Friday, February 27, 2015

Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

Have I ever posted an actual recipe on this blog before?  I don't think I have.  Truth be told, I'm really not much of a cook, which I'm sure is a bit of a disappointment to my poor husband!  However, this chicken stir fry dish is one that always seems to turn out for me.  In fact, Joe recently told me that this is one of his favorite meals that I make!  It's really quite easy, too, which is probably why I can make it!


Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup snap peas
  • 1/4 cup green pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic

Directions

Season the chicken with pepper and garlic.


Cook chicken about halfway through, then add the vegetables.  Allow vegetables to cook until the pepper is nice and brightly colored and the onion is slightly transparent.


Add all other ingredients.


Allow to simmer until liquid ingredients have evaporated slightly.


Serve with rice.


If you try this recipe, please let me know!  I'd love to know what you think of it, and if you really want to make my day, please send me pictures of your results!  Also, I'd love to know what some of your favorite, easy recipes are.  As I mentioned before, I'm really not much of a cook, so any simple recipes you can give me would be much appreciated!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fresh Scent for Our Home

Candles seem to be a big thing in the beauty community, and I am no exception.  I love having a candle or two burning at any given time, especially since they leave my house smelling nice.  But, it seems to me that most members of the beauty community have a bunch of different candles, and end up trying just about everything out there!  Honestly, up until last December, I was right with them, but then I stocked up on one scent: Spiced Apple Toddy.  It was one of the only candles I had in the house, and I'd even gotten a bunch of the Wallflowers in the same scent to have in different parts of my house.  The result was amazing.  The entire house smelled the same and wonderful, so I decided to do the same thing for Spring.  In one of my recent vlogs, I mentioned that I was stuck between two scents from Bath & Body that I liked: Fresh and Happy.  Well, the secret is out!  I went with Fresh. :)


As we get closer and closer to Spring, I've become more and more obsessed with clean, florally scents that are just...well, fresh (You can see proof in my latest perfume obsession, Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana!).  It could easily be that I'm getting a little stir crazy, having to be cooped up in the house because it's -20F outside, and scents like this just feel light, and airy - kind of like you've been able to keep the windows open all day, even if the weather doesn't permit it.  In fact, this particular scent is described as, "a fragrance inspired by throwing open the windows on a perfect spring day with a blend of breezy air notes, blue water and a hint of citrus."


Much as I love the candle, I'm going to try and save it as long as possible, since I missed the recent 3-Wick Candles for $12.50 sale (darn!), but I did catch the 6 Wallflowers for $24, so I stocked up on them!  Then, just to make my house feel even more ready for spring, I decided to get a few new plugs for them as well.  My goal is to have two sets of Wallflower plugs: one for fall and winter (see here), and one for spring and summer (which I'm about to show you).


First, I picked up this really cool palm leaf that's kind of a green metallic color.  I think I'll probably end up putting this one in the master bedroom, because I want to.  I honestly have no other reason than that's where I want it.  I could give you an explanation about how it matches our bedspread so nicely (which it does), but that wouldn't be the truth.  I just want it there, so that's where it's going to go!  Unless, of course, you have other ideas, which I'd certainly be open to!


Then, there's this abstract sun with a huge jewel in the center.  I've been eyeing this for a while, and I'm so glad I finally got it!  This is going in the kitchen, because it matches our neutral scheme so well, and I think it's one that most of our guests will think is pretty too.  As much as I love this one, though, it will probably be the last to be put up, since the Spiced Apple Toddy Wallflower there is still going strong.  Oh, well.  We're in transition!


Finally, I'm probably most excited about this pineapple plug for a couple of reasons.  First, it's awesome.  Let's just go with that.  Second, I love the significance of pineapples being a sign of hospitality, and third, it's a nightlight!  Given these reasons, I've decided there's no where it could go apart from the bathroom.  We've only got one, so our guests have to use the same one we do, so it's a little hospitality sign, and who couldn't use a nightlight in the bathroom?  I know there are many nights where I could have avoided running into the door simply with a nightlight present.

