NOTD and Some Meal Prepping

I know I've said it before but I really like how stamped nails really make manicure pop. You take a simple background manicure and add a contrasting color in a stamped design and it transforms into a simple yet impressive looking design.
For these nails: I used OPI Check the Old Geysirs for the background, Orly Blue Suede as the design, and Winstonia W113 for the stamp.

Hope everyone is having a good easy week this week. For this week we tried a little something new over and actually spent a decent amount of Sunday meal prepping for this week. We made some chicken and gnocchi soup, Mediterranean gyros with cucumber/tomato salad and tzatziki sauce, and chicken with roasted vegetables. I enjoyed making the gyros because I added some ground lamb this time. Never worked with it before but it seemed like a good we went with it.
And the chicken with roasted vegetables has to be one of my favorites because of how easy it is. You literally just season a bunch of vegetables and chicken and throw it down on a sheet pan. It's also one of my go-to's because it takes literally 25 minutes.
Can you get any easier than this? A bit of seasoning, chicken, broccoli, red onion, grape tomatoes, and zucchini and there you go. Dinner is served, plus some for leftovers! The perfect meal prep meal. 

Do you guys have any recommendations for quick easy meals?? I'm always looking for culinary creation recommendations! 

House Hunting...or House Hating

I make no bones about it: we are picky house hunters. Possibly the pickiest. Find me one other person who has spent over two years house hunting. The good thing is that our pickiness is not based on kitchen-island-loving, subway-tile back splashing, trendy HGTV dreams. Instead we focus on the home's bones, location, and land. The bad thing is we've toured a LOT of homes. From one that doesn't have the external look we want, to another with a bad layout, to another without land/privacy, to another without a good location, ugh, the list goes on and on. I thought it could be a fun and somewhat cathartic post featuring some of the things that make me say YIKES when I see them. Now, these wouldn't be deal-breakers. If a house otherwise met our critical criteria then I would look past all of these things. After all, all of them can be changed.

The Humble Barndoor
Look, I like barn-chic as much as the next person, and I know it's super trendy now thanks in large part to Chip and Joanna Gaines (did I hear you say shiplap?) but I'm just not into it. I don't want it as an entryway to the laundry room (seen it). I don't think it looks nice as a door to a closet (seen it). And I especially don't want to see it while trying to pee in a hurry in the master bath.

Mismatched Cabinets
I applauded the effort to update the kitchen and I have to say the countertop looks fantastic but WHY did you stop at the island cabinetry? You painted the others white! And why are the hinges on the painted white cabinetry dark?? Nope. Spoiler alert: we actually offered on this house and also got into attorney review but then an original buyer (whose contract was supposed to have been voided...or so we were told) came back and we learned that their contract was still we didn't get it. Yeah, that was devastating. It was an amazing house.

The Full Wall Fireplace
I will admit. For whatever reason most, if not all, of the homes we have toured feature a fireplace of some kind in one room or another. It's popped up in the family room, master bedroom, and even the master bathroom once. While some of the fireplaces were super nice and really added to the room, every time I saw one with a brick wall (literal WALL)....yikes. I know the fireplace is the focal point but really all I saw was the shit ton of brick I would want to immediately rip down.

So we keep looking. And at this point when I see these things I just kind of giggle to myself. Then I do some quick math to see how much it would cost to change it.

Birthday Nails for a BFF

Oh my goodness. I realized today that I cannot remember the last time I commemorated an event in someone's else life with a nail design. Nope, I literally had to go back through some old posts to research and it turns out the last one was my sister's 30th birthday in October. Wowza!

I used to do birthday nails all the time on this blog. Can we remember my buddy S's 24th birthday tree manicure? Or maybe my now hubby's 23rd birthday? Or my sister's 23rd birthday (yes, the same sister who is now 30, lol)?Or my 21st birthday all those years ago? Or even my mom's *cough*29th birthday again*cough* nails? Point is, I clearly used to be a lot more celebratory here on the blog. Let's bring that back, okay?

And we can start today with these birthday nails for my BFF....
She was the first person I met at my high school in 2004. We went through classes, boyfriends, formal dances, etc and became really close friends during high school. This photo was  taken before our senior class trip to Disney.
And she was a bridesmaid in my wedding 13 years later.
She's pretty much the best ride or die you can get. We've been through boyfriends, high school drama, being roommates at college, then being at separate colleges (I still resent her for abandoning me), law school, living in neighboring states, learning how to adult (or not to adult), and most recently my wedding. No matter what has happened or how long it's been since we checked in with each other, I know I can always count on her.

So, happy birthday to you, J! You deserve all the glasses of champagne tonight. And by champagne I mean beer and pizza!

Rain, Rain, Peach Polish and Zebra

In the tri-state area we had two really good and warm 70ish degree days this week and just when I was getting hopeful that Spring was making an early appearance and that I could throw my winter coats to the depths of the closet I look out my office window today and....rain. The sky had turned gloomy and grey and I did not grab my rain boots or my super cute raincoat this morning. Ugh, I hate being ill prepared. You know I take any opportunity, even the slightest of drizzle, to at least wear my rain boots. At least I had my emergency "office umbrella" that I store atop my bookshelf for these exact occasions. The only problem now will be remembering to return it to my bookshelf before the next rain emergency. Ahh, oh well, at least my nails are a bright peach and fun design, which I'll admit is quite the contrast to the dreary evening.
That being said, I don't care if I have to charter a boat, I am GOING TO THE GYM TONIGHT. I was being so good and then gorged myself on delicious food while with the hubby's parents this past weekend. Ever since then I haven't been able to reign myself back in. No. That's done now. A pack of wild horses can't keep me from my row/run tonight. Speaking of, my gym got a new rowing machine recently (where you propel actual water) and I'm in love. I might be obsessed and I have totally thought of buying one of these. But who are we kidding, until we find our home we don't have room for any of that nonsense!

NOTD: Green Mandala

Today's post is a super fast stamp design that reminds me of a mandala. If I'm being honest though, the nail design is really nothing more than a snowfall stamp that is too big for my short nails but shhh, no one has to know that. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out--though I'm not sure it's entirely professional...
As an aside, I have been having the worst time trying to grow my nails out. Or no, really I'm just having trouble keeping them all the same length. My nails grow like weeds but it seems like as soon as they are all the same length and look really good BAM one breaks. Followed by another, and another, and another until I'm frustrated and cut them all down.  I know I'm not the only one with this I?

Valentine's Day 2018 - Round Two

My husband and I don't typically make any special Valentine's Day plans because neither of us really thinks it's a holiday. We do celebrate the day a little but it's never been anything to stress over and we never go out to any restaurant. He always (for the last....8 years or so) surprises me with assorted Godiva truffles and I usually get him something small. Last year it was a Philips Hue light bulb to go with the our new lighting system, and this year it was a new Contigo auto-seal water bottle (I am obsessed with mine) and some almonds (his new fave). Over the past few years we have also flexed our culinary muscle and prepared a gourmet meal for the two of us to enjoy. What can I say, the way to our hearts is obviously through our stomachs. This year we made this:
For Christmas I had given Andrew a mini grill, with the promise to replace it with a full size grill when we buy our first house (if that ever happens--lol). So we made some steak, baked potato wedges, and roast asparagus with hollandaise sauce. And for dessert, the creme de la creme....creme brulee. Yummmm! Everything turned out delicious and the champagne at the end was the cherry on top! I will admit, he bruleeing of the creme brulee was terrifying. Of course I made Andrew do it because I'm a wuss.

And of course, a second round of Valentine's Day nails were in order for our special round two Valentine's dinner.
Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Did anyone else have a post-Valentine's Day valentine's day celebration?

Valentine's Day 2018

Have you ever noticed how Valentine's Day seems to make people fall into two camps:
(1) Those who celebrate with their significant others.
(2) Those who go on the offensive about how "stupid" Valentine's Day is (maybe or maybe not because they have no one "special" to celebrate with).
Well, you do you. Whether you're toasting Valentine's Day with your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, grandparent, parent, sibling, or friend; cooking a gourmet dinner for you and your pet; or just gorging yourself on chocolates while sitting on the couch binge watching Las Chicas de Cables (look it up on Netflix!), I say Happy Valentine's Day to you and hope you have a wonderful day. Just enjoy the day and treat yourself in any way you see fit! The hubs and I are doing our normal and cooking ourselves a fancy dinner at home. Then it's time for champagne and sweets!

Swatch: Zoya Ireland

A quick post for tonight because I have to get back to watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics. I have no idea when I bought this polish or why I haven't used it yet because seriously this a stunning pale green/sage color. I think this would look beautiful on all skin tones and in the dead of winter or the hottest days of summer. I'll have to come up with a design for this polish.
And it's a creme, so that makes this polish even better. You know who I love me a creme polish!
And how funny is this name? Ireland. I must have bought it around the same time that we decided to add Ireland as a stop for our honeymoon. I blogged about those days here, here, and here.
Ok, back to the Olympics!

Swatch: Sally Hansen Street Flair

One of my cases had a settlement conference this morning at 9 AM. However, due to freezing rain and/or rain and/or snow and/or some wintry nonsense that would wreak havoc on driving conditions, the courts are all opening on a two hour delay. That's all fine and dandy except for one thing: Does a two hour delay mean that the court will open at 11 AM but start with all the 9 AM appearances anyway? Or does a two hour delay mean that the court is opening at 11 AM and will begin with those 11 AM appearances (and everything before 11 AM will be adjourned and rescheduled to another time)? No clue. So while I pondered that very annoying quandary I decided to swatch a new polish color. Because hey, I was up at 6:30 AM for an appearance that will not happen as originally scheduled and my remote login to my firm is not working so I can't get work done. Such a shame! Now to the nails:
I swatched Sally Hansen Street Flair because I was in a purple mood and I liked that the name kind of sort of tied into the whole streets-covered-in-snow/ice/wintry mix. That qualifies as some street flair, right?
I have probably said this before but I am really digging the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel line. There's a certain je ne sais quoi about it that I really like.
Not the best photos but it's a really pretty dusty lavender color. I'm not sure I would say it goes perfectly with my skin tone but there's something I like about it.

Are you having snow today?? Perhaps a "snow day" even?

E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

Despite what you may be led to believe by the name of this post, I am NOT a football fan. I don't watch Sunday football. I can't remember if Monday night football is the thing or if its Thursday night football now. However, with the super bowl quickly approaching and my law firm having a pre-super bowl fiesta today for lunch, I felt obligated to partake in some football festivus. So I pulled out my children's XL Westbrook jersey (note: he doesn't even play anymore) from the depths of my closet, dusted it off (the last time I wore it was in college), and made some Italian hoagie dip (delicious!) and headed to work. I totally looked like a football fan! I also couldn't forget my nails! I did a quick water marble in the Eagles green, black, and white.
The water marble clearly showed that I did these in a hurry. They were definitely not as tidy as I would have hoped but whatever, I knew I'd be changing them quickly anyway. So I let them stay.
On the plus side, they went with my jersey perfectly. And I still got a few compliments on them!
Are you cheering on one of the teams in the superbowl? I'll root for the birds only because I'm from the Philadelphia area and I feel like I have to. Now, if they were playing the Green Bay Packers I would have to change my vote. I'm a fan of Green Bay because their mascot is cheese. And any team incorporating food is a-okay with me! Have a great weekend!
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