Thursday, January 31, 2013

Birchbox Review: January 2013

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!

This month's theme is: Best Year Ever.

Birchbox January 2013

Products Included:

1. Alessandro Cream Rich Hand Cream -  This felt creamy and moisturizing without being greasy.  Plus, it has a great, almost Sweet Tart-like scent, but not overpowering.  I would definitely buy this in the future.
2. Harvey Prince Ageless Perfume -This perfume offers notes of "pink grapefruit, pomegranate, and jasmine."  I enjoy its light, cheery citrusy scent.  It smells slightly sweet with a warmness that doesn't come from a musky note.  I like it. (And that is saying a lot because I HATE perfume samples.)
3. Kerastase Masque Chroma Riche Conditioner -With just one usage, I could tell the difference in my hair.  It gave my thirsty tresses such a big drink of moisture that helped my curls work better and my hair behave.  It was much needed.  This stuff definitely works.
4. LASHEM Double Trouble Lash Mascara -  I wore this for a whole day to test it out.  I normally wear a tubing mascara or MAC splashproof, because all other mascaras tend to give me racoons eyes by the end of the night.  This one seemed okay for a while, but left giant blackened marks under my eyes by the end of the day.  I do not appreciate makeup that migrates on my face.  No, thank you.
5. My Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer -This is actually a really great product.  It is kind of thick feeling in texture, but smooths over my face nicely.  It really made my skin feel moisturized and happy.  It kept my skin matte for quite a while, which is very hard to do.

Birchbox January 2013
Birchbox January 2013
Birchbox January 2013
The enclosed booklet had a list of "25 ways to make 2013 awesome" which talked about products, beauty tips, and other activities or goals you could set. 

Birchbox January 2013
A close-up: I happen to LOVE the Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream that I have previously received as a sample.  I would buy the full-size if it wasn't so expensive.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I Didn't Wear: IGIGI Ishiko Top

I'm starting a new feature on the blog called "What I Didn't Wear".  It will be more of a random feature as I end up trying things on that just don't work for me.  Blogging about my outfits usually involves things that I feel look good on me and that I feel great in.  It is really important to be a happy, sassy plus-size woman and show you how good clothes can make you feel.

But not everything fits or fits well.  I keep feeling compelled to share those things with you too.  Not every brand or style will work for your body.  Not every size is made the same across the board.  I've been trying a lot of new clothing brands and figuring out their cuts and sizing, especially since joining Gwynnie Bee.  Showing you how certain items fit my body type will hopefully help you get an idea of the sizing and brands as well.

I also want to be sure that my intentions are known.  I'm not starting this feature to be negative to my body or anyone else's.  I'm not doing this to put down any brand I may try on, nor am I doing it to be snarky.  I simply want to show you the flipside of all the fun outfit posts, by being up front about the things that don't work and why. I hope this new feature will be valuable to you.  Let me know your thoughts!

The first item I didn't wear is the Ishiko Top by IGIGI. 

Ishiko Top by IGIGI

This is the first item from IGIGI I have ever tried on.  I placed it in my Gwynnie Bee closet because I love the color and v-neck.  The fabric is a beautiful, bright raspberry color in a soft and stretchy jersey knit.  The bust and sleeves fit very well.  I loved the neckline because it was open without being too low.  The three-quarter, bell sleeves are very comfortable without being too big and annoying.  The top as a whole, is made very well.

The belt is a separate piece.  The patterned fabric part is large enough to go all the way around my mid-section.  On each end of the fabric belt are very, very long ties that you have to criss-cross in the front and back.  It was a bit tricky to figure out, but I ended up tucking all the ties underneath the fabric.

Ishiko Top by IGIGI

The main issue was the tummy area, obviously.  I wasn't wearing shapewear, but I think that even with my Spanx tank, I would have had some tummy issues with this.  The cut seemed to be more fitted under the belt and then flare out.  The photos don't really convey how pronounced the tummy cling was.  (For reference, I am 5'9", size 26.  This top is a 26/28 from IGIGI.)

So in conclusion, if you carry most of your weight in your tummy, this may not work for you.  As always, I recommend trying on clothes any chance you get.  Open yourself up to new brands, new styles, and new colors that you may not otherwise go for.  I'm still going to try more IGIGI items until I find a style that works for me. 

Have you tried IGIGI?  Do you have a favorite item from the brand?

Ishiko Top by IGIGI

Monday, January 28, 2013

Q & A Monday: Getting To Know Each Other

Hey, y'all!
I hope this week finds you well and happy.  For us, the weekend included running errands, a fun night of Bunco with friends and family, and a lazy Sunday of sleeping and playing Skyrim.  I do feel somewhat ready to take on the week of cleaning, blogging, and all the other mundane and fun things on my To Do List.

It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.

 Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite color? 
Pink is definitely my favorite.  More specifically, a bright fuchsia pink with sparkles. 

2. Share one or more of your talents.  
I’m great at New Kids On The Block trivia, tying a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue, and sometimes singing.  My friends usually rave about my cooking, creativity, and ability to take one-handed photos.

3. If you were spending the day getting to know someone new, where would you want to go?  
I’d probably choose a fun amusement park.

4. What is your favorite meal?  
Oh my gosh.  Look, I love food.  I don't think I have one all-encompassing favorite meal.   I love the yellow curry at our local Thai place.  I love the garlic salmon, mashed potatoes, and veggies we had at one of our fave restaurants the night we got engaged. (And pretty much every meal we have had at that restaurant since then.)  I love the fondue we make at the house on Valentine's Day.  I just can't choose one.

5.  Do you prefer to text or talk?  
I prefer to text on a daily basis, but nothing beats hearing someone's voice/laugh/tone and sharing the back and forth of a conversation.

6. Share something about yourself that might surprise someone that you’re getting to know.
I've lived in 8 states, 16 cities,  22 different addresses, and physically moved about 26 times.  I do not enjoy it, though I feel all of that greatly contributed to my personality and intelligence.

7. Do you color your hair? 
I do.  In fact, I've colored my hair since I was 14, right before my freshman year of high school.  I was inspired by Angela Chase on My So-Called Life.

8. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  
I have glasses that I need to wear when trying to see far away.

9. What is your favorite breakfast food?  
I have been trying not to eat much meat for over a year now.  There is a restaurant we don't get to very often, but they have this chicken fried steak benedict that is super tasty.  I love biscuits and gravy and hashbrowns and other such things.  But what I actually have for breakfast every day is Greek yogurt with granola and some kind of fruit.

10. Would your friends say that you’re sarcastic?  
Never. lol  I am definitely sarcastic.  It is one of the reasons my mother hates me so much.  But I really don't think I am as sarcastic as I used to be. 

11. Do you prefer salty or sweet?  
As I get older, salty is more my preference.  I find it easier to satisfy my sweet tooth these days.

12. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  
Height, face, eyes, hair, smile. 

13. What is the last movie you watched?  
I watched the remake of Footloose on Netflix one day while I was filling out calendars.  That was probably a couple weeks ago.

14.  Are you religious? 
No, I'm not religious.  I am more agnostic than athiest.

15. Are you a neat freak, a slob, or somewhere in between? 
I am probably somewhere in between.  I like things clean and organized, but I sometimes get lazy about over-all cleaning.  I'd much rather read, blog, spend time with Sean and the furkids, craft, or whatever else is on my list than vacuum or dust.  I still make time to do it, but I don't do it as often as I would like.

16. Share something from your bucket list that you hope to do someday.  
I want to visit Ireland.

17. Are you a risk taker, or do you prefer to play it safe?  
I play it safe.

18. Have you ever worn braces?  
Yes.  I had braces for 4 years, from 8th grade until my senior year of high school.  I even had the thing that went in my upper mouth area that had to be turned with a key to widen my jaw.  It was horrendous.

19. Would you rather spend an evening at a theater or at a club?  
A theater, unless the club was reserved for only my friends and I.

20. If you could have three wishes, what would one of them be?  
I'd wish for health in all aspects of life for myself and my friends and family...well, everyone in the world really because everyone's state of being affects everyone else around them.

Now give it a go.  Don’t forget to link up with Kenlie and also say hello in the comments.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I Wore: Buzzin' About The Bee

The Gwynnie Bee, that is!  I finally decided to start my free 30 Day trial of Gwynnie Bee earlier this month.  They have been getting a larger selection of clothing options in my size, so I was pretty excited to go ahead and try it.  So far, I've received 8 different pieces.  (I am doing the 3 at a time option and am trying to keep them revolving as much as possible.)  You can start your free 30 day trial right now too.  It is such a great opportunity to try various brands.  I absolutely love it!

Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee

My first item was the Sandy Striped Top by Kiyonna.  I have been eyeing this top on their website for quite some time, but wasn't sure how it would fit me in the boobage area.  Needless to say, I was glad Gwynnie Bee was offering it as an option.

Verdict: I love this top.  The purple color is very lovely.  The material is soft and stretchy.  I particularly love the ruching detail on the sleeves.  It allows you to change the length of the sleeve to your heart's desire.  I find that it looked pretty good at any length.  While the V-neck is  low-cut, it has more overlap than some other tops.  I still wore a tank underneath just in case but found I wasn't fidgeting with it all day.

Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee
Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee
Genius Fit Straight Leg Jeans - Lane Bryant
Pink Sequin Converse - Target
Initial Necklace Charms - Under Her Charm on Etsy

This top also comes in a black and white version.  I can't wait to try that one as well!  I also was able to wear my new necklace charms for the first time.  If your remember my Q&A Monday Christmas Wishlist, I talked about how much I wanted these.  The sweet husband listens because these were waiting for me under the tree Christmas morning.  They are the initials of my three wonderful furkids, with their birthdays on the charms.  Miss P passed away six days before the holiday, so it was a really thoughtful and emotional gift to me.

Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee
Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee
Sandy Striped Top in Purple by Kiyonna - From Gwynnie Bee

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NKOTB: The Package Tour

WOOOHOOOO!!!!  NKOTB Tour Dates were announced yesterday.  You've probably already heard about this, but I just had to post about it.  Opening for the New Kids are Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees.

I really wish there was more than one tour date close to me.  For the NKOTBSB tour, I was able to go to three shows.  It was so much fun.  As a hardcore fan of the NKOTB for a quarter of a century now, I was never allowed to see them in concert as a kid.  Ever since the reunion in 2008, I have tried to make up for it. :-)  This new summer tour date will be my 9th NKOTB show in less than five years.  I can't even begin to tell you how grateful, ecstatic, and blissfully happy this makes me.

To add more fun to the mix, NKOTB will be releasing the first single from their new album, "Remix (I Like The)", on January 28th.  (On Air with Ryan Seacrest will debut the song on Friday the 25th!!)
The new album "10" will be released on April 2nd.

Below is a teaser video for the tour, which starts May 31st in Uncasville, CT.  Tickets go on sale February 2nd with AMEX pre-sale beginning Friday (Jan. 25th) at 10 AM.  If you are a member of Block Nation, you don't need me to tell you that tickets go on sale Thursday the 24th at 10 AM.  Good luck to all of you going out for tix!!  I am keeping my fingers crossed for something fabulous!  (My friend and I had amazing seats for all three NKOTBSB shows.  We are spoiled.)

THE PACKAGE TOUR Dates (As of January 22, 2013):
May 31                 Uncasville, CT                     Mohegan Sun Arena
June 1                   Uniondale, NY                    Nassau Coliseum
June 2                   Boston, MA                        TD Garden
June 4                   Ottawa, ON                        Scotiabank Place
June 6                   Montreal, QC                      Bell Centre
June 7                   Toronto, ON                        Air Canada Centre
June 8                   Auburn Hills, MI                  The Palace of Auburn Hills
June 9                   Cleveland, OH                    Quicken Loans Arena
June 11                 Pittsburgh, PA                     Consol Energy Center
June 13                 East Rutherford, NJ             Izod Center
June 14                 Washington DC                   Verizon Center
June 15                 Philadelphia, PA                 Wells Fargo Center
June 18                 Nashville, TN                      Bridgestone Arena
June 19                 Charlotte, NC                     Time Warner Cable Arena
June 20                 Atlanta, GA                         Philips Arena
June 21                 Orlando, FL                        Amway Center
June 22                 Fort Lauderdale, FL             BB&T Center
June 25                 Cincinnati, OH                    US Bank Arena
June 27                 Houston, TX                       Toyota Center
June 28                 Dallas, TX                          American Airlines Center
June 29                 Oklahoma City, OK             Chesapeake Energy
June 30                 St. Louis, MO                     Scottrade Center
July 5                     Los Angeles, CA                STAPLES Center Arena
July 6                     Las Vegas, NV                   Mandalay Bay Events Center
July 7                     San Jose, CA                    HP Pavilion
July 9                     Tacoma, WA                     Tacoma Dome
July 12                   Rosemont, IL                     Allstate Arena
July 13                   Minneapolis, MN                Target Center

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adventures in Skinny Jeans

Today has been a great day!  NKOTB tour dates were announced.  I was told by the dentist that I have some wonderfully healthy teeth.  Then I went shopping to celebrate my clean and fabulous chompers!  (I find, even as an adult, the only way I can get through a trip to the dentist is to have the incentive of a reward.)

Usually, I end up at Sephora with a new product I've been waiting to try.  Today, however, I decided to go to Torrid and try on skinny jeans.  As I recently shared, I finally found tall boots that fit my super wide 21-inch calves. (Check Avenue, ladies!! I bought the Sidney Tall Lace Back Boot.)  I typically only wear boot cut jeans.  Even my straight leg jeans have a decent amount of room at the ankle.  I have yet to try on skinny jeans that look great on me.  In fact, most of the ones I have tried barely make it over my thighs.  No luck whatsoever, I tell ya!

Well, Torrid was pretty much the only place left for me to try on jeans.  Ever since they redid their whole denim collection (which was probably two years ago or so), I haven't tried on any of their denim!  In the market for skinny jeans to wear with my new awesome boots, I walked into Torrid on a mission.

I tried on quite a few pairs and wanted to share my thoughts and opinions with you.  This may help your shopping experience if you choose to go check them out for yourself.  For reference, I am 5'9" and typically wear a 26 in jeans.

- Skinny Sophia Jegging (Regular)

I tried on the Sophia Jegging in a 28.  They fit me perfectly, but the sales associate said that all of the jeans tend to stretch out a bit so I would be better off sizing down.  The 28s were just tight enough in the right spots and just loose enough in others.  The store didn't have any 26s in stock, so I am stalking the website.  The jeans were stretchy and so comfortable.  I seriously couldn't believe a freakin' JEGGING was working for me.

- Sophia Metallic Embroidered Back Pockets Skinny Jeans

I loved the sparkle butt on these.  The beading is really pretty in person.  However, these jeans couldn't make it all the way up my thighs.  Next! (I tried them on in a 26.)

- Polka Dot Ankle Zip Stiletto Jeans

OMG, these are so cute, right??  I saw them on the Torrid Facebook page a couple days ago.  When I saw them at the store, I snatched them up to try. (Again, tried a 26.)  These were awful.  I couldn't get the bottom of the jean over my calves, so the rest of the jeans couldn't come up to my waist.  I could only get them to the top of my legs.  And they were so "skinny" that they made me look like a Seuss character.  They were tight like the skinny jeans the emo teenagers at the mall wear.  NOT for me.

- The Black Ankle Zip Stiletto Jean

After the horrible fit of the polka dot stilettos, I didn't have much hope for these.  I was right.  Same size, same awful fit on me.  (I swear, I have seen girls look great in them.   Rebecca of The Plus Side of Me and Jessica Kane of Life and Style of Jessica Kane are just two that come to mind.)

- Raspberry Ankle Zip Stiletto Skinny Jeans

Tried these on in a 28 that was hanging out on the clearance rack.  They were so big and baggy on me that I looked sloppy in them.  I have no idea what that was about.

- Indigo Leopard Sophia Skinny Jeans

I tried these leopard print skinnies on last because I didn't think they would amount to anything on me.  But guess what?  They looked GREAT!  They were just a little bit tight over the tummy, but everything else was fabulous.  I may just have to buy them when I go back.

- Curvy Skinny Jean (Regular)

These Curvy Skinnies were in my top three choices.  I LOVE the dark wash.  They looked fantastic on.  My only issue was that they were a bit tight over my tummy.  I am confident that after some wear, these would stretch out to the right place.  While the material still had some good stretch to it, these were made of a thicker denim (with less stretch) than all of the other jeans.  I'll probably try them on again when I go to the mall to get my hair done in a couple weeks.  I just want to be sure....

- Rhinestone Leg Sophia Skinny Jeans

These rhinestone Sophia Skinnies were the first pair I tried on tonight.  They really made me feel great and rethink my hatred for skinny jeans.  While they are a slightly lighter wash than I would have liked, they were very comfortable and fit me well.  Plus, they have great amber-colored rhinestones on the back pockets and scattered down the front pocket area.  These aren't jeans they carry regularly like the Curvy Skinny above, so it made sense to me to buy them NOW!

So there you go.  I cannot wait to wear my new skinny jeans, new boots, and new peplum top from eShakti to my husband's work party this Friday.  I am going to be sassy and promise to take pictures for the blog!

All photos from

Friday, January 18, 2013

Barkbox - December 2012

Catching up on my Barkbox reviews.  Barkbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers some great treats, toys, hygiene products and more for your pampered pooch.  Read about my November 2012 Barkbox here. 

December's Barkbox included:

Barkbox - December 2012

- Bocce's Bakery Feast Treats - These treats are made with all natural chicken, pumpkin, cranberries, and cinnamon.  While they are hard treats, they are a bit airy and crumble a little which makes it easy for me to break it into small pieces for my senior citizen fur angels.  They really seem to love this treat too.
- Fresh Dog Oatmeal Shampoo - This shampoo is made with sweet almond oil and smells divine!  My Kiki gets dry skin often and this seems to be a soothing option for him.
- Simply Fido Organic Toy Moose - This moose toy is adorable, has a squeaker inside, and is made from organic cotton.  However, it is almost as big as Kiki!  My old kids just don't play with toys, so I gave it to my doggy niece, Miss Lilly.  She seems to love it!
- Puppy Cake Wheat-Free Cake Mix with Yogurt Frosting - I haven't made this yet because I need to buy a mini-muffin tin for chihuahua-sized pupcakes.  But I love the idea of these mixes for doggy cakes.  I received the Red Velvet Cake Mix and am excited to make the kids a yummy treat they will enjoy.  (They loved the banana pupcakes I made from scratch a few years ago.)

The Groupon deal was 3 months for $35 to new members.  A regular membership is $29 a month or less, depending on how many months you sign up for at a time.

If you decide to sign up, you can use my special invite code to receive $5 off.  (And I'll get a free month.) 

Barkbox - December 2012
Barkbox - December 2012
Barkbox - December 2012
Barkbox - December 2012

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Diva In The Kitchen: Quick and Easy Veggie Yakisoba in Peanut Sauce

Hey, y'all!

I am always on the lookout for quick and easy recipes I can make during the week.  I have been so busy lately (and yeah, okay....depressed) that I haven't been much of a cook.  In these times, I long for recipes that make leftovers I can use all week. (This recipes feeds 6 to 8 people.)

The following recipe is one I put together based on an Asian-inspired sauce I make for veggies and yakisoba noodles and this recipe for Thai peanut sauce.  I wanted to make my sauce a little bit different this time and decided on incorporating a peanut sauce into it.

I tried to write out the recipe so that it had an easy to follow flow.  Make sure you start the sauce around the same time you start sauteing the onions to ensure things get done around the same time.

Quick and Easy Veggie Yakisoba in Peanut Sauce
Quick and Easy Veggie Yakisoba in Peanut Sauce

- Olive oil
- 2 lb bag frozen Flav R Pac Caribbean Blend Veggies (Broccoli florets, yellow carrots, green beans, and red peppers)
- 1 lb frozen shrimp (the medium sized, cooked, deveined, and tail-off variety)
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped into medium-sized chunks
- 4 tbsp. minced garlic (we love garlic!)
- One 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk
- 3/4 cup Creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce (or some chili paste)
- Half an inch to an inch of fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs. Yakisoba noodles (I use Sun Luck pre-cooked noodles from a package I get at Costco, but you can cook yourself if you like.)
- Optional Garnish: Mandarin orange slices, chopped almonds, chopped peanuts, cilantro, green onions, shredded carrots

In a large pan on medium high heat, drizzle some olive oil and let it heat up.  Add the frozen veggies and frozen shrimp, put the top on the pan, and let the mixture thaw.  (About 15 minutes)  Drain mixture in a colander and return pan to the stove top.

Still on medium high heat, drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and let it heat up.  Add onion to the oil and stir.  After about 3 to 5 minutes, add garlic and stir well.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are just starting to get translucent. {Now get the sauce started. Directions below.}

When onions are ready to go, turn heat down and add the veggie and shrimp mixture back to the pan.  Season with fresh cracked pepper, turmeric, and smoked paprika.  Add the noodles to the pot and stir well.  Let the mixture heat back up, about 10 minutes, and add sauce. 

Sauce Directions
While onions are cooking, use a medium sauce pan on medium low heat to make peanut sauce.  Add coconut milk, peanut butter, sesame oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, Sriracha sauce or chili paste, grated ginger, soy sauce, and water to the saucepan. Whisk often and let sauce come to a gentle boil.  Let mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat.  Be careful not to let sauce burn on the bottom of the pan.  Add sauce to veggie/shrimp/noodle mixture and mix well.  Serve immediately.

Quick and Easy Veggie Yakisoba in Peanut Sauce

Quick and Easy Veggie Yakisoba in Peanut Sauce

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Introduction to "Sartorial Medley"

Within the blogosphere, specifically the lifestyle and fashion blogs, you’ll encounter a wide range of opinions on what is—or isn’t—attractive, fashionable, or even simply blogworthy.  Thus, even though both readers and bloggers span a wide range of body shapes and sizes, everyone, no matter who he or she is, should be able to find something relatable and enjoyable out there.

One of my favorite parts of reading other blogs is the common themes, often called “challenges”.  A small group of bloggers get together, and at regular intervals, they each host a commonly shared theme post—e.g. “Stripes”.  The neat thing about this type of blog post is that it offers us, the readers, an opportunity to see how the people in question interpret and incorporate the given theme into their outfits; it’s like a fashion-lover’s taster menu of personality.

With that in mind, and wanting to partake in the celebration of diversity, Aislynn of Couture For Curves and yours truly have decided to start our own monthly theme, the name of which will be—if you hadn’t already guessed by the title of this post—“Sartorial Medley”.

Each month on the 15th, we’re going to post a theme, and if you’d like to participate, just send one of us an e-mail by the 25th (mine is with a link to your blog and the specific post you’ve written for the challenge; we’ll e-mail you back as soon as we can.  And no, we’re not size discriminatory; if you’re interested in participating and we think your blog is a nice fit to the challenge—i.e., it’s a fashion-related blog/post—we’d be happy to have you join and link up when you’re able to.

This month's theme: Burgundy.

This dress from SWAK Designs has been sitting in my closet for a few months.  (I acknowledge it is more eggplant than burgundy, but it is the closest thing I have to burgundy. lol)  I bought it for a wonderful sale price, but had to acquire pieces that would mesh well with it.  I tend to own a lot of bright jewel-toned pieces that just didn't seem to go with this rich, dark color.  The dress itself fits well and is so comfortable to wear.  My only issue is that it is about two or three inches too long for me to wear flat shoes with it.  I'll need to get it hemmed.

 Sabrina Maxi Dress - SWAK Designs
Teal cardigan - Lane Bryant Outlet
 Mixed metal leaves necklace - In Pink
Brown wedge sandals (not pictured) - Payless

Sartorial Medley: Burgundy Theme

Aislynn of Couture For Curves Liz of Deliberate Whimsy Kelly from Loopier By The Minute

What I Wore: Colorblock Cardigan

As I reported previously, I am late to the colorblock bandwagon.  But I enjoy it very much.

I bought this cardigan back in September when I realized I had very few winter clothing options.  I also purchased the teal version of this cardigan as well.   They are roomy and comfortable, made of soft stretchy knit with ruching detail on the sleeves.  I probably could have sized down, but I get worried about shrinkage from washing. 

So far, I've paired the cardigans with jeans and a sequin tank.  If you've read the blog for any length of time, you probably know about my affinity to sequins, glitter, and sparkle in all forms.  I can't help it. lol

I'd really love to pair this cardigan with a casual dress and belt.  How else would you style this?

Colorblock cardigan, Genius Fit jeans, and Sequin tank - Lane Bryant
Sequin Converse - Target

Monday, January 14, 2013

Q & A Monday: Interesting Things

Hey, y'all!

This weekend was supposed to be mildly productive and include a date night, but we decided to get lots of rest instead.  My husband had a tough week at work and I haven't been sleeping well since before Miss P passed away.  So this weekend we slept a LOT.  We watched movies and DVRed shows, did laundry, put away the Christmas stuff, washed the dogs, did dishes, played Skyrim, and just generally had a productive and lazy weekend at the same time.

Date night was rescheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, so that is taken care of.  OH, and my order from Avenue came in.  I FINALLY found tall boots that fit my 21 inch calves!!!  I am so darn excited!! Plus, they are $75 boots that I purchased for $29. :-D

Picture from

It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.

Interesting Things

1. What is the last movie you saw in a theater?
I had to think about this one as it has been a while....I think the last movie we saw in the theater was Life of Pi.

2. How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I was 20.  I was a late bloomer...and honestly, I've long known the kind of person I've wanted to be with and refused to settle for anything less, even though my mom always told me I was going to have to lower my standards.

3. Share the coolest thing that you’ve done so far in 2013.

It has only been 14  Ummmmm, I signed up for Gwynnie Bee.  It's like Netflix for plus-size clothing.  Other than that, it's been pretty quiet lately.

4. What kind of cell phone do you use? Do you love it?
I had to look this one up.  It is an LG Optimus. My main requirements for a phone are that it has to be a smartphone and it has to have a physical slide-out keyboard.  I like it for those qualities, but the hard drive doesn't have much space and it refuses to put more things on the SD card.

5. How many times do you plan to workout this week?
3, maybe.  I need to ease back into it or I'll get burnt out and pissed off.

6. What is your favorite movie from the 80′s? 
I have a lot of favorites.  I could never just narrow it down to one.  Return of the Jedi, Dirty Dancing, Adventures in Babysitting, and Teen Witch are just some that come to mind. Back To The Future, 9 to 5, Dead Poets Society, Karate Kid, Coming To America, Sixteen Candles, Ghostbusters, Rain Man, ET, Breakfast Club, Big, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Empire Strikes Back (it came out in 1980)....

7. If you could choose one character from a TV show or a movie to fall head over heels for you, who would it be?
When I was a kid, I would have told you Luke Skywalker.  As an adult...gosh, I don't know.  Pacey from Dawson's Creek, Future Max from Roswell, Noel from Felicity, Josh Gates from Destination Truth (okay, he isn't a character, but I am totally crushing on him.)

8. If you could eat one food everyday for the rest of your life without gaining any weight as a result, what would you choose?
Maybe ice cream or pecan pie....or pasta with cream sauce. Yum!

9. What is your favorite flower?
Peonies are my favorite.  I love how big and fluffy they are. And they smell wonderful.

10. Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? 
No, I DVRed it and will be watching on it all week when I get moments of TV time.  

Now it’s your turn!!  Don’t forget to link up.  Happy Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

BarkBox - November 2012

Have you heard of Barkbox?  I hadn't until I saw a Groupon for it back in October.  I decided to get it as an early Christmas present to my furkids.  Barkbox is a subscription service where you get a box each month that contains four or five goodies for your dog - treats, toys, chewys, bones, shampoos, gadgets, hygiene products, food samples, and more.  They have all been natural and organic items that I've received thus far.

Getting started was pretty easy.  I entered my Groupon code and signed up for my 3 month membership.  I selected my dog size (they have small, medium, and large categories) and that was it.

My first Barkbox included:

Barkbox November 2012

 - Fruitables Pumpkin and Blueberry Dog Treats - These are 100% natural and organic treats.  They smell really great!  This hard treat variety was in my box and my senior kids prefer the soft treats, but they still eat these when I break them in smaller pieces.
- Bionic Bone - You can stuff treats in it or freeze it.  It says it is pretty indestructible.  I gave this to a friend who has a larger furkid who loves to chew and play.  My kids just don't play with toys and this one was particularly big and heavy for them.
- Barkworthies 6" Odor Free Beef Pizzle - This is a natural product made from 100% beef pizzle.  Yes, it is a dried bull penis.  It grosses me out. lol  Ew.  But my youngest LOVES to chew on it.  He keeps it on his favorite pillow so he can gnaw in between naps.  And it doesn't smell like a lot of the pig ears and such that my mom used to get for our dogs.
- Acadia Antlers Moose Rac Chew Toy - This is 100% natural antler chew rope toy.  My old kids don't really play with toys, so I can't vouch for its popularity.  It'd be great for tug of war games!
- Mr. Barksmiths Cool Treats All Natural Smoothies for dogs - This pumpkin treat is wheat, gluten, and dairy free.  It is low calorie/low fat and contains Omega 3 Chia.  It's basically a little pumpkin puree treat that is the consistency of a thin yogurt or pudding.  You can refrigerate it or freeze it.  My kids love pumpkin, so they enjoyed this.

This box also contained $10 off at, $10 off Dog TV, and $10 off dog sitting services from  I'll use the gift card, but don't think I'll use the others.

The Groupon deal was 3 months for $35 to new members.  A regular membership is $29 a month or less, depending on how many months you sign up for at a time.

If you decide to sign up, you can use my special invite code to receive $5 off.  (And I'll get a free month.)

Barkbox November 2012

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Diva In The Kitchen: Roasted Veggies with Cranberries

My first recipe post of 2013!  I've been doing recipe posts on Wednesdays, but I'm curious if y'all enjoy them weekly or would you be okay with them only a couple times a month?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

I've made this particular grouping of roasted vegetables many times.  I usually make some slight change each time to try different things.  This particular night I was very proud of my veggies and wanted to share with you.  The cranberries add a little bit of sweet and sour to the more savory veggies.

Roasted Vegetables with Cranberries
Roasted Veggies with Cranberries

- 3 carrots, cut length-wise and into short sections
- 2 parsnips, cut into wedges
- 2 zucchini, cut length-wise and into short sections
- About 15 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- About a cup of dried cranberries
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Allspice (about 2 to 3 teaspoons)
- honey or agave

Drizzle olive oil on a large sheet pan.  In a large bowl (or right on the pan), toss the veggies with olive oil.  Add the cranberries and sprinkle in allspice.   Toss together well.  Pour veggie mixture onto the pan in as close to a single layer as you can make it.  Add salt and pepper to taste and more allspice if you like.  Drizzle with honey or agave.  Bake at 475 for about 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

These are great on their own, as a side dish, or over rice.  It is such a fun recipe to play with.  I've also added red grapes, shallots, and fresh thyme to this mixture.  Have fun with it!

ShareThis post!!