“I’ve Moved” Giveaway – My Biggest Nail Polish Giveaway Ever!

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The past three years have been the craziest of my life and everything really ramped up to an insane pace the last few weeks! In past year alone, I’ve had a baby, moved twice, built a house {who knew picking out everything for a house would be such a MASSIVE project?}, and the list goes on all while working full-time and blogging. I’ve done things to simplify my life, like selling my first blog thelooksforless.com, and now that we live in the house we used to visit daily as it was getting built, we have about 45 minutes a day of our life back.

Meanwhile, spring nail polish collections from PR companies have been piling up at my doorstep {I’m a lucky girl}. In exchange for this nail polish, I always promote the brand by swatching each color, taking pics, editing those pics, uploading, writing a review, and repeat for each color. So I have two options, I can either spend an entire few weekends swatching and taking pics of all this nail polish, or I can stick to my plan of simplifying my life and promote the brands by hosting massive giveaways. It’s all yours my friends!

First giveaway up is OPI, including the smokin hot 12 piece Brazil collection, Gwen Stefani’s rock star 6 piece nail polish and studs collection, and several new spring offerings from Nicole by OPI. When this contest ends in two weeks, I’ll have an equally as big Zoya giveaway! I’ll get back to my regular swatching/posting schedule as future collections come in, but until then, it’s time to empty my “to be reviewed” shelf! One lucky reader will win 30 bottles of OPI polish, a $265 value.

The Brazil Collection

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brazilOPISpring2014NailPolish1

The Brazil collection includes Next Stop…The Bikini Zone, Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, Taupe-less Beach, I Sao Paulo Over There, OPI Scores a Goal!, AmazON…AmazOFF, I Just Can’t Cope-acabana, Where Did Suzi’s Man-go?, Toucan Do It If You Try, Kiss Me I’m Brazilian, Live.Love.Carnaval, and Red Hot Rio.

Gwen Stefani for OPI

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This collection includes Gwen’s signature red OPI hue – Over & Over A-Gwen in a boxed set that includes Swarovski black crystals and silver, gold and pewter studs in bar, square, diamond and circle shapes for creating unique nail designs, as well as nail glue for easy application. Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and 4 in the Morning feature a new, semi-matte satin finish designed to be worn without top coat. Push and Shove, a bold chrome hue, is also worn without top coat but requires a special complimentary base coat – Lay Down that Base. One thin coat of Lay Down that Base topped with two thin coats of Push and Shove yields an intense, mirrored finish. The collection is rounded out with two glossy crème lacquers and one sparkly glitter shade: Hey Baby, I Sing in Color, and In True Stefani Fashion.

Nicole by OPI

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At Least I Pink So, I’ll Have The Salmon, Something About Spring, Always A Flirt!, Emerald Empowered, Teal Me Something New, Oh That’s Just Grape!, That’s Putting It Mild, Taupe Of My Class, This Blue Is So You!, Fabulous Is My Middle Name, Be Awesome

How To Win

One lucky reader will win this entire OPI nail polish giveaway! Follow the directions in the RaffleCopter below to enter. There is one mandatory entry, US and Canadian readers only, giveaway ends April 8th.

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.

It All Led To This Moment…

babyJohn

3 years of trying to get pregnant
over 300 IVF shots
3 pregnancies
1 that barely took
another that took me past my first trimester {biggest heartbreak of my life}
and two months after my miscarriage, because I wanted to try again as soon as possible, we were pregnant for the 3rd time!

the past 12 months…

sold our first home together and moved out when I was nine months pregnant into a rental
sold thelooksforless.com while moving boxes into the rental
went into labor 3 weeks early before we were out of boxes
the baby was just as much trouble getting out as he/she was getting in, but as i woke up from my morphine nap, i met my baby “boy”!!! {greatest joy of my life}
we didn’t even have a name picked out yet, try figuring that out while doped up!
got stuck in the hospital for a week because baby john had high risk jaundice
got home, finally, and started my maternity leave in the brick floor house (with a baby, yikes!)
started building our dream home while our rental was falling apart
ended up in the hospital again for a week when john got RSV that led to pneumonia
moved out of the rental on john’s first birthday, exactly a year after we moved in

and it all led to this moment…

a very happy healthy 1 year old baby boy in our dream home! how beautiful is his view? he’s a lucky boy and we are very happy parents!

this weekend, two weeks after moving in, we had a big first birthday and housewarming party to celebrate. it’s crazy how our goal of having a baby and moving into our dream home collided into the same moment! i’m so happy and so exhausted. i’m also so ready to enjoy a slower pace for a minute and enjoy our new house. and hopefully start blogging again!

