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Gabby’s 1st Birthday

We decided to keep things low key for Gabby’s first birthday. Her birthday falls on the 2nd of January, which is an awkward time for parties. At a later stage I’ll combine the kid’s birthdays, but since it was her first birthday I wanted her to have something just for herself. Sanita and I decided on Tatty Teddy for the theme and it was pretty easy to cater for as Tatty Teddy is everywhere at the moment. I invited the family and one or two friends over for tea and cake. All in all we had a lovely day. Now I’m going to photo bomb you. I did post the full set of photos on my Facebook page here.

 

Gabby 2

Tea Table

Gabby 3

Decorations

 

Gabby 1

Gabby and I

Gabby 4

Gabby and her paternal grandmother

Gabby 5

Blowing the candles (with help from big brother and mommy)

Gabby 6

Cake meets face

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Do I have something on my face?

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Man that was exhausting!

 

The tea was lovely, the cake delicious. We really enjoyed the day together. Her birthday also marked our 1 year breastfeeding anniversary. I’m so proud of us!

 

Of course, my nails had to match the occasion:

 

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Cupcake Nails

 

I can’t believe she is one already. It has all happened so fast. I’m trying to enjoy the milestone without being too sad that my baby is no more a baby.

 

Thanks for all the wishes that came through for her on her birthday!

 

2013 You Beauty

As 2013 draws to a close everyone takes time to reflect on the year that has been.

 

I’ve had a really good year actually. A day and a half into 2013 saw us welcome our beautiful daughter into the world. I spent almost six months at home with her. I really, really enjoyed my maternity leave this time around. I savoured it. Slept with the baby. Breastfed. I watched my boy blossom and grow into a little child and amazing big brother. My husband obtained his code 14 license, something he has been wanting to do for years. So many highlights!

 

I have absolutely loved being a girl mommy and have felt so grateful and blessed all year. I also finally feel like I can say I’ve made a success of breastfeeding. Yes, it took me a YEAR of doing it to be able to recognize what an achievement it actually is. Watching my son love his little sister has been such a wonderful experience. He is so kind and patient with her. I know there will be fights and that sibling rivalry is still on the cards, but right now I am enjoying how much they love each other. The way he is so concerned about her when she cries and wants to “make her happy”. The way she turns her head when she hears his voice and her face lights up when she sees him. The sense that my family is now complete with them in my life. All these things have made 2013 a very special year for me.

 

I have grown apart from a couple of friends in 2013, but I recognize that we are in completely different places in our lives and that it was probably inevitable that our ways would part. These people came into my life for a reason and have left it (mostly) enriched.

 

This year has also seen me discover a creative outlet that I am passionate about and have truly fallen in love with. Nail art has given me time to myself, something for myself and a certain confidence that I did not have before. It is a gift that keeps on giving for me.

 

2013 has come and gone in a flash. Overall, it was a good year. It has been a while since I’ve just had a good year. I am grateful. I hope that 2014 will end  with a synopsis just like this :)

 

A blessed New Year to all my readers. Thanks for always being there and encouraging me to write here. Much love.

Ice Box Las Vegas Lights

I was quite glad to be able to break away from the Christmas manis since I have quite a few new polishes that I’ve been dying to try all December, but they do not quite fit with the Christmas theme.

 

One of the polishes I really, really wanted to wear was the Ice Box holographic polish that Michelle gifted me. I decided to use that as the main colour for my mani and accent with my Born Pretty Store Holographic Effect Polish #1 (get it here).

 

To start I painted all my nails with my Tip Top Miraculous Results base coat to protect my natural nails.  I painted Ice Box Las Vegas Lights on all of my nails besides my ring fingers. I was really impressed with the formula and application of this polish. It didn’t bald at all if you went over the same spot twice like my other holos do. It is more opaque than any of the other holos I own. The full size Ice Box bottle comes with a thick, wide brush (almost like the essence brush, but a bit bigger). It took a little getting used to as the brush can pick up quite a bit of polish, so I had to get the feel of how much polish to wipe off before applying. I adjusted quickly though and two coats gave me perfect coverage. The Born Pretty Store holo has a smaller brush and is quite sheer, so I needed 3 coats for opacity.  Both these polishes dry really nicely and I had no issues with bubbling as I’m prone to bubbles which probably has something to do with my technique. I sealed it all in with my Seche Vite top coat. Both these polishes were also a dream to clean up (considering I’ve been battling with reds and foils all month!). The results:

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A beautifully muted mani, until these polishes meet the sun!

