Friday, January 29, 2016

Five on Friday: {January 29, 2016}

Hey Gals! I'm extra excited to welcome the weekend thanks to a miserable stomach bug that knocked me out earlier in the week. Luckily I'm feeling much, much better now and more than ready to kick-off the weekend! As always, I'm starting it off with my five favorites of the week!
Snow Day Fun

I know the Snowpocalypse is totally old news by now, but this past weekend before the plague hit me, we had a blast playing out in the snow with Little M. Luckily he didn't want to stay out there too, too long since it was coming down really hard, but it was so much fun seeing him run around and have a ball in the snow!

Teen Mom Wedding

So (not so) secret shame time.. I'm a huuuuge Teen Mom fan. I've been with them all since day 1 so when Tyler and Catelynn got married in this week's episode, I was basically a crying mess the entire time! Yes, it's trashy reality tv at it's finest, but I love it and I don't care! Any other Teen Mom fans out there?!

Birthday Dinner

This weekend I'm super excited to kick-off my birthday celebrations a little early with a birthday dinner on Saturday night.  And what's even more exciting is that B is making the trek to Jersey so I can't wait to be reunited with my best gal and get 34 kicked off with a great start!


Has anyone tried out Skillshare? An ad recently popped up in one of my newsfeeds for Skillshare and it peaked my interest. As someone who loves her crafting, I'm always looking to pickup new skills, so the idea of online classes in all sorts of subjects and fields sounds really fun to me! Has anyone tried this out or have any feedback? I'd love to hear some firsthand reviews before diving in.

Caseapp Giveaway!

And last buy not least, have you entered our Caseapp Giveaway yet?! We're giving away a $40 credit so you can make your own custom laptop skin or phone case so be sure to enter below!

Happy Weekend Gals!

Cheers to April, AmandaJennieKarliRebecca, Katie, Heather, Andrea, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

CaseApp Review + Giveaway!

Between blogging and the demands of daily life, we spend tons of time glued to our laptops and phones, so it only makes sense that we would want them to be pretty, chic, and reflective of our personalities! Enter CaseApp, which allows you to create custom laptop skins and iPhone cases that are just as unique as you. When they invited us to try out their products, we jumped at the chance and decided to make one of each!

B's Custom Laptop Skin

When I upgraded to a shiny new laptop a few months ago, I wanted to protect my investment and take care very good care of it to make sure that it lasts for a long time. I never had a case on my old laptop and it definitely got a bit scratched up, so I was already looking at laptop skins when I discovered CaseApp.  Even though they have plenty of very pretty designs already preloaded onto the site, I love that you can customize your product with literally any design you want by doing a simple file upload. I opted to upload a graphic print in shades of purple and pink.

The laptop skin arrives as a giant sticker, and it was super easy to unpeel it from the sheet and line it up on the cover of the computer. Even if you don't line it up perfectly the first time, it's very simple to readjust it and smooth out any air bubbles. I was thrilled with the stark lines and rich colors of my skin, especially since it looked exactly like the file I uploaded! So far, it's keeping my laptop safe from any scratches and making it more fashionable, and best of all, there's no longer any confusion in our house...T and I bought the same laptops at the same time, but now we always know which one is mine!

M's Custom iPhone Case
A couple months back I learned the hard way how important it is to always keep a case on your iPhone when one clumsy drop on the tile shattered my screen and left me phoneless. You better believe I was never making that mistake again, so when CaseApp reached out, I knew right away that I couldn’t wait to try out one of their custom phone cases. After spending way too much time checking out all of their custom options and designs, I decided to upload my own picture, and then further customize it. I went with a photo I took of some glitter paper (what, doesn’t everyone have photoshoots with glitzy card stock?!).  This is the image I uploaded, and then I opted to use one of CaseApp’s designs.

And of course I couldn’t stop there, so I also added an adorable little heart around the flash cutout. The design came out even better in person, and I love the added glitz it brings to my phone, along with a daily dose of inspiration.

My other favorite part of the case is that it has a sleek, fitted design, with a full cutout on the bottom of the case. This feature is extra important to me because I like to keep a dock on my desk at work, so not all case designs work with it, and anything too bulky would require me to take the case off when charging (which is a major deal breaker in my book!).

And now that I’ve gotten my fix of glitz, I definitely plan on designing another custom case with Little M’s picture on it - and probably another glitzy one, if we’re being honest!

