Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'll Be Back. . .

It's midterms week here at Ohio University, and I've given two midterms to my students, and I have two more to take of my own! Please forgive me. . .  I'll be back next week with new fashion posts [polka dots & stripes]!

Anyway, wish me luck. . . 
Can't wait to spend Spring Break at home next week wedding planning all over the place & I finally get to see my Fiance! And my Bridal Shower is in a week!

Spring is almost here, can't wait!



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Simple Recipe Sunday Series

Okay, it feels like all my recipes are not 'real' recipes but more like food suggestions. Do ya feel me? Anyway, that's ok because I'm not even close to a perfectionist when it comes to cooking!

Topic :: Raspberries and Blackberries

It's one of my favorite fruit combinations.
So my 'recipe' or suggestion goes like so. . .

2 small containers of raspberries
1 small container of black berries
[Of course, you can add strawberries or blueberries or whatever, but for me the simpler the better and I don't like blueberries anyway.]

Mix and mash to the texture of your liking; I like it just barely mashed.
Keep in a covered bowl in your fridge and add it to virtually anything.
It's basically like a really fresh jam minus preservatives and added sugar.

Put it on bagels with cream cheese, toasted English muffins, biscuits, and even heat it up and pour it over vanilla bean ice cream, soooo good!

I've added it to pancake batter too, which made the most delicious purple pancakes ever. . .

They're sweet enough that you don't need syrup, but a little butter never killed anyone. . .

Happy Sunday!



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Casual :: Cardi & Tee

My favorite casual combination; jeans, cardigan & tee.
This combination of gender neutral, a guy or girl can sport an almost identical look.
[I've even tried to have my fiance, who is extremely sporty, to try it out. . . um, no!]

Dress it up with lots of accessories, or maintain its casualness by downplaying the accessories and keeping your make up & hair casual.


[Prabal Gurung for Target :: $32.99]
[Merona at Target :: $17.99]

Old Navy

[Old Navy Boyfriend Cardigan [in 13 colors] :: $24.99]

Gap & Banana Republic
[Eversoft Wide-Strip Cardi at the Gap :: $44.99]
[Striped Long Cardi at Banana Republic :: $79.50]

I honestly probably keep it casual with a cardigan and tee about 80% of the time. . .
I keep my favorite cardigans together to the left of my closet.

See the blue polka dot one peeking out? It's my favorite Banana purchase, got it two years ago while in Orlando, and polka dots are still a hot trend!

I'd like to call this 'Uber Casual'. . . 

I also get my favorite tees from Banana & the Gap

What's your favorite casual look?



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Staying Focused

It's no secret that over time a relationship changes. For some, it changes in ways that make the couple incompatible for one another, and in other relationships these changes, no matter good or bad, only create a stronger and healthier relationship.

Being in a relationship that started in high school, we've seen a ton of changes. Some of those changes were hard and others for the best.

One thing that being together since a freshman & sophomore in high school is that it has allowed Zac and I to grow up together. Don't get me wrong, we still have a whole lot of growing up to do, but we've experienced a fair share and taste of what married life will be like.

We always talk about how easy it was when we were younger, to never worry about finances, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. All of the things that would still categorize us as a child, or dependent. 

But. . . Zac and I never forget to be grateful for the accomplishments we've already had at such as very young adults, and a lot of it took being independent and responsible on our own parts. We can't wait to strive for bigger & better goals. That's a big part of our relationship, to always create bigger goals and to be able to take on obstacles that stand in the way of our goals.

Getting married in 87 days has me really focused on the wedding, but our Pastor [Sam] reminds us that it's not the wedding it's the marriage that matters; and of course, we agree.

I think some of the most important ways to keep a relationship going through thick and thin is to rely on each other [even when you don't want to], be honest of your own feelings & be receptive of your partner's emotions as well. 

And to set the record straight, our relationship will never be perfect and we would never want it to be. But, that doesn't mean we don't strive for that perfection and never ever settle.

My mother-in-law always says its not and will never be a 50/50 relationship, some days you'll give 90% and he'll give 10%, and others you'll give 15% and he'll give 85%. It's not about who owes who what, or who did what last. It's about being a team, and creating a balance that's not based on a 50/50 system. 

So far our love has experienced highs and lows, but no matter what, we have each other. . . and in the very end that's all that matters. It's not how much money we have or don't have. Sure, most of the time as two poor grad students "we don't have two pennies to rub together," (Zac's favorite saying), but that has never changed the way we feel about one another, if anything it's made us focus on the emotional rather than material. God has tested us in many ways, but so far we've made it and we are so very much looking forward to what God has in store for our future, money or not right now, our love & His love.

I think it goes without saying, that I dedicate this post to my one and only.

 [Our first date in 2004. . . so young & naive!]

Truly grateful & so looking forward to our future . . .



Monday, February 18, 2013

Beauty Product Must Haves

Everyday I get a little older,  I notice changes in my skin and especially my face.

I'm 23 years young, but that doesn't mean anything for my skin!

Here are some beauty products that I use to try to keep my skin, face, teeth, etc. healthy. . .

Facial Cleansing
clean & clear astringent :: $3.99 at target
Gets all the grime off your face in the evening before bed and even after you shower picking up what you may have missed. Not recommended for even the slightest sensitive skin! For sensitive skin here. . .

Face/Skin Shower Scrub

st. ives apricot scrub $2.99 at target
Great for facial cleansing and exfoliating any where on the body. Again, not recommended for sensitive skin on the face, but in general it is gentile on the rest of the body!

Pore Cleansing
biore cleansing pore strips :: $8.47 at walmart
I use these strips once a week to clean the pore on my nose and it works great a removing blackheads and the oil stuck in your pores.

Facial Moisturizer 
proactiv oil free moisture :: as low as $19.95 at proactiv [dot] com
Moisturizing your face is a must for keeping your face healthy! This is a little pricy but I really like it and it works all day long and helps restore the moisture that the astringent can take away after cleaning.


garnier skin renew :: $10.97 at walmart
This anti-puff roller is amazing, it gets rid of bags under your eyes and tightens the skin. I even use it on my forehead, brows and eye lids. It includes caffeine so it awakens the skin and makes it look refreshed. One of my favorites!

Skin Moisturizer
st. ives collagen elastin :: $3.93 at walmart & aveeno daily moisturizing lotion $9.26 at walmart
The St. Ives is nice and inexpensive and keeps me moisturized all day, while the Aveeno does the same the bonus is that it [Aveeno] is way less greasy!

Lip Moisture
burt's bees pomegranate lip balm :: $3 at burtsbees [dot] com & eos organic lip balm sphere :: $3 at target
Both are great, Burt's Bees Lip Balm you have to reapply often, the EOS Lip Balm lasts longer, but I use both daily!

Mouth Care
crest 3d white toothpaste :: $3.97 at walmart & crest 3d whitestrips :: $49.99 at target 
A cheap way to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth white. Professional results with the Crest 3D Whitestrips for only $50, which the box will last you for months.

I use most of these products daily, if not, then weekly.
What are your favorite beauty products to maintain healthy skin?



P.S. Linking up with Still Being Molly & Lipgloss & Crayons! for #YOLOmondays !

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Simple Recipe Sunday Series

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Today's recipe? 
The Best Sweet Potatoes You Will Ever Eat!

I am completely obsessed with sweet potatoes. . .

If you remember from last week's recipe, I don't really use measurements, and this week is no different.

1 Large Organic Sweet Potato 
[or as many as you want!]
Olive Oil
Chili Powder
Ground Cinnamon

[Serves 1-2]

-Preheat oven to 380°
-Wash, peel & cube the sweet potato.
-Place in large bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to cover all sides of the sweet potato cubes.
-Add a dash of pepper and a few shakes of salt [really, it's to your preference].
-Add a few shakes of chili powder, not too much.
-Coat in a cinnamon [so that every side of each cube is covered].

[For a more spicier effect/less cinnamon, switch the amounts of cinnamon and chili pepper being used with one another and add hot pepper flakes, just as good!]

-Mix together so that the cubes are equally covered.
-Place a sheet of tin foil down on a baking sheet 
[for easy clean up purposes]
-Transfer sweet potatoes from bowl to pan.
-Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork in them.

Ta-da! Simple as that. . .

Buon Appetito!



[P.S. I make an amazing sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving every year, and it's similar to this but not as simple. . . It includes lots of butter, maple syrup, nutmeg, and roasted pecans. . . to-die-for!]

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Inspiration :: Under $40

Need a little inspiration on what to hint to your sweetheart for, for Valentine's Day?

These gift ideas are under $40 each!

Better hurry though, VDay is less than 24 hours away. . . 

Kate Spade Small Square Studs in Ruby :: $38

Vera Bradley Tablet Sleeve in Paisley Meets Plaid :: $38

Deborah Lippmann 'Love Notes' Lip & Nail Duet via Nordstrom :: $38

Dogeared 'Create-Mantra' Heart Charm via Nordstrom :: $32

Ariella Collection 'Messages - Love' Script Bangle via Nordstrom :: $38

 MAC 'Girl About Town' Lacquer / Lipgloss / Lipstick :: $16 / $15 / $15

Are you hoping for something special this Valentine's Day?
 Don't forget, it's always ok to buy yourself something, too!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wedding Vendor :: Cinematography

We're only 95 days away from the wedding, and while I am getting nervous for the day of, everything so far has thankfully been falling into place, including our wedding vendors!

Before Zac and I were engaged, we knew we were going to get married and it was only a matter of time before we decided when. 
I have been researching vendors in our hometown area (Pittsburgh, Pa) for a while, and even though I had everything pretty much lined up, there was one part of the wedding I was having trouble with :: the filming of the wedding. . .

I knew it was an added expense, one that maybe we could of done with out, but it was the one thing in the wedding planning that I was dying to have. I researched not just videographers but cinematographers

I guess I can't exactly explain what cinematography is. I just know that the shooting and editing style in wedding films I had seen that were considered cinematic, was exactly what I wanted!

I must admit, Zac still is a little skeptical of the whole wedding film idea, and while I agree it isn't a necessity for the weddingI promised him that it will be absolutely worth it! 

Meet Our Cinematographer :: JONATHAN RYAN FILMS

Here is a wedding film teaser from JONATHAN RYAN FILMS' vimeo.

Joe + Kristina

I think he's fantastic, and he's only been shooting weddings for less than a year!

Did you hire a videographer/cinematographer for your wedding?
Was it worth it?



I do not own any of the videos above, they are property of JONATHAN RYAN FILMS!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Inexpensive Hair Care

Caring for your hair with numerous products can get really expensive, especially if you are using salon products. They're great, don't get me wrong, but spending almost $20 for just shampoo isn't realistic for this grad student!

I'm going to share with you my favorite inexpensive hair care products, and the best part-- most are under $4 each.

Shampoo & Conditioner :: Pantene Ice Shine

New Favorite :: Suave Professionals Anti-Friz Cream

Heat Protector :: Garnier Fructise Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Protector

I actually use a few different hair sprays!
 Suave Professionals Touchable Finish :: Dove Hair Therapy Hair Spray :: Pantene Extra Hold Hairspray

I still love salon products, but I can't justify spending money on something that I know I can get the same result with by using a product that is at least 75% cheaper!

What are your favorite inexpensive hair care products?

Happy Monday. . . 



P.S. Link up with Still Being Molly for #YOLOmondays!