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After having my second manicure and seeing how nice my nails looked when they are given a bit of TLC I decided to try to incorporate a simple nail care routine in my life. I did a bit of online research and decided on the following routine. Step One, clip and file. Step Two, buff the surfaces of my nails. Step Three, apply cuticle remover. (I use Blue Cross cuticle remover because it had good reviews on Makeup Alley. I bought a huge bottle at our local Sally Beauty Supply.) Step Four, remove cuticles with cuticle trimmer. Step Five, apply my few coats of my favorite Essie nail polish (above from left to right, Geranium, Power Clutch and Mesmerize). Step Six, seal the nail polish with Seche Vite dry fast top coat. Thanks to Anna for the Seche Vite recommendation because prior to using this top coat my manicures would only last a few days before getting a chip (the drawbacks of constantly using my hands for crafting or cooking) and now I can go about 5-6 days before my first chip appears. I usually leave my nails bare for 2-3 days in between manicures to let them breathe a bit. You can find some fun nail polish related posts over at The Beauty Department. If you have any nail care recommendations or tips please share!



{Photograph by Sally J Shim}

There are so many wonderful food blogs out there and it is hard to keep up with them all. But one of my favorites is Molly Wizenberg's blog, Orangette. Last year I came across Molly's Chicken Stew with a Secret Weapon recipe and decided to try it out since the boys love chicken soup. I followed the recipe but added potatoes and corn and alphabet pasta. It is flavorful and hearty, perfect comfort food. And now that the weather is cooling down I've been making extra for the boys' school lunches which is a big hit.




We have been doing some major purging at Casa Shim and all our closets have been sifted through. When I look at my edited wardrobe what is left are classic and neutral pieces that provide a nice base for any outfit. My favorite color is grey and I would say 70% of my closet consists of grey clothing. Although I do like pops of color I usually reserve that for accessories or jackets. So needless to say I love these grey Muji sweaters. They look comfortable and perfect for the cooler temperatures we're experiencing here in Portland.



{Photograph by Sally J Shim}

Although I am a summer fruit person (I love peaches and berries) I do love a nice crisp apple. I'm planning to go apple picking with the boys soon which will give me the perfect excuse to make more apple galettes. I used Stephanie's recipe over on 3191 miles apart and it turned out beautifully. I love the rustic nature of galettes and this one is delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 



{Jack Spade}

Appah recently expressed interest in a new work bag. So now I am on a mission to find the perfect bag for him. I love the design of these Jack Spade bags. I'm just not sure if these are too casual for someone who wears a dress shirt, tie and trousers to work every day. If you have any suggestions for a nice work bag for Appah please let me know!



{Photographs by Sally J Shim}

Screen Door is my favorite Southern restaurant in Portland. They serve comfort food using local and organic produce and meat. We tend to order a bunch of side items and share them family style. Our favorites are the fried pork chops, macaroni & cheese, sweet potato fries, bacon & hock collard greens and buttery mashed potatoes with tasso gravy. And we always save room for dessert, my all-time favorite dessert is their ban-offee pie. There is always a wait so our secret is to arrive 15 minutes before opening in order to ensure we get a table (last week we got the last available table). But if you do find that you have to wait leave your number with the hostess and head over to Heart Coffee Roasters (which is a few doors down) to hang out.