Monday, February 28, 2011

Tuckered Out.

We had a great weekend, full of yard work, playing outside, and helping others (our best friends bought a house!). I'm exhausted from the weekend, and think Riley put it best:

Thankfully, I'm more inspired than ever because of the beautiful weather :) Bring on the sunshine and projects!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rain Drops Falling on My Head...

Since the rain is coming down, I busted out some of my favorite pieces in BRIGHT happy colors to keep my mood up today :) 

Of course, some things in this set are just cute, and I don't have the exact item....but you get the idea.

The key piece here is my new Banana Republic Trench. There's nothing better on a rainy morning than feeling put together instead of being a drowned rat. Thanks to my fabulous Momma for adding this gorgeous piece to my collection!

Throw on some tall rain boots, a bright umbrella, and you're almost good to go. What's missing- COFFEE! Don't you love the travel tumbler? Modcloth has the cutest accessories- and this one would be the perfect vessel for my favorite Donut Shop (skim milk, one splenda please!).

How do you battle the rainy day blues?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mani Update- Gone baby, gone.

Remember how I said I had a nail picking problem? Well, shortly after taking my Friday pictures, I was done for. Monday's are hard on a girl- ok?

The edge peeled up- so I pulled.

Then the nails were uneven- they needed a little help, right?

Before I knew it, I had bare, scratched up nails.

No pictures for the proof, but compared to other overlays, my nails aren't in bad shape. I'm pretty confident that taking the polish off with an acetone soak would have been easy and much more effective than scratching at my nail beds, but you live and you learn!

End thoughts: I'll do it again for a special occasion. We have a wedding and a few trips coming up in the next few months, so I'll try to be better about leaving my tips alone until then!

Monday, February 21, 2011

spring daydreaming...

I should probably get a tumblr for all the inspiration photos I have tucked away in folders. This one makes me smile :)

Savoring Spring (a bit early!)

Happy Monday! Hopefully, most of you have off today. I have to work, but with a limited schedule, meaning I get to catch up on bills, get a good workout in, and daydream about spring!

Speaking of spring, I can't wait for the warmer weather, sunshine, and FOOD! This Friday, we had temps up in the high 60s/low 70s. It immediately made me crave shorts, flowy sundresses, and grilling out on the little red deck. Something I've been considering for awhile is joining a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. Friday's weather had me longing for fresh veggies and ripe fruit- and I think it also pushed me over the edge in making my decision! There are a few CSAs for us to choose from locally, and the boy and I have decided to try our luck with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op


They offer 25 week half veggie shares, and after looking at samples of their full shares last season, I can't wait to see what shows up in our boxes! LFF also has a fruit share option- providing 20 wks of yumminess to go with your veggies.

Part of what had me hesitating is the inability to choose what you will get. Our household has some pretty adventurous eaters, but the boy is a little more limited on veggies he likes (I adore spinach, keep it far away from him). The idea of cooking brand new things is a little intimidating!
eek! what do I do with THIS?

Also- the upfront costs. LFF's full veggie share is $700, a half share is $425, and a fruit share is $180. That's a chunk of change considering the half share and fruit share cover 2 months of my grocery bill.

But what pushed me over the edge? I looked at our grocery bills.

The 25 wk veggie half share will average out to $17/wk. The fruit share will come to $9 a week. I usually find myself limiting the amount of fresh produce I buy in the supermarket to stay within budget. The CSA will provide a great assortment of fruits and veggies while staying within our budget! Not to mention, we will be getting all organic produce- something I admittedly don't do on a regular basis because of costs.

Either way, we start our culinary adventure in May. I hope you'll come back and check out my weekly posts about what showed up in the CSA boxes and my adventures in cooking!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

30 Days

If you walked into my house this morning, this is what you'd see:

No- I'm not going to file away the SI Swimsuit edition in a cute little binder. That's my new workout log :)

Both of these items showed up at my house last night, one by choice (the binder), and the other to taunt me. Yes, it's 30 days til spring break- and this girl needs to be in bikini shape!

The boy and I have spent the night designing workout plans (him the plans, me the cute way to organize them in my binder) to jumpstart our individual goals. Although it's my job to push others, I have the worst time motivating myself. Writing things down and seeing my motivator every night may be the push I need!

That. And the damn magazine sitting on the side table.

Who else is in?!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

Before digging in to our sweet little dinner last night, the boy asked "wait- do you want to take a picture of this for your blog first?" Love him! haha so by special request, here's what we made last night...

Black pepper crusted Ahi tuna steaks with a soy reduction
Roasted brussel sprouts (I posted the recipe here)
Hand cut Parmesan sweet potato fries

What's sexier than a healthy dinner packed with superfood sides?! Shockingly, I made it through the entire cooking process without busting out butter or garlic- and everything tasted fantastic! Sadly, we didn't do anything for dessert (too full), but I snacked on a little salad while we watched How I Met Your Mother later that night.

I used to be pretty scared of fish- especially tuna- before meeting the boy. Now, I can't get enough of sushi! The recipe we followed was super easy, and probably saved us a ton compared to going out to eat.

Seared Pepper Tuna Steaks via epicurious {and modified by moi!}

  • 4 6- to 7-ounce ahi tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick) {we made dinner for 2}
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper {we prefer MUCH more to taste}
  • 2 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onion tops

Sprinkle tuna steaks on both sides with salt, then sprinkle with coarsely cracked black pepper, pressing gently to adhere. Heat sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tuna steaks and sear until brown outside and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side {we like our tuna rare- seared for about 1 and a half min/side}. Using tongs, transfer tuna steaks to platter. Tent platter loosely with foil to keep tuna steaks warm. Add soy sauce, then Sherry to same skillet. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is slightly reduced, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Spoon sauce over tuna steaks. Sprinkle with chives or green onion tops. 

Do you have any restaurant worthy at home meals?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lovey Dovey

courtesy of the brilliant To My Wife

Happy Valentine's Day! I have to admit, even single, I have always loved Valentine's Day. If you grew up in our house, you would understand. It's not just the romance of it, but the pink, and the hearts (and the decorated bathrooms. Yes, my momma went there). My momma and daddy have always gone out of their way to make sure my sister and I always felt LOVED- every day of the year, but especially on my mom's favorite holiday.

Now that I have my own forever Valentine (mushtastic. gag if you want!), we keep things simple on the big day. Tonight, we'll exchange cards and little gifts (actually, only I will. He couldn't wait!) and make a sweet dinner for two.

The best gift this year (aside from the FANTASTIC trench my mom surprised me with!) is that the boy is back after a business conference :) Here's how I passed the time as a single girl this weekend...

Cheesecake frozen yogurt loaded with fresh fruit!

Some pretty irises to bring an early spring

Hanging out with puppies at the SPCA (for Kemi, not me!)

Lounging around with this goober. Waiting for the boy to come home!
I hope you have the happiest lovey dovey day! What are your special plans?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mani Update- Week 1

The initial mani using OPI Axxium:

After one week (Friday-Friday):

ew, ignore my dry winter mits

Considering my manis are usually DESTROYED after 2 days, I'm pretty happy! Although it's certainly not indestructible (some tip wear, uneven grow out, fading in some places), I put my hands through hell every day. I use hand sanitizer about every 8 minutes between the hours of 2 and 7, walk the dog 3x or more a day (its been 15 degrees out most mornings), and don't use cuticle oil or lotion nearly enough. Add in the fact that I type a good bit and pick at my nails-bad habit, I know- and you've got a pretty tough little mani.

The areas where I noticed the most peeling/chipping were areas that were applied thickly. Anywhere that the product pooled around the cuticle has caused a little more wear to show up. That being said, I would still go for 3 coats of color next time for a deeper finish.

I think I am going to do another coat of OPI Ink (regular polish) on my own in a few days to fill in the cuticle grow out and cover up the tip wear.

Have you tried the Axxium line yet? Any favorite colors?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Becoming an Animal...maybe a kitten.

I can't walk up the stairs today.

Yesterday, I set up the TRX Suspension Trainer that we have in our fitness center. I absolutely LOVE the TRX for training, but I haven't used in in awhile. Since I am currently trying to kick start my workout habits (yes, still trying since the new year), I figured doing something fun and challenging would keep me interested and coming back for more!

Well, right now, it's keeping me from making it out of my office haha. My friend Kara is dedicated to taking care of her machine- her body. Daily, she dedicates herself to "becoming an animal". I think right now, I'm closer to a kitten haha. Baby steps, right?

The awesome thing about the TRX- it uses your body weight and forces you to activate your stabilizing muscles (I won't geek out and list them here). I like to use it during my core/leg training as part of a circuit. Yesterday, single leg TRX lunges are what got me...

What's that you ask? Here's a video of a studly personal trainer with great form!

I looked like that on the first set...not as pretty on the 2nd set, and by the 3rd set, my forward drive was not nearly there. BUT- I finished! And today, I got a reminder that my adductors have not been worked in about 2 solid months. Hi, muscles!

The good news? I can waddle up the stairs, and I can't wait to go back for more! Tomorrow, I am going to focus on core/upper body as well as try out a new "hamstring run". Fitness is all about finding what you love- and for me, that's resistance based workouts that challenge my whole body.

Where am I going to go from here? Wait and see what's in store next week :)

What's your fitness go to?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sushi to Superbowl

Happy Tuesday :)

This weekend was bussssy (apparently, I needed a day to catch up)! The boy and I were a whirlwind, celebrating one of our best friend's 30th birthday. Of course, when you're having fun, time flies. And when time flies, I forget to take pictures :(

Friday was the "local" birthday party- a huge sushi dinner at a fantastic BYOB. For those of you in Northern Delaware, take a drive to check out Masamoto's Asian Grill, just over the boarder in Glen Mills. Exceptionally fresh fish, great entrees, and it's reasonable (yay bringing our own wine!). The boy and I ventured away from our usuals there and were super happy we did. The Pepper Tuna roll with honey mustard was a surprise favorite!

A highlight of the weekend though was a quick trip up to NYC with the birthday girl and her man. Her cousins set up a fantastic evening for us, and I couldn't be more thankful. Amidst meeting new people and enjoying the evening, I managed to snap a few shots with the iPhone.
The bar's speakeasy vibe carried from the entrance (a faux store front reached via a sketchy looking alley) to the decor and drinks. Tea cups instead of glasses, bottles in paper bags, and carpet like wall paper enhanced the 1920's vibe. My personal favorite? They used antique globe stands to hold the ice buckets and teacups :)

Even though the boy and I are sports people, we kept the Super Bowl low key. The couch, our pupster, and a few Crumbs Bakery cupcakes made for the perfect Sunday night.

But now, back to the real world!

Friday, February 4, 2011

OPI Axxium Manicure Review

I don't have much time, but I HAVE to share my mani experience from today! I had read a lot about the new "semi permanent" or UV Gel manicures that are out there now. The promises of 2 weeks, no chips sounded too good to be true, but I had to check it out! I work with my hands, so manis are for special occasions only- and they usually last about 2 days. IF I make it out of the salon without smudges.

My local nail salon carries the OPI Axxium line. They had an amazing color selection, but I went in knowing I wanted OPI Ink, my favorite winter dark. The technician did 2 coats of color, but I may go for 3 next time for a deeper saturation.

Here's what my nails look like now (please pardon that they are dry and icky winter hands!)

The Axxium color is pretty true to 2 coats of polish

A little messy around the base of the nail, but ok!
Not bad- especially because following the mani, I did the following:
  • reached into my purse to pay
  • walked home with my hands in my pockets
  • opened the door- greeted a VERY happy little puppy
  • gave Riley a good belly scratch and some snuggles (notice- there is NO dog hair in my mani!)
  • cleaned the kitchen
  • braided my hair
All of this done within an hour IMMEDIATELY after pulling my hands out of the last 2 minute drying cycle.
I'll give a more detailed review later, but so far, I think this is pretty phenomenal. Also, I'll be taking pictures to see what happens over the next 2 wks!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gimme Some Sugar!

After the "Big Freeze" comes the grossness of the "Big Melt". With today's 40 degree temps, I think I will be living in my Hunter boots and wearing my hair in a top knot for the remainder of the week.

To brighten my spirits a bit today, I've been slathering on Fresh's Brown Sugar Body Cream and spritzing their dually named fragrance.

What's your gloomy weather pick me up?