Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coach Heels... Help me decide!

As I mentioned last week, one of my best friends was leaving beautiful Manhattan to come visit me in the Nations Capitol for the weekend! We had an amazing time brunching, shopping, exploring and catching up with some other friends. She's always been a light packer, unlike me -- I have the terrible fear that I will forget something that I will desperately need -- but she still always manages to pack the most amazing things into her tiny bag. Enter in: the to-die-for blue, snakeskin Coach heels. After drooling over them all weekend, I decided to stop by the coach website and look at the shoe selection, and boy am I thrilled that I did. There is an overabundance of the most unique heels that are a mix-and-match of color, pattern and texture.

I have decided that I definitely need a pair in my life, but I can't seem to choose which style!! I think I have managed to narrow it down to the Sevilla Sandal and the Lexey Heel... what do you think? I would love a second opinion!


It's raining here in DC, but I hope your tuesday is beautiful!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Prom Makeup | Glamorous Smokey Eye using Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

Hello, hello! I'm back this week with another Prom / Evening makeup look. This time I used the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette to create a more smokey, glamorous eye! If a Prom isn't on the agenda, you can definitely rock this at any formal event, cocktail party or even a dressy night out.


Naked 2 is the palette that I take with me the most when I travel because of its very wearable browns and golds on the left side! But, to spice things up a bit, I decided to stick with the more silvery, gray colors on the right side for this look. I started out with the brighter, silvery shade in the inner corners of the eyes and faded into the darker, more rich tones.

To make it more dramatic, I decided to pair it with an orange-red lip -- I guess the phrase 'go big or go home' can be used here...

Instead of using a gel, or liquid liner, I smudged the black shadow color, Blackout, along the lash line and up towards the crease on the outer corner. I did use a black pencil liner in the upper waterline to make the lashes seem thicker and darker.

Below, I have outlined what shadows I used and where. I have also included all the product names and brushes I used on my face, eyes and lips at the end!




face:
Benefit the Pore-fessional primer
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation : 32, Beige Rose
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer: SC-3
Make Up Forever HD High Definition Powder
Benefit Bronzer: Hoola
Nars Blush: Orgasm

eyes:
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: Original
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Mac Eye Kohl Liner: Smolder
Benefit BAD Gal Lash: Black

brows:
Mac Shadow: Wedge
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

lips:
Revlon ColorStay Lipliner: Wine
Revlon Moon Drops Creme Lipstick: 710, Orange Flip

brushes:
faceReal Techniques by Samantha Chapman:
essential foundation, multi task brush, expert face brush
Sephora Professional: contour brush
eyesSonia Kashuk:
103: medium eyeshadow brush, 109: pointed blending brush
Mac: 219: Pencil Brush, 266: angled brow brush, 222: Tapered Blending Brush



I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think in the comments below or Instagram me!



Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday

one // I have never been one to have a consistent work-out schedule, so it's a pretty big accomplishment that Mr. E has somehow gotten me to work out with him about 3 times a week for the past few months -- if I'm good... baby steps. Now that it's warming up, he's had the bright idea to drag me outside to run around the National Mall with him, which is conveniently located only blocks from my apartment. Well, this gal has never been a distance runner, so this has been quite the experience. My way of hiding near-death exhaustion, stopping to take some "too good to pass up" touristy pics. He pretends like he's buying it...

two // I mentioned my bestie, Adrienne, in my FOF post a couple weeks ago. I went to visit her in NYC the weekend before Easter and we had such an amazing time! I just got a message from her saying that she has decided to take the rest of the day off from work and she's going to head to DC for the weekend!! To make things even better, one of my other best friends is heading up from NC to spend the weekend here too! I am so unbelievably excited to have some of my closest girls with me for the weekend.

three // Waterlogue App. Download it. Watercolor your pictures. Nothing more to say, y'all.

four // My parents know how much I love food, cooking and kitchen gadgets, so for my birthday, one of my gifts was this Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender! I have been loving discovering all the ways I can use it -- pureeing soups, milkshakes, sauces, etc. My current obsession is using it to make smoothies!! No need for a traditional blender, it will blend up any fruit, veggie or food that you want to incorporate. Yum!

five // When in New York City, I fell in love with these Ray Ban Aviators in matte gold and flash blue lenses. I decided I was due for some new sunglasses and I couldn't pass these up! Bring on the summer sun! P.S. Ray Ban is on Rue La La right now and I believe these are on sale!! If you're a member, go for it :)

I love linking up with A.LizNatashaDarci and Christina on Fridays!!



Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

what I just PINNED

I'm Pinterest obsessed. And I think many of y'all are too!

I thought I would share some the beautiful things that I just pinned onto my Pinterest boards tonight. If you don't already, go on over and follow me so we can share some amazing pictures and ideas!


I hope you all have had a wonderful week. Tomorrow is FRIDAY and I can't wait to pick back up with Five on Friday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prom Makeup | Pretty in Pink using Naked 3 Palette from Urban Decay

I am so excited to post my first makeup look today! For as long as I can remember I have loved playing around with my, and other people's, makeup and hair. Lucky for me I grew up with 2 sisters, a beautiful mother, and later in life I adopted many more 'sisters' from my sorority, who all loved to be my muses. Before cocktails, mixers and formals I seemed to always have many girls over, all lined up to be glamorized. So now I have decided to share some of my ideas with you all!

My little sister, Barrett, is going to her first prom in 2 weeks and I am so excited for her! I am taking that Friday off from work so I can fly home and help her get ready. 

Since it is prom season for a lot of people out there, and I am in the midst of figuring out what to do with my little sister's makeup, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to put up a few of the different looks I have come up with to inspire all you ladies out there!


My first look was created using shadows only from my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I can already tell that this will be my go-to palette for Spring! I love all the rosy tones and the mix of shimmer and matte shadows. If you're like me, and are sadly too old to go to prom, I still think this is perfect for a girly night out, weddings, or even if you're feeling like a more glamorous spring day!

Below, I have outlined what shadows I used and where. I have also included all the product names and brushes I used on my face, eyes and lips at the end!



liner bonus: I always tend to gravitate towards a winged-out, cat eye with my liner. I think it creates such a beautiful shape to your eye. I have been using gel liner with a very thin liner brush for years now, and I just can't seem to stray. I sometimes use a pencil and liquid liner, but I don't think they have the same natural, but precise effect. Always set your liner with a shadow so that it stays put!!

face:
Benefit the Pore-fessional primer
L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation: n1-2, soft ivory-classic ivory
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer: SC-3
Make Up Forever HD High Definition Powder
Benefit Bronzer: Hoola
Nars Blush: Mata Hari

eyes:
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: Original
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner: Noir
Mac Carbon Eyeshadow to set
Maybelline The Rocket Volume Express Mascara: Blackest Black

brows:
Mac Shadow: Wedge
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara

lips:
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick: Divine, 330
Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss: Pink Pop, 235

brushes:
face | Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman:
essential foundation, multi task brush, expert face brush
Sephora Professional: contour brush
eyes | Sonia Kashuk:
103: medium eyeshadow brush, 109: pointed blending brush, 107 bent liner brush
Mac: 266, angled brow brush


I hope you all enjoyed this type of post! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2 outfits, 1 pair of shoes

It's thursday night and I'm sitting here listening to my favorite country playlist, helping Mr. E pack for our weekend away at the beach with my family for Easter. Did I mention a bottle of red wine is involved? Life is good!

A few weeks ago I mentioned these amazing wedges I had recently bought. This winter has been brutal and even though it's now spring, I have yet to break those bad boys out. Instead, I have been daydreaming of all the fabulous outfits that I can create with them. Believe me, I had to hold myself back from purchasing basically every single piece... at least I own the most important part.

Shoe Addicts Anonymous





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

scratchDC: Homemade Chicken Pad Thai


To all my DC girls out there who love to cook, this is for you!

I'm sitting here on this dreary, rainy Tuesday, still getting over all the fabulousness from my weekend away in NYC with one of my best friends. I have so many pictures to share later this week!

