Monday, April 29, 2013

BadAss Nail Polish

This is a little late, but I wore this mani on draft day. This was two coats of OPI Eurso Euro (best blue ever!) and one coat of BadAss Polish America's Team on the tips. My husband is the world's biggest Cowboys fan, and I had to become a fan before I was allowed to marry him ;-) I can see myself wearing this manicure or something similar every game day.

America's Team is a clear base with micro and small silver glitter, and blue stars. I tried it over gray and it looked okay, I think it would look better over white but I don't have a pure white polish yet. Crazy, I know!  America's Team is my first indie polish, and I love it! It was extremely thick from the start, but I used quite a bit of Zoya thinner and it works fine now. It was almost unusable in its original condition. 

Outside in the shade.


Full sun.

Inside, natural light.

Inside, artificial light.

Inside, artificial light, matte topcoat. I loved the way this changed the whole manicure. The matte made the glitter look soft and frosty like sea glass. Love!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tuna Salad Bites

Hello all! I realize it's been ages since I posted a recipe, I've been so obsessed with my nails lately. I'm sorry I'm not sorry :-D 

I have a delicious, fresh, and kid friendly recipe for you today. Tuna salad bites. In mini bell peppers. Let that sink in for a moment....alright, are you ready to eat?!

Tuna Salad Bites
1 carrot
2 stalks of celery
2-in chunk of cucumber
2 Tbsp. chopped pickle
1-5oz can of tuna in water, drained
1 heaping Tbsp. non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. dried dill, plus extra for garnish
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of salt, pepper to taste
Splash red wine vinegar
15 mini bell peppers (you may need more or less, depending on the size and how much filling you add)

Makes 30 tuna bites 

Dice the vegetables. Add vegetables and tuna in a medium sized bowl. Add Greek yogurt and seasonings, mix again. Check to make sure you have added enough salt and pepper. Halve mini bell peppers and scrape clean. Spoon tuna mixture into pepper halves. Just before serving sprinkle dill over tuna bites. Enjoy! 

This is how you want your chopped veggies to look. If they're too big they won't stay in the pepper halves very well.

I'm loving the color scheme here! 

Oh, I'm sorry, did you want some? Oops.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Matte Manicure

I recently bought a matte topcoat from OPI. I love the versatility! I can even use it to change the look of glitter, which is what I want to try next. This is over one coat of OPI Live and Let Die (blackened green) and one coat of Zoya Chloe. Chloe is an iridescent flakie topcoat that flashes green, orange, and yellow. LaLD  looks completely black to me after adding the matte topcoat. I love OPI's formula, the matte dries almost instantly, and it's a perfect consistency.

I love the texture, it reminds me of a chalkboard. It kind of feels like one, too!

This was a surprise! I even noticed a flash of blue, which I could not see with a regular glossy topcoat. 

A straight-on viewing angle shows the orange best, doesn't it look like glowing embers? Love it!

Green and orange? Yes, please!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sleep Training E

E is now 9 months old. I know every parent says this, but it's true-where in the world does the time go? It seems like just yesterday we came home from the hospital. The day we left the hospital will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my birthday! Truly the best birthday gift in the world.

E started out sleeping next to me in our bed. When he was a couple months old I started putting him in the co-sleeper. Those things are absolutely wonderful! If you are a new parent, or a parent-to-be, I highly recommend getting a co-sleeper. It makes nighttime nursing so much easier, and the baby can have his/her own space without being too far from mama. E has been almost crawling out of the sleeper for months now, so I would usually end up putting him between us in the bed at some point during the night. We had J's old crib at my parents house and we needed to get it asap! The main reason we didn't do it sooner was because J and E would have to share a room. I didn't think J was quite ready to share until now.

We set up the crib on Sunday night. To be honest, I was completely dreading the transition and all the training that goes into it. I'm happy to report that E is doing so well! He only woke up once on Sunday night. He ate around 3am, and he fell back asleep in my arms before I set him down. Monday night was tough, he ate three or four times, and I slept most of the night with him in the recliner. I fed him for the last time at 5am and he slept until 9:30am! I was starting to worry, he never sleeps that late. Last night was better, he was still awake when I put him in the crib at 7:30, and even settled himself to sleep. Woohoo!

E has never been a consistent napper no matter what I've done. He sleeps in the car a lot, or will sleep on my lap. Anytime I set him down he wakes up. I have tried different places, methods, times, you name it and nothing worked. I figured since we just introduced the crib I should make naps part of that equation as well. I'm so glad I did! The first two days he cried and refused to stay in his crib. One of the afternoon naps he just played happily in his crib for half an hour. This morning he went down easily, settled himself in and stayed asleep. It's been 45min and he is still sleeping peacefully.

