Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday

I didn't want to miss out on the fun today...

My new pillow covers from East and Nest.  I wouldn't hesitate to order from her again, they are beautiful.  I went with the spa blue ikat pattern and I purchased a set of 20x20 covers for my 24 inch down pillows.  Even R thought they were fantastic.


We had a delicious cocktail over the weekend that I affectionately named a Mintberry Memorial.  It's certainly not a revolutionary combination of ingredients but definitely tasty.  We mixed lemonade and raspberry vodka with muddled fresh strawberries and mint.  I think I have found my favorite pool-side cocktail.


It's almost time!


This Pier1 table may be coming home with me this weekend.  Oh and look...that's our chair in the ad alongside the table.  I loved the way it looked in the photo and I haven't found another round table that I liked as much as this one.


I bought an open sun hat on Amazon a few weekends ago.  It's perfect for the pool, rolls up for easy packing, and the velcro is less likely to damage my hair than the sun hats with the tie closures.  I had no idea I ordered from China, I'm surprised the postage was so inexpensive! Now I can wear my hair in a top knot and my hat will extend over my entire face.  I chose the black one shown on the model.

Everyone have a happy and safe weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beauty Wishlist

Because sometimes it's fun to try new things...
Beauty Wishlist

Beauty Wishlist by carolinabelle84 featuring hourglass cosmetics

1.  I'm finally getting bored of my Naked 2 palette.  I've used it regularly for almost two years and it's time for a change.  This palette is the stuff of dreams.  

2.  I will need foundation in the next month or so and I'm looking for something new.  I've heard great things about the Hourglass Immaculate foundation, since I have oily / combo skin, I'm definitely interested in it's claims to control shine.  

3.  Speaking of Tarte, the lipsurgence pencil in Amused could be the best summer berry color for my skin tone.  

4.  Not sure if I'd feel comfortable spending this kind of change on blush but I've heard the best things about Hourglass ambient powders and the Diffused Heat is so beautiful.

5.  As soon as my Nars bronzer is finished I'm going to try this one from Tarte.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Summer To Do List...

Summer actually starts on June 21st this year but we all know Memorial Day is the first official (non-official) day of summer.  R found a pin listing fun ideas for summer activities, the list was geared more towards families with young kids but it initiated a conversation where we made our own summer goals.  Anytime I post on the blog it keeps me accountable so here we go... family fun for Summer 2014.

*Make homemade ice cream...a new flavor that we've never made.
*Attend an outdoor concert.
*Make S'Mores after a cookout.
*Go to the community pool as much as possible.
*Go to the beach, obvs. We have all our favorite eateries, activities, and shops in Nags Head.
*Outdoor movie, we love the NC Museum of Art.
*A drive-in movie, we wanted to do this last summer and didn't have a chance to.
*Farmers Market Saturdays
*Make our own sushi...we've been meaning to do this for a long time.
*Antiquing.  Lots and lots of antiquing.
*Thursday music in the park.
*Summer cocktails!
* Read at least one book each month and catch up on my magazines.
*Work on my fitness...outside.
*Try new summer salads and meals that require no heat.  Unless that heat comes from a grill :-)
*Catch a baseball game, we have a decent local team.
*Try a new restaurant each month.
*Build a piece of furniture...or three.  R has an ever growing list.
*See some fireworks.
*Attend an outdoor festival, our small town has one coming up in about a week.
*Take some much needed naps in our hammock.
*Grill pizza with a new topping combination.
*Check off some DIY projects.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five on Friday

I wanted to write this post last night like a good little blogger, but then I decided it was time for bed.  Better late than never.  My top five:

I switched shampoo and conditioner three weeks ago.  Folks, it didn't last long.  I returned those products thanks to Ulta's fantastic policy and I'm back to a tried and true - L'Oreal EverPure.  I like the smell, gives me volume, and actually cleans my hair.  I may do a review on the product line I was using and why we had to break up.

My mom's birthday!  We celebrated with dinner at Tripps and lemon cheesecake for dessert.  She told me a few weeks back that she wanted lemon cheesecake for her birthday so I tried a Pinterest recipe.  Well with my sleepy eyes I must not have read that it was intended for pre-made graham cracker crust.  I used my springform pan with a homemade graham cracker crust but I thought I had a 9 inch pan.  Unfortunately I realized my error at 8:30 on Monday night and I was not going to go out for more ingredients...I made a thin cheese cake in my 12 inch pan.  It was still delicious though and gave us an excuse to get a bigger slice.  Next time though, I'm doubling the filling recipe.


Speaking of Pinterest, hubs made these delicious baked pickle chips recently.  And they were divine.

