Bloggers Like Me
Jun 252013
 

I have never been the kind of person with a huge stockpile of vacation photos. I almost always forgot my camera, and even when I remembered to bring it along, I’d leave it in my pocket on most trips. Even my son’s first year of life is mostly documented on my cell phone. Don’t judge.

But then I started this blog. And I was forced to take pictures of things I was doing, or places I went. And let me tell you, they were some pretty horrible pictures. But they’ve slowly started to improve.  And I find myself  looking at my life experiences in a whole new way.

I don’t claim to be a photographer. I’m just a person who has a little camera, and likes taking pictures.  Luckily, we live in an age where online photo editing sites make it easy to take my ho-hum pictures and turn them into something a little more appealing. I have really been getting into pixlr, and editing lots of my random vacation shots. I’ve also enjoyed trying to look at the world at new angles. You never know how you can transform something by moving left, or right, or in some cases turning it upside down.

Today I thought I’d share a few of the pictures I enjoyed playing with, and a couple that I think are pretty neat without any fancy fidgeting. I’m still learning a lot about the process, so don’t expect expert stuff here :) And in the end, I just like what I like. I like making things that are beautiful to me. I hope you enjoy them too!

I took this picture on the way home from our weekend in Bryson City, NC. One the way up we'd seen this huge field of poppies just on the shoulder of the highway. As a California girl I got excited, because they were a reminder of home, and the state flower. On the left is my original photo and on the right is the edited version.

I took this picture on the way home from our weekend in Bryson City, NC. One the way up we’d seen this huge field of poppies just on the shoulder of the highway. As a California girl I got excited, because they were a reminder of home, and the state flower. On the left is my original photo and on the right is the edited version.

This is just something that happened while I was playing around at home. I love the light fixture in our bedroom, and I can never make it look as graceful in pictures as it does to me in real life. So I thought, why not try to capture the reflection? We have some inspirational plaques on one of the walls, so this is what came to mind. I added a vintage filter, and a little vignette. I'm pretty happy with the result.

This is just something that happened while I was playing around at home. I love the light fixture in our bedroom, and I can never make it look as graceful in pictures as it does to me in real life. So I thought, why not try to capture the reflection? We have some inspirational plaques on one of the walls, so this is what came to mind. I added a vintage filter, and a little vignette. I’m pretty happy with the result.

I like this picture of the bean, taken at an awesome little coffee shop on our trip. The blurred focus around his face was unintentional. But I love happy accidents. I think it makes him look slightly more angelic than he actually is ;)

I like this picture of the bean, taken at an awesome little coffee shop on our trip. The blurred focus around his face was unintentional. But I love happy accidents. I think it makes him look slightly more angelic than he actually is ;)

 

Just quick snapshot of some of the amazingly colorful work the students od SCAD did in this year's sidewalk arts festival.

Just quick snapshot of some of the amazingly colorful work the students of SCAD did in this year’s sidewalk arts festival.

And here are just a few pictures of some pretty awesome snippets of nature.

And here are just a few pictures of some pretty awesome snippets of nature.

I hope you enjoyed my little photo display. As I get better I’ll try to share more.

Is there a new hobby you’ve picked up unexpectedly? Please share it with me!

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Jun 242013
 

Hey y’all! How’s it going? This week’s mani Monday is gonna be a little bit of a cop out. I didn’t really do anything interesting to my nails this week. Sometimes you just want to rock a color you’ve already worn, you know? So I thought I’d show you a couple of manis I did while I wasn’t  around these parts as much. Yup that’s right. Even when I wasn’t blogging I still snapped a few pics of things I really liked. Please excuse my less than stellar cuticles. Everybody gets a little dry and cracked now and the >_>

Anyway here you go!

This is a mani inspired by the movie UP. If I was better with nail art I would have added the little house. But I decided not to hurt my own feelings, and just went with the balloons. I also love doing just the clouds. They are so light and airy, and just make me happy.

This is a mani inspired by the movie UP. If I was better with nail art I would have added the little house. But I decided not to hurt my own feelings, and just went with the balloons. I also love doing just the clouds. They are so light and airy, and just make me happy.

I may be mildly obsessed with Wonder Woman. Just mildly. So of course when I needed to throw together a super quick mani the night before an outing, I did this. I sued some mini polishes from NYX and they were surpisingly good quality. I actually really like this mani. I think I'll give it another go with some more details. Maybe some stars on the blue and a full on Wonder Woman symbol with the gold. I'll let you know if/when that happens.

I may be mildly obsessed with Wonder Woman. Just mildly. So of course when I needed to throw together a super quick mani the night before an outing, I did this. I used some mini polishes from NYX and they were surprisingly good quality. I actually really like this mani. I think I’ll give it another go with some more details. Maybe some stars on the blue and a full on Wonder Woman symbol with the gold. I’ll let you know if/when that happens.

