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Saturday, February 28, 2015

We Love...MARCH!

Or we (mostly) have in the past! Yes, it often comes “in like a lion.” Then doesn’t always go “out like a lamb.” Still, it marks The Hope of Spring! Sometimes Easter (although not this year). The Promise of Warmer Days!

We’re craving warmth. After ELC's Sweet Hubby (aka My Sweet Husband aka MSH) and she returned from Houston last Saturday night, horrible, dangerous, terrible weather swooped in to North Central Texas Sunday afternoon. Schools in both Dallas and Fort Worth—and surrounding areas within one hundred miles or more of both—were closed. They stayed closed through Tuesday. Opened up (either on time or late-ish) on Wednesday. It started snowing at about 7:00 a.m. at ELC's place—which is two hours southeast of TLC’s—on Thursday morn. Pretty much snowed all day. This is what ELC's place looked like on Thursday around noon. She took these pictures through the glass of their back door.

Early Friday morning, via television news and radio reports, The School Bosses believed The cRaZy Weather Peeps, who were NOT creating their normal chaotic and dramatic fear during these types of “events” in Texas, and thought it would be fine to carry on as per usual.  The schools decided to be open. Turns out they should have closed. Who knew? (Not The Weather Peeps, we can assure you.) Most did eventually close early—around noon. (The rest? Those schools who dilly-dallied? They were criticized and chastized unmercifully on Facebook and Twitter!)

It started snowing at ELC’s country casa at 7:00 a.m. TLC’s snow arrived around 9:00. The next two pictures are, again, from ELC's back door. In the first one, you can see a redbird! (ELC and MSH have watched literally hundreds of birds eat at their feeders at the top of the hill behind their home for days. Though they've not been able to capture many in photos. They've seen so many Cardinals, ELC expected The Pope to make an appearance. Teeheehee. ELC and MSH watched one big FAT (there's truly no other politically correct word that fits) Bluejay try to chase all the smaller birds away. The Littles hung in and he eventually gave up. Try as she did, ELC could never get him in a picture.)

After Little Leighton’s (LL) nap yesterday, she got to go outside with her Mom and Dad and, finally, make a SNOW ANGEL!!! She’d been begging to do that for hours and days. There was never quite enough soft snow. It’d been mostly ice. Although it wasn’t totally ideal, in terms of quantity—it worked. LL adored every second of this first-time experience!

TLC and LL have had their share of struggles almost the entire month of February. LL went through almost three weeks of illness—missing school, the trip to Houston, and lots of Target outings. (Wink. Wink.) Sadly, TLC and LL have seen primarily only the walls of their home for the past two weeks. That is certainly an insufficient amount of time to maintain an acceptable level of joy—and, frankly, sanity. Trust us on this.

If you Googled “cabin fever,” we’re pretty sure they’d have a picture of TLC and LL. With tears running down their sweet faces. Please, please, PLEASE do not get them/us wrong. All Three of The Leightons are totally and truly grateful for our homes/shelter, our food, our family and friends, our vehicles, and, last, but not least, television. (Thank You, Lord, for the Disney Jr. and Food Networks. TLC did her best, however, to keep Frozen out of their DVR.) We're thankful—from the bottom of our frigid tootsies to the tops of our frosty ears. Deeply thankful. For all of our blessings. STILL...enough is enough. Seriously. (Just exactly how do people in Alaska do this hideouslychilly thing pretty much all year long? We have not one clue.)

ELC was to go spend tonight with The Other Two Leightons. She’s unable to get down her hill. It's simply too dangerous. Frighteningly solid ice. She can see the paved road at their gate from their Great Room. Looking through binoculars, she's watched probably three trucks drive by all day. They're clearly driving no faster than 30 mph towards the highway. Therefore, ELC's Trip East=CANCELLED. Sigh. Sniff. Sniff. ELC's been praying she can head that way—for the day and early evening only—tomorrow morn.  It’ll be two weeks since she’s seen Her Sweet Peas. So Plan B at this point? She’s crossing her fingers, as she types this, that it works out.

In conclusion: We’re ready for a change. We’ve loved the beautiful snow. We’re over it. We've taken all the pretty pictures we care to take. We're totally done. We’re beyond anxious to get out and do errands. Go shopping. See friends. Go shopping. Go to preschool. Go shopping. Play Bridge. Go walking. You name it. We'll try it and/or do it.

