Sunday, September 20, 2009

Birthday delights

Hello ladies,

Thank you for all of your birthday wishes yesterday. It was so sweet to have your lovely comments waiting for me when I returned from the day's festivities. I will share my day with you and then delight your eyes with my celebratory manicure. I met my girlfriends, Lisa and Cassandra for brunch at Max Brenner, a chocolate theme restaurant. I ordered the Well Mannered Omelette with fresh spinach and goat cheese. On the side were spiced home fries and a sugared biscuit with chocolate dipping sauce. We chatted about Essie Fall Color and the Milani Black Magic collection over coffee and chocolate drinks. Lisa and I brought bottles to gaze at. After such a pleasant time, they made sure I took home a treat to remind me of the day: Max Brenner's Madagascar Vanilla Hand Moisturizer. I plan on doing a review for you ladies soon. The font in the birthday card Cassandra chose would translate well into nail art. It was perfect! After brunch, Lisa and I strolled to the garden for meandering and photography. 

My friend David took me to Longwood Gardens in the late afternoon. We initially were planning on seeing fireworks, but we discovered it was a ticketed event and was sold out. Neither of us had ever purchased tickets to see fireworks so it didn't occur to either of us to reserve them. We both felt the kinship of good company and were set to have a nice time no matter what the arrangements. We walked through the grounds for about an hour and a half, comparing the perfume of heirloom roses and getting lost in the saturation of color in the trial garden with the bees and the butterflies. We went for a country drive for much of the way to the waterfront in Delaware. I love seeing light reflected on the water at night. It was a beautiful walk. 

We journeyed back to Philadelphia for dinner at Bindi, serving modern Indian cuisine. David loves to explore as many offerings as possible when dining so he encouraged me to order whatever interested me on the menu. I had an amazing dining experience and a satchel of leftovers. For an appetizer, I had spring pea and potato samosas with mango-date chutney. I chose sweet goat cheese paratha for bread. It was stuffed with small pieces of coconut, dates, and pecans and was drizzled with wildflower honey. My entree was a vegetarian thali with saag paneer (creamed spinach and cubes of Indian cheese), spiced cauliflower, chana masala (chick peas, tomato gravy, spices), raita (a cooling yogurt sauce) and pulao rice with cashews and golden raisins. It was an absolutely incredible meal. I must say I was so thankful David had requested that we walk across town to Bindi in lieu of driving. It was one of the most beautiful days of the year weather wise. It was so pleasant to have the company of good friends on my birthday with so many treats for the senses. I am very thankful. 

I wanted to do a celebratory manicure for my birthday with an abundance of sparkle. Lauren from Dizzy Nails recently showed a look with layered Nfu Oh polishes. Inspired, I decided to build the flakies to resemble the start of fall leaf changing. Beginning with two coats of Sephora by OPI Dark Room over CND Stickey base coat, I then added one coat each of Nfu Oh 60, 51, and 56. All of the pictures below can be enlarged by clicking. Enjoy.

The variety of the dahlia above is called Peaches and Cream. How perfect!

Here's David making fun of me with his giant hand and similarly proportioned flower. I have been trying to get him to model a matte black or grey polish for you ladies, but he hasn't taken to the idea.

Above and below are the Nfu Oh polishes with different levels of sun brightening them. They are positioned in order of application: Nfu Oh 60, 51, and 56. 

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the remembrance of my birthday. 

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. I am glad that you had a great birthday! I saw DizzyNails' post too, I love your take on it! I need some Nfu-Oh in my life...

  2. great polish layering diana!! and i love the man hand photo haha!

  3. Happy birthday :-) good friends ans nice places and great food is just perfect for b-day!
    love the nfu-oh polishes! they are so special... your mani looks great :-) David's hands look great too LOL

  4. Gorgeous layering! I'm late with wishing a happy birthday but I'm glad to hear you had an unforgettable birthday :)

  5. happy birthday- boy, i love nfu.oh polishes even tough i never tried them xD

  6. its nice to have great birthday :)


  7. Sounds like a nice way to spend a birthday. I'm happy that you had a great day :) David did a wonderful job for his first hand madel picture~too funny!

  8. That is some gorgeous colors :) really pretties :) sounds like you had a nice birthday :D

  9. I was away this weekend and missed your birthday, so here are some belated wishes!

    Those Nfu Oh's are insanely beautiful. I am running off to put them on my Elfster list in the hope my elf lives somewhere she can get them!

    I love all the food you had too - yum. I love the sound of the vanilla handcream too - I adore anything vanilla-based.

  10. Gosh dang - that is absolutely stunning!

    I love these flower photos too!

  11. Oooh, I'm so glad you included your lovely sounding meals - haha, I have a huge love affair with food. Both meals sounded incredible - I'm a sucker especially for spinach-anything omelettes! I'm glad you enjoyed your whole day, it sounds like it was lovely- the weather here was a tad warm for me, so I bet it was perfect there. Your birthday manicure is absolutely stunning - layering the Nfu-Oh's is genius. And haha! At David's modeling picture! ;) SO glad you enjoyed your day.

