Thursday, November 7, 2019

Recipe | Easy Bake & No Bake Buffalo Chicken Dip

The busiest time of year is upon us...if it's the hustle & bustle of the holidays or the fourth quarter, it's here! I love buffalo chicken and a good dip is the perfect recipe to have on hand to bring as an app to that holiday party, potluck, or just cause you didn't take anything out for dinner. Trust me, this recipe will come in handy...and I even dropped in a bonus 2 ingredient NO BAKE buff chick dip recipe at the end, cause your oven may need a break! 

Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip 

yields 4 cups 
oven: 375 degrees
bake time: 20-25 minutes until sides bubble and top is brown

what you need
a block of cream cheese-soften to room temp
1/2 cup of hot sauce-more or less depending on how spicy you like it!
canned chicken breast-drained
1/2 cup of light ranch dressing-more or less to taste; could also use bleu cheese!

shredded cheese to mix in or put on top (I do this for my dad's!-see the cheese I used for his below!)

serve with
mutilgrain tortilla chips
celery & carrots
toasted English muffins

Mix all of the indrigents into a mixing bowl-I prefer to put the cream cheese in first and mix it a little on it's own to make it smoother. After everything is combined, transfer to your baking dish...I use two  ramekins to make individual portions cause my dad likes his with cheese (& I don't eat cheese!) Pop in the oven and once it's bubbling, it's warm and ready to eat!

No Bake Buffalo Chicken Dip

what you need
light sour cream
dry buffalo chicken dip mix-pictured above

canned chicken breast-drained
hot sauce

serve with
celery & carrots
tortilla chips

Mix the light sour cream and dry mix in a serving bowl and serve immediately! Seriously...couldn't get easier than this!

What's your quick and easy go to recipe this time of year? Leave me some links in the comments,

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Blue light glasses...worth the hype?

Blue light blockers are everywhere...your fave celebs are wearing them, influencers, and even coworkers. But you’re probably asking yourself what the heck are they and do they even work? 
Well as someone who bought into the hype, I’m going to share my honest opinion on these trendy specs and give you all the deets! 

I bought my first pair of blue light blockers over a year ago from Amazon and didn’t really love them. I felt like they were too thick and kinda messed up my 20/20 vision. At the time I bought mine, I grabbed a couple pairs for a few of my coworkers and ended up liking theirs more cause they were thinner frames and lenses. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to try the ones from SojosGlasses and I’m OBSESSED! I can wear them as a fashion piece (like hi cute glasses to make me look like a smarty smart pants), but they are easy to wear while I work on two computer screens everyday at my 9-5 and then when I’m home on the Mac & iPad doing lzb stuffs. 

Not only are the SojosGlasses the best blue blocking lenses I’ve tried, their range of frames is ev-ery-thinggggg! They have bigger frames, smaller, thick, thin, and even cat eye frames. Honestly everyone can find a frame from them & they have prime-hello I like you, cya in two days! 

If you’ve been on the fence about hoping on the blue light bandwagon, I promise you won’t be disappointed in the SojosGlasses

thanks to SojosGlasses for sponsoring this posts
all opinions are 100% my own & links may be affiliate 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Creator Day & Ipsy Live Preview Recap!

So by now you know that last Friday night I went down to Manhattan to attend Ipsy Creator Day and a preview of their Ipsy Live event (previously known as GenBeauty). I was invited to the event by Ipsy OpenStudios and was so honored to be chosen out of tons & tons of other amazing creators. 

I headed down on the train and grabbed a quick drink with one of my HS girlfriends-Hey Shan! who I haven't seen in years. It was the perfect kick off to the night. Once I got to the venue, Center415 I hopped on a short line and headed right inside. The evening started with a panel to help teach us how to create long lasting partnerships with brands. I found the panelists very informational and I learned a lot of tips...I mean hello, Lipsticknick was there & what she says goes! 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Prints for Fall! | How to Guide

I know, I know…you’re probably thinking…this isn’t groundbreaking but hear me out! I feel like you can get lost when it comes to prints and patterns for fall because there’s so many different ones and they’re all so good! So I figured I’d break it down for you here making it a little bit easier to navigate the most talked about trend for the new season!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Must Haves from Hudson Square Boutique!

