April 30, 2013

A Personal Post: Mostly of Pinterest, Home Decor, and Growing Up?

Oh. Hey there. Fancy meeting you here! Me? Yeah, I'm still around!! I went on an accidental internet vacation - I turned my laptop off one day and just.....didn't turn it back on for a week. I have an iPad, tho, so I was deffo checking the most vital of emails. I've been really busy with all that ~life~ stuff, stress and illness that occurs behind the screen (funny how that gets in the way of doing cool nails and makeup and taking pictures of yourself, right?!). Let's be real - if I could, I definitely would be a full-time blogger because I love doing nails, being creative, doing tutorials, and I love writing. I love blogging; it's true. I love making collages and showing you things I've thought of or stuff that I've tried out and all o' that. However, considering the primary ad service I've been using for the last year will reach the pay-out minimum in roughly 4+ years at the current rate (and it's a loooow minimum, so don't think I'll be making it big by then with some massive pay-out), it just doesn't seem likely that I'm going to be able to carry on churning out awesome post after awesome post at the rate that I have been. Yes, I will soon have to spend most of the time I make content away from the computer making money. I have to face the facts that I have been avoiding as much as possible, which is why I'm putting it all out here in blog-land; I have to be a "grown up" and get a "real job". I honestly don't know how people like The Crumpet does it; she has a serious grown-up full time job while being A NAIL BLOG GODDESS. What a jerk. Or the Manicurator, who has adorable twin boys and a crazy popular blog! But now that you're here, do you want to read about some things I've been doing? Maybe?

Part of what I've been doing away from the computer is nail related because I'm in the process of a SUPER COOL new lady area - my own little nail nook that I can decorate and organize and make pretty. That means I now soon will have the nail nook worthy of Pinterest and other ladies' dreams! [I still need to organize, purge, decorate, spray paint, etc. - on a budget, y'all, so heavy on the purge and 'make paper decorations from old magazines + tissue paper from all of those things you bought yourself'] The pic above is definitely the before; I have since crammed a lot of junk in there because I had previously stashed it away all over my office and now it's finally all in one place. I'm also hoping/trying to get my make-up to live near my nail items, which is a 'process'. This switcharoo came about because we (boyfriend and I) finally realized that we'd like to actually sit at a table to eat meals instead of standing over the sink/sitting on the couch/sitting at a computer desk/what ever other options there are, so we have been moving furniture around. Below is the 'before' of the same nook space above - we had this awesome table in a too-small space, so I just put a lot of stuff on it and said "No, no sitting here."

But for right now the extra-beautifying of the nail nook has to wait because we're focusing our time, $, and attention on the bathroom and the recently mold-tastic cabinet in it that's making me cough/feel like death (I'm allergic to mold, so while it is a bad thing for people in general to be near mold, there's nothing like itchy eyes and a sore throat while brushing your teeth!) We're dealing with the moldy cabinet today by getting new shelves and spending all of our no money on adult things (the shelves, instead of Skylander Giants characters and MOAR nail polish). Ugh. BUT here's a cool collage of things that's happening in the bathroom, because, uhm, this is my blog and I can totally show you collages of home decor even if you were expecting nails!

Clockwise from top left
  • We're looking into various inexpensive industrial metal shelving ideas [that won't grow mold]; there's a $15 one at IKEA!
  • There's already a band of green paint at the bottom of the wall on the side without molding (the good kind, i.e. the wood decoration kind in the middle of the wall) so I want to ombre from green to white on the wall w/o the wood molding so that it's less awkward because right now it's a not straight line with pencil markings at the top (done with the "free" green paint I already have)
  • When our landlords [poorly] replaced the bathroom flooring ((in the middle of living here because they let the floor rot and didn't fix it before we moved in and we were worried about maybe falling thru)) they re-installed the toilet like 5 inches from the wall and things fall down behind it now; I think a tray would be nice to keep things from doing that, oh and also to cover up the 5 inch gap....
  • A new soap dispenser; something I've wanted for like 3 years and never bothered to pay $10 for because it always seemed like a waste of $
  • Fancy glass vase thing to show people where extra TP is; another seemingly stupid thing I've wanted for a long time [also for as little money as possible]
  • A look at our current Married to the Sea-esque (toile) shower curtain my boyfriend loves (he just sort of laughs at it whenever he sees it, but I win because it's so fancy!!)
  • The current blue bath mat from IKEA (iheartIKEA)
  • *We also have this MASSIVE zebra canvas that we're going to put up, that's switching out with a larger-than-life portrait I did in high school of Pete Wentz (yes, of Fall Out Boy; yes, I am totally telling you ALL OF MY LIFE SECRETS right now). It makes the bathroom verrrrry fancy and awesome and "oh my gosh what neat hotel bathroom am I in?!" that we were going to hang yesterday but we needed alcohol for the 3M mounting strips to wipe down the walls => discovery of moldy cabinet (i.e. the cause of this whole life-melt-down-cool-blog-post)

