Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween bloggers!
One more Halloween design for me for this year, this time inspired by a quick Google search of "Frankenstein Nails." I think it's super cute and perfect for Halloween...just maybe not the office. I wish I added a bow to my index finger's hair, too. 
Apologies for the coloring in this photo -- does it hurt anyone else's eyes?!

Halloween Nails and Jack o'Lanterns

Today's weather was absolutely gross--it rained the whole entire day. Luckily, I knew it was going to be bad outside so I brought home some work. I'm still catching up on work (read: billable hours) from the honeymoon so I welcomed the nasty weather. It gave me a great excuse to bury myself in my cozy zebra blanket and do some work. I also ended up breaking out the slow cooker for the first time this fall and made some turkey chili for me and the Mr. (spoiler alert: it wasn't that good). 

Once I finished the work I wanted to get done and got the chili started we decided to finally carve the pumpkins we bought about two (maybe even three) weekends ago. I also painted some Halloween nails and we watched Hocus Pocus! Overall, pretty productive for a rainy day!

Here are my Halloween 2017 nails:
Other Halloween nails I've done include a ghostmore candy cornorange/blacksome mummiesInspired by Halloween moviespooky bats, and spooky cats.

Speaking of cats, here are our pumpkins for this year! I made it a gif so you can see it in light and dark. I LOVE how mine turned out. I think they both look so good--and they were freehand!
Can you guess whose is whose?
Other pumpkins have included Eiffel Tower, Tinkerbell, and a bride and groom!

30 Flirty & Thriving: Happy Birthday Sis!

Despite my nails currently growing out what might have been the worst gel manicure I have ever gotten, I have a very special nail post to share with you! Earlier this October we celebrated my sister's 30th birthday! Her and I spent Saturday in NYC stopping by a few *must try* food stops in the East Village and Greenwich Village. They're not the same, right?? Before we get into what we did, let's check out the nails!
These are in fact inspired by part of the design I did for her 23rd birthday in 2010. She celebrated with her husband by going to the Disney Food & Wine Festival in Florida and I had major food FOMO thought it was perfect to work in the design again.

On our NYC trip we had lunch at Raclette NYC, a restaurant that has been on our To Do lists ever since we both tried raclette while we were in Paris. If you don't know what raclette is (I didn't until Steph told me about it) it's similar to fondue but better! Can you get any better than melty gooey cheesey goodness? No. I didn't think so.
After eating ALL THE CHEESE we decided to head for some dessert at Dō, a cookie dough shop serving all kinds of cookie dough to the masses. It's sort of like Coldstone....but with cookie dough. And it was delicious!
We spent the rest of the time walking around the city, shopping, and people watching. Three of our favorite things! It's always fun when we get to #sistersinthecity! It's so weird she's in a different decade than me now! I suppose my brother and I will have to hold down the 20s now!

Let's get some nails up in here, right? OPI Russian Navy

Today's post is a pause from my trip down Honeymoon Lane and instead I'm bringing a LONG awaited nail post! I think I mentioned before how the nail salon I went to before my wedding ruined my nails, right? I decided to get a gel French manicure -- on a second thought I should have just done it myself. Eh, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, the gel went on fine enough and it did last through the two weeks we were away without so much as a tip wear. But then we got home and I was ready for a change. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I kept a polish on for two consecutive weeks.

So I sat down to soak my nails with pure acetone (I know, no bueno) and turned on the TV to catch up on my shoes. I soaked for 10 minutes. Then 10 minutes more. Then 10 minutes more. And nothing. The gel would not come off. I waited for bits to get loose and then I started picking at it (again, no bueno) but there were huge chunks left on each nail. I tried filing and buffing and although it did get rid of some of the gel I was too afraid that I was getting too close to my real nail.
So I left it alone, chunks of gel and all, and just painted over it. And that's what I've been doing for....one month and three weeks or so. Can you believe there is still some gel on my nails?? Even though I used a dark polish you can still see some of it in the photo above. See the line on my ring finger nail? Yep, gel. AKA Satan's material. I used OPI Russian Navy because the color was dark and Halloween appropriate. This is an old polish and I don't reach for it as much as I should!
And a photo holding an apple because...#teamcleaneats. I'm really doing well on the whole clean-eating thing, minus this past weekend. Lol. I'll tell you WHY in an upcoming post!