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Just look at it!

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Both these polishes are absolutely gorgeous! I am totally in love with my nails. I’m interested to see how well the Ice Box polish wears since I’m so impressed with it overall so far. Thanks so much for this gorgeous polish Michelle! I love it! [Update] I’ve been wearing this polish since Thursday night. It is Monday and the polish is still 100% perfect. Not a chip in sight and no tip wear to speak of. It could fall apart at any minute, but I’m happy with the wear time!

 

While I was taking photos of my supplies I spotted the water decals I bought from luckystarstyle. I decided to “enhance” my mani by adding a decal on my accent nail. I chose my Hello Kitty decals. They are so super simple to use. It is so quick and easy and looks great. Check it out:

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And with the holo effect:
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These are so cute! Even though you pay in dollars they are also relatively inexpensive and there are loads of designs to choose from. Customer service is excellent and no customs issues because they are mailed to you in an envelope. Try them out!

 

What do you think? Do you like holographic polishes? Would you try decals?

Christmas 2013

On Christmas Eve, we put out milk and cookies for Santa. Elijah refused to eat any. ‘They are for Santa, not for us!’. He was quite pleased with himself.

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And wouldn’t you know it, Santa came! On Christmas morning Elijah went to investigate if the milk and cookies had been eaten and completely missed the presents under the tree. We sent him back to check for presents and he came back saying ‘I’m amazed! He came!’

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I told him that he could unwrap one present before church. Obviously, he chose the biggest one.

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‘I’m so surprised!’ He loves his Hot Wheels T-Rex Take Down :)

We then made our way to church. I dressed Gabby in her gorgeous Christmas tutu and matching headband that her aunty Nicola made for her.

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She looked so beautiful! The tutu fabric has glitter in it and the glitter started to shed. Everywhere. Where we were sitting in church the floor was covered with silver and red glitter. Rudi, Elijah and I were also all covered with glitter. Even some of the congregation had glitter on them when we left.  We all looked like Twilight cast members. I’m not even exaggerating. She has a few other tutus. I’m going to need to give them a good shake down before she wears them!

We decided to spend Christmas with my mother this year (*gasp*).  After church we quickly went home to pick up all the things we needed to take with (including all the unopened gifts) and we set off to Wellington where my mother lives. Soon my aunt, uncle and cousin arrived and we started opening gifts since Elijah could not wait any longer. He was seriously very spoiled! I thought we were going to have to hire a trailer to take all the stuff home! I had decided that Rudi and I should buy each other gifts as well since we had no gifts to open last year. I felt so out of place while everyone else was opening their gifts last time. I was so surprised to have quite a few gifts to open this year! My stepfather bought me a Foschini gift voucher. Rudi got me a gorgeous fresh water pearl necklace that I had spotted at Woolworths. My grandmother got me a white bolero cardigan, shower gel and dishcloths (she is always so practical!). My cousin and her mom bought me a gorgeous dark leather photo frame and my aunt and uncle got me a bar of Nivea soap and some white and purple hand towels. The kids got clothes and toys. Rudi got aftershave (surprise!), an ashtray, chocolate and a bottle of rum.

With the assistance of Sanita’s supplies and Pinterest, I laid the table for lunch.

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I adore this idea of the glasses with the decorations and candles! It looked so pretty!

And of course my nails matched the occasion:

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Even though Elijah got loads of toys for Christmas, he decided that Christmas decorations are much more fun to play with.

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Gabby, however, adored her new (very expensive) sippy cup.

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We had a lovely day. I even managed to catch a nap on the couch after lunch! It was very hot and later in the evening when the owner of the guesthouse and her family were done eating and swimming (almost 7 PM) we were allowed to go down to the pool to swim. We had been sitting in the heat all day and grabbed the opportunity to go for a quick dip. Once everyone had dried off and changed back into dry clothes, we packed up and headed home. I was designated driver and managed to navigate home in the dark. We only arrived home around 9 PM. Much later than I had expected.

