Early last month I posted about trying to get my children off what felt like constant antibiotic use. The post was well received and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one worried about this. I realize that the weather is starting to warm up and that means less illness, but it is allergy season which has meant illness and infections for us in the past.
Since that post was published I have not taken the kids to the doctor once. They have had the snots, coughs, pukes and fevers since then…but never seemed limp and unable to play, so I held out and they recovered on their own. I still make use of over the counter medication and the kids are both taking an antihistamine to try and prevent allergy related post nasal drips which become monster coughs.
Another thing that has coincided with this is that we no longer have our family pet. I suspected for a while that having our cat was contributing to the problem. The children at the day mother where my children were picking up their germs were not constantly on antibiotics, but recovered on their own. The only logical explanation to me was that something environmental was aggravating my children’s condition to the point where they develop an infection. I am not saying that none of those other children have pets at home, but I was always aware that Elijah is susceptible to chest infections and it made sense to me that something he was inhaling could cause his condition to escalate. Yes, it could also have been grass, dust and a million other things. Testing for allergies is very costly, so finding out exactly what was setting them off was not financially viable.
We had Amber for many years and she was getting old. She had lost both her canines and was struggling to jump out of the window and up onto the bed. Amber was the first in our family who knew I was pregnant. It might sound weird, but she started sleeping by my tummy before I even took a pregnancy test. This was out of character for her. She always slept with Rudi and I found it strange that she suddenly wanted to sleep with me. After I took the test and she did it again, I made the connection. Once we bought the pram, she started having behavioral problems. She urinated in the pram more than once and she started defecating in the house. Since this started happening the moment we brought the pram into the house, we thought she was not having any of this new baby. She had lived through the arrival of one baby and refused to take this news in her stride. We tried to find her a new home for over two years, but nobody wanted her. We put a sign up in the local vet with a picture of her and a short explanation of why we could not keep her. Not one person called. Rudi and I fought about this constantly. I was unhappy, the kids and myself were constantly sick, our cat was acting out, our house constantly stank of cat urine (to the point where neighbours walking past our house commented about it) and we were at the end of our tether. My grandmother suggested we contact the animal anti-cruelty league and said they would likely be able to try and find a home for her. I called them and the lady that answered said we could bring her through and they would see what they could do. Rudi and Elijah took her early the next Saturday morning. Rudi said they examined her and said she was around 12 years old (we never knew her exact age as we started caring for her when she was no longer a kitten) and there was no way they could find a home for her and that they would put her to sleep. Rudi returned home without her. We were very sad. She wasn’t just a part of our family for around 10 years, she was also Elijah and Gabby’s first pet.
So far kicking the antibiotics is going well. I think a combination of a) the medical aid being depleted b) me not panicking at the first sign of a fever c) the onset of summer d) no more pet hair/dander to contend with and e) finding over the counter medication that works for us have all contributed to it going well so far. I know it has not even been 2 months and we have gone this long without antibiotics before, so you may think it is too early to assess. You might be right. The reason I’m posting this now already is because we have experienced scenarios in this last two months that usually resulted in a visit to the doctor and a prescription for antibiotics, yet here we are. I don’t think they will never need antibiotics again. I’m sure they will. I hope to strengthen their immunity by letting their body fight these germs. It might take them a little longer to recover and it might still be costing me a small fortune in over the counter medication to alleviate their symptoms, but I am sure as their immunity increases this will pay off in the long run.
Have you tried to kick antibiotics? How did it go?
Hello lovelies! I hope you’re having a splendid day 🙂 Today I want to show you a mani that just made me smile every time I looked at it. I don’t think it is a secret that I love neon colours on my nails. I have a number of neon polishes, mostly pink and purple mind you. I recently purchased another neon China Glaze and thought it would look great as a dotticure. Let me show you what I came up with.
