Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday!

TGIF y'all!  Linking up with NatashaAprilDarci and Christina for a whole lotta Friday randomness!

{one} I could just go ahead and consume all five with this: SCANDAL returned last night.  AHHHHH!  I won't say anything in case you're saving this on your DVR.  But OMG.

{two} Remember last week when I was celebrating the warmer temps?  Yeah.  Mother Nature must have read that post too.  And then said "SIKE!"  The high yesterday was 20 & it has snowed almost every day this week.

{three} My mom insisted that I pick up a few of these Sparkling Ice waters.  Have you ever tried them? She also insists that they're really good mixed with a little vodka...

Who am I to argue with my mother?

{four} In case there was any doubt that I am indeed a philosophy addict {incase this, this or this post wasn't enough...}  Bobby from the philosophy counter at Macy's gave me a personal phone call today to let me know of their gift with purchase this weekend.  Unfortunately, I won't be making the trip to Macy's.

That's a lie.  I'm going.

{five} Thanks to the magical site known as Pinterest, I found this BH&G ad for Smokin' Sweet Tea Marinade.  I'm intrigued... Has anyone tried this?

Here's to hoping that this next winter storm misses us.  And if it doesn't, that I have plenty of those Sparkling Ice waters.

And Vodka.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Best of: Makeup

Last week, I listed out my favorite skincare products, so it seems fitting to move right into the makeup this week.  I don't spend a ton of time doing my makeup...5-10 minutes, tops.  Here's my routine:

1. After my morning skincare routine, I use TheBalm concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes.

2.  I use Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder all over my face {this should really be at the end...its the last thing I do}

3. Maybelline's Eye Studio Color Tattoo--game changer.  I use this all over my lid, up to my brow bone.  It acts as a primer, and eye shadow.  Goes on smooth, and won't crease.  LOVE.

4. I use Stila eyeshadow in my crease--its a purplish brown, discontinued color.  I once read purple brings out the green eyes, so that's what I use.

5.  I line both the top and bottom lashes lightly with Make Up Forever's Aqua Eyes in Grey

6.  I've mentioned this in a 5 on Friday post before, but the Benefit Brow Zings has seriously helped to define my sparse brows.  It also keeps them under control.  I hate unruly brows.

7.  I finish off my eyes of Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara.  I've tried TONS of mascara's, and this isn't sticky or stiff, comes off easily with little rubbing, and stays put all day long.

8 & 9.  I'll use either {sometimes both} Nars Blush in Orgasm or Snow Bunny Bronzer by Too Faced.  Both last forever--I've had them for well over a year {or more?}

Sounds like a lot, but I've got it down to a science.  On days when I'm in a hurry, it'll be #1, 2, 3, 5 on top only, and 7.  That's like a 2 minute routine...

Don't be afraid to try something new or expensive.  I get almost all of my makeup right from Sephora--they have an AMAZING return policy, even if you used it & didn't like it or had a reaction, etc.

What are your favorite brands?  Any tips to speed up the process?

Monday, February 24, 2014

mint? seafoam? sea glass?

No matter what you call it, I'm obsessed.  LOVE!  I mentioned on Friday that I'm begging Spring to hurry up by wearing more Springy tones.  This color has taken over my closet and is all over my house.

Mint Bubble Knob ~ Similar to our Kitchen Knobs

What color{s} are you obsessing over?!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Philosophy Mystery Gift--hurry!

You know by now I'm a philosophy addict, and when I saw this offer, I had to share the love!  Right now, you can get 3 full size mystery gifts with your order at

I took advantage of the last mystery sale and received a body wash, and two full sized face treatments.  I wasn't sorry!

Hurry, only through 2/28 or while supplies last.

On a completely unrelated note, philosophy should hire me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Linking up with NatashaAprilDarci and Christina today for another 5 on Friday!

{one}  I took full advantage of Loft's Presidents Day sale Monday--shocker, I know.  They're getting more and more spring items in all the time & I love it.

{two}  It would appear as though my Springy purchases encouraged Mother Nature to get her act together--we got into the 50's and 60's this week! 'Bout time!  Buttttt then we got some CRAZY weather last night.  The Texas hooker.

Are we running out of normal names for our storms....?

{three} I tried a DIY Gel Manicure Hack over the weekend that I've seen allll over Pinterest.  I'm five days in, and I have to say they're still looking pretty good.  I used my regular top coat, but I think the base coat is making the biggest difference!  A little chipping around the cuticle, but nothing too noticeable!

{four} Has anyone tried the new Cookie Dough Oreos?!  OMG. Go find some.  You won't be sorry.

