Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Give Yourself a French Pedicure

The state of my toenails is a good indicator about the state of my life.

A beautifully pedicured pair of feet means that I've had time to stop and take care of myself. Most times my feet sport the slapped-on, make-do bit of polish that covers the flaking polish from the last real, sit-down-and-enjoy pedicure. And sometimes my toes are just hideous. My life is a shambles.

I've had several pedicures in my life and have come to realize that I generally like doing them myself. It's really no fun to go to the nail place alone, the lady will inevitably cut my nails too short or cause some other trouble, and I walk away with a plain ol' paint job I could have done at home. All in all, my hands-on personality likes to have more involvement in the pedicure process. It's more fun, and it saves money!

So, back to the state of my life, here are my toenails:

That's one photo you don't want to "click to enlarge."

It's time for a drastic makeover. Let's pull out the drawer o' goodies and see what we can do!

1. Soak your feet. I like to use Arbonne's Sea Salt Scrub to really soften them up. I also use a pumice stone for callouses.

2. Moisturize!

Now that my feet are nice and soft, let's work on the toenails!

4. Take the old polish off. This is one of my favorite steps, because it immediately gives me a clean slate. I often do this step very first, just to see an immediate difference. However, if you're inclined to do that, you need to still swipe your nails with polish remover  at this step to get any moisturizer off of them (which might keep the polish from sticking).

5. Clip your nails. For a French pedicure, I like to keep them a little longer than if I were just doing a solid color.

6. File your nails. I know this sounds crazy, but treat your toes just like you treat your fingers! They deserve it!

7. Gather your nail-painting supplies: White nail polish (a bright opaque white), a transparent sparkly polish (optional), clear polish, nail polish remover, and a Qtip.

8. Oh, and don't forget to put those toe foam thingies on.

9. Now, start by painting a white strip at the top of each nail. Don't worry if it ain't pretty. Take time with each toe.

10. Pour out a little polish remover into the cap. Dip your Qtip into the remover and start swirling it on the unpolished area of your toe in little circular motions, only touching the edge of the polish just enough to clean it up.

See? Much better.

11. Now paint the sparkly polish all over your toenails. This is optional, and I don't do it for fingernails, but I like the little bit of extra on my toes.

12. Top with a clear topcoat and you're done!

13. could get bored and draw stuff on your feet to call attention to your beautiful pedicure.

As a side note, I got a new purple polish that Caleb thought was hilarious. The first time he saw my toes, his question was, "What happened??" And I replied with "Mama painted her toes purple!" Every time he saw my toes, he asked the same question and I gave the same answer.

One day, we were at a restaurant and Caleb was peering under the table. He pointed and said, "Tuss...pahpo" with a little grin on his face. I had no clue what he was telling me, and after the third attempt, he looked a little dejected that his joke was not coming across as he would have liked. I kept trying to find something under the table that could give me a hint, but all that was under there were our feet. And finally I figured it out: Toes...Purple! My little man was sharing his first inside joke with me. We had a good laugh over it, and I've decided that I'll be painting my toes purple next time, just to see what Caleb says.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Paint Nuts and Bolts

When I was repainting Caleb's big boy bed, I really wanted to paint the nuts and bolts that held the bed together. I had in mind that I would hold them out at arm's length and give them a good spraying, but came up with a better idea. Maybe it will help you out on your next repainting project!

1. Poke the bolts through a piece of cardboard.

2. Attach the nuts to the back of the bolts.

3. Set the cardboard piece into a box (I stole my cardboard piece from this box) and spray bolt tops with paint.

4. Turn the cardboard piece over and push the bolts through the holes so the nuts touch the cardboard (I didn't want to paint the threading of the bolts in case it might make it harder to screw the nuts on).

5. Spray paint the bolts.