There's a new spot in town & I'm so excited to have a new boutique to pop into! I love the space that Danielle and Veronica created-it's crisp, so on trend, and is so inviting. I cannot wait to head in and do a try on for you very, very soon! But in the meantime, I rounded up my faves to share here and the best part is you don't have to live in the HV to enjoy the space these lovely ladies created-you can shop everything online-cue the "yasssss queeeeen" emoji hands!! && and even bigger bonus, I have a coupon code I can share so you can SAVE 15% ON EVERY PURCHASE: BLONDE15

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Beauty Products I Always Repurchase

As much as I love to hear what people grabbing that's new to them, I find it more interesting to know what they ALWAYS repurchase. The are the products that I want to get my hands on...the tried and true ones, the ones that they can't live without, or would run out to buy if they were away and forgot it at home, that's the shiz that I care about. Today, I'm FINALLY sharing my ride or dies with you and they are almost ALL drugstore!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Easy Three Ingredient Banana Muffins

I'm not a kitchen wizard...I can cook you dinner, but it's not going to be the fanciest meal you've ever had which is why I don't share too many recipes, but the fall is the time of year I always want something baking especially on a football Sunday! I don't know about you, but I buy bananas every single week (they're my fave fruit!)...and almost every single week, they go bad. Idk what it is, but bananas don't last the way they used to (woah, I sound 72 years old...don't point that out in the comments please, lololol). So I knew I wanted to make a banana bread thing of some sorts, but I decided to jazz it up with some of my favorite things to add to bananas. 

So without further ado, I give you, my EASY minimum of three (!) ingredient banana muffins!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

books | what I read on vacation

links for my kimono & bathing suit

I've been meaning to get this post up for a minute now, but as you know I've been a little preoccupied (read about that here). Better late than never I always say! I hadn't been in a reading mood heading into vaca-I was more in a reading slump, but there's something about the beach and the Carolina room at the house that gets me right in the mood to cozy up with a good book :) Here's the 7 I devoured while I was away!

Brief Summary: At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry. 

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

My thoughts: Well duhhhh, I loved this book. It had everything a Colleen book has it kicked off my vacation the right way. I was a mess on the beach finishing this one, so just a fair warning. 5 star read for me! 

Brief Summary: Meth, crank, ice, glass, fire, tina, chalk, crystal or crystal meth.
Whatever you call it, it’s the same thing. Addictive.

Drugs ruin people’s lives. 
I should know, they destroyed mine. 
I’m Hannah and I got hooked on ice. What started as a trickle, ended with a tsunami washing everything away; my family, my life.
I’m not sure you’re ready to read my story; it’s real and confronting. 
Open the book, read the pages and see how easy it is for anyone to get addicted. 
Ice affects all types of people. It doesn’t discriminate. 
It will SCREW. YOU. UP.

*Drug abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and emotional conditioning. Recommended for 16+ Contains distressing content. It will cause you anger, frustration and you'll want to hurt some characters.

My thoughts: This book deals with some real heavy shit. There were times I wish it was written a little better and a little more adult (which sounds strange cause the topic of drugs is very adult.) There are parts of this story that you will want to reach in the book and hurt the main character to shake some sense in her...this was a 3.5 star read for me.

Brief Summary: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. 
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.

My thoughts: This is BY FAR the best book I've read ALL YEAR. This was the BEACH read for me.  I stumbled upon it and I have never been happier with a random purchase. If you read the summary then you know that this book is my dream (ahem, there's a certain member of *nsync that this could happen with...JT boo, looking at you) but man, this is a top 5 fave for sure.

Brief Summary: Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.

My thoughts: My second Colleen book of the trip & it pains me to say this, but I didn't love this book like I wanted to. It was well written, but I was missing that Colleen factor. I think it was just cause I had read another one 4 days prior. I know there are a ton of Without Merit Stans out there and unfortunately, I'm not on that train. For me this was 4 stars, cause Colleen just writes so freaking well...!

Brief Summary: Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him. It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself. At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved - and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything - and everyone - in its path. This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

My thoughts: I found this because I googled books like Colleen Hoover (what can I say, I have a type!) And this book was gut wrenching at times, you felt this story. It hurt and I just wanted to get to the ending so I could see how it ended (& hoped it ended how I wanted it to). For me this was another 4 star read. 

