Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NPW Day 2: Essie Wicked

I love this polish so much - I think it's very glam and trendy. It is actually a deep reddish color (it's easier to tell in the bottle than on your nails). If you are an expert nail polish-er, you could probably get away with two coats....which makes it look more of a reddish color. But I had to apply 3 coats because with two, I could still see brush strokes and I can't stand imperfections. LOL.

I used my favorite top coat, the one Jessie bought me, which is just an Ulta brand top coat. It's so glossy, I love it. But the Wicked polish is pretty glossy even on it's own!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Nail Polish Week!!!!
Day 1: Orly Lunar Eclipse

Soooo...I have recently become even more obsessed with nail polish and I probably have Jessie to thank (btw I love that picture of her at this link. LOL). :-) The more I read her and Courtney's blog, Polished Casual, the more I become obsessed! So I decided to have Nail Polish Week on my own blog. Yay. :-) My first favorite is actually (a duplicate of) one of Jessie's favorites too, Orly Lunar Eclipse. Isn't it so gorgeous, sparkly and glam?

I thought this polish was super easy to apply and it lasted forever. I did feel like it took a lot of top coat to keep it super glossy though. But I am obsessed with my polish being super glossy so I may have a slightly higher glossiness-bar than others. :-)

It's really funny but I have pretty much ALWAYS had nail polish on my nails 24/7. I've loved it since I was really young. When I was young my mom used to always tell my sister and I that we had "bad grooming" if we had chipped polish. So...that turned into me being obsessed with always having perfectly painted nails without chips for the rest of my life forever and ever until the end of time. She's right though...chipped polish does look really gross!

I even went through an acrylic nails phase in high school and college. I had them on for about 7 years. It's crazy to think about now. But I did love them at the time. I went back to my natural nails in 2003 and I've never gone back since. It was tough going for a while. It probably took about a year of intensive care and feeding of my nails to get them to return to normal. Now they are pretty darn nice, if I do say so myself. I can't say I do anything super special to keep them that way other than taking lots of vitamins (seriously it's like a 100% difference - they grow like weeds and never chip).

Yayyyy nail polish!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Yummy
Something Better than Coffee for Your Mug! Chocolate Cake!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar (or 3 tablespoons splenda)
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
1 tablespoon walnuts
1 small splash of vanilla extract
1 large microwave safe coffee mug (12 oz. or larger)

Pour the flour, sugar, and cocoa into a bowl. Sift them together with a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients in the following order (mix well after each): egg, milk and oil, chocolate chips, walnuts, and vanilla extract.

Pour the combined mix into the mug. Place your mug in the microwave, and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug a little (this is okay). Allow it to cool for a few minutes, and tip out onto a plate.

I got this in an email from Robbie's grandpa (who is also his best man!). We made it on New Year's Eve and it was AWESOME!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jessie & Chris's Engagement Story Video :-D

I'm not sure if I mentioned it yet, but my bff Jessie just got engaged a few months ago. I am honored to stand up in her wedding as her Maid of Honor! :-D She's getting married in September, so by then I'll be a Matron of Honor, but doesn't that sound so old? LOL. I might still have them call me Maid of Honor. LOL.

Jessie entered into a contest that required her to tell her engagement story. I think it's so cute. Click here to watch the video.

If you "like" the video, you will help her win $500 in stationary use for her wedding stuff. Bonus! :-D

I miss you, Jessie!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Our Wedding Venue on Facebook - Woot!

I got an email from Dawn at the Ann Arbor City Club (my super-awesome go-to event person at our wedding venue) saying that they now have a Facebook page. Click here to check it out!

I almost cried when I looked at the pictures that are on the page. They are so gorgeous. I love them. There are tons more photos on their Facebook page than there were on their regular website. They have tons of wedding photos and lots of pictures of the grounds during the summer/spring.

I am so excited...only 5 months to go!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Only Person in My Family Who's Ever Been Early for Something!

An early surprise arrived yesterday morning....my nephew! :-D

Aidan Matthew Graber
5 pounds 12 ounces
18.5 inches long
Born January 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

Isn't he the sweetest, cutest, most precious baby boy you've ever seen!?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekend Yummy: Turkey Meatloaf Cupckes + Mashed Potato Frosting

(Adapted from SkinnyTaste.com)

Meatloaf Cupcakes:
1.3 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup grated zucchini or squash (with all moisture squeezed out with paper towel)
2 tbsp onion, minced
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp garlic
1/4 cup ketchup
1 egg
1 tsp salt

Mashed Potatoes:
3-4 redskin potatoes
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
2 tbsp fat free chicken broth
1 tbsp 2% milk
1/2 tbsp light butter
2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Mashed Potatoes:
Wash the potatoes and cut off any yucky parts. Dice them into quarters. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow the potatoes to simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until they are tender). Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the Greek yogurt and the remaining ingredients. Using a masher or mixer, mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Season them with salt and pepper (to taste).

