SOCIAL MEDIA

January 31, 2012

Outfit: Everyday Wear

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Top: Free People from Threadsence, Tank: Forever 21, Jean Leggings: Express, Shoes: C/O Sole Society, Diamond Necklace: C/O Anjolee, Bracelet: Kristin Hassan, Chain Ring: Tiffanys & CO

This is me on a regular mommy day. This outfit is as cozy as jams, but it's a bit more fashionable! ;) What's not to love about that?
Can we talk about how cute these flats are?! I know I'm usually a heel gal, but I've added a few flats as of late to the rotation. I love these because the are very cozy and the color is amazing. (I'm pretty sure they make these in hot pink and teal too!) I would say go a 1/2 size down though, the fit is a bit loose. But I love that, so I got my size. ;) Nothing worse then breaking in shoes, with these that is not an issue as the fit is loose and does not hurt your heel or sides of feet. Score! 


January 30, 2012

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos (gluten free)

One of my fellow blogger moms The Clever Clipper posted this recipe a couple weeks ago and I had to try it! I tweaked it a bit to fit our tastes and diet needs, and this is what I ended up with!

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Ingredients

2 lbs chicken
1 jar of salsa
1 can of black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)

Instructions

Put all ingredients into slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Shred chicken.
Enjoy with rice, in taco form or any way you like!

I put ours on corn tortillas and added some cheese and sour cream. It was super easy and super de-lish!
Here's a Sears coupon if you don't have a slow cooker.
January 28, 2012

What guys really think

Spring 2012 Trends: Pastel Pallet
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Lisa: I'm so torn. I love color! Bold color, bright color, pops of color, all color. Muted color doesn't do it for me as much. I feel like it's going to be very easy to do this trend wrong and walk around looking like an Easter egg. Having said that, if done correct (like these ladies above) I think it looks nice. Darling really. I kinda want mint colored pants, but pairing them with something not pastel. I am torn on how this trend is going to be pulled off by us "real" people, but I think I'm going to try it out! ;) 
p.s. I want that first dress. 

Ryan: Pastels suffer from lack-of real world application (in my humble, Midwestern-styled opinion). Look at the pics above - the sets are amazing & the pics are edited to look ridiculously good. The aqua-blue outlines on the modeling runway/basketball court actually MATCHES THE GIRL'S DRESS. But how are these bright, "Fifth-Element" looking color palette's going to look at the monthly team-meeting at the office? And unless you're on-stage & your name is Andre 3000 from Outkast, you need not be wearing pastels at night. So when then? I hereby present the only allowable options: Springtime. Memorial Day weekend. Boat rides pre-3pm. Grandparents anniversary party at their subdivisions clubhouse. Sunday AM at the park with your kids after getting Starbucks. The Kentucky Derby (don't forget absurd hat). Mother's Day. Brunch. And finally - polo matches. Let's hear your comments - what days/times of year am I forgetting?
January 27, 2012

Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend

Like many other people in the world, I like shinny things. Lets be honest, who doesn't love diamonds? (no seriously, do people out there like that exist?! lol)
Enter Anjolee.com. I had the best experience playing around on their site. The selection of diamond necklaces is amazing. I was gifted the diamond necklace of my choice, SWOONED over the diamond tennis necklace, and finally decided on the rounded triangle diamond pendant. Now here's the fun part.

Once you choose the style of your necklace you can pick the caret size, the chain type (yellow gold, white gold, and platinum) and length, and gemstone. So bottom line you are customizing any design and creating your own price! Truly a great idea if you love something but are on a budget you can design it to not break the bank. Or, You can go for it and create your dream design. I am all for both ladies and gents! (and HELLO, Valentine's Day is right around the corner!)

