Sunday, November 23, 2014

Firmoo glasses review


We love a good accessory, so even though neither of us require prescription lenses, that doesn't mean that we can't appreciate a good pair of glasses!


When Firmoo contacted us to try their frames, we were super excited to give this new accessory a go.


There were tons of options to choose from, but we eventually settled on big, gray, hipster frames for B, and thick, black, square frames for M. When they arrived, we were immediately impressed with the high quality of the frames, as well as Firmoo's presentation of including hard, protective cases and lens cleaning wipes.


Serious glasses, serious face
I was so happy with my new Firmoos! While it won't be an every day accessory for me, I would definitely rock these with a more casual, laid back look. I've also been throwing them on to grab coffee in the mornings before I've had a chance to get fully dressed (the big glasses disguise my lack of makeup, haha!). They also make me feel more serious, so I'm actually wearing them right now to blog. I also anticipate wearing them at work to present at a board meeting - sometimes people don't take me seriously when they first meet me because of my height, so I think the Firmoos will  give me an extra boost of professionalism. All in all, these are a fun addition to my accessories closet!

 

I was so excited to try out my new accessory and the second I put them on, I felt like I had a whole new look. When I stepped out of the bedroom and showed Grill Guy to see if he'd notice that I looked different, he immediately questioned the glasses and then with a big smile, said how much he liked them! I was a little surprised that he was so enthusiastic, but it helped me feel more confident that I could totally rock this new look. I wore them to work that day and I agree with B that I felt like people took me more seriously and overall, I felt more polished with them.


What do you think of our new accessories? Would you wear clear lens glasses?

And don't forget, our Walmart gift card giveaway ends on Tuesday morning!

xoxo
B & M

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday: {November 21, 2014}

Happy Friday Gals! Another week down, and now we are officially less than a week away from Thanksgiving!  I absolutely love Thanksgiving and everything that goes along with it, so today I’m devoting my five favorites of the week to all things Thanksgiving!  Hope you have a fab weekend ahead and are as excited for Turkey Day as I am!

1| Favorite Recipes

I think we can all agree that the sides are the very best part of the Thanksgiving meal, so these incredible recipes have me salivating just looking at them! I can't wait to indulge in plenty of stuffing and squash this year!

2| Favorite Wine Pick

Another reason I love Thanksgiving – it’s not only completely acceptable to break out the wine at like noon, it’s practically a requirement (or is that just at my family’s table?!)  My favorite pick is Casal Garcia Vinho Verde.  It has a slight fizz to it that can be best described as effervescent, along with being super crisp, light and refreshing, and a lower alcohol content – basically the perfect starter for a day filled of indulging!  Oh, and in case you aren’t completely sold, it’s only $5.99 a bottle! 


3| Favorite Outfit Choices
Thanksgiving outfit


I love getting dressed up for holiday, but since Thanksgiving is all about the food, I like going with a more comfortable choices, and jazzing up with fun accessories!  This Thanksgiving, I have my eye on a luxurious silk tunic, with a furry vest, and paired with tuxedo leggings, gold flats, and a fun necklace and leopard clutch.

4| Favorite Song Selection
It’s been a while since I’ve shared my mixy picks with everyone, but having good dinner music is must in my book for Thanksgiving!  We keep it low, so everyone can enjoy good conversation around the dinner table, but great music just helps to enhance the mood.  For me, it’s all about the mellower, more soulful picks, with a healthy smattering of some Christmas music, since the season officially starts the next day!  My must play picks for this year include some Sam Smith, Ellie Golding, Michael Buble (including his Christmas album - duh!), One Republic, Jason Mraz, Van Morrison, and Elton John.  Does anyone else factor in music to their Thanksgiving planning?

5| Favorite Tablescape
Tablescape, courtesy of Z Gallerie
This year we are not hosting, which just means that I’m able to design my dream table in my head, which is perfect since it’s much cheaper that way!  If I was hosting, I'd love to do a gold and silver sparkle table, with glitzy pumpkin accents.  I love the golden wine goblets, and the touch of glitz from the chargers. 


Don't forget - there’s still time to enter our Covergirl #GirlsCan Giveaway – perfect for a little Black Friday shopping! Enter HERE


And there's still time to get in on the fun with our Sequin Holiday Card Swap! Sign up HERE

Thanks to our gals AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Natasha, Michelle, and Lauren for hosting today's link-ups!

xoxo
-M

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

COVERGIRL #GirlsCan Campaign + GIVEAWAY

COVERGIRL recently reached out and invited me to participate in their #GirlsCan campaign, which promotes the empowerment of women by encouraging them to break down barriers and turn "can't" into "can" - pretty awesome stuff, right?


We all know that girls and women can be whoever they want to be, and that we have the strength to follow our dreams and make bold choices even when it feels like the odds are against us. My own personal "turn can't into can" moment came when I decided to pack up and move to New York City.


When I was a little girl, I dreamed of living in NYC. Having grown up close to the city, I have always felt very comfortable and at home there, yet it still also seemed very glamorous and exciting. I was confident that I would eventually make my way there...one day.


