Manicure Monday: Zoya Dovima

1/30/2012 07:00:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

Today's manicure is from Zoya. I recently acquired the polish during one of Zoya's amazing winter promos. They seriously love their costumers!

Dovima is a beautiful black matte polish. It was actually one of the few that I didn't own yet and decided it need to be a part of my collection. I'm glad I grabbed it, because it is a beautiful black with shimmer in it. Which gives it a deep charcoal look in certain lights. And while it's certainly beautiful in its matte form, adding a top coat makes the shimmer pop.

Natural light

Overhead light



Top coat, natural light

Top coat, flash

Top coat, flash

I love matte polishes, but they are finicky. They chip quickly, like in a day or two quickly. On top of that, oils from your skin can give the matte finish a more satin look. Sadly it's just the nature of the beast. I have heard that if you layer the polish that it can prolong the life the color (think: base coat, color, top coat, color), though I haven't tried that yet.

You can buy Dovima through the Zoya website.


Weight Loss Wednesday: Non Scale Victories

1/25/2012 07:00:00 AM Ashley 2 Comments

Lets be brutally honest here about weight...

When we don't see a loss on the scale we freak out. We've all done don't even pretend. It happens...we get into our heads. The added insult to injury is when we know we've been eating better and/or we've been working out a lot more than we ever have. Yet that number doesn't budge.

That stagnant number has sent me into a tailspin more times than not. I've cried, raged and just flat given up when my weight just won't budge. But a lot of times we are so blinded by the lack of weight loss that we don't notice that our jeans are fitting better...that a climb up the stairs feels like less of a can work out longer and harder...

Yet that number finds a way to hold us back. Sometimes there's just one number... I like to call it "the hurdle number", because it's just that one number you need to get past. Mine is 180 lbs. I can work my butt off and get to 180 lbs and then I can go for weeks not seeing a budge in my weight. It's my hurdle.

So what do we do when we're stuck? Look elsewhere. Sometimes we need to look at the simple things to see a change. Something that has nothing to do with the scale. I call those things Non Scale Victories (NSV). Now I can't take credit for that name or idea, as my husband told me about it. He saw it on a weight loss forum, but you better believe that I am going to be using it!

Pretty much NSVs are all of the good things that happen beyond actual weight loss. Things like fitting into an old pair of jeans, noticing you look thinner, being able to run faster/longer, not craving a food that was a staple...and so on.

As I was putting together my NSVs goals I tried to incorporate both looks, feeling and strength. But that's just what I wanted and everyone's NSVs will look different.

Here are my NSVs:

Non Scale Victories:

~ Fit into a pair of Gap jeans (they say that they are a 12...they are lying)
~ Be able to wear high heels for more than a half hour (this sucks for a shoe lover)
~ Be able to do 3 "girlie" pushups in a row (I can't even do one)
~ Look in the mirror and actually see change
~ Be able to run a full mile without walking
~ Be able to do one pull up

I will definitely be adding to my NSVs as I think of more, but this is a good start for me. And to go along with my NSVs I'm adding incentives to them. Just small things, like buy a shirt to go with the jeans I just fit into. Or get a pedicure to were with the open toed shoes you can wear for more than an hour. By no means do incentives have to be added, but for me it's an added little push.

Have you ever done something like NSVs before? If you have, did they help? If you haven't do you think you will give them a try? What would some of your NSVs look like?


Crafts: That dreaded rug

1/24/2012 12:53:00 PM Ashley 3 Comments

Remember that one time when I said I was going to make a rug?



Well I can't blame you as that was 8 months ago.

But it's almost done, I just have a very small handful of squares to fill. And while it didn't turn out how I wanted (I had to cut down on the size because of a lack of fabric), I can at least say I did it. And Emmett absolutely loves it and that's enough for me. I'll be posting the finished product within the week. So keep and eye out!


Manicure Monday:A sneak peak

1/23/2012 01:37:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

So here it is...Monday and my nails are very much naked. Not really a good thing for manicure Monday's. But fear not, here's a photo of some recent polish acquisitions to tease you...




Keep an eye out, because these will be showing up on my nails very soon. I promise!

If you are curious about names, comment and I'll get back to you with their names/brands.

And don't forget to sign up for my Konad nail stamping kit giveaway if you haven't done that already!


Weight Loss Wednesday: Starting

1/18/2012 09:55:00 AM Ashley 10 Comments

Weight loss has been a topic that has popped up on this blog many...many...many times. It's also something I have failed at many...many...many times.

The intention is there, the follow through it lacking.

