It feels like forever since I’ve done one of these, but it turns out it’s only about a month and a half. I like to try and do one every month, but sometimes things don’t really change. Who wants to read a list of the same old things?

Chips dipped into sour cream. I’m a healthy girl, right? Back when I was on vacation, Brad’s cousin and his wife told me about this…and I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner. I didn’t like sour cream for a long portion of my life, but now I could eat copious amounts of it on anything…and I’m not afraid to lick the spoon after a scoop. Obviously, it isn’t a healthy snack. But gosh, is it tasty.
Coffee and water. Usually, there’s an cocktail/beer/wine that I’m feeling, but I haven’t been much in the drinking mood.
Water is something I drink constantly throughout the day everyday, and coffee is a necessity in the morning.
I’ve recently started a new routine on weekday mornings in an effort to get to work earlier, and it starts with popping a K-Cup in before I do anything else. I find I don’t need coffee as much later in the day since I’ve started this, as well!
Haha, funny you should say that…I believe as of right now, I’m 4 books behind schedule on my challenge. I had another failed attempt at reading a book I just couldn’t get into (which only happened one other time this year), but I have also just completely lost my reading mojo. A large portion of my reading time has been cut into (work, silly enough, was my main reading place during downtime), and I just can’t get myself to focus. It’s bumming me out. Hopefully the right book will kick me out of it soon enough!
Like everyone else in the world, I’m watching Orange is the New Black. If you have Netflix and haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you do.
I’m trying to take my time, so that I don’t go through serious withdrawal. As I type this, my next episode is 7, and there are 13 in the season. Since it’s on Netflix, binge-watching is extremely easy to do. What a strange, different, funny, sad, frustrating show.
The days have gotten cooler around here. I love Fall, but I don’t want summer to cut so quickly. However, on the gloomy days, I really love Grizzly Bear’s latest album, Shields. It’s so beautiful and quiet and haunting.
In almost a month, I’ll be attending a wedding at the beautiful Skytop Lodge. Brad is the best man. I am desperate for a beautiful dress that will suit me and my price range, and go well with the beginning of fall. Not sure how I’m going to find one, but keep your fingers crossed!


Colours and Colours and Colours and Colours

As much as I love painting my nails and doing nail art, I find I have a hard time coming up with color combinations.
Sometimes what I think will look good and compliment each other doesn’t actually work out. And when you have 100+ polishes and counting, it’s easy to get frustrated and settle instead of digging through the archives.

But lately I’ve been pulling inspiration from around me.


This Martha Stewart notebook served as inspiration both in color and in design.
I used OPI’s My Vampire is Buff as the base.
Then I did a polka dot ombre with:
OPI’s Call Me Gwen-ever
Wet N Wild Wild Shine’s Sunny Side Up
Urban Outfitters brand’s Hangover (no longer available)
Parfois Banana Cream


This was the result. I was so pleased with how it worked out!


While pondering what to do with my nails one night, I spotted these page flags on the kitchen table. My sister bought them for my mom.
I loved the colors…it’s yet again another ombre feel, but the addition of the greens makes it stand out a bit. I used…

Essie’s Naughty Nautical
OPI’s No Room for the Blues
Julep’s Bess
OPI’s Did It On ‘Em
OPI’s Don’t Talk Bach to Me


I decided to try my hand at gingham nails. I much prefer them in just Naughty Nautical or Bess, but it was still a decent first try.


Finally (but not forever), I was inspired by these awesome cropped pants I bought at Target on sale. The purple isn’t on point in this picture, but it translated well once the nail art was done.

Once again, I used OPI’s My Vampire is Buff as a base. It is an excellent off-white crème. Then I used three jellies from the Sunsational collection from China Glaze. They are excellent, and you can buy the set of them here.
Purple: Are You Jelly?
Blue: Isle See You Later
Green: Keepin’ it Teal

Then I used Sally Hansen’s Black Out to waterspot the nails (what a process). CutePolish and Chelsea King have great tutorials on this.


I wasn’t especially proud of these…until I got them next to the pants!


Dead ringer if I say so myself!

It’s so much fun to take inspiration from the items around you.


