Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friday Fun

Today starts a new little edition here on the blog I'm calling Friday Fun. It will be a collection of fun tidbits from the week, things I'm loving, and more. To kick this off I'm also bringing you a giveaway courtesy of Good Word Candles!

Good Smells! 
I love opportunities to work with new companies especially small businesses! I'm thrilled to team up with an amazing company called Good Word Candles. This company creates lovely scented candles that are not only beautiful but also have inspiring messages. Good Word was kind enough to let me choose a candle for myself and of course I had to get the Fall Harvest scent. It smells so good! It is a nice spice blended scent that isn't too sweet smelling. I'm not a huge fan of scents that smell too much like food or like I'm sniffing a big pie. 

Here are some of my other favorites I'm thinking about gifting to some family/friends this Christmas! You can choose from a variety of religious or motivation messages and scents such as Clean Cotton, Fall Harvest, Cool Citrus Basil, Plumeria, and many more. 
Head over and check out even more from Good Word Candles and don't forget the giveaway to get one for free at the bottom of the post!

Speaking of Christmas gifts...it's never to early to get started on your shopping. I'm generally not an early shopper because I like the whole Christmastime shopping experience. But I'm super excited for these great gifts that my dear cousin Lauren is making! She can make pretty much any design your heart desires! Shoot her an email at lauren.troiani@yahoo.com and discuss with her!


I've been in such a TV mood lately. The cooler weather is perfect for snuggling up on the couch and not moving all night! I've been binging on The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and I can't stop! I'm admittedly a bad baker because of my lack of patience and precision but this makes me want to learn. I've also been keeping up with the current season of The Affair and dare I say I like it as much as Season 1.  What are you all watching?

I posted previously about my past Halloween costumes and some ideas for this year but I've seen so many other good ones since! I love these makeup tutorials especially this Cleopatra inspired look!
How cute is this scarecrow inspired makeup and hair from Making Mrs. M? And EASY. 

I realize I'm way behind on this train but a few weeks ago I bought a few Lush products and I'm officially obsessed! The bath bombs are so fun and relaxing and I look forward to washing my face with the Let The Good Times Roll cleanser each night. This wash is made out of polenta (weird, right) but smells and feels amazing!  Lush Lovers what are some of your favorites I should try?

I hope everyone has a fun Halloween weekend! Now for the giveaway!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trick or Treat Popcorn Balls

Trick or treating has always seemed like a strange concept to me. I mean you get dressed up as a scary or otherwise goofy character and then go knock on doors and expect candy? Weird. But, of course I participated as a kid. Probably awkwardly approaching a door, shyly saying thank you, and darting away. However, there were always the "special" houses to look forward to every year. You know the houses that went above and beyond the normal fun size Snickers bar. I vividly remember going to family friend's house that would serve up homemade fried apple pies, popcorn balls, chili and loads of other treats. This was the hot spot house that was always filled to the brim with parents and kids alike every year.  I definitely don't aspire to the greatness of this house but I do think putting a bit of effort goes a long way. Especially, if you're like me and you don't get an absurd amount of trick or treaters. Unlike, my dad who literally gets thousands each year because he lives in a busy neighborhood.

These popcorn balls are so easy that it will look like you slaved like Martha Stewart. 


The great thing about these are you can make them plain, with kettle corn, or add in whatever candies you like. I will say I tried it with the Reese's and the chocolate melted too fast and made a big mess.

Popcorn Balls
Microwave popcorn cooked according to directions
1 bag of marshmallows
1/2 stick of butter
optional: Candy of your choice


Pop your popcorn according to the directions. While the popcorn is cooling start to melt your stick of butter over low heat. Once melted add in the marshmallows and stir until nice and smooth and sticky. The smell is heavenly. Forget pumpkin spice and flannel scented candles. I'll buy stock in butter and marshmallow candles! Listen up, Bath and Body Works. 

Once melted down fold in your popcorn. Fold in quickly to ensure all the popcorn gets coated. 


If you wish--now is the time to fold in the candies. Remove off heat to do this. 

Spray your hands with some cooking spray and start to form the balls.

