blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: July 2013

July 31, 2013

Gold Tip French Manicure

Blame it on the mommy hormones and taking these prenatal vitamins, but my nails have really been growing like mad and my manicures just can't keep up! Maybe it's a habit from working in the hospital, but gel manicures have been my go-to for the last year - they look great and last for weeks - that is until now. I wanted something new but couldn't force myself to shell out the money for another gel, so I picked up Sally Hansen's Salon Effects French Manicure polish strips in Gold Cabaret at my local drugstore. 


They were easy to put on, although a little more time consuming than the normal designs because there are two polish strips for each nail - one for the gold french tip and another for the clear top coat. A few pointers for a great result - make sure you start with well-buffed and squeaky clean nails (do another once-over with polish remover), try to position the strips correctly the first time (repositioning makes them a little less adhesive), and don't be scared to stretch them a bit to get a nice, smooth application.

My favorite part of these strips is that there is no drying time (what I also love about gel manicures). For me this meant I could relax with a few extra minutes at night and put these on without worrying about getting dents and imprints from sleeping with them before they were 100% dry. That's the worst. Would love to hear what your experience has been with these strips or what you use instead!

July 29, 2013

Casual Coffee Date

Nothing like the casual coffee date on a perfectly breezy Sunday afternoon. Mine was more like a decaf iced chai latte kind of date but you get the idea. Casual bliss. And on a side note, how crazy is it that this little bump of mine is already 8 months!?!? Whew does the time fly! I'm so thankful I have some of my energy still left (a really small "some") and N here being so supportive (um, breakfast in bed and baking brownies for dessert?) - blessings all around. 


Love Culture maxi dress (similar here), JCPenney jean jacket (similar here), Forever 21 braided belt (similar here), Abercrombie sandals (similar here), Alex and Ani bracelets (here), Boutique aviators (splurge here, steal here)

Today I'm also hooking up with these lovely soon-to-be mamas for our final round in this maternity styling collaboration. I hope you guys found them as gorgeous and inspiring as I did! 

July 26, 2013

Organization and Time Management

With juggling a blog, a baby on the way, relationships, and a little thing called medical school, one of the questions I get asked by you lovely ladies most often is how do I find time for it all, ie how do I organize my schedule? Let me tell you first and foremost, you have to make time for it all. Unless you have a personal assistant no one is going to find the time in your schedule to squeeze in all that you need to get done. 

No personal assistant here, and despite never being without my phone, I find that planners/calendars on my phone just don't help me feel organized. Writing things (everything) down in a pretty planner is the only way things happen and I feel in control in my own way. 

Before gorgeous planners existed, I would just buy a pretty plain notebook and make sure to fill it myself with the following sections  (now planners have these and are gorgeous, so this is also my list for must haves when looking for a planner)
|| full month pages || 
|| a monthly to do list ||
|| weekly pages ||
|| a weekly to do list ||
|| blank pages for random notes ||

The key for me was writing everything down and then creating a rough daily or weekly schedule to get all of it done. As you plan your days in advance with your tasks and goals in mind, all of a sudden everything fits, including your date night and girls brunch - these things are just as important as exams and project deadlines and should always be written in too! And of course - the really important part is that you make this planner like a third arm! This is where having a cute print really helps. Carry it with you at all times (which is where a relatively smaller size helps) and always check it at minimum when you have your cup of coffee in the morning. 

Here is an example of what one of my month pages looks like, as well as a week page. For times when I'm really feeling crunched for time I literally schedule my days by the half hour (the 8 days a week planner was great during some of my busiest times in college). During clinical rotations in medical school your day is usually something like - come in at crack of dawn, leave in the evening, with no room for planning of your actual day, so during those rotations I really just stuck to a more general monthly schedule and to-do list. Times like these I loved my Russel and Hazel mini-binder - I could just add monthly pages and graph paper to make my planner work for me! 


Now that I'm done with clinical rotations and back on a more "plannable" schedule, I'll be picking up a new planner! Below are my top pics for academic planners this year. Many of them begin in August so pick one now and get to planning!
Clockwise from top left: personalized grey stripe planner (and tons of other designs) by PlumPaperDesigns here (and make sure to use coupon code THANKS10 for 10% off your order!), black and gold chevron planner by Paper Source here, personalized pink and blue framed planner (and so many more options!!) by Erin Condren here, blue chevron (and more options) by Sarah Pinto here

I hope you found this post somewhat helpful! Nothing earth-shattering here, really just get a planner and use it! Stay tuned for another reader inspired post on study tips coming in the fall! 

July 24, 2013

Maine Getaway

Over the weekend N and I drove up to Camden, Maine and had an amazing time. Scroll below for some shots from the trip! (PS for all of you gearing up for school or work, make sure to come back Friday for a post on the number one question I get - organization and time management!) But back to vacation pics...

