Friday, July 27, 2012

our anniversary getaway.

Last weekend we headed up to Chicago for the weekend for a much needed escape from reality.  We liked to use the excuse that it was our anniversary, which it was, but we needed to just get away for a couple days.

We had been wanting to do this for a while and I'm glad we finally got to do it. 

Chicago's about a 5 hour drive north of here and although I've lived in Illinois my whole life, I had never really been there.  People from the south really don't like to claim Chicago so it's like being in a whole other state when you're there.

It was a good time. 

We took a bus up there, which I was hoping to have taken the train but waited too long for tickets, so I stumbled across the megabus.  It was less than $80 for both of us round trip, plus it is a double decker bus and it was so neat!

We ate well, walked miles daily looking at all sites and stores, took a boat tour, watched fireworks, and just enjoyed being with each other away from here.

Weekend getaways are so nice, but damn can they be expensive!  Definitely worth it though and I'm already planning my next one (:


Friday, July 20, 2012

over there.

Today I'm over at Simply Stacia.

I'm writing about how a really crappy and ugly relationship made me into the happy, beautiful person I am today!

Hopefully it can inspire you in some way! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

our happy 4th year!

Sunday is our anniversary.  Four years to be exact.

I can't believe I have been with the man of my dreams for this long already.  It makes me really sad that time goes by so fast.  We have been through a lot and accomplished so much and I cannot wait to see what the rest of life brings.

Today we are off to celebrate the weekend in Chicago!

This was us on our wedding day in Jamaica.   

[Bit of advice to all destination brides, or really any for that matter: don't think just because there are going to be 20 people at your wedding taking pictures that you don't really need to hire a photographer.  biggest.freaking.mistake.  As picky as I am about picture quality, I still kick myself in the ass for skimping on that.  Needless to say, we have only these kind of pics.  They will have to do, I guess!] 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

my pretty, sparkly keys.

When we moved in, I can't tell you how many different keys we went through to get the right one to work.  It was so annoying.  They all got mixed up.  As I was thinking about something else, my sisters, parents, and us all have the same generic key.  [Well, I purchased a turquoise hibiscus one for myself, selfishly.] Which one goes to which house?  Again, very annoying.

This is nothing new with people jumping on the DIY bandwagon, but I decided that our new keys were going to be different so people knew whose place it went to. 

I introduce you to my pretty, sparkly keys.

Super easy to do.  Paint with whatever color nail polish you wish and when that dries, add a bit of sparkle polish.  I know my Dad isn't going to like carrying this one around, but when he sees it, it will just remind him of his little Diva.

An easy, quick DIY you can knock out in less than 20 min.

Monday, July 16, 2012

changes to le blog!

I had a pretty fun weekend.  I was in my hometown this weekend for my cousin's bachelorette party.   We went to a winery out in the country and it's the most relaxing, peaceful setting in the area.  I wasn't ready to come back and get back to reality!

In other news, the old blog has a new name!  What do you think of The Dream Tree?  I love the name for lots of reasons.  I may be doing a post on that in the near future, but in the meantime, bear with me as I update everything.  I'm definitely a creative person, but not quite so savvy when it comes to blog design.  So it may take a few weeks or so {cringe}

Also, the sexy Janna from Perception is Everything nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  She is one of my best blogging BFFs and I love her.  Thanks girl!

I hope you all have a great week.  We're going on like 3 weeks straight of 100+ degree weather.  I haven't seen heat like this in all my life in St. Louis.  It gets in triple digits a lot, but nothing like this!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{product spotlight} - HIP chrome eyeliner

I don't normally use any type of eyeliner that isn't liquid, unless I'm wanting it for my waterline or a different color, mainly because I am never satisfied.  Well, I think I've found something that is going to be a staple in my collection.  It's perfect for my waterline and I even liked it on my top lid.

HIP Chrome Eyeliner by L'Oreal in Black Shock

Pretty much the name says it all: high intensity pigments. 

I have been through the brands and it seems a lot of pencil liners don't last like I want them to or sometimes the color isn't as black as I would like.  This eyeliner provides a very bold color that glides on ever so smooth.  It's rather creamy and reminds me a bit of liquid and I think that's why I like it.

It lasts pretty much all day, doesn't really smudge, and is very easy to get off.  Depending on where you purchase and what kind of promos you get, the price is close to $8.

I barely had to touch my skin because it goes on so well. In fact, it goes on so well that I have to sharpen it each time I use it because it's so soft.  I will definitely be using this baby to the nub. 

I am so in love with this stuff that I have been swapping out my liquid for this.  It's definitely dramatic, yet subtle at the same time.  I am excited to check out the purple and gold liners next!

What brand of eyeliner do you like?

* these are merely my own opinions and is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

celebrate the day!

I'm not too sure what all we have planned for the day.  We are both off work, so that's super nice.

I would love to watch fireworks somewhere, but most of the towns around here have canceled their fireworks because of the drought.  We have been having 100+ degree days for the last week and haven't had rain in a couple months.  It's pretty sad!

Whatever you guys do, be safe and enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

{recipe} beef & noodles

Starting off the week with a most excellent recipe for you.  I make these a lot and they are so good that I could eat them once a week.  Try them out sometime this week and see for yourself.  In fact, I think I may make them this evening for us.

And, on the plus side, they're low-fat!

They're super easy to prepare, but make sure you set aside a bit of time for the beef to cook so it can get oh-so-tender.

Ingredients & Directions

1 pound stew meat [or a roast cut into small cubes]
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 gloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
1 tsp dried marjoram 
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz Amish egg noodles [or any egg noodles of your choosing, that's just what I prefer]

Coat the meat with flour.  In a large saucepan, brown half of the meat in hot oil.  Remove from saucepan and brown the remaining meat with the onion and garlic, adding more oil if necessary. Drain off fat and return all of meat to saucepan.

Stir in the broth, marjoram, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 1.5 hours, or until meat is tender.

Stir noodles into broth mixture.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cook, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes, or until noodles are tender and soak up most of the broth.  Sprinkle with parsley if you wish.