Nail Art

Painted nails have hit a crazy new level of ornate thanks to people like Lady Gaga, Rhianna, and Katy Perry. The trend lately is to paint tiny works of art onto each nail – the detail can get crazy! Here is a great sampling of current trends below…animal print, checkered, and “french manicure” with unique colors.


Well, I decided to jazz up my nails a little bit for Easter weekend and hop on the current nail trend bandwagon – the ring finger glitter nail.

I painted the rest of my fingers per usual (base coat, 2 coats of enuf is enuf, top coat). I did one coat of enuf is enuf on each ring finger and let them dry completely. Then I used essie’s luxeffect polish in set in stones and painted one top coat (thanks for the polish, S!).

Then I finished each ring finger with a top coat to make sure that glitter wasn’t going anywhere. Voila!

Summer Weddings

I feel like every summer we have at least one wedding to go to and therefore, I am always on the hunt for a great summer dress. I realized a few years ago not to wait until there is a specific event for which you need a dress to go dress shopping. Inevitably when you’re under pressure to find something specific, you will never find the perfect thing. So, I made it my rule that if I am ever scouring sale racks or stores like Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx always take a spin through the dress section to see if there is anything great for future use.

Well, I just found perfection in a dress a few weeks ago! I had to share…the color is called poppy and I think it’s so striking, the cut is so cool, and then length is wonderfully modern – not too short, not too long. I am wearing it to a dressy spring event with strappy heals and a more casual wedding this summer with gold wedges.

Happy dress hunting!

Orange Beef and Broccoli

Sometimes I like a good stir fry. We made a delicious Orange Beef and Broccoli recipe the other night and it came out great so I thought I would share. We very loosely based our recipe on what I have below, but also added water chestnuts for a crispy bite and served over brown rice.

Orange Beef and Broccoli Recipe
adapted from http://www.myrecipes.com

1 head of broccoli, steamed for 5 minutes
1/3 C fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/3 C low-sugar orange marmalade
2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 Tsp salt
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into thin slices
Olive oil

Combine broth, marmalade, soy sauce, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Dredge steak in cornstarch. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add steak; sauté 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Add broth mixture; cook 1 minute or until thick. Stir in broccoli (and 1 can of drained water chestnuts). Serve immediately (over brown rice).

Enjoy!

Monday Outfit

We had a crazy morning in our house and I ran out of time to show you my Monday Outfit this morning before I had to dash off to work. Well here is what I wore today – white lace top, blue pants, my favorite brown motorcycle leather jacket, and a wrist full of blue bangles. Have a great week!

J Crew vintage tee
$60 – jcrew.com

Leather biker jacket
$360 – topshop.com

J.Crew skinny pants
$50 – jcrew.com

Seychelles shoes
$51 – endless.com

Antik Batik gold bangle
$110 – stylebop.com

Teeny Tiny Easter Basket

For our baby girl’s first Easter, I decided the Easter Bunny would bring her a teeny tiny Easter Basket for a teeny tiny girl. I bought this cute basket from Paper Source and then was on the hunt for appropriate tiny items to fill it with. She can’t eat candy and she can’t play with things that are too small, so here is what I finally came up with…
…a tiny rubber ducky Easter bath toy and her hand-painted Easter Egg on a bed of green Easter grass. The Easter Bunny also got her this great duck that quacks when it’s squeezed, but he is too big for the basket and will sit next to it.

Happy Easter!

New Easter Egg Tradition

We were at a “paint your own wood” furniture store this past weekend (getting a storage unit for our family room that I will tell you about at a later date) when I saw these really cute wooden eggs at the cash register and immediately thought of a great new Easter Egg tradition!

When our baby girl is older we will definitely dye real eggs with her every year, but I thought starting this year I would paint a wooden egg for her Easter basket and when she is older she can paint one herself.

So…for our inaugural hand-painted Easter Egg, I decided on the purple of her nursery with glitter polka dots! Here’s how I did it.

 

First, my husband drilled a hole through the egg for me. Then I stuck a bamboo skewer in the hole and used it to hold while I painted the egg.

 
Then, I stuck the skewer in a plant to let the purple paint dry overnight.

 
The next day when the purple was completely dry, I used glue to hand draw the polka dots, shook white glitter over, and tapped off the excess. I used a Q-tip to neaten up the dots and then let dry for a few hours. To hang, I thread a little string on a piece of wire and pulled through the pre-drilled hole. Last, I wrote her name and date on the bottom and….done – it came out so cute!

Easter Centerpiece

Looking for something to bring to Easter brunch this weekend? How about this adorable and edible centerpiece! I found this craft on my friend’s Pinterest page and I became obsessed immediately with what a great idea this is and how easy it is to make.

Materials:
Square or rectangular glass vase
Green jelly beans
Peeps
Bouquet of your favorite flowers
Smaller vase with water

First, pour your green jelly beans into the square or rectangular glass vase. Then position peeps around the perimeter of the vase, squish them in a little so they stay put and the vase looks full. Last, place your bouquet of flowers into the smaller vase with water and position on top of the green jelly beans, inside the peeps. Voila – so cute!

Mussels

My husband and I love mussels. It’s our go-to appetizer whenever we’re out to dinner. When we honeymooned in France, one of our favorite meals was at a “Moules-Frites” restaurant where we dined on mussels and french fries while sitting outside on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

When we’re not a restaurant (or in France for that matter) we use the recipe below to make mussels at home. It’s so easy and tastes gourmet. Of course, I recommend eating with grilled bread to sop up the delicious broth.

Spicy Mussels in White Wine
adapted from epicurious.com


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1/3 C olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tsp fennel seeds
1 Tsp dried crushed red pepper
1/2 Tsp salt
1 C dry white wine
2 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices

1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed, debearded

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt; saute until onion is light brown, about 4 minutes. Add wine, lemon slices and 1/4 C parsley; bring to boil. Add mussels. Cover pot and cook until mussel shells open, stirring once to rearrange mussels, about 6 minutes; discard any that do not open. Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large shallow bowl. Boil broth in pot until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes; season to taste with pepper. Pour broth over mussels.

Enjoy!

PS. Did you know this is how Parisians eat mussels? They use one empty shell to squeeze and take the next one out of it’s shell. Tres chic…

Monday Outfit

I have been loving this sweater from Banana Republic for a while and it finally went on sale, plus I had an extra coupon – yes! I’ll be wearing it today… Have a great week!

Banana Republic metallic top
$90 – bananarepublic.gap.com

Victoria s Secret embroidered tank top
$18 – victoriassecret.com

Flared pants
$98 – bodenusa.com

White pearl jewelry
$110 – maxandchloe.com