Meatloaf Cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix together the turkey and the remaining ingredients. Spoon the meatloaf mixture into the muffin tin. Fill the cupcake liners to the top, and flatten them out with the back of your spoon.

Bake your muffins uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Remove them from the tins and place them onto a baking dish or plate. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes on top for your cupcake “frosting.”

This recipe makes about 11-12 cupcakes. If you have an open spot in your cupcake tin, make sure you fill it with water so everything cooks evenly. I recommend the foil cupcake liners because the meatloaf is pretty moist. The first time, I used the paper liners and the liners feel apart (it still cooked fine and everything though). Here are some pics!

All ready to go into the oven!

Mashing the potatoes!

Right out of the oven!

La ti da frosting my cupcakes...
The first time I made them I just spooned the mashed potatoes on top....

The second time I made them, I used my cake decorator gun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Discussion
Bet Me

Five words for this book: I can’t take it anymore!!!!!!!
When I first cracked this book I had a bad feeling that it was going to annoy the sh*t out of me…and I was right. LOL.
The story is about Min Dobbs, a “not thin” actuary, and Cal Morrisey, a super hot, super successful business guy. Cal accepts a bet from a friend that he can get Min in the sack within a month. If he does, he wins $10k. The catch is that Min overhears the conversation, so she’s wise to the bet the entire time.
This book annoyed me to no end. I am so sick of books that totally focus on chubby or unattractive girls getting a hot guy. I am not saying that the actual fact of this happening is not a good thing – I’m all for people finding love, etc. in any way shape or form that is right for them. Yay love. Yay for couples of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I’m just sick of reading books about it – they’re all the same!!! I’m over it!
It annoyed the crap out of me that they kept saying over and over that Cal and Min would get “dizzy” around each other all the time. Seriously? Eat a sandwich or maybe have a glass of water…you obviously need food or are dehydrated if you get dizzy that often. Or maybe you have a problem with your inner ear.
It also annoyed the crap out of me that Cal and Min were so stupid and in denial about the fact that they liked each other. I get it; maybe this was supposed to create some suspense and sexual tension? All it did was annoy me. LOL.
I finally gave up on the book at the part when her cat, Elvis, was turning on the radio and CD player. Okay, I can see a cat accidentally turning something on by brushing up against it. But the cat was pushing the button over and over to turn up the volume. At that point, I removed all bookmarks, closed the book, and promptly placed it on my kitchen counter with the other books that were being returned to the library the next day.
The one thing I liked about this book was Min’s character. She was smart and funny and snarky. If there would have been more of that, I might have made it through it!
I tried so hard to get through this book because it’s the book for my book club this month, and you know it’s really hard for me to abandon a book once I’ve started it.  I need to know what happens at the end, and I just don’t like not finishing something I’ve started. But I finally just couldn’t take it anymore…and I needed an entire bottle of wine to go with the cheese!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Favor Label Redo

This might make you laugh but remember when I posted about the favor labels a while ago? I ordered them from Vistaprint because they had an oustanding deal - 250 for only $9, plus free shipping. I got them in the mail and I liked them...I thought I loved them...but then I decided I didn't actually love them. LOL. So I decided to do a redo and here is what I ended up with:

I love this because the photo is larger and it takes up the entire card from top to bottom, and the entire left side. If you look at my previous design, you'll see that it is only a portion of the card. On this version, the photo is larger.

I also chose a different font that is simliar to the font I'm using for the rest of the things I am printing. I designed a menu and a program (I will post them soon, I am printing these myself) and some other random things. It also more closely matches the font on the madlibs. I know...I am crazy and I really like things to match. Even things that people are going to throw out. So kill me. LOL. They will all be matching in my wedding scrapbook, though! LOL.

I also paid a little extra and got the glossy finish on the cards. I mulled this over for a while the first time I ordered them. I almost went with the glossy finish. But then I wanted to save a few bucks and went with the matte finish instead. It wasn't horrible, but the photo looks a million bazillion times better with the glossy finish. It was worth the extra $6.49. So my total cost for this order ended up being $15.49 instead of $9.

My OCD can run into money at times. LOL.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tim the Toolman Taylor

Robbie and I have been doing some shopping to get our apartment in order and here are some hilarious (but blurry...taken on my phone lol) photos of him putting together some of the furniture that we purchased.

With his handy helper, Buster, things got done in a snap. And Robbie's mom and dad got him two really nice tools sets for Christmas, so he has had a lot of fun breaking them in.

