Friday Favorites in Five

November 28, 2014

Alright, so Thanksgiving is over, we're all officially stuffed, and now it's pretty much the best day ever (other than Thanksgiving, because it's a pretty awesome day too). It's Friday (a), and it's time to DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS (b). I can't even tell you how excited this makes me. 

Every Friday after Thanksgiving I forego the crazy lines and crowds to crank up the Christmas music and start digging through my decorations. It's time to get festive, folks.

1. This lush greenery by Apartment 34 is pretty much my perfect vision of what greenery should look like. 

2. You can't go wrong with classic red and green

3. This is a pretty fancy tree, but I like the branches mixed in and the colors.

4. Doing something like this is so simple, but adds so much to a table. 

5. Even though I really do like color on my tree, using neutrals to decorate with can be so elegant!

I'll share some of my own decorations soon...hopefully.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thanksgiving Dishes for the Procrastinator

November 26, 2014

You know you've been there before...Thanksgiving (or any holiday/event for that matter) creeps up on you and before you know it, it's suddenly time to whip up some type of dish because you promised you would contribute. The problem is that most planners have already expertly crafted their menu and they bought out the entire grocery store (honestly, how grocery stores run out of staple items blows my mind).

Well, here are some quick and easy ideas for last minute dishes, for you, the procrastinator (ahem, me). I have tried each one...so trust me when I say, they are easy. :)

Here's a little hint: the picture below will not be you if your'e going for last minute...


Appetizers
Marinated Cheese - This is seriously the EASIEST appetizer you could possibly make. Especially if you buy the pre-sliced cheese. And why wouldn't you? When I made this, I did modify the recipe because I was going for the epitome of laziness and just used Cheddar and Monterey-Jack...honestly they were the only cheeses that the store had pre-sliced at the time.

Holiday Bacon Appetizers - It has bacon. What more could you ask for? This recipe is super simple, it just takes a little time wrapping the crackers with the bacon, but the end result is completely worth it. It will be a hit, trust me.

Main Dish/Sides
Cheesy Corn Casserole - Anything that says to wisk in milk to a hot pan freaks me out because I have smoked myself out of the kitchen a few times trying to make gravy, but I kid you not, this recipe is easy. There are steps that you have follow, which I struggle with because I like to just toss everything in at once, but they're easy steps. This dish is rich, but delish. 

Cranberry-Pineapple Relish - You may have seen this one recently (ha), and for good reason. It is fast if you need something really simple. 

Sweets
Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites - This does take a little bit of time (just because the chocolate has to cool), but it's store-bought pretzels, so it's good to grab last minute. They're yummy to snack on for something sweet and salty.

Brownie-Walnut Pie - One of my favorite recipes (except I leave out the nuts - not everyone is a fan). This is my go-to when I'm looking for "something chocolate".

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle - The name says it all. I've made this before and it's pretty much just layer and repeat. I did totally take her advice and do all store-bought though, because that's just who I am. Side note - please read her entire post. It is hilarious. Her humor kills me. Then please tell me that I'm not alone laughing out loud.

Rolo Turtles - It's a classic, but it's so good. I don't really know how else to put it.

Just in case you didn't realize...tomorrow is Thanksgiving...so if you actually didn't realize this, maybe you should hit up the grocery store. Just sayin'. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

November Julep Maven Box

November 24, 2014

It's almost the end of November. Seriously? How did this happen? There's only a handful of weeks until Christmas. I don't really want to count them because I know it will be too close and I'll start to freak out a little. 

It's also time for another Julep Maven box! I was pretty much thrilled with this box because it had one of their mascaras...and we all know how much I love mascara. It's a problem, really. 





The two nail colors in this box were Marzia (pewter) and Shari (light nude/grey). I was really happy with both colors. The pewter is definitely something different for me, but I think it will be fun for the upcoming holidays! 

So, the mascara...I was really looking forward to using this the first time. I've always been impressed with Julep products, but this one just didn't do much for me. The brush size was great, but the mascara was kind of clumpy and didn't add much volume. 

Overall, another good box. Even though the mascara didn't wow me, I'm glad it was in the box so I could try it out!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday Favorites in Five

November 21, 2014

Welcome to Friday everyone! We made it! This is the last weekend before Thanksgiving. Whaaaat? I know, I can't believe it either. 

I've probably worn out the whole fall thing, but honestly I don't care because it is my favorite. 

I hadn't planned on doing many fall/Thanksgiving decorations, but at the last minute decided to decorate in my dining room...and that got me searching for some inspiration. So, I'm sharing my favorites with you (get excited)!