Let the popcorn balls cool and set for at least 10 minutes. You can wrap them individually in plastic wrap but I bought these cute ghost bags! 


Our trick or treat isn't until tomorrow night so I'm going to have to put them on lock down so I don't eat them all! Do you have your costume ready? Here are some last minute ideas

Do you make a special treat for your trick or treaters?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

For The Love of Blogging....

I've done a lot of things in the sake of this blogging hobby of mine.

I've learned more about html code, SEO, and Pinterest analytics than any human should know (and still feel like I know nothing). 

I've stayed up way past my bed time to edit photos, finish a post, or respond to comments.

I've experimented with LOTS of recipes...some fails but mostly good such as this one!

I've stepped WAY out of my comfort zone to share my life with strangers.

My poor dogs have been subjected to countless pictures.

My thumbs have gone numb from hours of scrolling Instagram

I've done A LOT  of things for the sake of blogging but never in my life did I think it would cause me to dress up as a princess. Yes. This past weekend my 27 year old self was forced to dress up like Cinderella, prance around giving out candy, and pose with enamored children. 

Adult Disney Princess Costume

Despite the ridiculousness---it was for a good cause! The girls from the East Kentucky Blog Society paired with a local event company, Enchanted Entertainment, to provide a safe trick or treat for kids! 

The young and old alike wanted photos with the princesses. 

Adult Disney Princess Costume

What's the most ridiculous thing you've done for the sake of blogging?


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Early Fall Office Essentials

I've complained talked several times on here about how hard it is to dress for this early Fall weather. I looked at the weather app on my phone this morning and in Kentucky the low is 39 with a high of 75...hmmm how in the heck do you dress for that?? It's all about layering and versatile pieces! I've put together a few work looks that are perfect for this time of year.

Blanket scarves are all the rage and for good reason! Not only are they a cute accessory but they also actually provide you some warmth on chilly mornings. If it heats up in the day just peel it off. I love this tutorial for 20 ways to tie a blanket scarf! Riding boots are also great to wear with bare legs and dresses!





Untitled #8


Chambray Shirt Dress / Plaid Blanket Scarf / Tall Riding Boots (similar)

I'm obsessed with these pants. Did anyone else get a big shock when they put on their dress pants after a summer of flowy dresses? Yea, that's the worst feeling and happened to me a few weeks ago. I cannot stand to have anything tight or restrictive around my belly. These stretchy tuxedo pants are the perfect compromise between a legging and trouser. I love that neck tie blouses are back in style--so classic! Wearing a light weight silk will keep you cool in the afternoons when it heats up. 


Untitled #9

Faux Leather Trousers / Silk Tie Blouse / Kitten Heels /

In full disclosure I don't have a cape nor have I ever worn one but I'm lusting after one this fall! This is my favorite look! A cape is the perfect casual alternative to a blazer and looks more professional and put together than a big scarf. Do you all like this look?


Untitled #10


How are you dressing for work in this yoyo season?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Costume Inspiration

Growing up Halloween was not really a big deal. Sure, we always dressed up and went trick or treating but I never recall stressing over a costume or being overly excited. That all changed during college. Whoever said Halloween is just for the kids is dead wrong. It is SO much more fun as an adult! Every year around the beginning of September I start thinking about costumes. The perfect costume to me is the right amount of cute, funny, timely---and it must be creative. I'm not a big fan of the costume in a bag that you find at big stores. Most of the fun for me comes from crafting it on my own.

I've had some doozies over the years....

Loofa
Toddlers in Tiaras

Cruella


Oh and yea...the time my mom thought it would be cute to dress an 8 year old as a creepy mime. 

Here are some cute ideas I've seen floating around for this year!

(via)

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What are you dressing up as this year?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Swag Swap

In the days of email, texting, and tweeting receiving a good ol' fashioned package in the mail is quite the lovely surprise. Especially when it's full of fall goodies. So, when I saw that the lovely ladies from Bourbon & Lipstick, Classy Sassy, Hey Kerri, All the Joys, How to Make a Life, and Set Free were hosting a Fall Swag Swap I knew I had to sign up!


