Eleven shakes of a persimmon tree turns two years old today. Happy Blogiversary to me and my little home on the internet. Keeping this blog going hasn't always been easy, but it's been cathartic. A release of creativity and a place to focus on the good days and the smiling faces of the people I love. Thank you so much for visiting and encouraging and supporting. I feel like I've made so many blog friends and been able to truly express myself here. I will continue to do the best I can and I hope you continue to enjoy what I share. 

If you are curious, click here to see my very first post.

a day off

Nothing much happening around these parts. Just a dreary weekday off work.


making appointments

bedhead at 2:00

laundering of little clothes

tiny dog cuddles

nails of the week: rose gold

This weekend, I was on the hunt for a new bottle of nail polish. Maybe it's the sun shining and the promise of warmer spring air that makes me want to update things. And buying nail polish is cheaper than buying new clothes. After combing aisle after aisle in Target, I found this pretty little bottle. It is Gilded Rose by Maybelline and it is a gorgeous combination of fine gold glitter and chunky rose gold glitter. It definitely inspired my rose manicure this week.

I used this tutorial for painting the roses. So easy!

Polish from left to right
Mint Mojito, French Affair, English Rose, Wild Thing, Rain Forest


I've been sitting on two Leibster awards and it's high time I get around to answering some questions. Don't you think? These awards are so much fun. I always get some warm fuzzies when a fellow blogger nominates me. Thank you so much, Rebecca and Paulette. You guys rock the blog world and I am happy to call you my friends! Here are my answers to their questions. 

1.  What made you want to start blogging?
I have always loved taking pictures and finally got my hands on a DSLR camera after we had Alice. I needed a corner of the internet to post my pics of her and our life for far away family and friends. 

2.  What keeps you motivated to blog?
I am a scientist by day, with a lab coat and everything. It's a very black and white, rule driven world so in my spare time I crave creativity. I love to take pictures and see the beauty in the little moments of life. Sharing them here makes the circle complete. 

3.  What makes your blog stand out in the crowd?
I think my blog has a little bit of everything; photography, nail art, fashion, food, mommy stuff. I just try to make it a good representation of me and my family's life. I'd like to think I'm a unique individual and I hope that comes across in my posts. 

4.  Where do you see your blog a year from now?
I'd like to improve on my photography. I could really use a remote and a proper flash to get the shots I want. I would also like time to write more and integrate that into my blogging. 

5.  How would you describe your style?
I feel like I dress like a high schooler, mid 90's. Or basically my 16 year old self. This might not be good. 

6.  Do you actively grow your blog or do you blog for fun?
I blog for fun. Blogging can be a strange world of competition and self-serving. I'd rather people come to 11 Shakes because they like what I am putting out there. That's why I follow the blogs I do.

7.  What's your best beauty advice?
Do what you want and take a risk. You wanna try short hair? Do it! [It will grow back]

8.  If you had to wear one item of clothing for a month, what would it be?  (this would obviously be part of an outfit ... you wouldn't be wearing just one piece of clothing for a month) 
Maternity leggings. They are the most comfortable things ever! No. Shame.

9.  What beauty product have you used the longest?
Probably Cover Girl simply ageless concealer that was recently (and cruelly) discontinued. Not cool, Cover Girl!

10.  How do you find new blogs to follow?
I have found quite a few I like via Bloglovin's suggestions.

11.  Do you tell people about your blog or is it a secret amongst the community?
I usually tell people if it comes up. I get a lot of questions about my nails, so that usually leads to the blog conversation.

Have I lost you yet? No? Good. Here's more...

1. What, or who, inspires you to blog?
Other bloggers. My daughter. My mom- she always tells me how much she loves my blog. My camera- gotta put all those pictures somewhere.
2. Which three songs are at the top of your playlist?
Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence (favorite song of all time)
The Handsome Family Far From Any Road (True Detective, Am I right?!?!)
Idina Menzel Let It Go (Frozen obsessed!)
3. If you could go back in time and be someone else, who would it be, and why?
Probably Jane Austen. She had all that time to write with no distractions like iphones or TV. And the dresses and romance of the period!
4. Which era of fashion do you feel most inspired by?
Late 50's, early 60's. 
5. What was your most awkward moment?
I once tripped and fell while walking to the bathroom in a crowded restaurant. Had to put my hand on a couple's table to get up. Then I had to walk back through the restaurant after my bathroom visit. That was pretty awkward. 

6. What is your favorite movie, and why?
Silence of the Lambs. It's just such a good film!

7. If you could have the vacation of your dreams, where would you go, and who would you take with you?
I would go to Paris with my art-loving husband and my dessert-loving BFF.

