Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May Faves!

I can't believe it is the end of the month already! Where does the time go?!?!
At the end of the month I like to do my monthly favorites which are things, makeup, products, food, etc. that I am obsessing over for the month of May. (I know...obsessing doesn't sound that great)... What I mean is...some of the items shown I have talked about before, some are new things that I have tried this month that are AMAZING, and some are just the current phase that I am in :)
I hope you get to try out some of these because these items are GREAT! 
I have a mixture of random different things so I will try to break them into categories and anything without a category will be at the end??? (I don't know...we will see how this works).

I will start out with what you all know that I HAVE TO include....makeup!

Favorite Makeup Items
So my first favorite in the "makeup section" of favorites is something I have shown before in my blog posts...
The Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm. This is my favorite lip balm right now. The scents they have are amazing and I'm really into peach at the moment so the #30 Peach Kiss is my favorite. They feel great on your lips and I love to take this to the beach with me. The are SPF 20 and have a great shimmer to them. I love that you don't have to dip your hands in anything either...it just has a twist up top. WHOOOT for BABY LIPS :)

Second in my makeup faves is my new(er) eye-shadow primer.
This is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance that I bought to try as opposed to the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I was not disappointed with the UD Primer Potion, but I just wanted to try something different...AND THIS IS PERFECT! I really, really like this Shadow Insurance a lot. It feels much lighter on my eyelids than the Primer Potion and I have not had a crease in my eye-shadow once while wearing this. This product smooths out over the lid without using that much. The light feel of this primer is great for the hot and sticky summer!

Third, is my NYX Retractable Eye Liner in 02 Black.
I really like eye liner but I have never been partial to any brand. I have only used the push up pencils or retractable eye liners because I don't like to sharpen eye liner pencils and I'm not a fan of liquid liner. I LOVE this eye liner pencil that I picked up as my liner this month. I will be getting this again for sure. It has an extremely smooth application, great color pigment, and is hypoallergenic and cruelty free (like all NYX products). NYX products are also a great price!

And finally, my last makeup item is my MAC Mineralize Skinfinsh Natural in light.
Love this! I put this on at the end of my makeup routine to set any foundation, powder, and blush. Hands down one of the best setting/finishing powders I've tried. Has a natural glow to it but it not too shimmery. Feels great on my face and is not heavy at all nor does it look cake like when applied. This product also helps protect my makeup from the heat and sun during the summer. Really GREAT product!

Favorite Candles
Soooo I blogged about my Bath and Body Works Candles the other day which I really like BUT those are not my favorite candles this month! CRAZY! I know!
I found these extremely CHEAP candles at Michael's Craft Store and fell in love!
These were $1. (Seriously...I'm not joking) And recently they were on clearance for 79 cents.
They are revolutionary :) They are a smaller candle but I put them in my bathroom and burn them during the day when I'm home. Makes my bathroom smell out of this world and they look so cute in the adorable tins.
The current scent I'm burning in my bathroom is Vanilla Cupcake and this little candle packs a whole lot of scent!
Greatest find EVER! So cheap, smell GREAT, and look adorable!
(Does it get any better?...I will answer that for you... NOOOO!!!)

Favorite Hair and Body Products

First in this category is my Tuscan Hill Body Cream... (wait...what?)
Yeahhhhh...this was a weird find. I got this at TJMaxx; or one of the those types of stores. I always go over the lotions and perfumes to see if they have any of my favorites for a price that is more agreeable. You have to really go through and check out the product (for example the expiration dates) but at times you can find a great product you have never tried/heard off. EXAMPLE A ABOVE. This scent is Vanilla Almond and I had to have it once I smelled it. The scent is different from the lotions that I typically buy but so good! This body cream is a rich formula which I really like and the size is generous! I have been putting this on after every shower and bath. Must be love folks...must be LOVE!

Second product is my Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner.
I had been using my Pureology products but I picked this up at Ulta and I really like it. I think I like the Pureology formula better, but for the price this conditioner is really good. It contains vegetable protein to soothe dry or damaged hair, control frizz, and add shine. The best part about this conditioner for me is it is Certified Organic, 100% Vegetarian Ingredients, no animal testing, and is free of phthalates, artificial fragrance, dyes, sulfates, and parabens. Plus it works! JACKPOT!

Third, and final product is also by Giovanni. It's the 2 Chic Brazilian Keratin and Argan Oil Flat Iron Styling Mist.
I have mentioned before, if you are going to flat iron your hair, you really need a protecting spray. This works AMAZING! Leaves you hair so smooth. I barely straighten my hair anymore, but when I do I use this and my hair feels so great! It incorporates a dual smoothing complex with the Moroccan argan oil and the Brazilian phyto-keratin. On top of that, all the great organic characteristics I mentioned with the conditioner are also applicable to this product as well.

