Half Moon Manicure

I’ve been meaning to try a half moon manicure for ages, but every time I’d go to the store, I’d forget to buy the imperative binder paper hole reinforcements.  Well, I finally remembered and this weekend I tried the half moon mani for myself.

Check it out:

This was a super easy process and I love how it turned out!

Are you a fan of this look?  Have you tried it out yourself?  Any other nail looks you’d like to see featured on the blog?  Share in the comments!

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Have A Lovely Weekend

What a week, sweets!  I think I’m finally back to normal after my crazy half marathon adventure.  This weekend promises to be infinitely more relaxing and I could NOT be happier!

Here are some fun finds from around the web to get your weekend started on the right foot!

I know this post is all about the rug, but look at that chair!!

Piñata cookies for Cinco de Mayo!

Pretty Etsy store.

I want to eat this grilled cheese every. single. day.

Sweet tattoo.

A book igloo!

DIY bow clutch.

Toilet paper art.

What are you getting your mom for Mother’s Day?

What are you doing this weekend?  Any big plans?  Taking it easy?  Tell me what you’re up to in the comments!

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Be Glam and Green

In honor of the 42nd Earth Day earlier this week, I thought I’d provide a few ways for you, lovely readers, to not only look good but feel good about doing so. Amazingly enough, many beauty and fashion brands are paving the way for Earth-conscious efforts and awareness for our environment – all while keeping up with the latest trends, of course.

Here are four fab ways to put the green in your wallet toward an even greener cause!

Shop H&M Conscious Collection

The affordable, trending retailer now has an entire collection devoted to Earth-friendly practices, which is part of a company initiative to incorporate more sustainable fabrics into their apparel. The conscious collection uses 100% organic and recycled materials, from cotton to polyester. In fact, H&M is the largest user of organic cotton worldwide! Check out their site to learn more about how this company is saving 300 million liters of water and donating 2.3 garments to charity, and go ahead and get the eco-conscious looks online or in select H&M stores. Affordable shopping never sounded so good, right?

Buy, Use, and Save MAC Cosmetics

We all know and love MAC for its high-quality makeup and outrageously gorgeous  colors. But did you know that for every six empty MAC cosmetic containers you return to a MAC store, counter, or online, you get a free lipstick of your choice? I did this once and ended up discovering my favorite lipstick color of all time (so far, at least!). Going beyond using recyclable materials, this iconic company has taken matters into their own hands by rewarding customers for participating in this Back to MAC Program. Now, that’s a good incentive!

Rock a Sprout Watch

With the warm months upon us, timepieces in bold, bright colors are a great add-on to give an outfit that extra pop. Sprout watches are affordable and guaranteed to last a lifetime on your wrist – but will do no such thing to our precious planet. They’re made with biodegradable (and renewable) corn resin or organic cotton, mineral crystal (rather than synthetic plastics), natural mother of pearl and bamboo, and mercury-free batteries. With a rainbow of color options and unique face designs like sweet blue birds and diamond embellishments, these watches are a fashion staple that does the environment a lot of good!

Visit GreenGlamGo

Check out this website, which features all things green—from beauty and fashion to bridal and handmade goods— all from up-and-coming green designers and retailers. You don’t buy directly from the site, but it is linked to hundreds (if not thousands) of places that will put an eco-friendly spin on your style. Seriously, what better way to stow your good-for-the-earth cosmetics than a colorful dopp kit infused with renewable materials and a whole lot of beachy, Caribbean flair?

Did you celebrate Earth Day over the weekend?  What do you do to go green? Share in the comments!


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My Crazy, Exciting, Terrible, Wonderful Half Marathon

Five and a half months ago, I struggled to run two miles.  You might not have known it from looking at me, but even after getting fit for my wedding, I wasn’t in very good cardio shape.  A friend suggested I start running, and although I had watched my dad transform himself from a non-runner into an ultra-marathoner at the age of 47, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

But due to some health stuff and the fact that I wanted to feel my absolute best, I decided to train for a race.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I ran a 10k in February, which was a really big deal for me and brought me a lot of satisfaction.  By then, I had already discovered that “runner’s high” that everyone talks about (the one that I thought was made up until a life-changing 5 miler in late December.)

After the 10k, I set my sights on a half marathon.  I trained and pushed my body beyond what I ever thought I could do, and on Sunday the big race had finally arrived.

I woke up at 4:30 on Sunday morning, full of nerves and excitement and disbelief that I was actually going to run 13.1 miles.  I had completed 11 miles in my training, and I was praying that the adrenaline and excitement would take me farther than I had ever gone.  My dad was running the race with me, to support and coach me as I ran (which turned out to be infinitely more important than I ever could have anticipated.)

(feeling strong and excited)

My goal was to run the half in 2 hours and 8 minutes (a 9:45 pace), which was an ambitious goal for me, but I knew it was possible.  The race started off slow— it’s hard to run with 2,000 other people crowded around you!— and by the second mile when everyone had spread out, I’d already lost a little bit of time.

(mom cheering me on and dad making a ridiculous face… typical)

The course ran through wine country.  Translation: it was MUCH hillier than 99% of my training runs through the relatively flat Golden Gate park.  Needless to say, I continued to lose little bits of time and then gain them back as I navigated the hills.

When I reached mile ten, my body started to fight me.  I was tired in a way that I can’t put into words.  I knew I had to stay hydrated, but drinking made me nauseous.  I had 3.1 miles left and it felt like an impossible feat.  It’s amazing how much mental strength it takes to do long runs.  This is where my dad’s support made all the difference.

He encouraged me up every hill, reminded me that it was almost over, and wouldn’t let me slow down because he knew how badly I wanted to hit my goal time.  I had nearly a minute to make up in the last mile, and I started to feel the disappointment of not meeting my goal before I had even crossed the finish line.

But somehow, thanks to my dad’s encouragement and the sheer will to finish what I started, I finished the race in 2 hrs. 7 mins. and 06 seconds, narrowly achieving the time I had trained for.

(checking my watch as I crossed the finish line)

(moments after finishing the race)

(proud hubby)

I should have been happy, but something else happened instead.  Almost instantly, my body went into shock. I was dizzy, nauseous, disoriented.  I went to the med tent and asked for an IV, thinking I must have been severely dehydrated.  But after two IV’s and a few hours of medical attention, it was clear that hydration wasn’t the issue.  I was suffering from extreme exhaustion, likely caused by factors outside of the race.  Pushing my body for 13.1 miles literally pushed me over the edge, and I spent the rest of the day in a completely altered state.

(congratulations from mom… I was feeling beyond terrible at this point, but I still love this photo :)

Even now, days later, I’m still drained.  But I’m still proud to say that I achieved something I never thought I’d be able to do.  If I were to do it again, I might have postponed the race until I was able to reduce the level of stress in the rest of my life.  But all things considered, I’m happy to say I’m a half marathon survivor!

Sorry for the enormous post (I told you on Monday it was a long story!)

Have you ever run a 10k, half marathon, or marathon?  Training for one now?  Got your own athletic story to share?  Please do in the comments!

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15 Minute Vacations for the Stressed-Out Girl

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, life is full of stress. Whether it’s your job or your family, sometimes things we’re supposed to love end up being the things that raise our blood pressure. With that in mind, here’s a week’s worth of 15 minute mini vacation suggestions— free or cheap ways to take you from frazzled to fabulous.

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Bubble bath + book: although I could separate the two, reading in the tub requires a guilty pleasure paperback and guarantees you a long soak in the muscle-relaxing hot waters. Your body will thank you, and your mind can move from mergers to throbbing manhoods, if only for fifteen minutes.

Call your best friend: When was the last time you called someone on the phone to talk? Even if it’s recent, stepping outside to hear a familiar voice can be a grounding experience and a great one. I feel like I never make phone calls these days, and texts just aren’t the same as chatting and giggling with a friend.

Breathe: This might seem like a simple enough one. “Breathe for fifteen minutes? I breathe all the time!” Yet breathing mindfully is one of the best things you can do to clear your head. There’s a reason that the last ten minutes of every yoga class is dedicated to meditation. Focusing inward for a few peaceful minutes is like spring cleaning for your soul! For $0.99 you can download the Long Deep Breathing app, which helps you track your breathing in a way designed to lower your anxiety.

Make something: Even if you’re not the artsy type, sites like Polyvore and Etsy allow you to make visual stylesheets or collections that will still get you in the crafty spirit.

Walk down a new street: Maybe it’s your lunch break and you’re going to get some food. By walking instead of driving or stopping to eat at a park you’ve never seen before, you can maximize your fifteen minutes by turning it into break from the familiar. Isn’t that what a vacation is? Exploring the world around you can be as simple as turning down a new street or getting a little more natural light than you usually would.

Whatever you do, make sure to take a few minutes each day to love yourself.  This little investment in your sanity will pay off big time!

What do you do to de-stress during your day? Which of these tips above are you most excited to try this week? Share in the comments!

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