Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Motivation

Hello There!

I hope your Monday is going well so far!
I've had an awful cold that started yesterday so I'm feeling a bit out of it.

I am hoping these brighten your day as they have mine!



And now for something to make you laugh.


I wish you a wonderful rest of the week!

Keep an eye out later this week for some Spring cleaning tips!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bring on Spring: A Blogger Swap

Hello There!

To celebrate the start of Spring I signed up for Looking to the Stars's #BringOnSpringSwap.
I actually got paired with Erica, the blogger behind Looking to the Star's for the swap.

I love blogger swaps because they're a great way to get to know other bloggers and who doesn't love getting things in the mail?

So let's take a look at the goodies Erica sent me!

I love reading and I haven't read "The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks yet so I'm excited to read it!
The heart printed item is a photo album. It will be perfect for housing some of our engagement pictures that we're having taken in less than a month!
The "What I Like About You" book is seriously just too sweet. It's a book that I could write in and give to my fiance or he could and give it to me. The pages have lovey quotes in them and then pages to write things you like about someone. It's just the level of sappy that we like, private, but still meaningful.
I absolutely love tea and these are so good. The peach one is already becoming a new favorite! The flavors are perfect for spring too!
Okay so I teared up a little bit when I saw the seed packets. You may be thinking I'm crazy, but just hear me out. So, I've been having such a stressful time lately trying to plan our Wedding and I've just been wishing I had my Gram around to talk to (she passed away a few years ago). Well we used to call her Daisy so seeing this in the package was just like a little to perfect.
Shasta Daisies are now such an important symbol to me of everything my Gram was and it was just comforting to see them there (maybe I sound a bit nuts now...).

Onto something fun after I just hit you with that heavy, cat toys!

The cat is obsessed with those treats. Here she is scarfing a few down (gone in two seconds!).
She loves soft treats as well as anything chicken flavored so she is in heaven with these.

Action shot of the cat playing with the feather toy. Her favorite toys are ones with feathers on them and she loves this already.
She's looking pretty spry for a twelve year old cat!

Overall I'm so happy I signed up for this swap, it was such a fun experience.

You should definitely go over and check out Erica's blog, she's kinda amazing and she just moved into a new place!

Go show her some love on her blog, insta, facebook, twitter, and pinterest!

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 20, 2015

High Five for Friday!

Hello There!

I have not done a Friday Favorites in an embarrassingly long time so I thought I would start them back up again by participating in Lauren Elizabeth's High Five for Friday.

1. One of the Directors at work brought in homemade Irish Soda Bread on St. Patrick's Day and it was so good.  I may or may not have had two slices with butter and jam.

2. Alright, technically this one is from last week, but just look at these two.  My fiance took a bit of time to warm up to her when they first met over 5 years ago, but just look how much he loves her now (though you'll never get him to be this mushy in public).  And oh how the cat just adores him.

 3. We've been trying to be better about cooking ourselves homemade meals so Monday we made meatballs and spaghetti.  The meatball recipe is my Mom's and it's the best recipe ever for meatballs.

4. Between trying to get caught up at work and the stress of Wedding planning all catching up to me this week this graphic has been my daily reminder to just let go what I can't control and just breathe.

5. I have Monday through Wednesday off of work next week.  We're having a stay-cation and I'm just excited to have a few days to relax.  We will also be cleaning the apartment to try to get it ready for our Engagement Photo shoot that is coming up in less than a month.  I am also toying with the idea of getting my second tattoo before the shoot so I have it for that, but I'm not sure I will have enough time.

I hope you had a wonderful week and that your weekend is enjoyable and relaxing.
Let me know your plans in the comments below!

If you want to do H54F then head over to LE's blog and link up!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Glow and Be Radiant!

Hello There!

As part of trying to get a proper skin regimen I tried out Valentia's Even Glow Serum.
This is a Vitamin C serum, but it is unlike any other I have tried before.

The product comes in a chic gold and white box and the bottle it comes in is an amber colored glass and is made in the USA.

So what's in it that makes it so different?
20% Vitamin C which helps with brightness and texture of the skin.
Organic Rosehip Oil and Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil which have healing properties, repel free radicals, and promote hydration.
Resistem (Plant Stem Cells) which protect against stress-related aging and promotes skin detoxification by removing damaged proteins and other cellular waste.
Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical) which helps with moisture retention and skin elasticity.
Green Tea Extract which has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits. 
So what does all that do?
This product helps to even skin tone, increase glow and radiance, it absorbs rapidly into the skin, boosts collagen production, and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

So what does it actually do?
I used the stopper to put a dime sized amount onto my face.  The product is much thicker than most serums, but still absorbed quickly into my skin.
For me I noticed that my skin did feel more hydrated and plump after using it.  This also made my skin extremely soft, like baby butt soft.
I do believe this has helped my skin to look healthier and more radiant.
I don't have wrinkles (yet) and only some small fine lines around my eyes.  I think the level of hydration that this provides my skin is helping to reduce the appearance of those lines.
The citrus smell does go away, but is strong when you first apply it.

