Friday, October 31, 2014

That Friday Blog Hop

Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share.

That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here

That Friday Blog Hop

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Copycat Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Meal

Hello lovelies! Today I thought I'd share a that my family absolutely loves. Like cannot get enough, eat for every meal sort of loves.

The best part is that it is so easy, just throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook all day.

Step 1: Take 3 chicken breasts and put them in the crockpot with 2 cups of water. Cover with taco seasoning. Turn on crockpot on low and let it cook all day.

Step 2: After it's been cooking all day, take a couple of forks and shred it all up. It should look like this when you're done...

After that, add a can of corn and a can of beans. You can add any kind of bean you'd like (pinto, kidney, black...) Stir it all up and let it cook while you make the rice.

Step 3: Measure out your rice, two cups rice to 4 cups water (give or take a little water). Cook that on the stove top. When rice is done, add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Put rice in the dish, top with chicken/bean/corn. Then you can add salsa, cheese, sour cream.

Step 5: Chow down!

This is seriously one of my favorite meals, and it tastes exactly like a burrito bowl from Chipotle. YUM!! Let me know if you decide to try this recipe out, I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you make any changes to my recipe.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Milani vs Gerard Cosmetics - Face Off!

Hello lovelies! Welcome back to Beautiful Wednesday! Today I thought we'd talk about lip gloss, I know what you're entire post devoted to the topic of lip gloss- AWESOME!! ;)

If you've been around the beauty blogging/vlogging community for any length of time, you will have heard of Whitening Lightening/Color Your Smile/Gerard Cosmetics...every YouTube beauty vlogger has these glosses and RAVES about them. Now, being the good beauty blogger that I am, I knew I needed to get some to test's for research purposes ya know!

First things first, these glosses are expensive. Like cost you an arm and a leg kind of expensive.

$24 for a single lipgloss. Yeah. To my way of thinking, I would rather take that same $24 and get a couple of glosses, or lipsticks, or a decent foundation...or the list could go on and on. I was lucky to have an awesome discount code so I got 5 glosses for $40, that I can do. Now, that being said, I'm not saying I don't like these glosses, or that they are crap, I just don't think they are deserving of that high price tag.

I decided to do a sort of comparison review of Milani Brilliant Shine gloss vs Gerard Cosmetics gloss. I love both formula's, the packaging is quite similar with the exception of the mirror on the side and lights in the top of the wand that GC glosses are known for.

Gerard Cosmetics glosses are more creamy and very opaque while Milani is more glossy and can be sheered out easily. Both are great glosses, but at a fraction of the cost, I would probably choose to go with Milani...unless I had another really great discount code to use on Gerard Cosmetics ;)

Check out this video where I talk about the two glosses and show swatches

What do you guys think, is it worth the high price tag to get the Gerard Cosmetics gloss?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY- Photo Backdrop

Hello lovelies!  Welcome back to another DIY Tuesday ;)  Let's get crafty up in herr...haha

So, in a past life (ok, it only seems like it was a past life, it was actually only a couple of years) I was a photographer.  I mainly photographed women in boudoir sessions, but I love looking at all kinds of photography.  As a mom, I have lots of occasions to photograph my kids, birthday parties, school parties, holiday parties...lots and lots of parties.  One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is my daughters 10th birthday party coming up in a couple of weeks (ack! How did she get to be 10 already?!).  I don't have a real theme I'm working with yet, but I thought a great place to start would be a photo backdrop for her and her friends to get their model on and give me a chance to get some fun pictures of them at the party.

Enter, this week's DIY project!  

So, the supplies you'll need are: 8 rolls of streamers (in whatever colors you choose, I found these double packs at the dollar store!) and a tablecloth (also from the dollar store)

Total out of pocket cost for this project: $5

I used my photography equipment (backdrop stand) and clamps, but you could easily attach this to a wall instead if you don't have a stand.  I clamped the tablecloth to the stand to keep it nice and secure before I started attaching the streamers.

 Next, I got to take out some aggression on these helpless streamers.  I tore them into pieces that are about as tall as I am (5'5") or taller in some cases, figuring that if they were as tall as me, they would be plenty tall for the kids.

