Friday, September 27, 2013

Sequiney Pinspiration: Crafty Gals

Happy Friday Gals!  It's no secret that we love a good craft here at TSN, so this week is all about our favorite Pinterest Crafts.  After a crazy weekend out and about, sometimes there is nothing better than a Sunday afternoon craft session, with a Bravo marathon and bottle of wine to keep you company!  Here are some of our favorite crafts we are dying to try out - hopefully they leave you feeling as inspired as they do for us!  And please let us know if you attempt to try any out - we'd love to hear about all of the projects our TSN readers are working on!

dip dye ribbon // pom stirrers // diy confetti // homemade syrup // glitter votives // champ glasses // chalkboard glasses // key covers // glitter tape

- M

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DIY Ruffian Manicure

I'm always on the hunt for new nail styles that are professional enough for an office setting, but fun enough for a post-work date or happy hour. The Ruffian manicure is classy but edgy, and equally appropriate for day and night - best of all, you can create this upside down half-moon look all by yourself! Grab two of your favorite polishes and follow these 4 easy steps.

Step 1
1) Paint your nails with one of your favorite polishes. We know you can handle this part! For my bottom color, I selected Power Clutch by Essie which is a deep, greenish gray. Allow your nails to dry completely before moving on to Step 2.

Step 2 and Step 3
2) Place a round sticker on each nail, exposing a half-moon shape at the bottom of your nail. Make sure that you press the edge of the sticker closely to your nail - otherwise, polish may seep underneath the sticker which will mess up the smooth half-moon arc.

3) Using your second polish, paint over the exposed part of your nails. Don't worry if some polish gets on top of the sticker because you'll be removing that pretty soon. I received Ruffian's Delirium polish in my Birchbox this month (and you know how much we love Birchbox), so obviously I had to use this pretty metallic purple for this tutorial. I love how the Ruffian polish adds some shimmer to the Essie base polish, and how these two dark colors make this a perfect fall manicure.

4) Peel off the stickers. Slowly peel the stickers from one side to the other to ensure a smooth line.

Once the stickers are off, your Ruffian manicure will be revealed!

Congratulations, your Ruffian manicure is complete!
What are your favorite color combinations for the Ruffian manicure? Make sure you share some pictures of your fall manis with us!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


A bellini is a classic and elegant brunch cocktail, but why limit it to just omelettes and pancakes? The flavors of a bellini can stand on their own as a delicious happy hour beverage in this beefed up bellinitini.

Ingredients for a 12 ounce cocktail:

* 5 oz. peach juice (I used Trader Joe's Dixie Peach Juice)
* 3 oz. vodka
* 2 oz. peach schnapps 
* 2 oz. prosecco (but we won't tell if you sneak in a little extra!)
* Peach wedge (for garnish)

Place peach juice, vodka, and peach schnapps in a shaker over ice. Strain into a martini glass, top it with prosecco, and garnish with a peach wedge (for even more of a chill, place your martini glass in the freezer prior to pouring).

Are you ready to take the peachy flavor of a bellini from day to night? Let us know what you think of this bellinitini!

Linking up today with EmilyJennifer JuniperKaryn, KristenEmilyMandyMaryJessicaMandySusanLisaNatasha, Kristin, and Pam!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet TSN's Newest Little Gal-in-Training: Baby M is Here!

Hey Gals!  You may have noticed I've been a bit absent over the past week, but I promise I have a good excuse - Baby M made his debut this past Sunday!  He decided he was ready to meet the world, and arrived 2 weeks early, born on his Daddy's birthday!  Grill Guy and I are completely head over heels in love with him and are loving every second as we settle into life as a family of 3 (well, 4 actually since we can't forget his big sister Fred!).  He's already such a little Gal, averaging about 3 outfit changes per day.  He's keeping me quite busy this first week, but I couldn't wait to share the news with The Sequin Notebook family!  Here are some of his first pics, and I promise to be back to posting soon!  And a big shout out to Auntie B for keeping TSN up and running during this little mommy hiatus - Baby M is so lucky to have such a great Aunt and Godmother in his life!