Here is my gorgeous necklace:
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Yes, it's the one you saw on me in my Outfit: Theater post:
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I absolutely love my new necklace! You will be seeing LOTS of it in upcoming outfit posts! ;)
January 26, 2012

Giveaway: Crème 93 by Yonka Paris

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CRÈME 93 by Yonka Paris
with ylang-ylang and essential oils
Combination skin
Protect - Balance

This day base restorative moisturizer protects, hydrates and re-balances T-Zone and combination skin from environmental aggressors. The entire Yonka line highlights the benefits of essential oils and plant extracts. 
I have been using Creme 93 for 5 days now and I really love it. The smell is amazing. The best way to explain it would be to say it smells clean. Almost like a soap, but a soap you would find at a spa (you know the amazing smelling kind!). My skin feels super smooth and I did not break out from it, which is key. This is definatly a great product! I am so excited that 1 lucky winner will be winning a bottle of their own, a $50 value!

Here's a little more information about the product: This delicate, regulating cream is endowed with a seductive scent of ylang-ylang. Combats excess shine on the T-Zone, the complexion thrives with an instantly revitalized appearance, leaves the skin feeling velvety smooth, with a new fresh and even complexion.
* Lavender, cypress, rosemary, thyme and geranium

Thanks to Verve 360 Pittsburgh salons for providing the prize!
Their holistic wellness salon has created a new model for complete health and wellness. Their model respects the client and puts them in charge of their own health and vitality.

To enter: Leave a comment below telling me why you love Yonka Paris Creme 93 or why you would like to try it. Also please leave your email so we can contact the winner!
For extra entries:
-Follow Verve 360 on Twitter
-Tweet this giveaway linking @vervewellness and @sadbblog
-Follow Stilettos and Diaper Bags by email

This giveaway is only good in the continental US, no Hawaii or Alaska. Winner will be announced 2-3-12 at 7:00am. Good luck!
January 25, 2012

Lara Miller CBN Event

This event was beyond amazing! Here is the outfit that I wore:
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Dress: Victoria's Secret, Shoes: C/O Sole Society, Clutch: Threadsence, Cuffs: H&M, Earrings: Erin Gallagher Jewelry, Chain Ring: Tiffany & CO, Black Ring: Lia Sophia

I was invited to Lara Miller's Studio for a photo shoot and party. Our task was to use her clothing and style a look, have our hair and makeup done by Anthony Balthazar & Laura Pederson, be photographed in the outfit, and then just mingle with fellow bloggers, eat, drink, shop, and have fun! Yeah, for sure an ideal opportunity! ;) Here are a few pictures of what clothes and accessories we had to choose from. There were 2 rooms of clothes so these pictures do not do it justice!
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Here I am getting all dolled up for the shoot. What do you think of the outfit I choose? I went with Lara Miller's sweater dress, cream sweater slip, and cowl neck infinity scarf.
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I also (OF COURSE) wore all Chicago designer's jewelry. Kristin Hassan bracelets and Erin Gallagher Jewelry earrings.
After the shoot I got to catch up with some of my favorite blogger ladies.
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And lastly, a shot of me and Lara:
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I want to thank the Chicago Blogger Network and Lara Miller for putting on such a great night! Also big thanks to Kind Snacks, Smart Water, Finch Beer, Pop Chips, and Homage Street Food!

I can NOT wait to see all the photos, who will make the 2012 fall lookbook, and who won the 3 prizes (1st prize is $500 worth of Lara Miller clothes!) I will post my photos from the actual shoot as soon as I get them and keep you posted if I won any amazing Lara Miller clothing. And if I didn't win I need to buy that sweater slip I wore ASAP. It goes with EVERYTHING and just clings so perfectly to your body. Kinda think everyone in the world needs this piece. Just saying... ;)
January 24, 2012

Outfit: Theater and Winner Announced: ShoeCovers

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Dress: Moschino from Rent the Runway, Earrings: Gerard Yosca from Rent the Runway, Diamond Necklace: C/O Anjolee, Bracelet: C/O Kristin Hassan, Ring set: Stella and Dot

