6.30.2012

More June Sponsors


More June sponsors for you to meet!

My name is Alyssa and I blog over at Ten Feet Off Beale. I am a Jersey girl who moved to Memphis, Tennessee on a complete leap of fate. I couldn't be happier. Even though I live far from my family and everything I had ever known, I love everything about the South and know this is exactly where I'm meant to be. I blog about my adventures, daily life, and sometimes I even get deep. I love making new friends through this crazy world of blogging and would love to meet you, so come by and say hello!

Ahhh June, what a wonderful month. Even though I work a full time job, June is the first month that actually feels like summer. In this Southern heat and humidity, the best thing, and my favorite thing, to do on a June day is lounge by the pool with a group of friends. 

Meet Abby and her blog Every Day with Hazel Mae

Hi, I'm Abby and run a little blog called Every Day With Hazel Mae where you can read about my sweet life as a working mama to my girl, {you guessed it} Hazel Mae. 

  I started blogging in January of 2012 as a way to share all of my daily thoughts and inspirations with the world. I have a ton of creative energy and I am always looking for ways to express myself – whether it be through trying a new recipe, finger painting, playing dress up or decorating my house. I always have my hands busy with something. 

  I really love sharing little details of my life and things that I find fun and interesting. You'll read about my challenges as a working mama to an almost 3 year old, my interests in fashion and trends and you may notice that I love anything that's the color coral and drinking wine. I try to keep it real. 

   I love taking long walks with Hazel through all of the amazing gardens we have in Portland (that's where I live) in the early summer. June is when all of the Roses are in bloom. Fun Fact: Portland is known as the City of Roses and we have one of the oldest and largest Rose test gardens in the country. :::nerd::: June is probably my favorite month to live in Oregon because it's no longer raining but it's not too hot either! There are always lots of activities and farmer's markets to enjoy outside. 

   I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. And thanks a bunch to Meg for hosting a spot for me on Henning Love. I'm such a huge fan of her blog! 

Tomorrow is the start of a new month and a few July sponsors for you to meet. I have a few spots left so let me know if you would be instead in a swap for July or sponsoring.

6.29.2012

Friday faves

Did you enter my SkincareRx $20 giveaway?   You have until July11 to do so
Thank goodness it is Friday. This week has been really rough on me for some reason, really sinking low this weekend. The best cure I know? A weekend. How do I make it an even better cure? Going up to San Jose to visit my cousin. I'm up heading there later today and flying home on Sunday. If you don't know the closeness of the relationship that I have with my cousin I have mentioned it a few times on the blog. She is 1.5 years younger than me and growing up we were asked if we were fraternal twins A LOT because our mothers are identical twins and that created a very close bond. She was my maid of honor at my wedding (almost!) two years ago.
For a few Fridays now, I have been sharing 5 of my favorite things with you all and it is back, 5 Things Friday. These are some staples in my routine and others are recent addition.
5 things i love

1/2/3/4/5
1. John Frieda Root Booster, I was just made aware of this great styling product and I love it. The smell is like a beach mixed with coconuts, I feel very tropical when I spritz it into my roots each morning. Then I flip my head upside down to blow-dry to provide even more lift to my style. Definitely glad I picked up this product. 
2. The maxi skirt from Target, I was swooning over the black and white striped maxi but all the Targets around me have completely sold out of my size, XS, so I saw this blue beauty and am loving it. The flow of the skirt is really nice and the color is really eye-catching and for only $18 you can't beat the price.
3. I picked up this deodorant thanks to the $2.50 off coupon the company was dangling in front of me, yes they got me. I am really glad they got me because this deodorant easily became my number 1 choice for deodorant. I have never felt more dry, I feel protected and there is no noticeable scent. Definitely recommend to to everyone!
4. I can't even consider putting on eyeshadow unless I put this primer on my eyelids first. Before I used a primer, I would apply eyeshadow at 8am and by 10am the shadow was all up in my creases, so not attractive. I tried drug-store brand primers, L'Oreal for example but it still didn't keep my eyeshadow in place. Then I tried Urban Decay and I am stuck on it ever since just like my eyeshadow is stuck to the primer and doesn't budge. The best eyeshadow primer I have ever tried. I like the new tubing Urban Decay switched, and it makes getting the very last bit of primer out of the tube so much easier.
5. I am a natural look type of girl, so I tend to stick with bronzes and this palette collection by Maybelline is perfect for my every day eye make-up. This quad palette comes from Maybelline's Expertwear eyeshadow and it is called Sunlit Bronze 50Q. 
If you do try any of these products or have some Friday faves, I would love for you to share them with me!

