Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ulta Run + Giveaway!

Don't you hate those days where you feel like you literally run out of all of your products all at once?  That was me earlier this week.  I was dreading setting foot into Ulta.  Not because I don't care for the store, its actually the opposite.  I am an admitted product whore, and I'll wander aimlessly around Ulta for hours exploring each aisle, examining each and every product, testing makeup swatches on my hand.....don't even get me started on the fingernail polish.  Needless to say, every time I leave that wonderful store, I leave with a lighter wallet & items I didn't even come in for.  Story of my life :)

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the items that I picked up AND I have a giveaway!! More about that in a's what I snagged at Ulta:

This guy is one of the reasons that I needed to hit up Ulta.  Just because I live in Miami does NOT mean that I'm out baking my skin in the sun all day.  Hello, skin cancer?!  Rarely do I lay out, maybe once a month!  I use bronzers & self tanners to achieve the golden glow that I likeI normally use the airbrush spray that this line offers, but Ulta was out.  I don't like this lotion as much as the spray because I feel that the spray gets a little more evenly distributed.  This is one of my favorite brands of self tanners that I have tried, and I've tested out a ton!

I need color on my face.  Because I have an olive complexion, if I don't have some color to me, I tend to look like I'm sick.  This gives my face that nice sunkissed glow that I love.  I go back and forth between this brand, and Kate Sommervilles facial tanning towelettes.  I just hate the smell of this Lorac brand, it smells like metal, or coins.  I don't know, its weird.

I have used this leave-in conditioner in the past, and even have the small travel sized bottle that I use for when we're traveling.  I really like how soft it leaves my hair.  But with that being said, I do feel like it tends to build up if you use it everyday, so be sure to use a clarifying shampoo once per month if you do use this.

One of my friends introduced me to this deodorant a little while ago.  Its honestly the best smelling deodorant I've ever tried.  Its called 'Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden'. 

So I didn't get this at Ulta, I bought it from my dermatologist office when I went to get a facial last week.  I have posted before about my Dr. (read about it here. ) They do sell Dr. Brandts skincare line in Ulta and also at Sephora.  I wanted to include this into this post because I love the lineless foaming cleanser line, and I'll never change.  If you haven't tried this, you should!  The little minis are perfect sized, and I always use them when we are traveling.

This color is called "Absolutely Shore", its a soft minty color.  I haven't tried it yet, but it looks so pretty!

Fun colors that I picked up to try by NYX.  Its from their Matte Lipstick line, and the colors I got are 'Summer Breeze', 'Bloody Mary', and 'Pale Pink'.  

Now to the giveaway!  This is the first giveaway that I've had since I started my blog, and I'm pretty excited about it!  There is an interesting story behind my giveaway.  Like I've said before, I'm an admitted beauty product junkie.  Every time I go to Sephora, they always tell me how many beauty points I have, and attempt to entice me with one of their 100 or 500 point perk products that they have on display.  I'm so picky and I never end up using my points so they just add up, and add up, and add up.....until I get to around 3,000 points (I'm so ashamed!).  

So, I decided to use my points towards you, the amazing readers of my blog!  I chose a deluxe lip gloss sampler for you to make your pout all pretty :)  It contains:
  • Bare Escentuals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in Free Will
  • Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Dolly
  • Lorac Lips w/ Benefits Gloss in Chuck
  • Smashbox O-Gloss Gold Intuitive Lip Gloss w/ Goji Berry
  • Tarte Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss in Blissful

All you have to do to enter is to simply leave a comment below in the comment section.  If you don't have a gmail account, and log in as anonymous, make sure you leave your email address in the body of the comment.  The winner will be chosen at noon on Monday, March 4th and announced on Tuesday, March 5th.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I had been wanting a juicer for quite some time.  I did my research, read hundreds of reviews, and as of last week, we are the proud owner of a Hurom Slow Juicer!  

