Bio: Rhonda is a self-taught entrepreneur, blogger, and aspiring freelance writer, who is always eager to take on new challenges. She is on a self-improvement mission of cleaning out the negative clutter of her own life so she can become a happier, healthier, and more productive individual. Her hope is to inspire each person to eliminate the negative clutter that's weighing them down, so we can all live our best life EVER!
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Love yourself as much as you want to be loved. That’s right…it’s that simple. If you abuse or neglect yourself, then you will only attract those people who will do the same to you. Are you feeling unworthy of love? Well, guess what? The law of attraction says okay, you feel unworthy so I will make you unworthy. Folks, the law of attraction is real…like attracts like. If you go around feeling anxious and frustrated…feeling like you’ll never find love, then the universe will say, “okay, your wish is my command – I will make you unworthy of love.” You see, the experts have it right when they tell you to love yourself, first, and then the right person will come along. If we don’t first love ourselves, then how can we expect to attract anyone else that will love us. Not only does the law of attraction come into play, but how unattractive is it to see someone constantly putting themselves down? I am guilty of this myself, and I’m a work in progress. I don’t mean go around acting egotistical or narcissistic. Instead, just give the self-love and self-care you deserve. Because you were born and you’re alive, you are worthy.
So here are some examples of how you can love yourself:
- The next time someone does something that you feel is wrong, then confront them with it. “Hey, I don’t like what you said, because it hurt my feelings. I don’t deserve that sort of treatment from you or anyone.”
- Treat yourself to an hour or two of relaxation time. Yes, you may be extremely busy and feel you have too many things on your to-do list to take time to pamper yourself, but you’re worth it. You have to take time outs to be your best self in all areas of your life.
- Don’t neglect your health because you feel you can’t afford to go to the dentist or doctor. You find ways to pay for everything else, so you have to find a way to put yourself first, for a change. If you don’t take care of your body, then it won’t take care of you.
- Pamper yourself with a day of beauty. You can go for a mani/pedi or a massage. Perhaps, you want to get a new hairdo you’ve put off because you felt it wasn’t in the budget. Go ahead…you deserve it.
- Start your day with prayer and relaxation before all the normal chaos of the day starts. It helps you get focused and centered to begin the day. Plus, it never hurts to have God directing your day, instead of you. As humans, we make a mess of our lives when we feel in control. Let God take over for a change.
- Exercise everyday. You may think you don’t have time, but you do. All it takes is 20-30 minutes a day to change your mindset and body. Of course, it is good if you can get at least 45 minutes to an hour, but if all you have is 20 minutes, then just do something. Go for a 20 minute walk or do a little Yoga. It’s better than nothing. No one will take care of you like you do. You are worth it! FYI, this is another area I struggle to be consistent with, but it’s so worth it, when I do stay on schedule. I feel better and I have so much more confidence. Plus, I’m not going around beating myself up all day because I didn’t exercise like I was supposed to.
- Take time to enjoy your favorite hobbies. Mine would be reading or watching a movie. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, you deserve it. Don’t feel guilty.
Well, those are a few of my ideas on how we all can love ourselves. What are some of the ways you show self-love?
For May, I chose to focus on exercise. Now, does exercise make me happy? No, I still hate it, but what it does do is make me feel better when I do it consistently. I must say that this part I have kept up fairly consistently. I try to do something 7 days a week. If I shoot for 7, realistically, I’ll probably do good to get in 4-5 days. Although, I’m not losing weight because my stress has been high, and therefore, I’m eating everything but the kitchen sink, I do feel better. If you want to know more about the benefits of exercise, check out this earlier article, “Benefits of Exercise“.
Let me preface June report by saying my husband had been off work since the end of February. This is enough to steal anyone’s joy. By this time our savings was getting very low and there was not even a hint of a job. You see, he works in the oil and gas industry…need I say more?
