Travel and toddlers....

I intended to have this blog up sooner but between vacation hangover, internet issues, work and a toddler...well it got a little delayed! So first I want to assure you that more polishes are coming soon! You can check out my first impressions of the new Zoya collection on my YouTube channel and those will be swatched and up here for you as well very soon. It's a collection I'm super excited about so I can't wait to see what you all think.  But for today I want to talk to you about another passion in my life; travel.  I try to travel at least twice a year but typically I go somewhere every four months or so.  Of course now that I have a daughter it's a little trickier to go places, but it's definitely not impossible and I hope that as we travel more she'll get used to it so it will continue to be pretty stress free. In future blogs I'd love to outline more of how we budget, save, and plan for travel since I know quite a few people who think that travel is out of their reach when it reality it may be more accessible than you think. It doesn't' have to be outrageously expensive and there are TONS of ways to save money and travel on almost any budget. Sometimes I go somewhere just because the price or deal is too great to skip out on and I've enjoyed everywhere we've been so far. Today this is just a quickie blog though, to give you some fast tips when traveling with a toddler! My daughter took her first flight at 9 months old and just recently returned from Maui, Hawaii which was her third trip with flights and probably her 12th or 13th actual flight. Her first flight she was pretty young and the flight was short; I think the longest one was about 4 hours so nothing too crazy. She slept through almost all of it and honestly, I think traveling with infants when they're really young like that is the easiest.  She was still nursing and eating only a little solids so it was super easy to feed her and since the flights were short she didn't need a meal mid-flight. You can bring seats for infants and this is considered the safest way to travel but I never have brought a seat for her and I don't think she'd sit in it without a fuss even if I did. One thing I didn't know though, is that if your baby is under 1 and under 20lb you can actually book a bulkhead seat and request a bassinet. So that's something to think about if you have a really little one. Our last set of flights totaled 15 hours of time and a six hour time change. I thought she was going to be a mess but we did SO well. I learned a lot from her first two flights which I think made her last long journey A LOT easier. So here they are in no particular order:

Bring lots of snacks! Seriously. LOTS. Snacks are one thing that's so easy and that will surely keep your toddler busy and content.  I brought way more snacks than I needed but better to have too many than not enough. Some great snack options are fruit (check your final destination to see if fresh fruits are OK. If you're travelling internationally, or you don't want to worry about a mess then take dried fruits instead!), pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, and a few cookies or sweets that they can eat if you really get desperate! I considered taking a cooler but decided against it since it can be a hassle with TSA but you can pack a cooler with yogurt and frozen cheeses or other cold treats if you like. Just be sure to use a frozen ice pack so you don't get held up at TSA! Juice boxes can also be carried through TSA but again, it can hold you up so I ended up purchasing some toddler formula packets and filled up her sippy with water at the fountains to mix them up as needed. Some airlines have milk but most don't so don't rely on it on board. You can always get juice though if you like! 

Toys are a given but most toddler toys have loud noises or lots of parts and that's a no go in a plane with a baby who's going to throw them everywhere. One toy my daughter loves that's TINY and super easy to take on the go is the Dimpl toy. She can play with it for hours and it's great for ages baby to 4 so it's one I hope will last. I also brought her a Fischer Price toy with lots of moving doors and windows and lights, a book we could read, and...go ahead and kill me iPad. I loaded up the iPad with a few games, three episodes of Little Baby Bum, and Moana; her favorite movie. We watched the LLB for most of the flights and never used the other things. But it never hurts to have backup plans. 

Other things I brought on board are her pacifier which we securely attached with a clip, a change of clothing, and then the obvious wipes and diapers. I really love this cloth wipe clutch because it clips onto her diaper bag, it's super soft (she used it filled with cloth wipes as a pillow at one point but disposables totally fit as well!), and it's so easy to just pull a wipe out on the fly! The main trick is to pack light but efficiently! Have you ever flown with a toddler? Any tips or tricks you have? 

BuJo's and Netflix shows...

