The products that saved my nails

Pretty Woman NYC, Nail Medic

Up until the beginning of this year, I was a nail biter. Sad, I know, but it's true. I finally broke my habit, because I fell in love with so many nail colors and tutorials on Pinterest. When I was biting my nails, I never wanted to wear dark colors- I only wore clear, light pink, or maybe a shimmer- because I didn't want to draw attention to my habit. 

I finally had enough, and turned my efforts into finding a nail hardener and grower that I would fall in love with. After trying products like Essie, Butter London, and OPI, I finally found a product that would work.

When I was at Wal-mart, I came across a product named Nail Medic, by a company called Pretty Woman NYC. I was intrigued, so I of course, Googled them. My search resulted in finding out that even though they were a relatively small company, Pretty Woman NYC nail products were cruelty-free, 5-free, and Vegan (three things that you don't always see in nail products). I knew I had to try a few products out. 

Pretty Woman NYC, Nail Medic, Walmart

I grabbed the Nail Medic- Nail Revolution Protect and the Nail Medic- Nail Growth Incubator. After using the products for the past four months, I have to say- my nails are phenomenal. I have had so much growth and have actually HAD to cut my nails a few times- something I never had to do before. 

The Nail Revolution Protect included three products: Nail Detox, Force Field, and Shea Treatment. 

Nail Detox The Nail Detox contains alcohol and is "an advanced nail cleanser and primer that eliminates impurities caused by environmental exposure" (source). I love the way that it cleans my nails after I use nail polish remover. It also seems to smooth out the ridges. 

Force Field The Force Field is a hardener, but also moisturizes nails. I used this product and the Nail Growth Incubator together, and holy wow!

Shea Treatment The Shea Treatment contains shea butter and is an oil like substance that provides moisture and nourishment to cuticles and nails that are dry- cause no one likes dry, nasty cuticles. I did like the treatment, but I did use lotion after I massaged it into my nails and cuticles. Therefore, it's a nice additive, but I didn't like it by itself. 

The second product that I grabbed was the Nail Growth Incubator. The Nail Growth Incubator contains keratin, which is a protein & a major component in hair, skin, and nails, and boasts a 5 day turn around for longer, stronger nails. This is my FAVORITE product that I have tried. I will either use this in conjunction with the Force Field or by itself, and I will get the same result- stronger nails. I can actually tell when I am not using it- my nails feel brittle (which is odd, I know).

Nail Medic, Pretty Woman NYC

Overall, I have really liked the Nail Medic products, and I will definitely keep using them. AND I recommend that anyone that is having issues with their nails, try a product or two, too! I mean, what do you have to loose???

ps. This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really love the products and think that someone else would too!

pps. Pretty Woman NYC also has nail polishes and fake nails... I recently grabbed these ones, and hello, cuteness! 

nails, Pretty Woman NYC, Nail Medic, cheap nail products

diy makeup brush cleaning bowl on a budget

I have a pretty extensive and expensive makeup brush collection, but I hate the cleaning part. When looking on Pinterest for something to help me clean my makeup brushes (because I'm not made of money), I kept coming across a tutorial for a brush cleaning mat dupe featuring a paper plate. I thought about making it, but to be honest- I really didn't like it for one reason: it's not reusable. Basically, the paper plate would be unusable after one use and that isn't exactly good for the environment. I continued to look around at different diys, but never found anything I liked. So, I decided to diy my own makeup brush cleaning bowl for under $5. 

Materials needed:


  • Wash & dry plastic bowl.
  • Warm up hot glue gun. 
  • Once hot glue gun is hot, make designs with the glue in the bottom of the bowl (and halfway up the sides)
  • Let glue dry. 
  • Clean those dirty makeup brushes!!


*Before I picked up the bowl I used from Menards, I also looked at some of the Porcelain bowls from Target. They were cute, but for me, it just wasn't kid friendly.  
*There is also a cute diy featuring a clipboard on Pinterest.

I really hope this tutorial helps you out, because when it comes to makeup brushes, you have to be cleanly with them. Why? Well, because makeup brushes not only have caked on makeup, but they can harbor bacteria. I have seen the repercussions of not cleaning your makeup brushes- and I NEVER want to go through that again! 

Did you like this DIY? Do you want to see more?
How do you clean your makeup brushes?

Links + Loves

And it's Monday... the most hated day of the week. Honestly, I usually love the freshness of a new beginning (aka new week), but life around these parts has been a little odd, to say the least. In August, I was in a car accident, and after over a month off of work, I finally went back part-time last month. I am in physical therapy, and I am not a hundred percent better, yet, but I am getting there. So in light of the growing headache that I currently have, I wanted to do something a little light and airy and tell you about some of the things that I have been loving lately...

+ I really want these boots from Maurices. Not only are they wide calf, but they are also budget friendly.

+ I love to look up reviews on beauty product before I buy them, and I really love this site. Bonus: it has more than just beauty products!

+ When at Ulta the other day, I picked up this sampler pack. OMG! I fell in love with first use. Not only are the products cruelty-free, but they are also free of all the icky stuff! I will be doing a review on the products here in the near future.

+ A friend sent the Lil Man this scientist kit for his birthday, and we finally tried it out. Not only is it safe for kids, but it was so cool!!

+ Speaking of science projects, I also found this little project on Pinterest. Let's just say is was COOL!

+ I'm redoing the bathroom, so these printables would be perfect!

+ Are you a blogger and need a media kit so you can connect with brands? This freebie is perfect for you!

Happy Monday... 
time to get some tylenol.

5 things you probably don't know about the Shedd Aquarium

Set on Lake Michigan, the John G. Shedd Aquarium resembles a temple with its marble exterior, glass dome, and limestone floors. One of the 10 must-see places in Chicago, IL, the aquarium is home to 32,000 animals representing 1500 species. Being from Northwest Indiana, I have been to the Shedd Aquarium many times, and each time I discover something new about the amazing place. So today I am rounding up five things that I didn't know, and you probably didn't know either, about the Shedd.

1. The Shedd Aquarium has been open for over 85 years.

The aquarium opened in 1930 and was a gift to the people of Chicago from John Graves Shedd, president and chairman of the board of Marshall Field & Company. Mr. Shedd wanted to give back to the city he loved, so with a 2 million dollar gift in 1924, planning and construction on the aquarium began. A year later, Mr. Shedd then gifted another million dollars.

The aquarium's architecture was carefully and purposely designed to be the best. From the 500 lb bronze doors at the entrance, to the bronze clock in the rotunda, to the foyer chandeliers, and even a glass dome that resembles Neptune's trident, the architecture earned the aquarium a National Historic Landmark designation. 

2. The aquarium was the first of its kind

When it opened, the aquarium "was the first inland aquarium with permanent saltwater exhibits as well as freshwater habitats. In early 1930, 20 insulated railroad tank cars circulated between Key West, Florida, and Chicago until a million gallons of tropical ocean water filled the marine animal habitats." (source) Today, the Shedd Aquarium is home to more than just aquatic animals. Along with the famous dolphins, river otters, and of course, fish, they also feature penguins, alligators, frogs, tiny monkeys, and even iguanas.

3. They are a non-profit & care about conservation and the community

The aquarium is a non-profit and all of the money they collect goes back to the animals (as well as paying employees, of course). They have a leadership staff, which is lead by Dr. Bridget Coughlin, President & CEO, board of Trustees, and an auxiliary board. The aquarium obtains its funding through donations and fundraising events, like Shedd Blu, Jazzing at the Shedd, and many others.

The Shedd Aquarium is dedicated to a number of conservation programs and initiatives, including research in the Caribbean, coral restoration projects, a sustainable seafood program, local clean-up efforts and many more. (source)

The Shedd also works with community organizations in Chicago and throughout Illinois to provide affordable access, support charitable causes and reach out to educate our neighbors. They have provided free admission to the Aquarium for Illinois schoolchildren. They also offer half priced admission for Chicago residents, and 52 days throughout the year, all Illinois residents with a valid ID receive free admission to the aquarium. The admission includes all permanent exhibits, Amphibians special exhibit, aquatic presentation (subject to availability) and seasonal Stingray Touch (open late May to October). The 4-D Experience admission is a $4.95 upgrade for all guests.

They provide opportunities to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.

4. They offer "extra" experiences

If you are an aspiring biologist or just an aquatic animal lover, the Shedd Aquarium offers different "Extraordinary Experiences" to fit your fancy. You can take a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium, a shark feeding tour, be a trainer for the day, encounter a beluga or penguin, or even plan the proposal of your gal's dreams at the aquarium.

If you are a scientist at heart and love to travel, the Shedd Aquarium also offers "Shedd Adventures". "The trips focus on animals and regions of the world that have intrigued and inspired you during aquarium visits, offering you deeper connections. And they are led by Shedd experts who are well-versed and well-traveled in the pristine ecosystems you’ll explore." (source) Currently there are scheduled trips to the Amazon, Antarctic Peninsula, Baja California & the Sea of Cortez, Quebec, and the Maldives.

5. They are the home of a green sea turtle named Nickle

Nickle lives in the Caribbean reef and is very unique: she looks as if she is in a dive position at all times.

Nickle, the sea turtle, was a normal green sea turtle living in Florida until she was hit by a boat propeller. Found in July 1998 by a marine biologist floating nearly lifeless on Florida's gulf coast, she was taken to a sea turtle medical center in Clearwater. While at the medical center, the green sea turtle, went through testing, injections of antibiotics, and swimming assessments. After a few months, the sea turtle still had issues with controlling her buoyancy, and was deemed permanently impaired. From the impairment, doctors knew that she would never be able to return to the ocean.

Five years after she was found, Nickle was transported to the the Shedd Aquarium. Once at the aquarium, vets looked into the turtle's buoyancy issues. After some extensive testing, they found two things: 1) a 1975 nickle lodged 12 inches down in the turtles throat, and 2) that the turtle's issues were neurological (the original injury was next to her spinal cord, so it was permanent).  They named the green sea turtle "Nickle" and she receives training sessions every day. (source)

- More information -

-The Shedd Aquarium is located on S Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago, IL. It is accessible by train, car, taxi, etc.
-If you want to visit the aquarium in person, they are open 365 days a year, and hours vary due to the season. Please visit HERE to read more.
-Also, if you are interested in reading more about the Shedd Aquarium, please visit their website. 

Have you ever visited The Shedd Aquarium?

Photo #6 source

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago

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