I’m dedicated to sharing all of my favorites, so here’s a little treasure I found on 1 E Delaware Pl…

more cupcakes

Need more cupcakes from MORE Cupcakery and very soon.  These were the best cupcakes I’ve had in Chicago!  I’ve still got nothing but love for Sprinkles although I have to admit that these take the cake (punny).  Bottom left was called chocolate valrhona with a little gold leaf, top left was chocolate champagne, top right chocolate hazelnut, and bottom right, my favorite, salted caramel.  MORE is known for it’s spectacular maple bacon cupcake, but curse my luck they were sold out.  Salted caramel was satisfactory though.

salted caramel

Eat happy,



I Love Lamp

I love lamp, just as much as I love Anchorman, Steve Carrell, and his character, Brick.  If you don’t love Anchorman, then shame on you.  But I really, really love this copper Scoop Table Lamp I bought at West Elm.


The lamp was $69 + tax, although I can’t find it shopping online so it may only be in stores.  The shop I went to had the same lamp in silver, too.  For my room, I like the look of mixing different metallics.  The tissue box cover is something I bought at an estate sale for a dollar recently, and the green sand hourglass was about $9.99 at TJ Maxx, I think.  Here’s what the set up looks like on my little, black desk with the lamp turned on, and the three animal mounts are from Home Goods:

photo 2   photo 3  photo7

Walking into West Elm made me feel like I wanted to give up all my possessions and move into the store permanently, everything was gorgeous and awesome, very chic.  There were these big fluffy pillows, and the pillow inserts were only $25.99, but the lamb’s fur pillow cases were around $160.00 each.  I wanted two of them, but instead I limited myself to a few valuable purchases.  The lamp was something I needed, the Lucite skull was too cool to pass up on, and the soft purple and cream throw blanket was so enticing on a cold day like today.  Next on my “to buy” list are these amazing wine bottle toppers, in the spirit of my metallic theme:

wine toppers

I’m dying to get these so I can display and serve wine with these gems. These Geo Bottle Stoppers cost $49, I decided to wait until a day I feel like treating myself.  Aren’t they fun?  I now know I can find anything and everything home related at West Elm and it will be fun and stylish, too.  I came across lots of things that would make perfect gifts for birthdays and special occasions.  The throw blanket I bought was on sale for $24.99 marked down from $60, and the skull was $19.00.  If you’ve never been to West Elm and you like to shop or decorate spaces, check it out.

Happy shopping,


Easy Pasta Bites

pasta bites 4












Pasta Bites

This recipe makes for a quick, easy, and delicious appetizer, snack, or dinner.  It starts with buying a box of Trader Joe’s Arancini Bites from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s and picking up your favorite pasta sauce, my choice is Prego because it also functions as a pizza sauce.  Arancini are an Italian snack made by rolling balls of cheese and Arborio rice in breadcrumbs, and then they are served with marinara sauce and some parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking pan with aluminum foil 

Serving size is 2 bites, and the box comes with 12 pasta bites – 120 calories/serving 

Bake for 12-16 minutes, serve with 1/2 cup of pasta sauce per serving, a pinch of parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic salt. 

Happy snacking,


My dinner:

pasta bites 2








It’s OK to Be a Cookie Monster

It’s OK to be a Cookie Monster

Trust me, we all deserve it from time to time.  But it’s especially OK with these Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips because they’re not all that bad for you.  They are perfectly sweet and a mix between crunchy and chewy.  You’ll be happy to know that they are also made with no trans fats, no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, and no GMOs.  Wasn’t that a great idea – making a hybrid of a cookie and a chip?  That’s some delicious culinary science right there.  I can’t way to try the other cookie variations…Sea Salted Peanut Butter is at the top of my list followed by Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip.  They also carry Cinnamon Sugar, Original Flavor, and right now a “flavor of the month” which is Oatmeal Rasin.

