Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currently...

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1. It’s still hot, hot, hot over here in CA, but I’ve started to dream about boots, booties, jeans, scarves, and tights. I bought this knit beanie from Target this week and I’m dying to wear it outside. I think we need a family trip to Oak Glen…Last year we barely had a fall or winter season, but it’s supposed to be extra cold and rainy this year. We shall see! That’s definitely something I miss about living in Utah- it’s so gorgeous there and I loved the scenery year round. That’s one of the biggest reasons I mostly visit in the winter time too, so I can get a bit of cold and snow to hold me over.

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gem crayons (in store) // paint dabbers // purse // beanie and mitten set
2. Even though it’s barely fall and Halloween is just next week, I’m focused on the holidays. I’ve already started my shopping with a few items for stocking stuffers, have made a mental list of items needed to decorate the house, and we’re already drawing our Secret Santa’s for Matt’s side of the family this weekend. Last year, Christmas was a lot of fun and I expect it to only get better as Ellie gets older and understands the holiday more (not just the gifts/Santa stuff). I’m really looking forward to this year and seeing her face light up when she sees the tree and Christmas lights.

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3. Matching headbands is totally happening soon. I ordered this sweet Olivia Lace set from Willow Crowns and I can’t wait to match with my little mini-me (or mini-daddy depending on the day- she changes so much!). With her fall/winter wardrobe I’ve kept a little bit of what I have and what I’ve bought for her in mind so we can coordinate, but even still, these headbands will do the trick! I have a feeling that Ellie will be just as excited to match as I am.

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4. The last few months, my skin has looked a little so-so. I’ve thought about making an appointment with a dermatologist to see what’s going on and I’ve scoured the beauty aisles at Target, but I just don’t know where to start. I don’t have acne, but my skin isn’t as radiant as it used to be. It just seems blech. That’s why I’m so excited to try some new products from IMAGE Skincare. I’ve been using their products for over a year now (check out my reviews HERE and HERE) and have started to use these new products for just over a week. I told my husband after just a few days I was already convinced that I could see a difference. I’ll definitely be doing a full review in a few weeks.

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5. We are taking family pics this weekend with all of Matt's side of the family and I'm so excited to work with Lovers of Love Photography again. We've talked about doing family pics for years and I'm so happy that we're finally doing it.

Happy hump day! Hope your week is going well!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recipe Review: Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie

In no way am I a chef of any kind. Yes, I cook/bake, but it's rare. Matt gets home before me and loves to cook (just like his dad!) so he usually cooks around these parts. On days I'm off work or am off before him, I'll cook a few of my tried and true recipes. When on Pinterest, I saw this pin and had to try it for myself. We love chicken pot pie and this sounded easy and delicious!

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(Their picture is so much prettier than mine!)

The original recipe is from Six Sisters' Stuff and I'm so glad they shared it because it was a big hit in our house! Here is their recipe, straight from their site:

Easy Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
½ cup of chopped carrots
½ cup of chopped broccoli
½ cup of chopped cauliflower
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup of all-purpose flour
1½ cups milk
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 regular size can of cream of chicken soup
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups (about 1 pound) of cooked, shredded chicken
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 refrigerated package of Pilsbury Grands Biscuits (8 biscuits)

