The Great Impact of Gratitude

I read a great article on Quit the Cubicle last week about gratitude. It reminded me how powerful a gratitude journal can be in managing stress, acknowledging achievements/what’s going well and appreciating the small things in life!

In my world, even gratitude is a shopportunity* so I got to hunting for an appropriate medium to recommence my gratitude journaling! And I found some sublime finds! Which of course, must be shared with you, my lovely sublime seekers!

Back it up – what’s this gratitude journal business? 

A gratitude journal is a place to record the things for which you’re grateful, every day. It only needs to be a few short sentences!

What’s the point?

I’m so glad you asked! Studies have shown that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and increase our happiness and well being in doing so! Even better, grateful thinking (especially the expression of it to others) is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy!

Thankful people are happy

Sounds like all the benefits of exercise without exercise! Show me the finds! 

Of course, you can write your gratitude down anywhere, you don’t need a specially designed book. But! If you LIKE those sorts of things, you’ll love these!

As you might expect, Kikki-K have some beautiful products:

Gratitude Journal - Kikki-K Gratitude Journal 2 - Kikki K Gratitude Journal 3 - Kikki K
Gratitude Journal (in kikki.K’s Inspire collection), $39.95. It’s got some lovely, thought provoking activities included too!

Thankful Journal - Kikki K Thankful Journal 2 - Kikki K Thankful Journal 3 - Kikki K
Thankful Journal (kikki.K’s Uppsala collection) $16.95. This ones a bit smaller than the first, but has these lovely cards in the back you can fill out and tear out to share your gratitude with others!

Gratitude Journal - Things I am Grateful Iloveitall
Iloveitall on Etsy has created a gorgeous handmade journal! She’s selling them for April-December 2014 for $35 USDs and has very awesome reviews! Ships quick, worldwide!

I decided to go for an app so I can take it everywhere and add to it when I’ve got some downtime! There’s lots of apps out there as you might expect, here’s the one I chose:

Gratitude 365 App 1 Gratitude 365 App 2 Gratitude 365 App 3

It’s the 356 Journal app for $1.99. I love it’s clean design and the way you can attach a picture which pops up in the list and calendar views! It’s super easy to use and you can add a passcode if you like.

Another option is creating a gratitude jar! The concept works exactly the same way, but instead of storing the things you’re thankful for in your journal or phone, you write them on a bit of paper and put them in the jar! A great way to share gratitude in your household is by creating a communal gratitude jar! Check out this one:

Gratitude Jar from getawaytodaydotcom

Jennifer from Get Away Today has shared her all the goss to DIY!

However you do it, there’s real benefit in taking time to give thanks. In the spirit of sharing, here’s my list for yesterday! I’m grateful for: 

  • the very lovely Archie Boo, who despite me coming home every day for nearly two years, still cries with excitement when I do
  • the kind lady at the dry cleaners, who made me feel good despite me abandoning my dry cleaning there for two months! “We’ve got some stuff we’ve had here for two years!”
  • technology that enables me to stay close to my friends, even when we can’t be together (I’m looking at you, Viber)
  • the park I got at Westfield this morning, which was so good that I was immediately excited for the person who would get it when I was leaving and be equally thrilled by it’s excellent proximity to both the entry to the shops and the exit to the carpark! (I saw the look on her face when I was reversing, it was everything I hoped for and more!)
  • this particularly sparkly pair of shoes, which brightened my day immensely (even if they did leave me with a blister on their maiden voyage!)

NineWest Sparkle Loafer - Sublime Finds

Get gratitudin’, sublime seekers! You’ll feel all the better for it!

♥AS

* this is a little joke! I’m being ironic. Kind of. Meanwhile, isn’t shopportunity a fun word!?

What are you grateful for? Share with us below! 

Gel-ous of my fab manicure? Get your own!

Occasionally, you come across one of those items that is both fabulously exciting AND virtually guaranteed to save you money. These finds are most certainly of the sublime variety and today I’m serving one up to you, sweet readers: the DIY at home gel nail polish kit.

DIY gel nail polish kits have been slowly seeping their way into being readily available in the Australian market over the last year or so, but buying colours off-the-shelf remains difficult. For those not familiar with the technology, gel nail polish (by nature if not by name… shellac falls into this category) is basically a blend of UV-cured and regular nail polish that sets under an ultra violet light to form a hard, glossy, fabulous finish that’s completely dry, lasts up to two weeks (even more on your toes!) and DOESN’T CHIP. *gasp!*

Shiny Glossy Gel Polish Nails!Shiny glossy gel nails! (With stripey nail-art! That’s a whole other post!)

Your local mani-pedi place has been offering this service for a while, likely with a +$20 per set fee, bringing your gel mani-pedi to a rock hard price of between $60 and $100. However now you can have a full setup at home, for the price of around 40 salon nails (two-ish mani-pedi’s… $160). How does this black magic work? Essentially it’s paint and set, baby. Each nail is painted, like normal, with a (clear) base coat then set under the UV lamp. Next, a coat of colour then under the UV lamp. Repeat colour coat + UV lamp for richer colour or more coverage. Then top coat… and you guessed it… set under the uv lamp!

UV light Gel Nail settingGetting my UV set on!

Nails can be a bit tacky afterwards, so most packs will include an alcohol based spray that can be used with a makeup wipe to remove any residue. Then voila! Glorious, glossy gel nails! Terrific tips for perfect paws: There are a few tricks. To save the trial and error, I’ll give them to you straight.

  1. Very lightly buff your nail and wipe your nails prior to starting.
  2. Be very careful to paint only on your nail, not the cuticle or the sides of your nails. As the polish sets in one piece, any coat that lands outside the nail bed becomes a spot likely to lift and ruin your mani early. Your kit will likely come with a little stick like this one (Pic) to wipe off any polish prior to putting your paws under the light.
  3. Avoid thick coats – the polish may not set in the time allotted by your lamp and is more likely to peel!
  4. When setting your coats under the lamp, take four fingers of one hand and the thumb of the other. Fingers and thumb of the same hand won’t sit properly under the UV light.
  5. Never everrrrr peel off your colour. Resist, my pretties, or your nail bed will peril!! Gel polish comes off when soaked in an acetone based remover. Kits are readily available, but essentially you can put your regular acetone-based remover on a cotton ball and secure it to your nail (with alfoil/tape/mini bandage) for 10-15 mins, then the polish will lift off in one or more pieces. Alternatively, you can put some cotton balls soaked in your acetone-based remover into a small bowl and rest your nails on them for removal. Or, my new fast track method… try this: Gel Polish Removal The acetone is obviously a downside to this shebang. Remember to treat your cuticles to some cuticle-oily goodness to make up for the madness.
  6. The other downside is that the UV lamp is essentially a teeny, tiny, barbie-sized tanning bed. Allegedly “studies” have shown that the risk is of cancer is equally teeny, tiny – but not risk free. To protect yourself, don a pair of these stylish mitts or use sunscreen.

Gimme, gimme, where do I get one? 

  • This blogger procured Sephora’s OPI gelshine kit but rumour has it it’s likely to be discontinued. SEPHORA gelshine lampI’ve used Sephora’s gelshine colours with it, OPI Gel Color colours and the odd shellac colour in between OPI base and top coats. I believe you’re pretty right to mismatch your polish brand with lamp brand, but probs best sticking to the same brand of colour and top and base coats.
  • Priceline are stocking the OPALLAC starter kit for $99, it’s receiving great reviews so far:OPALLAC starter kit
  • Beware any lamps that only fit one finger! They are out there, but it will obviously take you seventeen hours to do your nails.
  • Lots of brand-new gel polishes are available via eBay. I’ve had success via that medium, they usually ship out of the USA.
  • Last but most of all… the messiah of all things gel nails is gel-nails.com. They stock squillions of brands, gazillions of colours and ship to Australia in as little as 10 days! (Remember you may need a US to AUS power adaptor to get your lamp working.) Be careful if choosing a LED lamp that isn’t necessarily a UV lamp. A UV lamp will set all gel polishes, but an LED lamp will only set LED-compatible polishes

The upshot: gel’s the future and the future is now! A purchase of an at-home kit will likely prove to be an addictive product for those who like classy claws. Meeeeow!

♥ AS

What’s your experience with gel polish? Have a favourite brand or colour? Tell us below!