Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year! & Favorite Things

Linking up with Molly today for YOLO Monday!!

Today is the eve of a New Year (I'm sure you already know this). I've been thinking back on 2012 and some of the highlights of this year. It's been a really great year full of traveling, lots of time with Family & Friends, and great surprises. So, I'll share with you some of my favorite moments (In no specific order :) )

1. My first highlight MUST be a look back on our trip to NYC. Somehow, this little trip creeps it's way back into almost every post I write. We had such a wonderful time and I can't wait to get back!

2. Another great 2012 moment was our trip to Atlanta to watch the national champions play basketball in the sweet sixteen round of March Madness. We watched UK beat Indiana (sweet satisfaction) AND Baylor. It was AWESOME! We knew this team was going to win the national title. Go Cats !!

SO much blue, that's why they call it "Catlanta"

3. Life took an unexpected turn when I was accepted into my graduate program. I can't wait to begin the next step in my career soon! (I also can't wait to throw away all of these note cards stashed up in the house!)

4. BUT, before all of this school business was in full effect, we vacationed in Jamaica. We had a great time and it was SO beautiful. I can feel the 90 degree weather now :)

5. Another highlight this year was my first Cincinnati Red's baseball game. We had so much fun, we had to go twice this year! I think the Reds have two new fans.

It's been a great year and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Tomorrow is our two year anniversary, and it has been the best two years of my life. I look forward to sharing so many more!

Happy Anniversary Travis!
Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Green & Chambray

Since I bought my Chambray shirt, I've pretty much been obsessed with it. I've tried it with several pieces and colors, and looks great with everything. In my opinion, green and blue are classics and look great paired together. So, I perused through my closet and put together this simple look!

Coincidentally, I just bought a green blazer for $10 on the clearance rack at Belk. I also have a chambray shirt I bought from J. Crew Factory a while back.

Please excuse the bad hair day (it happens!)

I also found the gold necklace on clearance for $10 at Belk. It was pretty much the best clearance day ever.

Here is the look I put together from Polyvore that is similar.

How are you wearing your Chambray this winter?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I feel like I should be finishing up my shopping or baking holiday treats. I still can't believe Christmas has come and gone. The season passes faster every year!

I hope you had a WONDERFUL time with your family and friends this year. I thought I'd share some of my Christmas "favorites" this year.

In case you haven't read the entirety of my blog (pretty lengthy I know), I am head over heels in love with New York City. Travis and I went last year as our anniversary trip and I have wanted to go back every day since we came home. My Mom and brother were able to take a trip there this holiday season and so I made them take tons of pictures so I could live vicariously through them. I put together some of my favorites to remind me of how much I love the City!!

All of the pictures here are from Macy's in NYC. Their decorations looked absolutely gorgeous. The Macy's ornament was a souvenir they brought back to me because I am a HUGE fan of the parade. That picture is from my tree, I couldn't wait until next year to put it up.

The smaller pictures here are also Macy's pictures. The tree of course is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. I HAVE to see it in person soon.

We also got to spend Christmas with several different side of our families. Here are two of my favorite little girls on our Christmas day.

Me and the little brother on Christmas Eve.

One thing I'm lovin' about my Christmas break is getting some time AWAY from studying. I actually had some quality Kindle and hot chocolate time one night. Is this real life?

And last but not least...a throwback picture from last year's NYC trip with Travis. Oh the excitement on that flight!

To say I'm one blessed girl is the understatement of the year. I have the best family a girl could imagine. PLUS, that husband of mine is pretty much the best, he can't help it.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family too. Onto the New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nail Obsession: A Few of My Favorite Things...

There is one thing that anyone who knows me could tell you. That is that I, for some reason, have always loved to paint my fingernails. I just have this thing for pretty fingernails. If I don't have any polish on my nails, I feel like they look dirty. After 24 years, I probably have a collection of over 100 bottles of fingernail polish. I don't necessarily paint to match my outfits, but on occasion I do. So, I have a couple features for you in this post about one of my favorite accessories, nail polish! 

First, I have put together my 6 favorite colors of 2012 (more specifically, this fall/winter). I think these colors are staples for many winter looks. (courtesy of polyvore of course)

From left to right (starting on the top row)
1. Sally Hansen "Commander in Chic"
2. Essie "Chinchilly"
3. O.P.I. "Glitzerland"
4. Essie "Bobbing for Baubles"
5. Essie "Skirting the Issue"
6. O.P.I. "Cajun Shrimp"

I own all of these colors and they have probably been my most used colors in the last few months. I remember looking for these gray hues a year ago when they weren't popular yet, they were very difficult to find. Now, there are several to choose from. Of course, the bright red is a go-to year round!

My next feature is a "must-know" for those of you who paint your nails regularly (or don't :) ). On of my pinterest browsing sessions, I found a great tip from Real Simple. I'm not sure how old or new the tip is, but it is one I have to share! 

You can use No Stick Canola Oil Cooking Spray to create an instant finish to your manicure.  All you do is Polish your nails and wait about 10 seconds. Then, hold the cooking spray about 6 inches from your nails and spray onto each fingernail. After spraying all your nails, wait about 20 seconds and rinse oil spray off under running water. Voila! Instantly dried, smudge-proof nails. They shine too! Give it a try, it will change your life (ok maybe not, but it's still a big deal).

1. Cooking Spray

2. Spray Nails

3. Rinse under water

4. Dry Nails for a shine!

Go paint your nails for the holidays, hurry! Now that you know this trick, you can do it in a few minutes and have a shiny, dry manicure. 

More importantly, enjoy Christmas Eve with your family and have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Don't forget the reason we are celebrating :)

I'll meet you back here after Christmas!

Linking up with Molly for YOLO Monday!
Covered in Grace for Monday Meet Up

Friday, December 21, 2012

Breakin' the Rules

Link up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

As we all know by now, I love my colorful denim pants. I professed my love for my red pants a few posts ago (read about it here). I knew I had to hit up the black friday sales in search of a new pair of colorful denim pants after I fell in love with the red pair. My Mom and I braved the record crowds of shoppers to get a good deal. I was originally looking for royal blue to wear for UK (university of Kentucky) festivities. I didn't find any royal blue but I did find the perfect pair of yellow (or Gold as the company claims) at Belk for 19 bucks. The only problem is, I felt like I was running out of time to wear the yellow-ish  color because I had it classified as an "autumn" color. I couldn't resist a good sale though, so I bought them.

BUT.... I decided this week, WHATEVER. I'm making my own rules! So, not only am I extending the wear of mustard/yellow/gold through the winter months, but I also wore these pants to a Christmas party recently, ain't scared. PLUS, I don't know about you, but as much as I love my red, grey, black, and cream, I need some color during the winter!

I put together three of my favorite "mustard" looks on Polyvore (love this site!).

The first was the look I've been sporting around, my favorite little yellow/mustard ensemble.

I didn't get a mustard sweater, but I think they are great! They look good with blue denim. (and I love scarves just as much as my colorful denim)

I'm loving this look too. Chevron is great, I'm still looking for the perfect Chevron top to buy. As you can see, mustard goes good with several colors, but I like it the best with blue. (I also love the addition of a cute little skinny belt)

My favorite look of the three

I'm in love with this great bubble necklace too. I've worn it with just about every color in the rainbow 

Blue gingham button up: J. Crew Factory (Old)
Navy Cardigan: Old Navy (similar)
Bubble Necklace: Mindy Mae's Market
Bracelets: Forever 21 (Read about it here)
 Pants: Belk

Throw some color in your wardrobe this winter!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tacky Christmas Party

Link up with Molly for YOLO Monday!

Is it seriously December 17th? It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just CAN'T get into the Christmas spirit this year! I guess it's because I've spent the entire month of December studying for final exams (glad that's over!) I was looking forward to the end of finals week so that Travis and I could hit up our first "Tacky Christmas Party." We had a really great time and I was loving everybody's  tacky sweaters. Corissa and Scottie were great hosts. So I thought I'd share some pictures from our get together.

