Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, Oscar.

Last night, I had a few friends over for a relaxing taco dinner and Oscar night. We made tacos, stuffed our faces, and critiqued the Oscars all night. It was a great Sunday night. Overall, I think everyone, from the gentlemen to the ladies, were dressed in Oscar worthy apparel. Every gown I saw I thought was a contender for best dressed, but I have narrowed it down to a few that really hit the mark.

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton.

Mila Jovovich in Elie Saab Couture.

Stacey Keibler in Marchesa.

Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen.

Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli Couture

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

Cameron Diaz in Gucci Premiere.

Of all of these lovely ladies, I must say that Michelle Williams, Jessica Chastain, and Mila Jovovich were my top three, with Kristen Wiig and Emma Stone close behind.
I thought the Oscars were great this year. I am so happy that Meryl Streep and Christopher Plummer went home with an award. I love Meryl Streep. She is a class act. I also realized that I need to see The Artist and Hugo.
What did you think of the Oscars? Who was best dressed in your opinion?

*All photos from here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brush Love

You guys I have found it! I have found amazing brushes for an even more amazing price! Elf Studio brushes are where it's at! I wanted to buy a new foundation and blush brush because my Physicians Formula brush has seen better days. I love the Physicians Formula brushes, but I didn't want to pay 10 dollars for a brush. I will splurge on my foundation and makeup, but not so much on the tools. Now I don't have too. I decided to give ELF Studio brushes a shot while I was in Target one day. I have a new found love for ELF Studio brushes, and I don't feel like I have to give up a quality brush because of price.

For $3, these brushes are incredibly soft and such a great quality. I used the blush brush the moment I got home from Target and have used it ever since. I was using the powder brush with my powder that I set my cream foundation with, but today I decided to try something different. I used this brush with my cream foundation. MIND BLOWN! I cannot believe how beautifully this brush blended my foundation. I have always used my fingers to blend my foundation, and I had to use twice as much product because quite a bit of it would end up staying on my hand. I used half the amount of makeup and it looked like the face was airbrushed! I love the way this brush works. I don't think I am going to need to use my powder foundation over my cream foundation anymore. When I was using my fingers, the makeup wasn't covering as well (probably because it was staying on my fingers) so I felt as though I needed more coverage, but that wasn't the case at all. I just needed a better blending tool, and now I have one. If you have been looking for a great brush, I highly recommend the ELF Studio line. Definitely worth the price.
What is your favorite brush? Do you have an Elf brushes?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Looks I'm Loving: Taylor Swift

I am a Taylor Swift fan. I love her music, I love her style, I just love Taylor Swift. I was checking out one of my favorite blogs, The Vogue Diaries, when I came across some pics of T.Swift at a Starbucks in West Hollywood. She is not wearing a fitted gown, a labelled shirt, or even a skirt. She is wearing a simple outfit featuring skinny jeans, a loose and flowy top, and flats. Basically, my go-to outfit. She is also sporting some amazing sunglasses that I must get my hands on for this Spring!

I love the neutral colors in her flats. I think they are adorable and are Taylor to a tee! Her long and simple gold necklace adds a bit of glam to her outfit without going overboard. I am crazy about her structured brown bag. That is definitely another item on my wish list for this Spring.
From her curly ponytail, to her two-toned flats, I think her outfit is simple, girlie, and charming. I know it is a very simple outfit, but I think that's why I love it, and why I love Taylor.
What do you think of Taylor Swift and her coffee run outfit?

Pictures are from here, here and here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shrimp & Pasta

This recipe is one of my favorites. It is so simple and full of flavor. The fun thing about this dish is that you can use any variety of spices, whatever appeals to your taste buds. I don't have a real recipe I follow, so the flavor is different each time I whip it up. I think that is another reason why it is one of my go-to meals.

- Shrimp: fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons of butter (varies based on quantity of shrimp)
-Pasta: angel hair, penne, rigatoni
- Spices: oregano, basil, garlic, rosemary, etc
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions: Fill a pot with water and put on high. Bring water to a boil and add pasta. Put a skillet on medium heat. Melt butter in a bowl, add shrimp and spices. I suggest a garlic pepper seasoning. Mix together and put in skillet. Let cook for about 10 minutes. By the time the shrimp is done cooking, the pasta should be ready as well. Strain pasta, put back in pot and add oil and more spices of your choice. My favorite spices for the pasta are sundried tomato and basil. Plate pasta and add shrimp.

