I have had my nails done every single day for the last 7ish years. It’s just my thing. I don’t do many other beauty things like that but having my nails done is just something that is a non-negotiable for me. It makes me feel put together and I just like it.
I did gel polish for many years and the last couple years I have done dipping powder on my natural nails. I have tried literally EVERY SINGLE damn nail salon in Minneapolis and even the surrounding burbs. I have a found a couple that do a decent job but honestly there’s always one nail that’s messed up, or a knick on my cuticle, or nails that get messed up in a day … I could go on and on. Point being, I have not found a salon or nail tech that is always 100% on it.
So, naturally I was scrolling on IG and stumbled across something about “nail dashes”. I looked into them a little more and they are sold by a company called Red Aspen. I honestly didn’t dig too deep, but I think they are a direct sales company who also specialize in lashes. I ordered directly from their website, not a sales rep. Basically they are thin nails that glue on, last 2 full weeks and come off by just soaking in soapy water. I thought I would at least give them a try. They are also relatively cheap at around 13$ for a box which comes with tons of nails, glue, two sided file, & a scrapper tool. They claim you can reuse them as well. This is my first set so I haven’t done the soak off & reusing process yet.
I finally got around to trying them out last week and I am REALLY happy with them! I got two colors: “Kathryn & the Ballet Slipper” and “Nina on Cloud 9”. They are both from the “short nails” section and come in a square shape but you can very easily file them to any length & shape you want. I decided to try the Kathryn & the Ballet Slipper ones first. They are super thin and the application process was very easy. I followed the directions on the box and had no issues. It didn’t take long at all and they look natural and great! They honestly feel like my natural nail too. It took a fraction of the time and the price is insanely cheaper than going to the salon every two weeks, so I will definitely try the other set next! It’s been 11 days and they still look & feel great!
You’ve probably caught on by now, to the fact that I love food! In addition to checking out local gems, I really enjoy cooking! I make most of my meals at home during the week and faithfully meal prep every Saturday or Sunday. I am always down for trying new recipes and have some favorites that I go back to again and again.
When recipe hunting I usually start with Pinterest. That is also where I keep my recipes organized. I have tried printing them out and three-hole punching them to store in a binder, but it’s just so much easier to just pull it up on my phone when I am in the kitchen. I always scan over the recipes to make sure most ingredients are clean and usually end up modifying most recipes to make some clean additions.
As I mentioned in my TOP EATS post, I have only eaten meat a handful of times in the last six months. I have felt this clean and lean feeling inside since removing meat from my diet. I love it! So most of my recipes are vegetarian-friendly. If I find a recipe that calls for meat but it sounds super yummy, I usually just substitute for a meat-free option. I love using beans, mushrooms, tofu, quinoa, and cauliflower to make meatless meals.
I am going to post below ten of my all time favorite recipes. The link to the actual recipe is linked in the heading … so just click on the name of the recipe and it will take you to a new website/blog to read the entire recipe. I will add any notes to indicate if I modified anything. In no particular order … my top ten favorite recipes:
1. MUSHROOM LASAGNA: This is an easy go to mushroom lasagna that tastes so cheesy and amazing! I usually get 4 large servings out of this recipe. Modifications: coconut or almond flour for the all purpose flour and almond milk for the heavy cream.
2. WILD RICE SOUP: I was obsessed with this soup this winter. It was a weekly staple in my life. It has a thicker consistency that regular soup and is just packed full of healthiness! You can be as creative as you’d like with this soup. Modifications: coconut or almond flour for the all purpose flour and almond milk for the regular milk.
3. SPICY VEGAN JAMAICAN JERK CAULIFLOWER TACOS WOTH MANGO SALSA:Who doesn’t love tacos?! There are so many variations that you’ll never get tired of them. These were my first cauliflower tacos I made and I quickly became obsessed. The jerk seasoning is awesome and you can make with the mango salsa mentioned in this particular recipe or just add your own toppings! Modifications: NONE!
4. QUINOA TACOS: I told you I love tacos! HA! These literally taste like regular ground beef tacos. They have that same cumin flavor going on. The texture is also really similar to beef. Modifications: NONE!
5. POTATO SOUP: This was also a winter staple for me. I had never really tried potato soup and then after making this one I was hooked! It literally tastes like mashed potatoes! It is a little thicker than a regular soup I would say. I liked that there was no heavy cream involved – just some cream cheese instead. I also loved how this was a crock pot recipe … score! Perfect for simmering on a Sunday. I used an immersion blender for the first time when making this and I was in love with that thing too! HA! Modifications: NONE!
6. SPICY THAI NOODLES: This has been one of my go to recipes for several years now. I never get sick of it. I also make homemade wontons (upper right photo) to go along with this dish. I did try making this once with chickpea linguine noodles and it didn’t go too well. It was so thick and it just didn’t taste right. I would stick to regular pasta noodles for this one. Modifications: liquid aminos for the soy sauce.
7. ROASTED RED PEPPER RIGATONI: I came across this recipe more recently and have already made it four times. You could easily add in a protein but I have enjoyed it as is so far. It’s so cheesy and has a unique sauce taste. Modifications: almond milk for the half and half.
8: VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER WINGS: I have tried to make cauliflower wings a few times in the past and I just wasn’t sold, until I found these babies! These are also made weekly in my kitchen! They are so easy and SO good. Modifications: coconut or almond flour for the all purpose flour, almond milk for the regular milk and I split the sauce 1/4 cup buffalo and 1/4 cup bbq.
9. SPCIY SHRIMP TACOS: Wow, tacos made the list three times! Not surprised. They are just so easy to make during the week and meal prep for work week lunches. These are awesome because of the creamy sriracha sauce and cilantro lime slaw! It claims it will serve four people but I would say more like two in reality! Modifications: NONE!
10. TOASTED GNOCCHI: This is another more recent find that I can’t get enough of. It’s super easy and quick to throw together on a week night. I personally can’t get enough when it comes to gnocchi and mushrooms … so this is a match made in heaven! Modifications: NONE!
I will update you all in a couple months with some new finds but for now, enjoy these! Let me know if you try any of them!