On Sunday myself and my hubby's side of the family went downtown to see "Come Fly Away" the Broadway musical. We went to brunch before and had such a wonderful time. The show was alright. The music was actually Frank Sinatra voice but there was a live orchestra. That was the best part! The show was 85 minutes of dancing (with no real story line) and not really sure why but about 3/4 of the way through everyone was dancing in their underwear. By the end everyone was in dresses and pant outfits again but I'm not really sure what the point of it was. I go to the theater every year and this was not my favorite show. I think Frank himself would have been like "what the hell" at a few points! lol  Having said that, the dancers were very talented and it was a fun show to watch.  All and all the day was wonderful. I always have so much fun when the 6 of us go out! 
I felt super glamorous in the Moschino dress I rented and wanted to twirl all day long! ;) I also felt very glamorous because all the beautiful jewelry I was wearing. Isn't it amazing how some sparkle and diamonds can light a person up?!
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I am also happy to announce the winner of a pair of Grace Carter ShoeCovers:
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And the winner is:
True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 10
Result: 6

Lotus Blossom Design! You will be notified to choose your size and type of ShoeCover soon! Thank you to all who entered and a big thank you to Grace Carter and the entire ShoeCover team! xo
January 21, 2012

Recipe: Ribs

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Just because it's cold as hell out and we can't use our grills doesn't mean you can't make some UH MAZING tasting ribs this time of year.
I don't eat pork often, but when I do I usually make it ribs. Man is it worth it! ;)
Here is my recipe and I promise you will love them!
Ingredients:
- 1-2 slabs of baby back ribs
- Sweet baby Ray's BBQ sauce
Recipe:
- Cut ribs every 3 bones (you usually have one 4 bone section or you can make two 2 bone ones as well)
- Place ribs in boiling water and cover. Keep them at rolling boil for at least 90 minutes! The longer you boil, the easier the meat falls off the bones.
- Place ribs bone side up on aluminum lined cookie sheet and brush on sauce. Put in oven to melt the sauce on. Does not matter what temp the oven is on. Mine was at 400 as I was also cooking fries.
- After 5 mins flip all ribs and put sauce on other side. Place back in oven for 5 mins. Turn oven to broil for 2-3 mins to really crisp the sauce.
That's it! These will not disappoint! Promise!
January 20, 2012

How Do You Scarf?

No seriously, how do you scarf? I usually go with the standard once around and let it hang or the occoasional pull through the loop when wearing a jacket (does that even make sense to anyone?). 
I decided to start noticing what people are doing with their scarfs and this is what I came up with:

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The once around, the keep wrapping around, the twist, the pull through
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The tie, the shall, the loose once around, the loose keep wrapping
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The double knot, the lay it around you, and the loose wrap through
Top: Nordstrom, Jeans: Gap, Scarf: Charming Charlie

Okay, clearly I made up all those names, but I think they help you see what I was going for. ;) So, how do you scarf? I know there are lot more ways, but 11 seemed good to me! lol
January 19, 2012

Outfit: Blue with Blue and Some More Blue

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Tank: ASOS, Shirt: American Eagle, Jeans: Frankie B, Belt: Loft, Shoes: ShoeMint, Necklace: Shoedazzle, Quartz Ring: Free People, Gold band: Kohls

Is it winter here in the Chicago suburbs? We get snow for the first time, then it gets warm again. I'll take it, but it's still a bit weird not freezing outside with no coat on in mid January.
It was a day 3 hair for me (meaning I did not want to wash it! lol) so I braided a headband and put the rest into a bun at the nape of my neck. Super easy and I think super cute!
Now for the sad/great news. I LOVE this necklace. It goes with so many things and will be perfect for all the lighter colors that are in style this spring. Sadly since I have had 2 spinal fusions in the past 4 years I found that it was too heavy for me. ;( By hour 4 I was hurting. It's not crazy heavy, just too heavy for someone who's had 2 neck surgeries. So the great news is it's up for sale in my "shop my Jewelry" section and looking for a good home. ;)
January 18, 2012

