Shoe Help!

Hi all! I need your help. I am going to a formal event this weekend and I am under direct orders from the DH not to buy anything new to wear. I was a little bummed because initially, I was going to rent a dress from Rent the Runway, but I do have a closet full of dresses, so I guess I can’t be that upset.

2014-01-30 17.35.18I decided on this Kate Spade black, metallic one-strap dress, but now I need to figure out which shoes go with it. Below are three options. Let me know in the comments which ones you like best!

Black faux snakeskin Charles David platform peep toe pumps

Black faux snakeskin Charles David platform peep toe pumps

Black leather closed toe Marc Fisher pumps (ignore the pads)

Black leather closed toe Marc Fisher pumps (ignore the pads)

kate spade 'charm' slingback pump aka wedding shoes

kate spade ‘charm’ slingback pump aka wedding shoes

Posted in Fashion | Tagged | 5 Comments

Quinoa, chickpea, swiss chard, tomato saute

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Its been a while since I have gotten to share anything with you all. Its not for lack of things I want to share, but the holidays got me all out of wack, time wise, and I haven’t taken the time to get back to writing until now. I want to share a quick and easy  (and SUPER healthy) dinner with you all that my DH and I love! We probably eat it once a week.

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Here are your ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

5 cloves of garlic

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch swiss chard, kale, or spinach (or 1 bag of baby greens of some kind)

1 can chick peas

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup quinoa

2  cups water

2 eggs

To start, begin cooking your quinoa. I use a 2-1 ratio when cooking my rice/quinoa, etc, because I like it soft. For this recipe, I usually use water unless I have some extra stock in the fridge. Put 2 cups of liquid (water or stock) and 1 cup of quinoa in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, depending on what color/type of quinoa. I usually use tri-color from Trader Joes.

Next, in a wide bottom pan, add oil and begin to gentle heat the onions. Once they begin to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic. Once the tomatoes start to burst, add the greens. Stir the mixture. As the greens begin to wilt, add the drained and rinsed chick peas (or cooked from dry – the key here is they need to already be soft and cooked). Reduce heat and add the red pepper, salt and black pepper. We like our spicy, so if you or your family do not like spicy, you can cut back on the red pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook until greens are wilted and beans are warmed.

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In a skillet, fry two eggs to your preferred done-ness. I usually do over easy.

To plate*, I start with the quinoa on the bottom, the saute mixture next, and finish with an egg on top. I serve it with hot sauce, again because we like thing spicy, but you can leave that off. This whole meal takes me 20 minutes or less, is protein packed, and is quite in expensive. I have tried substituting the fresh tomatoes for canned, but didn’t like the texture. I have also cooked my own chick peas from dry to use, but it takes time, and I usually only make this meal on nights when I am short on time, so canned is the way to go for me. This is the FIRST vegetarian meal my husband has consented to me making, and actually asks for weekly. Its full of flavor, but even better, its CHOCKED FULL of healthy ingredients, no preservatives (unless you use canned beans or tomatoes) and takes as much time as most freezer food to prepare! Try it out on a Meatless Monday, or any night of the week, and let me know what you think!

*One trick I use with this dish, as I do with many others for portion control, is to use a smaller salad plate when I plate it, rather than a larger dinner plate. It keeps our portions at realistic dinner size, rather than super sized over-eating portions.

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Review: Mirabella Velvet Lip Pencil and Magic Marker Eye Liner

A couple of weeks ago I found out I won my first ever giveaway! It was from Mirabella and Blush, and it arrived today. I received the Mirabella Red Velvet Lip Pencil and Mirabella Magic Marker Eyeliner.

2013-11-06 10.10.37For the Velvet Lip Pencil, I had my choice of 6 colors. I have been looking for a good oxblood lip color, and that looked like a nice deep red. It is a true red with blue undertones, but looks AMAZING. It goes on completely soft and smooth and the color payoff is amazing! It doesn’t have any scent or tingle. It feels smooth and light, almost like there is nothing on my lips, but they feel super soft. I love the soft matte finish without being chalky. For reference, I purchased and received the LAQA & Co Fat Lip Pencil in Bossy Boots at the suggestion of Birchbox which I thought would be similar. See the color saturation difference between 1 swipe of each product:

2013-11-06 15.04.19Also, the LAQA & Co pencil has that methyl feeling that I am not digging. The color is great though, so I will totally swipe on 5 coats to make it dark enough for my tastes, although it does feel a little heavy then.