This Past Weekend - College Reunion and Renaissance Faire

Sometimes it's nice to just pack a bag and get gone for a weekend, am I right? So this weekend presented the perfect opportunity to pack our mini luggage and have a bit of fun. On Saturday, we met up with my two college besties for our five year college reunion. It was Family Weekend/Homecoming Weekend at the college and they threw an "Oktoberfest" for all the alumnae. The food was delicious, let me just say.  We had a great time walking around the campus and seeing all our old spots. Not gonna lie, it felt like old times. And I didn't know how much I needed that.
It's exciting and a little unbelievable that we have been out of college for five years already. So much has changed yet so much is still the same. E (on the left of the photo) and I also caught up with a few of our favorite psych professors. It was nice to tell them all that we had accomplished since our college days!

Then on Sunday, Andrew and I went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. I know there are three categories of people when it comes to the faire: (1) those who LOVE it and go all out and get dressed up in costume, (2) those who just go because it's something to do, an (3) those who think the faire is super geeky and would never go. We fall into category two --although really we go just for the giant turkey legs.
And maybe some of the performers. One of our faves this year was Circus Stella, which was a two performer team that did aerial silks, tightrope walking, balancing acts, and even some acts with their five dogs. It was also pretty cool because both performers have been on Ellen (the TV show)!
Now I can start the countdown to my next turkey leg. One year to go...

Honeymoon Tour: Paris - Day Two

On day two in Paris we woke up (I felt like I got hit by bus--thank you jet lag) and headed downstairs for our hotel's breakfast. I swear I am telling the truth when I say that the maid/waitress ran out and picked up fresh croissants from the cafe down the street every morning for all the guests. I told you it was a small hotel! So every day we had a delicious breakfast of croissant, jam, some deli meat choices, and of course, some cheese! I'm sitting here and my mouth is watering as I remember all the delicious morsels we had while in Paris. It was the perfect amount of food before our day's adventure. We took the train to Epernay, also known as "Champagne region," which is about an hour and a half outside of Paris. If you like champagne, you'll LOVE Epernay! Also, just a brief interruption--as I'm writing this I am watching a program on Versailles IN FRENCH (it's on the channel TV5MONDE) so that is sort of funny. I would try and write this post in French but I am not that skilled.

The train was not bad at all. We departed from Gare d'est (is that right?) and took the train straight to Epernay. Along the way we saw some adorable French country towns that I want to run away too now that I'm thinking about it. A short walk from the train station was our first stop: Moet & Chandon! We were visiting the Champagne house for a tasting and tour of their champagne cellars.
We arrived a bit early for our tour so we hung out inside the champagne house and had a walk around the store. Is there anything fresher than champagne sold at the actual champagne house?! I don't think so! How cute is this display? It's all the different sizes of champagne that is sold. No, I promise I did not buy the ginormous one all the way to the right. I did buy some minis though for us and my sister.
Once it was time for our tour we met our guide, Alisa, who gave us a brief tour of the main level of the champagne house. How beautiful this? It's the courtyard to where private events are held.
After our history lesson and education of the Moet and Chandon families we headed down into the refreshingly cool cellars. The cellars all were illuminated with very yellow light -- it's better for the delicate champagne since sunlight can ruin champagne. Quelle dommage!
Moet & Chandon has over 17 miles of cellars across multiple levels underground. And in the cutouts throughout the cellars are stacks and stacks of bottles of champagne. The sign at the top of each stack tells you how many bottles and the year of the champagne in that stack. 
See what I mean about the yellow lights?? I also learned that Moet & Chandon acquired Dom Perignon. There is an entire Dom Perignon wing of the cellar. Here's a photo of me just chilling with an entire wall of MANY bottles of Dom! Who is ready to pop the cork??
After the tour of cellars was finished we walked up to the tasting rooms. For the tasting they opened a few bottles of the 2008 Vintage. Fun fact, it is up to the cellar master to decide if he or she would like to create a vintage. Vintages are typically made when the grapes are particularly good. Another fun fact, there was a vintage made during my birth year of 1990--I was destined to be a champagne baby! Lol. They poured us each a glass of Moet & Chandon Vintage 2008 rose and Moet & Chandon Vintage 2008 brut. Don't ask me to tell you which one I preferred...they were both delicious!
Overall, we learned about the champagne region, types of grapes, champagne-making process, and history of the house. Did you know that in order to be "champagne" the grapes must be picked by hand ONLY. The harvest lasts about 2-3 weeks between August and September and it was just about over when we visited but you could still see it happening if you walked up into the hills.