Instructions
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
-In a large pan heat your oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, saute the onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl with the chicken; set aside.
-Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the same pot. When melted, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and thyme. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
-Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables and chicken to the pot, stirring until the filling is well-combined. -If the filling is too thick, stir in some extra chicken broth milk.
-Pour the filling into a 13x9-inch baking dish and bake for 18 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven (keeping the oven on and door closed) and top the filling with 8 biscuits (yes, raw biscuits). Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Here are the changes/suggestion I made to the recipe:
- For the chicken, I put two frozen chicken breasts in a crock pot on low and covered it with 16 ounces of chicken broth. Since I used a large crock pot, I also had to add some water to make sure the chicken was entirely covered. A rotisserie chicken would be perfect to use as well!
- I skipped the cauliflower and plan on trying celery and corn with the next round
- For my recipe, I only used half of an onion and I sauteed the onion and carrots (I chopped them in to small pieces) first and longer before adding the other vegetables to make sure they were soft
-I'll definitely use more broccoli and carrots in the next batch. I didn't think there was enough to my liking with only 1/2 cup
- In the comments on their post, someone commented about making the biscuits separately and putting a biscuit in a bowl and pouring the mixture on top. I think it would all turn out the same, but wanted to share that idea too.
- The recipe says it takes 15 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook and that is entirely not true. I think it took me about 45 minutes from start to finish (once the chicken was already cooked).
- There is no way it serves 8 people, more like 4-5

Mmmmmm this was such a delicious dinner, I can't wait to have it for my lunch! I'll definitely be making it again and again. Matt said it was one of the best things I've ever made and he had 3 helpings! Ellie liked it too and it was really simple to make. It was a lot of fun to make and I liked that it was from "scratch" (minus the biscuits of course!). It makes me so happy when I try something and it turns out just as I imagined and Matt enjoys it. Maybe I'll do more in the kitchen!

....Let's not hold our breath on that one........

What are some of your favorite cold weather recipes?

Monday, October 13, 2014

OOTD + White Plum Giveaway!

One thing that’s a must in my closet is a cardigan. I love being able to transition from summer to fall and get some more wears from my summer clothes with an easy addition. I’ve talked previously about being more careful to what I’m adding to my closet; adding only items that are versatile, fit well, and will get a lot of wear. Enter the Shasta Open Cardigan from White Plum -there's a giveaway too, see below for your chance to win $50 store credit! They are also offering all Love, Lipstick, and Pearls readers 20% off using LOVELIPSTICKANDPEARLS for 20% off entire purchase until 10/20!

This Shasta Open Cardigan (also available in mint and taupe!) is going to be lived in once our temps drop below 90! I can't wait to wear it, it's so versatile and I love the soft gray color. It should be cooling off soon and I'll be pairing it with some cut off shorts during the evenings. I can't wait, this sweater is so warm and cozy. It will be so easy to throw on and head out the door. As soon as it arrived I kept thinking of all the ways I could style it- so here they are!

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This casual look will probably be how I wear it most often- with skinny jeans and some booties

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You can't have fall layers without some plaid involved

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How cozy is a big soft sweater and leggings? Hello errand running outfit!

Be sure to enter below for your chance to win, they have so many fabulous sweaters including the ever popular Mallory Cardigan and the Caribou River! The contest runs from 10/13-10/20 and will be announced next week. You can also get 20% off your entire purchase using LOVELIPSTICKPEARLS at check out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you White Plum for sponsoring this post!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall TV Reviews- What's on my DVR

With every move or new season, I try to drop a few TV shows from my DVR. I think I entirely watch too many shows, and since becoming a parent, I want to drop even more so I can focus my extra downtime for more family oriented activities. Also, Matt and I have nearly 0 television shows in common (only Big Brother- and that’s only in the summertime) so I do try to check out a few fall shows to see if there’s anything that will peak his interest. He mostly only watches reality shows that are based on the outdoors or cop/prison life (like all the Alaska everything (fishing, hunting, living, fish/game) shows, the First 48, etc).

Here are some of the shows I’ve dropped from my DVR: The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, New Girl, Revenge, and The Following to name a few. We also dropped Sons of Anarchy, but we’re thinking of picking it up again to finish the series (we watched half of the last season). Nothing wrong with these shows, I just missed a few episodes and never cared about picking them back up. Some of them just seemed redundant every episode or had more ridiculous plot twists with every season. I’m also thinking about dropping Nashville, CSI Las Vegas (I know! I’ve watched since college, but since Grissom left it’s not the same), and Once Upon A Time as well, they’re just a little boring to me now.

