Must Have Monday

I’ve been away from the blog for awhile now and have got a stockpile of things I’ve tried out and loved, so I thought I’d start off with a new series called Must Have Monday.   Let’s get started right away!

First off, the most delightful find of the season so far!  I’ve tried both the Dark Chocolaty Sea Salt and White Chocolatier Peppermint flavors and both are delicious.  There’s also a sugar cookie version, but I can’t speak personally for that one (though I am sure it is just as great).

For those of you that are local to Pittsburgh, I even like them even better than Pittsburgh Popcorn (shhhh!don’t tell!)  I really like Pittsburgh Popcorn and buy it all the time, but sometimes I find their chocolate mixes a bit overwhelming, meaning they clump together in giant clumps which are hard to eat.  This brand doesn’t do that giant clumping thing and I find it much easier to limit how much of it I eat.

They are a perfect answer to that sweet and salty craving.  Super easy to just throw in a cute bowl and on your holiday party table to make it look like you made an effort ! Go ahead and tell people you made them yourself off a Pinterest pin. 🙂

I found them locally at Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, but they are also available online.  Get thee to the grocery store stat people!!

I picked up this set of 3 stud earrings a couple weeks ago at Nordstrom locally and have worn all of them ever since.  I wanted some studs that weren’t your typical and these definitely fit the bill.  I bought gold, but you can find them in a rose gold and silver (along with the gold) online.  They would make a really cute Christmas present and you could even split them up for gift giving!  Check them out here!

I’m loving all the “fancy” sweatshirts out right now and couldn’t wait to pick up a couple for the Fall/Winter. This isn’t the greatest photo of it, but this shirt from Lane Bryant is all kinds of adorbs!

It’s got bell sleeves and a black tie ribbon detail on the shoulders.  It’s not quite a sweatshirt, but heavier than a regular top.  Really cute with black skinny jeans!  I love how it’s both comfy and a little bit special at the same time.  It’s in heavy rotation for my weekend wear!  Check it out online here or in store.

I’d love to hear about your latest must have’s in the comments!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Everything!

 

Sorry for my prolonged absence from the blog, but I’ve had a ridiculous amount of stuff going on in my life the past few months.  I hope to have some more time in the near future to blog, but most likely I won’t be back to regular blogging until November.  I appreciate each and everyone of you that has been checking in over the past couple months to see any updates!  I promise, more to come on what’s been going on in the future! (Some BIG things)

In the meantime, it’s pumpkin spice season and I can’t let it pass without blogging about it!  I broke out my Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice tshirt last week while enjoying my fifth pumpkin spice Starbucks of the season and realized when someone asked me where I got it, that the company who made mine went out of business.  🙁

I decided to check out Etsy to see if anyone else sold a similar one and found an amazing amount of PS inspired stuff.  There are tons of tees, but I also found a lot of other stuff.  I thought I would put together a quick round up of my faves for everyone.


Basic AF Mug

How hilariously appropriate is this mug?  I absolutely need this one!  I might be basic, but I don’t care cause pumpkin spice is freaking delicious!!

 

Pumpkin Spice Socks
These socks crack me up!  I definitely need these for around the house.  Perfect thing to pair with a Starbucks gift card.

Pumpkin Spice Girl Tote

How cute is this tote for Fall?  Easy to tuck into a care package for your fave college student to use around campus.

Pumpkin Spice Tee

If you are like me and can’t say no to a PS, this is the shirt for you!

 

Pumpkin Spice Card

The perfect card to include with any gift this Fall!  And the shop (LilyandVal) is based in Pittsburgh, my hometown!  Even better!

Want to see the rest of my picks?  Check out my Pumpkin Spice Pinterest board here!

Thanks again for checking out the blog and I promise lots more to come soon!!

 

 

 

 

Essie Gel Couture Review

Essie Gel Couture Review

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know I love salon gel nails and nail art.  I wore them for about a year straight and there are a ton of great things about them.  The one thing I hate about them though, is the difficulty in getting the gel polish off without a trip to the salon.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve needed to be able to take my polish off with very little notice.  Since it is difficult to do a last minute appointment via the salon I prefer, and taking gel polish off a home is a giant PITA, I’ve opted to not have my nails done lately.

I looked for an alternative and thought you might be interested in my experiences.  My first try was the Essie Gel Couture system.  It’s a two step process, one being the color gel polish and the second being a clear gel top coat type polish.  The big selling point for me was that you are able to take the polish off with regular nail polish remover.

Since my nails were pretty beat up after stopping my salon gel, I opted for a pale pink color.  The consistency of the polish was pretty streaky for the first coat.  I actually had to do 3 coats to get a solid color and it showed every bump in my nails.  The brush is a bit larger than I was used to and is rounded, which some feel makes it easier to apply with. I personally found I needed a couple minutes to get used to the brush.

I thought the 2nd step might smooth out the polish a bit and it did to a certain extent.  I applied one coat of the clear gel like topcoat. No light is needed to cure the gel.

It dried fairly quickly considering I had to put on 3 coats of color, plus a top coat. I couldn’t wait to see how long it lasted.

I painted my nails on Sunday and this is what they looked like on Wednesday with very little abuse.  I am pretty easy on my nails in general and these absolutely did not hold up.  By Tuesday, I was noticing wear on my first two fingers on my left (non dominant) hand and as you can see, but Wednesday they were chipping.  You could also see every bump or knick in my nail bed through the polish.

Essie Gel Couture Review

I left the polish on til Friday just to see if they got worse.  It stayed about the same, but of course, my nails started shredding where the polish had worn off.

The polish did come off really easily with regular non-acetone nail polish remover.

Overall, I wouldn’t spend the almost $25 to buy both steps (each bottle is about $11.50 on average).  I had much better results with my Shellac Hack method I explained previously here.

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried Essie Gel Couture and how it worked for you in the comments!

 

Keep Tulips From Drooping

I love to have tulips in the house during the winter, because they make me feel like Spring is still a possibility no matter how cold out it currently is!  I found tulips for $3 a bunch at our local grocery store the other day and had to grab some since it was artic here this weekend.

The one thing about tulips that can be a bummer, is their tendency to droop, as soon as you put them in the vase.  I tried a Pinterest trick this time and it worked!  I actually combined two common tricks, so not 100% sure which one was the secret, but both are so easy, I don’t mind repeating them both.

First, I left the tulips in their store binding overnight.  Meaning, I took them out of the plastic envelope/bag thing you carry them in, but I left them attached to each other by the bindings/bands and stuck them in a vase of water.  The reasoning behind this trick, is because tulips are hollow stemmed, keeping them together allows them to absorb the water without drooping.

I also added a penny to the water in the vase.  I’ve read about this trick for a couple years and always forget to do it.  I honestly don’t know the reason for it, but I am sure it changes the alkaline of the water.

It’s been a few days, and so far so good as you can see below.  Aren’t they so pretty?   A few of the leaves have drooped and the tulips aren’t standing straight up and down like a soldier, but I like them a little more natural myself.  This is a huge improvement from the last time I bought tulips, so I am declaring this a Pinterest Success!!

Keep Tulips from Drooping

Have you tried these tricks? I’d love to hear about it or any others in the comments!

 

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

The countdown is upon us and Christmas is almost here!  December is going really fast I think.  I am all set on my gifts, but because of our dog, I haven’t been able to decorate like I usually do.  Because of that, I feel like I am not quite prepared yet!

I also haven’t done one Christmas craft this year!  To rectify that situation, I gathered up a couple quick and easy Christmas crafts that I thought you might want to see too!

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

This Merry craft is super quick and definitely super easy!  It’s made with pipecleaners and  pre-wrapped burlap.  Full tutorial is found here.   PS: I need to find this pre-wrapped burlap for some other crafts stat!

 

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

I fell in love with this Gingerbread Hula Girl felt ornament!  They used a cutting machine to create the Gingerbread base, but you could use a cookie cutter and trace it on felt too.  I’m going to have to make some of these!  Find the tutorial here.

 

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

 

Pom-pom garlands are super quick and easy to create and can be modified for every holiday.  This one was created for Valentine’s Day, but I think it fits for Christmas too.  Find the tutorial here.

