Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

How do you plan to spend your Halloween night?

Only a few years ago, I was dressing up in sexy costumes and painting the bar scene red. Now I'm happy to spend it at home equipped with a large bowl of candy for the neighborhood kids, some takeout for dinner and a movie to end the night. 

We did some pumpkin carving/drilling this week. Sooo creative, I know, but it's honestly easier and much safer than tackling a knife. Either way, I usually let K man the project and this is what he came up with. I also have my witch costume and the candy ready to go for tonight!

If you are going to be out and about for Halloween this weekend, I have you covered with a free Uber ride (up to $30)!

If you're not familiar with Uber, it's a mobile app that connects you with a (taxi) driver. You can click on the code below to sign up and get a FREE first ride. (code expires Sunday, 11/2/14 at 11:59pm)

Favorite Recipe:
This delicious tortellini soup from Genuinely Lauren.

Favorite Purchases:
I mentioned last week that I won a $100 gift certificate from Well I made sure to spend it all in one sitting and scored some fun beauty items plus a few other things. I can't wait to try out the hot roller set since I can't seem to master the art of a curling iron or wand.

And some gifts for a friend's baby shower tomorrow.

Favorite Funnies:
True stories....

Have a safe Halloween weekend!

Joining Amanda and Lauren today for their weekly Friday linkups.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creative Halloween Party Recipes

Witch hat cookies via

Pumpkin cheese ball via

Gingerbread skeletons via

Thai-spiced deviled eggs via

Graveyard pudding cups via

Pumpkin dip holder with veggies via

Jack-o-lantern Mexican dip via

And of course no party is complete without a festive martini (or cocktail)!!

Pumpkin pie martini via

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Hair Products

I've tried almost all major hair product brands out there but I had never heard of or ran across the Frederic Fekkai hair care brand before Influenster sent me the above sample products to try out. 
The Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Starter Kit runs for about $15 at ULTA just so you know the retail value. 

My Thoughts
My hair was noticeably shiny and healthier-looking after I washed with Fekkai's brilliant glossing sample shampoo and conditioner. I have thick hair and was only able to get one wash out the sample size, however the glossing creme will last me a while, which I'm excited about!

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo:
 I really liked how well this shampoo lathered up and went a long way, which I need for my thick hair. It deep cleans very well and my hair looked great for several days after. I will purchase this shampoo once I'm done with the 5 or so bottles of various types of shampoo I already own.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner: 
The conditioner was slightly opposite as there wasn't quite enough in the sample packet for me to do a complete detangle and moisturize but I made it work. (My thick hair is a conditioner gulper.) The results were exaclty as advertised: it did improve shine and make my hair feel super silky smooth. I don't think there's anything particularly special about the smell but, other than that, I thought these were quality products.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Styling Creme: 
I liked the glossing creme the best out of the bundle and glad I have a big enough tube for several more washes/styles. I applied a small amount throughout my damp hair after washing and before blow drying to provide a layer of protection from the heat. It's infused with olive oil to help with texture and shine. Once again, it did live up to it's standards by decreasing frizz (which I have a lot of) and making my hair look healthy and shiny.

The Fekkai line of hair products gets a thumbs up in my opinion!

I received these haircare products complimentary from Influenster to test. The above review is my honest opinion and experience with these products.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sundried Tomatoes & Basil Sauce

1 package of butternut squash triangoli (from Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp basil spread
1 tbsp mined garlic

What To Do:
1. Boil ravioli for 3-4 minutes or according to directions on the packet. 

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter and then slowly mix in all ingredients. Parmesan cheese will help to thicken the sauce so you can add more or less depending on the thickness you want to achieve. Simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.

3. Drain ravioli and return to pot. Pour sauce over raviolis and mix gently.

4. Serve and enjoy! We served as a side with surf and turf for dinner and it was delicious!

Martinis & Bikinis
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend of Charity Events & Giving Back

I had a great weekend and thankfully got to catch up on some sleep and relaxation although our nights were booked solid. 

On Friday night we went out to a charity event for a 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. K used to work with Emma's mom, who has had to give up her career to care for this vibrant little girl. The fundraiser was at an indoor golfing place and tons of families with kids showed up to support her cause. 

There were lots of activities for the kids such as magicians and Disney characters along with indoor golf (of course) and several silent auctions.

I won a Pamper Package gift certificate from the silent auction which includes a wash, blow-dry, cut and style, manicure and pedicure, facial and makeup. Sounds like a full day of pampering for me which I'm excited to use! 

After the fundraiser, we went for a late dinner at Seasons 52 Grill which was SO good and a great atmosphere for date night. It was our first time trying out this restaurant and we were impressed with the service and food.

On Saturday night, we went to another charity event for the Special Olympics. We've been going to this event for the past 4 years and it's always a good time for a great cause. The night consisted of black jack, silent auctions, live music, food tasting from some of the best local restaurants, mingling and drinks.

After the charity event, we went to a new speakeasy lounge in town with some coworkers. Several martinis and laughs were enjoyed ;-)

 Such a fun weekend but so happy I also got to catch up on some sleep and get some stuff around the house.

Hope yours was fun and relaxing!

Joining Biana for Weekending and Leeann for Monday Morning Gossip. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites + Coconut Rum Giveaway

Just another week that crawled by... but when I look at the big picture, it's like how the hell is October almost over already?

On Monday night, K and I celebrated the anniversary of when we met 6 years ago. He cooked up some surf and turf and I experimented making ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes (recipe to come next week). This was probably the fanciest thing we've cooked, ever!

Pretty excited I won a $100 gift certificate for  Has anyone every shopped on this site? Looks like an online Walgreen's but with a much bigger selection. Can't wait to do some "free" shopping for makeup and toiletries this weekend.

I'm also currently hosting a giveaway for 1 bottle of Blue Char Bay Coconut Spiced rum. I made a tropical martini over the weekend which was delish.

The giveaway is only open to US residents who are 21 years old or older. 

Favorite Funnies: 

Happy Friday lovelies!

Joining Amanda and Lauren today for their weekly Friday linkups.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Favorite Brunch Spot in Chicago

I'm not a Chicago local so I'm sure there are tons of great brunch spots in and around the city. This restaurant just happens to be one of my favorite places we tried out on our recent trip to Chicago. We both left the restaurant saying "Wow, that was probably the best brunch we've ever had!"

Bridge House Tavern is located at 321 N Clark Street downtown along Chicago river.

K and I actually just stumbled upon this place while walking around on the Sunday morning and decided it looked like a cool spot to eat outdoors on the river. We took the elevator from the street entrance down to the lower level and found a front row spot by those red umbrellas. Our server was a really cool guy who informed us that bloody marys and mimosas were only $5 on the weekends. That's always music to my ears as I love nothing more than brunching on a patio with cheap/affordable drinks.

K had the corn beef hash with eggs and I had chicken and waffles. I've never been a huge lover of pancakes and waffles but something about theirs was like the Krispy Kreme of waffles. I almost licked the plate.

This was the entrance from the street.

You can't beat the riverside patio on a sunny day watching the boats and cruise tours go by. Of course, there is also indoor seating for the colder months.

I'm definitely missing this beautiful city and hope to go back one day to experience many more great restaurants like the Brick House Taven.

Chicago locals and regulars out there: what's your favorite brunch spot?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tropical Bikini Martini

Perfect name for my specialty martini and the good news it's delicious and super easy to concoct.

Serving size: 2 martinis

1 fluid oz raspberry vodka
1 fluid oz pineapple juice
1 tbsp grenadine syrup
1 cup crushed ice

Optional garnishes: 
 Pineapple chunks
Lemon/lime slices
Cocktail cherries

What To Do:
Mix all ingredients with ice in shaker and pour into martini glasses.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

  * This giveaway is only available for US residents who are 21 years of age or older *

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