DIY Gel Manicure

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Today I am going to show you how to do a gel manicure at home without the use of a UV light. This gel manicure will last a week or more with no  chipping.  That’s definitely a plus for me since I am constantly typing or doing projects. This way of doing the gel manicure has changed my manicure routine.

Before I found this method I would have to paint my nails every three days because they would start chipping. Now I don’t have to worry about painting my nails as often.

For this DIY gel manicure you will need 3 types of nail polish:

  • Fast drying top coat (Sally Hansen Insta-dry is my favorite one)
  • Gel coat – (Gelous Advanced Gel Nail Coat)
  • Nail Polish Color

 

The process for this gel manicure is fairly simple with just five steps. With a little bit of patience and time this gel manicure is worth it. Make sure that your nails are clean and even before beginning.

 

Step One: Apply a thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel and let dry for one minute.

Step Two: Apply a thin coat of nail polish and let dry for three minutes.

Step Three: Apply another thin coat of the Gelous gel and let dry for one minute.

Step Four: Apply a second thin coat of nail polish and let dry for three minutes.

Step Five: Apply your top coat and let dry for one minute.

 

Tip: With each gel coat I make sure to seal the ends of my nail polish color. To accomplish this I just drag the tip of the brush across the tip of my nail.

Here is what my most recent gel manicure looks like. I am four days in with this manicure and I still have no chipping. If you try this method let me know how it works for you.

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Happy Crafting,

Chineka

 

Reflections: Book Tour Day 2

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Today Love Illusion was on the Ai Love Books Blog with a review and a Q & A. Although Love Illusion got its first rating of 3 stars the review given was not bad at all. She loved my descriptive writing style as the reviewer from yesterdays blog tour stop did. I’m glad that my writing style connects with so many people and that those that read it can see what I am writing as if they were in the scene.

The Q&A was a to the point one, but again readers can get to know me a little more. My favorite question asked was “How do you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?” I like the Q & A’s because some of the questions challenge me.

Day 3 of the tour is tomorrow with another Q & A and excerpt. Today has been another great day of the tour.

Don’t forget to enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Love Illusion by going here.

Happy Reading and Writing,

Chineka

Book Review: I Found You

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Disclaimer ~I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as a part of the Xpresso Book Tours Review Opportunities page

 

Book Review  ~ I Found You by Jane Lark

The opening scene of I Found You  is one that stays engraved in your mind long after you have finished reading the book.  From the beginning of the book I thought Jason and Rachel were a good fit for one another. It was great to see their relationship evolve from friendship to love.

From the first page of the book the characters are instantly relatable. You immediately connect with them. They seem like real people who have flaws as well as positives.

I loved how the point of view of Rachel and Jason went back and forth within each chapter. You can feel the different emotions and see the contrast in how each one is responding differently to situations. There is much opposition from family and friends are first, but they both stay strong through it all.

This was an easy read. The details are so vivid that while reading the book it played out in my mind like a movie.

I will definitely be reading more by this author.

I give this book a rating of  4  stars.

 

Happy Reading and Writing,

Chineka

 

Reflections: Book Tour Day 1

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The first day being on a blog tour with Love Illusion and Chick Lit Plus has been great. I was anxious for this day to get here and I’m so glad that it finally did. To start off the day I received a 4 star review from Jersey Girl Book Reviews. I was happy to know that she loved my “rich and descriptive” writing style so much. There is also a guest post from me on the blog telling about my writing style and an excerpt of Love Illusion. Go check it out.

Chicklit Club Connect hosted another guest post of mine focusing on how social media is so important to authors. I hope that readers and other authors were informed through this guest post. I had a lot of fun writing it.

My last blog stop on the tour for today was with Authors & Readers Book Corner. It was an interview. Through this interview I hope readers got to know a little bit more about me. My favorite question of this interview was: If you could interview one of your favorite authors, who would it be? Why? If you want to find out the answer click on the link above to read through the interview.

Today was a wonderful start to the Love Illusion Blog Tour. To find out the tour schedule go here.

Stay up to date on the tour. I will be posting a reflection on each day of the tour. There will be a $20 Amazon gift card giveaway to one lucky participant at the end of the tour. I will also be giving away a copy of Love Illusion.

Happy Reading and Writing,

Chineka

 

Love Illusion Blog Tour Schedule

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Love Illusion will be on a two week blog tour starting tomorrow. The tour will include reviews, Q & A, guest posts, and an excerpt. There will also be a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Love Illusion. The tour schedule is below. I am going to post my reflections about each day of the tour. My tour page for Chick Lit Plus Book Tours can be seen here. Stay Tuned !

