Thursday, February 27, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Bag Toppers

Posted by Devin
I love giving my boys simple little surprises on holidays. I always think it makes the day so much more fun and interesting, especially for holidays like St. Patrick's Day where there really isn't much going on other than wearing green (which my boys do every day anyways thanks to their school uniforms). For this St. Patty's Day I decided to make these cute little bag toppers to give to them in the morning for breakfast. They don't always get sugary cereals, so these Lucky Charms should really be a treat! 
Now I've provided the unhealthy option for breakfast, but make sure to check out Tara's post on Green Smoothies for St. Patty's Day for the super healthy option! If you make the smoothies AND give them the cereal, nutritionally it should all balance out, right? ;) To get the printables, click here or on the image below. They will fit any sandwich or snack sized ziploc baggie, and really you could put any breakfast treat you like in them.
Have a fun and festive St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Linking Up With: Practically Functional, Just Us Four, Link Party Palooza, WhipperBerry, TidyMom, PinkWhen, Moonlight and Mason Jars

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spring Fashion

Posted by Tara

Spring is definitely here in Arizona. It's not official but it sure feels like it! I recently had the opportunity to attend an outdoor brunch and was asked to wear a "Spring Dress" when I attended. I knew I could count on DownEast Basics for something bright and pretty. I went to their store and I was overwhelmed with so many beautiful spring skirts and dresses! There were way too many options! (LOVE having too many options in a store.) 

I ended up choosing this dress, called the Sidewalk Sunday Dress. I loved the wide stripes and I wanted a pop of color and the coral gives me just that! It comes in a darling navy and white stripe as well.

Since the event I attended was a casual one, I decided to go with flats and a simple necklace. I had bought a navy blue statement necklace to go with this dress, but this bow one paired perfectly with it also!

I am loving tea length dresses this season. This dress is cut perfectly for attending church or going to an event in. Love the versatility. 

What I wore: 
Dress: DownEast Basics
Gold Flats: Target (Similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (Similar)

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Posted by Devin

When you think of St. Patrick's Day, what food do you think of? If it's anything other than corned beef and cabbage, I would love to know what it is! Because this is the ONLY meal that comes to mind for me. What else do the Irish eat?!! Lol!

This recipe combines two things I love: corned beef with cabbage and my crockpot. Dinner time always seems to be so hectic and crazy, crockpot meals are my absolute favorite. I love preparing my meals early so I can just dish and serve at dinner time. So if you would like a fuss-free, traditional Irish dinner this St. Patrick's Day, you will want to check this recipe out! It is super delicious! 

1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (3 lbs)
1 head cabbage
3 large potatoes
12 oz. petite carrots
1 onion
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Peel and cut your potatoes into large chunks.

2. Cut the onion into wedges.
3. Place the vegetables (potato, onions, and carrots) in the crockpot.
4. Combine the water, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sugar, pepper, and the spice packet that came with the brisket.
5. Pour mixture over the vegetables in the crockpot.
6. Cut the brisket in half and set on top of the vegetables.
7. Cut the cabbage head into wedges and place on top of the brisket.

8. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

When the 8 hours is up, you'll have a delicious and traditional dinner all ready for your St. Patrick's Day! My husband and boys always gobble this right up and I hope your family enjoys it as well!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza, Fluster Buster, Sugar Bee Crafts, Ginger Snap Crafts, Wake Up Wednesdays, Moonlight and Mason Jars, Practically Functional, Just Us Four, WhipperBerry, TidyMom, PinkWhen

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Green Smoothies for St. Patty's Day

Posted by Tara

I used to be very intimidated by green smoothies. Then I started making them and they actually taste much better than they look! Just like me, my kids were nervous about the bright GREEN color. I convinced them that they taste like any other fruit smoothie and they actually love them now and enjoy drinking them all the time! And aren't they so fun for St. Patrick's Day?! Here's what you'll need to make your own delicious green smoothies:

2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen mango or half a fresh mango
1 cup juice

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Drink immediately. Easy enough right?! Kids and adults alike will not be disappointed!

I drink these in the mornings to jump start my day with all those vitamins and minerals. And think of all the benefits by making one a day for your little ones! It's the best way to get a serving or two of veggies in before lunch time!

Linking up with: Tatertots and Jello, Moonlight and Mason Jars, Practically Functional, Tidy Mom, Just Us Four, Pink When, Sunday Funday, Show and Tell Wednesday

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All That Glitters Is Gold

Posted by Devin

Is it just me, or has gold been OUT over the last decade or so. I know I didn't wear it much. Even my wedding ring is white gold because getting a yellow gold ring was definitely NOT in style back in the day. Sheesh, I never knew my wedding ring could reflect the time Jake purchased it for me! Am I going to one day say, "Oh my ring is SO 2000."??? Hopefully it's simple pave style will remain timeless, but if it doesn't, I won't care. Love my ring either way. Ok, totally off the subject now. Back to gold...

Over the past few years, the gold trend has been turning. And to my surprise, I am super happy about it! I am loving all things gold lately! So this week I decided to show a simple outfit that highlights some of my favorite gold accessories. Including these totally awesome Steve Madden heels. You should see how they glitter in the sun!

Besides the shoes, I added some dangly gold earrings, a gold medallion necklace, and some gold bangles on my wrist. Thanks to my relatively simple outfit of a tunic-style white shirt and jeans, I thought all the gold worked.

