Brilliant Blue Snowflakes

I referred to my struggles trying to paint snowflakes in this post. I would, however, not be deterred! Even after I was extremely frustrated trying to freehand the snowflakes on my previous attempt, I tried a different brush and regular polish instead of acrylic paint and watched quite a few YouTube tutorials to try and do better. Let me show you what happened.

I started off with my regular Tip Top base coat. I painted 2 coats of L.A. Girl Brilliant Blue on all of my nails. Brilliant Blue is a dark blue scattered holographic polish from the L.A. Girl 3D collection. The formula was good and I didn’t have application issues, although this polish dries fast and if you go over the same spot twice too quickly it will create a bald spot on the nail. The texture felt like a jelly when applying it. I borrowed this polish from my friend. It is one of the 3D polishes I passed up on since I’m not really a fan of blues and personally I don’t feel that I *need* it in my collection. There is nothing wrong with it, but personal preference prevails. Once that was fairly dry I used a striping brush and Sally Hansen Sugar Fix white textured polish to free hand snowflakes. I went to shower and when I scrubbed my nails I brushed most of the polish off of my middle nail. I repainted it and then free handed the snowflake with Tip Top Armour Plate and the same striping brush. I sealed in all the nails that didn’t have texture on them with Seche Vite. The result:

L.A. Girl Brilliant Blue with free hand snowflakes

I was really MEH about these. I didn’t feel the snowflakes came out very well, more specifically the white one. I think the textured polish is perhaps a little thick and I wasn’t able to get thinner lines using it. I think the silver snowflake turned out much better! Perhaps because it was my 5th attempt. All that being said, I will most likely rather get a snowflake stamping plate before I attempt snowflakes again. Guys, snowflakes are really hard to do! Hats off to people who can get them looking decent just by free handing them!

While I was photographing this mani, Gabby ran into the room. I put down the polish to pick her up and put her on my lap and she promptly stuck her hand in my lightbox and picked up the bottle. She wanted in on the action! It was so hard to get her to sit still, but…

Gabby Nail ModelHow cute is that?! :)

What do you think of my snowflakes? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading :)


2014 Wind Down

Somehow I got all my ducks in a row this year and have purchased and wrapped all my Christmas gifts before the 15th of December! This year’s pile is considerably smaller than last year’s. Cost cutting is a bitch. We did however manage to get some nice gifts for the kids and that is all that matters.

My shopping woes do not end with Christmas. Gabby’s birthday is the 2nd of January, so just 8 days after Christmas I have more presents that need to be bought and a birthday celebration to throw together. My grandmother’s birthday is the 6th of January, so I was thinking we should combine her and Gabby’s tea this year. I was thinking a regular cake with some candles and some helium balloons and just family.

A month after Gabby’s birthday it is Elijah’s birthday (2nd of February). I think we’ll try to pull of a party on a shoestring budget this year. The idea is to combine Elijah and Gabby’s parties into one. We have always had Elijah’s parties at the day mother’s house, since that is where he spent all of his time and that is where all his friends are. He only started play school this year and we didn’t send anything to school. Later on in the year I started to feel bad as it was apparent that lots of other kids were bringing party packs and cupcakes, etc to school. I refuse to send stuff to school AND have something at the day mother. We simply can’t afford it. If I just sent stuff to school that would exclude all his long time friends and Gabby. It is actually a hard choice, because I don’t know how it will affect him at school. I don’t actually know if it will make a difference for him socially. Is this something I should actually even be thinking about? I’m not sure. I really don’t remember ever having a “party” at school myself or that it was something that happened back then.

As things are winding down for the year my posts will become a little bit more sporadic. I won’t be posting these kinds of posts, but since I’ll still be doing my nails I’ll keep those posts coming. I’ll get back into a decent post schedule again in the New Year.

I have leave this year from the 2nd of Jan and will return to work on the 12th, so expect things to get back to normal around the 15th of January :)

I hope you all have a lovely and blessed festive season with your loved ones. I know that this time of year is not happy and jovial for everyone. Be safe, be kind to yourselves and to each other.

Thanks for reading!

Christmas Minions!

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Hi everyone! How on EARTH are we halfway through December?! Can someone please just sit me down and explain this to me? I just can’t even!  Anyhoo, since I started doing nail art, so many people have asked me to do minion nails. At some point it seemed like everyone  was doing it and I was never really extremely inspired to try it myself. At least not until a colleague posted this link to my Facebook timeline. You can find a video tutorial for these on Youtube, here. It is not the first time that someone has posted minions to my timeline and it is not the first time someone has asked that I do them. So finally, here it is. My most requested nail art, with a Christmassy spin!

I started off with my regular Tip Top base coat. I painted my thumb, index and pinkie nails with 2 coats of Revlon Revlon Red and my middle and index with 3 coats of essence wanna be your sunshine. On the yellow nails I went in with Revlon Red to paint the hats and the coats on the top and bottom of the nails. I used a striping brush and Sinful Colors Black on Black to paint stripes on the yellow nails as well as the red nails. I also painted small smiles for my minion’s mouths with the same striping brush. I used an L.A. Girl silver mini and the striping brush to paint belt buckles over the black stripes on the red nails to turn them into Santa belts! I used the same silver and my largest dotting tool to make large dots on the black stripes to form the base of the goggles that the minions wear. At this stage I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. I used a slightly smaller dotting tool and Sally Hansen Sugar Fix white textured polish to fill in the trim on the hats and the jackets of the minions. I placed a dot of nail glue on the silver dots and attached googley eyes that I had purchased from a craft store to finish off the minions. The result:

Christmas Minion Nail Art

I really love these! I think they turned out great for a first minion attempt and I really enjoyed wearing them. The googley eyes were so much fun to play with! I also liked the textured trim, just a little something different to give the look a bit of dimension. The googley eyes are about 3 mm high, so I figured I would make a little more of the design 3 D by incorporating the texture as well ;) When I showed these to Elijah and asked them what they were he said ‘I know! They are Gru’s cousins!’ I had to laugh!

I really hope you liked these as much as I did. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thanks for reading :)

Festive Nail Art

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Hi everyone! Today’s mani is another festive nail art look featuring a colour I don’t use often, green! You’ll be seeing a lot of green and red from me this month ;) I originally intended to do “ugly sweater vest” nails, but the image I wanted to use didn’t want to stamp and I was left testing out different images until I ended up with what I’m going to show you. I suspect I know why my images aren’t stamping, so I’m going to remedy the situation and hopefully things will go better next time.

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat. I painted 3 coats of essence Hidden Garden on my pinkie and index nails. Hidden Garden is a gold glitter bomb. The base  is filled with fine gold glitter with red, green and blue hexes in two sizes as far as I can tell. It’s so darn shiny it’s hard to see! I really wasn’t convinced about this glitter in the bottle, but I Googled it and a couple of swatches made me chuck it into my basket. I’m SO glad I did! On my middle, ring and thumb nails I painted 2 coats of essence roller coaster. Roller coaster is a dark green creme with a super subtle shimmer that is hard to see in the bottle and on the nail. It is the perfect “pine” green in my opinion and therefore totally appropriate for the season! This polish is SO opaque. I really, really didn’t want to do a second coat, but OCD prevailed and I did. Once the green nails were dry I  used Tip Top Hot Fudge and the right hand image on PUEEN 45 to stamp. This image has large gaps in it, which leaves a lot of the nail blank, allowing a lot of the green to show through. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:

Festive Nail Art

Festive Nail Art

I really couldn’t decide which bottle looked better in the photos and when asking the opinions of others the votes were split down the middle, so I decided to use both.

What do you think of this mani? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!


Fun Day and Faceplanting

Vodacom Fun Day 2014


Are we not a pretty picture? This photo was taken at our year end function which was held at Ratanga Junction. We all had loads of fun going on the rides and eating way too much ice cream. The day flew by in a blur and before we knew it, the park had closed and we had to leave. Elijah really enjoyed “The Vortex” ride which is similar to the spinning shells we used to have when I was a kid. Yes, eons ago ;) Gabby didn’t get to go on many rides and the rides she did get to go on were quite boring. She was SO good the entire day. She was quiet in her stroller and really enjoyed being pushed around in it. She had two ice creams and some fish and chips for lunch. She got out of her stroller on occasion to wander around a little, but never fussed or gave us any grief. Elijah didn’t want to eat any food at all, he just wanted to play…although he did not turn down his 2 ice creams and candy floss. He had a small meltdown while having to wait about 15 minutes in line to ride on something. Otherwise everything was great. I think this is a really nice family photo, although Rudi hates it. He says this is the worse photo of him he has seen in a while. Poor sausage. I think we look great :)

After Ratanga Gabby’s stomach was upset for about a week. We went through LOADS of nappies the Sunday after the function and on the Wednesday she had a random vomit in (my) bed and all over the bathroom as we were about to go to sleep. On Thursday the day mother noted a lot of nappy output again, but after that she seemed fine. I’m not sure if it was from all the ice cream, or if there was something iffy about the fish (she was the only one who had the fish), or if she is teething, but she is all better now, so it wasn’t serious.

