Friday, 21 June 2013

S is for Stolen

Yesterday my lovely little Fiat Cinquecento was callously broken in to.  It has really upset me. What did the car thief get for his trouble? My son's school coat and an old towel that was lining my boot. Whilst my car door still locks, they have done enough damage to possibly warrant me having to buy and fit a whole new door.  Finding a Cinquecento car door that doesn't even match in colour is going to be hard enough, let alone trying to find one that does, as Lilian (my son's nickname for my car) is an old P reg Fiat Cinquecento.  They don't even make her model anymore.  What I find most upsetting is my Chinny is not worth anything to anyone else, but to me she means the world.  I bought her off Ebay a few days before Christmas for £285 with just 70,000 miles on the clock and she has been absolute God send in more ways than you can imagine.

I did have the last laugh though, as I've mentioned in my previous blog, my OCD causes this really bad habit I have, of picking up litter and little bits of paper off the pavement and I store them in the door panels of my car doors.  The thief had to rake through all that rubbish just to find there was absolutely nothing in the door panels except... rubbish! Further more when he broke in, the thief would have realised that I actually have a relic of car and it only has a radio/cassette tape stereo... in your face Mr Thief! 

I really cannot get over the mentality of these selfish morons that steal from other people, I would rather give someone my car than have them violate my own private space.  I sent himself out last night to clean the car up as I just couldn't face it, I armed him with Dettol and Windolene... my car has never looked so clean and tidy.  We have now also put on a heavy duty lock and cable round the steering wheel and drivers door, to hopefully ward off any future break ins.  

I called the police yesterday who sent CSI round in the morning and I am being visited by the police on... wait for it... Saturday! The CSI was a really lovely guy, who unfortunately disturbed me midway through a nail client (my poor nail client, she was so understanding) and he took just 20 minutes to dust for prints but sadly most were lost in the morning when the rain fell down in buckets. I was rather disappointed that the control room didn't send Danny Messer or Detective Don Flack from CSI New York, I felt that would have made the whole debacle a little more bearable, but c'est la vie and all that.  The first thing the CSI said to me when he returned from his crime scene investigating was "your car should be in a museum," the sheer cheek of the man! But he's right, she's a little old, a little rusty, a little battered and bruised due to her previous owners, but at least she's still here and at least she's still mine. 

I'd like to think that this selfish car thief would feel remorse after what he's done, but sadly I don't think that they ever do. My husband and I work hard to keep our two cars running, but then all it takes is some low life to come along, take what isn't theirs to take, costing us money to repair it that we simply don't have and leave me feeling awful that someone has sat in my car that I neither invited nor wanted in there. However, I truly believe in Karma, and I'm sure she'll get her own back on him some day soon.

Through all the stress, worry and upset yesterday I didn't once reach for a real cigarette, or even want one, so a small victory for me I feel.  Today I am happy to report I am on day 7 of no smoking (with the help of my electronic cigarette of course), but I'm proud of myself.  Despite the anger and upset of yesterday I certainly wasn't going to let that thief wreck my non smoking efforts as well. Hell no!

Anyway, here's a little gratuitous Flack/Danny CSI:NY action for a Friday afternoon... I'm now off for a cold shower... have a great weekend folks!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

U is for Upcycle

My dear old Mum has always told me how creative I am, I don't really agree with her (sorry Mum) but I do try my best anyway.  I blogged recently about two beautiful pieces of furniture that I picked up from a lovely lady in Ramsgate after I placed an advert on Freecycle and my discovery of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  On Friday himself, Sammy and I took a trip to a local interior design shop in Sandwich that supplies ASCP.  I picked up Paris Grey, Old White, a can of Annie Sloan Clear Wax and a couple of paint brushes all for the handsome sum of £57. I've since bought a round brush for around £6, a mini roller and some sandpaper from Homebase and I can say hands down, if you're going to use ASCP get yourself a round brush because it makes the application an absolute dream and gives you a much better finish. 

Today I thought that I would blog about my progress so far and what I've got planned for the finished telephone table.  My material sample for the seat arrived this morning too and it looks amazing.  I am so excited about this project and the whole chalk paint thing that I'm off to Canterbury on Friday evening to pick up a beautiful pine chest of drawers for £40 that I found on the Preloved website.  Do I have the room?  Of course not.  Is my husband getting a little antsy that it now takes an Olympic gymnast move to get in to bed each night? Absolutely! But well, what can you do when your 'paint studio' is in your bedroom.  Why it in the bedroom? Well because my hallway is my home nail salon, the kitchen/diner/lounge is all one room and there's no where else to create my masterpieces.  Thank god it's a low odour paint!
The best way to show you my progress is posting a little photo montage of each stage so you can have a wee look.   One thing I have learned, a little too late unfortunately, is never distress your furniture piece whilst dressed head to toe in black, I got absolutely covered in white and grey dust! 

In all honesty I could have done this telephone table in double quick time owing to the fact that ASCP takes literally 20 minutes to dry, but I've been taking my time, been busy with my nail clients and generally keeping the family home in order... well ordered chaos if I'm honest. But I'm loving it! I've been researching all the other things I can create with ASCP today.  I've realised that perhaps I need to have some little projects on the go as well, all this big furniture malarky has to stop... or at least slow down.  So I've been thinking about creating wall plaques, mirrors, chalk boards, picture frames, plant pots, wall mounted coat racks and a few other things as well.  I did spy a beautiful antique mirror in Brentwood for £20, it would have been fantastic to do, but I need to chill my boots, take my time and make some room at home first.  

Anyway enough chit chat, here are the pictures so far...

What it started out like in 1978...
A quick try out I did at 10pm on Friday night, much to my husband's horror!
First full coat of Old White...
Added Paris Grey drawer...

Moved to the bedroom as was getting in everyone's way! Added Paris Grey to the top of the table and started to distress the the edges...
Close up of distressing on drawers and table top...
Distressing on the edges... love this look...

As mentioned earlier I received a free sample of fabric from a lovely online store called Thread and Loop today.  It looks absolutely gorgeous.

I've still got to add the clear wax, touch in a few places and do a little more distressing, but it's coming along beautifully.  I have made a final decision on the drawer handle at last. At first I was going to go for a crystal effect type handle, but as this project has developed it has really taken on a distinct French feel, so I have chosen to go for the ceramic handle below, which I think will compliment the design really well.  

