Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My New Obsession :: Essie's Gel Couture Polish

If you know me in real life you know the one thing I try and keep up with are my nails. I fully blame it on working at Starbucks for three years and not being able to wear nail polish for my obsession today. As a full time working mother, I don't have much free time on my hands anymore and with another little one on the way, it's about to get even rarer.

I'm so happy I finally decided to check out the Gel Couture line from Essie. Essie is easily one of my favorite brands of polish. I love their color range, the applicator brush and that their bottles allow for a neat and organized storage. The Gel Couture line has the same curved applicator tip that works with my cuticles allowing me to get close to the edges of my nail without flooding my cuticles with polish.

I've been looking at the line for months but just couldn't really justify the $11 a bottle till one day my perusing down the Target aisles I discovered Find Me A Mannequin was on sale for $6, now that's a price I can get behind! So into the cart it went for me to finally try out along with the Gel Couture top coat.

Fast forward passed dinner, playtime, cuddles and bedtime routine I was able to try this baby out! The application was great and I had a nice opaque color with one coat but I'm a set in stone routine type of person with always applying two coats of color and finished it off with the Gel Couture top coat. (My routine is base coat, two coats of color then top coat ALWAYS.)

Essie - Find Me A Mannequin | Day 1 of wear
Off the bat, I loved the color of the polish bottle to nail she was stunning and the top coat really put out the shine! Now the real question was would it last the 14 days of wear they were saying?

Well, I'm happy to report by day 15 (even after switching bedrooms around and a minor break in a nail) my polish was still looking pretty fabulous! I could have probably continued to sport it for a while longer but was itching for a new color on my nails. LOL

Essie - Find Me A Mannequin | Day 7 of wear

Essie - Find Me A Mannequin | Day 15 of wear

I have tried the no-chip polish route before in hopes of long-lasting color and well obviously no chips but hated the removal process when the whim came to change my color. With Essie's Gel Couture colors I am getting the lasting chip free color without the nightmare of removal when I want to change my color and it is cheaper than a trip to the salon. It's definitely easy to say I've found a new favorite polish collection!

Essie - Turn N' Pose | Day 1 of wear
And for anyone curious I opted to try Turn N' Pose when I switched my color out. Another stunning color!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Taking Time For Me.

After a bout of stomach flu followed by an upper respiratory illness two weeks ago, I'm starting to finally feel better however, it really played havoc with my energy and skin. Not to mention I'm also dealing with the internal struggle of keeping my hair long or chopping it off.

So tonight I decided to indulge in some self care, with the end of my pregnancy fast approaching I've decided to indulge in as much self-pampering as I can get before the chaos of balancing a newborn, toddler, career and being a wife consume any and all free time I may have (not that I'm really complaining.)

I'm currently really struggling with making a decision to keep my hair long or chop it off so for now, I'm opting to try and keep it as moisturized and static free as possible with my Kenra Daily Provision and Daily Serum Oil. I just evenly coat my hair with both products, brush my hair with my Wet Brush to avoid any further breakage with my hair and allowed it to air dry.

Next was cocoa butter to the belly to avoid any further stretch marks my darling little man is choosing to give Mommy this round of pregnancy. then time to embrace my facemask. Let that baby set for 10 minutes, rinsed off then moisturized with my Perfectly Posh Caffeine Stick and Moisutruze 911.

Queue intermission where it was time to play with my son and do our bedtime routine (He's very particular about sleeping with his cars & firetruck at night!) Once he was settled and down for the night

Time for some blogging, cookies and a movie to complete the decompression before bedtime and gearing up for another week ahead. What's your favorite way to indulge in self-pamper time?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bring it on 2018!

So it's obviously been a hot minute since I've posted here, like almost a year... My goal for 2018 is to change that. A lot has happened in this past year that I'd like to share with you wonderful readers.

My little guy isn't so little and will be three years old already this year. His personality is larger than life and we can barely keep up with him HAHA. He absolutely loves all things with a motor. He's definitely Mommy's little gearhead. If we aren't watching Thomas the Train then he has us play Fast and Furious (the second one and the 8th one are his absolute favorites!) He's obsessed with drag racing too. I'm sure I'll be in big trouble when he turns 16. (Lord help me!)

