Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Subtle Swirls

For his design, I started with two coats of OPI Skulls & Crossbones as the base.  Next I stamped OPI Planks a Lot using Konad plate m64.  Planks a Lot stamped very light; combined with Skulls & Crossbones, which is so neutral, this manicure is soft, subtle, and sweet.

Have you had a chance to check out the new Pirates of the Caribbean shades yourself?
What are your favorites so far?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gray Day

Zoya Dove

For this manicure, I freehanded french tips with Zoya Dove.  I actually got SO many compliments on this manicure.  I really liked it!  It was subtly different.

OPI Silver Shatter over Zoya Dove

This combination didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped.  Perhaps if the french color had been different (like hot pink?) it would have given a better contrast.  Also, the shatter polish doesn't shatter as well without a base color under it (I only had Seche Vite under it).  But I still love OPI's new Silver Shatter - it is gorgeous and so unique!

Apothica Giftcard Giveaway!!

Giveaway time!!  Today I have a fabulous giftcard to Apothica to give to one very lucky reader. Apothica carries tons of cosmetic brands, such as Too FacedCliniqueSkinMedicaDuWop, and La Roche-Posay.  They also offer free shipping for all orders over $49!

There are many ways to enter!  You can choose to enter one way, or you can enter all four ways - it is up to you!  Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry that you complete:

You need to be a Babbling Brooke follower.  Leave your email address for one entry.  For each additional entry:

Option 1: Facebook
1.      Visit Apothica.com
2.      Write on Apothica’s Facebook wall about what you think of Apothica
*Bonus: Opt in to Apothica’s Newsletter (enter with a separate comment)
Option 2: Twitter
1.      Visit Apothica.com
2.      Tweet about Apothica on your own Twitter Account (@BBabblingBrooke)
*Bonus: Retweet Apothica’s tweet about this giveaway (leave a separate comment)
Option 3: Blog
1.      Visit Apothica.com
2.      Write something on your blog about what you think of Apothica
3.   Post the link to the blog post here
*Bonus: Write about one of the brands I highlighted above and link it to Apothica (leave a separate comment)

Please leave your name, email address, and how you entered in the comments form.  One lucky winner will be drawn after July 20, 2011 to win a $25 Apothica giftcard.

Thanks for entering!

This giveaway is closed.  Congrats to #65, SunnyGal!

Thank you to everyone for entering!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Happy first day of summer!!

For this summery manicure, I painted China Glaze Pool Party on my index (2 coats),Yellow Polka Dot Bikini on my middle finger (4 coats), Kiwi Cool-ada on my ring finger (3 coats), and one coat of Zoya Jancyn topped with one coat of China Glaze Sun Worshipper on my pinkie.   Even though it has been SO, SO hot out for weeks (and the "summer semester" course I am teaching is nearly finished), today is actually the first day of summer - and this manicure makes me long for a swimming pool!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday, Grandma!

Today is my wonderful Grandma's 90th Birthday.  She is such a great person and it is amazing to be able to share her 90th birthday with her.  The weekend before last, we had a 90th birthday party to celebrate her landmark birthday with her.

Grandma :)

Dad and I with Grandma

Great-grandchildren and Granddaughter Amy

Grandma laughing about the fact that we only had 5 candles on the cake :)


Glitter + Pink = A 21st Birthday!

My fiancĂ©'s younger sister, Meredith, turned 21 a few weeks ago, so this past weekend we all went out to Philadelphia to celebrate.  I wore this fun hot pink glittery manicure all weekend. I started with just one coat of Nicole by OPI Pink, Seriously, which is a fabulous pink and one of my current favorites.  I topped it with one coat of Nicole by OPI Make a Comet-ment, a gorgeous holographic sparkle.  I polished over everything with Seche Vite.  I love this fun combination!

Nicole by OPI Pink, Seriously and Make a Comet-ment

Nicole by OPI Pink, Seriously

For Meredith's birthday dinner, we went to Morimoto Restaurant, which is owned by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.  We had a great meal!

The sushi my sister, Kelsey, ordered.

Meredith, the birthday girl!

After dinner, we saw Miss Saigon at the historic Walnut Street Theatre.  It was phenomenal!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brooke Cooks - Avocado Salad

I tried a salad similar to this one at a local vegetarian restaurant about a month ago and I've been crazy for it ever since.  So after craving one all day last week, I was disappointed when I called after work and was told that it was too late to order food.  So instead I went to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make my own.  And you know what?  It was just as good (and unbelievably easy!).

1 avocado
1 package extra firm tofu
Newman's balsamic vinaigrette
romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Dice and marinate tofu in balsamic vinaigrette.  Wash and chop romaine, tomatoes, and avocado.  Toss with tofu and vinaigrette.  Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Caribbean Flowers

Today I am wearing OPI Planks A Lot from their new Pirates of the Caribbean Collection.  I really like this shade; it is a medium purple with some grey undertones that give it a very chic, sophisticated look.

