RECIPE / SKINNY-ISH CHICKEN CORDON BLEU MEATBALLS!

Chicken Cordon Blue Meatballs

I believe I mentioned a while back that I was trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle and that I wanted to incorporate workouts and recipes on my blog; clearly I have been slacking in both of those departments…until today! I made my skinny-ish chicken cordon bleu meatballs the other night and thought I would hop on here and share the recipe with you! I originally got the idea from the Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka and after umpteen dozen tries, I think I have finally perfected the recipe (at least for my taste buds)! My take on this delicious, hearty meal is a little different than what’s laid out in the cookbook, but I think it’s just as good! It’s an easy meal to throw together and I usually serve it with roasted asparagus or steamed broccoli! WARNING: It can be a wee bit messy, but I promise it’s worth it!

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Ingredients (makes 6 large meatballs)

  • 1 lb ground Chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 TSP garlic (minced) – you can add more depending on your preference.
  • 1/2 TSP Rotisserie chicken seasoning
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 (heaping) cup of bread crumbs – I use Italian breadcrumbs and think they add the perfect flavor, but any kind will do!
  • 4-6 slices of swiss cheese (I use the thin slices)
  • 4-6 slices of ham
  • non-stick cooking spray

For the Asparagus:

  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Crushed black pepper
  • Rotisserie seasoning

** The original recipe  will make more (but smaller) than 6 meatballs and includes a sauce that is used to top them off; however I just use a little hot sauce for dipping instead. :)**

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, rotisserie seasoning, and breadcrumbs until everything is mixed!

Take your ham and cheese slices and start breaking them apart; wrapping the ham around the swiss cheese to create a little ball (you can see from the picture above that I didn’t create a ball, I was being lazy). Do this until all of the ham and cheese is used!

Now it’s time to stuff your meatballs! There are a couple of ways to do this: after making your perfectly shaped meatballs, use your thumb to make a hole! That’s where the ham and cheese will go! Or you can create a hamburger-esq patty and place the ham & cheese mixture in the center and close it up that way! Whatever works for you!

Once all of your meatballs are assembled, spray a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (I used canola oil spray) and place the meatballs on the tray, sticking them in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the meatballs, flipping them over to ensure that they don’t get too brown on the bottom and put them back in for an additional 5-7 minutes!

Spray an additional baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place your asparagus on the tray. Add salt, pepper and rotisserie seasoning (or whatever seasonings you like) to taste and place in the oven with the meatballs to cook for 5-7 minutes! Cook to desired crisp/softness!

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Take 2 meatballs, a heaping helping of asparagus and a little hot sauce on the side (not pictured) and voila! Dinner is served!

I hope you all enjoyed this post, it was definitely a little different for me. I’m certainly no chef, so if you try this out and put your own spin on it, let me know so that I can give it a try!

-B

 

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Mother's Day Gift Guide (1)

With Mother’s Day right around the corner (May 14th) I thought I would share some of my favorite foolproof gift ideas for that special lady in your life!

FLOWERS

Flowers

Flowers are an oldie but a goodie. There is a reason that people have been gifting flowers for hundreds of years; it’s just a beautiful way to say I love you! So if your mom is a flower guru, then pick out her favorite blooms and surprise her with a stunning bouquet for Mother’s Day, I promise she will love it!

JEWELRY

* Alex & Ani Mom and Daughter Infinite Collection – Set of 2 ($48): I love Alex & Ani bracelets; they are fun and trendy but still allow you to showcase what is important to you! I think they have a young feel while remaining classy and tasteful! I think these bracelets are great for any age and I especially love the Mother’s Day collection! Bonus: they also have bracelets that cater to grandparents, sisters, aunts, etc.!

* Effy Collection Cultured Freshwater Pearl Bracelet ($87.75 – 260): I don’t know about you, but I love pearls. I think they are timeless & classic and I think that every girl should have a pair…and that includes moms! This bracelet is beautiful and dainty and is currently on sale at Macys for $87.75!!

* Danori Silver-Tone Oval Crystal Drop Earrings (9$90-63): These are for the lady in your life that likes a dramatic but classic look! The Danori Crysyal Drop Earrings are a modestly priced option ($63 on sale at Macys) that allow you to get something beautiful without breaking the bank! I have ordered countless numbers of earrings from Macys and have always been more than pleased with my purchase!

PERSONALIZED GIFTS

* World’s Best Mom Mug – Mugsby ($14.99): I absolutely love mugs like this, and I love ordering them from Etsy! This shop (Mugsby) has a plethora of personalized options that would work for any holiday or loved one in your life!

