Long time no talk...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Well hello there my pretty little space on this here inter-webs! I've missed this place and this outlet for me so much. Its crazy how life can just take over and you can easily change your priorities. It's been months (I'm sure you've noticed) since I last posted and oh how has my world changed...

For starters, we sold our house and are no longer New Englanders. We are now South Floridians as of the end of June.
packing up and heading south!

My heart misses New England (wicked bad), but I feel like we've made Florida our home in the 3 months we've been here. I could use a heat break though! But from what I'm told it will stay like this for the next few months. My happy days of Fall = jeans, boots, sweaters, and leaves changing is apparently out of the picture now that we are here. That honestly makes me sad, as Fall is my favorite season. But I guess I get to wear shorts and flip flops a little longer. My PSL's however will not be iced. I just can't do it, doesn't feel right...

Florida living....
Both the girls have had birthdays (as have I, ugh!!). I now have a 6 1/2 year old and a 3 year old. And they both give me a run for my money!! The sass and drama that runs threw this house could give The Real Housewives a run for their money. L has stated school here and seems to love it. Little miss social butterfly has already made friends with a bunch of people. Thank goodness for her outgoing personality and warm heart! And Z is in a pre-school speech program. She is challenging in the morning to drop off, but when I pick her up she is all smiles and tells me "I had a great day!" She has been doing amazing in the 2 months she has been in school. She says so much more now and says words much clearer. I'm so proud of her!! And the few hours I get to myself have been pretty darn awesome... 

I feel like with the girls back in school and us finally settling in, it's time to get back to my "work". I have so much to share about our move, our summer, selling our house, moving into a rental, our trip to Disney (yay!!), becoming a Girl Scout Troop leader (oh yes, you read that one correctly...I think I've gone off the deep end) and life in general. I can't wait to get started! 

See you in the next post! 

Xo,
  Nikki




Happy New Year!!!...A couple weeks late...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hi!

  Happy New Year!!! I can't believe we are heading in to the third week of January already. I hope your holidays and start of the New Year have been great! It's been crazy town in my house since Christmas. We decided at the last minute that we would not be staying home for Christmas. So on Christmas Morning we packed up everything and headed to NY and PA, only to be back the day before New Years and have my brother, his wife and my nephew come visit. The following weekend Lilly turned 6 (sigh. She's growing up too fast) and we went to CT to an indoor water park with my Mom, Step-Dad and little brother. And now, here I sit at my kitchen island with a friend of ours still asleep in the spare room. Don't get me wrong, I have loved visiting and having people visit, but I'm tired! haha! I will say though, there is nothing better then ending a year and beginning one with family and friends.



   On top of all that, we sit and wait for orders to our new location. Our picks could lead us to Florida, California, South Carolina, Michigan, or Oregon. Hubby gets to make a "dream sheet", as they call it, but in the end its not up to us. But once we find out, you will know too. :) Plus once we find out the true craziness of moving kicks in.




   I've made a few New Years resolutions and I'm trying to stick with them. So far I've failed at my blog resolution, but I'm going to keep trying. I am trying to stick to a "dont spend more then $40 a month on none essentials" budget. Meaning, I'm trying not to buy an over abundance of make-up and clothes. I'm really trying to work on my "needs vs wants' attitude. I want everything, but do I need it, no. And there are more important things in my life then needing that $30 lipstick. I guess I'm just trying to be more humble and grounded. It's very easy to get caught up in wanting to be on top of the latest trends. I don't think it's a bad thing, but I'm at a point in my life where I just need to take a step back and sort out whats most important. Does that make sense? I hope so...

   I also did what millions of others did the first week of January, I joined the gym. I actually rejoined the YMCA because I truly missed working out at the gym. Working out at home just wasn't cutting it for me this time around. I'm going on my third week and I feel great. I keep reminding myself I wont see changes for about another 2 weeks and if I don't clean up my diet then I most certainly wont see any changes either. Starting February 1st Hubby and I will be doing a cut. Basically we will be meal prepping every Sunday for the week and making sure our diets stay within our macro count. We made some personal goals and I'm excited to see where we both end up. I have a passion for health and fitness, it gets put on the waist side sometimes, but its still there.