With the new fall season starting up, I’ve checked out a few of the new series and there are some really great shows I’m excited about watching! Here’s my list of what’s great and what’s awful (All series’ summaries are from Entertainment Weekly).

The Good:

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Red Band Society: A group of teenagers meet as patients in the children’s wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends in this comedic young soap.

My Take: I didn’t catch the first two episodes and didn’t have any interest in the series, but my sister and a friend told me how great it was so I watched it one night and fell in love! I enjoy all of the characters and the dynamics of their relationships. Each character has a different disease/illness, but they’re all bonded by living in the hospital and the typical high school social rules don’t really exist there. I’m interested to see where their stories will go. Matt and I are actually watching this together, so as long as the series stories stay on track, I think it will be able to keep both of our interests.

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How to get Away with Murder: A sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.

My Take: Shonda Rimes can do no wrong, she is a show writing genius! I knew I would like this show with the very first commercial I saw for it. Viola Davis, murder, college/career life- I’m sold! The very first episode was everything I was hoping for; plot twists, back stories, intertwining stories, lust, and murder. The second episode kept up the speed and I’m pretty hooked on watching it all unfold. I’m so excited for this series and my Thursday nights (and weekends- that’s when I get to watch all the shows!) just got a whole lot better!

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Stalker: Psychological thriller centered around a pair of detectives who handle stalking incidents for the Threat Management Unit of the LAPD.

My Take: I’ve watched the first episode and I really enjoyed it and was pretty creeped out by some of the plotlines. Especially the part that was in the commercial when the woman was in her room changing and in the mirror you see hands come up from the floor and roll her rug up. Eek! I love crime drama shows and I like the twist that this one has that sets it apart from other shows, but I’m not sure if it will keep my attention. The acting was great, the story lines believable, and there’s a dark history yet to be revealed for each main character. I just don’t know if it’s good enough to add to my DVR on the regular.

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Gracepoint: The 10-episode series follows a detective duo and their investigation into the murder of a young boy in a small town.

My Take: The Killing is one of my favorite shows, every episode kept me on the edge of my seat and I’m so glad that Netflix picked it up to finish the series with one more season. Now that it’s over, when I saw a commercial for a 10 episode series special for Gracepoint, a story surrounding a child’s murder I knew I had to watch it! I’ve seen the first episode and enjoyed it. It doesn’t seem to be as dark as The Killing and I’m looking forward to some twists and surprises.

The Terrible:

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Scorpion: An eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age.

My Take: This show is terrible- I didn’t even finish the first episode. I didn’t care for any of the actors or their characters, the acting is awful, and the storyline was laughable. No suspense like I thought it would have at all, the action was over the top, and the fashion was bad. Nothing to care for in the show whatsoever. Blech all around.

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Selfie: Comedy inspired by My Fair Lady tells the story of a self-obsessed 20-something woman who is more concerned with “likes” than being liked. After suffering a very public and humiliating breakup, she becomes the subject of a viral video and suddenly has more social media “followers” than she ever imagined — but for all the wrong reasons. She enlists the help of a marketing expert at her company to help repair her tarnished image.

My Take: I don’t know how I ended up watching this! Ok, I do. My sister said it was funny (she had to have been drinking) so I watched the preview episode from my DVR Fall Preview option and although I like John Cho, I’m surprised he ever signed up for this gig. I would be shocked if it made it halfway through the season without being hacked off the network. The only funny point of the show at all was how it made fun of social media and how obsessed people have become with having followers and likes instead of focusing on their real life.

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NCIS: New Orleans: The NCIS New Orleans office handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans with its rich setting of music, fun, and debauchery is a magnet for military personnel on-leave. And with fun comes trouble. It is a natural backdrop for a unique character driven spin-off.