I cannot wait to finish this piece, it's been a real labour of love.  I'm slightly panicked about the two larger pieces I've got to do, but sometimes these designs take shape and evolve the longer you work on them and to be honest with you that's actually the best bit.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

F is for Fran├žais

I am literally driving my whole house crazy with this song at the moment.  I love it.  I first heard it in Dead Man Down the other day and fell in love with it.  If you knew the English translation you'd love it even more.  That's not to say I'm fluent in French, au contraire, it just means that some lovely person searched for the English translation and posted it up on You Tube.  However, in English or French I hope you'll agree it is a beautiful song.  I have been singing it all day and when I say sing I mean that I have mumbled something that sounds nothing like the beautiful French language that is actually being sung. My French actually sounds very much like this...

That's not to say that I didn't learn French in school,  in fact I sat my French GCSE in 1997.  I won't tell you the grade I got, but suffice to say I'll never be mistaken for Edith Piaf.

My son is learning French at the moment, I can just about remember the days, months and colours of the rainbow, but that is probably about the extent of my French.  Now if you asked me do I have a pet in German, I could happily tell you this...

Ich habe einen wellensitich, sie ist gelb und weis, sie heist Snoopy... apologies for my appalling German spelling.

So what does that mean? Well it roughly translates to "I have a budgie, she is yellow and white, she is called Snoopy".  No it won't get me far in Deutschland, but for some reason it is just a phrase that has stuck in my head for the last 16 years. 

But back to France...

So where have I been in France?  The usual; Calais, Dunkerque, Bologne, Le Touquet, Lille and Paris.  Ah Paris, now there's a story for you...

When I was 19 my best friend and I travelled on a coach to the capital of France, full of hope and wonder, imagining that our days would be filled with sightseeing, French men, cigarettes and alcohol.  Well it kind of did have all that in it, but not exactly in the way you would imagine.

We arrived in Paris some time in the afternoon and checked in to our hotel.  We took a quick nap, woke up a few hours later and thought we'd spend our first night out in Paris in... wait for it... an Irish bar.  Having got some very sketchy directions from the concierge and after an hour of walking up and down the roads near our hotel, we went back mightily hacked off, hungry and rather thirsty as we just couldn't find the pub.  A change in the reception staff brought us new hope, so we asked the man behind the counter to suggest somewhere for us to go for a meal and that had some buzzing nightlife. 

Following his directions this time to the letter, we took the Metro in to town (with a few unsavoury characters) and made it to the area that he had suggested.  We looked in windows of the varying restaurants and finally picked one that our Francs could afford.  Delighted that we were finally sitting down, we set about deciding on what we wanted to drink and eat. Lighting up a cigarette we felt quite pleased with ourselves that we had managed to get to Paris and we were now enjoying the evening.

As the waiter came over my friend put on her best French accent ordered our food and a bottle of wine we recognised the name of.  We'd already roughly worked out the exchange rate and decided that it was within our price range.  The waiter took our order down and asked us if we were sure we wanted that particular bottle.  Thinking we might need to get our passports out to prove our ages, we told him yes and gave each other a rather confused look.  The waiter asked us again if we were really sure and we told him again, that yes we were.  

As he walked off my friend and I wondered what that was all about, but determined for it not to occupy our thoughts any longer we decided to sit back and take our surroundings in.  I commented to my friend that there were an awful lot of men in the restaurant and hardly any women.  We'd already been drawn in to the restaurant by a rather beautiful poster of a toned muscled man in the window, but even so we couldn't quite work out the ratio of men to women in the restaurant itself.  Not thinking anymore of it, the waiter came back  and with a huge flourish, smile and a laugh he placed a beautiful ornate floor standing wine cooler next to our table.  Before he uncorked the bottle he asked yet again were we really sure that this was the bottle of wine that we wanted.  Starting to get a little bit fed up at this point, we told him that "yes we were" and that "we drank it all the time at home".  He barked out a rather loud laugh in reply, drawing the attention of several other diners close by, but without further ado he uncorked the bottle and asked if one of us would like to try it. I can't remember which one of us did it, but I do remember that it wasn't exactly the most lady like of wine tasting you've ever seen in your life, but at this point we just wanted a glass of bubbly to wet our whistles.  The waiter then poured us both a glass after we'd given the go ahead and off he went laughing and slapping the backs of other several other diners at near by tables.  

The meal was delicious, we drank our wine, telling each other that we didn't think it tasted as nice as we remembered and after maybe an hour or so my friend decided that we should ask for the bill so that we could find another bar near by.  As we were waiting for the waiter to bring over our bill, I don't know which one of us realised first, or whose French kicked in the quickest, but we looked over at the poster that had drawn us in, this time ignoring the lothario on the front, and suddenly realised that the reason why there were so many men in the restaurant was because we were actually sitting in a hang out for gay men.  Looking around we now also realised that we were the only women left in the establishment too.  Not that my friend and I have anything against gay men you understand, but as young 19 year old girls we were looking for, how shall I put it nicely, a nice French man to snog... and we had no chance in this restaurant. However after several glasses we were three sheets to the wind and we found it absolutely hilarious. We made such a noise that the waiter came over to ask us if everything was OK.  We told him, I think at this point through tears of laughter, about our mistake and asked could he please hurry up with the bill.  "Of course" he said, but didn't we want to finish our bottle of wine that was only three quarters drunk?  "No" we said, "we'd just like the bill as soon as possible please".  Raising his eyes to the heavens off he scurried to chase up our bill and five minutes later he returned, put it down on the table and left us to it. 

Having given all my money to my friend to look after, she grabbed the receipt and looked at it.  What happened next still to this day makes me feel a little sick.  The blood literally drained from her face and she looked like she was going to vomit all of her lovely french food and wine on to the table in front of her.  "What's wrong?" I asked her starting to feel a little bit queasy myself at this point.  "Um," she said, "you know that bottle of wine we ordered?" "Yes," I said. "Well you know we said that we drank it all the time at home?" "Yes," I said. "Well we never have, because well, firstly we messed up the exchange rate and secondly we ordered a bottle of Don Perignon champagne that has cost us the best part of £100". 

Have you ever had that feeling where the floor feels like it is literally crumbling beneath you and everything around moves in slow motion and you feel like you're going to pass out or vomit or maybe even both?  Well that was just how I felt.  