My favorite aspect of blogging so far has no question been the connections I've made. It truly is such an open and embracing community full of intelligent and strong women. I consider some girls I've never met friends because I chat with them weekly. I've been fortunate to meet with Lindsay for coffee. Laugh and have a great time with all the girls from Eastern Kentucky Blogging Society and text, tweet, and email COUNTLESS other bloggers and readers. This swap allowed me to add one more connection to my list of gal pals---Morgan from Yellow Door Diaries.  We exchanged several emails getting to know one another and learned that we have lots in common such as our obsession with Criminal Minds, puppies, and cooking. Get this--she's even an event coordinator for law firms! 

Morgan couldn't have been more gracious and spot on with the swag swap items she sent me. 

I've already busted out the cute notebook and have been using it as a food journal to track my eating habits. Such a pain. How cute is the pendant drop necklace?? I'm always excited for new polish colors and you better believe that Starbucks card will be GONE very soon.

Morgan, thank you again, and I hope you enjoyed your swap goodies!

The blogging community isn't just about bloggers---readers too! I love hearing from non-blogger readers and always so flattered when I hear someone keeps up with my posts. I respond to all comments via email. If you haven't been receiving a reply from me it's because you're a No-Reply blogger. I'd love to chat with you so please follow this awesome tutorial to change your status in a few short minutes! Please don't be shy to comment I want to interact with each of you and hear your thoughts and ideas! 

What are your favorite goodies for Fall?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Guilt(less) Sun Dried Tomato Spinach Dip

I'm a dip person. I actually didn't realize anti-dip people existed but apparently they're out there. But I'm assuming if you're reading this post you're a dip person---welcome, my people. I have been trying to watch what I'm eating lately and in an effort to lighten up one of my favorites I've come up with my favorite dip ever. Seriously it's so good. So good that it's going to be my new go to dish to bring to a party or dinner. If you're going to be at the same party as me within the next year prepare yourself because you may get tired of this dip, but I doubt it.

I have a long history with spinach dip. When I was in high school there was only one "nice" restaurant that everyone went to on their big dates---you guessed it--- Applebees. You can now imagine my hometown (I promise it's so much better now!). When I had the occasion to be taken to such a swanky place I always got what any teenage girl would get if they're trying to impress a boy---the appetizer sampler. I would stuff my face with the buffalo wings, quesadillas, and of course my favorite the spinach dip. Still so good. It was a few years after that I actually looked up the nutritional information of the spinach dip and just about died. Do you know how many calories are in that little skillet?? Actually, if you don't know I'm not going to ruin it for you. Because once you see it the entire experience is tainted. But it's ALOT. 

Luckily, this dip is so good you can indulge without feeling nearly as guilty! 

Guilt(less) Spinach Dip with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Greek Yogurt

The key players in this dip are the greek yogurt and sun dried tomato pesto. The pesto is so flavorful on its own that you won't miss all the cheese, cream, and mayo in traditional spinach dip.

Spinach Dip with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
1 container frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained of liquid)
1- 5 oz container Greek Yogurt ( I used Chobani)
1/3 cup of light mayo
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
pinch of pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Guilt(less) Spinach Dip with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Greek Yogurt

This dip is so simple---just mix everything together. 


I know it may not look very appetizing but I promise it's delicious! I like it served cold or room temperature but you could probably heat it up too. 

Guilt(less) Spinach Dip with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Greek Yogurt

Happy dipping!

Guilt(less) Spinach Dip with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Greek Yogurt


Monday, October 12, 2015

Life Lately via Instagram

I've never done a Day in the Life post. Mostly because that would consist of photos of me sitting at a desk all the live long day and nobody wants to see that. But everyone knows that anything exciting in one's life gets posted on Instagram.

Here are some highlights from the last few weeks via my Instagram feed! 

I've been cooking and thus eating....ALOT

I mentioned before my love for Shauna Niequist's Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. It's honestly one of my favorite books. It's the type of book that you can pick up during your lunch break, read a chapter before bed, or thumb through on the couch. Oh and yea it makes you want to do some serious cooking---hence this risotto.

