Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favorites: Christmas Edition

It's less than I week until Christmas and I can't believe it! The temperature here in Florida is in the 70's today, so I can't say it really feels like Christmas, but I guess I can't complain either. Here are some of my favorites of the holiday season including a few last minute gift ideas and a holiday parody video. 

It's perfect for the girl on the go, or the girl who's just addicted to her phone. I just got one for myself this past week in the cute gold and white glittery design below. It will be convenient when I'm visiting my boyfriend and don't bring my charger, or when I'm at the mall, roaming and searching for coupons and discounts, which always seems to drain my battery. It's the perfect size too, so even if you're planning a night out and only have a clutch and not enough time to charge your phone, no fear, the charge stick is here. They're great gifts for your girlfriends too!

Favorite Beauty Gift: Urban Decay Naked3
Besides the Stila Liquid Lipstick that I raved about on my Christmas wish list, I also love love love my Urban Decay Naked3 eye shadow palette. My brother gave it to me last year for Christmas and I use is basically every day. I almost always wear neutral eyeshadows, so this palette was perfect for me. I love all the versatile shades and the little shimmer for each shade.

Favorite Jewelry Gift: Bourbon & Boweties Bangles
Of course these are still my obsession. I can't get enough of them and they're unique and gorgeous bangles that you can gift to your girlfriends, mother-in-law, coworker or anyone in between! There are tons of different colored and sized stones, so there's sure to be something for everyone left on your list.

Favorite Fitness Gift: Nike Element Half-Zip
I'm obsessed with this shirt. Even though it's not nearly as cold here as it is up north, I still love this shirt for windy days or morning runs in the winter. The material is extremely soft and comfortable and I love the little thumb holes on the sleeves. It's a little pricy, but I've found them on sale when I get them.

Favorite Reader's Gift: Gillian Flynn & Liane Moriarty Books
I read Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" last year and loved it! It was such a page turner and once I finished it I read Flynn's other two books right after - "Sharp Objects" and "Dark Places," which were also amazing. I just recently read Liane Moriarty's "The Husband's Secret," which was very different and also addicting to read, so I'm on to Moriarty's next book, "Big Little Lies," which I'm about halfway through with (I plan to finish it by Christmas). These are great books for any reader, and I suggest seeing Gone Girl the movie too, after you read the book first of course!

Favorite Christmas Song Parody: Text Me Merry Christmas
This is basically just spot on...

Favorite Christmas Treat: Gingerbread Tree Cookies
I have the day off from work on Sunday, so I really want to do some holiday baking, including these adorable gingerbread tree cookies! I love having an excuse to bake, but I just haven't had the time this holiday season yet. Stay tuned for a recipe post on Monday!

What's your new favorite book? Do you have go-to gifts for your friends?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Penne Rosa with Shrimp

Let's be honest - I love carbs, so I enjoy making a good pasta dish every once in a while. I love this penne rosa with shrimp recipe because 1) I love shrimp 2) I love pasta and 3) It's super easy to make and doesn't take too much time.

One of the best things about cooking your own meals is you can leave out things you don't like, substitute ingredients, or add in more that the original recipe didn't call for. That being said, I added in the broccoli to give the dish even more substance and nutrients and left out mushrooms because my boyfriend isn't a big fan, but I'm thinking that artichoke hearts or asparagus would be a good substitute as well.

I try to make clean eating/healthier replacements when possible, so I use whole wheat or whole grain pasta instead of regular or white, but again, it's easy to substitute if you prefer the latter. As far as the sauce goes, I just grabbed a jar of pre made vodka sauce this time, but you can opt for a healthier option by combining 1/2 cup marinara sauce (homemade or jar) and 1/3 plain greek yogurt.