Unbeknownst to us, the waiter had been watching the whole event unfold.  He came flying over to us and asked if everything was OK? At this point I don't think I was able to speak, so my friend took over. "Um there's been a bit of a mix up." "No there's no mix up here mademoiselle," he said practically puce from trying to stop himself from laughing.  Recovering from my moment of temporary paralysis, I asked my friend how much money we had on us.  Luckily we had a credit card and some cash between us and we managed to just about scrape the money together.  But by this point the whole of the restaurant knew of our 'mix up' and if it was male attention we were after that night, it was male attention that we got, only they were laughing at us. As we paid the final bill, the waiter still doubled up with laughter asked us what we wanted to do with the remainder of the bottle. Like the true ladies that we both were, we poured the remainder of the champagne into our glasses, downed it in one, my friend grabbed the bottle off of the table and we walked out of the restaurant empty bottle in hand.  This was going to be one very expensive souvenir if nothing else and we both made a pact to not have wee for at least an hour as there was no way this champagne was going straight down the u-bend.

I'd like to say that our night got better, only it didn't.  Completely skint, we decided to try and make our way to the nearest taxi rank.  On the way there, we went through probably one of the most frightening experience of our lives.  We were followed by a large group of men that no matter where we turned or what we did, they just wouldn't leave us alone.  I'm not sure when exactly my friend decided that enough was enough, but she suddenly turned, wielding the bottle of Don Perignon high above her head and said that if one of them took one step closer she would crack them over the head with it.  Whether they understood what she was saying I don't know, but I certainly wouldn't have messed with my friend at that very moment.  Luckily their visible surprise gave us enough of an opportunity to dart in to the nearest bar we could find and we finally managed to get away from them. We were practically in tears at this point, we begged the barmaid to call us a cab, but unfortunately she couldn't help us.  She did however point us in the direction of a line of people that were already waiting for a taxi by the side of the road a few streets away.  As we stood in line trying to calm down, wondering how on earth our night had turned out like this, an English couple asked if we were OK.  We explained what had happened to us and the lady told us that whilst were weren't inappropriately dressed it probably wasn't the best thing for us to be wearing short dresses and high heels in the middle of the red light district.  My friend and I were beside ourselves.

Luckily we didn't have long to wait for our taxi and as we sat in the back together feeling somewhat lucky to be in one piece, holding on for dear life as the taxi driver drove like a mad man through the streets of Paris, our thoughts suddenly turned to the little rat from the hotel that had sent us to the red light district.  Oh boy was he going to get it!  I'm not sure which one of us started laughing first after a moment or two, probably me as I do have a habit of laughing at the most inappropriate of times, but that was it, we literally couldn't stop ourselves.  We were in hysterics by the time we climbed out of the taxi, walked in to the hotel and got the lift up to our room.

When we woke in the morning, I think the cold light of day dawned upon us and we realised that because our first night in Paris had caused us to be £100 down, our sightseeing and dreams of sitting in a smoky Parisian bar drinking cognac and coffee, smoking French cigarettes was most probably now out of the question or at the very least had to be scaled back.  Luckily my Mum had made us a huge picnic for the journey that we managed to make last for the next 3 days and every morning we filled our handbags and pockets with ham, cheese and bread rolls from the continental breakfast buffet.  We did manage to visit Notre Dame, as it was free, but as for the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, we just looked at them from a far.  We got ripped off again by a street artist so we lost yet more money, but we did manage to find that Irish pub in the end, where each night we drowned our sorrows with a pint of Guinness or an Irish coffee or two.

Was it the experience we had hoped for? Not really.  But as the years have gone by, my friend and I have consoled ourselves with this thought... how many 19 year olds can honestly say that they have drunk Dom Perignon champagne in the heart of Gay Paris? 

Surely that's something to tick off the bucket list at the very least...

 A 19 year old me with my Dom Perignon

We found the Irish pub at last

Friday, 14 June 2013

P is for Project

A few weeks ago on a nail forum I'm a member of, someone posted about furniture they had been revamping with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Lots more members added to the post saying that they too were chalk painting anything that stood still long enough.  Initially I looked at the forum thread with the view to getting my Mum in to it.  She always said she'd like to do something creative, having been a knitting and tapestry extraordinaire in the 1980's, so I thought that this would be right up her street.  All she had to do was to make sure that Dad wasn't around as he has a tendency to take a painting project over, just ask my sister about our ceramic watercress pots we painted when we were kids, well Dad painted actually.

Anyway after seeing the various masterpieces, one was a beautiful old upright piano, I thought well why can't I do it too.  The fact that I live in a lower ground two bedroom flat that already has it's hallway converted into a nail studio, should have been enough to tell me that we just don't have the room.  However I have a bit of an anything's possible kind of attitude (without much thought for the reality) so I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago and I put an ad on Freecycle asking people for any old preloved wooden furniture that they didn't want anymore.

Speaking of my anything's possible attitude, I think that largely comes from the legendary trip Mum and I took to Ikea once. Somehow we managed to get a double futon in to her Fiat Cinquecento, drove it across the Dartford Bridge and home to her house in London.  I recently bought a second hand Cinquecento and to this day, I still don't know how we managed it, but we did.  That Ikea trip alone has pretty much set the benchmark for my anything's possible kind of attitude towards pretty much everything that has happened in my life since then that I thought wasn't possible.  That Ikea trip has also caught me out a few times too mind, but at least I can say that I tried if nothing else right?

Anyway having not heard anything from Freecycle, I'd pretty much given up on the idea that someone was going to contact me, but that all changed on Tuesday.  A lovely lady called Irene emailed me to tell me that she had an old 1960's dressing table and she wondered if I would like it.  I said I would and she kindly text me a photograph through, telling me that her parents had bought it in 1966 but her Dad had recently died and she was clearing out all the old furniture that he had in his house.  When I told her what I wanted to do with it she sounded really pleased, so I arranged to collect it from her this evening.

My poor long suffering husband, who I swear wonders what hair brained scheme or idea I'm going to come up with next, dutifully obeyed agreed to using his Picasso to come and help me pick it up despite the fact that the photograph Irene had sent through made it look it was a huge piece of furniture. He was rather worried it wouldn't fit in the car and so was I to be honest, but then for the hundredth time I told him the futon story and said "come on anything's possible, let's at least go and see if it will fit"... and that's exactly what we did.

We took both cars with us to collect it, along with a tool kit as we knew we had to remove the mirror to be within a fighting chance of getting it in to the car.  When we got to the house Irene invited us in and took us to the room where the dressing table was kept and after falling in love with it all over again, I stood back and noticed a beautiful old telephone table very similar to one my own grandparents had when I was growing up. I was so grateful for the dressing table however, that I didn't dare ask for the table as well, but luckily Irene asked if I would like to take that with me too.  I immediately told her I would love too despite the fact my husband was giving me that 'Jesus Christ Laura' look (again), but give him his due as he turned to face Irene to thank her, his smile never wavered once.