{five} This.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Best of: Skin Care

I'm no beauty blogger, but as a self-proclaimed "product junkie," y'all know I've searched high and low for the best of the best.  I thought I'd spend the next few weeks breaking it down--my "best of" list!

I've raved on and on about my love of philosophy skincare.  I've used a lot of products over the years, and this is by far my favorite skincare routine!  It's quick & effective.  No fuss.

I start off each morning using the microdelivery exfoliating wash* {1} with take a deep breath moisturizer {2}.  Then, on to makeup.

Every night, I use the purity foaming face wash {3} to remove all of my makeup, follow with take a deep breath, and hope in a tube {5} around my eyes and mouth.  Follow up with clear days ahead on any trouble spots.  DONE.

This has proven to be an extremely effective system.  I receive compliments all the time on my skin {minus the massive breakout I had recently...still weird.}  It's not cheap, but its not overpriced either.  A little goes a long way, and lasts a long time.  And is totally worth the results!

I have to know--what are your favorite skin care products?!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: Freezer Meals

To wrap up the Meal Plan Monday series, I thought I would share one of my favorite Meal Planning Methods: Freezer Meals.

While it takes some time {ok, a lot of time} to plan everything out and devote the time, knowing I have 10+ dinners in the freezer is totally worth it.

One of my best friends is bringing their baby girl home this week!  So I invaded her house over the weekend to stock their freezer with a few freezer meals.  On nights when someone isn't bringing them dinner, or family is unavailable, I thought she might like to have something to just pull out of the freezer!

How I plan for a day full of freezer meal cooking is similar to how I meal plan in general: what do I want to eat?  I think of everything I feel like eating, and think of all the prep work involved.  And then, I knock out all the prep!  Chopping vegetables, cooking beef, dicing chicken.  That's what takes all the time in the evenings.  If I can get that done in advance, getting dinner on the table is a cinch.

It seems a little daunting to get back from the store, lay everything out, and think "OMG.  What was I thinking?!"  I just pick a meal and get started.  Dive right in.

I'm a big fan of Crock-pot meals, and I love to take all of the ingredients, dump them into a bag and freeze.   Then, all I have to do is take the frozen block that will be dinner, and pop it right into the Crock-pot.  By the time I get home from work, its ready to eat.  

What you'll need:
-a list of what you want to make, and all the ingredients {then, go to the store and buy all of it...}
-ziplock freezer bags, gallon & sandwich size.
-plastic wrap & foil
-a sharpie

What I made:
-Chicken Enchilada Filling
2 chopped, cooked chicken breasts
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup black beans {optional}
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Mix everything together, and freeze.  On cooking day, thaw in fridge, fill tortillas and cover in enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

-Red Chili: Dump everything into a freezer bag, mix gently until combined.  Freeze.  On cooking day, add frozen contents of bag to crock-pot and cook on low all day.  Stir occasionally.

-Creamy Italian Chicken
1 chicken breast per person, uncooked.
1/2 cup of water
1 packet of Dry Italian Dressing {with the powdered ranch}
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 block of cream cheese
Wide egg noodles

Mix water with dry Italian Dressing, add in uncooked chicken.  Freeze.  On cooking day, add frozen contents of bag to slow cooker.  Cook on low all day.  An hour before serving, mix cream of chicken soup with cream cheese on stove top until combined.  Pour over chicken in crock pot, stir.  Cook egg noodles until done, serve Creamy Chicken over noodles.

Other recipes that make great freezer meals:

My favorite Meatloaf!  Mix everything up, and form into a loaf {or two!}  Wrap uncooked meatloaf in plastic wrap, and then foil.  Store in a gallon freezer bag.  Place frozen meatloaf in refrigerator a day in advance so it has time to thaw and come to fridge temperature.  Cook as directed in recipe.

The Crock-pot version of my mom's Beef Stroganoff: Add everything, minus the last three ingredients on the list, into a gallon freezer bag.  Freeze it!  The day you want Beef Stroganoff for dinner, place frozen contents of the bag into the slow cooker on low* and pick up where the recipe reads "turn the slow cooker back to high..." and add in the flour {sans reserved broth}

*my Crock Pot cooks "hot."  Even on LOW, things tend to cook quickly, even from frozen.  Use your best judgment on temperature and time!

Pepperoni Stromboli!  Make/bake as directed.  Once they've cooled to room temperature, I usually cut each one in thirds {since they're SO long!} and wrap in plastic and then foil.  Store in freezer bags.  Will keep for at least two months in the freezer.  Thaw in the fridge, slice and heat in microwave or oven until warmed through.