Memorial Day.  Three glorious days off from work to enjoy the pool, the grill, and the sun.  Or just to catch up on some much needed R&R.  But it's more than that y'all, we have to give all the credit and appreciation to our fallen heroes.  We will be toasting margaritas in remembrance and thanking God for our freedom and those who protect it.


I made a jcrew factory run after work today.  This was a need.

You know the drill...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Pretties...

When the weather changes I often have a hard time switching to a new wardrobe.  It's as if I can't remember what I wore last year and I end up staring at a wall of clothes, unable to put anything together.  After clearing out my closet of several old summer items and I had some space for new goodies.  I racked up some fun new clothing items this Spring and I already have a few things on my Summer list.  A few of the things I tossed were "staples" so I wanted to promptly replace them, my office gets chilly so a blazer is a year round need.

Left: Belts, Shorts, Sleeveless Top
Center: Dress, Ankle Pant
Right: Peplum Top, Blazer, Earrings

Monday, May 19, 2014

(P)inspiration: Our Herb Garden

It's nothing fancy, it's not an earth shattering concept, and we are certainly not the first to recreate it. But I'm so happy we planted a little bucket of herbs on our back patio.  Initially we were going to wait to do any planting until we had purchased a home, so we opted not to plan herbs last year and it was a big mistake.  For some reason I thought herbs were going to be more trouble to keep alive than they really are.  In just a few weeks they have grown so much.  We are cooking with fresh herbs nearly every night and I can't wait to freeze some for use in the Fall/Winter.

We used this as our inspiration via Pinterest.  I loved her little barrel containers.

And our little version:

Instead of plastic dividers we used a plastic cranberry juice bottle turned upside down in the middle of the planter.  We drilled holes all over the bottle and cut the bottom off to make watering it more simple. All the herbs were purchased at Lowes (on sale and with a coupon), we chose cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, and flat leaf parsley.  Eventually I'd like to add dill and chives.  In another container we planted mint that we purchased earlier this Spring.  We had been warned not to plant mint with our other herbs so it has it's own elevated planter for space to grow.

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back but I didn't save the original source.  We save our corks as a habit now and I thought I'd put a few to use.  I used this pin as a guide for the lettering, otherwise I would have never thought to use those pretty curly letters; mine look okay but the set in the link is much "neater".

It was a fun afternoon project that has already brought us a lot of joy.  I hope to do it every Spring!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In the kitchen: Tortellini Caprese

Is there anything better than cheese splashed with balsamic vinegar?  I think not.

This is one of those recipes that really isn't a recipe but it was a grand winner for a light supper on a warm night.  I love a caprese salad, caprese sandwich, and now caprese pasta!  The whole thing took about 20 minutes to come together and the leftovers were even better the next day!

1 package prepared tortellini
1 fresh mozzarella ball, cut into cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
1 large bunch of basil cut to shreds
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper if you'd like

Boil the tortellini to package directions.  Drain and cool the tortellini with running water. When the tortellini is no longer hot to the touch toss with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, oil and balsamic.  Don't be shy with that vinegar!  Season to taste - we just used pepper.  Serve it up!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Recent Skin Care Routine

Recent Skin Care Routine

Morning: Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer, Clinique Turnaround Serum, Murad Acne Clarifying Cleanser

Evening: Clinique Acne Solutions 3 step skin care (but I don't care much for the lotion), Philosophy Help Me Retinol Lotion, Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Repair, EOS lip balm

Once per week: Philosophy Microdelivery Peel and Origins Active Charcoal Mask

For reference I have combination, sensitive skin that breaks out easily - a rather fun challenge. I recently got over a huge breakout bout and I've finally found a combination of products that work well together.  I don't want to rock the boat so I will continue this routine for a while.  It looks like quite a lot of steps but it's relatively quick except for the mask that I use once a week for about 30 minutes each time.  It wasn't planned to use all of this together...I was finishing up on some products when I bought new ones and I liked the result so much that I had to repurchase.  If I had to pick three favorites from the group it would be the Murad cleanser, the Clinique step 2 toner, and the Philosophy retinol night cream.  For now, I'm thrilled with the results!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy weekend all!  Big thanks to the five on Friday ladies for hosting another great linkup:

Our hammock is up for Spring.  R laid out some last weekend while smoking pork for several hours and I have been out a few times when it's not too warm outside.  I love this extra living space on our back patio.

Bestie took this picture of me from our Derby afternoon last weekend.  I love this striped dress, it's the perfect, comfortable maxi for Spring.  And it kept me from being completely eaten up by mosquitoes.

Flowers!  I love Spring/Summer because we keep fresh flowers in our house. I loved this color combination and I was so excited that they've literally lasted all week.  I'm a "flowers anytime" kind of girl.