- M and Baby Logan

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mosaic Nails in 3 Easy Steps

It’s no secret that the TSN gals are big fans of nail art, especially when the designs are easy enough for a DIY mani. These mosaic nails are foolproof (seriously, you can’t mess them up!) and create a soft crackle effect that looks equally pretty with complementary or contrasting colors.

For this tutorial, I selected a pale lavender and a darker metallic purple, but any of your favorite colors will do. The only other supplies you’ll need to prepare in advance are 10 small strips of plastic wrap (one for each nail). Let’s break these mosaic nails down into three easy steps so that you can recreate this look at home (and if you’re like us, you will obviously have Bravo on in the background as you paint!).

1)      Paint your nails with one of your polishes. See, we told you this would be easy! Wait for your nails to dry completely before moving onto step 2.

2)      Using your second color, paint directly on top of your previously polished nails.

3)      While the second color is still wet, press down on the polish with a strip of plastic wrap. This will remove some of the second layer of polish and create the mosaic effect!

The end result is an intricate swirl of color that leaves every nail with a pattern as unique as a fingerprint. Experiment with different color combos until you find your favorite mosaic!
What’s your favorite kind of nail art? Have you developed any fun techniques to share with us?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Craft It: DIY Glitter Food Picks

Here's a perfect DIY craft for beginners (and a great activity to work on during a Real Housewives marathon) - glitter food picks!

These little picks can greatly enhance your parties by adding some extra flair to your finger foods. They definitely added some pizzazz to our Girls Night Luau and are a nice sparkly addition to any appetizer tray. Let's break this down into 5 easy steps:

1) Gather your supplies. You will need:

* Wooden skewers
* Craft paint
* Foam brush

2) Pour some paint into a cup.

3) Begin painting the skewers. For more paint coverage, it's best to dab the picks with your brush instead of stroking. Make sure you only paint the top part of the skewers that will not come into contact with your food. Once they are completely dry, flip the skewers and paint the other side.

4) Give the skewers a second coat of paint of both sides. Allow them to dry overnight.

5) Add the glitter food picks to your appetizers and serve!

What are some of your favorite easy DIY projects for parties?


Friday, September 13, 2013

Sequiney Pinspiration: Make Me Up!

Hey Gals!  I don't know about you, but B's post on the fabulous Birchbox event she attended has left me yearning to try out some fun new products and beauty looks.  So today's Sequiney Pinspiration is all about the beauty love, featuring some of my favorite picks from our Make Me Up Pinterest board.  Hope everyone has a beautiful and sequiney weekend planned, with an opportunity to get yourself all dolled up!

Gilded Lid // Hot Pink // Midnight Glitz // Sleek & Polished // Ombre // Chocolicious // Ruby Red

- M

Thursday, September 12, 2013

We Love It: Birchbox

This one is for all you beauty junkies - if you're not familiar with Birchbox yet, it's time to get on board (and as a bonus, we have an exclusive Birchbox discount code for you at the end of the post)!

M and I have been Birchbox subscribers for the past two years. Birchbox is a fantastic company that delivers a monthly box full of beauty goodies right to your mailbox. It's a wonderful way to sample new products without the commitment of spending a large amount of money on a full-size product. Birchbox introduced me to Melvita Floral Water (which is now one of my beach bag staples) as well as my latest makeup obsession, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. At $10 a pop, the monthly box is a great bargain to try a variety of products (not to mention very fun to get a monthly present in the mail). Plus, Birchbox offers its subscribers bonus points for reviewing the products on their website, which can be applied as a discount to purchases from their online beauty store.

Earlier this week, The Sequin Notebook was invited to a special Birchbox bloggers event that gave us insider access to their Birchbox Local office in Manhattan. 

Since M is in the home stretch of waiting for Baby M's arrival, I ventured down to Chelsea to check out the Birchbloggers event. Right from the start, it was clear that Birchbox was rolling out the red carpet for all of the bloggers.

Hair, makeup, nails, drinks...where's a gal to start? 

The Birchbox Local space had whimsical touches throughout the rooms, including a custom foosball table and candy dispensers built into the walls.

