11.25.2014

Business Casual Adventurer: Outfit of the Day Starring #KiplingHoliday #OOTD


Thank you to Kipling for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to get ready for the holidays with the #KiplingHoliday Tour


Kipling has to be one of my favorite brands this season. With a company wide love for living, imagining, and laughing, I pretty much fell in love with the brand the second I read those words. Then I started looking through the Kipling Holiday catalog and they invited me (and you and all of our friends and families) to the Kipling Holiday Tour event in Orlando featuring a Kipling Holiday Collection show wall, on-site monogramming, bespoke gift-wrapping, personalized sweets, photo booths, giveaways, and holiday DIY inspiration and I really just kind of melted... I love a brand that loves it's customers and obviously Kipling fits the bill! They're a company I can truly stand behind because they have such a positive outlook on life by encouraging everyone to live a joyful life and cherish little moments while their mission is to make bags that lighten and brighten our days.


I shopped the Kipling Holiday Catalog for hours trying to pick out my favorite bag and while I had a tough time deciding because I liked so many bags, I finally decided on the Kellyn Handbag in Dune Beige. When my purse arrived in the mail a few days ago, I was ecstatic to get my hands on it. I practically hugged my UPS man as I grabbed the package out of his hands, he is kind of like Santa around here after all. I tore into the package and stared at my purse. I love the gold details, the fabric is sturdy and earthy looking (exactly what I wanted), and the bag is HUGE on the inside but doesn't feel like a duffel bag while carrying it. It's perfect.


I decided to accessorize my Kipling bag with a $1 scarf from The Salvation Army and one of my Mialisia necklaces just to make it more me and soon I'll be sharing what's inside my bag but today I'm sharing one of my favorite outfits for Fall and some awesome news for my fellow purse hoarders and handbag lovers! Kipling has provided me with a discount code for my readers, if you use the code HOLIDAYS30 you'll receive $30 off your order of $150 - lucky you!


This outfit of the day is perfect for any activity, comfortable and business casual making me ready for an adventure or a day spent in the office while the Kellyn bag is so versatile and carries so much it's amazing. I stuffed my D-SLR, my planner, a jacket, and my collapsible tripod just to see if it would all fit.... and it does, I would say the Kellyn Handbag is a bit like Mary Poppins purse but so much cuter!


Now that I've shared my favorite handbag from the #KiplingHoliday Collection, I'd love to know what your favorite bag is? Head on over and flip through Kipling's Holiday Catalog and tell me which one you have your eyes on... I'm considering buying one to give away while I'm at the event so I'd love to hear which one you like the most! Also, be sure to let me know if I'll see your shining faces in Orlando at the awesome Kipling Holiday Tour event and RSVP here!



11.24.2014

Mrs. Smith's Very Berry Pie Cheesecake Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ThankfullySweet #CollectiveBias


Can you believe it's already Thanksgiving week? That means, if you are anything like me, you are pulling out the cookbooks, browsing pinterest, and running to Walmart for ingredients! I love Thanksgiving dishes with a twist and actually have decided to make this Thanksgiving a little untraditional so when I started thinking about dessert, I decided I wanted to get creative with two of my absolute favorites, Mrs. Smith's Very Berry Pie and cheesecake!
 

Then it happened, I invented the most delicious dessert ever: Berry Pie Cheesecake Bites! These little pieces of ridiculously tasty goodness are the perfect treat to serve after a big Turkey Day meal.


I made a few batches of my Berry Pie Cheesecake Bites, in different sizes - regular "cupcake" size for the dessert lovers in my life and a couple dozen of the mini size. I must say I love the minis, they are perfectly portioned for those of us watching our figures but still wanting to have a bite of desserts. Actually go ahead and have two, since they are made with Neufchatel and berries, they are better for you than most desserts - so go ahead and indulge!


If you are looking for a recipe that will wow your family and break the standard pumpkin pie trend, then give these little cuties a try!




Mrs. Smith's Berry Pie Cheesecake Bites Recipe
Ingredients:
Mrs. Smith's Very Berry Pie*
3 packages Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs


*I actually used two pies for this recipe, based on a mishap with my oven. You can easily make a couple dozen mini cheesecake bites with just one pie though!


You'll start this recipe by prepping your pie as instructed on the box (cut a few slices in the middle and set on the counter for ten minutes). Bake the pie until it's just slightly under baked, a slightly golden tone in some spots but not completely. Allow the pie to cool.

While the pie is cooling combine the Neufchatel cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix in one egg at a time until fully mixed.

Once the pie has cooled, flip it upside down on a plate and remove the bottom crust. I cut around the pie with a knife and then lifted it off in pieces, leave most of the pie filling on the plate and top crust and place the removed crust in a mixing bowl.


Use a mixer to bring the crust to a "crumbly" texture. Press this mixture into (mini) cupcake liners.


Pour the cheesecake mixture into the liners next. I'll admit I actually use a pitcher to pour into the mini cheesecake liners because it's so much easier.



Bake these little cheesecakes for around 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and let cool in fridge.

Once cheesecakes have cooled, place berry pie filling on top of each one. Top each cheesecake with  a cloud of cool whip and some additional pie crust (from the top crust, either crumbled or whole large pieces)!


Enjoy!



Good News: Would you like to serve the same deliciousness to your family? Score a $1 off Cool Whip & Mrs. Smith's Pie with this awesome coupon. Plus, if you need some more recipe inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!

11.21.2014

My Foodie Collection: Beyond The Traditional - The Ultimate Thanksgiving Spread

Have you ever used Foodie to collect recipes? It's a fun way to gather recipes and plan meals! This post was sponsored by Foodie, but as always all opinions are my own and I only share things I feel will benefit my readers.
I have so many things in my life to be thankful for everyday, so celebrating my gratitude with a holiday just seems fitting; we should have a monthly gratitude celebration or even weekly! Thanksgiving has to be one of the most amazing holidays: celebrating with food, family, friends, football, and other fun stuff.

I'm looking forward to celebrating this year and preparing The Ultimate Thanksgiving Spread Menu has been easy, I've been using Foodie to collect my recipes and I'm so excited to share the most delicious recipes ever with you today.

Check out Beyond The Traditional - The Ultimate Thanksgiving Spread
by Lauren Paints at Foodie.com
Check out my Foodie Collection above! I included recipes for soups, turkey, cocktails, desserts, stuffing, greens, potatoes, and more... a little bit of everything with a twist so you can have an un-traditional but still delicious Thanksgiving. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and let me know if you choose to make anything from The Ultimate Thanksgiving Spread!

Spinach, Cajun Sausage, & Sweet Potato Soup - The Perfect Fall Treat

This recipe has to be one of my favorites, ever. I know I say I love things all the time, and I really do love a lot of things, but I adore this soup. I adore it so much, in fact, it was served at my December wedding and when we go back home to Oklahoma I always ask my MIL to make it. This savory spinach, cajun sausage, and sweet potato soup is the perfect Fall Treat and full of amazing flavors that compliment each other amazingly. Not only is it tasty, it's super easy to make - so if you're looking for a delicious dinner this evening give this soup a try.

Spinach, Cajun Sausage, & Sweet Potato Soup



Ingredients:
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced ¼-inch
1 cup andouille sausage, chopped into small pieces
½ cup margarine
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup diced garlic
1 cup flour
2 ¼ quarts chicken stock
1 pint heavy whipping cream
½ cup sliced chives
½ cup chopped parsley
hot sauce, salt, and cracked black pepper to taste


Wash baby spinach leaves and chop. In a deep pan, melt margarine over medium-high heat.

Add andouille sausage, onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle in flour and, using a wire whisk, stir vegetable mixture to form a blonde roux (a thick creamy sauce).

Add chicken stock, one ladle at a time, whisking constantly until soup consistency is achieved.

Add sweet potatoes.

Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 30 minutes.

Add spinach and cook approximately 10 additional minutes.

Additional stock may be added to retain proper consistency. Add heavy whipping cream, chives and parsley. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce.



Enjoy!

11.20.2014

Nailed It: DIY Chip-Free Manicure - This Christmas #DazzlewithVB Cosmetics & Dazzle Dry!

“Disclaimer: I am a member of The Social Media Panel, LLC. who was given the opportunity to review this product. However, the brand or company has not influenced me in any way to provide any type of review other than my true and honest opinions. I am disclosing all information provided in this review according to the information provided in Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


http://ow.ly/EekDl

I've never been one to hide the fact that I like to pamper myself and if you've been reading recently you may have picked up on the fact I like pretty nails... but I live a busy life and unless I go to the salon I usually don't let them dry long enough to set and they always turn out looking wonky. Plus sometimes when I do decide to treat myself to a salon visit, they chip the next day and then I just feel like it's a lost cause. Finding a polish that matches my busy schedule has been a tough mission, but I can officially say mission accomplished.  I nailed the perfect at home mani, I'm so happy I could shout it from the rooftops! I love Dazzle Dry's Nail Kit from VB Cosmetics!


The Dazzle Dry Nail Kit is a life saver; I now have a polished and pretty mani that will last for four weeks without chipping. Plus, the polish dries rock hard in just five minutes leaving me with plenty of time to complete my to-do list! I compare my Dazzle Dry Nail System to getting an expensive gel manicure at the salon, except it doesn't involve a UV light and it also doesn't include toxins.

http://ow.ly/EekDl

They sent over the most adorable mini kit in a cheery shade of High Velocity Red and I cant wait to wow my family and friends with my adorable Christmas themed nails. I think I may even surprise a few of my closest girlies with a little something in their stocking this year - every girl needs The Dazzle Dry Nail System! I'm definitely adding this product to my holiday gift guide for all the fashionistas and divas in your life. This Christmas #DazzlewithVB!

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You may be wondering, what the mini kit includes? I received the Nail Prep (7.5ml), the Base Coat (5ml), the Top Coat (5ml) with the polish color of your choice(5ml). This kit is good for numerous mani's and at only $20, it's a steal compared to salon mani! Dazzle Dry has polishes in all kinds of colors and full size kits as well as glitter polishes and cracking polishes... a little bit of everything for all different styles!

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I decided to add a rhinestone to my mani on the center of each nail and I love how it turned out. All I did was use a little bit of clear coat to make a "glue" for the rhinestone and placed it on my nail in between the red polish and the top coat. I followed the directions sent with my kit to a tee and my mani turned out amazing.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Vb Cosmetics for sending over a kit and sponsoring this post, I'm absolutely in love with their kits and can't wait to treat my best friends with a perfect at home mani kit as well! 


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