Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jax Seal of Approval: Lechat Nobility Gel Nail Polish

First off, my apologies for not posting on Monday.
My final was due yesterday and I wanted to make sure my focus was on that.
I know how much all of you were looking forward to one of my wisdom filled posts.


I am a creature of habit.
I find a brand that I love and I stick to it.
 I will forever love Dove and I will never stray from Clinique face make up.
My manicures are no exception.

I always go for a short nail with a square shape.
I never, ever put on tips or anything else that’s fake.
The one time I did put on tips, I dropped a quarter at the bakery and I could not pick it up.  Embarrassing!
Since a regular manicures chip within a day, I always splurge for a gel manicure.
The gel manicure might cost an extra $15, but it’s almost guaranteed to last me 2-3 weeks.
See how I saved money there?  That’s called thinking ahead!

It’s not just the type of mani that I’m particular with.  I’m just as particular with the brand I use.
I will only use CND-Shellac gel nail polish.
It lasts the longest and has the nicest finish of all the different brands that I have tried.
My only negative critique for them is their small selection of colors.  Other than that, perfection!

In an attempt for some alone time last week, I went for an early Christmas manicure.
I knew that I wanted red, but I wanted a very deep berry-red to compliment my skin tone.
That’s when my favorite nail technician recommended a new brand of gel polish.
My eyes automatically narrowed in skepticism, but I had to let her speak her mind out of respect.

She painted a sample nail so I could see the color, and let me tell you it was exactly what I wanted.
Since I was swooning over the color, I gave her the green light.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jax stepped out of her box and tried a new brand of gel polish.
It’s now a week later, and the polish is just as vibrant and as chip free as CND-Shellac.
I may just have a new favorite.  Well, a new second favorite.

The new nail polish is Lechat Nobility.
It has sexy new colors and just opens a whole new door for my nails!
Roll out the red carpet, because Jax just gave her seal of approval.
No worries, Shellac, I still love you too!

Will you try Lechat Nobility gel nail polish, or stick with your favorite brand?

Friday, December 12, 2014

TV: The Walking Dead

I finally gave in and started watching The Walking Dead.
...and by starting to watch, I mean that I'm in season 4 after 2 weeks of binge watching...
This show is completely and 100% addicting-ly good.
When I first heard people talking about, I was all like "Nahh, it's a zombie show. Ew."
Then another year passed and everyone was watching it.
I put it in the cheesy, fan-overly-obsessive category along with Twilight and High School Musical.
I take pride in the fact that my eyes never laid on ANY of the above.
Boy, was I wrong.

First off, this show is not a zombie show.
It's a show about an almost-apocalypse and survival.
It leaves you curious about the main character's past lives.
It is filled to the brim with juice about the characters relationships amongst each other.
It makes you jump when you least expect it and it has just the right amount of action.
It can make you cry, laugh, and hang on the edge of your seat all in one episode.
Can you tell that I'm hooked?

My favorite part about this show, is how you grow to really love these characters.
Psh, I totally call Maggie on the daily.  Duh, girl talk!!
Each character has their own place, and they fit in it really well.

So, let's play a Jax game.

The future hubby and I were arguing about who our favorite characters were.
I took a guess and went with Maggie since she's smoking hot and kicks ass.
Yea, well, I was wrong.
His favorite character is Glenn Rhee.
He said because he's smart, funny, and quickly advanced to a key player.
...and, yes, he gives him serious credit for getting the hottest girl on the show...

Then, he tried to guess my favorite character.
He took a swing at it and picked Rick.
Yea, well, he was just as wrong.
Then he picked Michonne.
She does run a close second.  She's one kick-butt lady that I totally admire.
My favorite is Daryl Dixon.
I picked him because he has one of the biggest set of huevos on the show!
He hooked me the first time he gutted a zombie to see if Sophia was inside.  Swoon...

So, those are our two favorite picks.
Mushy picks the walkers.  She loves to imitate them and then giggle after her performance.
I think you guys should play right along with us.
And, if you agree with Mushy, you must send a video of your zombie imitation!

