DIY Professional Looking Pedicure

Hello!  Now that the weather is getting warmer, we’ll probably all start wearing sandals more often.  I know it can be relaxing to get a professional pedicure at a salon but sometimes we don’t have the time or money.  If you are looking for tips on how to do your own pedicure at home, here are some recommendations I have.

DIY Pedicure
Purchase quality supplies
I know one purpose of doing your own pedicure is to save money so this might sound counter-intuitive but keep in mind that whatever you buy is going to last a long time.  I’ve had most of the products in the picture below for years.  Here is what I use:

  • A good cuticle softener and oil.  I currently use products by California Mango but you can use whichever brand you’d like.
  • Nail polish base coat.  Some people skip this part but it’s really important because it helps your nail polish stay on longer without chipping, it prevents your nails from being stained by your nail polish, and it also helps your nail polish dry more smoothly and evenly.  I use OPI for this.
  • For nail polish, I really like OPI and China Glaze.  I sometimes use cheaper polish like Revlon which looks fine if I use good base and clear coat nail polish.
  • A good quality clear coat.  For me, it’s important to find one that dries quickly because I want to get on with my day.  I have previously used Poshe which I recommend.  I am currently using a quick drying top coat by OPI which works just as good as Poshe but is more expensive.
  • Optional – I use OPI’s Rapidry Nail Polish Dryer spray to help the polish dry even faster.  I think it also gives a nice finished look.

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Prepare your nails
After you’ve cut and filed your nails, put a bit of cuticle softer on your cuticles and leave it on for a minute or so.  Then push back your cuticles using the nails on your other hand or a tool.  Wipe everything off with a cotton ball or tissue.  Then, put a small amount of cuticle oil around your nails.  Leave it on for a minute or two and then wash and dry your hands.  It’s important to hydrate everything around your nails because your pedicure won’t look as nice if it is surrounded by dry skin and cuticles.

Apply a base coat
After your nails are prepared and clean, apply a coat of base.  A thin coat is perfectly fine and it dries quickly.

Apply 1-2 coats of nail polish
A minute or two after you have applied the base coat, you can start painting. I usually have to apply 2 light coats to get an even finish.  Waiting 2-3 minutes between coats is fine.  It’s helpful to have some q-tips nearby so you can wipe off any paint that gets on your skin.  I sometimes pour some nail polish remover in the bottle cap and dip my q-tip in it to make cleaning off nail polish easier.

Apply the clear top coat
I usually let my nails dry for at least 5 minutes before applying a top coat.  You only need one layer.

Optional – Spray on nail dryer
If you have purchased spray that can help your nails dry faster, you can spritz it on soon after applying the top coat.  The OPI spray says 45 seconds but I usually wait a minute or two.

If I use the products listed above, I can go about my day pretty quickly.  Actually, I usually paint my nails at night and have no problem taking a shower and going to bed within an hour of painting my nails and everything stays in place.

Happy painting!  If anyone likes the nail polish in the picture above it is called “Rose Among Thorns” by China Glaze.

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Enjoying the Outdoors

Yesterday I decided to take my camera out and go exploring a bit.  I found a footbridge that goes across a lake we have nearby.  I knew the lake was there, of course but I didn’t know about the bridge and I was surprised by how many people were there exercising, walking dogs, or spending time with their kids.  It was fun walking around and taking pictures.

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I hope you had a nice weekend, too!

2016 Calendar

If you’re in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Our Thanksgiving was full of delicious food and great company.  I made this caramel cheesecake from Tartelette and it was so good!

My 2016 calendar is ready!  Below are the images I’ve chosen.

If you’re interested in ordering one of my calendars, please contact me at theprojectboard@gmail.com and I’d be happy to work with you!  Price depends on your preferred size and quality of the calendar.

A look back at my calendars for 2013, 2014, and 2015 is also available.

I also wanted to take some time to include a brief description of each picture. All were taken in 2015.

  1. January – this is a tree in our neighbor’s yard during a snow storm.
  2. February – this is a scene I came across while out for a walk as the snow was melting during a warmer winter day.
  3. March – taken in my garden with my macro lens.  I added a photo filter because the original turned out too pastel-looking.
  4. April – taken at my parents’ house with my macro lens.
  5. May – also taken at my parent’s house, but I used my high aperture lens for this one.
  6. June – picture of a luna moth in my yard.
  7. July – flower in my garden.
  8. August – from a flower garden where I work.
  9. September – trees outside of a building near where I work.
  10. October – a foggy morning at my house.
  11. November – a display outside one of the shops downtown.
  12. December – Christmas decoration on my mantel.

    Thank you for visiting!

Macro Lens

My husband bought me a new lens for our anniversary!  I got a Canon EFS 60mm f/2.8 Macro!  I’ve been wanting a macro for a while, so I am really excited!  Here are some pictures I took earlier with absolutely no edits made.  It’s going to take me a bit to get to the point where I’m as comfortable with it as I am with the others.

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Yay!

Moths and Butterflies

While watering my plants today, I came across a large, white moth hanging from one of my flower baskets.

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This is a Lunar Moth, found only in North America.  Did you know that moths and butterflies have a lot in common?  The main differences are the way their wings fold, their antennae (moth antennae are fuzzy), and the fact that moths tend to be nocturnal.  They have so much in common that they are both in the same order of species called the Lepidoptera order.  And there are so many more moths than butterflies that moths make up about 94% of the order while butterflies make up only 6%.

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Interesting, right?

Sunny Skies

This morning it was dark and dreary and looked like it was going to rain any second.  But when I got home from work, I noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it had turned in to a really nice day!

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What’s the weather like where you are?