This would make an awesome Valentine's Day gift (for your honey and yourself!). If you'd like to customize your own CaseApp case, take 20% off on us by using our code SEQUINNOTEBOOK20 (expires 2/4/16). Also, one lucky reader will take home a $40 CaseApp credit - enter below for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We received these products in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Ultimate Game Day Party

Back when we were teenagers, we never could have predicted that we would become football fans! After all, our attempt at "athleticism" peaked with powder puff football back in high school (along with trying to find any excuse to get out of gym class). However, once M met GG and B started dating T, we suddenly had a crash course in the wonderful world of sports. While we may never be total football fanatics like our guys, one thing that we can all agree on is that game day is the perfect excuse to throw an adorable, sporty theme party!

To help throw the ultimate game day party, our pals at EVITE have paired up with Coca-Cola® and NABISCO to put together some fabulous ideas and tips that will have even the least sporty person in the room cheering on the home team!

When hosting a game day party, we love to have a few different activities to entertain our guests. Now, you may be thinking, "Hmmm B and M, isn't the game the entertainment?" While football is still the main event, adding a couple of other options varies the pace of the party, while also encouraging the less-enthusiastic sports fans to embrace all of the fun! We love this Home Bowl Bingo board where you can mark off touchdowns, time-outs, and more as you spot them on the screen - bonus points if you offer an awesome prize for the winner to get the competitive juices flowing!

We love featuring a DIY photo booth at all of our theme parties, and this one is no exception.

A simple striped backdrop is easy to create with some kraft paper.

Just add some fun props and let your guests ham it up for the camera!

Be sure to tag your favorite pictures on Instagram with #HomeBowlHero, #LifesBetterTogether, #BeThere, and #Evite to show the other fans how you're celebrating game day!

Of course, there's no need to limit your decor to just the photo add a little extra football flair to your food table, create your own home field! All you need is some artificial turf and white duct table to make your tablecloth look like you're on the 50 yard line.

We've never met a crafty label we didn't like, plus we'll take any excuse to tie a party component into the overall theme, so we're completely obsessed with using yellow napkins as "penalty flags"on the buffet table - so cute!

And speaking of buffet tables, we all know that the key to any successful party is keeping your guests well-fed and providing some refreshing beverages. We like to serve up an assortment of small, easy bites that would be right at home at a tailgate, like these yummy Buffalo Chicken Salad toppers served over TRISCUIT Crackers.

We are also digging this miniature version of a game day classic...if you love cheeseburgers (and honestly, who doesn't?) then you need to try these Bacon-Wrapped Cheeseburger RITZwiches, which uses RITZ Crackers as the buns for a little extra crunch!

On the sweeter side, your guests will love these super simple, no-bake OREO Cookie Ball Football Helmets. Give a shout-out to your favorite players by adding their numbers to the helmets!

Throwing a game day party like this can be tiring, so make sure you keep yourself and your guests hydrated with some tasty drinks. Coca-Cola® is a classic and a surefire hit, and we love that you can find it in so many different packages to suit your party...go retro with glass bottles in a cooler, make things personal and Share a Coke by selecting bottles customized with your guests' names, or offer some cute mini cans. B's boyfriend T is a total Coca-Cola® loyalist, so this is a staple in our household and especially during a big game! 

Also, remember that white duct tape you used for the football field tablecloth? You can use the rest of it to add some football "laces" to mason jars!

For more ideas on throwing your own ultimate game day party, check out EVITE's awesome tips and connect with EVITE on social media:

Instagram: @evite

The "Home Bowl" is not associated with or authorized by the National Football League. 1890717 ME. (C) "Coca-Cola" is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company. (C) Mondelez International group.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Party Planner: Southern Brunch at Home

Brunch is my favorite meal of the week, so I'm always looking for excuses to host a brunch gathering as well as inspiration for new recipes. A few weeks ago, my Alabama-raised boyfriend and I kicked off 2016 by inviting a few friends over for a yummy Southern-style brunch, thanks to my newest cookbook, Brunch at Bobby's.

True confession time: Back when I was in college, I had a huge crush on celebrity chef Bobby Flay (I guess I had a thing for snarky redheads)...we're talking MAJOR as in I actually bid on his signed headshot on Ebay and proudly displayed it on my dorm fridge!

This man knows his way around a grill, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that his brunch recipes are just as on point. With sections ranging from Coffee, Tea, & Cocktails to Pancakes, Waffles, & French Toast, Bobby's book offers plenty of scrumptious options for your brunches (140 options, to be exact). As the host, I also appreciated his sample menus at the end of the book to help figure out which dishes would best complement each other. 

To continue the New Year's festivities at the brunch, I featured a gold and black tablescape with some countdown clocks, noisemakers, and Happy New Year confetti.

For our first brunch menu of 2016, we settled on Bobby's Peach and Arugula Salad, plus Scrambled Eggs with Biscuits, Sausage, and Cream Gravy. To wash it all down, we mixed up Bobby's Mojito Champagne Cocktails.