So, there you go!  That's what our house is going to smell like all spring!  I absolutely adore doing scents this way, especially since our home is fairly small.  It's kind of weird if I try to get too many scents going at once.  Maybe when we move to a bigger house (can you tell what's been on my mind?), and things are a little more spread out I'll change my mind, but as for now, I think I'll stick to one scent a season!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 24, 2015: Shopping with Mom

I haven't put up a post like this in a while, so I need your help deciding if this is something I should continue.  You may have noticed that just to the right of this post, beneath the search bar and Instagram photos, I have a 'watch' section with two videos.  The top one is almost always my most recent beauty/fashion video while the bottom is my most recent vlog.  Granted, sometimes I get a bit behind, and they aren't always up to date, but what can I say?  I'm human.  Anyway, I thought that it might be kind of fun to give you lovely blog readers a little more information when I do vlog, since I definitely don't film every little thing I do.  So, if this is something you are interested in, let me know in the comment section!



Clearly, the bulk of yesterday was spent shopping.  My mom had a couple of things she wanted to look at or get, and I mostly just went along for the ride.  Our first stop was Menards, where we looked at some kitchen faucets, and though I personally think I look a bit unenthused about going there, I actually really love it.  It gets me thinking about what we might have in our house...when we get a house.  We also popped into Bath & Body Works, where I was debating between two new scents for our house: Fresh and Happy.  I did decide on one, but you'll have to keep watching this blog to find out which one I chose!  Then, we went into JoAnn Fabrics, which is a little like a Michael's or Hobby Lobby to pick up some yarn and a knitting book I'd been eyeing, then finally headed to Target.


I always do the most damage at Target, and rather than telling you here and now what I purchased, I thought I'd be mean, and make you wait for a full haul video!  I'm hoping to do it pretty soon here, so you shouldn't have to wait too long.  Make sure you're subscribed to my beauty & fashion channel so you don't miss it!  I'll try to put a post up here, too, but I can't make any guarantees!  Once again, I wanted to quick ask for your help, and let me know if you like this kind of post, where you get to know more about what happened behind the scenes!

Erin Condren Life Planner

Well, I've caved.  I got the Erin Condren Life planner, like so many other bloggers out there.  To be fair, I've used planners since early high school, and though I hate to mention my age, my ten year high school reunion is coming up in just a couple years.  Sigh.  So, I've been using planners for quite some time, and couldn't imagine my life without one.  Up until now, I've only used the cheaper Target ones, which I love, but I thought I'd try something different, and this one has been talked about a lot!


To begin with, it is a gorgeous planner.  This particular one is the Gold Foil Edition in charcoal, and I love the outside of it!  I did have it personalized with my name, the way they suggest on the site.  When you're personalizing a planner through this site, you do have the option to mix up the capitalization, which is kind of fun, but since I'm boring, I left it as it was - and I love it.  I adore how they lined the two names up!  My one issue with the cover is that it's laminated, and when I'd seen it other places, I'd thought it was more of a hardcover, journal style.  It's not that big of a deal, but definitely not what I was expecting.


On the inside cover, they have a lovely place to put your information, like your address, phone number, etc., so that if you lose it, someone can return it to you.  It's probably the prettiest I've seen this page done, though it doesn't have a place to put your emergency contact information like my previous planners did.  Granted, if something's happened to you, the people around you probably aren't going to reach for your planner first to find out who you are, so I suppose it's not really a necessary section. 


Finally, there's the planning part of the planner.  I'm not going to include a ton of pictures of this, since I'm sure you've seen this part before from other bloggers, and right now, mine's pretty boring.  Each month begins with a full layout of the month, then is followed by the weekly spread.  The weekly spread, which is pretty much all that I use, may take some getting used to.  My other planners were laid out horizontally, while this one is vertical, splitting the day up into morning, day, and night.  I really do think this layout will be really useful, but for right now, I'm still getting used to it!


As I said, mine's pretty boring right now.  A lot of bloggers will decorate their planners with washi tape, colored pens, stickers, and all manner of scrapbooking materials, and I made a little attempt with one of my weeks, but I'm not really incredibly fond of it, so I don't want to share it with you guys!  However, once I get the hang of it, I'll maybe do an update post on how it looks!  This is, of course, first and foremost for organizing my life, and I'd love any tips you guys have on how to do that!  I'd love to know if you have any suggestions on how to use this particular planner more effectively, or tips on how to keep your life more organized in general!  Let me know in the comment section!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Recycling Our Wedding Flowers

A couple weeks ago, I posted a picture of this wreath on Instagram, but if I'm being completely honest, the lighting was really not all that awesome, and I just don't think it did this wreath justice.  Or, I suppose it could be that I personally just really love it, and wanted to share it with you again!  As I'm sure you already know by the title of this post, this decor item is really special to me, because it uses some of the flowers from our wedding!


