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Getting the Perfect Glow

31 May

Summer is basically here and let’s face it, you’re probably as pasty as Michael Jackson. The long, cold winter has had it’s way with you and the sight of your bikini body is blinding…It’s ok!

Over the last week I’ve been playing around with some fake tanning lotions and sprays and I’ve got a (temporary) solution for you until you can start basking and baking in the sun.

Luckily, these options are tried and true- so I promise you wont look orange and/or blotchy.

Here is what you’ll need.

Neutrogena Micro-Mist (I used the DEEP shade- but go with the lighter shade if your skin is lighter)

Neutrogena MicroMist Tanning, Sunless Spray, Deep

Clarins Tanning Lotion for face (optional)

Sugar Scrub (This one is from Bath & Body Works and is my favorite)

Forever Red Golden Sugar Scrub - Signature Collection - Bath & Body Works

Before you apply any of the above tanners, take a nice hot shower and exfoliate like a mad person with a soap scrub. Make sure to scrub particularly hard on the ankles, toes, knees and elbows.

When you get out of the shower, dry off and DO NOT apply any moisturizer or deodorant. I know this may be tough, but moisturizers and deodorants create barriers on the skin and make blotches. This leads me to my next tip…

I suggest doing your tanning prep/application in the afternoon. If you have an event, do your tanning ritual the afternoon before.

Next step, apply the tanning spray. Do this step outside- you will need good ventilation. If you can have someone apply it for you, even better…

Spay all over your body & get a nice coat. You will feel sticky at first, but this goes away in just a few minutes as it starts to dry.

For the face, you can apply the Neutrogena. But, make sure to spray it in your hand and apply manually. I’ve gotten good results that way- but I’ve also just sprayed my face, and that works, too. I would avoid getting in in your hair, so put a towel over your hair if you’re using the spray.

If you’re not planning to tan your whole body, and just want a nice glow on your face, apply the Clarins. It’s a great tanner that doesn’t smell too badly. However,  it’s for the face, only. I suggest taking a wet q-tip and wiping your eyebrows down afterwards. You really don’t want the tanning solution in your hair. Last spring, I had orange eyebrows for a month after tanning and going in the sun.

Don’t put any clothes on for about 10 minutes after your tanning session.

Your tan will develop over the next 3-6 hours, so don’t shower. I usually shower the next morning so that the solution really soaks in.

If you wake up and your too orange, just use the scrub to tone yourself down.

And now, you’re a bronze goddess.


Beach Reads

6 May

Let’s start out by saying that I’m not a fan of reading for pleasure. I’m just not one of those people who can sit down with a good book and get lost in the afternoon. But,  I wish I was.  I must have some sort of A.D.D. because I simply can’t stay focused enough to read line after line…Unless of course it’s something like Fifty Shades of Gray, but that’s another story.

Luckily, I like to post things that my reader’s can relate to and enjoy- so this is one of THOSE posts…

Yesterday, on my flight home from Annapolis, I read (yes read) an article on the top beach reads. So, I wanted to share because it looked like there were some interesting books out there that even I might try.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Bestselling author Hosseini returns with an instantly relatable novel that follows generations of a troubled family across the Middle East.

For fans ofNew York: The NovelThe Kite Runner.

No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Anne-Marie Casey

One woman is forced to surrender her aristocratic lifestyle when her husband loses his job—but the three friends who she finds in Manhattan pick her up one experience at a time.

For fans ofThe Girls’ Guide to Hunting and FishingSex and the City.

Nice is Just a Place in France by The Betches

The creators of Betches Love This tackle life’s difficult challenges (frenemies, boyfriends, hangovers) with a satirical guide about ‘how to win at basically everything.

For fans ofIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Bossypants.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Bestselling author of Prep Curtis Sittenfeld breaks new ground with this supernatural story you won’t be able to put down about twin sisters who can sense the future.

For fans ofHer Fearful SymmetryAmerican Wife.

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

Set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1920s, two typists engage in an unforgettable flapper-era friendship.

For fans ofRules of CivilityThe Great Gatsby.

Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

A historical novel that introduces—and gets to the bottom of—Sigmund Freud’s intimate and scandalous love life.