   Well, that's about all I have as far as catch up goes. There are a lot of changes going to be happening this year and I can't wait to bring you along with me. :)

   Talk to you soon!!

Xo,
  Nikki

Bite Beauty | Opal Lip Gloss

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hi!!

   I can't believe that its already the middle of December and Christmas is in just two weeks. There has been lots going on here, traveled for Thanksgiving, had my brother-in-law visiting for a week and the typical Holiday festivities taking place. I feel like I'm ahead of the game on Christmas prese.nts but at the same time I'm not done. Is Christmas shopping ever really done?? I did however buy myself a few new things from Sephora the other day (Merry Christmas to me!! HAHA!). One product, in particular that I wanted to share with you. (P.S. It would make a great stocking stuffer!)

   I was in Sephora the other day to return some things and use my VIB $20 off $50 coupon. I really wanted to get a lip gloss or lipstick. Mostly I wanted a Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick but the colors I wanted were sold out. So I headed over to the Marc Jacobs section because I remembered that I wanted to check out Moonglow (lip gloss. It's sold out but you can check it out here). I asked one of the workers if they had any in the back. He said no (of course), but that he could show me a great alternative if I was interested. Of course I said yes. He brought me over to Bite Beauty and showed me the Opal Lip Gloss.




   Is that not gorgeous?! This picture does not do it justice. But seriously, it's gorgeous.

He told me that this isn't getting a whole lot of love and he's not sure why. To be honest, I'm not sure why it isn't either. This gloss is gorg!! And on top of it looking gorgeous, it feels amazing on your lips. There's no smell, it's not a sticky gloss, and it can be worn by itself or over top of your favorite lip color.

 

 The top color is Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick in Sultry Mauve and the bottom is the same color with Opal over top. This picture really doesn't do Opal justice, but it does show you how it can transform the color and yet still give you what you want. It also works great over liquid lipsticks. I've worn it over Ofra's Laguna Beach and ColourPop's Trap. It gave both of them just a beautiful opalescent look without taking away from the actual color or the formulation of the liquid lip. Yes, it added a gloss but even when the gloss wore out the liquid lipstick stayed. But it made my lips look hydrated rather then the dry chapped looked that liquid lipstick can do sometimes.

   If you don't know a lot about Bite Beauty and need a little extra nudge to check them out, the major things you need to know are their products are made with natural and food-grade ingredients. It is also made without Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalets. All great things to know since this product does go on your lips and you will no doubt be ingesting it. And whatever else is in this lip gloss has helped my lips to be softer and look healthier- if thats possible. I've been using a lip balm every night for well over a month and in just three days I've noticed a HUGE difference. Which I'm chalking up to this lip gloss because that's the only thing that's new. I know Bite Beauty makes a lip balm (Agave Lip Mask) and I've heard great things. But after using this, that balm is going into my shopping cart for my next purchase.

   I highly recommend this lip gloss! The gentleman that showed me this also said that he thinks it will be a big seller in 2016 because a lot of beauty products are going towards that opal/transformer shade/look. I have to agree with that 100%. Kat Von D has a transformer liquid lipstick (which I want to try out too) out. ColourPop, in collaboration with CoffeeBreakWithDani did an eye shadow quad called Metamorphosis, which has two transformer shades (you can watch my video here on the quad). I really think we might start seeing a trend here soon. And if not, I still think you should own this. Doesn't matter if you are a huge lipstick fan or someone who only wears nudes or lip balm. I swear you'll love this. Also, this shade is in a Creme Lipstick! I will be purchasing that next too. But if lip gloss isn't your thing you can still pick this up in the lipstick.

  I have a video up talking about this lip gloss and a few of the other things I picked up at Sephora that day. If you care to watch its down below. :)
                  

                   


   Thanks so much for taking a timeout with me! I'll talk to you soon!!