My Take: NCIS isn’t a show I watch regularly and have seen a few episodes here and there, but when I saw they were introducing a new series with Lucas Black I quickly added it to my DVR. That only lasted for the first episode before I deleted it. The first episode wasn’t much for a series opener and it just didn’t set off any spark for me. My mother-in-law said it was better the second episode, but I think I’m going to ditch it altogether.

Wow it seems like I watch entirely too much TV, but I mostly only watch them at night before bed or have it on in the background while I get ready, eat breakfast (before Ellie is up), and clean. That being said (or typed/read), I still want to ditch more shows so I can focus on the bigger things in life.

What shows do you watch? What’s on your DVR? Has any new fall show caught your attention?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Snapshots from a Day Off

With my new work position, I have a rotating day off and although it's been a bit of an adjustment, it's been nice to get a day off during the week. It's easier to run errands, stores are less crowded, it makes my work week go quickly, and I get our little Elle bell all to myself before Daddy gets home. This past week I had Wednesday off and thought I'd document our day together and how we spent our little break. Isn't that what you all have been dying to know? Well, you're welcome.

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After Ellie wakes up in her crib, I bring her to my bed for some snuggles and Doc McStuffins

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Ellie gets over it quickly and we head downstairs for milk and breakfast, scooting down the stairs on our bums with her giggling the whole way down

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She patiently awaits breakfast, her favorite -oatmeal mixed with apple sauce

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Things get really exciting when Ellie spots a bird on our porch

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Then we head to the sports park to meet up with a group from church

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During her nap I deep clean our master bathroom as quietly as I can

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Then eat an uninterrupted, unshared lunch all by myself

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Once Sleeping Beauty is awake and fed we head out to the library

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When we return we relax and I get caught up in Christmas excitement with the new Pottery Barn catalog

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So we decide to finish decorating for Halloween, Ellie kept giggling and kissing the skull.
Definitely a Chi Omega legacy.

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Then by a miracle, dinner is timed perfectly for when Matt walks in the door
PS using hamburger buns for garlic bread is the bomb, best garlic bread ever!

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After bath time we all wrestle and goof around on the bed before bedtime

I must say that this was an awesome day off. The day didn't feel as if it was slipping through my fingers and I felt like I accomplished a lot without spending the whole day only doing errands or cleaning and not getting anytime to relax and enjoy it. I love being able to get outside and look forward to more park days.

Hope your week is going swimmingly! The weekend is almost here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Product Review: Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lipstick

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Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color in Blushing Beige

It’s not a secret that I have an arsenal of makeup, most of which fall into similar color categories. For instance my lipsticks are mostly soft pinks and nudes and nearly all of my blushes are varying shades of pink. It's almost embarrassing...almost. However, on a whim and a Target run while on my lunch break I picked up the prettiest nude lipstick I’ve ever used.

While in the makeup aisles, I rarely check out Maybelline. They used to be my go-to for foundation, but I haven’t used them for items outside of mascara in what feels like a lifetime. Target had a couple of displays for Maybelline up and it caught my attention so I checked out their section. One thing that caught my eye was their new lip color line of nudes (I guess it’s not actually new- it came out in spring). I’m all for bright lips, but everyday nudes are so much easier for me to wear. I checked out the two lightest shades, Bare All and Blushing Beige and the first one was too light for me. I think I’d look like a walking corpse, but Blushing Beige was beautiful and really complimented my skin tone. Which is why I immediately added it to my cart without looking back.

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Blushing Beige is a gorgeous nude with a pink undertone. It’s definitely different from some of my other nude lipsticks with its color- it leans more towards nude rather than pink and is warmer in tone. The majority of my other lip colors are pink-nude and I love that this one is more nude. Yes, I understand how crazy that sounds to anyone who doesn’t have a makeup addiction.

