Winter Bucket List

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Winter is always the roughest season for me.  Not because of the weather, but because of the workload.  I think the hardest thing is not letting myself get caught up in the busy-ness of everything, and really taking some time to myself.  Here are some of the things that I’d like to focus on this winter.

1. Master a new hot chocolate recipe.

2. Put more emphasis on work-life balance.

3. Try a new restaurant.

4. Attempt to make ramen from scratch.

5. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

6. Keep the apartment clean now that we’re done with our annual year end cleaning.

7. DIY a new piece of jewelry.

8. Make an active effort to stretch everyday.

What’s on your list?

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Happy New Year!

IMG_0426Happy New Year to everyone!  2013 was a good year and quite eventful.  I got to travel to new places, take on new responsibilities, experiment with new recipes, and most importantly, be a part of wonderful moments in my friends’ and family’s lives.  So here’s to the new year and hopefully another 365 of new and great adventures.  In the meantime, here’s a reflection on some of my favorite moments of 2013.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays The holidays are always an exciting time for me because I get to take a break from work and catch up with family and old friends.  I also just enjoy the festivities and spirit of the holiday season.  My family does an annual grab bag (for the adults) and visit from Santa (for the kids) on Christmas Eve, which is definitely my favorite family event of the year.  It’s always great to see the excitement on the children’s faces the moment Santa walks in the door.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish everyone a happy holiday.  Hopefully, you are all enjoying the break and opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

Christmas Minion Nails

Christmas Minion Nails

With Christmas only a couple days away, I thought I’d come up with some last minute nail inspiration.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve been seeing minions everywhere.  They’ve got to be one of the most popular characters this year.  So I thought to myself, Christmas minions would be perfect!  While these nails do take a little time and effort, I absolutely love how cute they are.  Hopefully, you enjoy them too!

What you’ll need:

  • red nail polish
  • white nail polish
  • yellow nail polish
  • grey nail polish
  • black nail polish
  • black striper
  • dotting tool(s) (if you don’t have any, a bobby pin will work)

Step 1: Paint the nails that you would like to be your Christmas minions yellow.

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Step 2: Paint the top of your nails 1/4 – 1/3 down with your red nail polish.  Don’t worry about it being nice across the bottom as we’ll be covering this with white nail polish.

minionsStep 3: Using your dotting tool and white nail polish, create the fuzzy part of your santa hat by dotting your white polish where your yellow and red polish meet.  I didn’t have a dotting tool, so I just used a bobby pin.

santa hatStep 4: Using your black striper, create a horizontal stripe below your santa hat, and curved line at the tip of your nail.  For the stripe, I find that it’s easiest to make a nice line by rolling your finger.

minionStep 5: Using your grey nail polish and largest dotting tool, we’re going to start making the goggles.  If you’re making the singled eyed minion, add a dot in the middle of your black line.  If you’re making the double eyed minion, create two dots in the middle of your nail.  If you’re using a bobby pin, you’ll have to make several dots in a circular motion so that you can get one big dot.  Don’t worry about it being perfect.  Notice mine is nowhere near perfect.

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Step 6: Using your white nail polish and second largest dotting tool put a white dot in the middle of your grey dot.  If you’re using a bobby pin push down to create the largest dot possible.

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Step 7: Using your black nail polish and smallest dotting tool, place a black dot in the middle of your white dot.  If you’re using a bobby pin, apply the dot with light pressure to create a smaller dot than the white dot.  Then you’re done!

Christmas Minions

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Christmas Nails

December is here and Christmas has been fast approaching.  I feel like every year it somehow sneaks up on me, and then I suddenly realize it’s less than a week away and I haven’t done anything I was intending on doing.  That being said, I’ve made it my goal this year to get started a little earlier.  So as my first step, I’ve started doing some browsing for nail inspiration to help get my nails in a festive mood.  So far, here are some of my favorites and the related links that I’ve come across.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies

2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

1. Maisy Apron – $32

How cute is this Apron?! This is the perfect gift for any of your friends that love to cook, bake and/or entertain.  While it’s somewhat of a splurge for an apron, I think that’s what makes it such a great gift.  It’s something that I would probably never buy on my own, but absolutely love if someone gifted it to me.