Outfit: Wearing Dresses Year Round

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Dress: Forever 21 (closet swap w/ kaitlyn), Cardigan: Forever 21, Belt: Threadsense, Scarf: Gap, Boots: Colin Stuart, Rings: C/O Jewelmint, Sunnies: MNG by Mango

I just closet swapped with Kaitlyn and got me this navy, maroon, and cream dress. I love it! It was super easy to throw on a scarf, boot, and cardigan with and make it look winter ready. I can't wait to wear it in all the seasons to come. I just love dresses you can style year round!
Now can we talk about the Lady Nior ring set I got from Jewelmint? I have had my eyes on this set for awhile now and I was beyond excited to get them. Love sets you can wear together or apart! I guess versatile would be the word I'm looking for ;)
January 17, 2012

Is Anyone Else Doing Their Next Years Fall/Winter Shopping Right Now?

Every morning I am taunted with TONS of department store and boutique sale emails. Part of me thinks "no, you don't need anymore fall clothes, spring is right around the corner". Well, I am a shopper by nature so I have to find a positive spin on it all.
The reality is you can find some amazing deals on items you will actually use the remainder of this season and well into next fall and winter!

The sales that are going on right now are crazy. And by crazy I mean outstanding. I tend to buy some of my next years fall/winter wardrobe around this time of year for that reason alone. (I'm not talking about going on a shopping spree, just picking up a few items that you normally wouldn't splurge on, but at season end sales, why not?) ;)
You definitely get a little more bang for your buck when you're shopping fall inventory right as most stores are trying to get ready for their spring styles.
To be clear, I am not talking about buying trendy items, but staple/never going out of style pieces.
For example, this is a great time to buy some amazing ladies boots. I found four pair that are highly discounted right now at Macy's that I would not mind owning. They are also very classic (well, one is a bit of a wild card...and I love it for that reason) so I can wear them well into next fall and winter as well!
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Top Left: $97.30 on sale from $139 , Top Right $69.99 on sale from $129 , Bottom Left $99.99 on sale from $129, Bottom Right $97.30 on sale from $139
How about you guys? Is anyone else grabbing some great pieces at low prices for next year?
January 16, 2012

New Beauty Test Tube

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Here is my latest test tube! I can't tell you guys enough how great it is to switch your creams and wash every month or two. I always use the same serums, but everything else I mix up. The lady who does my facials also says is good to mix it up as your skin is different throughout the year (oily/dry/etc). Anyway, super excited to try all my new treats. ;)
I'll let you know if any of these items are worth buying.

**I was on TV twice over the weekend. Friday morning on NBC's morning news (I had NO idea they were using Rent the Runway footage so I missed it) and again on Saturday night. Here is the clip from NBC's 24/7:
Watch the Show - Sharing Styles on the Runway - 24/7: Secrets of the City
January 14, 2012

Dressing to Music: Louis IVX-Finding Out True Love is Blind


I know it's an older song, but I super love it! This song reminds me of when me and my hubby starting dating 7 years ago. The entire record is amazing, but this one was always my favorite. Truth be told I have a bit of a dance routine that I do during the chorus. lol I wish I was kidding (lowers head and shakes it). ;)
Here is my outfit that I put together while listening to "Finding out true love it blind":

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Sweater: Urban Outfitters, Tank: Target, Jeans: Gap, Shoes: Express, Necklace: Closet swap w/ Kaitlyn, Hat: Forever 21, Sunnies: MNG by Mango
January 13, 2012

Bloggerversary and Giveaway!

Happy bloggerversary! Two years ago today I started this blog under the impression that it would be like a public journal. The first year was fun, but this past year was amazing! I never in a million years thought so many wonderful people would be stopping by on a daily basis! I also never thought I would be on the computer so much. lol This past year brought so many new viewers, CBN, IFabbo, 3 TV appearances, and a lot of amazing giveaways including a Rebecca Minkoff bag ($295 value)! I Can't wait to see what this year has in store!
I LOVE blogging and I am so happy that you guys seem to like it too! As long as you guys keep coming back, I will keep writing!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my loyal readers. You guys are the best!!!