Hey everyone! One of the things I mentioned I was into (I think!) was planning. I've always been a planner and I've always been a person who loves lists and routines and being prepared. I can also be spontaneous but only about certain things. I recently started a bullet journal (or BuJo) and I'm not sure yet whether I love it or hate it. I'll be doing an upcoming vlog on this but for now, I'm using my BuJo as a supplementary planner and still using my Happy Planner for day to day stuff. I like the BuJo because it's so open for possibilities but I don't always have time to sit and do a whole spread every week and I think trying to be creative all the time could get really overwhelming. I did this little spread for my upcoming trip to Ka'anapali in Maui County, Hawaii and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. My flights and times are in the top right corner, my hotel and car information including phone numbers and addresses in the bottom left (blurred for privacy reasons til I get back! ;P) and then over on the right bottom I've listed some things I plan to do while I'm there and some things I absolutely can't forget to pack.  I'm going to add another page with a check list of what I need to pack and how I plan to do it this week before I go. Between three cats, myself and an infant it's going to be a lot to take care of. Of course this is the third trip I've taken this year via flight so I'm not SUPER concerned about it but you just never know what things a 15 month old is going to throw at you.  This week I started getting together some shows from Netflix on my iPad for her to watch on the plane. I don't typically let her watch a lot of TV but she does like to watch/listen to Little Baby Bum and I always keep Moana on there as well.  After I get back I'll probably start the first in my series of vlogs/blogs about how to travel with babies.  I typically take about three major vacations a year and three or four little ones as well. Now that I have a child I don't plan to stop travelling but since daycare only gives me two free weeks a year it's likely that I'll go down to two major (week long) trips and probably one or two weekend ones. That being said everyone told me not to fly with a nine month old, that it would be hell. Been there. Done that. She was great. Everyone told me not to fly with a one year old. It will be a nightmare they said. Been there. Done that. Had a few little hiccups but nothing at all major. Now she's 15 months and is getting to the stage where she loves to push boundaries and hates to take naps so we'll see! But I aim to come prepared and hopefully it will go well and I'll at least have some tips on what NOT to do if it doesn't! Do you have any travel plans this fall? Any travel tips for me before I leave? ;P

Getting to know you...

Hello again! If you came back that is. ;P Yesterday I posted about how I wanted to take this blog in a new direction and start adding new content to it.  So today I thought it might be nice to get things rolling by letting you into my little corner of the world. So you already know I love nail polish and I'm a licensed nail tech.  But there's a ton of things you may NOT know about me.  I'm not going to list those all out today of course but there's nothing wrong with a little getting to know you chat, right? Since we're starting over a bit here let me introduce you to the woman BEHIND the nails...

So first of here's a more update picture of me than what you see on my sidebar. Yes it's got a snapchat filter cause let's face it this is Friday and I'm exhausted and my curls are going haywire but through the magic of SnapChat we all look like goddesses, right? (PS you can see me in all my unfiltered glory on YouTube ;P). So thing number one you may not know about my actual real life I am a medical biller. I do have my nail tech license and for awhile I did nails as a profession but what I found was it tended to be a lot of just polish and not a lot of creative art and it just didn't work for me. For a little while I worked in an upscale spa and it interesting experience. If you're considering becoming a tech and working it as a profession I'd say really look into it. The hours are long (I was working 10+ hour days and often without breaks) the pay is commission, clients don't always have any consideration and will cancel, show up late, and/or want things to be very specific even if they're not the way you'd want your work to be displayed and it can take you a long time to build a client base. One of the things I disliked most about it was the lack of time off to just enjoy life. I love nails and I've always had a job but life is about more than just work for me. My job now offers me the opportunity to have time to have a life outside of the office.

Which brings me to thing number two: I LOVE to travel. It's probably the thing I'm most passionate about in life other than my daughter. Travelling used to be very difficult for me because it can be costly but as I've done it more I've learned where to splurge and where to pinch and found lots of ways to make travel more accessible and efficient for my family. This year for the first time I got to experience travelling with an infant and I hope to add some tips about how to travel on a budget and how to travel with babies and toddlers (and as she grows older, kids) to the blog since I think it's something a lot of people may be interested in learning about. I rarely traveled growing up and only once outside the country (very briefly) so I want to make sure my daughter sees as many places as I can afford her to as she grows up.

We can go ahead and just go into that I had a daughter last year so you may or may not know that I'm a mom!  For various reasons I never thought I would be one and I'm ecstatic that it's a reality for me now. My pregnancy was NOT easy and I'm unfortunately a NICU mom so the first bit of motherhood was really hard for me. I was also diagnosed with PPD pretty early on so that's something that may pop up from time to time.  Definitely motherhood will be a large part of the new blogging lineup since it takes up a lot of my time and attention and it's something I'm having a lot of fun navigating. 
I'm finding that I'm a much more laid back mom than I expected to be but we do a lot of natural things as well. I made some baby food in the beginning but we quickly gave that up for baby led weaning. We nursed and still are nursing at 15 months but she had formula as well in the early days. I babywear but we also have and use a stroller.  We make most of her food now since she eats what we do but she also gets some pre-made snacks. We cloth diaper during the day but she wears disposables overnight. So I wouldn't say I'm really a crunchy mom but there are elements of it in there. I'm sure my daughters meals and crafts and other things will be a component of the blog.

