Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving Lately

Today I am off to Syracuse for the weekend with a bunch of my girlfriends to visit my friend Tina who lives out there. I always look forward to these weekends away with the girls because it gives us plenty of time to gossip, catch up, laugh, eat and drink. Not sure what's in store for us this weekend but I know whatever we will do, we will be having fun.

Here's a quick summary of what I'm loving this week:

Girls Weekends
Looking forward to spending the weekend in Syracuse with my favorite people.

King of the Nerds Season 2
So I got hooked on this TBS reality show last year mainly because I consider myself pretty nerdy. The show highlights 11 "nerds" and they participate in challenges based on all things nerdy including Harry Potter, Marvel superheroes, science fiction, etc. I find myself actively participating in the trivia challenges and I do pretty well (maybe I should apply to be on next season!). 

So I started a new book this week (I went to Barnes and Noble before I got all your book recommendations so I had to find something on my own instead). This book is a memoir from Katie, a 25 year old girl who has never had a boyfriend. It hilariously tracks her life in the dating world and so far it has been laugh out loud funny (and sometimes embarrassingly relatable as she discusses her childhood love of Lisa Frank stationary). Definitely a fun and easy read.

Maybe it's my longing for summer or the fact that I am a lover of all things ice cream related but I am a huge fan of this new Kate Spade Clutch. Such a fun accessory for spring/summer (if it every gets here).

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Costa Rica Update

There is less than 2 and a half months standing between me and the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. I've slowly began checking off my travel to-do list before I leave. So far I am happy to report that my passport, plane ticket, house payment and all food/alcohol being served is officially paid off which is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, especially because this was the majority of my bills. Now all that is left to plan/spend money on are the fun excursions we will be going on (more on that below), get a rental car, and get my vaccinations (which apparently are quite expensive, but it's a price I'll have to pay...that or get malaria). 

I'm getting increasingly more excited for this little adventure. This will be my first time out of the country, a goal I have had for awhile. Plus, this is really an excellent opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone. I have always been a little too careful about everything I do and since my New Year's resolution this year was to say 'yes' more, this is a way for me to try something new and have a whole new world of experiences. I honestly don't think a year ago I would have accepted this invitation to go on this trip, I would have been too nervous about all the variables involved. 

Going along with my post yesterday, one of the traits of a Scorpio is that I am a control freak. So the thought of traveling to Costa Rica and staying with a house with 25 people (some who I know very well and some who I don't know at all) can be a little nerve racking. I am preparing to force myself to be laid back and to go with the flow throughout the entire trip. At the end of the day I know I will have so much fun and will leave with wonderful memories and a distaste for going back to my office...and for that I am pretty proud of myself. 

Okay, back to the fun part. As mentioned above we are currently in the process of deciding what type of excursions we want to go on. We are officially hiking through the rainforest that will lead us to an active volcano, but we also have a couple other options including snorkeling (which is my vote), horseback riding on the beach, cave tours and kayaking. We also plan on jumping in some waterfalls too (how cool?!). Check out some of the pictures below!

Are you a control freak like me? 
If so have you ever gone on an adventure completely out of your comfort zone?
Which excursions would you want to do?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baby, What's Your Sign?

I'm not one of those people who check their horoscope on the daily but I am guilty of looking when they post them in the backs of my magazines. I'm not necessary a huge believer in the daily predictions but I do love the research that goes into the personality traits of your birthday sign. I am a scorpio and when looking at the traits of a scorpio I had to laugh because most of them are spot on with me.

Scorpio's Are:
  • Scorpios are fiercely independent, they are perfectly suited to being on their own.
  • Scorpios like to be in control of a situation (I'm such a control freak!).
  • Scorpios are extremely loyal to those they trust but when you break that trust it is hard to convince a scorpio to forgive and forget.
  • Scorpios are fiercely competitive (So true, I have been known to be a board game bully)
  • Scorpios are excellent at restoring order to a chaotic situation.
  • Scorpios have powerful instincts and they trust their own gut.
You can check out more about your sign here.