I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 coats of China Glaze Peonies & Park Ave on all of my nails except my ring and thumb nails. Peonies & Park Ave is a gorgeous dark pink neon. It dried a shade or two darker than it looks in the bottle, but I really love it. It dried matte as most neons do. The formula was a little tricky to work with as the polish dries really fast and if you go over the same spot twice it tends to leave bald spots, but with careful application you can avoid that. On my ring and thumb nails I painted 3 coats of China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy. This polish has a similar formula to Peonies & Park Ave. It is my favourite neon polish! I don’t love orange polish in general, but this orange holds a special place in my heart! It is simply gorgeous, so gorgeous that cameras struggle to capture the true colour. Sorry about that 😉 I dotted all over my nails alternating the colours using my largest dotting tool. I gave the dots a minute or two to set and then dotted over the largest dots again with a smaller dotting tool and the alternating colour. I have always loved these kind of dotticures when I’ve seen them online…I like to think of it as ‘dotception’. Yes, I’m making bad jokes. I felt like the pink and orange kind of hurt my eyes and I needed to break it up with something and to tie everything together nicely, so I pulled closer China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer and a small dotting tool to make random dots in the empty spaces. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
This mani was so gorgeous and got me into the mood for summer big time! I really love the colours and love how they looked together. Big thumbs up!
What do you think of this mani? Do you like neon colours? Remember, you don’t need a dotting tool to create dots on your nails. Any household item from a ballpoint pen to a toothpick can be used as a dotting tool. Experiment on paper to see what size the dots will be when using different household items 🙂
Hi everyone! Today I have a review for you from one of my favourite places to shop online – Born Pretty Store! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would have seen that I often feature nail art using supplies I have purchased from Born Pretty. I was thrilled when they accepted my offer to review for them! They offered me full nail water decals to review. I was a little apprehensive since I had purchased full nail water decals from them before, but I struggled to use them and they were gathering dust in my drawer. Since our post office has been on strike forever and a day it took a full two months for the decals to arrive. I was very happy to finally receive them and enlisted the help of a seasoned blogger, Emily who blogs over at Very Emily, and she gave me some awesome tips that really helped me to apply these decals. The application and use of the decals was the same for both sets. Let me show you!
I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. For the nails I planned to apply the decals on, I painted 2 coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White. Both of these decals had a white background around the designs so applying white undies was a good idea. I painted complimentary colours on my accent nails and thumbs. I will state the polishes used for each under the photos. I also used two coloured 2 mm rhinestones, also purchased from Born Pretty Store (here), placed vertically close to the cuticle on my accent nails. Once my nails were dry I set to work applying the decals. Something that I was very nervous about was trying to figure out how to cut them to size before applying them. I am completely useless at it. Emily advised me that they don’t need to be perfect as you can also clean them up using a clean up brush and acetone. Eureka! I cut the decals out to match the size of my nails. I removed the plastic film over the decal and held them in water with a tweezer (the instructions say to use warm water in winter). After about 10 seconds the decal slides off the cardboard backing allowing you to apply them to your nail. The decals are quite sturdy and I wasn’t worried about tearing them at all. I dipped my nail into the water and placed the decal over my nail. I used some paper towel to absorb excess water and blew on my nail to dry the decal further. Once most of the water is removed the decals become somewhat sticky which prevents them from slipping around. I used a nail scissor to cut off the excess at the tip of my nail. I left a tiny bit of decal at the tip and wrapped this around my nail and held my clean up brush dipped in acetone under my nail, this “melted” the decal slightly and let it stick. Instantly wrapped tips! I cleaned up around my cuticles as usual with a brush and pure acetone, also removing any part of the decals that were out of place. I did not want to top coat them with Seche Vite as I was afraid it would wrinkle the decals as Seche is known to shrink. Emily advised me to use a non fast drying top coat and once it was dry to use the Seche Vite over it. This worked perfectly! The results:
Accent nail is 3 coats of Maybelline Portebello Pink (gift) – Purchase decals here.
Accent nail is 2 coats of Revlon Revlon® Red – Purchase decals here.
After figuring out how to use these decals the application is fairly easy and I can’t wait to dig out the previous decals I ordered to use them! I was SO in love with these and receive loads of compliments. A friend called me out and texted me in the middle of a meeting saying ‘Stop staring at your nails!’. I just couldn’t help it! They are so beautiful! Decals take your nail designs to another level. I love the variety of designs and the colours and detail you can achieve using them.
Born Pretty Store is a one stop shop for nail art supplies and they sell a host of other items as well. Whenever I have had to interact with their customer services I have had good service from them. I have never been dissatisfied with anything I have ordered from them and recommend them to friends often. If you are not a registered customer, I have an affiliate link in the sidebar that you can use to sign up. I also have a 10% discount code that you can use to get 10% off any non discounted items. Born Pretty Store ships worldwide for free! I pay $3 for a tracking number as my postal service likes to lose things, but I don’t think $3 is very much at all.
