Best of 2013 in Review...Welcome New Year 2014

2013 is coming to an end and what a year it has been! It's had it's ups and downs as it ran it's course but all in all I think it was a really nice one. Lots of positive changes have happened this year both in my blogging and my personal life. The start of my Youtube channel is one of the biggest things to have happened to me in regards to blogging. It may not seem like a huge deal, but being as shy as I am means it takes some real courage to get in front of a camera and record weekly. Sharing my personal style through my outfit posts for the first time was another big deal for me and I'm so glad I did, it's been fun! Getting my recipes published in a magazine for the first time was another really exciting milestone! The best part about being a blogger is definitely the amount of new friends I've made over the year! It is so nice to hear feedback on my posts and connect with many of you through facebook, instagram, twitter etc. Reading your comments always puts a big smile on my face! What would a blog be without it's readers, so thank you to each and every one of you that take the time to read what I have to say!

And now it's time for my annual round up of posts some of which are my personal favorites and others that have just been really popular this year. Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! This is truly a great way to close off a lovely year. Let me know which post was your favorite in the comments section, I love hearing from you!

Food:



Beauty:



Fashion:




Thank you so much for stopping in!
Have a very happy new year of 2014, may all your wishes come true in the coming year, stay happy and healthy!

I look forward to another amazing year of blogging and sharing the things I love most with you all!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi. 

Step by Step Navy & Silver Eye Makeup Tutorial


I added a whole lot of products to my makeup collection recently both from the drugstore and higher end categories. As soon as I bring home new items I dig in excitedly and try everything out, in fact it's not often that I can actually walk in the door without swatching items on the back of my hand. Some of the items are from the Mary Kay line which I purchased during a small charity makeup party I hosted in my home a couple of weeks ago. I love makeup and it was for a good cause so why not, right? I'm not in love with everything I chose but I am pleasantly surprised by some! I plan to do full reviews on each of those items so I'll definitely give you all the details another time but for now I incorporated some of those new items into an eye makeup tutorial. When I purchased some of the Wet N Wild 8 pan palettes a while back I promised a eye makeup tutorial using this blues one and finally I've done just that. It's meant to be a pretty glamorous party look so I did some winged liner and false lashes! If you want to see how I got this navy and silver eye makeup look then go watch this weeks youtube video here or read till the end of the post where I will insert it as usual.


A few simple items are needed so feel free to use whatever you have in your collection if you'd like to recreate this look. If you do so, please send me some photos through instagram, facebook, twitter or any of my other social media platforms, I would absolutely love to see!  

 Here is how I got the look: 


Products & Brushes Used:



1. Apply the silver cream shadow all over the lid from lash line to crease using a flat shader brush or your fingers if you'd like. 

2. Using a blending brush and add a medium brown shade to the crease of the eye and blend back and forth in windshield wiper motions.

3. Add a dark grey-blue shade to the very outer corner of the eye and blend. Then add a brighter shimmery or sparkly blue shade to the center of the lid. 

4. Add some of the medium brown shade to the lower lashline with a small angled eye brush. Add some of the brighter blue shade to the center of the lower lashline. 

5. Line the lower lashline with a black pencil liner.

6. Line the upper lash line with some black liquid liner winging out the corner. 

7. Highlight the inner corner and brow bone with a light ivory shade. 

8. Put on some false lashes using a dark lash glue. 

9. Apply mascara to the upper and lower lashes.  

  

Would you wear a look like this one to a party you attend? Let me know what you think of it in the comments form, I love hearing from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi. 

December 2013's Kitchen of The Month


Last months kitchen of the month post didn't happen, but to close off the month of December I do actually have one to share! I really do love featuring kitchens each month since decor has become something I'm most passionate about now that I have a house of my own to decorate. I also look forward to showing you what my own kitchen looks like in the near future so look out for that. 

Lets talk about this months kitchen, it's not state of the art and it doesn't have any extremely exciting appliances, but there is one thing that makes it stand out from all others and that is the two shades of cabinets. I love how there are white cabinets up top and a light grey shade on the bottom, it gives this kitchen a really unique look! It's definitely a really simplistic kitchen so it may not be everyones taste but to me it's really lovely. I'm not crazy over the striped grey and white carpet. I don't like carpet in a kitchen at all in fact, that's just me. I really like the white tile backsplash and the mesh shelves to the side that seem to have been installed for onions and potatos etc. that was such a good use of space. All this kitchen really needs is a really nice light fixture. 


