30 April 2014

Kentucky Derby Twist | Blueberry Mint Julep

For the past couple of years I have attended a glamorous Kentucky Derby Event and loved getting all dressed up and sipping on the famed Mint Julep while mingling and discussing the race. While I definitely enjoyed the perfectly concocted Mint Julep the bartender made, it was never my favorite cocktail. With the Derby coming up here shortly I decided it would be fun to put my own twist on the famed cocktail by adding a blueberry simple syrup and some fun blueberry ice cubes. Not only does it give a little extra flavor to the drink, it turns it into a gorgeous color (hence why I didn't place it in the traditional julep cup!)

To Make the Cocktail :
1] 2 parts whiskey [The official whiskey of the Kentucky Derby is Early Time] - If you aren't a big whiskey drinker you can always sub in another dark liquor for the whiskey!
2] Fresh mint leaves [some for muddling, some for garnish]
3] Blueberry Simple Syrup*
4] Ice cubes [To make my blueberry ice cubes I simply filled my ice tray with blueberries and water and then allowed them to freeze.]

Muddle your mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and then top with ice cubes. Pour the whiskey over the ice cubes and top the rest off with your simple syrup. Finish with a garnish of mint sprigs.

*To Make the Blueberry Simple Syrup :
Boil down two cups of water, two cups of sugar, and half a small carton of blueberries until your sugar has dissolved and your water a nice deep purple. Strain out the liquid and toss the berries. Chill in the fridge until cool.

Along with my cocktail recipe I also want to let you about the Cottonelle Great Finish Sweepstakes

Cottonelle is a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby and their products are perfect to bring along with you to derby day. The Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths are a must have if you are attending the event. They are small and perfect to throw in your bag (in case of a Mint Julep spill during the excitement of the race)! 

Along with being a sponsor, Cottonelle is hosting a sweepstakes that will reward Americans with a year supply of Cottonelle products should the No. 1 and No. 2 positioned racehorses place in that order during the Kentucky Derby. People looking to get in on the action can sign up at the Cottonelle website. The first 15,000 entrants to sign up will be awarded a year’s supply of Cottonelle toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths if the outcome aligns.

To Enter :

1. Visit the Cottonelle landing page.
3. Click on "Sign up now"
4. Register for the Cottonelle Updates website

Let me know if any of you test out the blueberry cocktail for race day & if you enter the sweepstakes!

*Thank you kindly to Cottonelle for sponsoring this post and giving my readers this great opportunity!

29 April 2014

OOTD : Pattern Play

Ann Taylor Striped Tee | Ann Taylor Floral Print Pants | Zara Heels [SIMILAR] | Kate Spade NY Watch
Loren Hope Bracelet [borrowed from Ashlyn] | Madewell Bracelet [borrowed from Ashlyn] Phillip Lim for Target Bag

One of Spring's biggest trends is floral prints [duh florals for Spring] but this season they seem a little fresher and different than usual. I loved the antique feel of these Ann Taylor cropped pants and had to scoop them up immediately. Pairing it with my trusty striped tee and favorite D'Orsay heels kept it fresh and just dressy enough to wear to the office.

Photos c/o Ashlyn

28 April 2014

Homemade Lip Balm & Scrub

I have been wanting to test out these two DIY's for ages and I'm so excited I had some free time this weekend to finally put them together. The list of materials is super simple and they are perfect little DIY presents to give to someone. 

The Lip Balm :
[1] Shea Butter
[2] Coconut Butter
[3] Essential oil [this is optional and I chose to use mint. I also considered vanilla, rose, or lavender. Any would be fantastic!]
[4] Pigments for color* 

I used about two and a half table spoons of shea butter and two table spoons of coconut oil to fill this little tin. I took a large pot and boiled water in it. Once the water was boiling I took a smaller pot and sat it over the larger one (this creates a double boiler effect) and I placed by shea butter and coconut oil in the pot. This allows them to melt down without burning. Once I had a liquid consistency I took away the heat and added the drops of mint. After stirring it all together I poured it into my tin and placed in the refrigerator. I let mine cool for about two hours. (Make sure to store your finished lip balm somewhere cool. Since it is handmade too much heat can melt the balm down again.)

The Lip Scrub :
[1] White [or brown] Sugar
[2] Almond Oil
[3] Honey
[4] Mint Extract

I used about two table spoons of sugar, one table spoon of honey, and one and a half table spoons of almond oil. Mixing it all together, I topped it all off with a few drops of mint extract to give a little scent and a tingly feel. 