Anyways, C Wonder just created a new zodiac cuff set on their website that I really love!
 I would proudly rock that scorpion cuff, accepting all my scorpio strengths and faults!

What's your sign and do the personality traits according to the zodiac fit your personality?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Dip + Special Thanks

Happy Tasty Tuesday Everyone!
With the Superbowl coming up next weekend I was trying to keep my tasty Tuesday recipes these past couple weeks strictly dip related. For me, The Superbowl is all about the food, the commercials and the halftime show since I'm not much of a football fan. But it does give me the excuse to eat a bunch of snacks for dinner! My favorite dip of all time is spinach and artichoke dip, it's always my go to appetizer whenever I go out to eat. My friend Christina made this delicious dip at our holiday party, The Jingle, and she was kind enough to send me the recipe for it so I could share it with the rest of you. I figured it would be perfect for all the Superbowl parties you guys will be having this weekend!

  • 1 (14 oz.) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Place mixture in baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through

*Don't you just love when the directions of a recipe says,
"Combine all ingredients and put in the oven"?! So simple and easy!
Thanks again Tina for sharing this!
I also wanted to give special thanks to Vett from Real College Student of Atlanta! I won her giveaway yesterday and ended up scoring a $25 gift card to J Crew. I am a huge fan of her blog and with every restaurant and travel post, she makes me want to board a flight to Atlanta! 
Thanks again Vett for further enabling my shopping addiction! 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter White

I think I have done enough complaining of the weather in the past couple weeks to last me a lifetime. However, today I am embracing winter and the wonderful things it brings with it, including winter white fashion. It's easy to fall into that winter slump where all you want to wear is dark boring colors, but I think the best remedy for the winter blues is to embrace bright colors to lighten your mood. This is why I have decided to pick my favorite winter white pieces for you! 
I recently bought the jeweled collar blouse from C Wonder in this picture and it arrived in the mail last weekend (it's currently on sale so you should scoop it up while you still can). I also love the idea of incorporating a white faux fur vest into my wardrobe because it looks so warm and cozy. Finally, going with my pencil skirt obsession I had to find the perfect white skirt to wear to the office! On a side note: one thing I want to try but haven't yet are white nails, it's definitely a clean look but I worry it will wash my already pale skin out (maybe it's a polish idea I will save for summer).

Have you been wearing your winter whites lately?
Have you ever rocked white nails?


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Thoughts + A Weekend Recap (And A New Layout)

Another weekend has come and gone, why does time always fly on my days off but when I'm at work the hours seem to drag by? 

Heres a quick weekend recap:
- Went to Barnes and Noble yesterday morning and picked up a new book for work. Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions yesterday I made a list so when I finish this one I can start the ones you suggested.
- Bowled with my family. It was my Aunts birthday this weekend and we decided to have a pizza party at the bowling alley. In case you were wondering--- I'm a terrible bowler. Pretty sure I'm the only person who could get a gutter ball while the children rails are up. 
- It was freezing (again) this weekend. The wind chill was unreal.
- Applied to get Book of Mormon tickets. The traveling show is coming to our area and a family friend of ours works for the company so I'm hoping to score some top notch seats *fingers crossed*.
- Finally finished Dexter. Series finale was meh.... onto Breaking Bad!
- Tonight I'm making a big ham dinner for my family, perfect comfort food for this weather!

Okay so I need your opinion on the new layout of my blog. I'm not 100% sure I am happy with it. I have been struggling with my header picture, mainly because I have no background in web design so I can only do the basics. I will probably eventually change it again, but if you know anyone who has any tips or design ideas for me I would love to hear them! I just wish I was born with the gift of web design so I could make my dream blog... maybe I should take a class or something!