For June, I knew it was time to take drastic measures. I had to get really creative with our finances, to make the rest of our savings stretch. Oh, how does this make me happy? I am a weirdo that loves playing with money (on paper)..usually other people’s money, but this time it was my own. I spent the month looking for ways to cut back, or save. I found a website I’m in love with, called everydollar.com . It’s the easiest way I’ve ever found to set up a monthly budget. This helped me tremendously. You see, I am a control freak. No big news there, for my friends and family, but I’m claiming it and owning the title for the rest of the world to see. In a strange, but miraculous way, by knowing exactly where every dollar was going, and feeling like I was on the same page with my creditors and hubby, I gained back some control, in an otherwise out-of-control situation. This makes me happy. Fortunately, we never got behind on anything, but we did cut back services on our cell phones and cable. Plus, we had to let our lawn mowers go, and our bi-weekly house cleaning services. For car payments, we moved one month’s payment to the end of the loan. For those of you who do not know this trick, you can usually do this at least once a year, and it will not affect your credit. We were also able to put holds on some services, even though we are in a contract, without hurting our credit with them. Additionally, we went back to clipping coupons and meal planning. We did not allow ourselves to buy any extras at the grocery store. Another thing we did was to start cleaning out junk and put it up for sale in our daughter and son-in-law’s yard sale.
Fast forward to now, I’m happy to report my hubby starts his new job on Monday, and we survived with our credit scores in tact. However, now our finances are in better shape, we see how wasteful we could be at times, and we have less junk. Plus, for once, I feel that my hubby finally understands what I do with our money and knows it’s not always easy to pay all the bills and save for a rainy day, unless we are working together. Although, I wish we still had our nest egg, I’m grateful for having gone though this experience. The lesson is to never take anything for granted. It can all be taken away from you in a heartbeat.
This brings us to July. In July, I was blessed with a lot more work, so I focused on work. Yes, I’m a weirdo in that area too, because I LOVE to work and feel productive. Since my hubby was still unemployed, he was constantly interrupting my work, so I decided it was time to clean out my office again, and get back into the office and shut the door. I also finally got my pictures hung on the wall. Sitting at my desk and looking around my office space, makes me happy. Although, it seemed like my only option then, it is a move that I’m glad I made.
Finally, we’re now into August. The first part of August has been very busy. I have had surgery and some new health issues, but I will get through them, one by one. One of my new clients has hired me to do some ghostwriting, so for the rest of August, I will focus on writing and trying to get back to a normal routine, with more writing for work and updating the blog, as well.
That’s about it. Thank you all for sticking with us during these difficult times. Please let me know what you do to keep happy. I would love to hear from you.
April is here and it’s time to start a new page of my Happiness Journey. For April, I am choosing to read for at least 30 minutes everyday. I know this would not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love to read. The problem with reading, is that I always consider it something that is a reward after all my work is finished. The flaw in that logic is that my work is never completed, so I usually end up only reading when I get in bed at night. At this time of night, I’m so tired I usually make it about 5 minutes before I have to stop reading and go to sleep. So now I plan to choose a time long before bed time to do my 30 minutes (or more) of reading.
While we’re on the topic of the happiness journey, I must confess that I did struggle with March’s daily journalism. What can I say? I’m a work in progress. If you are choosing to do this happiness journey with me, remember it’s not about perfection, but it’s about making a conscience decision to bring more happiness into your life on a daily basis, so that it will continue to bring more of the same.
I also wanted to tell you some good news. I had mentioned that we were going to see Bret Michaels in February. Well, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d get to meet him, but I got to meet him twice that night and take pictures. We also purchased an award that was presented to him commemorating 32 million copies sold world-wide. He not only signed the award, but we have pictures of him signing it. Wow…talk about the law of attraction working in full swing. I have to think all this happiness and positive thinking is working for me.
Another cool thing that’s happened is that we found out we will likely get to go see the motivational speaker, author and life coach, Tony Robbins (for free). We will be attending a 4 day event in Dallas. I have read several of his books. I’ve also always thought it would be cool to attend one of his events and walk on hot coals. Hopefully, I will finally have that opportunity. Again, it’s the law of attraction and positive vibes working in my life.
In conclusion, please share any thoughts you have about making time to read, or anything else you may choose for your April Happiness Journey. I would love to hear from you!