Now here's some thoughts I'm having about the nail nook, which is hopefully exciting because I'm finally talking about NAIL-ish things again. I've been in awe of ladies that have entire ROOMS for their passion (nails) and also some envy (mostly just envy, complete with fist-shaking at the screen). When we (boyfriend and I) finally realized that we should have switched the dining table and the nail stuff ALL ALONG I felt fan-freaking-tastic because the thing I had always dreamed about and yearned for on Pinterest was happening! (But to be fair, not actually 'all along' because my sweet Ikea Vittsjo laptop nail desk is like two months old and we had some other large thrifty furniture that was just 'around' because we were like, why would we get rid of tables? Do you know how much it costs to buy a freaking table?!? MORE THAN NO DOLLARS.) If you were wondering, two of my favorite polish room tours are from I'm Feeling Nail Venturous and Polish Art Addiction. Here's a collage of what I'm thinking of for my own area.

  1. Ikea VITTSJO desk repainted in a cool teal color on the blog Brittany Makes [tbh, I just really like all these colors - coral, gold, teal-ish, white]
  2. Confetti! Specifically this DIY wall art that looks like confetti (it is exactly as easy as you think it would be; cut out circles and put on wall with removable adhesive like Blu Tac = tah dah! free wall decor)
  3. Overpriced-seeming (to me, the person that drops money like it aint no thing on nail polish, ugh) lustworthy acrylic jewelery box to store makeup products (i.e. a cheaper Ice Box, Diva Cube, whatever) from The Container Store ($60) [Psst. Muji makes some good options, too]
  4. A stair-step clear plastic spice rack, also from The Container Store, to place favorite polishes that I use a lot and/or ones that need to be swatched for the blog. I was holding out on this because I thought I should get a larger rack that would hold more bottles, but I think this is a good price and fit for the Melmers ((see it in action over on the Beauty Broadcast blog; I was a little creepy and tried to count how many bottles fit in her's and I think the larger sized rack could do ~50 bottles depending on the bottle shapes, so that seems like a good deal! $10 rack for 50 bottles vs. $30 rack that's wider than the Melmer for 60 bottles))
  5. Pretty much the perfect vanity set-up and inspiration for the furniture I already own from a home tour of Catherine Sheppard on The Glitter Guide (including those paper tassels, which I have been making out of tissue paper that comes with all the stuff I ordered myself)
  6. Folding chair update tutorial from Makekind! We have a dirty and unloved folding chair just like this sitting in our living room and I think it would be a really nice chair for the nail area if I glammed it up with a little spray paint and fabric. I actually really love the exact color and pattern from the example - coral with black and white chevron fabric
  7. Clear plastic boxes from The Container Store (are we sensing a theme with 'clear' and 'container store' yet?) with lids to hold my makeup brushes - right now they're in mismatched coffee mugs. Having lids on the boxes will keep the brushes clean (no dust!) and at $2-$4, these containers are cheaper than almost all of the options at Home Goods/Michaels/any place I have checked with like items. (Sorry this photo is weird in the collage, but I don't fault TCS because I can only assume it's really hard to photograph CLEAR things without just getting a reflection of yourself, etc.)
  8. This light, iced mint colored filing cabinet from CB2 is such a dreamy color!! I have the desire to repaint my mis-matched IKEA Helmers the same shade [why I thought a red one was a good idea when I had a cream one is beyond me...I think I wanted red the first time and was being shy, so the second time I made sure to get it. Cool job, self.] 

Anyhoooooo, I've been thinking a bit about hobbies and what they mean and how I came to be a 'nail person'. And I blame Pinterest (it was the spark, the blogs and FB groups were the fire). Back when I got into nails, I was really really into home decor. In my head, I assume everyone else assumes there's an awesome DIY-whiz and home-decorator-genius inside them, right? Like every person is thinking about how to make their house awesome and the whole world is Apartment Therapy?  I guess no, because my boyfriend is very 'whatever' most of the time, and I am jealous of his casual attitude. So, the internet sucked me in and fueled my love of looking at photos of things I can't have; fancy tumblrs and then PINTEREST happened. It's like I was brought into the fold of my people - the pinning away of great ideas that look fantastic in photos, but everyone is behind the screen sitting and wanting instead of doing. [Side: those people that pin photos of nails and are all OMG, THIS LOOKS SO CRAZY. HOW DO THEY DO IT?! I WISH I COULD?! is how I feel about spray paint and wood and stuff sometimes, because I want things to look nice, but ugh, effort? When really it is allllll equally 'easy'. Trust that I do not do nails or makeup that I think is hard because then it wouldn't be fun or relaxing, and that's what I like about it! But with most creative projects, they take time, not like hungry bears waiting to attack you if you don't get your project done correctly the first time, or whatever else I think would make it "hard".] After discovering some cool nail art photos on Pinterest (how many times can I write Pinterest in this post?) I realized that the 'act of doing' with nail art was a lot more achievable for me at the time vs. The Big Ideas of home decor because nail polish is inexpensive (in small quantities) and a lot of the 'tools' are house-hold items that you probably already have. For instance, cheap-o paint brushes, tape, vaseline, water and a plastic cup for watermarbling, and anything (literally, anything) with a dot-esque end can be a dotting tool (needle, the part of a pin where your fingers go, ballpoint pen, pencil eraser, etc.) Painting my nails with supplies I already had was something I could manage vs. the expensive curtains and general 'things' I wanted to buy to decorate with!! But then I fell down THAT rabbit hole and have popped out the other side with 1,000+ bottles of polish (and at least that many dollars invested) and entire furniture items dedicated to storing it all.

