Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trend: layered delicate jewelry

We all know that accessories are the best things to jazz up an outfit.  Shoes, purses, belts, sunglasses, and jewelry all can turn a simple t-shirt and jeans combo into a great look. 

A trend that I am really into, and that I see all over is layering delicate necklaces.  I think it's gorgeous, and gives a slightly bohemian look, but you can still look polished.  All you need to do is wear at least two necklaces of varying lengths, and you've got it.  I personally think it looks better with gold jewelry, but that's just a preference. 

Obviously, we want to look cute, but we DON'T want to spend a fortune.  Trends fade, but good costume jewelry will last!  Of course, the real stuff is nice, but save that for the classic pieces that you will wear after the trend goes away. 

Discs, bars, nameplates, initials, are all great for layering.  The trick is thin chains, and simple designs.  Here's a list of websites with great options:

Bauble Bar-They have a whole section dedicated to layering necklaces. 

Shop Bop-Their delicate jewelry section is large, but the prices are a bit higher, so you have to hunt for the cheaper pieces.  They have a lot of cool stuff though.  They also have a layered section also. 

Forever 21 - We're talking super cheap here people.  Great for building up a little cache so you can switch up your look! 

Asos - They have a ton of different price points, but none of them are expensive.  Some of their stuff is pretty funky.

Etsy- sooooo many options.  I like that you can get them with varying lengths and materials.  Probably my favorite place to get jewelry. 

Here are some looks that I love. Good style inspiration :-)







*all images from Google
Monday, July 14, 2014

Life

Hi! I know that I have been a little (ok a lot) MIA on the blog lately and thought I would share with you what I've been up to.  This past December, I found myself heavier than I'd ever been. I really hadn't lost much weight after giving birth to Kellen. I didn't like the person I saw in the mirror and actually looking in the mirror I always caught myself by surprise. In my head, I knew I was a little overweight but I wasn't clearly able to see just how big I had become.  I was miserable and was still wearing maternity clothes.  I knew something needed to change.

I saw a friend advertising a P90X3 workout group and decided to give it a try. I knew with working full-time and being a mom, I needed something that could fit into my schedule. Trips to the gym were too costly and time-consuming.  So this was perfect. It was 30 minutes a day and I could fit it in on my schedule.  I LOVED it!  It gave me the structure and accountability I needed to make working out a habit. It also taught me so much about nutrition and eating clean. I hadn't realized how much I had let my health, fitness and really my happiness take a backseat (really they were probably more in the trunk!).

As the P90X3 challenge group ended, I had lost 25 pounds and 19 total inches. I was so excited with how I was feeling, I decided to sign up to be a Beachbody coach and help other people reach their health and fitness goals. I am not at my ultimate goal weight yet but I'm getting closer each day. I love being able to help other people feel good about themselves and excited to get dressed in the morning.

I started a blog called www.changeyourselfie.com where I will be posting about upcoming workout challenges and clean eating tips and recipes. If that is something that interests you, please check it out. If you are frustrated with the current state of your nutrition or fitness, I would love to help you out! You can contact me through Change Your Selfie or you can email me at allison.oconnell@hotmail.com. I have a few upcoming workout groups starting the end of July and the beginning of August so please email me if you are interested! You can also sign up for a FREE Beachbody account with me as your free coach with access to 100s of healthy recipes.

I will still be blogging on I Like Your Style but it will be a little less frequently than before. Here is my before and after video from P90X3. I'm halfway through Focus T-25 right now and I'm sure I will force Brendan into making another Before and After Video :)





Friday, June 20, 2014

Product review - Maybelline Master Smoky by EyeStudio eyeliner

I have never bought a Maybelline product before.  And after this purchase, I never will again. 

I saw this at Target and thought "oooh, that sounds cool."


I got it in the color Scorching Brown.  Per the directions, you swipe the liner over your lids, and then use the sponge part to blend and smoke it out.


Ok!  Seems simple enough.  Smokey eyes, here I come!  Very exciting! And....



Worst.  Product.  Ever.  The tip broke off after I used it once and it got all crumbly.  You would think the texture would be creamy so it would easily blend.  But no.  It's the exact opposite of that.  And now it's in the trash.  So disappointing. 

*****this is not a paid review***
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary, Sage, and Garlic

What a pretty little protein you are, pork tenderloin!



Now, I got the recipe for this off of Epicurious.  The only hard part was making the "channels."  I used a large meat thermometer to make the holes, and then used the handle of a wooden spoon to try and push the mixture in.  But I didn't do a very good job, b/c when I sliced the loin open, the mixture never made it to the middle.  Anyways, I don't really think it made a huge difference. 

