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Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday friends! For a short week this sure did feel like a long one! I'm so looking forward to a warmer weekend and excited to spend some time outside! Also really looking forward to the AFC Championship game on Sunday - my home team the Jaguars are playing against my new home team the Patriots and I'm thinking it's going to be a really fun game! I wanted to share a few favorites from the week! 

Slow Cooker Meatballs 

I'm so guilty of pinning recipes then forgetting to make them, but last week I found this recipe and couldn't wait to try it! With the extra time on Monday, I made my first ever batch of meatballs from scratch and wouldn't you know, come dinner time G and I couldn't get enough of the food! We had enough for lunch the next day and all my co-workers were saying how delicious it smelled!! Such an easy recipe and I highly suggest trying it! 

Google Arts & Culture 

At this point you have probably been seeing all the snaps of people taking selfies and seeing what painting they most resemble. You can download the Google Arts & Culture app and snap a photo of yourself. I have to say Gary's doppelgĂ€nger made me cry with laughter - it was so good, but he wouldn't even let me save it!! 

Beret Trend 

I'm not quite sure if I can pull off the beret trend, but I'm willing to give it a try. I found some cute options on Amazon and for less than $15 I'm willing to give this a whirl! I'm still deciding between the wine red and the grey color!! Which do you like?

Velvet Matte Lip Stain 

I had a couple gift cards to Victoria Secret that I was itching to use up and while in the checkout line I noticed their Velvet Matte lip stain collection. I always gravitate towards pink-nudes and this one named "Adored" is so pretty. Some matte lipsticks can be very drying, but this formula keeps a nice light air to it when it dry's - basically your lips will not show cracks! It comes in a variety of different colors (10) and I was surprised to see that online you can get 2 for $18 when one is $14, so basically you're getting one for almost 75% off! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead! 

My Favorite Photo Related Apps

Ever since getting the iPhone 8, I only use my phone to take photos. We actually sold my camera since it wasn't getting any use and was collecting dust. Taking pictures is one of my favorite things and I have the blog to thank for all the memories that are currently on my camera roll. I've never shared my favorite photo related apps in one dedicated post - so here are some tried and true favorites.
 Original - no editing
Edited with PicTapGo 

PicTapGo || I first shared my thoughts on PicTapGo in this post from January 2016 and here we are two years later and I am still using it. Here's a perfect example of my favorite use of PicTapGo - I use the "Lights On" filter to give my photo more brightness without taking away from saturation. Huge fan of this app if you find that you are always taking pictures in dark places, then  you may want to download this - especially if you're a food blogger and take pictures in restaurants with very bad lighting! Cost $2.99
KiraKira || When we were in Iceland, Kathy and Jackie both had the KiraKira app that basically gives things a little bit more sparkle! You can do video, boomerangs or just a photo with the app and it's always fun to give a little extra sparkle to things. While I haven't shared a photo on my Instagram with KiraKira, I do use it frequently for IG Stories. Cost $0.99
 just slightly smoothed out ;)

BeautyPlus || Please meet my favorite face smoothing app! I'm absolutely guilty of touching up certain photos, especially if they are close up and I feel like the bags under my eyes are just way too scary! You can take the airbrushing to an extreme level which does tend to look fake, so I like to keep it in check. I feel like this app enhances your makeup and makes everything look smooth and there are different filters that you can apply once you've "beautified" the photo. You have the ability to take a selfie in the app or bring the photo in from your gallery. Cost Free, but there are in app purchases you can make. 

TouchRetouch || Amanda introduced me to this app a year or so ago. It's perfect if you're taking pictures near busy streets, in the city where light poles, trash cans or other unsightly things come into focus. On more than one occasion, I've removed a sign that I didn't realize was in the frame. Cost $1.99

HypeType || Thanks to Karly I downloaded HypeType to give a little oomph to my IG Stories when I'm sharing what posts I have live on the blog. There are plenty of animations to bring your text to the next level! Cost Free, but there are in app purchases in order to remove the "HypeType" logo if that bothers you! 
 Size comparison & front cover of the book
No collages, just one photo per page

ChatBooks || After looking into different ways to create albums from trips easily, I stumbled upon  after we returned from Iceland. I created the album using photos that I had on my camera roll, you can also import photos if you'd like. In one album you can have 60 photos all on their own page and you can add commentary to each photo - even add the location if you want. Within 15 minutes and all from bed, I was able to create my ChatBook and have it ordered and for only $15! The quality is really nice and they are small and compact enough that they don't take up much space. This is perfect if your a mom looking to chronicle your babes first year - each month can be it's own book. you can even re-order the same book to send to family! P.S. not sponsored, just really happy to have found something easier than trying to piece together a photo album from a trip! ChatBooks Cost Free. While the app itself is free to download, of course you have to pay for the book to be created, but depending on the option you choose, it shouldn't be more than $15! 

Have you used any of these apps before? Would love to know some of your favorite photo related apps! 