For fans ofThe Paris WifeThe Chaperone.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

From debut writer DiSclifani comes a story that would make even Holden Caulfield Blush about teenage Thea Atwell and how she learns to find herself during a summer of sex and secrets.

For fans ofPrepThe Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

Hope, a divorced mother who runs a bakery on Cape Cod, reconnects with her grandmother, whose onset of Alzheimer’s spurs the revelation of a family secret about the Holocaust.


Juliet in August by Dianne Warren

The Canadian town Juliet plays the main character in this tale of how a quirky cast of characters handles knowing everyone’s business but not speaking of it.


Salad Jars

3 May

Look at this fancy little idea. Perfect for healthy eating and advanced planning. I’m so sick of buying lunch at work because  it’s expensive and unhealthy. These salad jars are just the thing I need.

Shredded carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Sunflower seeds
Hard boiled eggs
Baby spinach

1) Arrange ingredients in a large mason jar
2) Store in fridge for up to a week
3) When ready to eat: shake jar, place on a plate, and eat!

You can make any arrangement you want… you can add red onion, cucumbers, radishes or peppers. Always remember to put the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce at the top—a MUST. As long as the dressing does not touch the greens this will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week!


If your making a few salads at a time for the week, you MUST remember to vacuum seal the Mason Jars. (Mason jars can be bought at Wal-mart, and various grocery stores) They must be vacuum sealed to remain fresh and crisp Here are two different ways to vacuum seal a mason jar

Non Foodsaver vacuum seal

My Summer Must-Haves

26 Apr

Comfy Flip Flops

Vineyard Vines – $45.00

Patchwork Seersucker Flip Flops

The new Phillip Phillips Album (love!)

Kiel James Patrick Bracelets

How cute are these!? – $58

Light-weight PJ’s

JCrew- $89

Vintage short pajama set in stripe

Floral Print iPhone Cases

Lilly Pulitzer – $26.00

iPhone 4 Case

Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray – 28$

(Gives you that “just off the beach” look)

Bright colored/chunky necklaces

Stella and Dot – $228. (out of my $ range, but you get the idea)

Bamboleo Necklace

Mason Jar mugs for cocktails

6 for $30

(There’s nothing better than drinking from a mason jar in the summer)

Floral Prints

Loft Shorts – $44

Ray-Bans in fun colors

Fresh flowers somewhere in your home

Maxi Dresses

JCrew Factory- $84

Factory V-neck chevron maxidress

Anything with an Anchor Print…

JCrew Factory- $36

Factory 3" printed stretch chino short

A good fake tan, $38

Clarins is my favorite brand of liquid bronze.


Loft – $70

Spring Flings

27 Feb

As always, I am anticipating the next season way too soon. But, I can’t help myself. Here are some spring decorating ideas, materials & fashions that I have fallen in love with, so far…

Beautiful bedding from Pottery Barn. I love PB bedding. I always try to wait for the spring to buy their duvets because the prints are always so gorgeous (soft, too).

A pop of color…

Grassy centerpieces. I love the idea of fresh Easter centerpieces with fun floral accents…


Mint. Vans. Need I say more?

Mint Vans.

Fun Easter Baskets…

Kate Spade Ballerina Flats…ahhhh, I love these.

Kate Spade ballerina flat

Glitter Eggs…

Lilly Pulitzer Prints

4G/4S iPhone Covers from Lilly Pulitzer Fan Dance

Jute Rugs. Jute pillows. Jute bags. I absolutely love JUTE! ;)


Spring Thinking…

14 Jan

I know it’s still winter and most of us probably haven’t even gotten the worst of the snow, yet. But, I can’t help but think about spring and all the wonderful fashion that comes along with it. All the spring magazines are out and my mind just can’t stop thinking of floral prints and polka dots.

So, I’ve been fancying this new brand I found called “Boden.” I bet some of you haven’t heard of it- especially those of you on the west coast? Or, maybe you have?  I’ve only known about them for a year or so…but, it’s a mix of JCrew, Madewell and Lands End Canvas if you’re wondering. I like them because they have a little more of the relaxed (hippie vibe) than some of the stores on the east coast. I’ve only ordered online because I’m not sure if they even have a physical store around here.

