Delicious Dish Tuesday: Antipasto Salad

Sep 30, 2014


  • 1/2 pound(s) farfalle pasta
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves (not marinated), cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup(s) Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 (8-ounce) fresh mozzarella ball, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 pint(s) mixed cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
  • 1 bulb(s) (small) fresh fennel, cored, thinly sliced
  • 2 cup(s) baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup(s) small fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup(s) snipped fresh chives
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounce(s) sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta; cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. One minute before the pasta is cooked, add sun-dried tomatoes, to plump and soften.
  2. Drain pasta and tomatoes in a colander and transfer to a serving bowl. Add vinaigrette and the remaining salad ingredients, except for prosciutto, and toss together until evenly dressed. Divide salad onto four plates and top with prosciutto strips.    


Monday Madness Link Up

Sep 29, 2014
Hey everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and break from work.

I'm starting a new Monday link up! The rules are really simple. All you have to do is add your link at the bottom of this post and get to mingling! You don't have to follow me (however, if you like what you see feel free to use my buttons on the right). If you'd like to increase traffic to your blog and meet new friends through the link up, add my graphic and link it to my page to help grow it. Can't wait to read about everyone's weekends!

Nick was away this weekend on a boys' four wheeling trip which means I had the entire weekend to figure out what to do. I'd love to say that I went out with friends or did something super interesting, but I didn't instead I watched Scandal on Netflix. I got through the first season and 14 out of 22 episodes in the second season. I have a lot more to go! This show is super addicting!

The characters and the story lines are insane! Great writing and great acting. Now I get why everyone is so obsessed! I think I love Fitz the most. Can't wait to dish with fellow Scandal lovers!

I should have called in sick this morning.

Have a great week!

I Heart Fridays

Sep 26, 2014
I'm always excited for Fridays, but I am over the moon this week. I've had a rough week work wise and I'm ready for some time away.

Anyway, here are five things for Friday that I hope you find interesting:

//1// I'm obsessed with the Duggars. Whether you agree with their beliefs or not, you have to admit they are a pretty cute family. Jill and Derrick are my favorites!

They're so cute!

//2// Here's a picture of Nick and our niece from last weekend that I wanted to put in my Monday recap post. I sent this picture from my phone to my e-mail Sunday night and received it on Thursday morning. Ummm... ok.

Uncle Nick and Demi

//3// Nick's off on a four wheeling trip so I think I'll be spending the weekend watching Scandal on Netflix because I have yet to get on that bandwagon and really need to.

Of course I'll be spending quality time with my puppers.


//4// I'm really missing my girls - my sisters-in-law Megan, Meghan, and Amber, my sister Courtney, and my best friend Sara Jane. Do any of you want to move to Michigan?

Me and Sara Jane. Summer 2012 when she visited me in Michigan!

//5// Found this girl on YouTube and I really love this cover. Words of wisdom for the week.
Have a great weekend!

Good Reads: The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Sep 24, 2014
Goodreads Synopsis:
Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state’s largest landowners. Matthew King’s daughters—Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old recovering drug addict—are out of control, and their charismatic, thrill-seeking mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident. She will soon be taken off life support. As Matt gathers his wife’s friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation is made worse by the sudden discovery that there’s one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair. Forced to examine what they owe not only to the living but to the dead, Matt, Scottie, and Alex take to the road to find Joanie’s lover, on a memorable journey that leads to unforeseen humor, growth, and profound revelations.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this. I saw the movie before reading the book, which I hate doing because I feel the book gets ruined. I'm always ready to be "at the good parts" the movie showed.

But, in my true fashion I cared for the book more than the movie, but both were great. I liked how the booked delved into the characters of Sid and Joannie. Sid seems so random in the movie, but his character actually makes a lot of sense. This might be harsh, but... I had abosolutely no simpathy for Joanie's character. She seemed like a really messed up person who messed up the lives of her husband and children. I don't like her, and I feel I should feel bad saying that since the character is dying. But, I don't. I think she's a bitch.

I acutally laughed out load at some parts. Which again, asks the question 'is it appropriate since someone is dying?' Tricky, tricky Miss Hemmings! In some ways the the character of Matt King reminded me of my dad and the daughters of myself and my younger sister (minus the whole drug use thing). My mom actually cheated and left our family, so I grew up with a single dad. We, along with my brother, would say just about anything in front my dad... some of the craizest stuff! I couldn't help to think, 'did my dad have the same thoughts as Matt King when he heard things come out of our mouths?' and did he think 'do my kids even care they are saying this in front of me?' I'm sure we made for some really awkward moments and questions about parenting, just like it did for Matt.

