Over Coffee…

Over Coffee…

Often when I write my blog posts, I feel like I am catching up with a friend over coffee. I imagine what we would say to each other and think about what my friend would find interesting. Today I thought I would write as if you and I were sitting in a charming café somewhere, perhaps on the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris or North Beach in San Francisco.

Here’s what I would say over coffee…


I would tell you that I’ve already finished one of the books on my summer reading list and have moved onto another. I would give Point of Direction a 6.5 out of 10. I found it an interesting read but not one I would necessarily recommend to you. While I thought it was well-written, the characters were difficult for me to relate to and care about and I found the story line predictable.

I started The Vacationers: A Novel the day it was released. I am only a few pages into it but so far, I enjoy it. What book are you reading now?


I would tell you that last week I went with my gorgeous friend, Sandee to look at the images from her recent Modern Beauty photo shoot with Mariah Smith. I also went to the photo shoot with her a couple of weeks ago. It was such fun being a spectator!

Sandee agrees with me that experiencing the Modern Beauty photo shoot is not only incredibly fun but a wonderful way to boost confidence while feeling and looking your best. Sandee has some truly stunning photos to use both professionally and personally. This was one of my favorites.


I would tell you that after over a year of abusing my poor nails with frequent gel manicures, I have decided to give my nails a break. As much as I like to have painted nails that don’t chip and last a couple of weeks, I just can’t continue to destroy my nails. I already have very thin nails naturally and on top of that, I am a picker. I know it’s best to have the manicurist remove the gel, but I can’t help but pick it off myself! I am trading gels in for this OPI nail strengthener to see if I can’t get my nails back into decent shape.

Have you tried this product? What’s been your experience with gel manicures? Are you a picker too?


I would tell you that my husband and I just got back from Monterey on Saturday. I will be writing more about our stay at Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa soon. For now, let’s just say it was a great trip!

Hot tub at Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

I would tell you that on our way down to Monterey, Bill and I met up with Kim of Northern California Style and her friendly husband. They live in Los Gatos which is such a darling town. I want to go back and spend some time shopping, eating and drinking wine with Kim!


We had lunch at Oak & Rye. They have the most delicious pizzas, just like Rome! Kim suggested this shaved Brussels sprout salad with pecorino cheese, coarsely ground black pepper and a citrus dressing. It was so good even my Brussels sprout hating husband liked it! I want to find a nice mandolin and make my own version.


I would tell you that I am worried about my eldest dog, Daisy who will be 10-years-old in July. She has been having some mobility problems with her hind legs or possibly her hips and her normally voracious appetite is mediocre at best. She’s on antibiotics for a possible viral infection but that doesn’t explain the limping. I am taking her to the vet as soon as I can this week. I really hate when my pets are ill and in pain. I wish they could talk to us!


Finally, I would remind you that How I Wear My: Pastel will go live on Wednesday! You still have time to get your photo if you’d like to be featured. Just send it to howiwearmy (at) yahoo (dot) com along with a description of your look.

How I Wear My Badge

Now it’s your turn. What would you tell me over coffee?




  1. June 1, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    I really hope your dog is ok and fingers crossed everything is in the clear…

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 1:43 pm

      Me too, N.The vet did blood work while we were away (I asked the kids to take her to see him) and everything was okay. Nothing serious. But he didn’t find anything wrong with her leg(s). He told me to take a video when she limps, which I have done, and will show it to him this week sometime. I hope there is something he can do to help her! Thank you for your concern. xo

  2. June 1, 2014 / 1:40 pm

    It looks like you had fun! That looks so relaxing, I’m a little jealous. Haha. I hope your having a great weekend.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      Of the hot tub? It was so wonderful. The view was spectacular. A great way to unwind after a day of fun! I hope you’re having a great weekend too. I am busy catching up after a few days of fun.

  3. June 1, 2014 / 2:44 pm

    Lovely coffee conversation…you covered so much. Sandee is beautiful. Thanks for the talk. Have a great week, Adrienne!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 4:18 pm

      Sandee is a gorgeous woman and just as beautiful inside as she is outside. I am so glad she did the Modern Beauty shoot!

  4. diane
    June 1, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    Love this chat over coffee post! Knowing our pets aren’t feeling well, but not knowing exactly what’s wrong is the worst.. thinking good thoughts for Daisy 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you, Diane. I just hope it’s not something that requires surgery, or worse -not fixable. Poor thing is really hobbling around.

