Australia Day manicure

I haven’t painted my nails with any special designs for a while, so with Australia Day tomorrow, I decided it was time ūüôā

I didn’t have much of an idea as to what the design should be, but it needed to be red/white/blue or green/yellow. Why does a country need two sets of colours? Who knows…

Anyway, I am more likely to be wearing some combination of red, white and/or blue tomorrow, so I started with a blue base.

I apologise now for these photos. I painted my nails while sitting on the lounge tonight watching tv, and I just used my phone to take them.

Australia Day mani base colourWe have a good selection of Australia Day paper plates, bunting, hats etc and they all have the flag on them, so I wanted to incorporate that somehow. Far too detailed to have the whole flag on a nail, so…how to do it?

I added some inspiration to my ‘nails‘ Pinterest board, and also¬†had a close look at our flag

Australian flag


The flag has a blue background, with three symbols:

-The Union Jack, acknowledging our history of British settlement

-The Commonwealth Star, a seven pointed star representing our states and territories

-The Southern Cross, a constellation only visible in the Southern Hemisphere

I gathered some nail colours

Australia Day mani coloursThey are:

(not shown) Sally Hansen base coat

Australis –¬†Blue Tiger (blue)

Sally Hansen – Super Strong Micro-fibre basecoat. (I didn’t use this as a basecoat, I needed white, and that’s what this is!)

Essence – Fame fatal (red)

P.M.U – Elegant Beauty (silver stars)

Sally Hansen – Mega Shine Top Coat (I either use this, or the Diamond Shine Base or Top Coat. I believe they are the best!)

I decided not to decorate each nail, instead choosing three nails to show the three flag elements.

Australia Day nails sawitdidit.wordpress

On my thumb I did the Union Jack, middle finger has the Southern Cross, and my little finger has the Commonwealth Star.

For the Union Jack I painted the cross with white, then topped it with red. It’s not perfect, so don’t look too closely ūüėČ

The Southern Cross¬†is supposed to be 4 seven pointed stars and 1 five pointed star, however I used the P.M.U polish with stars in it to represent this. They are all¬†five pointed stars.¬†There’s not¬†enough room on your nails to have that amount of detail!

I started the Commonwealth Star with a blob of white, then teased it into seven points using a nail art tool which I didn’t take a photo of and I have no idea what it’s called, but it has a fine point. It worked ok!

Then I gave all my nails a coat of my favourite Sally Hansen top coat. It’s really thick, makes your nails look like glass, and protects them well. And I get nothing for saying that, I say it because it is true!

Again, apologies for the for the quality of the photos, it’s getting late…

I think it turned out well, and I am happy with it.

Tomorrow¬†we’ll be joining the rest of my family for a celebration barbeque in the National Park. Are you doing something special for Australia Day?

* You can find all my manicures here

* I contributed to Mimi’s Five Star Frugal linkup at her blog A Tray of Bliss, and Pin-n-Tell. ¬†Pop over and say ‘Hi!’

Beauty Pins I’ve Tried – Moisturising Lip Balm

Who doesn’t get sore, dry lips from time to time? I do, and my son definitely does. I make sure we are sufficiently hydrated as that can cause dry skin, but sometimes the wind and/or dry weather can wreak havoc with our complexions, despite all our good intentions!

Thankfully at the moment here in Sydney, Australia, it is neither windy nor dry, being the middle of a humid summer. But we still look for the lip balm on occasion, and the push-up style ones we favour are always missing or nearly empty.

Now, lip balms are not particularly expensive, you can get them on special for a few dollars. But when there are none to be found in the house, and I did the weekly shopping just¬†yesterday…well, you can see where this is heading!

I have actually already made a batch of this, so I could report on whether or not it was a success. My son is quite particular with his lip balms, we have tried a few brands and all the moisturising ones do a reasonable job. And this one does as good a job as any! So we are happy ūüôā

You can follow my Pinterest ‘Beauty’ board here, and I found the lip balm idea on Everyday Roots.