So that’s it for this week. Do you have any random mani pics hanging around on your phone or camera?

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Jun 172013
 

Whew! That weekend went by fast. How was your Father’s Day? Did anyone do anything super over the top for your dad? Luckily, my husband is super low key. We stayed in and had a marathon of our new favorite show, Suits. I just love a good legal drama/comedy.

This week’s manicure has no fancy embellishments. The color itself is so vivid and eye-catching that it doesn’t need any help to get noticed. A couple of weekends ago I was doing my regular Ulta run, looking for new polish, when I happened upon the Essie Neon collection for this summer. There were some really pretty shades, but this one really caught my eye. I’m a sucker for a good blue polish. Even more so for a good cobalt blue. So of course, Bouncer, It’s Me! was right up my alley. Also, can we take a moment and appreciate how much Essie is stepping up their naming game? I think we can all admit that we’ve bought at least one polish simply because of the catchy name!

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Anyway, I grabbed this puppy up and rushed home to try it out. When I started applying the first coat I was a little worried. To be honest I thought this polish was going to ruin the beautiful relationship I have with Essie and their flawless formula. This polish has a very weird consistency at first. It was streaky. And it starts drying very quickly, so going back to try to even things out just started removing big patches. I was so shocked, that I actually looked up other reviews to find out if it was just my bottle, or what. Everything I read said that the first coat was problematic, but the second coat did the magic self leveling trick and everything finished flawlessly. I was super skeptical. But all the pictures seemed to show a beautiful even finish, so I soldiered on. And wouldn’t you know, the second coat actually fixed everything!  And a little bonus. Because of the “neon” pigment this polish dries to a satin, semi matte finish. It looks sort of like matte vinyl before applying top coat. It’s a great effect, if you’re bored with super shiny nails. I topped it with Seche Vite because I just love super shiny nails. I did notice that there was more tip wear than normal with this shade, but I was able to wear it in the pool without any chipping. In fact I wore this for about 6 days before I removed it and there was no chipping at all.  SCORE!

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This color is simply gorgeous. It’s not what I would call NEON but it’s definitely got a cool “glow” to it. It’s also a jelly polish. But not the super sheer takes a ton of coats to build it up jelly. It’s actually opaque after 2 coats (3 if you do really thin coats), but it still has that juicy, squishy look. So if you’re in the market for a beautiful cobalt to add to your collection, grab this as soon as possible!

 

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Jun 102013
 

Surprise! I’m back after a looong hiatus. No long explanations here. But I do have to shout out my awesome husband for saying I should post this mani, because he missed my blog. There’s nothing better than a loving supportive man!

So this week’s mani is actually pretty simple, but oh so fun. My mommy sent me a package of nail art tools last week. Among them were quite a few different sized dotting tools. I figured I give them a go before trying to bust out the brushes, because dots are so much easier. I decided to go with a neutral palette. And because I’m incapable of doing anything without at least a little shimmer, I used two metallic polishes to do some of the dotting. The overall color scheme is soft and romantic, but the dots give it a touch of a mod feeling. And if you think about it, the colors are kind of  Neopolitan ice cream inspired.

Too Mani Dots

If you want to re create this look you will need:

A  neutral polish with a pink undertone- I used Zoya Avery

For the dots- a light cream or off white color ( Zoya Jaqueline), a metallic copper/rose gold with a satin fish (Essie Penny Talk), a cool greyish taupe cream (Essie Chinchilly), and a sparkly metallic gold (Zoya Ziv).

First polish all of your nails with 1-2 coats of the neutral polish. Zoya Avery is an opaque neutral cream, that covers in just one coat. Follow up with one coat of quick dry top coat. Then start your dotting. I used 4 different sized dotting tools for this mani. I used 2 different sizes with each color, and did one color at a time. You can just apply the dots randomly, and even overlap a few.

Once you’ve dotted to your heart’s desire, let your dots dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then go ahead and finish off with one more layer of fast dry top coat.

I really like this look. It’s a nice break from all my usual glitters and bright colors.

What’s on your fingers this week?

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Apr 082013
 

Hey y’all! How is Monday treating you?

This week I have a mani from another indie brand. Yup, I bought even more nail polish! O_O  This time I decided to try out some creations from Pahlish, This one is called Heart of Man. It’s a gorgeous deep wine, almost black cherry colored, jelly base. It’s jam packed with garnet hexes, sprinkled with pink holo micro glitters, and topped off with raspberry squares. Since the glitter is all in various hues and shades of the base color, it adds depth and dimension and that gorgeous “inner glow” I love. So it’s not an over powering glitter party. I think this is another one you could safely sneak into the workplace.

