Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ciate: Flower Manicure


After not painting my nails for 2 months, I figured it would be good to come back with a real whiz-bang! I picked up this kit a month or so ago on a trip to TJMaxx for $9.99. The set retails for $25, and considering it was the only thing I walked out of there with, not a bad price.  Ciate is coming out with more and more fun manicure kits like this one, denim, feathers, foil, and neons to name a few! Oh, and with the exception of denim and neons, I have since picked them up for $7.99 at Ross. Go now and get you some.


Albeit a fun manicure to do with some downtime, this really isn't a "practical" manicure. And by not practical I mean it has a texture to it, the flowers definitely stick up as you can see, and irritate the you know what out of me. As gorgeous as it is, if it lasts the night I'll be impressed. Oh, and application took a bit of time too.




After applying the flowers to my left hand- for photographing obvs, I almost removed the manicure entirely. And by almost, I was in the bathroom reaching for cotton balls and remover. Then I decided I had nothing better to do, why not do the other hand and enjoy the manicure, it is absolutely gorgeous after all! I was dreading doing my dominant hand (my right,) but decided to follow the directions this time and use the enclosed nail file to shape the flowers. Omigosh, so much better than trying to trim them shakily with cuticle nippers! The mini polish itself is gooping, streaky, and overall a bad formula. It took 3 coats to get uniform coverage.

Going forward I will definitely use this for accent nails, but will forego the full manicure. Although it's stunning, like I said before, too much work and slightly annoying. As I type this, I'm thinking it would make a BEAUTIFUL pedicure...

You can pick it up full price here for $25, or look for it in Ross or TJMaxx. Here are the others I have since picked up- which should I try next?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

BareMinerals: BareSkin


I never really struggled with bad skin, acne, etc as a teenager and young adult, but I feel that since I've passed 30, my skin has backtracked. I am now seeing more imperfections, pimples, blackheads, red bumps, etc than I did at 16- seriously WTF. I will be honest with you and say I have been extremely blessed with pretty clear skin- a combination skin, neither oily or overly dry. That being said, ever since I started wearing makeup, blush would be the only product I applied on my skin, I rarely wore foundation, powder, etc due to my complexion.

Now that I'm getting older, I'm finding I'm not comfortable in my skin and would like some kind of coverage, light, but strong enough to even out the redness. My sister in law Megan hooked me to Bare Minerals 4-5 years ago, but honestly never finished the products I have. Come to think of it, I should throw them out, I'm sure the shelf life on them is not 5 years...

I then graduated to BB Creams, all the hype 2-3 years back. BB Creams have now accelerated to DD creams, but wasn't enough coverage for my liking. I wanted essentially what BB Creams promised- moisturizer with light coverage, but was totally disappointed each time.

I first saw this in an Ulta catalog, and with my interest piqued, set out to look at some reviews on a few of my favorite beauty blogs.  From everything I read and saw, this is exactly what I was looking for. I did ask for help in choosing a shade as well as application, and I HIGHLY recommend you do. I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to beauty products, but was close to tears in Ulta trying to figure out the shade I needed.  Ok, maybe the tears were due to it being my last day at my job, but it didn't help matters that I couldn't pick a shade!

BareSkin is promoted with an application brush that is not included, which I did purchase. If that is not in your budget, you should be fine applying the foundation with a makeup wedge from the drugstore.


As with the majority of BareMineral's products, less is more. The sales associate who demonstrated and applied the makeup to me advised me to start out with 2 small drops on the brush (after shaking!) Since coming home and adjusting to applying this myself, I have since started using 3 small drops, but I advise starting off with 2.

Here is the before picture- In these photos I only have Aveeno lotion on my face after a shower.


And immediately after:


Pale girls unite! I am wearing shade: 01 Bare Porcelain, the lightest of the shades. The sales associate told me that the 01 and 02 are the most popular shades, if that helps when you go to sample!

Here I am all finished up, ready for dinner and a movie:


Overall I am quite happy with the product and highly recommend it if you're looking for a lighter coverage. It is a little steep, and if I wasn't out on a retail therapy trip, I might not have picked it up. The foundation is $29 and the brush is $28.

Although $60 is a lot for face makeup, I kinda regret all the $$ I invested in BB Creams and other failed products!

