Nail Polish Necessities

Something that I do almost every week without fail is a manicure -- I just love having my nails painted and swapping out the color on the regular.

I used to feel discouraged because my nails never looked as nice as they did when I scheduled a professional manicure. However, one of my friends at Life Time introduced me to two products that have been a total game changer for me.

The first is this base coat, and the second is this top coat! This base coat will help any polish go on super smooth while the top coat helps the polish to dry to a super shiny finish. This combo lets me go at least a week with zero chips, which means I can enjoy the manicure much longer before having to redo it.

Now, before I paint my nails, I always clean up my cuticle area using this handy little kit. This kit contains everything you need to prep your nails and cuticles before applying polish. I've been using this set for years and love it so much! 

Now, for the actual polish, I'm very loyal to the Essie collection -- I love the quality and color selection and rarely stray to another brand. Below are a few of my favorite polishes that are in heavy rotation:

Muchi Muchi -- The perfect light pink that works year-round
Lounge Lover -- This coral-hued polish is such a fun spring / summer color
After School Boy Blazer -- This navy blue is perfect when paired with your fall wardrobe
Mint Candy Apple -- The name is a little unappetizing but this baby blue is one of my favorites
Marshmallow -- This is the best neutral because it's such a soft white!

When painting my nails, I always add the base coat, two coats of polish, and then the top coat! I typically paint my nails in the evening while watching a show and the whole thing takes me maybe 30 minutes from start to finish. 

My toes are another story -- I like to get a professional pedicure every so often because I find it very relaxing. I'll paint my toes as needed, but prefer to sit in a massage chair for an hour while someone else does them. ;)

What's your favorite color of nail polish?
How often do you paint your nails?

A Fun-Filled Fourth

We had a jam-packed holiday weekend enjoying the extra time off to celebrate the fourth! Our weekend began on Friday evening when we headed out to catch a movie at our local theatre.

Afterwards, we grabbed dinner at Kona Grill before heading to one of our favorite spots to walk around the lake.

Just as we were heading to our car, the sun was setting on one side while it was lightning on the other -- it was such a pretty sight to see! 

The next morning, I headed to the pool at the club and Andy planned on meeting me there once he finished his workout. Unfortunately, it was cool outside and the skies clouded over an hour or so after arriving, so I ended up packing up much earlier than expected. 

After showering at the club, I met up with Andy in the lobby and we decided to head to a local trail for a long hike. About 45 minutes into our hike, the skies cleared off again, but it was still cool outside, which felt so nice!

We ended up hiking a long trail and once we reached a point that intersected the road, Andy suggested that we walk the street side back to the car so that we could grab a snack on the way. 

We stopped at YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar where we enjoyed a quick treat before heading back out on our walk. We had never been to YoYo's before and it was so cute inside -- I'd love to come back with my laptop and work from this cute little shop sometime!

Andy enjoyed a cookies and creme donut with his lunch, while I of course went the ice cream route! S'mores ice cream is where it's at! 

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing at home -- catching up on some shows and giving myself a festive 4th of July manicure.

The next morning, we headed to one of my favorite places to rollerblade! We covered over 15 miles -- Andy biked while I rollerbladed and it felt so good to be outside in the sunshine! I love rollerblading so much because it never feels like "working out" to me -- the time just flies by as I whiz down the path while listening to music.

Once we finished our biking / rollerblading adventure, we headed over to Edina to grab lunch and walk around the Centennial Lakes area. On the way home, we swung by Trader Joe's to grab a few items for a family event the next day and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

On Monday evening, we headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for a summery BBQ! My aunt made the most delicious summer meal including grilled corn on the cob, which was amazing! It was so fun to catch up with them and enjoy a meal together.

Tuesday morning, we headed into town to check out the 4th of July festivities and boy, was it a hot one! We walked around for many an hour and a half or so and we were drenched by the time we got back to the house! There were so many people, events, and food trucks at the local lake! I was excited to get some fresh kettle corn out of our little adventure! 

Later that evening, we headed back into town to walk around again before winding up back at the lake for the fireworks. There were so many boats on the lake for the fireworks show -- I've never seen it that busy before!  

Our city put on a great fireworks show and afterwards, there was a huge lightning storm! It was such an unexpected end to the evening! 

The last four days have been filled with fun but I'm looking forward to getting back into the work routine these next few days!

Do you have any 4th of July traditions?
Best part of your holiday weekend?

July Goals

Don't you just love the start of a new month? I just adore that fresh feeling of a new month along with the anticipation that it brings.

Here's a quick recap of my goals from the month of June!

1. Purchase more tanks and tees
Done! I found a couple basic tees when I hit the outlet mall with my sister! 

2. Continue my new running routine 3x per week
I'm so proud of myself for sticking to this -- each run is getting a little easier and I always wake up looking forward to my workout.

3. Be intentional about scheduling time with others
I went for a walk around the arboretum with my friend Kary, this past week and the following week I had a long phone chat with my bestie that lives in Hawaii. These two events left me feeling so encouraged and refreshed -- there's just something about catching up with friends! I definitely feel my best when I have regular social outlets, which is so strange for me considering the fact that I used to be such an introvert. Times are a-changin'!

