Monday, August 31, 2015

Coffee + Chocolate

If there's only one thing you need to know about coffee, it's that the only thing that can make that caffeinated wonder drink even better is chocolate. One of my favorite treats is chocolate with coffee so when I first tried a chocolate covered espresso bean I was literally in heaven. They are super easy to make and store and they make an awesome, unique gift for coffee lovers!

You'll need parchment paper, good melting chocolate, good quality espresso beans and some small Ziploc bags.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. It can be as big or small as you want, just depending on how big of a batch you want to make.

First you need to melt the chocolate. You can use the double boiler method (placing chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan with boiling water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second increments (adding a little milk helps keep the chocolate from scorching), or, if you're like me and want the easiest way possible I just use my Wilton chocolate melter. I purchased this from JoAnn's for about $20.00 I believe.

Once the chocolate is all melted I pour it into a gallon plastic bag, squish it all to one corner and cut a tiny bit away from the tip. I wish I was able to take a picture of this part, but I had to move quick so the chocolate wouldn't thicken. I've found the best method is to pipe a bit of chocolate onto the parchment paper, place an espresso bean into it and then pipe a bit more on top to cover the beans. 

If you have bought chocolate covered espresso beans in the past then you probably know how pricey they can get. I can't believe how quick and easy they are to make and they are super delicious if you love the taste of coffee with chocolate! I personally LOVE the white chocolate covered ones!

Huge shout-out to the hubby who actually came up with the method to make them because he knew how much I loved them!

Have you tried chocolate with your coffee? If so, do you love it?

Friday, August 28, 2015


This week instead of doing a Friday favorites I wanted to change things up a bit. It's so easy to let your happiness center around materialistic possessions, especially in today's society, and even more especially if you are surrounded by social media. Most of us work hard for our money and it's absolutely okay to treat yourself to that lipstick you wanted or that purse you've been eyeing, but all too often these are the things that become the focus of our existence. Sometimes it's nice to take a step back, strip it all away, and figure out what you are truly grateful for. Here are the things that make me truly happy!

First is my family. I am so thankful and incredibly lucky to have found a partner who supports me, pushes me, allows me to grow and takes such good care of me. My husband is truly my rock, my best friend, and the love of my life. I am grateful to have his love and support.

I thank my lucky stars every day I had parents who truly and honestly support me no matter how crazy my ideas are. My mom and dad are my idols, they have always let me know that I am loved and taught me how to be a good person. They were parents when I needed them to be and friends when I needed them to be. I am so grateful to have had the childhood and continued support of my parents throughout the years.

My brother is 3 years older than me and I followed him around like a puppy dog when I was little. The pictures above basically describe our relationship to this day (I totally still have that cry face too!). I adore him and he loves to torture me still. I am grateful to have a brother and friend who I've always been so close with.

Next, the blogging community. I've raved about bloggers in a previous post, and I totally stand by my opinion that bloggers are some of the nicest, most supportive people I've ever met, but in addition to that I am grateful for blogging in general. I am so grateful there is a community that allows people to express themselves creatively and I am humbled to be a tiny part of that!

I am grateful that I have a job (no matter how long the hours and how tedious the day to day work) that allows me to have the health insurance to take care of myself and my family and the money to support myself, my family, and our necessities (yes, this includes makeup haha).

And before this post starts sounding too cheesy, I am so, so, so grateful for coffee. Every. Single. Day.

Let me know what it is you guys are grateful for! Happy weekend everybody! XO

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Jewelry Box : Dainty Necklaces

A little while ago I featured some of my favorite statement necklaces in a blog post and I thought today I would spotlight some of my favorite dainty pieces. I'm a person who typically wears smaller pieces on a daily basis so these definitely get a lot more love and attention than some of their bigger counterparts.

This first necklace is one of my favorites. I love the different tones between the chain and pendant, it makes pairing it with anything super easy. This is the Moon Phases pendant from Jewelmint. The thing I love and hate about Jewelmint is once an item is sold out it's most likely gone for good. This is great in that you will probably never come across someone who has the same jewelry as you, but it's bad when you want to share your find with friends (or when you get your house broken into and they steal all your jewelry.) Unfortunately, this necklace is no longer available, but I found a similar one here.

I am a huge fan of crystal and raw stone necklaces and this is one of my favorites. It's from Shop Dixi and it's the Circle of Life pendant, but I found a super similar one here. Shop Dixi have a lot of cute boho style jewelry, but they sell out of things quite often so you have to keep your eyes peeled and strike while the iron is hot when you see something you like. (Clearly I take my jewelry shopping seriously.)

I get asked about this tiny moon necklace all the time. It's from none other than Forever 21 which means it was super cheap! It's one of my favorites because it's so small and dainty, it's absolutely perfect for layering. You can get it here.

This is another favorite and, unfortunately, also from Jewelmint. This is the Rose Gold Pave Sharkstooth necklace. The only tip I have for trying to find old Jewelmint jewelry is to check Ebay, I've found some items that have been long sold out for pretty affordable prices so if you do like this, definitely check that out. However, I've found an exact duplicate here and a similar one here.

This one is also from Jewelmint (I'm really sorry guys!) and it's one of my faves as it's a 3D butterfly pendant. I've found super fun similar options here and here and a pricey but beautiful version here.

Let me know what some of your guys' favorite places are to get pretty dainty pieces!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette : Radiance

If you read beauty blogs then you've probably already heard about this palette since it's been compared to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette by everyone who owns it. I do not own the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette so I couldn't tell you whether that's true or not, but what I can tell you is this palette is frequently sold out on Makeup Revolution's website and after finally getting my hands on it I know why! The palette consists of 3 finely milled highlight powders that claim to bring instant illumination to your complexion. I can vouch that this is definitely true. These aren't highlights in the classic sense of the word, but when lightly dusted all over your face they give a soft glow to your skin which is totally naturally and completely beautiful. 

After swatching, I suppose you could safely call the third a true highlight, but it's definitely not intense like other highlights. If you want a subtle shine then this palette would definitely be for you. I wear the first shade all over my face and it makes my skin appear softer...not in the "oh her skin looks so soft" way, more in the I look like I'm standing underneath beautiful lighting sort of way. As of right now the website still has this in stock so I'll link it here. If you are in the market for an illuminating skin powder then I would definitely recommend this!

Have you guys tried anything like this before? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Date Night Outfit : Breezy Dress

As I said in my post yesterday, we went to an outdoor concert this weekend and it was still quite hot out in the evening. I wanted to be comfy but cool and the dress I wore is not only my favorite length and cut, but the price is also a favorite as I purchased it at Forever 21 last year. This is also one of my favorite dresses as all I have to do is throw a sweater over the top and it transitions nicely into colder months.

I threw on a pink belt I purchased on Ebay to match with my butterfly headband and wore leopard print open toe flats. I love the open back on this dress and I wore my usual Ted Baker purse.

Dress: Forever 21 - similar here
Pink Belt: Ebay - similar here
Leopard Flats: Old - similar here 
Ted Baker Purse - similar here
Butterfly Headband: Shopko - similar here 

Tell me what your favorite dress style is when you want to be cool but comfy!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Bike Ride and Concert

This weekend we went on our usual training bike ride but this time we were joined by our friend and teammate so we were actually able to get a picture of us together (shout out to everyone who loved our matching jerseys, you guys are the best!)

The sneaky hubby took some photos while riding behind us...

On Sunday we went to the Pepper, Rebelution and Sublime with Rome concert. The tickets were leftover presents from the hubs birthday and we had a really fun time. The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert and all the bands played perfectly!

