Peppermint Fudge


This Peppermint Fudge recipe is as easy as ever and perfect for the Holidays. NO BAKING INVOLVED! Enjoy:)

Ingredients:
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. almond abstract
candy canes, crushed

Directions:
Combine white and dark chocolate chips and condensed milk into a large saucepan.  Heat over low heat until chocolate chips are melted, stirring frequently.  Right before you remove from the heat, add the almond abstract and stir.  Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil or parchment paper and pour melted chocolate mixture into the pan.  Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and pat down lightly.
Refrigerate for 2 hours and then cut into squares.

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him



For most of us finding a gift for your guy means walking on unfamiliar territory.  Men have it easy, getting a girl jewelry, shoes or clothing never fails but what's that go to gift for guys? Sadly, I don't think there is one.  It takes a little effort to find that perfect gift for your man, so I've rounded up a few gifts I think all guys want.  To purchase any of the gifts mentioned simply click on the links and it will take you to the purchase site. 

Breaking Bad was one of the most talked about shows this year.  Gift this series to your man and you get a gift too when you watch it together:)

Most guys like tech stuff and Apple TV is one of the hottest gifts for 2013. To me that's a done deal!  Impress your man with this perfect present for under $100

I don't know who we owe it to, but patterned socks are making there way into a mans wardrobe quickly.  I love the options express has. The socks are under $10 a pair, perfect for stocking stuffers or to top a gift with.

For the music junkie Momentum headphones are where it's at.  Nothing lets you zone out and enjoy music like these! A hefty price tag but worth it for the quality.

If New Year's resolutions are right around the corner for your significant other a Fitbit is the way to go. Help them track their activity and calorie intake with a Fitbit flex for a jumpstart on their resolution.

I'd have to say that the Jambox speakers are the most talked about gift for 2013.  These speakers are small in size but big in impact. Any home can benefit from these and you can personalize the speakers by choosing from one of several color options.

Netflix subscription is a great gift that you can give for only $8 a month!  Give your partner access to thousands of TV shows and movies for a year for under $100.  Definitely worth it if you rent at least one On Demand movie a month AND if you have Apple TV you can stream the Netflix shows right to your TV...perfect!

Holiday Gift Guide: White Elephant



White Elephant gifts are so much fun, but definitely tricky to find.  Finding a gift that’s cleaver, funny, appropriate and inappropriate at the same time is challenging to say the least!  Most White Elephant gift exchanges come with a price limit so I've put together a mix of several that I think do the job for under $30. Leave a comment below and share your White Elephant gift ideas :)

Obviously, the Wine Bra is my number 1.  For $30 you can gift a bra that holds wine inside, HA!  Don't worry, it comes with an attached straw so you can drink at your leisure.  This idea is hilarious and genius all in one. Perfect White elephant.

Time to let your inner 10 year old out to play because next on the list is a Tamogatchi Pet. This is a classic White Elephant and a childhood favorite. You can get them on amazon for $29

Polly the Insulting Parrot is my White Elephant purchase this year.  For only $15 you get Polly, the stuffed parrot that shouts and swears.  Funny at first but probably pretty annoying after a few minutes! Can’t wait to see who the lucky recipient is…

I seriously can’t believe there are still NOW albums coming out. Every time I look at this CD I crack up. For a flashback to the 90’s this is perfect. In case you were wondering, we’re up to NOW 48 ! Love this for $12.

If you've got a $10 limit or with a group you don’t know well lottery tickets are always a safe bet.  To spice things up, you can buy fake “winning” lottery tickets online. Mix in a few fake and real tickets to add the white elephant flare.

Sometimes we all feel like we run the world so why not show it? With the Queen of Effing Everything pillow you can flaunt it all you want.  This pillow is sure to bring a smile to the recipients face.  For $39 you can give a white elephant that hopefully won’t get re-gifted (or tossed in the trash)!

Holiday Lip Color



Here's what you need to know about Holiday lip color: bold is better! With skin not so sun tanned, a bold lip can really bring life to a paler complexion.  My favorite winter lip colors are all from Bobbi Brown. The Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color lipstick is my absolute favorite. It has a long lasting solution so the color sticks for the majority of the day. And, the formula is nice for sensitive skin.

So here are the 3 Bobbi Brown colors I think every woman should have for the Holidays: Cosmic Raspberry, Lilac, and Old Hollywood.

