Strong, Shiny Nails for Weeks


IMG_2820 Top: My Sensationail LED lamp. LED lamps do not damage your skin like UV lamps. Below: This is the NaiLuv base/top coat I found on Amazon. This is a versatile product as it can be cured with both UV and LED lamps.

When the fad for UV/LED curable gel nails hit the market, I started a mission find out how I could achieve the same results as home. My “at home” setup consisted of a SensatioNail® starter kit (that included a LED curing lamp) and few NaiLuv polish colors, and NaiLuv base/top coat that I purchased on Amazon. I really liked the results and the strength and protection that the gel provided to my nails, however, I got tired at having the same color on my nails for weeks. Thus was born my brilliant idea…

Apply the gel base/topcoat, cure it, and then stop short of adding a color polish.

Why is this such a great nail trick?

-The gel coat gives you super shiny, strong nails. The shine does NOT dull like a typical clear polish.

-The gel coat fills in any nail ridges and creates a smooth nail surface.

-You can trim and shape your nails without harming the clear coat.

-You can apply a regular color nail polish over the clear gel coat , remove the color polish using non-acetone nail polish remover, and you will NOT disturb the clear gel coat base. The clear gel coat also eliminates the need for applying a base coat.

-The clear gel base coat will grow-out with your nails, but the grow-out will not be obvious as the coat is clear. You can also remove the gel base coat at anytime. I will show you how to do this in a different post.

-This technique provides me with up to 5 weeks of amazingly strong, shiny nails that I can shape, trim and upkeep with minimal effort.

Nail thumbnail view

The NaiLuv base/top coat was applied and cured with my LED light on the nails in the picture. The shininess you see in the picture lasts for weeks.


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Just Nature Doing its Thing

Last week I noticed  apeony1nts crawling all over the yet-to-bloom mystery flowers growing along-side the garage. I thought that the ants were going to destroy the buds, so I sprayed the plants with an insectaside.  

Early this week my colleague brought in a small bouquet of beautiful flowers that she picked from her yard. She mentioned that ants were attracted to her flowers, which were peonies. I described my mystery flowers to her and solved peon2part of the mystery. 

According to the Heartland Peony Society, it is believed that ants are attracted to the nectar produced by peonies,  and ants actually help to open the flower buds…so it turns out that ants are part of the plan!

Thankfully the ants returned, and my peonies are blooming…albeit a bit late

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The Story of the Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream.  The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “because if I sting you while you cross the stream, surely I shall drown.” The frog is satisfied, and they set out. But in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, but has just enough time to gasp “Why? Now you shall surely drown!” The scorpion replies: “Because it is my nature.”

The scorpion represents people in your life who are not going to change-people who sting because it is their nature. While you cannot change the nature of these people, you can change how you respond to these people.  You can choose not to give these people power or influence in your life. You can also choose not to gather by the stream.
scorpion and frog
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Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are a destructive nuisance…

bee picWhile they will not sting you, they will destroy the integrity of your untreated wood. Carpenter bees literally burrow into wood and hollow-out your wood in order to create a space to lay their larva. The carpenter bee tunnels can extend up to 4 feet long and generally consist of many turns.

How do you know if you have a carpenter bee problem?:cb hole

You will see small sawdust piles. When you see these piles, look up. If you see perfectly round holes about the diameter of a dime, you most likely have an active infestation.

  • You will also see the giant bumble bee-looking critters hanging out around your wooden structures.

How do you get rid of these little critters?:

  • You will need to find an insecticide that can be forced into the hole and into thespectracide various twists and turns of the tunnels. I found a foaming spray insecticide, Spectracide, designed specifically for carpenter bees and yellow jackets. The foam is great because it expands to fill the tunnels. The spray also comes with a long, skinny nozzle that you can insert into the holes.
  • You should also kill as many carpenter bees as possible. They are easy to kill because they are rather slow and clumsy. One website suggested using a tennis racket to knock the bees out of the air and onto the ground so that you can step on them. This would definitely make you the talk of the neighborhood!
  • A few days after treatment, you need to fill the holes. I like using expanding insulating foam because the foam will actually provide much needed integrity to the damaged, hollowed wood.
  • After the foam dries, even the surface and PAINT over it. The paint wild act as a deterrent for future infestations.
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This is How we Role

My husband and I recently became first-time homeowners. This has been incredibly enjoyable. I, in particular, enjoy the challenges presented by the process of learning new things. I look at challenges as mini adventures… and I love a good adventure!

While I enjoy gardening and decorating, I especially enjoy the more involved, get your hands dirty kind of projects… projects that are (sadly) thought of by many as “manly projects.”

I am a woman and I LOVE doing the tough, hard work that comes with home-ownership. I am just as strong, capable and (probably) more well informed than some men about this stuff.

What people may not know is that my husband generally asks me before he does something hard and physical around the house if I want to do it. He asks me because he knows (and appreciates) that I enjoy doing these things.This is how we (gender) role in my family…

At the end of the day, I realize that any discomfort someone might feel about our family dynamics is their issue-not my issue… But, on my end, I could grow in offering more grace to those who need to be educated about such things.

In what ways is your family dynamic unique?

What do you want others to know about your unique family dynamic?

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How To Help a Newly Adopted Cat Adjust to Your Home and To You

Helping a newly adopted animal adjust to a new environment AND a new owner simultaneously can be challenging…but very rewarding. Here are a few tips on how to care for a new animal in the midst of transition:

  • We all have a life story and are shaped by our experiences-this is true for animals as well. Because of this, it is important to learn as much about the animal’s history as possible (if possible).
  • If possible, ask the relinquishing owner (or shelter) to give you an item that that the animal will positively associate with their current habitat, such as a blanket, toy or food dish. The animal will recognize the scent on this item.
  • Introduce your new friend to the new environment one room at a time. Opening your entire home to a new animal can be very overwhelming (for both the new owner and the animal). You want to create a safe environment for your new furry friend wherein they will have access to everything they will need: food, water, toys, litter box or potty pad, a place to hide, and the familiar item (previously mentioned).
  • This initial space can be used as a bonding room, or an area where the new owner and the pet can bond. Do NOT seek out the animal, instead, allow the animal to come to you while in this space. During your time in the bonding room, you can talk to your animal so that they will become familiar with your voice.
  • Be PATIENT! This process can take days, weeks or even months.

I adopted a cat from the Pleasants County (WV) Cat Shelter on April 18. His name is Mateo. His transition period took nearly 3 weeks.


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