Sunday, December 30, 2012


Hey there!

I've taken lots of pix since I've been here and wanted to share some with you!

This cow wouldn't moooooooooove its behind from the path I take to go home.

My host siblings: Tsepiso (Tepy-saw), Rethabile (Reta-bee-lay), and Katleho (Kah-clay-o). Their names mean I promise, we are happy, and success, respectively. Love these kids!

 Reading, reading, reading!

This mani was inspired by this candy-cane flavored ChapStick bottle.

Loving these pink and purple sunsets. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Happy New Year Post!

The view of my new village, Ha Rametseliso (Ha Rah-met-seh-dee-so), from the top of the mountain I live on.

Hey everyone!

I trust that your holiday season has been joyous, loving, happy and merry.
Mine has been.
Had a very quiet, but beautiful Christmas. (I stayed in the village and gave small gifts to my host family.)
And I'm hoping to have a very slightly bubbly New Year's:)
Since the move to my new village about two weeks ago, I've settled-in, and spend a lot of time getting to know my new host family and village.
My days are spent reading, playing with my host brothers and taking in my scenic, lush village. I'm also still learning the language and meeting the villagers.
At night, I write, read some more, and surprise surprise, paint my beautiful nail beds.
It sure is nice to have a break. Lord knows I needed it after PST.
I start teaching Jan. 28 so until then, I will enjoy my time and try to blog a little bit more often (when I can get to the Internet cafe in town.)
Have a happy, prosperous New Year.

Much love,


P.S. My new African name is Ausi Lerato Tsiane (See-ah-nee). I decided to keep the first name that my pre-service training host mother gave me and am taking the last name of my current host family. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Living with the Chief was easy!

Chief 'M'e Matumo Thamahane and I at my swearing-in ceremony last week.

During my pre-service training, I lived with the chief of my small village, Hamabekenyane.
Her name was 'M'e Matumo Thamahane. (Note: 'M'e is like saying "Ma'am, Miss or Mrs.)
I really liked that the village chief was a woman.
'M'e Matumo's husband, like many of the men in Lesotho, is a miner and lives and works in South Africa most of the year. In such instances, their wives assume the chiefdom.
'M'e Matumo was cooler than a fan.
She was pretty normal: She ate cornflakes, placed a teddy bear that one of her daughters gave her as a gift in the middle of her made-up bed everyday and she loved sports.
After my long, intense days of language and culture training, 'M'e Matumo would cook for me.
She was an awesome cook and fed me HUGE portions of papa (a thick, grit-like dish) and meroho (greens) because "I was too skinny."
We'd spend the evenings watching the news and the African soap operas. (She was one of the few families in the village who had electricity.)
On the weekends, we'd kick back-I with a Maluti beer, she with a Black Label- and play cards and watch the futbol games with two of her four children.
Her team was the Orlando Pirates and we'd both go crazy when a Pirates player scored.
"Black or White, do or die!" I'd scream.
When I first met 'M'e Matumo, she called me a princess.
When pre-service training wrapped-up, I became very sad because it meant that I had to leave the woman who had truly treated me like one.
I miss her hospitality, good food and most importantly, her.
I think she misses me too.
The day after I moved out of her house, she called wanting to know why I hadn't called her.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's Official: I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer!!!!

Hey everyone!

It's official: I swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteer on Monday! This has been a goal of mine for a long time and it feels so good to finally accomplish a personal goal! Yay!
I've moved to my new home: a rondavel in the Mafeteng district of the country. I'll be posting a couple of times a month, whenever I get to the camptown.
Thanks again for all your prayers and support and happy holidays!

Hugs and kisses,


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy December!

Happy December!

How are you all?
I have about a week left before I'm an official Peace Corps Volunteer and things are getting super busy.
I have to prepare for the up-coming swearing -in ceremony, study for my big language test and pack up my things for my move next week.
But I've been having fun. Here's a pictorial guide to what I've been up to in the past month or so:

Hiking in the national park:

Painting everybody's nails:

Eating traditional Basotho food of papa (a thick porridge), moroho (chopped spinach or cabbage), and nama (chicken or other meat). It's yummy!

