Monday, May 28, 2012

Cheap & Chic Dresses!

There is little that makes me happier than going on a successful online shopping spree! I have been on the search for a few dresses for upcoming weddings this summer/fall and feel like I hit the jackpot tonight. Two super cute dresses that didn't break the bank:

Coral Backless Dress

Zara ~ $89.90 + free shiping!

 Emerald One-Shoulder Dress

ModCloth ~ $47.99

Unfortunately, purchasing more than 2 dresses didn't fit into my budget, but here are some others I loved that didn't make the cut (all under $100!):

Light Pink Knee-Length Dress

H&M ~ $34.95

 One-Shoulder Navy Blue Dress

LuLu ~ $60

Multi-Style Convertible Dress
Target ~ $29 (and soo many colors!)

Black Strapless Ruched Dress

Express ~ $48.93 (on sale)

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has enjoyed this beautiful 3-day weekend! My weekend was spent doing some cooking/baking, buying too many summer clothes, running my first 5k, and BBQ'ing with good friends. 

My husband and I after the race! Do you like his patriotism? ;)
Me- 27:28  +  Brian- 21:57

I just wanted to take a minute to honor and give gratitude to all our brave soldiers and veterans, and especially those who have selflessly given their lives to fight for our freedom. Your courage does not go unnoticed. Happy Memorial Day to all!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dim The Lights, And Here We Go...

And the winner is.... Phillip Phillips!!!!

I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but I called this day one.  A blue eyed southern boy who can seriously jam out on the guitar.. mmm mmm mmm. 
This is when I fell in love....

fast forward to 1:36
Thriller acoustic - yes please!

For those of you that don't follow American Idol, you MUST check this guy out. He is extremely talented and ridiculously good looking. Here are some of my favorite Phillip Phillips performances:

He sang this as his "song he wished he'd written"
Damien Rice's Volcano

Phillip's version of Usher's Nice and Slow
Show's over. I'm sold.

Dave Matthews Band's The Stone

CCR's Have You Ever Seen The Rain

One of my all time favorite songs
Stand By Me originally by Ben E. King

The Four Seasons' Beggin

And his final performance....

His new single "Home"

How can you not adore him??? I'm telling you, he is a serious talent. I cannot wait for the "idol circus" to be over so he can start to make his own music. I think this guy has a lot more in store for us!

Disclaimer:  I realize I am a happily married woman.  And I also realize this adorable piece of "man" is 6 years my junior.  But a girl can crush, right??? ;)  #Cougar #I'llfallinlovewithanyonewhocanplaytheguitar

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Get It Right, Get It Right, Get It Tight...

So, I am certainly not a runner. In fact, until a couple of months ago, I am ashamed to admit, I hadn't worked out on a regular basis since high school soccer. But unfortunately my 30's are creeping up on me and my metabolism is creeping down. I needed some serious motivation so I signed myself up for the Redhook Brewery 5k to force me to start getting my derriere in shape. To most, a 5k sounds like cake. But let me remind you, I have probably run a max. of 8 min straight since 2002. This was going to be a challenge, but with my lack of enthusiasm towards exercising, I needed to go to extreme measures. I enlisted the help of some good tunes, and went from running zero to 3.1 miles in about a week and a half. I definitely surprised myself! It's amazing what a little dedication can do. The race is this Sunday, and I have not tested my endurance outside yet (nothing like leaving things until the last minute!), but I am hoping with a playlist like this, I can hit shuffle, get in the zone, and achieve my goal - cross the finish line under 30 minutes. ;)

1.) Sean Paul - She Doesn't Mind
2.) Kim English - Everyday (Hex Hector & Mac Quayle Remix)
3.) Flo Rida - Wild Ones
4.) Shakira - Rabiosa
5.) Heavy D & The Boyz - Now That We Found Love
6.) Katy Perry - Firework
7.) Don Omar - Danza Kuduro
8.) Bob Sinclair - Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)
9.) Bubba Sparxx - Ms. New Booty
10.) LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
11.) Missy Elliott - One Minute Man
12.) Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony - Rain Over Me
13.) Don Omar - Dale Don Dale
14.) Avicii - Levels
15.) Shakira - Loca
16.) Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe
17.) Rupee - Tempted To Touch
18.) Crystal Walters - 100% Pure Love
19.) Limoncello - Bon Bon (We No Speak Americano)
20.) Pitbull - Shake Senora
21.) Rihanna - Talk That Talk
22.) Laza Morgan feat. Mavado - One by One
23.) Alesso & Sebastian Ingrosso - Calling
24.) 50 Cent - Disco Inferno
25.) Enur - Calabria 2008
26.) Pitbull - Hey Baby
27.) Kat DeLuna - Whine Up
28.) David Guetta feat. Akon - Sexy Bitch
29.) Rihanna - Drunk On Love
30.) Nadine Sutherland & Terror Fabulous - Action