Then we walked around the town, which was STUNNING. We must have been walking around when school let out because next thing you know there were a bunch of french students (that were much cooler than us) hanging out around this building.
Picture perfect, right? When there got to be too many school kids we walked to Georges Cartier for another champagne tasting and then headed to dinner. I highly recommend Chez Francoise! I had just the right amount of champagne to order completely in French like a pro. I ordered ratatouille...because it's French, duh!
That champagne went down soooo easy let's just say we bought a few bottles!
Then it was back home to Paris for some more twinkling Eiffel Tower, macarons, and sleep. Join me  next time and see what we did on Day Three in Paris won't you?

Honeymoon Tour: Paris - Day One

The City of Lights....La Ville Lumiere! Our first day in Paris! Some quick trivia for you:
*Paris is nicknamed the City of Lights because it was one of the first cities to have electricity.
*Also, the name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic tribe known as the Parisii who were its early inhabitants. The city was called Lutetia Parisorum, or "Lutetia of the Parisii," during the Roman era of the 1st to the 4th centuries AD.
*The city was renamed Pairs during the reign of Julian the Apostate, whoever he was...

Good to know, right? We arrived in Paris on a blustery somewhat chilly day and Andrew was able to get us from the aeroport to the taxi and from the taxi to to our very quaint (read: tiny) French hotel. We stayed at Hotel de Londres Eiffel, a family run small hotel with I think about 30 rooms. Could it get more French than this??
The concierge gave us a brief overview complete with map and kindly told us about all of the nearest metro stops, train stations, and attractions. After our brief "orientation" we were off for a two block walk from our hotel....and this is what I saw: 
The left photo is the first photo I ever took with the Eiffel Tower. And I finally got my Eiffel Tower selfie so I can check off Buck List #397!  We picked up a baguette, some cheese (muenster and some brie), and saucisse, and sat ourselves right in front of the Eiffel Tower so we could soak it all in and so I could calm down from hyperventilating that I was finally there. Oooh I won't lie, that muenster cheese was STINKY. I tasted good but left a really bad aftertaste. We ended up not eating it all. The baguette, saucisse, and baguette were gone in minutes though. Yum!
We then walked back to our hotel so we could get changed into something more appropriate for dinner. We had made reservations at 58 Tour Eiffel, one of the two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower for a late dinner.
The dinner was oh my god amazing. I tried to snap a photo of every course because I'm a foodie and wanted to capture every single thing..but let's just say I devoured some of the plates before I remembered to photograph it! Oh well, you have to live in the moment right??
Our view was the trocadero which proved very difficult to capture at night!
After dinner we headed back outside to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle. Every hour on the hour starting at about 9 PM the Eiffel Tower lights up and glistens in the evening sky. It was especially neat because the first twinkle happened while we were sitting at dinner (I told you it was late dinner!). The twinkle is frustratingly difficult to capture in a still photo because it doesn't look like much.
I made it a gif!
After we were done hanging out watching the Eiffel Tower we walked back to our hotel and called it a night. Catch up with me next time to find out what we did on Paris Day Two!