Once we loaded the two items in to the car, Irene told me again that her parents had bought the dresser in 1966 and that originally it had been kept in their house in Welling before it had been brought down to Ramsgate when her parents had moved.  I asked her again where the dressing table had been before, just to make sure I wasn't hearing things and sure enough she told me that it had been kept in her family home in Welling.  The reason why I was so amazed was that I'm originally from Welling and only moved with my little family to Margate, which is just up the road from Ramsgate, six years ago.  Irene was just as gobsmacked as me, she knew where my parents still live to this day and I knew where her old family home was too.  Welling is about 70 miles from Thanet (the collective name from Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate) so it was even more of a buzz that here I was with my family collecting these two beautiful pieces of furniture, ready to upcycle and breathe some new life into them. Irene also told us that the people who are buying her Dad's house also happen to come from Welling as well.  It's things like this that just remind you what a small and beautiful world we really do live in.  

Irene was so pleased that I was taking the furniture with me and asked me to keep her number so that when both items are finished I can text her a picture through of them both and I gladly agreed too.  I told her that I had to do them justice now, but she told me that it doesn't matter how they come out, because she just loved the thought that someone was at least trying to make them into something new.  She knew they were too wonderful to just take down to the local tip, but she needed to get rid of them in preparation for the new home owners. I'm just so pleased that I have been lucky enough to be able to bring them home with me. I feel that my furniture pieces now have some beautiful history attached to them and I'm off to Sandwich tomorrow to look at a shop that sells the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, wax and brushes, so that I can decide how I want my 'new' furniture to look.  Chalk paint is amazing, there is no need to sand or prime, just put the paint straight on and wax to seal.  I am going for a more modern look, as opposed to a distressed look, but my new project is something I can't wait to get my teeth in to.  

As the saying goes... one man's junk is another persons treasure... and a treasure these pieces will certainly be.

Dressing Table

Telephone Table

Thursday, 13 June 2013

M is for Missing

Well hello dear readers.  I have been MIA this week, lots going on, sadly my OCD and sleep deprivation have got the better of me, but I'm back.  Well if only for a quick post this afternoon.

So what has been happening here?  I will blog about the below in full later on... control your excitement now...

The biggest thing right now is that I'm quitting the cigarettes.  Yes the extension to my arm is being removed.  Well almost.  I'm going for the electronic cigarette.  I am currently navigating a plethora of information on my new battery operated friend... insert smutty joke here.. on the internet.

Also tonight, car space permitting, I am picking up a beautiful 1960's dressing table that over the course of the next month (maybe year as it's so blooming big) I will be giving a new lease of life to with Annie Sloan paint.  No idea how it's going to:

a) Fit in the car
b) Be carried through the communal hallway
c) Navigate the salon 
d) Get round the structural pole in our bedroom (and yes I said structural not recreational)
e) Fit next to the tumble dryer that has recently taken temporary residence in our bedroom

But I'm hopeful if nothing else. 

Himself has also declared that he is going to become a better man after a recent 'conversation' we had.  So far he has taken up smoking one cigar a night if he is feeling a bit stressed, he's gathering tips from the 'men' on The Only Way is Essex, purchased me some rather delicious coffee from Whittards and arranged a night out with one of his friends to the cinema on Monday.  I'm not sure he quite got the 'conversation' we had, but as my mother said, at least he's trying... my patience perhaps was my response.

I'm sure there is more that I am currently doing, it feels like in the last few days I have kept my mind occupied with thoughts to last me a life time! But I will close for now as I did promise a quick post and I'm as good as my word... well most of the time anyway...

H is for Hopping

I'm so sorry, I have been so slow on this blog hop thing. When I have a few moments tonight and tomorrow, I will be sure to follow everyone on this list. I've done a few, but not nearly enough. Please bear with this noob for another 48 hours and I will spread and return the love.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

T is for Talent

Last Sunday Sam informed us that he had entered himself in to the school talent contest.  Slightly concerned that he was only letting us know now, less than a week before the event, and not having heard him practice or perform whatever it was he was performing, the husband and I gently enquired what it was that he was going to be doing.  Sam told us that he was going to be singing one of the songs from the film The Lorax. Not wishing to go all Simon Cowell on our beautiful boy, we asked him was he sure.  He told us that he was, so we asked him to sing it in front of us.  It took a lot encouragement from us to get him to sing but eventually after lots of deep breaths and us agreeing not to look at him, he finally agreed to.  The problem was every time he started to sing he got a fit of the giggles.  Bless our boy he didn't know all the words either.  Talking to Sam we explained that if he was going to sing in the contest he would have to learn it off by heart in the next week.

Unperturbed Sam spent the next two days with the song on repeat (I think I knew the words before he did) but the giggles got the better of him every time he tried to sing just one line.  By Wednesday Sam got up the courage to sing it to my Mum down the phone, mainly without laughing, but he still didn't quite know all the words.

Steven and I sat Sam down on Wednesday night and asked was this really what he wanted to do.  Whilst we do believe children need to experience successes as well as failures, we do sometimes think certain situations that cause unneccesary upset can be avoided.  So I suggested that as Sam had been learning about writing poems at school and he had in fact written a few at home on his computer, perhaps this may be something he could do.  I also told Sam about the school talent contest I entered in 1989.  

My friend, Leah and I decided that our eight year old selves would make a fantastic singing and dancing duo.  I would be the vocalist and she would be the dancer... what could possibly go wrong?  We'd practiced in the school playground every lunch and break time and even performed in front of a few of our friends who weren't skipping or playing hopscotch.  The afternoon of the talent contest rolled round and as we sat crossed legged in the school hall, I had the cassette tape insert of Madonna's Like A Prayer album which had all the words written in it, in my hand so that I could sing it silently in my head until it was our turn.  As our names were called (I don't recall if we had entered under a group name in homage to our favourite band Bananarama) I thought I was going to be sick all down my friends back as she walked out on to the stage in front of me.  As my friend began to dance with all the enthusiasm only an eight year old can muster, I started to sing.  The first verse went well, a couple of wobbles, a little too quiet, but by the chorus I believed I was giving Madonna a run for her money .  The second verse begun and.... disaster... I forgot all the words, verses got mixed up with choruses, choruses got mixed up with verses, I'd choked and nothing was going to pull this train wreck of a talent contest entry back.  My friend, give her her due, carried on dancing like only an eight year old would, but by the end of it, I was practically in tears.  I couldn't listen to Like A Prayer for at least a month after it happened, and at thirty two I still don't think I've quite ever got over it all being Madonna's fault. 