1 box whole wheat or whole grain penne
4 cups of fresh spinach
1 head or case of pre-cut broccoli
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled
1 jar vodka sauce (or see healthier replacement above)
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 pinches red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste


- Cook penne pasta as directed on box. Once cooked, drain and add into a large serving bowl
- Steam broccoli for about 5 minutes or until you reach your desired softness, adding to the serving bowl once completed
- In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil over medium heat
- Once heated, add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, moving around constantly to ensure you don't burn the garlic
- Turn heat up a little bit and add in peeled shrimp with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and cooked all the way through. Salt and pepper to your preference
- Remove shrimp from skillet and place in a large serving bowl. Take skillet off of heat, add in the spinach and cover, letting it wilt for about 2-4 minutes
- Add the spinach to the serving bowl along with the vodka sauce
- Stir thoroughly until incorporated throughout, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My 2014 Christmas Wish List

It's always fun to put together a wish list for Christmas. I never have any expectations that I'll actually get anything from this list, but it's always fun to share the things that have recently caught my eye. 

In colors Beso & Patina - $22.00
I have two Stila Liquid Lipsticks already in Amore & Fiore and I love it! I recommend it for anyone who loves a good, matte lip stain. It stays in place and the colors are amazing. If you like a little shine, you can always add a little gloss or balm on top of the stain too!

If you have yet to discover Red Dress Boutique, brace yourself. I love basically every product that they have and they're always getting new items in. It's hard to stay away once you give in! The prices are pretty affordable and the shipping is usually free!
Mistletoe & Kisses Romper - $42.00

Garmin Forerunner 220 - $249.99 
I love working out with a heart rate monitor and watch so that I can really monitor what my body is doing. I used to always work out in the gym, but it's a lot more convenient to just run or bike outside, so I can also track calories based on my heart rate too. I have polar watch and HRM currently, but I love the look of this one and the built in GPS. I usually use my phone to track, but this one connects to your phone as well to keep better tracking. And I really like the way that this one is interactive with the run with just a glance at the wrist.

Michael Kors Bold Faced Watches
Continuing with watches...colored faces on watches have definitely been a huge trend of 2014, but the majority of them were bright colors, like pinks, green and aquas. I'm loving these darker colors for winter and it seems like they would match more with my wardrobe.
Michael Kors Parker Rose Gold - $275.00
Michael Kors Skylar Gold-Tone - $275.00

Tory Burch Handbag
I'm one of those people that rarely switches handbags. I always have a big tote with all of my essentials, so I feel like if I switch bags, I leave something behind! That being said, I feel like this would be a great, neutral everyday bag for me with lots of space for all of my things. It comes in different colors as well, but black will stay the cleanest and match with the most.
York Buckle Tote - $295.00

What's on your Christmas wish list this year? 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Celebrating Thanksgiving 2014

So it's a little belated, but Happy Thanksgiving! 

I had a wonderful time at my house, and of course, at more than I should have. I had to work for a few hours that morning, but nothing too painful. Then, back at my house we had about 15 people over for Thanksgiving, including my family, relatives and part of my boyfriend's family. 

I'm always the one responsible for setting the table and making the mashed potatoes, so as promised in my "Friday Favorites - Thanksgiving Edition" post, I tried out and easy, yet sophisticated napkin fold for the table. Obviously it took a little longer to set up, but it definitely added a little something extra to the table. 

After drinking, talking and lots of eating, but the end of the night, I was thinking...

In addition to all the fun on Thanksgiving, my boyfriend Jordan and I got a new puppy recently. Jordan and I are in a long distance relationship, so he's taking care of him for most of the time. He's an American Bulldog and we got him when he was 7 weeks old. 

There was much debate about what we should name him, mostly from our indecisiveness. We went from Gus to Tucker to Duke, but finally settled on Louis (pronounced Louie). Jordan and I already have a nickname for him, Peepa, because he loves to pee on his paws when we take him outside haha. 

He was with us for Thanksgiving and melted the hearts of every guest. Jordan also has another three year old pit bull mix, Beau. Beau was jealous at first, but they seem to have grown to love each other already. It's weird to think that Louis is going to get as big as Beau soon too!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Celebrities Who Ditched Their Long Locks for a Chic Cut

Recently, Lauren Conrad ditched her gorgeously long mermaid hair for a cute and chic texturized bob. I was shocked to see that she made the cut, but of course, can Lauren Conrad really do any wrong? I think not. I may be a little biased considering that she's basically my idol, but the proof is in the pictures - she's just down right flawless.

 She actually had her hair cut 4 times until she got to the right length. Lauren said that he long locks have acted as a security blanket for her for many years past, which I can definitely relate to.

