Simple Yet Fancy DIY Nail Art

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We LOVE nail art!  Sometimes it’s too time consuming or complicated, though.  On those occasions, an easy, simple design like this one is perfect.  Today’s post is a tutorial  that explains exactly how to do it.

Step 1: Apply a base coat followed by 2 coats of the color of your choice.  (I used a sheer baby pink.)  Let it dry.

imageimageStep 2:  Use a fine brush to add a single stripe of a contrasting color to each nail.  (I used gold.)  Angle the stripes differently on each nail for a random look.  That way, you don’t have to align anything perfectly to make your lines all match.  You could buy a special striping brush, but I just trimmed an old eyeliner brush to make it super thin.  NAIL ART HACK: you don’t need a perfectly steady hand for this.  Try laying the brush parallel to your nail instead of holding it perpendicular like a pencil.  You’ll have less “drawing” to do, because the length of the bristles will create the start of a perfectly straight line.  When striping with your non-dominant hand, try holding the brush still and “dragging” your dominant nail under it to create a straighter stripe.

Step 3:  Apply top coat after letting your stripes dry enough that they won’t smear.

Like almost everything we share here, this is something SUPER easy that you can also customize.  Play with different colors!  Try high contrast or tone-on-tone combinations!  If you have both glossy and matte topcoats, you could even use just a single polish color and make the stripes in the contrasting finish, like this!

I hope you enjoyed this easy idea.  Let us know if you try it, and make sure to show us how it turned out, because WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

-Viv

Here’s the same nail art with a extra stripe here and there, using black as the base color.

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Holiday Shopping Ideas

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Awesome donut and wine journals from Juniper & Scout. Click image to visit their site.

We LOVE the holidays!  However, braving the mall or any big business this time of year can feel like sadomasochism.  Not that I’m judging if you’re into that ;).  I just don’t always find the commercial experience to be as full of joy as the holiday season usually promises.

I don’t want to brag, but I’m almost done shopping for gifts already.  So to help you out, today I’m sharing some creative ideas for places to find gifts.  Of course, since this is a mostly-DIY blog, I should remind you that you can easily make a lot of STUFF your friends will LOVE and cherish.  If you need to mix it up though, keep reading for my tips on finding thoughtful and unique gifts from small businesses.

-Viv

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EASY Glitter Gradient Nails

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I used a matte topcoat on this to make it extra special. It sounds counter-intuitive but matte glitter looks so cool!

We LOVE glitter, and we LOVE nail polish!  Today’s post is a helpful hint for giving yourself a super professional looking glitter gradient manicure.  It’s so easy, you don’t even need to click through for the rest of the post!  Are you ready?  Here it is!

Use a makeup sponge.  That’s it!  Actually, any other kind of sponge will work too!  You can even cut it into smaller pieces so you get multiple uses out of one tiny sponge.

First, I paint my nails with a base color and let it dry.  Then I apply glitter polish directly to the sponge and dab it on.  To create a gradient, don’t reapply glitter to the sponge right away; just keep dabbing and moving the sponge in the direction you want it to fade.  Afterward, you can enhance the gradient effect by reappyling glitter to the sponge and concentrating on the area that should be more dense with sparkles.  It’s pretty easy, and the sponge soaks up the polish but not the glitter, so you’re not applying super thick coats that take forever to dry.

But don’t just take our word for it.  Try it for yourself, and let us know how your manicure turns out, because WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

-Viv

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How to Open a Pomegranate

imageWe LOVE pomegranates! They’re tasty, healthy and fun to eat! Plus, the little seeds (called arils) are so beautiful to look at. They’re like tiny, juicy gemstones. But, it can be a hassle to open up a pomegranate to extract those delicious edible rubies.

You may have seen tutorials that encourage you to “spank” the poor fruit with a wooden spoon or submerge it in water. While I’m not criticizing those techniques, I figured there had to be a simpler way. (I mean really, assaulting or drowning your food isn’t exactly uncomplicated.) Never fear though, because after scouring the Internet like the Google pro that I am, I worked out an aril-extracting method that is pretty foolproof.  Keep reading to see what works for me.

-Viv

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Smartphone Macro Lens

imageWe LOVE this macro band for smartphone cameras!

It might have been my favorite Christmas gift from Mr. Viv last year!  It’s so simple: a rubber band with a tiny magnifying glass that you position over your cell phone’s camera lens in order to take extremely close-up photos, mimicking the macro setting on a much fancier camera.  Because it’s stretchy, it also fits pretty much any cell phone or tablet.  It’s so cute too–it’s like a little monocle for your phone!  I love the details you can capture with it, and it’s small enough to keep in your purse or wallet, so you can play amateur photographer anywhere and everywhere.

Read on to see more photos and learn more about this convenient, fun, and inexpensive gadget!

-Viv

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Succulents Save the Day! (Drought-Friendly Gardening)

We LOVE succulents!

With the recent heat wave that’s passing through my neck of the woods (Santa Clarita) and California’s strict landscape watering restrictions, my back yard looks like a cemetery from a really bad horror film.  Our grass is no longer salvageable and it’s become pointless to water it at all, given the reduced allowances.

Normally I wouldn’t care about my yard;  my general life rule is this:  I don’t garden and I won’t garden.  However, it’s looking so bad that i’m pretty sure I should sleep with one eye open because at any moment, zombies are going to ascend from it.  Keep reading to see my solution.

-Jen

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We LOVE Pink Hardware

Ok, ok we’re busted. We love pink EVERYTHING, and you probably already knew that.  But did you know Sears has a whole section dedicated to pink hardware? CUTE! Everyone needs a basic tool kit, so it might as well be pink! Just a brief post to share this and say hello–have a great day! ❤ Jen and Viv

Viv’s BFF wielding a pink hammer.

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