The last cool thing about the Mirabella product is that it didn’t come off on my coffee mug or water glass. It faded a little, but didn’t rub off, so it was not super noticeable that I needed to reapply like many lipsticks are. I really love this product and will probably purchase the Rose Velvet before the month is up.

2013-11-06 10.23.23Next, I received the Magic Marker Eyeliner. Another comparison – I have fallen in love with felt-tip eyeliner from Eyeko sold by Birchbox. I have it in 3 colors, but not black. They are fun , but not as dark as I would like, especially the brown. This is a very black kind of black and goes on smooth. It dries so you don’t have to worry about smudges. I love the sleek metallic packaging. I will probably reorder this when it is out.

Finally, I wanted to post the video that Birchbox sent me about the LAQA & Co lip pencil. I asked them for a suggestion on Facebook and they replied with this personalized YouTube video – pretty cool!

Want to win your own giveaway? Check out yesterday’s post about my Blush Beauty Box with a great giveaway from A Sea of Ink!

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Blush Mystery Beauty Box November 2013

It’s November already! The November 2013 Blush Box has arrived! I am super excited because they have advertised it as being valued at over $250! Keep reading until the bottom, because I also have a great giveaway for this month! Without further ado, here is it is!

What’s in the November 2013 Blush Mystery Beauty Box:

2013-11-05 17.02.431. Cargo’s High Pigment Pencil – Brown (full size – $16) – This is the product that was released in the preview video! I am excited, because I need a good dark brown pencil. I find black too harsh most of the time with my light coloring, but light brown pencils don’t usually give me the definition I like. The video below has a great tutorial on how to use the pencil for different looks!

2013-11-05 17.04.072. Pur-Lisse Pur-Protect SPF 30 Essential Daily Moisturizer (full size – $55) – This is another high dollar moisturizer with SPF from the Blush Box. This one is for normal to dry skin, so I will probably give it to my husband because he has much dryer skin than I do in the winter. I tend to be normal leaning oily, so I worry it might be a little too oily for me. Still, a great brand to try!

2013-11-05 17.03.493. Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Hydrafull Gloss – Sorbet (trial size – $7.71) – Now I am going to sound spoiled, but I am a little disappointed this is so small. I have received many amazing FULL SIZE lip glosses in past months, so this tiny one feels like a let down. The color is pretty, but looks summery to me. I am still hoping for some wonderful berry colored items this fall from my boxes.

2013-11-05 17.05.224. Nick Chavez Horsetail Root Lifting Spray (travel size, 2oz – $9) – I have fallen in love with the Nick Chavez Conditioner I received a few months ago and repurchased it twice already with the matching shampoo. I love big hair, so I am excited to try this product. The only thing I don’t love is it is the free gift with purchase for other Nick Chavez purchases this month from Hair Envy (the sister site).

2013-11-05 17.02.035. SmartFX SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer (Full size – $125 but on sale for $29.95) – So they are counting this as $125 product, but it is on sale for $29.95 right now. It says there are no side effects, so I think I will finally brave trying a lash extender. I like that it is full size because I feel like I will get a good idea of how it works before I have to purchase more. Plus, it says there are no side effects. The prescription formula says that it can cause eye darkening, and with hazel eyes, I have been scared they will darken. I will report back if this works.

2013-11-05 17.02.236. Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (trial size, 5mL – $5.10) – I am all about oils and serums right now. My favorite is Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I am sure I will try this to see how it measures up. This product says it is ideal for oily and combination skin, so it is perfect for my skin type. This may even work under my moisturizer during the day when I worry more about the appearance of my skin.

2013-11-05 17.03.067. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Maximum Volume Mascara – Black (Full Size – 19.50) – I am glad to see an Elizabeth Arden product in here. I do with it was an 8-hour cream (a must have for air travel) or lip moisturizer, but excited still. I have 4 different mascaras in rotation now, so I am sure I will add this in, too. We haven’t gotten a full size mascara from Blush, yet, so this is nice!

