Sunday, February 7, 2021

undeniable determination



This is a close approximation of what I was wearing on February 7, 2011, exactly ten years ago! You can see my original outfit post right here. I don't have that dress anymore, which is a shame since it was one of my first adventures in sewing. But even with my alterations I still didn't wear it very often, mostly because the bodice was too long for me (you can see it bunching a bit in the pictures) and I didn't know at the time that it was only like a $10 fix at the tailor. Also I hardly ever smiled in my photos back then. I wasn't sad, I just didn't think I looked nice when I smiled, and that in turn makes me a little sad. I'm glad I finally got over that at some point and let my happiness show in my photos now :)

This dress was a recent find on Thredup (not sponsored) which is where I've been getting a lot of my new-to-me clothes recently. I love color and fun patterns and bold designs just as much as I always have, but most stores seem to only be selling clothes in various shades of grey and beige these days. So I've been getting my shopping fix buying slightly used clothing instead! I especially love that they have a "fit and flare" filter on their dress page! All I have to do is scan the listings for pops of color and shopping is a breeze lol!

Also, this bow tie is actually a hair tie with a duck bill clip in the back. I attached it by putting a bobby pin on the neckline of my dress and then attaching the bow to the bobby pin. The bow mostly hides the pin, so you don't even see it! It's my new favorite clothing hack! I got a few of these hair bows in different colors and can't wait to start adding a little vintage bow flair to some of my dresses!

dress - J Crew (via thredup) | shoes - bait footwear | bow - amazon

Friday, February 5, 2021

a super belated Christmas decoration post



I'm planning on finally taking my Christmas decorations down this weekend, but before I did I wanted to take some pictures and post them since I was really, really happy with how everything looked this year! My favorite part was my new pink Christmas tree, which fits so perfectly in my space it's almost like it was made to order. I've wanted a tree like this for so long but never found the exact right shape or color. I love that this has such a long pole at the bottom before the actual tree starts, the perfect pink color that isn't quite pastel and isn't fluorescent neon (I feel like all pink trees tend to be one or the other) but a perfect carnation pink. I love the height and width, a small scale full size tree for a small space! I got it on amazon (it's only available in 7' now but mine is 6') And I love my new tree topper that I made out of laser cut wood and glitter mod podge. It's a "Topper" topper. If you like classic movies hopefully you'll get the pun ;)



























A small "where I got that" list, if you're curious!

= My Christmas cat pillowcase is from Vinnie Boy Vintage
= DIY honeycomb santa wall hanging is from my shop
= Pastel putz houses are from Everyday is a Holiday
= Tall putz houses were from Anthropologie
= Lady vases & Christmas cat figurines are vintage
= NOEL figures & choir girls are vintage

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

how I do my own nails at home



I used to get really bad hangnails all the time up until I started getting professional manicures in 2016. It completely solved the problem and I've been blissfully hangnail-free ever since. That is, until the pandemic started, and I realized I'd have to learn how to do my own nails, post haste! At first I bought a kit to DIY my own acrylics but it was really, really difficult. It took me somewhere between 4-6 hours each time I did them, they were really bumpy, they wouldn't last very long, and to get them off I'd have to file them down with an electric nail file which added even more time onto the process. I gave up on doing my own acrylics in May, just two months after I started lol!

In the mean time I tried just doing gel polish, which would always chip after 1-2 days, the Kiara Sky gelly system, and just plain old regular polish which chipped even faster than the gel and didn't make any difference preventing hangnails. 

Finally I decided to just try glue-on nails with gel polish over them and that has been my go-to method for over six months now. They last about 2-3 weeks and the whole process usually takes me about the length of a movie. It still takes a little longer than it would if I went to a salon and it lasts about one week less than a professional manicure (and it definitely doesn't look as great lol) but I'm so happy that I figured out a way to stay hangnail-free, have pretty manicured nails, and avoid unnecessary outings during the pandemic! These actually feel like real acrylics, they are hard as nails, and perfect for opening cans and scratching itches lol



What I use

- UV Lamp - This is the one that I have, and I really like it.
- Alcohol wipes
- Nail file
- 100% acetone
- Glue-on nails (I like KISS brand)
- Gel polish (I like Beetles and Kiara Sky brands)

My process

1. If I am removing old nails then first I would soak the nail in acetone for 15 minutes and then use a cuticle pusher & nail file to remove any leftover product. If you aren't removing old nails, skip ahead to step 2.
2. Use cuticle softener on the nail beds and then clean up with a cuticle pusher & trimmer before filing and wiping the nails with alcohol wipes. 
3. Apply a small dot of glue to the nail & a small dot to my own nail. Press for 30 seconds.
4. File the nails down to the length & shape that I like, and then file the surface to rough it up a bit so that the gel polish will hold.
5. Apply one coat of base gel to one hand. Put hand under the light for 99 seconds.
6. Apply one coat of color to one hand. Put hand under the light for 99 seconds.
7. Apply second coat of color to one hand. Put hand under the light for 99 seconds.
8. Apply one coat of top gel to one hand. Put hand under the light for 99 seconds.
9. Wipe fingers with alcohol wipes.
10. Repeat the process for your other hand.
11. Apply cuticle oil and massage it into the nail beds.