As you can see, these two items both went in the bathroom. The first photo is an armoire from Target that we use for linens and towels. The etagere, also from Target, we use for medicine and other miscellaneous items.

For some reason, our apartment only has closets in the bedrooms! No front closet, no linen closet, no storage closet. Nada. Only bedroom closets. I think that is so strange. Who decided on that design? Welp, it gave us an excuse to get some pretty storage cabinets at least. :-D

Monday, January 16, 2012

Go Blue

I got Buster a University of Michigan hoodie for Christmas....isn't it so cute and hilarious? LOL

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funny :-D
Band Memories!

Click to enlarge:
I was going through some old papers from high school a couple months ago and I found this paper....how hilarious is this? LOL. Here are some band pics!

Yes, I went to Band Camp. It was awesome!
Me and Jackie are right in the front in the middle.

I think this was at the homecoming parade...I'm all the way on
the right wearing the sunglasses, Chrissy is right next to me, and
Lindsay and Jackie are on the bottom on the left.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

December Birchbox Product Review

Here is the link to my original post about my December Birchbox.

On to the goodies...

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink: When I first spotted this BRIGHT color of lip gloss I was a leeetle nervous because it's soooo HOT PINK but once I tried it, I was hooked! It can be very sheer or very hot pink depending on how much you apply - a perfect way to try out the trend of bright lips. LOVE!

blinc Eyeliner in Black: This eyeliner was sooooo hard to apply! I got it everywhere. I'm not sure if it was that the solution was too loose, or the applicator was hard to use. Maybe both. I haven't experienced that problem with other liquid liners...didn't love it!

Benefit The POREfessional: This left my skin feeling very silky and velvety. I noticed that my skin looked very "finished" and smooth. But, I felt that the color of the formula made me look a little washed out. I loved the Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer (in bronze, from my October Birchbox) a million times better.

EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster: This stuff was pretty yummy...but I'm not really that big into energy drinks. I did feel a little jumpy later but I'm not sure if it was from this drink. It was a nice treat in my Birchbox, though!
Harvey Prince Ageless in Pink Grapefruit: Shockingly I think I like this perfume too! Maybe I'm not as picky as I thought about perfumes. LOL. It has a pretty, fresh and fruity scent. Very lovely!
Showstoppers Designer Fashion Tape in Nude/Black: This stuff is such a great idea. It worked like a charm and kept my shirt in place - no peek-a-boos! Loved it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Lindsay's Wedding

I can’t believe it is already only 4 months away that Lindsay (Robbie's sister and my bff of almost 20 years) and Pat will be getting married. I am honored to stand up as Lindsay’s Maid of Honor in their wedding. She just sent me the link for their wedding website and I wanted to share it with you! Click here to view their website. It's so cute! The photo below is my favorite of their engagement photos. Isn’t it such a great photo?

They are getting married in the Martha-Mary Chapel at Greenfield Village. It is so adorable and has an incredible historical ambiance. Also, it is the chapel where Lindsay and Robbie’s parents were married. The reception is being held at the same location, but in the The Henry Ford Museum. I went and looked at this venue when Robbie and I were still deciding on our location and it is AWESOME. It is so beautiful and has so much history! I absolutely love it. It is the epitome of a Detroit venue! Here are some photos that I found on the web. The first two are the exterior and interior of the chapel. The second two are some snaps of receptions inside the museum.

Lindsay is having all of us wear black, knee length dresses of our choice. I haven’t gotten my dress yet but here is a couple that I have seen online that I love (imagine them in black lol):

I need another black dress like I need a hole in the head but I just can’t bring myself to wear a repeat in one of my best friend’s weddings! LOL. I need to get crackin' on my dress shopping. :-D I think I’m going to wear my fancy Christian Louboutin shoes too. Boo ya (thanks again to my wonderful fiance for the incredible 30th bday gift!). Their color motif is mainly black with splashes of hot pink and lime green. It’s going to be so chic! I love it.
Being that I am the Maid of Honor, I get to plan a wedding shower and a bachelorette party for Lindsay as well. I am so excited. I already have some great ideas – I will post them as the time gets closer! Ooh...and I get to give a toast!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Bangs!

