Friday, August 29, 2014

31 Day Nail Challenge: Day 2 (Orange)

This week's color is orange.  In case you missed it last week, I am doing this 31 day nail challenge, but extending it to once a week instead of once a day.  If you're interested, you can check out my strawberry red nails here.

The motivation for my orange nails this week came to me easier than I thought it would.  These nails were inspired by the fact that I went to a Giants game during the week.  I initially wanted to do an SF logo on my nails but that was too hard.  Then I wanted to do a baseball design but realized that would only use white and red polish which would make no sense for this week.  So I ended up doing a simple design using only orange and black. 

For the orange I used Spoiled polish.  For the black I used my Essie black polish and painted on a slanted tip.  It's basically a french manicure but the tips are painted on slightly slanted.  It is super simple to do and it doesn't look too wild.  And they must have been good luck because the Giants won.  And not just won, but with the most exciting homerun ending to win the game by Buster Posey!  

Any suggestions for next weeks yellow nails?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Favorites

August is almost over already?!  That means summer is basically over.  And that makes me sad.  It always comes and goes too fast.  Fall isn't so bad and Autumn is probably my favorite season.  It is full of so many good things like sweater weather, lots of soup, leaves changing colors, and lots of birthdays.  So I guess I shouldn't complain.  Before we get too excited though, lets finish off some favorites from August. 


My favorite beauty item this month has definitely been these quick dry drops.  If you are as obsessed with painting your nails as I am, then you need this in your life!  All you have to do is put a drop of this stuff on your nails after you paint them and it makes the polish dry almost instantly.  It is perfect if you don't have time to wait for your nails to dry or if you paint your nails before bed and don't want them to smudge on the sheets.  I don't know how this stuff works but it is like magic in a bottle.  I was introduced to this product through a Julep subscription box.  But don't worry, you can buy it online too!  Major retail stores sell it or you can even buy it on Amazon.   

I Googled olive green maxi dress and this came up.  I don't know who she is but I WANT IT!
My favorite fashion item at the moment is Maxi dresses.  I never used to like them because I thought they looked too old lady for me.  But after I tried one on I fell in love.  First off they are so comfortable!  It's basically like wearing a night gown, but they are acceptable to wear in public.  They are so versatile too.  You can dress them up with a pair of heels and the right jewelry, or just go for the casual look with some sandals for a summer BBQ.  The style is flattering on any body type since they are long they make you look tall and slim without even trying.   


My food favorite this month is my Nature Box.  I started this subscription box last month and am loving it already.  It's a monthly subscription box full of healthy snacks.  In each box you get 5 snacks, which you can either choose yourself or have them chosen at random.  The snacks include granola bars, nuts, chips, dried fruit, and some sweet treats.  I have been choosing my own snacks and haven't found one I don't like yet.  This is similar to the Graze subscription boxes I used to get.  With the recent move I had to cancel that subscription and decided to try Nature Box instead this time.  Nature Box is more expensive than Graze but you get 5 snacks instead of 4 and you get more of each snack. 


To be honest, I don't watch a lot of TV, but I did start watching one show in particular.  It's called Rising Star.  It is a new singing competition show similar to American Idol but with a few twists.  All the voting is done live during the show through voters at home.  The show has their own App that you have to download if you want to vote (don't worry the App is free).  You check-in before the performer starts and either vote yes or no.  Then whoever gets the lowest vote from the night goes home.  The other twist is that the judges get to vote too.  The judges are Brad Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris.  I watched American Idol for the first couple seasons but it got old quick so I wasn't sure I was going to like this show.  But with the different twists and all new people, it's a fun show.  Also getting to interact and be a part of the show while it's happening is pretty cool. 


I didn't know how to include this favorite, so I just put it under random.  My random favorite this month is my bicycle!  I've had this bike for a few years now, but I haven't been able to use it for a while.  I finally brought my bike to my new apartment and have been really enjoying it.  It's so nice to be able to live in a town where I can ride my bike around to run errands.  We also have trails and parks with easy bike access, which has been great. 

What have you been loving this month?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spiked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Now I know a lot of people don't like oatmeal raisin cookies.  They feel deceived when they bite into one expecting a chocolate chip cookie.  Or maybe people think raisins don't belong in a cookie.  If you're one of those people, all I ask is please try these cookies first. They have booze in them so they can't be that bad, right? 

Unfortunately I don't remember where I found this recipe.  However, I did change a few things, so I'll just tell you what I did.  The reason I like these cookies is because they are so moist in the center but still have that crispy outside.  I have been experimenting with coconut oil in cookie recipes lately, and I think it is helping achieve that perfect cookie texture.  

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies. 
3/4 c raisin
2-3 tbsp whiskey
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c coconut oil - divided
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 c oats

1.  Combine the raisins and whiskey in a bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds, just to warm up.  Then cover and let sit at least 30 minutes for the raisins to soak up the booze. 
2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
3. In a separate bowl, cream together 2 tbsp coconut oil, sugar, and honey.  Then add the egg, the other 2 tbsp coconut oil, and vanilla. 
4.  Stir in flour and oats followed by the raisins. 
5.  Scoop cookies by a heaping tbsp onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. 
Bake @350 10-12 minutes then let cool on the sheets for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. 

