Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Fashion: Those Navy Velvet Boots OOTD




Navy velvet is so on trend at the moment. I'm just going to say this. I was obsessed with it before it became all the rage. I just had to. Now that we got that out of the way lets talk about what I'm wearing here.  I discussed these boots in my most recent fashion haul video. At the time I knew I had to have them but wasn't quite sure what I'd pair them with. I've since worn them several different times and have really loved what they've done for each look. Because they are such a statement, I tried to keep the rest of this look fairly simple. I really like them with this specific dress which has a mix of purple, grey and blue squares.  I wore it over the weekend at a friends house when we were over there for a meal but it's one of those really versatile looks that can worn for many different occasions. 

Here's the details:

Charcoal Grey Dress- Tiana B from JC Penny (out of stock, similar dresses by the brand)
Faux Fur Jacket- Forever 21 (out of stock, similar)
Gold Snap Clutch- Macys (similar)
Sunglasses- Charming Charlie (same pair in black)
Wig- Irene's Wigs



What has your favorite boot find of the season been? I personally think these navy ones will be with me for a while and I can't wait to see what other looks I can put together with them. Leave me some of your recommendations in the comments form, I love hearing from you! 

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GIGI.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Preserving Memories By Printing Photos


Time & time again a friend or family member comes over and pretty soon into their visit they are marveling over my insane collection of photo albums. They often flip through them and enjoy the memories as much as me and my family do. On several occasions someone will say how much they regret not having printed photos over the years. I would have to thank my mom in this regards because I think it his her emphasis and care for memories and old photographs that really pushes me to do the same. When we were all little she had a memory box for each of us, I still have it in my basement and it sits beside the two memory boxes I created for each of my little boys. Inside are hospital bands, first shoes and birthday cards from our childhood. I cherish mine and hope my boys will as well one day. The process of organizing which images you'd like to print, uploading them to a platform from which to print from and then actually setting size and quality and adding them to a cart to actually print them is quite a tedious process. Organizing each photo and then inserting them into albums is time consuming as well. The final result is wonderful and so worth it though. I love watching my 7 year old as he turns each page with wide eyes, impressed with all of the places he's been and all of the great times we've had together as a family. Even our little guy who's not 2 yet really seems to love looking through them when we pull them out. 
 

Here are some of my tips for preserving memories and printing your photos:

A) If you think it's too late to start, it isn't. Start today. Take all of those images that are sitting in the camera roll on your phone and in the vacation pictures file in your computer and upload them to a photo printing platform. In a year from now and 2 more you will be amazed at how happy you are to look back on all of the great memories you've preserved. This also means you will be able to delete the images and declutter your camera roll and computer (although saving them on a drive for a while is not a bad idea to print doubles or if one ever gets lost. I keep to a kind of rule where I order every time I have about 500 photos to print or at least every 6 months so as not to forget what order they belong in once putting them into my albums. 

B) Do some research and figure out which printing platform is best for you. I used to be all about Snapfish because they had a great tell a friend for free prints program. I would send links out to family and friends and get free prints for the recommendation. Lately their quality is not as good as it used to be so I am actually searching for something new. Shutterfly seems decent in price in comparison and I've created calendars and photo books through them but haven't printed any pictures with them yet. High resolution photos are worth every scent!

C) Purchase large photo albums that fit up to 400 photos in at a time. I like these because not only is there more images on a page but it means preserving some space on my shelves and inserting my pictures all in one sitting. 

D) Print doubles for friends and family in your images, they will appreciate it so much and possibly get inspired to start a photo album of their own. 

E) Don't put off inserting your images into your albums. In fact, order a few empty albums in advance so you always have one on hand when there are pictures to put in. Spend an afternoon and watch a movie on the couch while you organize your photos. Then put them into your books very soon after so that they don't end up sitting in their envelopes and collecting dust on a shelf where no-one will actually want to look through them. 

Those are my photo printing tips. I have many more where those came from too so leave me your questions or tips of your own in the comments form!

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GIGI.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Serendipity Kosher Creamery & Yogurt Cafe of Surfside Florida


Have you ever had cereal and milk flavored ice cream? Neither have I! If you were looking for it I actually know of a place that serves some. Serendipity Kosher Creamery &Yogurt Cafe in Surfside Florida is well known for their exotic flavored ice creams but they aren't just your run of the mill ice cream shop! We went in there on a particularly humid day and were pleased to find all sorts of delicious treats from ice cream to frozen yogurt, a fridge full of cold drinks, milk shakes and iced coffee too. Pints of their famous flavors are available in the refrigerator for purchase as well if you aren't satisfied with just a couple of scoops. It's a small shop but there was lots of room to sit with a counter and stools set up along a wall as well as tables and chairs inside and out front. My sister got a really tasty razzle style milkshake and I ordered some cheesecake ice cream like no other. My young ones enjoyed cotton candy flavored ice cream scoops and really appreciated the indoor quarters truck ride while they waited for the order to be prepared. The pricing was pretty typical and I have to say we really enjoyed our experience. I absolutely love the wall lined with jars of candy and all of the colorful decor, that is exactly what an ice cream store should look like! I definitely will recommend heading into Serendipity the next time you are Florida, it's really worth the drive from wherever you are staying. You will leave happy, refreshed and impressed as we did. 