After I told Sam this story, amongst his giggles and my husbands roll of the eyes and shake of his head and one of his 'only you' looks, Sam suddenly became serious.  

"Mum," he said, "I think I would like to write a poem about Alfie instead."

So Wednesday night Sam and I sat up till nine pm and wrote a poem together for him to read at the talent show.  And this is what we came up with...

Alfie's Life by Samuel Leigh Farag Class 3W

I would like to introduce you to my dog named Alfie

Me, my mum and daddy, we sometimes call him Ralfie

Alfie is a labrador who can jump and bounce real high

You should see him when he runs in circles, to catch his tail he tries

He can be a really greedy dog some days, he sure does love his food

But he's such a happy dog it seems, he's never in a mood

I love my Alfie dog so much, he really makes me laugh

But when he comes home from the beach, his coat sure needs a bath

Sometimes Alf and I play games together, we really are rather silly

But when he lets me cuddle him before bed, his fur is never chilly

When I throw his ball along the beach, he runs in to the sea

He likes to swim out really far, but he always comes back to me

Alf is nine years old this year, i think we should give him a cheer

I've known him since the day I was born, and he's always loved me dear

My crazy labrador named Alfie, is really just like my brother

At night when he gets cold on my floor, he has my Winnie the Pooh cover

Alfie is a clever dog, he really is rather smart

Whatever he does, wherever he goes, I love him with all my heart

The talent show was on Friday afternoon, and Sam read Alfie's Life.  I was on the afternoon school run on Friday and I had a very smiley young man practically floor one of his friends as he pushed past them to run in to my arms.

"How did you get on Sam?"

"I'm through to the final Mum!"

So next Friday he has to perform it again but this time with something a little extra.  We've decided that he is going to take in his labrador soft toy and do some actions along with it.  We're hoping he'll have learned the words off by heart by then, but if not, he is allowed to have them on the floor in front of him.

Personally I think he'd walk it if he actually took the dog along with him, but apparently there is a no pet rule in school.  I did offer to dress up as a dog for him but Sam said that would be just too embarrassing.  I know, I know it's not the winning that matters, it's the taking part that counts...

Friday, 7 June 2013

C is for Change

After realising that more and more of my post have not been of the nail variety recently, yes, yes, I know I've only posted thirteen times, I thought that the blog should really have a new name.  I will still be posting nail thoughts once in a while and talking about the business, but I realised I was becoming a blog with a bit of an identity crisis.  Of course I am still a nail-o-holic but well, there really are only so many ways you can talk about something and somehow incorporate nails in to it at the same time.  This way I can just alphabetise my thoughts and bombard you with my ramblings without getting brain ache... I'm all for making my life easier after all, just ask anyone who knows me... on second thoughts...

So what can you expect?  Well pretty much what I've been posting already.  However  I warn you now there may be a few fan girl geek outs, some inappropriately humoured postings and an awful lot of ramblings about life in general.  Hell I might even treat you to the odd venting session every now and then.

I hope my followers are OK with this, I truly believe that none of you have so far followed me because of my numerous nail photos and tutorials, I'll leave that to the amazing nail bloggers on here, so I think, well I hope, that I am safe with my handful of followers to remain as they are.

After all, they say a change is as good as a rest...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

N is for Nominated

Well folks I am well and truly feeling the love tonight.  I've felt so poorly today and even had to cancel my plans with a good friend this evening too, which I hate doing, but if I hadn't I was either going to pass out from my never ending headache, throw up in her lap or do both simultaneously.

I am not a good sick person, just ask him indoors.  In fact I'm so bad at being ill I tend to be a bit of a drama queen.  Two years ago I had kidney stones, I was in agony (and that I am not dramatising), the problem was the husband was so used to my 'sick person antics' (as he calls them), whereby I whimper his name to get him to come to my sick bed and simply say "Steven I feel so ill", that when I actually was really ill, himself thought I was doing my usual amateur dramatics routine.  I ended up being admitted in to hospital twice and yes I've never let him forget it.  If I hadn't of felt so ill I would have felt vindicated.

But anyway, I'm rambling, back to the original post...

So tonight I received an email notification to say that the very lovely Rylie from My Thoughts Notebook has nominated me, well my blog, for the Liebster Award. 

I'm really chuffed, and it's turned my not so nice day into a very nice day.  So big kisses, love and hugs to Rylie, thank you so very much.  You have to check out her blog as well, it's brilliant!

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers in order to get them more noticed and give them recognition! Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs. Here are the rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

So here goes...

1. I have an irrational fear of baked beans, I've been known to dry heave just touching an unopened can.
2. I cannot talk in the morning before I've had a coffee and god help anyone who tries to hold a conversation with me before then.
3. I find people falling over the funniest thing in the world, I do just about manage to ask them if they are OK with a straight face, and when they (hopefully) reply yes, I will not stop laughing for a good twenty minutes.
4. When I was in junior school I had a huge fascination with everything to do with Egypt and I wanted to be a bus driver, I've never been to Egypt and I'm certainly not a bus driver but... I married an English/Egyptian man who is... a bus driver.
5. I thoroughly believe in Karma, why so?  Well because when ever I do something wrong, like just maybe moan about someone just for a nano second, I can assure you Karma will get me back within twenty four hours.
6. I know the off side rule of football and the first day I met my now husband, I drunkenly explained the rule to him (because he didn't believe me that I knew it) with empty beer bottles on a wall.
7. Himself and I attempted to get married four times, the first time we had booked and paid to get wed in Vegas but then we cancelled it because arranging the party at home with all the family had me completely stressed. We finally did it on the fourth time which happened to be my 30th birthday.
8.  I eat my dinner every night in a particular order, starting with the thing I like the least first and ending on the thing I like the most... who wants the least favourite flavour left in their mouth?
9. My very much Saarf London accent used to be a very broad Midlands twang.
10. On the first date with my husband, he gave me the best kiss of my life. It was like a flat out movie snog.
11. I love making people jump, it gives me the fit of giggles.  The best person to make jump is my son, who sometimes jumps so much he bursts out crying... the bad mother that I am finds this even more funny... but don't worry he does get me back with bells on.