Sexy shoes, right?
What did you do this weekend?
Let me know your opinions/critiques of the new blog layout!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Recommendations

So part of the benefits of my job is that I get a 30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks a day, allowing me to step away from my computer screen and rest my eyes. So lately I have been doing a lot of reading, which is perfect because reading more books is on my 25 Before 25 list. Last week I finished Orange is the New Black, and I highly recommend it. However, now that I am reading more I really need some recommendations from you guys. I'm open to pretty much anything (although I'm not a huge fan of Notebook-like books or movies... sometimes I think I have a black heart and get bored by the same old love story). Although it should be known that I am a sucker for celebrity autobiographies...
Next on my list will probably be Gone Girl because I've heard such great things about it but after that I'm stumped on what to try next. 

So I need your help, what books do you recommend?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

I am so excited for the weekend! I'm still getting used to my new job and my new schedule. The long work week paired with this miserable weather we've been having makes me want to stay home under the covers all weekend long.

Here is what I am loving this week:
Banana Republic Foldover Clutch
I'm obsessed with multiple things in the Banana Republic spring collection but these neon clutches are at the top of my want list. I can't decide which one I like better the hot pink or lime green. Plus the foldover style gives me more room to fit stuff.

While decorating my cubicle I decided that some prints would be perfect to hang on the walls. I was so glad I thought of that because I was looking for a place to hang my prints from Ashley's Etsy shop. I've gotten so many compliments on the new addition to my cubicle, I think I will expand the prints onto another wall too! 

InStyle Magazine
So I have been a huge fan of InStyle Magazine for a long time however I never subscribed to it before which makes no sense at all because one magazine costs $5 at the grocery store but a 2 year subscription only costs $25. I finally realized that buying in the grocery store each month makes no sense and I subscribed to it online. Duh Alex.

Survivor: Cagayan
So you all know by now I am a Survivor addict, I even applied to be on the show as part of my 25 Before 25 list. Well this week they announced the cast for the new season that starts in February. The theme is Beauty vs. Braun vs. Brains and I am so excited to start watching.

Heres what I'm NOT loving:

This weather!
Going into work in the morning has been soooooo cold this week. Please spring, hurry up and get here!!

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

25 Before 25 Goal: Drink More Water

So as I told you all last week I got a facial at my favorite salon Changes. I try and get a facial at least twice a year because it helps to moisturize my face in the winter and repair some of the sun damage in the summer. Anyways, I was complaining to esthetician that although my cheeks get super dry in the winter I still always have an oily forehead and I was wondering the cause of it since I'm good about keeping my face clean. She told me something that I didn't know before, I was most likely dehydrated! Apparently when you are dehydrated your forehead (and upper back) produces oils to compensate for it. For some reason I related dehydration with dry skin but it is actually the opposite. 
So after she completely rehydrated my skin with a facial she recommended to me that I try drinking more water a day for a month and see if I see any changes in my skin. This goal was a perfect way to cross out drinking more water on my 25 Before 25 list so during the next month I will be bringing a water bottle to work and filling it throughout the day. The water bottle holds 13oz of water so I'm hoping to get at least 3 of those in during a work day totaling 39oz. I actually started the water bottle goal last Friday, the day after my facial, and although I had to get up from my desk and pee every 45 minutes, I'm hoping it will make a difference. 
Does anyone else have the goal of drinking more water in 2014?
Do you have any tips for me for keeping hydrated?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

J Crew Factory New Arrivals

I havent been to the outlets since November but after seeing the J Crew Factory new arrivals I realize I need to get there ASAP. They have so many cute spring pieces that make my heart ache for warmer weather. What makes me even more anxious is that last week they really pretty bathing suits including a  blue seersucker one I had my eyes on and when I went on their website again this week to work on the blog post they were already sold out. Hopefully they will still have some available in stores because I'd really like to add them to my collection. 
Other things I want to add to my wardrobe.. that navy dress, striped loafers and that mint green pencil skirt. Whenever I go to the J Crew outlets I have a terrible habit of buying those pencil skirts, I literally own them in every color. They are very flattering and are perfect for pairing with a blouse for work or a crop top for after work happy hour. 

