February 27, 2015

jane austen + tea = best giveaway ever!

Disclosure: I received the following product in exchange for my opinions which are my own. 
This post contains affiliate links to the product.

I don't get to talk about every facet of my life on the blog, but two of those somewhat overlooked facets are both getting attention today: my love of books, and my love of tea (seriously, I have a cabinet in the kitchen solely dedicated to tea).

I love a sweet love story, so of course I enjoy Jane Austen novels. And films. And spinoff films. Ahhh.

So, it should be completely unsurprising that I was ecstatic when word got out that someone had combined two of my great loves into one cool product line:

inspired by jane pemberley tea

An entire collection of teas that are inspired by Jane.

Talk about a kid in a candy store. Each adorable tin has 10 bags of a premium tea blend inspired by the location in an Austen novel. I wanted to grab them all, but I decided to try Pride & Prejudice's Pemberley blend - a green tea with lavender and lemon.

It's hard to say what delighted me more between the aroma when I opened the tin and the herbal flavor when I took my first sip, but I'm hooked. Hooked and somewhat bummed that I know I'll be emptying this tin well before I'm ready to run out.

The good news is, you get the chance to try some! One winner will receive their own tin inspired by your choice of Austen locale: Pemberley, Barton Cottage (rose garden), Hartfield (mint), Donwell Abbey (cinnamon marsala), or Longbourn (quiet reflections). Enter below, or head over to amazon to stock up!

Inspired by Jane

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February 26, 2015

never hear "you look tired" again: Bee Naturals Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and a product which I received in exchange for review.
My opinions are my own.

My pale girl problems are many: easy to burn, literally glowing in pictures...practically disappearing in pictures where sunlight is ample. Then there's the one that most women don't think about until their 30's. Not me. I've been self-conscious about this one since I was a teenager:

dark undereye circles.

Yep. I was the 15 year old at Wal Mart begging my mom for eye cream along with my Clean and Clear facial cleanser (I shudder to think of it now). My skin was perfectly clear but I always felt like I had raccoon eyes. I'm almost 30 now and I still do.

I shudder again to think how bad it would be if I hadn't started using eye creams so young.

But, we all know not all eye creams are created equal. Some reduce those ugly blue circles to smaller ones while some do nothing but mock me for even spending the money. Now, my options are even more limited as I am particular about using natural products.

Bee Naturals Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum

I was intrigued when I first heard the phrase "Eye Serum" instead of "eye creme" for the first time. Intrigued, and more than happy to try. Considering how awesome serum is for the face, hopefully it is equally as wonderful under the eyes.

I was especially impressed by the natural ingredients in Bee Naturals Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum and the fact that Bee Naturals had clearly done their research: the serum contains all natural ingredients: Haloxyl (TM)(a combination of active ingredients) and soy-rice peptides. They had also conducted a 56-day trial that resulted in dark circle reduction in over 70% of participants. Not bad.

To test for myself, I took a before selfie (super scientific) and used the serum on only one eye for seven days (I used another creme I had on hand on the opposite eye as to not look completely awful), and then took an after shot.

Of course, it's harder to notice results in yourself—after seven days, I was bummed. In the mirror, I didn't see any difference. Thank goodness for the photos—I couldn't believe it:
Bee Naturals Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum

I was so obsessed with my dark circles that I didn't notice what else was going on... wrinkles? I'm not even 30 and I have wrinkles under my eyes?! Yikes. The good news is, after only a week, things have already noticeably smoothed out and  lightened up.

The serum is super easy and clean to use - just spray some on your hand and dot under/around the eye area. A little bit goes a long way. I've now moved on to using the Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum on both eyes, and while I doubt that I'll remember the 56-day mark, I love that I'm seeing results.

Bee Naturals Queen Bee Ultimate Eye Serum is only $20 on Amazon making it both affordable and effective. Plus, word on the street is this is just the first in a lineup of Bee Naturals products. I can't wait to see what's next!

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#bbswap is back for Easter 2015!

Sign ups for the Blogger Basket Swap will be open Monday, March 2–Saturday, March 7. Partners will be announced on Monday, March 9. 

Here's what you need to know:
  1. Follow your hosts, re•solve & Glitz n ' Grits
  2. Sign up below to be paired with two bloggers - one you will send a "basket" to, and one who will send to you!
  3. Contact your partners no later than Thursday, March 12 . Take some time to get to know one another through reading each other's blogs and interacting.
  4. Put together a "basket" of goodies for your partner - be thoughtful and creative! You can send a literal basket or find another fun means of bundling the gifts!
  5. Basket minimum is $10, 4 (unused) items. You are welcome to give more, but we are establishing a minimum that all participants can expect to give and receive.
  6. Ship the items to your partner no later than Saturday, March 28. Tracking is recommended.
  7. If you have any concerns during the swap or decide not to participate, contact Aleshea or myself immediately so that we can reassign partners ASAP. Likewise, if you do not hear from one of your partners, let us know immediately.
  8. Create a reveal post and link up your baskets on Monday, April 6! Use hashtag #bbswap on social media when sharing.

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February 24, 2015

our tilted anniversary celebration

Yesterday was a big day for Sean and I; it marked ten years since we started dating (wow!).

We commemorated our date with a grainy selfie. This was clearly a classy date.
Naturally, we had to celebrate.

Originally, we'd planned on celebrating over the weekend vs. a Monday night, but a huge Saturday morning snow dump had us under house arrest.

As last minute as possible, I spotted a LivingSocial deal for an Irish Pub I'd seen in passing and wanted to try (we both enjoy Irish pubs but rarely go anymore since vegetarian options are few). After a quick scan of the menu to confirm there were options for me, I texted Sean to see if he was in. Woohoo! We had plans.

We walked the dog, drove to the restaurant, and opened the first set of doors to notice the next set with this stained glass design:

Tilted Kilt White Marsh Baltimore

"I hope the staff aren't dressed like that," I commented to Sean before opening the door...

To confirm that they are, in fact, dressed like that. Except with lots more cleavage. Great.

So, to summarize, I took my husband to an Irish version of Hooters (Kilts are always better than orange shorts, but still...) to eat subpar food on our anniversary. We are one classy couple.

On the bright side, I immediately posted about my misfortune on Facebook. It was well-received with likes, laughs, and 2 or 3 other women who admitted to making the same mistake.

Moral of the story? When trying a new restaurant, always check for scantily clad staff before making a decision.

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February 23, 2015

a decade

Don't you just love the quality of this old scanned image? It's nearly vintage at 10 years old.

This was the first picture taken of Sean and I—by my mom, whom he'd come to meet—10 years ago.

This was us at 19 and 20.

My baby brother was 14, his closest-to-him-in-age brother was 10. His other two siblings were practically toddlers.

If any 19 year old told me they were certain to marry their boyfriend/girlfriend, I'd probably laugh. But, here we are at 29 and 30 (yikes), with our 5th wedding anniversary in sight.

No regrets whatsoever.

I love you, Sean!

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