Dip Powder Nails

Last Thursday, my husband had a site visit for work in San Luis Obispo, so I tagged along.    When we got to the site, there was a little nail salon in the same complex.  I’ve rarely been getting my nails done lately since we’ve been on a budget, and the last time I got them done before this was almost six months ago.  But, since I had nothing to do but wait while my husband estimated an hour for his site visit, he told me to go get my nails done.

I decided on french tip gels because I can paint my nails a solid color at home — like I normally do.  However, the manager and a regular customer quickly talked me into trying the new dip powder nails… I had never heard of it before!

What is dip powder?  Well, I don’t really know… but it seems like powder similar to the powder they use on your nails when you do acrylic tips.  Per the workers at the salon, dip powder lasts longer than gels, rarely chips, and is supposed to be healthier/better for your nails.  But, I noticed they still use some type of bonding material on your nails so I’m not sure what my nails will be like when they’re removed.


How are dip powder nails done?  So, instead of painting your nails, they literally dip your fingers into a container of powder.  But, they first “paint” some bonding material on, and at the end, they “paint” over top coat.  For french tips, they first carefully dipped my finger in the white just enough to cover the tip, then they fully dip my finger in the pink for the rest of the nail.  The good part is, no polish gets on your hand, and the powder that touches your skin can just be dusted off.  They still did two coats of this.  Another great thing is that I didn’t need to put my hand inside an LED/UV light–it dries quickly and almost instantly itself.  For french tips, I think it’s also quicker than the painting and “erasing” method nail salons use.

Overall, I think they came out great, and if they end up lasting, I’d definitely do it again.  The one downfall (which doesn’t bother me at all) is that if you look super closely, the “pink” part does look a little powdery.  But, it’s pretty subtle and you can’t tell just glancing.  Here’s a closer picture.


The second downfall was that this cost more than gels.  Prices vary at every salon, but when I got these done, he said gels were $35 and the dip powder was $45.  I’m wondering if the price will go down once they’ve been around for longer.

I’m pretty sure dip powder nails can be done in other colors as well–I’ll have to go back and try it again some time.  Hopefully I can find a local salon that does them! I got these done at Marigold Nails, if you’re near SLO.  What I liked about them was that everyone else seemed to be a regular there–the manager knew everyone who came in… which usually means they’re pretty good because they have so many repeat clients.

Its been 5 days since I’ve gotten these done and so far, they still look great!  These pictures are from the day after I got them done, though.  I’ll do an updated post on how long they end up lasting and what condition my nails are in after they’re removed… but for now, I don’t even know how I’d take them off.

Has anyone else tried them, and am I stupid for not knowing about them yet?!



Foodies & Dogs: Dog Friendly Food Festivals

This past Saturday my husband and I took our dogs to the Great Mac ‘n Cheese Melt Off in San Francisco’s SOMA StrEat Food Park… the Mac ‘n Cheese Melt Off just happened to fall on National Cheese Lover’s Day!  What’s great about this little “venue” is that they allow dogs!  My husband and I always feel bad leaving the dogs home all day if we go out on the weekend, so we try to find places we can take them.  SOMA StrEat Food Park is a great outing for the whole family, and even if there’s a certain type of food featured, there’s still plenty else to eat so everyone can find something they’ll like.  All week they have different vendors at lunch and dinner time and occasionally they’ll have bigger events on the weekends like the Mac ‘n Cheese fair–but they’re closed Sunday and Monday for dinner.  Check out their website to see a schedule of events and vendors!  We’re looking forward to National Tater Tot Day on Saturday, February 3rd!

Here are the puppers at the Selfie Station:


PS–My outfit details in above photo:

My camel belted coat is from Ted Baker.  I got mine a while ago from the Outlet, so it’s slightly different, but still the same overall look.  If you have an outlet near you, check it out! They usually have coats all year round, and they’re at least half the price.

My oversized statement sunnies are Chloe.  I love oversized sunglasses and these ones stay on well!

Simba and Chanel are wearing bandanas from Clive and Bacon — they’re well made and personalized.  Clive and Bacon has adorable designs but are slightly pricey, so I purchased these during a Black Friday sale.  The good thing is they’re reversible with another color on the back.

Alex Woo: Bold Jewelry for the Minimalist

Alex Woo is a New York based jewelry designer that makes charm-like jewelry pieces.  Her designs are so simple, yet they still POP… I’m obsessed!  Alex Woo offers her designs in mainly sterling silver or 14k gold (not plated), or with diamonds.  Naturally, they’re a little pricey… Her sterling silver necklaces usually start at about $150 but bigger charms (like my s&d necklace) get more expensive.  I wanted to get the paw print in the 14k gold, but at $698, it was just way out of my budget, so I opted for silver.