What do you think of this kitchen? Is it too simplistic and modern for you? Do you like the two shades used for the cabinets? Let me know what you think of it in the comments form below, I would love to hear from you!


Thanks for stopping in!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi. 

Nails of The Day: Burgandy + Silver Glitter Nails Essie "Berry Hard" & "Beyond Cozy"


I need to talk about this beautiful manicure I've been wearing for the past few weeks. Essie's nail polishes don't last more then a couple of days without chipping if your lucky, but obviously I've been repainting these two shades on because I think they are gorgeous on their own and in combination too!


Berry Hard is one of the oldest shades in my collection and also one most dear to me which is just shocking since I haven't shown it on my nails on the blog until now! I wear it in the winter mostly since it's that deep Burgundy shade, so suitable for the cold months. I go for the brighter reds in the summer but that's not really a rule for me either.If you are looking for a really nice Burgundy shade that goes opaque with just one coat and dries pretty quick, but aren't necessarily expecting it to last too long on your nails, this will be a lovely choice.


Beyond Cozy doesn't need much explanation. It is a dazzling silver glitter that I have worn so much since I purchased it less then a year ago if I'm not mistaken. In fact I featured it in another nails of the day post along with a nude shade in the summer time. I think that just proves how versatile this glitter polish actually is, I absolutely adore it! Glitters and metallics have always held up better for me in comparison to basic colors in wear and this one is no different. It took a few days longer to wear down then the regular burgandy shade did. I can't wait to see what other looks I can create with this dreamy silver glitter polish.


Really I do wish Essie would work on the staying power in their formulas as their shades are unbeatable every time! I do need to pick up some of the colors from the newest collection. I will always love Essie polishes with their sleek packaging, white caps, adorable names and easy to work with brushes.


Have you been wearing any noteworthy polishes lately that you just can't get enough of? Let me know what they are in the comments form below, I love hearing from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi. 

Greek Chicken Pitas with Tomato Salad Recipe


My husband has the flu, my son is just getting over a serious cough and ear infection and I've been trying to keep from getting sick myself. Suffice it to say it's been pretty hectic around my home so I've been attempting to keep dinners very simple and non complex. Soup, tea and toast were obvious menu choices, but whats easier then tossing chicken breasts in sauce, roasting them and stuffing pitas with them. My favorite takeout salad is Greek salad and I thought it would be a fun spin on this easy dinner dish. The kids will love it and minus the pita it's a pretty healthy combo. So what are you waiting for?! With the wintry weather it seems like so many of us are getting colds and the flu. If you are in the same predicament as I've been in with a sick family or a long day has left you with very little energy, this is going to be a great and easy meal to throw together!   


Olives would be a good addition here as well, if you have them on hand feel free to throw them in the mix. Also, If you've got some time on your hands and you can spare the calories for fried food then a good idea would be to roll the pieces of chicken in falafel ball mix and fry them, that would turn these pitas into a delectable Mediterranean delight. Whole wheat pitas will work too, there are so many ways to customize this recipe to suit you!


Greek Chicken in Pitas with Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

Pitas
1 lb of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic, Minced 
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice 

Tomato Salad:

1 Large Tomato, Sliced
1 Large Red Onion, Sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
1 Teaspoon White Sugar

Method: 

1. Sliced the chicken breasts into thin strips. Pound them down with a meat mallet if you have one. Put the chicken strips into a greased 9x13 pan and preheat the oven on broil.   

2. In a bowl combine the garlic, oregano, thyme, mayonnaise, olive oil and lemon juice. 

3. Pour the mayo sauce over the pieces of chicken and put them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at the most until they are completely cooked through. You can cook them longer on a lower temperature if you'd like as well. 

4.  Once the chicken is cooked completely remove it from the oven. Slice off the tops of the pitas and stuff them with the pieces of chicken till about 3/4 of the way full. Be sure to top that with some of the sauce from the bottom of the pan. 