Also, I think my children don’t like their faces. Or at least, they like running more than they like their faces. In the last week my kids have both faceplanted leaving them with visible injuries. Elijah’s is worse than Gabby’s…but I guess that is because he runs faster. Gabby hurt herself while running up and down on a stretch of paving too fast and Elijah had a run in with a wooden pole at school. The results:



Gabby’s is already healing nicely. This photo was taken 2 days post faceplant. I just want to know if Elijah plans to ruin his entire face before he even starts taking school pictures? The scar from the deep wound he self inflicted when he was 17 months old is on the opposite side of his forehead. *sigh* Hopefully this one won’t leave a scar. Everyone is always telling me “Chicks dig scars!”. What crap is that? I don’t dig scars. Also, what if he likes boys? Do boys also like scars?

I really hate it when the kids get hurt. I always feel like I failed somehow, even though I realize that a lot of the time things are completely outside of my control. There was nothing I could have done about Elijah’s incident, I wasn’t even there. Gabby has fairly new legs, of course she wants to run everywhere! So I just bite back the mommy tears, kiss the boo boos and hug the injured. It is the best I can do save wrapping them in cotton wool.

Am I the only one that feels guilty when my children injure themselves?


Mystery OPI

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Hi everyone! I have a special polish from my collection to show you today. This is one of the polishes I received from Sanita for my birthday. She bought me a full size OPI and two minis. I’ve been keeping this one on my untried shelf and I wasn’t sure exactly why, suddenly I realized I actually knew all along. I was saving it for Christmas! You’ll see why shortly :)

I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat and painted 3 coats of my OPI mini on all of my nails. I wish I could tell you the name of this polish, but the mini bottles don’t have any names on them. I’ve tried asking around and even posted on OPI’s Facebook page, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. They have very many reds that are very close in finish and colour, so it is very hard to determine exactly which one this is. If they do let me know, I’ll be sure to update this post. This polish is an orange toned red jelly with gorgeous red micro glitter which shifts to gold. The more coats you do, the more the colour intensifies and I really preferred it at 3 coats. The formula seemed okay, but since I was struggling with a mini bottle brush it wasn’t super easy to apply. My full size OPI applies like butter, so I’m going to attribute any difficulty I had to the awkward tiny brush and lid.  I used Maskscara Gold Finger to free hand candy cane stripes on my ring and middle nails. I actually taped my other hand and my free handed stripes came out much better! Quite chuffed with that! I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:

OPI and Maskscara Gold Finger

OPI macro


See why I saved this one for Christmas? It is a stunningly gorgeous Christmas polish! It is probably not specifically a Christmas polish, but it fits right in! It is beautifully squishy and sparkly. I really love it!

What do you think of this mani? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. If any of you have a clue of which OPI this is I would really appreciate it if you let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Santa Red My List

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Hi everyone!

Christmas Nails Are Coming

That’s right! It’s December! You know what that means? Christmas nails! Christmas nails everywhere! I love Christmas and I love doing Christmas manis. I really struggled with Easter nails, but Christmas is my thing, so I dove right into it this year. Let me show you my first Christmas mani! Can you tell by my exclamation mark abuse that I’m excited?

I started off with my usual base coat and painted 2 coats of China Glaze Santa Red My List (gift) on all of my nails. Santa Red My List has a very misleading name. I think this polish leans quite a lot towards pink and the fact that the word “red” is in the title threw me off completely. It isn’t that obvious in my picture, but if you look at Emily’s swatches, you’ll clearly see this is quite pink. The formula was great and so was the coverage. I think you could probably get away with one thicker coat, but I like to do minimum two…so I did. Then my troubles started. I really wanted to try and do snowflakes on my nails. I even bought acrylic paint to do this with. I practiced on my nail wheel and the results were…a disaster! I quickly looked up a YouTube video and two minutes later got a MUCH better result for my snowflake on the nail wheel. I just couldn’t get it to work on my nail though. I was SO frustrated! So I decided to stamp. Another frustrating exercise. I tried 4 different polishes and 3 different images before I finally got one to work. I ended up using the left hand image of PUEEN 49 and Tip Top Hot Fudge to stamp over all my nails. I placed some gold 2 mm studs purchased from Born Pretty Store (purchase here*) near the cuticle on my middle and ring nails and sealed it all in with Seche Vite. So, I present to you my “nothing I was planning worked” nails:

China Glaze Santa Red My List stamped with Tip Top Hot Fudge

Even though this mani was born out of pure frustration, I ended up really liking it. They remind me of Christmas wrapping paper! Remember the ones I did last year?  I am quite taken with this image. I’m a little miffed that my stamping dragged on two of my nails, but nobody really notices that in person, only you dear readers have to be subjected to this fail.