So, there you have it. A quick, easy, and delicious meal ready in about 20 minutes. You could also substitute the shrimp for chicken. Next time I create this dish I want to try it with chicken.
What's your favorite go-to meal? Are you a seafood fan?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Check Out My Guest Post

Hello, everyone. Unfortunately, I do not have a new post to put up on my blog today, but check out my blogging buddy's page, AlmostBritain, for some makeup organization tips. She is doing this awesome Spring Series featuring a different blogger each day. :)

picture from here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Movie Review: This Means War

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!!! I spent my Valentine's night with two of my best friends. We cooked a delicious pasta and shrimp dinner (post coming soon) and went to see This Means War- my new favorite flick. It was amazing! It was so good, I had to come home and blog about it right away while everything is still fresh in my mind!I knew from the trailer that this movie was going to be funny and romantic... your typical romantic comedy, but it wasn't. It was better!!!
I can't say enough about this movie, and I don't know where to start! Reese Witherspoon was adorable and lovable and amazing! Chris Pine and those blue eyes. OMG! I melted over 100 times! The close up shots were almost breathtaking. Tom Hardy and that accent... Dang. The one liners, the facial expressions, Chelsea Handler. There were so many aspects that made this movie fantastic! I mean the plot in itself- two best friends going after the same girl- you know it's going to be crazy and competitive. It was hilarious! There was action, there was suspense. It was the perfect mix of romantic and comedy, easy on the romantic. Exactly my style.
I really can't say enough about this film, and I don't want to give anything away because I sincerely want you all to go see it! I want to see it again! And again!
If you want to know more bout the story line, check out the trailer below and then go directly to the movie theater!

I give this movie 2 thumbs up, 5 stars, and every other perfect review out there! If you are looking for a good movie I definitely recommend this one!
What awesome movies have you seen lately?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Hot Dinner Date

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and if your anything like me, you may not know what to wear. I sometimes have an outfit planned, but I usually wait until the last minute. I am going to the movies with a girl friend, so it looks like jeans for me, but if I had a dinner date, this is what I would wear. This outfit is perfectly sweet and charming.

My favorite piece in this outfit is the red pleated skirt followed by the lace top with a peter pan collar. To finish the outfit- a red pair of pumps, pearl earrings, a sultry red lip, and minimal gold accessories. With the bright pops of red, I would wear a classic black coat and a neutral bag to tone it down a bit. I just love this outfit!
What are you doing tomorrow night? What do you plan on wearing?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Sweet Treat

One of my all time favorite sweet treats are rice krispie treats. They are simple goodness. I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding red sprinkles to fit the upcoming holiday and a teaspoon of vanilla for extra flavor.

These treats are so easy to make. The great thing about this dessert is that you can add ingredients such as chocolate, sprinkles, or food coloring to fit any occasion. I used the original rice krispie recipe and added 1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional).
What is your favorite sweet treat? What do you like to add to your homemade rice krispie treats?

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY: Valentine's Cards

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom always encouraged me to make homemade cards. She told me they mean more to people than any store bought card could. I am 22, almost 23, and I am still making homemade cards and I love doing it.
For Valentine's Day, I made a handful of cards and sent them out to my closet friends and family. I mostly used the card stock I had purchased for the Hearts on a String project, but I also had some paper left over, as well as some stickers I found in my craft box.

As you can tell, hearts were the theme of these cards. I made most of the cards in a postcard style, with a design on one side and a note on the other. I think that style is just as effective as the regular card, and easier to hang on a mirror, fridge, or where ever one keeps there cards. After I had exhausted using hearts and card stock, I decided yo step it up a notch and painted a few cards. The card in the right hand corner is one of my painted cards. It's not my best work, but I think it comes off as a mod heart pattern. I am planning on sending the painted cards to my mom and aunt. They will definitely appreciate them.
Do you ever make homemade cards?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY: Hearts on a String

I can't believe Valentine's Day is one week away! While I don't have a special man to celebrate this Hallmark holiday with, I do have a hot date with my best friend from high school that night! We are going to cook a delicious meal at home and then go see This Means War! I am so excited!
To be honest, I used to hate Valentine's Day (unless I was taken, of course), but over the years it has not bothered me so much. It's just another day. Plus, Valentine's Day doesn't just have to be about significant others. The past few years I have bought my closest friends little things. I love any opportunity to give someone a little something and what better day to do so than on Valentine's Day. This year I am being extra crafty with this DIY: Hearts on a String and a few homemade cards (DIY post coming soon). This DIY project is so simple, sweet, and inexpensive! Together, all the materials cost less than $5.00!

What You'll Need:

~Colored card stock
~ Twine
~ Tape & Scissors

All you have to do for this easy DIY is cut out any size and amount of hearts you desire. Once you have cut all your hearts, turn them face down, lay the length of twine you need on top of the hearts, and tape it to the back of the hearts. This project takes minutes and adds a lovely touch of sweet to any space.