6.28.2012

Trip Re-cap

Did you enter my SkincareRx $20 giveaway
Ok here it is the long awaited trip re-cap. 
The purpose of our trip was to see our grandparents who all live in the  East Coast.
To begin this trip, Sean started out in Charlotte, NC and visited with his family. I was suppose to go but the day before we were suppose to leave (which was Saturday), I got an email stating I had an in-person job interview Monday morning. This was the second round of interviews for this position and we prayed about it and decided it was important enough for me to stay behind and do the interview in-person even though the company gave me the option of doing the interview via video chat. 
So Sean went to Charlotte and I didn't leave until Tuesday. Our original plan was to drive up to Washington DC on Tuesday and stay there through Thursday. I flew directly into Washington DC on Tuesday, Sean picked me up and we headed to my friend's house who we were staying with. 
The purpose of going through Washington, DC instead of directly to our next destination, Sharon, PA was to allow me to see my Boss's Washington DC office which I have not yet seen in the 6 years that I have worked in his district office. If you aren't up to date on my work situation, my Boss has worked as a representative for CA for 32 years and decided he will not run for re-election this upcoming November. Thus leaving all of us having to find new employment by the end of the year. Another reason we went to DC was because Sean had never visited, Washington DC so I wanted him to experience the sights and sites and feel all the power that Washington, DC holds.
After a delicious dinner on Tuesday night after I arrived, we hit up the Dupont Circle area and then headed back to my friends place to sleep.
Wednesday morning was the big visiting day, the DC office, the Capitol including a tour on the House floor. The House of Representatives was in recess the week we visited which gave us the opportunity to visit the House floor. What a magnificent building the Capitol is, of course with all the history surrounding it.
After the Capitol tour, we walked the National Mall, checked out some of the Smithsonian museums, walked to the Washington Monument, saw the World War II monument and then headed over to the White House. 
Just a few photos of our day in Washington DC for your viewing pleasure.









And if I haven't worn you enough with photos here are just a few more.





After a day of touring we were wiped out but not before another good friend of mine who I knew in college who lives in DC joined us for dinner. That is one thing I love about the experiences I have had and the many places I have lived, being able to see friends in different parts of the country.
The next morning, Thursday, before we headed out to Pennsylvania, we stopped by the Georgetown area and of course had to stop by Georgetown Cupcakes. Yes it was 9:45am and we stood in line for the place to open up at 10am, however, we did hold off and wait to eat the cupcakes until after lunch.


After these few photos, my camera unfortunately didn't take great photos the rest of the trip, major disappointment and I feel like I'm not a proper blogger for you all. 
So I will briefly re-cap the rest of the trip for you. We arrived in Sharon, PA to visit with Sean's other grandma and hung out with one of his uncles and his aunt that night. After lunch on Friday, we hit the road again going West to Toledo, OH where my grandma and one of my aunts live. We saw them for dinner and lunch on Saturday. After lunch we headed north to attend my youngest cousin's high school graduation in Troy, MI. After enjoying his party we crashed at my uncle's house that night and then headed out to Ann Arbor where my sister and her boyfriend lives. We enjoyed a short rain shower during lunch and then the rest of the day the sun was shining as bright as ever. After dinner, we headed back to Toledo Sunday night so we could see my grandma one more time on Monday before we flew out Monday afternoon.
Is anyone tired from reading all that?? I was tired before the trip just thinking of all the visiting and all the driving we had on our agenda.
Overall, it was a great trip seeing a lot of family.
p.s. 3 days after the interview, I got an email saying I didn't get the job, the search continues!