*I did not put any color into my balm because I liked the nice creamy neutral; but you can use pigments from blush, eyeshadow, or matte lipstick to put a tint in your balm. 

25 April 2014

Happy Weekend // Flower Friday

Happy Friday readers! While I was shooting this week's flower post I began thinking...how boring...shooting a grouping of florals in a vase. I began pulling them out of the vase bit by bit and realized how pretty they looked scattered around surrounded by loose greens and petals. I grabbed my scissors to start re-arranging and trimming them and grabbed my twine while I was at it. I loved the effect of bunching a few together and tying them up nice and pretty. Enough about flowers though. This weekend I plan on attending a fun event with some friends and going to my company's "walk-a-thon" charity event. Saturday is the walk-a-thon and the weather is meant to be stunning so I'm excited!

What do you have planned this weekend?

ps : The flowers above are ranunculus. Since peonies are yet to be in season here they are by far the next best bloom :)

24 April 2014

A Stella & Dot Affair

Jordan's Necklace // Amelie Bracelet // Jordan's Bracelet // My Necklaces 1 & 2 

Over the past weekend in Richmond I not only got to spend time with my family but I was lucky enough to spend a fantastic Saturday with my sweet friend Jordan. Jordan's fabulous friend Alisha is a Stella & Dot Stylist and the two of them hosted an oh so glam Stella & Dot brunch. I had so much fun catching up with Jordan, meeting Alisha, and sipping on mimosas while shopping. Jordan has a gorgeous apartment and it was the perfect sunny backdrop for the sparkly Stella & Dot pieces. It was all so pretty I just had to snap a few photos. Jordan and I also had so much fun trying on pieces. I left with the dainty arrow necklace I am sporting above and I cannot wait to style it with outfits for the blog!

Do you all love Stella & Dot? Do you own any of the pieces?

23 April 2014

Currently Loving | Drugstore Beauty Haul

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am so happy to be back to blogging, I have had the itch all week and it has been so strange to not be posting daily per usual. I have posts scheduled for the rest of the week and I am very excited to share them with you. My little break was wonderful but I am glad to be back (and with loads of new makeup goodies too). I have expressed my love of the giant Walgreens in Chinatown before and while in Richmond over the weekend I was able to hit up my all-time favorite spot Ulta. There isn't an Ulta in DC which is very sad and very good at the same time (my bank account is thankful there isn't one.) Check out below for a list of the products I scooped up.

1. Real Technique brushes: I grabbed the "Expert Face Brush" and a new eyeshadow brush. I have been totally loving the two I already own and was happy to find some new ones on the shelf. Those brushes fly out of the store so I grab them when I can.

2. NYX Chubby Stick Eyeliner in Black Bean: I have heard many good things about NYX (which you can grab at Ulta) and thought this chubby liner would be a fun addition. As most of you know I'm all about a dramatic dark eye and this little guy definitely delivers. It's great for lining my lower lashes or switching it up from my usual cat-eye look.

3. Pur Eyeshadow in Olivenite: Okay, so this one is a little less "drugstore" and a little more specialty. You can find it bigger Walgreens and it's very comparable to MAC in both price and pigment. Walgreens had a sale going on their "mid-grade" makeup products so I scooped this up. I'm loving it for my crease line (since it's matte) and to fill in my brows a little.

4. Maybelline Fit Me concealer and foundation: I'm continuously on the search for new foundations and I'm currently really liking this Maybelline one. It works well with it's concealer counterpart which I have used since college. Its a great concealer and a little bit of a highlighter since it is just a hare lighter than my skin tone.

5. Ardell False Lashes in 330 Black: So one of the few times I've wore fake lashes was at New Years this past year. They were so fun and I found these in Ulta for only like three or four dollars so I thought I'd give them a go. I'm saving them for my birthday weekend.

6. Maybelline Falsie's Mascara: I've been a tried and true Benefit They're Real fan for ages and I must say the waterproof Falsie's is a close second. It is definitely the much less expensive dupe for They're Real.

7. Gosh Volume Lip Shine Lipgloss: Like the Pur eyeshadow this is also a Walgreens mid-range find that I scooped up on sale. I didn't realize until I began searching that this company is UK based (surprise, surprise - everything I'm loving recently is). However, you can snag it at Walgreens in some locations. If any of you know more about the brand please let me know in the comments below!