Read it. Just know there is adult humor, not gross humor, but adult. I found it appropriate in this novel.

Happy reading!

Nick's Survival Crate

Sep 23, 2014
Today Man Crates is helping me feature one of my very favorite people - my husband Nick!

Man Crates is the place for bragworthy gifts for guys. No ugly neckties, cologne samplers, or executive trinkets - just gifts men will love! Think of it as a gift basket service for men, but without the wrapping paper and ribbons. Whether you're shopping for a gentleman of refined tatse or a rugged survivalist, Man Crates offers a crate for that!

I was so excited to see that Man Crates offers so many choices and they will even help you create a custom crate for the man in your life (boyfriend, brother, dad, etc). The offer crates for the carnivore, survivalist, beer lover, snack enthuiast, gamer, and athlete. And... they just added and NFL crate! It's great for this time of year and with the holidays coming up. Each crate ships with an etched crow bar. I think that's really cool.


Nick's Survival Kit

I had Nick put together what he would put into a survival kit. Nick's survival items describe his personality to a T. He's a very practical guy and chose very practical items even after I told him he could take anything he wanted. His items also show that he's an even keel and relaxed guy. That shows in his choice of the hammock, iPod, and solar charger. And yes, he does have an old ass iPod that looks exactly like the one above. My man's happy just to relax and listen to music and forage for food.
Hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into the wrold of Nick.
What would your guy put into his survival crate?
Me? I would have taken a hair brush and hair ties, my dog, a really comfy pillow, s'mores fixings, and books! What would you take?

Monday Madness 9.22.14

Sep 22, 2014
Helllooooo! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I had some major fun blogging Fall Beauty Week last week! Don't worry if you missed it. You can still check out these topics: Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty, Affordable Fall Nail and Lip Colors, 5 Ways to Wear  Tartan Blanket Scarf, How to Backcomb, and When to Throw Out Your Makeup.

I got some really great feedback and there was some awesome participation! Thanks for reading, girlies! Your support is appreciated and means the world to me!

Other then blogging, this pretty much sums up my week:

Luckily I can count on 100.5 The River to play an REO Speed Wagon song every single night on my way home from work. Nothing like an 80s power ballad to help you sort out your emotions.

This weekend we headed to Nick's hometown and alma mater for some tailgating and football. If you know anything about me, you know that I think football is the dumbest sport ever. However, I like to spend time with my husband. Plus, I went to a really small school, so we had no excitement over sports like MSU does. Go State!

The Hubs.

Tailgating fun!

The real reason I agree to go to games.

Spartan love!

MSU dance team. Go girls!

I also agree to go to games because I love the MSU campus. It has a special spot in our love story. Nick proposed to me on campus - at Beaumont Tower- over 7 years ago! Whenever we're on campus I make him go to Beaumont and be lovey dovey with me. I think he secretly loves it.

Where we decided to spend the rest of our lives together...

Another perk of heading to Mid Michigan was seeing my niece again!

My little love!

The littlest Spartan cheerleader!
Have a great week!

Fall Beauty Week: When to Throw Away Your Makeup

Sep 19, 2014

How long have your makeup products crowded your bathroom drawer and your makeup bag? Once you open makeup products they are on a time clock. They only last for so long before being contaminated with bacteria that's harmful to your skin.

Here are some rules to follow on what to toss when:


You’ve got two to three months with your mascara wand once it's opened. Once the mascara has gotten thick, or starts to flake, it means its had too much contact with air, and there could be bacteria lurking inside the tube. To prevent this, never pump your mascara. When pulling the applicator out of the tube, twist it around slowly to build up the product.


Liquid liner is in the same category as mascara - toss it after three months to avoid a potential eye infection and never, ever share!  Pencil eyeliners can have a longer shelf life, but you need to sharpen them regularly. Bacteria can linger and could cause irritation. Spray alcohol on the tip before sharpening and do at least three rotations to remove germs.


Once opened, you’ve got 6 months to a year. Check that the consistency still looks the same and apply it using a brush or sponge. If unopened, it can last a couple of years, so don’t be afraid to stock pile your favorite!


You can get away with keeping your lipsticks for two years without spoiling. If you keep them stored in a dark, cool place they can be kept longer. Once they start smelling rancid or looking fuzzy you’ll know it’s time to throw them away.


Provided they are powders, they have the longest shelf life of any product. If you wet them, it's different story. Wetting them creates a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause eye infections. They’ll have to be tossed around the six month mark.