What do you think of these? I’m really looking forward to showing you guys some more Christmas nails over the next couple of weeks!

Thanks for reading!

*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 :)


My little girl is growing up so very fast. On the one hand I want to keep her small, on the other I’m in awe of each milestone and watching her personality blossom. She isn’t really talking much yet. She tries, but sometimes a lot of the words come out sounding the same, or are just sounds. I was worried about her not speaking much yet. Her brother set the bar high for speech. He spoke well quite soon and articulates his thoughts quite beautifully for his age. A couple of weeks ago I had a light bulb moment. Since Elijah is in play school now, we are trying to teach him to speak Afrikaans as well and therefore Gabby is not only exposed to English, but Afrikaans too. This might explain why she is taking a little bit longer to start speaking. Also, every child is different. It is quite clear that she understands us very well as she follows instructions and “answers” questions.

She has been doing the cutest things of late. She has started shrugging her shoulders when she doesn’t know something. It is too adorable. The other day she was in the kitchen with her dad and I was busy getting ready for work in my room. I sneezed (rather loudly, as I do) and she came running into the room, looked at me and said “Bwess” and ran off again. Huge heart melt moment right there!

At 23 months old she is still breastfed. While the snide remarks, disapproval and judgement from other people intensifies as she gets older, I am still grateful for this amazing mothering tool. I can’t tell you how much easier things are with her than they were with Elijah. Yes, they are different children, but I find breastfeeding invaluable in situations that would have worked well with him too. Recently Gabby went through a phase where she would start throwing a tantrum and latching her on would instantaneously soothe her and put a stop to it. With Elijah we would pretty much have to wait it out and just make sure that he doesn’t hurt himself while he was having his meltdown. If Gabby hurts herself latching her on also immediately soothes and comforts her. With Elijah it took ages and while a dummy was sometimes helpful, it didn’t always work. Breastfeeding works every.single.time. It also makes a great in between snack before dinner, instead of her reaching for a cookie, sweet or bread to fill the gap. Gabby is not a fussy eater at all, however her brother is full of nonsense when it comes to food. My friend Arkwife has noticed the same with her breastfed child vs. the one that wasn’t. I like to think that the two are related. One word Gabby has started using (a lot) is “boop” – read BOOB. Yup. She now asks for it. I have often heard people say “Once they are old enough to ask for it, they should no longer be breastfeeding.” While I respect the choices of others, their opinions don’t pay my bills. I actually had the guts to say this to someone who criticized me for still breastfeeding and acted disgusted that I still do, stating repeatedly it was “time to stop”. I am non confrontational and often don’t defend myself, back down or pretend not to be phased. I simply stated “Just let me know which one of my bills you are going to pay with your opinion” and she left it right there. It works. You should try it!

After my post about discipline, Natalie sent me a message on Facebook with information she has put together about discipline and what works for her. I had an aha! moment when she mentioned a reward chart. I remembered that we had used a reward chart for Elijah when we were potty training him and he really loved it. Once he was potty trained the chart was forgotten. We bought a magnetic white board and I split up the days of the week and areas that he could earn a magnet for. Currently on our board are areas we need to focus on: brushing teeth, playing with his sister, eating supper, picking up toys and listening. I drew a small picture for each category so that he can identify them himself. When we got home on the second day I showed him the categories he could potentially earn for and he really made a concerted effort to earn his magnets. I still have to figure out what we will reward him with at the end of the week if he does well. I think we might resort to money sometimes as he really seems to love money! So much so that he will carry around money in his hand at all times if he has any. One night he fell asleep with money in his hand and slept for over an hour with it tight in his grasp and then eventually let go. He is still very small, so I think we can start off with a small denomination like R 5.00. Perhaps this will also open up opportunities to teach him about saving, etc in the future. This is a very new development in our relationship and I am hoping that we can continue motivate him with the reward chart.

Last Friday Elijah went for an open day at his new school. We have enrolled him in the same primary school I attended. He absolutely LOVED it. So much so that he did not want to go back to his old school on Monday. The prospectus came home with him and there are a number of worrying things in there. There are a few things expected of him that he is not able to do yet. They want him to be able to write his name, know a contact number and our address. All things that we will need to cram into him for the remainder of the year and hopefully he’ll be ready next year. There are a few other things we need to focus on, but he is a bright boy and I’m sure we can get him to master everything before he goes to his new school. I am quite excited about him going. His previous school disappointed us in a few areas and I’ll be glad to have him move on. Hopefully he will be happy and flourish there.

