Berry Baked Brie

For Thanksgiving this year I wanted to attempt something different that I’ve never made before and something that I’ve never seen on my family’s table before. So after many Pinterest searches and swipes I found something with my Uncle that looked delicious and seemed easy enough for me to try.

I’ve tasted baked brie before at a friend’s dinner party and was wowed at how creamy it was. This recipe I found paired the brie with berries, one of my favorite types of fruits, and wrapped in crescent rolls.

This was super easy to make, all I did was open a can of crescent rolls, seal the seems together, cut the brie in half, top one half with berries, cover with other half of brie, wrap in dough and bake!

If you need more information than that to recreate then I recommend checking out the recipe I found at Taste & Tell!

This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving with the majority of it being devoured before we even sat down for the meal. Everyone loved the tartness of the berries with the creaminess of the brie. We even started tossing around ideas of making it with cranberries for Christmas. I cannot wait to try and wow my family again.

What did you bring for Thanksgiving? Do you have a favorite dish for holidays?

Red Bombshell Hair

One of the few things I really treat myself to is getting my hair done by a professional. I’ve gone through the years of not cutting it & coloring it at all (college years = no time  & money) and the attempts to color it myself (or have a more talented friend dye it) but I’ve fallen in love with my friend’s salon now. Her daughter and her opened up a little over a year ago in the Pittsburgh area and I’m so glad they did. They’re both incredibly talented with all types of hair colors (natural and fantasy), their salon is cozy and chic, and they make you feel SO comfortable.

That’s a huge part of going to a salon for me, the atmosphere, the experience. If I’m not having fun, if you aren’t talking to me and engaging in some way and show that you care about me, then why am I there? I’ve salon hopped a lot since I moved to Pittsburgh for college and rarely have gone to the same place twice. I tried two high end salons downtown which were nice, but so over priced and over stylized it wasn’t worth it. I did the trendy, instagram heavy salon that does amazing work – but they didn’t engage me at all, didn’t listen to what I wanted and didn’t really show their creativity to me. When Vibe Beauty Lounge opened it was an instant match.

I’ve been going there for almost a year already and the last two times switched things up and went RED. Yes, I am a red bombshell now. Today we took it a little darker for winter and I cannot tell you how excited and in love with it I am. They are incredible there!

I’ll be honest, it’s not super cheep, but it’s worth it and better priced than a lot of other salons with less talent. Also, my hair is super long and thick as you can see and I’m in there for about five hours but I don’t feel bored or anything. They have drinks and Netflix and the conversation is always flowing. This makes the perfect day off for me and I always leave excited and ecstatic!

What is your favorite hair color or style? What makes you relax on a day off?

Quick Update!

Hello! It’s been 11 days since I last posted and I wanted to explain… THANKSGIVING & BLACK FRIDAY. Haha, I’ve stated I work in retail and this past weekend was ridiculous. I think my emotions (and body) have gone through the gamut. I have gone through sleep deprivation, dehydration and nearly wanting to cry and rip my hair out. I can’t even guess what the shoppers went through haha. But I made it out the other side again! Four days later I am here, I am alive and better for it.

Now, be prepared for an influx of posting because I’ve had a lot on my mind and a lot I’ve wanted to share with the internet, even if it’s minor thoughts. Hope you like it!

P.S. anyone else see the twurkey video?

Sweater Weather Nails

I hate to admit it but I’m not a huge winter weather lover here. I know I live in Pittsburgh, probably the capital for crazy strange weather patterns, and I grew up in a snow belt where I was very much used to snow every year. Then I went to Texas for a year and my blood actually warmed up and hasn’t frozen over since, also I moved to Pittsburgh where (have to admit) majority of us don’t know how to handle rain, let alone snow. I know this sounds ridiculous but the majority of the occupants don’t, and unfortunately I’ve become scared enough of those people that I get worried once snow (and especially ice) season begins.

But the colder it gets the more fun, seasonal sweaters come out, so I’ll take that. I’ll be honest, I don’t own one of those classic Christmas sweaters with the reindeer on it (too many childhood flashbacks of itchy sweaters!) but today I added something to take its place… sweater inspired nails!

In journalism we pretty much call what I just did there burying the lead, sorry if I just confused the fuck out of you haha. I really enjoy pampering myself by getting my nails done but it’s been awhile since I’ve found a place I actually felt comfortable in and had a good time. My hair stylists (and friends) have forever gone to this place called The Gloss Society that does incredible work, but I’ve never had a chance to book with them because they’re always booked solid. Well I finally made it!

I scoured Pinterest for some cool Fall-esque nails and found a couple photos to bring in. Here when I was signing in for my appointment I find out my nail artist was one of the experts there, I was so geeked! With that information I pretty much showed her the photo inspirations and said I trusted her completely. She did not disappoint!

This experience was like no other nail appointment I’ve ever experienced. The atmosphere was super fun and inclusive and I couldn’t stop laughing honestly. I would certainly come back just for that, but my nails… oh my god, my NAILS! Well take a look at these beauties:

Are you a salon goer or do you prefer painting your own nails? If you could have anything painted on your nails, what would they look like?

Shows To Binge Watch

Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge on a day off? I remember when I would have to stay home sick from school and my parents would set me up in the living room in front of the TV, mounds of pillows and blankets, liquids to hydrate with and the remote. They may have set me up for these future binge marathons now, and with the invention of apps like Netflix and Hulu, SlingTV and VUDU you’re all set.

I have several moods when I start to binge: comedy, familiar and movies. It might be difficult to classify a movie binge (unless maybe if it’s a series of movies like Underworld) but somedays I just get into that mood of wanting to watch movie after movie.

Shows to binge when you want a laugh:

  • F-R-I-E-N-D-S

I was never super into this show when it was actually airing new episodes on TV, probably because I was too young (it premiered in 1994, I was 6) but lately this has been a lifesaver. Watching these 6 friends go through semi-normal life situations in NYC is entertaining. I sure laugh a lot! Thankfully all seasons are on Netflix so I can just go through season upon season when I’m in the mood to laugh. I’ll be upset if Netflix takes it off anytime soon.

  • Young & Hungry

This isn’t as established as FRIENDS but it’s super cute and funny. It follows Emily Osment’s character who wants to be a chef but is a little scatter brained and likes to help friends, even if it doesn’t turn out well. Throw in a nerdy millionaire who falls in love with her, but they never seem to work out, and you’ve got yourself some laughs for a few hours. I found it on Netflix randomly one day, but it only has 5 seasons and I don’t think Freeform renewed it.

When I want that familiar, ‘home’ feeling:

  • Gilmore Girls

I can’t say how much I love this show, and it’s for many reasons. I grew up watching this series with my mom and sister (my sister is completely obsessed and scoured the world till she found all the series on DVD). I remember coming home from school and sitting at the kitchen table watching either new episodes, or re-runs of these women. That’s one reason why I absolutely adore this show.

It’s so unique of a concept too, and the production and writing is amazing. I read somewhere this is one of the shows that has the most dialogue in each episode (they talk real fast). This mother-daughter duo go through life together as best friends and battle obstacles like a prep school, reconnecting with wealthy grandparents (who mean well) and Yale where Rory loses her way and then finds it again! Also there is this long drawn out romance between Lorelai and Luke that you can NOT help but root for (though I liked Alex as well, he was the coffee shop owner who took her camping).

What’s fun is that this show has connected me with friends throughout life. My now store manager is a huge Gilmore Girls fan as well and when she first started out as an associate we instantly bonded when I saw her tattoo of ‘In Omnia Paratus‘ (Ready for anything).

Thankfully you don’t need to scour the sphere for the episodes because Netflix has them all to binge on! Also, numerous TV channels still air reruns on a daily basis.

Bonus: Gilmore Girls has such a huge following that Netflix did 4 mini series with the cast to show what their all up to lately. It follows the seasons and certainly does the original series justice. I just hope they do another…

  • Chopped/Beat Bobby Flay/Holiday Baking Championship

Pretty much any Food Network competition show gives me that familiar feeling. I grew up with Food Network and just cooking in general, pretty much life revolved around the kitchen for my family (and still does). We always congregated in the kitchen to talk, cook and eat and because of this Food Network is a huge channel for my entire family. We watch a lot of shows but personally, I love competition shows like Chopped or Beat Bobby Flay. I kind of already admitted to binging the Holiday Baking Championship the other day but these shows just pull me in.

I use my SlingTV to watch the majority of my FoodNetwork shows but I know there are some on Netflix too.

Binge Worthy Movies:

  • 50 Shades Series

You can laugh all you want, but I dig these movies (granite there are only two thus far, but the third and final movie is set to release February 9th!!). I came to the game late with the books and ended up borrowing one as a joke from a coworker years ago before the first movie was set to premiere; I ended up reading it in one day and ordering the entire series online so I’d have my own set.

The movies, while not quite as good as the books, have a great cast and are filmed in one of my favorite cities, Seattle! While there is a lot of controversy over the storyline I’ve taken it for what it is, an enticing sexy romance that follows a girl who explores her sexuality and who she is as a person. Dakota Johnson portrays Anastasia Steele beautifully and has become a favorite actress of mine, and Jamie Dornin… well, he’s got a great pack of abs haha.

They make a great rainy day binge though if you’re looking to have a little fun, maybe even have a friend over…

  • Vampire Academy

This is the best B-list movie ever! It’s hilariously entertaining where it follows these two girls (vampires) who originally escaped school but get dragged back, where the one sarcastically refers to it as… Vampire Academy.

This vampire movie doesn’t have any sparkles, they don’t even technically burn while in sunlight (though it irritates some). With this story there are three types of vampires: Strigoi (bad, stereotypical vamps), Dhampir (human/vampire hybrid and protectors) and Moroi (mortal vampires).

I tend to throw this on when there isn’t anything else good on and its been a long day at work, and generally there’s pizza involved. There’s a lot of one-liners that make you laugh out loud and cringe at the same time, but it’s good! Sweet Sassy Molassy.

What shows or movies do you binge on a day off? Have you watched any of mine?

Favorite 4 Beauty Products

Everyone has there favorite beauty products, and the reasons why are always what interest me. I have a secret that I need to share, I work at Lush Cosmetics. I’ve been at my store for almost four years and I honestly cannot think of anywhere else I’d want to be. Lush Cosmetics has taught me so much about the world, about beauty products and has changed my life completely. I could write a whole post about the company honestly but I’m going to get back to the topic at hand, my favorite beauty products, and why.

Fav Facial Cleanser:

Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub, Lush Cosmetics, $37.95 for 8.8 oz.

I get asked a lot when I’m working what my favorite bath bomb is or what my favorite product is, those are really hard questions for me to answer because it can change so frequently. BUT if you ask what my most USED product is, hands down, Ocean Salt. I live off of this, my skin craves this because the sea salt buffs it to perfection, that lime infused vodka cuts all the oils and I am given the most radiant skin I have ever had. Do I still break out? Fuck yeah, I think that’s just a given for me at times. Do I break out less? Totally. Do I have customers asking me what I use to get such glowing skin? Oh yeah baby!

 

Fav Hair Product:

Pravana Nevo Color Enhancer Treatment in Radiant Red, Pravana through Amazon, $13.25 for 5 oz.

I recently became a stunning redhead and if you’ve ever dyed your hair you know it takes a lot of upkeep for colors. This product was recommended to me by my hair stylist and she was so right. It’ll be three months since I turned red and this product has kept the color strong and vibrant so much longer than anything else. This enhancer is like a deep conditioner with a dab of dye mixed in. Honestly, I love it just for how soft it makes my hair and how it helps to detangle it as well. My hair has been through the ringer a million times in the past year because I started bleaching it for a balayage look before going red, and for my shade of red they had to bleach it more so the color would be vibrant like I wanted. Unfortunately that means my hair got pretty fried and sometimes looks like the tail end of a witch’s broom if left unattended. This Pravana treatment softens and hydrates my hair to societal acceptation.