I went to college in a northeastern suburb, and lived in my college town for several years after graduation. While I had never planned to stay there longterm, I developed relationships and ties to this new area and began to build a life and career there...but New York was always in the back of my mind. 


The years started to roll by and I realized that every time I visited New York, I became increasingly jealous of my friends who lived there, yet I did nothing to make the move myself. I filled myself with tons of excuses - I can't afford the high cost of living, I can't find a job there, I can't adjust to living in a tiny apartment, I can't keep my car there...I was the one who was keeping myself down by saying I "can't" move.


After a few more years of making up excuses, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and plunge into the unknown. I didn't have the answers to the questions that scared me about New York, but I knew that I would always regret it if I didn't take that leap of faith. So, I found a job, rented a cute apartment in a great neighborhood, sold my car, and told myself, "Yes, I can move to New York." And so, I did. And I've never been happier.



Plus, it didn't hurt to know that my BFF/co-blogger, who had been a NYC resident for many years at that point, was waiting with open arms to welcome me into my new city!


COVERGIRL wants to support all women in making these kinds of positive changes, which is why they have donated $50,000 to Dress for Success, an international non-profit that helps disadvantaged women find jobs by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools. You can help by supporting their #GirlsCan mascaras which come in two varieties and are sold at Walmart at everyday low prices: COVERGIRL Flamed Out Mascara and COVERGIRL Professional All-in-One Mascara. I received the Flamed Out tube to sample, and it was easy, breezy, beautiful (hey, I couldn't resist)...and also, it definitely pumped up the volume!


I definitely feel more beautiful and confident when I have the help of great products like this mascara, but sometimes being simple and natural feels great, too. For example, I love this picture of a makeup-free me with my Dad.


And I also love my glammed up look below at a friend's album release party - COVERGIRL Flamed Out mascara had me feeling like a rock star!


Visit GirlsCanGiveBack.com and watch this video to learn more about #GirlsCan at Walmart. COVERGIRL has generously provided me with a $25 Walmart gift card to give away to one lucky TSN reader, so make sure you enter below for your chance to win! 

Giveaway ends at 8:00 a.m. EST on November 25th - I will notify the winner via email, and a new winner will be selected if the first one does not respond within 24 hours.

When have you turned a "can't" into a "can"?

xoxo
B

The Walmart gift cards, product, and information have been provided by COVERGIRL. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Linking up with AnniMaria Isabel, and Jessica!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese {Guest Post from Kelli's Recipes}



Make room on your Thanksgiving menu for one more side dish, because there is no way you'll be able to pass up this crowd-pleasing dish - the lovely Kelli from Kelli's Recipes is sharing her delicious pumpkin mac and cheese with us today!


I first met Kelli in college where we were both members of the student musical theater group - today, she enjoys whipping up some seriously amazing dishes in her kitchen, and these recipes are enjoyed by both her husband and her adorable daughter. Check out what Kelli's cooking up for us today, and make sure you like her Facebook page to keep up with all of her tasty treats and add some pizzazz to your menus.

Kelli and her family
(Photo credit: Susan Grace Photography)
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (from Kelli's Recipes)

Ingredients

* 1 pound of pasta (cellentani or cavatappi)
* 4-6 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 2 cups milk (whole, 2% or 1%)
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
* 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
* 2 packed cups shredded cheese, plus more for topping (I used a combination or mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
* handful of chopped chives
* salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions, minus 1 minute. While pasta is cooking, in a separate large pot cook bacon until brown, but not totally crisp. Remove bacon and set on a paper towel to drain. Take another paper towel with tongs and wipe the pan of excess bacon fat.


In that same pan, over medium heat, melt butter, then add flour and cook, whisking together for about 2 minutes. The flour and butter should be golden brown and smell nutty. Add milk, and whisk together until it starts to thicken. Add nutmeg, mustard and pumpkin. Whisk until smooth and turn heat down to low. Stir in cheese until melted. Toss in a handful of chives and salt and pepper to taste.


Once pasta is done, drain and add it to the sauce. Mix until pasta is thoroughly coated.


Transfer pasta to a greased (I used canola oil spray) casserole dish, top with extra shredded cheese and bacon.


Bake at 375 for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and pasta is hot throughout. Top with more fresh chives.



How insanely delicious does this look?! We're so grateful to Kelli for sharing this amazing recipe with us today, and we hope she'll be back on The Sequin Notebook again soon. In the meantime, hop on over to Kelli's Recipes for more fantastic meal inspiration!

xoxo
B

P.S. There is still time to sign up for our 2014 Sequin Holiday Card Swap - check out this post for full details!

Linking up today with EmilyJennifer Juniper, Karyn, KristenEmilyMandyMaryJessica, Mandy, Susan, Lisa, Natasha, and Lisa!

All photos and recipe text are the exclusive property of Kelli's Recipes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Blog Baton Recap and a Little Weekending

Hey Gals! As we mentioned last week, we were thrilled to get to take part in The Blog Baton on Thursday, so in case you missed it, we thought it'd be fun to do a little recap.

