DIY Hard Nails {Swatches + promo code}

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello lovelies!

Today I have some beautiful gel polish swatches for you from one of my favorite brands, DIY Hard Nails (pronounced "die-hard nails" for all of the die-hard nail lovers out there). I've shared a little about them before here on the blog, and they had some more colors I really wanted to try out. 

DIY Hard Nails are just like any other at home gel polishes and they require an LED or UV lamp, along with a gel base and top coat. Now, which type/brand of lamp is up to you, just know that they take 45 seconds to cure under an LED and anywhere from 2-3 minutes per coat under a UV lamp. I used the DIY Hard Nails base and top coat, but you can use your own base and top coat if you already have another brand. DIY Hard Nails are salon quality and are 5-free, meaning they contain no formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Mercury, or lead. DIY Hard Nails promises no chipping, 14 day high gloss wear, and it protects your nails from breaking easily. I've found that these gels wear far longer than 14 days though,

Here are the colors I got to try:

Sky Blue is a fun, bright blue that I knew I just had to try. This one is beautiful by itself and would be really fun with some glitter, or maybe some white and silver for winter.

Electric Raspberry is a really fun, hot pink with some deeper purple undertones. You know how much I love me some hot pink! This one is gorgeous and I love that it's a darker pink, so I can still wear it for fall.

Galaxy Twilight is a clear polish with multi-sized blue, purple, and and silver glitter. I would love to try this one paired over Sky Blue!

Then I got to try out 2 more colors from their color-changing gel polish line. I blogged about the color-changing gels last time, and I just loved them. They are so fun!

Paradise starts off as a bright, tropical green while warm and then fades to a deep, ocean blue when cold. It's also filled with chunks of multi-sized glitter flakes. Here in Washington we're all Seattle Seahawk fans, so we'd say this is perfect for football season- Go Hawks!

Blue Bombay starts off as a rich, royal blue while warm and fades to a deep, burgundy brown when cold. The transition for this one was hard for me to catch on camera, so I just showed a before and after. It also has small flecks of glitter in it for just a hint of shimmer. 

Overall, I'm really happy with DIY Hard Nails, and I've found them to be a very reliable brand when it comes to doing your own gel polish at home. My nails always last at least 2 weeks with DIY Hard Nails, and the quality of the gel polish is superb.You can go here to purchase their products. All customers receive a free bonus Ebook "Nail Salon Secrets to the Perfect At-Home Gel Manicure" with every order. You can try everything for 30 days risk free, 100% money back guarantee if you're not happy with it (but you will be). Order any 3 and they ship free!
If you need some help with your at home gel manicure, check out my tutorials! 

I was given these products from DIY Hard Nails for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own :)

Gelish "Urban Cowgirl" Fall 2015 Collection {first thoughts}

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy fall!
Today I'm sharing the latest and greatest color collection from Gelish for the fall season of 2015. "Urban Cowgirl" is a fun, feminine, and a little bit rugged, for the rodeo woman with a city style. This collection comes in six stunning shades, from a rustic nude, to a refined deep dark plum, to a foxy frosted red, and is a mix of both a modern yet classic color palette. I found that most of the colors in this sophisticated collection were pretty unique to the entire Gelish line, which is always a bonus. 

Here's the roundup for the Urban Cowgirl collection:

Holy Cow Girl! This is a sage green with a subtle shimmer. Compared to other greens, this has more grey in it and is more muted. Awesome coverage! Only 2 coats were needed for this one. 

Tex'as Me Later is a coppery, pink frost with rose undertones. 3 coats are definitely needed with this one, and because of the frosty finish you can see brushstrokes. Make sure to finish with long, even strokes to maximize a smooth, even finish.

Plum Tuckered Out is a beautiful, deep, plum-purple cream. This one has great coverage and while it's dark, you can definitely still see the pop of plum in this shade.

Tan My Hide is a pale nude cream with just a hint of subtle shimmer. While it's a super pale, nude color it actually has just the slightest hint of pink to it. As with a lot of whites and nudes, this one tends to get a bit streaky, so 3 coats is a must.

From Rodeo to Rodeo Drive is a luscious taupe cream with purple undertones, and has a pearlescent shimmer. This is definitely a unique color to the Gelish line, and I had a hard time classifying it as either grey, taupe, or purple- it's all of the above! 