Okay...I'm done buying makeup for a while - ha we will see how long that lasts. Someone seriously needs to never let me into a drugstore or Sephora again! What all have you been currently loving? 

ps : You can download the script type I used HERE.

18 April 2014

Happy Weekend // Flower Friday

A new and unseen [on That's Just Fabulous] flower this week! While my parents were here my Mom convinced me to snag these gorgeous Irises. I actually haven't ever bought them before and was so curious to see how they would bloom and look. I couldn't have been happier waking up Sunday morning to find them opened up and gorgeous. I snapped photos right away and they are still sitting on my coffee table today. 

On a different note...life has been so hectic lately and I'm beginning to feel very behind on blogging. There has been a DIY I grabbed materials for three weeks ago that hasn't been done, my apartment was beyond hot (due to the AC not being on yet) for a majority of the week...leaving me to stray far, far away from the heat of the kitchen, which ultimately left the cupcakes I wanted to make unbaked, and some beauty posts that I just haven't gotten around to pulling everything together for. This being said, that is the last of my complaining I will do! In lieu of not just throwing posts together for the sake of throwing posts together I think I may take a few days off next week. I will be enjoying the Easter holiday with my family and think a little relaxing and non-blogging will be good. For both myself and the blog.

I won't be gone long, only a few days...so I will be seeing you all next week :)

17 April 2014

A Little Egg DIY

Photos & Post c/o Kelly from Studio DIY

So deep into my Pinterest searching I stumbled up on these amazing little easter eggs via Studio DIY. Pastels AND gold foil...it doesn't get much better than that. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to make any eggs last weekend but I still wanted to share the DIY. I'm hoping that at home this weekend with family I will get the chance to re-create these little eggs or something similar. 

Have any of you made eggs already? Will any of you be making them this weekend like me? 

Head here for the Studio DIY instructions. 
Head here to check out the Studio DIY homepage.
Head here for my Pinterest, I'd love to have you following along!

16 April 2014

Currently Loving

Ikea Throw // Container Store Tape Dispenser

Happy Wednesday! Over this past weekend my parents came up for a visit and while they were here we made stops at Ikea and The Container Store. (Yay for having a temporary car to get out to those spots and bring things back!) I have been dying for a white fur throw to sit over my lucite chair for ages and Ikea didn't disappoint. I'm pretty sure it's meant to be a rug but it is so small, it's perfect to throw over my chair. I also fueled my lucite obsession by picking up this adorable little tape dispenser at The Container Store. I grabbed a few other items (mainly boring kitchen things - but at least they were in fun colors) but these two were by far my favorites.

Do any of you love Ikea and/or The Container Store as much as I do? I seriously have to limit the amount of times I go to either!

15 April 2014

OOTD : The Problem With Linen Pants...

Ann Taylor Linen Ankle Pants // Striped Top [SIMILAR] // Zara Jacket [SIMILAR] // Maslo Jewelry Ring // 
Kate Spade New York Gramercy Crystal Watch // Phillip Lim for Target Bag // Ann Taylor Flats [SIMILAR]

So I totally learned my lesson a few weekends ago...always shoot your blog post before you head to brunch. I totally wasn't thinking about the fact that I was wearing linen pants and after a couple hours of sipping champagne and chatting, they would be completely wrinkled. Hence the lack of photos in this post. I'm thinking these pants deserve a nice steam/press and a re-shoot ;)

Shop the Look...

Photos c/o Ashlyn

14 April 2014

Currently Loving : StyleSpotter

As all of you know by now, there is absolutely nothing I love more than shopping. Retail therapy is my go-to...for anything. Normally I would tell anyone who asked me that I prefer shopping in stores over shopping online. That is, until I discovered StyleSpotter. StyleSpotter works similarly to Pinterest in that you can favorite items to your account, create "collections" to organize your looks, and follow other fashion loving people to see what they are shopping for. Once you favorite or "heart" an item, not only does it store it on your account it also notifies you when your item goes on sale. Unlike Pinterest, StyleSpotter is an app you can shop directly off of. So the hassle of having to click on link after link to track down an item from a Pinterest Pin has been taken away.

StyleSpotter is organized in a way that makes searching for the perfect item incredibly easy. The categories allow you to really narrow down your search and find exactly what you are looking for; you can also search key words such as "leopard print flats" to help find the perfect piece. My favorite feature has to be that when you click on an item, it not only shows you that item in detail, it also shows you similar items at varying price points. This I find so useful seeing as my favorite collection is my "Lust List" aka items that I am dreaming to own. By clicking on those items it leads me to other products that have similar features and possibly are at a better price point. 