Pre-cook and freeze ground beef for taco's, nachos, pizza topping, Sloppy Joe's and more!  I have a great cookbook, Don't Panic-Dinner's in the Freezer.  I've tried several recipes and have had great success!

What are your favorite make-ahead meals?!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day, friends!  Another three day weekend is upon us--praise the Lord!  Linking up  for my favorite post of the week!

{one} I think it's amazing that Natasha, April, Darci and Christina have challenged us to make this our first pic.  I hope this brings a lot of awareness to Menkes Syndrome.  Here's to sweet Teddy!

{two} Instead of going out and dealing with the crowds tonight, we'll be staying in for a snazzy dinner at home.  It's something we've done for the last few years.  It's kind of our thang.

On the menu: 
Filets with Blue Cheese Onion Sauce {thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Ree Drummond.}
Roasted Asparagus 
Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

{three}  My coworkers will be on the receiving end of Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting today.  I stashed a few away for our dessert tonight...anddddd we may have tested a few last night too...

{four} This sweet pup just turned 7!  Where has time gone?!  It seems like only yesterday that I was waking up in Radford with a hangover to this tiny pup biting my nose.  Literally, the thought brings tears to my eyes.  Maybe because I sometimes miss college, or miss Iz being so tiny, OR because it amazes me we both made it out of Radford alive...

{five} I jumped on the Waterlogue bandwagon.  I spent more than half of the workday on Thursday turning every picture on my phone into a watercolor.  My favorite?  A picture of our house the day we closed!  It always looks so pretty in the spring!  

Speaking of spring....where are youuuuu?!?!  Happy Valentines Day!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Desperately Seeking Sunshine

I saw this line on Loft's Beach page the other day.  I now know for a fact that they've been reading my mind.  They're speaking directly to me.

With so many days looking more like this:

Instead of this:

It's no wonder I have Winter-itis.  I'm thinking if I start buying spring and summer items, it'll hurry things up.  Think along the lines of "if you build it, they will come."  In a Ray Liotta whisper, of course.

On the warm weather wish list:

dress ~ shorts ~ suit ~ cover

I can't be the only one stocking up on spring and summer clothes.  Have you jumped ahead yet?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Drybar at Home

For some reason, I'm obsessed with Drybar.  I've never been to one.  We don't even have one close to where I live {which is probably a good thing.  Because I'd be there ALL.THE.TIME.}  But I'm obsessed!  I have no idea why.  Oh wait, yes I do.  I LOVE a good blow out after a haircut.  And why not have one all the time?

After browsing their online store, I was encouraged by my glass of Riesling to make an impulse buy.  Or three.  Whoops!  Good thing I had leftover gift cards from Christmas...

I shared a few Fridays ago about my exciting little delivery!  So many of you commented on my post and on Instagram that you'd love to know more about my purchases.  I really wanted to give them a good run before I formed my opinions, but first things first:
  • I have A LOT of hair.  My stylist always adds on more time to my appointment because it takes FOREVER to style.  My hair "hides" water.  It appears to be dry, but then you feel it & there's damp patches.
  • I don't wash my hair everyday.  Mainly due to the reason above.
  • I have no idea how to "fix" my hair.  I either dry it, or it goes up in a ponytail. I'll occasionally run a curling iron through it if I have time.  Again, it comes back to the too much hair issue.
  • I'm impatient.  And I like sleeping in.  So getting up a little earlier to style my hair never seemed like a route I wanted to take.  That is, until I had a few "ugly days," and decided to make a change.
So here's what I got:  Full-Pint Round BrushThe Morning After, Big Hair in a Cute Little Box.

How great is the hand written note?!  That added so much for me!

My main goals were to get a little more volume, enough to last through day two & have more of a "style,"  not just dry and flat iron.  My new cut has a lot of layers, and I know it has the potential to look as good as the day I left the salon, every day.