As I'm sure you've guessed, we used silk flowers for our wedding, that I actually did a post on a couple years ago (you can see it here).  We chose to do silk flowers for several reasons, such as: we could have them made up and ready in advance, we didn't have to worry about them falling apart, and we could reuse them later!  However, apart from using my personal bouquet as a decoration for my jewelry display, I didn't really have plans for any of the other flowers.  Until, that is, I came up with this wreath.


The main flowers, the roses, are actually boutonnieres from Joe and a couple of his groomsmen that I simply attached to this grapevine wreath with a hot glue gun.  It's hard to tell now, but each of the roses was attached to a little sprig of grey feathers, adding a bit of softness, and Joe's (pictured above) also had a tiny bit of eucalyptus attached to it, which I love.  The rest of the flowers actually came from my throw away bouquet, which we completely forgot about that day...oops.  I am a little disappointed about that one, because I had an awesome song picked out for it - You Can't Hurry Love by the Supremes.


As for the other side of this wreath, since I'm still kind of a newlywed, I've been essentially sticking the letter 'B' on pretty much everything, since my last name is now Breitweser. (try figuring out how to say that one!  Better yet, send me a video of you trying to say it!).  So, I grabbed a little wooden letter from a craft store in town, then painted it an off-white. While I was letting that dry, I hot glued some moss to the right edge of my wreath, and topped it of with the 'B'!  All that was left to do was hang it on our door!


The picture above is honestly just a better shot of the flowers I used from my throw away bouquet.  I absolutely love these flowers!  I think I'm going to have to get more of these at some point.  I would love to have some of them in a vase somewhere.  Maybe when we get a permanent home...


Okay, last picture, but I had to get a shot of our wreath holder!  I found this at Pier 1 around Christmas this past year, and it makes me so happy!  It's just a simple bronze deer head, but I think it looks so classy.  We can have it up all year 'round, and since the deer head is so close to the top of the door, it's always a surprise to people when they notice it!

So, there you go!  That's how we decided to recycle some of our silk flowers!  I hope that this has given you some ideas on what you can do with some old silk flowers - particularly ones that have sentimental value.  Also, even though we do have this outside, I did want to quick mention that I am keeping a pretty close eye on it, watching for weather damage.  I imagine at some point I'll have to bring it inside, but for right now, I love coming home to it!

Monday, February 16, 2015

London Fog Recipe

In my most recent Favorites video, I told you guys that I was going to share my London Fog recipe with you, and now, the wait is over!  I'm so excited to share this recipe with you, especially since this is my first non-cocktail recipe on this blog.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to do that, as I don't actually drink very much.  In fact, I have to make sure my cocktails taste really good because between you and I, I don't like the taste of alcohol very much!  But, I digress.


If you've never heard of a London Fog before, you're actually in very good company.  Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't either, but after being introduced to them by my friend, Shannon, I quickly became obsessed.  Basically, it is a little like a chai tea latte (another of my favorites!), except rather than using chai tea, you instead use Earl Grey tea, and make it a little sweeter with sugar and typically vanilla.  However, I got the bright idea to use almond extract instead, and it is absolutely amazing!  Now that I have your interest, let's get into the recipe itself!


Ingredients
  • Earl Grey Tea
  • 1 cup boiled water (you want it hot!)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
First, you'll want to make a cup of Earl Grey tea, adding the sugar and almond extract to this cup.  I like to use loose leaf essentially whenever I make tea, but a regular tea bag would still do the trick!





Then, you'll want to prepare the milk.  I've really been enjoying using the steaming function on our Breville espresso machine, since it gives the milk a nice froth, but if you don't have an espresso machine, fear not!  You can also do this on the stovetop by bringing the milk to a simmer.  It won't have the same froth, but it'll still taste the same.  Just make sure it doesn't come to a complete boil.


Finally, pour the milk into the cup of tea you've already prepared, and mix it together.  I'm really classy, and I just use your standard spoon to do this. :)


Then, that's it!  You have a lovely, easy latte that tastes amazing!  I've actually started having these essentially every morning, just because they're so simple to make, and are a little less harsh on the stomach than your typical cup of coffee!


