Sunday, 31 March 2013

March Photo A Day

I've been doing Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day challenge almost every month since I discovered it last July. It's a fun way to play around with photography - sometimes I share great photos, sometimes it's small snapshots of my life, and sometimes it's just something normal, and I play around with filters and effects. I try to take a photo specifically for the prompt, but if life gets busy, or I already have the perfect photo snapped and sitting on my phone, I will use previous photos. (As my friends can attest, I almost always have my phone in my hand, and I snap a lot of photos of random things.) I haven't shared my photos on my blog for a while, so I thought I'd share my March collection.

This was the set of prompts for March:

And here are the photos that I used:

1 - Something Beginning with "L" (Laura!)
2 - I made this (diy bleach dyed tshirt) (tutorial coming soon!)
3 - Key

4 - Lucky (to live the life that I do!)
5 - Under (construction) 
6 - Chair

7 - Fear (I am their Overlord - they shall fear me!) (Jk, I swear I’m very nice!)
8 - Favourite (love these shoes so much!) 
9 - Faceless self portrait (Names of SU graduates in Die Burger newspaper)

10 - I want… Dessert. 
11 - Important (Family - say hi to my brother !) 
12 - In the distance (Table Mountain from Durbanville Hills winery)

13 - Sound (Street Soiree vibes)
14 - Tasty (Graduation dinner at Apprentice - seriously the best tasting thing I’ve had in ages)
15 - Explore (beach adventures!)

16 - 9 o’clock (morning walk through Stellenbosch ) 
17 - Green 
18 - Shoes

19 - A sign (the BEST kind of street sign)
20 - Clean (finally got rid of the mountain of stuff that was living on the foot of my bed) 
21 - Working (Or not. Public holiday, woohoo!) 

22 - About you - PhD Chemist // Red wine enthusiast // Blogger // Stellenbosch lover // Loyal friend // Forever Whimsical
23 - What you do for fun (hang out with these two crazy ladies!)
24 - Up 

25 - In my drawer (Nothing - camping out at an extra desk in another office while our office is being repaired for flood damage)
26 - Something you did (Coffee break from working on script revisions) (Yes, it was an odd day for a science student)
27 - Pair 

28 - In the mirror 
29 - Goodnight (view from my bed)
30 - Relax (Frozen Margeritas at Fat Cactus)
31 - Stuff (More birthday goodies :) Yay!)

You can follow my Photo A Day adventures on Instagram, or follow them as I share on Twitter or Tumblr - my username is laurajane0103 for all platforms.
Will anybody be picking up the challenge for April? If you are interested, the April prompts can be found here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

NOTD: Inspired by the US of A

Today we're having an American- style BBQ at work, thanks to our visiting student/friend from the US (if the weather cooperates, that is!). Obviously, this means a blue, red and white mani!
I had visions of something more intricate, but ultimately I was too tired so I went with this simple and understated design inspired by the American flag.

Polishes used:
White = Revlon Nail Enamel in 22 White on White
Red = Catrice Nail Lacquer in 550 Marilyn & Me
Blue = Essence Colour & Go in 129 The Boy Next Door

I didn't have the patience to do striping, so I alternated the red and white on my nails. For my thumbs, I painted the blue background and followed with white polka dots for the 'stars' (which I did using a bobby pin).

What are your thoughts on flag-inspired nail art?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March Adventures

It's been a crazy busy month, with lots of work, excitement, disaster and adventure. Here are a few things that I've been up to...

The month started off with my birthday! Yay!

We went to the Cape Town HOLI ONE Festival (now rebranded WE ARE ONE) to celebrate one of my great friend's birthday

I started doing labwork for my PhD! (Ok, so this reaction failed, but things are looking up...)

We went to Newlands to support the Stormers against the Chiefs, Brumbies and (this coming Saturday) the Crusaders!

I graduated with my Masters degree in Chemistry!

We went for a much-needed weekend away in Betty's Bay.

We went to Kirstenbosch for concerts twice: first for Dan Patlansky and Prime Circle, and then for Gangs of Ballet and Shadowclub.

Some less than exciting things that happened included our house being broken into and burgled, as well as being in a car crash (those two happened within 26 hours, and the crash was on the morning of my graduation - so it was a pretty intense couple of days!). And getting sick. Again. Urg.

I wonder what adventures April will bring...

Follow Whimsy Is Forever on Bloglovin

Just a reminder that you can follow Whimsy Is Forever, as well as all your favourite blogs, via Bloglovin. I've been using Bloglovin for almost a year now and I love it - I never miss a blog post, and reading through my blog feed with a cup of tea is my perfect down-time activity! Plus, I love being able to sort my blogs into groups - so I can easily differentiate between, for example, the beauty blogs I follow and the chemistry blogs I follow.

To follow Whimsy Is Forever, just click the button below:

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Words of Wisdom

Review: Inglot Nail Enamel

This was the first nail enamel from Inglot that I've tried, and to be honest: I'm on the fence about it. The colour pictured in shade 947 (I did some colour tweaking to make the shade on my nails look as accurate as possible, my camera kept trying to make it warmer than it actually is). I really liked the cool purple hue of the polish, but the formula was very thin and "watery" - I applied three coats and I still was not perfectly happy with the coverage. Drying time was average, which is okay if you only need one or two coats, but is a bitch when you need more. I got my first chip at the end of day 2 (when worn with my usual base and top coats). Overall, this polish was rather mediocre and failed to wow me - it's not something I'm rushing out to buy. I'll wear it again sometime and see if it grows on me (I'll let you know if my opinion changes).

*This product was sent to me by Beauty Bulletin.

Monday, 25 March 2013

And the winner is...

Congrats Mariska! I will be sending you an email shortly!

Once again, thank you to EVERYONE who entered my first giveaway :)

PS: Winner chosen by random number generator. If the winner does not claim their prize within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Music Mondays

Leona Naess - Leave Your Boyfriends Behind

I know it's Monday and the beginning of a long work week, but listening to this song makes me want to go out and just have fun with my friends :)

I'm not ready and I'm not even close
I'm not like the rest
No I ain't like most
So don't hold your breath
And don't count to ten
I'm still messing up
Want to do it again

So lets go out late
Drink a lot
Stay up past 8 and then dance
Dance all night
And leave our boyfriends behind

One hand on the trigger
And one eye out for ghosts
One foot on the floor
And one glass in the toast
We're not ready and we're
Not even close
We're not like the rest
No we ain't like most

So lets go out late
Drink a lot
Stay up past 8 and then dance
Dance all night
And leave our boyfriends behind
Leave your girlfriend behind

I've got a boyfriend
I've got a boyfriend
I've got a boyfriend

Lets go out late
Drink a lot
Stay up past 8 and then dance
Dance all night
And leave our boyfriends behind

Oh lets call our friends
And pretend we've got ages till
The sun comes along
Till the end of this song

Oh lets go out late
Drink a lot
Stay up past 8 and then dance
Dance all night
And leave your girlfriend behind
I'll leave my boyfriend behind

We'll go out late
Drink a lot
Stay up past 8 and then dance
Dance all night
Leave our boyfriends behind
Leave my girlfriend behind

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Giveaway Peek 2

A peek into the box that one lucky reader will be receiving - full of my favourite, budget-friendly things. Be sure to get your entries in by the end of the week :) Details over here.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Thursday, 14 March 2013

It's Graduation Day!

Today I'm graduating with my Masters degree! I can't help thinking back over all the years that I've been at University and marveling at how far I've come and how much I've grown as a person. I barely recognize the girl that arrived in Stellenbosch over 6 years ago. And, of course, I can't help looking back at the photos from my previous graduations!

December 2009 - Bachelor of Science in Chemical Biology (Fresh faced! No research work yet meant no wrinkles or grey hair ;) Also, after years of dyeing my hair dark, I'd started to lighten it up a bit.)

December 2010 - Bachelor of Science with Honours in Chemistry (Only one year later, but a lot older and wiser! It was also the era of the blonde asymmetric bob, longer in the front, super short in the back.)

