Friday, November 2, 2012


Today I am wearing my purple for National Epilepsy Awareness Month. However, I am also wearing a couple of polishes in honor of a very special lady: my grandmother. Today is her 92nd birthday. I haven't seen her in over 3 years, since I moved to Wisconsin. I miss her a lot. Unfortunately her health has suffered greatly since I've moved so from what I've heard she is no longer herself.. but I will always remember the sweet, kind and loving person she is. She grew up in a large family, the granddaughter of Swiss immigrants. She raised 4 children of her own, including my mother.

I have many memories of spending my childhood visiting with her and my grandfather. I got my first bee sting in their yard (I stepped on a bee!), I also stepped on a sewing needle that got lost in their carpet and I had to pull it out myself. I believe that was the same summer as the bee sting. Bad year for me I guess. I don't remember it, but I ate some poisonous nightshade berries in their yard when I was wee little. It seems I was always causing myself problems at their home :D

But I also learned to appreciate good, home made cooking. I helped Grandma collect the berries (not nightshade!) from the berry bushes, harvest potatoes, and help my Grandpa hunt for tomato worms which he hated. I remember well helping Grandma make Bratzles, our Swiss family Christmas cookies. I forgot to mention the cows! They lived on a farm, so gardening aside I also got to pet cows, and I think I saw my first live snake in their driveway. Walking through their "woods" was always one of the coolest things, but I always loved stopping to see the cows. Not to mention all of the stray cats. Grandpa always loved to feed the birds, so I have a love of bird watching from them as well.

I think one of the things that stayed with me the most, and has helped me is their pantry. I remember learning about the Great Depression in grade school, and thinking how scary that must have been. Then I remember walking into my grandparents pantry which was just stocked with dry goods, and I did the math. I realized my grandparents would have lived through the Great Depression, and I also realized it obviously stayed with them throughout their lives. I learned early on the value of being able to prepare your own food, but also preparing for the worst, and not wasting. That memory has stuck with me for many years and has helped me greatly the past few years.

First, I want to share with you this photo:

I share this one with you because see how blurry it is? That was a result of me being especially shaky yesterday. I forgot to mention one more problem I have because of epilepsy: I do have a slight tremor. It's barely noticeable now, but it does seem to pop up more often when I'm trying to take photos. So sometimes when you notice my nails are a little sloppy, believe me - it's not on purpose!

So, today I am wearing 2 coats of Julep Kate and Zoya Katherine each in honor of my grandmother Kathryn. I am also wearing my Sephora Hello Kitty nail polish called Purple Sprinkles, because I wanted a little bit of glitter. To top it off, I used Tip Top Nails South Africa crackle in Iceberg.

I've mentioned this before, but Kate is pretty awful to work with. Definitely not my favorite Julep.
Katherine was OK to work with but even after 2 coats it was pretty streaky. Definitely need at least 3 coats to get good coverage and unfortunately you can see the tips of my nails already, and I just applied this last night. Purple Sprinkles was just fine, if a little thick.

(btw see that missing spot on my thumb nail? I think that was my mistake, sorry!)

I do want to highlight the crackle here. I found it extremely easy to work with. It wasn't gunky at all like some other crackles can be. It applied nice and smoothly, and started cracking within just a few seconds. (This reminds me, my mom told my grandma about crackles a few months ago and she wanted to know if they make any noise when they crack. Isn't that just cute? No, it doesn't make a sound.)

Already Iceberg has outlived some of my other crackles which typically start chipping after just a few hours or minutes. I am very, very impressed with this polish. I definitely recommend it! It's definitely my new favorite crackle, and fortunately I have one more to review this month!  The really cool thing about this polish is that because it's so easy to work with, it is really easy to get thin or thick layers so you can get very different looks depending upon how much of the polish is applied. I haven't been able to do this with other crackles I've used. I'd like to mention that it worked perfectly from the moment I applied it, also. I didn't have to mess with it a bunch and figure out any special tricks. It just worked.

My boyfriend commented that Iceberg kind of looks like a birch tree. I think he's right! It's very cool! I almost forgot to mention, I really wasn't sure if I would like a white crackle, so I think it says a lot that this is my new favorite!

If you're not familiar with Tip Top, they are a brand exclusive to South Africa. This is very unfortunate for the rest of us because if the rest of their polish is as amazing as Iceberg has proved to be, we're really missing out! I'll have a bunch more polishes from them to show you throughout the month. If you haven't liked them on Facebook yet, you definitely should! Their Facebook page is really top notch! Full of helpful tips, nail care facts, and of course manicures.

Silly me, I almost forgot to share the Iceberg bottle with you! The U Crack Me Up polishes come with a top coat on one end and the crackle on the other end. Pretty cool.

Disclaimer: Tip Top Nails South Africa did provide me with these polishes for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you Tip Top!


  1. Love this mani, I didn't know it was crackles haha I thought it was some birch tree stamp art u did hehe :) Looks pretty and love how the crackle crack :)

    I am sure if your grandma was here, she would make u paint her nails too hehe but I do hope you can find some time to visit her cos she sounds like an awesome lady...

    Hope you are feeling better then yesterday girl..Stay happy !!

    1. thanks, I love how it cracked also! pretty neat.

      I cannot imagine my grandma with nail polish, I don't think I've ever seen her wear it haha. but yes, she is pretty awesome :)

      Thank you!

  2. I love your nails! I too suffer from a condition that makes my hands shake, some days worse than others. I have to take so many photos to try and get photos that aren't blurred and some days painting them is a messy job. I love polish and I love sharing and that's what it's all about for me. I'm looking forward to following your blog:)

  3. It's lovely Melanie.

    I have faith that you are strong and can make it through anything!

    I will never ever forget the day I lost my grandmother. It was a little different for me because she lived with me and my mom since I was 6 months old. It hit me so hard and still hurts all the time. But as time goes by, it gets a little easier to replace pain and heartache with good memories and get through the day.