How I do my own dip powder nails

I’ve been painting my nails every week since middle school so I’m comfortable with the process. But my nails would always chip and break and I tried every nail strengthen out there and take vitamins but nothing helped. Then I started getting dip powder manicures and my nails never broke and grew so long! But I was paying $45 + tip + uber to get my nails done every 3 weeks and never really liked the salon experience so I quit after 6 months, took a break, started again and then quit again. I decided I could learn how to do this myself at home.  You can buy a cheap starter kit from amazon or buy everything individually like I did so my start up cost was $100. That included all the special files I needed, a soaking tray and my favorite OPI color – Lisbon wants Moor which the powder jar is $20. I love light pink nails in the summer time so I’m fine with just having one color for now.  I didn’t like the color when I first tried it in the regular polish but love it in Dip.

Dip powder nail polish is a powder that is sealed in between coats of wet sealant that dries instantly without a UV light. The process is pretty simple overall, but the application of the powder and sealant has a very strong chemical smell so I recommend doing it outside. In the salon they would use an electric buffer to file down my nail beds which I found damaged my nails, but at home I don't need to do that. After you've finished applying the color to your nails, what takes a lot of patience is the buffing with a regular nail file to make all your edges look smooth and so that the overall powder doesn't look very thick on my nail.  To remove you soak your nails in a bowl of acetone  for 20 minutes and it easily dissolves.

I’m so ecstatic that I can do this myself and save money and time while doing so. My nails never chip, grow long and are basically bulletproof, I’m obsessed with them!

Here’s a very quick instructional video from OPI:

Here’s a much slower instructional video:

I also like to add nail wraps to my nails, and I found this video in German that shows how to do that with dip powder:

it's been awhile

I’ve been on a creative rut this year with my blog as  I’ve been struggling with not wanting to post just to post but more so when I actually have something specific to share. I have been devoting more time to Instagram and my photography verses creating content for my blog. I don’t want to quit my blog as it’s my online digital diary and I often reference it to find recipes I liked. When I started this blog in 2013 I was writing a new post a day, but now  I’m trying to be more mindful of what I’m putting out there and making sure it adds value. This blog will continue to be a place where I share things that I love.

Last December I was watching a countdown of what was trending in 2018 and goat yoga was on the list. That was something I've always wanted to do! I got close, I went to a goat farm and got to feed and hold one month old baby goats. I was super nervous but they told us they don't bite.  Did you know that a goat's eye has a 320-degree field of vision so he can see all around him. Their heart beat is slower than ours so if you hold one for an extended period of time it is very calming.

I'm excited about summer approaching as I have a lot of fun things lined up starting with a Caribbean wine festival in a couple weeks. I've been taking weekly salsa lessons consistently for six months now which has been so much fun! I have a trip to NYC scheduled and I'm planning to go to Europe at the end of the summer. 

8 Must Read Books of 2018

Did you know that Reese Witherspoon has her own bookclub? I've been reading most of her selections, you can find more reviews in this post. Last year I only read 15 books because social media has interfered with my reading time, but thanks to Reese I got a lot of good book recommendations. Here are my favorites from last year.

December in Review

photo by Kimberly Graydon

I think what makes the cold of December so bearable is all the fun holiday events of the season. Christmas in Washington, DC is a sparkly time of year and I love writing this post every year to share how I celebrated the season. I wanted to thank all readers for continuing to follow my blog. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! A few items below have become a popular tradition of mine over the last few years. But first let me start the month with a quick trip to NYC.

Favorite Cookbooks of 2018

I love to cook, and every Friday I search through my pinterest board of what recipes I will make next week so I can create my grocery list. I'll never order my groceries online for delivery because I really enjoy going to grocery store, usually 3 of them each week. lol

Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan
by Chloe Coscarelli

My favorite vegan chef is Chloe with her infection smile. Her previous cookbook I've written about here. She opened a new restaurant in Miami as she no longer has ownership of the restaurant in NYC that bares her name, due to a legal battle and drama last year. She bounced back and I loved this cookbook, there was so many delicious recipes in here! I'm mostly a fan of her Asian inspired dishes. Every recipe has a story to it which I enjoyed reading. She even makes goldfish crackers from scratch.

Giada's Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita
by Giada De Laurentiis

Giada, now divorced and a single mom, with a restaurant in Las Vegas, moved to Italy to shoot two seasons of her cooking show. I saw her in person at a traveling cooking show when she came to town a few years ago. This book was inspired by her time in Italy gives these Italian dishes a lighter and healthier touch. She was born in Italy but grew up in the US, and said that going back home helped her to reconnect with her Italian roots. I loved reading the intro to the book that explained her love of Italian foods. While most of this book is meat based, I found a handful of pasta dishes that I enjoyed making. She also uses exotic pasta shapes like Creste Di Gallo and long fusilli that I had to buy! She has one dish that cooks the pasta in an entire bottle of Chianti which I tried. She also includes recipes for an aperol spritz slushee and chianti gelato. Her signature recipe is Lemon Spaghetti. With all the rich dishes in her book I was curious how she stays in shape and read that she gets up at 5:30am, eats lots of small plates during the day of fresh, unprocessed food, does yoga and takes 20 different pills from her acupuncturist. She has 9 cookbooks and some children's books. Her daughter is named Jade, Giada is Italian for Jade. You can catch her on the Today show often.

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