Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pre Halloween Fun

So this past Sunday was the annual Trick or Treat Streets at Tivoli Village, and of course any excuse for my little one to wear her costume is acceptable, so we went. We are all about anything Halloween related in our house! As a family it's one of our favorite holidays. This year I lucked out and Mason wanted to recycle one of her costumes from her ballet Spring Concert. All I had to buy was a hat and shoes and she is a court jester! I must say, it's pretty stinkin' adorable.
Back to Tivoli....Super fun, WAY crowded. But we got in, got some candy, and got out. Relatively painless. But now it's not even Halloween yet and Mason already has WAY too much candy! We're all going to get cavities!
Fabulous weekend, beautiful weather, great company. Who could ask for more? Hope yours was great too!



What I wore:  Target jeans, Sperry shoes (old), Target boys department button down, Marshall's studded cross body bag, leather bracelet from Belle & Grace (get yours here).


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Weekend Wear - Better Late Than Never

If you read my last post you know that we had a SUPER busy weekend, and I am just now catching up! Better late than never, right? My hubbies birthday was Friday, but since he worked that day we celebrated Saturday. And the hubs was in a great mood because we started the day with an Aggie victory over Vanderbilt! Way to go Ags! Must have been my new maroon top that did it. ;)

AND photo bombed by my little court jester! After our Aggies won we went down to Town Square to do a little birthday shopping and have dinner. The weather was perfect, and it was a great afternoon.
I don't know about you, but whenever a decision has to be made in our family over where to eat, we go blank. There are tons of restaurants we want to try! I mean, we live in Las Vegas! But for some reason when we go out, we can never think of anything. Does that happen in your family too? No? Just us? Anyway, we were so proud of ourselves for coming up with a place we've been wanting to try for a long time. The Meatball Spot! Imagine our disappointment when we got to Town Square to find that it is closed! Not closed for good, just moving. But still closed! Such a bummer! It looked like such a cute place! Oh well. We'll just have to try it when it opens in it's new location at Planet Hollywood. I guess it makes sense that's where it's moving, since I heard a rumor Britney Spears just bought into it, and that's where her Vegas residency is going to be (which starts on my birthday - hint hint!). Bonefish Grille made a good substitute. Dinner was delicious. But I kind of still want a meatball...
What I wore: Blush skinnies, maroon blouse, and studded cross body bag all Marshall's, boots from Target, white bubble necklace from Belle & Grace (get yours here).
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Las Vegas Discovery Children's Museum

I'm fired - I haven't posted in a while! There has just been so much going on lately! You know how sometimes you feel like you have absolutely ZERO going on and you have all the time in the world to get stuff done (and post on your blog)? And other times you need an extra 6 hours in the day? This last weekend was one of the busy times. We had a four day weekend from school, and it was just one thing after another! But they were mostly fun things! Eric's birthday was Friday. The big 3-5! Of course he had to work that day, so Mason and I made our own plans and went to the new Discovery Children's Museum with a friend of hers from school. The new location downtown by the Smith Center is WAY better than the old one! If you are a Las Vegas local and haven't checked it out yet, you should!

First of all, parking is a cinch. There's an easily accessible garage, which was FREE! I don't think it is in the evening if you're taking in a show at the Smith Center, but it was Friday morning. Since it was a school holiday (Happy belated Nevada Day!) it was pretty crowded, but we got there early, so it was manageable. And even though the possibility of a child wandering off from their parents is there, they can't really go anywhere. The employees are everywhere to help them, so it's a relatively safe place.

The water room is basically the first thing you see when you go through the gate, and it was so cool! All kinds of fun little stations where you can build dams and locks. Plus they have cute little ponchos with ears on the hoods so the kiddos don't get TOO wet. Adorable. They still have the performance area, but it's been upgraded! Bigger stage, more backdrops and costumes to choose from, and fun lighting!

Another big hit was the excavation room. The kids can crawl through a tunnel into a room where the dig through sand for little buried treasures like gold nuggets. They spent what seemed like forever in there "being scientists" as Mason put it.

Mason's favorite part though was the huge treehouse playscape that goes up through the middle of the museum. It's level after level of slides and bridges and cool educational games. The girls could have spent all day there! Did I take pics of the kids? Nope! We were having too much fun! Oh well. Did I take pics of my outfit? Of course! But don't judge, that was before we left the house. :)

If you like this necklace, you can get yours from Belle & Grace here for just $20, or contact me and I'll email you an invoice!
As you can tell, I was my own photographer. :)
Such a fun day at the museum! I highly recommend checking it out if you are a parent. And it's affordable! Just try to avoid the gift shop on the way out if you're child is like mine!
After an extremely busy day and being up late at a friend's house the night before, this is the aftermath. She was wiped out! So was I!
What I wore:  Denim button down, red skinnies, and boots from Target, turquoise bubble necklace from Belle & Grace.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Belle&Grace Blowout Facebook Sale!

Head on over and LIKE the Belle & Grace facebook page for some great discounts! 35% off now through Sunday!
 (Everything except Clearance items eligible for discount!)
Here's a peek of some of the available items!