Brief Summary: It's been one year since the brutal murder of her older sister, Zoë, and fifteen-year-old Echo is still reeling from the aftermath. Her parents are numb, her friends are moving on, and the awkward start to her freshman year proves she'll never live up to her sister's memory. Until Zoë's former boyfriend Marc shows up with Zoë's diary.
At first Echo's not interested, doubting there's anything in there she doesn't already know. But when curiosity prevails, she starts reading, becoming so immersed in her sister's secret world, their lives begin to blur, forcing Echo to uncover the truth behind Zoë's life so that she can start to rebuild her own.
Prepare to laugh your heart out and cry your eyes out in this highly addictive tale as Alyson Noël's Saving Zoë tackles the complicated relationship between two sisters and shows how the bond can endure long after one of them is gone.

My thoughts: I needed a mystery and man did this one deliver. I had a hunch where this one was going and I was right, but it was still a great read. It will be a movie later on this year (or maybe next year!), but either way I can't wait to see the real life sisters play Echo and Zoe. Def a 4 star read for me! 

Brief Summary: Brooklyn wanted two things.
Her own bakery.
And Nate Riley.

Opening her own business was the easy part.
Trying to forget about Nate when he disappeared was the hard part.

Now, years later, she's running her bakery while engaged to the ideal man.

Then the unimaginable happens.

She is left shattered once more and vows to never love again.

An unexpected meeting with Nate has him back in her life, wanting a second chance.

He'll do anything to win her back.
But Nate must confront his demons before he sends Brooklyn's life into another tailspin.

Can they reconnect and overcome their obstacles to be together?

If there is such a thing as destiny, does it win at all costs?

My thoughts: I love these types of books...the will they get back together type books. One, you know there will be drama & two, you know there will be some sort of hot make up sex along the way...this book delivers the steaminess that I love in a beach read. For me it was 4 stars for sure!

 What do you like to read by the pool or on the beach? Let's chat in the comments and share with me what you have loved this summer so I can add it to my to be read list,

ps-all these links are affiliate links, so I'll get a small piece of the pie! Which means that I will smile really big and you will be helping me pay for Buggy's v expensive vet bills and we will love you forever and ever! 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

life update | the big (small) C

I've been going back and forth about if I wanted to post this or not, but I ultimately decided it would be the easiest way to share what's going on with Zoey-my Pomeranian pup. If you've been around my blogging career for a while then you'll remember when Zoey aka Buggy took over the blog on occasion and did her own posts (they were so fun and I loved pretending to see things from her side!) But I guess to get caught up with her health I should start from the beginning...I got Zoey on Tuesday Nov 29th, 2011. It was raining and I was having a bad day (I worked in retail and it was just really busy...) & the guy I was dating was also having a tough day, so we decided what makes you feel better then going to see puppies? Well, there was a little black ball of fluff there and about 30 minutes  after walking in the door, she was my ball of fluff. 

I had cats my whole life, but now here I was the mom of a 2 month old, 2 pound puppy and I quickly became a helicopter mom in every sense of the word! She didn't spend a minute alone for the first 6 weeks with us, we took her everywhere and once I did start leaving her home alone, I had very specific instructions for the tvs in all rooms-Disney Channel, volume 14. If you babysat her, I gave you a page-front & back of what needed to be done, what she liked of the treats, food, toys I sent her with, what could be wrong if she cried, etc. What I'm trying to make very clear is that she isn't just a dog to me, she is my baby, my child, my everything. 

Last Friday, I took her to the vet for a cough that had just developed and they found after an x-ray that she has pneumonia. But the visit didn't end with that diagnosis, they felt some swelling in her lymph nodes and pulled some samples from them. After waiting over the weekend, on Tuesday I got a call that the results were in and my baby has cancer in two spots. One in her mammary gland and the other is in her lymph node by her hip. 

We have an appointment with an oncologist on Monday to see what our next steps are and the course of action should be. I'm completely distraught, was caught off guard, and am heartbroken that this is happening to the soul I love most. She has gotten me through the hardest of times and has been my very best friend day in and day out. I only want to give her the very best and I'll do whatever in my power that I can to make sure she is comfortable. I was meant to be her mom-she's my spirit animal from sleeping in and not wanting to be bothered when she's asleep to wanting to be the center of attention. Pupaccinos & chicken nuggets the second she is feeling better, but for now, please keep my baby in your prayers & thoughts and send her all the positive vibes you can,

Thursday, August 8, 2019

fashion | easing into fall

I know, I know I don't like pushing the seasons, but trust me, it's time to start thinking about you fall wardrobe. And there's a new boutique in town (literally for my local babes, well soon, v soon!) that is hooking us up with the CUTEST pieces for fall && 15% off :) Here's my picks to ease into fall and be sure to use code BLONDE15 whenever you purchase from Hudson Square Boutique to save you some $$$!

these are a STAPLE for the colder months and will make you look & feel like a badass

I live for anything long and this looks like the comfiest thing ever which would be perfect to throw over a dress instead of a jacket on those chilly mornings.

cheetah is a neutral in my opinion and is always right on your feet! these booties are perfect!

this is lightweight that you could pair it with shorts and get it a lot of wear out of it. I picked this one up!