  5. Kathy
    June 1, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    First of all, I’d probably tell you that we should have a glass of wine instead of coffee. I also just started The Vacationers, and although I’m only a few pages into it as well, it seems very good and easy to get into. I would try to reassure you about Daisy, small dogs have lots of problems as they age with their hind legs, but heal quickly, so try not to worry. The vet may give her some muscle relaxants, and/or steroids and they work very quickly. You could also give her half a baby aspirin right now and it’ll help. We’re also leaving on a trip on Thursday and very much looking forward to that!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 4:41 pm

      You know I was going to call it wine if it went up on a Friday. I always start the week with the healthiest of intentions…and go south from there 😉
      Daisy already had surgery to repair a torn meniscus a few years ago and her knees have always been weird, says the vet. So I am not that surprised, just worried for her to maybe have surgery at her age. I hope we can get some meds in her tomorrow. She seems very down about this situation. Is a half aspirin really okay? Even a chewable?
      I am also very, very excited about your upcoming trip!

  6. Colleen
    June 1, 2014 / 4:35 pm

    First, I am so sorry your little dog is having mobility issues…..yes, it’s so sad when they can’t tell us where it hurts.
    Second, I had gel nails for a year – what a mistake. I have strong nails and am kicking myself for being talked into them. The thought of having my polish last close to two weeks got the best of me. I don’t know if it was the gel or the acetone but my nails started to look terrible around the cuticles so I decided to let them grow out. Finally, two whole years later, they are beginning to look normal. I still have to be careful as they are a little thin on the ends and will peel or tear easily if I don’t keep them polished but the end is in sight! Never again! At least the new style is the wear them short! I had a mani/pedi Thursday and am now sporting deep lavender on my nails and toes. I was told by several of my 32 year old daughter-in-law’s friends I was looking hip!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 4:48 pm

      Oh no..two years it’s taken to get back to healthy nails? I knew when I was getting the gels that it was bad for my nails, but I just had to have the long-lasting and durable manicure. Once I grow out the damage for a while, I may go back to polish – regular polish – for color. I just have to accept that 1) they take forever to dry and 2) they last about two or three days. It will be special occasion only!
      I bet you were looking hip! I love pastel-y colors on nails. So fun for summer!

      • Colleen
        June 1, 2014 / 10:03 pm

        I used Nailtique 2 while growing out. Keep us posted on the OPI you purchased – maybe that will make the difference and they will snap back into shape sooner!

        • Adrienne Shubin
          June 2, 2014 / 7:16 am

          I have used Nailtique 2 before – ages ago. It worked well. I actually asked the manicurist about it and he recommended Nail Envy over Nailtiques so I thought I would give it a whirl.

  7. June 1, 2014 / 4:39 pm

    I would tell you, I’m so sorry to hear Daisy is having problems!! Our little furry loves are so very precious.
    I would admit to being a polish picker also and have thin nails too. I’d thank you for the Nail Envy recommendation because I like that it doesn’t contain formaldehyde.
    I’d tell you, I think Kim is one of four nicest women I have the good fortune to meet in many years, and thank you for making it possible!
    I would tell you that I wish I could attend Ivy’s seminar because my inner critic has been getting the best of me lately and I would like to learn how to turn her into my co-pilot.
    I would tell you that I want to come have a face to face coffee very soon.
    Your trip looked so fun, I’m anxious to read more about it.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 4:51 pm

      The last manicurist – who was appalled by the condition of nails – told me to get some. I went home and immediately ordered a bottle.
      You would not regret making the trip to attend Ivy’s workshop…and we could have coffee before or wine after (that’s me trying to lure you into going).
      Kim is a delight and her husband is a total doll! Handsome, easy going, friendly. They make a terrific couple. xo

  8. June 1, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    Oh, poor Daisy! I hope you’re able to get to the cause of her mobility issues and that she’s moving and feeling better soon!

