Valentine’s Day Giveaway Featuring Victoria Emerson

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Ok, lets try this once again! I apologize for the technical difficulties on my end. I still have zero clue why this originally posted blank and not with my widgets, etc. I am joining 37 other bloggers to give away some awesome prizes AND one grand prize winner to celebrate Valentine’s Day. All of the details will be below. Let’s talk about my prize first!

ZJ201307My prize is this ridiculously cute Silver Dorado on White wrap bracelet from Victoria Emerson. I can’t tell you how much I have been loving this piece. I’ll be posting a more thorough review of my Victoria Emerson wrap bracelet in the next few days. I just wanted to give you a chance to win what is probably my favorite piece of jewelry in my collection.

Good Luck!

XOXO

Ashley
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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For this super-awesome Valentine’s-themed blog hop, 38 fabulous bloggers have teamed up to give away some epic prizes, all beauty-related, of course! If you’ve been wanting to splurge on some fun items for yourself…you’re in the right place!

Here’s How it Works: Each of the blogs participating are giving away their own prize on their blog. Yes, you heard that right — this blog hop has 38 separate giveaways that you have a chance to win! So after you’ve entered my giveaway, make sure you hop to all the other blogs (linked below) for more beauty products that you could win!

GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY: Because we like to spice it up a bit, we didn’t stop at 38 giveaways…we wanted to make it a nice, round 40 with an epic grand prize that you could win! So, if you go around the blog hop and enter all the giveaways, you’re eligible to enter to win a $400 eGiftcard to Sephora or Ulta (winners choice!). If you live in a country that Sephora or Ulta doesn’t ship to, no worries! You’ll be given the money via PayPal to use at whatever beauty store you have nearby!

International Readers: There are some blogs who do not have their giveaway open worldwide, but you can still enter to win the grand prize giveaway! Here’s how that will work — for all the blogs in this hop that do not have their giveaway open worldwide, all you have to do is check out their giveaway, complete the ONE required entry, and leave them a comment on their giveaway post letting them know you’re international but still did the required entry so that you can have a chance to win the grand prize! Then click the link below that will take you directly to where you can fill out the form to enter the grand prize giveaway.

You got all that? Any questions, just ask below! Let’s get into this hop!


In the event that you get an ERROR message when clicking on any of the links below, try clicking on the HOME page of that blog. Or come back later and try again. There are often hiccups that happen in the beginning of a pre-scheduled blog hop such as this. Thank you for your patience!

From My Vanity // Cosmetish // XO, Noelle // All Things Beautiful, XO // Geniabeme // Colorsutraa // Painted Ladies // Vanity Rouge // Beyond Beauty Lounge // My Highest Self

Nail Polish Society // Beauty Info Zone // Notes from My Dressing Table // Norah Loves Makeup // Collective Beauty // NikMakeupJunkie // Beauty by Miss L // Color Me So Crazy // Makeup Obsessed Mom // Style, Decor & More

Lit From Within // Glamorable // Olive & Ivy // KellieGonzo // TheFabZilla // Clumps of Mascara // PolishGalore // Polarbelle // Belleza Kisses // Grow It Girl

Beauty in the Geek // Mina Slater // LVMAKEUP // Cybelesays.com // ShearGlamLife // Casual Contrast // Everyday Beauty Blog // Prime Beauty

GRAND PRIZE: $400 GIFT CARD to ULTA, SEPHORA, (OR PAYPAL)


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Everyday Look – UDXGWEN

If you share similar traditions to mine, the holiday season is just about to wrap up with Three Kings Day tomorrow. I know that most of my makeup loving friends received (or could’nt wait and ran out and bought) the ultra fabulous Urban Decay UDXGWEN palette as a gift over the holiday season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of new beauty products but often let them sit because we don’t know how to use them. Fortunately the UDXGWEN palette isn’t makeup rocket science. The palette is pretty neutral friendly. While I am normally all about simple “everday” beauty, I do like glitz and glam up my everyday looks every once in a while. I’m not going to bore you with the basics. I created a face chart for my current basic everyday look. I am going to give you tips on how to take my everyday look into the glam zone. This amplified look is perfect for running errands, lunch with the girls, a day at the office or a trip to the mall or a romantic date.

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Now that we have our basic everyday look to of the way let me give you some tips on how I turn this from boring everyday to “everyday glam”.

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Add Some Super Shimmer/Glitter – I know, I know glitter isn’t technically for everyday but just the tiniest amount of a light neutral glitter liner or glitter based shadow can add a slight pop to a neutral eye. My favorite place to add this is to the inner corner of the eye. It brings just the right amount of light to the eye without looking too overdone. In the face chart the lid color I used is very shimmery but you can still add more.