Anyways, their look book has these little tabs/stickers where I can “love” or “like” a page…I ended up marking the whole book. What can I say- I love their their spring line (wish I could win the lottery and buy everything). Unfortunately, we’re trying to save for a house (hardest task on earth). So, I guess I’ll just have to look and share (with you of course).

My next post will be about jewelry and some awesome finds that are pretty reasonably priced. Perfect for the spring, too. I think I need a whole blog post for jewelry. But here’s one of my favorite finds this year (so far).

From Forever 21- $10. YES, IT’S ONLY 10$. Forever 21 is a hit or miss, but for jewelry- I mean- Come ON! – 10$.

I also can’t help my obsession with colored jeans. I started buying them last year and now,  I have about six different colors. But, I am in love. I’ve gotten bored with the basic blue jean. My life needs spice, and these are just the remedy.

If I’m not wearing these color pop jeans this spring, you can find me in boyfriend jeans. Jeff (my husband) hates them because they aren’t tight and sassy. But, I’m all about comfort and I think their cute. You can even dress them up if you think about pairing them with a heal and cute top…

boyfriend jeans + neons

Here are a few of my favorite spring fashions from Boden…

The floral skirt. $68.  I might have to indulge and get this (eek- I hope Jeff doesn’t read this). I love the idea of wearing it with a blue chambray shirt.


This stitch jumper comes in a variety of other colors. Perfect for those days where it’s not quite warm enough. $88.image (2)

Ok, I have an obsession with flats. These flats look exactly like the ones from JCrew, too- but, for about half the price. $78

image (6) How adorable are these polka dot sneakers? Perfect for shopping around and just hanging out. I might have to indulge in these, too. $78

image (7)

And….THE OXFORD. I remember oxfords being popular when I was is middle school- believe it or not. But, now, they are  back in style. Luckily, I wont have to splurge on these babies since I already have a pair from way back when…$168. Super cute with rolled up jeans or even that floral skirt (Pictured above.)

image (8)

A ritual I can’t live without!

10 Jan

A few years back my mom got me the Clarasonic Mia Exfoloation device.

It’s awesome.

If you think you get your face clean by just washing it with a cleanser and your hands- you’re wrong. Not only does this thing clean deeper that ever before, it polishes your skin and leaves it radiant. I use it once a day (usually in the morning) with the Philosophy Micro Delivery. I use the Mico-Delivery in the morning and the Purity cleanser at night.

I love philosophy cleansers. They are natural and not too harsh for my skin.

You can get the Clarasonic for about $120 at along with the cleansers. I promise you’ll love it!

Here are some of the benefits this revolutionary skincare tool delivers:
– Removes makeup six times better than traditional methods.
– Clears pores and reduces the appearance of pore size.
– Cleanses so thoroughly that skincare products absorb better.
– Creates noticeably healthier looking skin.

What else you need to know:
Clarisonic should be used as part of a daily skincare regimen to provide smoother feeling and looking skin. It is ideal for all skin types, and used and recommended by leading dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

18 Dec

New Beauty 8 Piece Test Tube with Magazine


This is an awesome gift. One of my favorites, so far. You also have the option to order the monthly subscription which will put this perfect little test tube on your doorstep once a month!

What is it: The New Beauty TestTube is a collection of some of the hottest and most in-demand products in beauty. In this tube, you’ll receive the current issue of NewBeauty magazine, along with a mix of full-sized, travel-sized, and deluxe-sized samples from philosophy, Mally, bliss, Laura Geller, smashbox, Josie Maran, Ojon, and Algenist.

Who is it for: Anyone looking to sample a wide variety of fabulous beauty products at an unbelievable value.

Why is it different: The NewBeauty TestTube combines luxurious beauty products with extensive product and how-to information. NewBeauty magazine, included in the test tube, provides insider information on trends and hot topics within the beauty world via respected experts from the beauty industry.


