Monday, January 30, 2012

Manicure Mondays - Denim

Hey there...Happy Monday!! 

This week's No-Chip manicure is featuring one of the few matte polishes I own. I love this color so much because it makes me think of blue jeans. I found this polish on clearance at Walmart and couldn't wait to try it. I was amazed with the way it looked but saddened by the fact that it never lasted longer than 2 days.  Since regular top coats made it shiny, I had to go without them.

Nicole by OPI - No Limit Matte

After searching for a solution, I found the perfect top coat that would not only allow me to keep the matte effect but also give me longer wear with this beautiful polish. Needless to say, I was impressedI followed all the steps of my normal routine and just added one last coat of the matte magic over my normal top coat.

China Glaze 87-7206 Matte Magic Top Coat

Don't you just love it? I promise Matte Magic will turn your favorite polish into something completely different with just one stroke. If you've never tried a matte top coat before, you are definitely missing out ;-)

 XOXO,

Friday, January 27, 2012

TGIF

Yay, it's my favorite day of the week!! I've been waiting for it to arrive. Not really sure why I'm so fond of it though - in my world everyday is Friday ;-) My plan for this weekend is to relax and enjoy myself. No trips, no obligations...just me, hubby & O (our dog). So far, here's what I have in mind:


Finally teach myself how to use hubby's fancy dancy camera


Catch up on my daily devotions because I got a tad bit behind this week


Play around here - I only wear a portion of the items in my closet and that needs to change


Make myself watch Gone With The Wind since it's been sitting around for the past month now


Try out my new workout DVD


Wonder what Oscar could possibly be thinking about as he sits in the same spot all day


Anyway, have a fantastic weekend! 

 XOXO

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekend Recap

What did I do this weekend?? Glad you asked, let me show you...keep in mind that this doesn't represent the entire weekend - just the important parts.


I'm really starting to love these vlogs that my husband and I do on the weekends. It's nothing fancy but definitely tons of fun. This all started in October...better known as Vlogtober in the YouTube community. I began watching a few vlogs and just so happened to come across my now favorite couple, Benji & Judy from itsJudysLife. I instantly fell in love. They two are newlyweds, married one week before us and vlog daily. I'm always excited to see a new video from them in my subscription inbox. If you've never watched them before, please do. You are in for a treat

After catching up on their videos, I thought "what a great way to document our life". So, hubby & I started making these vlogs and haven't looked back since. Surprisingly, we've gotten a lot of positive feedback. There are really people out there that find us entertaining (imagine that)!! I often joke with him about how my viewers seem to love our vlogs more than all my other videos but it's all good ;-) Whatever keeps the people happy


 Until next time,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Manicure Mondays - Rockstar Mauve

Since I've been dark and bold for the past two weeks, I decided to tone it down a bit with this week's No-Chip Manicure. Of course I had to throw in just a little glitter to spice things up ;-)

 Wet n Wild 435G Sparked

These colors are from the Wild Shine collection and seem to complement each other very well.

Wet n Wild 462 Casting Call

After doing the accent on my ring fingers, I wanted to go back and add sparkle to the rest but decided against it. I think it's safe to say that it won't be long before I bring this look back around!! 


Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Woke up to a little note this morning & instantly knew it was gonna be a great day!! 


Hope you have the same ;-)

 XOXO

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

30 Before 30 - Update #1

Back in November, I had an epiphany that it was time for me to get serious about my health and weight loss goals. At the time I was 7 months away from my 30th Birthday with the same 30lbs to lose...hence the idea of 30 Before 30 being created.

I went back and read over that post and realized that I hadn't included my beginning weight because I wasn't sure if I wanted to share that much information. Fast forward to now, I believe that sharing the details will not only help me stay accountable but will also make it easier to track my progress. So here goes:

 11-30-11 : 155.4 
 01-18-12 : 151.2 

Yep, I've only lost 4.2lbs in the past 7 weeks but considering the fact that it was during the holiday season I'm okay with that. Now, there are no more excuses and it's time to get serious if I plan on reaching my goal. Last week I decided to take it a step further and hire a personal trainer...my husband. So far it seems to be effective and a little bit funny as well, lol. I think he gives me the extra push that I need to just get it done. 