Which character is your favorite on The Walking Dead?
If you have never seen it before, will you watch, or is it just another Twilight?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wedding: 8 Month Marker

I haven't mentioned the wedding much since the nine-month post.
I haven't really done much planning since then either.  Sigh...
It's amazing how a whole month goes by and you don't even realize it.

Just to recap:  At nine months we already booked the catering hall, saved our date and time at the church, picked our colors (ballerina pink and gold), wrote an estimated guest list (140 people, EEP!), and made our budget.
The catering hall only holds 120 people, so I will not be sending save the dates!

We are officially at the Eight-Month Marker!

Invitations:  I finally hired the person I want to make them.  The invitation style and the envelope I want has been chosen.  I picked the font I want them written in and the colors I want them to be.  I wrote out a count of how many people I'll be inviting and made a final decision of the amount of invites that I will actually need.  All that's left is to pick the wording that I want and to place the final order.  I'm hoping that we are on schedule the have these out by May.
This was surprisingly complicated!  You want a dot?  Ok, just pick WHICH dot out of these hundred.

Bridal Party:  We finalized our bridal party.
This is an accomplishment, right?

Honeymoon:  My future in laws surprised us with booking a flight and a hotel to a fancy place on the beach.  We aren't allowed to know the exact destination, but they let us know that we don't need to plan anything.
Just because I didn't plan this, doesn't mean it isn't an accomplishment, right?!

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping:  We went to Macy's Bridal and tried on a bunch of dresses.  To go with the ballerina pink and gold theme, they are rocking real pretty pink dresses, with hot gold shoes.  The ladies officially know what they will be wearing.  The dresses have been ordered and should be here in 4-6 months.
This is at least one huge CHECK off the to do list!  Woo hoo!

Groomsmen Tuxedos:  While they didn't pick out the exact tux that they will be wearing, they did finally decide on a color.  I really wanted white, but they all fought this.  We settled on a very light gray to compliment the ballerina pink.
But, white totally would have been sharp!

Wedding Dress:  At Macy's bridal, I was prepared for war.  I was ready to try on 100 dresses and not be happy with any of them.  Boy, was I wrong!  I tried on one dress and fell in love.  I knew it was the perfect one for me, and I felt no need to try on another.  I said yes to a dress!
My family and friends were disappointed with the short show, but the dress was perfection.  :)

This is as far as we have gotten.  We still need to look at flowers, book a DJ and photographer, order a cake, book the limo, get Mushy a flower girl dress, buy the wedding rings, collect all the addresses, make the donation in lieu of the favors, and do a million other things to make this day rock.
Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it!

Where do you think a couple should be at the eight-month marker?

Friday, December 5, 2014

List: Family Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is swiftly approaching.
Oh, how I don't want the season to end.
I'm excited to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and window shop at Macy's on 34th st.
I live for the cheesy Life Time movies, the yummy fig cookies, and the mugs of hot chocolate.
I get happy when I wake up to a decorated tree and a house filled with red and gold.
Not to mention all those extra days off from work...
This is just overall the best time of year.

The hardest part of the holiday is picking out all the clever and tasteful, yet inexpensive gifts.
Luckily for me, I started early.  Like 6 weeks ago early.  Go me!
Mushy will wake up to an obnoxious amount of toys, clothes, and a potty with big girl panties.
My God son will get a few toys, a portable DVD player with a car holder, and clothes.
My baby cousin will get the game Battleship, a Hello Kitty Karaoke Player, and clothes.
Well, the kids are easy...They don't have everything yet, like us adults.

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Family

1.  Madre
ILoveGradma Picture Frame, Chrystal-Design Vase, and Sonoma Vase Filler

Bought from

2.  Future Mother-In-Law
Ralph Lauren Flats

Bought from

3.  Daddy AKA The Viking
ILoveGrandpa Picture Frame, and a Media Stand
I usually don't splurge this much, but he does a lot for us and he recently moved.

Bought from Target.

4.  Future Father-In-Law
Nautica Shirt and Pants

Bought from

5.  Grandpa AKA Papa
Croft & Barrow Polo and a Heated Ice Scraper

Bought from

6.  Nanny
The I Love Lucy: Colorized Christmas Special

Bought at Target.