Weekending | Still Going Strong

Happy Monday friends! I am continuing the long weekend and taking the day to run a few more errands and get ready for the week ahead! I have to be honest, these freezing temps have made it very difficult to have anything worthwhile to share for weekending link-up's because we just aren't getting out as much, but I hope to be back to fun and exciting weekends here shortly!! The only reason to leave the house is to eat...so there's that! I did try the Dazzle Dry manicure I mentioned last week and I'm excited to see how it holds up being a vegan and relatively "safe" nail polish! Color is "Fascination" and it went perfectly with my blackbird donut this weekend 😀
Have a wonderful start to the week everyone! 
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Current Beauty Favorites

It's been quite a while since I shared some of my favorite beauty items, mostly because I have been sticking to tried and true products, but there have been a few game changers to my routine recently and I wanted to share! 
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La Roche-Posay Color Correcting Concealer Pen in Light Beige || Since September I've been using this concealer every day and loving the results. One of the things I love most is the applicator - it's a brush that you twist at the bottom to get the appropriate amount of product and then stroke it lightly in the under eye area. It's not a cakey concealer and it does a wonderful job of hiding the dark circles while still illuminating the under eye area. If you're a fan of the Urban Decay concealer or NARS creamy concealer, then you may also like this one as well since it has a similar coverage and consistency.  
Batiste Dry Shampoo || Yes, I am so late to the party on Batiste, but after my friend Tess who also has dark hair like me suggested that I try this dry shampoo after I raved about only using Moroccan Oil Dry Shampoo for Dark Tones - well I totally get the hype and I've converted! It smells so good and I've actually gone more than two days without washing my hair and it seems like I have finally trained it to not get as oily using Batiste. There is a bit of dark residue left that you'll have to work into your roots and then make sure you wash your hands because the reside can come off on your fingers, but other than that little downside, I love this product!
L'OrĂ©al Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise || After finishing my most recent mascara a month or so ago, I wanted to give this Lash Paradise mascara a try. It's been compared to Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara as a great dupe and not only does it have similar packaging, but it also has a very similar wand. Verdict - I think it's a great alternative for a drug store brand. Using a lash primer and then the mascara you get incredible lift and volume to your lashes. I also really like the full wand applicator because it does a great job of getting every single one of my lashes! 
MAC Lipglass "Saint Germain" || My oldest niece surprised me with this lip gloss as a Christmas present and my youngest niece picked the color which she said "screamed B." So sweet!! Well let me just say my nieces definitely know me because I've used the lipstick color "Snob" for years now and love the fun pink color and this is an exact match but in lip gloss form! I think MAC has perfected their lip gloss formula because I remember it being very sticky years ago which is why I switched to their lip sticks, but this gloss is much creamer and doesn't have a sticky feeling at all! Can't wait to check out more of their Lipglass colors!
First Aid Beauty Intense Hydration || Since before Thanksgiving my skin has been incredibly dry. I went back to my favorite hydrating lotion from First Aid beauty that I always use in the winter. It's scentless, light and not oily at all. I always slather it on when I'm home and even have a travel size  ($12) that I keep in my bag for work! 

Have you tried any of the products here? What are some beauty items your using and loving this winter?

Currently | Life Updates

Happy Monday friends! It was another bone chilling weekend here in New England so our outings were minimal. As much as it stinks not being able to get outside more, it does give me a great  chance to be super productive at home! Thought I'd share a little bit of what I've been up to! 
This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Eating || 
I was wanting something light and fresh with turkey burgers on Sunday night so I made Ina Garten's Fiesta Corn & Avocado salad from her Cooking for Jeffrey cookbook --> here is the online recipe
Watching || 
One of our only outings this weekend was to see Molly's Game with Jessica Chastain & Idris Elba. The acting was so incredible and it was one of those movies that you couldn't stop talking about for days after. Knowing it's a true story actually made me want to read the book which I downloaded right after. 
Reading ||
I'm almost done with The Widow and I have a slew of other books I'm excited to read. Karly shared a couple books on Instagram that she's loving and I looked them up right away. Next up is Wasted Words
Enjoying ||
At home workouts on the weekends. I bought these booty bands from Target last weekend and I've been using them all week and sore after every use! This arms routine and this booty band routine are what I've been loving - no more than 20 minutes and I'm done! 
Excited for||
For the last couple of years Gary and I have wanted to visit the Ice Castles in New Hampshire and we're finally going this winter! These are all built by hand and use only water and icicles to create the amazing castles. There's a few locations around the US, so you might be near one!! 
Wearing ||
All of the layers! Seriously I was wearing leggings underneath my pants pretty much all week because of how cold it was with the wind chill which is why I haven't been sharing any outfits here or on Instagram. All I'm wearing is my winter coat and lots of layers...no bueno! I did purchase these sunnies because I wanted some square frames but I'm never sure how that style looks on me, so these pretties for $9.99 will work just fine! 
Listening ||
I've been listening to "Him & I" on repeat also Halsey just has the most soothing voice and her song Strangers is so good!
Loving ||
We had the show Lovesick recommended to us on Netflix and we flew through all three seasons! Each episode is only 20-24 minutes so it's so easy to binge! It's a BBC original and the acting is really relatable! 
I'm getting my first Dazzle Dry manicure this weekend - it's a non-toxic, vegan high performance gel-like polish that doesn't require any light to set it. The top coat allows the nail polish to dry after 5 minutes (without light). What so many of my friends have said is that you aren't giving up the longevity of your manicure while other 5-free polishes don't stay as long. Most nail salons carry Dazzle Dry - you just have to ask for it. 
Planning ||
Our trip to Ireland! We are headed there in March to celebrate our anniversary and this weekend we planned out the route as well as our hotels! It's coming along and I'm so excited since we had a blast doing the drive along the PCH and I think Ireland is going to be even more beautiful! If you've been to Ireland, please share any tips! 

How was your weekend? Hope you have a wonderful start to the week! 

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