Easter + Life Lately

28 March 2016

Well hello everyone - It's so nice to be back!

We had quite the week last week. I swear you can't trust the weather in Colorado.. Tuesday it was nearly 80 degrees! I didn't even hear rumbles of a storm and then Wednesday I wake up to a text asking if I'm going to try to make it into the office.
I got out of bed and went into the bathroom and did that thing where you flip the light switch and then just keep walking without registering that the light didn't come on... No power.. AGHHH. I know that I'm spoiled, but you can't do ANYTHING without power. No coffee, no heat, no wifi... no Real Housewives... although I'll admit I probably needed a break from them. I have a problem.
When Blake got home we decided to venture out to get something to eat and basically drove around for two hours before we found a restaurant that wasn't closed and didn't find have an hour and a half wait. It was kind of a rough day and I believe I even said that I was excited to get back to work the next day. Who am I??
The next day I got back to work and the server was downnnnnnnnn. Ahhhh. I mean, I won't lie - I don't hate it when I can't work at work -  but it gets pretty boring sitting in a cube doing nothing for 8 hours.

Okay - thats all of my complaints.

The rest of our weekend went so great though and it made up for our wonky week. Blake did have a case of hangover... "food poisoning" but we managed to rally and make the best of it anyway. By we I might mean me, because he was still on the struggle bus around 6 that night but oh well.

Easter was really fun and Blake's family came over to my parents house for the afternoon. We had an amazing dinner thanks to my mom. She has been going to these french cooking classes and I think my dad would say that it was the best money they ever spent. She has learned how to make the best french bread EVER! I wish she would bake me a lifetime supply - she gave me the recipe but thats not the same.

Anyway, I hope you guys had a wonderful Easter weekend with your loved ones!
I'm happy to have my internets back so that I can catch up on the posts I missed last week - see you Wednesday!

Building Your Wardrobe | Part One

21 March 2016

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All through college and for several years afterward, I bought most of my clothes with specific events in mind and not the quality of the piece. This has made the classic "sweet jesus, I have n o t h i n g to wear" even worse over here. I am pretty good at getting rid of things and donating, and selling clothes that I don't wear any longer - but it has taken me waaaayyy to long to figure out what is worth buying and what's not. This really set in for me when I had 6 slightly skimpy 'going out' tops and not one well fitting white tee. 
Well! My sheer, shimmery tops haven't aged well and definitely don't blend in at the farmers market -so I needed to get it together!

My personal style is always changing but I think over the past year I have figured out which cuts and styles work for my body. I attribute a lot of this to sewing actually because I've really gotten to know which fabrics I like to have on and what I'm consistently comfortable in. 

The perfect pair of jeans, a tee and cute flats will never go out of style and I'm using that idea as the premise for this 'capsule wardrobe'  that I'm building. Over the next five weeks I'm going to break down the basics of what I think makes the perfect basic wardrobe and I'm limiting myself to $500. This may seem like a lot, or maybe a little, depending on how much you normally spend on clothes - but I'm really focused on getting good quality, essential pieces that I will wear with more trendy pieces mixed in over time.

*Note - I did not start from scratch - I did own some of these items before starting this project but linked the items that I either purchased or previously owned*

Below, I linked the item (click the photo) that I actually bought and then other options at more price points.

Distressed Skinnies
-- the jeans i bought -- 

Dark Wash Flares
-- the jeans i bought -- 

White Skinnies
-- the jeans i bought -- 

Dark Wash Skinnies
-- the jeans i bought -- 

Boyfriend Jeans
-- the jeans i bought -- 

What do you guys think?? Am I missing anything that's essential in your closet??

Mini Berry Tarts!

14 March 2016

Happy Monday!
Last week I was scrolling through Pinterest to find a fun little dessert to drop off to a friend for a midweek pick me up, when I found these little beauties! I love how bright and summery fruit tarts are but hate making pastry dough. This recipe (original here) is the perfect work around and was a huge hit! I had enough to bring to work for a co-workers birthday as well and they were gone before noon. I did make a change because the mascarpone didn't go far enough for me - I may have poured a little heavy-  to get all 24 cups full, so I made 12 with the mascarpone and 12 with cream cheese. They were still so good and the cream was a little thicker and went further in the second batch.

These would be perfect for a summer bqq and I'll definitely be keeping them in mind for 4th of July! I feel like you could add any seasonal fruit and change it up for different seasons. It's yum yum yum - so go make yourself some!

| ingredients |
8oz mascarpone cheese and, or 8oz cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package small wonton wrappers
Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
Melted Butter or Coconut Oil
Fruit - any you choose - Sliced
Powdered Sugar

| steps |

preheat oven to 350 degrees

- Push your wonton wrappers down into your muffin tins. Just fold the sides in a little to make them fit. Don't worry about how it looks really because once they crisp up they look great! Brush with Coconut oil or butter and put them in the oven for around 10 minutes or until they are starting to brown up.

- Meanwhile, mix together your cheese with half of can of sweetened condensed milk 1tbs of Vanilla Extract and a Pinch of salt. The cream cheese will be much easier to work with if its room temp and if you whip if with an electric mixer. This seems self explanatory but only use one type of cheese at a time - if you are going to use both then mix the filling batches separately.

-  Let your wonton wrappers cool and set them on your serving dish. The original recipe called for the  filling to be piped in with a pastry bag but I skipped all the fuss and just used a spoon... so not as detailed but I think the fruit made up for that.

- Organize your fruit the way you like on top! I stored these overnight in the fridge and covered them with plastic wrap. The next morning I just pulled them out of the fridge and sprinkled powdered sugar on top of all of it.

These were so yummy and I hope you enjoy them too!

'Mermaid' Half Up Fishtail Tutorial - with video!

09 March 2016

I have another hair tutorial for you today! I hope you guys like these - and I would love to hear any feedback about what other styles you'd like to see! Also, I promise that the more I do the less awkward my voiceovers will be - fingers crossed at least. 

Anyway, I have been really liking this style lately because it feels so easy and summery to me. It's also the perfect amount of messy while still being done - my very favorite balance. This style would look so cute braided all the way down as well with more loose sections pulled in so give it a try both ways! It's definitely an easy one to master once you get your hands used to the dutch braid. 
I was shooting this video the other day and Huckleberry was snuggled up watching and looking out the window. I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a few pictures with him - I can't get enough - He's the sweetest boy that ever lived. 

So, enough crazy dog lady! I hope you guys like the video! 
Happy braiding and if you give this one a try, tag me in your Instagrams because I would love to see them! 

Eyeliner Showdown - A Breakdown of 5 different brands

07 March 2016

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Makeup is something that I haven't ever gotten into too heavily. I have a few products and techniques that always work for me and I usually stick to them. I would love to branch out a little bit more but I feel like less is more and if I can barely get up in time to get dressed then I certainly don't have time for a complicated makeup routine. Black eyeliner can change your look so much and is definitely a staple is most people's makeup collection. I have really light eyes so I was weary of it for a long time but, once I started using it more, I was so frustrated that I couldn't get through the day without having black smudges all over my eye lids like a crazy person. I really love liner pots - specifically this one by MAC - but by the end of a work day I was still in smudge city, and that's not cute.

Well now I'm determined to find the perfect eye liner and I thought I'd share my journey with you. You're welcome! 

My strategy was to try 5 different brands in a fair price range and rate them based on a few different points. My least favorite thing is buying expensive makeup - not liking it - and then looking at it in your makeup bag every day for a year until you toss it. So, for this little experiment I made sure to check with the stores before purchasing for their return policies.  Sephora, Ulta, and Macy's have clear full refund policy's, as long as you have a receipt and the card you purchased with. Target's return policy isn't as clear but I was told by the woman at Customer Service that they would accept it within 90 days and with a receipt. So yay! Good to know.

My goal was to find one that was easy to apply, dried quickly, didn't smudge throughout the day, and was fairly easy to remove. Tall order I know... I expect a lot from $15 eyeliner. 

This sounds very clinical so far I guess but it was really fun! Read through to find out who the winner is! Also, the photo is a link so click to get more details or to buy!

Benefit Push Up Liner

This eyeliner was rated one of the top eyeliners this year by Allure Magazine, but if I'm being honest... I have no idea why. I thought it went on way too thick and not precisely enough. The applicator is a bendable rubber squeeze tip that was sort of flimsy and you have to twist to push the liner out. It reminded me a lot of lip gloss in 7th grade.
Verdict: not worth the money

MAC Liquid Last Liner

The pros of this liner are that it dries quickly for a liquid liner and doesn't smudge at all. It is very thin so you have to have a pretty steady hand (which I don't) and you have to go over it a few times to make it thick enough. I really liked that it never flaked or smudged but that also made it hard to get off. My face wash normally gets all of my makeup off easily but I needed real makeup remover for this.
Verdict: great eye liner if you have a steady hand - not for me though. 

PIXI by Petra - Cat Eye Ink

This eye liner kind of hurt to put on but I think that's because the tip was still really stiff since it was new. It didn't smudge throughout the day but did get kind of flaky, not to the point where it looked bad but I noticed that it  felt dry. It was easy to get off too!
Verdict: Nothing special but fine for the money.

NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker

Easy to put on and didn't smudge! I did have more eye shadow on than usual that day but still no smudges. The tip was pointy enough to get a really precise line and also stay a little thicker. It came off just fine with my normal face wash!
Verdict: Keeper!

No7 Stay Precise Liquid Liner

Pros are that this was the cheapest liner and went on similarly to the M.A.C.  It didn't smudge but also took longer to dry. It came off more easily than the M.A.C so that was nice but I had the same problem with  the application. I had a tough time getting a straight line and so it looked kind of wiggly and uneven. With more practice this could be a good option.
Verdict: I didn't keep it but its a good alternative to the M.A.C if you want a cheaper liquid liner.

So there you have it!! I chose NYX for a good all day liner. I think I would stick with the M.A.C for a more dramatic going out look because with some practice it could look really nice and would stay on through dancing and sweating. I still have no idea how the Push-Up liner  got such good reviews but if any of you love it let me know! Maybe I did something wrong??
What are your go-to brands??

Happy Monday everyone!

My slight obsession with bug Art

04 March 2016

HI Everyone! Happy, happy Friday!
This little internet space of mine was neglected this week because we had a lot of really exciting but also stressful things going on. Hopefully I can update you all on that soon! In the meantime, I do not have a DIY Friday for you, but I dooooo have a little idea board for some springy home updates! Enjoy your weekend everyone!
I love bug art. I think that beetles and butterfly's and creepy crawly's can be so pretty. I have wanted to buy some insect prints for a while now. Blake thinks it's kind of weird but the more searching I do the more stores I see jumping on board. I'm definitely adding some of these little touches to my house for spring! 

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