I worked on the Day of Goodwill (Boxing Day), but finished up by 1 PM and went home. Rudi wanted to go grocery shopping, which we eventually did. It was the worst idea in the history of the world. Elijah threw the most epic tantrum EVER in the shops. I was so embarrassed. I tried everything (except giving in to him). We were stuck in an aisle for about 20 minutes with a wailing child.  After racing through the last few aisles in the shop we went to pay. Luckily there were no queues. Despite that the very loud tantrum continued and then Gabby started as well. I was at my wits end! I decided to remove myself and the children from the mall to avoid further embarrassment and for the sake of the other shoppers and staff. Rudi said he overheard someone say ‘Shoo. Two children!’ At one point while I was trying to escape with them, Elijah mistook another women’s legs for mine and was clinging to her. She was quite surprised and so was he when he finally decided to look up! One of the points of contention was some kiddie rides that were in the mall that he wanted to go on. We told him he could go after shopping if he was good, but he acted up and we told him the rides were no longer an option. We had to pass said rides on the way to the car and I feared the worst.  We somehow managed to get past the rides without stopping and I finally got the kids into the car. They were both crying at this point and I decided to drive around till Rudi came with the groceries, this at least calmed Gabby down. I drive less than 100 metres and both kids were fast asleep. Clearly they were both overtired. By that time I needed a drink!  What a day!

I hope you all had a lovely, safe Christmas :)

The Kids Met Santa!

I spotted a great looking Santa in one of our malls and decided I absolutely MUST take Elijah to see him. This year is the first time that he has a real understanding of Christmas/Santa (in the commercial sense) and he is very, very excited!

 

We took them to see Santa and had photos taken. They only charged R50.00 for an A5  and two jumbo prints. I actually think that is a real bargain! The photos are really lovely.  Elijah was a bit star struck when he met Santa and when Santa asked him what he wants for Christmas he stood there too shy to speak. Obviously, Santa is a seasoned professional and he prompted him saying ‘Would you like a remote control car?’. Coincidentally this is exactly what Elijah had asked for in his letter to Santa, so I was able to nudge him at this point and say ‘See? Santa read your letter!’. It was all too sweet. He happily posed for a photo with Santa and held his bell:

 

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With Gabby I was a little worried she would cry if I put her onto this strange man’s lap, but she sat there, with her usual dead pan expression. I knew getting her to smile was asking for a Christmas miracle, so I was just happy to have her somewhat looking in the direction of the camera and now bawling her face off. I warned Santa that she might cry and he said ‘Don’t worry, I’ve had all sorts today’.

 

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I will treasure these photos!

 

To all my readers who celebrate Christmas, a blessed Christmas to you. To everyone else, stay safe and enjoy the holidays x

Candy Cane Nails

The only nail art that I still wanted to do for Christmas was candy cane nails. If I had known the implications of my choice, I might have changed my mind! I thought doing one colour, taping it off and doing another would be quick and easy. Not so much. It turned out to be extremely time consuming and messy.

 

As usual I started with a base coat to protect my natural nails. I followed by painting all my nails with Sinful Colors Snow Me White. I top coated that with Seche Vite in order for it to dry as quickly as possible. Once it was dry I started taping my nails. I used 4 pieces of striping tape on each nail. I stuck two fairly close together on the top and another two toward the bottom. I painted over the striping tape with Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby one nail at a time and immediately after painting I removed the striping tape piece by piece with a tweezer. Once I was done I did another Seche Vite top coat. In some cases my lines weren’t perfectly clean and I tried to patch with white where the red crossed over. In hindsight I should have done this before I did the last top coat. I also noticed afterwards that not all my tape slanted at the same angle so some of my nails look different, but from a distance you can’t see any of that 😛 The result:

 

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Overall I am happy with the result (despite the odd messy bit). My nails are really striking and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. Everyone also immediately knew that they were meant to resemble candy canes 😀

 

The mess created while trying to obtain this look:
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Very messy! Plus red is a pain in the butt to clean, but I managed and I like the result :)

 

What do you think of these nails? Would you rock it? The colour combinations are ENDLESS! You could wear striped nails all year round if you were inclined to do so :) In future I might opt to do an accent nail or two instead of a full mani (cos I’m lazy like that!)

Snowman Nails

I knew I had to do some snowman nails for Christmas!

 

I had a hankering to use my Sinful Colors Mint Apple and after scouring through Pinterest a bit I settled on a snowman mani :)

 

I used my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Mint Apple on all of my nails. I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White to create uneven white tips on all my nails, the intention was for it to look like fallen snow. I used a dotting tool to make random white dots to represent snow falling. I also used my large dotting tool to make the snowman on my ring finger. I took my smaller dotting tool and used essence black is back to make the three “buttons” on my snowman and Chic Tapuz (312) for his “carrot nose”. The result:

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I was quite pleased with how these came out. Two different cashiers commented on my nails while I was out doing my shopping.