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The formula here was …. interesting. It was quite thick , almost the consistency of hair gel.  It took some getting used to because it didn’t spread as easily as other formulas do. But once I got used to it, I actually appreciated the formulation. There was no pooling, and it made it super easy to keep the polish just where I wanted it. I think the way to get the best results, is to do very thin coats. It builds up beautifully!

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Heart of Man is still available in the Pahlish etsy shop for $9. I really appreciated the quick turn around time. The one downside to ordering polish online is that you have to wait for them to come in the mail. I’m really impatient and prefer instant gratification. But that wasn’t a problem here. I placed my order late Friday night, got a shipping notification Saturday morning, and had my polish in hand by Monday. Couldn’t ask for more!

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I have a few other new polishes to swatch for you in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Have you tried any indie brands yet? If so, what are your favorite brands? If not, is there something specific holding you back?

I’m back to linking up with the MANICure Monday ladies. This week the hop is being hosted by Mimi.

There’s a new link tool, so you don’t have to have a blog to link up! Head on over and show off your work of art. :)

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Apr 012013
 

Hello Jo! Whad’ya know? OK so your name probably isn’t Joe, but hi anyway. How was your weekend? Did you have a nice Easter?  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I wanted to get back to doing what I really love. So here we are with a new Mani Monday on this 1st day of April.

I didn’t have any specific theme in mind when I decided to do this look. I just knew that I wanted to use my Pixie Dust as an accent.  Since I have a grey polish (actually a few) from Zoya I figured why not match that with my grey Pixie dust and call it a day. I did a little bottom up gradient just to add a touch of sparkle. The result is a pretty, subdued mani that could take you from day to night. I definitely think it’s subtle enough to wear to most work places.

I applied 2 coats of Zoya Tao, and then one coat of quick dry top coat.  I applied the Pixie Dust  in London just at the base of my nail after wiping most of the polish from the brush. I used the almost dry brush to disperse the Pixie Dust toward the free edge of my nail to achieve a subtle gradient effect.

Pixie Gradient

Pixie Gradient Flash

What’s on your nails this week? Are there any trends you’re loving right now?

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Mar 042013
 

Hey! It’s Monday! We made it through another weekend. I hope you all got rested and charged up for this week.  Boy! Let me tell you. I have got a lot of stuff to show you all in the next few weeks.

But this week let’s start off with a request from Alisha of Coily Locks. She asked for swatches of the two glitters from last week’s post over black and white. I aim to please, so here they are.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You Bu I Don't on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don’t on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don't on middle and pinky finger.

Different Dimension All Red-y In Love on index and ring fingers; Aorta Miss You But I Don’t on middle and pinky finger.

I just want to let you all know that if there’s ever anything you want to see here, leave me a request. I want to make this a place you like to share with me. And I can’t get better without input.

Now on to this weeks manicure.

It’s been oddly cold this week. So of course I’ve been daydreaming of Spring and summer. I decided that if I can’t frolic in the sand and sun I can at least let them inspire me. I used Zoya Zuza and Godiva to create a sand and sea mani. I really like that I can use my Pixie Dust polishes with a top coat to create a whole new finish. I didn’t want to do anything too fussy so I just used some tape to create triangle accents.  And because I’m a weirdo I made one triangle at the base of my index finger instead of the tip like all the others. Anywho, I hope you like it.

Sand and Sea UniquelyBrandid

Sand and Sea Flash UniquelyBrandid

Are you ready for spring and summer?  What are you looking forward to the most in the coming seasons?

 

Remember that this week’s MANICure Monday is being hosted by Efie at LA Lynn’s. click the link below to see what’s up!

 

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This week has been a lot about love. Everyone seems to have strong feelings about love. Some are positive; some not so much. But what I want to talk about is how transformative and all encompassing love really is. And also… nail polish.

I know what you’re thinking. Is there anything in this woman’s life that is NOT about nail polish. Well the answer is- Of course! But nail polish is something I really like. I enjoy using it to express myself. I enjoy sharing it with you all here. And here’s where the love comes in. My husband knows how much I love nail polish. But there’s more to the story. He also knows that sometimes I’m pretty hard on myself. He sees me when I’m struggling to believe that I can live out my dreams. He knows my fears. So yesterday, when he presented me with this amazing nail polish, it was about so much more.

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That my friends is a custom made bottle of polish named after my blog and designed to look like my logo. But it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a symbol that the things I love are not frivolous to the man I love. It means that he loves and supports me in everything I do. It is a sign to me that every word I type is going somewhere, even when I feel like what I say doesn’t matter.