1. This is probably my all time favorite fall tablescape by Apartment 34. It was inspiration for my own, even though mine doesn't really look like this...the colors are what I was going for. Kind of. 

2. The rustic and elegant look that Kim at Tidbits & Twine did here is beautiful. It's such a great combination, and I love the pewter antlers.

3. Seriously want to replicate what Lucy at Craftberry Bush did with this table. It's fall, but there's a slight Christmasy touch (which I can't get enough of, of course).

4. Love, love, love this table by The Lettered Cottage. The bright flowers are perfect, and the pumpkins are on risers...so smart. The lanterns add a warm touch too.

5. This table by The Lily Pad Cottage is great because it's not the traditional fall colors, so if you need a neutral theme, this is for you!

Any time I look for ideas or inspiration, of course I go to Pinterest. It was so hard to find just five tablescapes because every time I kept searching I found more and more that I liked! Which one of these is your favorite?

Linking up with High Five for Friday / Oh Hey Friday.

Product Spotlight: CG Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation

November 19, 2014

You've probably figured out by now that I like to test out foundations, BB Creams, and anything that claims to be the next best thing for coverage of my uneven skin tone. Well, this is probably my newest favorite. I've been using the CG Ready Set Gorgeous foundation for about a month, and have been loving it. I first mentioned it here, and it's still my go-to every day.



The coverage is really, really good...and I don't have to use much product to achieve the coverage I'm after. It doesn't feel heavy and has a nice matte finish. I notice that it stays in place throughout the day, and doesn't get too greasy (which for me is great) because it's oil free!

There are so many shades in this foundation. I first tried the 210 Medium Beige, but found it to be a little light. The 215 Warm Beige is just right. I was impressed seeing the range of options because honestly I think that's part of the struggle with drug store foundations - they're harder to match.


To apply, I've been using the Sigma F80 brush, and I also use a Beauty Blender. I like both...but usually prefer a brush for foundations because it just seems faster. Typically I will place a small amount (literally a pea-sized amount) on the back of my hand, dab the brush in it and start sweeping over my face in circular motions. That pea-sized amount can cover my entire face. If I need more coverage I'll just pick up a little more product and apply in the areas where I have redness or a blemish. If I'm really in a hurry, I can get by using a drop of this over a blemish instead of a separate concealer.

Have I raved enough about this stuff? Okay, I'll stop, but honestly, best drug store foundation I've used...ever...so far...but really, probably ever!

Thanksgiving Home Tour

November 17, 2014


I was hit hard by the Christmas spirit this past week, and I was so close to pulling out all of my decorations and just going all in! I usually hold out until after Thanksgiving, but I couldn't help it. They started playing Christmas music on xm radio (the Holly station), and I gave in to it and have been listening (almost) non-stop. 

Then I paused and thought about it a few minutes. I love Thanksgiving too much to just skip over the fall decorations. In a last-ditch effort to fulfill my cravings for decorating, and still try to hold on to the little bit of Fall left in this season, I ran out to shop for some 'Thanksgiving appropriate' decor (and bonus: because stores had their Christmas stuff out it was all on sale!!!!).

My dining room is now decked out in full-on Thanksgiving! Woo! The best part is that I used greenery from my Christmas collection so I can easily transition the day after Thanksgiving. :)

It was pretty simple, and took about 20 minutes to do. The leaves were in a bundle, so I deconstructed them (which I do anytime I buy faux floral decorations - it's safe to say that I never buy a bundle of flowers or greenery and leave it in the original arrangement) and placed individual leaves in the greenery. Then each of the other items were placed throughout and on the table itself. They were already individual so it didn't take much effort. Some of the stems were shortened, but other than that it was out of the bag and onto the table (kind of like dinner some nights).

When it's time to get the Christmas stuff ready, I can just pull out each of the items and store them away for next year! I might leave the little berries, pears and pomegranates though...they could be Christmasy too.







Have you decorated for Christmas yet? I feel like a lot of people have...and I'm kind of jealous...but I  am also pretty pleased with how my Thanksgiving Table came together. Next year I'll be ready!

If you decorated for Thanksgiving/Fall, and have a picture, share a link to your blog post showcasing your decorations in the comments, or post a picture on Instagram and tag me @rebecca_hellocreative!

Linking up with Inspiration MondayYour Designs This TimeShare It - The Winthrop Chronicles / Outside The Box / A Little Bird Told Me / The Wednesday Roundup / Inspire Me Please / Link Party PaloozaFriday Favorites / I'm Lovin' ItThe Weekend re-Treat / Strut Your Stuff / Show and Tell Saturday / Show Me Saturday / G'Day SaturdayNifty Thrifty Sunday / Think Pink Sunday.