I've emulated her hair trends a few times, from her effortlessly soft curls to her dyed pastel tips - yes I had pastel tips for a few weeks (and actually loved it), but there's no way I could pull off a bob like her. My hair is much too thick. I've been there in grade school, and boy was that a mistake.

Also loving her outfit from this recent Who What Wear shoot.

Of course not everyone can pull of the chop as flawlessly as Mrs. Conrad - or should I say Mrs. Tell! Here's a few other celebs who took the daring cut, but in my opinion, some should have stuck with their long longs as opposed to the short do's. 

Better Short

Emma Stone
Taylor Swift

Better Long

Kaley Cuoco
Anne Hathaway
Jennifer Lawrence
Shailene Woodley

Can Rock Long or Short

Hayden Panettiere
Emma Roberts

Miley Cyrus

Julianne Hough

Who do you think can pull of the short cut? Have you ever made a drastic cut like these celebrities?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites - Thanksgiving Edition 11/21/2014

Friday Favorites this week include a trick to keep you from crying for Thanksgiving prep, my favorite Thanksgiving dish with a recipe, and perfect drink pairings for each Thanksgiving dish.

Thanksgiving Prep Tip: Use Olive Oil to Keep from Crying
This tip is good for any day, not just Thanksgiving. If you're like me, I have the role in the family on Thanksgiving day of helping with a lot of the food prep as opposed to the actual cooking. I'm looking forward to trying this new trick to see if it keeps my eyes from watering while I'm slicing the onions. I've also heard that chewing gum while cutting helps as well, which seems to be somewhat true from my experience.
Favorite Thanksgiving Dish: Green Bean Casserole 
I love almost all Thanksgiving sides and dishes, but my favorite definitely has to be the green bean casserole. My mom makes it every year, and it gets devoured by all of our family (and I'll admit that I'm the main culprit). I love green beans to begin with, but green bean casserole is on another level. And it's pretty easy to make too. Here's a recipe for the amazing dish.

Wine, Beer & Booze Pairing for Thanksgiving Dishes
Loving this infographic for the perfect drinks to go with all the goods on Thanksgiving. Even though I'll probably be sticking with my Chardonnay all evening, it's still interesting to see the different options. If you plan on making that yummy green bean casserole above, try pairing it with Viognier.

"All About That Baste" Thanksgiving Parody
 I'm loving this funny parody spin on Meghan Trainor's overplayed, yet highly likable song, "All About That Bass."

Triple Pocket Napkin Fold
I'll be trying out this unique, yet easy fold for the Thanksgiving table setting this year. It's amazing how much a simple napkin fold can add to the sophistication of the table - the small details do count! Click here for the full tutorial. 

Are you celebrating a big Thanksgiving this year? What's your favorite dish on Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kim Kardashian's Racy Paper Magazine Spread

Well if you haven't heard about it already - and honestly, who hasn't - Kim Kardashian bared all in a recent spread of Paper Magazine titled "No Filter: An Afternoon with Kim Kardashian. 

To avoid shock or unwanted views, I've added the explicit photos after the jump, so click "Click Here to Read More" below to see the rest of the post.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrity Spotlight: Glowing Blake Lively

As if I weren't already jealous enough of how stylish and impeccable Blake Lively always looks on a daily basis (and a little jealous that she's married to Ryan Reynolds), she's now a flawless example of a glowing, beautiful mommy-to-be. 

Blake and husband, Ryan Reynolds, announced Blake's first pregnancy on October 6th via her somewhat new website,, in a unique and almost humble and discreet way. The post was titled Preserve Celebrations: Falling for Family. The post started out with the following quote:

"Preserve at it's core is about family. Family is the single word our founder, Blake, built this home on."

The short post continues to talk about pregnancy, family and mothers-to-be, and ends with this quote,
followed by a collage of pictures of expecting mothers with families. 

"Congratulations to all the expecting mothers out there. And thank you for being a part of our Preserve family."

As I scrolled through the photos of a rustic outdoor get-together, I saw small little baby shoes, onsies and women laughing and holding their round tummies as they enjoy a chic picnic with friends. Then as I got to the last photo, my jaw dropped. 