I think this transition was easy for us because E is a little older and he is comfortable with the fact that sometimes mama disappears, but she always comes back! I don't think this would have gone over well if he was only a few months old. There would have been lots of tears from mama and baby alike!

I am so glad he likes his crib, and happy to have my bed back. I'm sure my husband would agree! What works for you and your babies when it comes to sleep? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Monday, April 22, 2013

OPI Jinx

This. Is. Beautiful. I can't even wrap my head around the amazingness of this polish. I suggest you go out and get it now. It is GORGEOUS. It is a Liquid Sand formula, even if you aren't sure about the rough texture on your nails this one may change your mind. Hey, you can always put a few coats of topcoat on it! Jinx. Jinx. Jinx. I'm in love!

Ok, now that I've collected myself I can continue. This is from OPI's newest collection, Bond Girls. It is coral, with tons of gold glitter. It has a perfect formula, and it covers completely in two coats. This is a great way for me to wear coral and gold. It isn't too warm for my skin tone and it actually looks good. Usually I stay away from corals, and definitely from gold. I have another red Liquid Sand, The Impossible from the Mariah Carey Collection and this one is so much better. On to the photographs!
This is outside in the shade. 

In direct sunlight. 

Close up, to show the amazing glitter. I mean, just look at it! Ahhhh!!!

With flash.

I can't wait to buy more of the Bond Girls! I want Solitaire, Vesper, and Tiffany Case. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Old Swatches-Essie

This is Maximillian Strass-her from Essie, Spring 2013 Collection. I almost passed this one over, I have a gray that I thought was similar. I ended up buying it anyway because I am an addict. I can't help it. But, I'm glad it did because it looks much prettier on my nails than in the bottle. It is not a plain gray at all, it has strong green undertones. Greens and blues look great on me, so that's probably the reason I like it so much. The formula was amazing! Not runny at all, just thick enough and practically a one-coater!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sugar Scrub

I know I'm not the only one that suffers from dry skin, especially in this desert climate! I do a lot of cleaning, and using acetone for so many manicures doesn't help either. Today, at a red light, I looked down at my hands and was appalled by what I saw. Cracked cuticles, flaking skin, and even a few freckles that looked suspiciously like age spots. Well, I decided to do something about it ASAP!

I don't have a lot of extra spending money, and what I do have I spend on the boys or nail polish. I could care less about expensive hand creams or scrubs that may or may not work. Why not make my own? I have everything I need in my own kitchen!

Tonight I threw together this little gem:
1 Tbsp olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice (be gone freckles that might not be freckles!)
1 tsp turbinado sugar

I scrubbed my hands gently for about three minutes and rinsed under warm water. The olive oil absorbed enough so they didn't feel too greasy after rinsing. They look better already! I wouldn't suggest using lemon if you have very cracked skin or lots of cuts! Ouch! I had a few cracked cuticles but didn't notice any stinging. I think I'll try this again every other day for a few weeks and see how my hands look and feel.

This is after-why didn't I think to take before pics?!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Green NOTD

Last night I cleaned like a madwoman, and my amazing marble manicure got chipped. So, I had to redo them. I wanted something green so I was going for a green water marble manicure. It wasn't looking right, the colors were off and it was too dark. I tried FIVE different color combinations before giving up. At that point I was too tired to care. This afternoon I was still in a green mood, and this is what I came up with. One coat of OPI Live and Let Die from the James Bond Skyfall Collection, Holiday 2012; and one coat of Zoya Apple. I love Apple, it's sparkly and bright green, what's not to love? But, something about it looks off when I wear it by itself. It doesn't compliment my skin tone at all. It makes a neat layering polish, though. Live and Let Die is ah-may-zing. Just crazy gorgeous! It looks black in low light, but once you step outside it turns into the most beautiful dark forest green with light green and gold sparkles. Ahhhh! My favorite by far from the James Bond Collection. 

This is inside, I love how it looks textured, like moss or zombie flesh or something.

Outside in the sun. Love love love!

A blurry picture so you can see all the amazing green and gold foil sparkle.

Outside in the shade. Even here it still glows. Have I mentioned how stunning this combo is?!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Water Marble Manicure

Hi guys! I am excited to post this manicure tonight! I don't often toot my own horn, but I'm totally going to tonight. This mani rocks. There. I said it. I am so happy with my marble manicure, and this is only the second one I've ever attempted. It was easier than I thought, but it is time consuming. For that reason, I don't see myself doing this type of nail art often. Basically, you drop nail polish into water, use a toothpick to create swirls, lay your nail in, sweep away the excess, let it air dry, and topcoat it. I redid about four nails because I was unhappy with the balance of colors, the design was too complicated, or I wasn't careful enough and it clumped up. I could have saved some time by not redoing the imperfect ones, but come on, let's be real here. I am too much of a perfectionist to ever let that fly. I used OPI My Vampire is Buff (cream), OPI It's All Greek to Me (pink shimmer), and Essie Avenue Maintain (blue). I thought the colors complimented each other well. On to the goodness!