Love and Hugs to Each and Every One of Y'all Sillies…We pray to our Dear God Almighty that He allows endless coziness to pervade your lives…wherever in the World you are...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

We Love...Avocados!

TLC probably loved them a teensy-bit more than ELC for many years. She's also an expert at cutting/slicing them. ELC? Not so much. Getting better, however. Every week. Lately, ELC may treasure them even more than TLC. It's quite possible/probable.

We totally buy into the fact that they're "good fat" for our bodies/health/nutrition. Seriously? Any food that says it's "good" fat? Are you kidding? We're in.

We're thinkin' it ain't much necessary to have a picture of an avocado, right? And, yes, perhaps we could have come up with some kind of fabulous recipe that involves avocados. (This is actually ELC doing this post. A recipe isn't in the cards for Y'all...sorry...)

But here's the way we eat them 75% of the time: Sliced. On sandwiches. Or by themselves. (25% of the time we make guacamole with them. A little lime or lemon juice. A little garlic powder and/or cilantro. A few little spring onions and some yummy tomatoes. A pinch of sea salt and three pinches of pepper. Fast. Simple. DELICIOUS.)

Little Leighton? She's an Avocado Lover herself. Been eating them since she was about eight months old.

Go buy one! Or two! Or six! STAT. They're positively, absolutely good for your heart. Soul. Mind. Spirit. And taste buds!

ta-ta for now, Sweet Friends...

By The Way: Little Leighton is, finally, beginning to get over several health issues/different illnesses she's experienced the past almost three weeks. Hence the reason ELC has been doing most of the February posts. TLC will be back! ASAP.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Love...Working Hands!

Hand cream, that is! (“Regular” working hands are important, too...don'tchaknow. Remember, Proverbs tells us: Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) must go to Tractor Supply (We have many of these stores in Texas--they're even in fairly small communities.) at least once a week. He always needs something for our country place. Tools. Equipment. Gloves. Ranch supplies. He usually buys Buddy Bear’s dog food at a Tractor Supply (Science Diet). It’s typically where he picks up our birdseed. I enjoy going in with him every two to three months. They carry clothes, boots, garden supplies, and other “country” trinkets that are fun to browse.

A few weeks ago, MSH found this hand cream:

Doing all (Well, 99.8%--we do have a landscape company that comes out twice a year to get the yard around our home in shape for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.) of the outside work around our place, and cooking as much as he does, MSH’s hands stay dry and cracked. Especially in the winter. (By the way: We are experiencing some bad, EVIL weather in North Central Texas today. Ice and sleet…lots of it. Just about everything is shut down in approximately an one-hundred-mile radius of our casa: schools, businesses, stores, etc. MSH and I are stuck up here on our hill. TLC, Her Hubby and Little Leighton are marooned inside their house in the Dallas 'Burbs. We don’t much like it. We’re being told this situation will probably be happening for a couple of days—maybe all week. However, we see what other states have experienced this winter season and we’re beyond grateful we don’t have to deal with that Scary, Depressing, Destructive Vicious Hell…YIKES.)

Within two days of using this hand cream, MSH stated, with great enthusiasm: “Hey, you should try this! It’s REALLY good.”

He was right. I’ve been using it for three weeks-ish. On my hands and my heels! (I did see, on their website, that O'Keeffe's has a foot cream I will be attempting to locate.) It takes only a tiny bit of this fantastic stuff. It’s light. Non-greasy and with no obnoxious fragrance. It's FABULOUS. Y’all know TLC and I don’t receive one red cent for any products or services or from any companies we push on this blog. This hand cream is inexpensive (My. Oh. My. Wonder how much money I’ve spent in the past…hmmm...let’s say forty years…on hand cream? I’m thinkin’ thousands of dollars. Some worked. Some didn’t. I wish I’d known about this years ago. Seriously.)

If your Tractor Supply doesn’t have it…or, hey, you don’t even have access to a Tractor Supply!...I’m certain you could order it from the company or from Amazon. TLC will be receiving her gift of this hand cream as soon as we can venture down from this perch/hill safely.

I emailed a suggestion to the O’Keeffe Company a few minutes ago that they make a container that is “pink.” So women might realize it’s not just for farmers, ranchers, construction workers or anyone who works outside in the harsh elements. (Yes, yes, some of those jobs are held by women. Women that may have been keeping this miracle cream a secret from the rest of us…and that's not right...not one itty-bitty bit, is it, Gals?)

