Weekend + Links

Seaside Christmas

I feel like this holiday season absolutely flew by. Anyone else? I don’t know if it’a combination of the upcoming wedding and the crazy travel that happens during December, but I’m wishing it would all slow down a little. I’m thankful to get to spend a few days in Charleston pre-Christmas. We tasted menu options  for the reception yesterday and left filled from the most delicious food! Next up: ordering invitations. Tomorrow night a few of the Charleston bloggers and I are getting together for a secret santa holiday party, cookie exchange and wine drinking. What do y’all have planned for the weekend?

favorite links from around the web…

+ I’m bummed to see C. Wonder closing so many of their stores! The Atlanta one is clearing out and even the outlet is closing… womp womp

+ Amanda shared some great tips for eating healthy around the holidays

+ If you’re in the market for a new suitcase, this one is a great deal!

+ The sweater I’ve been wearing non-stop lately.

+ Love this roundup of celebrity home tours. So much good inspiration!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

xx

image via

Winter Beauty Favorites

I test out and experiment with new skincare products pretty regular throughout the year, but when it comes to makeup I realized I typically stick to what I have and just re-purchase. The past two months I’ve picked up a few great new products that I’ve found through other blogs, makeup experts at Nordstrom and Sephora or just browsing online and wanted to share my current favorites with y’all!

Living Proof Shampoo

Living Proof Full Shampoo

I’m a big believer that the hair products you use actually make a difference in the quality and appearance of your hair. I was hesitant to try this Living Proof version since it seemed pricey for a small bottle. After using it just once I could already tell a difference in how my hair felt. I have fine hair, but a lot of it, so it takes some serious mousse/shampoo/concoction to get volume that lasts. This helped tame any frizz, added volume and is made without any sulfates and parabens. Will definitely be re-purchasing.

Fresh Sugar Lemon Gel

Fresh Sugar Lemon Shower Gel

You’re probably thinking body wash is body wash. I thought the same until I picked this up and started using it. I switch between a  deep moisturizing one in the winter and this Fresh gel that smells amazing. It lingers on your body and is something so small that feels like such a luxury. This would be a great stocking stuffer!

MAC Paint Pot

MAC Paint Pot (Soft Ochre)

My old eyeshadow primer ran out and I was ready to try something different. This MAC version offers subtle color and stays put until you use makeup remover at night. I love the way this brightens up the eyelid, goes on super smooth and acts as a neutral base at the same time. Plus, for only $21 I know this will last me much longer than the NARS and Urban Decay I previously had.

MAC All That Glitters

MAC Eye Shadow (All That Glitters)

While testing out the MAC Paint Pot, the saleslady and I started pulling some new eyeshadow options. Layer the paint pot above with this shadow and you have the perfect, easy, ‘no make up’ eye. I’m convinced this color would look good on anyone since it goes on lightly and adds just the right amount of color. I’ve also been wearing this shadow in ‘soft brown’ as the color in my arch and crease. I layer it on top of the All That Glitters.

 OPI Mimosas for Mr & Mrs

OPI Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs

85% of the time this is the nail polish that I have on. It’s my favorite neutral with a hint of pink. I was wearing this when Brian proposed and I’ll be wearing it again on our wedding day. Plus the name is adorable.

 Next week I’m sharing my favorite new skincare products that’ve totally changed my skin for the better!

xx

Currently Loving

Currently Loving 12:17
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

Crockpot Beer Chicken

Crockpot Beer Chicken

I know most crock pot recipes are easy, but this one is a complete no brainer. It takes a matter of minutes to throw together and makes for the most flavorful and juicy meat. B and I served with some steamed vegetables and roasted potatoes and it was a quick and easy dinner. There are plenty of leftovers for lunch, on top of salads or shredded or to add in a soup.

Crockpot Beer Chicken
via gaining mommymentum

ingredients:
1 cut up whole chicken (or any boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs)
1 can of beer (we used a pumpkin beer)
Spices ( we used onion powder, salt & pepper, garlic salt, paprika, oregano, parsley)

directions:
Spray crockpot with non-stick spray and place chicken inside. Pour beer over chicken. Sprinkle the herbs/spices over the chicken. Don’t be afraid to have a heavy hand on the spices. I really coated my chicken with the spices. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or 4-6 hours on high. If chicken is frozen, be sure to check chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy!

Weekend + Links

December Quote

Friday. F i n a l l y
I am more than ready for the weekend to be here and to get some time to sleep in. I’m heading back to Atlanta on Saturday and have a full day of baking cookies with my cousins on Sunday. We’ve been doing this since we were all really little and it’s one of my favorite holiday traditions. Half the fun is eating the cookie dough, am I right? I can’t believe Christmas is less than two weeks away. I have to finish up my holiday shopping and get to wrapping!

favorite links from around the web….

+ While I haven’t lived on a Caribbean island, these lessons are perfect reminders to stop, slow down and appreciate life.

+ Have the urge to bake? Try these 10 cookies under 100 calories.