Speaking of might already know I love crafts. I consider myself to be a pretty creative person and crafting and creating are my favorite things to do. I'm currently doing a DIY kitchen redo on a budget so that may show up here and I also love making felt foods for my daughter. I do some embroidery, I'm learning lettering and I Bible journal and paint a bit. Painting isn't my forte but I still love doing it. There are lots of other things I'm trying and I'm also a HUGE planner girl and I love to cook so some of those things may show up as well. 

Since I don't want to make this TOO long I'll go ahead and wrap up here for today.  I'd love to know more about you and things you love to do as well so please drop me some comments and let me know! :)

The end of the beginning...

Hey everyone! Or at least anyone who's still reading. Do people still even read blogs? Are they like newspapers? A thing of the past? Lost to their flashier cousins, the insta-apps that let us drop a quick picture with a snappy one liner and be done with it.  I don't know. What I do know is that since the time I started Bee Polished so much has changed. Not just in the blogging world or on the internet but in my own life too. I used to polish my nails everyday. Sometimes twice a day. I loved doing it. I loved planning out designs and playing with new techniques and seeing what I could do with what tools.  Don't get me wrong; I still love to polish my nails. I still love to play with different techniques and tools and I still get excited over fun new colors and finishes. I'm still a nail tech and I still enjoy doing other people's nails here and there as well. But a lot of the initial passion is gone for me. It's no longer an outlet for me or a creative space. It feels forced at times and I find myself struggling to come up with regular content for you guys. I started adding makeup and that sort of helped but even though I enjoy unboxing fun things for you and reviewing makeup I'm not really into investing tons of money on things I don't use often and my lighting situation is not ideal for makeup and has already cost me a bit and takes up a ton of space. I've considered shutting down but I love this space. It was an outlet for me for so long and I'm not ready to let go of it.  SO...onto my next point. This space is going to be changing a bit. Or maybe a lot. I've toyed with this idea before and written about how I wanted to overhaul but I think now is an ideal time for it. I feel like in a lot of ways my life is really starting over right now and it's great time to start over here too. I do have a new name in mind and at some point I'll have to let go of Bee Polished and put up a new sign and turn the page and start a new chapter. But for now we can just start up a little epilogue and ease into the new stuff slowly. This is a big deal for me. It's a new beginning. It's letting you into the cracks and crevices and nuances behind the nails. And if that's not for you then I understand that too! We're all in different places in our lives. But if my little corner still interests you then I welcome you into the next chapter of Bee Polished. :)

Zoya Element Fall 2018

Today I have the Fall 2018 Element collection by Zoya for you! I liked some of these colors more than I expected to and overall it's a solid Fall collection but I'd have loved to see a little more variety. It's a lot of pinks again and pink just really isn't my thing. There was only one shade in the collection that I REALLY disliked though. So overall it's a win in my book! All the colors are swatched with two coats unless otherwise noted. 

Devin can best be described as a steel blue with hints of multicolored shimmer in a dense foil finish. I did three coats of this one just to make sure it was good and opaque. You might be able to get away with two coats but they'd have to be on the thicker side.

Rumor can best be described as a full-coverage mauve taupe with a subtle shimmer - a perfect classic shade for Fall. I'm not going to lie; I hate this one. The formula is fine I 
just really don't like this kind of finish and the color wasn't stellar on me.

Jenna can best be described as a full-coverage dusty rose pink cream with blue undertones.

Ruthie can best be described as a full-coverage raspberry rose cream.

Maryann can best be described as a full-coverage pink-toned rose with soft glowing shimmer.

Kendra can best be described as a beautiful full-coverage marsala cream. This one was a winner for me. It's a gorgeous shade for fall and opaque in one medium coat.

Alyssa can best be described as a full-coverage red-toned purple cranberry cream.

Donnie can best be described as a full-coverage purple-toned sangria cream. This one photographed very magenta but it's a little less bright in person.

Maeve can best be described as a full-coverage concord grape cream. This one photographed very bright for me. It's a little more dusty than the picture shows.

Rachael can best be described as a full-coverage mulberry berry cream. I think this one was my favorite. It's deep and dark and SOOO perfect for Fall.