Serendipity is located at 9457 Harding Avenue Surfside, FL 33154. Call them with any questions at 305-865-1506. 




Thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to leave me a comment letting me know of your favorite foods & desert places, I love getting your recommendations!

XX. 
Gigi. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mac Cosmetics Pigments - Vanilla, Rose, Blue Brown, Tan & Copper Sparkle



I believe Mac were the first in the cosmetic industry to offer a makeup pigment type product. Since then many companies have followed suit and created their own versions. Pressed pigments and cream shadows came next. Mac will still be the first to have formulated the plan in my mind. I see myself in the future telling my kids about these pigments and getting funny looks from them. I mean we have liquid shadows now to replace pigments and the like so what will be next and what will be revolutionized when my kids are my age? It's an interesting thought. 

I'm featuring only 5 colors today but I have others in my collection, some are little sample pots and there are others that just don't impress as much. Here's how these work: I always start application with a cream base, preferably dark in color so that these pigments stick down well, don't move around and reach their highest potential in color. Next, I spray a flat shader eye brush with some of Mac's Fix+ spray and dip into the product with my brush. I like to then run it over the back of my hand a little bit to mix the powder product with the liquid product (I didn't even like chemistry in high school). The little tiny powder particles mixing with the fix+ charged water come together to form a slightly thick liquid product which is so easy to apply and gorgeously glittery and metallic once spread onto the lid. 


There are as many downsides to this product as there are good ones. 

The good- you get an enormous amount of product in each vial, I use them a boat load and I have yet to run out of a single pigment or even make a dent in one in all my makeup years. When applied on top of a good base ( I usually turn to Mac's Blacktrack Fluid Line Gel Liner) they stick around for a full 8-12 hours and they are high color, high metallic, high shine products. These are available in 42 shades, yes that's right! From bold bright yellows to navy, purple, green and gold you've got every color you'd ever want. They cost $22.00 a pop but I justify that for the amount of product you get which basically lasts you a lifetime. Also, with my makeup artists discount I can get these for a very affordable, almost drugstore cost. 

The downsides- you need a product like fix+ in combination with one like this because they need to be wet to bind which makes it a bit high maintenance. Also, there's no sifter so when you twist off the black cap you find a little plastic cover which you remove for each application to immeditately find the actual teeny tiny powder product. This is potentially very dangerous if you accidentally elbow one over onto the beautiful white carpet in your beauty room. Either way, they tend to be extremely messy to work with. Another not so great detail is that the matte choices for me are just terrible, chalky, hard to blend on the outer edges etc. so you'll want to stick to the glittery, shimmery ones with these. They need some time and precision to be applied just right or they fall everywhere, they are also impossible to wipe away without leaving streaks of color behind, way to ruin a perfect face of makeup! To avoid that, I always apply my eye makeup first when working with these and then apply my face makeup last after cleaning up any fallout. 


Of all the ones I own/have owned over the years, there are 5 I like best- Copper Sparkle, Vanilla, Blue Brown, Rose and Tan are the ones I use most. I've done many tutorials using these so I'll link a couple of those here and here for reference. 
I'm just waiting for a brand to come out with as many shades as there are here in a great liquid format at this point. Although I don't think I truly will ever be able to replace any of these, I do prefer something with an easier application.


L to R: Copper Sparkle, Rose, Vanilla, Tan & Blue Brown.

Have you given any of these Mac pigments a try? If you have, what do you think of them? If you haven't, do you plan to? 

Mac's pigments are available at any of their stores or online here

Leave your comments in the form below, I love hearing from you!

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XX.
GIGI.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blueberry Mocha Breakfast Pancakes Recipe (Video)



This is the way I'd like to wake up every morning! But who am I kidding? I barely have time to put on 5 minutes of makeup, change the babys diaper and grab a cup of coffee on the way out to carpool in the mornings! On Sunday mornings I have more time to throw together special breakfasts like this one. 

These aren't your light and fluffy pancakes, I like mine dense and cake like with just the right amount of chew. The flavor combination is so lovely if you like a bit of fruity chocolate. Watch the full recipe unfold in my video of the week here or read until the end of the post where it will be inserted as always. And now for exact measurements to get this recipe:


Blueberry Mocha Breakfast Pancakes Recipe 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
1 1/4 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Halved Blueberries + A few extra for garnish
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Agave Nectar (Honey or Maple Syrup are good substitutes)

Method:

1. Combine milk with the egg and whisk well to combine. 

2. Add in flour and mix. Then add sugar, salt and baking powder and mix again. Add cocoa powder and mix that in as well.  

3. Add blueberries and lemon zest to the chocolatey pancake batter and mix one more time. 

4. Melt a bit of butter down in a small saute' pan over medium heat. 

5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter at a time into center of saute' pan. 

6. Brown each pancake for 1 1/2 minutes then flip. Cook 1 more minute on second side and then remove to a plate. 

7. Keep stacking the pancakes as you remove them from the pan. Once done, sprinkle some halved blueberries over the top. 

8. Serve warm with a bit of agave syrup over the top. 



I really hope you will give my Blueberry Mocha Breakfast Pancakes recipe a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! Criticisms and advice are welcome too! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

Thanks so much for stopping in!

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You can also follow me with:
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XX.
GIGI.
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