Try it! I’ll eat a bug (a chocolate-covered ant—that’s the only bug option you’ve got and I might have to rethink this offer so it’s not an actual promise, okay?) if you tell me you didn’t like it.

Happy Monday, Darling Friends…Stay warm and safe and have some FUN

Friday, February 20, 2015

I Love...My Office Assistant!

Last weekend I had my very own Office Assistant! I’ve never had one before. Even though I was in business for myself for several years. I tried, off and on, to get My Sweet Husband (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) to do some clerical work for me. Hahaha.  Silly moi. Never happened.

Little Leighton (LL) discovered my home office about a year ago. It's a place she wants to be, at some point, during a visit with us. (Her favourite hangouts in our casa, in order, are: her bedroom [aka the guest room]; outside; our bedroom; our bathroom; the kitchen; the dining room; our den—because it has the biggest tv, I suspect; and, then, finally, my office. My screensaver, on my computer, is a bridal picture of TLC. LL needs my computer to be turned on so she can admire this. She always says these adorable words, every single last time: “Mama’s so pretty!” I totally agree.

I keep coloring books and crayons, some reading books and a few toys on a shelf in my office. Lately, however, LL feels the need to sit in my chair and type on my computer. I put her in Word and she types away!

LL, in her chic zebra top and camo shorts, worked and worked. And worked. Her BEST friend/doll, Lindy (LL calls her Windy—we’re working on “Ls” all the time—winky wink!), was LL’s Office Assistant. (Windy's just out of the photo...Grammy had a hard time concentrating on her photography was taking all of my energy and control to not laugh too hard and much at this precious scene!)

Biscuit's work session lasted about 20 minutes. Then we moved on to the next project. Puzzles!

Happy Weekend, Dearest Friends—Wherever in the World You Are! Be safe and have LOTS O’ FUN, okie-dokie?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Love...Lenny and Eva Bracelets!

I know ELC and I have mentioned in previous posts the cute store in Granbury called Spell Bound. It is a gem! They carry the most fun trinkets and treasures. About a year ago, ELC, Little Leighton and I were browsing the shop when we came across a jewelry line they were selling called "Lenny and Eva." It was precious and very reasonably priced. It's somewhat "design your own."

On that particular trip, I spotted a cute coral-beaded bracelet that I could add a "plaque" to--the plaques had inspirational words on them. I chose "Sparkle" that day, and ELC treated me! (When I think of "Sparkle," I think of fireworks and that makes me think of my sweet July-Baby.)

A few weeks ago, ELC was back in Granbury, lunching and shopping with a dear friend. They popped into Spell Bound, and ELC treated me again to two new "plaques" as an early birthday present! ("Plaque" is probably not the best word to use to describe them--maybe I'll switch to "charm"--but I just finished the last episode of Parenthood and my brain is complete mush. Frankly, I'm an emotional wreck, and it will be a miracle if this post is remotely coherent at all.) She found the prettiest turquoise "charm" and one that says, "Grace." I couldn't love them more! I was so surprised.

The only thing I will mention is this particular bracelet seems to run a bit small. My wrists are fairly tiny (I can think of 5 other body parts I would much prefer were "tiny"), and the coral beads are pretty snug. I have a little trouble getting it on and off myself. However, I adore these so much and I don't mind working a smidge harder at it!

Love my "Lenny and Eva!" It's a little bit funky. A little bit rustic. And a whole lot of pretty!

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Love...Red Velvet Tea!

This post is about my second “treat” from TLC last Sunday. Part 2. (Yes. We know. Many of y’all are SHOCKED that one of us is actually following up on a “Part 2” post. I believe TLC owes us a Part 2 NOLA…I suggest we not hold our breaths, Darling Friends.)

So I love hot drinks. Coffee. Dr. Pepper. Cocoa/Hot Chocolate. Most especially I love, love, LOVE hot tea! Imagine my surprise when TLC gave me this marvelous present:

Wwhhhaaaattttt?????? Red Velvet Tea? Oh. My. Be still my heart. Such a timely gift —since February is Valentine’s Day month—and nothing—I mean NOTHING—screams “Valentine’s Day” more than a Red Velvet Cupcake. Right? Yes. Absolutely. Positively correct.

