Glitter Gradient Nails

What you’ll need:
– Two matching nail polish colors
– Glitter polish
– Makeup sponges
– Top coat
– Q-tips (optional)
– Nail polish remover (optional)
 
Step 1: Paint your nails with your base color.  I wanted my nails to have darker tips so I went with a light peach-ish color.  This is Essie’s “A Crewed Interest”
 
Step 2: Wait for your nails to dry.  It’s important that your nails dry because you don’t want anything to smear or the nail polish to rub off when you apply the second coat.  Note that it doesn’t have to be completely dried, but you want it to at least by dry to the touch.
 
Step 3: Paint your second color on the makeup sponge.  I used Essie’s “Mango Bango”
Step 4: Dab the color onto the tip of your nails.  I wanted my gradient to go around halfway down my nails, but if you want it to end higher up you might want to dab a little of the color off before you start to avoid having a harsh cutoff of your color.
Step 5: Paint your nails with the glitter polish and top coat.  For my glitter polish I used OPI’s teenage dream, which I absolutely love, and my top coat is Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dry Anti-Chip Toap Coat (also highly recommended).  If your polish has strayed onto your skin, you can use the Q-tips and nail polish remover to clean up the edges.
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Adventures in Philly

I just got back from a week of training in Philly.  The experience was interesting to say the least.  I think I walked around 4 miles each day between walking from the hotel to work and all of the exploring.  Overall, I must say it was a fun trip and something that makes me grateful for the opportunities that work gives me.  Here are a few pictures from my trip.
{Love Park}
{Museum of We the People}
{Independence Hall from A Far}
{Rocky Statue}
{Stairs from the Rocky Movie}
{Inside the Museum of Art}
{Stained Glass from the Museum of Art}
{Philadelphia City Hall}
{View of the City}

Soft Boiled Eggs

My aunty and uncle were here visiting from Seattle the other week and introduced me to soft boiled eggs.  I know what you’re thinking . . . how at 25 have you never eaten soft boiled eggs before?!  Honestly, I don’t know what to tell you.  My mom never made soft boiled eggs growing up, so I’m used to over easy and scrambled eggs.  I must say, though, I love these soft boiled eggs.  They are perfect for toast dipping!
Ingredients:
  • eggs (at room temperature)
  • salt
  • pepper

Step 1: In a pot (size depends on how many eggs you’re cooking) bring water to a boil.

Step 2: Once your water has come to a boil, set your timer for 4 minutes and place the eggs in the water (Note: I prefer my egg whites to be cooked, while the yolk is still runny.  If you want runnier egg whites, try cooking for 3 minutes).
 
 
Step 3: Remove the eggs from the water and immediately peel and serve.  Usually, I’ll run the eggs under water to bring down the temperature a bit so they’re easier to work with. (Note: If you let the eggs sit without bring the temperature down, the residual heat will continue to cook the eggs and you’ll end up with more of a hard boiled egg).
 
Step 4: Salt and pepper the eggs to taste, and you’re ready to eat!
 

July Little Black Blag

I recently discovered a new subscription service called Little Black Bag, and I think the word addictive could be an understatement.  Little Black Bag is a monthly subscription service for $49.95 (shipping is an additional $5).  Similar to other monthly subscriptions, you have until the 5th of the month to “skip” a bag if there is nothing you want to purchase.  You can also purchase numerous “bags” during the month if you like.

The website itself is full of a variety of items, bags, jewelry, home goods, makeup, accessories, etc.  You get to pick your first item, and the item values range from around $10-$100.  The site will then assign you 1-3 additional items so your total bag value is over $100.  Now here comes the addictive part, you have 7 days where you can trade your items with other people on the site if you don’t like any of the items in your bag.  I cannot begin to describe the craziness of trading.  I think I was glued to my phone for the entire 7 days making/accepting trades.  It was totally worth it, though, because I LOVE 3 out of the 4 items I got.  Oh and did I mention they accept exchanges/returns.  Needless to say, the 4th item that I didn’t care for did get shipped back for an exchange, where I’ll get an additional item of roughly the same value in my next bag.

So at the end of the day, here’s what I got:

  • Melie Bianco Lock & Key Mini Satchel – $78
  • Briannefaye Lariat Necklace with Roses – $29
  • Carol Dauplaise Long Necklace with Wrapped Stone – $30
  • Kenneth Cole New York Chain & Bead Bracelet – $40
  • Total Value = $177
1. Melie Bianco Lock & Key Mini Satchel
 
I love this bag, and the adorable inside is just a plus.  I think it’s smaller than some people were expecting, so if you are a big bag lover, this might not be the bag for you.  However, it was just the size that I was looking for, and it fits everything that I would need to put in my purse. 
 