Pumps or Cowboy Boots? This one is a black/brown cream, and almost looks a little reddish when I first looked at the bottle because of the warm undertones. It's similar to the consistency of Plum Tuckered Out, and while these are both dark shades, they are not the same. Pumps or Cowboy Boots is much darker and isn't purple at all. 

Side note: I have swatched all of these colors on my nail sticks, but I have not yet had a chance to swatch them all on myself (like I normally do). This process is very time consuming and has to be done during the day so that I can photograph the colors in the daylight and not compromise their tones or the quality of the pictures with dim, indoor lighting. Unfortunately, moving + a very active 14 month old has kept me from having much nail time during the day. I'm currently wearing From Rodeo to Rodeo Drive and Tan My Hide, and hope to try more of these! Urban Cowgirl does wear very well- which is exactly what I would anticipate from all Gelish colors. It's been over a week, and  as always, I have no chips or peeling. Gelish for the win!

The Fall 2015 Urban Cowgirl collection is available now for a limited time at Sally Beauty Supply and retail for $12.99 each (don't forget to sign up for their beauty card & save $$$ on every purchase though! It's so worth the extra $5 and the card is good for 1 year). You can also find a few of the full sized bottles for the same price on Amazon. {affiliate link}

Never tried gel nails? I've got a ton of tutorials for you! My DIY Gel Nails post is a great place to start. I walk you through the entire process, step by step, and I include a lot of pictures and I'm a stickler for detail. It's a long one...but I promise: read the tutorial from start to finish and you'll end up with an amazing gel manicure. Once you've got that down you can move on to some of my other tutorials and you'll soon be a pro.

These products were sent to me, free of charge, by Gelish, for reviewing purposes. This is not a paid or sponsored advertisement. All opinions are, as always, my own :)

Happy Birthday Amber + a giveaway!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Friday!

Today's blog post is short and sweet, and includes a giveaway! My bloggy BFF Amber's birthday today, and to celebrate turning the big 3-0 she's doing an awesome giveaway for a Target gift card, as well as a bunch of other goodies! Make sure to enter the giveaway on the Rafflecopter widget below, and say happy birthday to Amber! :) 

Thanks for letting me be a part of this one, Amber!

Getting your laugh back

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Let's all be adults here: urinary incontinence is no laughing matter. If you're a mom of even 1 child, chances are you know what I'm talking about. That embarrassing feeling that you're going to pee your pants every time you erupt into a fit of giggles. Or maybe you're familiar with the ol' "cross your legs while you sneeze/cough/laugh." You probably can't enjoy things like a trampoline or exercise either, for fear of the dreaded leak. I feel you there! And so do 35 million other women who experience stress leakage. I'm a mom of three, and it seems like no matter what I do, I always end up peeing my pants quite often after I've had a baby, and then even long after that I'm terrified to sneeze in public for fear that I might have a slight leakage problem. Hashtag momlife. Bye bye, pelvic floor muscles!

Thankfully, the lovely people at Poise have developed a totally new and innovative product to help stop stress urinary incontinence (SUI) before it even happens. Yep, the new Poise Impressa stops the leaks before they even start! It doesn't just protect you after the pee has started to flow- this isn't your typical pad. Poise Impressa is the first over-the-counter product that helps you let go of the worry- you can laugh all you want now, or heck, even jump on a trampoline (something I normally can't do with my kiddos).

Stopping your SUI leaks with Impressa is pretty easy. First, you need to try a sizing kit, because every woman's anatomy is different, and the sizing kit allows you to find your most comfortable internal fit. The Impressa Sizing Kit includes 6 bladder supports (two of each size) as well as a $4 off coupon for a Single-Size Pack. After you've found the perfect fit with your Impressa Sizing Kit, it's time to move on to the Single-Size Pack. You can use Impressa for up to 8 hours a day to help prevent SUI leaks before they even happen.

Poise Impressa is all about letting go of the worry- life shouldn't be spent worrying about embarrassing leaks. Don't skip out on activities or stifle your laugh out of fear of leaks- stop them before they even start, and continue enjoying life to the fullest! Experience a renewed sense of freedom and regain your confidence to enjoy a fulfilling life- including laughing your butt off or jumping on the trampoline to your heart's content!