    I’ve been wary of the gel manicures after having acrylics some 20 years ago and having my nails wrecked. It took several months of growing them out for them to look normal again. I love the look of freshly polished nails, and generally accept that they’ll only look nice for a couple of days.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 1, 2014 / 5:20 pm


      You know it’s one of those things that is just too good to be true. My stepdaughter, however, has nice thick nails (youth helps too) and she is not fazed by gel manicures. She also is very good about having the gel removed properly, unlike me, the horrible picker that I am.
      I will probably just go back to my once a year paint job on my nails, usually around the holidays. I’ll have to get my nail polish kicks from my pedicures now 😉

  9. June 1, 2014 / 5:54 pm

    What a cozy and newsy post Adrienne! I’m sending Daisy love and hope that her vet’s appointment goes smoothly. Unfortunately, our four legged loves sometimes feel the effects of aging, just like we can. Up here, animal chiropractors are able to treat problems with hip and leg problems. No medication needed. Antibiotics could possibly be upsetting her appetite too. When she’s finished taking them, she would benefit from some healthy probiotics to re-establish healthy intestinal flora. Best of luck with getting your natural nails back to good health. I think this is the best time of year to go for it…nails grow faster in the summer, it seems. Burts Bees has a good cuticle cream that also nourishes the nails.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 7:15 am

      I didn’t even think of a doggie chiropractor. I hate to have her pumped up with meds when she could be treated naturally.
      Good point about summer’s heat begin great for nail growth. I hope it speeds the grow out process along.

  10. June 1, 2014 / 6:19 pm

    It would be fun to chat over coffee or wine….
    I really enjoy your newsy posts and am sorry to hear that your dog is having some health issues.
    Our pets are family.
    I read a blog post recently about taking biotin to strengthen nails, you might have seen it too. I had never heard of the vitamin H but the results sounded promising….I think it was Deborah Montgomery writer of The Beautiful Matters.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 7:13 am

      Next time I do a post like this, it will be over wine and probably on a Friday 😉
      I do take biotin supplement but not daily like I should. I am going to start being better about that because I do believe it helps nails as well as hair.

  11. June 1, 2014 / 8:59 pm

    I love Monterey – it looks like you had a fun weekend! Sorry your dog isn’t feeling well – she is so cute – hope she’s better soon. I had a gel manicure for the first time a few weeks ago. I loved it – but I’ve heard so many bad things about weak nails that I probably won’t do it again. You will love the Nail Envy. My mom swears by it and she has the most gorgeous nails. Have a great week – I’m so glad I found your blog. I love it!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 7:08 am


      I loved my gel manicures too. I really enjoyed not having to worry about chips and I felt like I was getting my money’s worth because they lasted so long. But it all came at a price. Some people aren’t fazed at all by gels…but I already have the weakest and thinnest of nails. It was silly for me to abuse them the way I did. Oh well, live and learn!
      Thank you for saying such nice things…means so much!

  12. June 1, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    I honestly feel as though I were joining you for coffee, it was so nice to catch up with you. First off, give Daisy a hug from me, poor little thing. Thanks for the book review, I’ll probably skip on Point of Direction. I also began The Vacationers so it will be fun to see what we both think, maybe we can do a book chat. It looked as though your Monterey trip was wonderful, I’m looking forward to a fun post on that little getaway. And, how fun to have Kim and her husband join you for a meal, plus that brussel Sprout salad sounds and looks delicious. As for the nails, time and patients I guess is the only solution I can think of. As you can see from my photo’s I’m just a natural nail gal. I do love the look of polished nails but I just do way too much playing in the yard, cleaning and crafting to keep polish on, and I don’t like the feel of gel on my nails. Nice chatting with you, dear friend.
    Oh, and thanks for the HIWM notice.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 7:11 am


      I think “Point of Direction” might appeal to someone more outdoorsy and adventuresome than me. It is a well-written book – flowed well – but I simply did not care what happened to the characters. I have high hopes for “The Vacationers”! I had a chance to read last night and am getting more and more interested in the plot and the characters.
      A book chat would be great. Let’s not forget to discuss the book once we are finished with it.
      Looking forward to seeing you for tomorrow’s HIWM Pastel! It’s going to be a great one!

