How-To | Simple Leopard Print Manicure

Happy Monday, beautiful people! I hope everyone is feeling blessed and refreshed today. As for me, I'm starting the week off with a new manicure. I can't remember the last time I actually did a freehand design on my nails, so I decided to go with something that took minimal effort. And since this leopard print design was pretty easy to do, I wanted to share a little tutorial with you guys on how I did it! If you like this one, please let me know in the comments so I can begin to do more tutorials here on the blog for you!

Here's what you will need:
-Three colors of nail polish (preferably one of them being black)
-Dotting tool
-Base coat and top coat

Before anything, make sure to prepare for your manicure by cleaning and trimming your nails. I like to clean my nail bed by wiping them with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. This removes any excess oil or debris from nails that may affect the smoothness of the nail application. 

After prepping nails and applying a base coat (to protect nails from staining), choose the colors you will be using for your manicure. You will need one color for your accent nail and another color to paint the rest of your nails. I grabbed NYC in a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in NY Blues and Essie Nail Lacquer in Play Date. Paint nails with two coats of polish. As you can see, I chose NY Blues for my accent nail.

After two coats of polish have completely dried, use your dotting tool to draw curves and dots on the accent nail. I got my dotting tool from BornPrettyStore, but you can use a toothpick or anything around the house you can get your hands on. It's all about using a product that allows enough control to draw small designs. You can choose any polish you'd like to draw the curves, just make sure it's darker than the other two polishes you use. Here, I am using black. 

Now, using the dotting tool and your second polish of choice, make a dot in the center of the curves you drew in the last step. You should see your work come into form now!

And for your final step, add a top coat on your nails after all polish has dried. Go back with a q-tip or small paintbrush (soaked in nail polish remover) to clean up any excess polish on your nails. 

See! Easy peasy, right?

What are your nails looking like this week, ladies? What colors have you been using lately? Will you be trying this leopard accent nail look out? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

August Wishes

Hello, beautiful people! Are you as stoked about the arrival of August as I am? I'm always excited about the beginning of a new month. For me (and many others I'm sure), it ushers in a fresh start. As we pull last month's calendar sheet away, we get the opportunity to chart our progress from last month's goals and prepare to create new goals for the month before us. 

Being a mom, I always look at the arrival of August as the time to prepare the kids for school. Even though they don't return for several weeks, it still seems like the time to bring summer events to a close and begin focusing on the next school year. So with the summer coming to an end and the school year approaching, it's time to prepare for a change in my family's schedules.

Here are my wishes for this week:

1. Make more pretty things. I've been obsessing over making pretty things lately. If I'm not revamping something around the house, I'm working on a DIY project I found on Pinterest. My latest project is an online boutique that I am currently working out the kinks on. I'll be sharing more about that with you guys next week. Thanks so much Donna for that extra push I so desperately needed ;-) But in the meantime, my goal is to make everything around me (and my loved ones) more beautiful. 
2. Stay in the middle of reading a good book. Thanks to Megan over at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, I've been reading a lot lately. Her summer reading challenge has pulled me out of my comfort zone of always reading self-help books and African American Lit. My goal is to always be in the middle of a good read or two from now on. It really helps sharpen the mommy brain!
3. Keep exercising. One of the hardest yet most fulfilling goals I had last month was exercising. I know that sounds pretty lazy of me, doesn't it? But I find it so hard to stick to a routine! Fortunately, I gained a workout partner and joined a local gym that really motivates me to keep pushing. My goal is to keep going on schedule and stay pumped about it. 
4. Create "back-to-school" goals with the kids. Since I have been charting my goals and writing down my weekly ambitions, my children have been compelled to do the same---especially my daughter. After having a talk about setting realistic goals and intentions, they thought it would be great to create goals for the upcoming school year. So goal-setting we shall do!
5. Unplug on the weekends. Last month, I made a goal to unplug at least once a week. And just a few days after creating that goal, my computer went nuts! This frenzy created an unintentional blog break for me. And while I really missed my blog, I was much more productive around the house and in other areas. So by the suggestion of blogger friend Mimi, I will be unplugging from Friday night to Monday morning. Hopefully this will help me better manage my time.
6. Continue to write something daily. Even on the days I don't feel like writing, keeping up with my gratitude journal and prayer journal seem like more than enough to keep me jotting something down. And if my to-do lists count, I'm always writing something lol. 
7. Plan a summer's end celebration for the family. Hubby thinks it's a great idea to have a cookout or get-together before the little ones return to school. So I'm in full brainstorming mode for that. Any ideas, anyone?

The Nectar Collective

What are your current goals?
 Let me know in the comments!
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