Click on the "How it Works" tab to see how to purchase. The discount will be applied to your invoice! Limited quantities available!
Happy Shopping!
xo, Summer
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Don't Make Me Blush

I adore fall, but I was feeling a bit springy today when I put this outfit together. I hadn't worn these blush skinnies in such a long time it seemed like, so I was excited to put them back on, this time with ankle boots instead of sandals. And I loved the little pop of pink in the scarf! Pink just makes me smile! Today's outfit was a happy one! :) A little out of season perhaps? I think that's a gray area.....
What color makes you happy?
What I wore:  The blush colored skinnies were a Marshall's find, ivory 3/4 sleeve dolmain top from J.C.Penny, Target ankle boots, scarf and earrings, Michael Kors handbag (also a Marshall's steal!), H&M bracelets.
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Friday, October 18, 2013

TGICF - Thank Goodness It's Casual Friday

Today was a jeans and t-shirt kind of day. I wanted to be super comfy since I volunteer in Mason's classroom on Friday mornings, so mission accomplished! I did still want to add a little pizazz though. Hence the bright lips. This is something new to me, but I am totally embracing it! I usually do a nude shade of some sort, but I recently went through my lipstick drawer (yes, I have a drawer just for lipstick.) and pulled out some of my favs to put back in the regular rotation. It livens up even the simplest outfit, don't ya think?

What I wore:  H&M cardigan, Decree V-neck tee, Target jeans, Tory Burch flats, H&M bracelets, Charming Charlie necklaces and hoops, Essie Burgundy nails, Revlon Love That Pink lips
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

21 Days Makes A Routine?

Ok, so I've been really good about going to the gym regularly lately (yay me!). But recently I've gotten busier and busier, and I've found that carving out that gym time after I drop the diva off at school really takes a chunk of time out of my day. Time that I could really use to be doing all kinds of other things I am so behind on. Plus, I end up having to choose whether I'm going to use up even MORE time putting on a cute outfit and makeup, or just spend the rest of my day in workout clothes and get stuff accomplished. Tough decision....

SO, I have decided to make a significant lifestyle adjustment. Hitting the gym early in the am, before Mason and Eric are up. That means waking up by 5:30 at the latest, so I can get home by 7. Plenty of time when I get back to get completely ready! No more yoga pants!
Let me tell you, I am most definitely NOT a morning person. Never have been. Getting up before the sun SUCKS. But I'm going to give it a go. They say that doing something for 21 days in a row makes it a habit, right? I'm on day 3, and it's rough.

Days 1 and 2 were great! I was in a great mood, had tons of energy, and never felt the 5:00pm crash I felt sure was coming. This might actually work! I never thought I would be one of those early risers who get more accomplished before the sun comes up than I do all day. And then I got to today, day 3. Getting up wasn't easy the first 2 days, but I did it. Getting up this morning was pure hell. Once I got to the gym though I was fine. I was fine in face until about 3:15 this afternoon. I was sitting in the car line waiting to pick up Mason, and it hit me.

Starbucks did not help.

Then the headache started. I tried to close my eyes on the couch while the little one did her homework, but 2nd grade spelling was apparently very confusing today. Ugh.

So now Mason is in bed, and even though it is only 8:30, I could be too! Only now I have this mysterious second wind, this crazy burst of energy! I don't want it! My pillow is calling my name! I should be sleeping! 5:30am is going to come WAY too soon.....I can do this! I CAN do this!

To recap, days 1 and 2 = Great! :), day 3 = not so great :(. Eighteen days left until this is routine. Pray for me. I'll keep you posted.

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Pop of Green

You can still dress cute for a busy day of running errands! Yes, yoga pants seem like the easiest and most comfy option, but this outfit didn't require any extra effort to put on, I promise! I don't wear a lot of color, especially jewel tones, but I loved the skulls on the scarf and I'm so into that deep green shade right now, so I  just couldn't pass it up. I have literally had these black boots FOREVER! I got them when Mason was very little. I have small calves, so it's hard to find tall boots that aren't enormous on me. These have stood the test of time pretty well I must say!

My trips to the grocery store and the dry cleaners seems a little more glamorous in my head if I like what I'm wearing! :)
What I wore:  Black 3/4 sleeve dress and green skull printed scarf from Target, Old Navy jean jacket, Style & Co. black boots from Macy's (VERY old!), studded bracelets also from Target, clover earrings from Belle & Grace.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Burgundy, Bling, and a Blazer


Today's outfit was inspired by some cool combinations I've been digging on Pinterest. (Check out my Fashion Inspiration board!) I'm loving the sparkly statement necklace paired with a graphic tee. It's a great way to dress up a casual everyday outfit. It says "I care", instead of "I just threw on a t-shirt and walked out the door". I "threw on" an Old Navy tee and blingy necklace from Banana Republic with some burgundy skinnies and flats, then added a black blazer to finish. The burgundy pants are one of my favorite things this season. They were actually a Marshall's find from last year, and I'm still loving them. I'm a bit partial to maroon (Gig'em Ags! Great gameday outfit!).
What I wore:  Old Navy "New York" tee, skinnies from Marshall's, black flats from Target, Express blazer, Banana Republic necklace.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Camo - My New Favorite Neutral