Just be sure to sear the loin on all sides before you stick it in the oven.  I used a large cast iron skillet, and I think that's the best when you go from stove top to oven.  It came out super juicy.  I seasoned the outside very liberally with salt and pepper.  I did not baste it either because  that would be just a burn disaster waiting to happen. 

I just had a bake potato with this, but any side dish will do. 

Enjoy! 
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Messenger bags


 
 
I have been really into messenger (or cross body) bags lately!  It's a great alternative to shoulder bags that fall off your shoulder and weigh you down.  Decidedly more casual, I wouldn't use one for prom or a black tie gala, but they are great for every day use, especially for travel.  Currently I have a very large grey leather one that I got at DSW years ago (sorry no link, but it looks like a damn suitcase) and then this small one from Michael Kors for travel and on weekends.  I used it down in New Orleans for Jazz Fest this month and it got really beat up! 
 
So I've got a large one, and a small one, so how about a medium sized one?!  I found these styles that I liked, ranging from mucho expensive (Chloe) to cheapo (Zara).  I love the saddle bag style of the Chloe one, and the Zara one would be so smart for work.  The Sole Society foldover and the Fringescape are perfect for a casual weekend, and I just really loved the vintage feel of the Etsy one.
 
Happy shopping ladies!! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review - Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles Concealer

I have abandoned my quest to try every dry shampoo brand on the market, and am now moving on to concealers.  Again, I've remarked on a few here because I'm trying to find one that doesn't crease under my eyes.  Honestly the best one so far has been MAC's Pro Long Wear concealer.  It really does stay on the longest, and even though it does crease, it's slight.  And that's without a primer underneath but on top of foundation.  ALWAYS ON TOP OF FOUNDATION.  But that retails for $19, which is expensive.  There has to be a dupe (we know I like my dupes).

In walks Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer.  I've seen it a lot on the beauty blogs, so when I was in CVS the other day, I picked one up in Light/Pale. 

You want it to be lighter then your foundation, so it highlights around your eyes, and is in contrast to dark circles.
 
I wasn't sure about the applicator but it's a hybrid sponge/brush.  I'm not going to like how dirty it's going to get: 


But I do like how it goes on the face:


It was a very smooth application.  And you want to apply under eye concealer like this so it will highlight and blend well.  I then used this stippling brush to work it in. 

It blends really well, and I actually think it's a little thinner than the Pro Long Wear.  I tried it once without a primer, and it creased pretty bad.  SAD EMOJI!!  I tried it again with primer, and the results were much better.  Still creasing, but not bad at all.  And I did set it with a translucent pressed powder. 

So at a retail price of $9.99, I feel like this is a good alternative to the Pro Long Wear.  Use this to brighten your face (and contour if you're so inclined) and cover dark circles.  I would not use it as a spot corrector.  It will just highlight any imperfections, so go with a concealer that matches your skin tone for that. 

I think there is a similar product from Rimmel London.  Anybody tried it?  Let us know in the comments!

***this is not a paid review****
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Snow White Birthday Party Food

Blake decided she wanted to have a Snow White Birthday Party to celebrate turning 3! She really wanted to have hotdogs and hamburgers so we decided to have a cookout.  I wanted at least some of the food to fit with the Snow White Theme so we had a Snow White Cake and Poison Apple Cupcakes.


The cake was super easy! I purchased the Snow White and a Dwarf Set from Amazon. I didn't like the way the Snow White looked in the cake set so I purchased the one above separately.  To make the cake, I used a box cake mix and then made some buttercream frosting.  I  crushed up some graham crackers for the stone walk way. I then just placed the characters around the cake!


I  thought the Poison Apple Cupcakes turned out cute! I purchased white cupcake wrappers and used a white cake mix. I tinted both the batter and some buttercream frosting red. (I had set some buttercream frosting aside when I was making the cake.) Once I frosted each cupcake, I rolled them in red sprinkles. I used tootsie rolls for the stems. I cut each tootsie roll in half widthwise and then in half lengthwise.  I then rolled each one in my hand just until it became round.  The last thing I did was to make the leaves. I used a few green Mini Melt Away Mints and cut them in half.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Na'an Pizza

We're just going to call this part two in my Na'an pizza series.  Because seriously, using na'an is such a good alternative to store bought or hand made pizza dough.  Or whatever Boboli's is...

I kind of pulled from a bunch of different recipes here to make it my own.  What you'll need:

This makes two pizzas:
1 large red onion
1/4 cup brown sugar
olive oil (to coat the frying pan for the onions)
na'an (whole wheat or regular, I used whole wheat)
2 large balls of Mozzarella cheese (you will have some left over)
I package of Prosciutto
Balsamic Glaze

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Ok so, let's start with the onion.  Slice it up a thin as possible, coat your pan (I used cast iron) with olive oil, and dump in your onions, and the brown sugar.  The sugar will help caramelize them and make them sweet. It should take about 15-20 minutes over low to medium heat and lots of stirring them around to get them nice and caramelized.  This is where I took them off the heat because I was getting impatient to eat.  But you can keep going with them, and they will reduce more and get even darker and sweeter:


While the onions are cooking, get your prosciutto ready by pulling it apart from the packaging.  It can get sticky, and messy, and this way it will be all ready for you to build your pizza:



Then get your pizza ready.  Slice up the mozzarella and lay it on your na'an.