What they say really is true: the right tools and products make all the difference in the world!  I LOVED every.single.thing I bought.
  • All of the products I purchased have the same scent--vanillaish, maybe.  Whatever it is, it smells awesome. 
  • I watched the "How To" videos {link at the bottom} on the site to gain a little more knowledge about how to maneuver the brush and dryer, since that takes a level of coordination I clearly don't have.
  • The Full-Pint Brush is the perfect size to create just enough flip and movement through my hair. I love the smooth handle
  • The Southern Belle Mousse!  My word, y'all--this has made the ugly days disappear.  It is lightweight, and doesn't make my hair stiff, crunchy or icky.  Once my trial size runs out, I will most definitely be getting the full size!  Paired with the Full-Pint Brush, it creates enough volume that lasts well through day two.  
  • Speaking of day two... The Detox Dry Shampoo is great!  A little goes a long way, and is barely noticeable in my dark hair.  I also LOVE the lined shower cap, which keeps the hair free of water or steam in the shower on the second day.  Know who didn't like the shower cap?  My dogs.  They barked at me.
  • The Money Maker Hairspray is so light & still allows for movement.  No helmet head here.
So my Drybar blowout at home?  I'm by no means an expert--far from it.  I know the pros would do a FAR better job.  But I can live with this day-to-day {disclaimer: worst selfies EVER.}

What I've learned?
  • Good hair days require a little effort.  And patience.  
  • I can't wait for my hair to air-dry a bit before I pull out the round brush and dryer.  I've found that I can wait 5ish minutes {enough time to put on my makeup} before I really need to start drying.  The more it air dried, the more frizz I ended up with and it was actually harder to style.
  • As soon as a section looks dry, dry it for a little bit longer.  Just to be sure my hair isn't hiding any extra water.
  • That a great hair day can make you feel like a million bucks.  Even on the coldest, snowiest, dreary winter day! #ineedatan

I was not compensated for this post.  These thoughts and opinions are all my own!  But if founder Alli Webb wanted to hook a sister up next time I'm in DC, I wouldn't be mad ;)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meal Plan Monday

Monday, Monday, Monday! might be my least favorite day of the week.  But definitely my most favorite meal of the week:

Tonight: Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken {I leave out the ginger}

The rest of the week: 
Parmesan Coated Chicken, Wild Rice & Green Beans
Valentines Dinner!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm ready for warm weather, margaritas and cookouts!  Join me in linking up this weeks meal plan!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday

Friday, I thought you'd never get here!  Linking up with Darci, Natasha, April and Christina for another very random Five on Friday!


{one} I have a bone to pick with Punxsutawney Phil.  More winter?! Seriously?  He must know his shiz, because Wednesday was a Wintery Mix Nightmare, and there is more in store for us this weekend.  Boo!

{two}  The Olympics!  I LOVE the Olympics!!  I love Winter and Summer equally--although, I definitely favor certain events over others.  Sorry, curling.  

PS: I totally missed the memo that the Opening Ceremonies were tonight, not last night.  I was disappointed.  But figure skating made up for it.  So did the conversation discussing the difference between an axel and a lutz...

{three}  Remember the new, cute pillows I mentioned a few weeks ago?  Yeah.  Didn't take too long for them to lose their "newness."  Iz took it upon herself to break them in....

{four}  I mentioned a while ago about my purchase of Essie's Grow Stronger.  Update: It works.  Like a charm. Left picture shows what my nails looked like at Christmas, and the right side now!  I can finally treat myself to a manicure to make them look a little more attractive ;)

{five} Spring clothes are hitting the stores--maybe Spring weather won't be too far behind!  I picked up this cute top from Loft this week.  Dots inside of stripes!  My two favorite patterns have joined forces!

I might pretend it's summer this weekend.  Jack the heat up, walk around in shorts and have a cold beer.  While watching the Winter Olympics...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ice Day

Well, friends, it's more bad weather here in Kentucky.  Have I mentioned how I'm OVER winter?! This time, it was snow AND ice.  Yay.  But, I figured if I'm going to be trapped in my house, on a mountain, I may as well make the most of it.

We kicked off the morning with homemade waffles,

Snuggles & clearing off the DVR,

A little at-home manicure,

Clearing 2" + of snow/ice off my car, sidewalk and driveway.  Our reward after two hours of work?  Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate. #wishitwasbeer

Andddd then more eating & snuggling.  There was a little productive housework thrown in there as well.  Ok, not much.

If having bad weather meant I could stay home and do this all day, maybe I'd learn to love it...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meal Plan Monday

It's going to be a rough one.  Someone {me} stayed up too late watching the Super Bowl last night!  I think my favorite commercial has to be the Radio Shack "the 80's called."  I love all things 80's!  Tired or not, at least tonight's dinner is planned, and so is the rest of the week ;)

On the dinner list for this week:

Chili leftovers {from last night.  Update: we went with red}
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Mexican Rice
Crock-pot Pork Tenderloin with Scalloped Potatoes & Vegi's
Cheese tortellini with Pesto-Alfredo, Salad and Bread

I hope y'all will join in the link-up and share your meal plans and recipes!  Happy Monday!

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