I hope you guys try this recipe out, and if you do, please let me know via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!  I would love to see your recreations, and know your reactions to it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Essie's Cashmere Matte Collection

If you saw my recent Nail Polish Collection video, you may have noticed that I have way too many polishes.  In fact, up until recently, I'd started to lose my love of nail polish collecting, and hadn't purchased a new one in quite a while.  I'd even started to hope that my subscription boxes (which I have since cancelled since I have more than I need in general) would not contain a new polish.  But then, I found Essie's Wrap Me Up, and immediately fell in love with one of their new collections, their Cashmere Mattes.


I love matte nail polishes, and while I'm sure some of you may be wondering why on earth I'd be excited, when all you really have to do is get a matte top coat, rest assured that these are definitely more special than that.  While they definitely have a matte finish, these polishes also have reflective little pearls in them that give the finished look a slight shine, giving the nail an almost fuzzy sort of appearance.  They're absolutely gorgeous, and I had to share them with you!


Comfy in Cashmere
This lovely color is a beautiful dusty pink mixed with violet, combining into a gorgeous griege-like tone.  Definitely the kind of tone that I go for on a fairly regular basis (*cough* Tickle My France-y *cough*).  But, what makes this color a little more special is obviously the matte texture of this polish, and the face that it has some lovely blue shimmers in it, as well!


Wrap Me Up
As my introduction to this collection, I think I can safely say that this is still my favorite color from this collection.  It's a super light, nude pink that will easily take me into the spring and summer months, and while at first glance, it looks like your typical matte polish, it has a nice nude shimmer to it when it catches the light just right.  I love it!


All Eyes on Nudes
This gorgeous camel color reminds me of what I'd look for in the perfect, classic trench coat, which is good, because that's exactly how Essie describes it, as well.  It's a wonderful nude tan with the same colored shimmer, making it a bit less shiny than the other polishes in this collection, but that could be part of why this reminds me so much of a trench coat, as well!


Coat Couture
On Essie's site, they describe this color as a "deep purple shimmer over compelling greige", but I must disagree with this description.  It is definitely a purple-griege, but the shimmer is more of an emerald color than anything.  It's actually quite pretty, and if I were to choose a color from this collection that most looked like fabric, this is it.  It's like OPI's You Don't Know Jacques!, but better.


Spun in Luxe
As a quick confession, the second I tried my first polish from this collection, I knew I was going to have to do a blog post on it.  However, while I was in the store, I did have the passing thought that if I were to not get one of the polishes, it'd be this one.  I'm glad that I still went through with it!  While I think the classic, patent black looks too harsh against my skin, this matte black with a blue shimmer softens it up just enough where I feel I can wear it comfortably!

As you can see, all of these colors are absolutely gorgeous, which is why I had to pick up all that I could!  I didn't get to try out the color Just Stitched, which is a pearly pink, but I imagine that's just as lovely!  I'd love to know what you think of this collection, though!  Let me know in the comment section!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Jewelry Organization

Quite a while back, I was looking at Rachel Talbott's blog (love her!), and she had a post on Jewelry Organization & Storage.  I absolutely fell in love with her setup, particularly the Stackers jewelry box she'd gotten from the Container Store.  In fact, it was essentially about ten minutes later that I purchased the same jewelry box for myself, but I wanted to make sure that I really liked the setup before I actually told you guys about it.  As you are now seeing this post, you can rest assured that I love it!


I keep all my jewelry on a shelf in a wardrobe that I have in my bedroom, which gives me easy access to everything.  My jewelry is essentially solely kept in the Stackers box, unless it falls into the bangle category, in which case it rests on a bracelet display.  As this area would look a bit barren if it only contained these two pieces, I also set my Dolce perfume by the bracelets, and have my wedding bouquet tucked in the back for some extra color!


My bangles are quite honestly not worn very frequently, but I do still like to keep them organized, by having the silver colored ones on the left, and gold tones on the right.  Since a couple of my gold bangles also have little micro pearls, I decided to put my pearl bracelets on the right, as well.


Then, I have my Stackers box.  I can't even begin to describe to you how much I love this thing.  I've had other jewelry boxes in the past, but this one is so nice.  You can really customize them to your liking.  There are several colors and sizes, all to suit your own personal needs.  As for me, I got the Supersize Lidded Stacker and Supersize Deep Section Stacker, both in Mink.  


In the lidded section, there are two sections for rings and earrings, so I keep my studded earrings on the left hand side, organized mostly by size.


