Opportunity Knocks

Remember that time I stopped blogging for, like, a week? 

Me neither. 

To tell you the truth, I’ve been working on some exciting things coming soon on the blog. I’m feeling very blessed and very humbled at the cool opportunities all over the state that this blog has given me. I don’t deserve them, but hey – I’ll take ‘em. 

 I’ve also been working on, well, work. I, like many of you, am the holder of a real, live big girl job. That means a twice daily big girl commute, big girl client deadlines and big girl meetings. I’ve been given a job that I coveted for years and I’m doing everything in my power to contribute to my fullest. These opportunities don’t come around but once in a cobalt blue moon, so I’m seizing the day. 

But I also realize that I get the opportunity daily to come on here and talk nonsense with some of the coolest girls in the blogosphere. And that, bunnies, is a sweet, sweet thing. A thing worth nurturing.

Anywhoodle, I’ll be back tomorrow. And hopefully the next. And…you get the point. Look out for a post featuring a nifty top from Hazel’s Haven, as well as a guest post from one of my dear friends and, honest to Josh, one of the most stylish people I know. 

Honest to Josh. 

See y’all tomorrow.


Have a Cookie, Why Don't Ya?

Once per year, typically in spring, the Girl Scouts of America (not to be confused with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Poland) peddle their cookies. These little bits of manna from heaven come in a variety of flavors and textures, with fun names like Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs and Do-si-dos.

Some have fancier names than they did years ago when I was a wee Brownie, (example: the shortbreads became “Trefoils”…I mean??)

Some have been only recently introduced, (Dulce de Leche anyone?)

Some are still the best invention since sliced bread, (and their names are Thin Mints.)

To call these merely cookies is blasphemy. They are culinary delights, born from the greatest country in the world and made of nicotine and crack cocaine (apparently). They have the power to turn enemies to friends, tighten that pesky pair of baggy pants and give new life to that boring glass of milk.

And my friends, it’s that time of the year.

In case you’ve been enjoying your Girl Scout cookies for weeks now and are getting bored, here are a few recipes that incorporate these gems:

Thin Mint Pie – My Baking Addiction

Seven-Layer Samoa Bars – Cookie Crazed Mama

Tagalong Cake Bars – Kevin & Amanda

Girl Scout Cookie Pops Using Trefoils – Coupon Clipping Cook

Tagalong Dip – Something Swanky

Anywhoodle, thought I'd share these exquisite little recipes. Happy cookie eating!


Hunter Games

It's a dreary day in NWA, which only adds to my insane craving for a pair of Hunter boots. I justify paying one million dollars (okay, $135) for rubber boots because our spring seasons here in AR are typically rain-filled, storm-filled, mud-filled etc. As many are in the contiguous United States.

Okay, so this doesn't exactly boil down to need. And I can't even wear them during the days of Monday through Friday, as I'm not sure they're work appropriate. Plus, I probably wouldn't get a whole lot of use outta these puppies. I mean, I park in a parking garage, not a swamp. And I hate mud and being out in the elements, meaning the chances of me being in a predicament that requires rubber boots is slim.

So, there's that.

Still, in an attempt to look "outdoorsy", I pine for these boots.
I'm told these repel water just like a snake's skin. (I mean, they must, right?)
I'm not always British, but when I am, I wear these boots.
These remind me of Tory Burch's lovely boots. 

A wedge! In rain boot form! For us vertically-challenged gals...
These are green.
And in other news, the sky is blue.
Two things:
1) This was not a sponsored post. I just plain like these boots.
2) Fun post featuring a cute little get-up from Hazel's Haven tomorrow. Stay tuned, bunnies.


Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

Let's get to it! I confess that...

1) I started a countdown on my desktop at work for the return of Game of Thrones on HBO. March 31 can't come soon enough. Winterfeld (!!!!!)

2) I still don't like Chris Brown, and I want to go off on a rant every time I see pics of him and Rihanna in the media. I mean, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If he beat you once girlfriend, he'll do it again in due time. Listen to me sister...don't walk, RUN.

3) I've got some MAJOR blog-related news to share with you guys really soon! And it's getting really hard to keep it to myself.

4) It made me physically ill last night to watch/listen to accounts from people coming off that Carnival Cruise that was dead at sea for five days. The environment they described on the boat was something out of a horror story. Best part of all, the boat was named The Triumph. Oh, irony.

I love how they also gave them a free cruise as a consolation gift. Because I'm sure those 4,000 folks CAN'T WAIT to get back on a boat.