Random Favorites

Best Beverage EVER!
I am loving these ICE Sparkling Flavored Waters. They have Zero Calories and satisfy any craving I have for Soda...WIN WIN! We buy the 18 pack at Sam's!

Better Homes and Gardens and also Decor Magazines have been an interest this month. 
I want a house.... :(

And finally... Joey has started my FAVORITE TV SHOW of all time Alias!
Joey and I have been obsessing over this show for this month :)


Well...those were my favorites for the month of May! Anything that you are favoring this month let me know! Send me an email or comment below!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long Weekend, Short Week!

The one thing that I love about a long weekend is the fact that on top of getting three days off we now have only four days of work :)
I hope everyone's Memorial Day weekend went well! Joey and I definitely missed our family and friends during this long weekend. I don't have too much planned for this blog post today because I have so much to get done today. That being said, I have some good posts for later this week planned...

To start out the long weekend we had, Joey decided to telework from my apartment on Friday which was nice to have him here. Rebel had to go to the vet at the end of the day on Friday as well so we took him together. His ear has been bothering him a bit so we were able to get him on medication to help with the irritation. Saturday we dropped Rebel off to get his haircut and they keep him there pretty much all day which gave Joey and I the opportunity to head to the beach.
Spent the day at the beach then picked up our handsome boy from the groomers...
We got his hair cut a bit shorter than normal but as it gets hotter we wanted him to be able to keep cool when we head on walks and outside to play.
Sunday I was doing some wedding crafting all day! We had more of a relaxing Sunday. (Sooo did Rebel)
Lastly, on Memorial Day we did some shopping for the week and relaxed some more :) Beryl the Sub Tropical Storm made most of the days this long weekend all cloudy and really opened up some Monday. I love to watch pouring rain come down :)

Today is more wedding planning and crafting plus some cleaning :) I'm also going to start putting together my business plan!
 Going to try to get some packing lists made for our trip to New York in June. I found this cool website called OnTheWay at www.onthewayapp.com and it allows you to plan your road trip while incorporating places you want to stop along the way. It also makes recommendations for you!
Can't wait to go home!

Happy Monday....errrr Tuesday!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Candles and Cookies

So I went to Bath and Body Works yesterday because I wanted to pick up some of their new summer scents in the Slatkin & Co candles that they have! They have such AMAZING scents! 
The better part of the day was when I got there and they were having a sale on the large 3-wick candles. Normally they cost about $19.50 per candle...BUT the sale was 2 for $20!
Cannot beat that...
I picked up my favorite scent Peach Bellini...
then...they had a NEW one the store associate said they just got in called Raspberry Sun Tea...

Now...if you don't know, Bath & Body Works has candle sleeves that they change up every once and awhile. For summer they have some new summer designs. They are great to add that extra something when burning a candle and I think they are just too cute!
This one looks like waves. They also had one with a sun on it. 
I'm currently burning the Raspberry Sun Tea and I love it! Feels all summer-like in my apartment. Joey came over yesterday from work and mentioned how good it smelled :)

Whenever I burn candles I get the urge to bake. I don't know why??? Maybe it is because I burn candles like crazy in the Fall and Winter seasons and I do more baking then as well? (I'm not sure...my brain has a mind of it's own) Anyway, I decided that I would bake Joey's favorite cookies (and actually mine too). This is a recipe that I have perfected and I thought I would share it with you step by step :)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(or you can call them heaven)


Ingredients: 
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter 
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled quick oats
1 bag Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks


Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

Step 2: In a large bowl beat the softened butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds.


Step 3: Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda to the bowl. Beat until combined. You may have to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure entire mixture is mixed well.


Step 4: Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.


Step 5: Stir (do not beat) in flour.

Step 6: Stir in quick oats and Nestle Chocolate Chunks


Step 7: Drop cookie dough about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. I use my cookie scoop. BEST THING EVER!



Step 8: Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. 


Step 9: Wait 5 minutes before removing cookies from the cookie sheet. Then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

This recipe makes about 48 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies :)

ENJOY!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bauble Bar!

It's Wednesday! Half way through the week and on to a lonnnng weekend :)

Yesterday's blog was kinda long so I wanted to do a shorter one today and just fill you in on another website find that I am obsessed with :)
This is a newer website for me and it has recently been the topic of conversations I have had on twitter with other bloggers and friends but it's called Bauble Bar! 

This is an accessory heaven for all you ladies out there that love fun accessories! The layout is awesome and easy to browse the pieces that they have. They offer free shipping on all orders and also standard returns (which is an A+ in my book)

Check out my quick walk through of the site here...

...And then make sure you check out the site for some fun ideas!


*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Bauble Bar in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this blog posting.*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Curly Hair Woes...Think Again!