Cosmic Raspberry is my favorite. It's a bold pink color that pops on every skin tone.  I wear this shade all the time, it’s perfect if you want a stand out lip.  The shade is a bright hot pink but has blue undertones so your teeth look whiter. Who doesn’t love that?  If you’re searching for a statement lip color Cosmic Raspberry is it! When you wear this color, make sure to keep the rest of your makeup natural looking. I recommend light eye makeup (neutral colors only, not too much liner if any) so you don’t look like you’re wearing stage makeup.

Next on the list is Lilac. This is my winter “everyday” shade.  I love this color because it’s a great blend between natural pink and purple. Don’t let the purple tones scare you off- the purple undertones make the natural hue a little deeper, perfect for the season.  I find this shade is just enough color so that you notice you’re wearing it, but it’s subtle enough to blend in with the rest of your look.

Tis the season for bold red lips- this is where Old Hollywood comes in handy.  Finding the right red is tough because different shades compliment different skin tones. I’ve found this shade is pretty universal.  It’s lighter than a Bordeaux but doesn’t tint orange. If you dare to wear a red lip, give Old Hollywood a try. Like I mentioned before, when you have a bold lip color go easy on the eye makeup.

You can  Buy each lipstick here. Just make sure to select the appropriate shade before you checkout!

Fitness Move of the Week- Core Crunch


Still working off all the turkey and pie from Thanksgiving? This week's fitness move of the week has come to the rescue! I filmed this video at Orange Shoe Fitness Center in Whitefish Bay.  Orange Shoe Fitness Center is a fabulous fitness center that offers group classes and personal training. They focus on corrective exercise so you improve your movement both in the gym and in your everyday life. Best part about Orange shoe--? No yearly contracts involved! You can join on a month to month basis, perfect for those with crazy schedules and who travel often.

I filmed with the owner and trainer, Tina Martin who is nothing but wonderful. **BONUS If you go into to Orange Shoe, mention this video you'll get 10% off any service! Act fast because this deal won't last long. Now get to exercising :)

Watch the Video Here

Studded Clutch


How amazing is this retro studded clutch from Faye's ? I went to a Holiday Shopping event the other night and left with this beauty! Black and gold is one of my favorite combos on accessories so it was no surprise that I picked this up.  The clutch is perfect for nights out, and just big enough to hold my phone, money, lipstick and a few other small things.  I love the gem clasp on top- the perfect finishing touch!  Needless to say I'll be sporting this beauty all over town.  Prepare to let your jaw drop-- the price tag on is only $39!  If I were you, I'd run to the nearest Faye's Boutique and pick one up.  Faye's boutique is located in Mequon and Brookfield.

If you don't live near a Faye's I've pulled together a few similar styles available online. These clutches make perfect Christmas gifts and are small enough to even be stocking stuffers:)


Buy #1 here
Buy #2 here
Buy #3 here
Buy #4 here

Statement Necklaces Under $15



My favorite way to add style to any outfit is with a great necklace.  We're so lucky this trend has caught on because now there are hundreds of stylish necklaces available for great prices. Here are 3 more that wouldn't hurt to add to your wardrobe.  Each necklace can be worn with solid pieces, whether it's a dress, tee, blazer, sweater, it doesn't matter:) These finds will compliment all styles.
*GIFTING: Moms, uncles, boyfriends, etc. These are great gifting items! The women in your life will love them and you don't have to pay more than $15.  Perfect for stocking stuffers and hostess gifts too.  You can buy the necklaces at the links below. All are from H&M so if you have a store nearby and prefer shopping in store go for it!

$12.95 Obsession


Last weekend I went shopping and in typical fashion I found a perfect little sweater for a perfect little price.  Where to find this steal? H&M, of course.  Lightweight, oversized, flattering, check check check. I loved it so much that I had to buy it in 4 colors. I know, that's a bit much but come on, it's $12.95! They don't offer all of the colors online so if you're looking for red, emerald or brown you'll have to get it in stores, but if you're down with the neutrals then you can purchase it here

Get Active- New Exercise gear



I thought it was time to update my workout wardrobe so I did a little digging and settled on these versatile pieces.  All are under $50 and both cute and functional.  Now hopefully the new clothes will get me to the gym more:)





Jessica Simpson Heart Top  only $15.99!!