2. Briannefaye Lariat Necklace with Roses
 
In all honesty, this necklace was not my favorite.  It was a little longer than I was expecting it to be.  If I draped it around my neck and tied a loose knot, both ends probably went almost down to my belly button.  I know, not a big deal.  I should emphasize, it’s not that I didn’t like the necklace, it’s more that I didn’t think I would really wear it.  Needless to say, I sent it back for an exchange.  So unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of it.
 
3. Carol Dauplaise Long Necklace with Wrapped Stone
 
I think this necklace was my favorite thing in the bag.  I love its chunkiness and the chain detail.  It makes an awesome statement piece and I can’t wait to wear it out.
 
4. Kenneth Cole New York Chain & Bead Bracelet
 
 
Lately I have been obsessed with bracelets, I’m not quite sure why.  I have been loving mixing/matching and layering different pieces, and I think this bracelet is a perfect addition.  Unfortunately, the poor lighting from the pictures makes the colors look a lot duller than they actually are. The colors are actually really close to the picture shown on the site.  I should also add that the beads are on elastic which makes it easy to just slide on.  
Overall, I must say that I love the site and the concept.  The interactive concept is unique and takes the monthly subscriptions to a new level.  Plus, the variety of items and designers make it so that there’s something there for everyone. Hopefully, I don’t go too crazy on the bag purchases, but I guess we shall see.

 

Adventures in Maui

A few friends and I decided to enjoy Independence Day and the long weekend with a short trip to Maui.  We had an awesome time exploring the island.  
Here are some snapshots from the trip.  

{View from the back of the hotel}
{Maui Ocean Center}
{Maui Ocean Center: Starfish and Sponges that you can touch}
{Maui Ocean Center: the big tank}
{Krispy Kreme}
{Krispy Kreme: fresh donuts . . . yummm}
{Snorkeling at Molokini}
{Guri Guri ice cream . . . a must try!}
{Bumper Boats}
{Black Rock Beach}
{Perfect ending: good food, friends and a beautiful sunset}
 

Canadian Bacon & Spinach English Muffin

Sunday brunch is probably one of my favorite meals of the week.  I think it’s because it’s the only day of the week that I really have time to sit down and enjoy breakfast.  I thought I would do something a little different from the usually bacon, eggs and rice this week and opted to make this open faced sandwich.  It is so quick and easy and still taste delicious.
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 english muffin
  • half a 9 oz bag of spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 pieces canadian bacon (sliced)
  • 1 shallot (diced) – you can use yellow onion if you want 
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 T oil
  • sale & pepper to taste

Step 1: Put the oil in a mid-sized pan and heat on medium.  While the pan is pre-heating toast your english muffin.

Step 2: Start chopping all of your ingredients.
 
Step 3: Once your oil is heated add your onion/shallot and garlic and cook until softened (2-3 minutes).
Step 4: Add your canadian bacon and cook until nicely browned and heated through (2-4 minutes)
 
Step 5: Add your spinach.  I like my spinach still a little crisp and not completely wilted, so I only cooked it for a couple minutes.  While the spinach is cooking, add your salt and pepper.
Step 6: Place the mixture on your english muffin (half on each side).  
 
Step 7: Cook your egg over easy. 
Step 8: Place one egg on each english muffin and you’re done.

Grilled Caprese Pizza

Ingredients:

  • pizza dough (I used Pillsbury pizza crust classic 13.8 oz)
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 C basil chiffonaded
  • 1C pesto
  • 8 oz mozzerella
  • 2t balsamic vinegar
  • sale & pepper
  • olive oil

Step 1: Heat your grill to high and spray with cooking spray.

Step 2: Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella and chiffonade your basil.
 
 
 
Step 3: In a bowl, marinade the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.Step 4: Cut the pizza dough in half and on a lightly floured surface  spread each piece until it’s about 1/8 in. thick.  Brush the dough with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Step 5: Once the grill is heated, place the dough (olive oil side down) on the grill and close the lid.  Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown. 
 
Step 6: Brush 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on the non cooked side of the dough and flip.
 
Step 7: Spread your pesto on the pizza and top with the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Note that the dough doesn’t take long to cook so try to get everything on relatively fast or take the dough off the grill and add your toppings if you want to take your time.
 
Step 8: Close the lid and cook until the bottom of your crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted (round 1-2 minutes).
 
Step 9: Remove pizza from the grill and garnish with the basil.  Let sit for a couple minutes before slicing.