The cookie chips are made by HaanahMax Baking which is located in Gardena, California, but I highly recommend searching grocery stores near you for the sweets before ordering them online.  I bought one 6 ounce bag for $4.99 plus tax, compared to ordering a pack of four 6 ounce bags for $23.96.  Ordering makes each bag a little more expensive and you have to wait for them to be shipped.


“HannahMax Baking Cookie Chips are the original all natural, super crunchy, absolutely delicious snack cookie.  Made from only the highest quality ingredients, Cookie Chips are a daily indulgent treat you won’t feel guilty about. “

I won’t feel guilty about it, unless I eat the whole bag in one sitting.  I started to do the math…each bag has 6 servings, and a serving size is 5 cookies which is 120 calories, so if there are 30 cookies in a bag, then I could feel OK with eating half the bag for 360 calories of all natural goodness.  To put in in perspective (for myself) it’s about the equivalent caloric intake of eating 3 and 1/2 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, my favorite.  Would I rather eat 3 and a 1/2 Reese’s or 15 Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups?  I might need to conduct an experiment to decide which is more worth it.

Happy munching,


Source: Crunchy Cookie Chips

An Ode to Kate and a Thanks to Lucy


A friend gave me these gorgeous, gold polka-dotted Kate Spade notebooks and the adorable pencil bag which had a ruler, two golden pencil sharpeners, two pencils that say “to whom it may concern,” and an eraser inside.  She also gave me these awesome Kate Spade paperclips which are shaped like bows.  Paperclips that look like bows!!

kate spade

more kate

I’m fairly confident that a more beautiful writing set has never been created.  I love the eraser.  It’s so cute and encouraging with the words, “to err is human” printed on it.   The gold, pink, black, and white combine in a sophisticated, but fun look.  I have been using the big notebook nonstop, making grocery lists, to-do lists, and jotting down directions.  Lucy gave me the perfect gift and I LOVE IT!

Cheers to being Kate Spade girls.



Eat Cake For Breakfast

A Peek Into the Beauty of Kate Spade

phone case

I walked into a Kate Spade store today and it felt like a huge mistake – I was instantly in love with all of the colors, the purses, Kate Spade everything.  It was like walking into a magical, fashionable dream – like Alice, in wonderland, became a chic, upscale designer.  I’ve been there before and I forced myself out without really taking in all the beauty because the price range scares me and I can’t afford a keychain.  As my mom and I ooed and aahed from purse to purse, I said, “Oh, you have got to see this one! Look at the scallop edging and the pretty blush pink color, it’s gorgeous!” and “Oh wow, this car purse is amazing, I have to have it, I have to.  Isn’t it fun?”  I picked the purses up, touching the colorful leather and the metal spade-shaped keychains on each one.  The salesperson at the store told us this was her “fun job” where she could spoil herself every now and then from the gains of her “real job.”  My mom picked up what looked like a fashion magazine folded, as if it were being gripped, and it was a clutch.  The saleswoman said, “Kate Spade loves making things whimsical.”  With bright colors, feminine details, and catchy sayings on purses, the Kate Spade brand defines whimsical beauty.  From the car purse, to the purse shaped like a lemon, to a pink, quilted over the shoulder bag I think I have to buy…I’m in love with Kate Spade.

Some of my favorites:

i kissed a frog mulit clutch $328, how cute with the little frog prince clasp?

lemon 148

vita riva wicker lemon $248 marked down to $148

vita riva wicker car 238

vita riva wicker car $328

picnic locket 39

picnic locket $39

scented candle 40

scented candle “light up the room” $40, other candles said, “escape the ordinary” “leave something to the imagination” “be dazzling” “start something new” and “pretty and witty make the perfect pair” (LOVE IT)

book clutch

all roads lead to rio book clutch $328, I think this is so imaginative, a cute, and functional – I love to read and I love Kate Spade purses, so why not make a pretty clutch that looks like a book?  The design is brilliant.

via limoni vivi 148

via limoni vivi $248 marked down to $148, it’s hard to believe it’s a purse, isn’t it?

pink pelican

fine feather roux $498, how gorgeous is this? The pink gems, the pelican, AND it has a silver chain over the shoulder strap…simply perfect.


gramercy mini $250, I set my heart on this watch when I saw a girlfriend wearing the original gramercy (which is larger) and I’m hoping to get it soon.  I love the crystals instead of numbers, I’m smitten with it.

gold coast ginnie

gold coast ginnie marked down from $248 to $99, this is the gorgeous, pink, quilted purse I love.

