Everything I Use for an At-Home Gel Manicure

During lock down in 2020 my mom got me an at home gel manicure kit. I loved that I could still have a gel manicure without salons open. In fact, I loved it so much I never really went back to salons on a regular basis. Below are the tools I use for an at home manicure or pedicure and some tips.

Gel Manicure Kit This kit comes with a ton of items, some of which I don’t use. In order set gel polish you need a curing light for it and this one works great for me. The tools it comes with are also good quality. Surprisingly the polish is also good quality but the shades are not my favorite.

OPI Kyoto Pearl This pearl gel polish is my go-to polish all year. I tend to stick to OPI and Kiara Sky gel polish mostly because I just like their shades. It is beneficial to stick to just a few brands because it’s important to use the same brand of base and top coat as the polish you use. If you use a different brand for base and top coat than the polish it can cause the polish to shrink as it is curing. This is usually not very noticeable but can effect the longevity of your manicure.

OPI Top Coat OPI has a couple of different top coats for gel polish and this one is my favorite.

OPI Base Coat This is my preferred base coat. I buy all of my base coats, polish, and top coats from Beyond Polish because they have a good selection and sell to consumers not just salons.

4 Step Buffer I always use a 4 step buffer when prepping my nails because it increases the longevity of a manicure.

Salon Grade Nail Files I find that the nail files found in drugstores don’t have a lot of grit to them so I like to order mine. It’s important to have a nail file with good grit because using a dull one can damage the nails and it’s also useful when removing gel polish. I’m not sharing any acetone because TBH I never soak my nails off. I usually let them get to the point when they can be peeled off (I know this is bad for the nail but I hate soaking the polish off).

My Favorite Cookbooks

It’s no secret that I love to cook. It’s a huge passion of mine, and I consider it my favorite hobby. I’m always looking to improve my cooking and one of the ways I do that is through cookbooks. I’m all for pulling recipes on line (and on a typical night that’s what I do). There is something about a physical cookbook though that I love because if it’s good you’ll always want those recipes on hand, it can teach you new techniques and flavor combinations, and it can push you out of your comfort zone. Below are my favorite cookbooks and why I love them.

Laura in the Kitchen Laura in the Kitchen taught me that you can make even the simplest foods taste incredible. It’s my go-to cookbook for easy weeknight meals and classics. Her recipes are always a hit and I can always rely on the recipe coming together without a hitch.

Antoni in the Kitchen This cookbook taught me to play with flavor profiles more. It has some recipes that seem really fancy, unique, and the type that sound impressive but they’re not difficult to make.

Dessert Person Claire Saffitz is the queen of baking and I wouldn’t be as good of a baker without her. This cookbook taught me how incredible brown butter is when used in baking.

Mediterranean Dish This is probably the cookbook that I use the most. As a LADA Type 1 Diabetic this cookbook has been so useful to me. I typically don’t have to adjust the recipes in this cookbook to meet my dietary needs/restrictions and if I do, it’s really simple and essay to do.

Shop The Trend: Ballet Flats

Ballet flats have recently become a “trendy” item. I personally believe ballet flats are timeless and never really go out of style, but they do become more popular every 5 to 10 years. Ballet flats are pretty versatile and almost always comfortable, so they are a great staple in your wardrobe. Below are some of my favorite ballet flats.

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Spring Favorites

Spring is arguably my favorite time of year in Colorado and after a long, particularly gloomy Winter, I’ve been really embracing Spring. Below are all my current favorites this season.

Aqua Neroli Perfume I personally love the smell of sunscreen but most sunscreen scents tend to be a little flat. This one has so much depth to it with a little sweetness. It’s been one of my go-to perfumes lately.

Cat Teepee We said goodbye to our beloved, sweet Thakoon a couple of weeks ago. She had this teepee since January and she absolutely loved it. The last day we had her, she spent most of the day in her teepee and it provided so much comfort to her. She was a pretty spoiled cat and this one one of her favorite things and probably the bet thing I ever bought for her.

Lonely Castle in the Mirror This might be my favorite book I’ve read o far this year. It explored mental health in adolescence, the effects of bullying, and the power of friendship. The storyline was incredible and the writing was beautiful. It’s one of the most heartwarming books I’ve read.

Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Upholstery Cleaner Every year I try to step up my cleaning game in some way. This year I did so by purchasing this upholstery cleaner. You can use it to spot treat carpet but I’ve also used it to spruce up our mattresses and clean the cushions on our deck furniture. It’s easy to use and works well.

Dior Forever Foundation This foundation looks like such a natural, glowy foundation. It’s also long lasting, easy to apply, and the coverage is buildable without feeling very heavy. I also love that it’s pretty inclusive to all skin colors.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is coming up in just a few weeks. If you have not started shopping for the moms in your life, you should start now. If you are anything like me, I tend to get my mom and mother-in-law the same thing every year. You just can’t go wrong with a bouquet of flowers, but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up. Below are some gift ideas for the moms in your life. These all range in price so there is something for any budget.

Home Edit Book Salt Water Taffy Tory Burch Bracelet Leather Tote Planter Set Cabins Coffee Table Book Bubble Bath

Outfit Under $100

I’ve been sharing outfits under $100 for years now. Inflation has recently made this more challenging, but I think that’s all the more reason to share an outfit under $100. While I’m a believer in investing in good quality clothes, I know that is not always possible. Even now that my budget allows for the occasional luxury item, I actually still wear budget finds. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to invest in pieces you can’t see yourself wearing in a couple of years. I always joke that sometimes I wear Chanel handbags and sometimes I wear $30 handbags from Amazon. I don’t discriminate, I love them all. I am a walking example of someone that truly believes you can have great style on any budget.

Dress Earrings Sandals