Do you love shopping online? Have you ever tried StyleSpotter out before? I'd love to hear in the comments below.
Be sure to check out the StyleSpotter app for iPad & follow along to see what I'm currently shopping for!

*Thank you StyleSpotter for kindly sponsoring this post & keeping me stylish!

11 April 2014

Happy Weekend // Flower Friday

Happy Friday readers! Today's post is short and sweet with a simple photo of one of my favorite flowers. White tulips & pink peonies will always be my absolute favorites. Since peonies still aren't in season here; white tulips it was this week. They just feel so fresh and bright; perfect for this gorgeous weather we are ending the week with. 

I hope all of you have a fantastic Friday and a good start to your weekend! I can't wait to kick mine off with a dinner and some wine with some fabulous friends I haven't seen in ages; and hopefully a trip down to the cherry blossoms. They are in full bloom and beyond gorgeous. 

10 April 2014

Blackberry Sour + Gin Cocktail

So typically most of the drink combinations I make on here are vodka or champagne based. Occasionally some rum will sneak in there, but I don't change it up too much. When I found this Rachael Ray recipe though I decided it was time to go out and snag a little gin to test it out. I altered Rachael's recipe slightly though because I am not a massive ginger fan. I can only take teeni, tiny amounts (aka so small you basically cannot taste it) so I knew that portion of the drink just wasn't for me. I followed her other steps for the most part and really loved the combination. The blackberry was sweet and the fresh squeezed lemon toned down the sugar and gave it a little kick. Also-anything that has club soda or a little fizz is perfect in my book. Making simple syrups (plain or infused with a flavor) has been one of my favorite things to do lately so I really enjoyed creating the blackberry syrup.
What is your favorite base for a cocktail? I'm sure this would taste equally as good with vodka or as a non-alcohol drink categorized as a "fizzy lemonade"!

09 April 2014

Currently Loving

Happy Wednesday readers! So...I made another trip up to Target and got completely trapped in the dollar section plus I also found the Oh Joy! section and all bets were off. I went for two items and left with like fifteen. But I still managed to spend less than thirty dollars so I think that was definitely a win. 

I hadn't been able to make it to Target when the Oh Joy products first launched so I figured when I went last week there would be just about nothing left. Luckily, I was able to find a few things even though most of the shelves were empty. I grabbed the fun straws above [I know, I know more straws] but what I liked about these were the fact that they are reusable. My birthday is coming up soon and I have a couple of friends coming to stay with me so I thought they were the perfect inexpensive buy for that weekend. Now everyone will know which cup is theirs. I also grabbed the napkins from the Oh Joy section as well for the same reason. As much as I love using my Crate and Barrel dinnerware I think with multiple people in my small place using disposable napkins, plates, etc is going to be easier. 

The last two items are dollar section finds. I still can't get over how awesome the little finds are in there. This is the first decorative washi tape and I'm glad I found it so cheap. I am excited to use it on cards and presents. Secondly, I stumbled across this chalk pen and couldn't pass that up. I have little planters from Crate and Barrel that have chalkboard labels on them so I thought the pen would be perfect to use on those. With the warm weather arriving I plan on attempting to remedy my black thumb and try a few little indoor plants again. 

What are you loving? Is your week going by quickly or pretty slow?

08 April 2014

OOTD : Don't You Step On My Blue Suede Shoes...

Ann Taylor Eyelet Top // Ann Taylor Midi-Skirt  // Zara Heels [SIMILAR] //
Maslo Jewelry Bar Ring // Phillip Lim for Target Bag // SmashBox Lip Gloss in Coraline // 
Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunnies // Nails : Essie Bikini So Teeni

Per usual this week's look is an outfit I threw on to grab brunch. Over the weekend I headed up to the Friendship Heights area to catch up with Rosa, Naina, and Ashlyn over champagne and delicious crepes at Le Chat Noir. When the wind wasn't blowing it was really very nice out so on our walk back to the car Ashlyn and I decided to snap a few shots in front of the cutest little white fence. The neighborhoods were so quiet and quaint up there that I almost forgot we were in the DC area.

Also a shout out to my very sweet nail tech at Mimosa Salon. I had my trusty Black Cherry Chutney in hand and she convinced me that I couldn't do a dark nail; I just had to have a springy color on. Little did I know my nails would be the perfect compliment to my blue suede heels in this post.

How did you spend your weekend? Do you love Sunday brunching as much as I do?

Shop the Look below