  • 1-fl oz philosophy love sweet love shampoo, bath, and shower gel
  • 1.7-fl oz bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter
  • 0.12-oz Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick
  • 0.074-fl oz Laura Geller Eye SpackleEye Shadow Primer
  • 0.5-fl oz smashbox Photo FinishFoundation Primer
  • 0.17-fl oz Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil
  • 2-fl oz Ojon Damage Reserve Restorative Conditioner
  • 0.5-fl oz Algenist Firming Cream
  • NewBeauty magazine
  • Made in Morocco/Canada/Germany/USA

New Beauty 8-piece Test Tube with Magazine Limited EditionNew Beauty 8-piece Test Tube with Magazine Limited EditionNew Beauty 8-piece Test Tube with Magazine Limited EditionNew Beauty 8-piece Test Tube with Magazine Limited Edition

Top 5 Holiday Wreaths

17 Dec

Ahhh Wreaths…

M&J Blog

There are so many ways to decorate your home for the holidays and creating a wreath is probably one of the most classic and simple ways to make your home festive.  Out top 5 DIY wreaths contains ones that are simple and sweet!

DIY Simple Ribbon Wreath by Clumsy Crafty Happy


DIY Ornament Wreath by Matt and Becky

2 diy christmas wreath

DIY Candy Cane Wreath by BHG

3 DIY Candy Cane Wreath

DIY Bow Wreath by Chic Steals

4 DIY gift bow christmas wreath

DIY Yarn Ball Wreath by Country Living

5 DIY yarn christmas wreath

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Today’s Holiday Gift Pick(s)

17 Dec

My friend Nathaniel Tilton wrote a book that should be on everyone’s gift list. You can get it on for $10.95.

“Author Nathaniel Tilton was just a regular guy with a regular job when he read Bringing Down the House and decided he wanted to do what the players in that book did. A journey through the inner world of card counting, the lessons of teamwork, and the clandestine pursuit of beating the odds, in The Blackjack Life Tilton relates the story of his personal journey through the smoke-filled casinos in which he and his playing partner gambled, to the seedy backrooms that he hoped he would never see. More than just wins and losses, The Blackjack Life is about the growth of a man who discovered himself through the unlikeliest of places the world of professional blackjack — and who now shares his informed view of the opportunities that still exist for skilled players and what it s really like to travel that road today.”

Nathaniels wife, Celeste also has an amazing jewelry line on  Her Jewelry, features a unique line of hand-crafted, eco-friendly, contemporary bracelets! These bracelets are lightweight, durable, and versatile, perfect for everyday wear as well as special occasions.

Check it out:

The Greatest Gift Of All…

14 Dec

It just doesn’t seem right to post about material gifts today with the tragedy that has unfolded in Connecticut. Instead, I would like you to all remember the gift of being with family. Cherish the people you love, enjoy them and never take them for granted.  TELL them that you love them- That is the greatest gift of all…

Foodie Favorites

13 Dec

Holiday Gift Guide: Food Obsessions

Today’s gift guide features some delicacies — serious food for people who will appreciate it. Happy holidays!

1. La Maison du Chocolat Assorted Chocolate Gift Box: These handmade Parisian chocolates are almost too pretty to eat.

2. Giusti Balsamic Vinegar: Just a drizzle of this rich vinegar takes simple dishes to the next level — perfect for entertainers and enthusiastic home cooks.

3. Siberian Supreme Caviar: Give the gift epicureans really want, but may not buy for themselves. Paired with an elegant caviar spoonthis luxurious caviar is a present loved ones won’t forget.

4. Parmigiano-Reggiano: It’s legendary for a reason — this nutty aged cheese makes a foolproof gift.

5. Rougié Duck Fat: Serious cooks swear by duck fat for everything from French fries to duck confit. Wrap it up for a friend who’s ambitious in the kitchen.

6. Strassburger Prime Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak: Let friends sit down to a memorable dinner at home starring a perfectly marbled, savory rib eye steak.

7. Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs: You can’t go wrong with a bright, festive bottle of bubbly.

8. London Cure Scottish Smoked Salmon: Delicate, full-flavored smoked salmon is a true pleasure. Send it to a friend known for hosting fabulous brunches.

9. Fermin Ibérico Lomo Iberico Bellota: This rich, nutty Spanish cured ham will steal the spotlight from everything else on an antipasto platter — and recipients will thank you.

Courtesy of WilliamsSonoma

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

13 Dec

Give the gift of movies with a Fandango gift card. You can give this gift to anyone because allows your recipient to get tickets for any movie theater. You can give a physical gift card, or send them a digital one over e-mail. Who doesn’t love going to the movies?

