8 Steps to Sassy Nails

So, listen. I’m not one of those people that is great at doing people’s nails. Ya know, I’m not even very good at doing my own nails. Whenever I find $20 in the laundry, I’ll march on down to the “Itty Bitty Pretty Nail Salon” and get my nails did. It’s just one of those things that makes you feel pretty. When I walk out of that place with heels as soft as a baby’s butt I wonder how I ever wore sandals before!

Unfortunately I do not have the time, nor the funds to get my nails done every other week. And what the heck did ladies do before every strip mall had one of those nail places?

Do not fear! I may have found something to keep my nails looking bougie without visiting the nail salon.

Here is a “vintage manicure”. It’s excerpted an old magazine editorial:

1. File nails into an almond, oval or long-tapered shape
2. Soak fingers in warm water
3. Push back cuticles and massage in cuticle oil
4. Remove excess oil with varnish remover
5. Paint on one coat of hardener (clear polish)
6. Once it dries, add French strips to the moons and tips of the nail
7. Paint two coats of your chosen color and add a topcoat of hardener for longevity
8. Dry completely and remove the strips

So, there you have it. Your grandma’s manicure! Go! Be beautiful!


Laugh It Off

Let’s set the scene, shall we?

Jim Braddock has beaten the odds. He has proved his critics wrong. He is about to take on a boxer notorious for his deathly moves. Jim and his picture-perfect wife, Mae are having a night on the town when they run into his competitor, Max Baer. As the couple was leaving, Max sets Mae off with a less than tactful comment resulting in Mae dousing his face with a martini. Jack begins to follow his livid wife who is now storming off when Max says:

“See that boys, now he’s got his wife doin’ his fightin’ for him.”

The restaurant sits in a deadly silence anticipating Jack’s reaction. Jack stares blankly. Responds.

“Yea, ain’t she somethin’?”

Laughter erupts. He unintentionally wins the crowd.

The movie is Cinderella Man. Aside from Crowe’s stellar performance and Rene Zellwegar’s humble charm, I’d recommend the movie simply to study the character of Jim Braddock. He is an endearing, courageous, man who [quite literally] fights for his family; and anybody can learn from his example. Let’s focus, however, on his ability to laugh at himself.

Jim Braddock was a renowned boxer who nearly lost everything when the Great Depression hit. He has worldly experience that has equipped him to be able to roll with the punches. Laughing at himself falls under this umbrella.

Why does it matter?

1. When we laugh at ourselves, we become more relatable. In a situation where we’re taught to perpetually have our game faces on, laughing at ourselves makes us human in our coworkers’ eyes.

2.It shows we’re confident, down to earth, and are able to let certain things go. We’re simply likeable and charming.

These are qualities employers are eager to see in potential employees.


A Needle, Some Thread, And A Cup of Joe

I don’t know about you, but my crafty side starts bursting with joy around the holidays every year. The urge to make homemade decorative wreaths, and candleholders, and Christmas cards…anything that says Christmas is coming!

The irony is, I’m not all that crafty. While the perfect, artsy ladies are molding their gravy boats out of clay, I’m attempting to string together an advent calendar with construction paper, Elmer’s glue, and anything Crayola. So when the idea was purposed to sew a stocking, I was a little more than apprehensive. I was promised guidance and emotional support, so I decided to take on the crafting challenge.

The process began.

We decided what we wanted our stockings to look like – large, obviously – and picked our patterns of choice. Braving the cold, we then went to a craft store like Joanne Fabrics to pick out what we wanted them to look like, the fun part. I was going through an intense plaid phase so I went with some plaid fabric for the cuff and a yellow and white stripe pattern for the boot. Next, we were on to the prep work. A word of advice: if you are known to not have much patience, I wouldn’t take up sewing as hobby…the first step in prepping was to cut our fabric to match the pattern, double up the fabric, and pin. After a day of avoiding pins and needles, we began the detailed process of putting them together. After an evening filled with Christmas music and peppermint mochas we had the fruits of our labor ready to display.

I grew up in a house without a sewing machine. We didn’t make anything really from scratch. Trying something so new was refreshing. Now, I have a keepsake from Christmas 2011 forever. Newly engaged or married couples or even whole families could participate in crafts like this one to get in the Christmas spirit, be with loved ones, and enjoy loved ones’ company.


Save That Sweater!

There must be a million moms rejoicing ever since Pinterest came along. The network is constantly overflowing with secret home remedies to better the lives of people everywhere. Like the average pinner, I have my fair share of tricks pinned on my ‘Clever’ board. One I found recently, though, will probably end up in my top 5 best kept secrets for the home.

Have an old sweater that you’ve been meaning to throw to the curb but just cannot seem to part with? It’s been plagued with those little, white fuzzies for a while and it’s almost not wearable; but grandma got it for you the Christmas before last and you love it. There is hope. All you need is a razor. Glide the thing over the sweater until every one of those white little balls is gone. It works. I’ve done it twice; both times I was extremely happy I came across that ‘pin.’

This is an excellent tip for college students or recent grads on a budget. Sweaters are expensive! And if you’re residing in the Midwest, you’re going to need a lot of them to endure the sub-zero temperatures. Fix up the old ones! They will be good as new.