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Shoe Hack

Without resorting to buying new shoes, I’ve been wanting to update my shoe wardrobe so have been stalking sites like Brit & Co, Pinterest and DDG Daily for ideas and last night, I put the first one to the test. Chevron nail polish hand drawn soles for my regular black work heels. The polish I used was a nail art pen as I didn’t quite trust myself with a regular brush to get easy lines (and was too lazy to grip up a template) and the results are pretty impressive. I mean, impressive for a first go and all. (ignore the mud and dirt, I know I need to polish my shoes!)

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It’s now official – I have the hack bug. Clearly this needs to be taken up a notch. I’m thinking glitter, mini paintings and possibly something textural like a material. This will obviously translate to decorating the front of my shoes too – think brightly designed toms or possibly glitter edging some heels or even switching out laces for something far more glamorous.

Any ideas?

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Natural Source – Nail Polish

The Natural Source Gradient

I’m the person who always has their fingernails done. I get them shellacked with a standing two weekly appointment at my local nail salon and every couple months I’ll throw in a pedicure with polish but for the most part I do my feet myself. It begs to be asked why I have over thirty colours of nail polish, but I also share them with my princess of a three year old daughter, so that could explain my justification of such an obvious retail weakness.

I am quite excited about this polish – natural ingredients and such a bold colour choice – plus don’t even get me started waxing lyrical on the gorgeous apothecary-style bottle, I’m a sucker for a good bit of packaging. The bottle is also small enough that I’ll use it all before having to throw it away from drying out and it’s possible that it will get re-used storing home-made glitter or something like it for the ever-growing craft box in the corner of my lounge room.

My plan for this polish was to put it on the night before a wedding we have been invited to, then wear peep-toe shoes so that it has a chance to shine. I’ve since remembered my good peep toes are at work, so I may have to slightly adjust that idea and go with a pair of nude peeps and brighter dress – oh the first world problems I have to deal with!

The polish itself is not what I would call boldly coloured – a couple of coats and it gave a bit of depth, but it’s certainly not the stand out I was hoping for. However, it has a real classiness that I’m super impressed with and it’s shiny as all getup, a big win for my feet so I’ll be feeling good in that department.

As now for what to wear to a “smart casual or semi-formal” wedding with the weather predicted to rain and be cold for the first time in weeks? I think I need a wardrobe makeover. Help! I am getting my hair re-styled tomorrow morning, so perhaps that’ll give some inspiration….

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Food – Smitten Kitchen

I tend to get a little bit obsessive over specific websites. With food, it can go from obsessive to something far more rapturous, like I’m amassing my personal holy trinity and rearranging depending on whose recipes work best. Deb Perlman is the writer of smittenkitchen – a blog full of amazing photography and easily relatable and cookable recipes. And I haven’t ever had a cooking fail while following her recipes (unlike some who should spend less time on styling a finished dish for the camera and more on telling me what to freaking do!).

The problem, of course, with becoming obsessed about American bloggers is that when I do get all excited about their book coming out, I inevitably get annoyed when it arrives in my hot little hands and all the measurements are in pounds and ounces. Not that the conversion is hard, but when I’m putting something in to a fry pan  I don’t also want to be juggling the conversion app on my phone to be sure the proportions are right.

Deb has been kind to us non-Americans and put out a second version of her book in metric measurements (available from bookdepository.co.uk) and wow, I’m really glad she has. Every page is not only a joy to read, but I know that I won’t be juggling while cooking so it’s a safety feature too! The book has also doubled in size as I’ve marked nearly every page to try – wholemeal raspberry ricotta scones, sugar snap salad with miso dressing, chicken and egg mayonnaise toasties with lemon aioli and fennel, sesame spiced turkey meatballs with smashed chickpea salad, buttered popcorn cookies, chocolate hazelnut crepe cake… have I got you wondering? I’ve made so many things from smittenkitchen in the past few years, it’s always a go to for whatever I’m planning to make (I’ll use Deb’s recipes over most other sites) or inspiration for when I cant think what to make.

And her photography always makes me hungry. I still can’t believe she makes everything in a kitchen that looks a third the size of mine.

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Dr Wheatgrass Range

I’ve never understood the allure of wheatgrass – it’s green, gets given to you by hipster baristas or 15 year old “juice experts” and it’s….. grass. It’s grass that someone has bothered to put through a juicer, but it’s still just grass. It tastes like chlorophyll which is why the only way to drink it is in one shot with a tasty beverage chaser.

So I guess the next logical step was someone putting it in to cream and trying to flog it as full of the antioxidant properties that are meant to work so well in the juice form. That someone happens to be a guy who calls himself “Dr Wheatgrass” and he suggests that his crop of wheatgrass has superb “bioactive properties” that aid in skin recovery and soothe stiff muscles.

Now I do have to be honest – the sample cream, gel and balm I was sent are meant to be used on bruised or broken skin and I have neither bruises nor broken skin to try it on, but I did put the “Superbalm” on my cracked heels to see whether they even soften the skin so that it could un-crack itself. And I gave it two days, four applications and waited to be amazed. But alas, amazed I was not. It’s a really good moisturiser and perhaps if I had an ulcerated blister, it may work wonders – but for everyday use, it holds no greater benefit than a regular heavy moisturising cream.

sigh.

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Pantene – Ultra Light Shampoo & Conditioner

I got my first little package in the mail a couple of days ago – the cutest box of trial sized Pantene Ultra Light shampoo and conditioner, from pinchme which is a new site for sample products and reviews.

I’ve always been wary of Pantene, I’ve found their claims at being light always fall short of my expectations. I have fine hair and after a day or two, it gets weighed down with grime, sweat and oils (I run my hands through my hair a lot of an evening I’m realising). I’ve actually never found a shampoo which properly feels like it cleans my hair which is why once or twice a month I wash it in baking soda – at least it strips it back to squeaky clean – the downside of which is that as soon as I add conditioner, the same problem occurs.

I am surprised but thoroughly pleased to say that this shampoo and conditioner combo actually works! The claim on the packaging suggests that it’s because of the lack of silicone in the product (something I’m amazed is in a lot of my shampoos) which makes a lot of sense, I use silicone to waterproof the bathroom so not having that on my hair would certainly be lighter. I washed my hair a couple of nights ago and towel dried it at night, then slept on it accidentally when I put my daughter to sleep and fell asleep myself. No expecting anything, I woke the next morning to badly styled, but otherwise amazingly soft hair with (this is the exciting part) volume! I was pretty pleased with it, especially when a couple of people commented on how good my hair looked during the day, not something I often hear with fine lank hair.

It’s gotten me excited enough to now think that I should get my hair styled in to something more than a pulled back ponytail – one more wash just to be sure it still works and I think I may take the plunge!

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