On top of Planks A Lot, I drew silver flowers using the new Kiss Nail Artist fine tip pen and then drew white dots using the white Kiss pen.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the great weather!  I've been pretty overwhelmed these past few weeks with the course I'm teaching and the course I am taking (I forgot how hard it can be to take a class you know nothing about!).  But in just a few weeks, summer vacation begins and I will be resting, relaxing, reading, and polishing.  Plus, I have a great giveaway coming up next week!

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pandora's Box

For the past few days, I've been wearing Zoya Pandora, one of their gorgeous new nudes.  I love the name (probably due in part to the fact that I have been lusting after a Pandora bracelet of my own for months and months).  Zoya Pandora is a shimmery, pink-hued nude polish that covered great with two coats.  This doesn't give me a mannequin-hands look like Zoya Minka did, but the pink hues go so well with my fair skin.

Zoya Pandora

And a few shots of the tan kittens!  You may remember these kitties from my Zoya Minka post (Tan Polish and Tan Kittens!).  They are growing up (plus, I got a new camera lens yesterday and couldn't wait to try it out!).

The flowers in my garden are finally starting to bloom!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Thursday!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Babbling Brooke gets a Makeover!!

My blog had been in serious need of a makeover for years.  My previous design was a hodgepodge that I had put together and it truly was a mess.  I have been wanting to do a redesign for a long time, and being the DIYer that I am, I thought I could do it myself.  But after spending hours upon hours reading tutorials and even signing up for an html course, I still couldn't make something that I was proud to share.

That's when Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs came to my rescue.

Summaiyah, the design maven behind Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs, made the blog design process look effortless.  She completely redesigned my blog exactly to my specifications and she kept me involved the entire time so there were never any surprises.

To start the design process, I filled out a survey identifying exactly what I was looking for in a blog redesign.  I also had the opportunity to select the design elements, colors, and backgrounds (from a nearly unlimited selection) that best fit me.  Then the designer created six different headers and sent them to me to start narrowing down what I liked and what I didn't like.

Summaiyah kept me up to date during the design process and made the page she was building available by link so I could see how things were progressing.  She asked for my feedback throughout the process, which I really appreciated, and she always made sure I was happy with how the design was coming along.

I must have sent Summaiyah at least twenty emails asking for changes or thinking of things to add (custom navigation bar! right aligned sidebars!).  She was always so quick to respond and she answered all of my questions.  On top of that, she was always so gracious, friendly, and helpful.  I really appreciated working with someone so kind and knowledgeable.

I am loving how my new design turned out.  I wanted something organized, functional, and clean and this fits that perfectly.  Working with Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs made the design process a breeze.  I can't believe how easy it was - and how quickly I have my great, new blog design.  Plus, working with Summaiyah was fantastic!

The header Summaiyah at Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs designed for Aurora Moments Photography

The Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs design process is super easy.  To get started, visit Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs and check out what they have to offer, then just request a quote based on what changes you would like to make to your blog.

Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs offers packages as well as items that you can choose from a la carte.  In addition to that, Summaiyah provides free tutorials right on her blog for DIYers.  For example, just this week she went through the steps to back up your blog posts (which is SO important and something everyone should do!).

Thank you so much to Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs for the fabulous blog makeover!!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Today I am wearing Nicole by OPI The Next CEO with one of Color Club's new Fractured polishes in Clean Break.  I started with two coats of The New CEO, and once that was dry, I applied one thin coat of Color Club Clean Break.  On my index finger, I used Color Club Broken Tokens, a silver Fractured polish.

I have been really into metallic shades this month.  They feel so summery, and they are perfect for this 100+ degree weather we've been having.

Clean Break and Broken Tokens are two of Color Club's new Fractured polishes.  I can't wait to try Have a Bash and Crush on You, the bright blue and fuchsia Fractured shades.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tan Nails - and Tan Kittens!

For the past few days, I've been wearing Zoya Minka from Zoya's new Touch Collection.  During these last couple of days I have also been petsitting for three adorable little kittens!

Zoya Minka

Can I just say that I am in LOVE with this color?  The nude shade (with hints of pink) matches my skin so well and gives my nails such a natural, professional look (not to mention it makes my fingers look long and lean).  I used two coats for excellent coverage and although I've been wearing it since Sunday morning without a top coat, my nails are still chip-free.

Now for the kittens!
My parents' neighbors found these kittens about a month ago; their mom is a feral (we are getting her spayed as part of the trap-neuter-release program).  Two of the kittens are girls and one is a boy.  Most orange or tan cats are males, and orange/tan females are very rare because in order for a female cat to be orange or tan, her mother needs to be a calico and her father needs to be orange.  Isn't that interesting?  

How adorable are they?  Kittens are just so cute!  This is the tan girl:

This is the little orange girl (she is the most shy):

Here is the tan boy:

Hope everyone is having a nice Wednesday!

Designed by Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs