Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I must confess ....

I have a confession ... I'm stuck in a style rut. I wear the same 20% of my wardrobe every week. I've been blaming my clothes for my bad style habits ... these pants don't fit well, this shirt is too tight (is it just me or is nothing in your closet ever too big?!). I gather tons of ideas on Pinterest but as usual I don't do anything with them. My style board is growing out of control ... 232 pins as of this minute! I can't bring myself to go buy a bunch of new stuff so I'm no longer wearing the same 20% every week, because let's face it I'm no millionaire and I have bills to pay. One of my new blog obsessions is Pinterest Told Me To. She takes her pins and recreates outfits from them (so that's what you are actually supposed to do with all those pins!) and then documents it all. I think she rocks. I'm going to take a page from the Sheaffer book of style and make next week my challenge week. 

I, Allison, will recreate or take inspiration from at least 4 looks from my style board. 

Will you hold me to it? Can I do it? Here are the 4 looks I'm going to try.
From Ms. Sheaffer herself, mustard and pink  {See pin}
Stripes, floral and boots {See pin}
A little business casual look {See pin}
And a weekend look {See pin}

Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Book List #2

I've been blazing through my book lists recently and even reading more than what I had picked out. So I decided it was time to create a part 2 for the Winter. I also joined Goodreads to keep track of what I've read and to join the 2013 Reading Challenge. I'm challenging myself to read 30 books this year. Let's see if I can do it. You can follow my progress in my sidebar ---> yep right over there.
Winter Book List #2

  1. Bared to You - I heard if you like Fifty Shades then you'll like this. Bring it on!
  2. Friends Like You - One of my friends just finished this so I added it to my list. UPDATE: This was good but slightly confusing. Were some of these people transgender? The "boyfriend/girlfriend" reference was hard to follow but overall a good quick read.
  3. Goodbye, Jimmy Choo - I found this via Goodreads based on my past books. UPDATE: I'm not sure what I was expecting with this book but I wasn't overly impressed. The story seemed to drag on and last about 100 pages more than it needed to.
  4. Bitter Is the New Black - Again found via Goodreads based on past books read. UPDATE: This was a funny read. I'm looking forward to reading others from Jen Lancaster as well.
  5. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn also wrote Gone Girl which I loved so I'm excited to read this one. UPDATE: Oh my! This was awesome. Unlike Gone Girl, you jump right into the story. I loved how the past and present chapters met up to find out the ending. I recommend!
Any suggestions to add to my list?

Friday, January 18, 2013

I wish

There's been so much happening lately it's like I can't keep up. My dishes are piled high in my sink because I'm too busy to empty the dishwasher. The floor hasn't been mopped in -- I'm not sure how long (shh, don't tell my mom). I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. Wake up, get ready, get kids ready, drop off kids, go to work, work all day, drive home, make dinner, help A with homework, do baths, put kids to bed, fall onto couch until I decide I need to just go to sleep in bed. And then it starts all over again. I wish I could work part time so I could spend more time with my kids. I wish I had more time for my kids. I wish I could go on more dates with my DH. I wish the world would just slow down. I wish I had a genie to make all these wishes a reality.
These crazies make me smile every day and I'm proud to call them my family. One day I'll have it all, right? :)  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Top 3 Friday Faves

Here's what I've been loving this past week ...
Favorite New Moisturizer

Neutrogena Norweign Formula Hand Cream -- Not only can you use this on your hands but you can put it on your face and your lips. I'm in love. This winter I'm not letting dry, cracked hands get me down. Best of all you only need a dab so a little goes a LONG way.
Favorite New Lunch

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions -- They give you everything but the lettuce (because frozen lettuce would be gross). My favorite so far has been the Southwest-style Chicken (pictured above) the dressing was AMAZING and the tortilla strips were actually crispy. Hello healthy lunch, nice meeting you (it was only 260 calories!!)
Favorite Hairbrush
Goody Quikstyle -- I never thought I'd have a favorite hairbrush but this one is AMAZING. It has these microfiber bristles that help absorb water while you brush your hair. This means my hair dries so much faster especially when I use it with my hair dryer. I now have time to style my hair before work instead of throwing it into a ponytail. Get one of these ladies you won't regret it!

*I received all these products from BzzAgent or Influenster for review. However, I wouldn't feature them if I didn't truly love them. All opinions are my own and I wouldn't lie about something being my favorite.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Holiday VoxBox

I was super excited to be chosen to receive a VoxBox from Influenster. Say what? You haven't heard of Influenster ... well email me and I'll send you an invite.
Holiday VoxBox

Look at all the goodies that showed up at my door.
1. $25 discount to SoleSociety
3. Goody Quikstyle Brush
4. NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine
5. Kiss Nail Dress
6. Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal +

I got busy trying everything right away. Here's the lowdown on what you need and what you can pass on.

