January Favorites

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

This is a refreshing podcast with a wonderful Christian lady. I found out the show from my amazing sister-in-law Hannah and it’s amazing! She brings on bloggers, writers, podcasters and many others. The goal is to feel like you are sitting at happy hour with girlfriends and Jesse accomplishes that. It’s happy hour with friends that makes me happier!

Brown ankle boots

My brother-in-law very kindly gave me these boots for Christmas and I’m not sure if they have left my feet since. Very comfortable and great for my daily workplace. Also I’m 5’4″ so the moderate heel is nice as well.

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

My husband and I follow the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. (See my other posts on the subject) A revised book came out in September 2015 along with a beautiful cookbook and I have loved it ever since. The recipes are easy, delicious and I have yet to find a true dud. Yes there are some recipes I like less but that’s about it. In short its totally worth $16 and delicious no matter whether you follow THM or not. If you are still undecided try Lazy Lasagna as a sneak  peak 🙂

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Why I Paint My Nails…

About one year ago I decided make painting my nails part of my normal beauty routine. Before that point I would paint my nails every once in a while but not too frequently and the polish never stayed on too long. Also I wasn’t very good so I generally ended up picking at the nails in an attempt to fix the messy parts but inevitably chipping the polish in an unflattering manner.

However after painting my nails consistently for a month or so I realized some unexpected effects and reasons why I have continued to put the time toward the endeavor. First, my nails were better because I didn’t mess with them as much. While I might try and clean up stray polish I didn’t chew or pick at my actual nails, giving them a chance to grow and strengthen.

Second, I felt more put together with painted nails. Growing up I thought my aunt was the epitome  of cosmopolitan sophistication. This in part was due to her long blonde hair that was stylishly curled and her acrylic nails. I remember her playing the piano with us and the nails clicking along on the keys. While I never had a desire for fake nails, painted nailes equaled glamour in my small mind. Now days I found that I can have no makeup on but if my nails are done I will feel pulled together.

Over this time of incorporating nail care into my beauty routine, I have learned a few tips for the process of painting my nails:

Top coats matter

Nails Inc 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar is my current favorite because it helps dry the nails quickly. Within a minute (45 seconds to be exact) the nail polish is dry to the touch. Please note they aren’t completely dry, if you accidentally hit your hand on the edge of your desk it will ding and smudge the setting polish. (Not that I did that recently 🙂 ) A good top coat makes the difference between a color for 2 days and a color for 5-7 days.

Quality of polish matters

I love Julep nail polish! (get your free box here) The colors are ever evolving and the quality is great. I also like that they are free of some of the harshest chemicals found in many traditional nail polishes.

Practice makes perfect

When I first started painting my nails consistently I stuck to pale and neutral colors as to not show mistakes as readily. However as I have become better at painting and more confident, my willingness to experiment with color has expanded. In December I painted my nails cherry red and loved it!

Do you keep your nails painted? What makes you feel put together and sophisticated?


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My Word for 2016

LIFE

I recently saw Rachel of Holy Craft post about her word of the year (Read more here). However this made me think “Do I have have a word of the year?” and without hesitation I knew what it was.

LIFE

In the last few months, I have felt limited by myself. Feeling like I can’t do something even though I have no external reason why or not doing something due to being uncomfortable or fearful. To me the word life means to live and grow.  Like a plant, you have to grow and stretch and weather storms in order to grow and live. I don’t want to shrink away from adventure or opportunities, I want to live life and have stories to tell.

Let 2016 be the year of living life and not shrinking from the beautiful memory making moments.