+ Newly addicted to this beauty blog.

+ Dinner one night next week has to be this.

+  Added these to my wish list. The best brand for workout pants.

+ Don’t forget to share your favorite flavor with me!

xx

image via

Sail to Sable

Velvet STS Dress

When I was little I used to always be drawn to the pretty velvet dresses in the girls holiday clothing section. Wasn’t the best part of holidays getting to pick out a special dress? For Easter it was the frillier the better and for Christmas it had a touch of velvet to it. This version by Sail to Sable is just the ticket for all the festive parties this time of year. The trim around the neckline and bottom of the dress are velvet without overdoing it. Plus who doesn’t love a pretty exposed gold zipper in the back?

Sail to Sable dress c/o (more sizes here), Spanx tights c/o, Zara heels (old), Julie Vos earrings (on sale!),
Nordstrom bracelet, Margaret Elizabeth cuff

Holiday Dress Sail to SableJulie Vos EarringsSail To Sable Via BlackSail to Sable Velvet DressExposed Gold Zipper

Currently Loving

Currently Loving 12:10

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

> Loft is offering 50% off everything and free shipping with code WRAPIT . Now’s the time to get those remaining gifts! Favorites from the sale: This layering tank I own in a few colors and wear non-stop, this cashmere sweater and an easy contrasting cardigan.

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

There’s simply no pretty way to photograph stuffed spaghetti squash. I’ll save the pretty pictures for other meals and I’m hoping y’all will just take my word on this one. I’ve shared other spaghetti squash recipes on here, but this one is the best of the best. It’s absolutely delicious and even has ground turkey to satisfy the guys. You can always substitute for ground beef if you’re not a big turkey fan. Don’t be turned off by the length of ingredients and directions, it’s simple to make!

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
via closet cooking

ingredients:

for squash:
2 small spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

for meat sauce:
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (I always omit these)
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp basil, chopped
salt & peper, to taste

for cheese:
1 c. low fat cottage cheese or ricotta
1 tbsp basil, chopped
1 c. partially skim mozzarella, shredded

directions:

 FOR THE ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH:

Brush the inner flesh of the spaghetti squash with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast, skin side up, in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 30 minutes.

                                                                                FOR THE LASAGNA MEAT SAUCE:

         Meanwhile, cook the turkey, about 8-10 minutes, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the turkey, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the spaghetti squash is cooked and then mix in the basil and remove from heat.

FOR THE LASAGNA STUFFED SPAGHETTI SQUASH:

Fluff up some of the inside of each spaghetti squash half, divide the mixture of the cottage cheese and basil between them followed by the sauce and the cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

** The above serves 4

Enjoy!

xx

Holiday Fuel with LUNA + Giveaway

Truffle Pouch Luna Bars

It always seems that once the holidays arrive it’s a constant go go go. Since I’m frequently on the move, I make sure to always carry a few key staples with me wherever I am. I’m a notorious snacker and eat by the ‘5 small meals’ per day mentality. LUNA bars are something that I’ve been carrying with me since college, and a snack that I can count on to provide me with good protein and fiber while actually tasting good. There’s nothing worse than protein/snack bars that taste chalky!

If you follow a gluten-free diet, these are right up your alley! Look for the new bright pink labels when choosing healthy gluten-free bars and checkout the variety of flavors that they offer. The above three are a few of my favorites. All bars are also made with 70% organic ingredients, no artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives and under 200 calories.

In the rest of my bottomless bag I keep things nice and organized in my Truffle pouchTo keep dry hands at bay, I rely on the best hand lotion for hydration. Sometimes all it takes for an afternoon pick me up is a swipe of this rollerball For dirty phone screens or sunglasses I clean them with these. Of course my trusty bright turquoise business cards are always nearby!

 Gluten Free Luna BarsTruffle Clarity Pouch

**To win a sampler pack of your own, all you have to do is visit the LUNA page here and then let me know which flavor you’d most like to try!

A big thank you to LUNA for sponsoring today’s discussion. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

Weekend + Links

Lazy Sunday

This week has been one filled with so much excitement! We found out on Wednesday that B matched for fellowship in Atlanta and that we get to spend the next few years calling the city home together, finally! After 3 years of long distance, you can image the excitement that we’re feeling. I’m already dreaming up ways to decorate our future home (to do: find and buy house), getting a puppy and just getting to be together. Que the cheesy-ness, I know. It’s nice to be in St. Louis for a week where it actually is cold and I can whip out my new coatNot too much planned for the weekend, but I’m hoping to convince B to go see Horrible Bosses 2. Has anyone seen it yet?

favorite links from this week…

+ Thinking this would be the perfect appetizer for my next get together.

+ Heart-warming news stories are too far and few in-between. This one is so sweet and if you’re sending out cards this year, consider sending one to this precious little girl.

+ Dreaming of lazy weekend mornings in these cozy pj’s

+ Victoria’s Secret models sharing their beauty tips? You bet I’m taking notes!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

xx

image via