Switch Up the Lip Products – Swapping out your “My Lips But Better” shades for a holiday inspired red, berry or  even a brown can amp up your everyday looks without being too overdone. I want to say that switching up your lips is the easiest way to play with your everyday looks.

Plum/Mauve Blush – I love plum and mauve blushes SO much! And the winter time is one of the best seasons to wear them. Just a little bit of plum/mauve blush on the apples of your cheeks give that pretty sugar plum fairy flush.

Smoke Out Your Liner – Adding smoky liner is another easy way to make your everyday beauty look a little extra special. And it’s easy! With a brush or even a cotton swab you are going to lightly smudge some eye shadow into your upper and lower lash lines.

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You can use one or all of the tips above to transition your everyday beauty looks to one that is a bit more glam and a little less “natural”. Why not try to glam it up for yourself and ring in the new year feeling good on the outside.

Happy New Year!

Ashley

Sopa de Fideo Recipe

 

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I have decided I want to share more of the recipes I was taught by my grandmother, mother and mother-in-law on my blog. As part of a new direction, I want to add more lifestyle and recipe posts during 2016. The focus of this blog will still very much be beauty related, but sometimes a little change never hurts. Most of the recipes I’ll be sharing are fairly easy, everyday meals/snacks. Most can be done in under an hour.

The recipe I am sharing today is for my Sopa de Fideo. A hearty pasta “soup” that is beyond easy to prepare and perfect for the cold winter months. Most Mexican families have their own version of Sopa de Fideo, so this recipe will vary from the one you might have been taught. My basic recipe can be done in under 30 minutes. This sopa can be prepared following the recipe below or you can add pretty much anything you want to it, making the recipe your own.

1 Package of Fideo (any type of pasta actually but you can buy “fideos” in the Hispanic aisle at your grocery store. My preferred brand is La Moderna)

4 roma tomatoes cut into large chunks

1/4 of medium sized yellow onion

1 small garlic clove (or garlic powder equal to a clove)

1 cube of Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon

Whole fresh cilantro (at least 10 sprigs)

Salt to taste

6-8 cups of water (you can use less for a thicker “soup”)

2 TBSP of Oil

Mexican crema (optional))

crumbled Queso Fresco (optional)

In your blender combine one cup of water, tomato, onion and garlic and blend until smooth. Set your tomato sauce aside.

Fry your fideo in the oil in a large pan ( I use a 5.5 quart dutch oven) until brown. You really have to baby sit your fideo to make sure it does not burn. Burning your fideo will make your dish bitter and smoky.

Once your fideo is browned add your tomato sauce to the fideos and fry it for a minute.

Add the rest of your water, cube of Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon and salt to taste. Bring your sopa to a boil. Cover it and let it cook for 15 minutes.

Remove form heat and add your cilantro. Let your sopa sit for 2-3 minutes. You can remove the cilantro but I like to eat it in my sopa so I leave it in.

Serve your Sopa de Fideo topped with Mexican crema and Queso Fresco.

That is my basic recipe for Sopa de Fideo! You can add fresh veggies, jalapeño, tofu, chicken/turkey, use homemade chicken stock, the options are endless to upgrade this basic recipe. Instead of the traditional vermicelli type fideo I used shells instead in the photo above. This is a great, kid friendly recipe.

XOXO

Ashley

 

Make it a Minions Movie Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias

minions movie night everyday beauty blog

It’s really easy this time of year to get wrapped up in stress and forget to take time for your family and yourself. A movie night is an excellent way to enjoy some of the fruits of your labor and spend time with family and friends. This summer’s fabulously funny family movie, Minions is sure to be a hit with the kids and Adults! Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. by Illumination Entertainment is sure to have your family rolling on the floor laughing. You can grab it now in stores or shop directly from the Minions movie website here. These little yellow guys are bound to bring laughter and joy to your family movie night this holiday season.

Make your Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. extra special by letting your family create their own completely homemade Frozen Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches!  My recipe is inspired by the minions and their LOVE for bananas. These yummy treats would surely entice your little and big minions into the kitchen to help you create these frozen desserts. Oh! Pssst! I have secret. Don’t let your little minions know but the actual ice cream part of this recipe is vegan AND healthy! Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is a great way to utilize any left over holiday cookies (in my case I had baked six dozen sugar cookies alone) you have sitting around, leaving you as much time as possible to enjoy Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

minions movie night everyday beauty blog

Chewy Sugar Cookies (Makes 36 cookies)

1 Cup (2 whole sticks) unsalted butter, softened.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 egg

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/4 cup granulated sugar (for the yummy glittery effect)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking trays with either parchment paper or a non stick baking mat.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer. Creaming usually takes about 3 minutes. Once you get a light and fluffy mixture incorporate your egg.