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

12 Dec

Help them ring in the new year with these Chalkboard Napkin Rings

I just love these. They go with everything and your guests will love the personal touch. A perfect tool for warm and rustic entertaining. The black chalkboard provides a compelling material contrast to the light wood ring. Use chalk to personalize each one. (Chalk not included.)

To make it an extra special gift, buy them beautiful napkins and chalk to accompany the rings.

Only $15 for a set of four at

Miracle Worker

11 Dec

Has anyone else been noticing that their skin is awful this time of year?  I HAVE.  I think it’s because of the dry, colder weather (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). Anyways, I thought this would be a good time to share my special find. Maybe you’ve heard of it already, maybe you haven’t- But, it’s a miracle in a jar.

Here it is. DRUM ROLL PLEASE (because it deserves a drum roll)…

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (Funny thing is- it’s not technically a lotion. Not at all. It’s this crazy mix of special ingredients).

Just one drop of this “drying lotion” on a surface pimple or whitehead will heal and dry a zit virtually overnight. I use this anytime I see any kind of skin irritation, blemish or bump on my face.

“Mario Badescu’s best-selling, concentrated formulation of calamine, salicylic acid and quick-acting acne-zapping ingredients should be part of everyone’s clear-skin arsenal.” – Mario Badescu

How to use: After cleansing, toning and moisturizing, apply a dab of lotion directly on the whitehead/pimple/bump (whatever kind of skin irritiation/ belmish you may have!) using a cotton swab. Do not rub in. Let it dry and rinse off in the morning. Do not shake the bottle, and apply only the pink sediment on the skin.


You can get it at Nordstroms and online at

Only 17$ and I’de pay ten times that price- it’s that good. Trust me.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

11 Dec

FRESH Holiday Wreaths-  Sent right to your recipients door.

$99 at

Grown, cut fresh and made by hand at a family-owned farm in Salinas Valley, California, Pottery Barn’s Live  Wreaths beautifully capture the spirit of the season. You can also get matching garland, which is just as beautiful.

Wreaths are also offered through other websites such as Teleflora, Williams Sonoma, Redenvelope and Harry and David


Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

10 Dec

Ann Taylor Pearlized Layered Flower Necklace- Originally $88.

Fall in love with the divine decadence of this spectacular necklace, featuring row upon row of luminous pearlized beads illuminated with pave-studded floral accents. Toggle clasp. 22″ length. A great gift for that special woman in your life.

Get 50% OFF on all Jewelry (Accessories and Shoes, too) TODAY ONLY with CODE: SHOES

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

7 Dec

Have to send a gift to someone out-of-state? These are the perfect little gift, and they can use them during the holidays, too! Made by hand with the finest ingredients. Yum.

$39.90 for two dozen, $79.80 for four dozen


biscuit index8

Holiday Hit List: Let’s Go Shopping at Nordstrom

7 Dec

The invitations are coming in—and you need to figure out what to wear. Here are six pieces that can be worn in so many different ways. Embellished and versatile? Absolutely.


Holiday Hit List

1: Gilded dots lend opulent shine to this sleeveless Vince Camuto Metallic Dot Jacquard Blouse.

2: Add a decadent update to your ensemble with the Tasha ‘Pretty Pearls’ Collar.

3: Velvety suede and gleaming metallics make this Ivanka Trump ‘Brynn’ Pump a chic choice.

4: Get handy with the Sondra Roberts Sequin Pouch.

5: Milly ‘Naomi’ Pleated Skirt features a tweedy woven pattern with a pretty grosgrain waistline. Pair it with the Milly ‘Ivy’ Lace Blouse.

Today’s Holiday Gift Pick

6 Dec

Starting today, I will be posting a gift idea each day until Christmas. Hope you can get a few ideas here and there…Happy Holidays!

Restoration Hardware Luxe Faux Fur Throws, Blankets and Pillows.

Indulge in the sumptuous feel of fur with the RH luxury faux collection. Artfully woven from finely spun strands, our throws beautifully re-create the natural weight, depth of color and indulgent softness of genuine fur.

$24 – $79, use code PRIVATE today to get 20% off. 

*Six different Fur types! Yippie. Oh, how I loooove these soft throws & Pillows.

cat1640006 RHcombo

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