This cookbook features beautiful color photos of most of the dishes along with easy to follow instructions (even for a kitchen novice like me!). I'm so happy to have Bobby back in my kitchen again!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, January 25, 2016

M's Birthday Wishlist

Hey Gals! Exactly one week from today I'll be turning the big 3-4 (#dontfeelthatold) so I thought it would be fun to share some of the goodies that are on my birthday wishlist. I'm keeping it pretty low key this year, and told GG not to get me anything since I just got a new car, but a gal can dream, right? And besides, Valentines is right around the corner too ;)

1. Rose Gold Aviators
I've been on the hunt for a pair of aviators, and how gorgeous is this rose gold color? Plus, you can't beat that sale price!

2. Juara Anti-Aging Serum
I recently tried out a sample of this serum and I couldn't believe how quickly I saw results. My skin was seriously glowing, and now that I'm getting into my mid-thirties (omg..) anti-aging is more important than ever.

3. Gigi New York Casey Bag
I love me some Gigi New York, and have been thinking about this beautiful cobalt saddle bag for months now. Plus, it's on major sale, so this *may* have to be a birthday gift to myself before it sells out!

4. Champagne Charm
I'm not normally a charm bracelet kind of gal, but I can't resist this adorable (and glitzy) champs charm.

5. Pantone May BooksI recently professed my love of May Books and their latest collection featuring the Pantone colors of the year have me seriously swooning!

6. Pom Keychain
I've been lusting after a pom key chain for a couple months now and think this would look so adorable clipped onto my everyday work tote.

7. Xerox Phaser 6500/N Color Laser Printer
Ok, this one seems totally boring, I know, but as someone who loves her crafting, I've been on the hunt for a good printer that not only does a good job with printables, but will also work with the Minc Machine.

8. Minc Foil
And speaking of the Minc, I can't get enough of all of the gem toned foils they make and would love to get a couple more to add to my aresenal.

9. Glitter iPhone Case
I love changing up my phone case, so how adorable is this glitter Rosé iphone case?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five on Friday {January 22, 2016}

TGIF! Even though this was a short work week, I'm still very excited that the weekend is just around the corner! It's looking like we're going to get hit with our first big snowstorm of the year in New York, so I'm ready to get cozy under a blanket with some hot chocolate and good movies. In the meantime, here are the five things I'm loving this week! 

New iPhone case

I realize that my new phone case is probably intended for 12-year-old girls, but I just can't get enough of its sparkle! Not only is it pretty, but I actually find the drifting stars to be quite calming, haha. I became obsessed with this case when I saw my friend Sarah's at her wedding last month, and T surprised me with one of my very own earlier this week. This little treat was a big winner in our house!

Conversation hearts

I've mentioned my obsession with Brach's conversation hearts once or twice before, and I'm thrilled that my annual hunt for this elusive candy found early success! Not only did I find my beloved Brach's (as opposed to the inferior Sweethearts brand), but I managed to score some jumbo, resealable bags (Brach's is getting pretty fancy!). And of course, I had to stock up on two since they were buy one, get one 50% off. I'll just be over here in the corner, eating allllllllll the sugar (and hoping these bags will last me until the post-V Day candy clearances!). Anyone else a fan of this holiday treat?

New desk accessories

As I'm settling into my new job, I'm on the hunt for pretty office accessories to add some flair to my new space. I've snapped up the Kate Spade acrylic/gold desk set, but I'm still looking for other little touches to personalize the you have any favorite office supplies? I'm also considering purchasing a standing desk, and would love to hear any pros/cons from people who have used one!  

The Mindy Project

I'm a big Mindy fan (love her books!) and I've been told by several of my closest friends (including M) for years that I would be obsessed with this show, but somehow I never quite found the right time to try it out. I just signed up for a free Hulu trial so it was the perfect excuse to give this show a spin, and I seriously cannot get enough of it! This will definitely be part of a bingefest this weekend. Any other fans out there?

Return to yoga 

One of my goals for 2016 is to try to find ways to relax and take time for myself so that I don't get overwhelmed and stressed. I used to love yoga but haven't practiced regularly in quite some time, so I was nervous to go back to class last week. I shouldn't have worried because it felt amazing to both stretch and calm my mind! I found a great deal at a studio close to my apartment so I'm hoping to incorporate this into my regular routine (and as a bonus, T joined me at the class so it looks like I might have a built-in yoga buddy!). Of course, I'm now all about getting some new workout gear, so if any yogis have recommendations about where to shop, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

If the snow is coming your way this weekend, stay safe and warm!

Cheers to AprilAmandaJennieKarliRebecca, Katie, Heather, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!
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