Tuesday, July 31, 2012

China Glaze shimmer crackles

I have tested a LOT of cracking, shattering, breaking polishes, and one thing I have come to realize is that creme shatters work a lot better than shimmery ones.  With a shimmer, there just isn't much to shatter.  These Crackle shades from China Glaze are gorgeous and shimmery, but if you are going for a huge cracked effect, they probably won't cut it.  Even still, they make a fun shimmer top coat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I was so inspired by the fun, bright shades from OPI and China Glaze this year that I wanted to combine some of them into a Missoni-inspired zigzag manicure.  I started with two coats of OPI Thanks a WindMillion, then using a toothpick, I applied zipzags one line at a time.  I love how it turned out!  The right hand wasn't as good, but I am so happy with it still.

The shades that went into this mani (and note all the polishes in the background that almost made the cut!).
OPI Thanks a WindMillion, OPI Did You Ear About VanGogh, OPI Do It On Em, China Glaze Gaga For Green, China Glaze Gothic Lolita, China Glaze Make Some Noise, China Glaze Electric Beat.

What do you think of my zigzag manicure?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mermaid Blues

My nails look REALLY awful in this picture; in fact, one chipped while wearing this mani!  But I just love this combination so much, so I figure my readers can suffer through the bad nails (or if you can't take it, just scroll down past them!).

I warned you - they are bad.  I always have trouble with my first two nails, and since I ran out of Seche Restore, they are just chipping left and right (literally!).  

For this, I wore Zoya Wednesday (my summer guilty pleasure polish - it is a phenomenal blue creme!) with OPI Catch Me In Your Net (which has been my summer favorite for the past two years!).  I love how the two shades look together, and the shimmer just on my ring finger and thumb nails makes it fun and beachy.

What do you think of this pairing? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zoya gets preppy!

My sister did this fun pink and green mani using Zoya Lara and Tracie from the fabulous new Beach collection.  I love these two shades together (but honestly, Zoya always does such an amazing job pairing their color collections that you could choose any two - or three - and make a great coordinating mani).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Orange Peel

Zoya Arizona and Zoya Shelby

This isn't necessarily a total fail, but it definitely didn't end up with the cool artsy vibe I was going for.  Instead it looks pretty blah - BUT I still love these two colors together and definitely want to do something else with them.

It's strange; my entire life, I have REALLY disliked orange.  Orange was pretty much the worst of all colors, and I wore it only for Halloween and Orioles games.

Oddly, though, in the last four or five months I've become a bit of a fan of orange.  I can't even believe I am saying this, but I actually like orange!  Now not all oranges make the cut, but Zoya Arizona is the perfect bright orange with a spot-on name.  I'm not ready to commit to reddish oranges just yet, but these fun, bright yellowy oranges are actually pretty great.  And when paired with pink, my favorite of all colors, orange looks even better.  In fact, I've found myself gravitating towards my orange polishes lately.  I am just so surprised!  I guess tastes change, right?  I actually even found a wine I liked recently, and I dislike wine more than I used to dislike orange (it is called New Age, by the way, and it truly is excellent!).  

Anyone else with strong feelings about orange?  I feel like many bloggers are the most divided on pink - we either love it or hate it (and well, I just adore all shades of pink!).

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 20, 2012

OPI Layering Fun

I decided to try OPI Metallic 4 Life over OPI Fly.  Metallic 4 Life is really dark and basically took over Fly, but I like how it still shows through!

Metallic 4 Life turned Fly super vampy!  I really love the multisized and multishaped silver glitters in this sheer black (a sheer black - really, I never thought I would say that about a polish).

What do you think about these two polishes (not necessarily together, but on their own as well)?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OPI Dutchya Just Love OPI?

This pretty purple is insane!!  This is a seriously gorgeous shade.  I didn't want to take it off!

OPI Dutchya Just Love OPI

Dutchya Just Love OPI is a deep, rich fabulous purple loaded with gold shimmer.  It sparkles differently in every light.  I just love it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

OPI Save Me + Dutchya Just Love OPI?

OPI Save Me

Save me is a beautiful holographic glitter mixed with confetti-like silver streamers.  It is a fun, unique top coat (but it is not fun to take off!).  I definitely recommend pairing it with a base shade, like I did here.  Sorry for the tip wear - I wore this for a few days before photographing it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where?

Awesome bright red creme - perfect for a pedi on a hot summer night!

Saturday, July 14, 2012



This is a really pretty blue creme, and perfect for Nikki Minaj!  I think it is really pretty and fun, but not necessarily unique (although we often feel that way about cremes, don't we?)