I purchased it from Williams & Sonoma (view it here), and it was relatively inexpensive compared to other juicers on the market.  It came at the perfect time since we also recently enrolled in Annies Organic Buying Club.  This club sells in-season produce (some is local, some is not) that is all organic and delivered every Wednesday.  You choose how much you want, half share, full share, Paleo only, etc and once a week you get fresh, organic produce that is different every week.  Its pretty cheap too!  We chose the half share for $38.  This is what we received in our first delivery:


Our half share contained 5 yams, 1 doz eggs, kale, 2 avocados, strawberries, 7 cara cara oranges, blueberries, romaine lettuce, broccoli, mini heirloom tomatoes, 5 apples, and 7 bananas.  Not bad for under $40!!

The juicer is the perfect addition to my kitchen since we now have such an abundance of weekly fresh produce.  I decided on the Hurom brand because I wanted a slow juicer; one that would be able to handle wheatgrass, kale, and spinach and I had read that this was the best for that.  I am so thrilled with my purchase - who knew that juicing could be so much fun!!

I've literally been juicing everything in sight for the past week.  My favorite combo so far has been kale, spinach, orange, apple, strawberry & carrot.  So delish!!  I've also experimented adding wheatgrass, celery & cucumbers to the mix and just picked up some beets today to try out.  I read online that beets are supposed to be the "fountain of youth" when it comes to juicing.  Sign me up for that! 

Looks gnarly, but tastes great!

Since I am a juicing amateur, and I didn't know the slightest thing about juicing, I picked up a few books from Barnes & Noble to help me get started.  I wanted to make sure that I was somewhat educated about the benefits of specific veggies, especially when presenting this greenish brown mystery liquid to Adam (who I knew would be not so into this).  The books are great for inspiration, and the combinations that they suggest are way beyond what I would have ever came up with on my own. 

 One of the books in particular, "The Juicing Book, by Stephen Blauer" was extremely helpful.  It shows you what each veggie is good for nutritionally speaking, and also lists different types of conditions that may be ailing you, and what you should be drinking to help improve that particular condition.  So for instance, if you have acne, it says that you should be consuming carrots, cucumbers, dandelion greens, endive, fenugreek sprout, kohlrabi, parsnip, purslane, turnips, and wheatgrass.  This book is amazing, and I would definitely suggest it to any of you who are into juicing.

I owned the "Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder" prior to buying my juicer, but pulled it out so that I could make her "Glowing Green Juice".

Another tidbit of helpful info that I read about online is to save the pulp from your fruits & vegetables and feed it to your pooches.  I've been collecting the pulp from carrots, apples, and spinach and mixing it into some white rice, which in turn gets mixed into Aces dog food.  He LOVES it!  I'm not sure if I have ever seen his dog food disappear so quickly!  I'll absolutely be doing this from now on.

This contains carrots, apples and spinach.

Mixed into rice for Ace

Something else that might be of interest to you is to freeze your juice into an ice cube tray.  I didn't read about this anywhere, but I thought that the frozen juice would be scrumptious mixed with vanilla protein powder and blended into my protein shakes.  I tried it yesterday, and it was pretty tasty!  Its such an easy way to add extra vitamins & nutrients to your shakes/smoothies.

I mixed 4 of my juice cubes with 1 packet of vanilla Isalean Shakes

My mind is literally working overtime thinking of all the things I can juice (almonds!) and of different ways to utilize the pulp (mixing it into Aces homemade dog treats!)

If you have a favorite recipe, or a creative way that you reuse the pulp please share it with me!  I would love to hear your comments & suggestions.

Happy Juicing!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Maxi Dress Madness

With Spring right around the corner, its time to start prepping for our summer wardrobes.  One of my favorite Summer staples is the maxi dress.  I am fortunate to live where it is warm enough to wear maxi's all year long, but during winter months while the rest of the country is bundled up in  sweaters, the options for maxi dresses in retail stores is pretty slim.

I once read an article that stated that the #1 item of clothing that men hate on women is a maxi dress.  Ironically enough, I also remember Adam telling me early on in our relationship that he loathed maxi dresses.  Needless to say, I avoided wearing them for quite some time!  When I eventually quizzed him on why he and guys in general hated the maxi dress style he stated that "too much is covered up, and there's not enough for us to look at".  Sure, a maxi dress isn't as sexy as wearing a Herve Leger dress, but I think there are some really beautiful, figure flattering options.  I slowly started integrating longer dresses into my wardrobe, but still to this day, I'm careful to choose styles that really flatter my body.  Unless you are supermodel tall, maxi dresses can sometimes engulf a small frame, and since I'm on the shorter side, I almost always have to take mine to the tailor to get them shortened.  I try to choose feminine styles that accentuate a certain area, whether its a plunging neckline that puts the spotlight on your cleavage, or a racer back style that emphasizes a great back.  There are so many great options that can flatter all body types!