Not Exactly A Break, But I Hope To Be Back Soon…

babyJohn

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that sweet little face landed us in the hospital for a week and I feel like I’m just now starting to recover. We were in the final stages of building our house and baby boy came down with RSV that led to pneumonia. I’ve never been so scared in my life.

I took him to urgent care on a Sunday night because he had a super high fever and it was at that time that he was diagnosed with RSV. Little did I know what that would mean for him in the days to come. We took him in for a follow up on Wednesday with his pediatrition and although he was really sick with a fever, runny nose, and congested cough, his oxygen levels were fine. Just hours later that night, as I was trying to get him to sleep, he was moaning with every breath he took for two hours. I had no idea that moaning meant that his oxygen levels were super low and he was trying to open his airways. His eyes were closed, his head was back and he just kept moaning. We called his pediatrician’s after hours nurse, she could hear him in the background and said, that’s not normal, take him to the ER.

You can imagine the rush of anxiety I felt as we’re scooping up a few belongings and racing out the door to the ER on a day that most things were shut down due to icy roads. When we got to the ER, they said his oxygen levels were very low and a chest X-Ray showed signs of pneumonia. The RSV had also led to a cough that sounded like croup and an ear infection. Poor buddy. From the ER they immediately admitted him to the hospital and taped oxygen tubes to his face. After about 12 hours in a regular hospital room, he wasn’t responding well to the regular flow oxygen and they had to elevate him to ICU, which of course led to another panic on my part wondering “what’s next”? What’s after ICU? Will they be able to fix him there.

We ended up staying in ICU for exactly a week because his progress was so slow. He had oxygen tubes up his nose, heart monitors on his chest, an IV in his wrist, and an oxygen monitor on his toe. It was all I could do to keep him from pulling or getting tangles in all those cords and it was just so sad.

When we finally got him home, he was back to destroying his nursery as usual, which was the moment I had dreamt about all those days in the hospital. All I wanted to do was roll around on his floor with him, unattached to wires are tubes, giggling and dancing, as we love to do together. It was as though he hadn’t been put through it for all those days. He still had evidence all over his little body in the form of band-aids and bruises from the 9 IVs they attempted before they finally got one in him, but he was happy and smiling like nothing had ever happened.

We jumped right back into catching up on life… working, finishing up our house, packed, moved the day John turned one, he started walking, had a couple more teeth come in, and we’ve been in our new place for exactly a week. It’s been a crazy month of highs and lows! It’s so nice to be in our dream house with a happy and healthy baby… I mean, toddler :/ Oh I can’t believe my baby is growing up, too big too fast.

Now that we’re finally starting to get settled in to our new life at our new place, I hope to start blogging again very soon! I have my very own blogging space and I hope to put it to good use. Lots of pics coming soon, but for now, I just wanted to say hey and I miss you all!

Earn Rewards For Searching With Bing!

Bing Rewards

Did you know that you can earn rewards just for searching the web? I’d love to know how many searches I do on a daily basis… all day, everyday. We are moving into our dream home on Friday {YAY!}, and I’m sure I did no less than a thousand searches for house ideas as we were building, and now I’m sure to do a thousand more to decorate. If only I had known about Bing Rewards at the beginning of this project. Luckily, I know now, so my searches are about to get more interesting and so fun!

Bing Rewards

It’s kinda fun to do a search and watch your reward points balance go up in your dashboard! You can even search using your iOS mobile device, which is huge for me since I live on my iPhone. Now that I have a baby, the majority of my searches are on the go or in his nursery {check out the bistro sets I found using Bing in the pic above while on a road trip), so earning on my phone is a huge benefit.

There are so many ways to earn points including simply filling our your profile, adding the Bing search bar to your browser, and inviting friends! Once I get my balance going, I can’t wait to cash my points in on Amazon {more house stuff, yay}, Target, Starbucks, and Sephora gift cards. They have SO many options to choose from! The more you search with Bing the higher your status in the program (e.g. Member, Silver, Gold status etc.). The higher your status the more value you get – things like discounts in Bing’s redemption center and access to exclusive earning opportunities.

Ready to starting earning rewards for searching the web? Join Bing Rewards for free today!

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.

Save $10 At Darby Smart On Your Next DIY Box

Darby Smart Moroccan Tile Coasters

I had such a blast working on my DIY Moroccan Tile Coasters from Darby Smart, that I thought it would be fun to team up with them again! This collab is all about you! Darby Smart is offering all of my Fab readers a $10 off coupon towards the DIY box of your choice when you use promo code “FABFATALE”.