The last step in the project is the most time consuming, actually attaching each single streamer to the tablecloth!  I used tape, but I'm sure you could do it a number of ways.  

Here is the finished product!  So inexpensive, yet so fun and festive!  You could make one for New Years Eve if you host a big bash, or one for Valentine's Day, St Patricks could really make one for every holiday if you wanted and it would be so fun for the kids especially to do a 'photoshoot' with this cool background.

Of course, no photoshoot is complete for my daughter until she has had her Vogue moment and strikes her signature pose! hahaha  I have no idea where she gets it from ;)

Let me know if you decide to try this fun DIY project, I would love to see the pics you take with your new photo backdrop.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Good Luck Card for My Girl

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

The last morning of cross country practice, Hannah called me from school when practice was over to tell me excitedly that she HAD qualified for district finals!! I wanted to make sure she knew how proud her dad and I are of her, so I headed over to Walmart and picked out a good luck card. #KidsCards  #CollectiveBias   I am totally one of those people who believes that if you take the time to send a card to someone, you have the potential to completely transform their day into something awesome.  If you join the Hallmark Card Rewards Program, you can earn rewards for the Hallmark cards you buy at Walmart. For every 5 cards you buy, you'll earn a reward.

I got a little ahead of myself though, let me go back to the very the beginning of the school year, my daughter came to us and said she wanted to join the cross country team at her school. Not being a runner myself, I encouraged her but didn't really understand how cross country works. She got up every school morning and got herself ready for practice that would happen an hour before school started. We went to cross country meets every Saturday morning and cheered on her whole team. Finally, when we made it to the last meet, we were so excited but knew we would only be going to the district final to cheer on her teammates who qualified for the final. Or so we thought! Two days before the district finals, Hannah called me after practice was over and told me she had made the finals!!

We knew that this was a really big deal, she had worked really hard for this and this was something that was all her. No one else ran those miles for her and improved her time for her. We are so proud of her, even if she hadn't qualified for finals, we could see how hard she had worked.

I knew that I wanted to make the weekend of the district final a big one for her, to celebrate and reward her for choosing to go out of her comfort zone and be brave enough to try something new.

Friday night, we went to a high school football game because she had been asking for at least the past year to go to one. We loaded the family up and headed over to the high school and we had such a good time.

The next morning, we had to leave pretty early to get to the finals, but we had gotten a card for Hannah that we wanted her to open.   The card I chose for her was a really cool Divergent movie card that opens up to a full size poster.  On the front of the card it says, Be Bold. Be Brave.

When you open the card it says, Be who you are. Celebrate YOU. I thought this was absolutely PERFECT for the occassion...I mean honestly, I don't think it could have been more perfect.

Once you unfold the card to the full size poster, it says, One choice can transform you.  Powerful.  Exactly the message I wanted her to receive before she had to go run her race.

After giving her the card, we made our way to the school where the district finals were being held. It was a crazy scene, 29 schools participated in the finals and there were over 1000 student athletes 8th grade and under.

Hannah's race was the 2nd to the last race of the day, which means we were there for nearly 4 hours before she was to run. But we were there to support the team as a whole, not just our daughter. If there is one thing I want Hannah to learn from team sports is to support everyone who has made the effort to participate. You never know how much your support and encouragement might mean to them.

Anyway, Hannah had a great time with her friends and teammates while they were waiting for their races. They played, they talked and they just chilled and got to hang out.

When it was finally Hannah's divisions turn to race, we lined up along the course so we could see her and cheer her on.

I can't really even express how proud I am of my daughter.  She chose to try something that is out of her comfort zone, decided it might not be for her in the long term but she stuck with it and finished strong.  That one choice she made, I believe, did transform her.

Make sure you check out Hallmark to sign up for Hallmark Rewards, and to see great content from other bloggers. Join in the #kidscards conversation on Twitter!

Friday, October 24, 2014

That Friday Blog Hop

Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 

That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here

That Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ipsy October Unbagging

Hello my lovelies! Today I thought we'd talk about Ipsy.