Practice teaching:

I will be moving next week and my Internet access will be spotty. I won't be able to post as much, as I will be getting used to a new host family and community. I will post when I can. That said, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for your support, prayers and most importantly, your love.

Hugs and kisses to you all,


Monday, November 19, 2012

An update: Pre-service training

Here with my host sister, Lerato, in the village where I'm living during my pre-service training. The village name is Hamabekenyane (Hah-mah-bek-kin-yan-nay). 

Well helloooooooooooo there!

In the famous words of Jay-Z, "Allow me to re-introduce myself" my name is Ausi Lerato Thamahane (Ow-oo-si Lee-rah-toh Tham-mah-han-ay) and it's the African name that my host mother gave me.
It  means love and it's fitting because that's all I've felt since I've been in Lesotho.
I'm halfway into my pre-service training, which consists of eight weeks of extensive language, cultural and safety sessions before being placed at my permanent site location for two years.
Last week, I found out that my permanent site location will be in the Mafeteng district. This district, which is the equivalent of the American state, is in the central part of the country and not far from the capital.
This is good because it won't be too cold (I can do 40 degrees, not 4!) and I'll have easy access to the capital, where the Peace Corps office is located.)
I will be a co-teacher teaching English in a school called Tsoaing  (Swah-ing) Primary School in the village of Ha Ramatseliso.
It's about 30 minutes from the Mafeteng camptown or shopping district, which has a really nice grocery store that sells Oreos:)
The past two months have been long and exhaustive, but productive. My days are spent learning Sesotho, Basotho culture, and how to be vigilant in a foreign country.
I've been staying with a host family in a small village called Hamabekenyane (Hah-mah-bek-kin-yan-nay) which is located in the Berea district, which is in the northern part of the country. (More to come on this later.)
Tomorrow, I visit my new home, host family and new boss. I'm so excited and still in the honeymoon phase and just really looking forward to do what I've dreamed of doing for the past few years.
I just got a new Blackberry and will try to post pictures as soon as I can and if I'm available too. Some of the Internet cafes have viruses so I've been leery about just placing my gear into any computer so bare with me on the visuals. Have a happy Turkey Day and stay blessed!!

Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Short post: An update

I visited Thaba Bosui (Mountain of the Night) last week. It's a historic place because it's where the country's founder, Moshoeshoe, founded the country.

Hey everyone!

Hope you're doing as well as I am.

Things are still going well here in Lesotho.
I'm in the honeymoon phase of my pre-service training and enjoying every minute of it.
My host family treats me like a princess and everything is still new and nice and beautiful. I'm loving the food and the mountains and the generosity of the Basotho people. 
Next week, though, I get my site location so I'll know exactly where I'll be living for the next two years.
I'm a little anxious because I don't want to be where it's too cold and I do want electricity, running water and a tree that grows Maloti (money.)
But I do understand that Peace Corps will place me where they need me. After all, that's what I came here for, right? We'll see where I end up.
Also, I'll be buying a cell phone soon so hopefully I can update the blog more.
Happy Turkey Day if I don't get to post before then.


P.S. The high altitude here has made my nails super dry but I'm I'm painting them when I can.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Greetings from Africa!!

Short post today.
I'm in an Internet cafe in Lesotho's capital city, Maseru, and my time is about to run out.
Things have been going pretty well since I arrived in Africa last week.
I've been in and out of language classes, safety and security training and medical sessions. My poor brain's fried but it's for a good reason:)
The food's been pretty tasty. Been eating mainly veggies and chicken. And I've been drinking lots of tea and filtered water.
I have no Internet access in the village so I won't be able to respond for another two months or so, when I get to my permanent site.
That said, Happy Turkey Day, Christmas and New Year! It'll be a while before you hear from me.
Be blessed, be safe and stay thankful.
O, and keep painting your nails and eating cupcakes for me:)

Hugs and kisses,


P.S. Please excuse any spelling errors. O, and my African name is Lerato. It means love:)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hey everyone.

As usual, I hope you're all doing well!