* Long Distance Family Map – NearAndDearDesigns ($28+): This is the perfect gift for the mom that lives far away! Show her how much you miss her with this personalized family map and let her know that however far apart, she’s always in your heart!

* Birthstone Bar Necklace – TomDesign ($38+): I absolutely love bar necklaces; they are simple, dainty and classic. The personalized birthstone option is great for those moms who want to keep their precious babies (no matter how young or old) close to their heart!

* Personalized Cutting Board – JoyfulMoose ($28+): Does your mom/grandma/sister like to cook? If so, this could be the perfect gift for them! Show that special lady in your life how much you care by getting her a personalized cutting board to display in her kitchen! Every time she gets it out, I promise she’ll think of you!

* Home Sweet Home Personalized Ceramic Tile – Shutterfly ($39.99): I have created numerous ceramic tiles for those special people in my life and have NEVER been disappointed. There are a plethora of options and they are completely customizable! So find your favorite pictures of you and your mom and create something she’ll absolutely fall in love with!

* Handmade for Mom Photobook – Shutterfly ($39.99+): This is another thing that I have done more than once! Photobooks are for the moms that love and cherish the pictures they take! You can create a stroll down memory lane or a scrapbook that outlines your favorite family trip…either way, your mom will certainly love the abundant thought and effort that went in to creating this one of a kind piece!

** Shutterfly is currently offering free shipping on all orders over $39 (SHIP39) and up to 50% off of photobooks, premium gifts & cards (BESTMOM) until tonight, May 2nd! If you miss out, don’t fret, Shutterfly ALWAYS has some sort of discount available **

MISCELLANEOUS/BEAUTY

* Kate Spade Cameron Street Stacy Wallet ($110.00): Us ladies should always have a nice wallet, and our moms are no exception! This is for the mom who likes a little bit of color while still being classic and timeless! Kate Spade delivers clean lines and simple designs that are sure to turn heads and make your mom feel like the queen that she is!

* Dooney & Bourke Saffiano Large Zip Wallet ($96.90-138): This pick is a tiny bit more understated than the Kate Spade option I linked above! It is a black (though I think they have it in other colors as well) full zip wallet and would be great for anyone who has a lot of stuff to carry! It’s a little pricey, but is currently on sale at Macys for $96.90 and I definitely think it’s worth every penny!!!

* Natori ‘Nirvana’ Midi Robe ($59): Sometimes our moms just need to sit back and relax; and what better way to do that than in a nice, comfy robe! This is perfect for those mornings where she just wants to curl up on the couch with her coffee and read a book or catch up on her favorite shows!

* Michael Kors Mercer Medium Duffel ($298): I know, I know, this one is a WEE BIT more expensive, however, if you’re looking to splurge on mom, this would make for a beautiful gift! I have a couple of Michael Kors Satchels and I L-O-V-E them and I know she would too!

* Gucci Bamboo Perfume ($94-117) & YSL Mon Paris ($29-122): Is your mom into perfume and all things beauty?! If so, maybe you could get her a nice perfume that she wouldn’t ordinarily buy for herself. Gucci Bamboo & YSL’s Mon Paris make for great gifts that any mom would surely love!

I hope this Mother’s Day Gift Guide was helpful and that I was able to provide you with some gift ideas that your mother would love!

-B

APRIL FAVORITES!

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Holy cow, it’s already MAY!! Can you believe that?!?! I know I have done a number of “favorites” posts lately and I promise I’ll do less of those in the coming days, but I still wanted to pop on here and share some products that I have been loving in the month of April!

MAKEUP

* Tarte Double Duty Beauty Contour & Highlight Palette ($30): This palette is just the best! The contour shade is perfect for lighter skin tones and the highlighter is absolutely stunning! Bonus: it smells like milk chocolate!!! I know I’ve mentioned this product on the blog before but since I’ve been using it non-stop the last month, I just HAD to include it! If you have a lighter skin tone and are in the market for a contour powder that isn’t too dark or too light, this might really work for you!

* Bare Minerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick – Queen & Mantra ($20): I’ll admit, I’m not a HUGE lipstick person. I often find them to be annoying and too much work. I feel like they never look good on my skin-tone, or they’re too drying, or they fade weird and make me look like a crazy person at work…(not a good look), but I absolutely LOVE these! They are creamy & hydrating and have a nude shade that would suit a variety of different skin tones. They are relatively long wearing and perfect for everyday!

* Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – Vanilla ($39): When I’m looking for a more full-coverage makeup look, this is the foundation that I reach for. I find that I can get full coverage without looking too cakey. It doesn’t break me out or irritate my skin and looks great in pictures!

SKINCARE

* Rosebud Salve ($6): This stuff is AMAZING. I absolutely LOVE it. I have terribly dry lips (mostly in the winter months) and this salve has saved me on more than one occasion. I use it on everything from dry lips to dry elbows, it’s something I literally can’t live without.

* Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Moisturizer ($39): If you have dry skin, please try this out. I typically use this after applying my PTR Therapeutic Sulfur Masque (linked below). Sometimes that mask can irritate my skin (if I leave it on too long) and leave it feeling much drier than I would like. Tarte’s lightweight gel moisturizer has a fresh, citrusy scent that helps calm my skin and allows me to maintain the proper amount of moisture!

* Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque ($47): I have been using this mask for over 3 years now and I absolutely love it. I have sensitive skin so I don’t leave it on as long as most and I typically don’t use it as an overnight spot treatment (even though you totally could!) but I love it all the same. I generally try and incorporate this into my skincare routine 1-2 times a week depending on how angry my face is at the time. It has really helped with my hormonal breakouts and I wouldn’t be caught dead without it. I will say, If you have sensitive skin I would recommend leaving it on for no more than 5-7 minutes to see how your skin responds and then go from there! Make sure you go in with a nice, gentle moisturizer after to ensure your skin is soothed and hydrated. After all, it is an acne product and can be a little drying if you’re not careful!

* Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser ($24-44): This was recommended to me after having an allergic reaction to my previous face wash. The consultant at ULTA told me this was gentle and good for all skin types so I decided to give it a try. I find that it does a nice job of really cleansing my face and getting rid of all the dirt, oil and makeup from the day. It’s gentle enough to not irritate my eyes and hasn’t caused any skin irritation (YAY!!!); so if you are looking for a new face wash, I think you might like this one!

FASHION

* Converse Chuck Taylor “Shoreline” Sneakers ($49.95): David bought these for me a couple of years ago and I am obsessed! I love, love, love them and actually find them to be quite comfortable. They are fitted and have hidden elastic around the tongue area to keep them snug on the foot. I find that they are true to size and really create a nice look with jeans, shorts, dresses, etc.!

* Old Navy Luxe Curved -Hem Tank ($15-17): I adore these tank tops! I wear them to work with a blazer or a cardigan and it is the epitome of comfort, let me tell ya! They are pretty inexpensive and are constantly on sale! I will say, hanging them to dry is the best bet; they will definitely shrink a bit if you put them in the dryer! I have them in multiple colors and think they are a must for any wardrobe/closet!

* Adidas Women’s Superlite Climate Socks – 6 Pack ($19.99): I absolutely HATE when you can see my socks peeking out of my sneakers, it’s a true pet-peeve for me. With that being said, I have to have socks, especially when I’m working out, so I’m constantly on the hunt for a good no-show option. I have really enjoyed the Adidas Superlite socks; they stay up when I’m working out and you can’t see them peeking out of my shoes. They might not be the best of the best, but for now, they are just fine!

* Hollywood Fashion Secrets Silicone Coverups – Light ($12.99): With summertime right around the corner, it’s time for those backless dresses and low-cut shirts (not that I really wear either, but you catch my drift). Bras are a pain (#amirite) and they can ruin an outfit in 2 seconds flat. Of course going braless (with no coverage at all) isn’t really my thing, so I typically reach for these silicone coverups in times where I need a little less than a bra and slightly more than just mother nature. They are reusable and do a good job of staying put, so if you have a dress/top that just doesn’t work with your bra, try these out!

* Coach Cassidy Buckle Sandals – Platinum ($79): I love these sandals. They are cute, comfortable and perfect for summer!

* OPI Fiji Nail Lacquer Collection – Getting Nadi On My Honeymoon ($10): What a great pink shade for the summer! I have been wearing this on my toes and just can’t get enough.

What have you guys been loving this month? Anything I should try out?! Let me know below!

-B

FRIDAY FAVORITES – EP 3

Friday Favorites

It’s time for another edition of Friday Favorites here on Southern Lights! I think this will be geared towards my workplace/desk favorites and while I don’t have a TON to talk about, I still wanted to pop on here and share some of the things that I have been loving this week (and beyond)!