But that isn't what today's post is about. I feel the need to spread the word about one of my favorite DC businesses, Scratch DC. Scratch describes itself as a company that "creates daily unique two-serving bundles of fresh, locally sourced, organic raw ingredients that are chopped, measured, marinated, packed with an incredible, easy-to-follow recipe and delivered to your door ready to cook."

I first learned about this company from Mr. E, so I need to give him all the credit for this one. Some coworkers of his told him about this business and he decided to surprise me one night for dinner a few months ago. He told me that he had planned a surprise for me and I did not need to plan on cooking that night. When he got back from work, I expected him to mention reservations or have a bundle of food with him, but nope, he walked in and didn't mention a thing. Of course, by that point I was confused, and hungry, but I was too stubborn to mention anything or ruin the surprise. At almost exactly 7pm, his phone rang and he ran out the door and came back with a brown box tied with a twine bow. Inside the box was a list of witty instructions and containers of perfectly portioned ingredients. Mr. E pulled out his phone and showed me the introduction video that explained what we would be doing and what the company was about. I don't think that my description would do it justice, so here is the video that he showed me:


That night, we ended up cooking Creole shrimp, chorizo and vegetable Étouffée over rice. Let me tell you, it was delicious! The instructions were easy to follow and it was so nice not having to spend a fortune at the grocery store on ingredients that I will be less likely to use again anytime soon!



Last Thursday, Mr. E decided to surprise me again with Scratch DC, this time with a box of ingredients for Chicken Pad Thai! If you have ever tried to make it at home, it is almost more trouble than it is worth; gathering the ingredients usually requires a trip to an asian food store which is confusing enough if you're like me and only understand English and maybe a hint of spanish. So, imagine my delight when I found out that all the ingredients were perfectly portioned and waiting for me with precise instructions inside that brown box. The finished product was absolutely amazing, we had so much fun cooking together, me more than him, and we ate every single bite!




So, my DC readers, I recommend you go on to the scratchDC website choose an upcoming meal that sparks your fancy and be prepared to feel like a gourmet chef. You will not be disappointed!


Friday, April 11, 2014

five on friday ... beauty heavy

Again, this friday I am linking up with A.LizNatashaDarci and Christina with five on friday!

This week was very busy for me. I went to Chicago, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale and Charlotte all in the span of 2 days! Believe me, this weekend couldn't come soon enough.

Mr. E is off to a Bachelor Party in Atlantic City this weekend, so I figured I would try to "one-up him" and do something fun as well! That leads me to my first pick...

one:
In a few hours I will be on my way to NYC to spend the weekend with my best friend, Adrienne! We met in college and we both went Zeta Tau Alpha, ZLAM. She moved to New York this December to start her fancy big-girl job in the city and this is the first chance I have gotten to go and visit her. She has already planned a FULL weekend for us consisting of reservations for dinner tonight with other friends, lunch tomorrow, dinner tomorrow night, and brunch sunday morning before I fly back to DC. So prepare yourselves for a million food pics!



two:
I have never really been a fan of drug-store foundations. I have pretty sensitive skin that tends to break out very easily, and in my 'head' higher end foundations are better for my skin. Foundations like Chanel and Laura Mercier would never be bad for my skin, right? I know, I know. This may be completely idiotic, but it makes me feel better, okay! I have been looking for a lower end foundation to travel with and I had been hearing tons of YouTube Beauty Girls rave about L'Oreal True Match Lumi. I bit the bullet and decided to buy it yesterday and I tried it out last night. If you are trying to save some money and are looking for a lower-end foundation with great, smooth coverage with TONS of color options, try this out. NOW! It feels so soft against my skin and I would put it up against any of my higher-end foundations. I'm not sure how my skin will react to it, so I'm going to keep using and it see how it goes. I'll keep you posted!


