My Birchbox, Renewed

birchboxMay20142

Ever since John was born, I quickly realized that it would probably be another 18 years before I get any time to myself again lol. If he’s napping, I try to crank out a blog post, wash dishes, make his meals for the next day, and/or whatever the heck else I can fit into an hour.

With very little time these days, I realized I am SO stuck in a beauty rut. I LOVE dabbling in new beauty products, and to reacquaint myself, I thought it was time to renew my Birchbox subscription. For me, this is the best way to discover best sellers and products that are either brand new or new-to-me! A couple of years ago, I’d never heard of Moroccan argon oil or BB Creams until they showed up on my doorstep in a hot pink Birchbox. Sometimes you even get lucky enough to score a full-sized product or two, like my PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm!

birchboxMay20141

For just $10 a month, I get super fun beauty samples, tailored to my style profile saved a Birchbox.com, including:

  • PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm
  • CoTZ Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40
  • 32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals with IsoVoxy
  • Nexxus Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo, Vibrancy Retention Conditioner, and Pre-Wash Primer
  • $25 Gift Card to Kate Spade
  • Marcelle New·Age 8 in 1 Power Serum

The amount of product I receive in each Birchbox is well over the $10 spent per month, and it’s such a fun little surprise to unbox when it shows up on my doorstep. A little Christmas to myself each month ;)

Summertime Strawberry And Brie Crostini

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

Crostini is Italian for little toast with toppings, usually served as an appetizer. With summer right around the corner, I thought “fresh from the farm” ingredients such as strawberry, basil, brie, and prosciutto would make the perfect toppings for a crostini appetizer.

This summertime crostini is ready in 10 minutes and is such a fun, unique appetizer. Over the past couple of years, I have grown to love the combination of strawberry and basil {mostly in cocktails}, but it also makes the perfect pairing over prosciutto and melted brie, topped with a layer of drizzled honey. Serve this anytime on a warm day, or for a {bridal or baby shower} morning brunch.

Strawberry & Brie Crostini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 Slices Of Crostini

Strawberry & Brie Crostini

Ingredients

  • Loaf Of Crusty Bread (I Used French)
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 4 thin slices of brie
  • 2-3 large strawberries, thin sliced
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. Cut 4 slices of crusty bread on a diagonal. Layer the bread with a slice of prosciutto and then a slice of brie. Broil or toast in a toaster oven until bread is slightly brown on the edges and the cheese is bubbly.
  2. Top with strawberry slices and basil, and then finish with a thin drizzle of honey. Serve while warm.
http://www.fabfatale.com/2014/06/strawberry-basil-brie-crostini-recipe/

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

Slice 4 pieces of toast on a diagonal and top with prosciutto.

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

Layer with brie cheese until fully covered.

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

Broil, or toast in a toaster oven, until bread is golden and cheese is bubbly.

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

Top with strawberry, basil, and a drizzle of honey.

my favorite spring and summer appetizer - crostini bread lightly toasted, topped with prosciutto, brie, strawberries, basil and a drizzle of honey

What meals or appetizers will you be serving on these warm weather days?

Manicure Mondays – Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer Giveaway

I just entered to win the entire Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 collection at http://www.fabfatale.com/2014/06/manicure-mondays-zoya-magical-pixiedust-summer-giveaway/ #nailpolish #giveaway #zoya

Good morning! Happy June and happy Manicure Mondays! I hope you all had an amazing weekend! I had a nasty cootie bug and was in bed for most of it. That was the closest thing to a break I’ve had in a year and a half since the baby was born, but unfortunately, it didn’t feel like a break at all :( I’m starting to feel a little better today, thank goodness.

I have another super fun giveaway for you all, courtesy of Zoya! This week, I have the newly released Zoya Magical PixieDust for Summer 2014! These best selling matte ultra textured shimmers feature Zoya’s holographic Magical Pixie formula and will have your nails beach ready in no time. These sparkly shades look amazing against a summer tan. Zoya sent me a collection to give away to one lucky reader, and I have one for myself to swatch for you all below! Enjoy and good luck!

My Zoya Bubbly giveaway ends tonight – enter here if you haven’t done so already!

Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 - Ario Swatches Giveaway

Zoya Magical PixieDust in Arlo is a glittering amethyst. This sparkler is a beautiful magenta with equal parts shimmering rose pink and violet purple.

Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 - Bar Swatches Giveaway

Zoya Magical PixieDust Bar is a glittery nude topaz and reminds me of the sparkly sand at the beach. The entire collection is amazing, but Bar is my fav of the 3!

Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 - Ginni Swatches Giveaway

Zoya Magical PixieDust in Ginni is a glittery pink tourmaline. It’s the perfect shimmery light rose pink for summer.

Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 - Swatches and Giveaway

From top, clockwise – Zoya Ginni, Zoya Bar, and Zoya Ario

Zoya Magical PixieDust Summer 2014 retails for $10.00 each, or $30.00 for the set of three. These shades and so many more are available at Zoya.com.