If you don't know what Ipsy is, it is a subscription service that costs $10 per month. Each month you receive a cute (well, sometimes not so cute, but for the most part, cute) little makeup bag that has 4-5 beauty or skin care products. Sometimes there are full size products for you to try but the majority of the time the products are either deluxe sample size or sample size.

How it works: You login to and fill out a profile. Based on your answers, they choose which products to send you each month. You can go in and retake the profile quiz to try and see if you get different products if you aren't liking the products you've been getting. Also, if you go in and review each of the items after you receive your bag, that will also help them to determine what you want in your bag in the future.

I've been getting Ipsy for a while now, probably 6 months or more, for the most part I'm happy with it and really like the products I get each month. There have been months that are better than others to be sure, but as a whole I really can't complain for $10 bucks a month! Here is my unbagging for the October Ipsy bag. I'd love to know, what's your favorite subscription service?

I am not sponsored by Ipsy, but if you'd like to sign up, please consider using my referral link so I can earn points towards free products.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY Fall Tablescape

Hello lovelies! 

Today I thought I'd get a little creative and show you a Fall Tablescape that I will be using for family get-togethers this year. One of my very favorite things in life is to host anything from family dinners to big parties for all of our friends and family.  

Part of the fun for me is creating a tablescape to go with my theme for the party.  

Generally speaking, I always host the holiday meals at my house and this year is no different.  I will have a lovely tablescape like this, using pumpkins, gourds, squash (actual foods and fake props), sticks and twigs from trees in my backyard, fabric leaves and a lovely piece of fabric to drape over the table.  I use several different sized books or boxes to create dimension and for different plates, platters or serving dishes to sit on.  

You can find things all over your home to use for your tablescape, get creative!  Think outside the box and imagine the possibilities.  You could even spray paint the twigs/sticks/branches - whatever it is that you are using, to match any certain colors you have chosen for your event.  

For my Thanksgiving tablescape this year, I am planning to use my twigs and sticks just as nature made them, I'm feeling very rustic this fall ;)  

I'd love to see what you come up with for a tablescape this fall, if you've done a tablescape or other fall themed decor post, I would love to see it, leave me a link below so I can check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Flowers for Mama

*As a brand ambassador for The Bouqs Company, I received these flowers in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

Hello my lovelies! I have recently become an ambassador for they are an online floral company.  The whole idea behind the bouqs is to give you an awesome customer experience when you order flowers from them.

They have gorgeous bouquets from roses to lilies.  The colors are super vibrant.  When I was looking through the bouquets, considering which one I wanted to review for this post, I had a really hard time choosing because they are all so beautiful.  
I was really drawn to the Hot Lava bouq, those gorgeous hot pink and bright yellow roses just spoke to me.  Honestly I couldn't stop staring at the picture of them.  The ordering process was fast and easy with the the bouqs website being really easy to navigate.

Once I was done placing my order, the bouqs customer service people were in contact with me about the shipping and tracking information.   My delivery was set for a week away.  I eagerly awaited the FedEx man's arrival that was set for Friday (the 10th of October).  Unfortunately, there was some issue with the delivery date so the bouqs customer service people contacted me to let me know and to apologize.  It was very nice to have someone notify me as soon as they found out so I wouldn't be waiting around all day for a FedEX delivery that would never show.
Luckily, the delivery was only one day later than it was originally supposed to be.  So, Saturday morning the FedEx man showed up with this lovely box...I may have squealed with delight...

The box was packaged tightly to make sure the bouq stayed as fresh as possible.  I received two dozen roses in my Hot Lava bouq and they were packaged 12 roses per bouq.

Once I unwrapped the bouq's and started to take the roses out so I could cut the stems and put them in vases, I noticed how saturated the color of these roses are, honestly I've never seen such vibrant hues and they are incredibly beautiful.

I was able to separate the roses out to make 2 bouq's, one taller and one short.  I have a thing for the short bouq's...they are just so cute and pretty.

If you happen to need to send flowers to someone, I would recommend using the bouq's they are really fantastic to work with and deliver an amazing bouq ;)