Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday {April 18, 2014}

Happy Friday Gals!  The M household has been plagued with sickness this week, so I am super ready for the weekend, and hopefully a swift recovery! I hope you all have had a better week than me, and have lots of fab things planned for the weekend! We're linking up with Darci, Natasha, April, and Christina for our 5 favorites of the week!

1. Bobbi Brown Glasses

Have you heard that beloved makeup guru Bobbi Brown now has an eyeglass line?!  I'm in love, but even more obsessed with the guide she made to choosing the right glasses for your face.  I always struggle with finding just the right pair, so this is perfect for me.  I especially love that she takes into account color - something I know I often overlook!  Check out her guide here.


2. Non-candy Easter Basket Ideas

This will be Baby M's first Easter and while I'm super excited for him to receive a basket full of fun goodies, he's still too young to have any candy, which is an Easter basket staple.  So this left me trying to think of other creative things to tuck into his basket while not going overboard.  I hit up my local Target, and found so many non-candy things, that his basket will be full to the brim with cute little trinkets and treats.  Some of my favorite finds above include: beach toys, a cute paci holder, a big boy cup (since he's been obsessed with drinking water from my cup anytime I have one!), and of course no basket would be complete without a big stuffed bunny!

3. Baby M's First Art Project

Baby M goes to a great local daycare two days a week, and my heart nearly burst when they sent me this picture of him working on his very first art project!  I was so proud to see my little guy following in Mommy's crafting footsteps, and was very impressed with the final project - of course he had lots of help from his teacher, but this mama was still plenty proud!  And knowing that he's having such a fun day while I'm at work has definitely helped to make the transition away from him a bit easier.


4. Kate Spade Idiom Bangles

I've always been a big fan of Kate Spade's jewelry line, and after I spotted these cuties in her Mother's Day Shop (OMG- I'm approaching my first mother's day!), it was love at first sight.  I love the cheeky little sayings, and you can never have enough bangles, as B pointed out last week!  They are still a little too pricey, but our gal Kate Spade loves herself a sale, so I'll be stalking these for the next couple weeks for when they aren't so steep!  I think the bright blue is my fave, though I love them all!

5. Happy Easter!

And last, but not least, Happy Easter to all who celebrate!  We have a jammed packed Easter Sunday planned, hitting up both sides of the family.  I'm looking forward to a great day with lots of yummy food and quality time with Baby M and our families.  And I especially can't wait to bring a bunch of Easter treats adorned with our TSN designed printables!  I hope all you gals have a fabulous day planned!



And we're also excited to be linking up with Meet at the Barre!

xoxo
- M

Monday, April 14, 2014

Springtime Peeps Printables {Free Download}


Hey Gals!  Easter is right around the corner and with it comes Peeps!  Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny their adorableness.  I happen to be in the love camp, and after indulging in one too many this weekend, I was inspired to craft up a set of Peep Printables!  These would be the perfect adornment for your Easter baskets and candy good bags, but personally I plan to jazz up my Easter cocktails and wine glasses!  So download a set for yourself, and let us know what you plan on adding these little pastel cuties to!



Happy crafting Gals!

xoxo
- M

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday {April 11, 2014}

Happy Friday, Gals! We're SO ready for the weekend and hope you are too! To kick things off in our usual sequiney fashion, we're linking up with DarciNatashaApril, and Christina to bring you five favorites from our week.

ONE

I've been on the hunt for my perfect spring nail color and I've finally found it - Essie's Mint Candy Apple! I recently went for a relaxing mani/pedi with a good friend and fell in love with this pretty pastel right away. This will be used in heavy rotation now that warmer weather is finally upon us!


TWO

In my very first Five on Friday post (wow, time flies!), I mentioned that I choreograph an annual high school musical and that we had just started rehearsals for Seussical. The show was produced this past weekend and I was so proud of the cast and crew for what a fun performance it turned out to be! I had such a great experience working on these dances and I'm so happy to have this fabulous creative outlet that allows me to stay involved with the performing arts.


THREE

Is anyone else out there in blogland watching this hilarious show? If you're not, set a date with HBO OnDemand this weekend and check it out! Julia Louis-Dreyfus cracked me up as everyone's favorite bad dancer, Elaine Benes, but I haven't followed any of her post-Seinfeld projects until Veep. Her salty portrayal of an ambitious and foul-mouthed Vice President always makes me laugh since you never know what will come out of her mouth next! Season Three just started this past Sunday so there is plenty of time to catch up with her campaign shenanigans.


FOUR
Bangles available at Forever 21

I recently visited my parents and had to have a classic suburban mall shopping spree with my mom - you guys, there are so many adorable spring accessories at Forever 21 right now! I picked up the bangle set above, plus...about 15 other items (seriously, it was a big jewelry day) but it all came out to only $55 so it was basically a steal. Hurry on over to your local store to pick up some trendy pieces to brighten up your spring wardrobe without breaking the bank!


FIVE

This quote has been floating around on Pinterest quite a bit lately - since it's basically my personal Friday mantra, I jazzed it up with some spring colors and my favorite font (Budmo!) to remind myself how to start my weekend off on the right foot.

Wishing all of you lots of smiles and champagne today!

xoxo
B



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sequiney Pinspiration: Spring is in the Air

Hey Gals!  Spring has finally sprung and with it comes a little Sequiney Pinspiration to get you excited for the season!  We are so ready for some warm weather, pretty pastels, and refreshing patio cocktails, so we bring you a couple lovelies to get you in the springtime mood and if it only leaves you wanting more - hop over to our Pinterest page and indulge in some more sequiney goodness!



Spring Reveries // Spring Lips


xoxo
- M


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Artichoke & Asparagus Pasta Salad

True confession: I hate cooking. 

I'm bad at it, it takes up a lot of time, and sometimes it winds up being more expensive to buy all of the ingredients I need for a recipe than just ordering some take-out. On the rare occasions that I attempt to do battle with my testy oven, I try to make something that will stay fresh and appeal to me throughout the week (I live alone, so there are frequently leftovers). 

That's why I adore whipping up a big batch of this artichoke and asparagus pasta salad - it's a fantastic side dish at dinner, a great group item at a picnic or potluck barbecue, and it can easily be taken to the office for lunch the next day. Best of all, it's as simple as boiling water and doing some minimal veggie chopping (really!), so if I can execute it, there is no way that you'll mess it up. 

Let's get started.


You will need:

* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta of your choice (I used rotini)
* 1 can of artichoke hearts (chopped)
* 1/2 lb. asparagus spears (cut into 1-inch pieces)
* 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (chopped)
* 1/4 cup black olives (sliced)
* 1/4 cup red onion (chopped)
* 1 garlic clove (minced)
* 2 oz. prosciutto (chopped)
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
1) Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and add the asparagus two minutes before it is completed. Immediately drain and run under cold water until cool.

2) Combine artichokes, red peppers, olives, red onion, and prosciutto in a large serving bowl. 

3) Add the pasta/asparagus mixture to the bowl.

4) In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, canola oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil.

5) Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss gently to coat it.

6) Serve the pasta immediately, or cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours (I try to refrigerate it for at least a few hours to let the flavors blend together).


Now that I just started my new job, it's been a lifesaver to have a big batch of this pasta salad ready in the fridge for easy on-the-go lunches. What's your go-to simple dish?

xoxo
B


Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday {April 4, 2014}

Hey Gals! It's been a busy week with lots of sequiney goodness so we're so excited to be linking up with Darci, Natasha, April, and Christina for our five faves of the week. Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend Gals!

1. Milky! Giveaway
Enter to win a box now!
Today is the last day to enter our Milky! Giveaway so if you haven't entered yet, get your sequiney butts over to our post and enter!  Think you have no need for Milky! because you're not breastfeeding?! Think again!  It makes a great gift for your sister, best gal, second cousin, twice removed, whoever you may know that is breastfeeding and could use a little boost!  Good luck Gals!

2. Happy Birthday Fred!
This Saturday marks a very special day - it's our gal Fred's birthday!  Fred is my Havanese puppy that I got when I first moved to the city back in 2006 (sorry Fred, don't mean to give away your age!)  She's my first baby, always there waiting at the door when I come home, and my little hot water bottle at night, snuggled right next to me under the covers.  She's a clown dog, through and through and never misses a chance to Gal around when B comes to visit (fun fact, Fred loooooves B more than anyone or anything else in this world!)  Happy Birthday Fred - we love you!

3. Aden & Anais Photo Shoot
Such a little baby model - he was selling those bibs hard!

A couple weeks ago, Aden + Anais, maker of Baby M's favorite swaddle blankets, held a contest on Facebook for the chance to be featured in one of their upcoming ad campaigns.  On a whim, I decided to enter Baby M and he was one of the winners!  So yesterday we took our first trip into NYC together, and he modeled a bunch of their fabulously soft bibs for their summer campaign.  Overall it was a great experience and he was a natural, if I do say so myself.  So keep a look out this summer for his smiley face, though of course I'm sure I'll be posting some official pics once they send them to me!

4. Spring Time Days

Yesterday was the first day that actually felt like Spring here in the Northeast, and I couldn't be more thrilled!  Grill Guy was able to live up to his namesake and fire up the grill and Baby M and I were able to take a long walk around the neighborhood after we got back from our big photo shoot!

5. Fancy New Shoes
Valentino Couture Bow D'orsay Pumps, image courtesy of Nordstrom
These babies arrived at my door on Wednesday and after 5 years of lusting after them, they are even better in person!  I was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl pool, and while I knew that I wanted to cash in my winnings for some new shoes, it took me a bit of time to finally select the winning pair.  Fancy shoes like this are certainly a luxury for me, so I wanted to chose the perfect pair, and now that they are mine, I think I made the right decision!  That huge bow gets me every time, and the nude color is the perfect compliment.  Now I just need an occasion to break them in!