How do you decorate for Valentine's Day? What plans do you have this year?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday = Double Funday

Superbowl XLVI

Who are you rooting for? Can you guess who I want to win? ;)

I love football season and I LOVE the Superbowl. Not because my team ever makes it (that would be a miracle), but because its a great reason to get everyone together, sit on a couch, eat yummy snacks, and yell at the TV for 4 hours. Oh, and don't forget about the hilarious commercials!
Today, I am going to my girl friend's house for a potluck style gathering. There will be beer, buffalo, chicken wing dip, taco dip, beer, football, chips & dip, beer, and a special treat I am bringing. Oh, and did I mention beer... Ha! I am quite excited for this evenings festivities, and what makes it more enjoyable- I don't have to work tomorrow! Yay! It has been a while since I have been able to enjoy a night with some friends and a cold beer... or 5.
What are you doing for Superbowl XLVI? Check out my yummy treat inspired by a picture I found on Pinterest.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Step Into Spring

While flipping through magazines and browsing my favorite shopping websites, I have started to see a pattern in what footwear will be filling the store shelves and my closet. Think bright colors, floral patters, and oxfords. Here are 6 styles that I believe will be a big hit this Spring and Summer.
Step Into Spring

Step Into Spring by missmaryelizabeth featuring green flats

1.) Bright flats. I love the green and yellow flats above. I will definitely be purchasing some brightly colored solid flats this Spring. They will be a great addiction to any closet and make color blocking your outfit so simple and chic.
2.) Speaking of color blocking. Chunky color blocked heels have been making appearances all over the place. I love how color blocking can be done with bright colors such as hot pink, orange and turquoise, or neutrals. I love the yellow, creme and brown heels above. The wooden heel adds the perfect detail.
3. Floral! I am definitely excited about this trend. Floral flats are adorable, and floral heels- to die for! The perfect pair of floral heels paired with a simple solid colored dress would be the perfect date night outfit. Or play around with patterns and mix and match floral and strips for a fun look.
4. The
bootie with a fun detail. I honestly don't think the bootie will ever go out of style. You can wear them all year round and pair them with any outfit. I have noticed that the newest trend with booties is a funky detail. Take the two booties above. The tan pair have an amazing tribal stitched design along the back, and the creme booties are peep toe with a fun half wood heel. Simple details that take an ordinary bootie give it that something extra.
5.) Oxfords. I love them! This shoe style is a must buy for me this spring. I am a big fan of the all neutral oxford. I would probably go for a creme or light tan pair. I would wear some great jean cutoffs and a loose button down with a
cross body bag. Casual and cute.
6.) Bright,
strappy sandals. I love the 60s feel of the bright blue wedge sandals and the modern feel of the orange pair. These sandals would look great dressed up or dressed down. A great pair of cropped jeans and fitted tee making the sandals the focal point of the outfit.

These shoes and all the fun outfits I'm putting together in my head are making me so excited for Spring! What shoes are looking forward to stepping out in this Spring?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

January Favorites!

I never posted a Favorites for last month, and these are one of my favorite posts to write and read! So, for January I made sure to pay extra attention to what I was loving and made sure to snap a pic. I don't have many January favs, but this may be my favorite of all my monthly favorites! (Does that make sense? I hope so.)

1. In the month of January, I was (and still am) on a crazy magazine kick. There were so many great faces on the covers this past month! Reese was on the cover of Elle, which I am so excited to be receiving each month for the next year courtesy of my best friend. The perfect Christmas present. Taylor Swift was on the cover of Vogue. Nina Dobrev was on the cover of Nylon! OMG! So many amazing ladies! What a great month for magazines!
2. In the beginning of January, I went to Florida for a week to visit my mom. She moved down there over the Summer and for my Christmas present she bought me a round trip ticket to see her. It was so nice to see my mom and enjoy the warm weather all at the same time. The picture you see is of my feet soaking up the sun on a hot January day on my mom's pontoon! We went out on the boat just about every day I was there! I could live on the water!
3. The last two weeks of January I must have painted my nails 4 times! I played around with colors and came up with some fun designs. My favorite is this two-toned blue design that is featured in a guest post on Arianne Cruz's blog. Check it out!
4. And last, but not least, my ultimate favorites from the month of January are my two most recent MAC purchases. I have used MAC Gingerly blush everyday since buying it. This will be a blush color I definitely purchase each time I run out. The lipstick, MAC Lustering, is amazing as well. I can't wait to wear this color all Summer! It's the perfect pink for my complexion.