I love a sweater dress in the fall with strappy sandals or cute wedges and then it's an easy transition when it gets colder pop on some booties/boots. 

What's your fave way to ease into fall fashion? Do you just dive right in or dip your toe in like I do? To be honest, I tend to think it's colder than it is and end up sweating mid day, but luckily my office is like 54 degrees year round-hello sweater weather ;) Let's chat your fave looks in the comments and don't forget to check out Hudson Square Boutique and use code BLONDE15 for 15% every purchase!

ps-these are affiliate links and I'll receive a small commission if you use them, but that really just means me love you long time! 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Beach Do's & Don'ts

Wooooo, today I'm officially off to vacation and couldn't be more happy to spend the next 9 days on the beach, so I figured I'd share some of my tips and tricks to make your beach days even better. Let's dive right in cause you want to soak up all the sun!

Don't wait to put on your first round of sunscreen until you hit the beach. Instead do it prior to putting on your swimmie. I'm talking fully naked, head to toe, put on the sunscreen everywhere. This way you have no excuse for missing any spots. 

Do opt for a sunscreen that is as clean as you can get it and if it happens to have a shimmer in it which will basically give you a an all over highlight-I bought this one...then call it a win!

Don't skip on face masks cause you think your face needs a break. Instead opt for a soothing face mask to help heal your skin at night and get it prepped for the next day ahead. Tip; pop it in the fridge to cool off before you apply for an extra treat!

Do keep your lip balm with SPF (your lippies need sun protection too!) in the cooler while you're out at the beach it will stay nice and cool for your touch ups. 

Don't let an overcast day steer you can get some of the best color even when the sun isn't out, but that doesn't mean you get to not wear sunblock...see don't number 1!

Do have a game plan if you love to read at the beach like me! Here's what I plan on tackling (which is no where near my impressive book a day on my last vaca) 

ps-these are links were I will get a very small commish if you use them to purchase, but that means I'll love you forever and ever!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

beauty | night routine

Bedtime is my favorite time. Come on, you knew that right? I don't necessarily mean the prep of getting ready for bed, I mean sleeping, haha! But I've been keeping with a night routine for sometime now, so I feel confident in sharing with you.

I told you all about how I finally learned how to properly wash my face (yes, there is an incorrect way!) and I'm proud to say that I've been actually doing this on the daily. Okay, I can't sit here and say that I'm at a perfect 60/60, but I've been doing better than ever before so I actually have a routine and that's something I can be proud of.

Alright enough it is!

Okay, first up I put my hair back using a head wrap/headband. Next, I wet my face lightly and then I go in with the Pre-cleanser from Savor Beauty. I like to drop 3-4 drops of this in my hand then warm it up and then work in small circles going in an upward motion the opposite way of the hair growth. I make sure I get my lashes too!

Next, I wet my hands and pop on the Tula cleanser. Working it in my hands and then onto my face the same way I did with the pre-cleanse.

Now I rinse my face and pat dry. Then it's time for 3-4 drops of the Nourish from Savor. I put a little bit around my nostrils and then warm up the rest in my hands then pat that into my skin. You never want to rub into your skin, but pat as that will evenly distribute the product.

After that I take a teeny bit of the Hydrate onto my ring finger tips and pat that into my under eye area-think where you put highlight!

Last, I take a dime size of the Youth to the People Dream Mask into my palms and rub them together and then press this all over my face and neck.

And then it's off to dreamland for me! What's your night routine like? I find that even on the nights I don't run through all the steps I have to put on the dream mask cause it's just my fave! What's your must have night time product? Let's chat in the comments,

ps-some of these links could get me a v small commish, but that only means I will love you forev-eva. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Blog Post Roundup | July Goals

Happy July, pretty babes! I love July...well duh, I'm a July baby so of course I do. && this is the month that I typically go away on vacation, so it's a month that I look forward to all year. I wanted to round up last month's posts in case you missed any and share what I have in mind for July!