My love/hate relationship with nail polish and all things relating to fancy nails

I love getting my nails did. I love painting my nails. But I don’t like the price tag of having them did or how easily the polish wears off. Barn stuff wears hard on the polish. And getting the acrylics is easily the cost of a bag of feed. And having 2 hard keepers makes the decision easy, albeit unhappy. I say unhappy. I love my horses and having them and taking care of them. But it would just be nice if I could keep up the acrylics. Using polish is nearly a joke. After about 3 days it’s wearing or chipping off. No matter what I use. And because it wears off that easily I’m not going with anything super expensive. Because I’ve read reviews and am relatively certain that it’ll be as bad or worse for me. So what’s a girl to do? Grin and bear it and use nail polish anyway.

I have found that Sally Hansen’s gel top coat seems to work pretty well with whatever base coat you want. I also found Nail Aid no light gel top coat works pretty well too. Both dry amazingly fast, under a minute and cure pretty hard in a relatively short time as well. In fact as they are curing they seem to harden faster than others that dry fairly quickly but seem to take a little longer to cure. Considering both are in black or black coated bottles, maybe that’s why? Regardless, I like them the best…..not expensive and work well. Well actually my favorite is the acrylics. And to those who think “gel” is different from acrylic, I’m sorry, but it’s not what you think. The gel you might be thinking about is either the gel manicure or the “pink and white gel”  that is acrylic but on a molecular level and is still acrylic.  People ask for the gel manicure or the gel acrylics. Be careful what you’re asking for. I love my acrylics. They last a long time….even with a piece of horse hair splitting it. I don’t recommend leaving it that way as that encourages bacteria growth and whatnot, but I only left it for a very short time period before removing it and having it redone. I think it was  less than 2 days. Be smart. If anything infiltrates that barrier, you need to go have it fixed.


Dressing for winters in Virginia

So this past January was interesting. We had the lowest low in many years. I’m sure plenty of you have had lower, but negative 4 in Virginia is relatively uncommon. Hell, I’ve been in lower temperatures than that having lived in SouthWest Pennsylvania in my early years. But that was long ago and far away.

I am always trying to find the cheapest way to do or take care of something. Sometimes that results in spending even more money because I still have to go the more expensive route due to the cheaper way not holding up to or meeting expectations. Usually this is because I need something at a time when we have the least amount of money to spend on something. Of course I’d go the more expensive route when possible, but it’s almost never possible. Not when I need it anyway. But occasionally I do get lucky. Like the Bogs I found deeply discounted at a, you guessed, discount store. I bought a pair for $40. That’s right, I said $40. They have successfully been through 2 winters of very hard wear. I use them as my barn boots. So they have to deal with me carrying heavy loads, snow, rain and lots and lots of mud. Lots of mud. I have had cheap snow boots from Walmart that didn’t last halfway through a winter, and another pair of snow boots that would have probably lasted, but the zipper got wonky and well, it was time to replace them. I believe I bought them from Target, but not sure of the “name” brand, it was like Polaris, but not the off road vehicle manufacturer. Anyway, I had had them for quite some time, but before I had horses and so never had to put up with heavy use. They were only used when it snowed, which there for a while, seemed like it wasn’t much for several years. But when I started to use them more, then I guess their true colors showed. Showed they weren’t really up for the task. If I have to replace my Bogs, and can’t find them at a discount store when they put their winter gear out, I’ll buy them directly from the source. They are worth it at this point. I also read on another blog that they are someone else’s absolute favorite for homesteading life in a much colder climate.

As for clothing, well, layering is definitely the way to go. I don’t rely on my coat/jacket alone to keep me warm. I wear appropriate clothing because normally I’m comfortable in them inside and only need another layer to go outside. Except on those really cold days. Then having a heavier coat/jacket is nice. Also, I have found that most women’s clothing sucks. Why are there no pockets???? My husband can’t be with me 24/7 including when I’m out at the barn. I need pockets for various things. So, I buy men’s clothing…..but it is barn wear so what does it really matter? I have 2 pairs of heavy weight sweat pants that have plenty of pockets. But the cargo pocket is at a weird level and kind of low, so I almost have to bend over to reach it. Which is why I want a coat with pockets. Recently my favorite barn jacket decided it no longer wanted to be worn. The zipper on this thing has always been a pain in the ass challenge and finally it started separating after being zipped up. Previously, I’d been able to work it back down and all was good. The other day, I had it zipped all the way to my chin and it separated the entire length, all the way up to the zipper pull. I had nothing to work with and couldn’t get it to come back down. So I had to pull it apart to get out of it. I decided then and there I was done and it was time to get a replacement. So started a search that I didn’t think would be so difficult.

I am the type that doesn’t like to follow trends. In fact if too many people like a particular product or thing, it makes me want to find something else. So, I did not want anything Carhartt. So much so that I have a pair of coveralls that are the Walls brand. I don’t use them very often, don’t usually need to, but they are just fine when I do need to. I do wish it had a hood, but not that necessary. I can work around that. Now, I was convinced that I’d have to get what I needed in the men’s department, but when I went to Tractor Supply online I thought I’d just check and see. Sure enough, there were heavy duty/workwear jackets for women. And I found one I really liked and wanted. I could order it online and wait for it to ship to me, or the little button said I could pick it up at the store. But it did say low stock. So I called the store and one of the ladies that I normally talk to when I go in answered. She looked up the sku# and said they were out and that they were trying to get rid of the coats they had and then box up the ones that didn’t sell. So, I decided I would look around and see if I could find anything else like it online. I mean after all, if I was going to have to order it online, might as well look to see if I’d have any better luck elsewhere. I looked at Amazon. I looked at Sears, Penney’s, Walmart, Target and anything and everything in between. There was nothing remotely close to that jacket I found at Tractor Supply. So, I decided I would have to buy it online and hope it would arrive before Spring. I had the option to chose 2 day shipping, and since there was an online sale I figured hey, I’ll just spend that extra savings on getting it here faster. After all I am without a barn jacket and it’s still freezing cold!!!

Ok, so I do have another jacket that I can use, but I prefer not to and don’t want to wear it too often. Here’s why. I bought this jacket at Walmart many, many years ago. I love the colors, a sort of soft, very light olive green with white. It is supposed to be a ski jacket. It was sold as such. It is a down jacket with a zip off hood. And it certainly would be at home at a ski resort. Or even in a climate much much colder than where I live. Maybe even colder than anything Pennsylvania could throw at me. The biggest reason I don’t like wearing this jacket is that it is like a sauna as soon as you put it on. In fact, I try not to put it on until I’m ready to step out the door. It’s a little ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the jacket. If I were ever stuck out in the cold for any length of time, it would be the jacket I would hope I had on. Other than that, it’s nearly useless. It is rarely ever so cold that wearing it while doing much of any kind of exercise outside is a feasible option. I also don’t think it would stand up to very much excessive use. I don’t think it would handle the rigors of barn chores for very long. A ski resort is where it belongs. However, it will stay with me because it is after all very warm. And I do use it occasionally when it’s that bad out (like the -4 degree night and the single digit day temp and the barely 2 digit temps for the couple days before and after that one). Or when I visit my home state. I will not say I hate it because I don’t. Far from it. I’d even wear it riding should I ever ride in very cold temps again (lessons by trainers who could care less if you’re freezing can be brutal). That wind though.

So while I do have something, it is not a permanent solution. Thus the need for a new barn coat.