Highlights of the trip included the view from our cottage, the breathtaking Lake Megunticook, Maine blueberry pancakes for breakfast every morning (and blueberry ice cream for dessert!), lobster rolls, and taking it all in atop Mount Battie. 

July 22, 2013

Day to Night: Floral

Time to start another week! I'm just getting back from an amazing trip to Northern Maine - pics to come soon! Today I'm sharing a light and breezy floral look that can easily be transitioned from day to night by swapping shoes and bag and throwing on a blazer! How do you ladies transition from day to night?
Charlotte Russe top (similar here), Asos Maternity boyfriend jeans (here, similar here), Material Girl flats (similar here), Boutique bag (similar here and here), Maui Jim sunnies (here), Banana Republic blazer (here and on sale!), Zara heels (here), DSW clutch (similar here), Relic watch (here, similar here)

P.S. - linking this look up over at Style Elixir, check out all the other fabulous looks here!

July 19, 2013

D.I.Y. Burlap Banner

Happy Friday! Wanted to wrap up this baby shower themed week (see earlier posts on the baby shower and what I wore) with a fun and easy DIY! I made this "Oh Baby" burlap banner to hang over our makeshift pink backdrop (which just consisted of rose-pink fabric pinned around the curtain rod and tied it at the bottom with twine ). 
What you'll need:
- burlap (I bought a small roll for crafting)
- twine
- acrylic paint for text
- paint brush
- scissors
- fabric glue 
- stencil (optional)
Cut out triangle pieces of burlap - enough for whatever your saying is. Cutting one to be your outline for the rest makes it super easy. Using acrylic paint and your paint brush, paint each piece with a letter or symbol for your banner (the other option is using a stencil which I didn't have, but I'm sure would make this even easier). Let paint dry. Measure your piece of twine to be long enough to fit your saying and have lots of extra room for tying it up somewhere. Apply fabric glue to the tops of your burlap triangles and apply to your twine, don't be afraid to get your hands sticky! Let dry, and hang that baby up when it's ready! 

That's it! I literally made mine the morning of my shower and loved how it came out! Would love to hear if any of you try it!!

July 18, 2013

Baby Shower Dress

I fell in love with this dress the second I saw it at Marshalls and was so thankful it was only $20! Loved the daintiness of the floral details, the muted colors, the pockets, and of course the back cutout. I knew it would be perfect for my baby shower. {I sat opening gifts for so long I got wrinkly though! Boo}

Even Max had a special scarf for the baby shower!
Marshalls dress (similar here and here), Naturalizer sandals (similar here), gold watch (steal here, splurge here)

July 17, 2013

Baby Shower

Just wanted to share a few photos from my beautiful baby shower this weekend! I was absolutely blown away by the outpouring of love and gifts for baby girl! Check out my Instagram (@lauralacquer) for other pics from the shower, and stay tuned for an outfit post featuring what I wore (now up here) and a DIY on how to make this burlap banner (now here)! 

{To those of you friends and family reading the blog who attended the shower - thank you so so much! I love you!!!} 

July 15, 2013

Black Mini

Happy Monday!!
I'm coming back from an amazing whirlwind of a weekend - my babyshower!! I will definitely post more on that this week, for now I'll just say baby girl and I were overwhelmed with love and N and I couldn't believe how amazingly generous everyone was!

Nollie sweater (similar here), Forever 21 skirt (similar here), Zara heels (here), Big Buddha bag (splurge here, steal here),
gold watch (splurge here, steal here)

It's also round three of our Maternity Styling Collaboration with a few styling mommas-to-be! Make sure to check out their looks below and stop by their blogs!!
The Freckled Fox || I Am Style-Ish || Along Abbey Road || Sparkling Footsteps

July 13, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Just wanted to take a quick second and wish you all a happy weekend!
This weekend is my baby shower (eeek!!)!! So I plan on catching up with friends and family and spending the rest of the time hanging out by the pool. Ah summer ❤
Hope you all have lovely weekends!!


July 12, 2013

All Black Bump

Happy Friday! You all know my favorite color combo is all black (if you don't remember see here, here, here, you get the idea), and although the summer definitely inspires me to bring more color into my wardrobe, you can never go wrong with black! Check out the links below for product details, I'm trying something new and sharing a "steal" look-a-like (or exact match, since I'm always on a budget) and a "splurge" look-a-like. Would love to know what you ladies think! 

Forever 21 dolman top (steal here, splurge here), Asos Maternity pants (steal here, splurge here), Marshalls flats (steal here, splurge here), VJ Style bag (steal here, splurge here), gold watch (steal here, splurge here)
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