I've always been a little upset that Blake didn't have a blog or instagram, or some form of social media that I can know more about her life for the longest time, so this blog post was quite a shock to me. Of course, everyone went crazy when they saw the announcement because she's so secretive with her private life. Even her wedding with Ryan in South Carolina back in September 2012 was a secret and low-key event. 

Her secrecy and humble personality only makes me love her even more. And since the announcement, she's not hiding her baby bump any longer and still holds her flawless and classy style, wherever she may be, whether that's on the red carpet or hanging out with friends. 

As for now, Blake and Ryan say that they're going to keep the gender a surprise. I'm hoping it's a girl, but I guess we'll have to wait until around late winter/early spring to find out!

Do you love Blake as much as I do? What did you think about the announcement? What's your guess for the gender?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Favorites 11/07/2014

Friday favorites this week include my favorite infographic, favorite new recipe, best dressed from the Country Music Awards, and more. 

Favorite Infographic: Average Heel Heights for Each State
I thought this was pretty interesting, especially since Florida was so high up (where I live). I can understand that a lot of women wear heels in Miami, but seems like everyone else mostly wears flats and sandals - I was also surprised for the same reason for Hawaii, which was also pretty high in the ranks. Of course Nevada is one of the highest as well, considering Las Vegas.

Favorites from the CMA's 2014 Red Carpet: Miranda Lambert & Lucy Hale
So I couldn't choose between the two...I love that Miranda's showing off her curves in the body-hugging nude dress. Nude is a difficulty color to pull off, but I think she looks amazing. As for Lucy, I love the red on her. The dress is really simple, but still looks flawless.

Favorite New Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey & Cinnamon
Love love love these and they're super easy to make. Stay tuned next week for the simple recipe.

Favorite New Song: Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande & The Weekend
I can't get enough of this song lately. Ariana Grande keeps on coming out with songs that I adore.

Favorite Celebrity Halloween Costume: Kim Kardashian and North West as Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley.
I just can't get enough of they're costumes! They're so spot on and were my favorites from my previous post, found here.

Where you surprised by the heel height infographic? Did you watch the CMA's? Who did you think was best dressed?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top 5 Celebrity Halloween Costumes 2014

Halloween is definitely not one of my personal favorite holidays, but I do love seeing all the different costume ideas and the people who really go all out to make their costumes believable. The worst thing that could happen on Halloween is that someone has to ask who you are - your costume should be so great that there's no doubt. 

That being said, here are my top 5 celebrity Halloween costumes from 2014:

Heidi Klum as a butterfly
Talk about putting effort into a costume...This must have taken forever to assemble and do the makeup for, and I can only imagine how heavy and annoying it was to wear it the entire night. Props to you Heidi!

Jessica Alba as Slash
Loving this rocker-chic Slash outfit with including everything from the massively curly dark, long hair to the bottle of Jack Daniels in tow. 

Demi Lovato as I Love Lucy
This again is another celebrity who has done such a great representation, that it would be hard to tell the actual I Love Lucy from Demi. The bright red lips and dark cat eye eyeliner, polka dot dress and matching facial expression are spot-on. 

Blue Ivy as Michael Jackson
Let's be honest, it's fun to look at all the adult celebrities dressed up in full costumes, but there's nothing cuter or sweeter than seeing all the little ones dressed up as miniature icons. Beyonce dressed up as Janet Jackson, while Blue Ivy rocked a Michael Jackson outfit with a pink microphone. 

Kim Kardashian as Anna Wintour, with North West as Andre Leon Talley
My absolute favorite hands-down! Kim and North nailed their costumes on the head with their rendition of Vogue editor-in-cheif, Anna Wintour, and former editor-at-large for Vogue, Andre Leon Talley. They were also accompanied by Kim's friend/makeup artist Joyce Bonelli, dressed as Grace Coddington and her son, dressed as Karl Lagerfeld. The ultimate fashion clique. 

Katy Perry as a Cheeto
This was one of my least favorites. I mean, I guess I can give her props for going with something completely different and random, but it's definitely not something I would want to dress up as. One thing she wouldn't have to worry about is being dressed like anyone else on Halloween at least. 

What were your favorite celebrity costumes from this year? Did you dress up for Halloween?