I also adore the color red. I cherish anything “heart” shaped (I have a Pinterest Board devoted to “Hearts and Flowers!”). I crave chocolate. One might think Valentine’s Day could be my favourite holiday. It’s not. Wink. Wink. (I’m actually uncertain which holiday is my favourite—I’ll have to get back to you on this…) But it can be such a HAPPY day (insert Pharrell’s song at this point, okie-dokie?). I did very much enjoy making it a special time for TLC as she grew up. I haven't missed sending our Grands cards with stickers and/or money in them since they were each at least two years old. Tomorrow, Little Leighton (LL) will be at our country casa for a couple of nights and she'll be celebrating Happy Heart Day with Grammy and Pa-Pa!

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) gets all stressed when he sees something to remind him Valentine’s Day is coming up. This realization starts at the first of February-ish. He sort of resents it. Feels like it was a “made up” holiday that too many times puts boys/men in difficult situations. (I get to enjoy this "opinion/lecture" every single's great!) He causes himself pure anguish in attempting to find me just the right card (which he always, ALWAYS does) and trying to plan something wonderful for us to do. I tell him every year, year after year, to LET IT GO. I feel loyalty and devotion every day of our life together.  I don't need a card, flowers, or candy. Even an expensive dinner out. All I Need Is Love. (Thank You to The Beatles for this one...)

Back to this FABULOUS tea: At the first sip, I was a teensy bit worried it was about to taste like a red cough syrup. It was deceptive—there was no cause for my concern! I savored every single swallow of this divine flavor! A Red Velvet Cupcake? Most have anywhere between 250 and 400 calories. YIKES. This delightful tea? Zero calories. I did put one Truvia packet in it—which was the perfect amount of sweet for moi.

Thank You, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, TLC! I love both of my treats! I could not love you more...

Smooches, Hugs and Happy Heart Day Eve, Dearest Friends Everywhere!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I Love...Keepsake Spoons!

TLC never ever EVER ceases to amaze me. She could/should be a Personal Shopper. She finds the most unique, beautiful, memorable, FABULOUS gifts for everyone! Especially her Mama.

This is where I shall begin my temporary/yet typical digression:

Y'all may remember that last weekend we were to have Princess Little Leighton (LL) as an honored guest at our country casa. Unfortunately, TLC had to take her to the pediatrician last Thursday morn. LL was running fever (102.2—high for Our Biscuit!). She’d been congested/constantly drippy for several days. TLC wanted to make sure she was okay to come for a visit with me and Pa-Pa (aka My Sweet Husband/aka MSH). LL’s doctor diagnosed her with a “BAD!” ear infection in her right ear. And the flu!!! Even though all of us, including LL, had had our flu shots by last October, flu has been rampant in the U. S. of A. We’ve been told by many television doctors—real ones!—via our media, that having the shot might keep us from getting a bad case of the flu. It would NOT guarantee we wouldn’t come down with it. Many, many children (and adults) have had serious cases of it in the past three months. Unfortunately, the vaccine peeps weren’t prepared for the way this year’s flu was going to mutate.

TLC and I are skeptical LL really had the flu. However, it became necessary for me to go east to their casa—in order to take care of her while TLC and Her Hubby celebrated their birthdays. Friday night was a planned (fancy) dinner out. Saturday was dinner out in a charming part of Dallas and a Mavericks’ game with friends.

I arrived Friday morn by 10:30 and left Sunday morn at the same time-ish. LL and Grammy had a lovely-as-always quality visit together while her Mom and Dad did their par-tay-in’.

As I was about to leave Sunday morn, TLC called me into her (MY...Wink. Wink.) guest room to give me two gifts. Both were to be my Valentine's Day “treats” from her and LL. But the BEAUTIFUL spoon became my “Thank You!” treat for babysitting Princess LL at her casa—instead of our country casa.

Back to TLC’s Amazing Finds:

In the past, TLC has given me some truly special gifts. I’ve received “engraved” spoons for my flower/cactus pots. This new spoon is for my “tea drinkin’” (Don't forget my ROYAL lineage!) and says:

a little bit of TEA & a whole lotta JESUS

Oh. My. Lord. Do I adore this spoon? Do birds fly? Do fish swim? Do I believe in Jesus???

Found randomly (but luckily!) via an Instagram account TLC follows, she discovered that this company--jessicaNdesigns (click on the link to shop until you drop!) (also: @jessicandesigns on IG and Twitter)--seems to have lots of other interesting/special items. Have no doubt, Dear Friends: My "tea" spoon will be treasured forever. And a day.