I didn’t start this blog to become famous. I do this as a challenge to myself. I do it because it’s something I love. This truly is my space to explore who I can be. And I cannot even express how much it means to me to have the man I love continue to lift me up this way. He reminds me that I have a voice. He lets me know that my voice is important. And he encourages me to continue sharing, not only for myself, but because he believes that what I say matters.

I believe that the love of my husband is just a physical embodiment of the love God has for me. Sometimes God’s love can seem remote. As human beings we tend to only really understand what is right in front of us. It’s been my belief for a while that marriage is God’s way of showing each of us how He loves us. And having children is His way of teaching us how to give that kind of love to others.

So, even though Valentine’s Day has passed, I want to say thank you. Thanks to my amazing husband, for being everything I could have asked for in a partner. Thank you for being all the things I never even knew I needed. And I want to thank God for showing me so much love throughout my life. I would truly be nowhere without Him.

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day. And I hope your weekend only gets better. I’ll see you all back here on Monday!

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Hey there! Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Whether you are single, dating, or married today is a day about love. So spread some with those around you.

All the loves of my life

All the loves of my life

The Mr. and I don’t have any super intense romantic plans tonight. We’re kind of in that place where we try to make everyday a little like Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean we’re no fun.

I wanted to do something a little different this year. So I decided to make Valentines for the other people in our building. i went old school with construction paper and heart cut outs. It was so much fun. I also added in some Rice Krispie treats with heart sprinkles, because who doesn’t like a little sweetness? I figured that grown ups don’t get random Valentines like we used to in grade school.

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And of course I did a little Valentine’s manicure, because I couldn’t help myself. I think the candy colors are so much fun, and the little tiny hearts are making me smile every time I look down at my hands.

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So yeah, that’s my Valentine’s Day in a nutshell. What are you doing today? Do you have fancy plans? Are you going to do something nice for someone else? Tell me how you’re planning to share the love!

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Feb 112013
 

Oh, hello Monday. Fancy meeting you here. How was everyone’s weekend? I hope you had fun. Mine was pretty low key, as usual. But it was also pretty awesome.  Did you watch the Grammys? I watched the second half. Meh. I think I’m past the point of caring about that stuff. I end up spending the whole time making fun of everything.

Anywho, I’m gonna go ahead and get into this nail polish business, cause that’s what we’re here for.

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This week I’m going to finish up with my Different Dimension polishes from the Big Bang Theory collection. The last one in the series is Bazinga! This one is a yellow jelly base with small and large  red and yellow hex glitter.

2 coats of Bazinga alone

2 coats of Bazinga alone

3 coats of Bazinga alone

3 coats of Bazinga alone

 

Admittedly, this was probably the most impractical of the set.  It’s a super fun polish, but I don’t wear a bunch of yellow or red, and the combo could make you think more fast food than nail polish chic. But give it a chance, because there are tons of possibilities for wear if you use a little creativity. I layered it over white and black polish, as is pretty customary for glitter toppers I wasn’t a huge fan over white, but black was pretty cool.

Two coats of Bazinga over white,black.

Two coats of Bazinga over white,black.

Then I decided to do a couple of jelly sandwiches.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, a jelly sandwich is the process of layering a glitter or other polish between two or more layers of a translucent jelly polish. I did two different jelly sandwiches.

For the first one I started with one coat of Essie Clambake. It’s a tomato red jelly that looks absolutely amazing all on its own. Then I layered two coats of Bazinga, and finally another layer of Clambake. I think this look is great if you are tired of just a plain red polish and want to add a little cheeky bit of twinkle.

Yum Jelly Sandwich! Essie Clambake with Bazinga middle.

Yum Jelly Sandwich! Essie Clambake with Bazinga middle.

The second sandwich was made using Zoya OC Cooler. I got this orange jelly with gold micro shimmer a couple of years ago, and haven’t really had a chance to put it to good use. All by itself OC Cooler looks like orange soda. It’s a very fun sunshine-y color.  I did the one 2 one punch with this one again, and it was honestly my favorite of all the combinations I tried.

More sandwich! Zoya OC Cooler with Bazinga middle.

More sandwich! Zoya OC Cooler with Bazinga middle.

So there you have it. Options! I’m a giver. Really no need to thank me ;)

Overall, I have been really pleased with all four of the polishes I purchased form Different Dimension. They are high quality and creative. Most of all they are fun! And for me that’s the most important thing in nail polish. Have you given any indie polish brands a try? Which brands would you recommend? I’m always open to suggestions. As usual I will be linking up with the MANICure Monday ladies. You should hop on over. Post your manicure if you’ve got one. It’s loads of fun.

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