30 March 2013

February's Sweetheart VoxBox

At the end of February, I received my first ever Influenster VoxBox. Never heard of Influenster? They are similar to Birchbox, but instead of paying $10 month, you review and share their products through all of your social media outlets. You should definitely check them out! February's Sweetheart VoxBox was filled with some pretty awesome goodies. :)

1) Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid Powered Contour Cleansing System and Shine Minimizing Cleanser: I wouldn't buy something like this for myself normally, but I'm so excited that I got the chance to try this cleansing system and cleanser. First off, the cleanser smells amazing! Secondly, it helps reduce shine, which for us oily skin ladies is a huge plus. And the little cleansing system feels amazing on your skin. It's like having a little facial at home! I like to use this product first thing in the morning after I wake up. 

2) Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response:
To be completely honest, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to feel about this deodorant. I was a Dove girl prior to trying this particular Secret version, but I must say that after a few weeks of use, I'm pretty impressed. It goes on clear and smells fruity! I wasn't sure I'd like the fruit smell, but every time I move and get a whiff, I think, "Oh, that's me! Mmm!" 

3) Skinnygirl Daily On-The-Go Bars:
Ok, these DO NOT taste healthy! But they seriously are. Does it get any better?? :) Skinnygirl Daily's bars were a huge shock to me. I always think of granola bars are being bland and questionable. But this one tasted so good (Greek yogurt blueberry crisp) and I'm already a fan of Skinnygirl Margarita, so you can assume that Skinnygirl and I are only becoming better friends.

4) Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray:
Unfortunately, this item was probably my least favorite. It actually does exactly what it promises: gives you "I just left the beach" hair. However, this isn't the best look on me. I need more texture and hold. On the bright side? It smells like coconut colada!

Thanks Influenster! I can't wait for my next VoxBox. :)

29 March 2013

MBCL's March Group Giveaway!

Whispering Sweet Nothings | For Love of a Cupcake | The Hinton Hookup
$50 Target Giftcard
Chloe vs Tank Bracelet ($13 Value)
MBCL Medium Ad Space ($10 value)
Whispering Sweet Nothings Medium Ad Space ($18 value)
Remember Necklace ($80 value)
[Proceeds from each Remember Necklace purchased go directly to The Sandy Hook Support Fund, helping families and community members cope with the Sandy Hook tragedy. You can read more about the Campaign here.]
Giveaway Details:
+You MUST be a My Beautiful, Crazy Life reader
+This giveaway will end on April 4 at 11:00p.m. so get your entries in before its too late!
+Winner will be verified, so make sure your doing what you say you are :) 
+Winner will be contacted via e-mail & need to respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen.
Good luck :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 March 2013

Our weekend getaway to Washington, D.C.

Last week/weekend, Luke and I took Thursday and Friday off from work and drove down to Washington, D.C. for a long weekend with some friends. This was sort of a Sara's birthday/our friends' anniversary/we all need a weekend away from life kind of trip and it was exactly what Luke and I needed!!

{View from our hotel room}

I had forgotten how beautiful DC is! It had been over 10 years since I'd last visited and Luke had never been. In addition to being saturated in our country's history and American pride, DC is an awesome city for your professionals to live/work in and it has a really fun restaurant/coffee shop/bar scene. We stayed at the Washington Hilton and I would totally recommend this hotel to anyone!

{I love the cherry blossoms in the spring!}

We stayed three nights, but didn't get into town until closer to dinner time on Thursday. Knowing that Friday and Saturday would be our only two full days in Washington, D.C., we spent all day Friday visiting touristy sites. We took the metro over to the Arlington National Cemetery, where we watched the changing of the guard. We also walked through the National Mall and Memorial Parks (Washington, Lincoln, Vietnam, WW2, etc) and even made a quick stop into the National Museum of Natural History. We did a TON of walking on that first day and I'm pretty sure we all felt like our knees/ankles/feet we're going to fall off! 

We also ate some really amazing food that day. I have to admit that my pub onion soup at lunch was by far my favorite!

{Warm doughnuts with caramel and chocolate dipping sause after dinner on Friday night. SO YUM!}

On Saturday, the four of us tackled the Smithsonian National Zoo and it was amazing! DC's zoo is free to the public, but this does not mean it is mediocre in the least. It is actually a very nice place and we had the best time walking around out in the sunshine feeling like kids again! We ate over-priced chicken fingers and french fries for lunch and, of course, Luke had to have Dippin' Dots, ha! Zoo food at it's finest. 

After the zoo and a ton more walking, we decided to start walking back towards our hotel so that we could rest up and get ready for a fun last night in DC, but of course, the girls had to make a quick stop into Lou Lou Boutique, the cutest little shop just a couple of blocks from our hotel. Our sweet boys suffered through and I'm so glad we stopped! I picked up a couple pairs of earrings and a beautiful, spring-inspired infinity scarf for my birthday. :)

For dinner on Saturday night, the four of us walked down to Tortilla Coast, a popular Mexican food restaurant in DC. It was like HEAVEN for these displaced Texas kids just dying for fajitas, enchiladas, and margaritas! We toasted to birthdays, anniversaries, and a great weekend in Washington, D.C.