Friday Favorites in Five

November 14, 2014

Ummmm...it's cold. 30-something kind of cold. It hurts me.

So I needed something to make me feel warm and comfortable. Naturally I found some yummy looking desserts (that would be perfect for Thanksgiving)! :)

1. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars. Mouthful (literally, probably), but anything that kind of resembles a cheesecake with caramel and the word "crumble" makes me happy.

2. Candy Apple Pie - the name says it all. 

3. I'm all about Averie Cooks today. This Cream Cheese-filled Pumpkin Bread looks...awesome.

4. Classic Pecan Pie. Who could go wrong? 

5. Had to have something chocolate! These Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip mini cheesecakes from Sally would do the trick!!

Good news is that it's Friday, so tomorrow I can bundle up by the fire all day!! Happy weekend!

Linking up with High Five for Friday / Oh Hey Friday.

The BEST Cranberry-Pineapple Relish

November 12, 2014

You know that cranberry sauce that comes in an almost solid form with can imprints that everyone has on Thanksgiving? Yeah...this ain't it.

I don't even like cranberry sauce. But this. This I actually, honestly, love.

I eat it with a spoon while it's simmering. Unheard of for me and cranberry sauce. But don't just pop a cranberry in your mouth...mistake made...sour, sour sour sour. Yuck.


I make this every holiday season, and it has been known to be given as a gift. It's really more like a dessert than a side dish. The pineapples give it just the right amount of fruity flavor.







Cranberry-Pineapple Relish
hellocreativeblog.com

Ingredients:
24 oz. fresh cranberries
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
1 cup white cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (depending on how strong you like it)

Directions:
1. Combine cranberries, pineapple, and white cranberry juice in pan. Bring to a boil.
2. Add sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon. Reduce heat to low.
3. Simmer until berries start to break, stirring frequently.
4. Mash berries and continue to simmer until sauce thickens (approximately 20-30 minutes).

This is probably the easiest recipe, and if you preserve it in a jar it can be made ahead of time! Anything that makes holiday meal planning less stressful: yes, please.

Linking up with Monday Funday / Your Designs This Time / Inspiration MondayA Little Bird Told Me / Wednesday Roundup / Creative WaysInspire Me Please - Liz Marie / Share It - The Winthrop Chronicles / Foodie Fridays / Friday Favorites / The Creative Collection / Best Recipes & DIY ProjectsI'm Lovin' ItStrut Your Stuff / Link Party Palooza / The Weekend re-Treat / Show and Tell Saturday / Show Me Saturday / Say G'Day Saturday / The Party Bunch / Think Pink Sunday / Nifty Thrifty Sunday / The Sunday Showcase

Have Makeup, Will Travel

November 10, 2014

Last week I took a road trip, and any time I travel I always want extra space in my bag(s) for any necessities that I decide have come home with me...so I try to pack light(ish). Light is a relative term, but I do try to keep it to the basic "needs" rather than stuffing a bunch of random things in my bag that never get used. Hairdryers for instance - I use the one at the hotel (most hotels supply them these days). I pre-plan outfits, check weather, and try to pack one or two extras in case things change.  Make sure you actually count the number of days you will be gone though - somehow I missed a day this trip and ended up an outfit short. Good thing I was shopping!


For my makeup, I have one rule: take products that I know work. I also try to save small samples for travel because it takes up less space!

For eyes:
- I try to pack brushes that work for several things - this time I took the Urban Decay doubled ended brush that came with the Naked 3 palette and the small blending brush (similar here).
Lorac Behind the Scenes eye primer (trial size) - it works, and it's small. 
- NYX Love in Paris palette. Recently I shared a look using this palette. It is so versatile!
L'Oreal Infalliable Liner because it's tried and true.
- Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara for upper lashes (favorite).
- It Cosmetics Tightline for lower lashes and tightlining. It. Stays. Put.

For face:
- Tarte Clean Slate Poreless primer. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but it works fine, and I know what to expect. 
- Beauty Blender - I can apply foundation with the large end and concealer with the small point. Double duty, and it packs well!
- Cover Girl Ready Set Gorgeous foundation...my current favorite. Great coverage, no fuss.
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. New purchase, but outstanding coverage. It doubles as a highlight.
- NYX Cream Blush. I like traveling with a cream blush because I know it will stay put and it won't break up if I drop my bag!
- The stippling brush by Real Techniques is perfect for applying cream blushes.
- Finally, to set everything, I pack my small Real Techniques setting brush and a trial size of the Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. I primarily use this under my eyes or in my t-zone for shine control.

