#ManiMonday: Julep Julia

I apologize for the overabundance of mani posts recently, I don't want this to become the norm, I promise.  Between life and my new job, there's not much else going on other than the occasional manicure. 

Julia is from the December American Beauty box, and by far my favorite.  I waited until too late in the evening to photograph this, so I don't have many pictures.  Believe me when I say this polish is GORGEOUS.  It comes up different colors depending on the light you're in.  It's gold in most lights, including daylight, but then you'll get a purple with a gold glean (shown above) in artificial (compact fluorescent) lighting.

I promise I have non-nail polish related posts coming up this week! I am linking up with the Heathers for ManiMonday. Happy New Year Friends!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas My Friends!

#MerryManicures: China Glaze Winter Holly

Happy Christmas Eve! For those of you working like me, hang in there...only a few hours left! This will be the first year I haven't spent Christmas with my family, it's definitely bittersweet.  It will be a new experience for us to spend it with my husband's family, I am looking forward to soaking in the pure joy of being a child on Christmas through our nieces and nephew.  On the other hand, I will definitely miss having my siblings and their wives and my mom all together in one room.  Thanks to the joys of FaceTime I will be able to send them our love.

Winter Holly is from the 2012 Holiday collection from China Glaze, and in my opinion the most unique.  So many of the Holiday collections are a grouping of red, green, gold, silver, and sometimes blue, I refrain from purchasing most times.  That being said, I kept seeing pictures of Winter Holly in all it's holo-goodness and decided it was for investing in.  Plus emerald is the Pantone 2013 color of the year! Justification set!

I didn't get as many pictures of this as I usually do, but I think you get the idea! Here is the picture I posted on instagram, intentionally blurry, to show you just how much it sparkles.

Your turn now, link up your MerryManicures!

#ManiMonday: Pop of Pizzazz

I apologize for the duplicate manicure posts today, I overbooked myself.  But then is there anything wrong with an overabundance of manicures linked up to one place? Didn't think so either...

This manicure post is cohosting ManiMonday with Heather of JustLove.ly and Heather of Glitter & Gloss.  I have been linking up with them since it first started and look forward to the manis shared by others weekly!

I am rocking some serious nubs right now, and am fighting myself to wait til they are longer to paint them.  I could not wait to pick up Essie 'Topless and Barefoot', and decided to kick it up a notch with 'Pizzazz' from the China Glaze 2012 Holiday collection.

What I love about the China Glaze 'Pizzazz' is the multiple colors of glitter, allowing me to pair this glitter with a myriad of pinks, magentas, greens and blues. It's absolutely stunning!


The link up is open Monday-Friday and we would love to invite you to join in. If you don't have a post ready (or don't blog) use hashtag #maniparty on twitter or instagram to join in on the fun or post a photo on facebook and tag any of us! 


#MerryManicures: Holly Jolly Zoya Yara

Welcome to week 2 of Merry Manicures! Today I want to show you a favorite green of mine, perfect for this time of year.  Zoya 'Yara' is an army green with a gold shimmer, and looks fantastic on nubs doesn't it? Try saying Holly Jolly Zoya Yara fives times fast...

Now it's your turn to show off your #MerryManicures!

Linky Love


Happy Friday Friends! How adorably amazing are these Kate Spade Christmas cards? And of course they're sold out everywhere.  I found them on one site, but I kept getting security warnings from my computer and decided to play it safe and not order them. Pity though, because these are SO me.  I may try to recreate for a print in my office.

In lieu of a post from me today I'd like to share a few link loves I found this week from some of my favorite blogs.  Amidst all the office renovations, holiday activities, and getting sick, I haven't been devoting time to my blog, wardrobe, or my nails.  The horror!
*  *  *
For those of you with little ones, or for those of you who just love having fun with food, check out these Olive Penguins, aren't they adorable?
*  *  *
Did you see that Pantone named Emerald the 2013 color of the year? I'm happy, not only is it my birthstone, it's one of my favorite jewel tones.  Check out the Pantone Changeable DIY for an easy and colorful decoration in your home.
*  *  *
Do you love giving and getting ready-made baking mixes? How about whipping up a Brownie Mix to give away in a rustic decorated mason jar?
*  *  *
Hope you have an amazing weekend friends, I plan on beating this cold, putting up the tree, and gearing up for the start of my new job on Monday!

#MerryManicures: Ugly Sweater Nails

For the next three weeks until Christmas, I will be hosting a linkup showing off your Merry Manicures! I know it's short notice, but feel free to come back throughout this week to link up or wait til next Monday. Show off your holiday-inspired nails, and get the opportunity to meet new friends and find new blogs to follow.

Today I want to showcase my ugly sweater nails from last year's family ugly sweater party.  I have nubs something fierce right now or I would make a new manicure.

