Tuesday, May 31, 2011

[Giveaway] Winner!

::::drumroll please:::::::

Megan! We'll be in touch with you shortly with all the details....

Congratulations and thank you to all who entered! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quitting Time!

.. no sillys, not the blog, WORK!  Hello Memorial Day Weekend and bigger HELLO to summer....

The weekend plans so far consist of some at home Happy Hour tonight (Husband is making homemade salsa), then some Saturday morning yoga, followed up some work outside the house...

Last weekend we started staining the deck.   I hope we can finish it up, put the furniture back, hang my flower boxes and maybe even build a raised container garden so I can finally grow some successful tomatoes, peppers, and who knows what else!

Sprinkle in some BBQs and we've got a packed weekend!

What are your plans?  Have fun and stay safe!

Monday, May 23, 2011

[Giveaway] $200 Karen Kane Styling Day!

Recently, I was contacted by Michael at Karen Kane for a giveaway opportunity.  A brand, that honestly, I had never heard of.  I was tad skeptical, but Michael let me know that the brand is carried in stores like Nordstrom, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and Bloomingdale's.  He also told me that the brand had recently gone under it's own little make over/make younger since they were trying to get away of the "mom" clothes categorization, and gain a more contemporary styling for the coming year.

Which made me think of Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Talbots.  All companies that had a face lift in the last few years to reach a newer, and younger, audience (or, well, you could say me -and most of my readers... the 20-something post college career girl) that would no longer associate those brands with their mother's closets....

and to prove it... here are some other ladies (just like me) putting their twist on the brand....

Linley from Dwelling and Telling in Little White Dress

Linley, again, in the Beaded Smocked Neck Top

Kimmie from Blue Paper Lanterns in Flower Skirt

Ramsey from Love, Ramsey in the Black Skinny Pant

 and finally, me!, in the ankle pant
(I'm obsessed with this 'jegging' and I've been avoiding jeggings like the plague!)

Stay tuned for my detailed review of the Ankel Pant and a few other items I've been so lucky enough to style!

But now, on to what's in it for you!

What's up for grabs??

If you live within a 50 mile radius of a store that carries Karen Kane, they will set you up with one of their personal stylists for $200 shopping spree. You'll get one-on-one consultation with someone who knows all about the brand! If you do not live within a 50 mile radius - no problem, they'll send you a gift card to use on Karen Kane at a nearby store (the brand is currently carried at Macy's, Belk, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Dillard's, and Bon Ton).

To Enter:

In order to win, leave a comment below about which item you like best from their Summer collection (seen here!) 

For additional entries, either

1) sign up for their emails
2) become their fan on Twitter

....and then leave another comment for each of the letting me know which option you did above (one, the other, or two separate comments for both!)

Make sure you leave your email or a way to be contacted in your comment, in case you are the lucky winner!

Contest will remain open until midnight (EST) on Memorial Day, May 30th, 2011.   Winner will be announced on May 31st.   Good Luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

[Shopaholic] Charmed Obssession

I've developed a new obsession readers, I'm obsessed with Dogeared Necklaces!...

I believe I saw some necklaces a couple of years ago at a local boutique near their register.  I thought they were simple and cute, and as a sucker for throwing in something small at checkout (dammit sephora and your sneaky mini sized items to peruse while waiting in the always there even-at-11am-on-a-Wednesday line...oh, new mascara for $9, sure!) I passed because "throwing in" a $54 necklace wasn't really an add on.  

Then of course, I stayed into my chunky plastic beaded and ribbon and bibbed styled I'm-making-a-STATEMENT-for-heaven's-sake necklace phase, so grabbing a dainty sterling silver or gold dipped charm necklace wasn't anywhere on my wishlist.   Plus, I still have my little collection of Tiffany silver necklaces that I collected through high school and college if wanted to venture back to the simplicity look...

However, my interested was reignited when I fell for this sweet necklace on etsy... unfortunately, after posting about it, it sold out!  So I did some online shopping and found some similar items.  I looked over the ubiquitous in 2008 Nashelle initial stamped necklaces... because even though their popularity as a trend has dropped, Liz Lemon still rocks hers every Thursday and dammit, it still looks great as a classic staple piece..


...but, I already have my Ritzy Misfit Initial Stamped E, and well.. I wanted something different.   I looked at a Dogeared, but never made a purchase...

Since then, I've been drawn back to their website (although they sell their items at boutiques and stores like neiman marcus, zappos, endless, and asos) and find myself being drawn to their necklaces' messages whether for Luck, Karma, or the Journey.  After seeing a girlfriend of mine wearing the Karma necklace I knew I had to finally grab a unique one for myself...

Last night, I received a message that I necklace I added to my wishlist that was currently out of stock, was in fact back in.  I scurried over (through ebates... getting 5% cash back) and checked out the Emerald Jade Healing Gem.

While the Good Luck, Triple Karma, Hope, and It's the Journey Reminder Necklaces all spoke to me for different personal reasons... I love the uniqueness and meaning behind the Emerald Jade.