And for those who aren't familiar with The Blog Baton, it was created by Mason, from the fabulous blog, Mason…Like The Jar and is a creative way to connect bloggers through the wonderful world of Instagram! Every week day, a different blogger takes over the Blog Baton Instagram account just for that day. The blogger can pretty much post anything they want through out the day, with the goal being to share a glimpse into the day of the life of that blogger. It's a fabulous way for you and your blog to reach more people in the blogging community, so we were so excited when Mason reached out to us and let us know we'd be taking over for the day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday {November 14, 2014}

It's finally Friday! I hope that you've all had lovely, productive, and fun weeks. For me, this week has been filled with lots of wonderful in-person encounters, so let's jump right into the five things I'm loving this week!

ONE | Meeting Andy Cohen!

Last night, I got to meet one of my all-time favorite celebrity legends...The King of Bravo himself, Andy Cohen! We are MAJOR fans of Andy and his gossipy late night talk show, Watch What Happens Live...in fact, we're such Andy groupies that one of our very first blog posts was awarding him the esteemed honor of being our Honorary Gal (that's our rendition of him holding an official Sequin Notebook award in the photo above!). When I saw that he would be at a local Barnes & Noble signing copies of his new book, I knew that I HAD to be there!

Andy gave a brief overview of his book before launching into a Q&A with the audience. I'm happy to report that he was just as personable, hilarious, and lovable as he is on TV! After some prodding, I finally worked up the courage to ask him a question (I asked about his recent guest appearance on The Comeback) and he gave a very detailed, thoughtful response. After the chatting, we each got a moment to meet Andy as he signed our book, and then we snapped a quick pic!


My awkward exuberance is clearly coming through in this pic! It was fantastic to finally meet Andy, since I spend so much of my TV time with him and his creations. I also got to meet his lovely parents; as loyal Watch What Happens Live viewers know, they are frequent guest bartenders on the set, so it was great to chat with them for a bit. Evelyn and I bonded over being the shortest ladies in the bookstore!



It was a super fun night, and I can't wait to dig into Andy's new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries...who else is reading it?


TWO | New DryBar...around the corner!


Living in NYC, I'm used to keeping my cool during unexpected celebrity encounters, no matter how excited I may be on the inside. Well, all of those powers recently abandoned me as I walked around the corner the other day and stopped dead in my tracks, with my jaw hanging wide open...no, it wasn't Ryan Gosling, but the sight still made my heart sing.

It was a new DryBar - aka, my very favorite "treat yourself" sanctuary!

And...this new DryBar is opening literally 1 minute away from my front door!!! Cue the excited shrieking.

I can already foresee many days of beautiful hair ahead of me for an important meeting, a big date, a night out with the girls...yes, this will be trouble!


THREE | Reunions with Long Distance Friends

And speaking of big dates and nights out with the girls, this week I was reunited with not one, not two, but THREE long distance friends! My college roommate (pictured above) lives across the country and was only in NYC for a one-day business trip, but we still made time for a leisurely pre-work breakfast that was filled with laughter and lots and lots of catching up. It always feels so great to know that no matter how much time passes or how much physical distance is between us, we can ALWAYS pick up right where we left off! I also squeezed in a quick trip back to my old suburban stomping grounds to see two of my best friends who still live in that area. One of my friend's daughter's was celebrating her birthday so we attended that party, then the other friend and I spent the rest of the day at a fabulous wine tasting and relaxing at her new house, and the trip was capped off with a delish brunch attended by all three of us. There is nothing that puts me in my happy place like spending time with good friends who I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like!


FOUR | The Comeback's Comeback

And speaking of dearly missed friends (apparently I'm all about the segues this Friday), VALERIE CHERISH IS BACK! I know I've already made my plea for you to watch this resurrected television gem (butseriouslywatchitrightnow), but even I was impressed with how well Season 2 of this cult classic stands up to the original, amazing season (plus, Andy Cohen guest starred, which allowed me to ask him a question at the book signing!). If you missed the first season of The Comeback and somehow haven't made time to watch it during the last 9 years, HBO has the full series on demand so catch up with it (it will go by so quickly because you won't be able to keep yourself from binge watching), then watch the first episode of Season 2, and then we can be hooked on this series together!


FIVE | Gals' night!

There is one final friend reunion I must mention...I'm visiting M tonight for a long overdue Gals Night! We have quite the full agenda in mind of blog writing, cocktail mixing, and crafting/planning for the big annual party we're throwing next weekend, so stay tuned to our Instagram to see what we're up to! (We'll try not to spend our entire night writing "profound" hashtags on M's chalkboard wall this time, we promise!)

Hope you have a magical and restful weekend!

xoxo
B

Thanks to our gals AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Natasha, Michelle, and Lauren for hosting today's link-ups!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We're on The Blog Baton today!


We're taking over The Blog Baton today! Make sure you follow @theblogbaton on Instagram to see what we're up to throughout the day, and to learn more about the gals behind the blog!

Also, there is still time to sign up for our holiday card swap - we hope you'll join us in this fun project!

xoxo
B & M
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