Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Little Black Dress (LBD) Series ~ H & M Cape Sheath Dress



 Model: R. Thomas fitrach13 on Instagram

The little black dress takes on a whole new personality in this Cape Sheath LBD. I found this dress in Montreal at H & M. It's chic but understated with simple lines but the cape attachment adds the WOW Factor. I styled it with a stunning vintage feathered handbag that belonged to my grandmother. The shoes are Franco Sarto leopard heels. Playing with textures is always fun and quickly creates a luxe appearance. Another alternative would be to use pops of color with a statement necklace and clutch.


                                                                                           


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Four Newly Discovered Products I Can't Live Without


L'Oréal Boost It Lift Creation Spray
I stumbled across this product when I had a coupon and thought I'd give it a try. It was love at first spray! Boost It is more than a styling spray or a hairspray. It's a perfect back combing/teasing spray. Section off an area at the crown, spray, tease and Boost It! You'll love it. 

E.L.F. Essential Eyelid Primer
This is the perfect prep for my shadows. A quick swipe across my lids and I have a smooth canvas prepped with staying power. I use the shade Sheer. 

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
It's not dark circles that I'm trying to hide.  I use this concealer in a brightening shade that instantly adds a radiant refreshed look to my face. 

Mitchum for Women Gel Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant
Shower fresh never felt so good! I thought Mitchum was for old ladies and boy, was I wrong. The formula goes on clear and stays clear and dry all day. 

Have you discovered any new products you can't live without? Share in the comment. 




 
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tired of the same old thing for dinner? How about Smoothie Bowls?


After a long work day it's nice to come home and not have to worry about making dinner. The fun begins the moment I say "how about smoothie bowls?"  

The blender comes out along with the Coconut Almond Milk, Greek yogurt and some frozen fruit and we're in business. Toppings are a personal choice. I went for mango, banana, blueberries with granola and pumpkin seeds dusted with chia. Dried organic goji berries add just the right amount of chewy sweetness. My hubby skipped the mango and added a bit more crunch. 


What's in your favorite smoothie bowl? Share in the comments. 
 


 
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Super Food Martini?? Yes, Please!


The lychee fruit has been heralded as a super food and because of this, the Lychee Martini, is a super martini! The lychee is a tropical plant that's native to parts of China, India, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines. The fruit may not be the most attractive fruit since it kind of resembles a bumpy strawberry but the taste of the fruit far exceeds its appearance.  A lychee fruit tastes like a cross between a strawberry, a grape, and a watermelon. It's sweet and juicy. 



You can certainly make this martini by using fresh lychees but if you're like me and need instant gratification, a 20 oz can of lychees works perfectly. I empty the can of lychees and juice into a storage container and store them in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Even if the lychee begins to brown, the fruit still tastes delicious.

Ingredients

6 oz (3/4 cup) Vodka (I prefer Tito's)
1.5 oz (3T) Cointreau or 1.5 oz (3T) St. Germaine (I love adding a little of both)
Lychee juice to taste

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add vodka,  Cointreau and/or St. Germaine, and lychee juice. Shake until chilled. Pour into 2 martini or coupe glasses and garnish with lychees. Cheers!



Sometimes I use a martini glass and other times a coupe glass. Regardless of the stemware, the Lychee Martini is sure to please the martini lover in all of us.

Do you have a favorite martini? Share in the comments.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Berry Mango Smoothie Bowl


Ingredients

Combine in a blender 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup frozen berries. Top with sliced mango and kiwi. Add 2 T of granola. Enjoy!!
 
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking for a Cheat Day Appetizer that Takes the Cake?

Fried Goat Cheese Salad from The First Post Public House 

Try delicious fried goat cheese on a bed of arugula, pickled red onion, tomato, walnuts with a drizzle of honey citrus vinaigrette. YUM!
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Are you ready for some football? My Top Tips for Hosting a Fabulous Fantasy Football Draft


Football season is right around the corner and it's time to start planning for your best Fantasy Football Draft Party. My husband and I have organized a fantasy football league for years and one of the highlights of the season is definitely the DRAFT PARTY. My Pinterest feed is filled with football food ideas. These pictures are from our 2014 draft party. Here are my top tips for hosting a fabulous football draft.

