January 30, 2017

A Winter Weekend In Florida

It's been a week since my return to Erie, Pa from Florida and I'm already asking--is it time to go back yet?! There's nothing quite like sunshine, palm trees and fun new memories with great friends.
I arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon to a beautiful sunny day and it was so good to be reunited with my best friend. We had some birthday celebrating to do that weekend so we made a few stops for some decorations and balloons along with a visit to the biggest Target I have ever seen and a new mug from Starbucks.

That evening more people were coming in to town so we went for a bite to eat at a local bar Billy's which was perfect for this Steelers fan, Pittsburgh decor was everywhere. The pizza we shared was delicious and some of the other menu items were named after my beloved team, like the Roethlisburger. 

Saturday the group of us ventured to Miami for a day of fun. We started with brunch at Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita also known as Dolores Lolita in the Brickell area. When I was in Miami years ago visiting another friend, we came to this fun spot for dinner so enjoying it during brunch was a different type of feel. Everything was so good and they had me at $2 mimosas and the beautiful rooftop terrace where we sat.
Dolores Miami

Dolores Miami Florida

Brickell area Florida

Miami restaurants

Miami brunches

Dolores Lolita Miami

Our hostesses also planned a fun speed boat tour which was even more fun after an afternoon of drinks. We relaxed and enjoyed some daiquiris and watching the crowd salsa dance in the Bayside area and took off for our tour of Star Island in the late afternoon. The guides were funny and it was so cool to speed around the cruise ships taking off and see all the mansions. 
Star Island Miami

speedboat tour Miami

speedboat star island
Saturday night we dined outside at Louie Bossi and it was such a cute place. I loved the relaxed vibe of the outdoor courtyard. One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets nice is enjoy a meal outside, so doing this after 9 pm in January was a dream. We walked downtown for some more birthday celebrating and drinks. 
louie bossi fort lauderdale

fort lauderdale florida
We started the day Sunday with some delicious donuts and then a nice laid back day on Hollywood Beach, Florida. If living in Florida means visiting the beach every Sunday, we may just have to move.
hollywood beach boardwalk

Monday we enjoyed breakfast at another one of my Miami favorites, Big Pink. What I really wanted was a grilled cheese since that's all I ever eat there and only visit after the hour of 11 am or before 5 am ;)
south beach florida

big pink restaurant

It was a perfect weekend getaway...Florida in January is good for the soul, that's for sure. I'm so thankful I was able to visit our friends and be there to celebrate their birthdays. I can't wait to go back...until next time Florida- I'll be dreaming of palm trees, beach side brunches and 80 degree sunshine.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Biana for weekending.

January 27, 2017

Favorite Recent Sephora Buys

There's been SO many great things I've scooped up and received for Christmas from Sephora. So of course I'm doing my necessary female duty and sharing what you should pick up on your next trip.

Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara You may have read about my bummer with the Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette  and I decided to head back to Sephora to return it since I didn't like it. I wandered around deciding if I needed anything (spoiler- I don't, but hey...Sephora) and since I'm obsessed with mascara I took a moment to browse that area. I saw the Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara and hopped on my app and read some reviews. They were great so I took it up to the counter and the woman helping me was so thrilled I grabbed this one because she said it's like a hidden secret. She's been using it for months and loves it. I am seriously in love with this mascara...I've been pairing it with a primer and the results are amaaaaazing. Maybe I'll have to snap a selfie soon to share how great my lashes look with it. 
Sephora Favorites: Scouted By Sephora One of the best thing about after Christmas sales is when some of the Sephora Favorites get marked down, which was the case with this one. After reading reviews I was a little skeptical, but decided to take a chance. Inside the box are two different lip colors- one that also doubles as a cheek stain in a pretty pink color from Wander Beauty. I have only used it on my lips since I'm typically not a huge fan of cheek stains and love the subtle hint of color it brings. The other lip color comes in a matchbook package from Besame Cosmetics and has five different shades inside. 
My favorite part of the Sephora Favorites box is the Makeup Eraser Mini which I've heard amazing things about. The Makeup Eraser is used only with warm water and takes away makeup effortlessly...I am LOVING it. Another favorite is the GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper that is a nice boost for the lips, especially ones that could use a pump up like mine. It's perfect for date night or when you're snapping a selfie ;)
Last but not least the MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara was included and it's a nice buildable mascara from a brand that I probably wouldn't have heard of if it wasn't for this cute little box. 