 

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

 

I saved my favorite for last!  How cute is this Snowman place setting?  Super easy and festive!  Details can be found here.

Looking for more Christmas ideas? Check out my Christmas Pinterest board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casual Christmas Eve Outfits

Every family spends Christmas Eve differently, some hold a fancy party, some go to church and dinner, and some spend it in their pajamas.  My Christmas Eve is usually church and dinner followed by family time, so I need a more casual Christmas Eve outfit.

When I think Christmas, I tend to gravitate toward plaid, red or sparkly!  Check out my faves below!

 

Casual Christmas Eve OutfitThis plaid ruffle top is adorable and will take you from Christmas through the Spring.  Find it here.

 

Casual Christmas Eve OutfitHow cute is this sleeveless plaid bow top?  You could wear with jeans, black pants, or a skirt and be so festive!  Find it here.

 

Casual Christmas Eve Outfit

I am in love with this shade of red, it’s gorgeous!  This is the most practical of my picks, you can wear it for Christmas Eve and then to work.  Perfect shirt to dress up or down.  Find it here.

 

Casual Christmas Eve Outfit

You have to have a festive sweater for Christmas!  This one doesn’t scream Christmas, but still feels Christmas-y.  Wear it with a puffer vest and jeans for a super casual Christmas Eve.  Find it here.

 

Casual Christmas Eve Outfit

This speaks to my sparkly heart!  A black sequin tshirt could be worn for so many different occasions!  I have a sequin tank top that I have worn a bunch of different ways and I think this tshirt would be even better!  Wear it with black pants to go classic, with jeans to go casual, with a print bottom to be a little funky.  Find it here.

Casual Christmas Eve Outfit

Everybody needs a sequin mini at Christmas time!  Perfect with a plaid or chambray shirt.  Casual with a tee.  Wear it with a  turtleneck if it’s cold.  So many ways to wear it! Plus you can reuse it for NYE! Find it here.

I’d love to hear about your Christmas eve plans in the comments below!

 

Best Christmas Nail Art

I love to go crazy with my nails for Christmas and thought you might want to see some nail art I’ve sported last and this year!  All nail art on my nails was done at Dallas Beauty Lounge in Pittsburgh, PA.  My very favorite place to get nail art!  I’ve never brought in an idea that they couldn’t create and make even better!

 

Christmas Nail Art

I went in to last my nail appointment all set to get these and ended up getting something different at the last minute.  These are still in the running for my final appointment before Christmas.  Originally found here.

 

Salty Blonde Blog

 

These snowflake nails are what I ended up with at my last appointment.  I love them!  Super subtle ode to the season that’s easy to wear everyday!  Nail art by Kalynn at Dallas Beauty Lounge in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Salty Blonde Blog

These whimsical ornament/snow globe nails were some of my faves from last year.  I came in with a couple of different ideas and Kate from Dallas Beauty Lounge combined them into these!

Salty Blonde Blog

These chalkboard nails were so adorable in person!  Kate from Dallas Beauty Lounge did a fantastic job in creating these for me!

I need your help in deciding what to get for my last appointment before Christmas!  The first idea is at the top of this post and here’s a couple more.  As usual, I pulled these ideas from Instagram.  Give me a follow here.  Let me know in the comments which you think I should get!

Salty Blonde Blog

These are a strong contender!  I love the Christmas tree on top of the car image in general, so to see it recreated on nails made me squee!  Nail art by Sierrasnails via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

This gorgeous Christmas tree caught my eye on Instagram.  I love the impact of it on one nail versus having a bunch of images on various nails.  Would be lovely with hunter green nails too.  Nail art by Sierrasnails via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

This Starbucks cup inspired art by Nailstorming is reminiscent of my own ornament nail art, but I like the simplicity of this being just red and white.  Nail art by Nailstorming via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

I love these teeny tiny Christmas trees and I think paired with tiny candy canes would be really cute!  I am super into the teeny tiny designs, so this could be a winner.  Nail art by Minipolishh via Instagram.

Which one do you think I should pick?  Let me know in the comments !