Have you been to the outlets lately?
What is your favorite item from the J Crew Factory new arrivals?


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Recipe: Dana's Famous Cheeseburger Dip

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
You guys are in for a real treat today because one of my best friends Dana has agreed to share her recipe for cheeseburger dip. This is a serious crowd favorite for all of my friends, whenever we have a get together where we are bringing appetizers or snacks we always ask Dana to make this dip. Basically we ban her from trying any other recipes if it means she won't be making the dip for a special occassion. So after asking her permission she told me I could post the famous recipe on my blog for all of you to enjoy. Sorry in advance for the photo I posted, we always dig into it right away when she puts it out so I didn't get a chance to get a decent picture of the dip....

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1 brick of plain cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (add more if you're a big fan of BBQ sauce)
  • 1/2 package of bacon
  • 1 package of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 bag of Tostitos chips for dipping

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook ground beef in a frying pan until cooked, then drain the liquid from the pan.
  • In a separate pan cook the bacon until crispy, remove bacon and chop it up into pieces.
  • Add chopped bacon, garlic, chili powder, ground mustard, BBQ sauce, red onion and salt/pepper to taste into frying pan with ground beef and mix together on low heat until everything is combined.
  • In an oven safe pie dish spread 1 brick of plain cream cheese into bottom of pan.
  • Pour beef mixture on top of cream cheese spread.
  • Cover with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Each until your stomach hurts.

Thanks again Dana for letting me share this.
*Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for all of my recipes or search Tasty Tuesday on my blog*

Monday, January 20, 2014

Product Review: The Proper Puppy

Happy Monday!
Today I will be doing a review of the Etsy shop The Proper Puppy. Last week I was lucky enough to win a collar from Katy's blog Classic Katy. She recently started her own Etsy shop selling the most adorable dog collars after she had a hard time finding cute, fun collars for her dog. As soon as I saw the giveaway I knew I had to enter because Misa would look so precious in all of her products. When my winning package arrived in the mail I was so surprised because Katy was sweet enough to actually send Misa two collars instead of the one that I won! So this weekend Misa has been playing dress up alternating between her two new collars and she looks pretty sharp if I do say so myself. Side note: Katy also sent Misa a little treat with the package (she ate it seconds after opening the box), so thanks Katy!
So back to the review end of this post. There are so many reasons I love The Proper Puppy's collars. First of all they come in so many different patterns to match your pooches personality. Misa has her pink and navy collar for when she is feeling a little girly and a bright green gingham collar for when she is her typical monster-self. Also all the collars are monogrammed with your pets name or initial so you know your pup is rocking a one-of-a-kind collar. Another reason I loved The Proper Puppy collars is because they actually came in Misa's size! Misa is a large dog and her chubby neck needs a big collar that won't choke her. I always hated going to Petsmart and seeing those adorable Halloween costumes for dogs and knowing that Misa was too big to fit in them (she apparently need to shop in the plus-size section haha!). Katy's collars come in small, medium and large so you can guarantee your dog will have a collar that fits. 

Please enjoy the following photo shoot (Misa was getting annoyed at me for taking all these photos of her and interrupting her afternoon nap but I couldn't resist)....