If they are good quality and you take care of them properly, your brushes should last for life.  Wash after every use with a brush cleaner and lay them out flat on a tissue to completely dry before storing away. You can also use baby shampoo or this DIY tutorial for brush cleaning.

Did you know these rules of thumb?

Only a few hours left to enter the Fall Beauty Week Giveaway!
And you can enter a second giveaway and win sample sizes of Laqa & Co Lip Lube, Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner, Marcelle Gold Glow BB Cream, and Supergoop! Hand Cream. This one only goes for a few hours so enter now!
Hope you enjoyed Fall Beauty Week 2014!

Fall Beauty Week: How to Backcomb

Sep 18, 2014

As the weather turns cooler loose, beachy waves move out and more structured, voluminous style moves in. Backcombing is a great way to add both structure and volume to your look for Fall and Winter.

Here's how to get get the perfect backcombed hair and avoid ratting. Can I getta #BigHairDontCare?!
Prepare Your Hair

If you have freshly washed hair with no product in it and you attempt a big full bodied hairstyle, it will be very difficult to pull off.
  • Add a finishing product that adds texture such as a volumizing mousse, texture spray, or root lift.
  • If you have glassy hair, use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
  • Have your stylist add texture the next time you get your hair cut.

    Pick Your Tools

    I use the Cricket Amped Up Tease Brush and Big Sexy Hair Powder Play texturizing powder.
    How to Comb Down/Tease
    The best way to describe combing down is it is a circular motion. Do not just move the comb up and down. That ratting. Make sure you pull the comb out after you push down before you move up the hair shaft again.
    The base of your backcombing is what will hold your volume in all day.
    1. Start at the crown and pull up a 1-2 inch section – the smaller the section the tighter the tease.
    2. Comb it to smooth and remove any tangles. 

     3.With one hand, tightly hold the ends of the section straight up from the scalp, holding the comb with the other.
    4. Insert the comb mid-shaft and run the comb down the length of the hair towards the scalp, when you reach the scalp pull the comb out and continue back at mid-shaft, making quick short strokes until you have the desired height and fullness. Do not just move the comb up and down. That ratting. Make sure you pull the comb out after you push down before you move up the hair shaft again.
    5. Now take a section under the first – you can go straight back or to the side. Combine that section with the first section – comb at the ends to smooth, and then backcomb it to the first section in the same fashion. When you go to the side, just lift up that top section, and hold it up with some of the back, than backcomb to that. This prevents holes, and lumps and the style falling out.

    6. You will work around the head always making sure that all the sections are connected. Remember go bigger than you want the end result to be, and it will look like a hot mess until the next step.
    7. Take the comb and lightly smooth out the top layer of hair, then spray with hairspray to set. You can lift that top layer and spray if needed to.

    Additional Tips and Tricks
    • Backcomb hair first, smooth, and then curl.
    • You can add little shots of hairspray at roots while backcombing for ultimate hold.
    • To take out backcombing, start combing at the ends then work your way up. Do not rip through the hair, this causes unnecessary breakage.

    Here are some of my favorite teased styles for Fall:

    Do you backcomb? Is teasing a part of your every day routine?
    There is very little time left to enter the Fall Beauty Week Giveaway. Check it out!

    Fall Beauty: 5 Ways to Wear a Tartan Blanket Scarf

    Sep 17, 2014
    Zara, Nordstrom, and Gap are all pushing their tartan blanket scarves for Fall/Winter 2014. They are warm, stylish, and affordable. What's not to like? But -  how can you style them? Here's 5 ways to wear a tartan blanket scarf to help get your creative juices flowing.

    Style 1: Tartan with Chambray

    Tartan #1


    Style 2: Tartan with a Different Pattern

    Tartain #2

    Style 3: Tartan with a LBD
    Tartan #3

    Style 4: Tartan with Outwear

    Tartan #4

    Style 5: Tartan with a Quilted Vest
    Tartain #5

    How are you wearing your tartan and plaid this season?
    Don't forget to enter the Fall Beauty Week Giveaway!


    Fall Beauty Week: Affordable Fall Lip and Nail Colors

    Sep 16, 2014

    You don't have to break the bank to follow the trends of Fall 2014. Makeup can be an easy (and cheap!) way to incorporate the most current Fall trends into your routine. Check it out:

    Now it's your turn to get Fall glam. Enter to win Wet 'n Wild lipsticks in Java and Dark Wine and Wet 'n Wild's Burgundy Frost nail polish.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck!

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