Want to try Poise Impressa for yourself? Make sure to hop over and get a $2 off coupon for an Impressa Sizing Kit

Sewing goals

Thursday, September 10, 2015

If you've been reading my blog for even a short period of time, it's no secret that I love crafting, and I really love quilting and sewing. A friend of mine turned me onto quilting 5 or 6 years ago and I've been addicted ever since. Quilting isn't just for your grandma anymore- it's so fun, modernized, and you can be super creative with it. I'm no quilting star or expert, but I have some pretty decent skills, I suppose you could say. I haven't had a ton of free time to sew in the last year (since having baby #3), but I hope to change that. I miss it...quilting is so calming and I can't just zone out and spend a little time with my sewing machine (and Netflix, of course!) 

A few years back, I noticed that our county fair had a quilt contest. There were probably 50 different quilts of all shapes, sizes, levels of difficulty, etc, and I thought to myself "I could enter this!" Sure, I might not win, but I didn't really care about the winning part. I just wanted one of my quilts hanging up there amongst all of the others for people to see. I noticed that some quilts were huge and very technical, and others were small and simple. Mine usually fall somewhere in the middle, and I made a promise to myself right then and there that one day I would enter a quilt of my own in the fair. 

Well, my friends, the time has come- I finally did it! 

Here's the thing: to enter, you have to be on top of things and get your entry in way before the fair even starts (which is why I never did it). I always forgot about the contest until the fair actually started, and then I'd be bummed that I missed the deadline. Thankfully, this year, I went on the fair's website back in the spring and found the rules and regulations, as well as the cutoff dates for entries. I started planning my quilt weeks in advance and was totally on top of my game this year. I wasn't going to let anything stop me from entering this year- not even moving. 

I posted a few teasers on my Instagram while I was working on it, but here is the finished quilt:

The backing is just one beautiful fabric print, but I love how you can still see the quilting details through it, and it gives it that "quilted" look, even though it's one solid piece. 

I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but the binding and mitered corners are pretty much perfect! Or at least as perfect as I could get them.

On Tuesday, I looked it over one last time for loose thread, creases, and wrinkles, then I folded her up and went on my merry way to drop it off at the fairgrounds. 

I can't wait to take the kids to the fair next week and see my beautiful quilt hanging up amongst all of the other entries! Again, I'm not holding out any real hope of winning any of the categories, but I just think it's pretty cool that it will be there and thousands of people will see it. I'm hoping to have more than one quilt to enter next year in different categories :) 

For now, I'm just happy I remembered to enter at all.
Sewing goals!

Moving on up

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hey dolls! 

I'm alive and we're all moved...did you miss me? I've spent the last week or two basically packing, lifting heavy things (with my horrible back), cleaning, and then unpacking and organizing everything at the new house. I am so sick of doing busy work and cannot wait to resume normal life and get back to our regular routine. Seriously, at this point, if I find another box full of junk that needs to find a place in the new house, I may just scream or rip my hair out.

Speaking of hair...I took a quick break from all of the organizing and rearranging yesterday to take some time for myself. My lovely friend, Anna, made a house call to do my hair, and even brought me a coffee. Gosh, I love her. She gave me a quick trim to shape up my limp, lifeless cut, and then threw on a nice toner to counter the lovely dishwater-tinged look I had going on with my blonde ends. It was nice to take a little break and do something for myself, and it helped distract me (momentarily) for this mess of boxes & clutter that were stacked up in what should be my dining room. 

In addition to the hair, I also showered and put on makeup! First time in what seemed like forever...because lately I've been looking more like this:

That's what I looked like on moving day #2, when I realized I desperately needed to make a Target run for some household stuff and organizing essentials. Plus, you know, I hadn't really left the house and interacted with other adults or the general public in what seemed like an eternity, and Target is basically the happiest place on Earth. I ended up running into my other great friend, Jodi, at Target and she bought me a coffee. She may have just felt sorry for me in my non-showered, hat-wearing, ratty-bun rocking state, but I was happy to accept the free caffeine and talk her ear off for a few minutes before I spent $200 on shelving, curtains, rugs, and Command Strips.