7.  Cousin
Slippers and Sterling Silver Family Tree Pendant

Bought at Target.

8.  Brother
Old Navy Outfit and Joe Name It Party Game

Bought from

9.  Mushy's School Teachers
Ghiardelli Latte Mug Gift Sets

Bought at Target.

10.  The Future Hubby
A smart phone, Puma sneakers, and a Shutterfly Photo Album from displaying this year's family highlights.

Purchased from


Have you been inspired by these ideas?  If so, which one?  If not, share some new ideas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

List: How to make time for yourself?

As a continuation from Monday's post, let's talk about ways to make time for yourself.

When you constantly run around without time to diffuse, you tend to eventually explode.
Everyone's brain needs a break.  I don't care who you are!
As a mother, this is extremely hard for me to do.
It isn't because of time.  It's guilt.  I feel guilty not spending all my extra time with Mushy.
It took me almost two years to be able to master this whole "me time" thing.

How to make time for yourself with a busy schedule.

1.  Get Away
...this doesn't mean run away to the Caribbean...unless you can, then go and invite me!
Sometimes it's hard to stop your daily responsibilities and take a break.  Things like vacuuming, cleaning dishes, or reading your baby a story are way too tempting.  Sometimes the only way to make sure that you're going to focus on yourself, is to step away from everything for a short while.  Go read a book at Starbucks or take a jog around the neighborhood.  How about a relaxing mani/pedi or browsing through a cosmo in the sun on a park bench?  I promise that you will not feel an urge to sweep the floor at Starbucks or read books to the puppies at the park.  Get away to anywhere that your focus will only be on you.

2.  Play Hookie
I'm not talking everyday now, so don't get crazy.  This is for near explosion emergencies!
Sometimes the weekends are jam packed with errands and chores.  Other times your nights are filled with work or school.  There are times when you just can't make time for yourself because your schedule just won't allow it.  There is no shame in taking a mental health day and using PTO time at work.  There is no shame in skipping one class and resting instead.  I wouldn't make this a habit, but it can be very helpful in maintaining stress.

3.  Plan Ahead
Here she goes again trying to push her OCD on us.  Ok, maybe I'm guilty, but it works!
It's often that the culprit to your overwhelming life is yourself.  Take a few hours on Sunday and cook for the work week.  This will help you have time to relax during the week.  Take an hour during the week and budget your money for the month.  Maybe you can afford a few luxuries like take out, or that mani/pedi we were talking about.  Stay late at work on Friday, and be work free all day Saturday.  There are things everyone can do to make the most out of the time they have.  Practice this and you'll be amazed with the free time you can squeeze in!

4.  Recognize Your Time Killers
This will be different for everyone, so the solution is going to be unique to you.
My biggest time killer is my mommy guilt.  I hate kissing my Mushy goodbye to tend for myself.  This KILLS me like you have no idea.  I recognized this and I did what I needed to do to fix it.  I decided that there are relaxing things Mushy and I could do together on weekends.  I try to read her a book every night and teach her something while I'm doing it.  I ask my man to spend time with her for an hour so I can have time for me without feeling as bad.  There are ways around everything.  Recognize it and fix it.

5.  Schedule It
...I'm all for schedules, but don't forget about impromptu you time.  That's the best kind.  :)
What's your thing?  Maybe it's yoga.  Sign up for a Yoga class and work your life around it.  Wednesday nights at 7 might be your yoga you-time!  Maybe you need girl time.  Friday night happy hour from 5-7 might become your you-time!  There are things you can schedule into your life.  Watch how your responsibilities fall around your scheduled you-time like it was there all along.

How do you make time for yourself?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Discussion: Who to blame when it isn't anyone's fault?