Hello all! I’m sorry this is late, but I almost forgot to let you know what I was doing for my Happiness Journey in March. Journaling is something I’ve always started and stopped throughout my life. I love looking back and seeing what I wrote about. However, I never seem to keep it up. I love writing and it helps me to gain clarity and reduce stress. So, why is it so hard for me to keep it up? I know exactly why – because I enjoy it so much I feel it’s a luxury I have to earn. For my March happiness commitment, I am going to focus on my writing – my passion. Each day I will write something in my journal. Now, speaking of journals, there are many types you can use. I love the looks of the journal books and I have several lying around, but it always seems I go back to journaling on the computer. I purchased software a couple of years ago called Life Journal 3. I really love it, but that was for my Windows OS. Now I’ve purchased a Mac computer and I haven’t found that same app for the Mac; however, I read some reviews and found an app called, Day One. I’m trying it now and it seems to be working.
My advice is that the hand-written journals are great to always have with you and handy to write in them, but if you want to vent about someone or share something very private, then go to a journal that can be password protected. I think the hand-written journals are great for a keepsake that can be passed down for generations; but remember, if you die, someone will be reading your journals. You will want to make sure that there’s not something in your journal that could hurt someone after your death.
Please let me know what you are doing to be happy in March. I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read our blog. Have a happy day!
So if you look back at January, my happiness journey was off to a great start. However, I must admit, this past week I’ve slacked on my goal to spend one hour a day doing something that makes me happy, whatever that might be. Like I explained before, I’m a workaholic. It drives my friends and family crazy. But, you know what I say to that? I’m happy when I’m doing work I enjoy. I’m not happy unless I’m pushing myself to learn and grow in my work. Even when it’s hard, and I am feeling like I’m missing sleep, I still end up being better off for having gone through it in the end. So, while I’m trying to find more relaxing time and enjoy doing things outside of work, I will always be a workaholic and I’m okay with that.
I’ve thought hard about what to pick for February, and I must say that I’m not really choosing it all by myself – God is nudging me. My choice for February is to spend at least 30 minutes a day in complete silence and prayer. You might think this is meditation. Well, maybe it is, but I’ve never been good at meditation so I’m choosing not to call it that. I also know that what you’re about to read, may be controversial. I don’t really care, because this is about my happiness journey, not yours.
If you’re not a spiritual person, you might be asking yourself, “Why would she choose prayer for happiness?” The answer to this is simple for me. I am a very spiritual person – not religious, but definitely spiritual. What do I mean by this? I don’t attend church on a regular basis but I do enjoy a good sermon. I am not into all the religious practices that normally go along with being a dedicated member of a church. I’ve been down that road in my past, and it did not make me happy. For myself, I was way less connected with God when I was going to church all the time, because I was doing it for the wrong reason; I was doing it because that’s what was expected of me. When I was away from church, I only opened the bible to prepare for my Sunday school lesson, and only prayed when I wanted something from God, not to pray with gratitude. Granted, I do want to get back into a good church, but now I want to do it because I want to be of service to God and help others, not because that’s what is expected of me. I want a church where I can look forward to going and be sad when it’s time to leave. I want a church that is accepting of all people. Honestly, I feel that the reason I never felt like I fit in before is because I was not exercising my spiritual muscle. Yes, that’s right, I was NOT in constant connection with MY God. Now, I feel that I will find the right church for me, and I am confident enough in my relationship with God that I don’t have to feel any pressure by anyone. God will guide me to a loving and accepting church, where I can be free to be myself. I can serve my God and be of service to others, and be happy. If someone doesn’t like that I decide to stay home on a Sunday to get some much needed rest, then that’s their problem, not mine. My God will still love me no matter what. You see, I can be just as connected to my God at home, as I am in a manmade building we call church. I could go off on a tangent now of how I know the scriptures say we should assemble together, and my view about this, but that’s a whole other issue. I’m not here to argue any points about religion (remember, I’m not a religious person). I’m simply letting you know where I am today in my life, and why. I pray regularly (maybe you can call it religiously). I read the bible some days (but not as much as I should). I talk about God with my friends and family on a regular basis. I am a Christian, but I’m also open to other religions. When I die, I know I’m going to a better place. You are entitled to agree or disagree with my choices, but it doesn’t affect me, whatsoever. Keep in mind, this is what I choose. If you disagree, that’s your choice. I’m just being honest, and doing what I feel works for me – right or wrong.