Either love them, or hate them, the maxi dress is here to stay!  Here are some great options at various price points to update your summer wardrobe with:

 *purchase info can be found by clicking on item name*

Element Violet Dress - $49.50

L*Space Isabel Maxi Dress - $194

Blue Life Sexy Dress - $143

I own this dress above, and I love it!  The back is so sick!  Its also available at Singer22.

Eighty Six Stripe Maxi Dress - $118

Splendid Maxi Tank Dress - $108

Billabong Faster Maxi Dress - $56

Finish your look with a slim fitting denim jacket, and embellished flats for an easy, breezy look :)

Image via Pinterest

Happy Monday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Meatless Meatballs

I am not a big meat eater.  The truth is, I could easily go the rest of my life without ever eating meat again.  I never, ever eat pork, but I do enjoy chicken once in a while as well as fish.  Becoming a pescetarian would be an effortless transition for me, and at times I'm not sure why I haven't made that leap yet.  I so rarely eat red meat that the last time I did have a few bites of steak, I was ill the next day.  My body was definitely trying to tell me something!

I tend to eat a lot of vegetarian dishes, and my favorite food to eat is eggplant.  Eggplant parmesan is my absolute fave, but basically anyway that you could prepare and serve eggplant, I'll eat it and love it!  The last time I was in my hometown, we popped into a little Italian restaurant and they had eggplant "meatballs".  Naturally, that's what I ordered, and they were so scrumptious!  I immediately started planning in my head how I would re-create a healthier version of them once we got back to FL.

It took a little trial and error to get these just right, but I think that I've pretty much gotten it down perfect.  These are so easy to make, perfect for a quick weeknight meal.  Even better, make this your meatless Monday option!!  Hope you enjoy!

1 small sized eggplant
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c. Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
3/4 c. breadcrumbs (I used gluten free brand "Glutino")
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
16 oz marinara sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds, and the rounds into thin strips.
  3. Dice the eggplant, taking care to not make the pieces too big (big chunks do not hold well in the ball form).  Dice enough to equal 1½ cups.
  4. Combine all ingredients, except for marinara sauce, into a large bowl.
  5. Using your (clean!) hands, incorporate all ingredients until well blended. 
  6. Roll in the palm of your hand to form small meatball sized rounds; place on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile, bring marinara to a simmer.
  9. Serve meatless meatballs with marinara drizzled over top; top with a little more parm cheese and some fresh chopped basil. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

This Week In Pics

First off, what do you guys think of my new web page?!?  Doesn't it look amazing?  I've been working with the folks at Smitten Blog Design for the past few weeks to design the new look for my blog, and I couldn't be any happier with the results!  That image of Ace is spot on!  Its the little things that make me a happy girl :)

This week literally flew by.  I've been so busy working with my wedding planner to finalize all the details of our wedding; I can't believe we'll be getting married in about 7 weeks!  Italy, my dress, Adam looking so dapper in his suit, Aces custom suit (yes, you read that correctly!), Jose Villa.....sigh.  I can't wait!!

I've also been cooking & baking up a storm lately.  Williams & Sonoma was having a mega sale and I added a few necessities to my ever growing collection.  That's always fun for me because then I get to experiment with my new toys.  Adam definitely has not been complaining, and even Ace (and a few of his furry friends) got hooked up with a fresh batch of pumpkin peanut butter dog cookies.  See the recipe for them here.

Here are a few highlights from my week.

Blouse from Nasty Gal, Rag & Bone jeans, Brian Atwood wedges, Michael Kors clutch

With my friend Jenn at Fontainebleau, I'm wearing Herve Leger dress with Christian Louboutins.

I love living in FL!

It was a little cool this week & Ace needed his hoodie - anything below 70 degrees feels cold to us!

Hard work is paying off!