5. Prepare the tomato salad and top the pitas with it or serve to the side. 

Whats your favorite easy dinner dish to throw together when your in a bind?
Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
Gigi.

Friday Fashion: Party Outfit Ideas with New Years in Mind 2013 Edition

I can't believe it'll be 2014 in just a few short weeks! It's mind boggeling that the year has flown by so fast. Last year around this time I shared some of my party outfit ideas and since it seemed to go over well I'm going to offer that up again today. Wether or not you will be at a party on the night of New Years there's always an excuse to dress up at some point or another so I'm assuming it'll be useful. Lately it seems there are parties happening around me constantly from weddings to dinners and birthday parties so I've had my fair share of dressing up lately. I'm not complaining either since I love getting a bit glammed up! Popping on a pair of lashes, a party dress and heels is fun for every girl! Here are 5 fun outfit ideas I put together for all of the special occasions you may be attending this winter. 

Look #1



Look #2



Look #3



Outfit #4



Outfit #5


I hope this will be helpful to you! 
Which of these looks is your favorite? Let me know in the comments form below, I love to hear from you!


Thanks for stopping by!

Have a wonderful Shabbos & Weekend!

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' !

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi.

NYX Megashine Lipglosses, "Beige" and "Smokey Look" Review with Lip Swatches


I've had this lipgloss in Beige (who named this pink lip gloss beige anyways?) for a very long time. It is a mid toned yellow based bubble gum pink and I love it's consistency, finish and payoff. So of course when I noticed Target stocking NYX a couple of months ago it was a no brainer to pick up another of these gorgeous glosses and this time I picked up a great neutral "every day" kind of shade called "Smokey Look". There are many factors that make these glosses my favorite of all time and today I'm going to tell you all about them in my review. 

These lipglosses are described by NYX as: "Deliver Shine, Moisture, Softness and Envelops Lips with Glistening Color. The finish is creamy and a blend of mineral and lanolin oil help protect the pout"

Some more details:

Formulation & Consistency: They are super creamy, smooth and thick in consistency with a non stickey formulation that doesn't seperate or settle into the fine lines and corners of my mouth. It also doesn't accentuate my winter dry lips. It can be slightly streaky when it's first put on but easily smooths out with no major fuss.  

Finish: These glosses are quite glossy without being sticky (who likes sticky glosses that attract you hair like a magnet anyways?). Beige doesn't have much shimmer or frost to it but Smokey Look definitely has some beautiful gold specks through it. 

Scent: There is a very obvious scent on these ones which is a cherry sort of smell. To some it may be nice, but to me it's kind of sickly sweet reminiscent of cough syrup which I obviously don't enjoy at all. That scent does wear off pretty quickly after application though so it's not a huge factor for me. 

Lasting Power: Being that these aren't sticky in consistency they don't last very long on the lips which is sort of annoying because with a drink or a bite of food their gone. 

Packaging: I really like the tube these come in. It's clear and easy to see which color I'm picking up and the little bows on the caps are adorable. The openings are a bit narrow so it can be a little messy sometimes but nothing unbearable. The doe foot applicator has always been my favorite and these are no exception. This one is shaped wonderfully so it's easy to brush over the lips and control how much product is being applied.

Pigmentation: Beige is more opaque then Smokey Look but the nude shade is easy to build up. Most of the shades in this line are generally known to be less sheer which is my preference as I like to have a bit of color in my glosses. 

 

Price: These go for around $5.00 in most places NYX is sold and I think that is an excellent price for a good easy gloss which is what these are. 

Overall: I love the formulation and color on these. The packaging is cute and easy for storage and travel and although they don't last so well they aren't sticky at all which is my favorite for glosses. The cherry scent does definitely annoy me a little but the price and finish on them have me sold. 


    
 I am currently waiting for two of their blushes to arrive in the mail and next on the list is probably going to be the butter glosses as I've heard great things about those. Keep your eyes peeled for more NYX reviews in the future. 

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them if you have?

Let me know in the comments form below, I would love to know!

Thanks for stopping in!

Stay updated:


Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
              Gigi. 