AELEC S350 Bluetooth Headphones ($24): I recently (ish) went on a trip to Memphis to visit my cousin and decided to purchase these headphones for the flight so I didn’t have to carry my big Beats with me. I’ve never had wireless headphones and thought I’d start with a more affordable pair to see if I liked them before (potentially) purchasing a higher end pair. Well, the verdict is in…and I love them! Let me be honest, there are just some day at the office where I need a pick me up to get me to quittin’ time and I find that these are discreet and easy to wear while at work. They are also great for working out; I used to hate when my cord would get stuck in the equipment at the gym…but now, I don’t have to worry about that! If you are considering wireless headphones, I definitely think these are a nice option that don’t break the bank!

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Unwritten Fools Podcast (and blog): Shameless plug alert…this is my boyfriend’s (David) podcast and since he courageously defended my honor on last night’s episode after I was bombarded with hateful nonsense because of my take on the Beauty & the Beast remake, I thought it was time that Unwritten Fools get a proper shoutout on the blog! He and his friend Alec host this witty and (sometimes) charming podcast talking all things movies, TV and music! So if you’re in the market for something new and are looking for a humorous dialogue between two strapping young lads, then I think you should give this a try! If you take a listen, let me know what you think!

o one cares if you suck. (3)

Workplace Playlist: From time to time I need to zone out while I’m at the office and this is my go-to playlist. It has everything from R&B to country and instantly makes me a happier human! All of these songs immediately put me in the best mood, and well, sometimes you just need a little pick-me up to get through the day!

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The Happy Planner ($29.99): I don’t know about y’all, but I absolutely HAVE to have a planner in order to keep my life organized. I’m one of those people that loves lists, colorful markers, bullet points and fancy stickers to remind me that it’s someone’s birthday, and this planner delivers all that and then some! I bought an Erin Condren planner a couple of years ago and really liked it but thought it was too expensive for what it was, so I went searching for a replacement and stumbled upon My Happy Planner and thought I would give it a try…and boy am I glad that I did. It’s pretty much the same concept but at a much lower price point! If you’re a planner person and are in the market for something new, check out Me And My Big Ideas and see if it’s something that could work for you!

Like I said, I know I didn’t have much, but I wanted to share the things that have been getting me through the work week (it’s been a looooooong one). What are your favorites for making work more tolerable, I’d love to know!

-B

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS!

Be the Light (1)

Happy Friday Eve friends! We’ve almost made it to the weekend; just one more day, we can do it! I don’t know what the weather is like in other parts of the world but It’s a gloomy day here in Georgia; lots of clouds and lots of rain. I thought I’d jump on here and share my thoughts about a few products (and a TV show) that I have been testing out for few weeks!

* L’Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Sponge ($7.99):  I really, really love this sponge! It’s soft, blends foundation & concealer seamlessly, and doesn’t soak up too much product! I have read some reviews that complain of tears in the sponge after 1-3 washes, but so far I haven’t had that experience. Either way, for the $7.99 price point, I certainly think this is worth a try!

* Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum ($20): I have been using this product for a week or so now and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s gentle, soothing, and doesn’t dry out my skin AT ALL (which is a miracle)! This serum claims to not irritate already erupted skin…and guess what…THAT CLAIM IS TRUE!!! Besides not drying out or irritating my skin, it really has helped to calm everything down and eliminate blemishes and the redness associated with them. It’s truly the most gentle acne product I have ever used and I definitely think it’s worth the money. I will absolutely, without a doubt repurchase this once I run out!

* Benefit Cosmetics – It’s Potent! Eye Cream ($34): Unfortunately this product just didn’t work for me. It dried out and burned my under eyes, and caused a pretty little rash that lasted for a couple of days. To be fair, I have incredibly sensitive skin and think that those of you who don’t would probably really enjoy this product. I had my boyfriend test it out and he really liked it. He said it was soothing and he didn’t have any trouble with it irritating his skin…it’s not Benefit, it’s me (shocker).

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* 21 Day Fix: I mentioned a few posts back that I had recently cancelled my Sweat With Kayla membership and started using BeachBody on Demand. I’m currently in my second week of the 21 Day Fix and I love it. If you’re thinking of trying out this workout program, just know that the Total Body Cardio Fix is the WORST. I literally felt like I was having a heart attack….don’t worry, I survived. So if you’re on this journey with me and you get discouraged after day 1 (regardless of the program you’re doing); just stick with it, it will get easier, I promise! And of course I will keep you posted as I progress further through the program!

