Monday, July 30, 2012

ulta grand opening

Hey there lovelies! 

I have some exciting news for all you local beauty addicts like myself (and for you non-locals too). Ulta Beauty finally released the date for their Grand Opening Weekend here in both Stow and Solon.

Drumroll please......

Friday, August 17th 2012
CLICK HERE to find an Ulta Grand Opening Near You

So what exactly does this mean, you ask? Why is this Grand Opening so important? Let me list off the wonderful things that happen when a brand spanking new Ulta Beauty opens their doors to the public.

First 100 guests EACH DAY get a gift certificate worth up to $100.
Get 4 FREE gifts when you sign up for the Ulta Rewards program (or if you are already a member).

Not to mention there will be plenty of brand experts and evens in store from lines like Benefit, Dermalogica, BareMinerals, Smashbox, and more!

Obviously this beauty blogger will be there all 3 days, fingers crossed I pull one of those $100 gift cards :)

See you in line! xoxo

Sunday, July 29, 2012

little loves

I know I've been such a bad blogger this past week, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Either way I have lots fun new posts coming this week (and next) including a shopping haul vlog, some big beauty news for my local lovelies, another drugstore beauty battle, some great party planning finds I've discovered lately, AND a great little wedding gift guide. 

I hope you lovelies had a great 2 weeks!

 Last Saturday I ran errands in this cute summer Noto dress from last year. I don't really like back tie dresses so I switched the tie to the front side. These unique earrings from one of my sponsors Phul Effect were the perfect addition to the outfit. And of course I wore my new bag from Tj Maxx. 
PS. My blog readers get 15% off and free shipping on Phul Effect with code Lovely15

 Last Sunday I decided to pair up Noto and Phul Effect again with this retro inspired dress (Noto) and these classic ruby red drop earrings (Phul Effect). 

Here is quick sneak peek at the new shopping haul going this week. Items from Loft, TJ Maxx, Macy's, and thirty-one. 

My best friend Lindsay makes the best salsa ever, I'm not even a salsa eater and I love her salsa. I got her recipe last week and made it twice over the two weeks for 2 different events. 
It was huge hit too! 
Two Cans - Del Monte Zesty Jalapeño Tomatoes
One Can - Black Beans
One Small Can - White Shoepeg Corn
Yellow Onion - As much as you'd like
Cilantro - As much as you'd like
Lindsay add's fresh jalapeños but since I do not like very spicy things I added in a green pepper. If you like spicy I think it would be good with both!
The secret magic ingredient - Fat Free Italian Dressing. Make sure its the oil + vinegar kind and not creamy. 

I know the Italian dressing sounds strange but trust me it is to die for. All you do is drain all the cans and add them together and add as much or as little of the onion, cilantro, jalapeños, and or green pepper as you wish. I use about half of the bottle of the dressing, but it's totally up to you! Without the extra jalapeños it is sweet and with them it is sweet and spicy. This would also be an awesome mix to use in a bean dip, on a salad, and so much else! Plus it super easy to make last minute and it seems as though you put a lot of time into it. 

I got a nice surprise in the mailbox this week from Beauty Bar + Sample Society with Allure. Bascially it is a Birchbox type beauty subscription service. I have no idea why I received it or how, but I did. It didn't have any special note saying it was a promotional item for Allure Beauty Experts, but that is my most logical guess as to why I got it. Either way it was a great surprise and had some awesome samples in it! Thanks Sample Society! 

Do any of you get Sample Society?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

lovely little local

While driving around my neck of the woods a few months back I discovered a cute little place that caught my eye called Olive My Heart. When I got home and did some research I found out it was a gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar tasting room that was opening soon. I also saw that they could do private parties and was instantly intrigued so I emailed them to find out more. 

I'm not even 100% sure how it came to happen that I was helping the owners daughter Brandee organize a VIP Blogger Night as part of their Grand Opening weekend but honestly anything I touch gets turned into an event (what can I say, it's the Virgo in me). Anyway the day for the VIP Blogger Night finally came this past Friday and it was such a blast!

