Merry Christmas 2016!

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Hannukah, too! I wanted to blog a bit about our Christmas morning very quickly before we go over my parents' house for dinner. We saw Andrew's parents yesterday before we went over my parent's house for the Seven Fish Feast (which was delicious by the way!). Then we settled in for the night to wait for Santa to visit! Jk, I had presents under the tree for weeks before Christmas actually happened. The photo below is off the gifts I bought for my family! (Ok, and the black bag in the left back is a gift I bought myself...)
This morning we cam out and A had added gifts for me under our tree! I didn't get to snap a photo though since we got into Christmas-morning-gift-opening-breakfast-plotting mode. Oh! And what was for breakfast you might ask? This pants-droppingly delicious and not-so-diet-friendly Cinnamon Baked French Toast from the Pioneer Woman:
It's so easy to make (just don't think about how much butter you're using...) and it has quickly become one of our favorite special morning breakfasts. We have every intention of making this on New Year's day too!
Slap on some powdered sugar, whipped cream, and sausage links and call it a day. Yumm!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your special ones!

My Wedding: Shoe Selection

Now that I have finally decided on a dress (I can't stop googling it and looking at photos of it by the way--I'm obsessed) I can start looking for jewelry and, even more fun for me, shoes! I've been combing the internet trying to find the perfect pair and I've come across these:
They are both from the Blue by Betsy Johnson line and I like them because they're silver, sparkly, and have a pretty blue sole. They can serve as my "something blue" on the wedding day. The pair on the right are called Teena the and the pair on the left is the Tee heels. I think I'm leaning toward the Teenas BUT there were some other options too.
The ones on the left are called The Harlow by Touch Ups. I like them in the white but they also have them in silver. I'm thinking if I don't choose these for the wedding day I could always choose them for my friend's wedding in May. The shoes on the right are the Golda pumps by Adrianna Papell. Interesting fact, Adriana Papell is the designer of the bridesmaids dresses Sarah choose for us to wear in her wedding. I really like these because of the rhinestone bottom -- the shoe itself is pretty simple but then there's tat a little bit of glitz.

It's funny when planning a wedding. Things that otherwise would be unimportant (I mean really, who cares what shoes I wear?!) become these monumental decisions. Too funny. 266 days until the wedding!

Swatch: Essie Fall In Line

I painted m nails tonight because they got so gnarly and chipped and I haven't had an opportunity to re-do them. Finally, as part of my quiet night in I painted them! I chose Essie Fall In Line because it's this gorgeous, calming sage green. It's perfect for the fall.

Quiet Tuesday Night

I caught myself thinking is it really only Tuesday? multiple times today at work. Is the week dragging for anyone else? Between phone calls, emails, motions that need to be filed, medical records that need to be reviewed, and billing, billing, billing (always billing), I feel like I'm running a marathon this week! And it's only Tuesday. That's one of the reasons I cherished the quiet, relaxing night I had once I got home from work. Andrew is working late tonight so I was able to come home, change into comfortable clothes, talk on the phone with my sister for a bit, and decide what to make for dinner. I've been in a pasta mood lately (which is surprising because I'm usually not too huge a fan of pasta. Don't get me wrong--pasta is delicious--I just find myself leaning toward other things more often) so I settled on preparing a cavatappi with meatball and vodka sauce. Now, before it goes sounding all impressive--I used frozen meatballs and prepackaged gravies. Ah, yes I call it gravy. I'm Italian! I made dinner, poured myself a glass of wine, and settled in to watch some TV on my laptop and paint my nails. I'll probably post a swatch post later but for now it's just me, my laptop, and my dinner!

My Wedding: Wedding Dress Shopping

This is probably one of the most exciting posts to do about my wedding.....I found my wedding dress!! Here are some nails that I painted for the occasion:
Believe me, I'm dying to post a photo of the dress and share it on here but who knows who reads this and I don't want to ruin anything before the big day! Trust me, I will blog about it just as soon as I can after the wedding next September! So, which silhouette do you think I went with??
Although I can't tell you the details about the dress I will say this: when I tried it on I smiled bigger than when I tried on any of the other dresses. I went to two stores total and found my dress at the second store. I loved it! Can't wait to share it with you all!!