What are your FAVORITE workout songs???  I am always looking for a new one to add to the mix!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bachelorette Recap: Episode 2

The Good:
The fashion! I'm not sure if I fell in love with every single outfit Emily wore because of the clothes or because she is literally a barbie and could make anything look amazing. But regardless, the stand-outs to me were: 

One Shoulder Lace Dress
Gold Sequin Dress
LBD with lace back
Glitter Sling-back Shoes

The Bad:
The Muppets. C'mon ABC... pretty lame.

The Ugly:
I can't decide between MC Stevie or Kalon's arrogance. They both need to go.

What was your "good, bad & ugly" of this episode??

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just Another Mani Monday...

One of my favorite simple pleasures is a fresh mani! Not only do I adore the two women that do my nails (Sidenote: If you're ever looking for a GREAT nail salon in the Portsmouth area, I highly recommend Sarah and Vicky at Strictly Nails!), but I feel like a fresh coat of color on my fingertips can actually add the finishing touch to any outfit.  Here are my top 5 shades for the (hopefully) sunny days to come:

1.) Mint Candy Apple
Mmm, doesn't it just sounds delicious?!

2.) Barbuda Banana
I've actually never done the yellow-nail thing, but its def on my to-do list soon!

3.)  Mesmerize
This color just reminds me of the beautiful buildings of Santorini.... a destination that is on my bucket list for sure! I guess this polish will have to do for now.... siggghhhh

4.)  Haute as Hello
Refer to my Crazy for Coral post here. Enough said.

5.) Lilacism
Lilac word association: pretty. spring. fragrant. calm.
I'll take any of the above, please! 

Check out all the other glorious shades of Essie here. What are your favorites???

Saturday, May 19, 2012

J.Lo's Idol Dress

Did anyone see J.Lo's dress on American Idol this week??? It was beautiful! I had to find out where this was from (not like I could afford it anyways...), but I did some digging and found it!

From Salvatore Ferragamo's spring 2012 collection:


Jennifer Lopez on American Idol
May 17, 2012

Not sure the occasion I would ever wear this, but its gorgeous... right??

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Helicopters, Ostrich Eggs and Bobbleheads....

What do these 3 words have in common? 

You guessed it... the kickoff to Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette did not disappoint!  Although most of the first impressions were totally cheeseball, there were a good handful of guys that look promising.  I have to admit I am MUCH more impressed with the guys in person... ehh I mean.. on tv, than in the bio pics.  My top 3 have DEF changed. In fact, I'm having trouble narrowing it down to 3, so I'm going to go with my top 5. Here we go:

Doug - Surprise, surprise... she gave the first impression rose to the single dad, and now he is in my top 5. Ha, I'll be honest, this guy came out of the woodwork for me and I don't know if the "single dad" connection will be sustainable for lasting chemistry, but I do think the fact that he fully understands what Emily's everyday life entails immediately made her feel comfortable and close to him. They can relate to each other in a way she won't be able to with some of the other guys, and that's a great foundation to build on. Time will only tell if sparks fly with these two down the road.

Charlie - I've loved him from the beginning. He seems like a friendly, funny, lovable guy and I feel like Emily could use a little fun and humor to compliment her southern belle poise. I'm not sure that he is truly ready to commit to the lifestyle Emily leads with raising her daughter, but I'm willing to give him a shot and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him!

Arie - Holy hotness!  Gotta love the dark hair, light eye combo. At first I thought the whole race car driver thing might bring back too many painful memories, but I'm so glad he was concerned about how she would feel about that from the beginning. That totally shows he's thinking about her feelings - definite plus! Emily seemed totally ok with it and I saw undeniable chemistry between these two. Their minivan would be full of reeeallly cute babies!