Mediterranean Plate


Low calorie, easy to prep, gluten free and no cooking involved- are you interested yet? Next time you’re off to a get together and asked to bring a dish think about taking a Mediterranean platter.  When I make mine I use Hummus, Feta Cheese, canned artichoke hearts (drained), grape tomatoes, kalamata olives and green olives.  All you need to do is arrange the ingredients on a platter or dish- voila!  All of the ingredients are perfect to munch on their own or you can serve with warm pita or crackers. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween! Here’s a festive healthy treat idea for your next Halloween party J All you need is peeled clementines and green pipe cleaners cut into small pieces.  

Fall Sweaters from $24


It's that time of year where there's nothing better than cozying up in your favorite sweater (and looking oh so good doing it). I've found some great sweaters that should be staples in your wardrobe. I love the oversized feel of these because you can wear them with jeans or leggings.  I own a three of these sweaters and practically live in them.  I've got all different price ranges here for you so hopefully you can find one (or five) that fit your style and your budget.

First on the list, the Free People Jeepster pullover sweater.  I own this sweater and wish I could wear it all day every day. Yes, it's that comfortable and that cute.  Worth every penny! The fit is oversized so I recommend ordering a size smaller than you normally would.  You can buy it here

Next we have the Forever 21 Essential cardigan . The long sleeves and side draping are calling my name now.. As if it couldn't get any better- it's only $24.98.  This is a great item to have in your closet to take you from Fall to winter and even into spring.

Another open cardigan for your liking, the Forever 21 Easy Open Cardi. Open cardigans are perfect to pair over dresses and long tees with leggings. I love the pockets on this piece, only $29!

The Urban Outfitters open sleeve striped cardigan is effortless style in a nutshell. The thick stripes transform this basic piece into a trend right look.  If you've got the basics covered go for this stripe cardi.  Love this one!

Last on the list, the BCBGeneration Slit Side Tunic Sweater.  Another one that I own and definitely one of my favorites.  This is the answer to your new pullover sweater.  I love throwing this on over jeans or leggings.  It's comfortable and the side zips add just the right touch of eye catching hardware.

Shredded Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo




If you’re looking for a lighter take on traditional tacos this recipe is perfect.  These tacos are fresh and easy to make. Make them for dinner and take the leftovers for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 can corn, drained
1/3 onion, chopped
½ avocado, sliced
Lime wedge
Tortilla shells
Sour cream – optional
Jalapeno slices- optional

For the Pico de Gallo
4 roma tomatoes, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
Juice from 1/3 lime
Chopped cilantro – I used 5 leaves which measured 2 generous tablespoons

Directions:
For the Pico de gallo: Mix all ingredients together, cover and let sit in refrigerator an hour. Top tacos with Pico de Gallo

Tacos: Sauté corn and diced onion over medium heat until slightly brown.  Warm up tortillas and chicken if desired.  Place chicken on shells and top with corn, onion, jalapeno and avocado slices.  Serve with Pico de Gallo and lime wedge.

Baked Crispy Shrimp

This baked shrimp recipe is great for a quick week night meal. I served it with a black bean and rice side dish that I’ll post the recipe for soon.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 lb large or jumbo shrimp, uncooked and thawed
¾  cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
Pinch of ground black pepper
Lime wedges

Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix the bread crumbs, oil, salt, pepper, oregano and paprika into a bowl. Toss the shrimp in the mixture so you coat each side of the shrimp evenly.  Lay the shrimp on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes

Serves 4

My Engagement!


The last weekend in September was my Birthday weekend and also the best weekend of my life- My boyfriend of over 5 years proposed!  The weekend was one I'll never forget, filled with so much love and endless good times.  The weekend started with a Friday afternoon proposal, I'll save the details but it had to do with a scavenger hunt that ended with a ring:)

I was so happy after the proposal and thought we would have the rest of the weekend together to spend some QT, but Eric went above and beyond and threw me a surprise birthday party that night with all of my family and best friends.  When I got to the party we told everyone the wonderful news about our engagement- talk about a double surprise party!

What would be more perfect after the best night of your life than mani-pedi's with your mom, sister and best friend the next morning? NOTHING. Eric had appointments setup for the 4 of us to get pampered saturday morning and relish in my bride-to-be bliss.

The fun didn't end there, we celebrated all weekend with a family BBQ, a little more spa action and a Birthday dinner.  I'm beyond amazed at the thought and time Eric put into making our engagement so special, just one of the reasons I love him so much! Sorry, I'm trying not to get too mushy on you guys ;) A big thanks to everyone who celebrated with us and shared their love and support. It's amazing how many fans you rack up after dating for 5 years.

Next step- planning our wedding! I'll be posting all throughout the process on ways to make the process as stress-free, affordable and enjoyable as possible. Please share your tips and tricks with me along the way!

House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Necklace



You probably know of Nicole Richie's jewelry line House of Harlow 1960 but if you don't it's time to check it out. I love the signature sunburst pieces because the pattern is timeless and seems to go with everything:)  Long necklaces are what I gravitate most towards. I find they're easiest to pair back to t-shirts and blouses.  My co-worker sported this House of Harlow 1960 sunburst necklace and I instantly became obsessed! Anything Nicole Richie touches is flawless and this piece is no exception.  You can buy the necklace here. I'll be on the look out for a look alike to post on!

Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad


It's always a good thing to have salad recipes in your back pocket for weeknight dinners. If you like wings and buffalo sauce this salad is for you.  I hadn't eaten a wedge salad in years but when I stumbled upon this Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe in Food Network Magazine I couldn't resist tearing it out. I modified the recipe a bit to make it healthier and also because I don't like blue cheese. I've posted the original recipe with my substitutions noted below. Note the recipe serves 4.
Happy cooking!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted ( I used just one)
1/2 cup hot sauce (Franks Buffalo sauce is what I used)
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I used olive oil cooking spray)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used 1/3 cup light parmesan ranch salad dressing instead)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used plain nonfat greek yogurt)
4 stalks celery thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce, divided into 4 wedges

Directions:
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Mix the melted butter and hot sauce together. Transfer half of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.  Spray the skillet with the olive oil cooking spray and cook chicken on each side about 4 minutes.  If you are using olive oil instead of cooking spray coat the chicken in the oil and then cook.  Once the chicken is about 75% cooked, brush it with the hot sauce mixture on both sides.  Continue cooking the chicken until done, turning as necessary and brushing with the sauce.  Transfer to a cutting board and let sit a few minutes.  Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken in a medium sized bowl and toss with the reserved hot sauce mixture.

If you like blue cheese: Puree 3/4 of the the blue cheese and sour cream (or greek yogurt) together. Add half of this mixture to the bowl with the chicken. Add the sliced celery, carrots and onion.

If you want to make it how I did and skip the blue cheese: Mix the greek yogurt and 1/4 cup parmesan ranch dressing together. Add half of this to the bowl with the chicken. Toss in the onion, celery and carrots.

Divide the lettuce wedges and chicken salad among 4 plates. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of leftover blue cheese.

Serves 4

DIY Yarn Wrapped Mason Jars


Since Eric and I have moved into our new place my life has been filled with DIY projects in an effort to decorate on a budget:)  One of my newest experiments were these yarn wrapped vases.  I saw these when I was in New York and couldn't wait to try it myself.  This craft is as easy as it sounds- all you do is wrap yarn around mason jars or vases. I tied small knots on the back of the jars once I wanted to switch to a new color.  I went to the craft store and bought colorful fake flowers to match the yarn.  I love the pop of color the neon adds to our place. Here is what you need: Jars or vases, yarn- as many colors as you want, and flowers.

Must have Black Riding boots



Whether you're willing to accept it or not, boots season is almost here!  Every girl needs two pairs of riding boots; one black and one brown.  If you don't own a black pair don't pass up the chance to own these. I bought these Vince Camuto riding boots last year and am thrilled they are redoing them for Fall 13.  I'm not lying when I say every time I wear these boots people ask me where to buy them. You can buy them here. These boots are new on the shelves this fall  but act fast because if it's anything like last season these will go quickly! The boots are priced a little higher than I usually go for but trust me, they are worth the investment. The leather is fantastic and the fit of this boot is slim, no slouching here.  After a full season of wearing them mine are still in great condition.  These are a MUST for your wardrobe.

Sole Society Shoes

Shoe lovers listen up-- Have you heard of Sole Society?  Well now you have. Sole Society is an affordable fashion site that has shoes and accessories to. die. for.  I picked out 4 of my favorite shoes featured on the site now that are all under $80.