Wisdom, Longevity, and Acceptance
wear as a daily reminder.  jade attracts loyalty and brings health, luck, and success.

Call me crazy for loving a gimmick, but the message and karmic energy is something I'm looking for right now and I really think that's what makes this company's items so different.  I love the different messages and reminders they can be for the people wearing them.

Do you like simple charm necklaces or is the bigger the better?  Any brands you have become loyal to or just love their message or mission?

**also note:  aside from 5% Cash Back with Ebates, get 10% off any purchase with SPRING2011 at checkout.  Free Shipping on orders over $100, and daily Flat Rate $7 shipping**

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

[Review] St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion (Part 1)

... Part 1 because I didn't follow the instructions to a T and I feel like I should give a follow up review at a later date....

As mentioned before, I picked up some of the often raved about St. Tropez Self Tanning Lotion during Sephora's last 15% sale.  I gave it go two weekends ago on my legs, because I was hoping to wear my shorts to a friends BBQ and didn't want to blind anyone with pastiness....   I also was hoping to catch some natural rays while outdoors...

Here we go!

Product:  St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion  (price $40 for 8oz)  sephora says.....

What it is:  An original, salon-inspired formula that delivers a rich, long-lasting, deep-bronze tan.

What it does:  The original, salon-inspired formula is specifically created to deliver a richer, deeper tan. Infused with aloe vera and long-lasting color, simply smooth it on for an ultra-even tan. The innovative Aromaguard™ fragrance technology eliminates the tell-tale self tan aroma by a minimum of 70%.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates
- Triclosan

Sephora is the exclusive beauty retailer for this product.
Why I bought it:  I've read multiple raves for this product... other bloggers, magazines, and online articles naming top self tanners.  I also heard good things about the smell factor - which is usually my deal breaker with most self tanners out there...  I also love that it's made without a lot of icky cosmetic chemicals (parabens, sulfates, etc)...

Instructions for Use:
-Exfoliate then moisturize dry areas thoroughly (elbows, knees, ankles and feet). Help protect light eyebrows and the hairline with a little extra moisturizer.
-Then, smooth on from top to toe taking great care not to rub as this can make your tan uneven.

-Once you've got coverage, wait until touch dry before getting dressed.

-Wash hands. Then try not to get wet, or perspire, for at least four hours.

-For optimum results, leave for 12 hours.

-To maintain, re-apply each week, nourishing daily with moisturizer and smooth with regular exfoliation for ultimate results.

Thoughts:   The application process was a bit tricky for a first time user.  The bottle says "smooth on... taking care not to rub as this can make you uneven".... I didn't "rub in" the lotion, but while smoothing it over it looks really streaky.  The formula comes out a dark brown (milk chocolate) color, but it does absorb into the skin rather quickly, so it was difficult to tell if I applied evenly or if I set myself up for streakage (since it looked streaky on). 
I waited about 10 minutes until touch dry, and threw on some old yoga pants.   After checking here and there the dark color was absorbing in and no longer looking streaky or like I was covered in paint.  After 3 hours, I was scared that if I left it on all night, I could wake up with unfixable streaks and the need for a new outfit.  I hopped in the shower and rinsed off being careful not to over exfoliate.  After the shower, my legs looks nice and tan... albeit a bit "self tanner orangy tan"...
The next morning, the orange glow was gone and my legs looked like the had a day's worth of even color. 
The smell... its really pleasant!  It actually didn't smell the "normal self tanner smell" until the following evening when I was sweating it out at yoga class.  It actually smelled pretty good during the application process.
Overall, big win....  looking forward to trying it again for a longer time period!

Anyone else try it?  Love it, Hate it?  Leave your reviews or self tanning tricks in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

[Recipe Share] Sweet Potato Bean Burritos!

In honor of today being "Veggie and Fruit Box Delivery Day" (yay!!), I thought I'd post a recipe.... 

I found this recipe on Lindsay's "Being Suzy Homemaker" blog.  It's right up my pescatarian alley and super healthy.  While it doesn't sound like it'd be a good combination, the flavors really work well together and it's a dish the Husband and I have decided will go into heavy rotation.

It's healthy, it's cheap, and it's great for leftovers - WIN!

- as always, my changes in red


1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, drained  (I only used 1 can)
1 can kidney beans, drained  (I used refrieds instead)
2 cups water
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (boiled or roasted) (I used 2 large sweet potatoes, not sure how many cups it was - but it made plenty)
12 10" flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the black beans and kidney beans and roughly mash.

3. Heat butter in a medium saucepan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans and gradually stir in water -- you want them to be thick still and not too runny so you might not need as much as 2 cups of water.

4. Remove bean mixture from heat and stir in chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.

5. Warm stack of tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds to make pliable.

6. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between tortillas. Top with cheese and roll tortilla and place seam side down in a baking pan.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned. (I skipped these steps)

8. Serve with salsa and sour cream.  (A MUST!)

This made enough servings for 3 nights!  I think next time around, we'll probably cut the recipe in half, but definitely try it out if you're looking for something new (and easy!).

I'll be back later with some other shopping updates....