Xo,
  Nikki

Play! by Sephora November

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hi!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! We drove to Pennsylvanian to be with my in laws for the holiday. As always, it was a great time with amazing food. My mother-in-law and I did our annual Black Friday shopping. We were in no rush so we didn't leave the house till about 10:30 (btw, I do not support these 6pm openings on Thursday, it should stick to Friday mornings- thats the whole point of Black Friday) which caused us to miss some of the great deals we wanted to pick up, but it wasn't the end of the world. We had a great time as always. But now it's time for my favorite holiday of the year and I CAN NOT wait to get all of my decorations out. And pick up some new ones- I die for Targets selection this year!

Since I still have one day of November left, I wanted to tell you about what I received in my November Play! by Sephora subscription box. If you haven't heard about this yet I'll give you a quick run down. Sephora started their own monthly subscription box. It's $10 a month (plus tax), you also receive 10 BI/VIB/Rouge points with ever box purchase. They have a waiting list right now but click here and you can put in your email address. Once a spot becomes open they'll let you know and you can sign up.

I will say, this beauty subscription box might just be my most favorite subscription box and I love this month! It's called The Exclusives. Everything they included can only be purchased at Sephora. As always, everything was a deluxe size sample- but I'm totally okay with that.  


I posted an unboxing video and you can watch that below for my thoughts and opinions on everything. But I'll go over everything briefly below.

The first product I received was Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer (here). I've heard great things about this primer (and the other steps too) and I'm so happy I now get the chance to try it out. I've been using it for a about a week and I have to say, I really love it. My foundation has been going on great and staying on for hours. I'd totally recommend this primer if you are looking for something to hydrate your skin while not letting your foundation to seep into your pours and fine lines.

Next up is Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb (here). I have only owned one product from Bite Beauty and it's a lip gloss. I like it, but I have a hard time getting past the smell. Thankfully this lip pencil has no scent and the color is gorgeous. It is a perfect dusty rose mauve that would look great on anyone.

Following one lip product with another is BUXOM Full-On Lip Cream in Dolly (here). This might possible be my most favorite lip gloss. It is a plumper, but it doesn't hurt like some lip plumper's do. This actually feels like that cooling sensation you get when you have chapped lips and you use Carmex lip balm. No what I'm talking about? No? Yes? Maybe? ;) I don't know that it actaully plumped my lips but the color is a beautiful neutral that just adds a nice shine to your lips or over a lipstick. I highly recommend the Full-On Lip Creams.

Next is Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in 29 Boyfriend's Jeans (here). This is an electric blue and is waterproof. Really waterproof. This is a great color to just have on hand for a day you feel like adding a pop of color on your eye. It's great on the waterline or put some on your eyelid and smudge it out. Adding a pop of color seems to be on trend at the moment and this really is a pretty blue. I won't be wearing it every day, but I'm glad to have it in my collection now.

Second to last is Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (here). If you ever have to have one beauty product, it really needs to be this. I have used Josie Maran on and off for about 2 years. Every time I start using it again I wonder why I ever stopped. The uses for this oil are endless, but I use it mostly in replacement of a night time cream. It hydrates and balances out any skin issues I might be having. This is a holy grail skin care product for me. I really can not say enough good things about this oil.

And lastly, is Stella McCartney in Stella Parfum (here). Umm, yea... I don't like this. It has a rose scent and I'm not a fan of rose scented things. I truly believe you can not go by what other people's opinions are on perfumes because everyone has their own favorite scents. When you think you might not like it by their description you might surprise yourself and really enjoy it. I personally, do not like this. But you might, so if you get the chance to smell it I would. 

And that is it. Here is my YouTube video:

                    

I loved everything I received for November (minus the perfume). I recommend getting your name on this list and trying it out for a few months. Let me know if you have every tried any of these products and what you think about them. I'm definitely adding a few of these to my shopping cart for my next purchase at Sephora.

 Thanks for taking a timeout with me! I hope you have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon!!

  XO,
  Nikki

October Play! by Sephora Box

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hey, hey, heeyyy!

      Hope you had a lovely weekend! Today is turning out to be a pretty gorgeous fall day. Which is nice, considering it's been in the 70's all week and I keep having to remind myself that it really is November in New England. What is the deal with this crazy weather? I think Mother Nature needs to lay off the spiked Caramel Apple Cider.  Although I'm not totally complaining about the higher temps and spiked caramel apple cider is really good.

    I know I'm behind and it's November, but lets talk about the goodies I received in my October Play! by Sephora box. If you still haven't heard, its Sephora's monthly subscription box. When I got the initial email they said they were opening up to certain areas to test it out. I don't know how true that still is, but you can click here and put your name on a waiting list if you want to try this out. It's $10 a month (plus tax) and you get about 5-6 items.  You also get 10 beauty insider (VIB/Rouge) points with every box. Pretty awesome way to build up your points if you ask me! Plus, if you bring your play card into the store you get an extra 50 points with your purchase. Even more awesome! I'm just saying, I really don't think you can go wrong with at least trying this box out.



    Let me start off by saying I LOVED this box. I loved everything about it, with the exception of the perfume. Although, that should come as no surprise if you read my post about the September box and watched the video. This boxes theme was "Secrets to Dewy Skin". For me, I would say these products hit the nail on the head for "dewy" skin. My skin felt great, looked fresh and bright. It still feels great, in fact. Although thanks to some foundation I used my skin currently looks like it's under attack. :(  Thankfully it's under control now but I'm a picker and will be dealing with these things for a few more weeks. But anyways, lets jump into these products and what they are all about.

   First items I received and played with were the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser and the Charcoal Konjac sponge. At first I was a little intimidated by this. Yes it's just a sponge but it's rock hard and this face wash comes out in a black gel. I wasn't sure how my skin would react to both things. The sponge softens up dramatically when you soak it in water for a few minutes (which is what you are suppose to do). It's also gentile enough that you can use it around your eye area- that in itself should speak volumes. I noticed a difference in the texture of my skin within 2 days of using this. I do not own a Clarisonic and if you don't either, I would say this is a semi-decent alternative. The cleanser is not harsh at all and in fact I really love using it every day. Depending on how my skin does after I run out (I still use and swear by First Aid Beauty face wash- holy grail for me) I may just purchase this. The cleanser (here) runs for $28 and the sponge (here) is $15. I really love the sponge and until I can get a Clarisonic I'll be buying this little guy for an extra scrub on my face.

   Next up is the Sephora Pearl mask. I have not used this mask yet, but I have used one of these types of masks in the past and I'm a big fan. I have to say, I've never used a lot of Sephora brand products but the more I do the more I'm really impressed with the quality. The pearl mask is intended to brighten and hydrate. Again, I'm not sure if it really does that, but once I try it out I'll let you know. A cool tip they tell you is to put the mask in the refrigerator for an hour prior to using it and it will help de-puff skin and it helps for redness-prone skin. I've done this with under eye masks and it feels amazing.  These masks are $6 a piece, but Sephora has a special for buy 4 get 1 free. Just use the code MASKLOVE at checkout. I will add this warning though, when wearing this mask you may pee your pants from laughing hysterical at how ridiculous you look and the looks on your kids faces' when you scare the crap out of them. The later may or may not have happened in my house. ;)

   The next product is the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidian day tint with SPF 15. To me, this is like a BB or CC cream. It's light weight, tinted, and helps even out skin tone. The difference for me between this cream and most BB or CC creams is that I didn't break out from it and I actually felt like it made my skin look natural, bright, and healthy. I didn't feel like I was wearing anything and it didn't look like I was wearing anything.  Now if like me, you have no idea what Ceramidian is I'll tell you what Sephora says: Ceramides are "molecules that exist naturally in our bodies and decrease as we age. When this happens, our skin tends to become dry and sensitive." So that makes sense as to why this cream helps make your skin feel softer, brighter, and evens out our skin tone. This product can not be replaced as a foundation, but for those days you don't want to do your makeup but also don't want to look like a zombie, this is it. This cream runs for $48, but I feel like its worth it. I plan to buy this. Not only has it made some of my mornings getting ready shorter but I think this will be a perfect staple for summer.

   Fourth on the list is the Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner. This lovely toner runs at $48 and I'm still on the fence about it. I do like it, in fact I probably only have about another day or two left of it. My hang up is I don't know how I feel about toners. You hear they are good to use but not necessary. I don't know that I've ever really seen a difference using them before. And with using this one, I can't say I've seen any drastic changes. But I like it. Ugh... So this toner is suppose to "refine the appearance of pores while moisturizing and protection from pollutants and other environmental damage." Maybe I'm not seeing a total difference because I'm using a cotton pad and rubbing at around my face (which is what the box says) instead of using my fingers and lightly pressing/patting with my fingertips (what Sephora says to do). I'll try Sephora's way the next couple of days and see how it goes. I'm not sure I'll be picking this one up, but if I get the opportunity to pick up a sample I just might to keep in my travel bag.  

   Second to last item is belif: The True Cream Aqua Bomb. Let me just start off by saying this stuff feels amazing on the skin and I'm so overly impressed with this. I'm not sure I've ever used anything like it. It's a gel like look and consistence but it feels like a cream when your rub it in. It's cooling and instantly hydrating without any greasy feeling left behind. It says to put it on right after you've washed your face or steped out of the shower so you skin doesn't have time to dry and tighten up. But if it does this will instantly re-hydrate. It also says that you can put this on over your makeup for a refreshing glow- I don't think I'll be doing that at any point, but if you try it out let me know. This little bottle of amazingness runs for $38 for 1.68 oz or $22 for 0.84 oz. A little goes a long way so I'm not sure when I'll be picking this up but I can tell you that I will be.

   And lastly is Atelier Cologne: Collection Azure- Mandarine Glaciale. So the scent is inspired by Calabria, Italy. It's a fresh citrus scent that balances cool notes with hints of ginger and heart of vetiver. It smells nice but it's not my thing.  The way this cologne is made, it can be worn by both mean and women. Also, not my thing. I prefer to wear perfumes that are distinctly meant for women. Just my thing, no judgement at all for any women who enjoy these kinds of perfumes/colognes. So my opinion on this is honestly based on my personal preferences for perfumes. I feel like you can never give a true review on a perfume or cologne. Everyone has such different tastes and you really have to smell it yourself and see how your body takes to that smell. This is a no go for me, but whos to say you wont love it.

   And so that is everything I received in my October Play! box. Again, I loved this box. I got to try out skin care products that I probably would have never touched had I not received this. Now I know of a few new products that I love and think will become a staple in my skin care routine.

 If you received this box let me know what your thoughts are on everything. Now it's on to making my list for the Sephora VIB sale. I can not wait for Friday!! I'll be posting everything I bought either this weekend or next week. Let me know what you're picking up and if you have any recommendations.

    Thanks for taking a timeout with me! I'll talk to you soon!!

  XO,
   Nikki

PS. My adult Caramel Apple Cider: Get a fancy glass, some ice, any Caramel flavored vodka and some apple cider and Bam! Enjoy!  :)




  








 

Happy Monday and Play! by Sephora

Monday, October 19, 2015

Well Hello Monday!
   Hope you had a great weekend! Ours was non-eventful, but I got some small things accomplished. Like the mound of laundry washed, folded, AND put away (watch for pigs flying out the window)!! Did some online Christmas shopping (SO proud of myself for starting so early). Old Navy was having amazing sales this weekend! I also got a vanity/desk from a friend so that went into my room last night. And the Hubby and I cleaned out his side of the garage so he can put his car in for the winter. The temps decided to drop below 30 last night so we decided it was time to get it cleaned out and get his car in. New England is getting cold fast and I'm not entirely sure that I love it. Today was super cold! 35 degrees on our walk to school!!! I would have drove but Hubby needed my truck and the only car seats we have for the girls went with him. So we bundled up and off we went! It was kind of refreshing, but still too cold for my liking this early on. It's suppose to be in the 60's for the rest of the week so hopefully no need for gloves like we wore this morning. I just love fall and I don't want to see it go away before it even got here! Okay, I'll stop complaining about the New England weather now. Next year at this time, we most likely wont even be living in a place that gets colder than 60 in the winters. For the record, I'm very okay with that.

   I know this is late and not my conventional subscription box post, but I got this box almost a month ago and I really wanted to share it with you. It's the Play! by Sephora monthly subscription box. If you haven't heard about it, it's okay. It is brand new and they were only testing out to a few cities. Boston was one of them and since I live just outside of Boston I got an email back in August to sign up. Click here to read more about it and enter your email address if your are interested. They will let you know when it becomes available. It's $10 (+tax) a month and I'm thinking you will get about 6 items every month. I'll have a better idea in a couple of weeks when I get my October box.



    I really enjoyed this box and I also love that its from Sephora. I'm pretty positive these are all 100 point perks, possibly 250 point perks. I read a few comments about how people weren't happy about that, but it doesn't bother me. Honestly, what exactly did they expect for $10 from Sephora? I think this box could potentially be better than so many other subscription boxes. But I say that because what I got from September is really just about everything I've ever wanted from a beauty subscription service. Watch the video to see everything and to hear my opinions on it all.


                     

    Let me know if you also got the box and what you thought about it. Also let me know if you were able to sign up and don't live in the few cities they selected. I'm still kind of confused about that. 
  
    Well, my timeout is over and now I have to go adult. Ugh.... haha! I hope you have an amazing day! Stay warm and thanks for taking a timeout with me! I'll talk to you soon!

XO,
   Nikki
   

Crockpot Tuesday: Nicole's Corn Chowder

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

     Hello October!! I hope your October has started out great! It's been one heck of a week and a half here. So much going on between birthdays, weddings, traveling, and a mud race (yes, you read that right- it was SO much fun!!). It's nice to know that we aren't doing any traveling for almost the whole month of October but we are going to be having some visitors. And than its Halloween! I love Halloween! It's so much fun to dress up and I love getting the girls all dressed up. Lilly wants to be Bat Girl and I think Zoeis going to be a kitty cat. Still a little on the fence with that, but I have to make up my mind very soon.

   Well, it's that time of week: Crockpot Tuesday! And today I am making 'Nicole's Corn Chowder'. Although the name is very fitting and this is one of my favorite cold weather meals, I can not take any credit for it. I found it on Pinterest (of course), but all the credit must go to The Crockin' Girls.  Click here for the actual recipe. I don't stray much from the actual recipe, but instead of using canned corn I usually use frozen corn. Today is the first time I'm using canned corn in mine. Also, this is great for left over ham. I buy the center cut ham steak, but if you just made a ham this is a great options to use up some of those left overs.




Everything you need:

  • Potatoes - peeled and diced. I used 5 because mine were small. 
  • 1 Can cream corn
  • 1 Can whole kernel corn - drain the water out of the can
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Center Ham Steak - cut into cubes
  • 1 Cup diced onions - I used one whole yellow onion
  • 1/4 Cup butter
  • 2 Cups half and half 

What to do:

  • Add the potatoes and everything down to the onions into the crock pot. Cook on low for about 7 hours (this will actually cook for about 6 1/2 hours for me). 
  • 30 minutes before serving mash up the potatoes in the crockpot and add in the butter and half and half. Crank the temp up to high for 30 minutes.


   I'm making some Pillsbury croissants  rolls to go with this. Cornbread is another great option. You don't have to make bread with it, but I like to dip it into the corn chowder.

   And that's it. This meal is perfect for cold fall and winter nights. It's hearty and will hit the spot for a warm comforting dinner. The left overs are amazing too!

   I've actually never checked out The Crockin' Girls website before, but I think I'll need to be checking them out. Let me know if you try this out and what you think. Do you have your own version of Corn Chowder that's amazing? If so share it with me!

   Thanks so much for taking a timeout with me! I'll talk to you soon!

XO,
 Nikki
 
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