* One Tree Hill: David and I just finished season 1 and the only feeling that I have surrounding the show is frustration. The first half of the season was great while the second half made me want to rip my hair out. Let me be clear, I don’t dislike the show, I’m just someone who needs at least ONE person/couple to be functioning at a semi-high level so that I don’t end up hating every single character. I don’t know if you feel the same, but it’s hard for me to root for characters that are ALL messing up at the same time. In any case, I will take a couple of days off and jump back in after I have time to deal with my feelings! I mean honestly, how did Nathan & Haley get married after the basketball game? Who signed off on this? I need answers. Ugh. Lol.

Thank you (1)

While I have you all here I just want to say Thank You and that I appreciate all of the love and support you guys have shown me here on the blog! I love interacting with all of you and hope to connect even more in the near future! I hope all of you are having a wonderful Friday Eve and have a lovely weekend planned wherever you are!

-B

BE THE LIGHT!

Be the Light

Something has been on my heart a lot lately and I thought I would pop on here and share my thoughts. Let me start by saying that I know not everyone follows the same religion and I know some people aren’t religious at all…and that’s okay! I think everyone has a right to believe in whatever they want to believe in; with that being said, I do think that we should all try and being loving individuals that care about others. Why must we constantly tear people down because they don’t believe in the same things that we believe in? Why must we spew hurtful and hateful rhetoric towards those that choose to live a different way than we do? I’m not saying that we always have to agree with each other’s lifestyle choices, but we certainly don’t have to condemn one another for them either. In Matthew, the Lord asks us to be the light for all to see, how can we possibly be a light for anyone if we are constantly tearing each other down?

I challenge everyone to think before they judge someone based on their circumstances or lifestyle choices; just because someone doesn’t see things as we see them, doesn’t mean they are wrong. I’m not perfect, and I certainly would never claim to be, but I do my best. I try and listen without judgement and offer advice in the most loving way I know how. As a Christian, I want (and strive) to love people the way that Jesus loves me, unconditionally and without reservation. I hope that my light shines bright and that people feel they can trust and confide in me regardless of my beliefs. I guess I’m just hoping that we can learn to love one another despite our differences and that people are able to live happy, healthy, full lives!

-B

THIS OR THAT TAG!

Blackbird (1)

Hello everyone! I am really dragging on this Wednesday morning but I wanted to get something up for you guys anyway! I have received a number of requests to do a recovery update post and I will get to that, I promise. But for now, given the current state of my brain I thought I would do something a little lighter! Yesterday I was scrolling through published posts and came across a This or That Tag written by BeaFree and thought it looked fun…so let’s just jump right in! P.S. I might have added a few extra questions at the end to keep the fun going! 🙂

MAKEUP

  1. Blush or Bronzer: Bronzer for sure! I’m terribly pale and need a little help!
  2. Lip Gloss or Lipstick: Lip Gloss, really more like lip balm! As much as I try to dive into lipsticks (liquid lips, mattes, satins, etc.), I just always end up feeling annoyed and wiping it off.
  3. Eyeliner or Mascara: Mascara, hands down. I only wear eyeliner on SPECIAL occasions, but mascara is an absolute MUST for me.
  4. Foundation or Concealer: Ooo, tough call. Probably concealer because I can get by with using it as a pseudo-foundation if I had too!
  5. Neutral Eyeshadow or Colorful Eyeshadow: Neutrals all the way. I’m not cool enough to pull off colorful shadows. Lol.
  6. Pressed Eyeshadow or Loose Eyeshadow: Pressed for sure. I’m such a klutz, I can’t even manage to handle a loose setting powder, I would destroy loose eyeshadows for sure.
  7. Brushes or Sponges: I mean, can I say both?! I use a blending sponge for foundation and concealer, but I use a brush for bronzer/blush/highlight…I can’t choose!

NAILS

  1. Long or Short: Relatively speaking, I like them on the shorter side. I think long(ish) nails are pretty but I feel weird and have trouble doing everyday tasks when my nails are long. I mean come on…how do you button your pants and pick up change off of a table when your nails are long? If you have the answers, please teach me your ways.
  2. Acrylic or Natural: If it’s a special occasion I might spring for acrylics, but 99% of the time I just go natural. Acrylics are beautiful, but they absolutely wreck my nails and oftentimes I don’t think they’re worth the hassle.
  3. Bright Colors or Dark Colors: I like both, it just depends on my mood. In the fall and winter I typically stick to darker colors; but in the spring and summer I’m willing to play with some brighter shades!
  4. Flower or No Flower: Ummm, I don’t even really know what this means. I’m guessing it’s asking if I like a flower design on my nails…(correct me if I’m wrong)…so I would say NO flower!