Waking up early on Sunday morning so that we could get back to Jersey and pick up our furbabies from the doggy boarding place was a rough wake-up call (a little too much fun? nahhh!), but we were excited to get home and relax the rest of the weekend. As we were driving home, Luke and I could not stop talking about how much fun we had and ranking our favorite places we visited. I think that is a sign of a successful, long weekend getaway!  Our 2nd anniversary is quickly approaching and I'm already thinking about a weekend trip to...? Any suggestions??

Until next time DC! :)

19 March 2013

Me, Myself, and I Link-Up #7

1) Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? How?
Luke and I moved to a very Irish town about 6 months ago and they held their St. Patrick's Day parade a week earlier than the actual holiday, so we definitely checked that out. But other than the parade, we aren't big celebrators of this holiday. I do have a ton of friends that have birthdays around this holiday though, so we did some birthday celebrating.

2) It's March, which means spring break! We want to know how your spring break went or if it hasn't happened yet, what will your spring break consist of?
Unfortunately, it's been a couple of years since I've had a spring break. Once you graduate college and join the professional world, spring break just isn't the same. :( But Luke and I are taking Thursday and Friday off this week and are driving down to DC with some friends for a long weekend. We're going to  see some of the traditional DC sites, but I'm excited to stop by Georgetown Cupcake and to go on this moonlight cruise!

3) A zombie apocalypse happens and you're stripped of all your luxury items. What beauty product would you miss the most?

4) What is the one cause you feel most passionate about?
In college, I pledged Tri Delta. Tri Delta's philanthropy is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Since I spent 3.5 years in college helping raise money for this hospital and the families it supports, St. Jude will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Any time there is another opportunity for me to give back to St. Jude, I do.

5) What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Anything by Eli Young Band!

18 March 2013

The Poconos & Birthday Celebrations

On Saturday, Luke and I drove up to the Poconos to celebrate our friend Jessica's 30th birthday. We met up with Jess, her fiance, and some of her closest friends and family at her parents' weekend house. It snowed on and off all day, so the mountains looked gorgeous. We went for a walk, found a waterfall, and took pictures. Later, we cooked out, ate birthday cake, and celebrated the birthday girl. It was so fun to get out of New Jersey for a little bit and hang out with such awesome people! Hope you had an awesome birthday weekend Jess!!

15 March 2013

So many reasons to smile.

1) These flowers from Luke have been keeping me company all week and I can't get enough of their sweet smell.
2) Luke and I are headed to the Poconos tomorrow to celebrate a friend's birthday.
3) A HUGE, stressful work project my team and I have been focused on for the last few weeks is officially complete.
4) My birthday is in 11 days!
5) It's pay day!
6) It's the weekend!!!!! :)

13 March 2013

On friendship.

{Capuccino heart}
For some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep before 1 a.m. anymore. I know, this this terrible for my health and productivity the next day, but what can I do? Drink less coffee. Yeah, like that's going to happen. :)
So on nights like tonight, when I'm still awake, I do a lot of thinking. And tonight, I'm thinking about friendship. I've been blessed to have many true friendships in my life. From middle school, to high school, to college, and into adulthood, I've been blessed to really connect with girls that I would consider to be in that, "friends are the family you choose" category. Shout out to muh laayydies! You know who you are.
One of the characteristics of this type of friendship is that we can not see or talk to each other for days, weeks, or months, but as soon as we reconnect, it's as if we never left off. I love that this is the case, but don't you just hate the "left off" part? I know I do. Sometimes I don't even recognize that it is happening until it is too late.
Earlier tonight I texted breifly with one of these friends. It's her birthday today and I wanted to let her know I was thinking about her. We're 13 days apart in age, so I could never forget her bday. But our texts led to, "When did we disconnect?...I miss you...We need to change this...I'd really like that!" This made my heart both happy and sad. I hate that even for a moment, God would bless me with such awesome friendships and I haven't done my best to protect that. This is getting fixed, stat!
I guess tonight's 1 a.m. challenge to myself is to continue trying to be the best friend I can be. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than childhood best friends, college roommates, and summer camp staff friends turned family. I never want to take these gifts for granted.  

10 March 2013

Our first hometown parade.

We live in a very Irish town, full of history and tradition. So when we heard that Morristown's St. Patty's Parade was happening this weekend, we knew we needed to check it out! 