I have curly hair…(shocker)…but it has been less than perfect for most of my years of being. I have suffered from it all! Frizz. Dry Ends. Untamed Curls. You name it…I suffered from it.

I speak to you as someone who HAS DONE ALL the wrong things to ruin my curly hair. I have color treated it, brushed it, blow dried it, straightened it, used horrible shampoos (I didn’t know this then), and even used the wrong products.

This blog post is KEY to the repair of your curly hair! Trust me I know! I have been on the quest for the past few months and my hair is 10x better than it was. I’m not 100% there yet… but almost!

I have included a list of steps that should help start the repairing process for your curly hair.  Also is a list of products that have helped me in my quest for the perfect curl and a video of the YAY/NAY products that should/n’t  be in your bathroom. As a side note, you MUST MUST MUST do your research. I stand buy the products that I recommend 100% and I care how all of you are spending your money, but while I can recommend something that has worked for me…remember that all hair types are different and react differently to products. Also with that being said, curly hair (no matter the type) has the same base characteristics which are the baseline for where to start in repairing your hair.

Steps to Repair Curly Hair

Step 1: Get it CUT! I know, I know you want to grow your hair longer but it will not grow if you do not trim the ends off! Also, talk to your stylist about layers for your hair. Don’t go crazy with them and definitely make sure you have a hair stylist that has experience with curly hair. They will know the length and type of layers to put in your hair specifically.

Step 1 (A): Color Treated Hair: Stop dying it. Curly hair, and I have said this before, is much, much dryer than straight hair. We just don’t have the oils daily like straight hair does. Coloring your hair, no matter how organic or “safe” they tell you the coloring is...WILL dry out your hair even more. You are stripping the oils (the small amount we have) in order to allow the color to stay in your hair.

Step 2: Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive out there; I don’t use the most expensive but buy shampoo and conditioner that DOES NOT contain ANY sulfates in it.   Sulfates do HORRIBLE damage on curly hair and strip away natural oils and vitamins your hair needs. (I don’t leave you hanging…products to try are down beeeelow kids)

Step 3: Stop all HEAT TO YOUR HAIR. IF…IF you need to dry your hair because you don’t have time to let it air dry, attach a diffuser to your hair dryer and allow the diffuser to do the work and ONLY dry your hair 90% to prevent over drying and frizzing.

Step 4: Stop straightening your hair. SIMPLE. This took me forever to do…because I HATED my short, frizzy curly hair. BUT I killed my hair. There are tons of products out there that you can use to help treat your hair (hair protective products) but they do not help if you straighten your hair every day. ONCE in a blue moon if you want to “change up your look” YOU MUST USE THIS PRODUCT before you straighten your hair.

Step 5: Invest in a few good products that will help define your curls and hydrate them throughout the day WITHOUT being too harsh on your beautiful curls. 

Step 6: DO NOT BRUSH YOU HAIR. Many curly hair people take an everyday brush to their hair when they get out of the shower. (Wrooonnnggg) You should use a wide tooth comb and that is it. I show an example in the end video.

Step 7: This is a tough one, because this is something that I struggle with. Don't wash your hair everyday. (Yeaaaa....I know I'm not a fan of this either) I have heard that to help keep your curly hair from drying out that we do not need to wash it everyday. In my personal opinion this depends on your hair. I think if you have a good shampoo that won't do the damage to your hair then you would be okay. 
Products that Work for Me!

Shampoo and Conditioner: Pureology
Zero Sulfates with Key Oils!

Curl Cream: One n' Only Argan Oil/ Moroccan Oil


Curl Serum: Kinky Curly (optional)
This is something that I think adds extra hold and is safe/good for your hair however does not do much to help repair your hair. If you are looking for hold then I recommend this instead of hair spray.

Alcohol-Free No Frizz Shine Spray: Proclaim
Good Frizz Control with ZERO alcohol! This is waaayyyy better than hair spray!

There are two products that I have been doing research on that I am going to try (for the sake of my curly hair) and my blog. I have read a lot about them and I think they would be a good shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. I will let you know when I try them. If you have tried them send me an email of what you thought!

Davines Love Lovely Curl Enhancing Shampoo
Davines Love Lovely Curl Enhancing Conditioner


I put together a Yay and Nay Box Video that includes some products that I have tried and not liked along with those products that will damage your hair. It is about 11 minutes long so watch at your own risk ;)

YAY/NAY BOX Video




 I hope this helps a bit! Email me with any questions or leave some comments about what has worked for you!

Cheers!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sick Day...Monday

Today is that day...very much a "sick" day (ladies we all know what "sick" really is).
Had an o.k. weekend though. I made Shepard's Pie Saturday night which I have never made before, however thanks to my Mom and her amazing recipe it turned out great. Joey was over for dinner and LOVED IT! "On the favorites list", he said. Mind you, he says that about most everything I cook. I'm going to include the recipe below because it is very much worth it!

Yesterday we were able to take Rebel for a really long walk...he was one pooped puppy. Joey was taking some pictures before we left.
This is called a Spoonbill...(yeaaaa I thought for a second it was a flamingo...so did Rebel)
Momma duck and her little ducklings :)
Joey and I discovered a Magnolia Tree right next to my apartment :) I had never seen one before...BUT what is cool is the Magnolia flower is the state of flower of Mississippi! Joey was proud!
The little purple flower is called a poppy...I think? I don't know. Joey went and picked it pretending he was Bear Grylls exploring the outdoors.
It was a cool flower...
Rebel got bored and was really ready to go :)
That is his 'pretty please, can we go?' look.

It was a overall nice day out weather wise yesterday and it looks like today is going to be just as nice. I wish I felt up to heading out to lay out in some sun. 
I am excited about tomorrow's blog post because it is all about curly hair...whooot!

Until then, Happy Monday!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe (Upstate, NY)

Ingredients:
2 lbs Hamburg Meat
1 Chopped Onion
1 Egg
2 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
6 Medium Potatoes Pealed
1/4 lb Velveeta Cheese

Additional Items:
Milk
Salt
Pepper

To Cook:
Combine hamburg, chopped onion, egg, 1/2 cup of mushroom soup, and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in bowl. Mix together and press layer in bottom of pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. When finished take out and pour off any fat that pooled in the middle.

Take your 6 medium potatoes and boil until cooked. Whip potatoes with mixer (add a small amount of milk to looks) while mixing until potatoes are at desired whipped consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. (optional)

Begin to layer the pie on top of the cooked meat crust. Cut Velvetta into small pieces and put on top of the crust. Then layer whipped potatoes on top of the cheese. Pore 1 whole can of Cream of Mushroom Soup over top and spread out. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Serves 6
Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Nails and Makeup...Ohhh FRIDAY!

Happy Friday!
Soooo as I told you all yesterday, I have a few new makeup items that I picked up to share. Along with those, I wanted to try out my Birchbox nail polish in the color Disco Nap. Now...I am not a big fan of metallic so I didn't want to do all my nails this color so I decided to paint my nails in the new trend of different colors with the pop of Disco Nap on the ring finger. I LOVE IT!

Anyway...the Disco Nap nail polish is great! Reminds me of something I would wear to a New Year's Eve party or for a special occasion. For the summer time it is not really a color I would wear all over my nails but as a pop of color on the ring finger it works well :)

I have been on an eye-shadow kick for a while now (pretty much trying everything under the sun) and there was one type of eye-shadow that I have heard a bunch of raves about so I wanted to try it. The other two were randoms that I found just looking around as I shop (yessss...I go to the makeup section every time I shop to look for the new things that have come out).
Now I'm not usually a big fan of drugstore eye-shadow because I have sensitive eye lids and the formulas they usually come out with are harsh on my eyes. I really enjoy the NYX, Bare Minerals, MAC, and Tarte (as my regular go to).
But I usually try to find some new drugstore shadows, bases, and creams when I'm out and about.
Sooooooo....HEHEHE!

So the item that I knew I wanted to try was the Maybelline New York Color Tattoo eye-shadow.

 I have heard tons of rave about this product and the long lasting wear that you can get out of it, even without a primer. Now, I have combination-oily skin and for my eyes I typically need an eye-shadow primer (like my Urban Decay Primer Potion) to stay on all day. With these eye-shadows, if you use them as a base color, they actually hold up very well without a primer! This is exciting because this makes for a good travel eye-shadow when you are limited on space to bring along all your makeup products.
I purchased the color #50 Edgy Emerald and #25 Bad to the Bronze.

The next two items were just items I saw as I walked through one day and decided to give them a try.
Revlon as a drugstore brand has been doing AWESOME! With their New Lip Butter Lipsticks and also with their new nail polish formula that is AMAZING. I have walked past these Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadows several times now and just love the the combination of colors so I decided to pick one up. I got the color 740 Seashells which has very light, delicate colors. I have not tried these yet, but I am very excited to see how they last.

Lastly, this Rimmel London eye-shadow.
Now I own nothing Rimmel. Typically I never stop to glance at their products...I just have never been a fan. BUT I saw this palette and had to stop because the color of this shadow reminded me so much of the Chanel Emerveille color. I'm not sure why because when I got home I took a second look and the Chanel is a bit different (maybe more plum like) I'm not sure...but I still think it is a closer match than some others I have seen. Now I have not worn this so it may look completely different on, but just in the packaging it looks really pretty.
This color is called English Rose #005.

Well I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! I know Rebel is! He has discovered that he is just tall enough to look out the window now.
I caught him through the table!
He is too cute! He loves to watch the golfers drive by in their carts!

TGIF :)))