2013-11-05 17.04.182013-11-05 17.04.41Free Gifts with Purchase: NeoStrata Antioxident Defense Serum and Angel’s Magic NHEB-05 Lotion – I don’t count these towards the final price because they are small and included with any DermStore purchases, but the serum is about $5 and the lotion doesn’t have a size, but it is tiny – not nearly enough for one body application. I was hoping for more Dremu Oil because that was one of my favorite products from last month’s bag, but these are fine. Not sure about the Angel’s Magic lotion, because it looks like a baby product. The Defense Serum is small, but perfect for my travel bag.

Conclusion: So by my math, my bag totaled $237.31 if you count the SmartLash as full priced at $125. Maybe there are other bags with a higher value, but I feel a little sad I didn’t hit $250as advertized. Then, I snap back into reality – I only paid $24.95 for all this stuff, or 10% of its value. That is AMAZING!

Get Your Blush Mystery Beauty Box Here!

***Closed***Now, for the GIVEAWAY! My amazingly talented friend and colleague Colleen at A Sea of Ink has the cutest line of No-Shave November cards! She is giving away 1 beard card of your choice PLUS a $20 gift certificate for her Etsy story just in time for the holidays!

beard-contextIts easy to enter. Leave me a comment with which of these 4 cards is your favorite and who you would give it to. PLUS, get a bonus entry when you like A Sea Of Ink on Facebook and let me know in the comments. Good luck to all!

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013 at 11:59 EST.  Open to Us residents only. All entries will be verified. Winner will be selected by and be notified by email. Winner have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Prizes will ship within 7 business days. The products reviewed were purchased by me. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

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October Nail Trends

Here are a couple of my favorite fall manicures I have done recently:

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LVX Polish in Sanguine

Zoya Giovanna with triangles deborah lippmann Ray of Light

Zoya Giovanna with triangles deborah lippmann Ray of Light

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Lime with glitter ombre featuring When Monkeys Fly!

Beige with OPI When Monkeys Fly

Beige with OPI When Monkeys Fly

Off white base with OPI When Monkeys Fly

Off white base with OPI When Monkeys Fly

Most of these are very easy, because I really don’t like sloppy, free-hand nail art. I can hardly get my right hand polished, much less detailed.

In case you didn’t notice, I am obsessed with this Wizard of Oz OPI polish called When Monkeys Fly! It takes a few coats and is a huge pain to get off, but it is SOOO PRETTY! I always get a million compliments on it, and it camouflages little chips. I wasn’t loving the green Zoya polish by itself (for the record, this is my 4th green polish from subscription boxes this year!) from my October Ipsy box, but with the navy, I think it looks really polished and modern. I also received a beautiful LVX polish in Oxblood I am really loving. It looks red in the photo, but it is much deeper than that. An added bonus is that it is 5-free and made in the USA. What nails are you digging right now?!

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Blush Mystery Beauty Box October 2013

2013-10-07 12.00.20Guess what the UPS mail dropped off at my door today?! My October 2013 Blush Mystery Beauty Box! I am so excited that they decided to start mailing them in the first week of the month. This is the best subscription box, in my opinion, so I am psyched it came so early this month.

Without further ado, here is what’s in the October 2013 Blush Mystery Beauty Box:

2013-10-07 12.01.26Chella Highlighter Pencil – Ivory Lace (Full size, $18) – I received this in an Ipsy bag a few months ago, and honestly, it is the best sample I have received from Ipsy. I use it all over as a highlighter. My husband calls it my war paint because I use it under my bb cream to highlight areas. I also use it as an under eye highlighter, brow definer, and one of my favorite uses is to outline my lips when I use red. Here is an awesome video from Blush that shows some of the many uses of the highlighter pencil. I didn’t appreciate the versatility of this pencil until I saw the video, so thanks again Blush. Glad I got an extra because I was just thinking I need to order a new one so I am never without it! I love the creamy texture. It never pulls and doesn’t have any shimmer, which I love! If you don’t have one, you need this highlighter.