Christmas at Longwood

Hoooray! It's officially holiday season! I know this time of year can be challenging for people but for me I really enjoy the whole ramp up to New Year's Eve. I enjoy the shopping, the cookies, the good food and good times, and last but not least, the decorations! Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, oh my! We put up our Christmas tree on Friday (another post about that later!) and yesterday we visited Longwood Gardens for their Christmas Lights display. This is the second time Andrew and I have gone to the Christmas Lights and, if you remember back to April here on the blog, this is the first time we've returned since he proposed to me there!! Here are some of the photos we took while walking around:
And the stunningly gorgeous trees:
They have more than just lights though. There also had a short show featuring an organ player. Have you ever seen an organ? It's sort of intense and I have no clue how one plays it. I did learn that organists (is that the word?) wear special heeled shoes so they can play the organ comfortably. Who knew?
They also had a huge train set up with a couple different train lines running. One was Thomas the Train, lol.
There was also a few fire pits which was a good spot to rest and warm up our hands since it was a tad chilly!
And of course, there's the flowers that Longwood Gardens is known for...including these roses!
Yikes this is a photo-heavy post!! No wonder it took so long to type out! Are there any Christmas traditions you do?

To My American Visitors:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all spend this day with cherished family and/or friends. As for me, I am going to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade (as is tradition) and then go to my fiance's nana's house for some delicious Thanksgiving dinner. From there we'll head over to my parents' house for some dessert. What are you thankful for?? I saw this photo online and it's pretty spot on if you think about it. 
Most of all, I am indescribably grateful and appreciative that I have a loving, patient, thoughtful, and gentle fiance who this time next year I will be lucky enough to call my husband! I'm also thankful for my supporting family, for having an opportunity to practice in a field I went to school 7 years for (even though my job can be time-consuming and challenging), for the warm apartment I come home to each night, and for my crew of crazy but wonderful friends who squeeze me into their busy lives. Lastly, I'm thankful for the small luxuries of having free time to pursue my creative interests, whether it's here on the blog sharing my nail photos and/or life updates with all of you, or privately cross-stitching on my couch. I hope to never take anything for granted, as I know everything we get in life is a gift. What are you thankful for this year?

Random Fall Outfit of the Day

Fall is easily my most favorite time of the year. The weather in the Northeast becomes more comfortable after a usually steamy summer, I can unearth my boots and scarves from the depths of my closet, the changing leaves are spectacularly colorful and beautiful to look at, and it's only a matter of weeks before we launch head first into the holiday season! Which, if you ask me, really is the happiest time of the year. For today, I have a short and sweet post that of my favorite fall outfits.

Apologies for the bathroom-mirror-head-cut-off-selfie. I need more practice with taking photos of things other than my nails... Anyway, I love this outfit and it's one of my "go to" fall outfits for a comfy day shopping, a dinner out, or that oh-so-loved casual Friday at work. The outfit can't get any easier than throwing on any black pants, off-white long sleeve tee, leopard print infinity scarf, and cognac boots. Voila, an outfit that took literally five seconds to throw together but looks like you may have put more time into it. I throw my hair in a bun, slap on my watch, and out the door I go. Which is what I have to do now! I'm taking today off to hang out with my handsome fiance before Thanksgiving!

Traveling Woes

I travel a lot for work. And I don't mean I travel to any cool places like Europe or Asia. Instead I'm schlepping to and from courthouses all throughout the state, trying not to drop files, juggle an umbrella so I (and my file--most importantly my file) won't get drenched, and every now and then getting the courthouse, in the parking garage before I get to the courthouse, and/or in teh town before I get to the parking garage. I've become accustomed to not really knowing where I am or how to get home. And I don't even mind logging almost 4500 miles on my car in a matter of 2-3 months. However, this week was by far the worst since I started, as I was driving no less than one hour away for every single thing. It's a good thing I really enjoy driving...because I sure do a lot of it:
I also do a fair amount of eating in my car while on the go. Not always fun. And typically very messy.
I believe the noshing session photographed above cost me my black and white striped shirt. I'm a messy eater...

And this sucked too. It poured on the way home from a court appearance. I took about 2.5 when it should have taken about an hour and twenty minutes. Ugh!!

Simply Shopping

Every year right around this time of the year I go through a bit of shopping madness. Can you blame me? Between holiday sales, end of the year sales, black Friday sales, there are so many great sales and shopping to be had! So what is on my shopping list this year? Well, the usual. Jackets, coats, blazers, and shoes!

And of course we can't go into winter in the northeast without the perfect pair of winter boots, right? All throughout college and law school I just used my $20 TJ Maxx rain boots as my winter boots but now I feel like it's time to invest in a legitimate pair of winter boots. Plus, I just bought my Hunter boots and I'm going to save those for just the rain! Here are the contenders for now:
Ahhh, I really can't decide which one. I love the periwinkle laces but I can't decide if I would like the tan or the gray more! I know what you're thinking...why not just buy both?...and I hear you but having never had true winter boots I can't justify two at once. Maybe one this year and one next year? I don't know, do you really need TWO sets of winter boots? I don't live in Alaska! Pennsylvania/New Jersey gets snow and the last few year boy has it gotten snow but usually it's just two or three big storms and we're done. Ah! Which should I choose?! Cast your vote in the comments!

Enough about winter boots, here are other shoes I'm drooling over:

Lastly, I need a small black crossbody bag. I'm thinking these are good options:

Happy Halloween 2016

Honestly, Halloween is probably among my least favorite holidays. We live in an apartment so we don't give out any candy, and I usually spend Halloween dressed in my PJs watching Hocus Pocus. Gone are the days of dressing up in my mom's homemade and exquisite costumes and wandering around the neighborhood guided by my trusty Dad with a flashlight. Nope, now me and the future husband just sort of relaxed and watched our pumpkins flicker. I also decided to do another Halloween manicure for the blog. Wow, it feels like it's been forever! For the last few weeks my nails have remained as a french manucure. Anyway, candy corn, anyone?
And let's not forget the original candy corn nails I did! They were from National Candy Corn Day way back in 2010! Whoa, talk about a flashback!

I hope you had a more exciting Halloween than I did! I didn't even dress festive for work. Not even an orange shirt or anything. Man, I was just Miss Halloween Bah-humbug over here!

Pumpkin Carving 2016

Right now there's quite the rain and storm going on so it's a great time to sit down, listen to the pitter patter of the rain, and do a bit of blogging. Did Halloween sneak up on anyone this year? Last Sunday Andrew and I went to our local farm and picked our pumpkins for this Halloween but usually we try to go earlier so that we get the very best selection of pumpkins. In my Instagram photo collage I showed the slim pickings we had while we searched for pumpkins. Luckily, we found the perfect pair of large pumpkins for our carving extravaganza, as well as two smaller pumpkins to decorate the apartment with. This is the photo from insta:
See the desert of pumpkins?! Usually you're still pulling them off the vines! After searching the entire patch for the perfect carving pumpkins we found two ones that were calling our names. This beauty was mine.
I forget every year who gross it is to actually carve pumpkins. You have to scoop out all this nastiness and seeds and it's slimy and gets under my nails. Ick! But once I get through that it's onto the more fun stuff! This year I decided to freehand my design. Can you guess which one is mine??
Yep, mine is the one on the right. Did the wonky heart background give it away?? It's supposed to be a bride and groom, since Andrew and I are getting married next September! The groom actually came out really well for being free-handed, I think.

We also found a tiny little green pumpkin/gourd for our little sadness figurine (you all know how much I love Sadness from the movie Inside Out!). It was perfect.
Did anyone else carve pumpkins this year? Did you dress up? Here's a throwback to Andrew and my first Halloween together. He was my Knight in Shining Armor and I was a chef!

First Halloween Appropriate Nails of the Season

Hello all, with Halloween in one week today's post is the first Halloween manicure post for this year! I'm a sucker for orange and black this time of year and when I saw these photos had somehow missed being posted last year I decided to rectify that situation! Here are some Halloween digits from the vault.
This is China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me over OPI Flit A Bit. Simple yet still office appropriate for Halloween.
I can understand why this one didn't make it to The Files last's pretty simple, dare I say boring?? Again, I used OPI Flit A Bit (clearly my go to orange for Halloween) and then created an accent nail with Sally Hansen Gunmetal and China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me. Clearly I was really liking these polishes last year!

Let me see your Halloween designs!

Weddings on Wednesday: Asking my girls!

Let's be honest, almost as soon as the future husband proposed to me I started considering how I would ask my girls to be my bridesmaids and stand by my side. I knew exactly who I would ask and so I just needed an idea of how to do it. Remember how my sister asked me to be her Maid of Honor? And when Sarah asked me to be hers? I decided on a DIY project that was simple, sweet, and was guaranteed to be enjoyed by my future bridesmaids.

I started with a set a small wooden crates, a set of champagne flutes, some metallic spray paint, and, of course, champagne! I sanded and painted all of the wooden crates with two coats of the metallic silver spray paint. Caution: DO NOT SPRAY PAINT WHILE WINDY. I left them to dry upside down while I prepared the rest of the stuff. Here is a quick photo of the drying stage.
I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. The silver is so shiny in the light but also understated enough that it's not overwhelming. They are also a lot smaller than the photo above makes them seem. Here's a photo with my hand for perspective of size.
I purchased some Armor Etch glass etching paint and stencils to add a personalized touch to the champagne flutes. I was really pleased with how easy it was to use. All I needed to do was align the stencils with what I wanted to write (the bridesmaids' names) and then layer on the etching cream. Note: You have to apply the paint really thick to ensure it etches smoothly and uniformly. Then I waited 3-5 minutes (although the instructions said 1-2 minutes was sufficient) and washed off under running water. Obviously I wore gloves to protect my hands from the etching cream since it would burn your skin if it came in contact with it! Here is my setup:
 And then I added a few finishing touches, including a personalized card and a mini bottle of champagne to each one. I arranged each in one of the wooden crates and called it a day.
For my sister's I added additional goodies because she is my Maid of Honor. I added macaron erasers and a cupcake-in-a-jar (also DIYed). How cute did they end up??
Needless to say, they each said yes!

Welcome to My Second Car

As you know, I recently replaced My First Car (Sylvia) with My Second Car. So this post is all about my new whip! Who doesn't love a good new car, eh? Please welcome to the blog my new car! have officially joined the Honda CRV club.
She's a 2016 Honda CRV in modern steel metallic, which I honestly want as a nail polish ASAP because it's so pretty.  She is much taller than my old car so driving her is super interesting...BUT she has a lot of really cool features! For example, I have joined the realms of hand-less phone capabilities. She also has the ever popular multi-angle dynamic back up camera (which I didn't think I would like but seriously.....this feature is amazing!). She also has a "right mirror camera" which eliminates every blindspot when you need to make a right turn or lane change.

She had all of 4 miles when I drove her off the lot!
And here is a photo of my babies side by side. The short, sleek, old Sylvia, and the new, large, and in charge...uh, I don't have a name for her yet!
Any suggestions for a name??

An Ode First Car.

You might be thinking "oh my goodness, she's finally lost it" when you read the title to this post...and well, you might be right, but I'm still going to continue anyway because it means a lot to me. You may not know that one of my proudest accomplishments in my 20some years on this planet was that I saved up my hard earned cash monies from my five year gig as a late-night waitress at a local diner and purchased my First Car. You may remember the first time she appeared on this blog when I called her "my mitsubishi baby" and painted some mitsubishi logo nails. Here she is in all her glory:
Doesn't she look great?! I had saved up $4900, bought her in cash in 2010, and I LOVED her. Everyone knew I was obsessed with my car and my friends and family would even refer to her by name (I had named her Sylvia). She was a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT with a nice 87000 miles on her odometer (she had a long life before she met me). Whoever bought her originally had her filled to the brim with extra features, including a cassette tape player (LOL) AND four CD changer, Infinity premium sound system, leather interior and steering wheel, premium Alloy wheels, tinted windows, and a sunroof. She was all mine. 

Let me just say, she was the best car ever and I thank her for that. Sure, she had a headlight electrical issue in 2010, she had the great flood of 2011, she needed not one but TWO $1100 strut replacements, when she failed to start on the day of my first law school final, my friends and family had to save me when she decided to not start after my last law school final...or at the Christiana mall...or Target in the dead of winter, or any of the countless replacements and tune ups she needed over time. But she also took me to and from my parents house when I was in college, to and from visits to my future to-be husband at his college in Philadelphia, to and from law school from my first apartment, to and from the train station when I worked in the city during law school, and to and from my first job. She did her job and although I could probably build a second car with the replaced parts off of her I still will always remember her as a great car. (I'll leave it to other people to remind me!) 

When I got my first full time attorney position I started to save up for my "big girl car" because Sylvia started to be less and less reliable. Finally, in September I decided I saved enough and the time had come to say goodbye to Sylvia (it was not without tears). So, we started to get her ready for her final drive.
It was a sad day when I drove her to the dealership to trade her in for what would become My Second Car but it was all worth it. Rest easy girl. May the road rise up to meet you!

So what did I replace her with you might be wondering?? Well, here's a hint:
More to come! Stay tuned!
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