 

Love Illusion Blog Tour Schedule

April 14 – Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post

April 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

April 14 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Q&A

April 15 – Ai Love Books – Review & Q&A

April 16 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt

April 16 – Everything Books and Authors – Excerpt

April 17 – Jess’s Book Blog – Review

April 18 – Christy’s Written Word Love – Review

April 21 – Books Reviews and More by Kathy – Q&A

April 22 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt

April 23 – Sweets Books – Q&A & Excerpt

April 24 – The Book Bag – Review & Guest Post

 

I hope that you all are having a good weekend.

 

Happy Reading and Writing,

Chineka

DIY Spring Wreath

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I wanted to add a DIY section to the blog, since I do a lot of these projects in my spare time. I like making things. If I see something on Pinterest or in a home decorating store that I can make myself then I find a way to make it. Today I am going to show you how to make your own Spring Wreath. These come in many variations, but I chose a simple spring floral theme with monogram.

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Supplies Needed:

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Mongogram Letter
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Artificial Flowers
  • Burlap Ribbon
  • Glue gun (not pictured)
  • Wire cutter/Garden shears (not pictured)

 

All of these items were purchased at my local craft store (minus the glue gun) for under $25 with the use of coupons and catching a lot of the supplies already on sale.

 

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The first thing that you want to do is to take your monogrammed letter and paint it with the acrylic paint color of your choice. I chose the color turquoise, since I thought it would look best with my chosen color scheme. By doing this first this will allow ample time for the paint to dry. I used a small paint brush to get in between the little corners.

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Next you will want to use your wire cutter/gardening shears to separate the flowers from their stems. Then you will arrange the flowers on the wreath as you want them to be.

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Take the burlap ribbon and make a bow out of it. This can be easily found how to do online and can be done with some patience. Now it is time to assemble your wreath.

 

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Using the glue gun while being careful, glue the flowers, burlap bow, and monogram in place. Make sure that the monogram is  dry.

Congratulations! Your wreath is now complete.

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Here are some closeups of the monogram and burlap bow. I hope that you have enjoyed this DIY post. If you make a Spring wreath let me know.

 

Happy Crafting,

Chineka

 

Love Illusion Excerpt & Thoughts

Love Illusion Excerpt and Thoughts

 

Love Illusion was born purely out of my imagination. Many months and thoughts went into the “making” of the book. It is truly a labor of love and when I hit the publish button it was like I was pushing my literary baby out into the world for you all to meet.

Now with anything comes criticism, but if I didn’t expect that to be a part of the routine I wouldn’t be a writer. Practice makes perfect and I believe that with all things. This doesn’t fall short of writing. Writing takes skill as much as it takes emotion. It can be emotionally draining as well as emotionally rewarding.

I’d like to think that this all comes with it’s ups and downs, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. By writing I get to be creative and do something that I have always done, just write. From the  age of eight I have kept a journal and I still do today.

Through journaling I get to express emotion that would otherwise be locked up in my brain getting jumbled around in all of the mess of the day.

I wanted to have a space specifically dedicated to Love Illusion and my future books on my blog (outside of updates.) Currently you can purchase Love Illusion on Kindle and Nook. A paperback version will  be available to purchase  through Amazon in the future.

 

Here is an excerpt of Love Illusion for you to enjoy:

 

Chapter 1: Lucy

Lucy shoved the purple sixteen hundred thread count sheets off of her as the sunlight beamed through her bedroom window. She lifted a hand to her face to redirect the stream of sunlight. Her Friday was just getting started and already she was feeling sluggish.

She had a few sleepless nights in between getting moved into her new house and her breakup with Charles. The last few days had been rough. She didn’t even want to think about all of the boxes that she still had to unpack and was still getting adjusted to being in her own place. She was so proud of her accomplishment of being a homeowner at the age of twenty eight. She was excited about all of the interior decorating plans that she had and already clipped a few ideas from a magazine.

Working in the public relations field she put in long hours during the week, but it was worth it for doing what she loved and being able to go on the Summer vacations that were so relaxing to her. She took one big vacation a year that usually consisted of a cruise or some lavish getaway.

Her ability to speak Spanish fluently allowed her more flexibility to choose the clients that she worked with. Her sparkling brown eyes, long red hair, and flawless olive skin were sure to turn the eyes of any guy.

She had the fashion sense of some of the best designers in the business She loved flipping through fashion magazines to gain new ideas and put her own spin on it.

She loved taking the outfits that she found on Pinterest and recreating them by finding items at her favorite online stores. She could stay on the site for hours pinning to her board entitled Fashionista Finds. Her closest friends went to her whenever they needed fashion advice.

It was 7:15 am, and with her work day starting at 8:00 am she was pressed for time this morning. Lucy quickly showered and prepared for the day by listening to her daily devotional on audio book, while applying mascara and her favorite lip gloss shade, Plum Luster. She took a curling iron and curled her straight hair around it to create soft tendrils. It was an effortless hairstyle that didn’t take long to create.

She made her daily morning smoothie by turning the high quality and professional blender on full speed, blending up a citrus blend of strawberries, peach, and orange juice to keep her energetic and full until lunch. With the smoothie in her hand she exited her house and was ready to take on the day.

