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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Havarti Grilled Cheese

My friends and I have been hanging out before we all head off to college, and usually we would go out to Panera, but I thought we could save some money and just make our own lunch! One of my good friends Melissa made this amazing sandwich, and it was the first time I had ever tried it. It's pretty easy to make, but the combination of sweet and savory is perfect. She said her grandma made it for her, and that's where this recipe comes from. I know that I'll definitely be making this all summer for picnics. It was also actually the first time I've ever had havarti cheese, and she just bought it from the local grocery store pre-sliced. I think it has the perfect texture for sandwiches, especially for melting!


Serves 2
Ingredients:
-1 medium pink lady apple
-2 slices of havarti cheese
-4 slices of your favorite bread
-cinnamon
-butter

Directions
  1. Slice the apple into thin wedges and cook in one tablespoon of butter and the desired amount of cinnamon. Butter the slices of bread.
  2. Remove the apple slices and in the same pan, place one slice of bread butter side down and put a slice of cheese on top. Next, put a couple of apple slices on the sandwich and place the second slice of bread butter side up.
  3. Once the bottom is golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich over (it's always a little scary haha) and finish cooking until the other side is golden brown as well. Keep a careful watch.
  4. Remove from pan and enjoy!!!
I can't believe how much I loved this because when she told me what was in it, I didn't think the ingredients went together. But trust me - your tummy will thank you. With a side of fresh fruit and chips, this is a yummy summer lunch!

See you soon,
Stephanie



Friday, May 23, 2014

Outift // Classic Navy





The sun has been beautiful here in Michigan, and my friends and I have been going to a couple of graduation parties. With food, fun, and friends, I wanted to wear one of my favorite outfits. My best friend Sarah who also took these pictures has a cute little shed and garden in her backyard so of course I took a couple pictures. I still can't get over those little blue flowers!

On this day, I wore a gold woven turquoise necklace from Macy's, and of course the classic black blazer. There's just something about blazers that I love; they make any outfit much more polished and structured. I have one in black that I'm wearing here, and a camel colored one as well! I've been looking at a couple white blazers, but part of me is afraid to ruin it because I'm a pretty messy eater ...As for the jeans, they are super comfortable and more importantly affordable from Loft, and I always roll my pants because I'm pretty petite. I bought the Keds from an outlet mall in Alabama, and the floral print will go along with any plain t shirt. I know that this will definitely be my go-to outfit this summer as I can always wear any color plain t-shirt besides my favorite color navy!

See you soon,
Stephanie

Navy Top - H&M
Blazer - TJ Maxx
Jeans - Loft
Shoes - Keds
Necklace - Macy's, similar
Lips - Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop
Sunnies - F21, similar




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Banana Berry Chia Smoothie

Nothing screams summer like a wake me up smoothie, right? Throughout this time of year my kitchen is always stocked with a variety of fruit, and I love mixing my favorite kinds! After a recent trip to Trader Joe's while I was in Chicago, I picked up this small bag a of chia seeds. I have been hearing more and more about this fiber packed, omega 3 rich food, and I've been looking into how to incorporate it into different things. One of my favorite ways is to just put a teaspoon into the blender with the smoothie so the seeds puff up thickening the smoothie a bit!





 Also, this is a naturally sweet smoothie that won't need much added sugar because the blueberries I used are from blueberry picking with my family. Use whatever fruit you love - these just happened to be around my kitchen. This is filled with protien, calcium, nutrients, and of course, deliciousness!

Serves 1
Ingredients:
-1 banana
-handful of frozen blueberries 
-4 large strawberries
-splash of almond milk
-1 teaspoon of chia seeds
-sweetener (optional) - I used clover honey

See you soon,
Stephanie


Monday, May 19, 2014

Cargo OneBase Concealer + Foundation





I was recently at Ulta looking for a lightweight, long lasting foundation that I could wear to prom. I'm not sure why, but all of the Cargo cosmetics were half off so I couldn't turn down the chance to try this out for $14 compared to the original $28! It has simple, sleek packaging, and I love the doe foot applicator. I would say this foundation is definitely light to medium coverage but it is pretty buildable without being cakey. By far, my favorite concept about this foundation is that I don't apply this all over my skin. I only put product in the places that I need it on and blend it in with the Real Techniques Buffer Brush. It has a matte finish that looks natural, and is long lasting throughout the day if I powder. I find that this feels moisturizing without being oily, and it also contains Vitamin E and chamomile which are both great for the skin.

One downside though is that there are only seven shades available. I am shade 45, and that's already the second darkest they have! Overall, if you're looking for something on-the-go that would make your routine a lot faster, I would recommend this foundation/concealer even though it is a bit pricey. Hey, maybe it's on sale at your local Ulta too! This is easy to use, hygenic, natural looking, and feels lightweight on the skin!

Overall Rating: 4.5/5  
Cost: $$$

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Easy Steps to Planning A Graduation Party


It's that time of year again; summer, late nights, and...graduation parties! Whether you're a senior organizing a graduation party (last minute like me) or you're just planning ahead, here's five easy steps to make things easy! I would start planning no longer than one month before the party so people can respond the invitations in time. Before I start the actual post, my biggest tip is to check out Pinterest. There are thousands and thousands of great ideas I have found on there that have really helped me out a lot!

