Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Five: Black Friday Edition

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving full of family, friends and delicious food. I know I did! I'm lucky enough to have today off from work and thought it would only be appropriate to share my top 5 Black Friday deals I've been shopping (Christmas music blaring - it is the day after Thanksgiving, after all) before spending the day with the fam. But first, a few from yesterday... 
My friends and I woke up bright and early to run a Turkey Trot. Nothing like earning your Thanksgiving meal! 

Naturally, we had props at dinner. Who doesn't? 

1. Old Navy. Totally guilty of stocking up on plaid shirts and a few staple shirts and sweaters. Everything is on sale up to 50% and get an extra 15% off your purchase using GRAVY at checkout. Bonus: Free shipping over $50!

2. Gap. 50% off EVERYTHING with BLKFRIDAY at checkout. Gap has stepped up their game the last few years and has been added back on to my list of staples for basic sweaters. There's definitely some great deals here. 

3. Nordstrom. If you can, stop into a Nordstrom today and get an additional 20% selected sale items. Nordstrom is the best for gift giving, too, since their return policy is so awesome. 

4. Express. 50% off everything. Express is especially great for NYE dresses and outfits, so this is the perfect time to scoop something up instead of waiting until a few days before! 

5. Bauble Bar. 15% off 2 items using FRIDAY15, 25% off 3 items using FRIDAY25, 35% off 4 items using FRIDAY35. No explanation needed here. Everyone should shop Bauble Bar. However, their earlybird sale was actually better than their Black Friday sale, which is a bummer! It's so tough to know when you're going to get the absolute best deal. 

This is by no means an extensive list of all the great deals going on, but just a glimpse at my browser history for the past few hours :) 

Have you found any great deals? I'd love to see them! 

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend! 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Peppermint Oreo Cookies

'Tis the season to be baking! My friend and I jump-started the holiday season with some baking (and wine) Saturday. I love baking to begin with, or maybe I just love dessert, but either way, Christmas cookies are probably my favorite to bake. This recipe we found on Pinterest was so easy and the dough was SO. GOOD. The recipe called for Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces, but we substituted those for crushed up candy canes. Just as good. 

Also, food pictures are so hard to take. Or maybe it was the wine. Either way, sorry for the poor quality. 

Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine full box of cake mix, melted butter, egg and peppermint and vanilla extracts. Beat dough until soft. Add in cream cheese and beat until combined. 

Chop up peppermint pieces. The easiest way I do this is put the Oreos in a big zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to break them up. (I've definitely used a bottle of wine to do the same thing in college - do you see the baking/wine trend here?) Stir in peppermint pieces and dark chocolate chips. 

Break up Oreo cookies (same method as candy canes).  Gently stir in. The recipe said to do this by hand. We definitely did not. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. 

Once refrigerated, place dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes at 350. 

Let them cool and enjoy! 

I brought these into work on Monday and they were a huge hit! 

1 box white cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (half a block)
1 cup Oreo chunks 
1 cup candy cane pieces 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 

Find the original recipe here (we definitely did things a little more haphazardly). 

What's your favorite Christmas cookie to bake? 
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday! I can't believe the holiday season is already upon us. I'll be kicking off the season tomorrow with a baking/wine night with one of my best friends - totally necessary every now and then. 

I'm apparently really loving videos this week.. 

1. Blank Space.
I'll be the first one to admit I couldn't stand Taylor Swift for the past few years. I caved and actually bought her latest album after hearing Blank Space and it is so. good. Got me right back on the Taylor Swift bandwagon. Blank Space is beyond my favorite - and the video is just as awesome. Made extra awesome with the hunk of a man in it. Runner up on the album: Bad Blood.

2. Baby, It's Cold Outside.
This is by far one of my top 3 favorite Christmas songs, so getting into the spirit a little early this year, here is an adorable video to go with Idina Menzel and Michael Buble's version of the song. Is it bad that I want that little girl's dress? 

3. Celeb Impressions.
This comedian is hilarious and seriously spot on with most of her impressions while stuck in traffic. It's extra funny to me because I spend way too many hours stuck in traffic commuting too and from work, so I totally appreciate her boredom. My favorite? The Olsen twins. Speaking of Mary-Kate Olsen, have you seen her new face?! Renee Zellweger's doctor must be making a lot of money these days...

4. This Sweater.
After walking through Forever 21 trying figure out who is buying so many crop top sweaters in 30 degree weather, I was about to walk out until I saw this beauty. I've been looking for a big, comfy sweater to specifically wear with leggings and boots (#basic) and didn't want to spend a ton of money on something so potentially trendy. $25? Sold. I bought it in a size up for the length, but it definitely fits pretty true to size. I'm also loving this and this.

5. This Quote.
I actually saw this last night and laughed out loud. Seemed too perfect not to share.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading! 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

KISS InstaWave

I am so excited to share my first branded post today with KISS InstaWave! I'm sure you've seen the commercials before - the curling iron that literally does all the work for you. Um, yes please! So, when KISS sent me the InstaWave to try out, I was more than happy to give it a go. 