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What I wanted to really share about this product review is the option of colors. If you’ve had a hard time finding a good nude lipstick, go check out this collection! There’s ten shades to choose from and depending on your skin tone, more than one shade could work for you. I’ve worn my lipstick almost everyday since I bought it, I think it really compliments my tone and looks very pretty. I wear it both alone and layered under gloss (my favorite pairing with it is Urban Decay’s Walk of Shame) and always get asked about it. My only complaint with the lipstick is the same complaint I have with all Maybelline lipsticks- there’s a slight smell I don’t care for and it can be drying.

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Here's it on my lips, love this combo!

When wearing nude lip colors, you have to definitely exfoliate your lips to create the best look. I find that wearing either a chapstick under or a gloss on top help with application. I seriously love this lipstick so much and I'm thinking about buying a second one in case they ever discontinue it. I'm also thinking about checking out the next shade darker as well. I love that these lipsticks are more nude in color, they help create that gorgeous glamorous natural look I love so much.

What color lipstick do you prefer to wear? What's your everyday shade?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend was so short! I worked on Saturday so when I got home, we just relaxed and played with Ellie. Once she was down, I went to Matt's sister's house to have some girl time with her and their mom. It was nice to spend some quiet time together, life goes so fast I love the moments I get to savor. I'm so thankful to have such a great relationship with all of my in-laws, it's been such a blessing.

On Sunday we went to the San Diego Safari Park with Matt's parents and our nephew. We have season passes that allow you to go to both parks and the safari park is only a 45min drive for us. It will be nice to go more often once the weather cools down.

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Reading some of our favorite Halloween books (check out our other faves here!)

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The view of the safari landscape at the San Diego Safari Park

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Checking out the animals with Daddy
Don't you love his stache? LOL!

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Brushing the goats (Ellie fell asleep and missed out!)

Hope you had a great weekend and a great start to the week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Favorite Halloween Books

Since I was a child, I've always been an avid reader and still enjoy reading now (my library card is well worn) and it's something that I want to pass down to my children. I've always looked forward to the day of reading to my babies and children and enjoying the same books I grew up with and seeing them through their eyes for the first time (Where the Red Fern Grows, Little Women, The Princess Bride, and Harry Potter are ones I'm really looking forward to!). For every holiday I've tried to pick up a few books to celebrate and read with Ellie. Some are just for fun and others help explain the meaning of why we celebrate (like Easter and Christmas books we have) and we have a few Halloween ones I wanted to share that we've enjoyed reading. They're just silly books, but it's a nice change for a month or so from our usual books.

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Hoot: A Hide-and-Seek Book of Counting // Doc McStuffins Boo to You! //  Halloween Jack
 Goodnight Goon // Room on the Broom

Hoot- Ok, so this one isn't technically a Halloween book, but I included it because of the owls and owls are kind of Halloweenish. Sue me. This book is so cute! The pages are brightly colored, it's cutely rhymed, and I love the hide-and-seek theme of the book. 

Doc McStuffins- Ellie is all about Doc McStuffins right now and although I don't care too much for the story itself (I don't think it really follows the style of the show), the pictures are enjoyable and Ellie enjoys all touch and feel books. 

Halloween Jack- We bought this book last year and it's still a favorite. Each page has a fun picture of different Halloween characters- a vampire, witch, robot, etc. with a cute rhyme for each one. It's a simple book that we've enjoyed reading a million times. I was really excited about bringing this one back out to read. 

Goodnight Goon- If Goodnight Moon is popular in your house, this one will be too! It follows the same rhythm as the original and tells a very cute story of Halloween. I'm hoping to find other holiday themed books for this classic (there's even a parody version called Goodnight Ipad! LOL). 

Room on the Broom- This book is adorable and I wanted to get it last year, but couldn't find the board book version and I'm so happy to have snagged it this year. I love the story of making new friends and having room for everyone on the broom. Ellie likes to point out each character on the pages and it's become a fun game for us before bed time. 