BODY

  1. Perfume or Body Splash: I guess it depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing, but I typically prefer a perfume.
  2. Lotion or Body Butter: Body butter for sure. I think I’ve mentioned before how I have skin that resembles that of an alligator; I need all the help and hydration I can get. I find that a body butter does a better job of keeping my skin hydrated for a longer period of time than a traditional lotion does!
  3. Body Wash or Soap: Body wash. Am I the only person who feels like soap leaves their skin feeling tight and dry?!?!
  4. Lush or Another Company: Eh, I guess I use Bath & Body Works the most of any company; I don’t really use products from Lush, I’ve tried a couple of things and liked them fine, but it was never enough to keep me going back for more. To be honest, I have a really sensitive stomach and the smell of the Lush store actually makes me nauseated. It’s kind of like Yankee Candle, I think there’s just too much (scent wise) in one place! With that being said, I would like to try some of their fun bath bombs. 🙂

FASHION

  1. Jeans or Sweats: Sweats…100% of the time.
  2. Long Sleeve or Short Sleeve: It really just depends on the circumstances (weather, event, etc.)!
  3. Long Dresses or Skirts: Neither…but if I HAD to choose, probably long dresses!
  4. Stripes or Plaid: I like both but I own more plaid!
  5. Flip Flops or Sandals: Sandals for sure!
  6. Scarves or Hats: I am the scarf queen!
  7. Studs or Dangly Earrings: I don’t really wear earrings because one of my holes closed up…but I would choose studs.
  8. Necklace or Bracelet: Bracelets!
  9. Heels or Flats: I like both, but for sheer comfort reasons, I’ll go with flats!
  10. Cowboy Boots or Riding Boots: I like both, but I wear riding boots far more often.
  11. Jackets or Hoodies: Hoodies! They’re just so cozy!

HAIR

  1. Curly or Straight: Both, but I wear it straight more often.
  2. Bun or Ponytail: Bun. Ponytails frustrate me.
  3. Bobby Pins or Butterfly Clips: Definitely bobby pins!
  4. Hair Spray or Gel: Hair spray!
  5. Long or Short: Long!
  6. Light or Dark: Dark!
  7. Side Swept Bangs or Full Bangs: I’m not really a bang person, they don’t flatter my face at all; but if I had to have them, I’d go with side swept!
  8. Up or Down: Up, usually in a low side bun. As much as I like my hair down, I have too much hair to keep it that way for long.

RANDOM

  1. Rain or Shine: Shine…unless I really need a day to catch up on sleep, then I’ll welcome the rain!
  2. Summer or Winter: Summer…duh!
  3. Spring or Fall: Fall, it’s my favorite season!
  4. Chocolate or Vanilla: DEFINITELY chocolate!!
  5. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC: BSB for LIFE!!
  6. Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Coca-Cola duh! FILA
  7. Cake or Pie: I like them both equally. I like my moms chocolate cake and I like a slice of pie every now and then, but I think I like cupcakes the most. They’re smaller and less of a commitment. Is that weird? Probably.
  8. Sephora or ULTA: Well, I love them both, obviously; but if I had to choose one, I’d go with ULTA.
  9. Being Hot or Cold: I HATE being cold, so I’d definitely say hot. I live in the south so hot weather and excessive humidity doesn’t bother me at all.
  10. Apple or Android: Apple! Not sure I could ever leave my iPhone/iPad behind.
  11. East Coast or West Coast: East Coast for sure.
  12. North or South: South…more specifically, the Southeast!
  13. Books or Magazines: Magazines!
  14. Hot Fudge or Caramel: Hot Fudge!
  15. Sunrise or Sunset: Sunset…swoon.
  16. Apples or Bananas: Bananas.
  17. Baseball or Basketball: Baseball (but I still love my Hawks)! Go Braves!
  18. Football or Hockey: Football! Go Falcons! WarDamn!

Thank you so much for reading and playing along, I know this was kind of long! What are some of your preferences, I’d love to know!

-B

 

MINI DRUGSTORE HAUL!

Good morning friends! I had to make a (sometimes) dreaded trip to Wal-Mart this weekend for groceries but found myself in the beauty department to help ease the pain and thought I would share a little mini haul with you guys!

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* Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath – Coconut Oil ($4.87): I’m a sucker for a nice bath (especially after working out) and I absolutely love the Dr. Teal’s line. It makes for a luxurious soak while also helping my sore muscles. It’s win win!

* Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish – Smartease ($9.99): I have been on the hunt for a good pink nail polish for the upcoming spring and summer months and decided to give the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Smartease a try. I like the brush that comes with these polishes and while it doesn’t stay on my nails SUPER long, I still enjoy the color payoff and continue to buy them anyway!

* Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil – Glazed Toffee ($7.99): I have been on the hunt for a good brown eyeliner for months and have been unable to find one that I like. All of the ones I have tried have been too difficult to work with and they NEVER stay on my waterline. I decided to give this one a try; fingers crossed I have better luck…I’ll keep you posted!

* Maybelline Lipstudio Color Jolt – Stripped Down ($9.99): I absolutely LOVE this lip product; it’s a divine mauvey-pinky nude and the color payoff is simply amazing. I think this shade suits and flatters my skin tone nicely, and while it’s not the most long-wearing lip product on the market, it’s insanely comfortable on the lips; and for me, that’s the most important thing!

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* L’oreal Infalliable Foundation Blender ($7.99): I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and ask my thoughts on the L’oreal foundation sponge so I thought I would pick it up and give it a try. I have used the Beautyblender as well as the Real Techniques sponge and love them both so I am interested to see how this compares! As soon as I break it out and give it a go, I will let you know my thoughts! Stay tuned!

* Simple Replenishing Rich Moisture Lotion ($9.99): This is one of my all-time favorite facial moisturizers. It’s gentle and doesn’t break me out…which for me, is a miracle! I find that it gives me ample moisture without leaving me looking like a greaseball. I will say, If you have oily skin, this might make you a little too dewy, but if you have normal to dry skin, I think this would work nicely for you!

* Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – Fair ($6.99): This is my everyday concealer; It’s affordable and does a good job of hiding those pesky under eye circles. It’s not extremely thick so it never leaves me feeling cakey. With that being said, it’s not the most full-coverage concealer I’ve ever used, so if you’re looking for a legitimate full coverage product, I would recommend Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer; it’s not drugstore, but it’s worth the splurge for sure!

Have you guys purchased any new or holy-grail products recently, I’d love to know!

-B

TALE AS OLD AS TIME

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I finally went and saw Beauty & the Beast this weekend; I know, I know, I’m late. I’m sure those of you who wanted to see it have already made a trip to the theatre; but for those of you who are on the fence, I’m here to (hopefully) offer you some perspective. If you enjoyed the original film, then I think it’s worth seeing. However if you don’t care for fairy tails, then you should probably sit this one out.

The Beast

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Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in this live-action remake of the 1991 Disney Classic, and overall, I thought the movie was solid; slightly underwhelming but still good enough for me to see again. Beauty & the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid, and I think my expectations were a wee bit too high walking into the theatre. I may have put it on a pedestal that wasn’t reachable, either way, I still enjoyed it! The special effects were incredible (no surprise here) and I absolutely loved the Beast. I think the writers did an incredible job of softening him up just enough to where the budding romance between he and Belle became more believable (at least to me). As for Belle, when the casting of Emma Watson was announced, I was thrilled. I didn’t think there was a better option anywhere; and while I still think that’s probably true, It took me longer to warm up to her than I thought it would and I was a little underwhelmed with her performance (specifically in the beginning). Belle is known for being beautiful, quirky and incredibly sweet. Unfortunately, in the opening scene (and throughout the first half-ish), Emma fell flat in delivering the sweetness and quirkiness that make Belle who she is. With that being said, I think she hit her stride about midway through and I ended up liking her just fine. In fact, I thought all of the casting was great!

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My favorite scene was probably “Be Our Guest” (Gaston’s pub scene was also great)! It was colorful, exciting, fun and full of life. Of course I also love when Belle and the Beast have their enchanting moment…(“tale as old as time, true as it can be, barely even friends, then somebody bends, unexpectedly”)…swoon! Emma Watson looked absolutely stunning as Belle; and The Beast, despite his outward appearance, comes off as sweet and soft. You can see his heart changing right before your eyes; and call me a sap, but it’s just the best!

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I read a lot of reviews that thought the added scenes were irrelevant and bothersome; however, I don’t feel the same. I thought the scene where the Beast takes Belle to Paris so she can learn more about her mom was sweet. I don’t think it was necessary, but it certainly didn’t bother me. The one thing that was a bit off for me was LeFou (please don’t hate me for saying that). His character just didn’t work for me. I can’t really explain it, it just didn’t feel authentic; It felt more childish and jokey than I thought it should for being a live-action film. I also heard people say that they didn’t like the casting of Gaston or Maurice, to which I disagree. I thought Luke Evans and Kevin Kline did a great job portraying their respective characters. Gaston was still the smug, chauvinistic, rude villain that we are accustomed to, and Maurice was eccentric and humble; I thought both characters were well represented and helped carry the movie in times when the story fell flat. While the Beast was my favorite character in the movie, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Philippe and the whole Castle crew were just as lovely. Emma Thompson was the PERFECT person to play Mrs. Potts, I mean honestly, don’t you just love her?!?!

