Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Kit

I think almost every woman has their own must-have kit when it comes to make-up. Several items that she refuses to leave home without, items so important that if space were limited she would ditch her own and use the crappy hotel hair dryer just to bring her kit along.

Over the years I have used a lot of make-up, testing and trying new items and trends, but only 5 items have kept their status and risen above the rest. Although I am a lover of both mascara and eyeshadow, I didn't include those because I constantly switch them out or play with different brands.

Below are my five must-have items, and if you have found some that are better please share!

1. Japonesque Razor Set $7.50 - Girl! If you have light eyebrows like I do, or just hate popping over to get yours waxed every other day- this is the trick! Tiny hand held razors that are easy to handle and take care of any stragglers. However, make sure to wet the area before using it, just like shaving your legs. I also like this set because it comes with a brow comb.

2. Lorac Front of the Line Pro liquid liner $23.00 - Now I am a eyeliner fanatic, and have tried everything from the $2 drugstore kind to the $50 mega purchase- but this ladies is the REAL DEAL! From the moment I put it on, I fell in love. It is waterproof, so it stays on all day. It doesn't smudge or travel all over your face and the color is a rich amazing black. Plus, its in a marker style so it's easy and quick to apply. I will NEVER go back to another kind. LOVE THIS!

3. Bare Escentuals Warmth All-over face color $18.00 - My mother is a Bare Escentuals nut and got me in to this brand years ago. She really loves it because of how well it works with her oily skin and overall I think they make really great products. However, the warmth powder has been my best friend and a substitute for blush for a long time now. I am not a huge fan of really bright cheeks and wild pink colors, especially because most blush colors clash with my red hair. That's why I love the natural tan that not only brightens my face but really defines my cheek bones.

4. Hard Candy Glow all the way in Doll Face $8.00 - This is the newest product in my kit, it was a stocking stuffer from my husband last year but I can literally say that I have worn it almost every single day since I got it. I love the look of soft dewy make-up. It's so fresh and angelic, but it seemed that every time I tried to buy a highlighter to create this look there was too much glitter or too much of a gold tone and I ended up just looking like a showgirl or a tranny. That is until I found this. Hard Candy has created the perfect glow without any glitter, plus the Doll Face color has a pink base so it blends well with my skin (a bronze color is available as well). And the best part is that it's only $8 and comes in a big tube so it lasts forever!

5. Dermablend Professional Cover Creme $34.00 - Not that I would put these in any order of greatness, but if I had to this would be #1. But let me start by saying that if you have naturally beautiful skin and only like a light powder or foundation- this is NOT for you. On the other hand, if you have any discoloration, freckles, scars, rosacea, etc- Hold on to your drawers because this stuff is going to blow your mind! Not only do I have a face full of freckles but I also have a pretty big scar on my chin and after putting this creme on as my main foundation you can barely see any of it. It's a big deal. I won't go on and on, although I could. Instead you can test it out at your local Ulta or see images on their website here.

I hope some of these are helpful if your looking for new make-up to try!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drink it Up!

A Tale To Tell Of 

If the book The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield were a beverage it would be a complex Merlot, full bodied and delicious with a bit of spice- and I would order cases of it, gulping straight from each bottle!

I can not say enough about this book. As the dreary weather of winter continued to hold on, it was exactly what I was after. Closest related to a Gothic novel with dark mysteries and brooding family scandals, it had every element of a bonafide page turner- death, incest, shock, horror! I literally would gasp aloud as I read certain passages and actually peer pressured my reading ally and darling friend, Amy, to catch up to me and read it as well so I would have someone to talk to about the gory details.

I will say though that in my opinion it started kind of slow, but hold on and read all the back stories, as boring as they are it does make you appreciate the characters more in the long run. And just be prepared to have the book you read after it seem kind of dull; I am currently almost at the end of The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and even though I guess I like it, I still keep drifting back to The Thirteenth Tale in my mind.

So, if you are a reader, or just someone who likes wicked books.... RUN to the book store or click here and buy this book today! Love, love, love it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lust List- The Traveler

Due to the fact that here in Greenville, SC our weather has turned from beautiful sunny days to hopeless gray ones, full of rain, I am dedicating this Lust List to Spring travel with a vintage feel.

I have always wanted to turn back time and jump on a train for a cross country trip. Not today's trains of course, but those with fine linens and late night cordials in the bar car. Or maybe take a cruise liner to some tropical location, while wearing big beautiful hats and fine dinner dresses.

But honestly, at this point I would go anywhere to escape the dark clouds that will be surrounding us all week.....blah! At least some of these beauties can keep me company. Enjoy!

Vintage Butterfly Scarf $20.00
Czech Peking Glass Art Deco Necklace $65.00
TravLBar by Ever Ware $32.00
Golden Yellow Sundress $80.00
Irish Maps Home Sign $175.52
Himalayan Pink Bath Salts $18.00

Happy Birthday Lexie!

Today is my baby sister's 17th birthday! Happy Birthday Lexie! I love you very much! I was ten when you were born and have been more like a little mommy to you than a sister, but no matter what I will always be here to take care and protect you.