We started with some delicious hors d'oeuvres catered by Nosh Eatery. The chef made everything using Olive My Heart's oils and vinegars and it was to-die-for! I'm talking potato chips with some delicious cheese drizzled with some crazy good oil, little spoonfuls of fruit, cheese, and fruit flavored balsamic vinegars, and even some really good chicken the made me wish (if only for a moment) I wasn't vegetarian. All the attendees hovered around that food table the whole night.

The owners Linda and her husband Ron, were the kindest, most accommodating, and knowledgeable hosts ever too. They gave us a quick informative tour of the tasting room and let us sample away. Did you know you can actually do shots of balsamic vinegar? Seriously it's so good you could drink it plain!

They have a ridiculous amount of oils, vinegars, spices, and rubs for your palette to go ga-ga over. They also have great ideas for pairings, and recipes.

My mom and myself went to town and left with a total of 7 bottles (two of which were mini's). We got a basil olive oil to mix with a grapefruit white balsamic vinegar to use on caprese salad, as well as fig and strawberry balsamic vinegars, and a ridiculous amount of oils too. I can't wait to dip some bread into my delicious new olive oils!

And while we are on the topic of food, Linda suggested an amazing lime/coconut mixture to use on grilled shrimp. Um yes please! 

I will stop rambling and gushing now but seriously Olive My Heart is a total gem. Stop in to do a tasting and pick up a bottle of Olive Oil on your way to party (what a great gift for your hostess bread + Gourmet Olive Oil). Or email them to arrange a private tasting with friends. What a unique start to a birthday night with couples or friends, end it with dinner at Nosh.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

little loves

Hey Lovelies!
I hope you all had a fabulous week, I know I did! Nothing new here just the usual date nights, work, kickboxing, and blogging. I'm getting a serious itch to hit up a F21 soon! Has anyone been lately? Good stuff?! My birthday is next month, and well I love having a birthday! I'm not one of those people who get all shy and embarrassed, I'm one of those people who has like a zillion birthday events (plus the bf's is 2 days after mine so we get to double everything up!). Anyway I'm wanting to stop by F21 to get some cute little birthday outfits and such! 

Sunday night the boyfriend and I gathered a group of friends and we hit up our favorite Mexican place, Tres Potrillos. I wore my new Loft dress that I am officially obsessed with and used my new Amika 4P curling iron. I got so many compliments this night on both the dress and the hair. Seriously this dress is so pretty.

The Amika 4P sticker should have only showed up on the second picture but for some reason it stuck on both, oh well! Either way I tried my new Amika 4P curling iron this week for the first time and OH MY GOSH it is ah-mazing! Seriously love how my curls turned out so natural and full. I used the 1.25 inch barrel here. I can't wait to keep playing with it and I will be sure to film a video soon!

Got my July Glamour Birchbox in the mail this week! My Birchbox always makes my week and it had some fun goodies in it, including a felt tip style liquid liner, a mud-mask (you ca bet I'll be using it Monday for Mask Night), mints, a UV Hair protector, and cute earbuds! What dd you get in yours?!

Thursday was date night of course and when I got off work it was incredibly hot and I was in a hurry, so I threw this together quickly. I chose the skirt because it was light and didn't touch my skin in the hot weather, I grabbed a few tanks but didn't like how they were looking and then I remembered I had been wanting to try this front knot style I see Ashley from Southern (California) Belle do all the time. I loved it and it was really cool temperature wise. I pulled my hair back wet in my Spin-Pins so it would dry in pretty waves (plus I didn't have any time to do it). 

I met my mom for pedi's, then met up with Dina from Dina's Days and got a adorable skirt from her (Thanks Dina!), then made it over to the BF's. We went grocery shopping and then stayed in with Cinnamon -Raisin grilled cheese, Animal  Crackers, and Jenis Ice Cream. I love date nights!

Friday I had the awesome opportunity to attend a VIP Blogger Night at the new Olive My Heart tasting room in Hudson. It was so interesting, and yummy! What a unique new business, you must check it out! I'll be doing a full post on the event this week.

Got this little duo courtesy of Snowbunny Beauty and Style House PR this week. As if the packaging itself wasn't amazing enough I think I'm already addicted to the line. I'll be trying it out more this week and will do a full review soon!

Got bored over the weekend and be-dazzled my phone. What do we think? I feel like a Kardashian with it! :)

Ok I need our help! Which one of these watches should I put on my birthday list? 
I love them both so much and I just can't decide. Can you please help me?!

Hope you lovelies had a great week! Thank you for reading. Your comments mean the world to me! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

fan feature friday

I've always loved featuring artists, ETSY shops, and small businesses that deserve the recognition, so it was a no brainer I should feature some of my amazingly talented and creative readers. That was how Fan Feature Friday came to be, and I am happy to be kicking of my first in the series with my lovely reader Kristen who designs the cutest prints, and other oddities.

When I first sent out the notice I wanted to feature my readers who had a talent, shop, craft, trade, etc that they wanted to share, Kristen was one of the first to email. I was immediately smitten with her work because of the quirkiness and whimsy behind it. I asked Kristen to share a little bit about herself and her work with all of you. 

Describe yourself in 5 words: 
Energetic, sightly sarcastic, nostalgic, artist  

Describe your product/ art in 5 words:
Drawn stories
Nostalgia on paper

What is your personal favorite piece?
My newest work is my favorite piece. With each drawing, print, or painting I create, I always learn something new or work out a different challenge. Each new piece is an accumulation of what I have learned and what I accomplished, and of course can than apply to another new creation! 

Why do you do what you do?
I honestly have never wanted to do anything other than be an artist. It was always a part of my life, something I took to be as natural as anything else. I think keeping a unique voice and perspective is crucial. When I teach workshops and classes, I always tell my students to not copy each other, I want to see what they are thinking, what they see. In turn we all learn so much from one another.

What you hope your product/ art brings to people?
One of my customers told me one of my prints was in their office, on their desk and they look at it everyday and smile. That is what I hope my work brings to others. A common connection of happiness through sharing a small story or moment through art. 

And of course since you are a reader, what do you like best about the blog?
I enjoy the variety of posts. There is a great balance of fashion, art, and everyday life, that is also very relatable to readers. 

Kristen's prints would be perfect in a kids room, for a sweet thank you gift, or just because. My personal favorites are Woman's Silhouette and the Caricature of the USA. Check out more of her work HERE.

Kristen is kind enough to offer all of my readers a free mini print with any purchase. Shop HERE and mention you are a lovely little blog reader in the customer notes. 

If you are a reader who has something I should feature e-mail me at SUBJECT: FFF

Thursday, July 12, 2012

quick question

I get a lot of emails, messages, texts, tweets, and everything in between asking for my help on everything from a unique shower gift to how to utilize mason jars. While I try and get back to as many people as possible, some slip through the cracks (so please, if you ask me a question and I don't reply try again). Sometimes I can write a quick reply, others take a little time, and sometimes I get a question that I think would really interest and benefit my readers too.

This is another one of those questions so hopefully it will be as useful to you as it is to Hannah, who emailed this question to me originally...

"Hi Lyndsey, I have so many events coming up this summer that I need nice dresses for and I just can not afford a new dress for every wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, etc. One of my friends has a killer closet with some great dresses in my size and is letting me raid it. She has also been kind enough to loan me shoes/bags/ and accessories if I need them. My question to you is should I get her some kind of thank you gift, or is that weird? Is there some kind of clothing loaning etiquette I should know about?"

First off I have to say Hannah is a lucky girl to have a friend like this who has such a great closet to snag stuff from. I personally rarely borrow clothes, but mostly because none of my immediate friends are my size. If you're lucky enough to have a friend like Hannah here does and she's okay with loaning out her items GO FOR IT! 

Hannah has the right idea here and will probably save herself hundreds of dollars this summer not buying new dresses and all the accessories for them for every occasion. By the sounds of her email it seems as thought she is IN a wedding or two and we all know how expensive that can be, not to mention you can't really re-use a dress for different events of the same wedding (ie. shower and rehearsal dinner for the same wedding).

That being said YES there is clothing loaning etiquette, at least in my mind. I am going to try and make this as to-the-point as possible. This is what I would do if I were borrowing clothing from a friend.


 I definitely don't think it's weird to get a small Thank You gift for your friend. That being said I highly doubt they are expecting something in return so it's not necessary. It all depends on how much you are borrowing, how long, and possibly the value of what you are borrowing too. 

Say you borrow one dress for an event and have it back to her in a timely manner, in this case a small $5 Starbucks card and a handwritten note is more than enough in my opinion.

In Hannah's case it sounds as though she will be borrowing a good deal from her friend and she might have the items for a longer time period, or might be continually stopping over throughout the summer to return and borrow more. 

In this case I would probably get a nicer thank you gift but it doesn't have to be something lavish (your friend realizes you are borrowing to save money and should not expect something major in return). I would say a $20 Starbucks gift card or something equivalent is a great gesture. If she's into beauty you could gift her a 3-month Birchbox subscription for $30, or you could even treat her to dinner one night. Don't forget a small handwritten card too!

This is hands down the most important rule when it comes to borrowing an item. Always, always get the item dry cleaned before returning it. It doesn't matter if you wear it for one hour or ten, or if it needs it or not. If you don't have a dry cleaners you trust then ask your friend  where she prefers you drop them off at. Do not trust someone else's items to a dry cleaners you or she has never used before. Do not expect her to pick the items up from the cleaners. You should pick them up and return them to her in a timely manner. 

If it is something that can't be dry cleaned, or you are unsure of ask her how she would prefer you laundered it before returning. 

Say I borrow a pair of suede pumps, I would return them with a suede cleaning kit (this can take the place of the thank you gift). I would leave her to clean them though since I wouldn't want to ruin them.

I realize your friends items won't still have their price tags on them but if it's an item you know cost more than you could afford to replace DO NOT BORROW IT. I don't care if you've never felt better in something and you feel like a bad mamma jamma, NO! If something were to happen to the item, you should be able to replace it or write your friend a check for the value. 

Hopefully this clears some things up for Hannah and maybe for some of you. All in all I think a small Thank You card and gift is a great gesture. Take care of your loaned items and be able to replace them if worse comes to worse. Always return items dry cleaned.

These are just my personal opinions, who knows if there is actual clothing loaning etiquette.

What do you think of my rules?
Do you have any to add to them?
Have you ever had a bad experience with loaning or borrowing clothes?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

what's in my beach bag?

Hi Lovelies!
I decided to film a little vlog about what I carry in my beach/pool bag. I've gotten a bunch of different questions about my swim-suit or what sunscreen I use, and over-all what I take with me to the pool or beach. This wraps everything up into one lovely little vlog! 

I hope you lovelies enjoy, and let me know if there is something I should be carrying in my bag that I'm not already! As always I love to hear your suggestions! 

I am a tiny bit shiny in this video, eeep! Remind me to use some matte powder next time ;) But over-all best lighting thus far!

Beach / Pool Bag
Travel Pack of Face Wipes
Facial Spray
Hair Tie
Swim-Suit Cover Up
Good Light Read

Thanks again to Pluggz for the flip-flops, I am loving them (and my mom is down right obsessed). I will be doing a full review on them later when I've had more time to wear them.

And thank you also to Small Girls PR for the advance copy of Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols that comes out today! 

*Although I did receive some of these products for review, these are my honest opinions. I value your trust in me and would never do anything to compromise that.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

little loves

This week totally threw me off with the mid-week holiday. It got my days all mixed up and out of whack. Same old stuff work and kickboxing but in 100* heat all week. I pretty much have my entire August (birthday month) planned out so I am really excited about that! How soon is too soon to send out invitations for birthdays?

I forgot to add this picture last week from when the power went out for a few hours. I had to take a bath so I went old school and lit a bunch of candles. It was actually kinda nice.

 Monday mask night tradition with Amika hair mask, Formula 10.0.6 face mask, and Mark eye treatment. I look forward to this night all week.

  I didn't do too much on the fourth but I did get up early to pick blueberries from Wintergreen Tree Farm. Later that night I grabbed some delicious bar food with my besties, and the boyfriend. 

 On Thursday I came home to mailbox full of treats! First I got my Summer Beauty VoxBox from Influenster (which is totally free). I was super excited about the Clear Duo and the Sally Hansen magnetic polish.

 I also got this beauty in my mailbox Thursday (ok technically it was on the front porch). The new 4P clampless curling iron courtesy of Amika. This amazing iron is like the one I use now but has 4 interchangeable barrels. I will be filming lots of new hair tutorials with them! 

 Friday evening it reached over 100* here so I sat out on the porch with my momma (and my kitty) and had caprese salad and corn-on-the-cob. My best friend Lindsay was in town just for the night so afterwards we stopped over to see her and talk the night away.

 Saturday I woke up and went kickboxing, then came home and made this smoothie to get my sugar levels back up. I used plain greek yogurt, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, and just a pinch of Truvia. It was delicious!

Love, love, love this new Mark shirt dress that comes out on 7/13. I am pre-ordering it tomorrow, and one for my momma too. This will be the perfect summer to fall transition dress. How cute would this be with some brown boots when fall starts to hit? I'm also planning to take it to Detriot on Labor Day weekend for the jazz fest. I like how low-maintence it seems but still super chic.

Order yours HERE and use code WELCOME for FREE SHIPPING.

Hope you lovelies had a great week!

TONIGHT 7/8 is also the last night to ENTER to win some amazing beauty products! ENTER HERE

Sunday, July 1, 2012

little loves

Hey Lovelies!

I sure hope you all had a great week, I know I did!

Sunday after posting my little loves and working I got ready and headed to a local vineyard called Sarah's Vineyard. Its one of my favorite places for a chill girls night, or even date night. During the summer they even have a "Pizza in the Garden" night which is AH-MAZING! Seriously you need to go! Anyway they had a huge Summer Solstice Festival last weekend and my boy's band played on Sunday. So after work I threw my hair up in my new no nonsense Kardashian bun go to style, this amazing summer dress from Figleaf, and hung out in the sun while watching my honey do his thing. Afterwards we got Luigi's and called it a night. 

The rest of my week was pretty low key. I had kickboxing, work, blog stuff, errands, etc. Thursday date night got cancelled due to a gig (the life of a musicians gf) so I stayed in with my mom, and two besties and we made this mess on the counter. 

I also had the opportunity to interview former Bachlorette Ali Fedotowsky via Open Sky and one of my lucky readers can win some of her favorite beauty products! Check out the interview and giveaway HERE.

Friday I finally had a chance to make it to my good friend Heidi's art show. I always seem to miss them so I was really excited to stop by. She's pretty much all around awesome! For this specific show she took poetry written by a friend and then brought it to life through pictures, paintings, etc. Check out her work HERE or HERE.

After the art show I headed to Brother's Lounge in Lakewood for yet another of the boy's gigs. If you're around the area you should check it out, it's a really great place. My friend Hallie wrote about it HERE. It was so hot and humid so I had to wear shorts. I wore my new lace Express top, bracelets from DBE, LC, and Anchor Boutique, MK watch, Kate Spade love knot earrings, Deux Lux bag from DBE, and Gianni Bini pumps. Obviously I did the K-Dash bun AGAIN, I think the boyfriend is itching to see my hair down again (maybe I'll treat him to it tonight for DN).

I have a new blogger obsession. I stumbled across Ashley from Southern (California) Belle maybe two weeks ago somehow and now I am practically stalking her. Just look at her outfits?! Isn't she just adorable?! You should check her out and you should also vote for her HERE and help her win!

I had the awesome surprise of reaching over 400 LIKES on Facebook this week, which was amazing! Are you following me on Facebook yet? I share info about beauty deals, random finds, inside scoop on my posts, and FB only giveaways.

Hope you lovelies had a great week too! 
Don't forget to enter the beauty giveaway HERE!