Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: June 2015

June 30, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

I love eating salads in the summer. There's nothing like fresh ingredients and crisp vegetables while the sun is shining. I enjoy mixing things up and creating twists on an original recipe, which is how my Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad came about.

It's a kick of spice but served cold that is perfect for any summer gathering.

buffalo chicken pasta salad

You will need:

8 oz. cooked pasta- I used Farfalle
1 cup cooked diced chicken
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green onions

To make:

Cook the pasta according to directions on the box and drain.
In a large bowl add the ingredients starting with the pasta, then hot sauce and ranch.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, stir the pasta to taste.
You may want to add 1/4 cup more of both ranch and hot sauce.

easy summer salads

summer food

summer recipe

I may or may not have eaten what was left over 2 days in a row for lunch. I love spicy foods, and this was a definite win in my book.

What's your favorite summertime dish?

Martinis & Bikinis
Eat Drink and Be Mary

June 29, 2015

A Day In The Life

Happy Monday everyone! It's so good to be back to my little space on the Internet. It was a much needed week off, especially since I came down with a cold that I'm still trying to kick.

I was really excited to hear about a new link-up hosted by some of my favorite bloggers. Today I'm sharing a day in my life through photos. What better way to start off the week than with an overload of unedited (that makes this a REAL behind the scenes peek) pictures?


 My Keurig greets me while I get ready for work. Most days I have to be there at 7:30 am so I need all the help I can get to wake up. I always lay out my clothes and accessories the night before, because there is no time for wardrobe changes this early in the morning. I always try to get up a little earlier than I need to be to have some "me time" but I seem to love the snooze button more than that. 

7:15 am:  WERK.

I usually aim to be early for work, just in case I am walking in to any craziness. I manage a salon and spa and my days are extremely busy. I love my quiet time in the morning when no one has arrived yet. One fun bonus of my job is getting to wear the fabulous jewelry from our little boutique. 

 The hours of 8-4 are spent running around the building. I chase after stylists and estheticians looking for answers to questions from clients, make sure all our clients are happy and at the right place at the right time and lead a great group to make sure everything is running smoothly. 

4:30 pm: KICKIN' IT

Two nights a week are spent at the soccer field watching my stepson play in his games. He is doing so well this year, and I love watching him hustle on the field. I played soccer all my life so it really makes me happy to see him enjoy the game. He is a great sport and such a team player...always clapping for his teammates and celebrating.  If we're not at the soccer field, we are outside enjoying summer...either by the pool, out for a walk, or an an ice cream run. This is the favorite part of my day, since it's our time together as a family. 


At least 3-4 nights a week my time is spent working on things for our wedding in September. My bachelorette party is in July, and my bridal shower is the first weekend in August, so from here on out there is something each month.
Tackling the to-do list and creating one thing or another is constantly happening in wedding central over here. I can't believe how quick the weeks are flying by!


I go to bed early most nights, so I start winding down around 8:30 or 9 pm. I have become an old lady who enjoys tea, so sometimes I sip on that while I'm catching up on blog work. I read all my e-mails, respond to comments, read others' posts and tweak my own posts. Sometimes I plan household things and write out grocery lists, meal ideas, or fold laundry and watch TV. 


I am someone who needs my 8 hours of sleep, so I aim for that each day so that I'm not a total sassy pants. I always wash my face and have been trying to develop a nightly skincare routine so that I stay on track. I use the Skinceuticals LHA Cleansing Gel twice a day and love the way it cleans my skin. The smallest amount creates such a good lather that really deep cleans. I've been using the Dickinson's toner for about a month and it's amazing. Since I'm not getting any younger I started using an eye cream, and love the smell of Pond's. I chose to go with this brand because my grandmother has used Pond's forever and her skin looks like porcelain and is so soft and smooth for her age. 

So there you have it...a day in my life, through photos. What's your favorite part of your day?
A Beautiful Mess

I hope you will link up with Lauren & I this Thursday for our "You Are Beautiful" stories. This month's prompt is "What Does Beauty Mean To You?"