You are funny and beautiful and add an extra spice to our family. I hope today is uh-mazing and full of fun!

Rachel Boling Photography

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I do to accessories!

OK. Blame it on the fact that I have 6+ friends getting married this year or maybe I am just drifting away from the newlywed years, but every time I see wedding accessories I can't help but aw.

Most brides wear the traditional white, cream, ivory but really get to show their individual flare with the add-ons they choose. Below are some favorites that I have stumbled upon recently.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh so polished!

All right ladies, with warmer weather comes more revealing clothes and shoes. During the winter we may have been able to hide our chipped nails, but as summer peaks it's head around the corner so does the maintenance to prepare for it. As we start this mani-pedi ritual, I wanted to share my top 5 nail polishes of all time.

#5 Deborah Lippmann in Naked - a great neutral for a clean look in any outfit.

#4 Essie in Tart Deco - a sweet but spunky shade of peach that really puts me in the summer mood.

#3 Opi in Midnight in Moscow - An oldie but a goodie, I think of it of a classier girl's black polish.

#2 Essie in Fifth Avenue - The perfect red polish. Period.

#1 Opi in You Don't Know Jacques - Most describe it as "greige" a blend between gray and beige. I get a compliment every single time I wear it. Uh-mazing!

Other Spring 2011 trends include half moon manicures, which I can't wait to try and light blue polish, which I am a little more hesitant about. Either way- happy painting!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lust List- The Beginning

So, here's the thing- I don't have many addictions in my life; Bravo reality television, Talenti gelato (sea salt caramel rocks my socks!), and maybe lazy weekends with my hubby indulging in both Bravo and Talenti. However, I am obsessed with and find myself trolling it's pages at least once a day eager for the next amazing find.

That's why every Monday I am going to come up with an Etsy Lust List, items that I have found, loved, and hoped would end up at my house or maybe one of yours.

On today's list.......

Big Owl, Little Owl something to cheer up my Monday.  $42.00

3 Plarn Baskets. Perfect for newspapers or flowers $30.00

Mama & Bebe Sheep art print.  $12.00

Save Japan Soaps $12.00

Baby Sugar Cookie Carrots- yes please! $12.50

Friday, March 18, 2011

Originally posted for Skirt! on March 25, 2010

"Get out of our bed!" I screeched as I stood frozen with fury at our bedroom door. There she lay next to him in our bed looking as if I were the intruder. Her hair is the exact color as mine, and her eyes a rich dark brown. How dare he have her here! After all the talks and promises, he had gone behind my back and now I had caught them both!

"Get off Lady! I mean it!" She jumped to the ground a ran over to me with her tail wagging. Lady's chocolate eyes searched me for a treat or sign of affection. I couldn't stay mad at her, but I knew a fight between my husband and I was quickly approaching.

Why is it that even though we had been through this a thousand times before he still let her break the rules? No pets on the new furniture. Then, there she would be, sprawled out with him on the light cream fabric of our new sofa. No pets on the bed. And here she was. I felt betrayed; how dare they continue to go behind my back.

Is it common to be the odd man out when the other two consist of a man and a canine? And even worse, is this foreshadowing of a time in the future where we have a daughter that he cannot say no to and I am forced to be mean mommy? I admit that I am a chronic over-analyzer, but shouldn't a marriage try to be an undivided force?

By no means am I a clean freak or someone who is unrealistic in what it means to be a pet owner. They are animals and are going to get away with whatever they are allowed, so it's not the actual acts that make me nuts. In a way it almost makes her endearing, so , I can see where his heart may be pulled. But it's the breaking of plans. I, as a person, need follow-through and feel cheated when the common goal has been disregarded by my "teammate" without discussion.

Talking to a guy-friend he said most mean are this way once they have bonded with an animal. He said that dogs are naturally more suited to men, more than children even. Dogs don't talk, don't need their diapers changed, and genuinely don't mind going fishing all day long. His thought process was that women love their pets too, but in their minds babies trump pets and in a man's mind children are in addition to pets. Interesting? Yes. True? I don't know. I guess this is just one more quirk that make men and women or the first year of marriage so fascinating.

I guess I am still split. I love the affection and fatherly traits he shows with her but I need him to be concrete in our decisions. How do you handle it? When the things you love so much about your spouse can also cause not so fun arguments.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

May the road rise up to meet you!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Finally! The one day a year where it is really cool to be a redhead! Growing up with 364 days of nicknames and taunts, at last the day of the Irish is upon us and I am so excited! Not only is today a day of green beer, Guinness, cabbage, or soda bread, but it also allows me to remember how much fun my husband and I had exploring this magical place on our honeymoon. Below are a few of my favorite shots on the trip; I'm already planning another one for our ten year anniversary and that's almost eight years away!

It's true, the Guinness in Ireland is way better than ours.

The view from our hotel in our favorite city, Galway.

We loved exploring all the nooks and secret shops.

I never got used to seeing a castle around each corner. WOW! 
Cows! I shot this out the window as we went whizzing through the countryside.

Cliffs of Moher, worth the walk.