Finally, at long last, I have mostly everything unpacked and kind of put in their places. The rest of it is in a huge pile in the basement, and I'm debating on whether or not I have the energy to organize a yard sale before the weather starts getting too cold. It sounds like a lot of work, but we have a lot of stuff to get rid of. I absolutely love the new house, but the thing about old houses is that they have pretty much zero closet space. The bedroom closets are teeny-tiny, and there are no hallway, bathroom, or linen closets whatsoever. Where do I put all of the bedding, towels, games, jackets, and general clutter that usually fills up one's closet? I'm still trying to figure that out. My husband and I have to share one of those dinky little closets too! I'm not sure how this is going to work out, and I really need to try to squeeze another dresser in our room. So for now, we still have a small pile of random stuff stacked up in a corner of the dining room, and I cannot wait for it to disappear. I've never done a yard sale of my own before, but it seems like a lot of work. And I'm not sure how I feel about strangers picking through my old crap, but I do like the idea of making a few bucks off of the stuff I no longer want or have the room to store. You know I hate clutter!

Side note: I really, really can't wait to get Harper's slide and ball tent out of my living room and into her own bedroom, but she's still a little wobbly on it and needs close supervision while playing on it. For now, my living room still looks like a Fun Dungeon (have you seen this ridiculous show? My kids love it, and this episode actually made me LOL. It's pretty weird, but definitely funny and relatable! Fast-forward 47 seconds to the Fun Dungeon part).

With all of this moving talk, I almost forgot- these big kids started school on moving day.

I cannot believe I have a 5th and 2nd grader. Aren't they adorable? I'm not sure Ayden would like to know I said he was adorable, but he's such a little man now, it's crazy. And Lily has lost all of her baby face and looks so big. I was just looking at her kindergarten pictures the other day and she had still looked like a sweet little, round-faced toddler in them. Not anymore. She's also quite the little fashionista these days. Since we live so close to the school now, Ayden decided to join the Safety Patrol and be a crossing guard, which sent me into a fit of tears. When did my baby get big enough not only cross the street without me, but stand in the street and help direct traffic and keep his fellow students safe? I'm not sure where the time went, but I'm just not really OK with all of this. I told him I couldn't promise that I wouldn't be out on our front porch with my coffee every morning, watching him crossing people at the corner like a crazed stalker. All I got in return was an eye roll and a "Mommmmmm." He knows I love him, though. Such big kids!

This whole back to school thing has been a little bit of an adjustment for Harper. First off, there are the new surroundings. Then, her big brother and sister leave before she wakes up and she doesn't see them all day. Poor thing has been busy exploring the living room and her new bedroom, all the while searching for the kids, yelling "Ay-dee! Yi-yi" (Ayden, Lily). Isn't that the sweetest thing? She's probably looking for the stairs, because in the old house the big kids lived downstairs, and Harper would stand at the top, hold on to the baby gate, scream for them, and wait for brother and sissy to eagerly run up the stairs and come play with her. She had a system and we messed with it! I sit and watch her little furrowed brow sometimes as I imagine her thinking "Where the heck am I, and where are those dang kids?"  We've been getting some extra snuggles in every morning, while we lazily cuddle on the couch watching Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street. Is it bad that at 13 months she's already watching TV? I figure at least it's educational, right? Not like I'm letting her watch Spongebob or something. 

She was in an Elmo trance.

So, that's my life lately. It's involved a lot of late nights, early mornings, packing, organizing, fast food, more packing, lots of  sitting on hold with the Internet provider (4 times! 4 hours total), and very little sleep. Oh, and more packing. And then unpacking. Oh, and then going back and cleaning the old house from top to bottom. Ugh. I think I've been asleep before my head has hit the pillow almost every single night (or sometimes morning, on the super late nights), and I absolutely dread my annoying alarm going off every morning now that we're back in school. Does anyone else hate alarm clocks as much as I do? It's on my husband's side of the bed, so every day it goes off I have to nudge him really hard and whisper "Turn it off," as if the sound of it is going to make my ears bleed or something. Seriously, I hate that noise. 

Alright, so now that I've caught you up on my unexciting little life, I'm off to tend to some sick kiddos. You know, they have been around roughly 600 other little kids in the last 5 days, so of course they are sick. Yes, already! Time to buy some hand sanitizer by the gallon because school germs give me the creeps.

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