Here are some other books I want to add to our collection in the coming years; 
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! (Who doesn't love this song? We have the Christmas one and I'd love to own all the holiday versions), I'm a Little Vampire (it follow the rhyme of "I'm a Little Teapot"), The Night Before Halloween (same as the Christmas version, and there's more holidays!). Ok, so I'm obviously a fan of books with a twist on the classics. I just love the original books and I'm so happy there's new versions for different themes to share with Ellie.

What are some of your holiday favorites? 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Snapshots

Happy Monday! I hope your week started off fabulously and will be a good sign for an even better week. I think a lot of people hate Mondays, but for me, it's Sunday nights that I hate. The getting ready for the week, knowing that living in your pajamas and smothering your babies in kisses all day long, and daytime naps are coming to an end, it's just the quiet ending that I dislike.

I've had the past two weekends off and it's been wonderful to spend some extra time at home and with friends/family. Last weekend we never got out of pajamas! We would just shower and put on fresh lounge clothes. It was glorious! This past weekend we got out of the house everyday and we weren't on any type of a schedule. I love having weekends with no plans or just one event and we can spend time together as a family. The weeknights go by so quickly, I love soaking in the weekends. 

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We finally hung the Love Sign! It's not taunting me anymore as I walk past it everyday. I'm so happy that it's up and I love how it looks in our kitchen.
When you hang items up, do you eyeball it or measure. Matt will measure every single detail and make sure it's level and it takes him forever to hang anything. I just eyeball it and go for it.

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We do all of our cleaning up in the mornings and Ellie loves watching her daddy work outside. She'll go from window to window waiving at him. It's the sweetest thing ever.

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When Ellie was sick, these were our lifesavers! The Hylands cold medicine is safe for 6 months and up and totally cleared up her runny nose. So happy to have found it, I just wish I had found it sooner. 

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My outfit for an afternoon with my in-laws: Plaid Flannel Shirt  // Shorts 

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I've been on the lookout for a china buffet and saw this beauty. I sent a pic to my husband and while I was waiting for his response and shopped around, it was sold! I was so sad I could have cried.

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Ellie has a shoe fetish and wanted to put her new kicks on as soon as she woke up in the morning and after her nap. She insisted on wearing them all day and hated when I had to take them off. Also, cuddles are the best!

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What I wore to brunch with my Chi Omega sisters.
Kiki La Rue Cardi (old, still available here!)

Hope you had a great weekend!
PS Can you believe it's October already on Wednesday?!?!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Polish Favorites

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Essie Wicked // Essie Bahama Mama // Essie Chinchilly // Essie After School Boy Blazer
OPI Lincoln Park After Dark // Sally Hansen Slick Slate // Sally Hansen Uptempo Plum // Sally Hansen Black and Blue 

Happy first day of fall! After posting my Summer Polish Favorites, it's only right to post my favorite fall ones today. I scoured through my treasure chest of polish and picked my favorite top eight to share. Most of my colors are close to black when applied, and I love how dark they look on.

Essie Wicked- A dark burgundy, I lived in this color last year and I'm excited to wear it again this season.

Essie Bahama Mama- A gorgeous dark purple, almost wine colored. I've had this on my toes for weeks now. It's so much darker than it looks in the above picture.

Essie Chinchilly- A total cult classic for a reason! Looks great on everyone and is the perfect neutral.

Essie After School Boy Blazer- Another almost black shade, I've been obsessed with Navy and I'll be wearing this one all season for sure.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark- Another cult classic, a wine-black shade and gorgeous. It's so chic and dark.

Sally Hansen Slick Slate- Very similar to Chinchilly, but darker. It's perfect for your toes or fingers and pairs perfectly with a nude pink mani to match.

Sally Hansen Uptempo Plum- This has been one of my favorites for a few years now. It's a beautiful dark plum with some shimmer. It's perfect for a special night out.

Sally Hansen Black and Blue- I loved this shade last year! To get the dark color I wanted, I put two coats over a black coat and it was a beautiful color change with the blue, green, and purple. Very fun!

What are some of your favorite fall colors? Any color I'm missing out on?