How To Win

One lucky reader will win this entire Zoya nail polish giveaway! Follow the directions in the RaffleCopter below to enter. There is one mandatory entry, US and Canadian readers only, giveaway ends June 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The products mentioned in this post were sent to me by the merchant or their PR company. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

Bing In The Classroom – Now Available To All US Schools!

Imagine your kid wants answers to questions like, “where do babies come from” or “what is twerking”? If you can’t be there for their every online search, I’m sure you want their results to be safe! I’ve searched innocent topics and retrieved some not so innocent results. It can happen to anybody, but Bing in the Classroom is here to help your kiddos!

Not only is the Bing in the Classroom search engine safe for kids, but it also returns ad free results and strict filters for adult content! Say “YES” to show your support for #adfreesearch!. In addition to safe searching, did you know can earn reward points for searching with Bing? Bing in the Classroom allows you to donate those points to your child’s school so that they may earn Surface tablets for their classrooms? It’s all as easy as…

  1. Get free Surface tablets in your classroom – It’s easy! Anyone can earn rewards just by searching the web with Bing.
  2. Support ad-free search – With just one click, join parents across the country to support ad-free search in the classroom.
  3. Find your school – Find out how close your school is to earning a free Surface tablet.

Help Bing in the Classroom transform the power of technology in schools with ad-free search, Surfaces for classrooms, and digital literacy lessons. Join the movement!

I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.

8 Summer Short Shorts

Denim Short Shorts

Have any of you searched your local retailers for basic denim short shorts lately? I have and I’m finding it impossible to find simple shorts without all the frills!

I’ve been rummaging through racks all spring and the denim shorts are trends only – either too high waisted, too ripped, WAY too short with the pockets hanging out, embellished, or colored. I thought it was time to get on the net and start finding some styles I like, otherwise it will be jeans all summer long in this hot Florida sunshine!

Shop The Look

Vanessa Hudgens Look For Less

Vanessa Hudgens Look For Less Airport - Blue Pants, Ivory Cardigan, V-Neck Tee, Wide Brim Fedora, Gold Strappy Sandals, and Oversized Sunglasses

I LOVE checking out celebrities as they work their way through an airport. Their airport attire is usually way more wearable than something you’d see them wearing on the streets of New York or Hollywood. Vanessa Hudgens looks amazing in her easy breezy “perfect for summer” outfit. Her pleated blue pants, ivory tank and cardigan look so comfy dressed up with her wide brim fedora and gold strappy sandals!

Shop The Look

Italian Dinner Housewarming Basket

Housewarming Welcome Basket - Italian Dinner with Wine, Tiramisu Dessert, Frying Pan, Spaghetti, and Sauce

Last September when John was 5 months old and we were living in our rental house, we finally broke ground on the property we’d owned for 6 years, a lot that we purchased right before we got married. I remember my husband calling me later that week to tell me that someone had broken ground on the lot next to ours, and with the same builder. As if the timing weren’t interesting enough, we were walking our property the next week and our future neighbors stopped by in passing to introduce themselves. I noticed they had a carseat in their car so I asked the obvious with a bit of excitement, “do you have a baby”??? Not only did they have a baby “boy”, but he was 2 months older than John! They were also renting a house while they built, so our situations couldn’t have been more similar and in sync.

We became friends on Facebook and have Facebook messaged or texted each other almost every day since our meetup. It was so fun to talk about our houses as they were being built since we were going through all of the same meetings at the same time. We’d chat about what lighting we’d picked out for each room, our paint colors, and all other things house related. Now that we’re in our house, we have play dates with our boys, followed by an occasional cocktail after they’ve gone to bed lol.

When they moved in shortly after us, I thought it would be fun to make a housewarming basket to welcome them to the neighborhood. I went with a dinner themed basket to make one night of cooking a little easier on them as they worked their way out of boxes. Not only was it a dinner theme, but I went with all things Italian, including a dessert and wine!

Housewarming Welcome Basket - Italian Dinner with Wine, Tiramisu Dessert, Frying Pan, Spaghetti, and Sauce

I picked up everything for the basket at World Market including the coolest tri-colored nests of spaghetti noodles in a bag, spaghetti sauce, an Italian wine, a frying pan, and some natural paper shredded basket filler.

Housewarming Welcome Basket - Italian Dinner with Wine, Tiramisu Dessert, Frying Pan, Spaghetti, and Sauce

I filled the frying pan with a slice from the big Tiramisu I’d made that week.

Housewarming Welcome Basket - Italian Dinner with Wine, Tiramisu Dessert, Frying Pan, Spaghetti, and Sauce

I took a picture of the basket on their doorstep and was going to text it as her way of finding out there was a basket on her doorstep. Unfortunately, I was busted by their boy, then the dog, and then them, so it didn’t go as planned, but was still a fun surprise!