First on the list, the Sole Society Olivia heel, my favorite.  I love this heel for work, weddings or paired with skinny jeans for a night out. The pointy toe is perfect and the low heel means they have to be comfortable:)  **Act fast! only select styles are still available. $64.95

Next up is the Sole Society Vivienne Bootie in mushroom black. These boots are perfect for making the transition from summer to fall.  They are the definition of wear now wear later- wear them now with a short floral skirt and denim shirt, or wear them later with some skinny jeans and a baggy sweater. For $79.95 they're yours!

Sigh, wedges.  I mean do I even need to convince you to buy these Sole Society Erinn Wedges? Every girl needs a platform wedge, if you don't own a pair now is the time. $64.95

Last but not least, the Sole Society Ingrid cut out wedge. This shoe makes me wish summer was a year round gig.  If you're not ready to let go of the sun, this is your shoe. $64.95

Food Network Salmon with Warm Tomato-Olive Salad


In an effort to clean out some clutter in our new condo I went through all my Food Network Magazines last week.  I ripped out several recipes and tossed the rest. Eric and I laid out our meals for the week and to my surprise when I got home from work one night Chef Eric had already made one of the recipes!  This Food Network magazine recipe is a keeper. The combination of flavors in the salad was delicious. The salmon was one of the best salmon recipes I've ever tried- not fishy at all.  If you like salmon and are looking to incorporate more fish into your diet you should definitely give this recipe a try!  Although I did none of the cooking, I did my fair share of eating:) mmm! Keep in mind.. this is a great dish to make for a date night:) Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
4 6-ounce salmon filets
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
10 cherry tomatoes cut into halves
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/4 cup fresh mint


Directions:
Set your oven to a high broil. Line a baking dish with foil and lightly brush with olive oil. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Put the salmon skin side down on the pan and brush the tops and sides with the honey glaze.  Broil until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes

Put the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt.   Mash the garlic into a paste with the flat side of your knife. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar, the olives, garlic in a small saucepan over medium high heat, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the celery, tomatoes and mint.  Season with salt and toss to combine.  Serve on the side with the salmon.

Serves 4

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad


After a week long indulgent vacation, I was ready for a healthy meal! For dinner, I decided to go with this light and delicious shaved brussels sprouts salad.  I've ordered shaved brussels sprouts salads at restaurants before and loved them, so I decided to make my own:)  This salad is a perfect summer side or main dish.  Give it a try!

Ingredients:
1 lb brussels sprouts
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
ground black pepper

Sauce ingredients:
juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
generous dash of salt


Directions:
Using a mandoline slicer, shave brussels sprouts into a large bowl.  Add the parmesan cheese to the bowl.  Slice the onion into thin slices and let them soak in a bowl of cold water for 10-15 minutes.  Once the onion has soaked, add them to the bowl with the brussels sprouts and cheese.  In a small bowl, mix all of the sauce ingredients together until combined.  Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts. Toss the salad and sprinkle with fresh black pepper.

Serves 4

My Sister's Wedding!

At the end of June my beautiful sister married the man of her dreams.  If there is such a thing as perfect, her wedding day was just that.  I've put together a few pictures for you to get a glimpse of the day.  We got our hair done at Neroli in the Third Ward. Makeup (and spray tan) was done at Blush (my favorite) also in the third ward.  And these beautiful photos are courtesy of Leo and Jenny photography.  All of the services were spectacular. If you're having a Milwaukee wedding I'd highly recommend them!



Her shoes were amazing, Kate Spade of course, complete with sparkles and bows.   For "something blue" we sewed a family St. Christopher charm into her dress, meaningful and elegant.  I had to show you the tote bags that a family friend made for us.  She got the women in my family the bags from lands end and had the wedding date put on them. What a cute idea, right?! We used these bags all day, they really came in handy.  If you're trying to think of fun gifts to give your bridesmaids these bags are perfect!


Here's a peak of what the service looked like.  My sister is a diehard Lilly Pulitzer fan so naturally we had green bridesmaids dresses and bouquets of pink peonies.  Pink and Green all the way!  







At the reception peonies, candles and good vibes filled the room.  If you look closely, you'll see that the cookies were hand painted by the grooms aunt with their new monogram, gorgeous!