The serum is orange because of the Sea Buckthorn ingredient.  I do shake it just lightly (1 or 2 shakes) before applying it which is why there are little bubbles in this picture.
I am happy to report that my sensitive skin did not mind this product at all.

If you would like to try out Valentia's Even Glow Serum you can pick it up on Amazon and if you want to learn more about this company then check out their website.

Let me know if you try it out and what you think of it.

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker.  The product was provided by Valentia.  I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Nails, Decor, and Treats!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To get into the festive mood I painted my nails.
I got my March box for Julep in the mail which came with everything to make a beautiful St. Patrick's Day nail look.

I already had polish on and some of it was glitter polish so I used the Party's Over kit to remove it.

I was amazed how it completely wiped my nails clean of polish, even the glitter was gone!

I used all three shades in the box as well as the decals to create my look which includes: Lucky, Brigitte, and Margot. The only way to get the decals now is a part of this set.

This was my final look.  I love how this came out!  I used the Clean Slate pen to clean up the edges so it actually doesn't look half bad.

I decided to decorate my office area at work with some St. Patrick's Day decorations.
I printed some signs out from Pinterest and cut clovers out from green paper and stuck them on the wall right next to my desk.  I actually really like how this turned out. 

I have had this little owl guy at work since Halloween and I put these clover rings on his spiky feather bits to make him more festive.

I had some leftover green tinsel garland from Christmas that I put up with another sign on the window by the door to my office.

I usually go to my Mum's for dinner for St. Patty's, but since it's the middle of the week this year I'm just dreaming of her corned beef.
To tide me over I've been ogling a few recipes that I definitely want to try.

This corned beef and cabbage recipe from The Pioneer Woman is a twist on the classic and it looks delicious.  Seriously my mouth is watering just looking at it.

These Guinness and Bailey's Cupcakes from Cupcakes & Couture sound so good and would be perfect accompanied by the next recipe.

This Irish Coffee recipe from The Pioneer Woman looks absolutely delicious.  Look at all that glorious cream!

I wish you a wonderful St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish (and non-Irish) followers out there!

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  There are no affiliate links in this post.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Must Haves and a Giveaway!

Hello There!


As Spring is officially beginning this Friday (finally!) I wanted to share with you a few of my must haves for Spring.

In the Spring I start breaking out all my bright makeup.  
I got the Tarte blush in True Love is a beautiful bright pink that stays on all day.
I did a makeup tutorial using the Cynthia Rowley No.2 palette last year and it's still one of my favorites for pastels on my eyes.
The Dior Fluid Stick in Wonderland is a beautiful bright pink shade that is the perfect amount of pink for everyday.
YSL's Volupte Tint-In-Oil in Crush Me Orange turns into a completely unexpected, yet gorgeous peachy-pink shade once you rub it into your lips.  This product is great for transitioning dry winter lips into Spring while adding color.
The Evian Mineral Water Spray is soothing and refreshing which is great when the weather starts to turn warmer and you want to keep your makeup looking fresh all day.

I love reading in the Spring outdoors with a cold Iced Soy Latte from Starbucks and some tasty fruit snacks.
I've just finished the book Fangirl and loved it.  I'll have a review coming soon on that.  I also love reading magazines and the inspiration and all the bright colors in the Spring magazines is making me very happ. 

 Year-round I wear scarves, but once Spring hits I break out my lighter ones with bright colors to add a pop to my outfits.
I also love breaking out my brighter handbags like this Brahmin one and my Chloe Mary Janes which, if I want to go all nineties, I'll pair with white socks.
Pastel, in particular pink, cardigans are a staple in my wardrobe this time of year as well.

If you would like to enter to win the Evian Mineral Spray I talked about just head here!

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: The Wilkes Group has generously offered to host the giveaway to win the Evian Mineral Spray.  This post is powered by BrandBacker.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Apartment 101: Making a House a Home!

Hello There!
As this may be the last year in our current apartment (we moved in on 11/11/11) I've been thinking about sharing some of my tips and tricks for moving into a first apartment or any home, especially one where you are tight on space.
A company out of NYC called Compass that I was recently introduced to asked a great question. It was, what can you do to make your house a home and to provide examples? 
They're a real estate platform that places people in neighborhoods and homes that best fit their personality.

Let's take a look through the kitchen first and what we did there to make the space our own.