There is a new obsession on our house....Duck Dynasty. If you aren't watching, you should be. The Robertsons are one amazing and hilarious bunch. Mason loves the show so much she wants to be a redneck and wear all camo all the time. Here she is in her camo pants.
I decided to go ahead and jump on the camo bandwagon myself. It's everywhere right now, and as I said in the post title, it can be a great neutral. It can be paired with anything from denim to leather and everything in between. Today I went simple and just paired my camo pants with a slouchy long sleeved white tee and some suede booties. It is my STRONG opinion however, that camo needs to be girled up. Add a great pair of pumps, a few blingy accessories, whatever your style tells you. I went with a goldtone beaded necklace and hoop earrings, and of course some arm candy.
Cameo by my slightly grumpy cat Holly. :)
What I wore: camo pants by Target, slouchy white tee by Old Navy, suede booties by Target, gold necklace by Charming Charlie, bracelet stack from H&M and Belle & Grace.



Monday, October 14, 2013

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin = YUM!

So, earlier I mentioned the delicious Sunday dinner I made this past weekend, and promised a post on it, so here we go! But before I get started on the recipe details, you should know that I am most certainly NOT a chef! I can follow a recipe.....kinda. I love to cook for big family holiday meals, and I love entertaining with snacks and appetizers, but dinners have always been difficult. Mostly because when it comes to food I have ZERO creativity. I cannot think of an original idea to save my life. That's where Pinterest comes in! I love trolling Pinterest to find yummy ideas for family meals. I've even made a few of them, some more successful than others. ;) How do I decide what makes a pin worthy of trying? Here are my criteria:
  1. It must NOT have a page long list of ingredients. The fewer the better! And it must NOT have any obscure ingredient that I will have to search 3 different grocery stores to for, only to wind up at Whole Foods. The Whole Foods parking lot itself is enough to ruin my day. Don't make me go!
  2. It must NOT use any crazy kitchen contraptions. Granted, I probably have said contraption in the back on our pantry somewhere gathering dust, but that does not mean I want to crawl into a dark corner and pull it out. And then wash it. By hand. No thanks. Just the basics please.
  3. If it uses ingredients that I am likely to have on hand at any given time, I'm all over it. These are great recipes for those last minute "What am I going to fix tonight?" days.
  4. This is a big one. If it's a crockpot recipe, or only requires 1 pot or pan, I'm SOLD! This may be my most important rule for picking a new pinterest recipe to try. I'm ALL about the easy clean up.
I should also probably mention that I hardly ever follow a recipe 100%. In fact, I don't usually measure anything. And I use a lot of substitutions. If I don't like a certain ingredient, or don't have it in the house, I'll throw something else in there to take it's place. I make recipes my own. Sometimes I'll take a couple of similar dishes and take the best of both to put my spin on it! Which is what I did with my pork tenderloin. I've read 3 different similar recipes on pinterest, and they all sounded so great, I decided to just take the main ingredients of each and wing it!

I started with a pork tenderloin seasoned with salt, pepper, sage, and chopped garlic. This one was about 1 1/2 pounds.
I chopped a couple of onions and threw those in the crock pot with the pork. Then I added around 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, about 1 cup of water, a little bit of apple juice, a fewshakes of Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of soy sauce.
I set the crock pot on high. Normally I would just keep it on high an hour or two, then kick it down to low, but I walked out the door Sunday and TOTALLY forgot about it! Soooooo, I ended up with it on high for around 4 hours, then low for 3. I really don't think it needs to cook for this long, but that's just how our schedule worked out. And hey, with the crock aren't you supposed to set it and forget it?Or is that something else? I forgot. Anyway, what really makes this dish so awesome is the glaze. About an hour or so before you're going to serve, heat these next  items in a small saucepan until they thicken and brush or spoon the glaze over the pork every 15 minutes or so.
1 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
dash of soy sauce
brown sugar to taste, about 1/4 cup
2 spoonfuls of cornstarch
Remember, my measurements are an estimate. I'm taking a guess on what I tried to put in, based on the recipes I read.
Side note - disregard my kitchen! We are about 75% done with our kitchen makeover. The range is the only appliance we have left to replace. One day I'll tell you about that!
When you're ready to serve your pork tenderloin, it should be so tender it basically falls apart. We served baked potatoes as a side, simply because I never made it to the grocery store over the weekend! Oops! How good does that look?

Y'all, this was seriously SO good! I was so proud of myself! Yay me!

Zero leftovers, just the way I like it. Even Mason thought it was awesome!

Bonus - you can spoon any extra glaze over your portion, because let's face it, that's the best part. So there you go. My latest pinterest adaptation! I love it when an experiment is successful! But Eric's cooking tomorrow! ;)
What new recipes have you tried lately?