They also knew exactly what kind of snacks these bloggers were interested in noshing on...prosecco, mini cupcakes, and jars of candy filled the tables...basically, all of the TSN diet staples!

The evening started off with complimentary appointments for hair, makeup, nail, and facial touch-ups. I opted to give my hair a little extra oomph by visiting the Drybar station, where Jo revved up my volume and gave me some fantastic waves. As a side note, Drybar is our absolute FAVORITE blow-out bar...M and I love going there for a Gals Day treat, and definitely encourage you to make an appointment with them for any upcoming special event.

Representatives from Drybar, Stila, Color Club, and Dr. Brandt glammed up the bloggers 

The most popular place to be at the event was definitely the Sample Wall! It was chock full of the fabulous products that Birchbox distributes every month, and each blogger had the opportunity to build her own box and take home five samples. It was not easy to decide which five products would be the lucky winners, but it was super fun to customize my own Birchbox and swap tips with other bloggers about which products are our favorites.

The bloggers are all set to fill up their custom Birchboxes 

One small section of the wall of samples 

Once everyone had the opportunity to primp and make their DIY Birchboxes, the bloggers settled in for a conversation with Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp and Lucky magazine beauty editor Jean Godfrey June. It was truly inspiring to hear these two amazing women talk about their entrepreneurial paths (and share some beauty tips as well).

It was such a pleasure to get a sneak peek at the inner workings of Birchbox, connect with other bloggers, and of course, take home my very own custom Birchbox, which was filled with a combination of reliable staples and new surprises:

Products from left: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, Color Club Nail Polish in Savoy Nights, Origins Modern Friction, POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon, Mally Beauty Age Rebel Waterproof Shadow Stick 

If my Birchbox love has made you a believer, you can sign up for a subscription using this link: Birchbox

Also, here's an exclusive discount just for you: use code BIRCHBLOGGER15 to take 15% off any purchase of $50 or more from the Birchbox store!

And if any New Yorkers just can't get enough Birchbox, they're launching a series of events starting today (running through 9/16) where you too can build your own Birchbox and sign up for fabulous appointments:

We hope you love your Birchbox as much as we do! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shopping Spree: Fave Fall Flats

Hey Gals!  Now that fall is right around the corner, we couldn't be more excited for all of the amazing fall fashion trends!  In particular we've been smitten with many of the flat choices designers are putting out for the fall.  After pouring through our favorite shopping sites, we've rounded up our top picks for our Fave Fall Flats!
Clockwise from top: Kate Spade - Cayman // Asos Lutterfly // J.Crew Janey // Zara Pointy Ballerina // J.Crew Nora // Ivanka Trump Collie // Ferragamo Silver Logo Bow // French Sole Rhythm // Tory Burch Sweet Plum Reva // Gap Printed Pointy // Jeffery Campbell Martini Metal Bow // Stokton Studded Smoking

How about you guys?  Are you all strictly heels only kinda gals, or are you also digging all of the fun fall flat selections?  Which are your fave?!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Friend Dating: The Brunch Club

With all of the daily obligations and commitments that everyone must face, it can be challenging to schedule quality time with your friends (especially since everyone's schedules are so packed!). As besties for 15 years and counting, M and I know that friendships, like any relationship, require attention and making an effort to spend time together. What's a gal to do when she wants to make sure that the whole gang can catch up with each other on a regular basis? She sets a standing date with her friends...introducing, the Brunch Club!

Like The Breakfast Club, but with better hair
The idea for the Brunch Club came about because there are tons of fantastic brunch menus in Manhattan (which are usually more affordable than the dinner options) and because brunching with friends is a fantastic way to swap fun stories from the weekend. It's laid back, it lends itself well to group conversation, and it usually involves cocktails...what's not to love?

Once a month, a club member reserves a table at a NYC brunch spot and all club members (and other extended friends) are welcome to join...the more, the merrier! The best part is that there is no pressure or obligation to attend every outing - if someone can't make brunch one month, we'll just catch them at the next one! While we certainly try to spend time together more than once a month, it's nice to have a regular event to look forward to each month where I know that I'll be able to dine and chat with some of my closest friends. 