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Butter London Nail Polish – Kerfuffle (Full size – $15) – This product was the 2nd sneak peak video for the month. They promised 3, but I have already got by bag so I am not worried about any more. I love nail polish, and I love getting colors in my subscription box. Not enough to get a nail polish box, but I like trying the new “it” shades. This is a nice peachy pink color that will work with any skin tone. I am glad it is pretty conservative because I have a business meeting tomorrow, and it will work well. Formula is nice, as are all Butter London polishes, and goes on smoothly in 2 coats.2013-10-07 12.03.00

Mirabella Mineral Highlighting Powder – Latte Swirl (Full size – $38) – so this product intrigues me. Its a highlighting powder, but it looks tan. Not sure if it is a highlight blush or what, but I will try it. It claims to combine the benefits of liquid, cream, and baked highlighter into one. There are three color options – I got the bronze one. I will have to report back how it works.

2013-10-07 12.01.42Myface Cosmetics Lip Pop Gloss – Fair (Full size – $18) – This Italian made lip gloss comes in a plethora of colors, but Blush says you get 1 of 4. I received fair, a light pink iridescent color. It goes on smooth, but doesn’t seem to last very long or be very moisturizing. It is completely scentless, which is the first one I have received in a while. It will work well over almost any lipstick (I like more color than it deposits on its own).

2013-10-07 12.03.20Theraplex FT Exfoliating Emollient (Full size – $15) – Round 2 of the exfoliating foot creams. Not my favorite thing, but I will keep it none the less. This one uses salicylic acid rather than the alpha-hydroxy from last month.

2013-10-07 12.02.10Miracle Skin Transformer Face – Medium (Sample size – $4.80) – I received the Miracle Skin Transformer Body a few months back, and I am shocked how well it works on my legs. It gives me a touch of color and smooths everything out. It doesn’t sting after shaving and is perfect for a night out on the town. I have been contemplating a full size purchase for months. This is the facial version. I am not sure the color will match, but I am excited to see if it works as well at covering up imperfections as the body version.

2013-10-07 12.03.33Talika Lipocils Expert (Sample size – $11.40) – This is another lash enhancing formula. Honestly, these thing scare me, so I have never actually used one, although I think I have 3 or 4 by now. I like that this is a mascara wand style one, so maybe I will try it. It also says it can help curl lashes, and I certainly need that.

2013-10-07 12.04.05Karin Herzop Vitamin H Cream (Sample size – $3.64) – Honestly, I didn’t know Vitamin H was a thing. Its a pretty good sample size, so I will probably try it, but I am a little worried about cream breaking me out. The bottle says its Swiss made by the cosmetic oxygen world leader, whatever that is. My card said I should have received Vita-a-kombi 1, but even after reading their descriptions online, I can’t tell the difference. Its full of anti-oxidants, so I will give it a shot.

2013-10-07 14.27.46Samples with purchase: Dremu Oil Serum and Specific Beauty Night Treatment Complex. I am looking forward to trying the Dremu oil serum because I am on a huge oil kick right now. The other one  will probably toss because I am not much of a night cream girl, but they were extras, so no biggie.

Overall, I am very excited with 1/2 the bag, so for me that is a success. The total value is $123.84 without the gift with purchase samples. Blush advertised 4 full size products in every bag, and I got five full size products, so I count myself as lucky! One other note: the bag is now a cotton/canvas material, not the synthetic material it was in the past. To get your own Blush Mystery Beauty Bag, click here! For a $10 off coupon, leave me your email in the comments, and I will email you one!

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Colts Game

Now that we are land owning Hoosiers, we are trying to do more Indiana stuff. From farm to table food festivals to support local sports teams, we are taking in all that Indiana has to offer. We went to both pre-season Colts games this summer, and look forward to going to more games later in the season. Here are a few photos from those games:

Mom and me in the stands

Mom and me in the stands

Mom and Steve in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. It was a beautiful day so the roof was OPEN!

Mom and Steve in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. It was a beautiful day so the roof was OPEN!

Mike and me ready for game #2

Mike and me ready for game #2

At the Bud Light Tailgate Zone before the game

At the Bud Light Tailgate Zone before the game

In other news, they have new beer dispensers that I saw on Shark Tanks a couple of years ago. You sent a special beer cup down on a fill nozzle and it automatically fills the beer up to the top. The advantages are it fills faster and with no human error of over pouring, you save beer. It’s a win-win. Here are a few pictures of that:

Outside Bottom

Outside Bottom

Beers Filling

Beers Filling

Inside bottom

Inside bottom

After we popped one of the magnets out

After we popped one of the magnets out

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