Today is officially my last day spending time with my family and friends. It's a very bittersweet day.
I've gotten used to sleeping in, feeding my face with every baked good known to man, and just goofing off with my loved ones.
I'm going to miss these days but I am thankful for the time well spent, the memories made and the long, hot showers.
Tomorrow, I leave for my Peace Corps orientation in Philly. On Thursday, I fly to Africa. I should get there by Friday.
I'm excited and nervous.
Excited for this new chapter in my life that was just a dream that I conjured up several years ago.
Nervous because I know what to expect, but then again, I really don't know what to expect.
Woo sah. Woo sah.
I've prepared as much as I can.
Wrapped my mind around the fact that I'll likely be peeing in the same bucket that I'll be bathing in. 
Wrapped my mind around the fact that I won't get to watch my juicy reality TV shows like "Honey Boo Boo" and "Fashion Police."
Wrapped my mind around the fact that I won't get to indulge in my sweet, little, precious cupcakes every single day.
But, I'll still get to do my nails! w00t! w00t!
I've already shipped some nail polish and supplies to Africa and am taking about five bottles with me.
And, I'll get to make a significant difference in a developing country by working with the poorest of the poor, my passion and dream since I visited India three years ago.
I can't express to God and the universe how thankful I am for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And thank you all for your support, kind words and well wishes. I'll miss you all.
Come visit me if you can, and send me care packages so I'll know that you really love me:)

Hugs and kisses,


P. S. I won't have Internet or a cell phone for the next three months or so, but I'll post when the Internet becomes available. Be patient with the blog and keep me on your prayer lists. O, and eat a cupcake for me whenever you can:) 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NOTD: Dog nails!! Oh yeah!!


Hope you're well.
Gruff! Gruff!
I have dog nails for you today and I hope you like them!

Dog nails!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kiss the Frog Nails!!

Prince nails

Hope you're well.
Today's mani is a "Kiss the Frog" mani!
I'm moving and tired.
Gotta go.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Giving Tree Nails

Hey there!

"The Giving Tree is one of my fave books and now it's one of my fave manis!
Saw a design on Pinterest and of course, I had to try it!
Used SinfulColors' Happy Ending for the base and Revlon's Emerald for the tree.
The red is Sally Hansen's All Fired Up.
OMG it's so cute!
Hope your day is going well!

The Giving Tree nails!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Converse Nails!

Happy Saturday!

Converse nails today!
Got lots of positive feedback on this one, enjoy!

Converse nails!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

NOTD: Piggy nails! Oh yeah!

Happy Friday!

Hope you're well!
Wanted to quickly share my piggy nails with you!
I used Maybelline's Mod Mauve as the base and lacquer pens for the details.
Hope your day is as easy as this mani!

Piggy nails!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Airplane nails

Hi there!

Hope you're well!
Busy packing but I wanted to share my paper plane nails with you!

Paper plane nails!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm moving to Africa!! Oh yeah!!

Hey everyone!

I'm sorry to say that there will be less polish posts around these parts in the future.
But I'm happy to announce that I'll be moving to Lesotho in southern Africa in a few weeks to teach English as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
That said, I'm in a lot of transition right now: three moves in less than two weeks.
You might see some random posts, as I'm going to schedule the rest of my draft posts.
But I will be posting less because of the transition.
And I just have to wrap my mind around the fact that I will be peeing in a bucket, eating no cupcakes and will not have my 100-plus polish collection to oooh and aww over:)
So bear with me as I make this huge life transition.
It will be a while before I have regular Internet access when I get to Africa.
I will be in a remote village with no electricity and running water. And did I mention no nail polish. Sniff. Sniff.
But it's the experience of a lifetime. I couldn't say no, especially with nothing holding me back or down in America. I really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So, thank you so much for reading my blog, supporting my ideas and engaging with me! I couldn't have written this blog without your support.
Please be patient with with me and my blogging as I take this journey. I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Hugs and kisses,


Friday, September 21, 2012

NOTD: Dandelion Nails!! Oh Yeah!!

Happy Friday!!

Hope you're doing well!
Today's nail design is an oldie but goodie. I wore this design a while back but don't remember posting it on my blog.
Oh well, here's my dandelion nail design:
Dandelion nails 

I saw this design on Pinterest and thought it was so cute!
Used Milani's Mint Candy as my base and my black and while L.A. Girls Colors nail lacquer.
I think it's cute!

What do you think? And what's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for all products mentioned with my own funds.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NOTD: Lion King inspired nails! Oh yeah!

Hi there!
Hope you're well.

Today's nail design is a Lion King inspired look I saw cutepolish from Youtube do. Here's her video tutorial:

And here's my version:

Lion King inspired nails! 

I used Wet n wild's White Creme for the base, Sally Hansen's All Fired Up, Maybelline's Sunrise and my black nail lacquer pen to draw the trees and ground.
What do you think?

What's on your tips and toes? What's making you happy these days?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for all products mentioned with my own funds.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A random thought post

Hi there!

Hope you're well!

Random post today but here are some things that I'm loving right now:

How to take off your nail polish the Deborah Lippmann way:

I swear, this woman is a genius.

"Brother on the Slyde" by Cymande:

Funky. I swear I'm going to master the bass one day.

"Night Moods" by Chaka Khan:

I swear, there's a reason why this woman is a legend. This song is so sexy and has been stuck in my mind for some weeks now.

What about you? What's on your mind? What tunes and videos are you liking? What's making you happy these days?

Monday, September 10, 2012

NOTD: Football Nails! Oh Yeah!

Football nails!! 

Hut hut!!
I'm not a football nut or anything but I do root for my Giants, and whomever has the hardest body and cutest face:)
And since football season is here, what better way to celebrate it than with a fun mani!
This was the easiest mani ever (I say that about all my nail art designs, right?)
I painted my nails brown using Revlon's Chocolate Truffle. And then I used my white L.A. Girls nail lacquer to draw on the lines.
That's it! For realsies!

What do you think? Are you going to try it? What's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the polishes used in this post.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NOTD: Dolphin Nails! Oh Yeah!!

Hi there!

Hope you're well! 

I knew I had to try this dolphin mani when I saw it on cutepolish's Youtube channel.
Here's her vid:

And here's my version:
 Dolphin nails! 

I used SinfulColors' Snow Me White, Revlon's Siren, Maybelline's Sunshine, Sally Hansen's Model Behavior and my black L.A. Girls Lacquer.
This design so reminds me of a vacation or something.

What do you think? Would you attempt a nail design like this? What's on your tips and toes? What's making you happy these days?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products mentioned in this post.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NOTD: Notebook Nails!!! Oh Yeah!!

Hi there!

Hope you're well!
What better way to celebrate a happy back to school than with an inspired mani!
Thanks to the lovely cutepolish on Youtube, I have notebook nails for you!
Check out her video:

And here's my version:
Notebook nails!! 

As a writer, I got a kick out of this mani!
As always, it was easy!
I used Wet n Wild's White Creme as a base, then drew on the lines using Sally Hansen's All Fired Up and Model Behavior.
I didn't feel like drawing anything on the "pages" because I was tired and went to sleep shortly after doing that but who knows, maybe I'll try that next time.
Another fun mani. What will I try next? LOL.

What do you think? What's on your tips and toes? How are you doing?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products with my own funds.

Monday, September 3, 2012

One-word product reviews

Hi, hope you're well!
Here's another installation of my one-word beauty reviews:

1. Freeman's Clay Mask Mint and Lemon: Nice!
I'm a huge fan of Freeman's mask and this one is no different: It left my face feeling baby-bottom soft after application.

2. Crystal Deodorant stick: Alright.

This deodorant is free of parabans and fragrance and worked OK, if it wasn't 99 degrees outside!!!

3. Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava: Vacation.

Pacifica is one of my fave beauty brands ever and this sweet smelling cream is why. It's like they packed a tropical getaway in a bottle!

4. Various products: Ghost!

Here are some recently used up products!

What about you? What products are you feeling and not feeling?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products with my own funds.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

NOTD: Panda nails!! Oh Yeah!

Hi there,

Hope you're well!
I wanted to share a recent panda nail design I did using this tutorial:

Here's my version:
Panda nails

I used Revlon's Fucshia Fever and Deborah Lippman's On the Beach for my base and SinfulColors' Snow Me White and Black on Black for the panda's head and face.
This was so easy and cute! Got lots of compliments on it!