Ryan - I loved his little sign idea that said "you are beautiful" and "I am nervous".  Cute and not too over-the-top... some of the other guys should have taken note! I don't have a lot to say about this guy, but he seems sweet and I think he has good intentions.

Jef - Ok, when I saw Jef with one F roll in on his skateboard with his Zach Morris hair-do, I laughed a little. But I don't know, as the night went on, I found myself thinking there's something cool about this guy.  I definitely saw chemistry between these two. I think that he may end up being an unexpected front runner.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? 
Until next week.... 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chicken Amore

I am always looking for new recipe ideas and I've been wanting to try to this Hungry Girl recipe for a while. I am SO glad I finally did. It was delish!!

  Here's what you need:
  • 1 large portabella mushroom cap, sliced
  • Two 5-oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast cutlets
  • 2 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained
 and sliced
  • Approx. 6 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup creamy tomato soup with 4g fat or less per serving (I used Amy's Organic Creamy Tomato Soup)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) Coat a skillet with nonstick spray and bring to medium-high heat on the stove.
3.) Add mushroom slices and cook until softened (about 6 min.), flipping the slices about halfway through cooking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

4.)  Season chicken cutlets with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Lay the cutlets flat, side by side.
5.) Spread a cheese wedge over each cutlet and evenly top with red peppers and basil. Place the mushroom slices horizontally over the basil.

6.) Tightly roll the chicken cutlets up from the bottom and around the filling; secure with toothpicks.
7.) Place the chicken rolls in a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray, seam sides down.  
8.) Cover the pan with foil, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 
9.) Carefully remove foil and return pan to the oven, uncovered, to bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
10.) Meanwhile, make the sauce:  combine tomato soup, sour cream, and Italian seasoning in a small pot. Heat via stove top on Low, mixing well.
11.)  Once chicken rolls are fully cooked, plate them, cover with the sauce, and enjoy!
Easy, low-cal and extremely tasty!! I highly recommend.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Follow my Blog!

Several people have said to me they can't figure out how to follow my blog, or they've tried to comment but then it disappeared. I figured it would be a little helpful to post a "how-to" on following. So here's how you do it:

1.)  On the right-hand side under Followers, click "Join this site".
2.)  Choose the account you want to use to follow. (If you have a Google, Yahoo, or Twitter account, this is simple.  If you don't, you will need to register by clicking on "Create a new Google account" on the bottom.)
3.)  Once you've registered, sign in.
4.)  Choose to Follow Publicly to allow your name to be displayed as a follower.
5.)  Click "Follow this blog" and you're done!

Here is a little how-to video also to help:

Once you are a follower, commenting is simple... you just need to be signed in and you can comment away!  If you have ANY questions, feel free to ask.  I love reading comments and seeing my "followers" list grow. Currently, my # of followers is... pretty pathetic. but I KNOW more of you are reading. So FOLLOW!! And forward along to your friends and family! I really appreciate it. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My First Sewing Project!

This past weekend was a very big accomplishment for me... I completed my first sewing project! We're talking very exciting stuff here. ;)  My mother loved to sew - she was always doing little projects growing up... curtains, halloween costumes, pillows, any type of clothing repair needed... you name it, she could do it. She was always trying to show me things or get me to help, but I had very little interest in such a thing. As a pre-teen/teenager and even college student, I was much more interested in talking on the phone, watching tv, shopping, chatting online and hanging out with my friends. Why would I EVER care how to sew, Mom, when I have you to do it for me?? :)  Recently, I became much more interested in learning the basics of sewing. I mean, it's a pretty handy skill to know.  Especially when you are 5 feet tall and you have to bring EVERY pair of pants you purchase to the tailor. For Christmas this year, my grandmother refurbished my mom's old sewing machine. Now when I say old, I'm talking old. From the 1950's. But let's call it vintage because that sounds so much cooler. I was told although its vintage, it sews like a charm, so I was pretty pumped to be the new proud owner. However, I was afraid to touch this contraption because I had no idea what I was doing. So I enlisted the help of my grandmother (who has done an abundance of sewing projects herself) to come teach me what this sewing thing is all about. First project on the agenda: a valance for our downstairs bathroom! 

We headed to Joann Fabrics and I spent about 45 minutes deciding if I should spend $43.99 on a yard of fabric I LOVED, or $10.99 on a similar fabric, but that was not my 1st choice.  After much debate, I decided I'd go with the no-name brand, with the thought that if I hated it, I only spent $11 bucks and I could always go back for the expensive stuff later. It still has the same pizazz I was looking for, and I convinced myself that no one would ever know the difference (except myself, of course).