It's those Jessica Simpson Hairdo Clip-on Bangs! LOL fun huh?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Birchbox Prodcuts I've Actually Purchased

I was thinking the other day about all of the reviews that I have written on my past 6 months of Birchboxes...and I thought I'd post about the products that I have actually loved enough to buy them...or plan to buy them!
Things I’ve Purchased:
  1. Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist - love, love, love shiny and weightless hair!
  2. Joya FvsS Composition No. 1 Parfum - smells so amazing. they came out with a roll-on travel size so I snatched it up!
  3. Laura Gellar Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer in Bronze - I am totally addicted to the glow-y skin look and having makeup that never wears off!
  4. Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream - I am still amazed at myself that I actually bought this stuff (it was a  ridiculous $68..owwww) but the more I used it, the more I became obsessed with it. My initial review was not that enthusiastic, but seriously, I used this product every single night until the sample ran out and even cut open the bottle to get any remaining drops out of it when it was empty. LOL. My skin looks so smooth, glowy and beautiful in the morning it is amazing!
Things I will definitely purchase when my sample is gone:
  1. Laura Gellar Baked Blush-n-Brigthen - I love this blush more than any other blush I have ever used. Glowy cheeks and not too glittery!!! (are you noticing a theme here? lol)
Things I may buy:
  1. Thymes Body Lotion in Eucalyptus - I absolutely love the scent of this lotion...but it is sort of expensive. If I can't find a lotion with a similar scent, I might buy this.
  2. Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink - I adore this at the moment...we'll see if I continue to wear it!
There you have it! :-D

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Book Discussion
A Father's Story

Three words for this book: Could you imagine?!
This book was written by Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s father. It described his experiences as the parent of a serial killer. The tone of the book was very matter of fact. It was not trying to offer excuses or change the fact that the victims and families had suffered an unfathomable loss. It was simply an examination and perspective of the other side of the coin in the tragedy.
All I can say is…yikes…could you imagine? His child…one of the people he loved more than anyone in the entire world…turned out to be a monster. Imagine – the baby he had rocked and comforted thousands of times had committed some of the most evil acts possible. It amazed me that even after Jeff was convicted and sent to jail (with no possibility of parole) his father still had hope for him to improve psychologically and have some happiness in his life. It seemed like he never “wrote him off.”
There were several really interesting topics that Lionel discussed. First, the book started with Lionel’s life at the beginning of his first tumultuous marriage, when his wife was pregnant with Jeff. He discussed the litany of medications she used to help her cope with an incredibly difficult pregnancy, severe anxiety, and depression (this was not discussed in an accusatory way). He wasn’t saying this caused Jeff to be psychotic, however. He just offered it as information and wondered if it had an effect on Jeff.
The second topic that was really interesting was his discussion about many of Jeff’s childhood activities. They seemed harmless (albeit somewhat strange) at the time…but later took on an entirely different light when they were considered in the context of the atrocities that were committed in his adulthood. One example was his interest in animal bones; he liked collecting them and playing with them. What if the future carnage was never committed and he instead grew up to be a veterinarian, a doctor, or even a taxidermist? Would that childhood action still seem strange and ominous?
The third fascinating topic was Lionel’s self-reflection on traits that were similar between himself and his son. He admitted to having fantasies of violence and control as a youngster – and ruminated on the fact that he didn’t “cross the line” to hurting others, but his son did. He wondered if Jeff inherited this propensity from him. Additionally, Lionel focused a lot on the fact that both his range and depth of emotions were very small – which was also a dominant trait in his son.
All of these topics sort of make you think about the whole Nature vs. Nurture debate, huh?
Note: The gory details of Jeff’s crimes were not discussed in depth in this book (thank goodness). You can find more information here on this Wiki page. I wouldn’t recommend reading it right after eating, though…SICK!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wedding Wednesday
First Wedding Gown Fitting {wink}

I had my first gown fitting the weekend of Christmas and it went really well but it was a little nerve-wracking! It fit like a glove. Maybe a slightly tight glove…I’m glad I ordered the size I did. LOL. I’ve been indulging over the holidays and haven’t been in my normal workout routine so it wasn’t all that surprising, though!
I am having the seamstress make a few alterations. She is altering the straps to make them thinner. There is a bow on the butt that I am having her remove. And the petticoat I ordered is too fluffy, so she is taking some of the fluff out of it. The medium petticoat was too small though, so I knew that we were going to have to make some alterations to the larger one.
Since I added the petticoat to the gown, it is a lot shorter than it would be if I just wore it normally. So….I can’t wear super sky-high heels with it!!! This is a complete paradigm shift for me. It sounds silly. But I almost always wear fairly high heels when I am getting dressed up! I like flats but I don’t feel as glam while I’m wearing them. I do love slides/mules that have lower heels (which I wear with sundresses, etc.), so it is possible that I will find some that I love. I know nobody will see the shoes for 90% of the time but I think of high heels as a state of mind too. LOL. I'm sure my feet will thank me, though - so I am thinking of this as a blessing in disguise.
The next time I go back and the petticoat has been altered, I’ll really know how high of a heel I can wear. I’ll probably buy a couple pairs of shoes and take them with me to see which one works (and return whatever doesn’t work).  Once I try it on with my shoes, she can alter the gown to add the bustle. :-D
Yayyyyy wedding gown.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012