My living room can be constantly found littered with trains and cars from him holding races with them but we wouldn't have it any other way... Okay maybe we'd like the house to look a little neater but I'm pretty sure that comes with the territory of children.

Eleanor is her usual high maintenance princess self not that that should surprise anyone LOL

And for the big news! 

After a tough year of loss, praying and hoping we are expanding our family. We have another little boy due to arrive in April! 16 days shy of his big brother turning 3. I'm officially a boy mom and Eleanor & I are now outnumbered but we are looking forward to the challenge. 

 Now that's you're all up to speed on the past year let's jump into my goals for 2018. I decided not to do resolutions because I didn't want them to feel forced. I've opted to set goals for myself to accomplish this year. 

1. Get back into blogging. I really missed it.
2. Make weekly meal plans and stick with it.
3. Learn how to do calligraphy.
4. Survive motherhood with 2 little boys

I'm also hoping to share daily motivation posts on my social media channels [Facebook | Instagram | Twitter] so be sure to follow so you can see those as well.

Today's Daily Motivation is:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bottom Round Roast with Garlic and Thyme

Last Wednesday evening, following along our meal planning schedule, I made a bottom round roast flavored with garlic and thyme and oh my goodness was it DELICIOUS!! I couldn't get over have amazing the house smelled and how exquisite the flavor was!

For our meal I decided to to the roast with a side of steamed green beans & rice (just plain white rice, I chose to add a little bit of butter to mine.) Of course my toddler refused to eat any of it until I gave him a bowl of rice with a bit of soy sauce on it then he devoured it... (Picky toddler eating... such a joy..)

Am I the only one even when I take into account the cook times on the items I am preparing no matter how hard I try I can never seem to get all the pieces of our meal done at the same time. One of these days I will figure it out HAHA!

Of course because I was setting the table, hubby cut the roast up for us and then I devoured it so I spaced to take pictures of it! (blogger fail) So I'll share a picture from the post I found the recipe on (Thank god for Pinterest! LOL) However, this is definitely a recipe we will be keeping in our regular rotation! It was absolutely perfection! I'll just have to make sure to take a picture next time!

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon of fresh time thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (to be crushed), or more to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 Bottom Round Roast (about 3 pounds) you can also use Top Sirloin or Blade roast.
  • a meat thermometer
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Meanwhile create rub with minced garlic, thyme, and kosher salt by crushing garlic, salt, pepper and thyme together in a mortar and pestle, add olive oil and massage over meat.
  3. Set aside and bring to room temperature(about 20 minutes).
  4. Roast in hot oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 and cook for another 30-40 minutes. You want the internal temp at about 120-130. This is rare, but you can cook it to your liking.  Let rest for 10-20 minutes under aluminum foil.
  5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cherry Crisp

One of my favorite dessert / comfort foods is cherry crisp. It's delicious, warm and super easy to make. I use to make it in a square pan but mine recently decided to kick the bucket so this time around I tried my 9" circle cake pan and I feel like it came out a bit better. Gregory is happier with the proportions or the crisp to the cherry (he likes them balance while I could totally do more crisp than cherry LOL). I like that it just seemed to look prettier and still taste just as delicious!

Usually I like to go with a simple just cherry crisp but sometimes I like to add a little more fun and I'll do a scoop of vanilla ice cream or maybe some whip cream. It obviously taste the absolutely best when it's just out of the over (after giving it some time to cool to avoid burning your mouth lol) but I find a quick 20 second microwave (for a single portion not the whole pan...granted mine is in a metal pan so I DON'T recommend doing that!) and it's damn near close!

  • 1 can cherry pie filling (1 lb, 5 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 white cake mix, no pudding
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pie filling on the bottom of pan/dish, sprinkle with lemon juice.
  3. Combine dry cake mix with melted butter then spread over pie filling.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
What's your favorite comfort food? Do you make it when you're feeling down or just when the mood strikes you?

Weekly Meal Planning - January 9th - 15th

With the new year rolling in I wanted to get back into weekly meal planning and start to get the family on more of a schedule. I'm a planner I always feel better when I know what's going on and have a system worked out. Since we got back from our vacation in Gatlinburg, TN I haven't really been on top of meal planning. And granted we're a couple weeks into the year but I hit up Aldi and bought what felt like the entire store getting me set for close to a months worth of dinners.

Here's this week's meals:

I'm trying my hand at a few new recipes this week. The lemon garlic dump chicken was okay but I think my problem is I prepped the chicken after it was frozen (I partially defrosted it then prepped it and threw it back in the freezer) so I'm sure that affected the flavor.

Tonight's recipe is a garlic & thyme bottom round roast with mash potatoes and green beans. But I have to admit I'm pretty jazzed to try Saturday's dinner and am really hoping it turns out!

What's something you want to make sure you stick with into the new year?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekly Meal Planning - September 12th-18th

Back at it with week two of my meal planning on the blog! This week's meals are my way of cleaning out the fridge and freezer. We leave for vacation soon so I don't want a bunch of stuff to end up going bad on us. Sunday is looking to be my favorite meal of this week because my husband and I are going out for our 3 year wedding anniversary! We chose one of our favorite places which is a contemporary Japanese place that cooks all your food in front of you. It's super yummy and really filling. I always end up having left overs for lunch the following day LOL

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stuffed Pepper Soup - Crockpot Recipe

So I ended up mixing up my days on this week's meal plan and ended up making Sunday's dinner Saturday night, which ended up really working out for me because we decided to venture to the zoo and spent most of the day out. Coming home worn out from a long & fun day knowing dinner was just a scoop into a bowl away from being done was an amazing feeling! Not to mention it tasted pretty freaking delicious!

Not to mention I used my Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners like I always do (well since my Mom introduced me to them!) to make clean up just as easy!

You literally put the bag in (and its big enough to fit up to 6.5 quart pots!) fill up your ingredients and cook! The bags have never melted or torn on us!

And once dinner was finished all I had to do was lift the bag up, pour the leftovers into a tupperware, toss the bag into the garbage and take a damp sponge to the inside of the crock pot to wipe away some residual condensation from cooking all day!

Now for the recipe:


  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 cup - onion, diced (1 medium/large size)
  • 14-1/2 oz can Red Gold diced tomatoes with Roasted Garlic and Onions
  • 2 cups - green peppers and/or red peppers, chopped (I just used 2 green peppers)
  • 15 oz can Red Gold tomato sauce
  • 3 cups - beef broth
  • ½ teaspoon - dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon - dried oregano
  • 1 cup rice


  1. Brown your beef with your onion in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Drain your beef and onions and place in your slow cooker.
  3. Add your Red Gold tomatoes (juice and all) and the rest of your ingredients.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weekly Meal Planning - September 5th-11th

I've recently started to doing weekly meal planning, I had tried to do it previously but never seemed to stick with it or follow the plan however in the last few weeks I have found that it has been a true blessing to sit down on Sunday's and plan my week out. I've always been one that gravitates towards organization and I'm a HUGE planner but becoming a parent you learn there is no such thing is really having a set plan. Kids will always tend to throw you a curve ball into the mix. (Not that that is a bad thing!)

Being a full time working mother I've found that not only does planning my meals out for the week saves me a LOT of time (no "uh crap what should I make for dinner tonight?!"; no "lets just grab something to go" or even last minute grocery store trips for something to make), its also saved me money! Sitting down on Sunday mornings over a cup of more than likely cold coffee (hey toddler mom life! LOL) I'll take a quick peak in the freezer / fridge and figuring out what I should make for dinner that week (I don't worry about breakfast or lunch cause breakfast is pretty simple for us and lunch is a mix up of a couple options for each individual). Sometimes I'll take a gander through my Food :: Dinner Pinterest board and then begin to make decisions on what will be a part of our week's meals.

I always try and work my way through what is in the house first and when a recipe calls for something not in the house it gets added to the grocery list. Recently I've also started checking out Aldi for shopping and have been incredibly impressed with their selection and pricing! It can be a bit crazy there on the weekends but I just go with the flow.

When I started doing my meal planning I was just using a notebook and writing everything out but the graphic designer in me finally stepped up and created a fun and clean form I can print and fill out.

Here's a sample of the layout with this week's meals:

I am going to try and upload my weekly meal plans for you all in case you too are looking for ideas in your meals. Feel free to share some of your favorite meals with me! I'm always looking for new ideas.

If you'd like to use my Weekly Meal Plan form feel free to download it here! (Free Printable!)