 

What do you think?

Quiet Moments

A while ago my whole family was over at our house for a braai. At some point it was decided that something was needed from the shop and I offered to drive my aunt there providing I didn’t have to get out of the car. I was wearing “house clothes”, no bra and no makeup. Off we went to the shop. My aunt got out and I stayed in the car.

 

It was a beautiful day.  The weather was perfect. Warm, but not too hot. The air smelled like summer, one of my favourite smells. There were cars coming and going. I made myself comfortable in the car and my thoughts wandered. After a while I realized that I hadn’t experienced this in the longest time. Sitting quietly, by myself with no interruptions, just me and my thoughts. It was so awesome. Soon my aunt was back and I headed back into the chaos which is my everyday reality.

 

Easily 3 months later I was at the petrol station filling up my car and again found myself drifting off into my own world. Another lovely day, just me in the car on my way to go pick up the kids. It occurs to me that these moments of quiet contemplation are very few and far between for me and have been for quite some time. Maybe even years. I’ve been so caught up in the rat race of life and routine and kids and running the household, etc that I haven’t even noticed. I didn’t even realize that I missed these quiet times and that I just wasn’t managing to spend a little bit of time with myself. Even on days when I am alone, I’d be so busy trying to catch up on sleep, housework, etc. that I wouldn’t stay still and just be.

 

Since coming to this realization I have made a conscious effort to spend some time in my own head. To take some time to just be quiet and think about things. To delve into depths of things that don’t surface in the bustle of everyday life.

 

I hope you do too.

Christmas Wrap Nails

I had Christmas images left over on my Pueen stamping plates that I wanted to use for another Christmas mani. I knew I wanted to stamp the bells in red, but wasn’t sure what I should use as a background colour. After some consultation with Ordinary Misfit, I settled on using my Tip Top Armour Plate for a background.

 

I used my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of Tip Top Armour Plate on all my nails. I added a layer of Seche Vite top coat to dry all my nails before I started stamping. To stamp over the Armour Plate I used essence magic carpet magnetic nail polish (I had heard from Misfit that these stamp really well) and the bell images on PUEEN38. I stamped the full nail bell image on all my nails except my ring and used the single bell image on those nails. The result:

 

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When the beautician at work saw these she said they look like gift wrap. I guess they do! The magnetic polish does stamp very well and although I am still struggling with the stamping to some extent I managed to stamp most of these without a problem, despite the fact that I still managed to stamp the bells upside down O.o.

 

What do you think of this mani? Would you wrap your gifts in paper that looks like this? 😉

 

 

 

Gold Christmas Tree Nails

 

 

Although it might seem that way, this mani was not inspired by Ferrero Rocher. Ok, maybe a little, but moreso by Christmas!

 

After using my gold texture in my first Christmas mani, I knew I wanted to use it for another one really soon, I also wanted it to be the main colour for the mani with an accent. While I was plotting this I came up with the studded Christmas tree idea. I bounced a few ideas off Ordinary Mifit. I struggled to decide whether to use round or square studs to make my tree. Even after I placed the stud design using both shapes it was hard to choose. I settled on the round 3mm Born Pretty Store studs though and I think the use of the round studs also makes the tree resemble the Ferrero Rocher pyramid from their ads.

 

I started with my usual base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of L.A. Colors Sands of Time on all my nails except my ring fingers. I used two coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White to paint my ring fingers to serve as the background for my tree. I painted a coat of clear top coat over the Snow Me White to “stick” the studs and some clear polish and a dotting tool to pick up the studs and place them. I put a smaller (2mm) stud right at the top of my tree to elevate it a bit and to try and differentiate it from a regular triangle. I sealed in my studs with two coats of Seche Vite. The result:

 

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I love this mani. Two people have commented that I should have made the background for the tree green. Do you agree? I like the gold and white. I think it looks clean and elegant.  My only complaint about doing this mani was waiting for the texture to dry. It took FOREVER. Seche Vite has both saved and ruined my life. I have zero time to wait for my nails to dry anymore! I used essence quick dry drops to try and speed up the drying time, but even after doing this an hour after I did my nails I knocked the crap out of more than one. I assumed that they would be dry already. WRONG. This texture is really, really beautiful though so if you have the time and patience, the pay off is totally worth it!

 

What do you think of this mani? Is it obvious enough that the tree is a tree? Or does it just look like a triangle. I was worried about that.