Tuesday, 13 December 2016

There's more important things in life than nails, but they're a good place to start.

Everyone who knows me, knows I am nail #obsessed and have been since I was a child. I used to always have them painted beautiful colours.

Then I had kids, and they fell right to the bottom of my list of priorities. But any chance I got, I'd have a Shillac manicure and hope it would last 6 weeks, until I could find the time/money to have them done again, 6 weeks would turn into 3 months, and you get the picture. Finding time with kids is hard.

So I bit the bullet and started painting them myself again. About two months ago, on Instagram I swore blind I was never going to bother doing my own nails again, after they chipped only a few hours later. Well today I am eating my words!!

Depend Very Berry & Jamberry Granada and TikiHut

I've found two amazing new brands that I have a feeling will be featuring in a lot of my IG posts in the future.

Depend and Jamberry

I skeptically bought a starter pack and some colours of Depend 7 Day. Half expecting to use it once, it not to work, and for it to be banished to my nail box, never to be used again. I was wrong.

That same week, I was also sent some samples of Jamberry Nail Wraps to try. Again I was skeptical. I had never used wraps before, and always felt like they were a bit cheep and childish. Again, I was wrong!

Both brands insist on correct nail prep for best results, this is the step I always manage myself at home; cleanse, scrub, buff, cuticles, etc. etc.but I never manage to get any further. So I had to make a conscious effort this time to not open the bottle of wine and to do my nails instead. 

I figured the best way to see which was best was to pin them against each other, and see which lasted longest. I was seriously impressed. Even with my dishwasher breaking and having to actually wash dishes (how very 1950's) as well as the usual, bathing kids, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms etc. etc. neither budged for 10 days. At which stage I was bored and wanted to change colours anyway.

Depend 7Day
Healing Trees & Nature's Lullaby

Depend has basic 4 steps, Cleanse, Base, Colour and Top. Fairly straightforward. The bristles
 of the brushes are very cleverly designed to spread and cover your nail in one neat sweep, so even doing my wrong hand was easy. Each layer only took 2/3 minutes to dry and the final look was flawless.

Jamberry is a little bit more complicated. You cut the wrap roughly to size, peel it back with an orange stick, heat with a hairdryer/ heater for a few seconds then apply it to your nail and file down. It sounds complicated, but after the first application I got the hang of it. The upside of the wraps is you get beautifully delicate designs, so even if you're completely anti-ambidextrous like my self, both hands still look fab.

I've also tried Jamberry on my toes, and my god they LAST!! You'll have to take my word for it as I may be banned from the internet if I shared pictures of my feet,

Both will set you back about £30/€30 to get yourself started, but (and sorry about this) I challenge anyone to stop there. The colours and pattern combinations are endless. It has become a Monday night ritual of mine, I get the kids to sleep and sit down for some me time. I may not have slept in 3 years, or had my hair done in 2, but when I have my nails done, I feel like I have my shit together.

Jamberry are available here
Depend 7Day is available here

S x

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

My Christmas Canvases. All the paintings in the house, are
replaced by festive ones for December

Christmas happened in our house last week. Gone are the days of a beautifully decorated tree, with immaculately wrapped presents (I have been know to add sleigh bells and bows) stacked up underneath, with candles and flowers perched on every surface. Now I've found a corner, used only decorations that wont fit in Daithi's mouth, and packed all breakables away, 'till next year at least.

Yes, that is Henry the Hover under the tree.
He doesn't fit anywhere else.
I first met Shane in July 2012, by that Christmas we were living together in a tiny, dreary, one bed, basement flat in Rathmines. This is where our first annual 'Real v Artificial Christmas Tree' argument took place. I informed him, that he is never, ever going to win this particular argument so should just save our time and his energy and give up. 

Our First Christmas in England
(not pregnant!)
You'd think, as we approach our 8th Christmas together he'd have learned. But no,  two different countries, four different houses and eight different arguments. We had our Christmas tree fight early this year. And I won. As I do every year. So last week we got this years, a real one, in a pot, ready to be plated in the garden next to the last 3 we've had since buying this house. 

The first Christmas in our little house I was very, VERY pregnant on Fionn. So much so I ate, what I could of my dinner, while balancing on a birth ball. Our house is tiny, so the glorious 9ft tree I wanted was never going to happen. So we agreed (Shane never agreed) compromised, on a cute little 4ft tree, still in pot, perched on an IKEA Lack table. We planted it in the garden the day Fionn was due, and so a new family tradition was born. We planted a tree on Fionn's first Christmas, and another while I was very pregnant on Daithí. I make a horrible habit of that. And we'll do the same this year. 

The Grinch and I may not have a traditional Christmas dinner. We have fajitas with all the trimmings. But I still insist on going a bit OTT with decorations, and I'll be dammed if I ever give up fighting for a real tree.

I'd love to hear other families quirky Christmas traditions. S x

Christmas 2015
Home-Made, Potty Training, IKEA
Advent Calendar