Leighton can best be described as a deeply saturated blackened aubergine cream.

 Gardner can best be described as a deep periwinkle with a vibrant magenta shimmer in a dense foil finish.

Zoya Sunshine Summer 2018

Today I have the Zoya Summer 2018 Sunshine collection to show you! This collection is full of bright creams, shimmery pinks and reds and two gorgeous glitter toppers! As always all swatches are two coats and no top coat. I swatched both glitters over Jack so you can see all the glitter and the base tones. However, you can check my Instagram for more swatches over the rest of the colors. They both look great over almost everything in the collection. :)

Zoya in Delia can best be described as a full coverage muted amethyst cream.

Zoya in Missy can best be described as the perfect summer pink in a full coverage cream formula.

Zoya in Sandy can best be described as a full coverage blue toned flamingo pink cream. Sandy photographed really purple toned for me. It IS a blue toned pink but it's not quite AS blue toned as this photo. It's only slightly bluer and slightly darker than Missy.

Zoya in Ellie can best be described as a full coverage raspberry sorbet cream. This one is one of my favorites from the collection. Pinks and reds typically aren't my thing but this berry tone is everything.

Zoya in Karen can best be described as a full coverage poppy red cream.

Zoya in Marigold can best be described as a bright and dazzling micro-shimmer red in a full coverage formula. Marigold surprised me. The first coat goes on VERY sheer. I thought it wouldn't build well but it really does. It's not entirely opaque in two coats but it's incredibly close to being.

Zoya in Virgina can best be described as a full coverage juicy coral red cream.

Zoya in Minnie can best be described as a full coverage pink toned coral cream.

Zoya in Clementine can best be described as a full coverage salmon toned coral with a pink and orange micro-shimmer.m Clementine is also on the sheer side. I found her to be really amazing over Minnie. But she's also pretty on her own if you dig the sheerer polishes.

Zoya in Jack can best be described as a full coverage nude cream, perfect to match your morning latte.

 Here we have Jack with Saldana on the ring and pinky and Nahla on the index and middle. 

Zoya in Saldana can best be described as a buildable, cotton-candy blue iridescent-holo topper with hints of pink and blue colored glitter with mega hex particles. Wear her alone or layer over other colors.

Zoya in Nahla can best be described as a buildable, golden iridescent-holo topper with hints of multi-colored glitter with mega hex particles. Wear her alone or layer over other colors.

Zoya Thrive 2018

If you've been  following my Instagram then you've already seen this gorgeous collection but you may also know that due to some issues with Blogger I hadn't been able to upload any of my camera shots of them. So today I'm so excited to be able to finally do that for you! I really love this spring collection from Zoya. Typically spring means pastels and even though a few of these are borderline pastel they all have a little extra something to them.  I used two coats for all of them except the topper Leisel. For that one I've layered one coat over two coats of the base. No topcoat on any of them and as per usual they dry to a nice shiny, streak free finish.  Here we go!

Darby by Zoya can be best described as a dusty, gull gray metallic. This one is really cool because it almost seems pastel and it's really soft but it has that awesome metallic blue flash so it doesn't feel super girly or like a repeat of every blue pastel you've ever seen.

Trudith by Zoya can be best described as a muted, wisteria purple cream.

Brandi by Zoya can be best described as a blush pink cream.

Monroe by Zoya can be best described as a glamour pink cream.  This one was a favorite of mine. It goes on really sheer the first coat and I was almost worried it was a jelly! But it's a super flattering and full coverage berry tone by the second coat.

Haruko by Zoya can be best described as a soft, violet metallic. Haruko was another interesting one to me. This one IS a bit more sheer. Two coats wasn't quite opaque and it's almost glowy in it's finish. Definitely a new color for me. I'm on the fence as to whether I love it or not but it's not like anything I've ever seen before which is always impressive to me!

Leisel by Zoya can be best described as a sheer, sparkling topper. Leisel is a really sheer topper. Its a sort of purple/pink with a gold shift. It was really flattering over all the colors in this collection but it's 100% a TOPPER. It's not one of those ones you can build up to have a full coverage color even with five or six coats. I included Zoya's bottle shot so you can see a little more of the shift!   I don't love toppers but this is a really pretty one!

All in all I really liked this collection. It has some really cool finishes and some new colors to it.  All of the formulas were easy to work with too. You can purchase these at for $10 each! All colors were provided to me for my unbiased opinion. I have not been paid for my review.

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