What do you think? Have you tried doing a panda nail mani? What's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products mentioned in this post with my own money.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Instagram photos

Hi there,

Hope you're well.
Here are a few recent photos from my Instagram page:

My new fave dress from H&M that I bought for $7:
H&M dress

My reading list:
My Sunday reading picks!

Fruit-filled ice cubes that I saw on Cupcakes and Cashmere blog:

fresh lip treatments:

What about you? What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NOTD: Galaxy nails!! Oh yeah!!

Hi there!

Hope you're well.

I wanted to share a Galaxy nails mani with you today!

I used this video tutorial to help me get the look:

OK, my nails don't look anything like the above mani but nevertheless, here's my take on the galaxy nail design:
Galaxy nails

I used SinfulColors Black on Black as my base, Maybelline's Mod Mauve, Maybelline's Sunrise, Revlon Mysterious, Wet n Wild's Hallucinate and SinfulColors Snow Me White.

What do you think? Are my nails far out or not?? LOL. Have you done a galaxy nail look before? What's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products mentioned in this post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

One-Word Beauty Reviews

Hi, hope you're well!
Here's another installation of my one-word beauty reviews:

1. Various products: Gone!
It's always a good day in the neighborhood when I finish up a product!

2. Love & toast candy apple lip balm: Sweet.
I'm a huge fan of this line and this lip balm both worked and tasted sweet!

3. Love & toast grapefruit handcreme: Fruity!

 This baby did my hands and feet justice!

4. Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm: Meh.

There's nothing special to report about this lip balm. It was just OK.

5. Sally Hansen's the Real Teal: Beach!
I've been sleeping on this polish beauty for a long time. It's the perfect summer color. Reminds me of the water.

What about you? What products are you liking or not feeling right now?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products with my own funds.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Week in Instagram!!

Hey there!

Hope you're well and had a good week. I did. Here's mine in Instagram:

I swear, the dollar sto' and the Apple store have one thing in common: lines:
The line @ the dollar sto stay long!!

Eye nails using a black wet n wild polish called black creme and my white L.A. Girls lacquer:
Eye nails!!

A late snack of fruit, sardines, crackers and tea:
Late night snack!!

Used up beauty products:
Used up products

Trader Joe's Apple Straws snack:
Apple straws

Late birthday gift from my brother, a Maxayn record:
Maxayn record

Hanging out with the bro:
Me and the bro'

What about you? How have you been? What's made you happy?

Friday, August 24, 2012

NOTD: Ladybug Nails!!!

Ladybug nails!
Hi there!

Hope you're well.
I recently saw this picture featuring the ladybug nail art design and of course, I had to try it out for myself!
I started off with a base of Sally Hansen's All Fired up.
Then, I painted a half moon over the tip of my nail using SinfulColors Black on Black.
Next, I painted the antennas  and dots.
Then, I painted the eyes on using SinfulColors Snow Me White.

What do you think? What's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for the products with my own funds.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NOTD: Cupcake nails!! Oh yeah!!

Hi there!
Hope you're well.

Today, I wanted to share some cupcake manis with you!
Sorry I'm just getting around to posting this mani. I did these during my birthday, around early July.

Here's a design intended to invoke vanilla cupcake nails with chocolate frosting:
Mo cupcake nails
I used Maybelline's Sunshine, Revlon's Chocolate Truffle, Revlon's Fuchsia Fever, Wet n Wild's Jewelry Heist and a white L. A. Colors nail art pen.

Here's a design intended to invoke strawberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting:
Birthday nails!
I used Revlon's Mod Mauve, Essie's A Cut Above, Revlon's Fuchsia Fever and a white L.A. Colors nail art pen.

I used Revlon's Wind Fall, Wet n Wild's Party of Five Glitter, Revlon's Fuchsia Fever and a white L.A. Colors nail art pen for this look:
My 1st attempt @ cupcake nails! Yeah!

It's so easy to do. Just paint a base coat. Then add vertical lines. Then add the frosting, and lastly, the glitter and cherry.

I loooooooooooooooooove cupcakes so having them on my nails is just as good as having them in my tummy!

What do you think? Have you tried this mani before? Will you? What's on your tips and toes?

FTC Disclosure: I paid for these polishes with my own funds.