The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick I wasn't quite sure how much I was going to use or like this, but it's honestly worked so much better than a lot of primers in my makeup stash. So simple to apply which I love about things in a "stick" form. I apply moisturizer in these crazy dry winter months and when it dries simply roll some primer over my t-zone area which is the worst spot for me and it drastically reduces shine all day.
NARS Velvet Lip Glide I added a deluxe sample of this awesome stuff with some of my Sephora points in the Le Palace color which is a deep cherry red. I love it so much that I will be picking up a full size when I run out. It's a semi- matte formula so it's not terribly drying and the color lasts several hours. My lips felt nice and moisturized while still looking nice and matte and the deep red color is perfectly pretty.

I may need to cool it for a while with the beauty buys but I just can't resist a sale and a good deal at my favorite store. 
Have you tried any of these products? What's your favorite recent beauty purchase?

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend everyone!

January 25, 2017

Cozy Winter Nights At Home

I know it's not every day we can just take off for a winter warm-up during the cool winter months like I did last weekend in Florida, but I will never complain about a cozy night at home. In the spirit of not hating winter, let's talk about what we can do during this season.
cozy winter nights

Knit blanket
$15 -

Tech accessory

Monopoly Monopoly Board Game
$21 -

I am a huge fan of blankets. In fact, we have a basket full of blankets in our living room to enjoy at any given moment. I love wrapping up in a warm blanket and relaxing watching a movie on the couch. Target is the number one place for blankets in my opinion, I always find the softest ones there. But before you get too cozy, a candle must be lit. I have too many favorites, but I am really drawn to food scents (hi cinnamon sugar donuts and pecan waffles). 

Reading a book with a candle burning and no noise is ideal and wrapped up all cozy in a blanket is my ideal setting, second to poolside in the summer of course. Did you check out what I've been reading lately in last week's post? PSST- were you the winner of the Hello Lover book giveaway?!

Chuck, Ethan and I usually play a game or watch movie at least one night of the weekend. Our house favorite is Monopoly and usually ends in an all out war. I'm thinking we may need to have some Nintendo battles soon since we got the NES classic and Chuck put all the awesome old games on it--hello Yoshi's Cookie (tell me you remember it too).
Popcorn is always a must during our family nights and I tried my hand at making some homemade seasonings that I'll be sharing soon. One great idea is making a popcorn bar with a variety of toppings so each person can personalize their own bowl.
For the adults, spiked hot cocoa in a cute mug makes for a fun night. I love adding some marshmallow or cinnamon roll vodka to my hot cocoa to kick it up a notch....sooo delicious!
Of course Target has the cutest mugs again this season, only $5 for this adorable caffeine one I shared on Instagram.
A photo posted by emelia🖤 (@emeliaanne_) on
In other fun news, Target shared my Instagram post on their Awesome Shop site last week, so that was fun to see!

Another fun thing we like to do is experiment with a new meal at home. Chuck and I love cooking together and lately have been perfecting our homemade pasta which has been a lot of fun and really delicious. Try something new have fun chopping and prepping a tasty dinner for you and your loved ones or your girlfriends.

Making the best of it during the winter months is a must for us Northerners, and it can be fun. I'm always looking for cozy new things to do inside.

How do you enjoy your cozy winter nights at home?

January 20, 2017

Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette

I was really excited around Christmas when Too Faced came out with another new palette. I have really fallen in love with a lot of Too Faced products and was stoked because these shadows looked gorgeous.
too faced palettes
In fact I was so stoked that I stayed up waiting for  the White Chocolate Chip Palette to release on Sephora, too only find out it was only available for Rouge members. I don't know what changed but later in the day I went back to the app and found out I was able to get one. Score!