Guess who caught the bouquet--?!?! THIS GIRL:)  Is anyone surprised? I guess it was a little rigged but hey, I'll take it. Watch out Eric ;)

Perfect Coral Lip Combo






Looking for a lip shade to go with your summer tan? I've found the perfect coral combo:)  My sister got married a month ago (post coming soon, I promise!) and I fell in love wit the lip color they used on the bridesmaids.  The bridesmaids dresses were bright green and the flowers were pink peonies so we used a light pink/coral lip color to compliment the look.  The lipstick was Kevyn Aucoin Lip color in Micavel and the gloss over it is Laura Mercier Lip Gloss in Bellini.  This is everything I've been looking for in a go to summer lip color; pink undertone and coral finish.  The lipstick stays on for hours and the gloss blends incredibly well.  
Here's a picture of me wearing the duo- one sneak peak picture from the wedding and the other getting ready for a night out:)




You can buy the lipstick and gloss here:
Kevyn Aucoin Lip color in Micavel
Laura Mercier Lip Gloss in Bellini

Fitness Move of the Week: Glute Killer!

Time to Exercise!  Ready to tone those glutes? Here are three moves you can do at home to firm up your backside:) Watch here

Healthy Asian Broccoli Slaw


One of my favorite side dishes is an oriental broccoli slaw salad that my mom used to make. Lucky for me I've taken this favorite recipe and made it guilt free:)  People often forget about broccoli slaw as a substitute for coleslaw or lettuce in a traditional salad. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:
1 package Broccoli slaw
1/3 yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup steamed shelled edamame
1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
4 packets truvia
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350, spread slivered almonds across a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cook until brown.  While almonds are cooking, mix vinegar, oil and truvia packets in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, combine all of the other ingredients (including almonds when they are done browning).  Toss dressing in and stir until combined.

Frozen Strawberry Vodka Cocktail



Craving a refreshing and low cal drink? Blend up this yummy frozen cocktail! All ingredients are natural:) ENJOY

Ingredients:
4 ounces vodka
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
juice from 1/2 lime
1-2 cups ice
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions:
Add all ingredients and half of the ice into blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 2

Summer Wedges! All under $90


Without a doubt wedges are my favorite type of shoe.  They're comfortable and come in all different styles.  I love that you can find a wedge shoe or sandal for almost any occasion. Here are a few pairs I found that are under $90.

Starting off with the Bare Traps Shoes, Ivania Wedge Sandal from Macy's.  This is a great shoe for women who don't want a lot of added height or aren't comfortable walking in tall shoes.  The wedge is a low height making it wearable for any age or style.  I love a brown leather wedge because it goes well with summer dresses and skirts and also white pants. You can get this sandal here for only $69: Bare Traps Shoes, Ivania Wedge Sandal Just ordered mine:)

The ASOS Harmonica Wedge is a new favorite of mine because it's classic and dressy.  If you have a summer lineup anything like mine, attending weddings is a weekly event.  These shoes are perfect to match with a nicer dress for an event or dressy occasion but can also be dressed down and worn with a great boyfriend jean. Let's be honest, weddings can get long,.. avoid taking your heels off on the dance floor and buy these wedges! You can buy them here for $71.27: ASOS Harmonica Wedge

As I've mentioned before, hardware is a trend that's sticking around. These ASOS New Look Faye Black Studded Wedges are an adorable way to rock to the trend.  Best part about these? They're only $42.41!  These shoes look tall but the platform style adds comfort for your feet.  Love these shoes? Buy them here: ASOS New Look Faye Black Studded Wedges

I've got to admit, Chinese Laundry is stepping up their game. I really like these Chinese Laundry Jam Session Platform Wedge.  The funky shape and cutouts make this shoe special.  It's is a crossover between a standout and a basic. The color is a nice nude that will go with almost everything in your wardrobe, but the shape is unlike shoes I've seen before. This shoe is also platform style, making it far more comfortable than it looks. If I were you, I'd add this shoe to my wardrobe.  Buy these for $89 here: Chinese Laundry Jam Session Platform Wedge

Tone it Up Strawberry Cucumber Rafts


If you're Looking for a healthy and refreshing summer appetizer, look no further! These tasty bites are a recipe from the Tone It Up nutrition plan. I brought these to a beach wine night last week and they were great!  The recipe below makes 4 cucumber slices so make sure to double or triple if you want more than that.

Ingredients:
4 slices cucumber
1 strawberry, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons plain 0% fat greek yogurt
4 teaspoons shredded coconut

Directions:
Mix the greek yogurt and coconut in a small bowl.  Spoon onto cucumber slices and top with a strawberry slice.

