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:
 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Mmmmmonday: Buffalo Chicken Dip


Last Sunday we got hit with snow, so we spent the day on a food adventure and watching movies in front of our new electric fireplace heater. I've lived in Virginia almost 5 years and I can say I've become a true Southerner when it comes to snow- at the earliest hint of snow I cancel all plans and camp out at home, making known that I will not leave until the 60+ degree weather returns and melts the snow. This was probably 6" of snow, of which everyone up North knows doesn't even warrant a plowing, but needless to say, it shuts down the south.

Here's a picture of our new heater/fireplace (filtered beautifully) from IG:


For breakfast I made my Hashbrown Quiche, my husband's all time favorite thing I make. I haven't decided if I want to share it on here yet- it's that ace up my sleeve, that recipe that is one of my signatures, kind of like my queso... The comfort food celebration continued with this Buffalo Chicken Dip for lunch. (Dinner was Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup)


Before you judge, there are green and orange things to dip into the Buffalo Chicken Dip, see? Besides the health reasons of adding them as dipping vessels, they do help to calm down the heat of the dip.  That being said, I'll add it in notes below, but feel free to adjust the hot sauce added to your liking.


Buffalo Chicken Dip
Source: Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce (or 1/4 cup other hot sauce)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Cups Rotisserie Chicken
Celery Seeds
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Blue cheese crumbles
Scallions
Crackers, Celery and Carrots (for serving)

Directions:

1.) Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce. Fold in shredded chicken.
2.) Spread in a small baking dish. Top with celery seeds, scallions, and shredded cheddar.
3.) Bake at 425 until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
4.) Top with crumbled blue cheese


Notes
-Make sure to edit the hot sauce as to your liking- 1/2 cup makes it quite spicy!
-You could skip the celery seeds if you don't have them, but in my opinion they are delicious!
-I used leftover chicken breast and didn't have quite 2 cups, hence the runny consistency in the photos.


Pardon my while I go stuff my face with the leftovers.

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Laundry Room Upgrade


So in the effort to keep things real with you, I must use full disclosure when I tell you when we bought the washer and dryer in May of 2013, we also bought this piece of countertop. And it's been in the hallway by our front door ever since. Fast forward to this past weekend.

In my husband's defense, I was too anxious to get my new, sparkly, beautiful washer and dryer plugged in and working rather than wait til he had a free weekend from work to install the counter top.

But hey, we all have 90% finished house projects, right?

This was a stock piece of countertop we picked up at Lowes for ~$125. I'll be honest, I don't know how it fit so perfectly without being cut, that's not usually how luck goes around here, but alas, it fit like a glove. My husband was worried he would have to cut into drywall to install it, hence putting off the project afraid it would morph into a huge ordeal.

Low and behold, 2 hours later I have a beautiful countertop to fold my laundry on. With a lip/ledge at the back so I will no longer lose socks.

I neglected to take a (completely) before picture, but as he was installing the woodwork back on, I snapped this one quickly on my phone:


Little by little we have been upgrading small projects on the house, solely with the purpose of making it better for ourselves. We pretty much know there's a cap to what we could get for the house were we to sell it, and no matter of improvements can raise that. So, we like to make minor adjustments here and there to make our lives more convenient. And by we, I mean my husband. I stand by with a glass of water and the iphone taking progress pics and patting him on the back.

So what projects do you have around your home that are 90% completed?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Zoya Odette & Chloe


I received Odette in my February ipsy bag, and was definitely my favorite of the month's products. I've always been a big fan of Zoya, but can say I haven't purchased any of their polishes in over 6 months- so much so that I didn't realize they raised their prices from $8 to $9/bottle. That being say, ipsy is $10/month, so that pretty much made up for this polish alone.



I couldn't just leave Odette on it's own on my nails, so I accented my pointer and ring fingers with Zoya Chloe, which has been discontinued.


I shared this as my #mugshotmonday manicure which Zoya hosts every Monday on Instagram with this shot:

 


The last 3 photos are iphone shots, but the most true to color as usual.  My husband gave me the mug as a gift at Christmas, picked up at Staples (believe it or not,) but you can also pick it up in gold or silver here on Amazon.

I absolutely LOVE this orchid-mauve color, and was hoping this would be in my ipsy bag!

I've since had to trim my nails down to nubs after an unfortunate run-in with the cheese grater, but was quite proud of my entry into the #mugshotmonday collection!

What are you rocking on your nails?
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