  12. What a great day you had! I can't believe you can charge poeple to go see fireworks, what the heck?!

    Your flaky mani is super cute :)

  13. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. Sorry I missed it. I send belated wishes! Your mani gorgeous! I desperately want some of those Nfu-oh flakies!

  14. I'm so happy you had a wonderful day. Spending the day with good friends is wonderful. Both meals sounded very good. Especially the Indian meal. I agree with Nicole, anything with spinach and cheese! I've only eaten Indian food once and I loved it. Who would think to reserve tickets for fireworks! I guess they have them in a specific place that only a certain amount of people can fit. Anytime walking around a garden is time well spent. I went to Longwood Gardens many years ago. Unfortunately I can't walk that much anymore. I love the orchids that they had there. I've never seen such a variety before. I went with a girlfriend and her Mother and brother when I was about 6 years old. I remembered the fountains and her Mother told us not to go near them and get wet. You know we both got soaked. I also went up in the bell tower and was there when the bells started ringing. No wonder I can't hear as well as I'd like. Between rock concerts, loud work places and those bells it's a wonder I can hear at all. I never knew what gardens I'd been to. When I went to Longwood as an adult I recognized the bell tower and the fountains. I was so thrilled to find out the place I went to when I was six. I also got soaked in the fountain again. Some things never change.

  15. The flakie mani is gorgeous. It does nothing however to still my Nfu-Oh lemming and wanting :( David has extremely sexy hands! You know we are all curious to see him in person! ;)

  16. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love your Nfu-Oh layer experiment!! :D Aren't we just too clever? Ha ha. I can't take credit actually. But I do plan on having oodles of fun with more layering in the future! Thanks much for mentioning me in your post. I really appreciate it and am so excited to be following your wonderful blog, now, too! :)


  17. gildedangel: I loved Lauren's manicure and I was excited to attempt it out with leaf colors. You really should try Nfu Oh. Number 51 is a must have.

    kellygonzo: Thanks sweetie. He totally positioned his hand and posed without my doing. I couldn't resist posting the pic!

    Inbal: Thanks so much! It was definitely a sweet and memorable day. David was pleased with my photography when it came to capturing his hand. ;)

    Doo: Thanks so much! I appreciate the birthday wishes! :)

    Polished Museaholic: Thank you. Those Nfu Oh polishes will get you. I even love them more in person honestly. They are so much fun to apply out of the little corset bottles.

    Sherry: Thanks so much, dear <3.

    Mary: Thanks for the good wishes. I was sure to let David know how much we appreciate him around painted Lady fingers. :)

    rijaH: Thank you kindly! It was indeed a lovely day!

  18. Helen: I appreciate the good wishes anytime. I try to drag my birthday out as long as possible. I hope some Nfu Oh polishes come your way in your stocking. Please be sure to add number 51 to Elfster. It is amazing!

    Are we almost food twins too? I am vegetarian, so it would rule out the prawns. We seem good on other things though. :)

    Deez Nails: Thanks lady! I am so glad you liked the layering. It was so much fun to do! I tend to follow bees around with my camera. They find the prettiest flowers.

    Mama Jen: Thanks so much! I adore Nfu Oh polishes.

    Nicole: I think the bulk of my day was spent primarily eating and walking! The former was delicious and the latter was scenic so I couldn't lose. Thank you for the compliments on the manicure. David is really funny.

  19. Kae: We were surprised. David is a member. We didn't realize all that was involved. We're used to walking to a fireworks extravaganza at the Art Museum with thousands of people and somehow it works out. They had those lawn chairs under strict control at Longwood! ;)

    Thanks for the compliment on the mani. It was fun adding each layer and seeing it change!

    Mighty Lambchop: Thank you! I love making my birthday last. There is no such thing as a belated wish. :) The Nfu Oh flakies are wondrous! If I had to pick, #51 is my favorite so far.

    Lucy: I love going out for Indian food when possible. I love the cuisine of India as much as their beautiful fabric! You should visit the gardens again. You could reserve a scooter and split your time walking and scooting. Those things are efficient. You could speed right by me! The orchids are lovely. They have a special orchid show in I believe April where the main hall of the conservatory is filled with orchid displays. It's amazing. I always do a little unregulated splashing in the fountains. :)

    Danielle: Well, I can't say I will not be showing more flakies in the future. Gather your resolve! I now cannot stop teasing David about his "extremely sexy hands". I'll keep working on trying to get some polish on his nails for us! So far, he's resistant.

    Lauren: I had to give you credit for getting me started with Nfu Oh layering. I am so glad you are following my blog. Yay! Thanks for the compliments!

  20. I'm late to the game, but many happy returns! I love the layering, and the photos with the busy bees :)


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