I have to say, I’ve gotten many, many compliments on my Alex Woo jewelry, especially my triple letter custom necklace.  Although it seems like many people aren’t familiar with the brand, Alex Woo designs have actually been seen on many celebs!  I actually found out about the brand by seeing the triple letters on Heather Dubrow… I spent hours trying to figure out where she got it before I figured it out.

Another plus about her jewelry is that most of her pieces can be engraved for an additional $25 and different chain lengths are available, including chain extenders.  This means her pieces make the perfect gifts and are GREAT for layering!  Many designs also benefit charities!

If you’ve been thinking about splurging on one of her pieces… do it, you won’t regret it!  There are so many other pieces I still want…!

Outfit Post

My FAVORITE work out shoes, and the ones I probably wear most of the time are my black Nike Free RNs.  They’re last year’s style so they aren’t as widely available now but Finish Line has many different colors on sale.  The Nike Factory outlet actually had the exact color and style pictured at almost 50% markdown recently and may have some left!

The gold shimmer metallic leggings/tights above are also Nike and I got them about a year ago.  This season, instead of gold, Nike came out with silver and rose gold metallic shimmer.  Out of all of them, I think I actually like the silver leggings the best!

The silver metallic leggings are on sale and available in multiple sizes at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Here are the rose gold shimmer leggings.  Lord & Taylor has all sizes available still.


Here is my current favorite pullover:


This Lululemon turtleneck pullover is actually labeled as a tunic.  It can be pulled down to sit a little longer if desired.  Although I’m not usually a turtleneck person, I thought this one was super cute for errands and pairs well with those cute printed and colorful leggings that don’t match with much.  I wore this out late night in Vegas after we were pretty much done for the night but just wanted to walk around being comfy.  Although the turtleneck is super cozy, the downsides of this is that it doesn’t have thumbholes like most other Lululemon tops, and that the turtleneck hole is a little small, making it hard to pull over your head.  But, it’s on a slight markdown right now in Lululemon’s We Made Too Much section!

Work Out Without Leaving the House: Peloton & BBG

My current workout plan consists of three BBG resistance training circuit exercises (more details below) and about three Peloton bike rides per week (referral code: QDZXYZ).  The best part: I never leave the house to work out anymore!

After seeing a lot of posts on Instagram about BBG (Bikini Body Guide), I decided to give it a shot as well.  I did the 4 beginner weeks and am now on week 5 of BBG 1.0.  There are tons of blog posts about BBG, but to sum it up, there are three resistance workouts a week.  Each work out is circuit-style and is only 28 minutes.  How hard can a 28 minute workout be?  Very!

Before BBG, I was taking spin classes and occasional barre classes.  The year before I actually worked out in the gym to prep for my wedding.  But, by the time I started BBG, I’m sure most of my previous strength training was gone.  Still, I wouldn’t consider myself someone who went from not working out at all to starting BBG.  So, if you currently almost never exercise or work out, beware, it might seem even harder!  The plus is that theres an affordable app (Sweat) at $55 for three months.  Minimal equipment is needed (jump rope, bench, dumbbells, yoga mat mainly) so these workouts can be done at home.

In addition to BBG, my husband and I recently purchased the Peloton bike.  It’s basically a boutique cycle studio in your own home.  We saw the bike almost a couple years ago when we were down in Newport Beach, and we were already hooked on spin classes.  But, at the time we lived near a great cycle studio– Soul Cycle like classes but with a monthly membership.  In fact, for $185/month, I was getting unlimited Barre AND spin classes.  If anyone else loves spin classes, you’ll know that that’s a pretty good deal, especially in the Bay Area.

However, in October, my husband and I moved slightly out of the Bay Area to a small town with no spin classes.  I’m not one to drive more than 15 minutes to work out, so we took the plunge and bought the Peloton.  The bike is $1995 and with three years of membership subscription at $39/month and the maintenance plan, it came out to almost $4000.  But, on the bright side, there is just ONE subscription fee and as many riders can ride the same bike.  So overall, this ends up being cheaper than going to a studio.  What’s great about the bike is that you can choose the length of class you want to take and take it at any time of the day!  So, I try to take at least three rides per week that range from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.  Don’t be fooled–even the 20 minute rides leave you dripping in sweat and breathless.

If you’re thinking about buying a Peloton–do it! You won’t be disappointed.  Use my referral code QDZXYZ for $100 off bike accessories (shoes, bike mat, weights, earbuds, etc).

I’ll do more detailed reviews of both BBG and Peloton down the road in separate posts, but here’s just a little snippet of them!