1. Why did you start a blog?
Primarily it was to chat about all things nail related and then link it to my nail business website.  I got a bit side tracked and wonder if my clients should actually be reading this now!
2. What inspires you?
Good, honest, straight up people who strive to achieve their goals with enthusiasm, passion and commitment.
 3. How much time you spend preparing a new blog post?
Can take anything from twenty minutes to two hours. 
4. Who is your favourite blogger at the moment?
Boo, Roo and Tigger Too
5. What's your favorite place in the whole world?
My home with my husband and son.
 6. Who is your favourite author?
I have a few; Jo Jo Moyes, Chris Cleave, Marian Keyes and Sophie Hannah.  I couldn't pick one simply because I love them all for very different reasons.
7. Where would you like to find yourself in this moment?
In some smokey bar in Paris, looking sexy (never going to happen), snogging the face of Marton Csokas (this parts more likely than looking sexy) with a glass of dark rum and coke on the bar.
8. How do you imagine your life in 5 years?
Oooh I have no idea, I'm a one day at a time kind of gal.
9. What is your favourite movie and why?
This changes all the time, largely dependent upon which movie star I fancy at any given moment! Though if I'm feeling really rubbish, then I always put on Under The Tuscan Sun to cheer me up... my family knows I need a Laura day when that film goes on... it's not pretty.
10. Do you have other hobbies (besides your blog)?
Reading, watching US TV shows, eating (does that count), writing a crime novel and anything to do with nails (I do this professionally as well, just in case any of my current or prospective clients are reading this).
11. If you could travel in time, where would you go?
I would travel back to one of the summers I spent with my Nan and Grandad Leigh (who have both now passed) when I was kid and give them the biggest hug ever, play cards with Grandad and talk boys with Nan.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
2. What's your biggest fear?
3. What's your biggest achievement?
4. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
5. What did you want to be when you grew up?
6. What's your favourite TV programme?
7. If you could change one thing, what would you change?
8. What is your favourite season?
9. If you could do any job in world, what would it be?
10. What three items would you take to a desert island and why?
11. What five people (alive or dead) would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Mila McKinnon New Blogger in Town
Posher Polishes
Woodlands Beauty
Zebra Nails
The Sequined Nail
Tanyia Talks
Steph's Place
Older Mum in a Muddle
Elanors Nails
Artistic Nails

So I will now do my bit and get posting on the other blogs to let them know of their nomination and then it's a couple of cocodamol and bedtime for me. Here's to tomorrow and whatever it may bring... hopefully not another headache...

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

OCD is for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OK so I  would normally only write one letter but come on I couldn't leave out the other two now could I? It would make me feel uncomfortable and have me reaching for the Prozac... now is that my obsessive or my compulsive side? I never can tell...

That's right dear reader I am a diagnosed obsessive compulsive. Isn't everyone these days you cry?  Well no they're not, they may have slight tendencies or be a little bit superstitious or like things just so, but believe me when I say, being OCD is no laughing matter, you either have it or you don't, there's no in between. 

OCD can be such a debilitating mental illness and some days it leaves me wishing I could stay under the duvet for the rest of my life. I don't of course because I've got an eight year old son who depends on me and an appointment book full of clients that need their nails beautifying, not to mention two pets that need feeding who will not let me indulge my OCD in preference over their morning breakfast biscuits! However, whilst I've said it's not humorous by any stretch of the imagination,  I will attempt to help you see the funny side of this horrible disorder, it gives my friends a good giggle when I pick up another piece of paper off the pavement and shove it in my overstuffed handbag full of other little bits of paper I've picked up already, so why not you too? I will not be doing serious or a down on my luck post for that is not me on N is for Nails. After all NIFN (see what I did there) is not a serious, thought provoking blog, it's just some thirty two year old woman's mad ramblings of course, so believe me when I say there's no place for normal or serious round here.
So yes, as I said I'm OCD.  Not a little OCD (jesus that phrase aggravates me) I'm full on, certifiable, crazy arsed OCD. As my mother would say  "Laura you've never been one for doing things by half" and I cannot disagree with her. 

But as with all things I firmly believe that every cloud has a silver lining. So dear reader, the silver lining of being an obsessive compulsive?  I literally research the hind legs off a donkey before I take on anything new for my business, book a holiday, buy a car, visit a tourist attraction, watch a film, buy a toy, read a book, decorate a room, the list is vast and endless. I wouldn't go as far to say that I create a mood board, I'll leave that to the interior designers, but if you delve in to the hard drive of my laptop it's like the 1990's version of Pinterest. 

Speaking of Pinterest I've had to stop going on there. So many pictures of nails and not enough hours in the day to pin... allowing an obsessive compulsive to use Pinterest is like asking an alcoholic to work in a pub... it wouldn't be allowed and you just wouldn't do it.  Just as I think I've pinned my last nail picture... never mind it's the thousandth one I've pinned in the last hour... BOOM!  I spot another and the pinning frenzy continues. It got so ridiculous I deleted my account... you do not know the sheer courage that took as an obsessive compulsive to do that, my therapist, if I had one, would be so proud of me. But back to my research... 

So my laptop holds a plethora of pictures, articles, bookmarks, reviews, scientific studies and much more besides. I feel this is healthy, for my clients at least when it comes to my business, because at least with that kind of knowledge you know what you're doing... well most of the time anyway.  But how does OCD effect my work?

Taking photos can prove to be an issue if my clients wearing a ring that's crooked. I will certainly make sure it's straight for the picture, but horror of horrors if I forget to check and I've just clicked that button willy nilly?  My OCD hits an all time high and the photo has to be taken again with the ring in its rightful place.  Nuts are another source of my obsession. I cannot tell you how many times I've asked a client if they have a nut allergy before I use Solar Oil, which has almond oil in it. Despite the 'any known allergies' being circled no on my client consultation form, I still have to ask. I truly live in fear of an anaphylactic shock causing a client to pop their clogs in front of me. I've even considered stopping using my beloved Solar Oil, but then my normal side kicks in (yes I do have one) and I reign myself in... until the next time that is anyway.
But I do have to say now, my poor husband bears the brunt of my mentalist ways. I know it's not fun for him and you really need the patience of saint when I'm having one of my really bad days, but in sickness and health and till death do us part and all that... although sometimes I do think that last bit crosses his mind once to often...