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So despite feeling slightly underwhelmed as I walked out of the theatre, the Disney remake still gave me that swoon-worthy feeling I get every time I watch the original. I can’t help but smile when Belle and the Beast have their enchanting moment on the dance floor, it certainly fills my heart with more happiness and love than I thought a movie ever could!

Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts? Did you love it? Hate it? Fall somewhere in the middle? Let me know!

-B

MY SEPHORA WISHLIST!

In the spirt of Sephora’s VIB/VIB Rouge Sale that’s going on until April 24th, I thought I would share some of the things that are on my wishlist!

MAKEUP/PRIMERS

* Benefit Cosmetics Cheek Parade ($58): I’m all for a palette that includes multiple products, and this certainly appears to fit the criteria. It includes their famous Hoola Bronzer and Dandelion Blush and looks perfect for the upcoming summer months!

* Diorskin Nude BB Crème ($45): In the summer I enjoy wearing tinted moisturizers and BB/CC Creams more than a full foundation. I’ve heard great reviews about this product and thought now would be a good time to give it a try!

* Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($23-38): I’m probably the ONLY person in the world that hasn’t tried this powder. I typically use pressed powder as I tend to get loose powders everywhere…and I mean EVERYWHERE. I’m always knocking them off of my vanity and the sight of that beautiful expensive powder all over my floor infuriates me to no end. However, I think it’s time for me to give this “holy grail” product a try!

* Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($19-75): I received a sample of this primer in a recent Sephora order and I LOVED it. It was so smooth and luxurious and now I feel like I NEED to give it a try!

* Cane + Austin Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer ($56): With the summer months right around the corner, I am in the market for a more mattifying primer. I tend to get really oily in the t-zone (especially in the summer) and have (what I consider) alligator-like skin around the perimeter of my face (neat). I have heard that this does a good job of keeping the oil under control so I thought I might give it a try!

* Huda Beauty Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette ($65): Ugh, this palette is STILL sold out. Every time I go on Sephora to peruse, it’s NEVER in stock…oh well. I get it. Look at those colors. The shimmer shades are S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G, I just can’t resist.

* Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain ($14): I’ve seen a few YouTubers review these cream lip stains and they look beautiful on the lips. I think shades #13 (Marvelous Mauve) & 41 (Vintage Rosewood) will be the first 2 that I try out!

SKINCARE

* Rosebud Perfume Co. Tropical Ambrosia Lip Balm ($7): I have the Rosebud Salve in the pot and I absolutely love it, so I figured why not give the Tropical Ambrosia lip balm a try. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want their lips to smell like mangos and coconuts?!?! I know I sure would!

* Fresh Rose Face Mask ($25-62): I received this as my birthday gift from Sephora last year and let me just say, I L-O-V-E it. I have extremely sensitive skin and oftentimes have trouble finding face masks that work for me. This does a great job of hydrating and soothing angry, irritated skin and I would HIGHLY recommend this product to just about everyone!

* Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask – Hydrating & Detoxifying Treatment ($48): I love the Josie Maran line and use the Argan Oil when my face needs a little extra hydration so I thought this mask might be a winner! As I mentioned above, I have trouble finding face masks that don’t irritate my skin but this is said to be gentle and nourishing, I guess we’ll see.

FRAGRANCE

* Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ($72-124): This is my all-time favorite scent. It is  truly DIVINE. I’ve gotten this every year on my birthday for the past 3 years (thanks to Ameera and my mama!) and it’s about that time yet again. I can’t really explain it, it’s sexy, luxurious, and sweet (but not too sweet) and I urge you to go smell it if you haven’t! Swoon.

* Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris ($29-122): I purchased this for my mom for Christmas and I have since fallen in love with it! It’s a modern floral (but not too floral) scent that is laced with creamy white musk and patchouli. I’m hoping to add this gem to my collection ASAP!

So those are all of the products I’ve been eyeing for the last few months; I will probably bite the bullet and pick up a few of them while the VIB/VIB Rouge sale is still going on. What’s on your Sephora wishlist? Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Did you love them? Hate them? I’d love to know!

-B