I used my Bundle Monster plates for the tree-inspiration as well as the peppermints and gingerbread man, and a combination of polishes, I can't remember them all I apologize!

Go ahead and link up, and spread the word!

I am also sharing my manicure over on Mani Monday and The Nail Files.

Stocking Stuffer Swap Reveal!

I am so excited to share with you today the Stocking Stuffer Swap reveal with you today.  Teresa of Delightfully Darling and I were able to meet so many new blogging friends!

I do want to apologize once again to those who wanted to participate but who's partners did not respond, backed out at the last minute, sent them gifts under the $20 limit, or sent them free samples.  This was not how I wanted this experience to go, and I am truly sorry on their behalf. 

Thank you to those of you who did participate and were able to meet new blogging friends internationally! I will keep this link open for a week to allow for those matched up last minute or for those who haven't received their gifts yet!

#ManiMonday: iphone/instagram Manicures

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you know by now that I am nursing 10 hurt nails.  Against my better judgement I tried at-home gels, Sensationail, and the removal damaged my nails.  So, as they are quite hard to look upon, I will share some manicures I have stored up on my iphone and instagram that I haven't blogged about.

1.) Essie 'Bikini So Teeny' with Striping Tape Accent
2.) Essie 'Chinchilly' with Essie 'Stroke of Brilliance' Accent
3.) Milani 'Dress Maker' with Essie 'Stroke of Brilliance' Accent
4.) Orly 'You're Blushing' with Orly 'Bubbly Bombshell' Accent
5.) Julep 'Sabrina' with Julep 'Eloise' Accent
6.) Essie 'Turq and Cacos' topped with Hits 'Hefesto'
7.) Julep 'Caroline'
8.) Butter London 'Disco Biscuit'
9.) Butter London 'Gobsmacked' *intentionally blurry to show sparkle!

1.) OPI 'Just Spotted the Lizard'
2.) Julep 'Penelope'
3.) Butter London 'Shag'
4.) China Glaze 'Lemon Fizz'
5.) Nails Inc. 'Baker Street' with Julep 'America' Accent
6.) Zoya 'Shelby' with Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black
7.) Cosmetic Arts No Name pink with OPI 'Crown Me Already' Accent
8.) Sensationail 'Scarlet Red'
9.) Sally Hansen 'Purple Posy' with Nails Inc 'Pink Diamond' Accent

#SawPinnedConquered: Fruit Cookie Cups

I have been waiting a few weeks to share this recipe with you, and am beyond excited! I mean seriously, how beautiful are these babies?! Alas, I cannot take credit for this, but rather my sister-in-law Megan.  It started off as her amazing fruit pizza, and thanks to Pinterest, morphed into the most beautiful dessert you will ever make.

While planning the menu for game night, Meg remembered seeing these beauties on Pinterest, and decided it was a great way to take her fruit pizza and make it finger food.  I immediately stole the idea and took it to Thanksgiving dinner.  Another immediate success!

When we made these at Meg's house, we used the fruit she had on hand, mandarin oranges, green grapes, blueberries, and strawberries.  Since I had none of that on hand, I bought all that plus kiwi. 

I did alter my recipe slightly as I preferred less cream cheese filling and more fruit, using 1/3 less than Meg's recipe. Our filling is completely different than the filling in the original pin, which uses Cool Whip (I'm not a fan!)

Fruit Cookie Cups
Source: Adapted from Original Source
Makes: 24 Mini-Cups


1      Package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
1      8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4   cup sugar
1/2   tsp vanilla
Assorted Fruits, chopped to equal size


1.) Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 24-count mini-muffin pan (or use liners)
2.) Slice sugar cookie dough into 24 equal parts, roll into a ball, and place in each muffin cup
3.) Using your thumb, mold the sugar cookie dough into the shape of the muffin tin, ensuring they stay equal thickness
4.) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Watch them!
5.) Remove from oven when golden brown. They will be puffy, but will lose that upon cooling. Once cool, transfer to a serving platter, tray, etc. 
6.) Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a mixture. Pipe into the cooled cookies.  Top with fruit.

Here are a few tips:
-I spooned my cream cheese mixture into a ziplock bag, clipped the corner, and piped the 24 muffins.
-Meg's version just multiplied the above by 1.5
-Remove the cookies from the muffin pan before you decorate them!
-Removal can be tricky. A tip: push down slightly on the outside rim of the cookie, and rotate slightly, unsticking it from the pan.

I highly recommend making these, they are simple to prepare and are completely delicious!

Office Inspiration: Desk

Now that I will be working from home, it's time to make myself a grown-up office.  I should say that it's not like my office isn't a grown up office now, I just want the place I will be spending 8-10 hours a day to be amazing.  I have the opportunity to pick the decoration in my working office- I mean think about it, how cool is that?!? My last office was horribly dated, had seriously mold and insect problems, and had these tacky, 4-5 foot tall posters with models pretending to be happy job-seekers. 

First and foremost, my desk.  Even with the lights my husband put in, my desk just won't cut it. The main problem with my desk as you can see from the picture is the size, mainly the depth. I had a general idea of what I wanted in a desk, and set out looking.

I had settled on the Parsons desk from West Elm, but wasn't in love with the $349 pricetag.



This past Friday I decided to check out Craig's List for the heck of it and found this beauty:

I had intended on painting it white, but the top is inlaid and absolutely a work of art, and decided against it. The only problem is I now have to change my entire planogramm for my office, including the paint color.

For now, here are some snapshots of inspiration for my new office, focusing primarily on pink & gold:

What do you think so far?

#ManiMonday: Zoya Indigo

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was fabulous- relaxing and spent eating and spending time with family, what more could I ask for?

Zoya Indigo is a dark, ink-blue polish with holographic glitter believe it or not.  The glitter is visible in the bottle, but once you paint it on the nail, it disappears. You can see a speck of it in this picture on my middle finger:

and in this bottle shot:

Zoya retails for $8 and can be found here or at Ulta, and is a 5-free brand! Make sure to like Zoya on facebook, this time of year they will begin to have AMAZING promotions for the holidays.  At the very least visit Zoya.com and create an account.

Hope you have a great day!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving my friends & family! I pray that you have a blessed holiday surrounded by your loved ones, ever being thankful.  I know I take many things for granted, my freedoms, my family, my creature comforts, and am thankful for this day to reflect and be thankful for them.

#ManiMonday: Shellac Disaster

You may remember from a few weeks ago my moaning and anger regarding my Shellac experience? Today I want to share the evidence, my friends.

I should start off by saying I know I am a snob, and not your average customer, but come on.  I didn't pay $35 to have you paint my fingers.  And when we're conversing and I tell you that although I am not a certified nail tech, I consider myself an expert-every girl, and have high standards, you should have put forth your best effort. 

The pictures above are immediately upon leaving the salon.  Not only was there no clean line around my cuticles, there was uneven paint, leaving streaks and spots of visible nail. After some clean-up at home, I was left with this:

I will say I LOVED the color combination, Shellac 'Asphalt' and 'Zillionaire,' even if 2 coats of Asphalt was needed.  I will be reenacting this manicure with regular polish, I am thinking the closest dupes would be Zoya 'Dove' and Nubar '2010'. 

I did love the longevity of the polish as well and the strength it gave my nails.  I took it off within the first week as I was unhappy with the cuticle cleanup/lines plus I wanted to paint something different.

Removal, although a little time consuming was a breeze.  I used the foil method, soaking a cotton ball in acetone polish, resting it on my nail, and wrapping with foil for 15-20 minutes.  Upon removing the foil, the polish scrapes off easily with an orange stick/cuticle stick.  The only damage I sustained was on my pinkie from peeling off polish at the office, my own doing.

Overall, I will not be paying for gel polish applied "professionally" again.  I am considering investing in an at-home system and will do them myself.  I have done a lot of research in this area and had initially decided on Gelish, but with Sally Hansen and Sensationail receiving rave reviews, I will be looking in to that.

I don't want to discourage you from getting gel manicures, I have heard many people say how much they love it.  I would just be careful where you go.  I had my reservations ahead of time, but decided to stop being such a type A personality and trust a certified nail tech.  Yeah, my mistake. 

I learned a $35 lesson here folks, I have high standards when it comes to my nails, and will only do my own nails from now on.  And hey, when I do invest in a system I will be glad to give out high quality manicures to my friends and family!

Recipe: Reuben Rolls

Reuben Rolls

3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1/4 cup Dusseldorf mustard
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup minced onion (divided)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce
8 ounces corned beef (ground or shredded)
6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
12 to 15 egg roll wrappers
Vegetable oil

Make dipping sauce by combining dressing, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon minced onion, the garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Set aside.

To make rolls: Combine corned beef, cheese, sauerkraut and remaining 1/4 cup onion and mix well. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the center of an egg roll wrapper. Roll up as directed on package, sealing edges with a little water.

Deep-fry rolls in 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil, heated to 325 to 350 degrees, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning to brown evenly. When done, remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

Makes 12 to 15 rolls.

This past weekend we visited my younger brother and his wife in NC and made these glorious treats.  If you love Reubens as much as I do, these are heavenly.  Just think...a deep fried Reuben...yeah, my mouth is watering for them right now.

A few substitutions: we used Dijon mustard, corned beef from the deli counter, sriracha sauce, and doubled the recipe. I will say having a fryer makes the work so much easier- who has the time or patience to sit over a skillet?

Is this something you would make for you or your family?