You Are Beautiful

Before I go...how about a giveaway?

Giveaway Description:
To celebrate The Blush Blonde’s (formerly Crumbs & Curls) 2nd Blogiversary we are bringing you a giveaway made for the summertime.  This giveaway includes beauty products specially picked for the warm weather & a gift card to Nordstrom!  Here are all of the goodies that you have a chance to win:
Supergoop! Day to Day Value Set- A limited edition set filled with all of the SPF essentials necessary to stay sun safe this summer from Supergoop!, a leading brand in sun care at Sephora that is co-owned by tennis player Maria Sharapova.  This set includesCity Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50, Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 37, Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40, & AcaiFusion Lip Balm SPF 30, all of which are packaged in a cheeky little travel bag.
Tarte Play It Safe Essentials Set- This limited edition set is filled with everything you need to get a gorgeous bronze glow without the damaging effects of the sun; it includes Tarteguard sunscreen lotion broad spectrum SPF 30, Maracuja bronzing serum gradual self tanner, Brazilliance skin rejuvenating maracuja self tanner, Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer in park ave princess™, & Brazilliance skin rejuvenating maracuja self-tanning face towelette. 
Benefit Cosmetics Lip Lovin' Tinted Balms- Three super moisturizing tinted lip balms packaged together in a limited edition set.
Essie Summer 2015 Mini Four Pack- This set includes four mini polishes in Chillato, Peach Side Babe, Sunset Sneaks, & Prêt-a-Surfer, all from Essie’s Summer 2015 line. 
$40.00 Nordstrom Gift Card- This is included to buy any other summer essentials you might need!

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June 25, 2015

Link-Up Announcement

Hi friends. I hope everyone is having a good week. I am stopping by during my break to update everyone on the "You Are Beautiful" linkup hosted by Lauren & I.

We are changing our linkup to once per month because it will be easier to remember and we hope to have more beautiful people join us to share their stories.

The link-up will take place the first Thursday of each month. The next linkup will be Thursday July 2nd and the prompt for next month will be "What Does Beauty Mean To You?"

Is it self-confidence? Is it strength? Does being a good mom make you feel beautiful? Share your stories, don't be afraid to talk about yourself and empower each other.

I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule Monday...and I hear there's another giveaway coming!!

See you soon...

You Are Beautiful

June 23, 2015

A Small Break

I apologize for the small break in posts this week. The weekend got the best of me, although I did get to enjoy it so I can't complain about that. I have several new recipes, DIY's and things to share but they aren't 100% done so I don't want to hit that publish button until they are perfect for you.

We registered for our wedding, enjoyed a great Father's Day, and are working on knocking things off our wedding to do list since we are LESS THAN 100 days away!!!

I can't wait to get back to writing and sharing things with you...but this small break to catch up on life is so needed.

Thank you for your understanding. I'll see you soon!!

June 18, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

Guys can be so difficult to shop for and when you add the pressure of Father's Day, shopping for multiple men can be extremely painful. Luckily, I put together some gifts for any guy on your list.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Wood cigar box

V76 by Vaughn hair conditioner
$27 - neimanmarcus.com

Grill Mat: Traeger Grill Pad

Looking for a unique gift that you can showcase at your home bar and get great use out of? A whiskey barrel is great for any guy who loves to unwind with a drink and be an entertainer all at the same time. I got a similar one for Chuck last year from Crate & Barrel and we love it.

Guys love cigars, so why not get them a place to store all their goods? An authentic cigar box is cool and definitely a great idea for any dad or dude in your life.

Let's face it, our men like to take care of themselves almost as much as we do. V76 from Vaughn makes amazing products for the guys and they smell amazing too. Chuck has used a few things from their line and has loved all of it.

Summer means grilling in our house. These grill mats are perfect because they expand all your cooking options by a mile. Veggies, eggs, potatoes...whatever you want, put it on the mat, grill, wash, and repeat. They are so easy to use and clean, my guy swears by them.