8. What are the three beauty products you can't live without?
Lip Balm. Under eye concealer. Mascara. 

9. What is your favorite day of the week, and why? 
Tuesday. It just has a nice ring to it. Lets you know the week is progressing.

10. What was your favorite subject in school? 
I nominate Allison, Kim, and Sinead
My questions for them.
1. Why do you blog?
2. What one song really moves your soul?
3. What is your favorite movie?
4. If you could read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5. What is the one item you can not live without?
6. When was the last time you laughed so hard you nearly peed your pants?
7. What makes you smile?
8. Is there a movie that always makes you cry?
9. Coffee or tea?
10. Are you a serious or silly person?

You can see the set of questions from my first win here

pretty hair

Alice has been asking for 'pretty hair' lately. It doesn't usually last long, she would rather take the accessories out and do it herself. But it's fun while it lasts. We blow dry and brush. If I can get her to sit still long enough, we braid. This is probably one of my favorite weekend activities. This, and watching Frozen on repeat. 

green around the gills

 My little one is a bit sickly this St. Patrick's Day. She spent the night coughing and feverish so we spent the morning at the doctor. Nothing serious, just a little cold. She perked up a bit as we left the office, so we went out for some breakfast. Waffles make everything better, don't they? Well- waffles, and juice, and syrup and colors and now, sleep. 
Have a safe and happy holiday, y'all! Don't get pinched. 

my daughter dresses better than me: bright as we can be

I thing my Spring dreaming is working. We had a few days of warm(er) temps and lots of sunshine. We dressed for the occasion, in the brightest brights we could find.

Mom sweater, jeans and baby jeans were thrifted.
Baby sweater and shirt were gifted.
Baby shoes are from Buy Buy Baby.
Mom booties are by Report.

nails of the week: spring dreaming

I am really trying to visualize Springtime. Warm weather, bright flowers, birds singing. I know all those things are right around the corner. For now, I will buy the flowers and paint my nails in Spring brights and hope the snow won't be falling too much longer.

Polish from top to bottom: Formula X for Sephora in White Matter, Unmistakable, Brazen, Infatuated, and Thrilling.

bath time

Bath time is one of my favorite times. The stresses of the day just melt away and that smile just melts my heart.

georgie porgie

We took a little road trip and found this place called Georgie Porgie's. It's a treehouse/ clubhouse/ restaurant with some seriously good burgers.

Yes, that says beer, cheese and bacon, on a pretzel roll. This is Wisconsin.

Besides good food, they had super cute tables with all sorts of toys and trinkets under the glass.

That's Georgie Porgie himself.

The restaurant was small, just a few tables with a tree in the middle. Most people got their food to-go, but we sat and watched The Little Rascals while Alice colored.

drawing with dada

Alice loves to color and Byron loves to draw. They work together so well. Byron draws and Alice does her best to fill in his pictures. It's kind of like she has her own customizable coloring book. She's a lucky gal to have such a artistic father. 

Byron asks her what she wants and she points to the paper and makes her request. Micky Mouse, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, cow, pig, cat, elephant, Byron can do them all. It's pretty impressive. 

Alice really watches his hands move across the paper and is getting the hang of it herself. I love watching this special time of theirs. I hope she has an artistic streak, like her Dada.

nails of the week: royal

I am really loving this gold color (Avon's Golden Vision). I keep finding different ways to incorporate it into my manicures. It's just do darn sparkly! Using it under other colors, for a reverse french look works really well. The gold underneath gives the color on top an extra shiny appearance. This blue is an old favorite of mine, Revlon's Royal. Speaking of Royals, do any of you watch Reign on the CW? I love it! It's like Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl. It also reminds me of the books by Phillipa Gregory, like The Other Boleyn Girl. It's pretty awesome.

beach party

What do you do when it snows (again) and the weather outside is too much to take? Throw a Beach Party!!!

Step 1: Turn the heat up to a balmy 78 degrees.
Step 2: Put on bathing suits, summer dresses, hats and shades.

Step 3: Lay out towels for lounging and sun bathing.
Step 4: Make fruity drinks (coconut and pineapple juice are perfect for that sun-drenched, beachy taste).

Step 5: Enjoy with a friend.

Make sure to get up and dance too.

Beach themed movies are an extra fun touch. Beach Party and Blue Hawaii are both on Netflix, if you're feeling the need for some inspiration.

and the award goes to...

Oh, Oscar! The Academy awards are like the Superbowl in our house. We talk for months about which movies will get nominated, who will take home the grand prize and we try our best to see all the movies. This year was a fantastic year for touching, memorable performances and movies that stay with you long after leaving the theater. In honor of the best picture nominees, we made quite the Oscar night feast.

Here's to all the nominees and winners, the ever inspiring people who create the art that touches so many. I have so many favorites this year, it's hard to know who to root for. I want them all to win.