Fav Makeup:

Naked Palette smoky, Urband Decay, $54

I am an addicted novice when it comes to makeup. I want to be able to do all the crazy beautiful cat eyes and contours that are blasting through the internet, but I haven’t reached that level yet. A few friends of mine are makeup artists and have helped teach me little tricks whenever I’m curious. They actually encouraged me to get this eye palette because of all the neutrals and sparkles so I’d have a range of shades to choose from (plus they were running a sale for 50% off on it!). When I saw it, I couldn’t resist. I use this almost every day, it is the first thing I grab when I want to make my eyes pop and I look sooooooooooo good. This palette is easy to play with to create inspiring looks, yet easy enough to just add a bit of sparkle to an everyday work look. This was so worth it that I gave away almost every other eye shadow palette I owned to my cousin.

Fav Scent:

Rose Jam Body Spray, Lush Cosmetics, $39.95 for 6.7 fl oz.

This is a brand new obsession because it literally hit my store’s shelf this past Monday. If you’ve ever been into a Lush store you know how popular the scent ‘Rose Jam’ is. Most customers know it as a holiday exclusive shower gel that sells out QUICKLY, but the scent has slowly spanned through other areas of the store. Well they did it again! This body spray brings out that decadent, delicious rose scent in an all day wear. I’ve never purchased any other rose jam scented product until this week, with this body spray. Bellissimo!

Bonus! Yog Nog Perfume, Lush Kitchen through Lush Cosmetics UK

This was actually a part of a trade I did with a coworker of mine who had picked it up off what was the Lush Kitchen, a special endeavor apart of the Lush Cosmetics UK site (they’re redesigning the concept currently). She ended up not falling in love with it as much as she thought and had let it be known if any of us had any other perfumes she’d be willing to trade. I’ll be honest, I had a few coveted items that I never thought I’d trade, but I told her if we could both try them out first and then decide I might go through with it. Well, this perfume smells like you are roasting marshmallows over a fire at Girl Scout camp (which I’ve only done a handful of times in my childhood). Every time I wear this to work someone asks if we all smell burnt marshmallows (in a good way!) and I get to always share that I’m wearing my Yog Nog!

Okay so I shared mine, now you show me yours! What is your one must have, or most used, beauty product in your routine? I’m always looking to expand my horizons so I may just have to try yours!

Mantras That Inspire Me

Sagittarius are notorious for acting like everything is totally cool, like we have the world completely figured out while deep down we can be freaking out. Showing weakness, especially in front of others, is a bit difficult for me. I like to keep my issues to myself and work on them, maybe only sharing them to someone I’m very close with to ask for advice. It’s something I’m working on but being vulnerable is difficult still.

On some days when my emotions are a bit more stirred up I like to read a few quotes or sayings that bolster me for the day. Quotes can be very inspiring (or boring if they become too long) and there are a lot of ways to find them on the internet today. Honestly I love when friends post them on their Instagram because I always start my day searching my feed. Another great place to search for them I’ve discovered is on Pinterest!

My home screen on my phone is a photo of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (yes, I always use his full name) and this quote:

I like to keep it as inspiration to always work my hardest, give my best effort and that there is never an end point for a goal because it should always be growing. Like The Rock always says ‘blood, sweat and respect. First two you give, last one you earn.”

Side note: I also have a major crush on him. I follow him religiously on Instagram and pour over every one of his posts. He’s such an amazing individual with how hard he works and how inspirational he is but let’s admit, he’s fucking sexy too!

This quote floats around in my head at different times, another version of this quote I always talk about is that “their actions towards you are a reflection on them, how you react is a reflection on you.” I’ve had a lot of major changes happen in my personal life lately and reminding myself that how someone treats me isn’t a reflection of my own personality, it’s a reflection of theirs and to stop taking things too personally. It’s been a really freeing, albeit difficult, lesson to learn. Whenever a situation occurs where I want to just lash out or cry, I take a deep breath and remember that their actions reflect them, not me (and therefore that person(s) can suck it!)

This is a little mantra I like to remind myself when the haters start coming for me. I best be doing my job right if someone is offended by my success. My hustle reflects my desires and goals and if I’m working on them hard enough I want someone to take notice. Go offend the shit out of someone with how badly you want to reach your goals. This quote just emboldens and empowers me.

Side Note: If you really want to feel empowered, I highly recommend listening to Demi Lovato’s ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ because that is one badass song! I rock out to it on the daily to bolster my confidence.

Please share your favorite quotes with me in the comment section! I’m always looking for a new mantra to bolster myself when I’m feeling down.