Again, why did I pick 30 minutes of silence and prayer each day for my February happiness project? Well, I try to pray every morning and every night. I also pray all throughout the day. My life is often chaotic so sometimes this prayer is rushed or in a setting with many distractions. For example, I find myself often praying when I’m driving down the road. I truly believe God hears all prayers no matter how or where you pray them; however, I also believe that we should humble ourselves before God when possible, and get down on our knees and pray. Having said this, I’m committing to finding a place without any distractions where I can truly have a conversation with God. I need to not only speak, but I need to listen. Instead of sometimes rushing with my prayers in the mornings. I am going to make sure I slow down and take that time with God. I find that when I really take the extra time to pray, my day goes much smoother. I walk around with a confidence that God is handling things. I feel peaceful and more happy (which is the goal…right?). So now I will not just go through my prayer list in a rushed way, but I will slow down and listen to God. I will wait in silence for any answers he might want to give me at that moment. If I don’t receive any answers, I will still have the joy of going about my day knowing that I’ve started with a clean slate. I will have confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness, prayed for peace and for people in need (including asking for help with my own shortcomings), and expressed my gratitude for my many blessings that continually flow my way. What a great feeling to start the day off knowing your heart is right with God! That can surely bring me more happiness
One last thought, remember that happiness is a choice. How will you choose to become happier? Your happiness journey is unique. Only you can truly know what will make you happier. I’d love to hear about your choices and experiences.
Am I happy, you ask? I must say, when I decided to do this 12 Months of Happiness, I never dreamed of the life changing events that would happen to me in such a short time.
First of all, my January goal was to spend 1 hour a day doing anything I enjoy. I must say that some days have been harder than others (I’m a workaholic, by nature), but I tried to do it as much as possible. Some days I would read. Other days I would just sit and watch one of my favorite shows on the DVR for an hour. Many days I would read and listen to my favorite music. Some days I would just play on Facebook and not feel guilty. A few days I spent an hour playing with and cuddling my dog, Louie (made him happy too). Yes, it probably sounds like a boring life to some, but to a workaholic, these are luxuries I usually don’t allow – at least not without the guilt that goes along with it. Fortunately, these small changes began to create major shifts in the energy I was putting out into the universe, and therefore, attracted more happiness (it’s the Law of Attraction). Also, I started feeling like I deserved the time out. That was unusual for this old workaholic, for sure.
Here we are, only on day 20 of the month of January, and I am amazed and humbled at the things that have happened to me.
- I got connected to a drummer who is part of a famous rock band. He’s also a published author and ghostwriter. We are working on one of my client’s websites together so he can start blogging for her. That’s not the best part. He has invited the client/friend and I to go back stage at one of their concerts and they are opening for one of my favorite singer’s, Bret Michaels. Even though I may not get to meet Bret, I’ll get to be happy enjoying both concerts from backstage. He didn’t even know I was a classic rock or Bret Micahaels fan.
- People around me just seem to be genuinely happy. They are opening up to me and expressing how their life is finally changing. They are excited about their possibilities. Even the most negative people seem to be working on their own self improvement. I’ve been amazed at the changes in attitudes.
- I feel like I’ve got a new energy in me. I am working long and hard, but I’m happy about it. I feel like the sky is the limit. In fact, I am considering beginning training as a Life Coach, because God seems to be pointing me in that direction. It just feels right.
- My long time relationship of one of my best friends was strained due to a series of events that happened years ago. I was holding on to resentment and scared to trust again. I finally got the courage to let her know how I felt and to tell her I forgive her. This started the necessary dialogue that needed to happen, in order for both of us to heal and move past this. We are in a better place now. While the relationship may never be what it was before, we have made tremendous progress. I am genuinely happy to have her back in my life (in a more connected way).
- I’ve started a new project that is a secret for now. It is a fun project, and the woman that I’m working with and I are having a blast working on it – again, more happiness. I hope it comes to fruition sometime in 2016. It’s one of those things that if you would’ve told me 2 months ago I’d be going off on this venture, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. God is good!
- So back to your question…Am I happy? I can honestly say that I am happier this month than I’ve been in a long time. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds for me. Please give this a try in your own life. Again here’s the link, if you missed the beginning of this journey to 12 Months of Happiness. I still haven’t decided what I”ll do for February, but I’ll let you know when I decide. Have a happy day and keep smiling!
The Power Pressure Cooker XL is my new best friend. When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I wanted this new pressure cooker. My daughter, Krista, had told me about hers and how fast it cooked everything. Well, let me just say, I’m overjoyed! I cooked some frozen ribs that I just put in the pot and threw in seasoning. I put the pressure cooker on the proper setting and let it go. About 40 minutes later we were eating some of the best ribs we’ve ever had.
Two days ago, I decided to cook dried pinto beans. I put them in the cooker with about 10 cups of water, seasonings, and several slices of ham left over from Christmas. I turned the timer on 30 minutes. It has to pressure up before it starts so I am guessing all total it took about 40 minutes. I opened the lid, and couldn’t believe they were finished cooking after this length of time and never had to stir them one time. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the flavor was probably one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I love that you don’t have to keep coming back, adding more water; or worry the beans are going to stick if you don’t constantly stir them, like you do when cooking on the stove.
The cooker comes with a measuring cup, ladle, condensation collector (which attaches to the side), and a steamer tray. It comes in 6-quart or 8-quart sizes. It also comes with instructions on how to cook your meat, veggies, fruit, seafood, etc., and a home canning guide. That’s right…its main purpose is for canning, but it does so much more. I am looking forward to canning in it and will share my experience with you when I do.
Here are a few things this little gem will do:
- Slow Cook
- Rice or Risotto
- Steam Veggies
It has 7 default settings, a time adjustment setting, delay timer, and a keep warm setting. If you use one of the default settings or your own time setting, it will automatically switch over to the keep warm setting when the time runs out. I’m looking forward to trying it when I need to go somewhere while it’s cooking. I can set it and come home to my home cooked meal. Did I mention how excited I am? LOL.
After I purchased my cooker, my Mom told me she had the same model. Hers went out after about a year of having it. She called up the company and they were extremely nice and said they would send her another one with no questions asked. She asked them what would happen if her new one went out and they said “Well, we will send you another one.” That’s right…Tristar Products, Inc. is a company that stands behind their products.
If you decide to purchase one for yourself, I recommend getting the 8-quart so that you can cook larger foods. It’s better to have it too big than not big enough. Happy New Year and Happy Cooking!
Here is a link to the 8-quart that was purchased from Amazon:
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The holidays are here and this means the year is drawing nearer to a close. This is the time when so many people either have regrets or are optimistically looking forward to a new year and a fresh start. Perhaps, many of us experience the emotional tug of war of both possibilities. As for me, I am trying to live in the present and look at things that I may regret as lessons learned. Usually, if you look close enough, there’s a lesson to be learned in anything you say or do.
You may be thinking to yourself, well that’s easy for her to say, she didn’t do <fill in the blank> . Well, I just had a birthday last week and turned 52; believe me when I tell you, in 52 years of living, there are many things I wish I could go back and do over. Regardless of your circumstances, the past is and always will be the past. Nothing you can say or do can change it. However, what you can change is your future. For example, if you said something that hurt someone’s feelings, then you can’t go back and unsay it. What you can do is apologize for it and make an effort to never say anything like that again. You learned that some things are better left unsaid. Regardless of whether this person accepts your apology, the past is still the past.
After reflecting on my past, the one thing I truly regret is not choosing to have more happiness in my life. Yes, I said “choosing.” You see, happiness is a choice. You can’t change what other people say or do. Also, in some situations, you can’t change what events may or may not occur (an earthquake would be a good example of this). What you do have control over is how you react to people or circumstances. You can choose to be happy. You may be thinking, “Now that’s just crazy talk. What is this woman talking about?” Let me explain it like this – Each and every moment of the day, we can choose to be happy or not. We can choose to see things in a positive way or focus on the negative. Believe me, sometimes, it’s very hard to find the positive side of things in the midst of turmoil or heartache, but, if you look hard enough, you can.
So, for my New Year’s resolution, and beyond, I am going to choose to have more happiness in my life. What do I mean by this? Happiness is not only a choice, but for some of us, it can be a challenge which requires lots of practice. The law of attraction can be summarized as like attracts like; or positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. By choosing to have more happiness in my life, I will automatically attract more things into my life that will make me even happier. Believe it or not, it’s a fact -happiness is contagious.
Now after all this babble, what I am proposing to you, and committing to do myself, is to look ahead to 2016 and choose something each month that you will commit to that will make you happy. You can do this hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or any other way you like. You see, this is your happiness for the taking. I can’t tell you what will make you happy – only you know this. By trying this, you have nothing to lose, but will definitely gain more happiness, as long as you stay committed. For me, the very first thing on my list that I want to do more of is to relax. I tend to get caught up in life’s chaos and I don’t take time to relax as much as I should. Relaxing makes me happy…so here goes…
- January 2016 – I am committing to one hour each day to take time to do nothing but relax and do anything that makes me happy. During this 1 hour part of my day, I can’t allow anyone or anything to distract me from having my happy, relaxing time.
Will January be easy for me? No, anyone who knows me knows I’m a workaholic. What’s the point of working all the time, if you can’t take time to enjoy life along the way.
I am not sharing with you my full year of my happiness plan, because I suspect my focus will change as the year progresses.
As we go along, I will share how my happiness plan is working for me. Remember, choosing happiness will automatically bring more things into your life to make you happy. You are not limited to the one thing you choose each month; I just thought it would be easier to at least commit to one thing. I don’t know about you, but I have to take baby steps, in order to change. What is your happiness plan? I hope you will share your commitments and experiences with your own happiness. This should be fun! I look forward to reading your comments. Have a blessed and happy day!
Ladies love a good mani and/or pedi, don’t they? I’m certainly no exception. I have very thin nails that tend to break. In spite of taking vitamins and putting all kinds of products on my nails to strengthen them, they just won’t grow and break easily. Let’s face it, they are just ugly!
I had tried many times through the years to polish my own nails, but A.) They looked like a 2-year-old painted them; and B.) They usually started to chip in two days. So, I finally thought I must resign myself to the fact that if I wanted cute nails that would last at least a week or more, I had to go to a salon and spend the time and money it would take to get them done.
After years of this, I started thinking there must be a better way. It might not be the way that works for everyone, but it works for me. I personally don’t enjoy going to a nail salon; I go for the end result – not to be pampered. I’d rather spend my money buying a new blouse or purse, than spend it at a nail salon.
As I usually do, anytime I want to learn something new, I sat down at my handy computer and started researching. I found literally thousands of videos on YouTube about different ways to do your nails. I was so hopeful and excited, I couldn’t wait to get started.
While at the salon, I would normally get the white French tip acrylic nails for my hands and then just have them do a regular polish on my toes. Sometimes I would get one toenail with a hand painted design.
After researching, I found a product, Artisan Flexwrap Acrylic Dipping Powder Pro, that I used to do the acrylic French tip manicure. I did try this and was amazed with the results, however, it is a product that is still harsh on your nails when trying to remove them. I only like them because they will last 2-3 weeks for me (since my nails grow slowly). So, while I will still occasionally do this, I wanted easier and less harsh alternatives for most days. Later, when I do the French tip nails again, I’ll share an article about how to do them and post pictures.
The next alternative to something that is more durable than a regular nail polish is the gel nail polish. After much trial and error, here’s what I found necessary for gel manicures:
- You have to have either an LED or UV light.
- LED lights are generally more expensive but dry the polish much faster.
- Not all brands will work with LED lights, but most brands work with UV light. There are exceptions to this rule, so find out which light is required by your chosen brand of polish before purchasing the polish and/or light.
- Not all gel polishes are created equal. Do your research and read reviews on the polishes that are the best. So far, I like OPI, Sally Hansen, CND and Candy Lovers.
- For best results, you have to put your nails into the UV or LED light between each layer of polish.
- For each manicure you will need one or two gel polishes, a top coat polish and a base coat polish.
- In addition to the polishes and LED or UV light, you will need to invest in good tools and supplies: cuticle oil, cuticle trimmer, files, buffers, acetone, tweezers, brushes (optional, for art), dotting pens (optional, for art), alcohol wipes, nail clippers, cuticle pusher, orange sticks, lint-free wipes for nails, pointed cotton swabs, and decorative jewels, decals, and nail glue (also optional).
First prepare your work area:
- Find an area to use that is a safe zone if you accidentally spill polish or acetone. I like to use a folding table that I bring out just for doing my nails.
- Place a cover over the table that protects it (if necessary), such as an old blanket or cheap table cloth.
- Place your LED or UV light in a place on the table or nearby to allow easy access.
- Poor a small amount of acetone into a container for easy dipping when necessary.
- Lay out your nail prep, base coat, 1 or 2 gel nail polishes, top coat, and cuticle oil on the table.
- Lay out all tools and accessories.
Next, prepare your nails:
- Clip nails to desired length.
- Using rubber cuticle pusher or orange stick, push cuticles down.
- Using orange stick, scrape white rough areas left on nail after pushing the cuticles down.
- File and buff nails until they are smooth. Use coarser files to help even out the tips of the nails. Use buffers to smooth tips and buff out ridges on nails.
- Wash hands and nails thoroughly with soap and water. Dry nails completely.
- Apply nail prep solution and wipe off. This step is necessary to make sure base coat adheres to nail.
- Working with one hand at a time, apply base coat being careful not to touch cuticles. All polish should only be on the nail bed.
- Using pointed cotton swabs dipped in acetone, clean around edges or cuticles where base coat went past the nail bed. This is very important with gel base coat, because once it’s cured by the light, you will not be able to get it off and it will feel like glue.
- Place hand into the light and let it dry the recommended time by the light manufacturer or polish. I usually go for 3 minutes. A good base coat will still be sticky when finished.
- Apply first coat of gel color and repeat step 8, making sure all excess polish is cleaned up before curing.
- Cure first coat of gel color in the LED or UV light.
- Apply second coat of gel color. Again, repeat step 8, making sure all excess polish is cleaned up before curing.
- Before curing in the light, decide if you will apply any jewels.
- With the second coat of gel color still wet, using tweezers, apply any desired jewels to nails. If necessary, you can place a tiny dot of nail glue on the nail first.
- Place hand into light and cure the second coat of color and any decorative jewels that have been applied to the nail.
- If you want to put any decals onto the nail, now would be the time to do it (nails should feel dry).
- Once all designs (if any) are placed onto the nails, it’s time for the top coat.
- Apply the top coat. Again, repeat step 8, making sure all excess polish is cleaned up before curing.
- Cure top coat in the LED or UV light. I go extra time for this step (5 minutes in UV light).
- Rub nails with lint-free alcohol wipes. Nails will feel sticky before doing this step and will feel smooth and dry after this step.
- Put cuticle oil on the cuticles and rub it in. Wipe off excess cuticle oil.
- Voila, you’re all done…well almost, because that’s just one hand. LOL. You can certainly do both hands with each step, but I found it easier to do one hand at a time, because then you have a completely dry hand to work with when painting the other hand. Also, if you paint any decoration, you have your other hand for comparison.
To remove nails soak them in acetone for about 15 or 20 minutes and then lift them off with the orange stick. Do not scrape, because this can damage your nail. Continue soaking until the gel polish comes off easily. Finish clean up by wiping nails with acetone soaked wipe. I like the Onyx Proffessional Soak Off for removal.
For the nails I’m showing here, I did all of the steps shown above, but after the 2nd coat of color was cured, I then used a different color of gel polish and applied the dots by using a dotting pen. I then had to, of course, cure this layer in the light, as well. WARNING: Make sure your first color is completely dry before applying a second color, because the two colors will run together, if you don’t. Then I applied the top coat to the newly decorated nail. All the polish was by the brand, Candy Lovers.
Candy Lover Brand 6 pcs Nail Gel Polish 10ml Soak Off UV Gel Nails #25
One more bit of information I wanted to tell you is that it is going to take some time to get used to doing this. Allow plenty of time to do this. I like to sit on a Sunday afternoon and watch movies as I do this. It is sort of forced “me” time that I, would not normally allow myself to enjoy. I also love that I am saving money in the long run, even though it will cost you initially to buy all your necessary polish, supplies and tools.
I hope this helps to give you the courage to start doing your own manicures. Please also check out YouTube.com to find all sorts of pretty patterns and unique techniques. There are tons of decals, jewels and other accessories available on Amazon.com.
If you have any questions please leave a comment. I also welcome all tips, because I am still a newbie at this.