Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vain Post Alert! My Thoughts on Gel Nail Polish

Okay, so this post is totally vain and absolutely not thought-provoking (unless you want to debate on a better use of my $35 every three weeks). It is however, a matter of utmost importance in my life at the moment.

I am completely in love with gel nail polish.

Top and bottom left, by the gorgeous Sarah at Embellish Nails,
top right by Bree, bottom right by a salon at the Mall

As a Mum, it couldn't be better: it stays on for 2 to 3 weeks without chipping or coming off. It's laundry resistant. It's dish-washing resistant. It's cooking resistant. It's "I wash my hands 50 times a day" resistant. And did I say it looks perfect for 2 to 3 weeks??

As a Woman who is a Mum, it's a winner too. Let's face it, who has the time to re-apply nail polish every two days? I certainly don't. And the frustration of taking the time to apply it to then see it ruined within 24 hours is just plain depressing. And I just can't stand the "chipped nail polish" look.

What's more, I don't put make-up on every day. My hubby doesn't like me to (I know, lucky me!), and again, I have no time. Or rather, I prefer to stay in bed 15 minutes longer instead of getting up earlier to apply make-up. So, having pretty nails makes me feel feminine even when my face is bare.

As a Woman, it's perfect. The endless design possibilities are mind-blowing. Choosing a new one every few weeks is hard! Oh gosh, life can be so tough (irony warning!). Moreover, I get pampered for a little over an hour on a regular basis, which has a huge feel-good factor. I've suffered from low self-image for most of my life (I'm very happy to say that I'm doing much better in that department!), but I've always loved my nails. And I'll admit that I love the comments I get on each new set.

I have to stay objective though, so on the down-side, getting a gel polish manicure is a money investment. There is no way I would be doing this so often if I hadn't found the lovely Sarah at Embellish Nails, who loves to pamper women at an affordable price. So I choose to use the little bit of spending money I have on cups of good coffee (I'm a coffee snob, but more on that in another post) and getting manicures.

Beware! Not all nail artists use the right removal techniques. If they make you dip your whole hand or all fingers at once in the removal liquid, run for your life. Each nail should be filed, then individually wrapped with the removal solution and silver foil for no more than 5 minutes.

I'm very intrigued by the Jamberry Nail Wraps that are taking the world by storm. I'm going to a demo party soon to check them out and I will report back.

So, there you go. A whole post on nails. Do you get your nails done? If not, how do you like to make yourself feel special?

Kia Kaha! Be strong!


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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Confessions of a Highly Sensitive Person

I am so EFFing angry.

Almost a year ago, a young girl who lived with us and helped us with the kids left abruptly with no warning. She broke my son's heart. She broke my trust. She broke me.

And the effect her actions had on me, and still have on me, makes me angry. Do you get what I'm trying to say? The fact that I was affected by her behaviour makes me angry, more so than what she did. Why do I feel things so deeply, so completely and so excruciatingly? 

I am so EFFing sensitive. 

I have this tendency to take things too much at heart and to feel, oh to feel everything with exacerbated emotions. I often think of my inner thought life as a thin piece of glass. It doesn't take much to break it. And broken glass can never be fixed perfectly ever again, however hard you may try. 

I am like a reconstituted piece of glass. A MOSAIC.

Oh so happy. Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 2015.

But you know what? I am so EFFing thankful!

I am a precious mosaic. Yes, I've lost count of how many times I've been broken, but every time I put myself back together, a new mosaic emerges, sometimes pretty dull, dark or ugly, and sometimes magnificent and colourful. Fragile though. Oh so fragile.

That's okay. That is who I am. Yeah, I often feel angry about my inability to build a wall around me, but I'm also so thankful to be a Highly Sensitive Person. Yep, there is an official name for it. It's a cool thing to be, most of the time. If you:
  • are easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby,
  • get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time,
  • make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows,
  • need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation,
  • make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations,
  • notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art,
  • have a rich and complex inner life,
  • were seen as sensitive or shy by your parents and teachers when you were a child*,
then there's a good chance you are one too. And that is cool! Or maybe your child is, or your partner. I know my daughter is very probably a HSP. 

Here's the deal. I experience everything that surrounds me with more sensitivity, I'm more empathetic, I feel joy and excitement to the depth of my being. And I love my friends and family with a faithfulness of heart that is often overwhelming.

Spend enough time putting yourself out there in the world -
your sensitivity is not something to be feared.” 
― Elaine N. AronThe Highly Sensitive Person

So, just for you, here are 11 survival tips I've put together if you too are a pretty special HSP. I hope they help you in some way, and I'd love to hear from you if you have some to share too. We're all in this together!

*Questions asked by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in The Highly Sensitive Person.


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Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Parsley Trick

Don't you just hate chopping parsley? It's one of those ingredients I wished I could just buy ready chopped, until I learned a super neat and quick way to get the job done - presto!

With good kitchen scissors, just chop off the amount you need and place in a mug. Using the same scissors, chop away at your parsley inside the mug until you're happy with it. Ta-dahhhh!

Or, using the same method, chop up the whole bunch of parsley in several goes, and freeze the chopped parsley in a zip-lock bag. Chopped parsley read to go in the freezer!

You're welcome! And let me know if you have another cool kitchen trick :-)!