Soooooo I'm a big Counting Crows fan.  I might be showing my age a bit - woops!  I love them. I even listen to their Pandora station while I'm at work, which I wish wasn't the same six songs over and over again.  We purchased tickets to see them live in June and I can't wait!

My Ma!  My favorite person!  My partner in crime!  I haven't planned our Mothers Day outing yet but I'm sure it will be a fun afternoon no matter what we do.  It will likely involve a meal, probably a movie, and very possibly some shopping.

I can't wait for a relaxing weekend.  I have some cleaning to do, a bit of work to complete, and a new book on my Kindle.  It's going to be glorious!  Until Monday...have a safe one!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

(P)inspiration: Nauti Doorstop

So I love rope balls that you can use for home decor.  I've seen them in catalogs and on home blogs but I cannot justify the cost of them.  Well a quick search on Pinterest led me to this site and I was so excited to DIY my own.  For about $10 we were able to purchase 12 foot of rope from Lowes last weekend and R was able to tie a monkey fist knot to make a fun new doorstop for our spare bedroom. The door in our spare room does not like to stay completely open on its own and I'm nervous about our cat getting shut in all day.  This beauty does the trick!  I might get more rope, maybe 14 feet, and have him make another one for our room with a longer handle.  Word of caution, it isn't the easiest task.  You will likely need at least two people and at least two glasses of wine for a perfect knot.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In the Kitchen: Canned Tuna Ceviche

We had the most yummy dinner thanks to SkinnyTaste via Pinterest.  And it features canned tuna!  Basically all the items are pantry staples for a instant, super cheap meal.  I made a bigger portion than the one featured in her recipe because I wanted leftovers.

1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped fine, I kept the seeds but you can discard them
2 cans albacore tuna
1 tomato, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil (I used Safflower)
3 heavy shakes of hot sauce
Juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and place in fridge for about half an hour.  I served mine on top of greens and with half an avocado sliced.  

Yep, this will make a great lunch tomorrow too!  I have a feeling this recipe will be in regular rotation as the weather gets warmer.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The most fashionable race of the year...

The 140th Kentucky Derby winner was California Chrome.  I'm so happy for him, his owner, and his rider....but he was not my pick :-(  

He was slated to win and I thought that must be too easy.  I picked Vicars in Trouble and bestie here had Candy Boy for the win... in two minutes it was all over and we were not victorious.  We were however, jolly in our bourbon state with a belly full of slow smoked pork and pasta salad.  Katie also made a delicious dip full of veggies perfect for snacking.
 We celebrated the day in striped maxi dresses and hats with mint juleps and delicious Kentucky bourbon.  Oh and those cups...they were favors at Katie's engagement Derby party a few years ago.  Afterwards we went to a local brewery to continue the fun and we hung out late into the night.  I love celebrating the Derby every year.  It's so unlike the other sports we watch throughout the year and it makes for great people watching!
Onward to the Preakness!  Now we know the horse to watch...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five on Friday

Hello all!

Getting it ready to jam with my favorite five on Friday hostesses:

Normally I'm at work when this link-up goes live but today I'm off and it feels so good.  Here are my favorite five of the week:

It's all I can think about.  Mint, bourbon and powdered sugar = julip.  My friends hanging out waiting for the winning horse to cross the finish line, a rather short wait.  AND it's national barbeque month which is enough reason to smoke some pork for our gathering of friends. Surely one of the best days of the year.

This Calvin Klein mascara was a full size freebie for my birthday from Ulta.  I have used it for three weeks and I'm really happy with it.  The packaging is chic and high quality, the brush has staggered bristles and the formula creates length and curl.  I'm not sure if I'd pay $18 for it but it's a fantastic product.  I've not had a single clumping issue with it either which is rare for a more "liquidy" mascara. Initially I wasn't sure about the brush because I don't care much for plastic bristles but it does a good job of separating my lashes.

Eating dinner on our porch has been one of my favorite pastimes.  We purchased some mosquito curls from Walmart and we've been able to enjoy a few casual dinners outside undisturbed.  I'm absolutely in love with how quiet it is in our neighborhood in the evenings.
My husband.  Always on my top favorites...especially earlier in the week at Michaels helping me pick out some roses for our entryway vase.  Look at that face, he was helpful but not overly enthusiastic about the task.  I chose the ones on the left, #firstworldproblem

I do a devotional everyday at lunch.  It's a great way for me to connect with God, read a bible passage and say a prayer.  I keep a small notebook that helps me answer the thought questions at the end of each devotion.  It's based out of Charlotte, NC but anyone wanting a daily reminder of God's love is welcome.  The writers cover a variety of topics that every woman can relate to, whether you are single, married, or have kids.  It's the best part of my day and helps draw me closer to my loving father.  Sign up here if interested, the devotion of the day is sent directly to your email.

Happy Friday!