What were your favorites for the month of January?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview: Getting to Know the Author

I am so excited about today's post. Over the past few months, I have become close with a few bloggers. While, we have never meet in person, we have learned a lot about each other through our blogs. I have had the pleasure of being a guest blogger on her blog, and today I am thrilled to announce that she is my guest blogger. The lovely and talented Britt from AlmostBritain has kindly answered some questions regarding her first book and what to expect next.
Aside from having the hand of a painter when it comes to eye shadow looks, healthy and motivating food and exercise posts, and great tips and tricks for healthy hair, Britt is also an incredible writer. Her first novel, Fooled to Death, was released in October 6th, 2011. I purchased the book a few days later and once I started it, I could not put it down. The story is full of mystery, fear, sadness, wonder, confusion, and deadly schemes.
After reading the book, I knew I wanted to get inside the author's head and find out more about her, as a writer, and the story behind the book.

1. Your book, Fooled to Death, could be classified as a mystery/thriller. Did you choose this genre because that is what you enjoy reading?

For the most part, yes. My mind is a little twisted (in a good way, I promise!) and I'm always thinking like I'm in a Criminal Minds episode, so the mystery genre just naturally calls my name. I enjoy the mystery/thriller genre immensely, and I try to make the bulk of my reading that genre, but I'm a total sucker for a good love story!

2. What was your inspiration behind the story line?

There were a lot of different things. I had all these scenes in my head that I wanted to put on paper. I wanted a twisted love story. I wanted two people to meet in a cemetery. I wanted a story with an unexpected ending. There are so many books out there that have predictable endings and I wanted to write one that had more of a 'realistic' ending. I took a few walks at night and watched a lot of mystery movies and TV shows and just let my imagination run free.

3. Did you put yourself in any of your characters?

I tried not to in the beginning because I wanted the characters to stand alone, but the more I wrote, the more I found myself doing it anyway. I took a lot of those similarities out in the final draft but the things I did leave in are Baylin's love of the dark and her untrusting nature. Both of those are parts of me.

4. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Write a lot and read a lot!
Write even when you don't feel like it and don't edit as you go. Just write and don't worry about how good it is. All that matters is that you're writing. The more you write, the better you'll get. Find out which genre(s) you like to write and just start writing!
Read books from all genres, not just the one(s) you like to write. You'll come across so many different writing styles and story lines and these can inspire you in a lot of different ways. Sometimes books you think you'll hate reading are ones that surprise and inspire you. You never know, so read it all!

5. What made you want to be a writer? Who are your writing role models?

It's funny - growing up, writer NEVER came up on my 'What I Want to Be When I Grow Up' list. I wanted to be a vet, then an Olympic gymnast, then an artist, then a police dog trainer...Never a writer. Once I got into college I decided I was going to go into forensics. I got a degree in Criminal Justice and had plans to work for the FBI (I had the connections and I had the references all ready), but on the side I was writing fanfiction and they ended up being pretty popular. I loved writing them and found that making characters do things in stories that I wished I could do in real life was a really nice form of therapy. It was also an excellent form of procrastination from schoolwork.
As school went on, so did my writing and when the fanfiction thing had run its course for me I decided to try to write a novel. I found that I liked writing about my own characters even more than I liked the fanfiction and completely fell in love with the writing world. So I put my plans of joining the FBI to the side and pursued writing. So, really, I owe the world of fanfiction a huge thanks because without it, I never would have started writing.
As for writing role models, I can't just say one. I admire good, creative writers.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorites for YA mystery. The worlds he creates remind me a little of Tim Burton, who I admire greatly.
Maureen Johnson is a recent find of mine. I love that she's written several different genres of YA books and they've all been successful.
As for my not-so-secret love of YA romance, Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han are at the top of that list. Their books are easy reads, which I like (I don't like to think too hard when I'm reading - it should be an escape) but they paint a glorious picture in your mind and make you want to jump in their books and become a character.

6. What can we expect next from you?

Next up is a YA fantasy novel and it will have at least a sequel, maybe a third book! It's about a girl who has her soul stolen and after she leaves the town where it was stolen she ends up living with a mermaid, a half-vampire and a guy that can control the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), and also seems to hate her guts. But then a human moves in and things get quite interesting! It's light on the fantasy and heavy on the mystery, drama and romance. Hopefully it'll be out late this year or early next year!

I cannot wait for Britt's fantasy novel to hit the shelves! If you want to find out more about the author, check out her blog.

If you want to buy her first book, Fooled to Death, check out these links!

My book on Amazon (for Kindles and whatnot):

My book on B&N (for Nooks and whatnot):

And (NEW!) my book in paperback:

It will be available on in paperback next week and in 5-6 weeks schools, libraries, and Barnes & Noble stores will have the option to carry it!

Thank you so much Britt for your writing insight and sneak peak into your next novel!