The past week or so moving furniture in my house, purging books from college classes that I will never read again, deciding to finally finally donate the clothes I wore in high school that I won't probably want to wear as much if I lost a lot of weight because they are clothes for teenagers, etc. has helped me to restore a smidgen bit of balance and perspective in my life. It's been weighing on me that all of my websites and social media is taken over by nail polish - my entire FB feed is new nail polishes I want, but can't afford. Now we're finally doing the house things that I always wanted to be doing instead of just wanting them and I am stuck wanting more nail polish [that I do not need] for the time being. I think maybe now that spring is finally here, it's been pushing me to purge the house and organize and refresh things. 'Refreshing' the house primarily involves frames and items we've always had but couldn't figure out how to hang on our walls and moving things around that we already own because we have no money and we're struggling recent graduates lololol. I know that the second we finish the house in a way that I like, one of us will get offered a really great job in a different city and we'll have to move away from our newly-beautiful abode but I am OK with this, because we really really need cool career jobs and money. [Also word of advice, maybe don't try and be in love with someone that is directly competing with you for jobs because you met in major-related classes and have the same degree, k?]

[Slight tangent]
Growing up is hard! Duh! I'm feeling these awful waves of sadness for all of my friends that are graduating college this week and now they're in the same shit-boat as Boyfriend and I - the, oh my god, where are the jobs, please help me, I thought college was bad and now I want to cry everyday because what am I doing with my life, how did I make all of the wrong choices, how quickly can I get back in school and yet not be in debt and facing these same feelings in a few years after obtaining more 'education' but owe the government a ton of money?!?! boat, instead of the super pleasant soft, warm cuddly hug that college was. In like two years I'll be worrying about puppy poo (fingers crossed, because puppies sound amazing and I have been WAITING forever to be at that life stage) and all of this* will be another distant thing. Finishing college and getting a 'career job' is obviously like getting your wisdom teeth removed - just a crap thing everyone does, but no one really talks about how gross and painful and straight-up bad it is. And if you haven't gotten your wisdom teeth out yet, sorry. It sucks.
*this meaning these ~feelings~, not this blog because I luve nailz, u guys!

All of this is to say the following:
- I am alive, and photos of my hands/possibly eyes will be back soon! I've got some awesome indies to swatch for you this week that I am DYING about - such a great variety of finishes
- I probably can't keep posting 5+ days a week anymore, because sadly, this is not my job, even tho I wish it was :'(
- I don't know how I am planning to adjust my posting schedule yet; I will let you know so that you're aware of when I post because I know you don't want to miss any of these goodies, eh?! ;D
- Theme weeks are definitely still happening - next week is Matte May and then Digit-al Dozen
- Thanks for not leaving in the meantime, you guys are all pals!
- Feel free to tell me words of encouragement about ~life~ (or spray paint, let's get real), or stories about something you're dealing with right now that is not nails - we all have those days, right?

If you read all these words, thank you <3


  1. You've summed uo my life perfectly there! Glad to hear you are still doing okay! *hugs!*

  2. I loved this post, really loved it but, sniff ... I'm a jerk? lifts wounded paw ... xxx

  3. I can totally relate to the holy-sh*t-balls-I-need-a-grown-up-job-feeling, I'm definitely going through that right now. Don't worry if you don't figure it all out right away, you'll find your path.

  4. I totally understand what you are going through! Can't wait to see all the new and amazing changes! :)

  5. lol debbie is a jerk!
    and don't feel bad - im on the 4 year payout plan too!!
    what a great post emma - sorry you've been dealing with too much life and not enough nails!!!

  6. Oh, honey! Don't be too hard on yourself. Going through weird funks and periods where everything feels a little uncomfortable, like it's moving too fast and too slow at the same time, I think that's totally normal, and yeah, part of growing up. Not to give you more media to consume on the internet, but there are plenty of people talking about how messy and difficult and confusing the job search and career world are! One of the few non-nail blogs on my RSS feed is askamanager.org. Meanwhile, keep us posted on your nail nook!


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