Monday, October 16, 2017

mani monday! #6

For this week's mani monday, I originally wanted to use Essie's Chinchilly. When I went to use it though, I realized it was super thick and sticky. I tried adding some nail polish thinner, but it didn't help. I couldn't save my poor Chinchilly. :(

Instead, I reached for Merino Cool - a greyed out mauve color. I'm just loving mauve colors right now.

I had planned on keeping this a plain mani - no accent nail or designs, but I just couldn't help myself. I had to add a little something. For the half circles, I used Carry On.

I really love the simplicity of this nail design and I'm also loving the shorter nail look.

How do you save too thick/sticky nail polish? Where do you store your nail polishes?

Friday, October 13, 2017

9 Tips for Moving in With Your Partner

In June 2016 my boyfriend Brian and I moved in together. Throughout the months prior the topic of this move came up frequently. I lived in Brooklyn, he in Manhattan and as cliche as it sounds we looked forward to the day we'd no longer say goodbye, but rather goodnight. Little did we know, that day would come sooner than we thought. At the time we both had other roommates and leases that were about to expire. So when my roommate expressed she didn't want to renew our lease and he realized his roommate was becoming unbearable, Brian and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to get an apartment together.

Tip #1: Be open and honest about your money situation.

Before we could begin our apartment search there were a few items we had to discuss. The first of course was our finances - how much each of us could contribute to rent and other expenses. Brian made more than I did, so it was important for us to consider how we would divide the rent, utilities and any other expenses.

Tip #2: Talk specifics.

Once we settled on our budget, we had to figure out location. He worked in Midtown and I worked in downtown Brooklyn, so we wanted to live somewhere in between. We both also wanted an apartment close to the subway, a relatively short work commute, and amenities. Neither of our apartment buildings had a laundry room, so that was a must. He wanted a building with a rooftop and we both agreed an elevator and doorman would be nice. After much research and looking at several apartments, we eventually settled on a cute little studio in Manhattan's Financial District.

Tip #3: Discuss what stays and what goes.

Now that we had an apartment, the real fun could begin. I wouldn't really refer to myself as a hoarder, but I'll admit I had a lot of stuff. Brian maybe a little less. But since we were moving into a 400 square foot studio, there was no way we both could keep everything. We decided to keep my bed, his TVs, most of his furniture (sorry babe, that grandma couch had to go), both our kitchenware, and then whatever else we thought might fit. Compromise was key here.

Tip #4: Figure out your schedules.

Compromise was also crucial when it came to our morning routines. Brian and I left for work around the same time so we had to decide who would wake and shower first. Fortunately, he gets ready quite fast so our wake-up times didn't change by much. And since he usually worked later than I did and I take longer to get ready, I didn't mind waking first.

Tip #5: Divide chores.

It's probably a good idea to take into consideration you and your partner's standard of cleanliness. Neither of us are neat freaks nor are we complete messes, so chores are not a huge ordeal for us - especially since there isn't all that much apartment to clean. Nevertheless, we still share the chores. I usually cook, so Brian will wash the dishes afterward. He takes out the garbage more often and I clean the floors. And because I have a lot of hair/spend more time in the bathroom, I'm usually on bathroom duty as well.

Tip #6: Plan time together.

Whether it's sitting on the couch watching a show we're only allowed to watch with each other, going out to eat at one of our favorite places, or crossing off an activity on our seasonal bucket lists, Brian and I set aside time to enjoy each other's company.

Tip #7: Plan time alone.

Just because you live together, doesn't mean you need to be with them all the time. There's only so many footballs games I can watch and only so many stories about my latest beauty finds he can listen to. So I don't mind when Brian goes out with his friends to watch a Penn State game and he doesn't mind when I have a girls weekend.

Tip #8: Claim a personal space.

Alone time doesn't not have to be outside of the apartment. Although our apartment is small, we're able to have alone time by claiming a space. He loves relaxing in the lounge chair while scrolling through twitter and watching sports. I can usually be found crafting or blogging at the kitchen table or while curled up on the left side of the couch.

Tip #9: Communicate.

Unless your partner has superpowers, it's highly unlikely that they can read your mind. So communicating with your partner is very important, especially if you're together almost 24/7 in the same place. Let's be real, Brian and I don't always get along. It's perfectly normal though. So whenever we're frustrated or upset by something the other has said or done, we try to be honest and talk about the issue.

Although I was nervous at first, moving in with my boyfriend has been an amazing adventure. I'm so happy I get to spend everyday with my best friend. <3

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fall College Care Package

My sister is in college. Earlier this month she asked to borrow my jean jacket for her Halloween costume. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. Oh how I miss college.

Anyway, since my sister is about 6 hrs away I'm mailing her the jacket and decided to send her a few other items as well. I won't say exactly what I'm putting in her care package because I want it to be a surprise, so below I've provided a short list of items perfect for a fall college care package.

A good care package will include a few useful items along with snacks, treats, and something fun for when they need a break from studying such as:
  • clip-on book light
  • mini board game/ toys
  • their favorite candy (especially perfect for a Halloween care package)
  • flash drive
  • headphones
  • cereal/granola/protein bars
  • art supplies
  • holiday decorations
  • journal/planner
  • stationary
  • socks
  • restaurant or coffee gift card
  • nail polish
  • magazines
  • sports team memorabilia 
  • cozy blanket
  • a good book
  • microwavable popcorn bags
  • card with words of encouragement
  • laundry supplies
  • water bottle or yeti
  • their favorite snack
  • comfy clothing item
  • hat, gloves, and/or scarf
  • homemade baked goods
  • vitamins/Emergen-C/Airborne
  • lip products
  • toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, lotion
  • coffee/tea/hot chocolate
  • mug for the coffee/tea/hot chocolate
  • & of course, cash!
To personalize the care package even more, decorate it! I decorated my sister's with Halloween scrapbook paper.

My favorite places to shop for care package items are Harmon Discount, Michaels, and of course Target. A note on Harmon Discount - it's heaven. If you love Target, then you have to check out Harmon. Not only does it have possibly the hugest selection of travel size items, everything is unbelievably affordable - prices are almost always lower than Target! Harmon also carries brands that you might not find at CVS or Target &&& the best part is their coupon policy! Harmon has their own coupons, but also accepts Bed Bath & Beyond coupons (current & EXPIRED!) and manufacturer coupons.

Have you sent any care packages for a college student? What did you include?

Monday, October 9, 2017

mani monday! #5

My absolute favorite fall/winter nail color is Essie's Carry On. I love wearing darker colors during this time of year and Carry On is such a lovely deep burgundy shade. It's also very pigmented, so two coats is all you need. I think Carry On is super versatile and will look amazing with any fall/winter attire. It's very "sweater weather".

To my dismay when I reached for my Carry On for this week's mani monday, I realized it had become super thick and barely usable. Luckily, I was able to pick up some Super Nail Nail Polish Thinner and revive it. I like to use a medicine dropper with the thinner so I can control how much I put into the polish. Depending on the consistency of your polish, you'll probably only need a few drops of the thinner.

Rings: cross - dogeared & arrow - alex & ani
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