Maxi Love

If you don't know by now, I'm obsessed with maxi dresses. And you should be too!  The ease of having a glamourous and comfortable outfit all in one piece is what I can't get enough of.  Maxi dresses are all over the market now-I've seen them for all ages, sizes, and taste levels.  In stores now truly is a maxi for everyone. What I'm especially loving are these Lush maxi dresses from Nordstrom.  The dress is the same silhouette as the "Must Have Black Maxi" that I posted about before. I own the dress in solid black, it's my go to summer dress. But now I'll have to think about which one of these awesome printed options to order! For only $52 I've gotta get at least one, right?  Think about it, a whole outfit for only $52, not bad! Which one is your fav? For links to these dresses, see below! Happy shopping

Like the turquoise print? Click here to check it out or buy the dress
Are you a sucker for Black and White prints? Get the second look here
Is the Colorful Chevron print calling your name? Click here!
My personal favorite! Buy the Black and White print here

Cory Chevron Dress


How perfect is this Chevron Dress? Chevron prints will always be in style, no matter what the occasion.  Of course, this find is affordable, ringing in at $34.99.  Perfect for a cocktail party or a night out this dress is an easy throw on outfit.  Buy the dress here Chevron Dress !

Forever 21 Geo Print Dolphin short


TRUE STORY, I walked into a restaurant Saturday night for dinner and before I could sit down (we are talking within 60 seconds) 4 people obsessed over the shorts I was wearing and asked where I got them.  Well, i'm here to tell you these sought after shorts are from Forever 21! For only $14.80 you too can get your hands on these amazingly trendy and comfortable shorts.  Not only are printed bottoms a huge trend this spring but this is a fun way to transition the trend into summer.  I wore my shorts as pictured above, pairing them with a loose fitting nude tank, baggy white sweater, a pair of brown leather wedges and of course gold accessories.  Seriously make the purchase before they're gone!

Buy the shorts here: Forever 21 Geo Print Dolphin Short

Cartier Love Bracelet Look-alike


Share the love any time of year with a Cartier Love Bracelet look-alike.  This bracelet is great to wear as a small bangle with a combination of your favorite bracelets.  For only $16 this bracelet is a steal.  If gold isn't your color, it also comes in silver.  I wear this bracelet daily and absolutely love it! Get the bracelet here: Love Bracelet

Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Victoria's Secret Giveaway!

Giveaway time! I'm super excited to announce this giveaway because with summer just a few short weeks away, the timing couldn't be more perfect!  How would you like to win a $100 Victoria's Secret gift card?! I know you could use a new bikini or pair of summer wedges so enter below for your chance to win.  Giveaway ends this Friday, the 31st. Don't miss your chance to enter!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway brought to you by the lovely bloggers listed below:) Do yourself a favor and check out their fabulous blogs by clicking on the name- I promise, you'll love!
 Lindsey // Ashlee // Erin // Stephanie
Kristine // Lauren // Melissa // Ashley // Cortne 

My Sister's Bachelorette Weekend!


 My sister Stephanie is getting married this summer and over the weekend we celebrated her Bachelorette party!  We celebrated in Chicago and started the festivities Friday night with a dinner at RPM Italian.  Stephanie is Guiliana Rancic's #1 fan so of course we had to go to her restaurant!  My lovely mother and stylin Grandma joined me, Steph and one of Steph's friends for the kickoff dinner.  The food was delicious (especially Momma DePandi's pasta), and of course we ordered a few G Rizzles- Guiliana's Signature drink, yum!  We loved RPM, it was a perfect way to start the weekend:)


Saturday morning a dear family friend threw Stephanie her dream bridal shower- a Lilly Pulitzer themed luncheon!  My sister would bathe in Lilly pulitzer if she could so having this Lilly shower was a dream come true.  The shower was beautiful, filled with pink and green decor and even personalized  lilly themed bridal M&M's!  



After the shower we headed back into the city to start the evening festivities.  Diamond ring shot glasses, pearl necklaces, and martini glass garland is a (PG) glimpse of what the first few hours looked like. We played plenty of bridal games such as How Well do you Know the Bride, and How Well does the Bride Know the Groom.  Laughs and tears filled the hotel room as we reminisced about the Bride's past with all of her friend's and fiance. 