As far as diet is concerned, I'm still technically on Weight Watchers but lately I've been incorporating more clean eating along with normal calorie counting using my handy dandy MyFitnessPal app that I love (btw, if you've never used it before...get familiar and add gabeflowers as your friend)! I've noticed that it can be a little tedious double tracking and I'm getting close to letting go of the WW app but I'm not quite there yet. At any rate, I'm hoping it will all be worth it in the end

Not exactly sure how often I'll be sharing my progress (either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) but I do know that there will be more updates in the near future, so stay tuned ;-)

Until next time, 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Manicure Mondays - Sunset Orange

I'm really feeling this week's No-Chip Manicure featuring a polish I found while perusing the clearance aisle at Walgreens...score!! I've been a long time fan of orange colors because I think they complement my skin tone awesomely...especially when red hints are included (which warms the color up nicely)!  



Isn't it lovely?!


I think so ;-) 


XOXO,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Whipped Shea Butter

Ever since I first heard about this DIY recipe, I knew that I had to try it. After seeing the results of my twist out with this product, it quickly became one of my staples. I've used it on a variety of styles and it never seems to disappoint. If you're looking to make this inexpensive styling/moisturizing product for your natural hair, you will need the following: 

1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Jojoba Oil
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Castor Oil
1/2 tsp Vitamin Oil
1-2 cups Shea Butter 

 Check out this video below and see how it's made







Birchbox Wisdom

I received this little gem of knowledge in my January Birchbox. It was probably the only valuable item included but that's another review for other day...



Simple suggestions that serve as good starting points. Guess all wasn't lost with my $10 monthly subscription ;-)


XOXO, 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine

Hello, I'm Gabrielle - a certified lipgloss addict. So imagine how excited I was to receive this product in my Influenster Holiday VoxBox. It's the NYC Liquid Lipshine in the color Nude York City. Here's what the company has to say about this new product:

Straight from the city that never sleeps, NYC New York Color offers products with uptown style at down-to-earth prices, from $.99 - $4.99. The energy, style and color of New York City shines through the wide range of shades, textures and innovative products. NYC always delivers the most on-trend products & shades hot off the runway! 

A beauty-editor favorite is Liquid Lipshine ($2.49). It has pure pigments that created a 3-D gloss effect. Vitamin E provides shine and a moisturizing feel. The formula is non-sticky, super shiny & soft. Available in 10 on-trend shades from neutral nudes, to berries & fuchsias. Start shopping for NYC at these stores nearest you: Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, Family Dollar, Duane Reade, Kmart, HEB, and others. Visit http://www.newyorkcolor.com/ to check out all shades and fun products from New York Color!"



Say hello to my new favorite lipgloss!  Let me just say that I was more than impressed after using this lipshine. The color is absolutely perfect. I was expecting it to be more opaque but pleasantly surprised with the sheerness. Not only do I enjoy wearing it alone, but it adds a little something extra to my favorite lipstick. Nude York City gives just a hint of sparkle/shine with an amazing vanilla scent that makes you believe it's edible (unfortunately, it's not)

If you're looking for an inexpensive, lipgloss to add to your collection...this is the one ;-)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Manicure Mondays - I'm A Flirt

Well...not really but my nails are! The No-Chip Manicure for this week features an oldie but goodie. One of my favorite polishes. I love the deep, richness of this dark color. It makes me think goth but not completely. This burgundy/mahogany shade gives you the look without going all the way!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 38 Flirt


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Protective Style Experiment

I'm somewhat new to the whole protective styling wave in the natural hair community. I say somewhat because my go-to is to either throw on a wig or add in some tracks. This time I decided to do something different and stick with my own hair.  If you're not familiar with the term, protective styling means to keep your ends tucked away (i.e. protected) and well moisturized in order to retain hair length. Bantu knots, twists, braids and buns are all examples of popular styles.