Have you tried BareSkin?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Crock Pot: Mississippi Roast


I don't know how you photograph brown meat to make it look blog-sexy or to look like the eye candy we want to see scrolling through our social media, but lets be honest- it's brown and ugly. But oh-so-damn-delicious.

This is a popular recipe I am sure you've seen on Pinterest, but if you have indeed been living under a rock, I may blow your mind. If you're anything like me, red meat and the preparation of red meats, scare the living daylights out of you. I don't know the difference between London broil, chuck, sirloin, yada yada-- I know ground sirloin for burgers, and steaks every now and then to treat my husband. I even had to ask the butcher at the grocery store to point me in the direction of chuck roasts.

As you can tell, I am not a huge red meat fan. It's not that I don't like it, I could just take it or leave it and I prefer chicken. Maybe it's in part to the fact that I fear what I don't know. Well...fear no more. Here is a super easy way to prepare a chuck roast that your families will LOVE!

There are 2 variations of this recipe floating around, one with and one without water added. I personally added water I was wanted to follow Julie from Table for Two's direct recipe, with the idea to cut out some of the fat from the extra butter. When I make this again, I will try the entire stick of bitter and omit the water, for curiosity sake.



Mississippi Roast
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 8+ hours
Serves: 8+ People


Ingredients:

1 3lb. Chuck Roast
1 Packet of Ranch dressing and seasoning mix
1 Packet of Aus Jus Sauce mix
6 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 cup water
5-6 Pepperoncini

Directions:

1.) Put chuck roast into crock pot and sprinkle both packets of seasoning on top.
2.) Place 5-6 pepperoncini either on top or on the side of the roast, and pour in the 1/4 cup of water in the side.
3.) Cover and cook on low 8 hours.
4.) When ready to serve, scoop out some of the remaining fat (if desired) and use 2 forks to shred the meat.

Serve with your choice of sides, I served it with a garden salad and mashed potatoes.




Simple, right? It seriously took me less than 5 minutes- I poured cereal into a bowl, made my coffee, and went right back to work! Easy-peasy!




The smells emanating from this dish all day will pretty much drive you crazy- it smells DIVINE. Try working from home all day smelling it, then juicing Mean Green at lunch- torture.

Is this something you would make for your family?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Favorite Apps: NextIssue


I want to share with you one of my favorite apps for my ipad, Next Issue.  My husband first told me about this app after seeing a tv commercial, piquing my curiosity. I was a little hesitant at first at the price, with two pricing options: $9.99 and $14.99 a month. When I started thinking about it, it was still cheaper than the magazine subscriptions I currently was paying for! For $120/year, I have access to over 100 magazines, where in all reality would get me 6 subscriptions in paper.  Upgrading to the $14.99/month gets you access to Time, People, etc.


I currently have the $14.99 subscription, but I will be switching back to the $9.99 version at the end of the billing cycle. I have access to People magazine through my sister in law's subscription, so there's no need to pay $5 more a month for it. Ok, I may have also bought the extended subscription to get access to this:


This was a heated article from August 2013 on being childfree, and I was able to download it even though I started Next Issue in January. That's another plus...you can download back issues. Take Time for instance...there is 2 years worth of issues available! Time goes back to January 2012:


Whoa. You can see the full list of magazines here. Oh wait...look what was just added:


This is one of those magazines that is so stinking expensive on the newsstand, which makes me want it oh so much more! And now it's included in my subscription. Yessir!

What I love about it, is the fact that I have a personalized magazine rack available to me anytime, anywhere. Once you add a magazine to your library, and download an issue, you are asked whether you want the next (new) issue to automatically download. Um yeah, it's that's cool.

Overall, this is such an amazing app, service, and investment. I've been gradually canceling my paper subscriptions, and keeping a list of those that aren't available yet to check back on frequently. I hate having stacks of magazines unread in my house, then stacks of read magazines- do you throw them out? Recycle them? It's such a waste of paper! This is the perfect solution to my love of magazines, my cutting back, my budgeting, and my endless pursuit of sustainability.

This isn't a sponsored post, I just LURVE this app! You can join 30 days for free- why not give it a try?

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Edgy Chic


I went way out of my comfort zone for this outfit, but I must admit even though I changed to an entirely different outfit before going out, I secretly liked it. This shirt from Lane Bryant is just plain awesome sauce- totally reminiscent of instagram, right down to the square shaped photo and the bokeh. 


Those of you that shop at Lane Bryant know that their clothes are quite expensive, so I waited for a sale to pick it up along with an amazing lace shirt coming soon... Pairing it with my zippered pleather jacket, double chain necklace and hipster flats had me feeling a lot younger than I am!



Sorry for the creepy large photo of my foot, but seriously how fab are these shoes?


Tee & Jacket: Lane Bryant | Jeans & Shoes: TJMaxx | Bag: Michael Kors | Sunglasses: Gift
 
This was a little too edgy for lunch with my in-laws, but definitely an outfit I will wear out to dinner with my husband with the red lips, whether he likes it or not?
 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites


Gawd. I am so darn sick of winter, aren't you? Of all of my current favorite things, picking up a bunch (or two) or tulips at the beginning of each week has become my #1 favorite thing to do. I picked these up for $4.88 each at Walmart, aren't they just works of art?

That picture is from our Honeymoon in Disney- if you can't tell, hubs is holding a plastic ball and chain, and everytime I look at that picture I get a chuckle. I needed to clear my head from work, so I took a 5 minute breather and cleaned it off. Pretty isn't it?


So far these are all photos from the same day- cut corners much? For Valentine's Day my husband bought me a Gold iPhone 5s, so my collection of cases started off with this one:


Although I continue to pick up nail polish here and there, my newest obsession is lip products. Mainly bold lipsticks. Even if my husband hates them. I love them and recently had to upgrade my storage container, warranting a photo shoot:




I don't know if this was a good idea- unless I use it as a sign, there's only one spot free at this point. #stopbuyinglipstuff.

I can't wait to try out the Julep Luxe Lip and Lip Scrub from the March box- have you tried it yet?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Take Me To The Sea


As you may have already seen, Old Navy is going all out with the nautical theme this year, I had to be quite disciplined to only pick one piece! Some of the pieces are a little much...ropes, sailboats, etc. looked a little over the top for me. And that's definitely saying something considering my love of the water, sailing with my husband, and my love for the beach.


I first saw this sweater a few weeks ago, but refused to buy it after a little disagreement with the sales associate and later manager. You see, there were huge signs all over the store advertising 40% off new spring sweaters and blouses, but the register didn't ring this up as 40% off.  So, I showed them the signs (which by the way were in front of jeans, nowhere on the sign did it say jeans...) but they still wouldn't give it to me for the discounted price.

Fast forward to a bad week of work and some retail therapy and a 25% coupon, the B is mine. I LOVE this sweater and received so many compliments when I wore it this weekend! These pants are also from Old Navy, I picked them up last spring and are the most comfortable things EVER. They are definitely nautical in nature due to the navy, wide leg style, and have a fold over waist which make them glorified pajama pants.


As with most clothing from Old Navy, this sweater runs a little large. I usually wear an XXL, but comfortably layered an XL over a button-down chambray blouse from Target. The sweater is lightweight, and a perfect piece to transition into spring.

What I love about these pictures is the presence of snow in the background. This past weekend it got into the 60's here in VA, so needless to say the snow didn't last long after these pictures Saturday morning! The nautical theme of this outfit made me LONG for summer days at the beach, which is comical considering I was surrounded by snow at the time.

I honestly was a little self conscious about the wide leg pants being a little too much, so after this I changed into black skinny jeans and nude flats to make a quick road trip with my husband.


The gold shoes of course added to the nautical them, they are gold boat shoes...I don't know if it gets anymore nautical than that! I picked them up on Clearance at TJMaxx last summer- they're the perfect substitute for $80+ Sperry Top Siders:


I am still working up the nerve to take my own photographs, it's not as easy as some people make it look. I try to keep it real here, and I'll be completely honest when I tell you taking photographer-grade photos as a beginner completely on your own is HARD. Some bloggers are blessed with photographers as husbands, or best friends who are able to take pictures that look like they are straight off the pages of magazines, but not me.

I did pick up a new lens and I am LOVING it- this was the first attempt at OOTD pics with it and am very happy with it. I will share a post in the near future more about it.

Sweater & Pants (Similar): Old Navy | Chambray Blouse, Earrings, and Bracelet: Target | Bag: Michael Kors {Gift} | Shoes: Anne Klein via TJMaxx | Sunglasses: {Gift}
 
Tell me you wouldn't rather be here right now:
 

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