There was the nicest lady sitting next to us who volunteered to take this photo since we were trying to get the banner in the background.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Let me know what you got up to in the comments below or leave me your link if you blogged about it!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekly Favorites : The Shine Edition

There is something about warm weather that makes me love a good shine. Whenever I think about the summer time my mind automatically thinks Bronze goddess. Just me? Anyway, here are my favorite shine-aholic products of the week.

This highlight is the most beautiful highlight I own hands down. It's a silver tone powder with gold and blue reflects and it is gorgeous. It's slightly powdery, but whereas I have oily skin it settles in fine for me. I purchased this off of Etsy store Give Me Glow in the shade Halo. She's got all kinds of awesome dupes for affordable prices. Find her store here.

This is another highlight I've been loving lately. It's the I Love Makeup Goddess of Love Triple Baked Highlighter from Makeup Revolution. I love the pink-y tones and this highlight goes on super smooth and lasts forever! You can purchase the highlight from their website here.

This black radiance lip gloss is highly pigmented and claims to be a self adjusting color, meaning it's formulated to transform to an individuals perfect shade of gold. All I know is that it is super gorgeous. You can purchase it on or Target carries Black Radiance products as well!

It's pretty obvious by now I'm a huge Milani fan and this baked eye shadow in Drench in Gold is one of my favorites. I swatched it dry but I often wear it wet and it is super pigmented. I got mine from Walmart but I know Target, Walgreens, and CVS all sell Milani products.

This nail polish by Finger Paints in the shade Go Baroque is one of my all time favorites. It's glittery but with a gold-y pink base so you don't have to pair it with another shade. It's so gorgeous and great for year round. I purchased mine at Sally's.

Let me know what your favorite highlights/glitter products are!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Holy Grail Foundations for Oily Skin

Foundation is one of my all time favorite beauty products - if I skip everything else I still need foundation. I love nothing more than a smooth clear base to work with and since I have oily skin, it's even more important I pick a foundation that can last throughout the day. These are some of my favorite finds and most of them (woohoo) are drugstore!

This Yes to Grapefruit CC Cream is kind of a cheat since it's not technically a foundation. However, the thick formula makes it super high coverage and it's a correct and repair cream so it helps even out skin tone like a foundation would. It also has SPF 18 which is a total plus in my book. I have mine in the shade light-medium which looks quite dark but blends out a lot lighter. I love that it comes in a pump and that you can see the product rise as you use it so you always know how much you have left. It's the little things...

If you've been around my blog awhile you already know how much I love this foundation. The Maybelline FIT me Matte + Poreless formula is one of the best drugstore foundations I've tried. As you can see from the picture it's quite liquidy so it blends out like a dream and it's quite buildable so if you need higher coverage you can definitely get it. This also lasts all day and keeps me pretty matte for the most part. I have mine in the shade Ivory.

This Revlon Colorstay 24 hour was featured in a Friday favorites because it's really really good. Another drugstore foundation touchdown in my opinion. The only gripe I have about this is because the product is a little thicker I have a hard time getting it out of the bottle (and the one in the picture above is nearly full!) so I would have preferred a pump type situation but it's so good I choose to overlook that. I don't know if this stays 24 hours, but it holds up for my 11 hour work days just fine! I have this in the shade Natural Beige.

As far as keeping me matte, this Rimmel London Stay Matte mousse foundation is the best. I mean if you want a completely matte finish that won't budge all day this is your guy. This is another drugstore find and I love that it comes in a tube. Since it's a mousse, it's super thick so this packaging makes it really easy to use. Mine is in the shade True Ivory.

Last but definitely not least is the Stila Stay All Day foundation in the shade Bare. This is not a drugstore foundation but it's still reasonably affordable. At first the spatula-like wand really threw me for a loop but now I think it's such a convenient way to use the product without risking pouring out too much. I love that this foundation also comes with a concealer and tiny mirror in the cap. This is one of the best matte foundations I've tried and it definitely does last all day.

Let me know what some of your favorite foundations are, particularly if you have oily skin like I do!

P.S. Most of the drugstore foundations come in other formulas besides mattifying so check them out!