Throwing serious shade my way

So if you get a moment, please check out The Proper Puppy! Katy and I are currently working on a fun little giveaway in the near future so stay tuned for that as well!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Thoughts + A Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday!
The best part about this Sunday is that it is basically like a Saturday because I have a 3 day holiday weekend! Days like this make me wish that we had 3 days off every week! 
Also how awesome is this quote?! I really loved the message behind it: be proud to be who you are. It's definitely a great message for all females.
Heres a quick summary of my past couple days:
  • Friday night I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my first week on the job. I was so exhausted after a long week that I had no desire to do anything afterwards which meant a nice relaxing Friday.
  • Last night I went out for margaritas with my girlfriends. We have this terrible habit of planning outings on the night of a snow storm, but we trekked out in the snow and had a couple of weekend beverages and plenty of laughs.
  • I also managed to catch some of the SAG Awards last night, how beautiful was Lupita and JLaw's dress? They are such fashion icons. 
  • This morning I attended a fundraiser brunch for a family friend who is battling cancer. They had such a huge turn out and raised a bunch of money to cover the medical bills which was awesome.
  • The rest of my Sunday will be spend running errands at Target and grocery shopping. Then possibly back into my PJs...
What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Special Shout Out

Just wanted to give a special shout out to AJ from The AJ Minute, I won her giveaway last week and just received my winnings in the mail. I am very excited to use all my new office accessories, I will be bringing them to work with me on Monday to decorate my desk with. Thanks again AJ! Make sure you all check out her blog!

What are you doing on this Saturday Morning?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Loving Lately

This has been one long week, I am still getting used to working 8 hour days, 5 days a week and I am still learning so much about my new job. Luckily for me, I have a three day weekend ahead of me to rest, relax, and regroup. I'm hoping to head to Target this weekend to get some fun desk accessories for my new cubicle. I'm slowly personalizing it so its a fun and comfortable work space. 

Here is what I am loving this week:
I'm loving this new commercial from Bing, it shows so many women (both famous and everyday ladies) who have done wonderful things and shown us the meaning of brave! Definitely a feel good clip to start your Friday with.

I treated myself to a facial at my local spa last night and it was fabulous. My skin has been so dry lately because of this miserable weather. I try to get a facial twice a year to keep my pores clean and to pamper myself a little. I would seriously pay someone to rub my arms and back every night, anyone interested haha?

Ladies Night
Tomorrow night I am getting together with my girlfriends for ladies night drinks! The best therapy in the world is going out with your best girlfriends.

C Wonder is having a huge sale right now, all sale items are an additional 50% off! I ordered this bejeweled white button down (because you can never own enough white button downs). C Wonder is my mom's new favorite store so she practically bought one of everything! Definitely go check it out ASAP!

What are your plans for this weekend?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It Takes Tunic

I swear the only thing getting me through this awful winter is looking at the new spring collections online, it gives me hope that I wont always be wearing down coats and boots. Don't get me wrong, winter comes with so many ways to express yourself-fashion wise, but I am just so sick of my winter closet. Lilly Pulitzers resort collection is currently the thing I've been obsessing over lately (probably because I waited too late to shop the Lilly sale and everything was picked over so I have major regret right now). I've been thinking about investing in a Lilly tunic for when I go to Costa Rica because I want something light that I can throw over my bathing suit while we are lounging by the pool or something I could wear with a pair of shorts for a nice dinner outside. They have so many beautiful tropical patterns that I'm having a hard time deciding which one I want.

Do you own a Lilly tunic? 
If so, which one would you recommend? I'm leaning towards the Captiva Tunic.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Boots with the Fur

With all this wintery weather we have been having mixed with the Polar Vortex I quickly have realized that my rain boots paired with fleece lining still isn't cutting it. Its time that I invest in a pair of real winter boots that are both waterproof and warm. I know everyone raves about the Bean Boot and it's definitely in the running to be the new addition to my wardrobe but I also found these Alpine boots by Sperry that look so warm and comfortable. They are waterproof, lined with Thinsulate for added warmth, have a side zip for easy on/off wearing and have rubber soles to make sure you get good traction when the walkways are slippery. 
The main thing that is drawing me to them over the Bean Boot is the fact they they are shearling lined (similar to an UGG) so I know they must be not only warm, but comfy and soft. They are similarly priced (but I am patiently waiting to see if they might go on sale once all the spring lines start coming out).
Does anyone else own these boots, would you recommend them?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Golden Globes Best Dressed

I have a very weird obsession with award season. Like honestly, The Oscars are considered my Superbowl and The Golden Globes is my World Series. I look forward to them all year, start watching the red carpet wayyy before any of the big stars arrive and even DVR the awards so I make sure I don't miss anything when I watch them live (I know, I'm a freak). So I know this post is a little delayed but I wanted to share with you my four best dressed ladies of the night. For the first year in a long long time I thought almost everyone looked great (except Drew Barrymore and Zoe Saldana) so I had a hard time picking which gowns were my favorite. 

