I just wanted to take a moment to tell you I have not left blogging, I just need a rest. The Lord says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." And that's exactly what I need right now. I have been struggling with some things recently and just need a break from blogging until I get my inspiration back and my feet planted firmly on the ground.
This is one of those manicures that knocks your socks off in person, but I just can't seem to portray with photographs. I picked up this Essie, 'Raise Awareness' at TJMaxx for $2.99, and it is definitely worth it. It is a spot-on dupe for Essie 'French Affair,' which I immediately threw out when I brought this home. 'French Affair' was streaky, thick and gloopy, and an overall disappointment in the formula department.
The accent nail is one coat of Essie 'Raise Awareness' sprinkled with holographic glitter I picked up from the Halloween section at Rite-Aid. It is beyond sparkly and holo in realy life- you need to pick some up!
I was so excited when Ashlee and Jessica announced a Fall Swap that included scarves and nail polish! Does it get any better?
I was partnered up with Hope over at Confessions of a Southern Belle, and found out we're pretty much sisters from different misters. We have so many loves in common, from anything and everything pink to anything and everything animal print! I had a blast shopping for Hope, and you can see what I sent her here. I actually loved the scarf I bought her so much I went out last night and bought it for myself!
Now for my swap swag:
Let's just say Hope blew it out of the water! First off, a leopard scarf that she color coordinated the polishes to match! Se sent me Essie (L to R) 'Little Brown Dress,' 'Your Hut or Mine,' and 'Glamour Purse.'
And can I say even though she sent me three Essie polishes, my favorite part of the package was the wine glass bows? I saw these at TJMaxx but decided to be good and put them back, considering I'm the only person I know here in VA that drinks wine. Well, my good friend Hope knew and sent me these little beauties! And even if I am the only one pounding back the Chardonnay here, I still adorn my glass with a perfectly pink bow:
Also included in the package was a Cynthia Rowley Pumpkin Spice soap, some pumpkin spice anti bacterial lotion, and sherbet gum! This girl knows me so well!
Have you participated in a swap? Would you be interested if I hosted one? What would you want to swap?
I haven't done a favorites post in awhile, so I'd like to share with you a few things that are making me smile this fall.
I picked up this mug at Starbucks a few weeks back, do you blame me? I love Starbucks mugs/cups, and was elated to pick up a fall mug. Sticking to my self-imposed Smart-Spending rules, I donated a mug or two to Goodwill in its place.
These fabulous gold driving shoes I brought home from Target last week for $15.99. Aren't they just the most beautiful things you've ever seen? My first thought was that of excitement, I am now able to adjust the D-List of The One Hundred as I now have driving loafers!
Adding on the entire collection of Julep Maven's October box wasn't necessarily smart spending, but I had sold a few things on eBay and the collection only cost me $30. I feel that it was well worth it and cannot wait to start using these polishes this weekend!
Is it me or do you just need a hearty serving of one-pot macaroni and cheese after a rough day at work? I have been making this recipe for months now, and will be posting it on the blog next week!
I stated in this post how I dream about decorating a house if I was single again, but I should share that I am beyond blessed that I have an office all to myself. A room that is my haven, a room that is completely my own to do what I desire. I decided to redecorate in time for fall, repurposing some old artwork I had stored away from you guessed it, my single days. These paintings just epitomize everything that is beauty and grace, and I just love looking at them everyday.
Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and I wouldn't trade my life with him for anything...but I admit I sometimes dream of how I'd decorate if I lived on my own. Do you do this? Please tell me I'm not a horrible person and that you do this too?
I've never seen wall coverings that look like this, and I have to say I'm smitten.
I am especially in love with these Romantic settings:
I don't see any soda bottles, grass clippings, sneakers, or trail mix anywhere in these pictures, do you?
These photos are all from House:Beautiful, September 2012 issue.
Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rigatoni Source: Johnsonville Sausage
Ingredients: 2 ounces uncooked rigatoni
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 package (12 ounce) Three Cheese Italian Style Chicken Sausage, sliced
1/2 cup Italian dressing
Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Cook rigatoni according to package directions in a large saucepan; add broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
2 In a large skillet, combine sausage, red bell pepper and Italian dressing; cook over medium heat until heated through. 3 Drain pasta and broccoli; transfer to a large bowl. 4 Add sausage mixture; toss to combine. 5 Sprinkle with cheese.
I came across this recipe in a magazine and figured between the enticing picture and the ease of preparation, I had to make it. It is absolutely delicious and I will be making this again. I was concerned that I should have waited to slice the sausage until after it warmed up so the cheese couldn't melt out of it, but I realized the cheese melts into the Italian dressing and creates a delicious sauce in doing so.
Sprinkle with some Peccorino Romano, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and dive in!
Today I want to share with you a brand new independent nail polish brand called Mint. Mint polish was created when the founder Greta was completing a home renovation, and wanted to dispose of some older polishes. There are still counties, specifically Los Angeles that consider nail polish to be toxic waste and must be disposed of correctly, not just thrown in with regular trash. When Greta realized the majority of her nail polish couldn't be thrown in with her regular trash, she decided she needed to create something safer to apply to her nails.
Mint nail polish is made without DBP (Dibutyl Phthalte,) Formaldehyde, Phenol Formaldehyde Resin, and Toulene. You'll see these more commonly labelled as '3-Free' of '5-Free' on bigger name polishes. Mint is also made without animal testing!
I know, this is all fine and good, but what is the quality you ask? Excellent. I will admit I am apprehensive about ordering indie polishes due to the quality factor, but Mint outshines many big name polishes in quality.
First and foremost, it is what I call a 'one-coat wonder.' Here is Lavender Macaron with one coat:
Lavender Macaron is by far my favorite of the three I picked out, can you see why? The formula is a little on the runny side, but I personally prefer that over thick, goopy formulas. It applied evenly and without streaks!
Here it is with the flash:
I then put 'Ribbon Dancer' on top (one coat:)
then a second:
At first I wasn't happy with the consistency of 'Ribbon Dance,' but then noticed as it dried it created a self-gradient. Do you see how it got darker towards the tips of my nails? I did not do this intentionally, but I loved the way it came out!
The thrid color I chose was 'Pass the Scone,' a neutral beige:
As you can see, my nails are nubs right now, a problem I am working on fixing. I'm sure it's the stress in my life right now, but I am pursuing a remedy for my brittle, breaking nails. My nails always break when they get to a certain length, but it's usually a lot longer than recently. I've upped my vitamin regime, and will be upping my water intake this week as well.
Overall I was very happy with Mint polish and highly recommend the brand to you. Aren't the bottles adorable? Stop over to MintPolish.com to see the other colors available, to shop, or to just visit the blog!
These polishes were provided to me for review, I did not receive any compensation for my opinion.