This recipe originally called for rum instead of whiskey.  However, I only had whiskey on hand so that's what I decided to use.  I have made these with rum before as well, and I can honestly say that both taste great.  Just depends what flavor you prefer. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

31 Day Nail Challenge: Day 1 (Red)

So this whole move thing threw off my monthly challenges.  Somehow the monthly challenge sheets got lost in the midst of never ending packing and boxes that is moving.  Since I can't seem to find them nor remember where online I found them, I decided to start a completely different type of challenge.  

If you couldn't tell, I am slightly obsessed with nail polish.  You will never see my fingers or toes without polish on them.  Unless it's because I am in the process of re-painting.  Fingers and toenails are just not pretty, and I'd much prefer to hide them behind a pretty color or design instead.  

I found this challenge on my friend's blog where she was doing all sorts of crazy designs that looked too fun to pass up.  The original challenge is to do a different design every day for 31 days.  I'm sorry, but who has time to paint their nails every single day?  I love painting my nails, but that is even too much for me.  And what if I really like the design?  I sure as hell wouldn't want to wipe it off the next day.  Instead, my goal is to do the challenge once a week.  

Here is the list of challenges:

Day 1 is Red Nails.  Feeling inspired by the summer I decided to try making a strawberry nail design.  For starters I had to choose a red color for the base.  You wouldn't think that should be very hard.  But again with the obsession of nail polish tends to make that a bit more difficult.

WARNING:  There will be awkward photos of my hands to follow.  I don't know how people get their fingers to pose so perfectly when showing off their nails.  Obviously I have no future in hand modeling.  I think I'll survive. 

So I chose this red polish because it was the lightest and brightest.  Next I used my Essie black polish with the help of a toothpick to make dots for the seeds.  Lastly, I used my green nail art polish to make the stem.

The design itself really wasn't that hard and doesn't take long either.  But you do need a steady hand.  I have come to realize I am garbage at painting designs with my left hand so you will most likely only see photos of my left hand nails.  If only I was ambidextrous. 

Any suggestions for next week's orange design?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Running

Runners Tell All Link-Up
Training: Favorite Person to Train With/Training Routine/Tips

Who do I run with
Honestly, I prefer to run solo.  When I started getting into running I loved that I could just stick my headphones in and sort of escape the world for a bit.  It is a great way to get out of your own head and just relax, not having to worry about anything else but the music streaming through your ears.  If I am running with someone else I am always thinking to myself, "Am I running to slow for them? Am I holding them back? Or maybe I'm running too fast, should I slow down?"  The only exception to this would be if I am running a long race or doing a fun run.  I would much rather have someone with me to enjoy the fun runs or help keep me motivated on a long race.  But for just day to day runs I prefer myself, the road, and some music. 

What tips do I have: 
A spoiler to the answer of the When question below- I prefer to run in the morning.  In order to make sure I actually wake up to do it though, I have some tips.  It's all about the planning ahead.  If I decide I am going to run in the morning I will first set my alarm.  Next I will put out my clothes and shoes next to the bed.  Last but not least, I make sure to get a full night's rest.  That way when I wake up all I have to do is get up and change, no excuses.  

Where do I run:
Anywhere outside.  Unless it is winter and it's raining, I definitely prefer to run outside.  Running on a treadmill can be nice if you are trying to track distance or speed more precisely, but it gets boring.  The scenery never changes.  There's something so refreshing about running outside in the fresh air and getting to see the world!  Okay, so 'the world' I am referring to may just be the trail down the street from my apartment, but at least it beats the view of an old hairy man on the stationary bike that I'd probably see in the gym.  

When do I run
Bright and early.  There's a few reasons why I prefer to run in the morning.  First off it's cooler in the morning, which is especially nice in the summer.  The thought of running on a summer afternoon in the dry heat sounds miserable.  Another nice thing about running in the morning is you get it done early and can continue on feeling good that you've already accomplished something with your day. 

How about them sunrises though?

Why do I run:
A big reason of Why I run is actually up in the Who section.  Running is a great stress reliever and escape for me.  Although I am working out and may be exhausted and out of breath, it is somehow still relaxing.  Sometimes I think running is more of a mental exercise than physical.  I run because it makes me feel good.  It makes me feel accomplished and proud of myself when I set my mind on a certain run or race and then I finish it. 

How do I train
For my day-to-day schedule, I don't really have a standard running routine.  The only time I have an actual running schedule is if I am training for a certain race.  When I am not doing that though, I try to run maybe 3-4 times per week, although that doesn't always happen.  Work and life seem to keep getting in the way.  It sure was a whole lot easier to find time to run/exercise when I was in school with all kinds of free time.  Oh how I miss those days..