A picture of our host :)

She really had some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations EVER. I LOVE the big tree!

Check out the 11 days until Christmas sign. LOVE

Of course they had a UK tree, Go Cats!

Travis and I showing off our Tacky Sweaters

All of the girls tried to take a  group picture, but it was hard to stay serious!

Andrea and I were having some serious issues keeping it together

We finally got a decent group picture

We had a really good time, and I think I'm feelin' the Christmas spirit a little more this year. I'll have to kick it into gear in the next week to maximize my Christmas time. I think I'll start with some Christmas movies. 

I could use a little snow too, just sayin'

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Candy Making & No Bake Peanut Corn Crunch

In preparation for Christmas, I felt it was only appropriate to do some holiday baking!

One of my best friends came home for the holidays and we decided it was time to get our bake on.

Kaitlyn and Me

We definitely did it right, making all kinds of tasty, holiday treats.

We made some great candy including Oreo balls (if you haven't had these, you are missing out. Oreo cookies, cream cheese and white chocolate)

We also tried some nutter butter balls. You just grind a package of nutter butter cookies in a food processor, mix with cream cheese and dip in milk chocolate. They were great and super easy. 

Another new recipe we tried were Reese cookies. We put pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough in mini muffin tins and baked them. After they came out of the oven, we put a mini reese cup in each one. We had a few issues with getting these out of the tin though (I recommend greasing the sheet :) ).

Our Oreo candy in progress

Just a little of our baking mess

I HAVE to share our last recipe with you. It was GREAT and will be added to the list of "must bake" for holidays to come. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Kaitlyn found this recipe on pinterest here. I decided to call it:

No Bake Peanut Corn Crunch

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 bag of Frito Lay Corn Chips
Milk Chocolate baking chips (optional)

Simple enough, just dump the peanut butter, corn syrup, and sugar into a pot.

Heat and mix these ingredients until they are creamy smooth as pictured below

Spread the corn chips out onto a baking sheet and pour the mixture evenly over the chips

You can drizzle chocolate over the final product if you choose. It doesn't seem to make a difference in taste, but it looks nice :)

Pull apart and share. So delicious!

I love some quality friend time and finding great new recipes. You should try it!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things.... Arm Party!!!

Today, link up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!

This series I have started really has me thinking this week. What are my favorite things? Obviously, I had to include my red pants (check it out from Wednesday!). but, what can I add to this list? Anyone who knows me, wouldn’t let today’s post come as a surprise. I LOVE Jewelry. I like all kinds of jewelry too. Cheap, expensive, gold, silver, bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces….I DON’T discriminate.

My most recent jewelry obsession is the “arm party” or, “arm candy” (potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto,). I had been looking for a few cute bracelets to add to a fake rose gold watch I bought back in the summer, when Molly from the Still Being Molly blog posted a photo on instagram of her arm party. She is one of my favorite fashion bloggers and I love her looks! I had to get on with the show and find the perfect bracelets.

After careful bracelet research (what I do in my spare time, scary right?) I realized there are tons to choose from. SO… case you have been wanting to start your own arm party OR feel motivated after reading this post, I have a few finds that are low budget (my favorite). I have compared them to some beautiful, more expensive choices, just so you know what is out there!

After a sale on Forever 21, my arm party cost a total of $27!

These are the four bracelets I bought and their costlier counterparts

 compared to.....
Betsey Johnson $55

Forever 21 $5.80

compared to....

Fantasy Jewelry Box $44.95

The following two I bought in gold, but F21 just has them left in silver. (thought I’d post them too because some people like silver arm parties and I would never think about discriminating J)

compared to....

Last but not least....

compared to...

As you can see…. My arm party got a little out of control, so I had to add my gold mesh bracelet to my right hand. I paired it with a stretch-y pearl bracelet and had a cute look on my right arm too! I posted a picture of it on my right arm so you could see it up close…

Did I mention I love cheap jewelry? I thought so…

What do you think? I think you should head straight to Forever 21 and start planning your own arm party!