1. Pick a Date + Location

This to me is one of the most important parts because you have to see when other people are having their own graduation parties. Also, I try to pick a day where most of my relatives and friends are free! Here is where I would determine what type of food you will be serving to choose the time of day the party will happen. For example, if you're going to be serving brunch, than the time of the party would be mid-morning. For my grad party, I'm doing it after lunch but before dinner so it's convenient for most people (2-5pm). As for the location, some people have it at a church, school, or their own house. I opted for my backyard to save some money where I'll just rent a large tent. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't rain!



2. Choose the Food (the best part of course!)

I don't know about you, but food is my favorite thing at any good party. I had a tough time deciding on what to serve because I have so many ideas that would be so yummy. There are many options like deciding on having a caterer or having homemade food, finger foods or main courses, and the most difficult - choosing dessert. The options are really endless so talk to your parents and see what they think would be a good idea as well. I would highly recommend a variety of options so there's something for everyone! Also, to get the right amount of food, I would plan on buying/making more food than you think you need because it's much better to have extra than to run out.

Fruit Pizza Cookies 3
One of my favorite ideas that I might use - make your own fruit pizza! It sounds SO good.
3. Make Invitations

I set up two ways that people can tell me if they're coming: I made an event on facebook for everyone at school, and I also went to costcophotocenter.com to design my own invitations. I am giving these invitations to the adults, teachers, family friends, and relatives! It's nice to be able to design them online and then pick them up at your local Costco. They were super easy to make and cost only 69 cents per card. I know of other great places to make invitations like Shutterfly or Walgreens as well - choose whatever place you like best.

Here's the front and back of my invitation that I made on the website:



4. Decorate!

Here is where Pinterest really comes into play. I could spend hours on there just looking at all of the ideas! There are also options for the color scheme- where you''ll be attending college or the colors of your high school. One of my favorite decorations that I'll be having at my party in June are using little glass vases that my cousin gave to me (they can be found at the dollar store). I plan to fill them with colored candy and line the table with them! Next, I would gather all of your accomplishments and pictures from the past years. Find all of you baby pictures, medals, trophies, and certificates. It's heart warming to see everything you have accomplished! This will honestly take hours because looking at old pictures is always fun. I'm hoping to make a couple of trifolds filled with pictures!

Photo Balloons

5. Part-ay + Say Thanks!

Of course, enjoy your party! It's all about you on this special day of graduating. Expect to talk to all of the guests and wear comfy (and cute) shoes. Also, don't forget to have fun! With all of the stress for setting up the party, don't forget to enjoy it as well. This last step is important in saying thank you to everyone who came to the party. When my brother had his graduation party, he just bought many blank thank you cards and hand wrote messages for the gifts and such. I think it's much more personal hand writing thank you cards rather than having the messages pre-written or typed.

I really hope this helped you if you're planning a party, and I can't wait to share how mine turns out in about a month! Congratulations to all of you graduates out there!

See you soon,
Stephanie x

Sources: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Outfit // Center Stage







Recently, I had my last ever orchestra concert and it's tradition that seniors have the option to play a solo. I'm definitely not one who loves the spotlight, but I thought that this is the last time, so why not? Getting up on stage was so nerve racking and I now understand what stage fright is, but it was all worth it.

I actually bought this dress last year from Carson's because it was marked down, but I finally had somewhere to wear it. It's a beautiful taupe color with lace and shimmery gold. It hits below the knee, has a full tulle skirt, and an empire waist which I love. I needed a longer dress because I sit while playing the cello and it's very awkward to wear a short dress while sitting down (you don't want to know). Actually, one of my favorite parts of the outfit are the earrings that I bought at a local grocery store. Yeah, a grocery store - I was surprised to find lots of beautiful, affordable accessories there at a place called Horrock's. They're little tigers at the stud that connect to the teardrop diamond and I am obsessed. I loved them so much I also wore them to prom (which will be my next fashion post coming very soon)!

Dress - Jessica Howard (sold out) similar
Nude Heels - Steve Madden 
Earrings - local similar

See you soon,
Stephanie x




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Psssst! Dry Shampoo


I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post, things have been crazy lately since I am graduating high school very soon, and there's been so much to do. Sadly, school does come first when it comes to blogging, but it doesn't mean I miss it at all! I can't wait to have more time to write after I graduate! For the past couple of years I have been washing my hair every 2-3 days and I am loving the results. My hair is much softer, healthier, and no longer dry. Unless I have tennis that day, I find that taking breaks with washing my hair also makes it easier to style. Recently, I tried out the Pssssst! Dry Shampoo (what a funny name), and I'm always on the lookout for the best one. I use dry shampoo to absorb any oil and also to add some volume to my hair.

I first heard about this dry shampoo a long time ago from Ipsy and Youtube because it was pretty popular. The last time I was at Ulta I saw this and decided to try it out on a day where I wasn't washing my hair. I spray this about 6 inches away from my hair and concentrate it at the roots. I found that it's best to let it sit for about 5 minute after spraying before shaking the hair as it absorbs more oil. I noticed that it did hold off on the oil for about an hour or so, but later it actually made my hair greasy which I do not like at all. Also, this shows up stark white on my hair unless I really shake it into my hair. Although it did add some volume to my hair I won't be repurchasing this in the future because I like the Batisse dry shampoo much better. If you have thinner hair I'm sure this would work great for you, but since I have super coarse, thick hair, this one sadly didn't work out.




In the pictures, you can even see the white residue it leaves. If you have blonde hair, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem! As you can see, I don't think this an amazing dry shampoo for my hair, but it's not the worst one I've tried!

Overall Rating: 3/5  
Cost: $

Happy Spring!

See you soon,
Stephanie x