You're going to have some left over.  Now would be a good time to have a snack and try out the balsamic glaze.




Speaking of the glaze, you can easily make it instead of buying it.  Just pour about a cup of balsamic vinegar into a small pot, and turn on the heat on.  It will reduce down after a while (scientific, huh?) and turn syrupy.  At least that's what it's supposed to do.  Except every time I try to do it, it doesn't work and it's just warm, runny balsamic vinegar.  So I bought it.  Sue me. 

This stuff is soooo good.  Great on tomato and mozzarella salad, ice cream, pasta, etc.


Now let's assemble!




Stick them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the prosciutto starts to crisp.  Then while it's hot, squirt on the balsamic glaze.  The onions are sweet, and cheese and the prosciutto are salty, and I love the way the glaze compliments everything.  It's sweet and salty. 




And...YUM!!!!  I ate one for dinner, and then brought the other one to work for lunch and everyone was drooling over it.  I love it when I've made something good, and I can answer "My house" when someone asks where I got it from. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review - A few Soap & Glory products

I always see Soap & Glory products whenever I'm in Sephora or on their website, but have never bought anything.  And some of the beauty vloggers on YouTube that I follow use their stuff a lot.  So when I was in there yesterday (to check out the Veil Mineral Primer from Hourglass-which I got a sample of and used this morning and is AMAZING), I decided I would see what they had.  I picked up the travel size of the Flake Away Body Polish, and the Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream.  Combined total was less than $20 (which is rare in Sephora...for me anyway).

The Hand Food is a good solid lotion.  It's not greasy, and absorbs pretty quickly, plus it smells really yummy  Thumbs up!

I tried the Flake Away this morning in the shower, and I was actually really impressed with it.  I just used a small amount on my upper arms, thighs, and shins, where my skin gets the most flaky and dry.  Then I just rinsed it off, and my skin felt suuuuper soft afterwards, and ta da, flake free!  Now I did not moisturize when I got out of the shower, so by tomorrow morning my skin will be dry again.

So a thumbs up for this too!  Always love when you find a new brand that has good products.  I think most of their stuff comes in the travel size as well, so you can try them out before committing to a big amount. I have to say too that Soap & Glory packaging is adorable, so that always helps.

Does anyone else use their products?  Let us know in the comments!

***this is not a paid review***
Friday, April 25, 2014

Frugal Friday - Paying it forward

Titling a Frugal Friday post "Paying it forward" might not make sense initially, but bare with me here.  Everyone is aware of the "paying it forward" concept, even though I'm sure a lot of us haven't actually done it.  Let's be honest, have you ever paid for the Starbucks coffee of the person behind you?  Or taken a homeless person to a shelter instead of just dropping a few coins in their cup?  You've heard of people doing those things, and probably thought, "That's nice, I should do something like that..."  But we're all busy with life and jobs and kids and money issues and lack of sleep and well, everything.  So the next time you're in line at Starbucks, paying for the person behind you never even enters your stream of consciousness, does it? 

Don't feel bad.  We can't all be that person who always makes the right decision, who always does the right thing, who always makes a difference. 

So here I come, being that person.  Last week I was in my local urgent care to get a prescription for a slight infection.  I knew what was wrong with me, I was next in line, and I was content to just wait my turn and get out of there.  I was physically uncomfortable, but I knew the end was in sight.  In walks this slight young woman, clinging to a man as they walked to the reception desk.  She was very pale, and softly said, "Hi, my OBGYN called a little while ago, I'm here for the IV." 

Ok, so I was eaves dropping, but it was quiet in there.  And because she said OBGYN, my ears perked up.  Pregnant.  And needing an IV, and since she was not showing at all, must have been in the early stages.  She looked so helpless and uncomfortable.  And her husband kept kissing her forehead and squeezing her hand. 

So I made a decision right there.  I knew I was the next patient, and when a few minutes later the nurse called my name, I said, "She can go next." 

She heard me, and she perked up, looked me in the face, and mouthed "thank you."  Her husband gave me a nod, and I did the same. 

And that was it.  I had paid it forward, and it hadn't cost me a penny.  Did I save her life, umm..no.  But it made a difference in her day, and showed some kindness when she needed it. 

Even just for one day, I was a pretty frugal do-gooder, and it felt awesome.  Share with us if you've been a frugal do-gooder too!