If brunch isn't your scene, try organizing a different kind of club that appeals to you and your friends...maybe a Movie Club, Dinner Club, Crafting Club (I'd like to join this one!), or even the tried-and-true Book Club. The important thing is to make sure that you're investing in your friendships and putting the same effort into cultivating them that you would for any other kind of relationship (but unlike romantic dating, you don't have to worry about feeling awkward when the check arrives during a friend date!).

For any New York readers, the Brunch Club outing featured in these photos took place at Garage in Greenwich Village, which showcases live jazz music every Saturday and Sunday. The food was tasty, the musicians were happy to accommodate our song requests, and the bottomless drinks were free-flowing. For dessert, we walked across the street to Big Gay Ice Cream, which was super delicious and the perfect treat to share with friends!

How do you "date" your friends? Are you ready to start a monthly club of your own?


Friday, September 6, 2013

Sequiney Pinspiration: Autumnal Goodness

Hey Gals!  I know it was just a week ago that we bid adieu to summer with a sequiney homage to the season, but now that we're past Labor Day, onto Fall and all of it's autumnal goodness!  The Gals are huge fans of all things autumn, especially love lots of layered style, dark and moody nails, and of course all things pumpkin!  So today we kick-off the weekend with some of our favorite sequiney fall faves.  And if you're like us and can't get enough of this crisp and spicy season, head on over to Pinterest and follow us for daily autumn inspiration!

clockwise from top:

wicked mani // stylish pumpkins // mini caramel apples // bundled up // dark and glitzy // statement necklace // pumpkin cheesecakes // knee high style // pumpkin martini // hot cider 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Craft It: Pom Pom Stirrers

We always strive for low-stress entertaining, but there are certainly times when our detailed task lists seem overwhelming. During a brief moment of panic when I was surrounded by a mountain of melting chocolate and craft supplies for M's Glitzy Blue Baby Shower, I took a deep breath and did something that may seem counterintuitive - I added a new craft to my list as a de-stressing technique! These pom pom drink stirrers are SO easy that I was able to set up, complete them, and fully clean up in less than an hour - seeing a final product so soon after I started the project boosted my confidence and made me feel calmer about tackling my other crafts.

The only supplies you'll need to create these pom pom drink stirrers are a glue gun/glue sticks, striped paper straws, and pom poms (I cannot locate my exact product online, but it was an assortment of sizes/shades of blue from Michael's).

Step 1: Apply a small dot of glue to the pom pom of your choice (or if you're feeling fancy, glue two small poms together first to create a stacked look).

Step 2: Press the pom pom to the top of the straw.

Step 3: Lay the straw down to dry.

You're finished! These pom pom stirrers will add a whimsical touch to the drinks at your next party - they were especially handy at M's baby shower for the guests who wanted to stir a little liquor into their mocktails!

On display at the bar (right next to the sign for our signature drink, Baby Leva's Brew); M stirring up her mocktail; a closer look at the pom poms
How do you cope with crafting stress? What kind of pom pom/straw combination will you be trying out at your next party?


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Party Planner: Fun and Sassy Baby Shower Games

(Looking for games for a baby girl shower? Check out Part 2 of this post series!)

When planning shower games, it's very important to keep the guest of honor's preferences in mind. I knew that M wouldn't want to be put on the spot during her Glitzy Blue Baby Shower (or have anyone trying to guess the circumference of her belly!), so I devised three games that reflected her personality and involved all of the guests. She even got to compete in two of them (and took home the top prize in our second game!).

I designed three game sheets, using the same fonts that were previously used on the napkins, food tents, and guest book, to unify the games with the overall shower theme. All of the templates are available for download at the end of the post!

The official game sheets of M's baby shower
The three games we played (in order) were Name That Baby Tune, Celebrity Baby Name Game, and Mommy or Daddy?.

First up was Name That Baby Tune, which was a great starter because it was loud, fun, and served as an immediate icebreaker that set the mood of the party.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day from TSN!

We are so grateful to all workers across the country and hope that our TSN readers are enjoying a fun holiday! We're sad to see summer go, but are excited for a very festive fall. Have a fantastic Labor Day, and check back with us on our new home later this week for some fab new posts!

The Gals
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