After watching countless YouTube videos I was convinced that I would try my hand at small twists (since I don't have enough patience to attempt mini twists). It took me about 2.5 hours to complete, after my regular co-washing and deep conditioning regimen. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't that bad, only about an hour more than it normally takes to do my twists. 


I had every intention of keeping them covered with my handy dandy beanie but hubby surprised me with dinner reservations on New Years Eve and I had to come up with something cute and creative instead. After a few trial and errors I found a winner! In the end, he was very pleased with my results ;-)


Friday will make one week since I've been rocking the twists. My plan is to see if I can make it a full two weeks but I'm not sure if I can. Wish me luck!

Have you ever tried protective styling before? If so, what worked best for you?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Easy Skillet Chicken with Vegetables


Last night I took a quick inventory of my refrigerator and decided to throw together what I could. The plan was originally to bake the chicken but I was so hungry that I couldn't wait that long. This turned out to be the perfect substitution and tasted just as great! The whole recipe took me about 30 minutes, so it's an easy dish to make when you're short on time.


Ingredients

1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut in halves (feel free to use chicken breast instead)
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
10-15 Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half (roma or cherry would also work)
1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Seasoning of your choice (I used onion powder, garlic powder, creole seasoning & pepper)

Directions

*Prep your chicken - cut and season generously
*Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
*Cook the chicken until brown (about 5 minutes on each side)
*Once finished, remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside

*Add the chopped onions, peppers & mushrooms to the skillet (a bit more olive oil if needed)
*Add red wine vinegar
*Saute veggies for 10 minutes or until soft (at this point I added a bit more of my seasonings)

*Return chicken to the skillet
*Add tomatoes
*Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10 more minutes


There you have it! Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy ;-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Manicure Mondays - Blue You

I'm a fan of bold colors and will wear them year round...it does not have to be spring or summer for me. I honestly forgot about this gem until I decided to organize my polishes. So glad I did! I also found a new top coat that I decided to try out with my No-Chip Manicure technique. I'll be sure to keep you posted on how it works out.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri 27 Brisk Blue

What a pretty color! I challenge you to step out the box this new year and wear a color you wouldn't normally pick. Something bright, bold and out of the ordinary for this time of the year. I promise you'll love it ;-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Can you believe it's already 2012?!? It seems like 2011 was just yesterday...oh wait, it was ;-)

At any rate, I hope that you had a wonderful New Years Eve celebration and are now ready to accomplish everything on your list for this year. I'm not a big "resolution" maker but I do like to focus on setting new goals. For me, 2011 was a huge transitional period...getting engaged, moving out of my apartment, quitting my job, getting married, moving to a new city and learning the whole housewife business all while trying to pinpoint my passion. I think I did a pretty good job for the most part but I'm eager to do even bigger and better things in 2012.

Last night I had every intention of not going to church (don't ask me why, I have no clue). I purposely didn't set my alarm with hopes of "sleeping in". Well, that didn't happen. God woke me up bright and early with plenty of time to get ready, eat breakfast and even make it to church on time. I'm so glad He did because I needed to hear the this morning's message on spiritual vision & direction.

I won't go into grave detail but I will share the part that resonated the most. God has a vision for your life and the only way to learn about it is to listen. He will speak to your spirit and show you where to go and how exactly how to get there. Once the vision is revealed, it's your job to write it down, speak it into existence, commit yourself to Him and then continue to give praise for what's in store.

Write, Proclaim, Commit & Praise. It's that simple.

With that said, I hope you take some time to evaluate the path you're currently traveling. Make sure that it lines up with the path that God has for your life. It is does, great! If it doesn't, seek His face for redirection and continue to move forward. That's my plan.

Until next time ;-)