Joy Unspeakable

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”  -- Tom Bodett

Wherever you are, whoever you spend today with, celebrate joy today. Ugly things are in the news, constantly reminding us that our world is a very scary place. Instead of all the cheesy cards, boxes of chocolate and roses, let's focus on making today a joyful one. For joy is at the very heart of love. And joy comes to us in many forms.

Whether it be a pair of ridiculous heart-shaped sunglasses, or a chat with a dear friend. Be joyful.

Happy day, bunnies.


Le Visage: {My Skincare Regime}

What, you thought I’d write about Valentine’s Day Eve or something? Pssssshhhh, not on this blog, chick-a-dees.

Let’s talk about skincare baby! I know I love to hear what other women use to get their glow, so I thought maybe we could all compare notes and share what we like.

I tend to be extraordinarily product/brand loyal, but from time to time, I switch things up. Lately, I’ve been loving Mary Kay’s Timewise Cleanser (Normal/Dry) for dry skin. The little microbeads exfoliate ever-so-slightly and the thick consistency helps take away every stitch of make-up.

I use both St. Ives Apricot Cleanser about once every three days or so after I use my cream cleanser. It just keeps things polished up. Note: There are two types – one with added salicylic acid for acne and one non-medicated. I use the non-medicated since it is the least drying.

I also love Simone France’s RefiningScrub – in fact, I swear by it.

I began using Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask two weeks ago and have never been so excited about the dewy look my skin has now.

I was an Estee Lauder girl for a long time, but I read some pretty interesting stuff in the October issue of Vogue about Roc Multi Correxion Lift. Originally crafted in France, women in Europe have apparently sworn by it for years. It’s also a favorite of many a make-up artist due to it’s anti-wrinkling properties. I ordered mine here.

A couple tips:
-A dermatologist friend once told me that toner was unnecessary, and even sometimes did more harm than good, since it not only strips your skin of oil, but also much-needed moisture. I have found this to be true. So don’t waste your money, girls. Invest in a good cleanser instead.

-Unless you have blemish prone skin, ditch the products with salicylic acid. SA is made for drying up blemishes, but it can dry out skin that is not blemish prone.

I'd love to hear what you use daily. What works for y'all? Any good secrets I need to know? 


Grammy Round-up

Yeah, I know it was like soooo two days ago, but I still felt the urge to expel my thoughts on the 2013 Grammy Awards. If I am good for nothing else, I am good for award show commentary. 

Best Dressed

For once, I'm not giving this title to a woman. I'm giving it to a man…named Justin Timberlake. Kudos to J.T. for being the only man in attendance to shower and wash his hair before the awards show.

Even though typically put little RiRi in the worst dressed category, I have to hand it to her stylist – well done.

I also really liked Beyonce’s pant suit. But then again, she could wear a hazmat suit and make it look like Philip Lim couture.

 …and Lena Dunham’s yellow dress. She was radiant. And I have a girl crush on her.

Worst Dressed

I didn’t love Katy Perry’s frock, but I’m glad we all got to know her two friends Left and Right a little better.

Janelle Monae – I’m going to look her up on Wikipedia to find out who she is – looked like a bull fighter. Somewhere in Spain, a matador is looking for his clothes...

Favorite Moments

-FUN. is a dope band, made even more dope by their use of rainfall during Carry On. Does their lead singer remind anyone else of Freddie Mercury? (If you don’t know who Freddie M. is, we can’t be friends anymore.)

-Jack White’s performance. I’ll admit that I’m biased and, in my eyes, he does nothing wrong. To date, his live show is the best I’ve ever seen.

-Not really a moment, but I love that this rock-a-billy, folky music is trending nowadays. I’m sick of the overly auto-tuned crap that, ahem, certain young music stars are putting out these days. Yay for real musicians.

-Seeing Alabama Shakes front woman Brittany Howard belt it out during the Levon Helm tribute. Girl’s got some pipes.

Things I Wish I Could Erase From My Memory

Frank Ocean’s strange performance of Forrest Gump. I’m still scratching my head.

Hunter Hayes? Who is this kid? I can’t put my finger on it, but this little boy rubs me the wrong way. I dunno.

Every time the camera panned over to Taylor Swift singing and dancing. To the Grammy producers: I do not care to see Tay Swift’s reaction to Mumford and Sons. Ever. I’d much rather watch, well, Mumford and Sons.

Which moments did you love and loathe from this year’s Grammy show? Spill it, bunnies.


The Nineties Called: {Outfit Pics}

 Dress: Maude Boutique // Flannel Shirt & Beanie: Savoir-Faire // Jacket: H&M // Tights: Express // Shoes: Old Navy // Bracelets: GroopDealz

Good Monday morning to you all! My little blog break was just what I needed to get life back in order. Amazing what just unplugging from one activity will do for one's stress level.

I felt like channeling my inner early 90s girl on Friday afternoon, complete with a skin tight mini dress, flannel shirt, beanie and, most importantly, a pretty dope leather jacket from H&M (thank you to reader Jennifer G. for picking it up for me!)

Grunge is getting a makeover for spring 2013 and I think you're going to like it. With designers like Phillip Lim jumping on board, leather, plaid and spikes never looked so good - or so chic.

 Add some intrigue to your beanies with a vintage brooch or pair of earrings. I saw this look in a recent issue of Lucky and loved it to pieces.


It's good to be back. Cheers to a dandy week!


Taking a Couple Days Off

Once in a while, we all need a break. Work is bananas, Stephen and I both have ridiculous schedules, my poor little pups are barely getting played with and I haven't cooked a real meal in...I honestly don't know.

As much as I love to blog, it's going to have to go on the back burner for the next few days, since it is an optional thing. My marriage is not. Work is not. My pets are not.

I'll be back next Monday, right here. Until then, have a fantastic week and weekend.

P.S. - Confessional Friday will resume next week.


3 Valentine's Ideas That Won't Make You Queasy.

It’s time again, friends. Time for the most unnecessary, over-commercialized holiday ever. Valentine’s Day.

In my opinion, it's a holiday invented by card companies and chocolatiers, meant to boost sales of red roses and paper doilies. (To be fair though, it's a lot more bearable than it used to be, now that le husband is in the picture, thus guaranteeing that I'll end my Valentine's night making out with a certified hottie.)

Whether you’re with a significant other or going stag, here are a few of my ideas for celebrating the day ‘o love:

#1 Have an experimental food night.
I refuse to fight the crowds at local restaurants, so I much prefer cooking a good meal at the casa. For a fun twist, cook up something you’ve never made before, with ingredients you’ve never used. It’s a great time whether you’re with a love match, or just your best girl friends.

#2 Have a wine and chocolate tasting.
Invite a few friends over OR just your man and sample different wines and chocolates. Break out the fancy stemware, queue up some romantic tunes, (I love French artist Carla Bruni) and drink up.

If you're "tasting" with a group, have everyone bring their favorite bottle and ask taste-testers to score each sample. It’s fun to compare everyone’s preferences later on. Just make sure you have a sober Cupid to get everyone home safely!

#3 Have a lingerie party.
I’m not sure if this is common everywhere, but around here, we typically throw a lingerie shower for brides to-be. Luckily, you don’t have to tie the knot in order to participate in this version, though! Here’s how it goes:

Each person buys a cute nightshirt, boxers or undies for their “crush”. Before you think, "Oh, this is getting awkward", I'll explain...

About a week before the party, have each person draw a name of another partygoer, which will be their “crush” (or simply assign each person to another person.)It's just like Secret Santa, but...not. If you want to make it a tad more fun, add a “secret admirer” touch to it. Include a Valentine card in the gift bag for your crush with clues indicating who their secret admirer is (i.e. YOU).

We once took a road trip to Memphis in October during our sophomore year.

*Tip 1: This non-bridal edition of a lingerie shower works best for groups of six or more.

*Tip 2: Try looking at Old Navy or Target for cute nightshirts or sleep shorts that are inexpensive. Victoria’s Secret usually runs a great deal of 5 panties for $25 on their PINK line, so that’s a budget-friendly option too. 

*Tip 3: Combine ideas #2 and #3 for a rowdier fete.


Sponsor Update: {The Elle}

Sweet Lori from The Elle in Mena wanted to let you know that she is carrying clothing now. In addition to her purse and shoe collections, she also offers a full range of tops, sweaters, skirts and more.

In her own words:

"As you know, my sister and I both have boutiques; mine is The Elle and hers, The Rage. In the beginning, I had absolutely no intentions of selling apparel simply because, that was her thing. However, as the days/months flew by - I relaized I needed to pull in something else. Laci and I have always had different styles/vibes. I'm a little more NYC, street-chic, vintage. I also wanted to offer plus-size clothing.

She and I sat down and had a MONGO discussion about me selling clothing. Not only is she my sister and biggest supporter, but she's also my very best friend, and I didn't want the fact that I was going to sell apparel affect that. We decided that as long as we can keep it somewhat different, and stick to the styles that we both know and love - we were okay with it. Therefore, apparel/plus size apparel was brought on!"

Lori wanted me to remind everyone that she carries sizes beyond the "small, medium, large" category, so there really is something for everyone at The Elle now. 

Connect with The Elle
Instagram: @theellemarie

This has been a word from (one of) our sponsors. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming ; - )