You can check out Born Pretty Store on their website and social media channels:
They run weekly competitions via their Facebook and Instagram accounts, be sure to check them out!
Keeping with our pink October theme I decided to try out cherry blossom nail art. I’ve seen this around and definitely wanted to try it out. I did a little research beforehand and looked for tutorials. The search was a bit daunting. I found amazingly beautiful nails and some that were not so great, so I felt a bit intimidated knowing that it could turn out looking meh. The last time I did flowers I felt they looked a bit like fried eggs, so I decided to make these flowers more abstract to try and avoid that. Let me show you what I came up with.
I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 4 coats of Tip Top Cream Puff on all of my nails. Yes. 4 coats. Cream Puff is a sheer off white jelly and I only felt comfortable with the opacity and evenness at 4 coats. 4 coats is a real challenge for me. I don’t want to go over 3 coats of the same colour, but with jellies you often don’t have a choice. My problem with 4 coats is that it makes drying a challenge, even if you add a fast drying top coat, it is still a problem and takes longer than usual to dry. I used an unnamed brown polish with UShine printed on the bottle and a striping brush to free hand the branches. I used China Glaze Dance Baby and a small, wide flat brush to try and sweep “flowers” onto my nails. They mostly came out looking like large round blobs, but I managed to get them to look irregular. I went in with the same brush and Revlon Optimistic to add darker pink centers, but this didn’t work out so well, so I grabbed the striping brush again and managed to fill in darker pink portions and even some smaller dots. I took some essence mr. big glitter and randomly added this over the flowers. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
The photo doesn’t really do these justice. The glitter made them sparkle really nicely in the sun and they just looked nicer in person. I enjoyed wearing these. I was really chuffed when one of my colleagues bumped into me, she always looks at my nails and said “I love your cherry blossoms!”. I was so stoked that she knew exactly what I was trying to do without me telling her! Even Rudi looked at these and instead of saying that they look “fine” which is his usual response to my request for his opinion, I actually got a “Nice!”, even though he thought they were “roses”. At least he knew they were some type of flower.
What do you think of this design? Would you have figured out these are cherry blossoms?
Hi everyone. Happy hump day! 15 October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. Despite having lost a baby myself, I was not aware such a day existed until this year! I actually came across some ladies discussing it in a polish group on Facebook of all places. They were asking who was going to do manis for the cause and some voiced their frustrations about how this day gets lost between all the breast cancer awareness stuff that goes on in October. It only seemed fitting that I would do a mani for this. So very many women are affected by pregnancy and/or infant loss. I can mention a handful of women I know off the top of my head. Those of you who have been following my blog for some time will know Jamie’s story and how my pregnancy with her came to an end at 22 weeks on 5 November 2008. I can’t believe that it all happened 6 years ago, sometimes it feels like it was a lifetime ago. We still observe her birthday every year and speak openly to the children about her.
The awareness logo is a pink foot and a blue foot and the awareness ribbon is half pink and half blue. I tried to incorporate those aspects into my design. Let us see what I came up with. I started off with my usual base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White on my thumb, middle and ring nails. On my index nail I painted two coats of China Glaze Dance Baby and on my pinkie I painted 2 coats of Tip Top Beach Babe. Once my nails were dry I used Snow Me White and some cling wrap on my index and pinkie nail to try and make whispy clouds. The “sky” nails symbolize the heavens and home of our angel babies, I made both pink and blue for boys and girls. On my thumb I placed 2mm pastel studs that I purchased from Born Pretty Store (purchase here*) over tacky top coat to form the awareness ribbon. I stamped the pink foot on my middle nail with an image from PUEEN 30 and essence sweet surprise colour changing polish. In the awareness logo there is a left and a right foot. I thought to make a decal to reverse the stamp. I did make a decal, but was so frazzled when I removed it from the stamper (I feared I was going to tear the decal, ruin it and had no time to redo it) that I just put it on my nail without thinking to reverse it or flip it over. I’m quite annoyed with myself for not having the presence of mind to do this. I could have saved myself the trouble of making the decal and just stamped it straight onto my nail and it would have looked the same as it does now. So here we are with two right feet. The blue foot was stamped with essence wonderlicious green colour changing polish (gift). If you would like to see a tutorial on how to make decals on your stamper, look here. I sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
Despite the two right feet, I like the way these turned out. I think they are very cute 🙂
I read an article the other day titled Confessions of a funeral director: The silent grief of miscarriage. The article struck a chord with me and I think people should read it. I used to think my loss was “not as bad” as someone experiencing a still birth or having a baby live for a few hours, days or weeks, months. I’m not sure why I minimized my grief that way. The bottom line is, there was a baby who had the world of possibilities and an entire life before them and that all disappears. All the hopes and dreams for that life that could have been are gone and there is no shame in grieving that, whatever the stage of the life that was lost.
To all the mommies of angel babies, you are not alone *hugs*
*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
It’s Monday again, isn’t it? I worked the weekend and am totally pooped! I took leave for tomorrow, just to have a small break. I can’t wait! Today I have the other half of the Grazia duo I purchased earlier this year to show you. Remember I used the green in a challenge mani in May? This is the other polish that was in the pack I bought. There are no names on the polishes, so I am just describing them by their colour.
I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my nails. I painted 3 coat of the pink Grazia polish on all of my nails. This polish was a little sheer and felt like a jelly to me, which is why 3 coats were necessary to obscure any visible nail line. I stopped at this point because I knew I planned to stamp over it, which would compensate for any transparency. Once my nails were dry I used Sinful Colors Black on Black and the left hand image on PUEEN 34 to stamp on all my nails except my ring finger. I placed a square 3 mm patterned stud purchased from Born Pretty Store (purchase here*) at the cuticle on the accent nail. I chose the pink and black stud as it matched the polish. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
If you look at this photo, you will probably be thinking this looks pretty red. It does, doesn’t it? In person it may even look like a bright, dark orange. It really looked pink in the bottle, but it totally went bright red/orange on me. This is neon pink jelly just like China Glaze Rose Among Thorns and I suspect that it might have been more pink if I had layered it over white. It became more red/orange with each layer I applied. So, even though it looks red/orange, the intention was totally to stick with my pink theme for October! The fact that it turned out red/orange doesn’t count 😛 It also has me completely doubting the colour in the stud. I’m not sure if it was pink and it just seems to blend because of the surrounding colour. I am definitely going to try and layer it over white when I use this polish or Rose Among Thorns again as I am not crazy about the colour of these polishes on their own.
What do you think of this colour? I really love jellies, pink and red polishes, but somehow these colours I just don’t love. I wonder if part of the reason I feel this way is because I expected them to be pink and they turned out more red/orange when I painted them. Maybe I was a bit disappointed by that. I won’t let them go just yet. I will first try them over white (which will also require less layers of the actual colour) and might just change how I feel about these 🙂
*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
Happy Friday everyone! I decided that I’m going to try and rock pink nails for the entire October. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do this. I certainly have enough pink polish (it is my favourite polish colour), but I am known to get bored easily I might grow tired of wearing pink nails for an entire month! It is still early days, but I have just about run out of pink untrieds. I might just dip back into my holo stash now that the sun is finally shining! When planning this mani it was my intention to stamp (again). I then realized that I might not have stamped for a while, but there are so many other nail art techniques that I haven’t done for much longer. This mani was done mid week, so it needed to be something quick and easy and so my idea for a cling (saran) wrap mani was born. Lets get to it 🙂
I started out with my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 coats of Revlon Post Modern on all my nails except my ring finger. Post Modern is another duo from the Revlon Expressionist collection. I only used the regular polish (not the striper) side for this mani. Post Modern is a very light pink polish. It was very sheer. I wasn’t completely happy with the coverage, even after 3 coats. An extra coat might have solved the problem, but there is a slippery slope between 3 and 4 coats. Just like I experienced problems on my 4th coat when I did this mani, I felt a 4th coat here would make it nearly impossible for this polish to dry properly and would start getting thick on the nail. On my ring nail I painted 2 coats of Catrice Light Your Fire from the Créme Fresh collection. This is a gorgeous pink polish. It is very pigmented, but unfortunately it is very frosty. Ordinary Misfit sent it to me recently as a gift and I have it on good authority that it stamps well, so even if I am having a bad application day and can’t apply it streak free – at least I can stamp with it 😉 Once my nails were touch dry I used a piece of cling/saran wrap that I had frumpled up into a ball and painted the polish directly on to it. I dabbed the excess polish off onto some paper towel and then dabbed it onto my nails. If you get too much polish onto your nail, use a clean part of the cling wrap to pick some of it up! I really struggled to use the Post Modern for this. I suspect because it is so sheer, the polish coming off wasn’t opaque enough to give the effect nice definition. Because the pattern is random, it is difficult to try and do more than one coat. I blobbed a lot onto my nail just to get it to show up, so the ring nail doesn’t look great. I really prefer the marbled effect on the other nails. I added a clear triangular rhinestone at the cuticle on my middle and ring nails and sealed everything in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
I love this mani. I really liked the way this shade of pink looked on my nails. Maybe I’ll make it through October with pink nails, after all. Maybe. I was super sad when I had to take this off. I’m definitely going to do more cling wrap manis soon! With all the colour combinations the possibilities are endless! You could even use 3 colours. Woo!
What do you think of this mani? Anyone can use this super simple technique and step up their mani to another level. Would you try it?
It has occurred to me lately that having developed this nail hobby is not completely unexpected. My grandfather was an avid hobbyist. He was a lithographer by trade. One of the best in South Africa at one point! He had a loads of hobbies. It drove my grandmother absolutely batshit! I think if he was a Disney fairy, he would be a tinker fairy 🙂
His first love and hobby that he never quit was hiking. He often went for hikes and at one point he used to take the youth from church for hikes as well. He loved nature. He loved walks on the beach. He also did bird watching at some point and dabbled in photography. He researched World War II. He did wood work and collected figurines. At one point he collected Lord Of The Rings led figurines which I inherited. He had bought the Lord Of The Rings books for me one Christmas after I showed an interest. He also took me to a class one Saturday where we learned to paint ceramic statues. I painted quite a few of them and kept some of them, unfortunately when my mother lost all her furniture and belongings some of my things (statues included) were also lost. My grandfather also collected stamps, glasses, limited edition cans that he printed at work, books and built model ships and airplanes. He used to do tapestries, paint by numbers and decoupage. He built large puzzles on the dining room table with thousands of pieces.
He didn’t always finish all the projects he started, but he tried his hand at almost everything short of painting his nails 😛 Sometimes when I’m blogging about my nails, dreaming up designs or taking photographs I think of him. I wonder if he would be proud of me and my hobby. I wonder if he would have tried to participate in some way or encouraged me to do things.
All I’m trying to say it that I’m not sure why I am surprised that I have taken up this hobby and run with it to the extent that I have. Being a hobbyist is in my blood!
Hi everyone. Happy Hump Day! Halfway through the week already! A while ago I did galaxy nails for the very first time. One of the polishes I used in that mani was Nubar Berry Intense. It seemed like such a beautiful shade and I felt I needed to wear it again to really do it justice. The small sponged areas just did not show it off enough. Sally Hansen Lady Luck from the Gem Crush collection has been standing in my untrieds for AGES. I just never knew what to wear it with. When I saw these two polishes standing side by side, I knew I had found the perfect combination! Let us get to it.
I started off with my usual Tip Top base coat to protect my natural nails. I painted 3 thin coats of Nubar Berry Intense on my thumb, index and pinkie nails. Berry Intense is a dark purple toned pink with a soft gold shimmer. I think “berry” describes the shade quite well. I’m not actually sure if it is pink at all…but berry isn’t exactly a colour, so I’m going to go with that. The golden shimmer is not extremely obvious on the nail, but it is there. On my ring and middle fingers I painted 3 thin coats of Sally Hansen Lady Luck. Lady Luck is a clear polish packed with glitter. I managed to reach acceptable opacity for what I wanted to do with the 3 coats. There are loads of dark pink microglitters and larger silver holographic glitters throughout. Once the glitter nails were dry I used zig zag guides that I bought from Born Pretty Store (purchase here*). The zig zags are quite big and I only managed to fit one onto my short nail beds. On my middle nail I painted over the guide and the rest of my nail with Tip Top Armour Plate and removed the guide immediately with a tweezer. On my ring nail I painted a coat of Berry Intense over the the guide and the rest of the nail, counted to 10, painted another coat and removed the guide immediately. I sealed it all in with a coat of Seche Vite. The result:
You can clearly see the gold shimmer in the bottle on the first photo. The silver nail is rather eye catching and people quickly noticed it and commented on it. The contrast between Berry Intense and Lady Luck is barely there though, so you could only see the zig zag if you looked really closely. I liked the way this turned out, although I will probably choose colours with more contrast if I do something like this again.
What do you think of this mani? Do you like zig zags?
*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 🙂