Rubybox Nailed It! Clifton Shores Trio Swatches & Art

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Hi everyone! I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was action packed since we had our end of year staff function at a theme park, but that is another blog post altogether. Today I have some Rubybox Nailed It! polishes to show you. I was incredibly excited when Rubybox approached me since I’ve used a few of their polishes before and really liked them. I actually have straight up swatches to show you today, can you believe it? I received the Clifton Shores trio to review. Let me show you the swatches of the colours I received first :)

Rubybox Nailed It! Plan For The Fuchsia

 Plan For The Fuchsia is a bright pink polish. I would dare say it is a neon. It had the consistency of a jelly. Pictured are 3 coats with top coat.

Rubybox Nailed It! For The Chill Of It

Next up is For The Chill Of It. I am not a fan of blues, but isn’t this a gorgeous creme?! I like this one a lot! Pictured above are 2 coats and top coat.

Rubybox Nailed It! Pretty Minted

Last, but certainly not least is Pretty Minted. This is a gorgeous mint creme shade. There is a soft silver shimmer that you can see in the bottle, but it doesn’t really show up on the nail. Pictured above are 3 coats with top coat.

All of the formulas on these polishes were great. I had no problems applying them at all and they dried to my satisfaction too. This has been my overall experience with Rubybox Nailed It! polishes though, so I wasn’t surprised and it is the reason I was excited to have more to play with.

Rubybox challenged me to create a nail art look with the colours provided. I was stumped, but eventually came up with something that I was happy with. I started off with my usual base coat. I painted 3 coats of Pretty Minted on my thumb, middle and ring nails. On my index nail I painted 3 coats of Plan For The Fuchsia and 2 coats of For The Chill Of It on my pinkie. I used Plan For The Fuchsia, For The Chill Of It, a white and green polish to paint the roses on my accent nails and sealed it all in with a matte top coat. The result:
Rubybox Nailed It! Nail Art

I think this turned out really cute! I really love how these polishes look matte as well! I was eyeing the other trios, but am well pleased with this one. I never would have purchased For The Chill Of It myself because I have hang ups about blues, especially dark ones, but I am really glad I have it. So beautiful! If you want to see the attempt the nail art I did that I didn’t like, click here.

Which one is your favourite? Be sure to let me know in the comments :)

These polishes are available for purchase from the Rubybox website. You can purchase them individually, or as a trio in which case you will receive a hefty discount. Check out Rubybox on their social media channels:

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Thanks for reading!

November Nail Anarchy Challenge

Hi everyone! I am part of a Whatsapp chat group of South African polish lovers. We show each other our nails, we bounce around ideas, we joke around. It is just a fun group of ladies together, all with a love for polish and nail art in common. Somehow in one of our chats one day we came up with an idea for a monthly nail art challenge. One of us picks a theme for the month and everybody else does manis inspired by the set theme and posts on their blogs. We plan to post on the last Friday of each month (that’s today!) and will have Inlinkz at the bottom of our posts so that you can see all of them :)

November’s theme was chosen by Briget and she chose “Outer Space”. If you Google “outer space nails” you’re going to get wall to wall galaxies. Everyone else can’t be wrong, no? ;) I wanted to do a little alien thing, but someone beat me to it…so I ended up doing a galaxy in my favourite colour :) Let me show you!

I started off with a double base coat of OPI Nail Envy. I painted all my nails with Essence Elves Like Lilac. Once that was dry I started sponging a few different colours over the base to create the cloudy “galaxy” effect. I sponged with the following essence polishes: that’s what I mint, purple sugar, hello marshmallow (original) and Elves Like Lilac again. After the sponging was done to my satisfaction, I painted one coat of the glitter side of the Revlon Milky Way duo from their Expressionist collection. The glitters in Milky Way are irregular glitter shards or flakies. These are iridescent and really beautiful! Flakies can stick up, but an extra layer of top coat will help for that if you don’t like sticking up bits. I added a few dots for stars using a dotting tool and Sinful Colors Snow Me White. On my middle nail I placed a small, clear crescent moon shaped rhinestone and on my ring nail a small, clear star rhinestone. I sealed everything in with a generous coat of Seche Vite. The result:

November Nail Anarchy Challenge

November Nail Anarchy Challenge

How is that for a purple galaxy?! I really loved how these turned out! They are a bit more blingy than I intended, the flakies seriously shine at any angle and combined with the Seche Vite it makes for a very shiny mani indeed! Galaxy and random sponging manis hardly ever turn out the way you imagine…I’m not sure exactly what I thought it was going to come out as, but I really liked the result.

What do you think? Do you like this mani? Be sure to let me know in the comments and to check out the other posts in the linkup below!

Thanks for reading :)

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