Some tips

- Don't skip the step where you file your nails and then wipe them with alcohol wipes before applying the glue-on nails. It really helps them to stick better.

- Once you figure out which nail fits perfectly on each finger, make a note of the number (it's either printed on a little removable tab or on the inside of the nail itself, depending on which type of nails you get) and then write it down. Then next time you do your nails you immediately know which ones fit and you don't have to take the time to size each one.

- Hold the nail in place after you glue it for 30 seconds. I know that seems like a lot but I've found they stay on better if I hold them longer than the recommended 10 seconds.

- If you have a hard time holding the nail in place without getting glue on your fingers (speaking from experience lol) buy longer nails and then file them down to the length that you want them. I prefer short-medium length nails but I buy slightly longer fake nails that give me a little lip to hold onto when I'm gluing.

- When the nails have been on for about 2-3 weeks they might start popping off on their own. LET THEM. Just go a few days with some missing nails. It ends up being a gigantic time saver when it comes time to put on a new set. I used to keep gluing mine back on and then when I was ready to remove them I had to soak all of my nails in acetone and slough off the glue and old nails, and it just takes so much longer than letting them pop off on their own. Usually like 9 of my nails will pop off in a 1-2 day span towards the end of my set and I'll be left with one single stubborn nail that will need to be soaked off, but it's way easier than doing all 10. All this being said, if one nail pops off 3 days into a new set I do still glue that one back on :)

- When you're painting with your non-dominant hand, I've found that it helps a lot of I move the hand that I'm painting instead of the hand holding the brush. It helps me have more control and has resulted in much, much neater paint jobs. Sometimes my right hand comes out even better than my left, something that definitely was not the case when I first started this last March lol!

Monday, January 25, 2021

sweetheart



It's officially that time of year when I start wearing pink and red like it's a uniform lol :) Sometimes I think it's kind of funny how much I absolutely LOVE Valentine's Day when I've never had a significant other or even been on a date. But what can I say, hearts and pink and red are my jam. 

The only holiday I enjoy more than Valentine's Day color-wise is Easter. A few years ago I started hosting our family Easter dinners (I wrote a bit about it here) and I went all out on decorations. I had so much fun shopping at Michaels and Target and Pier 1 and stocking up on plates and napkins and wicker bunnies and decorative easter eggs! Each year I've added a few things to the mix because I just simply can't help myself when I see a wall of pastel Easter decor in front of me lol! Last year they had *just* put out Easter decorations before my last trips to stores before the quarantine, so I managed to get a cute pastel egg wreath from Target and a new table runner before we shuttered in for the year. This year I might cruise Target.com when it gets a little closer and keep the tradition going.

I feel like a broken record at this point because I've complained about this so often, but so much decor/clothing/everything these days is neutral and looks so drab to me. So I really treasure these colorful holidays when stores make some space for bright and happy decorations, and the world is allowed to be a little bit more vibrant :)

Thursday, January 21, 2021

happy days are here again



In my last blog post I wrote about how uncomfortable I've felt sharing frivolous posts during such serious times but today I feel like I can unabashedly just scream "YAY!!", put on the happiest, sunniest outfit possible, and sing "happy days are here again" because Joe Biden is officially the President and Kamala Harris is our first female VP! It actually happened, today is really here, things are changing for the better and I could not be more happy about it. I cried so many happy tears yesterday that I had to put ice packs on my eyes before I went to sleep because my eyelids were so sore! I'm THAT happy!! 

I'm happy for so, so many reasons. Obviously I'm happy that the previous president is gone, that's a given. I'm happy that the pandemic will finally be taken seriously and hopefully it'll come to an end much quicker than it would have otherwise. I'm happy that the vaccine rollout will finally be organized and my at-risk parents will get their doses soon. I'm happy that I don't have to wake up each morning wondering if we randomly bombed Switzerland or something. I'm happy that there might actually be a place for frivolity in the world again. And more than anything else I'm happy that Joe Biden, a man I have admired and rooted for for my entire adult life, is sitting in the oval office. I have a button that I purchased at the 2005 NJ Democratic Convention that says 'Biden for President 2008', so this has been something I have wanted for a very, very long time. He is such an incredibly kind and decent man with a giant heart and more empathy than most politicians have put together. I truly believe that he will always do what he really believes is the right thing to do, without any consideration of his own political fortunes. He has our best interest at heart and he is going to be such a great president. Oh, and he's adopting the first White House rescue cat so I mean, does it get any better than that??