There are just a limited selection of my absolute favorites, as you can tell, it was difficult for me to even pare down to this.  There are little, jeweled camel earring studs, or turtles if you prefer those instead, there are gorgeous pumps and sandals, beautiful home accessories, stationary, dresses, sunglasses, silverware sets, and so much more.  So many colors, bows, and details – a whole collection of wonderful, whimsical things made the Kate Spade way.  Kate Spade’s style is unique, inspirational, and feminine, and it motivates us to…


All pictures from Kate Spade

Become A Beach Babe

It’s the time of year to look like a beach goddess and flaunt your hottest bikini.  As a Midwesterner, I think it’s important to have gorgeous hair that makes it LOOK like I just came back from the beach.  I imagine the salty ocean spray and a paradise with a beach cabana – and then I spray on beach hair miracle spray to give me the look of the beach goddess I want to become.

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Spray

I loooove Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.  It is accurately called Beach Babe because it gives you perfect, sexy, beachy waves and it smells as amazing as a piña colada tastes.  You can spray it on your damp or dry hair, and you only need two or three spritzes to give your hair lift, texture, and wave.  I love using it when I get out of the shower and when I’m leaving the pool, and I can feel the difference in my hair.  The one flaw is that it’s not the best size to throw in your bag and there’s no cap to keep it from spraying the insides of your purse.  That being said, here’s my second choice.

Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Texture Spray

Sally Hershberger Glam Waves also smells amazing and gives your hair some sexy, tousled waves, but I think you need more like five or six sprays and I don’t feel the same volumizing texture the first spray gives me.  However, the trade-off is that it’s small and capped so you can through it in your pool or beach bag and spritz your hair while you’re out romping around.

After the break-down, Not Your Mother’s is the cheaper option from about $5-$8 depending on where you buy it and Sally Hershberger rings in at $13.  The choice is yours, but you can’t go wrong with beach babe waves either way.

Both are sold at Urban Outfitters: Not Your Mother’s, Sally Hershberger

Hot Lips

Bunny Balm

bunny balm

I found an awesome chap stick and I want to rave about it! This cute little bunny is made by TONYMOLY and called Petite Bunny Gloss Bar, which pretty much explains it.  I bought the balm in Juicy Peach, number 5, and I love the lightly colored tint and shine it gives my lips while also making them feel soft.  It’s a good, small size for any purse/clutch and it’s so adorable! I purchased mine at Urban Outfitters for $8.00 and that’s the cheapest source I found, also it’s very comparable to your standard Burt’s Bees chap stick, only much cuter.  It comes in lots of different shades, and I can’t wait to buy a couple more.  Look, they even have different facial expressions.  These bunny balms make me smile.

colorful lips


Photos: multiple balms, pink balm

Birchbox Love

Birchbox Product Review

Some products are worth raving about and Birchbox monthly subscription is one of my current favorites.  I signed up three months ago and I have yet to be disappointed.  Here is the low down:

Cost: $10

Contents: 4 to 5 beauty product samples + 1 lifestyle sample (tea bags, chocolate, granola bar, stationary, etc.)

These samples are not skimpy in size – they mostly consist of small tubes of moisturizer, mini spray bottles of hair product, small nail polishes and lip stains.  Most of my samples have lasted me the whole month, if not longer, and I have been thoroughly satisfied with them.  If you like trying new beauty products and enjoy getting a package in the mail, then Birchbox is for you.  I love the day it comes in the mail and I get to look through my new collection of goodies.