Merci beaucoup, TLC, for (once again) giving me something so unexpected but tres SPECTACULAR. Girl—YOU ROCK!

ta-ta for now...

p.s.—LL will be coming this weekend for our re-scheduled visit...Hip Hip Hooray!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Love...Trail Mix!

I really do!

Soon after Little Leighton was born, I became hooked on the "Monster Trail Mix" from Target. Middle of the night feedings and diaper changes? All made easier by the little ramekin on my nightstand that I had pre-filled before bed with "Monster Trail Mix."

Then Target changed the ingredients in the "Monster Trail Mix." It went from having dried cherries to raisins only. I was bummed. They also added extra peanut butter chips and it was just too much. (My Husband is the one obsessed with peanut butter. He puts peanut butter on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I kid you not.)

Then, I discovered Target's "Simply Trail Mix" now had the cherries and M&M's and raisins and almonds and peanuts. My life was complete, once again!

Last week, on a Target run while LL was at school, I headed for my Trail Mix aisle to grab my "usual," when I saw this:

Y'all. This is good. I mean, really good. It has dried cranberries, GOLDEN raisins (fancy!), almonds, sunflower seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). It is tart and sweet and salty, and I am a FAN. So is My Husband. I caught him with the bag earlier, just munching away. Apparently I'm going to have to get us each a bag next time and properly label them with our names because I do not want to share. It's the perfect afternoon snack to give you the little boost of protein and energy you need to get you to dinner.

Give it a whirl!

P.S. And have a happy Monday while you're at it, too!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Love...My Biscuit!

First, I must agree with TLC that I do so enjoy our “theme” months. We’ve been at this blog for four years. FOUR! We often need some inspiration. Having themes can make our (feeble though they are) minds stretch to think of a topic for a theme. Naturally, “love” had to be my suggestion for February. No need for explanations, right?

Second, in case you’ve forgotten, I call Little Leighton (LL) “Sister Biscuit.” I don’t know why. Honestly, I don’t. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) called TLC “Sugar Bear” from the time she was born until she told him he had to shorten it to just “Bear.” She was about 8 years old. (He actually still calls her Bear fairly often...) I intended to call LL “Birdie Bear.” (Birdie because despite the fact that TLC despised birds for two-thirds of her life, she began loving them a year or two before LL's birth. Yes, she's odd. She really is.) I made a good effort to call LL Birdie Bear. It kept coming out like this: “Aaahhhhhh…Sweet Sugar-I-Mean-Birdie-Bear.” That was too long. Confused me. Knew it was confusing LL. So sometime, in the first month or so of her little life, I came up with Sister Biscuit. I do so love biscuits. Homemade. Store bought. With butter. With honey. Or cheese. Or gravy. Or scrambled eggs and bacon. Or all of those things! Seriously. I crave biscuits. The “Sister” part? No clue. My brain is a mystery.

Third, Sister Biscuit fascinates me. I love every single second I’m with her. At her casa. At our casa. Anywhere. Everywhere. She is TLC reincarnated. With a few special “quirks” of her very own. Quirks I treasure.

She’s coming to stay with MSH and me in a couple of days. For two nights. We simply cannot wait. I clean my house for a 2 ½-year-old! I make sure we give her the BEST and most healthiest, gluten-free food we possibly can. She never lets us down. She's pure entertainment from the moment she wakes until she's fast asleep. Non-stop JOY.

TLC sends LL's bedtime “necessities:” Her stuffed animals she must have—LuLu the Lamb; Kate the Kitty; Flopsy the Bunny. She has two “shugies,” also. These are her pacifiers. One is named Morty, as he’s a kitty that looks like our cat, Morty. And one is a little pink bear—named Shugie. Shugie Bear. Shugie Bear currently has no pacifier attached to her. It "fell off"—while LL was at school a couple of weeks ago. (Isn’t that strange, TLC? How did that really happen, huh?) LL has handled the trauma of it all quite bravely, but does insist on Shugie Bear sleeping with her and the rest of Her Friends.

