Friday, August 2, 2013

DIY French Pedicure

What you'll need:
* Transparent tape (I use 1/2" but you can use wider or trimmer, based on your preference)
* Your choice of good quality colors
* Your choice of clear top coat.

For my pedicure, I used Samoan Sand by OPI Nail Lacquer, the last of a bottle of French Manicure White by L.A. Colors and Hard as Nails: Xtreme Wear by Sally Hansen (my top coat).

Samoan Sand by OPI was used as the base nail color because it is fast drying and long lasting. Past manicures with OPI Nail Lacquer products have lasted a week or more, depending on the wear and tear I exert, versus other cheaper nail polishes that have chipped the next day. Having a fast drying nail polish for the base nail color is very important, otherwise in order to get the results of this pedicure the painted nails would have to be left alone for several hours, or a day, and the manicure/pedicure completed at a later time when the polish is fully dry.

Also - don't be afraid to be adventurous with color! Experiment. Mix-and-match. Go wild. Have fun! Just because I used a neutral color and white as an example in this tutorial, doesn't mean you have to. Play a little!

- Credit for the idea of using tape as part of a manicure or pedicure goes to my friend, Lindsey, who brought the idea to my attention a few months ago.-

Step 1). Paint the base nail color coat.

This can be as opaque or transparent as you see fit. Be sure to make sure that each coat of color you apply dries completely before applying the next. Otherwise the polish will be tacky or dry on top but wet underneath the topmost layer of color. For this French pedicure, completely dry nails are a must.

Step 2). Once your nails are completely dry, cut a small strip of tape and stick it to one nail, leaving the top edge of the nail bare.

Press down on the tape across the top edge (closest to the end of your nail) to ensure a tight seal. For a more rounded French manicure/pedicure style, as opposed to the straight line provided by the tape, you can use either the edges and ends of a band-aid. (This, however, is more costly - and as a college student I'm a fan of saving money. Plus, the band-aid can occasionally leave behind an excessively sticky residue on the nail, so plan accordingly.)

Step 3). Paint on the white (or your second color choice).

Don't be afraid to paint outside the lines. Getting the nail polish all over the tape is totally fine! And if polish gets on your skin, you can either scrape it away with a fingernail or once done with your pedicure and it has dried, soak the end of a Q-tip (cotton swab) in nail polish remover and carefully rub away the unwanted mess, pulling the skin gently away from the nail to do so, if you have to. It is a lifesaver!

  When you're done, it'll look something like this:

If the white (or other color) nail polish used to tip the nail is not a fast drying nail polish, or is very runny in nature, let the polish and tape stand for a moment. This assures there is no dripping when the tape is removed.

The L.A. Colors white I used dries incredibly quickly, so I could move onto the next step almost immediately.

Step 4). Peel off the tape

Take it slow. Peeling the tape off with a taught downward angle, or straight across, can aid in getting a crisp line. 

Step 5). Let dry for a few minutes and then (carefully) continue with the same process on the other nails.

Tada! Your very own set of gorgeous, freshly pedicured toenails. Add in a mud mask, a few slices of cucumber (or zucchini), hot cocoa, your favorite dessert, a romantic comedy and some moisturizer and  make a Pamper Night of it! Give yourself some well-deserved TLC.

Let me know if you try this pedicure. Post pictures on your own blog and email or comment the link so I can see your results! Have fun -  can't wait to see all of your creations!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Amara, Food Thief

Wandering the house with her food bag seems to be a reoccurring phenomenon.

Pele Fears Not

My brave little adventurer. This morning he flew from his perch on my shoulder to the hallway and promptly began to investigate his surroundings.

He found a few things that caught his eye - the fabric of my socks, the brass-colored door handles, the click of his nails on the wood floor. In particular, Amara.
The initial sighting.
Charging forth to bury his beak into Amara's fluff.
Freaked out by this small, winged, flying creature, Amara darts away to a safer distance.
Un-phased by Amara's fleeing, Pele followed her as far as she'd allow.
Then, refusing to let his mood be dampened, he turned to me:
"What adventure's next?"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Loves

No, I don't mean the romantic kind. (Those make good stories, too!)

I can hardly believe that summer is halfway through. A gift of college is that, although the semesters are rigorous, summer starts a full month earlier than high school. (I always feel like I'm getting away with an early Christmas gift, between earlier summer breaks and a month long breather between semesters. However did I survive high school without them?) Recently, I finished a seven week summer semester. There was a lot of personal one-on-one time between Conceptual Physics and I, and we had a few rows, but we've come out unscathed and I on top. (A fair fight, I must say)

I just love the sea.

With a few weeks of summer still laid out ahead of me, I find myself loving, enjoying and anticipating my favorite parts of summer:

Warm summer breezes. The lazy afternoons spent laying in the sun, a good book in hand. Tackling my ever-growing To Be Read (TBR) list. Bonfires. S'mores (sometimes made via microwave as often as fireside).  Late nights spent outside laying on the swing watching the stars (especially when talking with a friend). The intermittent glow of fireflies. Dancing dragonflies. Curious hummingbirds. Bird watching. Butterflies. Homemade iced tea. Green drinks and juices savored in the morning air on the porch out of mason jars. Fruit salads. Fragrant flowers. Vegetable gardens. My fingers playing in dirt. Kids Can Grow. Children's bright, eager eyes. Freshly picked snap peas off the vine. Watermelon dripping down my chin. Fruit salads. Colorful, fragrant, mouthwatering salads. Country car rides, windows down and music loud - screaming the lyrics to every song. Laughter. Gathering friends. Exploring tide pools. Salty air. Barefeet. Foot prints in the sand. Warm sand between my toes. The glow of the sun. Yard sales.  Tank tops. Rolled pants. Sundresses.  Humming fans. Miniature golf. Capturing memories. Making memories. Quiet. Rekindling my hidden passions and pleasures - photography, scrapbooking, writing, drawing, reading, painting and blogging. Skype dates. Blue skies. Late night drive-in's spent munching snacks, laughing with friends and telling stories just to stay awake. Reunions. Water balloons. Overgrown fields blowing in the wind. Tadpoles. Chasing frogs. The haunting hoot of an owl in the silence of the night. Bats racing, chasing stars at dusk. Fireworks.  That feeling that anything is possible. Badminton. Little paws bounding circles around our yard. The smokey smell of burning wood. Sounds, scents, sights and feelings of a Native American powwow. The rhythmic beat of native drums. The soothing songs of native flutes. Freedom. Out with the old, in with the new. Unloading old weight (figuratively speaking). Daily meditations. Fairy gardens. Newness. Endless possibilities. Adventure. Woodland hikes. The promise of fall.

What are some of your summer loves?