Friday, January 30, 2015

Vegas, Baby! (Part One)

Over the holidays, my parents took our family on a little Vegas Vacation! It was my first time (as well as Tomas' first time) in Vegas, so we didn't really know what to expect....but we both ended up loving it even more than we thought we would! Lots of delicious food & amazing shopping, great entertainment (we went to see Jerry Seinfeld!) and there may have been a few 7am electronic roulette sessions thrown in there. Who knew I loved to gamble?! Don't worry, I also know when to stop ;-).
I'll be sharing my photos from the trip in three parts, and today I'm bringing you Part One! Look at those Vegas lights (above)----that was the view from our room!

 I loved all the dazzling jewels that filled the casino at The Cosmopolitan.

Tomas did A LOT of hamburger "research" on our trip.

I went for the root beer float. It's been years since I've had one.

The view down the strip during the day.

Stay tuned for the next installment coming soon! xx

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shades of Coral

When it comes to nail polishes, I am ALL about the coral. When it comes to lip & cheek products, I always lean more towards the cool-toned dusty roses and plums, so buying this lipgloss and cream blush was kind of out of character for me. Since I have changed my hair color (from blonde to red), I've found that (for the most part) makeup with orange tones is not the most flattering on me. So, why did I buy these? I'm not really sure. I guess I was in the mood to branch out, and give coral another try.

My thoughts...

Essie Sunday Funday
Orangey-pink and orangey-red are my favorite shades of nail polish to wear. So, for obvious reasons, I picked up Sunday Funday. In the bottle, the color is quite a bright coral and has a nice shimmer to it. On the nail, unfortunately, you hardly notice the shimmer.  It's not shimmery enough to be called a shimmer, nor is it a matte, and I kind of wish it was one or the another. I'd say the color is most flattering in natural light, where it comes off more pink, and you can see a tiny bit of shimmer. Indoors, the color just falls flat for me. The saving grace, however, is that this is the longest lasting Essie polish I have EVER tried. Out of all the nail product brands I purchase, I buy Essie the most, simply because of the color range, not because of the formula. I prefer the OPI formula, but I don't like their color selection nearly as much. So, back to the lasting power of Sunday Funday. This polish lasted for 5 DAYS on my nails without chipping! Normally my nails chip the day after I paint them (it's the WORST), unless I get a gel manicure, which I haven't had in a looooong time. For that, I am grateful, and I feel very fond of this polish. It's nice to slap on a nail polish and not have to worry about it for basically the rest of the week.

(This photo was taken on Day 4)

Paul & Joe Beaute (Limited Edition) Triple Cheek Color in Orange Sorbet
This is a cream blush comprised of three colors: pink, orange and white. When I first looked at it I thought HOW am I going to pull this off?! Well when you swirl your finger in the pot, all of the colors combine to great a beautiful shimmery peach color. I wore this the other day, and it gave me a warm, natural glow. Even though I had my doubts in the beginning, I ended up really liking this, and I know I will get a lot of use out of this this summer. I'm generally more of a powder blush girl, but in the summer, it's nice to just apply some fuss-free, dewy cream blush on and be done with it.

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Strawberry Topaz
A very pigmented & bright gloss that you only need the slightest bit to give your lips a nice pop of coral color. I wore this the same day I tried out the Triple Cheek Color and the varying coral shades complimented one another very nicely. For day time, definitely use a tiny amount of product. For night time, I would say go all out and apply generously for a nice, juicy strawberry topaz pucker!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

3 Different Ways to Wear Braids

Hair styling & photo by Carolyn Pritchett (Beauty Queen Routine)

I think that many a girl (that never grew up with a sister) dreamed of having a big sister that could do her hair and makeup. I know I certainly did. While I feel I was robbed of that experience growing up (just kidding Mom and Dad!), my wishes finally came true (20-something years later), and now I have not one, but four sisters! <3 <3 <3 <3

My brother's girlfriend Carolyn, creator of the blog Beauty Queen Routine, is quite literally the queen of all things beauty. She's a master of hair & makeup, and is full of tips & tricks to guide you in your daily skincare and makeup routine. 

Over the holidays we got together to try out a few braided hairstyles, but not just your everyday braids. Modern twists on the classic braid, and styles that are easy enough even for the hair styling amateur (and when I say "hair styling amateur",  I'm referring to myself, of course). This triple braid (pictured above) is something I plan on rocking this summer. If you're looking to shake things up a bit and want to veer away from your daily "go-to" hairstyle, head on over to Carolyn's blog to see all three styles she did on my hair, and the easy step-by-step tutorials of how she did them!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lunch This Weekend

Since I have some free time these days, I've been making an effort to cook as much as I can. This weekend I made two incredibly delicious lunches, and just finished the leftovers for lunch today. :-)
If any of you are in a cooking rut, I hope these foodie photos inspire you!

SATURDAY'S LUNCH: Grilled Chicken with Chopped Dates & Blue Cheese in a Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Now, I know this picture is not the prettiest, but we all know it's the taste that matters.
This meal was very simple to make. I just grilled the chicken breasts (seasoned with salt and pepper), and while those were grilling, I chopped up a few dates, crumbled a chunk of blue cheese and whipped together a vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some orange blossom honey. When the chicken was done, I sprinkled the dates and blue cheese on top, and then drizzled the vinaigrette all over. Simple as that!

SUNDAY'S LUNCH: Skillet Chicken Lasagna by The Pioneer Woman

Tomas and I shoveled this down yesterday, both going back for seconds. Ain't no shame in our shoveling game ;-) This took a bit more time than I thought it would (since I make my sauce and chicken broth in the moment), but it was worth it. This dish is perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon (like it was here yesterday), AND is also something that I think would please everyone. I finished the leftovers for lunch today, and am kind of wishing there was even more left over for dinner tonight!

What have you been cooking lately? 
Please share some of your favorite meals to make in the comments section below!