My sweet potato in Kilkenny, where his family is from. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Drink it Up!

A Paper Company that POPS!

If Rifle Paper Company were a beverage they would be a cool Citrus Spritzer on a sunny afternoon. Full of bright colors and playful organic designs, owner and artist Anna Bond has created a truly unique business that goes well beyond the regular paper shop.

Specializing in hand painted cards, notes, and other personalized paper products, her playful aesthetic is shooting her to the top of the game. Below are several more items I can't wait to order and bring home. Including gorgeous thank you notes which would be perfect for this wedding season, an adorable couples art print to celebrate the bride and groom, and the cutest recipe box I've seen!

To order or see more from Rifle Paper Co. visit their online shop here or pop in to their storefront at 558 W. New England Avenue, STE 150 Winter Park, FL located in Hannibal Square. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beachy Keen!

In several weeks I will be going to my very first Florida beach. Actually, it's my first trip to Florida period unless you count a lay over in Miami. Yeah, yeah I know this makes me sound like a bumpkin and no, I have never even been to Disney World :(, but when you live in a coastal state it just makes sense to take advantage of the surrounding shores. Plus, I think my siblings and I were too much to handle for that long in a car- 2 redheads with tempers and 1 whiner, you do the math.

Anyway, considering my group of girlfriends have gotten married one-a-year for the last three years, we have kinda worn out the Carolina beaches on our bachelorette trips. And to be honest I think we are all a little scared to show our faces again in some of the places, ha!

So, this year we are mixing it up and heading wayyy south to soak in the early summer sun; but before I go, I have created a wish list of items to add to my summer wardrobe.

1. DV by Dolce Vita $79.00
2. Roxy Monokini $76.00
3. Sequin Anita Starfish Necklace $178.00
4. Forever 21 Strapless Romper $19.80
5. Milly Maxi Dress $420.00
6. J Brand $139.00

Monday, March 14, 2011

I did it! Well, kind of.

2. Learn to make a good homemade biscuit.

Yep, I crossed number two off the list this weekend; I have learned to make biscuits. Not perfectly, mind you, but they were edible and honestly tasted pretty good.

Above is my master biscuit educator- my uh-mazing grandmother. We started pretty early, decked out in our cute aprons and hoped that I wouldn't burn down the house. It's funny to see us in this photo, I am built just like her. Let's just hope some of those cooking genes rubbed off as well her height :)

The first thing to learn about cooking old southern recipes with old southern people is that evidently there are no exact measurements. She literally showed up with a bowl of flour, a can of Crisco, and a gallon of milk. No measuring cups, teaspoons, nothing. As I brought out my pad and pen to take notes I had to pull each quantity of ingrediant out like teeth.

"Well, just about a bowl full" translated in to 6 cups of sifted flour.

The first step to making grandma's quick and simple biscuits is to make a nest like shape in the bowl of flour, molding it and burrowing a hole not quite down to the bottom.

Then, take a handful of Crisco (again, she provided no measurements, but I am guessing about 2 1/2 tbsp.) and place it in to the flour "nest".

Next is the tricky part, or at least for me. As you mix the crisco in with the surrounding flour, slowly pour milk to moisten it and form the dough mixture. It is easier to tranfer the milk into a smaller vessel so the liquid is easier to handle. I poured about a cup of milk but didnt use it all.

I would love to say that I was a natural at this and allowed my southern roots to flow through my finger tips and made a dough that put Paula Dean to shame- but that didn't happen. Not at all.

I could tell my granmother was worried as she tried to pull the bowl from me as I mixed. "No, no. Not exactly like that", she said as she tried to wiggle it away from my distructive squishing. I could tell that she was taking this seriously and didnt want her baking skills ruined because of her silly granddaughter's clumsy fingers.

I think that my mistake was squeezing the mixture instead of lightly combining it. Whatever it was, my grandmother thought it was hilarious and cackled through the whole ordeal. Finally she was better at something than I was and took revenge on all the computer and cell phone lessons that I had held over her head.

After I cleaned up and she added her special touch to the the bowl, it looked more familiar instead of the paste like material I had created. We then pinched off pieces of the dough and rolled it into balls in our hands, and flatten it to create a biscuit shape.

Again, not exactly a pro at this by any means. Mine looked more like monster faces than a delicious biscuit, but hey, I just went with them.

See my grandmother's above for what they are suppose to look like. I think she was just showing off.

Lastly, on to the pan which I lined with parchment paper and still sprayed with Pam (because I am not risking these puppies burning or sticking to the pan), and into the oven at 450ยบ for "as long as it takes for them to be done or start to brown on top".

And about 12-15mins later- out they came! I have to admit they didn't look as bad as I thought they would, although you can tell that the ugly ones are mine :( But, ugly or not- I went for the first bite. And surprise! They were good! Actually, when smothered with butter and honey- they were amazing!

I know I will need more practice, ok ok, A LOT more practice but at least now I know and feel capable! Plus I have gotten a lot of great write-ins with many new recipes to try. So, watch out Betty Crocker here I come!

You can see what other goals to be conquered on my list here