6.27.2012

SkincareRx Giveaway

Lately, I have been on a serious take good care of my skin kick. Why, because it is the largest organ system you have and you need to take good care of it each and every day. I was recently contacted by SkincareRx (or Apothica) to be sponsored by them and to kick off the sponsorship, they are allowing me to host a $20 giveaway, which can be redeemed at SkincareRx, Apothica or SkinBotanica.
With summer being here, it is extra important that we keep our skin moisturized and SkinCareRx has some of the best lotions. 

My legs tend to end up looking like a desert and I would love to moisturize them with lotions like these:
via

Or this yummy sound moisturizer sour cherry.
via
It is so easy peasy.

How to enter:
(1) you must be a follower of henning love. 
(2) Go to SkincareRx or Apothica and leave a comment of your favorite product and provide a link to the product in the comment section. That is all you have to do to enter, follow and then comment what is your favorite product from either site and you must provide the link of the product. Sorry if no link then the entry doesn't count.

The giveaway will close on July 11. Don't forget to enter!

6.26.2012

Bachelorette Tuesday #7


Trip re-cap coming this week, seriously, thanks for being patient with me. 

As you know, I skipped two weeks of the bachelorette here on the blog. I watched them when I returned from my vacation so I am all caught up on the who left, who said what. I want to mention that when I was watching the show and there was a knock on the door in the episode, Kip and Kimbia would bark like crazy because my dogs thought someone was at our front door. I simply had to remind Kip and Kimbia that I had given my final rose to Sean Henning and then they settled down :-) Ok side story over,  back to the Bachelorette. Kalon, you are an idiot and Emily I'm sorry but it didn't need to take a couple weeks to find out his true colors, which are rotten and spoiled. And Ryan thank goodness you and your turquoise shoes were sent walking, I was getting sick of you. However, Emily giving both a rose to Wolfman and Dougman, hm... I needed to watch your episode tonight to find out why you wanted them to stick around for a bit longer.

Anyways so I am really happy to see them visiting Prague. I visited Prague in 2005 when I was studying abroad, my Italian roommate had a friend who was studying medicine there so we took a weekend trip up there. It was an absolutely beautiful city! The architecture, the history, just the sights and sounds it was just breath-taking. I hope to take Sean there one day. 

Just a bit of fashion first.  I am still swooning over the Frye boots Emily is wearing throughout the season, I love the sparkly jacket she wore on the group date and I like the beaded top she wore under the pink leather jacket. 

Let's chat about the episode. 
I love the grey leather jacket she was wearing in the opening season. My favorite outfit of the entire season even though I haven't seen the rest of the season is the outfit Emily wore on her date with Arie. I love the Frye boots, the beaded shorts and the white blazer, love it, this outfit just screams me. 
If I were Emily and I knew what she knew about Arie, I couldn't act natural on a date, I would talk about it right then right now. 
The infamous interview of Emily asked interviewed by the producer who dated Arie... ahh ABC's attempt to create some type of non-drama drama. After what was suppose to a jaw-dropping shocking interview, we move on back to Emily and Arie on their date and then back to Chris then back to the evening part of the date and clearly everything has smoothed over and as Emily said it was all a "mis-understanding." Does Emily know about Arie's small rap sheet? 
Why is ABC's little surprise always a fireworks show? And Arie I'm not loving you for her, just not, sorry all if you hope they end up together, I'm just not digging it. 
Now we get to witness why Emily kept around Wolfman because we have never really seen them interact a lot. Did you hear that Wolfman, kick it into high gear!
All in all their date was a bit boring and then he returns to the other man and Chris who is majorly disappointed he will be on yet another group date. Then my main man, Sean, runs off into the night shouting Emily, Emily in the hopes that she will hear him, throw open her window and say, "here I am Sean!"In my opinion, all of the men can go home right now and Sean can propose to her end of the season. 
Chris, shake off that negative attitude, it is dreary just like the weather during your date. Emily's pink coat should surely cheer you up! Maybe Doug leaving in the middle of the group date will cheer you up a bit since there is one less guy you will have to compete against for a one on one date except then you have to be on the awkward two on one date, which do you prefer? Chris, rather than talk about your disappointment why don't you kiss her and make you feel all better? Although I'm sorry your heart got crushed again that Sean got the rose and now you are just sounding really bitter rather than happy because you are on national TV. 
Jef with one "f" is really growing on me, he is super sweet and they seem to have a lot of fun together. Hm.. Jef or Sean, Sean or Jef? The only guy Emily is really quizzing about the home town date as though she will definitely be visiting their hometown is Jef. For such a slow going, Jef is really picking up the pace on this solo date, would we move in together, when would we have kids? 
The rose ceremony: No cocktail hour, this is Chris's worst nightmare and he is stressing big time, beads of sweat dripping down his forehead.
I love that blue dress she wore for the rose ceremony, what a gorgeous color it is on her. 
Of course no questions Jef gets a rose, Arie and then Chris. I guess the moral of the story is interrupt rose ceremonies and influence her decision as she is about to hand out the final rose. 
So why did Emily give a rose to Dougman and Wolfman last week if she eliminated both of them this week?
Ok now go, it is your take on last night's episode.

 

6.25.2012

Hostess with the Mostess part deux

This weekend, why are you over already? I thoroughly enjoy my two days of freedom. This weekend, Sean and I painted an office and a hallway inside our condo. Sean painted the downstairs by himself last summer and this summer it was the upstairs. Believe me, painting would never be on my weekend agenda but after painting with Sean yesterday, he sure makes painting fun! We are in the process of finding a new church so we went to a new one this weekend and then my running partner had her Masters graduation party yesterday. Now it is Monday already...
What did you all do this weekend?

Does anyone remember that three Mondays ago I started a new summer series titled Hostess with the Mostess? Then came vacation and two awesome guest posters to help me with the Mondays, I was gone but this series is back here now on a regular basis now. I am doing this series because I love summer, I love entertaining during the summer, I love to have summery drinks in hand while the bbq is cooking and then topping off the meal with a fresh fruit dessert always a la mode!
The first post was summery drinks. The next series in this post is appetizers. After your guests walk into a party, grab a drink, frequently appetizers are next up on the agenda. The appetizers can vary from chip and dip to little bites. 
I think it is important that appetizers aren't too hard to handle, with a drink already in your guest's hand, you have to think quick, easy and simple. A guest could quickly pop an appetizer into their mouth and walk away. Having to deal with a plate, scoop some dip onto the plate and then grab some chips still with the drink in your other hand, I am not a fan of this juggling. So make the appetizers easy for your guests.
Pick appetizers like these.
Source: vippins.com via Steph on Pinterest
The veggies and the dip are together and it is very portable.

Another easy appetizer

These are simple and will hold together well with the toothpick.

Make appetizers that are one or two bites like bruschetta

Or crab cakes.


I would recommend if you do want to have some chips and dip, put it in individual cups and ready for your guests just to pick up

When thinking about appetizers at your party, think about convenience for your guests. It is a pain to scoop dip onto a plate, to handle a fork and maybe knife as well as a plate and if you already have a drink in hand. Convenience is king and if everything is individually prepared or one or two bites, it will also make clean-up easier for you because you won't have as many utensils to wash later on.
Next week's Hostess with the Mostess will feature themes especially since we will be a few days away from 4th of July already!




6.22.2012

5 Things I'm Loving About Life

For this Friday,  a simple post. I am feeling a lack of creativity post-vacation. Next week, I will be back all fresh and more creative and a trip re-cap too!
Sometimes I think it is too easy to say I don't like this, I don't want that, I hate this when there are so many awesome things God has given me, I need to be a bit more optimistic. 
So not necessarily in any order of importance, the top 5 things I am loving about life lately.

 1. My husband. He is awesome, he makes me laugh and he lets me cry on his shoulder when I receive bad news, like a job I was hoping for that I didn't get.

2. Loving puppies who are so excited to see us after our vacation, their tails wag so much, their whole body wags too. They definitely gave plenty of puppies kisses as well.


3. Great friends who let me know that I was missed while away both here on blog-land and in real life too. Also great friends to see while on vacation that I knew back from high school and from college, both now living in Washington DC.

4. Celebrating with friends and family their accomplishments. Sean and I re-arranged our trip so we could attend my youngest cousin's high school graduation party and this  Sunday, we will be celebrating my running partner, Sarah, her graduation with her Masters degree.

5. Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. Went there, eat them, loved them. Can you open up a location next to me puh-lease? I must have one of your milk chocolate birthday cake and key lime cupcakes every single day.

georgetown cupcakes

6.21.2012

Stronger


This type of post is a first for my blog, a book review.
On my vacation, I brought a book that my mom gave me and had been sitting on my bookshelf for a little bit. The book I am referring to is Stronger Trading Brokenneness for Unbelieveable Strength by Jim Daly, the president of the organization, Focus on the Family.



This book was such an awesome read and very eye-opening that I had to share it with you all.
Let's admit it, life isn't always easy. There are ups and downs, high and lows. Sometimes those lows may be so low, you don't ever know how you will recover.  When you are in that low period, you just wan someone to scoop you up into their arms, tell you it will be ok and maybe take away some of that pain. That is this book, although it won't take away your pain, but it will show you someone who will scoop you up into their arms although not physically and let you know how much you are dearly loved.

Stronger is a book that I think is meant to challenge you. It is meant to make you think of how will you react when the low periods come your way.  Will you be beaten, bitter or broken?
Throughout the book, personal stories of the author or other individuals are mentioned with the details of their low periods and how they reacted. Did they let the circumstances define God or did they allow God to define the circumstances?

I am a person who likes to be in control, I know to know in what direction my life is going, however, I am never truly in control. I am thankful that I have a heavenly Father watching over everything little thing that happens.
This book left me wondering if something really bad happened to me, how will I react? Will I react in the way that I hope I will, leaning further and further on God to help me get through the situation?

Additionally, Stronger discusses past hurts, done against us or done towards someone that maybe you can't forgive yourself for. Stronger discusses who by leaning on God, you can overcome those hurts. You may never forget what happened but you can forgive with God's help.

Stronger made me think, it made me think about past hurts, it made me think about how weak am I really  if I faced tough and painful situations like loss of a family member or someone being diagnosed with cancer. Additionally this book highlights how in my weaknesses God's greatness shines through.
This book was timely as well because last week I received an email saying I didn't get a job I was really hoping I would get. However, I know God has a plan and His plan didn't include that job so I continue trusting Him to provide that plan, to look towards Him for everything and anything.

6.20.2012

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, I know you all deserve a trip re-cap post but I haven't quite finished it but wanted to add a bit of sweetness into your day with this post.
Nutella I have decided is one of nature's most perfect food, even though it isn't found in those jars in nature or picked off a plant, it is still nature's most perfect food. For years, I would spread it on toast only. Then I tried nutella rice krispies, you all saw that post and today you are blessed with nutella chocolate chip cookies. While we were away, a couple stayed at our house to watch our dogs and one of my friends took us to the airport, let us keep our car at her place and then she picked us up and as a small appreciation of gratitude, I had to make cookies. I'm sure you can tell what I made for them already, nutella chocolate chip cookies. Let me tell you, your nostrils will definitely recognize these as part hazelnut and part chocolate when the dough is mixing in your machine. Seriously, your nostrils will pick up the scents of hazelnut and of chocolate and then your mouth will start to water. You will start to drool and then you will wish that the cookies didn't take 10 minutes to bake, because you want to eat them right now.

First, gather together your ingredients. 

1 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened, 1/2 cup Nutella, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup chocolate chips. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In your mixing bowl, cream your butter first. 

Then add in the white and brown sugar into the butter and cream these three ingredients together. 

Add in the Nutella then at this part, (of course licking the spoon after scooping the Nutella into your measuring cup). Cream the Nutella into the butter and sugars for 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy and light. 






 Add in the egg and the vanilla extract after this. Scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl if necessary. 
Now add in the flour, the baking powder and baking soda and fully incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 


Finally, add in the chocolate chips and throw a few into your mouth if you can't resist.  


Scoop out about a tablespoon full of dough and drop it onto your cookie sheet, these cookies will spread so place them about 2 inches apart. Let the cookies bake for about 10 minutes and allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes after you take them out of the oven. This will allow the cookie to set a bit before you take them off of the cookie sheet. Then grab a tall glass of ice cold milk, and serve these cookies on a plate, eat and enjoy!