I have the Sephora Flash shipping which is really awesome because the palette came quick and I was able to use it right away. One thing I really love about the Too Faced palettes is the heavenly and most usually as described.
too faced white chocolate chip colors
My first thought was that the palette is fairly small, but in my opinion it is pretty reasonably priced at $26. I will say, I'm used to spending more on palettes so that may be why the price seemed okay to me. I think it would be great for travel or in your purse's make-up bag, but I was pretty let down with the overall colors.

The Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette may be better for someone fair-skinned, which I am not. Even with a primer the shadow colors didn't show up too well on me. I've tried multiple times to make different colors work, but they don't last and it's a big disappointment.
too faced sephora
I forgot about Sephora's awesome 60 day return policy, so I may be that chic who walks in to the store to return this palette. I spend enough money there to justify a return on something that just isn't working for me.

I will stick with the Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette as my favorite for now, I've been using that since May, after it finally came back in stock and love it so much. I picked up the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette late last year to use for more of an everyday look and still don't love it as much as that PB & J!

At first glance the colors in the White Chocolate Chip are so so pretty, but they just don't work for me. Has anyone else tried this palette? What's your favorite shadow?

I hope everyone has a great weekend- I'll be back next Wednesday with new post. I'll be taking Monday off since I'll still be in Florida and enjoying the sunshine! Stay warm friends...see you next week!

January 18, 2017

What I'll Be Reading On Vacation & Hello Book Lover Giveaway

Since I love writing my book reviews, why not give you a peek in to what's currently on my nightstand and on my iPad?!
book subscriptions
I am flying solo for the first time in a while this weekend so I'm preparing for the airport and flight reading I'll be doing. Usually I'm a huge fan of people watching, but I have a goal of reading 42 books this year, so there's no time to waste.

I mentioned in my latest book review that I would like to outside my usual horror and mystery loves occasionally, and at my most recent visit to the library I picked up Dear Amy because again, I liked the cover...which seems to be a common theme for me. It's a dark read and a slow one so far, but I am enjoying it and hope to finish it by the time the plane takes off Friday afternoon. There's all that down time after you get through security and get your coffee, or I plan on spending it nose deep in a book.

Newly downloaded on my iPad mini is Sunset In Central Park, another book from Sarah Morgan's series and one for the cupcake & mystery book lover in me-- Sprinkle With Murder.

Last but not least, the third book I'll be bringing with me is from my Hello Book Lover box I received in the mail last week. The Life We Bury was a random pick, since I let the Hello Book Lover gals pick which one I would be sent this month. It looks like such a good read which will be an interesting one since I just finished We Are All Made Of Stars a few weeks ago which was based around a hospice nurse and they both take place in a similar setting, this one being a nursing home.

what is hello book lover
You may be asking- what is this Hello Book Lover and how do I receive a box? Hello Book Lover is an awesome monthly book club subscription that I am loving. There's subscription boxes out there for so many things and the Hello Book Lover box is the cutest package that always puts a smile on my face. Each month you will receive a new book and a few pretty surprises based around the season or book theme delivered right to your door.
The subscriptions start at $28 and there are two books to select from each month. You can make your selection of the book you would like to receive in your box, or you can choose to be surprised. I've tried both ways and been super happy each time.
book subsription box
Hello Book Lover ships out the boxes the first week of each month. Your box arrives within a few days with the book and a few surprises. After you finish reading your selection, towards the end of the month there is a book club style discussion of each book on the Hello Book Lover blog! You can discuss your thoughts and opinions on the month's book with the Hello Book Lover community and connect with other readers.
I love that the business was started by two sisters who love to read and want to inspire other women to do the same since reading holds so many benefits. These lovely ladies from Hello Book Lover are also helping me give away one subscription box for the month of February!

The February box is themed "Notes on Love" and you can choose from  Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan. You can read more about the book choices on the Hello Book Lover blog.
You can save 10% on your first Hello Book Lover Box using the code "DREAM10" 
The giveaway will end Tuesday the 24th and you can enter via the Rafflecopter below--Good Luck! 
Have you heard of Hello Book Lover? What's your favorite type of subscription box to receive?

January 16, 2017

The Only Northern Girl Who Hasn't Visited Florida In January

This week---I'm sorry.... THIS WEEK :) I'm going on a little escape down South that I couldn't be more excited about.

vacation must have's

Tech accessory
$78 -

Nars cosmetic

S well

This year for Christmas, Chuck and I agreed that we wouldn't exchange presents.  To be honest, after a rough few months at the end of the year I felt a bit behind on the Christmas front and I truly did not need or want anything except for my family together and healthy.

I planned on surprising my best friend for her birthday weekend by flying to Florida to be there and then I woke up on Christmas day and opened an envelope with an airplane ticket from my sweet husband to go on the trip. He always makes special days extra special and this Friday I take off for Fort Lauderdale for a fun girls weekend. I'm bummed he won't be joining our friends for the celebration, but I won't lie- I've been having a ton of fun thinking about all the fun we are going to have this weekend.

Our friends moved to the Fort Lauderdale area at the end of last year so it's obviously their first Florida winter and they are already claiming 65 degrees is cold- HA! As for me, I'm still packing a pair of jeans and some light sweaters because I'm afraid I'll still be freezing, just kidding it's going to be 84 degrees during the day and I CAN NOT WAIT!

Here are some vacation must have items you'll find in my bag this weekend:
Swell Bottle for airplane hydration
A black off the shoulder top for some birthday night out fun
Starbucks card for plenty of caffeine re-fueling
My iPad to read on the plane
Fun Kate Spade bags because her stuff is the cutest
Bright pink lips from Nars- Yu is my favorite shade they make

I've never been to the South this early in the Winter so I'm anxious to see what the weather will be like coming from the snow and cold. Needless to say I am excited and ready for a fun weekend full of brunching, speedboat tours in Miami, beach and celebrations!

Stay tuned for a list of what I'll be reading on the airplane and a giveaway this week on the blog. Tell me your favorite Fort Lauderdale area recommendations in the comments.
Happy Monday--hope everyone has a great week!

January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites: Home Decor

I LOVE shopping...I think half of my thrill comes from browsing and finding things and adding them to my cart. The good thing is, I don't buy every single thing I find. 

Recently we got some new living room furniture, and slowly I want to start making over the whole room to be a bit more cohesive. Our couch is grey and came with some mustard colored pillows that I wouldn't have thought of pairing together, but after searching Pinterest I have some ideas to bring some of that and gold in to the whole area. This waterfall abstract rug from Rugs USA is the perfect large element to tie it all together. I know their rugs are already super cheap, but I always get extra codes and money off around birthday month and a few other times a year so I may wait for that to scoop this up.
blue home decor
image via Rugs USA
We need a new floor lamp, and of course Target always has great deals. I love the look of this Modern Globe Floor Lamp, and it helps that it's shown with the colors we have and are going with.

I am obsessed with candles and always have some burning, but I would like a few new ones to save the containers of and use for decor or vases after they are done burning. I love this Voluspa candle and think the colors of the exterior would help tie the rug in with our couch and other elements of the room.
While browsing Pinterest, I came across this Etsy print and found several others that I love too. I think I may pick out three of them to frame in gold picture frames and hang in a row above the couch. The three in my Etsy cart right now really incorporate every color in the living room and would look great side by side. 

We are actually looking at a bigger townhouse again this weekend that we may move to, so the refresh on living room decor may just wait until that happens. 

Here's a picture of our new furniture I posted on Instagram a few months ago...follow along there for more fun and home decor snaps.

So what do you think? I am excited to see it come to life and add an extra pop of color.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend--Stay warm and enjoy!

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.