I've been on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip recipe for quite some time. Thanks to Joy the Baker I think I've found it. Brown butter y'all...just trust me.

 Today in my office we're celebrating Boss's Day with a big potluck lunch. I ambitiously signed up for a dessert and thought I'd be oh so clever and make Pumpkin Spice Latte cupcakes. My procrastination got the best of me and I was up until way too late throwing these babies together. All I'm saying is everyone sure as hell better love these because I slaved. But the one I tried last night was very tasty so I guess it's worth it.

I've been loving some Fall Fashion... 

So many scarves!
Remember to link up all your work looks on IG under #MyOfficeChic :)

These booties are my favorite.

Oh and these...I'm horrible at picking favorites.
Getting crafty...
I'm pretty proud of this Fall decor table piece I threw together over the weekend. I already had the basket and the other hodge podge of trinkets so I just added in the baby white pumpkins I found at the Farmer's Market this weekend.
Happy Monday! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Boss's Day Gift Ideas

Did you know October 16th is Boss's Day?  You're officially on notice so you can't make an excuse this year! Yes, I know it seems like there are a million little holidays now days. But hey, I'm not going to complain about a National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day or Donut Day anytime soon. What better way to show your boss how much you appreciate them or get in some extra brownie points than to surprise them with a gift.

We have a neat tradition in our office that I really love. Each year for Boss's Day all the staff cooks and brings in a huge potluck meal for everyone to enjoy at lunch. I signed up for a dessert and going to attempt to recreate these PSL cupcakes. It's seriously one of my favorite days even though everyone is in a coma afterword! I am in the unique position right now where I have a boss and I am a "boss" (huge air quotes). It's so nice to feel appreciated and to show appreciation to others. 

I've put together some ideas to help you out so you can be prepared for next week!

Other Ideas
You honestly can't go wrong with food for any occasion--especially in an office. Bring in donuts, make this delicious pumpkin bread, or take your head honcho out to lunch!

Is your boss a coffee drinker? A coffee shop gift card, box of k-cups, or their favorite beans will hit the spot!

Don't underestimate the power of a simple thank you note.

How are you celebrating your boss this year?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Step Into Fall

Shoes can always make a girl feel good. You never have to worry about the mac and cheese you had the night before, whether you will be able to breathe when you sit down, or worry whether you're wearing the same top from Monday. Shoes always look good regardless of how you're feeling about your body.

During the colder months I get very excited about shoes--especially boots! I don't like to invest a lot of money into clothes because I know there's a good chance I will be tired of them by next season. But I don't shudder too much when I invest in shoes because they get used so much more often. Think about it---it makes much more sense to invest in a great pair of boots that you will wear countless times this season and beyond.  

In my opinion you need 3 shoe staples for Fall---a flat, a boot, and a statement pump. You can mix and match these for multiple aspects of your life including work and play. I've put together some of my favorites!

Flats Under $100


Statement Pumps Under $100

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guide to Kentucky Fall Activities

Every Fall I get a rush of energy to do ALL THINGS FALL. Apple picking, pumpkin patches, football games, haunted houses, and anything else that screams the season. However, it can be tough to sort through all the array of activities going on to make the best decisions for your schedule and taste. I've put together this list to give you a comprehensive guide to the Fall events going on in Kentucky so you can soak up and get the most of this glorious season! (Special thanks to my friend Jacquie for planting this idea in my head) 

Guide to Fall Events in Kentucky

FALL FESTIVALS

South Elkhorn Christian Church Fall Festival       Oct. 10th      Lexington     More info!

Kentucky Guild of Artists Fall Fair                       Oct. 10-11     Berea            More info!

Big Bone Lick Salt Festival                                   Oct. 16-17     Union, KY    More info!

Mt. Sterling Court Days                                        Oct. 16-19      Mt. Sterling   More info!

Party for the Pumpkins                                          Oct. 17th        Lexington      More info! 

Trigg County Country Ham Festival                     Oct. 9-10        Cadiz             More info!

Jenny Wiley Festival                                              Oct. 7-19        Prestonsburg More info!

Belknap Fall Festival                                              Oct. 9-10        Louisville     More info!