If you're not familiar, KISS InstaWave is a fully automatic tangle-free (seriously, no knots at all) curler that instantly creates beautiful curls. I have a ton of friends who struggle with getting perfect curl (hello, Connie Britton) and InstaWave makes this so easy for anyone. The best part of the curler is that it features a curl dial with left/right directions for the perfect curl aka it wraps the hair for you so you don't have to worry about kinks or those funny curls sticky in every direction. 

It heats up super fast with two different heat levels and a max temp of 420 which means it gets hot enough to curl almost any hair!  Also, it turns off after automatically after 90 minutes. If you're anything like me, a paranoid fireman's daughter trained to check and re-check if everything is off before leaving the house, this is an awesome feature. And my mom will thank KISS when she doesn't have to go to my house and check to see if I left a hair appliance on :) 

Now for the breakdown: 

1. Hold InstaWave vertically against hair. Place section of hair on the curling wand. I found it easier to pull out a chunk of hair with the opposite hand. (Check out that casual half smile)

2. Touch the dial either left or right, and the InstaWave instantly and automatically catches and curls the hair. **Tip: Switch between curling left and right to create the most natural looking curls 

3. Hold the curler for 5-10 seconds; hold longer for tighter curls and less for looser, beachy curls. 

4. Pull the InstaWave down vertically, letting hair out. I like to make my curls tighter and then loosen them by putting my hands through my hair or doing a little head thrash back and forth.  


And voila!

I would totally recommend using the InstaWave, especially if you've struggled in the past getting the hang of a curler - it's just so simple! A great and affordable Christmas gift, too! 

KISS InstaWave is available at Target, Ulta and Amazon, and of course at

Be sure to follow KISS products on Instagram and Twitter

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday, loves! Not only does the happiest girl in the world work at the coffee shop I tend to go to on Fridays, but she also upgraded my medium latte to a large today and I am about to start a four day weekend! Woohoo! Small victories, people. 

Here's what I've been watching, reading, doing this week... 

1. Shake It Off. No, I'm not 2 months late to the game with this song, but this 80s aerobics video is something everyone needs to watch immediately if you haven't already. 

2. This Proposal. I'm a sucker for a good marriage proposal, and this video and story is too sweet not to share. Read the full story here.

                                                                       Our Engagement Video - Aaron + Makenna from aaron McReynolds on Vimeo.

3. This Post. I've been a fan of Cupcakes and Cashmere for a couple of years now and was so excited to find out Emily was pregnant (isn't weird how we start to feel like we actually know these people and get genuinely excited for them?! No? Just me?). Anyway, this article written by her husband about his future fatherhood is seriously adorable. 

4. NYE Dresses. Granted, I have no plans yet, and would be quite happy sitting on my couch, but every year I rush at the last minute trying to find a New Year's Eve dress. So I've started early this year. Well, at least starting pinning in anticipation (check out my full board here). Now I actually want to do something just so I have an excuse to look like somewhat of a disco ball. But don't think I won't sit on my couch and drink champagne out of the bottle in a sparkly dress if need be. These are my favorites right now: 

5. Jimmy Kimmel. Sleepover at Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's, anyone? This video cracked me up. I think Jimmy Kimmel is hysterical as it is, throw in Tim and Faith and that's one great segment. Plus, check out Tim and Faith's house and farm. In. Love. 

I'm headed into NYC tomorrow to go see UConn vs. Army at Yankee Stadium which will be so fun! Do you have any fun weekend plans? 
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014


As promised, here is a short hump day post dedicated to my Halloween shenanigans and a little weekend recap. Friday was spent mostly dedicated to setting up our Halloween Happy Hour at work (I swear I did some work..). I love planning a good party and love it even more when it's not my my money being spent! I scoured Pinterest for a few weeks and gathered up the easiest ideas that could be executed in the office, and even put together a Halloween playlist! Some may say I have too much time on my hands.. 

We have an office costume contest every year and this year I decided to go as a pineapple. Seriously, easiest costume ever. I had this bright yellow dress already and just made the leaves by using a toilet paper roll and hot glued some construction paper cut out as leaves and rolled them down a bit to give them a staggered and realistic look. My genius mom suggested cutting slits in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make tabs and bobby pinned the tabs in my hair and voila! It was a hit all day. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have gotten a sneak peak. 

I obviously couldn't wear the same costume to two events, so I had a different costume planned for the Halloween party I was going to - a mermaid! I've always wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween and with a little encouragement from a friend, I decided to create a handmade mermaid ensemble. I hot glued and sewed some shells, pearls, beads and sequins on a strapless bra for the top. I found a turquoise pencil skirt and my mom assisted (who am I kidding, she did the whole thing) in sewing a blue sequin fabric I found to the bottom of the skirt to create a mermaid effect. We ended up turning the skirt around and stitched up the slit that was in the back to make the "tail" be in the back of the skirt. 