Saturday's weather could not have been more beautiful, or more perfect for a parade! The sun was shining and I even took off my jacket because I was getting hot (PTL!). The streets of Motown filled up quickly, with people of all ages trying to claim a good parade-viewing spot. Vendors were selling hot pretzels, hotdogs, and St. Patty's accessories (necklaces, hats, etc). I think the pups enjoyed being out and about even more than Luke and me! Brooklyn and Bentley were the center of attention of both adult and kids. We probably had 20 different people stop and pet them! Of course, they couldn't get enough attention. :)

{Yikes! This guy took dressing up for St. Patty's to a whole new level!}

We had so much fun at the parade and really enjoyed having so many people hanging out in our little town. Apparently after the parade, everyone goes to the bars and drinks green beer the rest of the day, but we opted for afternoon naps and a little relaxation.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

07 March 2013

Zucchini Boats

Now that my work schedule has slowed down a little (PTL!), I really want to re-focus our eating habits and begin cooking dinner on a more regular basis. I had seen this recipe on Pinterest for zucchini boats a while back and pinned it because they looked so good. Then a few days ago, I saw that a friend had posted a picture of some she made and they looked even better the second time around! So, on Sunday night, I decided it was my turn.

The ultimate food critic approved, so I must have done a pretty good job! I did ask Luke if he would have changed anything and he said, "Next time, can you add ground beef?" That's actually not a bad idea, especially if you have a husband that is as big of a carnivore as mine. :) The recipe I followed uses bacon, but ground beef would make this meal a little heartier.

If you haven't tried zucchini boats yet, I'd definitely recommend them. Super easy and healthy!

05 March 2013

Apartment Tour: The Kitchen

Since Luke and I have moved to New Jersey, I've had many people ask me to post about our apartment. I've wanted to, but with my crazy work/travel schedule and just never feeling like my apartment was as decorated or put together as well as I'd like, I just haven't. But Sunday afternoon, Luke and I were washing the dishes, I thought to myself, "Why not now? At least the kitchen it clean." Ha!

So, here begins my first installment of the "The Hinton's New (And Significantly Smaller) Home in NJ Tour," starting with: the kitchen.

Here is our little dining area. Being that we live in a pre-war apartment building, there are a lot of quirky characteristics about our apartment. The first being the built-in cabinets that you see behind the kitchen table {which I happen to love!}. 

I love my little "coffee bar" that I've set up on one of the kitchen windowsills. It's just the right size and I steal a few minutes in the morning, sitting at the table, acting as my own barista. {Side note: See the unpainted part of the wall behind the heater? It was like that when we moved in. I plan on painting it, but ya know...}

An opposite view of the dining area. I love the old window screen I have hanging on the wall, but I'm not sure what I'm doing with it. I might try to hang a free kitchen printable from Pinterest on it, but I haven't decided. Suggestions?

Quirky characteristic #2: Look at this tiny stove! Seriously, none of my cooking sheets that I was gifted from our wedding fit inside that thing. It actually came with a baking sheet that fits inside, thank goodness! And notice all the white? It drives me nuts! But I haven't decided whether or not I want to paint a wall or if we'll be in this apartment long enough for it to matter. Think I should?

Quirky characteristic #3: This sink. I've just never seen anything like it, except maybe in an old county home. The cabinets are metal painted, what else but, white. And the sink is like ceramic or something. But one think I love about this sink is the detachable sprayer thing. The water pressure is strong and makes doing the dishes a lot easier, especially since you don't see a dish washer anywhere.

We don't have a pantry, so we bought this big ol' guy at Target when we first moved in and I'm so glad we did! We normally put extra paper towels and laundry soap on the bottom shelf. Just ignore that third shelf. That is where all of Luke's work papers and other crap go to get forgotten about, ha!

And last, but certainly not least, my little family in the kitchen. I told Luke, "Babe, move out of my shot. I'm blogging about the kitchen and I need to get some pics," and he said, "Take our picture!" He's such a blogger's husband. :)

So, there it is. The Hinton's tiny kitchen. I know I keep saying tiny like it's a bad thing, but you know, I'll never forget this kitchen. So much character; such a fun little place to sit, drink coffee and blog. I will try to do a few more posts about out apartment, but don't hold me to any type of schedule. I have a few more things I'd like to do to both the living room and our bedroom before I share.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

04 March 2013

Weekend Recap.

1) Felicia and Aubrey texted me this precious pic of Harper while they were shopping at Target on Saturday. Look at that baby fur vest! Of course, I was super jealous that I couldn't be hanging out with them.
2) Where do displaced Texans go for dinner on Texas Independence Day? Texas Roadhouse, of course!
3) Margarita to celebrate previously mentioned holiday.
4) Fro-yo after dinner. We were pretty much fatties on Saturday night. :)
5) I was SO PUMPED that the sun was out on Sunday!! Never mind that it was still 39 degrees outside. I can't remember the last time I saw that amount of sunshine. Please hurry summer!
6) I lost my Trader Joe virginity on Sunday afternoon. Never will I ever shop for groceries at Kings again. How have I lived without this store in my life for almost 26 years??
7) Don't you think I could be on the Desperate Housewives of NJ? Sweeping the kitchen in leggings and my Tory wedges? Nah, I don't think any of those ladies know what a broom is, ha!
8) Bought new gerber daisies for the kitchen and my work desk.
9) Zucchini boats for dinner on Sunday night. Blog post to come!

Hope you had a fun and restful weekend. Here's to a great week!