Honeymoon Tour: Packing and Take Off

Let's be honest, packing is one of my absolute favorite things to do. For real. Give me clothes, accessories, and toiletries to organize and stuff tetris-style into suitcase and I am a happy girl. Can I get an amen from all those girls who have a shit ton of fun going through their closets picking out their outfits and things to pack? How about my girls like me who find the need to buy a bunch of new clothes right before you pack? Do you catch yourself justifying your purchases like "They're for the vacation." Yes, for pretty much the three weeks leading up to take off arriving home from work to multiple deliveries and packages was my norm. 
Don't judge me too hard though, I didn't keep everything -- some of the clothes got returned! The rest got stuffed into packing cubes and then into these Samsonite suitcases gifted to us my Andrew's parents at my bridal shower. The awesome part of these suitcases--other than their quality--was that they were "extra light" meaning that  they are only about 7-8 pounds when completely empty. Much better than my old Jansport suitcase! I also added Mr. and Mrs. luggage tags because....newlyweds. I created my packing list --I list out all of my outfits so that I know exactly what to wear while I'm away and I don't end up mismatching outfits and having to force together an outfit from a bunch of random leftovers toward the end of the trip-and we were ready to go.
We decided to fly Icelandair when we booked our honeymoon because it was so much cheaper (read: almost half price) than any direct flight. Plus, it gave us a bonus stop (and an additional passport stamp as it turns out) in Reykjavik, Iceland. I feel like Iceland has really been upping their tourism game recently and the airline had really good reviews so we were confident in our choice. The flight was roughly 5 hours from Philadelphia International Airport and then we had about an hour and a half layover before our flight to Paris. The flight was 8:35 PM so we reported to the airport around 5 PM, grabbed some dinner at the gate, and then boarded our flight. It turned out that no one else sat in our row so we had the entire row to spread out into. I took the middle and the window seat and made myself a comfy bed using the little pillow and blanket they gave us. I read a a little of my book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (yes, it's the series that they made into a show) and then passed out. Or at least, I passed out after we had some celebratory champagne!
Two of the cutest little champagne bottles ever. Sorry for the poor light!
There's not much to work with when you have one overhead airplane light! Haha. 

Now, about Keflavik International Airport. It is a small airport in a small country. If you are not accustomed to deboarding planes straight onto the tarmac than you might be as surprised as I was. And by surprised I mean under-dressed for the temperatures and being outside in Iceland. I boarded our flight in my black leggings and thin black Paris Darling tunic sweater (because I am one of those people that will wear a Paris shirt to Paris) and without any kind of jacket. Sure I saw a few people with full on parkas and oversize coats but I just figured Iceland was their end destination and not a layover. Oops....

Image result for jackie oplane boarding
Flash forward to us landing on a beautiful and chilly morning, deboarding onto the tarmac and into 30 degree weather, and boarding a shuttle to take us to the airport gate. To be honest, we probably only waited about 4 minutes (Icelandair is super efficient) before we were seated on the shuttle and on our way to the warm gate but that was enough time to get a nice chill in the bones. I was cold and Andrew quite possibly was colder -- Mr Polo Shirt definitely regretted not heeding my "the airplane might be cold are you sure you don't want a sweater?" advice. We headed into the gate and hung out for about forty minutes before it was time to do the same process in reverse. We boarded a shuttle, got taken out to the airplane, and then scurried across the tarmac and up into the plane as fast as possible. I will admit...I kind of felt like a celebrity having to climb stairs up onto a plane. Just us and the Kennedys. Lol.

Roughly three hours later we arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport and we were in France!! Join me for my next post and I'll tell you what we did on day one in the City of Lights!

Honeymoon Tour: The Overview

How do you share roughly 2300 photos that you took on your honeymoon without boring people? Well, obvious answer: You don't. That would be super extra and overkill to max so I am planning to share highlights that I think would interesting to read about (and I hope you will agree)! If you read The Files only for the nails....maybe check back later....for right now we're going to be re-living what I nicknamed the "Honeymoon Tour." But if you enjoy looking at pictures of random places (maybe you've been there before; maybe you haven't) and hear stories from someone's experience then stick around for what's coming up!

So where do I begin?? As soon as Andrew and I got engaged I knew Paris would be a top contender for our honeymoon destination. I have been obsessed with Paris ever since I took French in high school and I have been dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower in person for forever. Paris also just felt like a place I had to be, you know? So we decided on Paris as a definite honeymoon stop. Then we decided to spend two weeks away for our honeymoon and we started to add some other destinations. Honestly, I could have spent the full two weeks (or you know my whole life) in France with no problem, but neither of us had been to Europe and I knew Andrew had places on his list too.

We ultimately settled on France, England, and Ireland.
Fourteen days.
Seven cities.
Three countries. (or 4 depending on how you look at it--you'll see why)
Two newlyweds.
One time of our lives! ...and a partirdge in a pear tree.

I cannot wait to share we we did. Stick around and let me tell you about it, won't you? If you have any questions as we go through please leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them along the way! Get your boarding passes, it's time for take-off!

From Miss to Mrs.: My Wedding

Even now as I type this exactly one month after dear husband and I said "I do" it still feels so weird to describe myself as a married lady. I feel like I should wear a badge or something to let the whole world know--oh wait that's what the second ring on my left hand means?? Alright then!