Got a music fanatic in your house? Why not treat him to an oldie but goodie...a record player. I love the look of them, and think that everyone should have this classic piece in their house. It's a great way to step back in time and simplify life for some time.

Last but not least, some shades, because you can never have too many sunglasses. Ray-Bans are my favorite, and I love this blue color for the guys. Ray-Bans are not only stylish, but they properly protect your eyes. We want to take care of our men, right?

If you're looking for a little DIY to make a personalized gift for your man, why not make my "Sealed With A Kiss" picture frame found here.

Be sure to check out my Pinterest page, where I have all sorts of other great ideas to share.

Follow Dream Big & Buy The Shoes's board G I F T * G I V I N G on Pinterest.

PS- You can find one last gift idea that I'm sharing over at Bourbon, Lipstick & Stilettos today!

What are the men in your life getting for Father's Day this year? Any great gift ideas?

June 17, 2015


We all like to know what everyone is really up to in between a regular blogging schedule full of posts about wedding, blogiversary, and all that other fun stuff. So here's what I'm up to....


Watching: The Real Housewives of OC. ((the originals...my favorite!)) Do you have a favorite group/city?

Reading: US Weekly. I couldn't resist picking it up in the Target checkout since Holly Madison is telling Playboy Mansion secrets. It's pretty interesting and scary at the same time.

Obsessed With: The sky. If you didn't realize that already, you must not have seen my Instagram lately.

Drinking: Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, they are SO good. On another note, I tried out Dunkin Donuts last week and it upset my stomach real bad...this is why I stick with my lover Starbucks.

Planning: Oh you know, this wedding. It's funny how one moment I am completely overwhelmed and crying from stress, but the next tearing up making appointments for my dress fitting. I am a ball of emotions, and I can't be stopped.

Realizing: I forgot to tell you I got another tattoo. It was a while ago, but guys...I got another tattoo. My friend Elisa & I got matching Britney Spears one's and they're pretty sweet. No, I don't literally have Britney on my ankle, but I do have some dice like her now.  I went to a studio for this one and they were amazing; they played Brit while they worked on us and it was epic. Here's a quick video for you.

Contemplating: Getting inspired to try out some smoothies, but then again...I want nachos.

Listening to: My phone ring with a Justin Beiber "Boyfriend" ringtone, what can I say- I really like that song. Hold on...Chuck's calling.

Thinking: You should enter my Blogiversary giveaway. I am loving my Fujifilm Instamax Mini 8 and have been having fun getting pictures instantly. There's still time to check it out...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you up to this week friends?

June 16, 2015

DIY Party Garland

When you celebrate a birthday, fun decorations are a must. I wanted to create something bright, easy and showcase something you can use for any type of celebration. My DIY Party Garland is inexpensive, completely customizable and definitely puts you in the mood to have fun.

You will need:
Tissue paper
Hot glue gun

To make your party garland:

Fold one sheet of tissue paper lengthwise
Fold in half vertically, and then once more

Now it's time for scissors. Cut 1/2 inch strips up the tissue paper leaving a little room at the top as shown below.

Next, you will unfold the tissue paper so you have 2 sections of garland. 

In the crease of the tissue paper, you will cut lengthwise to create even more sections of tassel.

Open up the two sections you have cut so that you have 2 very long sections of tissue paper garland.

You will now roll the tissue paper lengthwise in the middle to create an individual tassel piece.

The middle section that you just rolled will now be twisted tightly because you will then loop it to put on the twine and create the final product.

Form a loop as shown below and where the two pieces meet you will hot glue to secure.

Slide the tassels on the twine to create your one of a kind garland.

You could even add fun printables to hang from the garland, or lettering too.

For even more fun ideas, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to all things PARTY.

Follow Dream Big & Buy The Shoes's board Time to P A R T Y!! on Pinterest.

What would you use a party or tassel garland for?

June 15, 2015

It's My Blogiversary: Let's Celebrate ((With A Giveaway))

Well, it's officially the week of my Blogiversary, WOO HOO! If you've been following me since this blog started you know that I like to make a big deal over birthdays and usually the celebration lasts at least a few weeks. I am really excited to share some fun posts this week and keep the fun going with some celebratory projects, DIY's & more.

June 16th, 2014 I hit publish on my first post and probably felt what so many bloggers before me have experienced...total fear and excitement all at the same time. I've enjoyed writing my whole life. I used to write stories and poems that filled up multiple five subject notebooks. I was so content writing about everything under the sun, but I usually told tales about animals and love. I won awards and received scholarships for some of my work and in college a few poems of mine were published;  so it's no shock that I came back to writing in a different way after some time had passed.  I had a misconception that you had to be pretty technical to have a blog, so I did some research and found out that I could probably have one too. Dream big, right?!

Of course, this blog would not be possible without all of you. I get pretty emotional thinking about the people that take time out of their day to read what I write. It's crazy to me, and I sometimes I can't believe I get to actually call myself a blogger. This has been a dream of mine that was a few years in the making and it came true. I can't wait to see how it will grow, and I have my fellow bloggers and mentors to thank for all their tips and help along the way. Today I want to look back on the past year and share some of my favorite posts that I have put out since Dream Big & Buy the Shoes began.

When I talked about bringing the spark back in your relationship I think it was one of the first times I came up with an informational twist on a subject I enjoy writing about, love. I love this post because I think so many people can relate and I still get some comments on it.

Participating in some gift swaps has been a great way to connect with other bloggers. It also allowed me to let out some creative juice and try out some DIY Sharpie Mugs that make a perfect gift for any occasion. 

I did some things I never thought I would like make pizzas out of mushrooms, and then take some good pictures to illustrate the recipe. Thank goodness I have recieved some photography tips along the way, because some of my first post pictures are really bad. It's all about growth, haha.

One of my proudest moments in this space has been the creation of the "You Are Beautiful" link-up which was a joint effort between my friend Lauren from Lot 48 & I. The things I talk about in these posts are some of my most raw thoughts and I'm glad I have the courage to put them in writing. I also find out that I'm feeling what most other women are, so we are not alone in this stuff ; especially when it comes to comparing ourselves.

Blogging has also brought me amazing opportunties to work with brands to try new products, and make connections and beautiful friendships with some pretty amazing women. I was so excited to meet my link-up co-host, Lauren while on vacation in Las Vegas earlier this year. We happened to be there at the same time and it was really cool to meet my first blogging friend in real life.

I can't believe it's already been a whole year since I pressed that scary orange button and Dream Big & Buy the Shoes came to life. This space has seen a few facelifts, as my original theme began in purple but now is goldddd. I went from having only a few people comment daily to interacting with several people a day from their thoughts they leave on my posts. All of the ways people show support truly means so much to me. I'm thankful to have the means to pour my heart and soul out each time I create, bake, cook, and just write. I'm also the luckiest woman to have the patience of my fiance for dealing with my face buried in a computer so many hours of the day and all the other crazy stuff that comes with keeping this space alive and kickin'.

It's fun to look back on my posts and relive the memories and things I was thinking or feeling. I also love taking pictures and documenting life as I see it. To thank all my loyal readers, I thought a giveaway was totally necessary, but it had to be something to allow you to dream, create & celebrate which are all things "Dream Big & Buy the Shoes".

Remember how I was lusting over the Fujifilm Instamax Mini 8? Well I got one, and I absolutely love it.  A cool camera that gives you instant pictures full of mini sized fun is my idea of the perfect gift to show my thanks for all of your love and support this past year. So let's give one away right here, right now...a Fujifilm Instamax Mini 8 just for one of you!!!

You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway will last one week, so be sure to spread the word and tweet to share the news.

I can't thank you enough for your never ending love, comments, well wishes, virtual high- fives and support of Dream Big & Buy the Shoes. 

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