Her outfit was one straight out of a fashion magazine. Lucy was ready to take on the days challenges at work by being dressed in a chiffon Banana Republic blouse, Express black pencil skirt, Nine West pumps, and her signature pearls . She never forgot to spritz on some perfume. Today she was wearing Lola by Marc Jacobs.

She had just arrived at her office. She took a detour to the break room and poured herself a cup of hot tea with a wedge of lemon and a few squeezes of honey. She loved what the flavor of the sweet and sour combination brought to her tea. She plopped the cup of tea down on her desk, creating a splash. On the corner of her desk she was greeted by a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers. They were cheerful and upbeat with their bright yellow hue.

She wasn’t used to getting flowers at the job and her intuition kicked in. It was on high alert. With her heart pounding like two beating snare drums, she sensed that the flowers were from her ex-boyfriend, Charles. He had been sending her things to the office trying to get her attention for the last two weeks. Obviously he was having a hard time letting her go.

Lucy quickly took a picture of the arrangement with her cell phone and slipped it back into her purse. She walked around the flowers, observing their fragile petals and inhaling their fragrance.

She took the card out of the plastic stem and flipped it over. When she looked at the card, which had a red rose border, her suspicions were right. The card read “Some sunflowers for my sunshine. Love Charles.” Lucy traced the handwriting on the card. The note looked to be rushed and the handwriting was angry. She put the card in a zip loc bag and sealed it.

She would put it in a box that she had at home that had evidence of what Charles had been sending the last few weeks. She was worried that Charles was getting too out of control. This had to be stopped.

Their breakup had been on her part because she didn’t feel that Charles could be the man that she needed him to be. He wasn’t as mature as she had wanted him to be and then there were his anger issues. He had demonstrated to her several times while they were dating that he was controlling.

One time he had snatched her arm back when she walked ahead of him in the grocery store. The imprint of his hand had been on her forearm for days before the bruise had healed.

Charles would get mad when they were with friends and she would voice her opinion. He would also check the browsing history on her computer when he occasionally used it. He liked to feel in charge, and most of all important. He had serious self-esteem issues, which were evident in his actions.

There came a point when Lucy couldn’t take the mental and physical abuse any longer. She knew that she was worth more than being treated like a rag doll and she made the decision to end the relationship.

Lucy would call her best friend Jade as soon as she got a chance to get her advice on the situation. She always gave sound advice and was always willing to lend a listening ear. She wouldn’t worry Jade too much though, since she was in the process of planning her wedding. They had been friends since high school and had been through a lot together, including growing pains. Jade was always there and was the one person who never let Lucy down.

For now Lucy would focus on planning and advertising the event for her next big celebrity client, author Angela Dobson. Lucy had read a few of her books and enjoyed them. She was well known in the literary world for her books on bold topics and independent women. Angela wanted an upscale tea party for about twenty of her biggest fans as a way to say thank you for their support. She had ran a contest on twitter and personally selected twenty people to attend the tea party.

Since people were flying from all over this event had to be special and unlike any other tea party. It would include appetizers that were sophisticated and a twelve piece jazz band. It would be sure to keep those invited entertained throughout the event. Angela had a list of things that were required to be at the tea party.

A spreadsheet with all of the above details as well as a list of contacts lay beside Lucy’s MacBook Pro. The desk that it lay on was organized with pink metal containers for her pens and highlighters. It was time to start sending out emails to some of her most trusted contacts in order for this event to be a success. Lucy tapped away at her keyboard, carefully choosing the correct words to describe the upscale tea party. For an hour she emailed everyone from wholesale florists, vendors for table linens, and fine china companies.

After a brief staff meeting going over what the agency had on their calendar for next week it was time to go. The boss kept talking about how the clients had certain expectations and how they needed be treated a certain way. He knew how some of them could be overly demanding, but he urged the employees to not take it too personally.

It felt like the workday would never end. Today it seemed to drag on. She was ready for the weekend to start so that she could relax and finally get some things done around the house. She was planning to paint an accent wall in her living room the perfect teal color, Mariner by Sherwin Williams. Film from her Nikon F Classic 35mm film camera would also have to be processed. She would go to a lab with a dark room to process them.

Lucy had always loved photography, but she really got into it when she took a few photography classes in college. She loved the different assignments that she had the opportunity to take pictures of like the holiday toy drive and the annual picnic. She then began to understand photography terms like shutter speed, aperture, and f-stop. Everything about dark rooms and processing film on classic cameras she learned by watching youtube videos and taking notes on them.

She loved the feeling of looking through the lens and creating something out of pixels and light.

Before these things she would have to attend an important event this evening that she attended every year. She looked forward to being in the company of celebrated media professionals while enjoying a night out. The annual Media Professionals Gala was tonight.

 

Happy Reading and Writing,

Chineka