4. Commit to my ab routine 1-2x per week
I've started out with doing this one day per week and so far, so good!

5. Start implementing new ideas for lunch
I've improved in this area! After getting in a bit of a salad rut, I decided to branch out and whip up a few new ideas for lunch. My lunch that's been on repeat this week is sautΓ©ing chopped veggies (brussels sprouts, red pepper, etc.) and then topping them with crumbled feta and a balsamic reduction. It hits the spot!

Below are my goals for this upcoming month! 

1. Purchase shoes for Allie's wedding
My best friend is getting married next month and I need to find a pair of shoes to go with my bridesmaid dress! 

2. Replant my Christmas Cactus
My aunt gave me this beautiful plant way back in December, but recently it has been becoming quite cramped in its tiny pot. I'm hoping to knock this goal out this weekend with a little help from Andy. 

3. Mail my bestie's birthday gift before her birthday
Something you may not know about me is that I love shopping for gifts for others. I'll devote a good chunk of time to finding the perfect gift, but when it comes to my best friend, I feel like I'm always sending her gift late due to the fact that she lives in Hawaii and it takes forever for packages to arrive. This month I'm determined to have it arrive on time since I ordered her gift in June! 

4. Daily meditation time
I used to be so good about this and would love to get into the habit of spending at least 10 minutes per day using my favorite meditation app.

5. Practice French for at least 10 min each day
I used to do this daily and felt like my French skills were getting better and better -- I'd love to get back in the routine of practicing my French vocabulary!

What's one goal you're currently working towards?
What about something that you're looking forward to this next month?

June Books

As always, I breezed through a grand stack of books this past month and I'm so excited to share them with you! As always, you may check out my past book review posts here, here, here, and here.

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The Body Book // Cameron Diaz
I LOVE these types of books and this book did not disappoint! I loved Cameron's approach to health, fitness, nutrition, and body image. Would highly recommend this book to all women! 

I Let You Go // Clare Mackintosh
This book was SO good! I breezed through this one fairly quickly because the suspense kept me on edge! I actually guessed the ending before I reached the last few chapters, but it was such a good book! I was so surprised by two chapters in the book -- definitely a winner if you like suspenseful books! 

The Husband's Secret // Liane Moriarty
I picked this book up on a whim after hearing so many positive reviews about Liane Moriarty's books. This was definitely one of those books where I was hooked from the very beginning! One thing I didn't enjoy was that the husband's "secret" was revealed halfway through the book -- I usually like to be surprised at the end, but it was still a really good read! 

All By Myself, Alone // Mary Higgins Clark
MHC has always been one of my favorite authors, so of course I enjoyed this book! Her suspenseful thrillers always keep me guessing and this cruise-ship based mystery was very entertaining! I actually read this one in less than 24 hours! 

French Lifestyle Books:
(I'm almost done with my list of French books so these will come to an end soon!)

French Twist // Catherine Crawford
This book was a winner and reminded me a lot of Bringing Up Bebe! Would highly recommend if you're interested in a French approach to parenting.

Ooo La La // Jamie Cat Callan
Wasn't really a fan of this book --  after reading a couple of her books, I've come to the conclusion that Jamie Cat Callan just isn't one of my favorite authors.

Bebe Day by Day // Pamela Druckerman
Loved this book and plan to purchase it once we start having kids -- it would be a great little reference book! 

French Kids Eat Everything // Karen Le Billon
I felt like this book didn't really capture my attention -- it felt like there was more "fluff" than content, if that makes sense.

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide // Ines de la Fressange
This book was boring and felt outdated -- wouldn't recommend it.

What book have you read recently?
Favorite author?


Walking In Wayzata

Almost every Friday night, Andy and I head out for a date night. Sometimes this is as simple as going for a walk around the lake or watching a movie with homemade popcorn; other times, we head to a local museum, Mall of America, or restaurant. Whatever we end up doing, we always enjoy having that time together to reconnect after a busy week! 

It was nice and cool outside on Friday, so we opted for an outdoor date. We ended up heading to the cute little town of Wayzata to walk around by the lake.

Once we parked, we headed to the main street area for some frozen yogurt! They had Nutella and toasted marshmallow flavors on tap and they were so good! 

Yogurt Lab is definitely one of our favorite froyo spots! 

After our treat, we headed out to explore the area near the lake. We loved checking out some of these old buildings that were covered in vines.

Eventually we ended up down by the lake -- it was fun to walk around the area and see how much more life there was in the summer verses the last time we were there in March

As we approached the Wayzata Historical Society, we came across the cutest little town replica!

It even had a little train track that went through the city! 

I just love this little town! Everything is so quaint and cute! 

We were hoping to browse through Anthropologie once we reached the retail side of the city, but unfortunately they had just closed for the evening! 

As we were heading back to our car, I noticed this cool brick background in the stairwell of the parking area and suggested that we take some pictures! 

On the way home, we decided to swing by Lakewinds, a local food co-op to check it out! My aunt and many of my Life Time friends have recommended this place to me but I always forget to stop in. It reminded us of a small Whole Foods and we ended up leaving with some cheese and crackers to have as a snack once we got home! 

It was a simple date night but we both really enjoyed being outside, walking around, and having a little treat! 

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?
Favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?