First off we had only a very small strip of counter that was taken up by a dish drain because we have no dishwasher.  We were in desperate need of some sort of counter space that we could use to prep food and give us more room for appliances.
My Step-Dad is a fantastic carpenter and for Christmas one year made us this table.  I sent him the exact specifications for the height/length/width to make it fit perfectly in the space.  It is just below the half wall for the kitchen so we use that half wall for storing kitchen bits too.  This table is one of my most favorite gifts we were given for the apartment.  See how much room was made and how much we can fit on it?  It is awesome!
We always keep a cutting board on this space for easy use.
Underneath we have a drawer unit for tea (Yes just for tea!) and also a bit that holds chips.  The green table towards the end that the pop tarts are on has our baking sheets on the bottom part.

We had this old over the door coat hanger which did not fit on the front door so we put it on the pantry door in the kitchen to hold strainers and mops.

Utilize the area above your fridge.  It's the perfect place for us to store mixing bowls, water bottles, and our blender's cups.

This silver shelving unit in my parents place was used for storing makeup bits, but here we put it in the kitchen to house the microwave and our toaster oven.  The toaster has a wooden cutting board on top (it's made for it) which gives us another prep area.

I have a black thumb and the plant that came in this pot died pretty quickly.  I couldn't part with it so I decided to turn it into storage for kitchen knives and scissors.

To help them stand upright I put some lentils into the pot.

I use command hooks for everything and one of the best uses is to hang kitchen mitts near the stove.

Onto the living room area.
One of the pieces of furniture we have bought the most (we have three) are these Real Simple 9 cube storage units.  We've picked them up from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They fit so many different things and look nice.  They're easy to put together and can really help to pull a room together or work as a divider.

Our living/dining/office area is all in one room so I have used these 9 cube units to separate the room while being able to show off some of our knick knacks and storing books.  The top is also perfect for picture frames.

We also took advantage of any family members who had furniture that they were willing to part with.  My Dad gave us all of our living room furniture as well as some bedroom furniture that he had lying around.
This armoire I always coveted so I'm now so happy it is mine.  It is absolutely enormous, but it's a piece that is built very well and will stand the test of time.

The wooden tray on the ottoman is actually part of it, it has a compartment that it can slide into if you do not want to have it out.  We always have it out as it makes this more of a coffee table than an ottoman.  We have a few picture frames on it and then a ton of coffee table books in the little tote there.  
Under the couch we store our board games so that they are easily accessible when we have guests over and we want to play.

I've made a few of these gallery walls in our apartment.  They are an easy way to add some personality to the space while making it look put together.  
This one is over our dining table.

This lamp is a piece we bought because of how much storage it gives us.  It has three shelves and we keep on it sunglasses, pictures, quarters for laundry, and books.
The light on it is great too and really illuminates our room since we have no ceiling lighting.

In our bathroom we have no under sink storage (it's basically the equivalent of a not-as-pretty pedestal sink) so we had to improvise with storage by getting this over the toilet shelving unit.  
On the top row it has towels, washcloths, and makeup removers on the left, a candle in the middle, and our toothbrushes, floss and tooth paste on the right.  We tend to brush our teeth in the shower so having it right there makes it easily accessible.
The second shelf has a pink box which contains feminine hygiene products, the middle has some little tea light holders that have hair ties and cotton buds, on the right is a whole slew of various skin care and shower products.
This is one of the best things and I'm glad we got it.

In the bedroom we have this hutch.  It used to look completely different until my Step-Dad worked his magic and turned it into a beautiful vanity for me.  It has a light hidden above the mirror to make it easy when getting ready.
On the top I store knick-knacks and our alarm clock is up there too.
I never would have thought this piece could have been so useful, but a bit of tweaking and some paint completely transformed it.

All of our bedroom set is from Ikea.
We had wanted to get a set that would give us a lot of storage because of our limited space and this set is perfect. 
The headboard has storage space on top as well as these shelves down the sides.
These function as our bedside tables without actually taking up the room a bedside table would.

Underneath our bed there are four drawers that pull out.  We use two for clothes, one for bedding, and another for suitcases.
The drawers are very deep and are each basically a quarter of the bed (we have a queen) so they're massive!

We have added personal touches all around our apartment with pictures and various art, but one thing that always makes it feel more homey is a candle.  We have them in every room of the apartment.

The first step to making a house a home is making sure it is you and that you can see yourself in every bit of the place.  We're huge nerds so we have that stuff everywhere.  Let the place reflect your personality and it will feel like home in no time.

Make sure you utilize family and friends for items to fill your home or with help putting furniture together (thank goodness for my fiance's Mom because she's an Ikea wizard!).

I hope this helps you if you're moving to your first place or even a new place.  

Until next time,

disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  There are no affiliate links in this post.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own