Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Final Adventure

I was all in when I got a sneak peek of the new Pirates of the Caribbean move: Dead Men Tell No Tales. As soon as I knew the date, I started my movie marathon of the previous four movies. And yes, I did watch these with a Captain and Diet Coke in my hand (it’s only fitting – there can be no Pirates without rum). Now that I’ve seen them all I think my favorites are the first one and the third one. But I can’t wait to watch all of them over and over again.

If this movie is truly the last in the series, I am sad to see Jack Sparrow go but I think they wrapped things up nicely. They also left the door open for more, so who knows? Make sure you stay past the credits as there is some bonus footage at the end. More than any other movie, I got into all of the products surrounding the Pirates franchise and even got a few things to celebrate at the screening.

Lorac’s Pirates of the Caribbean Collection

Lorac unveiled a limited-edition collection featuring an eye shadow palette, cheek palette and six dual lip gloss/lipstick colors. I chose the “Me Hearties” lipcolor. I loved this because it had a gloss and lipstick all in one with a little mirror on the side for a quick application.

Him & Gem Pirate Shirt ($21.95)

I ordered this fun shirt to wear to the screening and I can guarantee you I will wear it again.

Starbucks Pirate Cake Pop

Starbucks came out with a fun Pirate Cake Pop with vanilla cake and a white chocolate coating. It is a fun little treat that makes me laugh.

Pirates of the Caribbean Compact Mirror ($16.95)

I loved this little compact mirror – it sort of reminded me of Jack’s compass.

Silver Skull Stud Earrings ($24)

I wanted a pair of skull and crossbones earrings and thought this were cool and edgy.

Have you seen the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales movie? What did you think?

For previous movie reviews, click here.



Set Your Intention with Aroma Foundry Essential Oils

I received complimentary samples from Aroma Foundry in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed my Miracle Morning journey. I’ve just crossed over 120 days and am always looking for ways to enhance my morning routine. When Aroma Foundry reached out to me, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to incorporate essential oils into my Miracle Morning routine and maybe even create my own Miracle Morning blend.

Essential oils are all-natural and extracted from plants. Aroma Foundry sources Native Oils where they are first known to have appeared. For example, Aroma Foundry Rosemary is sourced from Morocco. Each of their oils has a little history attached to it. Rosemary has this background: “Going back to the time of the indigenous Berbers, fields of wild rosemary were sustainably harvested and utilized for many centuries.” 

If you are thinking of incorporating essential oils into your Miracle Morning routine either by diffusing, smelling or applying them, here are a few to consider:

Rosemary

Rosemary is the perfect oil to diffuse during your affirmations and visualization time. It is known to promote memory retention, concentration and productivity. It also uplifts and stimulates the mind. You can also take it with you during the day and take a quick inhale whenever you need a reminder to stick to your goals.

Bergamot

A type of orange, Bergamot has a calming effect and its citrus properties will help to uplift you during meditation. Aroma Foundry sources their Bergamot from the Netherlands where it is popular as a fragrance, in teas, and even in beers.

Peppermint

Aroma Foundry sources its Peppermint from Washington which surprisingly produces more mint than any other region in the world. Who knew? Peppermint can be used as an energy booster and to promote concentration. It can also stimulate clear thinking. It would be great in a brainstorm or when you are doing your visualizations. You may try taking a whiff of this when you first wake up in the morning.

John and I used Peppermint during a road trip to stay alert and energized.

Lemongrass

If you are hitting your yoga mat every morning, consider diffusing Lemongrass or applying it to your wrists prior to practice. Aroma Foundry uses Lemongrass from Guatemala because the climate produces some of the most fragrant oil. Lemongrass will invigorate your senses and open your mind. It’s also perfect for those sore muscles and can be used in massages.

Lavender

Source in the United States, Aroma Foundry’s Lavender is 100% pure and not diluted. Lavender can help relieve nervous tension and depression. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, rub some behind your temples before bed and visualize the next morning’s routine.

Grapefruit

This grapefruit oil is sourced from Florida and has a stimulating effect on the body and the mind. It’s another mood lifter, perfect for your down days or when you need to focus on your goal with clarity.

Lemon

Aroma Foundry’s Lemon oil is sourced from California. Lemon promotes concentration and can help calm you when you’re exhausted or feeling angry. This is a good one for an early morning meditation when you really don’t feel like doing it that day.

It’s your lucky day, because Aroma Foundry has generously offered to give a $25 gift card to one of my readers. I am thrilled to share this with you so you can kick start your Miracle Morning practice using essential oils. Enter the giveaway below and I will select a winner on June 5th:
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For more posts about the Miracle Morning, click here.



Splurge vs. Steal: Vita Fede Titan Bracelet

I’m not sure if I’m ready to pull off multiple bracelets at a time, but I definitely want to up my bracelet game. Stacking bracelets is all the rage right now and I have less than five bracelets that I even like to wear at any given time. The Vita Fede Titan Bracelet caught my fancy, plus I love a hinge bracelet because I have large hands and can’t always fit an enclosed bracelet on my wrist. Jessica Alba, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Lopez have all been caught sporting this bracelet.