I collected all the empty tubes I could find, and located my ingredients. I used beeswax pellets, coconut oil, and macadamia oil. I prefer not to add any fragrance, but that is up to you. The original link also includes organic honey and vitamin E capsules, I don’t have those around so didn’t use them. You can read about the various benefits of using these ingredients at that link too. - Lip Balm The beeswax takes the longest to melt, so start with that in your double boiler. I rarely measure accurately, but I used roughly a tablespoon today. Once that has melted, add the coconut, then the macadamia oils. I used a little less than a tablespoon of these (combined) as I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t liquefy at all.

When it has all melted and combined, pour the mix into your¬†moulds. Done! This amount filled 3 lip balm tubes, and two contact lens cases. Any small, clean container will do. Leave it to set, then¬†it’s ready for use!  Moisturising Lip Balm How do you deal with dry lips? * This post has been added to the link-up party on Mimi’s blog A Tray of Bliss. Also The Pin Junkie, and Pin-n-Tell

Two tasty Christmas treats…for any time of year!

I was having a quick look through December’s photos, and found some that I meant to show you earlier. Whoops!

It’s always handy having something¬†you can make (with the children if necessary) quickly and easily at this time of year. Great as gifts or to take to a gathering, or just to share at home.

I found two¬†simple recipes that my son and I made that I am going to share with you – Christmas Cookie Bar, and Annabel’s Apricot Balls.

I found the Christmas Cookie Bar recipe here.

This recipe called for Christmas coloured sprinkles, M&Ms and Oreos, but we just went with the normal varieties.

Christmas delight 1.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Break the Oreos and pretzels up and put them on the tray, along with the M&Ms. Check the above link if you are after specific quantities, we just did a random mix. Don’t forget the very important step of taste-testing all the ingredients along the way!

Christmas delight 2.

Christmas delight 3.

Then we melted a bag of white chocolate melts. The melts went in one saucepan, which sat on top of another with a smallish amount of boiling water in it. Make sure the water in the bottom saucepan doesn’t touch the top one. This melts the chocolate gently so it doesn’t burn. Or you could do it in the microwave. I usually burn it in the microwave, so I’ve learnt to just do it stovetop way. If your child is doing this, you will of course be supervising them, won’t you ūüôā

Christmas delight 4.

Then it’s just a matter of carefully pouring the melted chocolate over your collection of biscuits, pretzels and M&Ms.

Christmas delight 5.

The original recipe said to¬†decorate the top with Christmas coloured sprinkles and extra M&Ms, but we didn’t bother. There’s more than enough going on under all that chocolate! Then you just leave it to set, before breaking it into pieces.

The next treat we made were Annabel’s Apricot Balls which you can find here on her blog The Bluebirds are Nesting.

The recipe is…
500g chopped apricots. Finely chopped is best.
1 can (440g) condensed milk.
1 cup fine desiccated coconut.
Extra coconut to roll in. The balls, not yourself.

Mix all together and roll into balls. You can choose how big you want them. Roll into extra coconut to coat them. Done!

I put the whole dried apricots in the blender and pulsed them until they were finer but still had texture. I didn’t blend them to a paste, but stopped when there were still some big bits of apricot in the mix. Then all you have to do is add the tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk and the coconut and mix.

Apricot balls 1.

¬†When well combined, roll a spoonful of the mixture in the extra coconut. Continue until you’ve used it all up.
Apricot balls 2.

Then all you have to do is some taste-testing, package them up into cellophane bags, or put them on a plate. However you display them, people are going to love them!
Tasty Christmas treats.

We will making these again, that’s for sure! What are your favourite, easy to make, tasty treats?

*Linking up with:

A Tray of Bliss, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout,¬†Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup,¬†Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays,Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best,¬†The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase,¬†Nifty Thrifty Things, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday,¬†Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday,¬†I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Merry About Town – Monday Funday,¬†Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, The Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday,¬†Lou Lou Girls, Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday,¬†To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Crafty Wife – The Wednesday Roundup,¬†Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters,