The hubby and I had an opportunity to take a quick three night trip to Cancun - all we had to do was get ourselves there! Whoohoo! Since the hubby travels a lot for work, he had racked up some points and free nights with Hyatt that we needed to use by the end of September. After finding cheap-o flights on Frontier, we packed up our bags and went on our little adventure this past weekend to the Hyatt Zilara.
I feel like I need to formally say "hi" after being away from the blog for the past 3 months. I never intended to be away this long, but wow does time fly! I'm glad to be back, and really missed my little space here on the internet. So "hi", and welcome back to Manis & Margaritas!
Well, where have I been? I wish I had a really interesting adventure to tell you about, that I backpacked Europe or sailed around the world, but the truth is far less impressive. Actually, it's not impressive at all. The truth is, I hit a wall. After about 5 months of blogging, it started to seem like a chore. I wasn't getting excited about painting my nails, taking pictures, and posting it for all the world to see. The weather outside got nice, I got busy, and I fell out of the habit of finding time to blog. I had other things taking up my time, and the thought of pulling together a blog post seemed overwhelming. I never stopped painting my nails, I still love doing that, but I needed some time away. I couldn't get myself motivated, and decided to give it a break for a while.
To be honest, I had feelings of failure after I stopped. I had all of these visions of what my blog would be, and then I just stopped, cold turkey. I realize now that I jumped into this whole blogging thing kind of on a whim. I had no clue what it was all about, but I knew that I enjoyed reading other people's blogs, and I liked sharing my nail art and stories, so I thought "what the heck, why don't I start a blog?". I really underestimated the amount of time and energy it takes to run a blog. I went through a period of obsession, where all I talked about was my blog, and I thought about how I could grow my blog, advertise on my blog, make money off my blog, the list goes on... Eventually, I snapped back to reality and realized that I was spending a lot of time on the blog, and was starting to dread doing my nails. I needed to find a balance that worked for me. I wanted to come back when I was excited about it again, and now is that time.
So, bear with me as I wade into the shallow end of the pool. I've learned my lesson, and this time, I'm not going to dive into the deep end without a life jacket!
Here are a few snippets of what I've been up to this summer. Thanks for sticking around, and we'll chat again soon!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stop by often!
How did you be celebrate today? Cleveland has a parade every year, and the green beer starts flowing early. Us Clevelanders love a reason to party! I've lived here my entire life and I've never actually seen the parade. I've attempted to see it twice, but never actually saw the parade. The first time - to avoid driving - we decided to take the RTA rapid downtown (along with the rest of the Greater Cleveland area). By the time we made it downtown, the parade had been over for about an hour and a half, whoops!! One day I'll see it, one day!
Unfortunately, I worked today and didn't spend my day drinking green beer, but I decided to be super festive because if I had to go to work , then at least I'd do it in style! First up, the shamrock shirt. This little beauty got to make an appearance today.
Next up, green nails! Last week, I showed you three easy St. Patrick's Day manis. I had every intention of sporting the "Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow" mani today; however, if I'm being completely honest, by the time I sat down to do my nails last night, I couldn't muster up the energy for nail art. A trip to Costco and a distracting Cavs game got the best of me and I opted for this green glitter mani instead, using Sinful Colors Shamrockin' over Sally Hansen's
I avoided the white flowers in Shamrockin' because I didn't think it screamed St. Patrick's Day, and just went for the smaller glitters. I feel like the glitters should be shamrock shaped if you are going to call your polish Shamrockin', am I right? Although, I guess at $1.99/bottle you can't complain too much.
Last up, a green smoothie! The hubby and I caved and bought a Vitamix about a year and a half ago. Well, caved is not exactly the right way to describe it, we weren't planning on getting one. It was more like this...one day we went to Costco. They were demonstrating the machine, we were enthralled by it, and we decided we had to take one home with us! We are the customers that Costco loves! Show us something new and shiny and we'll convince ourselves we need it. Well, the Vitamix was a great choice for us, actually, and we use it to make smoothies about 4 times a week. Great purchase for us, indeed, thanks Costco!
One of our favorite smoothies to make is a green smoothie! It's a take on one of the samples they were giving away at Costco; although, I've altered it slightly. I rarely actually drink an entire smoothie. Whenever I make them, hubby takes a full glass and I'll take a few sips and get back to my coffee. Now that I'm on a mission to create a better morning routine (includinga eating breakfast), I decided to actually drink the smoothie this morning, and yummy! It was good!
To make this yummy Citrus Green Smoothie, you'll need:
The night ended with delicious home made corned beef sandwiches. I made the corned beef in the crock pot and it cooked for 10 hours while I was at work. This was the first time I attempted this, so I was thrilled that it was edible! Go me!
How did you spend your St. Patrick's Day?
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stop by often!
Ugh, I can hear that thing ringing in my head! Nothing jolts you out of bed more pleasantly than the sound of your alarm clock in your ear, right? Yeah, right! I'm definitely not a morning person, and I never have been. My husband, parents, and college roommate would surely agree!
As a kid growing up, mornings were a struggle! My parents replaced my alarm clock with a telephone that had a built in alarm clock, put it on as loud as it would go, and hoped for the best. Instead of waking up, I started having dreams that the phone was ringing and I couldn't figure out how to answer it. Talk about starting off your morning with a bit of anxiety! (By the way, I was on board with the phone, this wasn't torture or anything!)
Then, I discovered the snooze button. Oh, the snooze button! You really have some pretty vivid dreams during those 10 minutes in between snoozes! Once you're in the snooze button habit, say goodbye to ever having a normal morning routine. I'm a snooze button junkie, and I take advantage of every last minute I have before I absolutely have to get out of bed and get ready for work. Anyone else fall into this category? Please tell me I'm not the only one!
I'm realizing as I write this that it's probably 100% obvious that I don't have kids...or a pet. All of you mommies out of there are probably like, snooze button? Is this chick seriously complaining about an alarm clock?? Sorry! I know I will be hit with a hard dose of reality when I do have a baby on the hip, but for now, the only thing that is between me and my sleep is my pesky alarm clock!
Life on the weekends; however, is a totally different story! I've recently come to appreciate how much I LOVE THE EARLY MORNING ON THE WEEKENDS when I don't have to be up by a specific time. The alarm clock gets the boot, and I can just mosey through my morning at my own pace.
On the weekends, I'm usually up by 8:00 am. I don't set my alarm clock, and I usually wake up a bit before the hubby. I cherish this time. It's my little pocket of morning to gently ease into the day. First thing I do is make a cup of coffee, because the eyes don't open fully without it. Whether I'm catching up on blog articles & tv shows, writing a post of my own, or painting my nails, it's MY time of solitude before the hustle and bustle of life slaps me in the face. And I actually eat breakfast on the weekends! Usually I'm rushing so much in the morning that I skip breakfast - but not coffee! Don't be crazy! Here is my current obsession. An english muffin with apricot preserves. Mmmmm!
So I've decided to attempt to make my weekend solitude my weekday reality. I'll still need my alarm clock, but I would have so much more time and less chaotic mornings if I gave the snooze button the boot for good! Time to get out of this 28 year old bad habit. I'm calling it "CHOOSE NOT TO SNOOZE" (lame, I know), and I'm committing to not hit the snooze button this week, get my butt out of bed, and get into a morning routine. Wow! Great job, Katey! You're doing something that most adults have already figured out. Pat on the back for that!
I realize this is a silly topic, but as I happily sat enjoying my coffee this weekend it dawned on me how pleasant and relaxing it was. I was instantly in a better mood when I had that time to prepare myself for the day. If I could just give myself this same pocket of time for 10 or 15 minutes in the morning during the week, how much better would I feel? How much less chaotic would my mornings be? I'm a firm believer in the idea that you create your own happiness, and even with something as simple as waking up (still can't believe I'm writing an entire post about waking up), I have the power to make my life better. I'm not saying I'll paint my nails, or watch a tv show in the morning before going to work, but heck! Actually sitting at the table and eating some breakfast sounds pretty darn good to me!
So, let's see if this works...goodbye snooze button!
Are you a morning person? Do you struggle with the snooze button, too? What's one thing you always make sure you do to ensure you "wake up on the right side of the bed"?
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stop by often!
Today, I'm going to share OPI's Sweet Heart polish with you, and also give you a glimpse into my Valentine's Day extravaganza with the hubby. If you're here strictly for polish, skip down a bit. If you want a few laughs, keep reading.
This is the story of a young, child-less, pet-less couple, and the "fly by the seat of your pants" Valentine's Day that transpired.
The hubby and I have been together for 12 years! Yep! You read that right! Holy crap, right? I was just a kid when we met at 15. I mean, even I know that's ridiculously young! I'm pretty sure if I had a kid and they fell in love at 16 I'd freak out a little. (Sorry mom and dad for the added stress of raising a lovestruck teenage daughter - but at least it worked out!) :) Pretty soon, I will have spent more of my life with my hubby than without my hubby. CRAZY! I'm not complaining, though, he's a great catch and truly my best friend!
So this Valentine's Day really was no different than any other for us. We didn't really have any concrete plans - we're both indecisive like that. We had talked about going out to dinner, but didn't book a reservation anywhere and I was still in my pj's at 4 p.m. It had been snowing all day, and we actually considered not doing anything. Man are we getting old or what? Then, in a stroke of genius, the hubby said "what if we booked a hotel downtown and went to dinner and the casino?". Did I mention genius? Hubby travels a lot for work, so he said he'd check and see if he could use "points" and score a free hotel downtown. And guess what? HE COULD! Yay, we aren't lame! We had Valentine's Day plans...well sort of. We had step 1 of a plan.
Oh yes, before I go any further with my story, I should mention the beautiful roses that the hubster got me! Red roses - so pretty! And, he left me a little note saying that he wanted to get me some nail polish, but wasn't sure what to get and figured I'd like to pick it out myself, so he told me to go on a little shopping spree - SCORE!
Back to the story... So around 4:15 pm, we officially had Valentine's Day plans. And it's a good thing! I was in a bit of a funk that day, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have brushed my hair or even put real clothes on if he hadn't had his stroke of genius. I can always count on him to turn things around! So, the plan was...we were going to get ready as fast as we could, and head downtown and check into the hotel. (If you're new around here, I mean downtown Cleveland when I say downtown. Browns, Cavs, Indians...that city.) Then, we'd stop by Greenhouse Tavern and see if they could sneak us in for an early dinner or get us into a cancelled reservation. Hubby had been looking forward to having a steak, which he had there once over the summer (the gravy fries are also out of this world!). We had convinced ourselves that other couples would fear the snow and cancel their reservation, and we'd swoop in, valiant heroes, and save the day by filling the now empty table (wishful thinking, right?)
I think I got ready in about 30 minutes tops. I didn't even remember to pack the toothbrushes! I remember thinking "good thing we don't have a dog!" I literally went from scrubbing it in pj's to scrambling around like a mad woman, as if the Feds were after me and I needed to escape before they found me! I don't know why we were in such a hurry, but we were convinced that if we didn't leave as soon as possible, we'd be left eating McDonald's!
Once we got downtown, we parked the car at the casino, then walked over to the hotel. If you're lucky enough to live in the arctic...errr...I mean Cleveland...you'll know that it was NEGATIVE 50 THOUSAND degrees this weekend. So, our walk was a bit...FREEZING! On our way to the hotel, we passed the restaurant we had our eye on, and decided to stop in and check if anyone had cancelled their reservation. The nice hostess told us "no", but we could sit at the chef's table if we wanted. We kindly declined...hubby and I didn't even have to verbally communicate with each other on that one. 1) Chef's table sounds fancy 2) Chef's table sounds expensive 3) No. We decided to check into the hotel and then we would head back to the restaurant and sit at the bar. We aren't fancy people and the bar suits us just fine.
Two double beds...sweet. We got to the hotel, and they told us they were out of king beds, but we could have two double beds. How romantic! However, when we got up to our room, it was a king bed! Hubby thinks that the lady at the front desk "hooked us up", and I'm thinking it's a sign that luck is on our side. Millionaires in the making? Maybe the casino wants us to win tonight!
We were in the room long enough to look at our view (another building), then rushed back out to the restaurant. This whole evening was truly a whirlwind for the first hour and a half! We arrived back at the restaurant and parked our butts at the bar. Last two seats - yes! Menus came, and the hubby began to look for his beloved steak. Only problem...it wasn't on the menu! Nooooo! There was a different steak, but it was $60 and not the one he wanted! We had eaten here before, but usually just shared some appetizers and got drinks, so we weren't totally familiar with the full dinner menu. Change of plans! Luckily, we hadn't ordered anything and had only been sitting for about 3 minutes, when we quietly snuck out of the restaurant for the 2nd time in a 1/2 hour. We giggled as we left - close one!
Luckily, a little spot called Barrio was right near by, and the hubby and I had been wanting to try it, so we popped in. Tacos, salsa, chips, gaucamole, margaritas - it was perfect! I'm a huge fan of Mexican, so this was right up my alley. I ordered a blood orange margarita, and it was delicious! You can tell that they mix them fresh, and the blood orange was an unexpected, but delicious flavor! The night was coming together!
As I mentioned, the hubby sent me on a little shopping spree to pick out some nail polish for myself, so after we got back home, I spent Sunday afternoon stopping in different stores to look at the nail polish selections. The problem was, I didn't have any specific polishes that I wanted (or too many that I wanted?), so I sort of felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. I didn't know what to pick! Can you relate? You've just been handed money and been told you can purchase whatever you want, but you suddenly become paralyzed and don't want to spend any of it for fear of "picking the wrong one"? I decided to only get a few, and then saved the rest of the money to get something in the future. Good life decision, Katey! Way to be responsible!
One polish I did pick up was Sweet Heart, from OPI's Soft Shades collection. I really wanted a soft, neutral pink. I had been using Ballet Slippers by Essie, which I really love, but I've used it so much that the bottle is half way gone and it's starting to get goopy. The two colors are similar; however, I think Ballet Slippers has more of a crelly base, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much. I didn't want to get the same polish, though, since it is a little bit of a difficult polish to work with - enough of a reason to give something else a shot.
We ordered chorizo queso, traditional guacamole, and pineapple guacamole as an appetizer, and 2 tacos each for dinner. All of the food was incredible! Note to self...don't get the spicy salsa on your taco next time. Mouth on fire! The atmosphere at the restaurant was fun, and turned out to be perfect for us. Not quite as fancy as we initially envisioned, but absolutely fantastic!
We ended the night at the casino, and tested our luck at craps. We like to go to Vegas, so we called this our "practice run" for our upcoming trip this summer. Luck was on our side and we left the casino with more than we started with, which is always a good thing! The night was a success!
I preferred the formula on Sweet Heart over Essie's Ballet Slippers. It was a little bit streaky on the first coat, and had a few bald spots, but I was able to cover that up in the 2nd and 3rd coats. The pictures here are 3 coats. I probably could have gotten away with 2 coats, but I saw a few spots that weren't so perfect so I put a 3rd layer on to cover those spots up. One thing to note - the pink is very soft. It almost blends in with my skin tone since I have such fair skin, but there is definitely pink in this, especially when you see it in person. I'm in love with this shade!
I'm very happy with Sweet Hearts, and I'm glad it can be worn for any occasion. I had such a hard time doing a Valentine's Day mani this year that I wish I would have had this polish for Valentine's Day, instead of finding it the day after. I literally hated every mani I attempted and ended up wearing clear polish on Valentine's Day out of frustration. A simple polish like this would have done the trick!
How did you spend your Valentine's Day?
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stop by often!