let’s have a great summer!

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Here’s to long, hot summer nights.

Wearing summer dresses.

And making memories.

Let’s have a great summer!

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stop the glorification of busy

While in college I could go on and on about how busy I was. I thought it made me sound cool. Oh, I can’t meet for that group project because I have to go to work/class/back home/etc. 

Then I graduated and I kept up with thinking that staying busy meant I was cool and that my time was  more valuable. I just traded homework and class for laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, etc. You know, grown up stuff.

And now? A few years later I’ve learned that it’s okay to want to stay in for the night. Just because. It’s okay that I’m the type of person who enjoys making breakfast and taking walks around the neighborhood on Saturdays. I don’t need to fill every minute of every day in order to feel like I’m being the best me I can be at this moment.

You and your time are valuable and precious.

I think it’s time we all stop the glorification of busy and start enjoying where we are right now.

saw it. pinned it. did it! – at home gel mani

**Today I’m linking up with Stephanie for Saw it. Pinned it. Did it. Link up every Thursday!**

A few weeks ago I went in search of someplace I could get a manicure at a salon that didn’t cost me an entire days wages. Would you believe it that I found someplace a quarter of a mile from my office! I can get a really good mani for $12… TWELVE DOLLARS! Seriously ladies, amazing!!

Obviously I’m a fan of the pro mani, but I’m also a fan of at home spa nights. Which is where this lovely pin comes in! My sister pinned it for me. Ilovethismani! It’s an at home gel manicure without the extra coats of whatever it is and the creepy light that they use in salons. I’ve done this at home mani twice now and I can’t see myself going to a salon anytime soon. The best part is that you can use your own nail polish – you don’t have to buy special gel colors!

How’s it done?

One. Use nail polish remover to remove any old nail polish and to gently clean nails. Then wash hands with soap and water.

Two. File/shape nails.

Three. Use a nail buffer block. Simply follow the directions that come with it. It’s easy. Sometimes if I want to let my nails breathe for a bit I’ll take off the color and buff my nails. You’d be surprised at how pretty and shiny they can get with this.

Four. Apply two thin coats of the Gelous Nail Gel to your nails.

Five. Apply one thin coat of your color.

Six. Apply one thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel.

Seven. Apply one thin coat of your color.

Eight. Finish by applying one coat of your favorite top coat.

**NOTE: It is recommended that you allow for each layer to dry for a few minutes before adding the next layer – FOLLOW THIS. Don’t paint another coat too quickly or it will smudge. Nobody likes smudges.**

VOILA!! Your own GEL MANI at HOME!!

I have a hard time keeping one color on my nails for very long, so unfortunately I don’t know exactly how long it’ll last on my nails. BUT I can say that I had it on for 6 days and there wasn’t a single chipNot one!

I’ve found that drying time is a bit longer than simply painting your nails because there are so many layers. So I recommend first … go pee. We’ve all been there. Don’t be the girl that has to pee 51 seconds after finishing your nails. ha! After that I recommend pouring yourself a larger than usual glass of wine and watching the bachelorette while doing your nails.

To remove the polish, simply put some acetone on a cotton ball and wipe away. If you’ve never used acetone before (I hadn’t until I tried this), but it works amazingly well.

Happy nail painting! If you try this, let me know! I’d love to see your pictures 🙂 And don’t forget to link up!

sarah and craig are MARRIED!

This past weekend I got to celebrate my friends wedding in Ohio! Sarah C (not to be confused with Sarah J [me]) looked absolutely stunning and the two of them together looked happier than I’ve ever seen them. Sarah and I met in college before I transferred to DePaul and she has changed my life. She is so caring, loving, goofy, and beautiful – inside and out. Craig looked so calm, happy, ready, and super handsome.

Thank you for letting me share your day with you both! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

(and I can’t wait to see those adorable babies you’re going to make!)

Much love to the happy couple!

gettin’ fit

So! My sister is getting married in September and I am the maid of honor. YAY!

I am so, so excited to be a part of their wedding and am trying to be as big of a help as I can. I listen while she talks through ideas and offer up (a few) suggestions. I’m lucky though, my sister is the opposite of bridezilla. She’s calm, knows what she wants, and is taking it one step at a time.

Besides all the fun planning and doing, it just occurred to me over the weekend that I should probably consider getting into SHAPE for this wedding! I mean, the pictures are going to be hung up and everyone is going to see them forever and ever sooooo that arm flab? It’s gotta go.

The problem with this is that I’m a fair weather exerciser. When I’m on it, I’m ON it. When I’m not… I’m so not. I’ve decided that my first step will be to simply TAKE a step. Walking/jogging. I used to do the C25K plan and then stopped in week 6 (you know, when it gets hard). I’m considering starting that again, but for right now, I’m going to start with power walking. (Or um, simply walking at all)

Last night I did what I consider to be the craziest thing evarrrr… I walked home from work! Seriously people. I walked. It was a spur of the moment thing and it felt great. Next time I’ll definitely change my shoes (I wore flats, like the smartie that I am). I walked exactly 4.14 miles in 53 minutes. That’s 12:47 min/mile! *Pats self on back*

I would like to lose a couple of pounds before the wedding… nothing too crazy. Mostly I’d like to tone up a bit. I have weights at home so if you have any tried-and-true exercises, let me know!!