Sunday, 26 August 2012

Everything new

Hi lovely people who have waited so patiently :)

I've been off work for the last few weeks (yay) so have been a little busy.

Firstly I thought I'd update with some of my nail art, I'm always moaning that I can never find good designs and/or tutorials online that I can use regularly so I think that means I should do it myself :)

First one:

I am very proud of my Union Jacks. I did them initially for the Royal Wedding last year, but I thought I'd bring them back for the Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics this year! They're a lot easier to do than they look, but they take a while because it's done in several layers.

 First you do your base coat. I'm currently using Sally Hansen, one of her super strong stop breaking magic ones, you have to do a couple of layers but it is very good at keeping your nails nice and strong and it stops staining.

Next... the blue, just a whole coat of blue, I prefer a darker blue so I use Barry M 'Indigo' which I think looks just right. Let this dry. It's super important to let every layer dry properly, like waiting a good ten minutes between layers, because if you go wrong you have to start all over again.

After this go for the white, I use Barry M 'Matte White' which I do like as its a bit more opaque than a lot of french tip whites which can often look a bit pearlescent and translucent which doesn't really give the right effect. I do the vertical and horizontal lines first, then use the side of the brush to do the X so they come out slightly finer. It does look a little scruffy at this stage but don't give up, it all comes together...

Finally the red. I got a lovely set of nail art brushes from my mum for Christmas last year and there's a lovely fine one I use for the red. Just have to make sure you leave the gap between the vertical cross and the X parts of the red, rather than making them a continuous * shape.

However, if you don't have a lovely brush, I have a SECRET WEAPON... Sharpie permanent markers. They are ideal. Underneath layers have to be 100% dry (not just touch try) for them to work properly and you have to go slowly, drawing with little flicks rather than a continuous line and boom :) done. Then top coat. I need to invest in a proper one, I just have a basic nailene Acrylic Strong one that came in a French Manicure set I got years ago. If you've used Sharpies though, don't do a top coat because it might smear the pen. Sharpies don't last as long as proper polish, but they do the job for a special occasion.

 Number two: Olympic lettering! Nothing impressive or difficult here. Barry M Matte White, Sharpie markers for the words and Olympic rings, done. Didn't take long at all.

This one I got a bit of inspiration from something posted by my Auntie on her business page, was originally a pedicure piece but I thought I'd give it a go...
 The fingers are just basic polish but the thumb has a little anchor on it with a little rhinestone on the top, used my fine art brush for the lines. I was quite proud of this one! but Note To Self: invest in striping tape!

Next one I did on my sister. I found this quite hard because I'd never done anything even vaguely intricate on other people. It was nice because I could do it all with my correct hand, but her hand was at a funny angle and she kept wriggling! On her ring finger is a Barry M black sparkly one (I can't remember the actual name) but I was quite disappointed at how unsparkly is actually is, it looks lovely in the bottle but you can hardly see any sparkles once it's on. The thumb I did the white first, then the pink and black with the bottle brush and the glitter with my fine brush.

This one is my other sister. She wanted a french style look but with a more interesting twist. She's very much a pink girl so colour choice wasnt an issue at all. Interesting again because her nails are rounder compared to the other, more square acrylics. The glitter polish is hard to get a strong line with using the fine brush so it had to be quite thick, meaning it takes a while to dry, but looks very effective

Back to my hands now. The thumbs I tried to do a different way this time, I painted the gold first and then did the thick black stripes on top, which looks good because the gold is stronger, but because the gold is thicker, the black didn't go over the top very well so it was very thick in the end

I'm very proud of this one, I actually did most of it in the dark watching the Olympic closing ceremony! It was really tricky because there was no room for error with the letters as they're meant to look like a continuous word, also choosing my "light source" for the glitter shadow was a bit awkward and led to some interesting hand positions to avoid smudging!

The other thing you might notice is that I always leave a little gap at each side of the polish, this is because my nails are a horribly uneven set of shapes, some round, some square, some shorter, some longer, and it just serves as a bit of an optical illusion to make them look a little more even.

I've had a lot of compliments for these next ones, which actually weren't nearly as hard as I anticipated. It uses six polishes in total, a pink, an orange, a yellow, a green, a blue and a classic black crackle polish. I started with a yellow line down the middle of each nail, then I did the green and blue, then the orange and pink, so I was left with five stripes on each nail. I then just painted the crackle on top and the block colour of the crackle makes the stripes look like a gradient with no effort at all! et voila!

These are my most intricate design to date. Pink and white candy stripe with a corset bow. Obviously I did the pink and white first, then used my fine brush to do the ribbon and bow shapes, then, before it was totally dry I outlined the bow and did a flick of black along each ribbon line so it slightly blended with the gold, giving it a bit more texture. I think...

