Manic(ure) Monday: French Manicure for Dummies


Step one: apply a sloppy but thin layer of white polish on your tips. Step 2: Admire you granite countertops while overlooking pork chops for dinner and letting the first coat of white dry completely. We’re talking 40 minutes between coats. Just enough time to make dinner, eat it, sit for a few and slap on layer n??mero dos (aka step 3).


Step 3.5: lots of drying time on this coat also. It’s actually quite nice because you can read blogs or books or watch tv and justify it because you are saving money on a home done mani!


Step 4: dip small nail brush in cap full of polish remover, dab on paper towel then begin erasing that sloppy mess you made on your tips.


Step 5: slow and steady win the French mani race. I usually end up dip, dab, swipe six-eight times per nail. It’s a fun challenge to see if you can do it faster but believe me, it’s easier to make small changes than have to reapply the white base! The in between swipes (see above) are pretty, but you’ll get that crisp line with a damp, not dripping brush. I use pure acetone as my eraser as it dries quick in case you get remover happy and it makes for the crispest lines.


Step 6: apply a clear coat over. Only one though!! If you apply it thick or more than once, it can make your lines blurry. Tomorrow night, when your drinking wine instead of giving yourself a 1.5 hour mani, you can throw on another top coat. And a ton of lotion, all that polish remover will seriously dry out the cuticles!

Step 7: be damn proud of yourself for the hard work you put in. Nothing pretty is easy and nothing fast is pretty. At least not in house for homedone manis!

How to reverse your dislike of winter:

One of the awesome (and completely unanticipated) perks of my job is that I get to connect with some great folks around the world. Sometimes via Twitter, sometimes via office communicator and sometimes just by reading their blogs. Any way you look at it, I get to engage with smartcreativetalentedfunny, darn-goodcooks… running out of adjectives for awesomeness people on a regular basis. Yep, I’m one of those blessed people that LOVES their coworkers. Many of these folks blog and have passions outside of work – I’m working on this slowly – but I enjoy reading about their passions as inspiration. 


One of the bloggesses that I find super inspirational is one @LuckyAndi who blogs at Polish My Crown. Last week she wrote a post, “Situation / Crown Polish,” which is amazing and everybody that knows me should read it. This post relates closely to my theories on optimism, or being Obnoxiously Optimistic always. Here’s the deal – there will always be lemons in life, and you need to lemons to make lemonade. Andi writes, “So, we all have those ‘off’ days or moments or situations. Crown polishing is a reaction to those experiences – a new mindset and outlook!” You all know those days? Project positivity and seek out the joy in every little thing, even the not so great. You’ll perk right up.


Source: via Eliza on Pinterest


Case study? Yes, I have a case study on this based on life-math. I do real math at work, I do life math in my head (life math is the act of stating illogical mathematical equations and data points to make a life story better). Here we go: 


Case Study: I love Snow!

Background: As a resident of the northernmost parts of Illinois, a severe disliking of any and all major weather patterns is in my blood. After all, it is always polite to talk shit about the weather when all else fails. 

Hypothesis: Pretend you love snow and you will trick yourself into liking it.

Test period: started while in college, living in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, two blocks from the Mag Mile and some spectacular Christmas decorations. 

Methodology: wake up super early in the winter to loud jams, go for a walk when the sun rises and say good morning to every single person you see. Let their positive reaction dictate your mood for the remainder of the day. Quadruple points if snow is involved or if it is so cold outside that breathing hurts. After a few weeks of this, my college roomie and I calmed our winter walks but continued with a lively holiday celebration that lasted long into February. On snowy days, walk outside and say out loud, “Wow, isn’t the snow so beautiful?” to a stranger. They’ll agree. Say to someone else, “Phew, I love it when the air is so cold it sorta hurts my lungs to breathe it – reminds me I’m alive!” My favorite one? “The wind paired with the negative temperatures gives me a terrible windburn on my face, but I pretend it’s just like a sun-kissed cheek glow.” 


Source: via Pattyann on Pinterest


Results: People will assume you are bat-shit crazy, but after one winter of trying my damnedest to love the coldest months of the year, I found myself anxiously waiting for the next winter. 


Life-math: One winter of falsifying emotions leads to a net sentiment around zero – (negative thoughts in your head + positive thoughts out loud = neutral feelings towards snow). Anyone with a poor brand reputation can relate, the first step out of the negativity is neutrality.  By winter two, I looked forward to it and was so excited when the lights were being put up in the city. By the time the first snow hit? I was dancing around like a little kid. My love of snow and winter has grown roughly 50 percent each winter since. 


Happy December y’all!


 Source: via Leslie on Pinterest