  13. June 2, 2014 / 3:49 am

    Good luck with the nails. While I have never had gels or any fake nails, I know from watching friends who have them that growing them out can be a process. The nail bed and matrix (I think that’s the name) are damaged by the chemicals and lack of oxygen when you use gels and acrylics for a long time. They need oxygen and moisture to get healthy again. I hear that vitamin E oil and coconut oil help. Also don’t put anything on them that seals out oxygen or has formaldehyde or toluene. Don’t pick or cut your cuticles either. Lots of don’ts but if you can manage you can have healthy short nails again.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 7:06 am


      Thank you for the great nail health advice!
      Good point about the lack of oxygen. I am going to try the Nail Envy for a few weeks and see if I can at least get the peeling to subside. I also have a natural nail oil that I can use on my cuticles. As a picker, I also pick my cuticles. Not great for my nails! I wish I could rid myself of that terrible picking habit.
      I will be sure to take a break from the Nail Envy product in a couple of weeks and just let my nails breathe!

      • June 8, 2014 / 10:01 pm

        I love love love OPI I just use the original nail envy. I’ve done gels a couple of times, but hated how it ripped my nails apart. I do my own manicures and pedicures after seeing too many fungal infections and shoddy jobs on friends who go to salons. I start with chip free, then the nail envy, then 2 coats of colour- always OPI it really is very good! then you must get yourself a bottle of ‘OUT THE DOOR’ quick drying top coat, it is fantastic. my fave opi colour is an affair in red square, I just adore polish with a pearl or glitter in it. then I have an opi sparkly top coat on my ring finger as an accent nail! I do my manis last thing at night and then watch Tv or stalk facebook- easy typing with the pads of the fingers. after about 30 mins it is all set! no sheet patterns in my nail polish since using out the door!!

        Poor Daisy! 10 really isn’t all that old for little dogs, funnily, they live much longer than big dogs. just check that she doesn’t have some sort of sore toe arrangement going on. try adding in some flaxseed oil and glucosomine and condroitin- even green lipped mussel powder. there are special doggie ones if you think it might be a bit arthritis related. There’s a few other diet things that might help, usually involving more natural foods and increased fat content. sometimes they just strain their backs and need a few weeks to recover, but it frightens them. Yes! if only they could talk!!!

  14. June 2, 2014 / 9:14 am

    Loved this. Great idea.. Wish we were closer and could meet for coffee. I was so glad to have you and Bill stop by in Los Gatos. I am happy you like it. I only wish we had more time, so I hope you will come back soon. So much I want to show you and do. I am glad you like Oak and Rye. I think it’s the best new restaurant we have.
    I hope Daisy’s little legs are getting better..It’s so stressful when our little babies are unwell..
    I loved your friend’s photo. Such a pretty dress too. She looks gorgeous. I have to do one of those photo shoots just so I can have one good photo of me.
    I heard about the Vacationers.. I am reading Longbourne, which is Pride & Prejudice from the servants view and their own stories. Really good, but I stopped reading I have been so busy. Hope to finish it on vacation. Your Monterey trip looked amazing. Excited to read your post about it!

    Miss you. Have a good week!
    xx Kim

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 10:17 am

      I think you totally should come up and do Modern Beauty!! You can stay at my house and I will go with you and be your assistant! Please consider it. It would be such a great experience for you and you will love the photos. I promise!
      Longbourne sounds interesting. Let me know how it is when you’re finished.
      I hope you have a good week, too.
      Off to the vet in a little while!

  15. Robyn
    June 2, 2014 / 11:01 am

    Good Morning Adrienne,

    I really like this post. Sorry about your little dog – it is a worry. Regarding Nail Envy – fabulous. I had also done gel and shellac nails but found them to be just too high maintenance and hard on my nails. Now I just do a manicure – they put on Nail Envy in the salon and I continue every 2nd day. Miracle – long, strong nails in no time. Then they get too long, break and I start all over again with the manicure. The professional manicure seems to be mandatory for this to work as I don’t get the same results doing my own. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 2, 2014 / 12:30 pm


      Good to know about Nail Envy. I was just thinking that I should probably do my nails a favor and get regular manicures along the way to recovery!
      Thanks for the advice. If I can get a few hundreds things off my plate today, I might go treat myself to a mani tomorrow!

  16. June 4, 2014 / 5:37 am

    Oh no…poor Daisy! I hope she is OK. Give her some loving from me.
    I have had good success using Nail Envy. I often times wear it as a base coat under my polish. I have had to use it more often lately as my nails are splitting as they grow–didn’t used to do this.
    xo, H

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