This last one I saw on a website somewhere, but I can't remember where... and thought I'd have a go, the stripes I did in the same way as with my sister's. Gold stripes last. The hardest part was the stars on the thumbs because they were so hard to get even and defined!
And that's it! If you've got any questions about any of them feel free to ask, I hope they're helpful and at the very least interesting!

I'll finish with a lovely picture of Milly to make you smile

Sunday, 24 June 2012

All over the place...

Wow I have fallen seriously behind... only one post in all of May! Very sorry indeed!

Guess what... Summer is here! It's been beautiful and sunny on several (admittedly quite short) occasions and this is cause for celebration. I've been having such a lovely time of it recently, spent a weekend shopping with my best friend from school which was rather brilliant even though I probably spent rather too much money... yay for Primark! Most of the bits and pieces I got were just generic little things, but I have a particular love item! This lovely little necklace!

And these gorgeous new lashes, pretty huge by my standards, but only for special occasions...
I also got some Barry M black glittery nail polish which I was very excited about but when I put it on it wasn't nearly as glittery as I had hoped, it just looked a bit bobbly and took forever to get off, which is a shame because I am a complete Barry M worshipper when it comes to nail polish. Sad times.

I also now have Twitter! Although I have no followers yet which is quite sad... feel free to rectify this by following me! @rachelrachelcb

Anyway, I promise a smaller gap between posts next time!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Shopping abstinence...

Hello lovelies,

Ever so sorry I have been so poor at posting recently, I've been so busy with work and my gorgeous little bunny I haven't found a moment. That's the bad news, the slightly good news is that I have in fact spent virtually no money these last few weeks, just haven't had a chance to go shopping. My bank balance and wardrobe space thanks me deeply for this, but I can't help but feel once again as I sit in front of my overflowing wardrobe with my head in my hands that I just have NO clothes!

I have been considering having some sort of cull, but on clothing terms I am a serious pack-rat I just hate getting rid of anything. I have a complete 'but-what-if-I-need-that-one-day' mentality... Which is leading to an entire wardrobe and chest of drawers both bursting at the seams...

All this aside, I'm after a handbag. I have several absolutely lovely handbags but I want one to take to work, one that can be bunged in the cupboard amongst the glitter and powder paint and not be worried about so I'm not after spending too much... Any suggestions?

Serious good news though, our lovely little Smart car (Optimus Prime) has officially bitten the dust - that isn't the good part. I will seriously miss him, particularly his £20-a-tank fuel bill. However, this means a shiny new car! That will be SHINY and NEW :D Unfortunately it will also be white, but my fiance picked this and is really excited about it and I don't really care either way so I didn't feel the need to battle that one out. Pics to follow... When it arrives, it has to come from the factory in Germany which means it's going to be AGES.

As I haven't got any new clothes to tell you about, I'll talk about the other love of my life... food. My weight loss hit 20lb this weekend, very pleased. I put this down to the discovery of a new virtually no calorie snack food. Hartley's no added sugar Jelly Pots. At less than 50p a pot and less than 3 calories a pot I could eat 12 pots and still be on fewer calories than a single rich tea biscuit. Absolutely amazing. I love jelly at the best of times, but when I can eat it with NO guilt whatsoever, even following the massive Chinese I may or may not have had last night, it is just Out Of This World. Mt happiness about this has even alleviated my rage at the Pretending-To-Eat adverts...

Hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend :D

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Catching up...

Good news! Finally getting around to posting some of the lovely things I've bought recently! Hooray! So let's get straight to it... First of all my lovely lovely underwear from Debenhams (Floozie by Frost French) Apologies for the fact that they're sideways, haven't worked out how to rotate them...
Both so utterly gorgeous and comfortable I have to hurry them through the laundry just so I can wear them again.

Secondly, my boots, these were a sale buy, there was only one pair left, £9 reduced from £35, and in my size. I couldn't not buy them really...

Nextly, it isn't hugely clear in the picture but it's Barry M instant effects gold foil nail paint. It actually looks really nice. I've tried proper gold foil nail art sticker thingies but you have to blow them with a hairdryer and then file the paper down and it's awkward, time consuming, and if you get it wrong they last about half an hour before falling off, in my case in the salad I was preparing for a BBQ with the in-laws... Fortunately at a BBQ virtually no one eats the salad so there were only a few moments of blind panic...
I also bought silver instant effects and one of those nifty magnet polishes. Problem is I haven't succeeded in making the magnet one actually work and produce a pattern just yet... So there's no sense in publishing a picture of that just yet... Once I get the hang of it I shall post about it, but currently no success...

Next up is my playsuit, it doesn't look much on the hanger but it's lovely on. Not sure how clear it is but the pattern is butterflies, very nice indeed, it has little sleeves to the elbow and the shortsy bit is nice and long, cos I tend to notice that playsuits are stupidly short, or I'm a bit too long, and you end up showing that little ridge at the bottom of your bum cheeks that is just really not all that endearing... but not so with this one, hurrah!

So all sorts of bits and pieces here, very pleased :) I went back to work today after the Easter holidays which are never ever long enough whether you're a student or a teacher! Although it was a little strange (read: blissful) to be at home during an Easter holidays and not be revising for exams or writing essays or doing coursework etc. It was so calm and not having to write out two units worth of notes a day or similar. This was replaced by half termly planning, but that is just much less pressurising as I won't fail at anything if I'm a bit slow with it...

Today's reasons to be happy, as I haven't done these in a while...

Number one, it's April! Already! 244 days til Christmas.

Today, the 24th April, is National Stationery Day. Now, I don't know about you, but I love stationery, I love a good trip to Staples and I always walk out with a snazzy new notebook or pen set whether I need them or not :D

I received a blog award from the lovely Ali who I went to uni with and am rather sad I didn't spend more time with as via blogging I appear to correspond with more than most of the people I went to uni with combined! She also has a really lovely blog :)

Finally I thought I'd end with a picture of Milly, just chillin'

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Bunny bunny bunny!

I hope you all ha a fantastic Easter. I most certainly did. Instead of an Easter egg this year I was surprised with a beautiful little bunny! She was eight weeks old when my lovely fiancé presented her to me, and she's the reason this post is slightly delayed, she's such a distraction, with already a whole array of lovely little habits already.

This was our first Easter away from home so no obligatory egg hunt this year, which was very sad, but still very exciting. What have you all done for Easter?

Also a quick weight loss update, 18lb :) ever so pleased. Its been painfully gradual, about a pound or so a week and there have been times where id have shanked an infant for an entire enormous pizza... But I've not stopped myself having anything, I've just been on a strict count. I can eat whatever I like to make up the calories I'm allowed but then that's it unless I manage to drag myself out for a run! And my BMI is still in the upper half of healthy so don't be concerned :)

I will post about all my lovely new clothes very soon, promise, but I couldn't do a post without making it about my lovely new addition to the family!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Firstly a big sorry that this is such an overdue post! I've been on Easter Holidays this week so keeping busy with all sorts of bits I can't do during term time. Fortunately this includes an awful lot of shopping so  lots of things to put in here!

First of all, I had such a wonderful response to the photos I put up last week I thought I'd put a few more up...

 This is my Gerbera. An anniversary present from my lovely fiance, grown back for the second year running by my wonderful Mum who can just grow anything.

 That's it for the flowers, I have millions more but I thought just a selection would do... for now...

These next few are Saltburn beach in the North East of England, it was a freezing windy day spent perched on top of a cliff taking photos... Worth it though for some of these gorgeous ones...

As for my shopping, I haven't had a chance to try it all on yet... So I'll have to take some pictures and upload them soon, I promise.

This week has been ever so hectic, my Mum works in a school as well so we're both off at the same time so we take the opportunity to keep each other busy and spend lots of time together. So far we've been to the Garden Centre, planted lots of flowers, been shopping, been to the doctors, been to the opticians, made lemonade, made apple crumble, been out for lunch and generally updated each other with everything we've been up to this term, and in amongst all this Rachel-Mummy time I'm having to squeeze in half-termly planning for next term and trying to spend as much time with one of my sisters before she buggers off to the Ukraine for the ENTIRE holiday period. 

My parents are celebrating their 30th Wedding Anniversary over the Jubilee weekend so they're having a little party, so obviously my first thoughts have been along the lines of 'what on earth am I going to wear?!' Shortly followed by a shopping spree and now that dilemma has been sorted by a butterfly playsuit from (picture soon on here and probably on my What I Wore Today...) and although I'll probably change my mind 100 times between now and then, I definitely have plenty to choose from!

I have to have a little rave about my new underwear, I'll post a picture of that too, it's from Debenhams and it's from a range called Floozie by Frost French and it is just the most perfect fit for me, I have trouble finding bras that fit that are a little bit interesting looking but here they are! Unfortunately the collection is quite small at the minute, but I still plan to buy every single one they do in my size...

Have a wonderful Easter my lovely readers and I will post pictures of my enormous haul as soon as I get the chance!

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Today's post is all about pictures. I'm by no means a pro but I've done my best :) let me know what you think.
The red and purple are poppies that I planted in the flowerbeds in front of our house, they've all come up fantastically considering I'm such an appalling gardener

 This daffodil is in a huff. Since it flowered it has faced the wall the entire time. I took the picture so I could see what colour the trumpet was...

Just a quick one today. I might upload some more pictures in a later post if I get the chance, I'm really proud of some of them and have a printed portfolio that I like to whip out for anyone who'll sit still long enough :)