OCD comes in many forms, the obsessive cleaning type I don't have... to the great disappointment of my husband and son. I have a few things that tip me over the edge, tiny bits of paper on the floor like I've mentioned above are part of my repertoire. A friend and her boyfriend once house/pet-sat whilst we were on a camping holiday, my friend's boyfriend had absolutely no idea that I suffered from OCD, well that was until he happened to open a few drawers in our kitchen trying to find the cutlery and got greeted with a drawer full of tiny bits of paper and when he opened a cupboard and an avalanche of letters came tumbling out on his head. Come to mention it, that's another one of my freak outs... post!  I can't bear to throw things away so I still have post from the early 2000's... I never have to worry about identify theft and shredders round here. Never, and I mean never, put a letter and envelope in the cupboard separately in my house, it's basic OCD 101 (which my husband still hasn't mastered) that letters go back in their envelopes before they're 'filed' in the cupboard. Oh the arguments himself and I've had over the last nine years about this is immense.  Another one that gets me is numbers. Oh dear lord numbers. I hate them, I hate having to take down a phone number or credit card number if the Bank of Mum is lending me her card. And when I have to pay her back? Jesus H the bank details nearly send me in to a black hole of OCD-ness (is that even a word?). The fact that for many years I worked in payroll as a girl about town in London, still amazes me to this day. Payroll is nothing but numbers and bank details so how did I survive?  

But really I'm lucky, not to be suffering with OCD you understand, but for having the support of my family and friends, because without them I'd honestly be lying under my duvet, hibernating just like a tortoise.

So next time you see some crazy lady, doing some crazy thing, spare a thought for us obsessive compulsives and please, I beg you, stop dropping your freaking litter, because somewhere, some place, there could be someone exactly like me... 

EDIT: Have you noticed that the eighth paragraph down the text isn't justified? My god it's giving me the heebie geebies, no matter what I do it just won't justify.  I've even tried copying and pasting this whole post in to a new post, but does it work... no.  Even Blogger is against us OCD'ers. My God it's a conspiracy! 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

P is for Pets

I warn you now this is going to be a pet picture heavy post... I will work nails in to this some how, I promise...

So everyone say hello to Prince (did any of you just say hello Prince, I know I did). My pussy cat and I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship but that works both ways I can tell you.  Prince is going to be four this year and is currently sitting right next to me on the sofa as I blog this, which is unusual, it's normally my husband that is owed the pleasure.  I became the owner of Prince four years ago after buying him from our local pet shop across the road called Paw Prints... can you see why he was named Prince?  I love it when we go to the vets for his yearly jabs because when they call his name out they always tag on our surname... "Vet to see Prince Farag"... it gets us every time... childishly.  Prince never sees the funny side of our vet visit understandably, but in some ways it is Karma getting her own back.  Prince is, how shall I put it... a bit of an alley cat.  He has been known to bring home birds (including a pigeon), swipe at the legs of seagulls as he waits under cars so our neighbour tells us, and has even brought home a squirrel which he has, wait for it... beheaded! But for all his natural instincts he can also be a real home bod.  He likes his creature comforts and is often found trying to get in to my salon to lay on my nail desk or curl up in the pedicure chair, from which he is swiftly removed.  But Prince is Prince, God loves a trier and he hasn't quite got the message that my nail studio is a cat free zone... yet.

I'm known for my love of pets, much to my husbands despair, and at one point we had a cat, a dog, tank of fish and two rabbits in a two bedroom lower ground flat (they didn't all live inside the flat just in case you were wondering).  Sadly Bobby and Beaker the rabbits passed away some years ago, along with the goldfish (I swear the cat had nothing to do with their demise).  We still have Alfie the yellow, quite frankly mentally insane, labrador who is 9 years old.  Here's a picture of him...

To this day, my husband and I still maintain that bringing up a baby is a walk in the park compared to owning a labrador puppy, who I can tell you now have a penchant for beanbags... yes I said bean bags and I don't mean laying on them.  After the 'beanbag incident' which we now refer to it as, I am under no illusion that beanbags have a lot of balls in them, and I mean a lot, and they don't get digested too well either.  We also believe that Alfie should have really been named Tigger, that dog can jump/bounce off all fours to the height of my shoulder and he also spins around like a crazy person, and believe me we've got enough crazy in this house without the dog adding to it.

But as with all pets, they become part of the family and we love them both dearly.  Alfie the dog thinks he's human and Prince the cat thinks he's a dog.  The animals are all very confused here, never mind the humans.   But Alf and Prince also love each other.  Well actually, I think the dog tolerates the cat, but the cat flat out adores the dog as you can see from the picture below.

My son also calls the cat and dog his brothers and our Alf goes everywhere with him, including to bed.  They are literally inseparable which is lovely to see. 

I grew up with a yellow lab called Max who reminds me very much of Alfie and he was one of the reasons why I actually chose Alfie from the back of the farmers truck one very cold winters night in 2004.  There before us sat one very quiet, demure puppy at the back of the truck, whilst another insanely excitable puppy stood at the front wagging his tail and jumping around.  We went for the quiet demure one because as he looked up me, he gave me a look just like my beloved and much missed Max.  But uh ho, were we fooled.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, demure or quiet about our Alfie.  Who knew a dog could trick you! 

But I would never be without my boys; Alfie and Prince.  They may get under my feet, come running from three rooms away when the fridge door is merely pulled open and shed so much fur indoors as well as in the car that I have to hoover twice a day (never open the car windows on a windy day after a labradors been in it, two words... fur storm), I still love them anyway and when they pass on to fields of green up there, I'll not know what to do.  Other than... not hoover twice a day, not silently open the fridge or open the car windows on a windy day... but that's a few years off for now, so I'll continue to love and be loved by them anyways...

But to wrap up my pet-tastic post today as promised I will leave you with a nail thought...

What colour shall I have on my claws today?

Monday, 3 June 2013

D is for Deprivation

Well here I am, Monday morning after yet another night of no sleep... not even forty winks... I'd settle for just twenty winks to be honest with you.  But no, nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  Of course now I know I can't go back to sleep, all I want to do is sleep (wouldn't you know).  

So far I've watched a repeat of Britain's Got Talent, this weeks episode of Mad Men, the first two episodes of Rogue and now I'm watching The Killing for some 'light hearted' Monday morning television viewing. 

My first client is due in at 10am so I've only got two hours to fight this overwhelming urge to crawl back under the duvet and sleep until August.

The good news is that the last time I went to see my doctor about my bouts of insomnia, he told me that you can't actually die from lack of sleep... I swear I didn't ask him if I could so why he felt the need to be so melodramatic with me I don't know. But in hindsight I should have challenged his medical knowledge because you can actually do some pretty stupid things where you're not firing on all cylinders... believe me I've done most of them.  Furthermore on medication leaflets doesn't it say 'warning can cause drowsiness, do not drive or operate heavy machinery'?  I mean come on Doc, it's all in black and white.