1. I picked out a pair of shoes for work called Kacie. Of course I had to get the polka dot ones because they were just too cute! I like that they offer free shipping both ways so if you need to return you can do that. I've never bought a pair of shoes online before mainly because you never know how they are going to fit. And what do you know, I got my shoes and they don't fit. I returned the shoes and received a store credit, but because I used a coupon code I had to contact customer service to get the full amount credited back to me to buy the same shoes in a smaller size. It was a bit of a hassle, but eventually I got my shoes. I haven't worn them yet since the 3" of snow outside has been keeping me in full coverage shoes lately. Overall, I probably won't buy shoes online again unless I know how they fit beforehand. 

2.Trying to keep up with 2 kids and work full time means that is mama is usually too tired to work out. I decided to give EBOOST a try before a workout. I had enough energy to make it through the whole work out. I like that it's all natural as well. No funky chemicals.

3. The brush claims to dry your hair 30% faster. Since that would require a lot of math work on my part to figure out if this really did anything 30% faster, I'm going to skip that part. I can say that when used with my hair dryer I did notice that my hair dried faster. However used on its own I didn't notice anything. I like the brush but I think it might best be used on someone with thicker hair. I have long hair but it's fine so I don't think it was really soaking up the water I was expecting. Either way, I'm happy with it and it will be kept in my normal routine.

4. I love me a good lip gloss. My 5 year old snatched this one up before I got a chance to use it. When I finally got it back I was impressed. I loved the glossy look without the stickiness that comes from most other glosses. The shade I received matched my lip color fairly close. I am happy to add this nude shade to my collection.

5. I've tried other brands of the peel and stick nail polish so I had high hopes for these. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed with the application. They look forever to put on! I don't have long fingernails so the instructions to "wrap around the tip of your nail" just isn't possible for me. It was really hard to break off the end of them without busting out the scissors and risk injuring myself. They've held up through the normal mom routine (dishes, work and bathtime) but didn't make it to the 10 day mark they claim. [See a picture]

6. I received the Apple Walnut Oatmeal. I'm not a big fan of oatmeal with lots of stuff in it. I thought it had too much sugar (22g for a single serving is a bit much) but at least the calories were in-line for breakfast. The apple and cranberries were really good but I could've done without the walnuts. Overall, it was too sweet for me but I guess I'm just a plain oatmeal kind of girl.

What will you try out?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

I've been trying to make at least one Pinterest recipe a month. What's the point of pinning if I don't ever do anything with them?! After being gone for a week I was ready to make some nice homemade dinners. It was freezing outside compared to our 60* beach weather so chicken pot pie sounded like something I needed to make but since I'm a little obsessed with things in cupcake form I had to make the Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes. We had been gone for a week I didn't have much on hand so I had to improvise. For starters I didn't have cream of chicken soup so I had to make my own. 

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes
Original recipe from Tablespoon but changed slightly be me

1 chicken breast poached and diced
1 can cream of chicken soup (I didn't have this so I made a roux and added 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock. This made mine a bit more watery but they still tasted good)
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp of whatever herbs you might have on hand
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic salt
2 cans Pillsbury (or store brand, I don't judge) biscuits {I cut a few in half to make 12 because 10 was just weird to me}

Combine everything but the biscuits together. Put the biscuits into a greased cupcake pan so that they line the sides. Fill them up super full. {Since I had a more watery chicken soup my bubbled over in the oven. Just stick a cookie sheet on the next rack down to catch any drippings. I had to clean my oven out afterwards .. ugh!} Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes. Don't let them get burnt! Let them sit a few minutes so the biscuits can absorb some of the liquid and then enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 -- let's do this!

How did everyone's Thirteen by 2013 turn out?

Well I accomplished almost everything on my list which is much better than how my Twelve by 2012 list turned out. I plan on still working on the few items that didn't make it before the new year during this month. I'm not so good at setting up resolutions so I haven't decided to do that this year. I like the idea of picking a word for the year but I can't find one thing that I want to focus on for the whole year. Instead I have some goals to accomplish this year, call them resolutions if you will.

  • Finish my Thirteen by 2013 list
  • Find a job closer to home
  • Start a family budget

That's it. I'm not going crazy this year. If I accomplish these by summer then great, I can make up some more. Here's to a successful 2013 in all respects of my life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'm back!

This is how we spent Christmas this year ... in South Carolina!  

Top: Amazing bridges // USS Yorktown
Bottom: Delicious food // Breathtaking sunrises

We spent the week with my Dad and step-mom in South Carolina this Christmas. We had tons of fun and enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine. Too bad we had to come back to snow and below freezing temps. I wish we could back :)