Saturday was UConn Homecoming which meant waking up bright and early for some tailgating and reliving the glory days of college. What did I get out of this? I am old. And always remember to bring a hooded jacket and completely closed shoes to a cold and wet tailgate. And remember to bring tickets for the correct game. But it was fun to see a bunch of college friends for the day! 
Well, that was quite the opposite of a short post. Sorry! All in all, it was a long but fun weekend. What did you dress up as for the Halloweekend? 

P.S. In honor of the CMA Awards on tonight, here's a little hump day treat :) 

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Liebster Award

Well, Halloween took over last week. Which is weird, because I've never been one to go all out for the holiday, but Pinterest got the best of me this year. I wore two different costumes and put together our office party so I'll be sharing all of that (which I meant to do yesterday...). 

But for today, I'm so excited to be nominated for the Liebster Award by my fellow blogger (and friend!) Dana of Curly Hair & High Heels. I'm not going to lie, I had to look up the exact rules and what this was all about, but basically I'll be answering 11 questions  given to me by Dana and then will be nominating and asking questions to 11 other bloggers. The whole purpose is to expose new bloggers, so what a great chance to open up your horizons a little and learn a little more about me! 

The Rules: 
1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you from the blogger
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself 
4. Nominate 11 blogs you think are deserving of the award (less than about 200 followers) 
5. Let the bloggers know you have nominated them 
6. Give 11 questions fro them to answer 
7. Display the award photo in your post 

1. Why did you start your blog? I felt like I needed a creative outlet - something I could just sit down and enjoy doing after work. I have tried blogging here and there in the past and was never fully committed but this time I told myself would be different. So, I  set my mind to it and combined my love of writing and fashion and the rest is history! 
2. What is your favorite donut to order at Dunkin' Donuts? Wow, I can't remember the last time I ordered a donut, but definitely anything with sprinkles. I think I would do a plain donut with strawberry frosting (not afraid to admit that I definitely still refer to it as pink frosting) and rainbow sprinkles. 
3. What is your favorite Disney movie? Gotta go classic here with Cinderella. 
4. When you get a manicure, what color do you usually gravitate towards? Usually a light pink. I'm always afraid I'm going to waste a perfectly good manicure on a bad color if I pick something out of my comfort zone. Instead I'd rather pay $6 for a color I may not like and be stuck with. Makes no sense, I know. 
5. What one piece of clothing or shoe could you not live without? Realistically, gym clothes. Fashionably, right now I am living in my denim pullover and leopard flats. 
6. Do you have any pets? I don't, and never have. But I'm dying for a golden retriever puppy that stays a puppy, doesn't shed and someone else takes care of 80% of the time :) 
7. If you had to choose one store to shop for makeup, would it be Sephora or Ulta? Ulta. $3.50 off coupons every week. Hello! 
8. What place do you want to travel to that you have not been before? I have a ton - Virgin Islands, France, England, Italy to name a few. 
9. For take out dinner... would you rather have Chinese food or pizza? Pizza. Specifically buffalo chicken or hot oil. 
10. What brand of mascara do you use? L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes 
11. What color clothing do you think make you look and feel the best? Royal blue. You should see my closet... 

11 Random Facts: 
1. I was very close to going to FIT for college, but I could never live in NYC (instead I lived on a farm for 4 years....). 
2. I have quite possibly the world's biggest sweet tooth. It's just in my genes. 
3. I love sleep. Like, really love it. If I'm in bed past 10pm, Lord help my coworkers the next day. 
4. The holidays are one of my favorite times of year and the only time I embrace accept the cold weather. 
5. I would love to be a stay at home mom once I have kids. 
6. I may have a minor shopping addiction. 
7. It took me a long time to change my pierced ears without feeling like I was going to pass out. 
8. I would rather bake than cook (enter sweet tooth). 
9. I love telling cheesy jokes. Usually the only reason people laugh is because they are laughing at me laughing hysterically. Here's one for the road: What do you call it when you have your Grandma on speed dial? Instagram! 
10. My running playlist consists of anything from Waylon Jennings to offensive rap. 
11. I could not live without peanut butter. 

Rising #GirlBoss
Shimmer Me Pretty
Style Cubby
A Pop of Pink
Rose Colored Glasses
Red Lips and Roses
Strawberry Chic
Daisy Daydreams
Daisy Tribe
Sort of Candid
Simply Fair

11 Questions: 
1. How did you come up with the name of your blog? 
2. What is your dream job? 
3. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
4. What is your favorite book? 
5. What is your favorite piece of clothing to style? 
6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
7. What is your favorite fall trend? 
8. Heels or flats? 
9. What's one beauty product you never leave the house without? 
10. Favorite Instagram account to follow? 
11. What is your ideal date? 

Whew! This was fun! I hope you all enjoyed learning a little bit more about myself and I can't wait to read how you all answer! 
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