To celebrate I am happy to announce 1 lucky winner will receive The Stylish ShoeCover by Grace Carter ($88 value)!
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How amazing are these!? As a girl from the midwest I must say I don't know how I ever survived a winter with out them! ;) They fit snug and kept my blue suede shoes clean and dry as promised. Plus they have great traction on the bottoms so they are super easy to walk in.
I will be wearing my ShoeCovers LOTS this winter. I can't think of anything better then a product that's soul purpose is to keep your shoes clean, dry, and lasting longer!!
They come in different styles too (flats, heels, point toe, round toe, etc.), to match perfectly with whichever shoe you plan to wear. What's not to love about these? I think we all need a pair or two for the winter months for sure.
To enter, check out their selection at Nordstroms and comment below with the style you would most like to win along with your email address.
For extra entries:
-"Like" Stylish ShoeCover on Facebook
-Follow Stylish ShoeCover on Twitter
-Tweet about this giveaway attaching @ShoeCoversbyGC and @sadbblog
-Follow this blog by email

Winner will be announced 1-24-12 at 7:00am.


Grace Carter Design Contest Rules:
No purchase or payment necessary to enter or win.
Eligibility
To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident (green card). Grace Carter Design LLC employees and their immediate family members are not eligible. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents and children.
Ownership/Use Rights
By entering the contest, entrants agree to have their name on the Grace Carter Design LLC website and social media outlets, and used by Grace Carter Design LLC for any purpose, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. Grace Carter Design LLC reserves the right to disqualify and delete any user entries, without notice, and for any reason.
Winners
Grace Carter Design LLC will select one winner at random. The winner will be notified by email within one week of the winner announcement date, using the email address provided on the entry form. No financial compensation will be provided to winners.
January 12, 2012

Winner Announced: Miracle Skin Transformer

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And the winner of all 3 Miracle Skin Transformer products is:

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 155
Result: 96

Congrats to Julie! (jeweles1(at)verizon(dot)net
I will notify MST and you will be contacted via email to tell them which shades you want in each product!
I want to thank everyone who entered and a giant thank you to Sarah McNamara and the Miracle Skin Transformer for hosting such a great giveaway!
January 11, 2012

Outfit: Date Night & My Anniversary

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Coat: Victoria's Secret, Top, bag, and Earrings: Express (similar bag), Pants: ASOS, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Bracelet and ring: Jewelmint

I love the months following Christmas, we always have so many gift cards! This night me and the hubs went out to dinner at CPK and shopping at H&M. We came home with extra pizza and 2 items of clothing each and paid $14!! Now that's a great date night if you ask me! ;)
I loving my new cigarette pants. I have so many outfits styled in my mind with these pants I just know I'll get lots of use out of them. Now the best part, found them at ASOS for $27.99! SCORE!

In other news, today is my 4 year wedding anniversary!! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband! A giant thank you to Ryan for being my best friend and giving me our 2 beautiful children. Here's to 50 more babe! xo
January 10, 2012

Sultra: The Bombshell Curling Iron

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After 11 years of use, my 3/4 inch curling iron finally died. I decided since it is something I use often I would pay a higher price to replace it (I mean, I got 11 years out of the last one I had!). After doing some research I learned about the bombshell. I found it at Nordstrom for $130. So happy I had 2 gift cards from Christmas to put toward this purchase. ;)
I had so much faith in this baby I decided my first time using it would be on NYE. I think it works 1000 times better then my last curling iron! The curls last longer and it took 20 minutes less to curl my entire head. Double score! I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a great new iron. Here is a shot of me after my first time using:

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Seriously, my new favorite hair tool for sure!