Darby Smart Monthly Mystery DIY Box

I saw that a bunch of you picked up the Moroccan Tile Coaster kit after you saw it here and I loved the Instagram pics you shared! For your next box, I have a couple of fun ideas for you! My first pick is Darby Smart’s Monthly “To DIY For” Mystery Box. Their past mystery boxes have been packed with DIY goodness, so I can only imagine what’s in their February box! The monthly boxes are $19 {$9 after promo code} and gives you everything you need for a chic DIY. Each monthly box is limited, so get yours before they’re gone!

Darby Smart DIY Mixed Media Canvases

My second fav {of many} is their Mixed Media Vision Board Canvases. I’m really not sure how they can include all of this for only $19 {$9 after promo code}, but somehow they pull it off! In this box you will receive 4 canvases (4×4 each), a circle punch (5/8 inch), gilded decorative paper, 6 acrylic paints, 3 pouncers, Mod Podge & brush, a sharpie, and DIY Instructions. I love that so many of these ingredients are reusable for other projects.

Darby Smart has SO many fun DIY kits to choose from. They also sent me their Wood Burning Kit and I can’t wait to try it soon! Remember to use promo code “FABFATALE” at checkout to save $10 on your next DIY box, for a very limited time only!

If you’ve tried out Darby Smart before, I hope you’ll share a pic of your DIY project at my Facebook page!

This post was sponsored by Darby Smart. All opinions are 100% my own. For more info, please view my full disclosure policy.

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

I was CRAVING beer cheese soup the other day for some reason and after looking up menus to every restaurant that serves soup in town, I couldn’t find one that carried beer cheese soup so I decided to make an entire pot of my own at home. I couldn’t help but to keep tasting this as it simmered on the stove and I was nearly full before pouring myself a bowl. It was SO good!

This soup can be toned down or up depending on the type of cheese and beer you use. I used an IPA beer and sharp cheddar, so my soup was pretty strong, which is exactly how I like it. For a more mild flavor, opt for a beer that isn’t too strong and a mild cheddar cheese. This is so good served with slices of crusty french bread on the side.

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beer
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk or half and half
  • 6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • popped popcorn, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese. Keep warm.
  3. Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture. Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Adjust for hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Serve topped with popcorn.
http://www.fabfatale.com/2014/01/beer-cheese-soup-recipe/

Also, what do you think about my new recipe card above? Now you can more easily view, print and save recipes from my site. I hope you enjoy the new layout!

beer cheese soup recipe – via allrecipes.com

Toy Boxes Using Rubbermaid’s All Access Storage

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Plastic Toy Storage Box

Finally! We are finally organized in baby John’s room. John is into everything lately, and I do mean EVERYTHING. If he’s not suppose to have it, then he goes for it quickly with his racing crawl lol. I recently moved his dresser awkwardly close to his crib so that his sound machine and monitor electrical cords {his recent discoveries} would be covered well. This freed up a bit of space to the right, so we’ve just been tossing his toys into the corner until I could find a way to organize them. We were tripping over these toys every night trying to get to his dresser or closet, but not anymore!

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I really didn’t want a toy box just yet because I was afraid of his fingers getting squished, and most of his toys are small and would just get lost in the bottom of a toy box. I found these storage containers from Rubbermaid’s® All Access collection and they are perfect for so many reasons! They are stackable, however you don’t have to unstack them to get to the items stored inside. They have clear fronts so that you can see what is inside of them, and the front opens so that you can get in there easily. Two of these stacked is way better than one deep toy box that my son can’t get to the bottom of without taking a plunge. They come in so many colors, and the turquoise was perfect with my gender neutral nursery vintage color scheme.

Plastic Toy Storage Box

Plastic Toy Storage Box

John picks up on anything new in his room, so of course he got so excited to see these Rubbermaid® turquoise storage bins in the corner. He race crawled over to them and kept smiling at me as he pulled out the toys he wanted to play with.

Plastic Toy Storage Box

This set up is perfect because now he only plays with a few toys at a time so that he doesn’t get bored so quickly. I’m able to switch them out every few minutes or so to keep him entertained. I can also clean up finally where as before, he would be taking toys out of the corner as quickly as I could tuck them away.

Plastic Toy Storage Box

The Rubbermaid® All Access storage containers can be found at your local Home Depot, or at HomeDepot.com. I picked up the turquoise containers in size small, which were the perfect size for all of his small to medium sized toys!

Open up the possibilities of easy access with Rubbermaid® All Access Organizers. The All Access line features a clear drop-down door so you can easily see and retrieve the items you want, even when they are stacked! Visit your local Home Depot to see why organization just got easier!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rubbermaid®. The opinions and text are all mine.