three:
Two words, Southern Charm. If you haven't watched the new Bravo series based in Charleston, SC, you need to! Being a Carolina girl myself and a lover of Charleston, I have gotten hooked. The men and women are so funny, full of southern charm, hospitality and of course great parties and drama


four:
I mentioned these before, but I am loving velcro rollers. It's an easy way to create the big, bouncy, blow-out look that our hair stylists can achieve but we struggle to do on a day to day basis. I simply dry my hair completely, and then put 3 to 4 large velcro rollers in my hair using the hair at the top/middle of my head, think mohawk! I do my makeup while my hair cools and sets. Once finished, I pull the rollers out, brushing the hair a little, and then I apply some volumizing powder to the roots at the crown of my head. I'm going to do a tutorial sometime soon!


five:
Okay, so I mentioned voluming power above in my number 4. This product has completely changed my life! I have a lot of hair, but sometimes it's too soft and loves to fall throughout the day and just hangs there, limp and boring. This powder adds some oomph to your hair by giving you volume, thickness that holds all day. Right now I'm using Got2B Powder'ful Game Changer TexturePowder, that's a mouthful, but there are so many other brands that I'm eager to try!


Okay, I know that was a lot of beauty related things, but I couldn't help but share some of my favorites! Now I'm off to shower and run out the door so I can catch the 4pm flight to NYC! I hope you all have wonderful weekends!!





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Barrel Restaurant Soft Opening

As I mentioned in my five on friday post last week, I went to the soft opening of a new Capitol Hill restaurant called Barrel. It's a new southern-inspired restaurant with a menu full of classic southern dishes with a modern twist. I am a lover of food and cocktails, so any excuse to get dolled up to go and eat an amazing meal is so exciting. The restaurant was full of exposed brick and rustic wood. I loved all the hand painted typography and charming vintage-southern knick-knacks scattered around! We ended up sitting downstairs in their "Elixir Bar" with this great liquor and beer display case. There were wood barrels and candles everywhere, creating a rustic, sexy feel.



The cocktail menu was divine so I ordered 2 different drinks throughout the night. The first was Doctor Funk which was described as Goslings Black Seal, Absinthe, Lime, Lemon, Grenadine. The second was the Salted Daisy, Fords Gin, Lime Juice, Port City Wit. Both were wonderful, but my favorite was the Salted Daisy for its freshness. Doctor Funk had too much of a licorice taste from the absinthe.



We ordered about 10 things from the small plates menu offered that night, but my favorites were the macaroni and cheese, andouille clams over grits with shellfish broth, and the crawfish hushpuppy with rockfish & chartreuse mornay. Um, yum!


Overall, it was a fun night with some great food, drinks and friends. I can't wait to go back and try something new!



Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap

It is currently 1:15pm on a rainy, gray Monday afternoon in DC. I'm in sweatpants and my favorite moccasin slippers, sipping my 3rd cup of coffee while watching Annie on TV. Yes, the little red headed girl who likes to sing and dance. I'm having a childhood moment, okay?

This weekend was full of some wonderful adventures and I can't wait to share them with you! I told Mr. E last week that I really wanted to have a full weekend and I wanted to try to be as active as possible. Well, the weekend came and definitely delivered. Friday night we walked a few blocks to Union Station to get dinner. We decided to go to this little Greek restaurant. I ordered a Chicken Souvlaki Sandwich that is basically a chicken pita with lettuce, tomato, onions, and tzatziki, one of my favorite sauces! We were going to call it a night after eating, but ended up having one of our favorite couples over and then we went to this great Jazz Club on H street! Mr. E grew up listening to Jazz music and even played the Jazz trumpet, so he had a blast explaining to me the jazz world and the mechanics behind the music as we listened.


The next morning, we got up and went to a driving range with the same couple from the night before. The boys hit some golf balls, I on the other hand missed more than balls than I hit. Side note, I kept getting stares from all the men and women golfers because I didn't have the typical golf attire on. I think it's completely acceptable to wear leopard print to the driving range. After working up an appetite, we ended up at Eastern Market and went to brunch at Tunnicliff's. I need to be honest with you all and say that I have this little problem where my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I'm a snacker. I eat a little bit, all day long. I'm not sure if this is a good problem or a bad one to have. So we ordered Bloody Mary's and a table full of food, it's a good thing the boys have huge appetites. Of course, no Saturday can be complete without some sort of televised sport, so we watched the 2 NCAA Final 4 games.




