Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Wore: Dinner In The City

This weekend Mr. Diva and I went out to dinner with friends in downtown Portland.  I told you how much I LOVE my blue Trina Top from Kiyonna, so I seized the opportunity to wear it out again.  I wanted to do a more casual look this time and incorporate a blazer I had yet to wear.

It has been very chilly here (but thankfully wasn't raining this particular day/night).  The blazer was double-duty for me because it also kept me warm.  I love this outfit; it was comfortable and easy while still looking put together.  

Take a look!

Grey Blazer (this blazer no longer online) - Torrid 
Trina Top - Kiyonna
Straight Leg Jeans (couldn't find them online) - Lane Bryant
Black Booties - Torrid
Necklace (not online) - Avenue
Round bead bracelet (Similar to this one) - Bauble Bar
Black Rhinestone Bracelets (Clear Rhinestone version still online) - Torrid

And Mt. Hood looked gorgeous in the sunset:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I just wanted to say a quick hello to all the new visitors that have come to the blog lately.  I really appreciate your visits and hope that you enjoy my little blog.  It is still a work in progress.  But I love sharing things with you.

Please feel free to email me any time, as I love meeting new people!!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

What I Wore: Birthday Blue

Last Friday, I had the privilege of celebrating the birthday of a wonderful friend.  She had a party at her house with tons of great people.  We drank, talked, laughed, and ate cupcakes!

I had no idea what I was going to wear to the party, but I knew I wanted something more dressed-up and sassy.  As a new member of the Blogger Brigade, Kiyonna sent me the beautiful Trina Top in Sapphire Blue.  It is such a gorgeous color, I was immediately inspired.

I wanted to take these photos in a more engaging location other than my front door, but the rain would NOT let up.  It is tragically damp here in the Pacific Northwest.  I truly cannot wait for a bit of sun.  (As I type this, it is actually SNOWING.  What the frack?!)

I decided to rock the Trina top with black tights, a leopard print ponte knit skirt, and black booties.  I loved combining this color with the leopard pattern.  They really complemented each other well.

This top is fantastic!  It is made of a thick jersey-knit that drapes perfectly.  The V-neckline is wonderful and not too low-cut or open.  It accommodates a larger bust beautifully, but I felt it also worked amazingly well with my smaller bust.  Nothing gaps or hangs where it shouldn't.  It lays smoothly; I didn't need garment tape at all!

The sleeves are a fitted 3/4 length.  The material has a nice stretch to it, so if you have larger upper arms like me, don't be afraid of this fit.  It is so comfortable.  And can we talk about the color?  This jewel-toned hue is incredible in person.  It is such a fantastic, rich shade.  I love the length of this top too.  It is just long enough to cover up the things I want to cover up.  I also love how the fabric skims my mid-section and isn't clingy.

I definitely recommend this top and will probably get it for myself in the Emerald Green color as well.

Trina Top in Sapphire Blue - Kiyonna
Leopard Print Ponte Knit Skirt - Lane Bryant
Black Tights - Lane Bryant
Black Booties - Torrid
Necklace - Avenue

My photographer, Mr. Diva (sprinkled with rain), and I

And I just had to post a picture of these super yummy red velvet cupcakes!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Kiyonna Blogger Brigade and they provided me with the top in this post.  All opinions on the item are my own.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Birchbox Review: March 2012

Catching up with Birchbox posts...

If you don't know about Birchbox, it is a monthly subscription service.  For $10 a month, you get a box of 4 to 5 high-end skincare, makeup, and/or hair care products to sample.  Sometimes there are also "lifestyle samples", like an organic granola bar, tea, etc.  Some products are even full-size!

It is a really fun thing to get in the mail!  Plus, I am a product junkie and love being able to try all these different products.  Check out the website for more information!

The theme for the March 2012 box was Spring Training, as in shaping up your beauty routine.

Birchbox March 2012

A list of the products:

  1. Color Club Nail Lacquer in Age of Aquarius.  The color is a bright minty green.  Very on trend.  I don't own anything like this color, so I am happy I got it.  It seems a little streaky when first applied, but I had that same issue with my lil Zoya polish.  It usually straightens out.
  2. Harvey Prince Yogini.  Not for me.  There are very few perfumes I really like these days.  My favorite perfume that I wear currently has been my go-to scent for over 7 years now.  Yogini is a bit typical as far as perfumes go, with just a touch of a Lysol-type scent.
  3. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser.  This is a thin, liquidy cleanser that leaves my skin feeling soft and clean.  And it smells great!
  4. Lulu Organics Lavender and Clary Sage Hair Powder.  The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was that it has a strong fresh lavender scent, not a fake lavender scent.  The consistency is heavier, more like a ground cornmeal than powdery like baby powder.  It disappeared into my dark hair, leaving a light lavender scent.  Mr. Diva sniffed my hair and said it wasn't over-powering at all.
  5. Stila Smoky Eye Card.  Love Stila. Period.
  6. Tea Forte Skin-Smart Teas.  Haven't tried these yet, but I am looking forward to it.  There were 3 bags of tea - Cucumber Mint, Cherry Marzipan, and Honey Yuzu.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Shepherd's Pie

Better late than never.  Sorry, I didn't get this out before St. Patrick's Day.  I hope you all had a wonderful day and didn't get too hungover.  The hubby and I kept it low-key and ran errands, had dinner, and spent the rest of the evening at home with the furkids.

By Melissa d'Arabian

Garlicky Potato Topping:
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 10 whole garlic cloves, peeled (you could also roast them and leave them out of the water in the first step)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped, (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  •  1 (12-ounce) bottle light or dark beer
  •  1/2 cup beef broth
  •  1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1/2 cup grated Swiss or Cheddar
  •  2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Prepare potato topping:
In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and garlic and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large bowl.  Add the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the broth, butter, salt and pepper, and beat on low speed with a hand mixer until the potatoes are light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.  If the mixture is too dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup broth.  Do not overmix.  Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round baking dish with nonstick spray.

Prepare filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and almost crisp, about 7 to 8 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate; set aside.

Add the oil to the drippings in the skillet and put over medium heat.  Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle in the sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat, until the beef begins to brown, about 7 minutes.  Add the carrots, peas, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, until well blended, about 2 minutes.  Add the beer, bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.  Add the cooked bacon, the broth, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Spread the potato topping evenly over the beef mixture.  Bake until the filling is hot, the topping is lightly browned and the edges are bubbly, about 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese.  Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.  Let rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton

Hello dahlings!

As St. Patrick's Day approaches, I wanted to share some Irish-related recipes that I have had on the backburner.  First up is the Guinness and Onion Soup.  SO GOOD!  The Guinness adds a really great flavor without making the soup taste like beer.  I use a little bit more thyme because I love it so much.
I toasted some Texas toast in the oven before adding it to the soup.  Please enjoy!

by Michael Chiarello


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  5 cloves minced garlic
  •  8 cups thinly sliced onions
  •  Gray salt (I just used regular salt)
  •  1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  •  1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  •  1 1/2 cups dark beer (recommended: Guinness)
  •  6 cups beef stock
  •  6 slices country bread cut 1/2-inch thick, toasted
  •  1/2 pound Irish Cheddar, sliced thin

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown.

Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls. Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly. Serve piping hot.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What I Did This Weekend

My Saturday consisted of:
  • Going to Ikea to get Mr. Diva a new dresser.  I think every type of mannerless douche canoe went to Ikea on Saturday.  It was CRAZY.  We did find a nice dresser though.
  •  Eating lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.  We had a cheat day with some boneless wings.  Then we went to pet smart to get a specific kind of doggie treat that Target and Wal-Mart are no longer keeping in stock.
  • Venturing to Avenue to check out the 40% off sale.  I wanted some pink/purple jeans and then decided to try on various other styles of jeans too.  Ugh, that was a pain in the butt.  Skinny jeans look really horrible on me.  And the sizing was all off on everything.  I was very disappointed.
  • Hitting up Target and Wal-Mart for various things on "The List" - our revolving list of things we run out of during the week.
  • Stopping by Blockbuster to use our monthly coupons.  We rented The Incredible Mr. Limpet because Mr. Diva has never seen it.

I really had about enough of the rude people that were out and about on Saturday, so we stayed home on Sunday.  We managed to get the dresser put together and in its place.  I reorganized the linen closet with some containers I bought at Target.  Pretzel bites were made and DVR shows were watched.

All in all, a productive and fun weekend.  What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekly Top Ten

 Another installment of my Top Ten.  (I'm a bit behind in various posts, so some will be back dated.  If you are reading this in a feed, you will be getting back-dated posts this week.)

That is it for this week! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Top Ten

Another installment of my Top Ten posts from this past week:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Q & A Monday!

I am now participating in the Q & A Monday link-up with Shasta Anne and Pretty in Pink Megan.  I'm excited about this new weekly post, as it seems like a fun way for me to share more about who I am.  Feel free to join the link-up (let me know if you do so I can read your answers too!) or leave your own answers or comments below.

Happy Monday!!!

 1. If you were in a pageant and had to perform a talent, what would it be?

I'm sure there are probably some songs I could sing just fine.  Otherwise, I could maybe cook something or tie cherry stems in knots with my tongue or dazzle the judges with Boyband trivia.

2. What is your biggest beauty-related regret? (mall bangs, biker shorts, bronzer overload, etc)

I got a lot of perms when I was a kid.  Sometimes I got them when my hair was shorter in length, so I ended up with a little afro-like hairdo.  It didn't look good on me.  Also, GIANT bangs, like thick, half a bowl cut bangs.

3. Do you have a celebrity look-alike?

 I've been told I look like young Ally Sheedy, Monica Lewinksy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

4. What is your natural hair color?

Dark brown, almost black

5. Ever met a celebrity?

I have met quite a few celebrities.  I've been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in most cases.  I've met all the New Kids On The Block, Chris from NSYNC, Mark from BBMak, Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees, Fred Durst, Matthew Morrison, and Nelson (back when they were getting popular), among others.

Most recently, I've met Wil Wheaton at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle.  Yes, it is a fun convention of nerds!

6. Fave/least fave housewife from any of the Real Housewives shows on BRAVO?

 I actually don't watch any of those shows, but I saw Nene Leakes on last season's Celebrity Apprentice and thought she was hilarious.

7. Workout regimen?

 I definitely need to step up my exercise plan.  Lately, I have been alternating between my 20-minute Windsor Pilates DVD and Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred.

8. Dream gift?

A trip to Ireland maybe.  I've always wanted to go to there.

9. Are you a good/bad cook?

I'd like to think I am a great cook!  I have fun trying out new recipes and get lots of compliments on the dishes I make.  :-)

10. What is your favorite food?

There is a German restaurant here called Gustav's.  My favorite is probably Jagerschnitzel.  It has a sauteed mushroom sauce that is so tasty.  And of course, Swiss fondue is high on my list.

Diva In The Kitchen: Things I Made This Week

Just a short post about dishes I have made this week.  Most of them are recipes I have blogged already, so I am posting the Pinterest links:

Tasty, filling, and great on the go!

Very refreshing, but not overpowering.

This week, I used focaccia rolls for the bun and added tomato sliced and lettuce.

Since we are doing the pescatarian thing, I replaced the chicken with shrimp and added julienned purple, yellow, and red carrots.

Super yum.  I just added a dash of Chinese Five Spice.

This week, I used Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese and added jalapenos.

This was tasty, although still not what the Panera Mac and Cheese tastes like.  I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce and lots of black pepper.

Source: via Diva on Pinterest

I added a couple handfuls of slivered almonds this time around.

Did you try any new recipes?  If so, what were they?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What I Wore: Another Busy Weekend

It was another busy weekend of running errands, grocery shopping, and more this past weekend.  We did pepper all the running around with fun stuff though.  We went out for breakfast (I had a Hawaiian Scramble with pineapple, ham, and jalapenos.  It was vegetarian cheat day for us.)  I also had some time to run in to Michaels for crafting supplies and Pier 1 to look around.  All the colors of the new spring time products make me smile.

It was a little cold and rainy, so I chose to wear my new hat.  It's been a while since I wore a hat with an ensemble, so I was pretty excited.  Overall, I really liked this outfit and felt cute and comfy in it.  

Jeans - Avenue
Purple lace bottom tank - Torrid (Similar to this one)
Grey knit top - Avenue (Fall 2009)
Hat - Lane Bryant (Fall 2010)
Necklace - Avenue (Early 2010)
Shoes - New Balance

What are you doing this weekend?

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