Barktoberfest                                                           Oct. 10           Louisville    More info!

Mt. Washington Fall Festival                                  Oct. 16-17     Mt. Washington   More info!

Bardstown Craft Beer Festival                                Oct. 17           Bardstown    More info!

Maiden Alley Oktoberfest                                       Oct. 17           Paducah        More info!

Reid's Orchard Apple Festival                                 Oct. 17-18     Owensboro    More info!

Shephardsville Fall Reptile Expo                             Oct. 10          Shephardsville More info!


PUMPKIN PATCHES
Evan's Orchard and Cider Mill                    Georgetown              Info!

Devine's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch        Harrodsburg            Info!.

Boyd's Orchard                                             Versailles                Info!

White Oak Pumpkin Patch                            West Liberty          Info!

Reed Valley Orchard                                      Paris                    Info!

Kelley Family Farm                                       Lexington             Info!

Bramble Ridge Orchard                                 Mt. Sterling         Info!



SCARY
Wicked World Scaregrounds                          Lexington                          Info!

Fright Nights Kentucky                                  Lexington                          Info!

Nightmare Forest                                            Fort Knox                          Info!

The Devil's Attic                                             Louisville                          Info! 

Fallsburg Haunted House                               Fallsburg                            Info! 

Haunted Ziplining                                          Pikeville                             Info! 

Haunted McCoy Manor                                 McCarr, KY                        Info! 

UPIKE Biology Haunted Lab                        Pikeville                              606-218-5250

USS Nightmare                                             Newport                               Info!

Waverly Hills Sanatorium                              Louisville                            Info!

Skeleton's Lair Scream Park                           Bowling Green                    Info!

The Haunted Back 9 Hay Ride                       Flatwoods, KY                    Info!

Baxter Avenue Morgue                                  Louisville                            Info! 


What's your favorite Fall activity?

Share with all your Kentucky friends!

                             

Friday, October 2, 2015

5 on Friday

It's been a hot minute since I linked up for a 5 on Friday so I'm excited to share some recent happenings with you!

One. All Hail Fall
Everyone is going nuts over Fall like it's the first season of our lives but I am admittedly guilty myself. There is just something about the crisp air, crunchy leaves, and coziness that makes Fall so amazing. This past weekend I picked up some Fall goodies to help me get in the mood. Trader Joe's is on point for all things pumpkin you guys! You better believe I've been slapping that pumpkin cookie butter on anything and everything.

I'm so ready to cook up lots of yummy Fall treats! Here are 10 recipes to put you in the Fall spirit.

Two. Rocksbox
I'm the first to admit that I have been less than underwhelmed with subscription boxes in the past. Remember this post? I must say, though, I've been perpetually pleased with Rocksbox. I love getting 3 new high end pieces each month and then just sending them back for more! Here's my latest box.


You can try a box for free with code BRITTANYBFF300.

Three. Other Projects 
Have you heard the phrase you make time for things that matter to you? That's kind of how I feel about some projects I've been working on. I've been contributing to Girl-ish and and Willow House Magazine. These are both great sites that produce quality content so I'm happy to join in! But I won't say it's not been difficult to fit it all in. But it's been great thus far. I'm patting my back for this article on Hostess Gifts.  Check both these sites out for some new reading material and community!


Four. My Rescues
The past two weeks have been so rewarding for me. I've been fostering the two sweetest dogs that have had the hardest life. These two babies were found abandoned in a dumpster in horrible shape.

When I saw it posted from a local girl I know on Facebook I knew I had to help. Luckily, I was able to foster them until they go on their next journey to a great rescue group called SOUL Dog Rescue in Indiana. There will be LOTS of bittersweet tears tomorrow as I say goodbye to them but I'm so happy they will be getting a second chance at a great life. If you know anyone looking for a dog please share the word! I desperately want these angels to find an amazing home. I've had such a great experience loving on them and getting them out of their shells.

Five. Freaking Weekend
All the rainy and chilly weather this week has me so ready for the weekend. I'm hoping to win big at some horse racing this weekend!


What are your weekend plans?

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