On Sunday we put on our walking shoes and decided to spend the day exploring our city. We started on 14th St NW, at this adorable antique store called Miss Pixie's. I love going there on beautiful afternoons to find the most interesting treasures. If you're ever in DC and are looking for some unique, antique things, I definitely recommend this little jewel of a shop! After, we walked and walked, made a few stops looking at menus and growing our list of future brunch spots, made a quick pit stop for some snacks at Whole Foods and finished up our day in Dupont Circle with smoothies. I couldn't have asked for a better day!


Bonus: Where are all my Mad Men fans?! I'm completely caught up and anxiously and sadly awaiting the final season that begins this week! I've talked Mr. E into watching it from the very beginning and he finally agreed! So we are now on the 5th episode of season 1 and I can happily say that he his just as hooked as I am! He has a lot of catching up to do, though.


I hope you all had wonderful weekends as well! I can't wait to hear all about them.


Friday, April 4, 2014

five on friday

I'm so happy to be posting my SECOND Five on Friday. Again, I am linking up with A.LizNatashaDarci and Christina!

Let me tell you, I am so happy that it's finally the weekend! I was gone flying for 4 out of 5 days this week so I am in need of some serious fun. I have all weekends off this month, so I've got some really great events and trips to come. I don't have much planned for this weekend yet, but I do foresee lots of red wine and great food. I also know that I want to stop by one of the many farmers markets in DC and definitely go antique shopping. Mr. E plans on me watching lots of basketball with him, yippee. Cheers to the weekend everyone! Let's get started...

one:
My sweet man, Mr. E, showed up with "just because" flowers last weekend and they are too beautiful not to share. I'm going to try not to talk him up too much on this blog, I know he reads this and he has enough bragging rights as it is for being so "smooth." He is so charming and thoughtful and tries to find creative ways to put a smile on my face every day. But hey, he has his stubborn moments too, no one is perfect!!



two:
Last night Mr. E and I attended the soft opening of a new restaurant in Capitol Hill called Barrel with one of our favorite couples. If you're familiar with Pennsylvania Ave SE, there was an old restaurant called 18th Amendment that closed down this past summer. Here is an article from Capitol Hill Corner that talks more about the details of Barrel. I plan on doing another post about what we ordered and what I thought about the whole experience. The menu was all small plates and we ended up ordering about 10 of them, we were hungry... My favorite dish was probably the andouille sausage and clams on cheesy grits and a shellfish sauce. DELISH. All in all, it was such a fun night and I'm so glad we were invited!



three:
Okay, all my Keurig ladies, are you sitting down? I don't know if I'm new to this trend or if I'm the last one to jump on the bandwagon, but have you guys ever had the Sweet & Creamy Iced Coffee K-Cups? If you are a fan of iced coffee and have a Keurig, please try these, they will change your life. Now that the weather is warming up and Spring is in the air, I'm ready for a break from my daily cup of hot steaming coffee and these are the perfect change. No need to add cream or sugar, brew in a big cup of ice and enjoy. I think I might be addicted.



four:
I'm in search of a new bathing suit for this summer and I'm having a hard time deciding which direction to go in. I've seen some really neat new brands out there and I'm in the process of narrowing it down. There are so many fantastic trends with bathing suits lately -- high waisted, ruffles, fringe, one-pieces with cutouts, sporty suits, even suits with sleeves -- but a lot of those trends aren't for me. Why? Tan Lines! I absolutely love all these new styles, but I don't like weird tan lines so I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Here are a few of my faves that I'm considering!! I'll be sure to do a post when I finally make my decision!

                        

five: 
I am desperately missing my little fur babies at home with my parents in Raleigh, NC. Lola and Charlie are my family's 3 year old Golden Doodles and quite possibly the cutest dogs in the world, says every dog owner, right? I'll be with my family for Easter and I can't wait to see those little afro heads. Thanks for some of the recent pictures, Mom :)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!