Fabric purchased - check!

Now for the measuring/cutting of the fabric... The fabric I bought was only 36" wide and we needed 54" for the window.  "This little dilemma could easily be resolved", said my sewing-expert grandmother, "We just have to match up the patterns".  Riiiiight, of course.  Well, let me tell you, I would not call this part easy. This was definitely my least favorite step of the project, and to be honest my grandmother did most of it. Leave it up to me to pick the fabric with the most intricate pattern!

Once the pattern was aligned and the fabric was measured and cut, I was off to the races!  The actual sewing part of the project was so much fun! With some more practice, I could definitely see this being an enjoyable, relaxing hobby.  The valance was completed in a couple hours, and I felt very accomplished! It also was special to spend quality time with my grandmother, learning a pastime that her and my mom enjoyed so much. 

Here are a few more snapshots from my Sunday sewing extravaganza!


What do you think of my masterpiece?!?  I know, I know. Nothing to write home about, but you have to start somewhere! I say not too shabby for $11.99 and a few hours of special memories. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Bachelorette - My Predictions

The new season of The Bachelorette airs in less than a week! Is anyone else as excited as I am??? ABC recently released the bios of the 25 men who will be vying for Emily Maynard's heart, and to be honest I am not very impressed, but I decided it would be fun to predict my top 3 (based solely on pictures and bios). Without further adieu.....

#1:  Charlie -
This guy is by far the best looking in my eyes. AND he's a local boy, so maybe I'm a bit biased. His answer to the question What is your idea of perfect happiness? is "Every dog fed and every child with a roof over his head." Aww. I like!

#2:  Randy -
I am NOT loving his vest, but he seems like he has a good attitude on life. He likes football games and telling jokes... yeah, that's about all I have to say about this guy.

#3:  Tony -
He made my top 3 mostly because there are slim pickings... but I like his most embarrassing moment story. He thinks humor is the best ice breaker and I agree so we'll see on Monday what this guy has to offer!

It'll be interesting to see if my predictions come anywhere close to Emily's final 3. Let's hope they at least make it through the first rose ceremony. Stay tuned for more Bachelorette posts as the season goes on! I hear it is the most DRAMATIC season EVER. ;)

WHO ARE YOUR TOP 3?? You can check out all the guys for yourself here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Crazy for Coral

I have always gravitated towards color when I pick out my outfits, so I am thrilled that one of the hottest trends this season is just that. Pastels, neons... you name it. One of my faves for spring is coral. It gives any outfit the perfect amount of pop and I am having to restrain myself from buying every coral piece I see. Here are a few of my top picks:

Love the design and draping of this coral dress.
Perfect for a summer wedding!

My all time favorite color combo- coral and aqua.
These would spice up the simplest outfit.


J Brand coral jeans

Obsessed with these hand-made helloberry bracelets I found on etsy!

I have to say I'm a little over the leopard trend,
but the belt accent adds the perfect touch to this coral skirt.

Are you all coraled out yet??? Hope not, because I'm willing to bet you'll be seeing a lot more of this hue as the weather gets nicer. And I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Hello! Like most women these days, I am your typical, busy lady trying to balance it all from my career to my social life to my family, and striving to look and feel my best while doing it!  I wanted to create a forum filled with things and experiences that decorate my life. I believe every experience in our lives, regardless of how significant or insignificant they may seem at the time, influence and inspire who we are and who we will become. Afterall, life is just that - every single experience compiled together. Not one person's life is the same. Nor is one person's interpretation of a shared experience the same. As similar as we may appear, this is what makes us all so unique, right? Every person we encounter, every song we hear, every relationship we build, the environment we surround ourselves in - they all contribute to our sense of self. These things affect how we think, how we choose to dress, what we choose to consume, who we choose to love - ultimately the reflection of who we are and what decorates us.  My hope for this blog is to not only share things that inspire me and help shape who I am, but to get feedback and hear what inspires YOU. You can expect to find everything from home decor ideas, fashion finds, fitness motivation, new recipes, music I love, books I'm reading, thoughts I ponder, and everything in between! 

Welcome... embrace... enjoy... and decorate your life!  :)