And I have to mention my hair. This chunky side braid was a new style for me. Do you follow Barefoot Blonde? If you like fashion and hair and make-up ideas, Amber's blog is a great read. She always looks lovely and has great inspiration for all things beauty and fashion.

Since I am always drooling over Amber's braids, I decided to give this one a shot! Click here for the tutorial on her blog.

My braid didn't turn out quite as chunky and loose as BFB's, but I didn't use hair extensions like she suggests which add to the braid thickness. When it comes down to it, I am still a pretty no-frills girl and I can't get myself to dabble in hair extensions or fake eyelashes or spray tans... I mean, I just barely started using lipstick, folks! But despite the lack of extensions, I was still super happy with this braid, especially for my first try, and plan on doing it again soon.

What are your thoughts on gold and chunky side braids? In? Out? Good? Bad? And please don't mention the fact that if I'm not going to spray tan, I need to get some more sun. Yes, I'm pale, I know. But it's still winter, right?!! Cut a girl some slack. ;) Besides, I am still the SALT to this salt and pepper duo.

What I Wore:
Gold Heels - Steve Madden (similar)
Gold Accessories - Charming Charlie
White Blouse - Target (similar)
Skinny Jeans - Old Navy (similar)

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fresh & Simple Makeup Tutorial

Posted by Tara

So to tell you the truth, I never thought that I would one day do a makeup tutorial. I've recently had a couple of people ask me "who did your makeup for that picture" or "how do you do your eye shadow" and to to be honest, Devin is the one who really pushed for this post! This is how I do my makeup. I don't use all the fancy brands, just whatever is easiest for me. For all of the following photos I tried to keep true to the original so you could see what the products actually do for me. Beware.. you are about to see me without my makeup on! Eeeeek!

When I get ready to put my makeup on, I scan my face. If I see any blemishes (which I always do) I apply lots of face lotion to these spots. I want to soften those areas before applying my foundation because as they heal they become scabs. This will look crusty under your powder or foundation, so applying the lotion helps eliminate that. 

After applying my facial lotion and bb cream, I then apply concealer under my eyes. I was told once to never apply it just under the eye, but rather to apply it in a triangle. Draw the triangle like this and then fill it in with concealer. This photo is in its raw form. I did not edit this. (Scary right? lol) I also add concealer to any blemishes after the lotion has been absorbed. 

Next I apply my foundation or powder. I use different ones, depending on the type of look I want. If I want to look more done up I use Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour full coverage foundation 

Today I used a knock off of Bare Minerals. I lightly applied it to my face starting in my T-Zone and working my way out.

Once my foundation is done, I prep my eyes with Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer before applying my eyeshadow. A tiny bit goes a long way. 

Make sure it's nice and rubbed in before starting the eyeshadow process. I always use AT LEAST 3 colors every time I wear eyeshadow. A color for the brow, a base for the lid, and a dark color for the crease. 

Step 1- Apply the lightest color you have to just below your eye brow.

Step 2- Use your next lighter color for your lid and inner lid. I apply that color to the corner of my eyes and drag it toward my lower lashes as well.

Step 3- Add your first warm color to the outside eye lid. 

Step 4- Use your darkest color for crease and drag underneath to lower lashes as well.

The eyeshadow that I prefer to use and have used for the last 2 years is Urban Decay's Naked 2. It gives me such a natural look with all the browns and golds. I also love how long it lasts throughout the day. I highly recommend their eyeshadows. Really looking forward to trying the Naked 3. 

Then I use my brow brush I got from Bare Minerals. Here is a similar one that is much cheaper and does a great job as well from Sephora.

I fill my brush with an eyeshadow color similar to my eyebrows. I don't want my eyebrows to look painted on, just filled in a bit. I have dark hair, but my eyebrows still need some fill.

Once my eyeshadow and eyebrows are finished, I use my liquid liner. I start on the inside of my eyelid and drag over to the center. Then I go to the outside of my lid and create a "wing" and fill it in. Last, I connect the inner and outside liner. Eye liner takes me time, mainly because I want it to look perfect. I know liquid eyeliner shows more imperfections, but I love the solid dark line it leaves.

For my photos today I used just an over-the-counter brand: Maybelline Ultra Liner. Yes it's waterproof and no it's not hard to get off. It's okay, but I am still on the search for the perfect eyeliner. Lots of my friends have suggested Stila Liquid eyeliner, but I have yet to give it a try. For now, this one does the job!

Once eyeliner is finished and dried, I apply my mascara. I really don't have any special instructions on how to apply it. I use Power Volume 24H from Loreal. My lashes are longer, but not super thick. This mascara adds just the right amount of thickness without making my lashes clumpy.

After mascara, I usually finish off with blush and bronzer. The blush I use is Tarte Amazonian 12-Hour Blush. It seems like my blush is the first thing to go during the day. I always have a kid touching my face or rubbing their face on mine. This blush really does last throughout the day. I love all the colors they have as well. 

I decided for this post to wear lipstick. I feel like if you are going to wear lipstick, your face needs to have a natural look and not too dark of makeup. You can wear both, but it tends to look like a lot is going on. One tip I have is to line the outside of your lips with concealer before applying your lipstick. This will help give you a clean line and lip. It will also help your lipstick last longer. 

I hope that you learned a tip or two from my tutorial! Here is my finished look below. The natural colors in the eye shadow pair really well with the bright lips!

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