Springs Nails!

Super easy fun nails!!

Thumb & Middle finger: China Gelaze Spontaneous  (I see this color on their website but not in a lot of Sally Beauty Supply stores – JFYI)

Index & Ring finger: China gelaze Swing Baby as base with Gelish All That Glitters is Gold (make sure to apply the Gelish Glitter polish to a facial sponge to soak up the clear polish, then apply the polish to your nail before curing)

Little finger: China gelaze Sweet Hook

Valentine’s Day Nails

Pink = Orly Gel FX Kiss the Bride
White = Fingerpaints gel polish

Stamp = Bundle Monster 5pc Blogger Collaboration Nail Art Polish Stamping Plates – Set 1 

There is also a plate by Born Pretty that is similar to the Bundle Monster if you don’t want to get the collection. The Born Pretty plate is called Heart Love Kiss Nail Art Stamp Template Image Plate Pattern Qgirl-006.

Have fun!

Review: Helio Shower

The Helio Shower retails for about $99 at REI and my husband and I were able to pick one up at a REI garage sale for about $13. SCORE! 

For $13, I was was willing to take the gamble on whether this shower worked or not as all sales are final at these garage sales. Anyhow, here is my review on the shower based on the item we got at the sale:

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Holds a lot of water
  • Foot pump is nice for continuous water pressure
  • Can place the shower anywhere = no gravity feed

Cons:

  • Water pressure is not great (could be just our item as it was a return)
  • Took a long time to pump up to create pressure 
  • Not able to use hot water in this shower BUT I you could put warm water in it and it would be OK.
  • I feel like I am going to rip the handlender on the shower after it is full

With that all being said, we have a cheap $15 or $20 solar camp shower (gravity fed) purchased off of amazon and it works great!! Unless you REALLY need a shower that is not gravity fed, the Helio is compact and lightweight but….I think a modified weed sprayer bottle would be cheaper. 

New Year’s Nails 

For Christmas I received some new nail stamps and a new clear XL Jelly Stamper from Uber Chic which made stamping my nails so much easier, placement wise. It took me a number of times to get the hang of it but in the end, I am so happy with the results. 

Polish:

  • Champagne color – China Gelaze Swing Baby
  • Black – Fingerpaints gel polish
  • Bundle Monster nail lacquer in black and gold

Nail Stamps:

  • I used Bundle Monster nail stamp BM-XL201 for the falling stars
  • Cheeky nail stamp CH19 for the champagne bottle motif. 

Biolite Stove Review – 2 years post purchase

We have been using our BioLite stove with the grill attachment along with the cattle for about 1 to 2 years now and here are some of the things that I like and don’t like since using it:

Pros/Likes:

  1. It’s very compact as the battery fits into the stove compartment and then they both slide into the kettle. So tailgating is made easy for someone who doesn’t have the space or lives in a compact area like San Francisco. For us, it makes it easy to pack up or just store out of wa when not in use.
  2. It is an all-in-one: a grill, battery recharger, and stove top.
  3. The battery and fan are self charging/propelling via kinetic energy from the fire, unlike the latest blue version out there.
  4. Small electronic devices like headlamps, and watches recharge quickly.
  5. Wood is free fuel. I have purchased the little Biolite wood pellets for when I just want to start a fire right away (yes i have been that lazy…I mean exhausted) or keep a fire going for a long time. I find the heat from the wood pellets is long lasting and more controlled, not mention I don’t have to keep throwing in twigs every 2 mins. I want to try BBQ wood chips to see if there is a big difference in flavors…..and I have seen them for cheap at stores.

Cons/Dislikes:

  1. IF it rains…..say goodbye to breakfast, lunch and dinner. You need twigs/dry wood to start your fire and if you didn’t collect it before the downpour then you will be eating whatever doesn’t need to be cooked.
  2. Unable to sufficiently recharge larger devices like phones. My older Motorola smartphone recharged quite well with our Biolite; however, since I have upgraded to a Galaxy S5, a get a small burst of recharge (a whopping 1%) about every 5mins. I was reading that the newer phones will need more amps to recharge than older models. Just FYI.
  3. It is heavy for backpacking (33oz. = 2.06lbs) so I don’t recommend it for this activity. We use a Jetboil for backpacking and love it too but for different reasons.

In the end, I would recommend the Biolite for tailgating, car/base camping, or is you need something really compact that does it all. But if you are focused on backpacking, not feeding a fire, instantaneous ON and just reheating water for your dehydrated meals, I really enjoy my Jetboil.

How to recharge your electronic devices in the woods

Whenever we go camping or backpacking, we have a couple of different ways that we recharge our electronic devices. Depending on how much wattage you will need in order to recharge the device, will dictate which method.

For small devices like a headlamp or Garmin GPS watch, our Biolite Stove works just fine; however, my Samsung S5 needs more amps/wattage and unfortunately does not recharge well from the stove.

I would suggest getting a solar fold-able solar charger like the below picture from Amazon. I got a Ravpower charger that I think is no longer available yet this one is very similar:

My Ravpower charger is a 15W solar charger and recharges my S5 in 60-90mins in full sun.

I was really impressed with how quickly it recharged my phone!! 

Another charger that I don’t leave at home is my Jackery lipstick battery. I like this little lipstick battery versus some others for two reasons:

  1. It has a LED bar on the battery to show me how full or depleted the battery is.
  2. It is lighter than some others. My husband has an Anker lipstick battery and that thing is like lead = heavy.

All in all, while being out in the woods and decompressing from the responsibilities of life or just being an adult, it is nice and a luxury to recharge your devices via the sun, fire or a recharged battery. I know I really like being my Kindle along for a good read in my hammock or a late night movie on our tablet (Yes, I admit it 😦 I occasionally watch a movie while in the woods).

Pinterest Inspired Log Bench = Success!!

After seeing this log bench on Pinterest (photo on left from 1001gardens.org/2015/06/15-diy-log-ideas-for-your-garden/), my husband took his chainsaw and built the same bench (see photo on right) at our property. It is a solid bench and recommend it to others who need a bench. We got the 3″x12″ wood beam from our neighbor who wanted to get rid of some scrap wood. The hubby cut openings in the wood at a slight angle, wedged the beam in and then used the back of his axe to hammer/wedge the beam into the stumps tightly. It worked!! And the bench is solid. Doesn’t wiggle, shake, etc. Also the nice part about the top of the stumps and the beam protruding from the stump, is that there is plenty of room to set down a drink. Love it! Pinterest success!