Gently stir in flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla.

Using a tablespoon, scoop your cookie dough out and roll into a ball.

Add the remainder of your granulated sugar to a bowl for rolling prior to baking, Roll your cookie dough ball in the sugar and place on your baking sheet. Gently press your cookie dough ball flat. Repeat this process making sure to leave at least 1 1/2 inches of space between your cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes until slightly brown. Remember these are chewy cookies, if you prefer a harder cookie let them bake until browned.

Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream (For 12 Ice Cream Sandwiches)

6 very ripe bananas

A good food processor

Slice your bananas into rounds. The size doesn’t matter here as they are going into the food processor later.

Put your banana rounds into a freezer safe bag. Freeze for at least 2 hours but 24 hours is best.

You are going to need a really good food processor. Add your bananas in batches. For this recipe I did it in batches of 3 evenly divided banana rounds as I have a larger food processor

Start by pulsing your frozen rounds for 10-15 seconds until they break down into what I say looks like little chunks of what I would say looks like those little ice cream orbs usually found in amusement parks and such.

Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the food processor. Continue this process until your banana rounds break down completely and form a creamy “ice cream”. Place in a freezer safe container to let it set. Eat at your leisure.

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What your dairy free banana ice cream will look like after setting.

Yup! That’s it. Now I know what you’re thinking? “Is she for real?” Seriously, Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream is the easiest, one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had. It is relatively healthy for you (in moderation!) and a great substitute for regular ice cream. I’m sure that the minions from Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. would love this too!

Assembling the Ice Cream Sandwiches (As pictured makes 12)

Chocolate Sprinkles

24 Round Sugar Cookies

Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream

Rubber Spatula

minions movie night everyday beauty blog

Let your Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream sit at room temperature to slightly soften. Attempting to spread the ice cream while its hard will break the sugar cookies.

Flip your sugar cookies over and place them side by side. Add as much or as little of your softened ice cream to the cookies on the right. Place the cookie on the left on top creating your sandwich.

Pour some chocolate sprinkles on a plate. Roll the ice cream sandwiches in the chocolate sprinkles. Freeze to set.

You can really turn your Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. movie night into an extra special event by adding minions related plates, cups, decor, etc that is available at retailers nationwide. The kids can create custom minions googles and other crafts while watching the movie. I also like to add to the festivities and let my guests “create” their own cookie sandwich, letting them be as messy as they want to be.

Please take the time to enjoy your loved ones this holiday season. Plan your Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. movie night and use this Minions inspired recipe to create memories that will last a lifetime.

XOXO

Ashley

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsMovieNight #CollectiveBias

My Christmas Eve 2015 Outfit Plus Giveaway

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So the countdown is officially on. Fifteen days and counting until Christmas. This year I have so much going on around me that I have had to adjust my Holiday timelines. I usually wait until the last minute to pick up a little something to wear for my Christmas Eve dinner but this year I really won’t have the time thanks to some last minute (and much appreciated!) work opportunities.

I had a very specific idea for my Christmas Eve 2015 outfit. I usually go with my fave LBD but this year I wanted to switch it up some. One of my favorite fashion trends for Fall/Winter/Holiday is plaid. I’m mad about plaid this year! I’ve never owned a plaid skirt and I was really attracted to the longer midi length skater skirts that can be worn rather high (to hide my tummy!). I actually found one online that I loved.

Now I was on the hunt for the perfect top to go with it. I knew it had to be rather fitted because the skirt is rather flowy. I found a really cute fitted mock turtleneck in black that helps to slim down my arms and makes the girls look rather perky.

Since I am opting to wear the skirt higher on my torso I don’t have to worry about wearing Spanx (Yes!) and since I am hosting Christmas Eve dinner I don’t need to worry about adding a clutch or coat to my look. I’m going to finish my outfit with my trusty all black riding boots and black knee socks that will peak out from the tops of my boots.

 

Holiday 2015

 

If you’re looking to add some pieces to your wardrobe I have a $100 USD GiftCard to Zulily that I am giving away. All of the info is in the widget below. Good Luck!

XOXO

Ashley

Secret Beauty Tip Contest / USD 100 Zulily Gift Card

If it wasn’t for the free shipping codes that Zulily offers, every customer would pay shipping charges for shopping on Zulily.com; the worst part about online shopping.
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