mom who works

the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

The quest for the low-maintenance manicure June 29, 2011

Filed under: beauty,fashion & style — Deborah @ 1:55 pm
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Shellac manicure - day 13

Shellac manicure - day 13

I love manicured nails just like the next hard-working mom, but do NOT love (1) the time required to do it yourself, (2) the money required for weekly salon manicures, or (3) the time and effort to maintain nail polish during the very busy work week (and equally busy weekends!).

I am now on my fourth Shellac manicure in a row. That’s 8 weeks mind you, 8 WEEKS, with beautifully manicured fingernails. Hassle-free, beautifully manicured fingernails, truth be told.

This photo shows my current Shellac manicure at Day 13 – I’m scheduled for removal tomorrow. And I am a gardener, and chief cook-and-bottle-washer at my house, so these babies do NOT get pampered.

The only thing preventing me from going for Shellac manicure #5 is the time required for the salon visit. For anyone in the Milwaukee area, I drive out to Invitalize MediSpa in Franklin because they have killer deals on Shellac manicures (30% cheaper than other nearby salons), but it’s a good 35-minute drive one way from the office. The search is on for a salon nearby that does Shellac at a good price.

If you haven’t tried it, and you love manicured nails but hate the hassle, you HAVE to try Shellac. You’ll be hooked.


*This post is not sponsored in any way and is just my personal, un-funded opinion.


What makes an outfit look dated? June 28, 2011

Filed under: fashion & style — Deborah @ 12:56 pm
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Great discussion today on on What Makes an Outfit Look Dated? In addition to what you would think of in terms of overly trendy styles (think exposed zippers, shoe booties and shoulder pads – ’80s anyone?), the discussion is ranging from wearing bright tops with black bottoms (hmm… but not the inverse?) and clothes that are too big/too small.


Organizing Checklists Everyone Should Have — 5 Best Lists June 23, 2011

The summer travel season is upon us, and I found this collection of checklists really helpful from Lorrie Marrero, guru of The Clutter Diet . I am always looking for ways to get more organized. Thanks Lorrie!


The Midwest or …. London? June 21, 2011

Filed under: food,home & garden — Deborah @ 8:21 am

We have had a very unusual June here in the upper Midwest. Typically, our spring looks something like this … snow, 40-degrees and cloudy, then 90-degrees and sunny with 90% humidity … all in the space of about 3 days. That’s our typical spring – we go from winter straight into summer.

But not this year. June has been consistently in the 50s and 60s, and rain, rain, rain. I have a feeling that the battle with the mosquitos this year will not be won by mere garlic juice alone.

My lettuce is loving it. My basil and tomatoes, not so much.


A little bit of humor to lighten the day June 20, 2011

Filed under: general — Deborah @ 1:53 pm

The biggest chicken nugget in the known universe by

Being of a certain, um, age, I grew up with (the ORIGINAL) Star Wars. The other day I just happened upon a blog post at highlighting these hilarious photographs of toy Star Wars Stormtroopers taken by French photographer Stefan Le Dou. Stefan’s current work can be found at Consider me subscribed for my weekly bit of Star Wars humor. Nicely done.


Affogato! June 12, 2011

Filed under: food — Deborah @ 9:04 pm
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Photo courtesy of

I have been on the lookout for new ways to justify my new coffee maker (besides drinking LOTS of coffee – ZING!), and have recently discovered this amazing dessert called affogato. It’s Italian (certo!) for “drowned” and it’s when you “drown” a scoop of gelato with espresso and/or other liquid goodies.

We just experienced a heat wave here in the Midwest, and we went from 50-degree weather to 100+ degree weather in the matter of a day (welcome to Wisconsin!). Suddenly, turning on the oven to bake some biscotti did not seem like a good idea.

We were browsing our neighborhood Italian market to pick up some antipasto makings, which just recently remodeled itself from a hole-in-the-wall to a more upscale version of itself, including a gelato bar. There was a sign for this “adult” dessert which seemed simple enough.

It’s literally as easy as putting a scoop of gelato or ice cream into a glass, and drizzling fresh hot espresso over it. Seriously.

Some sites recommend Frangelico, Kaluha or other alcoholic libations (check out the post on The Bitten Word on Tipsy Affogato – BTW, my drag queen name would be Muffin Fennimore), but I was so impressed with the simple original that I’m not inclined to go the Tipsy route just yet.

Try it today – you’ll love it.