Continuing in the grand tradition of Stellenbosch graduations, this week has been absolutely sweltering, so here's to surviving another afternoon in >35°C heat indoors with thousands of people while wearing thick, oversized, synthetic academic gowns! 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

"Be Thankful" Tuesdays

Things I've been thankful for recently:

  • An awesome day adventuring to the rugby with some fabulous friends this weekend
  • My parents arriving safely back from a trip
  • Making healthy life choices
  • Getting such fabulous response regarding my blog
  • Getting into the lab for the first time since I finished my masters research
  • Pretty dragonflies and butterflies in the back garden!
  • Rediscovering some old favourites in my music library
  • Visits from old friends
  • Perfect lattes from Hazz to start the day
  • The most amazing friends, who I am SO lucky to have!
  • Nonsense emails or Whatsapp messages that make me smile
  • The chemistry community - in my building, at my university, in SA, on twitter, everywhere! 
  • Finally getting over a big admin hurdle
  • The fact that I'm privileged enough to be able to eat, live, etc even though I'm still waiting to get funding for this year
  • Birthday roses :)
  • Our society AlchemUS growing in success - we started it from scratch 1.5 years ago and it's so exciting to see where it's going!
  • Pillows that smell faintly of your favourite perfume
  • Those rare moments when you let go of everything and can enjoy a moment of inner peace
  • Mornings where you wake up 30 minutes before your alarm, so you can enjoy a short lie-in (I can't remember the last time I slept past 7, I'm usually up way before then, so I'm thankful for any bit of a lie-in!)
  • Casual drinks with friends after work - the perfect end to long days
  • Finally getting answers to something that's been bugging me for ages
  • Making new friends :) (This does not come easy for an introvert!)
  • Planning exciting adventures for the near future :)

What are you thankful/grateful for this week?

Giveaway Peek 1

Some of the brands that I've put into the giveaway hamper:

Keep an eye out for a few sneak peeks as the deadline draws closer! :)

Remember, you can see the details about the giveaway over here - 10 more days to enter!

PS: None of the products in this giveaway have been sponsored or donated by these brands, they are all products I have selected and bought.

Monday, 11 March 2013

For every woman who has ever suffered from low self-esteem (all of us?)

I reblogged this quote on Tumblr weeks ago, and was going through my archives looking for something else when I rediscovered it and instantly felt that I had to share it on my blog. Like so many women, I really struggled with low self-esteem, especially regarding the way I look. It took me almost a decade to get from looking in the mirror and thinking "urg, I'm sooo ugly" to thinking "actually, you know what, I'm happy with my reflection". Sure, I still have bad days, but who doesn't? I want to share this quote for anyone who still (occasionally or frequently) thinks "I'm ugly". (I know the title says women, but this one extends to the men who read my blog as well!)

It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book , eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.

Ps If any of you ever want to chat, you can tweet me at @laurajane0103 or email me at laura (at) whimsyisforever (dot) com :)

Music Mondays

Nina Simone - Feeling Good

Been listening to Nina Simone a lot recently - Feeling Good is definitely one of my favourites!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

#NOTD Inspired by The Stormers

Good morning everyone :) This afternoon I'm headed off to Newlands to go support The Stormers, so obviously the occasion needed some appropriate nailart!

I drew my inspiration from the 2013 team jersey:

Originally I wanted to stripe each nail in blue and white, but my white polish has gone all gloopy and uncooperative, so I had to remove the messy first attempt and just alternate over both hands. I then added some additional detail to the white thumbnail (which was my left hand) by adding the yellow and red DHL logo. (The moral of the story being: if at first attempt your nailart does not succeed, just try again!)

The polishes I used were:

Blue: essence colour & go in "the boy next door"
White: Rimmel Nail Tip Whitener
Yellow: essence colour & go in "wanna be your sunshine"
Red: EsteƩ Lauder Nail Lacquer in "Red Cherry"

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

HOLI ONE Festival Of Colour

The HOLI ONE Festival of Colour this weekend was AMAZING! I went with my two usual partners in crime as a birthday gift to one of them, and it was a truly memorable occasion! The colours were amazing, and when the on-the-hour powder throwing happened, the amount of powder actually blocked out the sun for a while. It was liberating being able to just throw paint and make a mess and indulge your inner child with all the fun.

Top and bottom images from the Cape Town HOLI ONE Facebook page. Remaining images taken by myself or my friends.