Next we headed out for a fabulous dinner complete with personalized bridal menus.  After that a trolley picked us up and drove us around the city for hours.  The weekend was a blast!  The time spent with long time friends and family created moments Steph will cherish forever.  

Now I can breathe a little, as my job as party planner/personal wardrobe stylist/makeup artist/ hair dresser is over (at least until the wedding)! Cheers to my amazing sister and beautiful Bride to be!

Quick & Easy Tilapia


Tilapia was the first fish that got me into eating fish.  It's light texture and non-fishy taste makes this a perfect for almost everyone. What's nice about this recipe is that it's ready in 20 minutes and only has a handful on ingredients.  Give it a try!

Ingredients:
1 tilapia filet
Olive Oil
Mrs Dash (salt free original blend)
Fresh Lemon Juice (1/4-1/2 of a lemon)
Soy Sauce
Sea Salt
Black pepper
Tin foil

Directions:
Set oven to a high Broil.  Using tinfoil, create a bed for the fish to lay on.  Leave extra room on the sides so you can fold them over to close on top.  Lay fish in the tinfoil bed, drizzle a touch of olive oil and a little soy sauce over the fish.  Squeeze half a lemon over the fish. Sprinkle Mrs Dash, black pepper and a touch of sea salt on top.  Fold sides of foil up and over the fish so that it makes a dome over the fish.  Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Enjoy!

Best Self Tanner- Fakebake Flawless



I've got a new obsession and on a scale from 1 to important this is IMPORTANT! My lovely neighbor tested out a new self tanning product and thankfully loved it so much she just had to share it with me.  Listen up ladies,  Fake Bake Flawless is the answer to our pasty problems.  This product is one of the most amazing things that has happened to me in the past two months. I'm actually serious, it's that good.  If you aren't one to trust self tanning products trust me you need this.

I've tested two versions of the product, the original Fake Bake Flawless and the Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze 60 Minute Self Tanner . The difference between the two is that the 60 minute version only needs to stay on for 60 minutes before you wash it off.  I love both versions but have been using the 60 minute version so that I only have to wait an hour before showering.

I could go on forever about this product but that would be boring so i'll just point out a few benefits and reinforce why you need to buy this item.

Why you need Fake Bake Flawless:
- EASY, easy, easy, application. It comes with an application mitt. All you do is spray the mitt and then rub on your skin.
- The color is perfect, not orange at all.
- It's not a lotion, it's a spray so it dries quickly and    isn't sticky like most self tanning products.
- The color lasts! I put mine on 1-2 times a week and have consistent color. If you want a darker tan put it on 3-4 times per week.
100% STREAK FREE! I've tried other tanning products before and this one beats them all, no streaks for me!
- It has bronzer in it so you can see where you are applying. Again, making it easy to avoid streaks.
- If you buy the 60 minute version you only have to wait 60 minutes to shower off. The tan continues to develop after you've showered. So easy and time efficient.

You can buy the product at the links below:
Fake Bake Flawless
Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze 60 Minute Self Tanner

Do yourself a favor and buy this now! Right in time for summer:)

Cross Training Shoes



If you're an exercise junkie (or wannabe) you'll appreciate this post. I recently replaced my gym shoes and couldn't be happier.  It’s smart to replace gym shoes once every 100 hours or at least once a year to protect your feet.  The shoes featured in this post are the New Balance 813 model.  I wear these shoes for cross training purposes, such as cardio machines and exercise classes.

Here’s why I recommend these shoes:
-They are lightweight. If you don’t own lightweight exercise shoes by now you’re probably still wearing your sambas from 5th grade. Make the switch to lightweight, especially for workouts.
-They have great cushioning.  Sometimes lightweight shoes lack in cushioning and support, not these! It feels like there is memory foam in the soles of the shoe, so nice.
-They give good support. I have a high arch so this is important for me!
-They mold to your feet easily. I haven’t had any issues with blistering or discomfort and was able to wear them for my workouts right away without breaking them in.
-They are good looking shoes. For everyone at the gym who has asked me where I got my shoes, this is where... Buy them here
-They are a great value, $79.99.  It's hard to find a quality pair of workout shoes under $100, these are a steal!

If you’re in the market for a new pair of cross training shoes I definitely recommend the New Balance 813. I got them in the grey with teal and lime combo but they come in three different color options so I’m sure you’ll find a pair that suits you.
 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS