November 30, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta


This chicken dish is amazing. It's quick, easy and re-heats BEAUTIFULLY. It's a total crowd pleaser and can be added to/changed too! I got it from my mom, who got it from a friend, who got it from who knows where. 

Ingredients:
4 oz. linguine pasta
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced (which you won't find in my food--not a fan.)
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Boil the pasta until al dente (usually 8-10mins).
2. Place chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat.
3. In a large skillet over medium, melt butter and add chicken. Saute until almost tender (7-8 mins)
4. Add peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Saute and stir for 3 mins. Reduce heat.
5. Add cream and spices. Heat through. Add linguine and heat through.
6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve!

*make sure you use a pretty large pan so you can fit the pasta in there near the end. 
**If you want a creamier sauce, just add a bit more heavy cream.
***I sliced the chicken breasts into little strips so they would be easy to eat. And also chopped the peppers into smaller pieces too. 

This dish has a kick, but isn't overly spicy at all! And it  is packed with flavor. Serve with a side of garlic bread and enjoy!

November 29, 2011

My Outfit

It was another warm day recently, and as much as I want to bundle and layer, I decided to stick with a lighter outfit.




I'm a sucker for 3/4 length sleeves. It's great if you work with your hands to keep your sleeves from getting wet (shampooing hair) or dirty (cooking). Most often I even roll my sleeves up if they are not 3/4 length!



Shirt: J.Crew Outlet
Jeans: Target Mossimo Premium Denim Flare (sooooooo comfy)
Shoes: Nine West Outlet Summer 2011

November 28, 2011

Birchbox Bridal Box Giveaway//closed

We all know my deep love for Birchbox. It's a monthly subscription (like a magazine subscription), that brings a box to your doorstep or mailbox once a month full of product samples! It's a great way to learn about new products! Plus, everything is travel sized, so you can throw it in your purse and keep it with you all day! I love that. 

Birchbox has a Limited Edition Bridal Box that I'm going to open up with you today. It's full of fancy products from top companies that are great for preparing for the Big Day.







These adorable little flowers can be pinned on flats, scarves, belts, purses, your wedding binder, or even on your maid of honor while you are wedding dress shopping. 

A pair of flats in case you had too many errands to run in your 3 inch heels. These fold up and can be thrown in your purse!

I love the Benefit highbeam pearly liquid. It's great for achieving a natural looking glow, without looking shiny. 
See the glow up by her cheekbones and temple? That can be recreated with Benefit's highbeam. Imagine how great that would look in photos on your wedding day.


As you can see, this Bridal Box would be an absolute delight to receive for yourself, or to give a as a gift. And Christmas can be the time of year when men pop the question, so you or your friends may be in need of this Box soon! 

Birchbox is giving away a Limited Edition Bridal Box to a lucky reader! And it doesn't matter if you are engaged, married or single--anyone would enjoy the goodies in this box!


How To Enter The BIRCHBOX Bridal Box Giveaway:

1. Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment below (with your email address) telling me which is better, elope/destination wedding or traditional wedding?

2. For a second chance to win, Follow Birchbox on Twitter and leave a separate comment below (with your email address) telling me that you did.

3. For a third chance to win, "Like" Birchbox on Facebook and leave a separate comment (with your email address) below telling me that you did.

The giveaway will end 8:00a EST December 2, 2011. The winner will be chosen via Random.Org and notified via e-mail. Only valid for US residents.
______________________________________________________________

Congratulations to Deanna!

Deanna Said: I'm a follower of your blog and love all your tutorials. Traditional weddings are the way to go! Winning this would be perfect for my big day in July!

Enjoy your Bridal Box!
__________________________


Surprise!!!
2 More Winners:

Natalie Bell said...

Destination wedding all the way! I feel like it would be extra special that way. 


I would LOVE to win this gift set so I can give it to my best friend, who got engaged a few months ago and is planning her beach wedding as we speak! This would be a great pick-me-up for her.



Jenny said...
I am a follower of your blog :)
Having just been married myself this past May, I would say traditional wedding. We paid for and planned it all ourselves...and it was amazing. 
However, I am the MOH in a wedding in June at the beach. So, I def think there's pros to a destination wedding, too!


Congrats to Jenny and Natalie (and Deanna from the original win) on your Birchbox Bridal Box!



Thanks again to all who entered. :) 



How to use a Powder Texturizer

Powder Texturizers.

Basically, it's a dry powder that you tap into dry hair to create the feeling of texture to encourage lift and fullness. It is not the same as dry shampoo. It may absorb some oil and help your hair lift on day 2, but it won't be as effective as a dry shampoo would be. It feels a lot like finely ground up chalk. It is completely invisible and can work on any hair color. 

The finer, more limp the hair, the better. If you already have thick hair, or don't need extra help with lift or fullness, then this product isn't really for you. I have found that it's best on baby fine, or just fine/thin hair. 

A little goes a long long long way. So if you do try this product, always start conservatively, and add more as you feel you need it. This is also the kind of product that doesn't go away until you wash your hair. It won't disappear half way through the day--which is great if you love it, but not so great if you don't like the feeling of it.

A few of my favorite versions of this product are:




Osis Dust it, Lanza Powder Up, and Big Sexy Hair Powder Play

All of these are pretty much the same. I like Big Sexy Hair most for it's price and the fact that it comes out of the top easily. No clogging!

Here is how I use a powder texturizer:


*you may hear me say "powder up" in the video and that is the name for the Lanza powder texturizer. It's what I've been using at the salon lately, so it's on the brain! ;)


(shirt: Banana Republic Outlet, Fall 2011; jewelry: Elisabeth Ashlie currently unavailable) 




If you decide to try this product, keep your receipt! You may love it, you may hate it.

November 26, 2011

Truth Serum

Even though I haven't mentioned it in awhile, I'm still working on my 12 by 2012 list. Remember that?

But instead of cleaning out my closet, I decided to clean out my bathroom cabinet. 

My husband and I live in a rental. And I try a hard as I can to treat it as a "temporary living space". I want to buy shelving and organizational products to help maximize space, but I stop myself because I know everything will change when we move to a home that we own one day. So, in the meantime, I look for cheap options to de-clutter and make use of the space we have.

My go-to place for organization is Michaels. They are always putting their box aisle on sale for about 40% off. And if it isn't on sale this week, you can always find a 40% off coupon to use instead. I love them for that. So generous.

Anyway, I picked up a few boxes for 40% off in an effort to organize this disaster:

Yep. Every morning was a fight to try to find the curling iron I needed. . .the makeup I wanted to use. . .the hairspray. . .I could go on and on. . . 

So I purged about 2 garbage bags full of j-u-n-k. It felt so good.

Then I took out the items I never use, but still wanted to hang on to. Why do we do this?

I was left with my dailies + some extras. And those were easy to place in my new baskets!







That is my stash of aquage uplifting foam and kenra hairspray back there incase of a hair emergency. :)


One more check off the 12 by 2012 list!

November 25, 2011

Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Did you eat way too much also? I definitely did. I blame my mother--she's excellent in the kitchen. 

My sis, hubs and I stepped outside for a moment to snap some pics. 


Oftentimes people ask us if we are twins. Can you see it?


Justin and I couldn't figure out how to avoid the "creeper hand" (hand on a shoulder that looks disconnected from an arm) so we decided to feature them in this photo.


Then I decided to bite his ear.


He didn't like it.



 I did. Sorry honey.


November 24, 2011

Thifting Tips with Lauren from SimplyChicMom

Lauren is back again today with helpful Thrift Store shopping tips!



Hello, again! Glad to get to share some thrift store clothing shopping tips with you today.
Thrifting...oh so trendy right now.
But is it for you? I have to say that you have to try it to find out. For some people, it is not worth the effort, while for others, it is like digging for buried treasure!
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When you thrift shop, I want you to remember 3 things:
1) You are looking for outfit "pieces" (with the exception of dresses) and what I mean by that is that you may not find an entire outfit in one trip (I think I only have one time) but you may find a part of an outfit that you love!
2) You have to keep in mind what color or pattern you are looking for because many thrift stores are sorted by color and are often easier to browse as you look for patterns. For example, if I want a nautical-looking striped top, I can skim the tops of the blouse/shirt section to see if there are any.
3) Patience! You must have the patience to look closely and to try things on. I still often limit myself to an hour (just so I don't go insane) but I also take that time to try on my items. I can't tell you how often something I thought would work DID NOT and vice versa.
You will develop your own favorite sections based, of course, on your style statement (see yesterday's post).
My personal favorites are:
Jackets/Coats: These normally expensive items can be found for a fraction of the normal cost. I am specifically enjoying the blazer trend since they are easy to find at thrift stores.
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Tops: These are easy to browse by color or pattern and because of the variety of styles that are currently "in", I can even look at larger sizes of tops in order to get a more flowing look.
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Skirts: I actually have to limit myself from buying the amounts of skirts that I tend to find. Especially since the maxi skirt trend began!
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Don't be afraid to explore the other sections: pants (require more patience), shoes (hard for me as a germphobe :), sweaters (beware if you have dust allergies), belts, purses, jewelry, housewares, decor, books...and the list goes on!
I hope this helps you to give it a try!
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2011

Discovering your Style Statement with Lauren from SimplyChicMom

I'm so glad Lauren, from Simply Chic Mom, is here today sharing tips and suggestions for discovering our own personal style statements. She first shared this concept with me a few weeks ago, and it has really helped me narrow down what I look for when I shop!

Take it away Lauren!
Thanks to several inquiries, I wrote this post to help you develop your own personal style statement!

A style statement is a 2-3 word phrase that encapsulates what your style is or what you would hope it to be.  This statement helps you to shop according to your taste and allows you to narrow down options.  It can also aid in you finding style icons to be inspired by (who share similar tastes) which can allow you to piece together items that you already own to create new looks!
*My sister-in-law, fashion blogger, helped me develop mine!


For example, I tend to love feminine, floral, comfortable, textured, simple outfits.
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My style statement is Pretty Chic.
My style icon is Clemence Posey, a french actress who shares similar loves.  I often get outfit ideas from her.
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This style statement allows me to ask myself two questions when I go shopping:
a) Does this item fit in my Pretty Chic wardrobe?
b) Do I already own something too similar to this item?


So, now you try....choose some words that describe the clothing you are drawn to (on yourself or others) and develop a style statement!  If you need help, contact me!


Thrifting tips coming soon!


I don't know about you, but I am ready to shop! And Lauren helped me figure out my style statement, which is classic & solid (I know. . . not nearly as nice sounding as "pretty chic") and now I stick to it when I shop!

November 22, 2011

Modern Fabric Studio Giveaway//closed



Today's giveaway comes from Amanda from Modern Fabric Studio!





I have always been into crafting but I started sewing only a few years ago.  One day I came home from work..it was snowing and I knew I wouldn’t be going to work the next day.  I went and bought a sewing machine that night and locked myself up in my apartment and taught myself how to sew!  I have been LOVING it ever since!  I fell in love with the designer fabrics I sewed with and I have always wanted to own my own company…so that is how Modern Fabric Studio started!

My favorite designer is Anna Maria Horner…she was the first designer I started sewing with so I’m in love with all her fabrics!  I’m also loving Tina Givens new line (Lilliput Fields)…the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous!  And of course I love Amy Butler’s new line, Lark!






Amanda is giving away a $25.00 credit to her shop Modern Fabric Studio!

Here is how to enter:

1. Go to her shop and sign up for the newsletter. Comment here (with your e-mail address included) letting me know you did.

2. For a second chance to enter, "like" Modern Fabric Studio on Facebook and leave a comment here (with your e-mail address included) letting me know you did.

There will only be 1 winner, and that person will be chosen on Friday November 25th at 8:00a EST via Random.Org. The winner will be contacted via e-mail so don't forget to include it in your comment!)

Good luck!

November 21, 2011

Curling with a Flat Iron

This tutorial is not for everyone. BUT, I recommend giving it a try when you have time and patience. It may end up being a great way for you to curl your hair, or it may be a complete disaster. Don't say I didn't warn you. 
With my texture and length, I prefer a curling iron. The reason why is because you can count on a consistent size curl around the barrel of the iron. If you pull a section through the flat iron at different speeds, you may get either a tighter or looser curl. And my hair curls easily--so the curling iron is my tool of choice! And you may notice, curling iron curls are not very different than flat iron curls. A flat iron can create a great curl on certain textures and lengths, so try it, but if it doesn't work, stick with the curling iron.

I'm using a 1 inch Classic GHD flat iron. It's my favorite. It's smooth, heats up quickly, and much stronger than a Chi Flat Iron. If you have a Chi, and it works for you, great. If you are in the market for a flat iron, I recommend the GHD over the Chi. (neither of these companies know who I am, this is simply my opinion)


Refer to this post to see what's in my hair. 

Refer to this post to see how my bangs are styled.




*Spray your hair with hairspray before you curl each section if you need extra hold!

**I'm using the Classic 1 inch GHD Flat Iron



(man I'm pale. If there were more Twilight movies being made, they could definitely cast me.)




November 20, 2011

The Designers Downtown Market


Well the November 19th Designers Downtown Market is over. And it was a success! Here are the reasons why:
1. It started off cold but warmed up to a nice 60 degrees. The sun helped too.
2. Kelly, my sis-in-law, was there to help. She has been at every market and we couldn't have done it without her. We nicknamed her "the law" since she was always good at keeping an eye on everything. You never know if someone is going to snatch a pair of earrings as they walk by! Thankfully, that has never happened to us at any market. :)
3. My sis Lauren and I created our favorite "set up" to date. It fit both of us perfectly!
4. We got to meet some of our blog followers! THANK YOU for coming out to support us!

I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking:

We chalkboard painted this window! 

 Okay, my sister made this banner. Isn't it adorable? I love it. 



The starbucks coffee was not for sale, but it was necessary for a 7:30a set up!





Lauren purchased some cute laterns to hang in our tent! And there's Kelly!

I love her! 

This jewelry making journey has been so fun to do with her. We mesh our ideas together well, and really enjoy this little business we started.

Thanks again, whether you purchase online or came to see us at the market!