Saturday, 31 August 2013

31 Day Challenge 2013 - 01 Red Nails

The first challenge on the list is red nails. Having just discovered nail art and started a collection of tools and materials, I didn't want to do plain red nails. My sister and I are both fans of textures, and I've been contemplating DIY sand polish, plus I just received my nail tapes in the post.

So I decided to use all the different textures I have and created my Red Textures mani. Starting on my thumb I have a DIY sand polish inspired by this Spektor's tutorial, but with another layer of red polish on top. The index has red velvet. Middle: red tape stripes. Ring: red microbeads (which I messed up by putting quick dry topcoat on) and the little finger glitter gloss (using the glitter from the sand look, but adding a clear coat instead).

The red polish was OPI's A Oui Bit of Red that I bought years ago, but the formula is still perfect. I hadn't pulled out for ages for heaven's knows why, because it's a gorgeous red with just a hint of shimmer (although using it as a base colour for the textures does seem kind of wasteful in hindsight).

Here's another photo I took the next morning, by a window, to try capture the colours in better lighting. I really should just set up my SLR instead of trying to use my phone. I did spend enough money on my photography equipment, after all!

Edit: A better photo taken with my SLR

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Challenges! Because I haven't got enough of them right now

So, my title is a little narky. With  two, possible three research papers (because given an option of paper vs exam, I rather do a paper), time is actually not something I have a lot to spare. But I have been very good at burying my head in the sand and ignoring those pesky final few subjects of law all semester (it is week 5 now). The finish line is in sight, but yet so far. I've had such a forgettable year, and I still have one more quarter of it to survive. Sometimes I just want someone to kill me know.

The only thing that can hold my attention these days is nail polish. And I have spent hours upon hours, painting, fixing, removing, painting them again. So I might as well have a specific set of nails in mind when I do that. I'm going to do that by following this 31 Days Challenge! (No, I don't know why it's 31 days when it runs over September, but if you scroll down, you'll see that I asked, so maybe I'll get an answer!)

I doubt I'll be able to do one every day, but not sure if I should still do them in order or do whichever happens to be the one that falls on the day I happen to be re-doing my nails.

Chalkboard Nails has kindly created some images for the challenge — this glittery green one is my favourite.

Friday, 16 August 2013

How I like to cook fried shanghai dumplings

So my mum came up the other week with two bags full of shanghai dumplings, made by a yum cha chef. So what's a girl to do but eat dumplings? The dumpling comes raw, so the question is how to best cook the dumplings so they're nice and crispy on the outside, and cooked through on the inside?

The follow is my method of making delicious fried dumplings at home! 
So get your dumplings out, bring a pot to boil, put your dumplings in and cook. 

Some lovely frozen dumplings

I forgot to take a photo of the dumplings in the pot... but cook dumplings until they float to the top, that's a good indication that they're cook through. 

Getting fried

Heat a pan, add some oil in. Once it's nice and hot (but not smoking!), and place your dumplings in (because of any water bouncing off against the heat and oil). Turn over a few times to ensure all sides crisp. Sometimes I add extra oil to ensure it fries nice and crispy.  

Serve up nice and hot!
Serve up on plate of choice, add sauces as desired. I sprinkled some vinegar and chilli oil. DELICIOUS!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Return to the blog – How to use black nail polish (splatter decal it!)

It's been so long since I've tried to blog. The JD has been a crazy time. But now I am in my last semester, doing just three electives and some volunteering work. And I've also withdrawn from all the extracurricular activities from school, haven't had any casual work since the beginning of the year and am single. So by comparison, I have plenty of free time!

It's been a traumatic road reaching here. With a broken heart, stressful semester and empty bank account, I turned to creative nails to ease my troubles. I am currently obsessed with my nails, so I think it's fitting to return from my blogging hiatus with my latest nail works - Black with splatter decals. I am not keen on the black nail polish look, emo/goth isn't really me. But it is great as a canvas for some splatter polish! There are a whole bunch of nail art bloggers with tutorials, but the one I followed was from a blog called Spektor's Nails.

Freshing stuck on (should have put the cuticle cream on first!)

Can't stop looking at it! Here it is resting on my text book.
Not only did it take a bit of preparation the night before, it was also very fiddling trying to peel off the decals without tearing them and I ended up with flakes of polish everywhere! I must remember to spread newspaper out next time!