2. Yurbuds – $29.99

These earphones are perfect for your girlfriends that love to work out or any type of physical activity.  They are specially built to ensure that the earbuds will never fall out, even if you’re running, lifting weights, doing Pilates or working out.  They’re also water resistant and have ambient noise awareness so you are still cognizant of your surroundings.  For the price, what more could you ask for.

3. Henri Bendel Bow Ring – $68

You can never go wrong with bows.  This ring is so cute and dainty.  I love it because it’s nothing too fancy, but it’s still got a note of bling to it.

4. Peplum Hoodie – $88

I think I fell in love when I saw this hoodie.  The peplum and jacquard panels add a nice touch so you can dress it up for work or dress it down for play.  Perfect for any friend, especially with the weather cooling down.

5. Naked 3 Palette – $52.00

Yes it’s here, the highly anticipated Naked 3 palette.  This palette is perfect for all your makeup loving friends out there.  Urban Decay’s Naked palettes are arguably the most popular neutral palettes, and this new palette does not disappoint.

6. Henri Bendel Alphabet Bangle – $88

I first saw this bangle when I was on vacation in Las Vegas, and I knew I had to have it.  It comes in different colors with different letters, but this “K” bangle is my favorite with the rose gold lining.  It’s a perfect gift to add a touch of personalization.

7. Formula X for Sephora the Twenty-Two – $55.00

This is the perfect set for any nail polish lover out there.  It comes with 22 nail polishes from Sephora’s new Formula X line.  If you’re not familiar with the line, it offers a variety of colors and finishes from creamy neutrals to sparkly top coats.  This set includes polishes from the creams, neons, chromes and Xplosives, which is a great way to incorporate variety into your gift.

8. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera – $87.00

This camera is perfect for all your picture loving friends out there.  I feel like it brings a vintage touch, as compared to the DSLR and camera phones.  You’ll get your pictures in Polaroid form so you can instantly catch and share all your special moments with your friends, family and significant others.  It’s also great for people looking to take photos for a home decor or DIY project.

9. Fresh Sugar Lychee Parfum Spray – $38 or $88

This is probably one of my favorite scents.  This spray has a nice fruity sweet smell to it, but isn’t anything too strong and overpowering.  Besides the amazing smell, this spray also appeals to me as a gift because it’s not as well known as other perfumes out there.

10. Ted Baker iPad Mini Case – $60

Every iPad owner needs a case to carry it around in (this case is also sold for the regular iPad).  This case is lightweight and easily fits into your purse.  Plus, it’s only one of the cutest cases I’ve seen.  Cute enough that I would also consider doubling it as a clutch for a nice pop of color on a girls night out.  What girl wouldn’t love getting this as a gift?

Valentines Day Nails: French Tip Hearts

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Okay I know . . . it’s been awhile.  I had a lot of Valentine’s day posts planned, but with work and moving the timing just wasn’t there.  It’s okay, though, there’s still a few days left, and I was able to pump out at least one more nail tutorial.

Who doesn’t love french manicures?  The look is so clean, simple and elegant.  So of course I thought it would be perfect for a Valentine’s day date.  Add a few hearts, nothing too extravagant, but still cute and v-day themed.

What you’ll need:

  • Red nail polish (Essie’s “she’s pampered”)h
  • Pink nail polish (Sephora by OPI’s “it’s all about me”)
  • White nail polish (Sephora by OPI’s “a-ha! moment”)
  • Top coat
  • Dotting tool (if you don’t have one a bobby pin will work)
  • Scrap piece of paper/plastic/cardstock

Step 1: Using the white nail polish, french tip your nails.  The easiest way to do it is to roll your finger and move the brush as little as possible.  If you mess up, don’t worry, take an old eye shadow brush, dip it in nail polish remover, and swipe back and forth (like a windshield wiper).

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Step 2: Put some red nail polish on your scrap paper and using your dotting tool, create a heart. I randomly  placed one heart on each nail.  See this tutorial on how to make a heart.

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Step 3: Using the pink nail polish, repeat “step 2.”

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Step 4: Paint on your top coat to seal the polish in and add a nice shine.

Step 5: If you have some extra paint on your fingers, take a q-tip and dip it in some nail polish remover and clean it up.

That’s it, you’re done!

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