Thanks to Stephanie and Jen for the correction!  That's what happens when I write posts late at night (after spending the entire day moving pictures to my external hard drive, Drop Box (until it filled up - boo), and SkyDrive (not yet full, but sooo slow)).  After I got my MacBook back from Apple (it didn't work for 2 months and they got it to turn on!) it resumed running really slowly, so I am working on ways to enable it to run as fast as possible.  Hopefully moving all my photos off of it will help (and once SkyDrive finishes, I'll see!).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Soak up the Summer Sunshine Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for entering the great Soak Up The Summer Sunshine Giveaway!!  I am so excited to announce that the winner is...

#247 Gwen Sewell!
Congratulations Gwen!!

Thank you all for entering!!

Looking through the list, the people with the most entries were:
Robyn, Cat, Gwen, Misty, Savannah, and Kelly (in no particular order!).  Thank you all for entering also!

I hope everyone is having a fun, beautiful summer and enjoying the warm weather.  I keep dreaming of going on a warm, sunny vacation but we are saving for a house right now, so that will have to wait!

Where have you visited this summer, or where do you plan on going on vacation?  I would also love to know some of my reader's favorite vacation spots!  I would love to visit somewhere new in the next few years.

Thanks again for entering, and I truly appreciate all of my wonderful readers who take the time to stop by Babbling Brooke.  Have a great weekend!

*I used random.org to generate a random number between 0 and 634.

On a brief side note, there is something very weird going on with my comments.  I am getting them by email, but when I come here to respond it says zero comments and I can't find them anywhere (even my moderated comments!).  Does anyone have a good comment app they use?  I have noticed a lot of people have nice comment sections where you can respond directly to specific comments.  If anyone has any suggestions, that would be great!  Thanks :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

4th of July

I hope you all had a nice 4th of July last week!  My power finally returned on July 4th, which was a huge relief.  Electricity (and our working refridgerator) made making this fun red, white, and blue Jello dessert possible!

4th of July Nails!

Layered red, white, and blue Jello my sister made

Tomorrow I will be announcing the winner of the BIG giveaway!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Decorative Curtain How To

These new decorative curtains I made for my kitchen were SO easy, and what I love about them is that I could choose any fabric I wanted.  For this, I used a Waverly print from the Williamsburg collection.  I chose a outdoor fabric so that these would resist fading, since our kitchen gets a lot of sunlight.

The hardest part about these is building the base.  My father built these for me as a birthday gift.  You could easily ask someone at your local hardware store if they can recommend anyone who could make similar boxes.

Next, staple a thin, lightweight batting around the boxes.  This will give the corners a slightly softer look.

Finally, cut your fabric so it can wrap around all sides of the box.  Using a staple gun, staple the fabric around the inside of the box.  Make sure to fold the corners carefully (see above) so that the seams are hidden.

To attach, I drilled two 4 inch metal brackets on either side of each window, then after positioning the boxes on the brackets, I screwed the bracket to the underside of the top of the window box.

Not curtains, but I recently switched my vine plant for this fun spiky one and I love how it looks with my Fiestaware!

Gorgeous hydrangeas from the yard.  Hydrangea bushes are so incredibly rewarding.  I want to try experimenting with acid levels next year (lime) and see if I can get them to bloom pink.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Festive Fourth Knotted Wreath How To

In many areas here in Maryland, we are suffering power outages.  Unfortunately, my house has been without power since late Friday night.  Without power, I've been gardening, reading, and crafting - which has actually been quite fun (other than the tremendous temperatures and lack of air conditioning and light).  

Yesterday, my sister and I made 4th of July wreaths based on an idea she saw in a magazine at the gym.  We picked out some fabrics at JoAnns in cute patriotic prints, got a 12 inch foam wreath, and started cutting and tying.  This wreath couldn't be easier, and it was fun to make too. 

  • 5 different fabrics, 1/4 yard each
  • 12 inch foam wreath


  • Fold each piece of fabric into thirds (width-wise), and cut so you have three pieces of fabric (each about 12 inches wide).  Next, fold fabric in half length-wise and cut.  Fold these pieces in half again length-wise and cut.  You will end up with 12 strips of each color.

  • Knot each fabric strip once, with the knot facing the front of the wreath.  Next, pinch the remaining ends of the fabric so only the printed side shows and double knot the fabric, again making sure the knot is in the front of the wreath.

  • Continue double knotting the fabric, varying the placement of the knots.  I tied mine in the order the fabrics are laid out.

  • Continue tying until the entire wreath is covered.  If desired, use a remaining piece of fabric to sew a loop to hold the wreath.


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