Looking at the list, it seams like a lot, but in reality I may not use every item. I pack these knowing that I can achieve a full coverage look or keep it simple. Best part? These things don't take up much room...so I have more space in my suitcase for shoes. :)

Shop The Products:

Friday Favorites in Five

November 7, 2014

Happy Friday! This has been a great week!

Last weekend we co-hosted a baby shower for my cousin, which was so much fun. It was great seeing some family that I haven't seen in a while. The theme was Alice in Wonderland...which was bright and whimsical. I will share some pictures soon.

I also went on a trip to visit my good friend from college, and celebrated her birthday. I love taking extra long weekends. :)

Today's favorites are all related - because they're all about navy. I've been seeing some bold uses for navy in home decorating, and it's started the wheels turning...

1. I love dark exteriors. This home is so pretty with the wood garage doors!

2. The dark navy walls combined with the white trim and wood floors is warm but still refreshing.

3. I may not be bold enough for a dot wallpaper, but I love the navy and gold together!

4. I love the look of painted cabinets, and the white and gold is perfect.

5. This dining room is so fun with the mix of pattern and dark navy walls!

I see great inspiration pictures like this and it makes me want to re-do something.

Restraint...so hard.

Have a great weekend!

Love in Paris - Easy Smoky Eye

November 5, 2014

I'm always looking for a good neutral (inexpensive) eye palette to use for travels. I love the options that a large palette can offer, but when I travel space is limited, so the smaller the better! For the last couple of years the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette has been my go-to, but recently I've fallen for the Love in Paris Parisian Chic by NYX. I picked it up because I like that it has grey and brown in the palette. It also has a good range of light and dark. 


I could go on about the options with this palette, but I decided to show a look that I've been doing recently. It's a super easy smoky eye look that mixes the grey and brown shades. I can do this even when I'm running late...it's that easy! It doesn't go too dark so it's perfect for daytime.



1. Starting with a primed lid, I apply the medium grey shade and press into the base of the lid - stopping just below the crease. I use the e.l.f. smudge brush to apply.

2. Using the Sonia Kashuk No. 116 blending brush, I apply the medium tan shade into the crease of the eye, blending blending blending...and blending. It starts to combine with the base color nicely.

3. I use the same brush, wipe it clean on my hand, and apply the lightest shade just below the brow bone and blend slightly with the crease shade.

4. With a small blending brush (something like this would work), I take the deep tan shimmer and apply it to the outer corner of the lid. Then I work it slightly upward into the crease. If you're really in a hurry you could skip this step, it just adds a little extra somethin'.

5. Finally, I take the light nude shimmer on a small shader brush and apply it to the inner corner to highlight.

For liner I use my current favorite - L'Oreal Infalliable Liner in black. I smudge it and smoke it out further with the black shadow and an angled liner brush. The finishing touch is mascara (of course).

There are a few steps to the process, but this is honestly the easiest way for me to do my eyeshadow. I find it's much easier to blend when starting with a dark color at the base of the lid and working into a lighter shade at the crease. It's not as messy and when time is crucial it goes faster!

As for the shadow itself, I'm loving it. The colors are pigmented and they're easy to work with - especially for the price! Run to Target or Ulta to find this palette along with several others in the line. Note, my local Ulta seems to have more options...as in, several other colors in this line.

My Scarf Obsession

November 3, 2014

Okay, so fall is in full force - officially. Which means that it's time to bust out the scarves. Although, if I'm honest, I wear them in the Summer too.

I have an obsession with scarves. I have a wall of them (the collection kept growing and I wanted to see them all for easy accessorizing, so they hang on a curtain rod...and it takes up a small wall...and yet I still want more). They have a way of bringing an outfit together. Plus, they're cozy. Sipping on some hot chocolate, wearing a scarf, feeling all Fall-like. Okay, so you get the point.

Every Fall I want to buy another scarf, or two, and this year I'm all about fun patterns and embellishments!

one / two / three / four / five / six

If you've seen any style blog recently, you've seen the plaid scarf. I love it! So classic! I'm also very into bold and bright scarves. They're great for year-round wear because they can be styled so many different ways. Of course, animal print goes with everything, so it had to make the list.

Do you wear scarves as an accessory or do you only wear them to keep warm? Am I crazy for having so many? Nevermind, don't answer that...