What are you Gals up to this weekend?

xoxo
- M

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Resolutions: 1st Quarter Check-In

Can you believe that it's already April? While the weather up here has unfortunately still been feeling like January, it's time for our first check-in on our 2014 New Year resolutions (remember those?). Let's see how we're stacking up so far…

 (Catch up with B's 2014 resolutions here) 

Let's start with the resolutions that are going well, shall we? My first resolution was to take more vacations, and that one is off to a great start! I've already taken a week-long beach vacation in Florida and I have a girls' trip to Vegas planned for August - yay! I've also been cooking a lot more than I have in the past, which has resulted in saving some money by bringing my lunch to the office instead of buying take-out every day. My secret resolution of finding a new job is another success, as I have just started my new job this week!

I've improved my fitness routine a bit by increasing my work-outs, though I have not started a regular routine of morning exercise and have still not tried a spin class. Cutting out alcohol on weekdays is another resolution that has had mixed results - I've definitely cut back, but have not eliminated it entirely. I vowed to be a more supportive friend and family member this year...I'd like to think that this one is going well, but I know there is always room for improvement.

Finally, I have to hang my head in shame over the following resolutions: implementing a "no spending week" once a month and being a game show contestant. Sadly, I've been a big failure with both of these! I haven't looked into the game show option at all, but hopefully I will make some progress towards this over the next few months. At first I was pretty smug that my "no spending week" would be a snap...after all, how hard can it be to curb extraneous spending for seven measly days? Turns out, it was MUCH more difficult than I had anticipated. I went into January and February with the best of intentions, but I was so unsuccessful both times that I didn't even bother selecting a week in March. However, I want to get back on track in April and hope to have better news for you in my next progress report!




You can catch up with my full resolution post here, but just to refresh, I decided to take a different approach to my resolutions this year and make this the year of Health, Wealth and Happiness!

First up is Health!  Hmm.. it’s a good thing we are doing this check-in because now that I really look at my goals, I didn’t too as well as I originally thought! The area that I did best in was keeping Baby M healthy (which is pretty indicative of my priorities.. gotta put the big boy first!) I’m still going strong with the breastfeeding (thanks Milky!) and I’ve also been successful with only feeding him homemade food! And it’s been well worth it because so far he’s a fantastic eater and we’ve yet to find a fruit or vegetable that he doesn’t love. And another benefit of breastfeeding is that it’s helped me keep my alcohol consumption in check – I rarely drink during the week, and when I do indulge in some wine on the weekends, it truly feels like a well deserved treat! As for the not so successful resolutions, I’ve been horrible with the meal planning and lunch packing. But I still think these are attainable and I started this quarter by getting myself back on track. This past weekend I made a shopping list and spent the whole day Sunday cooking so I’d have meals ready to go for the week. I’d say my biggest failure is in trying to find fun ways to stay active. Other than dancing around the house with Baby M, this horrible winter weather has kept us pretty much indoors so I’m hopeful that Spring will finally bring some warmer weather and get us moving and shaking!

Next we have Wealth.  So has 2014 been the year of riches and fortune thus far?! Not exactly, though I’m happy with the progress I’m making. As I stated above, the meal planning and lunch packing hasn’t been great, but I’m back on track and excited to refocus my goals! Along with that comes my quest for couponing! I’ve been decent about trying to bring coupons with me when grocery shopping, but the area I really excel in is online shopping! Basically if I’m not using a discount code or getting an Ebates kickback, I’m not buying it! I’m also very excited to report that the shop my own closet and cabinets goal has been a win! And actually it’s been a double win because I’ve found some clothes that were previously too snug pre-baby and now fit! So this probably has to be my favorite resolution win, and I’m hoping it continues throughout the year, since there are a still a couple of dresses (with tags still on them) that still can’t quite go into the rotation yet.

And last but not least, Happiness!  Even though I wasn’t able to explicitly include this in the original post, a huge piece of happiness in 2014 was trying to figure out how to balance being a working mom, and I’m HAPPY (see what I did there?!) to report that my new job has genuinely brought a lot of happiness to my life as well as balance. Grill Guy and I have also been able to sneak away for a date night fairly regularly and I’m super excited for an upcoming weekend away we are planning in June for our 5-year wedding anniversary, so I’ll also count this one as a win! Some areas I need to now focus on are finishing up projects and continuing to be a more together me. I think working has absolutely helped me become more put together, but my desperate need to get my roots done indicates that there is room for improvement! And lastly, the blog, blog, blogging! I’m still not posting as regularly as I’d like, but I’ve started to keep a list of future posts and I’m hoping to chip away with them over the next year. Overall though, I’m going to focus on the positive and I’m very pleased with my progress in the first quarter. And that’s why they are called new YEAR resolutions.. we have all year to work on them so let’s focus on the next 3 months and making them the best we possibly can!!

How have you Gals been doing with your New Year Resolutions?  What are your big hits and misses?

We're linking up with Nina and Heather for Coast to Coast Resolutions Revisited and Khala, Sam, Renee and Jenni for Tuesday Tea!

xoxo
- The Gals


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