Time Out


Yesterday, I took a half day from work. I left at noon (which I can do if I get the all-clear and I work the Saturday before) and it was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself. Last week was extremely stressful…I can’t believe I even had a vacation. It’s been non-stop ever since and I feel like I need another already. I plan on scheduling some long weekends, but until then, this little gap in the week was just what the doctor ordered. I made a couple of necessary appointments, ate a sandwich from one of my favorite deli’s, painted my nails (though I ended up settling on much different, brighter colors) and watched some Netflix.

Time-out accomplished.


A Date Night…Finally.

I say “finally” in the title of this post for 2 reasons:
1) Our date was at Turkey Hill Brewing Company, a pub/restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for at least a year and
2) It feels like forever since we’ve had a genuine, just-the-two-of-us dinner-drinks-and-conversation sort of date.

The great thing about summer is that allows plenty of entertaining opportunities…I love a full house! But quiet couple moments tend to suffer as a result. Sure, we have plenty of sweats and coffee mornings and TV show cuddles…but I like dressing up (even if it’s just a pair of heels and some makeup with my jeans and tee) and going somewhere new.


Brad and I both got samplers of the beer…you get 6 small beers of the bar’s choice. This was a nice way of trying what they have to offer. They make all of their own beers and, from what I’ve seen in the past, the menu tends to change with the seasons and times.


I didn’t have a favorite beer (truth be told, the sampler was enough to tide me over), but I LOVED the food.
I had a pulled pork sandwich, which tends to be a go-to at brewpubs for me, but the menu is extensive with a nice amount of variety.
Flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and full-blown entrees…you can’t go hungry.

All photos were taken with my iPhone and edited in Afterlight. I apologize for the grainy look, it was dark in there!


A Special Place


I’ve always had this little daydream of the perfect Sunday morning. I’d wake up, make coffee, read a book, and listen to some of my favorite music on vinyl. It seemed like the perfect way to start any day. I think it started because my sister got a record player and some really great albums a few years ago.

When I was in college, I listened to music all the time. I had my own bedroom and a decent sound system for my laptop and I would play music loudly while I got ready for the day or just sitting around chatting on AIM (yep) and creepin’ on Facebook. When I came home, that pretty much stopped. I no longer had a setup for my speakers, no privacy, and I had to worry about bothering my parents. BLEH. As much as I love music, it stopped being a part of the day to day. I’d listen in the car, and even then, when I was rushing to work, I just didn’t feel like going through my music and settling on something when I was more concerned about making it on time. The daydream was a way of bring music back into my life, of getting inspired again.

Brad has had a pretty significant collection of records for years. They’ve been spending time collecting dust in his little “cave” back at his parents’ house. He finally decided to bring them to Lou’s house, with Lou’s permission of course, and now the living room is cozy and decked out with so many records and the sound system. Instead of empty space, we are surrounded by music. And it’s wonderful.
We’ve listened to Bowie, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Bossa Nova compilations, and Pink Floyd.
We haven’t even cracked the surface.


But I spent my Sunday listening to beautiful music, reading, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Sometimes dreams come true.


Recent Reads: The Spectacular Now (Book 29 of 2013)


I finished reading this book yesterday and I have to say that, for the first time in a long time, I read the majority of it within about 12 hours.
I started the book on Wednesday, but a series of events prevented me from digging into it until the weekend.
I’m hoping this doesn’t become a pattern…I’m still a book behind schedule and I don’t want to get further behind.

You may have heard of this book because it’s now a movie that is being released soon (I think it might be in limited release right now: check out the trailer over here) and got a lot of praise at Sundance. Once I heard this, I decided to read it, and it was finally available at the library.
Let me just say, this book is not what I expected.

Sutter Keely is our narrator. He is a care-free, fun-loving 18 year old high school senior. He has a beautiful girlfriend (though he isn’t afraid to do a little flirting with other girls) and starts (and rides through) every day with the help of whiskey and 7UP. Life is a party.
But when he gets dumped for his selfishness, he finds himself trying to find a way to get back in his ex’s good graces.
On a drunk excursion (for him, there really are no others), he finds himself waking up on the front lawn of a random house, with Aimee Finecky standing overhead, making sure he is alive. Sutter doesn’t realize, but Aimee is a classmate.
They end up striking a quick friendship, which Sutter feels he’s doing as a favor to her. She is  nerdy, shy, quiet, and he believes she needs help finding a boyfriend and being social. Eventually, she falls for him and he allows himself to become her boyfriend.

I say allows himself, because there’s never one significant moment in which Sutter reveals that he truly cares for Aimee.
It was really hard to like this character…I found myself alternating between feeling sorry for him and getting angry at him.
He’s an alcoholic and that rubs off on Aimee, who never really drank until he came along. He is still attracted to his ex-girlfriend, and spends time with her, assumedly hoping to get back together with her. He so clearly lies to himself about his life.
I do believe he loves her and, heck, everyone in his life. I believe he cares about his future. But because he’s the narrator, and he wants to suppress those feelings, we never really know for sure.

From the trailer alone, the movie looks like it’s going to focus a lot more on the relationship between Sutter and Aimee. I’m not saying he doesn’t care for her, but he doesn’t really allow himself to get too deep and that’s why it’s hard to take their relationship seriously. We are only reading it from his cocky perspective. Still, I think it’s kind of smart that it was written that way.
It’s not the usual your-love-changed-my-life story, or the happily-ever-after. 
It’s about the learning we do through our relationships, good or bad, romantic or familial.
It’s rough when you don’t always like the narrator of the book you’re reading, but it makes for an interesting reading experience.
I can’t wait to see the movie.


Delayed Reaction: Last Weekend

Is it me or is time moving way too fast?

I cannot believe August is here…really, I just had a birthday party (in May, over 2 months ago)!
My vacation came and went and the weekends are over before they even began.
Hence my delayed reaction post. I had a pretty cool weekend, but it took me this long to go through photos, edit them, and want to post them.
Sure, I posted about nails and books, but whatever.



On Friday, I went with Brad to the bowling alley to celebrate his friend’s birthday. I hadn’t been bowling in at least a year, I’d say, and it was fun. I love bowling, even though I’m not that great at it. I mean, I did beat 3 guys on the second game and got a few strikes, but it takes me a while to warm up. Fun fact: I used to think I sucked terribly at bowling and so I would just throw the ball, no care or aim, and it would land in the gutter all the time. Once I decided to actually take the time to realize what I was doing wrong and take aim, I got better.
Shocker! Negative attitudes make you suck…it’s a proven fact.
I had a lot of fun, drinking from a Foster’s Oil Can (insta-tipsy) and chatting about nail polish with one of Brad’s old co-workers.
Love geeking out about the polish!


On Saturday, we held a “beer-b-que” with our friends. There was a ton of food and, obviously, a ton of beer. I wore my new Budweiser tee, which is probably my favoritest shirt right now. Not gonna lie…makes me feel like a badass. I wanted to take a lot more photos, but I was trying to avoid the phone. I know that I could’ve used my Rebel, but I’m glad I didn’t and here’s why:
I decided I would finally break out the Fuji Instax 210 and I had a plan to take a group picture of all the girls and a group picture of all the guys. And then maybe, somehow, get a picture of everyone. I had two packs of film waiting to be used and a camera that’d long been ignored.
When I went to grab the camera from the side table, I dropped it. Mind you, I was sober. It had a spill once before and was fine. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t make it through this one. I was so upset and frustrated…there goes money, film, and memories.
After a bit of a hissy fit upstairs, cooling off, I came downstairs to play Cards Against Humanity (man, is that an offensively funny game) and saw all of these people I love gathered in one room and it was so hard to stay mad. I could feel the warmth and it was awesome.


Finally, on Sunday, I spent a lot of quality time with Jenna. She is back in the area now that her fiancé (my friend Ed) has been deployed for pretty much the rest of the year. Wishing him all the best and safe travels and work while he’s away! We had a diner breakfast, which was delicious, and met up with some friends later for froyo. I know MYO frozen yogurt has been a thing for a while, but it won’t fail to amaze me. I get to pick my own flavor and all my own toppings and pay by weight? That’s awesome. I had red velvet and tons of goodies on top…delish!

And that was my weekend!
Hard to believe the next one is just a day away.