In all honesty though, I struggled with how to post about the wedding because there was soooo much leading up to it (I tried to share most of it) and then the day itself had so many details, moments, memories, and I can't help but want to share all of it! However, after quickly realizing that a post about all the minutia of the day would result in one MONDO (and yes, probably boring for you) post I decided to try and stick with the highlights of the day. Of course, this post is still going to be long but, what can I do?! Before we get into anything though I want to give a huge shout out to my wedding photographers! The Artist Group did a PHENOMENAL job and all of the photos are from them!

A la the Royal family and Prince William and Katherine Middleton, this is our "Official Wedding Portrait." Lol.
alfred angelo; cinderella dress; alfred angelo 205; wedding
We had a medium-sized bridal party that consisted of friends from high school, college, and family members. And yes, my one bridesmaid (you might remember my bridezilla post) successfully retrieved her dress from the closed and out of business store (thanks to many phone calls and emails to the lawyers by yours truly). For her protection, she shall remain nameless. Haha! But don't they all look amazing?! I had such a gorgeous crew of girls with me that day.

Some more details:
alfred angelo; cinderella dress; alfred angelo 205; wedding
Bridal gown: Alfred Angelo Style 205, also known as "Cinderella" from their Disney line.

Bridal shoes: Badgley Mishka  Tad Ankle Strap Pump. These were comfy and all until about 10 pm....then it was GET THESE CLUTCHES OF SATAN OFF ME.

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo Style 7290L in the color Once Upon a Time.

Paper products: Invitations were from Paper Source and the rest were DIY.

Rings: Tiffany & Co.
Flowers were by Zenplicity Florist. They cost a FORTUNE but I guess it was worth it? Look how pretty the ceremony pieces turned out. Not to mention the bouquets and centerpieces!
Our cake was by Isgro's Bakery. Speaking of cake...
Clearly we love cake. For our cake we decided to go with chocolate and vanilla marble with white buttercream. The top layer had our monogram in the Once Upon a Time color (so it matched the bridesmaids), the middle layer had quilting and blue dots, and the bottom layer had blue dots and a bow (you can't see the bow in these photos). 

And these are some of my favorite portraits from the venue, which was a gorgeous ballroom.
And my favorite bridal party shot:
Overall, it was the perfect day complete with absolutely PERFECT weather (72 and sunny with NO rain), a beautiful bridal party (seriously look how good they all looked!), and memories to last a lifetime. I could not be happier and now I am officially a Mrs.! I look forward to married life and all of the ups and downs that get thrown at us! I want to share SO many photos with you all but I think that would be overkill. Ughh the struggle is real!

One last note: Before anyone asks if we're planning on having kids (seriously I've been married for a months and already a dozen people have asked). The current answer is NO NO NO, not at the moment. We have too much we want to do and accomplish ourselves for us to even consider any of that nonsense. Call us selfish but we'll get to it when we get to it.

Weekend Roundup

Hello everyone! Figured I would pop in for a second because, blogging takes persistence, am I right? Humor aside, I feel like life has been a whirlwind and I have so so so much to post on here. I'm not sure how to deal because SO many post ideas and photos and nail designs need to make it on this blog. Stat! Anyone have a problem with post after post after post? I didn't think so!

So what will be coming up? Well, I'll tell you!

#1: I got married. WHAT?! Yes.

#2-??: And we went on the Honeymoon Tour, which I obsesssively instagrammed so you've already seen much of it if you follow my instagram).

#3: I attended my first ever law firm client-entertainment event and NAILED it. Lol. Just wait until you see.

#4: I started working out again. Because who doesn't choose to get fit after their wedding? Oh, I was supposed to get fit before my wedding? Oops...oh well. How does this meal prepping thing work?!

#5: Fall is here! I'll definitely have some fall nails going up on the blog.

So I will be seeing you all soon! I know, I know, only one of these things are nail-related. That is due to the awful nail situation I am in...I decided to get my nails done with professional gel for the wedding so that it would last through the two week honeymoon. I figured I could just so soak them off when I got back and carry on with my normal nails. Well, let me just say, I do not know what sorcery the nail salon used but these bitches are NOT coming off. I soaked. I soaked some more. And nothing. So I started filing and buffing and buffing and filing. Now I can't even tell you the nastiness that is going on on my nails. So I'll post everything non-nails first in order to kill time until my nails are in better condition.
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