Then, I keep my rings on the right hand side, with my very favorites in the front row.  The rings in that row are sentimental to me, in that the purple one I purchased from a small boutique when I was in Budapest, Hungary, the center grey one was from Lutsen in northern Minnesota, and the pearl ring was one my mom gave me that she'd gotten on a trip to Florida back when she was in high school!


The rest of this section is comprised of small sections where I keep some of my more delicate necklaces, like this one that I wore on my wedding day.  It belonged to my great grandmother, who passed it on to me from her grandmother.  I absolutely love it, and can't wait to pass it on if I'm one day blessed with a daughter.


Finally, in the Deep Section, I keep my most worn bracelets, along with my favorite statement necklaces.  For the most part, I try to only put one jewelry item in each compartment, just because I like the way it looks!


So, that is how I store my jewelry!  I hope you guys have enjoyed this little peek into my jewelry collection and that this post has inspired you to organize your jewelry, as well!  Let me know how you keep organized in the comment section, or via social media!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

LifeWay Haul

Last week I went shopping with my mom, and we stopped at the Christian bookstore, LifeWay.  So, I thought that I would share some of the books that I picked up while we were there.  I know this post may not be for everyone, but I'm pretty excited about everything, and figured that there may still be some of you out there that would enjoy it!


First, I picked up this Bible study from Beth Moore called The Patriarchs.  I'm really close to finishing her study on David, and I've been loving it so much that I wanted to do another of her studies right away, and thought this one sounded interesting.  It studies other characters from the Old Testament, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Plus, it was highly recommended by my mom, who is also lending me the videos that go along with this study!


Then, I got a 365 day devotional called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I've been wanting to start a devotional with my husband for quite a while, and I've heard a lot of good things about this one from members of my church.  We've only done a few days so far, but I like that it gives you advice on how to live your life following Christ, provides you with goals for the day, then includes supporting Bible verses.  I'll definitely let you know what I think once we get into this a bit more!


Finally, I picked up the second and third books in the Grand Tour series from Lisa T. Bergren,  Grave Consequences and Glittering Promises.  I've already read the first in this series, Glamorous Illusions, and loved it, so since I had the opportunity, I knew I had to get the next couple!  I actually did a Shimmerature on Glamorous Illusions, which I'll include below if you'd like to watch it.  Like I said, I really loved it, so I can't wait to get going on the next couple, as well!


I hope you guys have enjoyed this little haul post, and make sure to let me know if you did so that I can keep doing them!  Like I said, I know not all of you are Christian, but as this is my blog, and I am, I hope you'll respect my decision to share these books with you!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana

In the two years or so that I've had this blog, I've maybe talked about perfumes once or twice.  I'm not sure what it is, but I just don't usually get too excited about new fragrances, and I frequently forget to use the ones that I do own.  However, when I was wondering around Sephora the other day, I ran into a perfume that really did get me quite excited: Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana.


This perfume has a very nice, light floral scent, that is so nice and clean without being too overpowering.  I know that I personally am not frequently interested in floral scents, but I think what's appealing about this scent over other floral perfumes is that it is so light.  It seems like others can be so heavy, and sometimes have a powdery scent to them, which turns me off immediately.  It is a bit more of a mature scent to me, though, in that I know I wouldn't have been wearing anything like it back when I was in high school or college, but it is still more of a daytime scent.


So, other than a floral scented perfume, I'm sure at this point you're wondering, 'So, what does this thing smell like???'  Well, as I've said before, I'm not very good at picking out notes by myself, so I popped over to Fragranatica.com to do a bit of research.  Its top notes are papaya flower and neroli, its middle notes are amaryllis, narcissus, and water lily, while its base notes are probably the reason I like this perfume over other floral scents as they are musk and cashmeran.


Obviously, when you're looking into the purchase of a perfume, the scent is going to be the most important part, which is why I wanted to spend the majority of this post talking about that.  However, I did also want to quick talk about the bottle, as well, since that is also an element that, much as I hate to admit it, makes an impact in my decision making.  I love the look of this bottle!  The base is so simple and elegant, with a gorgeous rose on top that although it seems to be made of plastic, it looks like it should be porcelain, and then the look is completed with a simple little bow around the neck.  Talk about sophistication!  I feel like such a princess when I use this!  

Now that I've gotten you all excited about this scent, I will leave you with this one downside: the bottle I have is 1oz, and it did cost about $70, which is a bit outrageous, even for a perfume.  But, like I said, I don't usually get excited about a scent, so I felt it was worth the splurge.  It is definitely a purchase you want to carefully consider first, though!