A typical work day for me is 8am-7pm at night.
Sometimes it is longer, and very rarely it is shorter.
I drive a 30-40 minute commute home.
Once I'm home, I then fight for a parking space on my very crowded street.
...and yet my landlord's grandson has space for an unregistered boat trailer.  Oh, how that infuriates me!
By now it's approaching 8pm.  I'm dragging my feet down the street and up the drive way.
My brain is contemplating what I could cook for dinner that would allow me to eat quickly.
That's when I open my front door and find my fiancee sitting on the couch playing Grand Theft Auto.
Every night I walk into that, he looks at me like I caught him with another woman!
A deep breath and a scowl later, I hug my mushy and make my way into the kitchen
I cook dinner, clean up best I can, eat, and then lay in bed to try and get baby girl to sleep.

The point of this post isn't to complain.
I'm making a point that my fiance did nothing wrong, and yet I hate him for this.
In fact, he's helping me.  He picked up Mushy from daycare, changed her, and watched her.
He's doing all of this while I am pursuing my "career" and making some overtime.
He also works a full time job.  I just thought I'd mention that.  We ain't paying day care for nothing!
While I know all of this is true, I still want to throw the TV at his head whenever I walk though the door.

This isn't something that bothers me and I keep inside.
Well, maybe 3 out of 5 nights a work week I do.
This is something that we argue about constantly.
I'll ask him when is it my turn to take a break or why am I responsible for all of this?
He always responds with the same answer, "I appreciate what you do, but I didn't ask you to".
Oh, how that line infuriates me further!  I mean, if I don't do it, who will?

I need to take a step back, and stop punishing him for stuff that is out of his control.
He does manual labor all day, and maybe he does deserve a few hours on the couch.
I should appreciate the stuff he is doing that many women don't have the luxury of having done for them.
Maybe I need to remember how he surpised me with a cooked meal on my arrival 2 days ago?
Or, I should remember that the new jewelry box he got me yesterday so my necklaces won't get tangled?
And, maybe I need to think about how my life is so busy because of all the things I add to my schedule?

The truth is, even if I had time to relax, I probably wouldn't because that just isn't me.
Maybe I'm just jealous that he has the ability to sit down and do absolutely nothing.

Do you blame someone for things that aren't their fault?

**This week, stay tuned for posts to follow in relation to this:  "How to make time for yourself" and  "How to diffuse an argument before it starts".**

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipe: Thanksgiving Potluck

Let's have a Thanksgiving Recipe Potluck!
If you e-mailed me a recipe, you are featured on R&W below.
**A big thanks to everyone who participated.**

First and foremost, Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving to everyone and their families.
...and now for the good part, the food...


Garlic Brussell Sprouts
Submitted by Jax from Raviolis & Waterworks.

(1) Pkg Brussell Sprouts
(6) Cloves of Garlic – Minced
(1) Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(1) Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes

Bring a large pot of water to a rigorous boil.
Meanwhile, thoroughly clean the Brussell Sprouts.  Once cleaned and dried, cut them in halves.
The largest turn off from these yummy veggies is the consistency, cutting them in half helps.
Put the cut Brussell Sprouts in the water and boil for about 12-15 minutes.
The vegetable should turn to a very pretty light green color once it has been sufficiently boiled.
Strain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil.
Sauté the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the olive oil until it is a light brown color.
Add the Brussell Sprouts, stirring them into the garlic mixture until they are well coated.
Sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve hot.
This is Mushy’s favorite.  In her words “yummy, yummy, yummy”.


Roasted Sliced Yams
Submitted by Linda from Woke Up Out of Bed

Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Coat a roasting pan with olive oil.
Slice the yams in 2” thick rounds.
Sprinkle the yam rounds with more olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
You may also add any additional herbs you like.
Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes.


Spiced Pecans
Submitted by Betsy from My Five Men

(2) cup pecan halves
(1/4) cup brown sugar
(1/4) cup melted butter
(4) tsp hot sauce, like Cholula
(1) tsp salt
(1/2) tsp pepper

Spray cookie sheet with oil.  Mix all ingredients and spread in a single layer on sheet.
Bake 350* for 12 minutes, stirring once half way through.
Coating will harden as it cools.  
These are mildly hot and spicy but nicely balanced with the brown sugar.  Very addictive!


What are your Thanksgiving meal Plans?
Gobble, Gobble.

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