour, so I’ll definitely be reaching for this again! For my decals I used essence black stampy polish to stamp with an image from BP-L003. I left the image on the stamper and filled it in with a dotting tool using Sinful Colors Amethyst, Revlon Gel Envy Showtime (press sample), Revlon Enchanting (gift), essence Elves Like Lilac and essence you wow’d me again. I top coated the image on the stamper with essence better than gel nails top coat and let it dry. I left the decals to dry overnight and was able to use them the next day when I had some more time. If you’d like to see a tutorial on how to make stamping decals, my girl Thea has one posted here. I applied the decals over tacky top coat to stick them to my nails. I thought I had to wait a fair while for it to go tacky, but it turns out that I could paint and apply the decal immediately when using the better than gel nails top coat. I smoothed out the decal with my finger, cut off excess with a small nail scissor and cleaned up the rest using acetone and my cleanup brush. I applied 2 decals to my Cinderella hand first and I really got better at it as I did more. It really is a good idea to push through and keep practicing!  I sealed everything in with a generous coat of Seche Vite.

I was so very chuffed with how these turned out and that I was finally able to make decals. From here the possibilities are endless! I’d love to hear what you think of these in the comments. Have you ever tried this technique? Also be sure to check out what everyone else did in the inlinkz below!

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Antibiotics Required

Hi everyone. The kids have been sick. For almost 3 weeks now. I’ve been treating them with OTC meds and they have been okay. Coughing, snotty and the occasional fever…for 3 weeks. Gabby’s fever has now become more aggressive and I’ve decided it’s time to give in and take her to the doctor. I am certain she is going to come away with antibiotics and I have to be okay with that.

Just over a week ago I took them to a kiddies party and the next morning I woke up with a very angry looking red eye. I went to the doctor on the Monday and he confirmed I had conjunctivitis. That same day I noticed Gabby’s eye was also tearing and there was a small amount of discharge. This has happened before and I was prescribed the same eye drops that she used, so I gave her some too. Her eye is all better, but she is still coughing and the fevers are coming one after the other or at least once or twice a day instead of every other day. When her temperature shoots up she is also getting that look…that limp look where it looks like the light has left her eyes. So it is time. Her body is struggling to fight whatever has a hold of her. I’ll have the doctor give Elijah the once over as well, although I don’t think that he is as bad. I’ve only been able to get an appointment for them tomorrow afternoon.

So our 9 month streak of no antibiotics will be coming to an end fairly soon. I am okay with that.

PPSA Nail Challenge – Traffic

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeToday I’ll be showing you what I did for the Traffic prompt. I tried 2 different things and totally failed. I ended up with a super simple mani. Very simple. I first tried to paint all my nails grey and then used acrylic paint to make a traffic light. The traffic light looked ridiculous. Terrible actually, so I started over. Then I thought to paint orange traffic cones on all of my nails. I just couldn’t get the orange acrylic paint smooth or opaque, so I tossed that idea too. So, all I have to offer you is this:

PPSA Nail Challenge Traffic

PPSA Nail Challenge Traffic

PPSA Nail Challenge TrafficLame. I know. I started off with an L.A. Girl base coat. On my index nail I painted 2 coats of essence As Long As You Love Me on my index nail and I used a striping brush and Sinful Colors Snow Me White to add the white lane guide stripes. On my middle nail I’m wearing 2 coats of Revlon Red (gift), on my ring 3 coats of Revlon Tangerine (gift) and on my pinkie 2 coats of Tip Top We Have An Agreenmint. These nails are meant to represent a traffic light. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite.

I kind of feel like I could have done something better, but I really did try and this is the result. I know that some of the other ladies have some rocking manis to show you for this prompt. Be sure to check them out in the inlinkz below :)

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PPSA Nail Challenge – Pink

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Hi everyone! It’s time for the next prompt in the #PPSAnailchallenge :) This entire month all my nail posts will be for the Polished Pretties South Africa Nail Challenge. Polished Pretties South Africa is a Facebook group started by the Nail Anarchy ladies and we decided to do a month long challenge and open it up to everyone. You don’t have to be a member of the group to participate, but if you have a love for polish, why not join our group anyway? The challenge is also not compulsory for group members. It’s all just for fun :) Here are all the prompts and the dates:#PPSAnailchallengeToday I am showing you my effort for the pink prompt. After the freehanding I decided it was time to dust off my stamper. Oh how I missed it! The sun was also out for the first time in over a week, so I also had to use my pink Color Club holo. This is what I came up with:PPSA Nail Challenge Pink

 

PPSA Nail Challenge Pink

PPSA Nail Challenge Pink

PPSA Nail Challenge Pink

PPSA Nail Challenge PinkI’m sorry, I just had to picture spam you! I started with my regular L.A. Girl base coat. I painted 2 coats of Color Club Miss Bliss on my index and middle nails and 2 coats of China Glaze Dance Baby on my ring and pinkie nails. I then switched the polishes around to stamp over each other using my new Born Pretty Store plate BP-L003. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. Done. A quick and simple mani :) I just LOVE how these Color Club holos stamp! It almost looked like I stamped with Dance Baby on my ring and pinkie.

What do you think of this mani? I’d love to hear in the comments below. Also be sure to check out the other participants in the inlinkz!

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