April Unboxed

april box

1) Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Detangling Spray – Although this sample was a good size, the spray bottle was defective and I could not get it to spray on my hair.  Fortunately, it did not prevent me from unscrewing the cap and applying it to my damp hair anyways.  This is the first faulty sample I’ve received in three months so I’m not complaining.  In fact, I was impressed that Birchbox sent me a follow up product from the same company after I positively reviewed a sample of Beauty Protector Hair Oil in my first box.  This was a small vial of oil for your hair, wet or dry, which smelled absolutely amazing.  The scent was the same as Pink Sugar perfume in case you ever used that in the past.  I loved the hair oil so much that I committed to buying it.  The first Birchbox worked it’s magic on me.  Plus, I was able to stretch the little glass bottle of oil for almost two months.  Well worth my ten dollars if you ask me.  The detangler smells as good as the oil, but it is only meant for wet hair.  I like the oil better because I can dab it on the ends of my hair to make it smell wonderful on a day when I’ve spent time outside or haven’t had the time to wash it.

2) Color Club Gala Gems Nail Polish ($13.00 for 4 small polishes)- I received a turquoise color with a pearl finish called “Breakfast at…”  I like the color and I love painting my nails so it made me happy to receive a whole polish in my box.

3) Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner ($11.00) – This eyeliner is a soft, wax pencil, and it can be bought in either black, lime green, olive green, dark green, charcoal grey, brown, or sky blue.  My typical eyeliner comes in a green tube from Maybelline and costs a little over $4, and I’m not especially happy with it.  It tends to leave under-eye smudges throughout the day.  This eyeliner, however, pleased me very much and provided me with smooth, black, defined lines and no smudging.  I’m very happy with the size; a whole eyeliner is worth almost half the box.  I would buy this product.  However, the down side is it must be ordered on Birchbox and it’s almost three times the price as my regular, convenient store-bought eyeliner…higher quality, higher price, less convenient.

4) Harvey Prince Yogini Perfume Sample ($55.00 for 50 ml) – The scent is light and fresh – good for spring or perfect for freshening up after yoga! I love little perfume samples because they are great to stick in my purse to have on hand if I need a little spritz as the day goes by.

5) KIND Healthy Grain Bars Granola Bar (lifestyle sample, $11.88 for a box of 15) – It’s nice to try a new healthy snack and I liked the taste and crunch of this granola bar.  My bar was Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, but I think I would have liked Dark Chocolate Chunk or Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate better.  It’s nice that these bars are gluten free and full of healthy super grains including oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.


  • Each box you receive comes with a card that gives a detailed description of each sample in the box and how to use it.  It also provides you with the cost of the full-size product.
  • The boxes are themed for each month.  April’s box also included a “rainy day tip” since April is considered the month of showers, and the goodies were wrapped in blue tissue paper.
  • An added benefit to subscribing to Birchbox is that any product you order after receiving a sample of it will be shipped for free.  The company also sends frequent discount codes by email.  If you post a review providing feedback about one of the products you received, you earn points to save you money when you shop in the Birchbox store.  Referring friends and buying things on the site also earns you points.
  • The cardboard box is reusable – I might use one to store stationary and one to store headbands.  Might as well get your money’s worth out of the packaging!

Other Box Favorites

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil ($25.00) This is the hair oil I was raving about in the description of the first product!

hair oil

theBalm® cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples?™ ($32.00) These lip tints are great.  My box had a small square sample with one of the lip tints.  The red color was a perfect stain and it left my lips feeling smooth.  It’s on my buy list!


Skin&Co Roma TRUFFLE THERAPY™ SERUM Boosting Anti-Aging Serum ($75.00)  The serum is a moisturizer to apply to your face and neck after washing it and before bed.  It smells amazing and I could feel it tightening and firming my face.  Too expensive for me, but if you really value an anti-aging serum, then this one is worth trying.



(Pictures taken from