Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Spring!

This week was the official beginning of Spring! I love this time of year, when the flowers begin to bloom and I can walk my dog in comfort instead of wearing 5 layers of clothes. I have to say that we've been very lucky here in the midwest - the winter was really mild this year. I believe it snowed twice, so I have been one happy girl. Since it's been in the 70-80's the past few weeks our tulips and dafodils have already started blooming, trees are flowering and just overall everything looks lovely.
Our peonies (pic taken last year) 

I haven't written in a while so I feel like I need to report on some things I'm really loving right now.

1. Kale chips! 

Kale is honest to God my new obsession. Not only is it wonderful for you but it can be made so many ways and is super tasty! Kale chips taste like potato chips (you don't believe me, do you?? Try them for yourself!)
Here's how you make them:
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
line a baking pan with either parchment paper or foil (I also use cooking spray so the leaves don't stick)
wash the kale and tear off the leaves, omitting the stems, into bite-size pieces and lay it in the pan
drizzle olive oil over the leaves
sprinkle a little sea salt
bake the leaves for 20 minutes

so easy, right?? They are best when you can eat them right out of the oven because they are crispy but they're also good later. I like to put them in omelettes, or on a salad.
Kale Chips - before baking

2. Instagram

I read about this app on another blog and downloaded it on my phone. You can do a lot of cool effects with this app. Below is a pic of my lazy cat, photo edited with instagram:

3. My Michael Kors purse.

It took me a hot minute to commit to this purse. A bit of history: I've carried around the same black Coach purse since 2006, I'm not even joking. As you can imagine, it was evident the purse had seen better days so I knew the time was quickly approaching that I would have to say goodbye and select a new arm companion that would hopefully last as long. My friend and I went to the mall and within 10 minutes of my time in Macy's I had spotted a brown MK satchel that I loved. I had really wanted the Marc Jacobs hilier hobo but couldn't pull the financial trigger so I decided on something less expensive - the $ breakdown: The MK purse retailed for $358 (I think), it was on sale for $299, I applied for a credit card and got 20% off - I might be getting the numbers wrong but bottom line is I paid like $212 for it. Not too bad.  Of course I still want the MJ bag... we'll see what happens there because I don't want to just have one purse for the next 6 years.

There are some other things I'm loving but this post is going to get really long so I will save those for later.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Hard to believe it's Sunday already - why do weekends go so fast?!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blog Stylin'..or not.

I confessed in an earlier post that I've never blogged before. I'm sure that if seasoned bloggers come across my page you will agree with me. I'm irritated because with my IT background (although not in design) you'd think I would grasp this whole blogging design thing easier than I have. One thing (probably the most frustrating) is I am trying to get cute categories added to my blog. Seriously, it cannot be that hard! I have found out how to add categories but it's so blah-looking. I wish I knew how to design blogs - not even sure how people do this? Second thing that is driving me crazy is my background doesn't go all the way to the top and bottom of my page. On my Windows machine it does, but on my Mac (which I use more frequently) it looks so silly. Anyway...clearly more research needs to be done on the topic. 
Thanks for listening to me vent! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sephora/Ulta Haul

Time for my next Sephora and Ulta haul!! Until last week, I was an Ulta virgin but now I can really understand what the hype is about. It's a Sephora and department store makeup section combined in one nice, neat, well-organized location *dreamy sigh*

First, from Sephora (and I guess it's not really a "haul" because I only got one thing and the rest were samples):

I received a sample of the Amazing Cosmetics "Amazing Concealer" from my last Sephora order. I know why it's called "Amazing Concealer". It honestly covers everything. Dark cirles? covered. Acne Scars? nope! I have olive skin and the medium beige worked well for me.
Amazing Concealer (Medium Beige)
Next.. a I got a sample of the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. I had used this a few times in the past and I love it!! I used to just use it in the morning but I've been putting it on after using my PTR Max Correcting Pads
Ole Henrickson Truth Serum
I also received a sample of the Givenchy Photo Perfexion foundation - so, one thing you have to know about me is that I am not really a foundation type of girl. I just never feel like I put it on right, I'm always worried about the dreaded "line" on your face and not to mention most foundations make my face look cakey. I've always used Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer (in sand) but I fell in love with Givenchy's foundation..which kinda sucks because it's more expensive than LM. Sigh. This foundation goes on smooth and light. No cake-face!

Givenchy Photo Perfexion - Praline
 Time for my Ulta buys: 

I've been dealing with some cystic acne lately, mostly on my jawline and around my nose. I feel very fortunate that growing up and through my teen years I was blessed with good skin, however I feel like my good fortune back then is kicking me in the butt now. I didn't even know what cystic acne was until I read about another blogger raving about this product. After a few months of painful spots (and a few scars..ugh) I decided to buy this buffering lotion. This lotion is really runny, and smells like getting your ears pierced (strange, I know) but it does far no breakouts! I don't use this every night, maybe every other night or so. 
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
Urban Decay eyelid of the holy grail items of many bloggers and eyeshadow lovers. I was noticing my eyeshadow creasing pretty badly throughout the day so I went ahead and bought this. I do like it a lot, and can see why everyone else does too. I read that this product is Urban Decay's best seller.  

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

*all photos by*

Friday, March 2, 2012


I took today off work, and it feels GREAT! It is storming pretty bad in the midwest, which (IMO) are the best days to be off work, lay around, read, catch up on shows and just be a bit lazy. However, instead of being lazy I am trying to get some random things done so I am not scrambling all weekend. I need to hit the grocery store in the worst way. Also, a friend of mine at work sent me some delicious-sounding vegetarian recipes so I think I will try one of them out tonight. I also found a recipe online from a website I just stumbled upon for chickpea chocolate chip cookies...hmmm. I am going to try them out and if they're good I will link the recipes.

Also, I started a new workout program on Sunday! I mentioned in a previous post that I was doing a hybrid of P90X/Insanity. Both are very challenging, but since I had seriously been doing them since January of 2010 I was BORED with the workouts (again, still challenging) I just needed to change things up a bit. I started doing another Beachbody program called ChaLEAN Extreme, which focuses on using the heaviest weights you can handle and only doing 12 reps. Muscle burns fat, so I'm hoping that I can get off of this plateau I've been on for what seems like years. Honestly, I do like the workouts but since my calorie burn isn't as high I'm a bit nervous about weighing myself. I'll report back as I get into the program a bit more.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!