So that just leaves me to ask you one last question (possibly two)...

Is the coffee maker considered to be heavy machinery and is it safe for me to switch on my UV lamp today?

Sunday, 2 June 2013

L is for Lazy

So today being Sunday and all, it's with great pleasure that I'm having a lazy day.  In fact I've had two lazy days this weekend... hoorah!  As I work from home it's easy to have my doors open for business from Monday to Sunday, and I do.  My husband works shifts and is seldom home at the weekends (I do believe this saves our marriage), and despite my previous post (E is for Ewwwww) my son is as quiet as a mouse when he's home and I'm working, so being available for appointments on Saturday and Sunday is something I'm quite happy to do.  

This past week has been more busy than usual so I decided to take this weekend off.  I've still taken texts and calls from clients (I might be off but my mobile never is) but I decided to dedicate this weekend to chilling out.  Well I say chilling out, I chill out about as much as any OCD mentalist does, but I digress.

Friday I took delivery of my favourite industry magazine; Scratch.  Don't tell the good folk of Scratch, but I simply have no idea how or why they keep sending me this magazine as my subscription ceased well over a year ago, but I'm certainly not complaining... or asking to be taken off the mailing list! After making myself a cup of tea I sat down yesterday in my beloved pedicure chair (I think I actually use it more than my clients) with the view to reading my magazine from cover to cover.  Did I? No. Why? Life got in the way as usual. But today I will, after I've finished blogging, posting on Facebook and Twitter, updating my website, etc, etc. 

The sad fact is, if I had subscribed to Scratch on my smartphone I would have read it by now. My Galaxy S3 has, in the last two months of ownership, become like an extension of my arm.  I read books on Kobo, use it to go on several social networking sites, watch TV, take photos and such like, but if I haven't touched it for longer than five minutes I break out in a mild sweat panicking that it's been stolen... even though I've not even left the house!

But sometimes, like a new book, just knowing that my Scratch magazine is there for me to read is enough of a carrot for me to look forward to finding a quiet moment to myself.

So Sunday, today, is going to be my official laziest day of the week. I'm not going to think of my upcoming appointments, what I'm going to cook for tea next week, remember that I've got to set the alarm earlier than normal for the school run, work out which one of us is actually going to do the school run, remember to pay my phone or credit card bill (on time this month) or think that the windows really do need washing, because today dear reader I'm going to dedicate to laziness and who knows I might even think about having a long hot bubble bath and I might even finally get round to doing my own nails.  

I live in hope.

UPDATE: Monday 3rd June 2013- Scratch was read and watered in the bath and I'm now sporting Cake Pop layered with Grapefruit Sparkle Shellac. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A is for Art

Nail art to be precise.  

Having only just begun blogging this week, I have been following lots of fabulous nail blogs that literally knock my attempts at nail art in to a cocked hat.  What I will say in my defense is there's not much I can't do with rhinestones, nail foil and a pot of glitter... but then there are so many other things you can do nail art wise other than just using rhinestones, nail foil and a pot of glitter...

I'll be honest and say I'm not the most creative person.  Well, that's not strictly true, I have all these wonderful ideas and designs in my head, but when I sit down with my own nails or a bunch of colour pops... nothing!  I just can't seem to translate my nail masterpieces on to a nail without it looking like a five year old has had a go and even then that's probably doing a disservice to any self respecting five year old. 

I know this is the case for a lot of nail stylists, so I can console myself with the fact that I'm not completely useless.  I can after all polish a nail, professional style, in three strokes of a brush, nice straight side walls, near but not touching the eponychium, a swipe of the free edge and of course a beautifully rounded finish at the base of the nail.  

But you see my clients usually fall between the ages of thirty to sixty years of age, though the majority of them are in the fifty plus bracket.  These ladies want classic nails, and understandably with having a Shellac manicure they want nails that can be worn with various outfits throughout the two week period that they are not sitting at my nail desk.  Now it may sound like I'm making excuses, but truly I'm not, neither am I saying that there isn't a place for nail art or that I shouldn't bother with it because that wouldn't make me much of a nail stylist now would it? However I have forty eight shades of Shellac, nineteen Eco soak off gels, twelve bottles of Vinylux, fifty five bottles of CND nail polish, twenty eight pots of glitter, twelves pots of CND Additive pigments (yes I've just counted them all), gold and silver, square and round nail studs, two boxes of coloured and clear rhinestones, twelve sheets of nail foil, gold and silver Sharpie pens, coloured fine point marker pens, dotting tools, a stripping and fan brush... but what do most of my clients go for... just one or two red shades in the Shellac collection, usually Masquerade or Decadence.  So what gives?

I have a friend who treats herself to having her nails done every time she has some annual leave.  Usually as she doesn't wear anything on her nails, she likes to choose nice bright colours when she comes to me.  She has just recently had her shift pattern and working days changed, so rather than only having her nails beautified when she's on her holiday, she has decided to have her nails done more regularly as she can get away with a colour for longer.  The last time I did her nails she went for a really bright pink from the Eco soak off gel range as she was off out for the evening and fancied a little pick me up.  Half way through her appointment, she decided that she didn't have anything to wear that matched her nails (forget about having nails to match your outfit, that's nail dedication right there) so she went over to the shops straight after her appointment and bought herself a new outfit to match her nails.

And this is what she came back with...

So imagine my surprise when she text me the other day to book in for a Shellac manicure and she tells me that she is going to go for something completely different this time, something daring, something bold, something sexy, something sultry, something that's really going to make her nails pop... at this point I was practically buzzing with ideas, I almost got the colour pops out for a quick nail art session... but just seconds later she sends me another text... I would like... wait for it... a lovely red shade of Shellac...

But really it doesn't matter what colour I want to jolly up her nail plate with, she has the right to choose her nail colour and as a nail stylist, I'm here to suggest a shade that will suit her skin tone perfectly.  

So you see you can have a thousand different nail art designs on a colour wheel, you can sport your wildest set of nails on your own hands, but ultimately what the client wants, the clients gets, which is obvious when you think about it because she is parting with her hard earned cash and allowing you to decorate her nails exactly how she wants them.  

So next time you think you need to up your nail art game (and it's never a bad thing if you do), sit back and think for a moment, what do my clients really want?