  1. Olivia Wilde- She is my ultimate girl crush and I'm a little obsessed with her. How awesome does she look in this emerald green gown that shows off her baby bump? We could only be so lucky to look that fabulous preg.
  2. Lupita Nyong'o- She is the break out fashionista this year and we should all expect to see more of her in 2014, she is already the new face of Miu Miu. This Ralph Lauren dress with the cape was such a stand out on the red carpet.
  3. Sofia Vergara- I know black can be boring but this dress is anything but. I also always love to see what jewelry Sofia will be wearing and this bright blue statement necklace did not disappoint!
  4. Margot Robbie- She has a breakout role in the new movie The Wolf of Wall Street but I also think she is breaking out on the red carpet as well. This dress is so simple but the tailoring is flawless on her!
Do you watch any of the award shows?
Which dress was your favorite at the Golden Globes?

New Recipe: Meatballs

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
Nothing is better than a spaghetti and meatball dinner on a cold winter night. I assume most people know how to boil water and make spaghetti but I'm sure not everyone has a good meatball recipe. Coming from a large Italian family my mom/aunts/uncles often battle to see who has makes the best meatballs. I am not complaining because it allows me to sample all different versions, yummy! The main difference between all of them is the amount of pork/ground beef used, they each create a unique flavor. The one I am posting today is my moms recipe, I hope you enjoy!


  • 2lb ground beef
  • 1lb pork
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup parley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Use an ice cream scoop to roll meatballs, place on an un-greased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 45 minutes (time may vary depending on size of meatballs)
  • Enjoy!
Do you have a family meatball recipe?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crazy for Cashmere

I'm a huge fan of cashmere sweaters, I normally stock up around Christmas time when all the stores put them on sale. They're perfect for under a heavy winter coat or for the office because they aren't bulky but they are super warm. Now that all the stores are getting ready for all the new spring lines (I personally am longing for the day I can walk out of my house without sporting a full body snow suit), most of the cashmere is going on super sale so this is a great time to buy. I definitely recommend you checking out Nordstrom's website because they have a huge variety of cashmere on sale for only $50!  This definitely beats the over priced cashmere found on the J Crew website, plus it allows you to save some cash for buying something else you love. The Nordstom sweaters are perfect for layering too, I want one in each color to pair with different blouses and button downs.

Where is your favorite place to buy cashmere?


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Thought + A Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday Everyone!
This weekend sure flew by, I can't believe I start my new job tomorrow. I am both nervous and excited for all the new opportunities ahead of me but I am a little sad that I wont be back in the classroom with my students tomorrow, I am going to miss them so much. 

Here is a quick weekend recap:
  • So much paperwork, getting a new job means insurance forms, retirement forms and plenty of tax forms to fun
  • I saw American Hustle last night! Jennifer Lawrence is everything and I'm obsessed with her, she's not even a main character and she totally steals the show. Side Note: We had a crazy person in our theater that had to be escorted out by security... quite an experience.
  • I have a lot of baking to do after I post this because I am going to a family lunch today and I am in charge of dessert. I think I am going to make my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Bars.
  • I'm super excited to watch the Golden Globes tonight! I am such a sucker for award season, can't wait to see all the amazing fashion on the red carpet.
  • Finished another puzzle.... sorta.... Misa may have eaten two pieces...ugh. The poor whale is missing a part of his face thanks to my little monster.

How was your weekend?
Are you going to watch the Golden Globes tonight?