So here I am on attempt number I don't care to count. But this time...this time something is different. Actually a few things are different. I have a solid plan and I have it written down. I have goals, measurements, incentives, Nate and my friend Cassie as well.


So this time around I am keep a journal of sorts. I'm not using it to track my food or anything like that. Instead I am using it to keep track of my weight, measurements, goals and incentives. I wanted to start tracking my measurements, because I tend to freak out when I see no weight loss...even if it's apparent that my thighs are thinner or my pants are looser. So taking measurement gives me another way to see the changes my body is going through.

Along with that I have weight goals and matching incentives. The bigger the goal, the bigger the incentive. On top of that I am doing Non Scale Victories. Again this is so that I am not basing everything on what the scale says. It's just as important to celebrate fitting into that pair of jeans as it is celebrating a 5lb weight loss.

I am also long distance weight lossing with my friend Cassie. We're both working on losing weight and we are both helping press each other to keep going. Because honestly, knowing that I'm not the only one with weight loss issues is refreshing. When we are feeling down, we get/give a pep talks. I'm also lucky in the fact that I have my husband, who is like my own personal cheering squad. He pushes me and keeps me honest.

Having all of these things written down has helped a lot already. I can't lie about my weight. I can't ignore my goals. It isn't an option this time around. I'm being honest about my body and what I need to do to get to my happy place. And seeing as I am being honest, here's my starting stats:

Week 1

Weight: 187.6 lbs

Bust: 42"
Upper Arms: 13"
Waist: 35"
Hips: 45.5"
Thighs: 27"
Calves: 15.25"

So here goes attempt whatever this is...also known as my most successful attempt.


Life: A very merry birthday to Nate!

1/17/2012 09:18:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

Today I have a hard choice to make. Do I bake my husband a cake or just go buy him one? He's the baker in the family and I get rather mean when he offers to bake things for his special occasions. And even though I have contemplated allowing him to bake, I never let him. Especially not today, on his birthday. I'd rather him just be able to come home, relax and celebrate.


While I'm making this hard choice he's off as school getting smarter. Much, much smarter. I never expected to be married to a Physicist, but life is funny that way. Even though we are so totally different, we are also very much the same. He balances my crazy, never leaves me feeling dumb (unless I accidentally see a homework problem of his) and always tries his hardest to keep me smiling. He is my perfect, brainy, goofy, loving match.


I'm glad that I get to celebrate so many things with him, especially his birthday. As I honestly don't know what I would do without him in my life. I can't help but smile when I see a mischievous smile cross his face, or when he goes running off to play with something that has caught his eye. Every day he reminds me to just have fun.


So here's to my wonderful husband, whom I hope to share many more birthdays with!


Happy Birthday Nate!


Manicure Monday: My nail care and Lynnderella's Attitude Adjust-Mint

1/16/2012 10:54:00 AM Ashley 6 Comments

Hello! And welcome to the very first ever Manicure Monday! I'm kicking of this weekly topic with not only a manicure, but also with what I use to keep my hands as happy as possible!

I always had iffy nails that were never quite happy. I could never grow them long as they were always pealing and breaking. On top of that I was a nail bitter. And then for good measure I was handling cardboard boxes and visual displays on a daily basis. Just a bad combo all around. I barely ever painted my finger nails and would often play it off as it being "tacky", when really I was just bummed that my nails looked like crap and that wearing polish didn't help hide that fact.

A few years ago I finally sucked it up and started using the nail/hand products that I had bought but never used. Not so shockingly my hands and nails started to look better. And all it took was a few simple products and a nightly routine.

I will file my nails and clip any stray cuticles and nails whenever I need to. I find that if I don't fix a nail right away that I will fall back into picking at them. So I always have a nail file and cuticle clippers close at hand. At night, right before bed I rub cuticle oil/butter onto my nails and then follow it up with a hand cream. Doing it right before bed gives everything a chance to soak in.

Other than adding lotion and cuticle butter to my routine, my biggest realization was that sometimes you just have to let go. And by that I mean let go of failing nails. So many of us want longer nails, so when they break we scramble to do anything to save them. For me, I just have to let go and trim them. Sometimes it's the only way to save them. Nails grow and they will be happier if you trim off anything that is causing problems.

Here's a list of nail products that I feel are must haves:

~Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream: I apply this every night before bed. I have been trying to use this up as I want to try Lush's Lemony Fluffer Cuticle Butter. Though the Burt's Bees has work very well for me.
~The Body Shop's Almond Oil Daily Hand & Nail Cream: I use this every night after applying my cuticle butter. It's nice and light both in feel and smell.
~Cuticle clippers: A must have to keep your nails looking clean. Helps get rid of hangnails, dead skin and, of course, cuticles.
~Rounded nail file: A nail file is a must have to keep your nails smooth and shaped. I really like this rounded on I just got because I can get into corners far easier.
~4 step nail buffer: I just reinvested in one of these and I had almost forgotten how nice it makes my nails feel and look. I use this once every two weeks but no more than once a week.

Now here's what I use for painting my nails:

~CND Stickey base coat: This is a bottom coat that stays a little sticky that helps hold the color onto your nail for longer. I swear by this stuff.
~Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat: It does exactly what it says, it makes your nails dry lightning quick. The only thing I have issues with is color shrinkage.
~Manicure sticks: Perfect to help clean up around the edges.

Now that I've shared my must haves, lets move on to what really brought you here...the manicure! The color here is Lynnderella's Attitude Adjust-Mint over top of Essie's Mint Candy Apple.



Lynnderella is known for her amazing hand mixed glitter polishes and even better known for how hard they are to order. I was lucky enough to get in on her last shop opening and grabbed Attitude Adjust-Mint and 8 others.

I'm in love with Attitude Adjust-Mint, it was far easier to use than expected and is full of shimmer, green hex glitter and opalescent hex glitter. I probably could have gotten it opaque in 3-4 coats, but I didn't bother because Essie's Mint Candy Apple worked so perfectly as a base. For this manicure I used 2 coats of each polish with 2 coats Seche Vite to get it smooth.

You can buy Essie's Mint Candy Apple here and you can check out Lynnderella's blog here to find out when her shop will be open again.

So how do you take care of your hands and nails? Have you heard of Lynnderella? What are some polishes from her than you have your eye on?


Life: Giveaway reminder

1/15/2012 01:49:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Just a reminder about the Konad stamp set giveaway that I have going on!

Also, look for a post tomorrow to kick off Manicure Monday! Not only will I be sharing a manicure, but I'll also share some of my must have products that help keep my nails and hands looking good!

Until then, I hope everyone has a great remainder of the weekend!


Life: Blog revamp and new posts

1/11/2012 12:10:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

I know yesterday that I talked about some changes around here. One of those things will hopefully be a new look. It's time.

Some other things you'll see it more recurring posts.

Coming this Monday I'll be starting Manicure Monday, where I'll be sharing my weekly manicure. Which will have both new and old polishes, along with where you can buy them (if they're still available).

I'll also be doing a candle of the month post where I will be sharing the candle(s) I am currently burning and loving. And...if it gets popular enough I just might do an occasional giveaway with the current candle.

Then there will be Weight Loss Wednesday. Yep, that's right. I'm kicking my weight loss into high gear. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda. Next week I'll be starting off the Weight Loss Wednesday with my starting weight, my goals and incentives.

Along with all of that I'll be doing more posts about preparing to move and my idea boards for how we'd like to set up our new home.

And again, if there is anything you'd like to see me talk/post about let me know in the comments! I do so love comments...


Life: The best is yet to come!

1/10/2012 08:03:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments


Yep, that's right. It's a new year and while I am taking better care of myself, I'm also going to take better care of this blog. So keep your eyes open for new weekly topics. Also, if you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see more of, let me know in the comments!

And to kick this revamp off, there will be a Konad nail art giveaway that I will be posting on Friday!


Life: Calming snow and a resolution

1/02/2012 11:28:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

I awoke to a light dusting of snow this morning. It's only the second time we've really gotten snow this season. Snow is one of the few things that we look forward to in our household. In fact Emmett has been perched on the back of the sofa watching the snow fall.

There's something peaceful and renewing about the snow. It makes me happy and always seems to calm my thoughts. Which is something that is always greatly appreciated and currently needed. While it is the beginning of the new year and there is so much potential, it's already a year with a lot to do. Of course, all of this brings me stress.

So here I sit with a cup of tea surrounded by holiday decor that needs to be put away, clothing that needs to washed/folded/hung, dishes to wash, organizing to be done. All while starting to prepare for another move back across the country.

But for this moment I am calm and enjoying a moment to myself. And that is good, because it's part of my New Years resolution to myself.

This year I am promising to take better care of myself. It sounds so simple, but it really encompasses so much. Some of the things are simple like having me time or just being who I want to be. Other things, though, are things I'll have to push myself to do. Things like eating better, working out more, lose weight, set up a proper evening routine, etc...

But it is worth it, because it's for me and as cheesy as it might be to say, I am worth it.

So here's to me, but also to all of you. Because this year will be our year. We will all accomplish something, anything off of our list. And we will be better for it. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012!