Beauty Empties #2


It's time for empties again! Remember the first ever post back in July? Somehow in the depths of beauty purchases, moving and recipe development projects that keep me up late into the night I've managed to make my way through several noteworthy beauty products again. My overflowing bin marked "empties" at the back of the closet was not having it and so the hoarding of finished off beauty product packaging needed to come to a halt. The bin was begging to finally be cleaned out and I have to agree it was time to toss it's contents. You must be wondering if I packed them and took them along during my move, yes I did :) I'm THAT dedicated! Truth be told, these empty posts/videos are my favorite to do. Something about doing them really motivates me to use things up. Instead of shoving a half empty beauty product to the back of my collection, I make it my mission to actually use it up. This is also a great avenue for me to give my final word on each product while offering a mini review and explaining wether or not theres a chance I'd repurchase.  This weeks video details each and every item, so watch it here or read till the end of the post where I will insert it as usual!


Here's the round up:

Already Repurchased

Need to Repurchase

Loved But Won't Run Out To Repurchase Immediately

Want to Purchase in Full Size

Won't Repurchase

Have Already Repurchased

Won't Repurchase

Loved But Won't Run Out To Repurchase Immediately

Won't Repurchase

Loved But Won't Run Out To Repurchase Immediately

Won't Repurchase

Want to Purchase in Full Size

  

If you liked this video please let me know by giving it a "thumbs up", you can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?
Let me know in the comments form below!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stay updated.

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
Gigi. 

Peppermint Ginger Hot Chocolate Recipe


I break the rules a little and drink my favorite hot drink of hot chocolate all year round but ever since making my first homemade one last year around this time, I can't get enough of the stuff when we are hit with a snowstorm. Yesterday was one of those days and I could think of nothing more suitable to be drinking. Last year I shared recipes for Orange Cinnamon Hot Chocolate and a Mocha White Chocolate both of which will always be favorites. This time I've brought ginger and peppermint together and topped them with some sweet marshmallow fluff-mmmm! 


I really need to shop for mugs. I use the same ones all of the time and they all made it through the move fine unlike some of my favorite shot glasses. A cute mug is what makes a warm drink that much better so it's on my shopping list. Recommend me your favorites in the comments below!

Have you ever been to a resturaunt and ordered some hot chocolate? If they know what their doing they'll bring you out a thick and creamy cup of goodness. The trick to getting your hot chocolate thick, chocolatey and creamy is using baking chocolate instead of the classic cocoa powder.  You'll want to stock up on  those baking chocolate bars for this cold season and get stirring, the results are AMAZING with a capital A. I'm sure I'll be sharing other versions this winter but keep in mind that you can incorporate any of your favorite flavors in easily if ginger and peppermint is just not your thing. 


Ginger Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Yields: 4 Medium Cups

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Broken up Baking Chocolate (About 6 Ounces)
4 Cups of Milk
1 Tsp. Peppermint Extract
1 Tablespoon Ginger Spice 
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. of All Spice
1 Dollop of Marshmallow Fluff per cup
1 Tablespoon of Ginger and Sugar Each, Mixed

Method:

1. Put the broken chocolate into the bottom of a large pot. Add the milk and bring up a medium flame under it. Stir it constantly as the milk comes to a  low boil to keep the two ingredients from burning. Use a whisk to do so as it'll bring the ingredients together well. Lower the flame as the milk comes to a boil. If it's not as thick as you would like add some more chocolate and if it's thicker then you want just add some more milk. 

2. Once the chocolate has melted and incorporated with the milk, you should have a thick chocolate colored liquid at this point. Keep the fire on but on low and add the peppermint extract, ginger spice, all spice and cinnamon. Stir them in and allow the hot chocolate to cook up for another minute or two to bring all of the flavors together. 

3. Pour the hot chocolate Add a dollop of marshmallow fluff to each mug. Mix some ginger and sugar and sprinkle some on top of the marshmallow fluff in every mug. Then serve. 

What is your favorite hot drink to serve up when the cold weather sets in? Let me know, I'd love to try it and I really do enjoy hearing from you all!

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/EmailFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX.
Gigi.
Blogging tips