Tip #1 - PLAN EARLY
Don't wait until the last minute to plan your party. Start browsing Pinterest boards for football tailgating food. That's where I usually find the best ideas. Chips, salsa, veggies are always welcome but step up the presentation. Crockpots of soups, sausages, and chili are always a hit.

Tip #2 - DECORATE
Stop off at your local party store and pick up some football themed paper plates, napkins and cups. A green tablecloth can add to the football theme.




Tip #3 - SHOW YOUR SPIRIT
Grab your fan gear and rock your favorite jersey. If you're DIY inclined you can "trash talk" through a customized t-shirt. Add a football theme to your tips and toes and you'll be ready for the best football draft ever.




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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Looking for a Tasty Summer Salad? Try this Peach Panzanella with Fresh Mozzarella


Makes 3 servings, about 500 calories per serving

Ingredients

1 Bread Boule
1/2 lb Fresh Mozzarella
4 oz Arugula
4 oz Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Fresh Peach
1 Bunch of Basil
2 T Vinegar
1 Shallot
1/2 t Sea Salt
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Directions

Dice shallot and place in a small bowl with the vinegar. Thinly slice the peach and the cucumber. Halve the tomatoes. Roughly chop the basil. Slice the bread into 1" slices. Peel the garlic. Halve the cheese.

Make the vinaigrette by slowly whisking 2 T olive oil into the shallot-vinegar mixture. Season with salt & pepper. Place the tomatoes, peach, cucumber, half of the basil and half of the shallot mixture into a large bowl. Stir to coat and let sit for 10 minutes. 

Make the croutons by grilling the bread slices in 2 t of olive oil. Flip occasionally until brown and toasty. Rub each slice with the garlic clove. Dice. 

Slice the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Add the arugula, croutons and remaining vinaigrette to the fruit & veggie mix. Toss to coat.  Divide the salad between plates and top with seasoned mozzarella. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite summer salad? Share in the comments below. 


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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What I Wore to Work ~ Featuring a Scuba Skirt


Model - Rachel Thomas fitrach13 on Instagram

Thankfully, the scuba trend is sticking around for a second year. The scuba material is great for creating  a figure-flattering look and accentuating an hour glass shape. This black and blue floral pencil skirt pairs perfectly with a simple white top. The feminine lines transform this look from a plain librarian into something chic and sexy. A blush lambskin handbag adds just the right pop of color. 




Here I chose to create more curves by tucking in a simple tank and wearing a waist cinching blazer. 
Black peep toe shooties elongate the legs. 



A bendable snake chain flexible necklace adds shine and interest. 

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Louis Vuitton ~ Mini Pochette ~ Review


I'm in love with my Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette wristlet. It's the perfect petite grab and go bag that fits in all of my handbags. I usually keep some cash, a few credit cards, lipstick, my ID badge, car key, and an iPhone 6 in it. Instead of taking my larger bag to lunch, I grab the Mini Pochette and everything I need is right there. It's perfect for switching handbags. Sadly, my larger iPhone 6 Plus doesn't fit in the Mini Pochette so I have to slip in my smaller phone or just carry my 6 plus separately. 

The gold chain can be attached as a wristlet or to both sides as a traditional chain handle. I've even used a longer cross body chain from another bag. This is definitely one of my favorite ways to wear the bag. It's simple and understated. 

Purchase price approx. $300 US


 
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Wine of the Week ~ Cavit Riesling


Cavit Riesling

I'm always on the lookout for Rieslings that boast a fresh fruit flavor. This Cavit Riesling, with hints of apricot, peach and pear hits the mark just right. I thoroughly agree with the Cavit website that "no other white varietal rivals Riesling's magical blend of exhilarating aromas, ripe fruit flavors, refreshing acidity and versatile compatibility with food. The cool northern Italian climate in which Cavit's vineyards are planted provides excellent growing conditions for this beguiling white grape." A bottle of Cavit Riesling will run $10-15 in most US wine & spirits. 

Pairings

Cheese/Nuts: Havarti • Gouda • Candied Walnuts
Meat/Fowl: Smoked Sausage • Duck
Seafood: Sea Bass • Trout
Vegetables/Fruits: Apricots • Chili Peppers • Pears
Herb/Spices: Rosemary • Ginger
Sauces: Sweet BBQ • Spicy • Chutney
Desserts: Apple Pie • Caramel Sauce


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2 Coffee Drinkers + 4 Coffee Makers = Amazing Coffee Everyday Every Way



 
My coffee obsession began in college and has only become stronger over time. My husband and I enjoy drinking coffee but we also enjoy the process of making it. Our kitchen counter is filled with coffee makers, K cups and pods, specialty creamers,  frothers, and coffee mugs in every shape and size. 



My old reliable Keurig sits beside my new Dolce Gusto. I create some fabulous layered effects from my Dolce Gusto. The Skinny Cappucino is delicious and only 50 calories. 


Our French Press gets used on Sunday mornings when we have a little extra time for brewing. Coffee from La Colombe in Philly is a sure bet for a delicious French pressed coffee. 


After a meal we usually have Turkish Coffee. The recipe is simple: water equal to the size and number of mugs, 3 rounded teaspoons of espresso ground coffee (we love Adonis Café in Montreal) and 3 teaspoons of raw sugar. Stir to combine and then cook on medium high heat until crema forms. 




We also have an old school Krups Espresso and drip combo that still makes a mean Cup'O Joe.  

Not along my coffee is consumed at home. I still frequent local coffee shops. It's sometimes hard to beat a Grande Coconut Flat White. 





No matter where in the  world we travel, we always take time to enjoy a coffee. I know I'll visit this little coffee bar in Rome again. Where in the world have you found the best coffee?








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Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Little Black Dress (LBD) Series ~ A. Byers Cocktail Dress



Model: C. Harrison owner of H4L Dance Studio, Montreal Quebec

Whether you're going out for a romantic dinner or a night on the dance floor, this stunning black sleeveless cocktail dress with a tiered asymmetric popover top is just the right LBD. I picked up this A. Byers dress from a local department store (BonTon). The dress has a detachable necklace and a open keyhole back.

I paired the dress with these sexy J. Renee' heels (Fiona Style). The black slingback features an eye-catching acrylic 3 inch heel and a transparent vamp strap.


Add a stylish b/w fedora, a light weight pashmina or scarf and a handbag on chain and you have a show stopping outfit.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Styling a Maxi Dress ~ Go Retro for a Fresh Look


 Model - Rachel Thomas fitrach13 on Instagram 

When it comes to styling a maxi dress why not go for a retro-inspired look. This maxi by Lapogee can provide the retro, boho, vintage style you are looking for in a maxi dress. Add a rust-colored suede hobo bag and wedge heels and you're ready for a night out.

Check out Unique Vintage  for similar retro-inspired Maxi dresses. "If you’re more of a 1970s flower child than a mod maven, you’ll fall head over heels for Unique Vintage’s groovy selection of maxi dresses in all styles and sizes. This stunning, retro-inspired collection includes everything from witchy, floor-grazing black frocks to breezy, floral print dresses that are perfect for an evening of dancing under the stars. They even carry formal maxi dresses that will make you feel like a glamorous starlet straight out of old Hollywood."


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Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Top 4 August Drugstore Favorites


I have been trying out quite a few new cosmetic products. My Top 4 August Favorites are featured in this blog post.

L'oreal Pro-Glow Infallible 24 hour foundation is THE BEST FOUNDATION I've ever used. I have dry skin and the pro-glow adds just the right amount of moisture and shine. I've always used matte finish foundation which usually left my face looking cakey and powdery. The shade range is wonderful. I'm currently using #205 Natural Beige which matches my tanned complexion. I'm sure I'll have to change to a lighter shade in the fall as my tan starts to fade. The L'oreal Pro-Glow is easily applied with your fingertip and then blended in with the e.l.f. powder brush. I've tried using my Beauty Blender sponge but the powder brush glides over my face and results in a smooth finish. I love this make-up brush.

Contouring and highlighting are new for me and I love the effect they provide. The NYX Wonder Stick is a cream-based dual-ended highlighting and contouring stick that easily creates the illusion of a stronger jawline, more chiseled cheeks, and a slimmer nose. The wonder stick comes in light, medium, deep and universal shades. I chose the universal shade and it's perfect.

My last favorite is Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in #38 Corrupted Coral. I typically apply 2 coats and a top coat but you could get away with a single coat since the polish is quite opaque. The coral color screams summer!

What are your favorite cosmetics? Share in the comments.




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Berry Mango Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients Combine in a blender 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup frozen berries. Top with sliced mango and ...

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