She also has her blankie—that was actually TLC’s!!! LL discovered this 31-year-old baby blanket at my house over a year ago and, without having a clue as to how seriously special it was/is, took it over as her own. (When TLC was five years old, and still sleeping with this blanket, a housekeeper at a hotel in San Francisco scooped it up our second morning, with the sheets, while we were out sightseeing. We came back, exhausted, as TLC and I had literally walked miles that day, to discover it was gone. I frantically dialed Housekeeping and begged them to find it! They did! It was a miracle. A true miracle. We all knew it. (For LL to love/cherish/adore it—well, that goes past my heart and straight to my very soul of souls…sniff sniff…)

Below are two pictures of "the" blanket. The first is TLC and LL in our guest room (formerly TLC's bedroom while in high school and college) recently. I'm pretty sure TLC is trying to talk LL out of HER yellow baby blanket. The next picture is of Biscuit in her Dad's chair, at their casa, with the famous blanket turned over and with her one and a half pacifiers...Morty and Shugie Bear. (I'm thinkin' LL's lookin' at her Mom's old phone that has many, many pictures of herself! One of her Biscuit's favorite pastimes? Admiring her own super cuteness. Teeheehee. The only thing Biscuit loves to do more is watching videos of herself!)

Finally, LL needs her bedtime books. One (of the three she must have) is the most adorable little book that has Christian poems, and prayers, about “The Shepherd.” We’ve referenced it in the past as a Yeehaw or Yummy or Yumhaw—I’m almost positive we have. (We also love to give it as a gift to our special friends we know will appreciate the utter sweetness of this priceless little prayer book.) It literally makes this Grammy cry when she reads some of the poems and prayers. “The Shepherd Forgives” is the hardest one on This Old Gal. Sheesh.

The last time LL stayed with us, we went through her bedtime “routine.” Bath. Jammies. Brush teeth. Blowdry hair—if it’s a shampoo night. Read books. We got to the precious little “Shepherd” book when LL said to me:

“Grammy, read Note to Parents.”

ELC (with a confused look on her face): Read what, Biscuit?

LL: Note to Parents. It’s right here.

Of course you see it almost every time you open the book. It’s at the beginning. She'd not mentioned it to me before this moment. Yes. Yes, I read it. Every word. Trying as hard as I could not to laugh. I couldn’t wait, the next morning, to tell TLC about this event. She got tickled and explained: "LL asked her Daddy a few nights ago to read it. He tried to help her understand that it wasn’t really meant to be read. LL wouldn’t have it. She insisted he read it. So, he obeyed The Boss! Read every word. Now she wants to hear that page every night. "LL"—our "LF" (Little Fruitcake!).

I Love...My Biscuit. With every fiber of my being...I'm so deeply blessed, by God, to be her grandmother.
Gotta scoot...must go find one of my Betsey tissues...Wink. Wink.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Love...Nail Polish!

It's February 1st! How did that happen?

As you all have probably figured out, ELC loves a good "theme o' the month!" I was talking to her earlier today, and we collectively decided our theme for February would be people, places and/or things we LOVE! I'll be starting us off.

I have discovered my new favourite nail polish! I love pedicures, but, to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of manicures. I know...I'm weird...but my cuticles are always a hands stay super dry from washing dishes day-in and day-out...and, despite telling the manicurists I prefer "rounded" nails, they always go rogue and square them off. UGH. That makes my nails grow funky. I also don't typically paint my fingernails. They inevitably chip within a few hours, and I don't really have the patience for that. Before I was pregnant with Little Leighton, I tried the trendy "gel manicure" for a month or two. I did love how long the color lasted without chipping...and how quickly they dried. I could dig around my purse before I left the nail salon and never worry I was messing them up. I did NOT love how it destroyed my nails when I finally decided I couldn't commit to the maintenance and wanted the gels removed.

Last weekend, I had to run to Walgreens for a few pharmaceuticals, when I happened upon the Sally Hansen "Miracle Gel Top Coat." I also treated myself to a new Essie color: Chinchilly. (It's the perfect grey.) I just had a hankering for pretty nails! This morning, before church, I decided to try out my new nail combo. I did two coats of the Chinchilly, followed by the Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat. Guess what? My nails dried quickly! They are shiny and seem pretty "tough!" I've washed dishes several times today, baked cookies, made queso and played restaurant, and my polish hasn't been chipped or dented or dulled. That's nothing short of a miracle for moi! The Top Coat says it can help your color stay for up to 14 days. If this lasts 5 to 7 days, I'll be happy as a clam! The best part is that it can be removed with regular ol' nail polish remover. You can't beat that.

I suppose it might be a smidge early to declare this new combo PHENOMENAL, but I have a lot of hope! And faith! I think you should give them a whirl and treat yourself!

P.S. Guess who has been bitten by the nail polish bug? I just LOVE these tiny hands!