Rag & Bone jeans, Abercrombie sweater, Isabel Marant kicks & Prada purse

I made Aces friends homemade dog cookies & packaged them up pretty :)

Sunning himself on our balcony

Vince tee, Dolce & Gabbana trousers, Christian Louboutin heels, YSL clutch

Date night this week was this....

The performers are always so amazing! True testament of what limits the human body can be pushed to...

I'll be posting a delicious vegetarian recipe tomorrow :)

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fitness Fashion

Fact: Workout clothes are added gym motivation!  I love rocking new workout clothes.  They actually make me want to get all cute and go to the gym!  I firmly believe that a brand spanking new outfit can make you have the best workout of your life!

Gym Swag! Outfit pieces are detailed below.

I recently splurged a bit and bought some new gym clothes.  Lately, I've been going to Pilates 4 times a week, and fitting in gym sessions as well.  My workout clothes were all pretty much faded and I was bored with them.  I needed to step up my fitness fashion and get my gym swagger on par.  Here is a few pieces that I bought, along with other cute fitness wear that I love.

I, along with every other person I know,  LOVE Lululemon. Their gear is so darn cute, and lasts forever!  How cute are these pants?  My fave part about these is that they have two front pockets that lay totally flush to the pants - perfect for storing your ipod or iphone, and since the material is so stretchy your iphone literally does not move inside the pocket.  You can buy them by clicking here.  It looks like they are sold out of most sizes online, but check Lulu's stores because they had tons of them when I was there.

I also picked up these while in Lulu.  I swear they had gotten in the cutest stuff.  Love the color, and I found the cutest matching racerback tank in yellow to go with it.  View here and here.

This particular line called the "cool racerback" is my personal go to workout tank, and I picked up a few new colors.  I love the longer length, that it doesn't have a built in bra, and that its a little low-cut (I live in Miami! We like to show off the girls...)  They have tons of colors on Lulus website.  See them here.

This is my new fave top!  Its called the No Limits Tank, I have it in this orange/navy color, and in black.  I'm loving the exposed bra, and I always get tons of compliments whenever I wear it!  You can buy it on their website.

Ok, so enough Lululemon.  I found this company online called Lorna Jane, and they are similar to Lulu but a little bit cheaper.  They have really cute workout gear!  Have any of you ever bought anything from here?  I need a report! :)

Lorna Jane

How cute is this back?!  Its currently on sale too!  I don't have this yet, but I think that I might need it!  View it here.

I'm also really digging some new stuff from Nike.  I'm into the slouchy off the shoulder style lately, especially when paired with workout leggings.  It just looks & feels so effortless!  You know those pics of celebrities that you see leaving the gym and they just look sporty but in that edgy street style sort of way?  These tops are perfect for that and are currently listed on

An off the shoulder tee can make any outfit sexy.

Such a cute cut.

Fun colors!

I NEED these!

The Nike Studio Wrap Pack footwear above has been sold out for weeks.  Every day I check the Nike website like a maniac to see if they have re-listed them.  They look so amazing, watch the video on them here.  I would love them for Pilates! 

Another fun company that I found is Ellie.  This is such a great concept!  With this company, you take a style quiz to find out what your fitness fashion personality is (similar to shoe dazzle) and then for $49 per month, they sound you a brand new workout outfit every month!  So fun!!  The best part is that you don't necessarily have to pick a top and a bottom every month, you have the freedom to pick 2 tops only, or 2 bottoms.  And they partner with great brands such a Nike, Lululemon, etc.  I haven't signed up yet, but I will be soon!  Take the quiz to get started by clicking here.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you my favorite brand of leggings.  I used to wear VS Pink all.the.time.  I literally live in leggings, and I hated how fast they would fade out.  I found the brand So Low available on ShopBop and they are 10x better!  Yes, they are more expensive but when you factor in how fast I was throwing out my Pink brand these are a much better option.  So Low lasts much longer, plus the material is thicker and feels like higher quality.  I wear at least one pair probably every day, whether I'm going to Pilates, or just lounging around the house.  They come in a multitude of cuts, lengths, and colors.  Check them out and read all the great reviews on them here.

So Low

So, fill me in.  Leave a comment and tell me what brands are your favorite for getting your sweat on?  I'd love to hear about it!




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