In full sun. My pinkie nail is my favorite on this hand.

In full sun. I'm digging my ring finger on this hand.

This one is in the shade.

With flash.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NOTD Tape Manicure

I did this last week, I'm glad I saved the post since my nails aren't long anymore :-(
For this manicure I used OPI Catherine the Grape from the Russian Collection, Fall 2007, as the base color and Zoya Adina for the triangles. Adina is a duochrome, so depending on the angle it flashes purple, mauve, or green. The green shows up better in indirect light.

Outside in indirect sun.

The green shows up really well in this photograph.

In direct sun the green looks more silver, it is almost blindingly bright!

Another angle to show Adina's multiple personalities.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I was going to post my manicure from today, but I didn't get the chance. I nicked a nail peeling potatoes this evening. I thought it was fixable, until I broke another one doing dishes. It was a lost cause, so I just hacked them all off. I know why this happened, I got my order of Glacier Bay Blues in the mail today and I was dying to wear it. Now I have to let my stubs grow out. Anyway, on to plan B!

Today I was reminiscing about the vacations we took when I was a kid. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was so lucky my parents were teachers! Two months in the summer to take our sweet time traveling up the coast, camping, and exploring. Ever since then I have been in love with road trips. Before my kids were born I took a few trips to California, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, but nothing more than that. I never got the opportunity to travel the whole country like I wanted to. Anytime you have the chance to travel, do it! I really feel like I missed out on some memorable experiences. I regret that for sure.

I am practically counting down the days until the boys are a little older, at the age where they would appreciate a long road trip. I would love to recreate a cross country Route 66 trip. Starting in Chicago and working our way back to LA would be a blast. It's a shame that most places in America have become completely commercialized. I remember when I was younger there were still many independent businesses around. Now it'll be a little more difficult to find them, more like a treasure hunt.

I would have to say Lincoln City, Oregon is my favorite off-the-beaten-path town, and San Diego is my favorite big city. What are your favorite places? Any unique restaurants, shops, parks, or camp grounds? I would love to hear about them!

Monday, April 8, 2013

OPI Jelly Sandwich

I'm back to soft, delicate shades for spring! I came up with this color combination in a dream. I kid you not. Is that a sign?! I am crazy about my OPI's, what can I say? This is a jelly sandwich, which is layered glitter and sheer polish. is blue, purple, and teal hexagonal glitter and blue micro glitter. It's from the Euro Centrale Collection, Spring 2013. The sheer polish is Don't Burst My Bubble from Oz, The Great and Powerful, which came out this spring. I used my OPI base coat, one coat of DBMB, one coat of PDC, DBMB, PDC, DBMB, and a coat of Seche Vite to make it nice and shiny!

This is outside in indirect light.

This is in direct sun.

Close up, in direct sunlight. I love how squishy it looks!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

OPI Dominant Jeans over Yoga-ta Get This Blue

I bought Dominant Jeans from the nail salon a few weeks ago, and I was dying to try it out! It's from the Fall 2006 Brights Collection. It is kind of sheer, so I thought it would be good for layering. It is a light blue, and almost seems to be a duochrome, but not quite! It has a slight metallic finish. It looks so different in each lighting condition, and I think the same would be true if I changed the base color. This time I layered it over Yoga-ta Get This Blue from the India Collection, Spring 2008, one coat of each color. Are you ready for a ton of pictures?!

This is in full sun, you can see the metallic finish, it is very shimmery, but not quite a frost.

This is inside holding Yoga-ta Get This Blue in filtered sunlight.

Outside in the shade. I think this shows the finish very well. This is how it looks to me in person most of the time.

Inside, low artificial light. It totally looks like denim in this photo. I love it! Acid wash jeans, anyone?

With flash.

These versatile colors are the kinds of polishes I love best! Good alone, or layered, in all types of lighting conditions-what's not to love? Next time I think I'll layer it over a dark green, I'm thinking Live and Let Die....or maybe dark purple? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Roasted Beets with Orange

Don't they look amazing?!

Roasted Beets with Orange

Two bunches of beets, (about 6 large)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 tsp high quality sea salt*
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice 

Preheat oven to 425 F 
Trim and peel beets. You'll want to do this directly over your sink or trash, because they stain like nobody's business! Quarter beets and in a large bowl toss in olive oil, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Stir until beets are evenly coated. Bake in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Depending on their size, beets will take between 20-30 mins to cook. They are done when fork tender. Just before serving, toss with orange juice. They can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold. Serves 4.

*-If you use regular table salt, reduce amount to 3/4 tsp.

Here they are before roasting...

...and here they are after roasting. So delicious! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables. They have a much richer, more interesting flavor.