I have seen this bracelet many times before, but was never familiar with the brand. Vita Fede belongs to designer Cynthia Sakai and handcrafts her pieces in Italy. Think timeless luxury with a feminine twist. “Vita Fede” stands for life and faith which makes me love the jewelry even more. Aside from this bracelet they have amazing rings, earrings and more that you can see featured on tons of celebrities.

The Vita Fede Titan Bracelet costs $290, and there are a number of variations, they even have rings. This month’s steal comes from The Favery with this Bullet Hinge Cuff Bracelet on sale for $32.50. This is made with 14-karat gold, so it’s higher quality than some other steals you might find.

I love this sleek bangle, but The Favery’s price point is more in line with my budget. Now I need to work on a bracelet stack. Do you have a splurge that you want me to find a steal for? Let me know in the comments. Or let me know if you find another steal for the Vita Fede Titan Bracelet.

For more Splurge vs. Steal posts, click here.



Scandal “Head Games” Recap

ABC titled this episode “Head Games” when it should have been called “What’s in the box?!” a la Brad Pitt:

Mellie (Bellamy Young) is finally taking the oval with Frankie’s widow by her side. For her professional photos, she donned an orange blazer, which looked great on her. I found this Brooks Brothers Stretch Wool One-Button Blazer ($198) and this Harve Benard Knit Blazer ($67.99) to recreate her look:

Olitz is back on! These two just can’t stay away from each other. Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) focus on his last days in office are on presidential pardons. Olivia (Kerry Washington) can’t help but get involved and takes the stack back to OPA. She wore a Bell Sleeve Colorblock Blouse by Antonio Berardi ($1,345). This is such a unique piece making it hard to recreate but I found a few things that will work. This Lafayette 148 New York Marisa Blouse ($345), Calvin Klein Women’s V-Neck Bell Sleeve Blouse ($79.50):

Abby (Darby Stanchfield) is still on the outs with the President after her betrayal with Peus. She wore the Hugo Boss
Jadela Asymmetric Wool Jacket ($437.50). This Calvin Klein Two-Button Jacket ($59.99) is similar:

Olivia brings the team at OPA a new case – select a candidate for a high profile government pardon. She comes in hot rocking a power cape coat. I found this Choies Black Wool Blend Cape Coat ($29.90) if you want this look for yourself:

Olivia uses this as a test to see if Quinn is ready to take over OPA while she serves on Mellie’s staff. 

Meanwhile David Rosen (Joshua Malina) has brought a box with “Samantha’s” head to Abby’s apartment. He hopes that Jake (Scott Foley) can use it to figure out who she was. Rowan/Eli (Joe Morton) gave it to him and he wasn’t about to argue.

This leads them to discover that Marie Wallace (Khandi Alexander) is back in the picture and ultimately running Peus’ operation. Olivia wore a Cushnie Et Ochs Shawl-Collar Long Coat ($1,197). This Cupcakes and Cashmere Abria Drape Front Coat ($87.50) is similar:

What do you think about Olivia’s mother getting back in the game?

If you missed this episode, you can still watch it here.

For more Scandal recaps click here.



Wine of the Week: Justin Cabernet Sauvignon

I stumbled on this wine randomly, via Facebook. I follow my husband’s fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi) on social media and one day they posted an alumni profile, which just happened to be Justin Baldwin, whose vineyards were named 2015 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. I told John he was holding out on me – who knew they had a winemaker in the organization and how had we never heard of Justin before?!

The following interview is a few years old, but I thought it gave a great overview of how Justin got started and what sets his wines apart from others. What you need to remember about this wine is that it is a Bordeaux style wine in Paso Robles, which is unique to this area. In 1981, when Justin started the winery, Zinfandel was wildly popular and this was a departure from the norm.

I was excited to find the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon at a wine bar and since then I’ve seen it at a number of wine stores in the area. It is classic Cabernet, clear with a dark ruby purple core. It has notes of ripe black cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit with vanilla, cinnamon and subtle dried fall leaf accents. It is smooth and supple with a clean finish. This is a go-to choice for any food from pizza to steak.

The 2015 version of the Cabernet Sauvignon runs for $26.25 or $21 at the Wine Society price. If I decide to join another wine club I would definitely choose this one. It would be fun to have these on hand for gifts and housewarming parties for our fraternity friends.

If you ever make it to Paso Robles, Justin has a restaurant, an inn called the “Just Inn,” and tasting room to enjoy.

Have you tried any Justin wines before? Let me know your favorites.



Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

I love all things pirates! Every year I try to do something fun or silly to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day. You can even see this post on my favorite pirate items. I’m also a big fan of rum…maybe I’m actually a pirate… You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I love Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean.

I am excited for the next installment of the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opening on May 26, 2017. To celebrate I’m giving away eight pairs of tickets to an advance screening of the movie on May 22 at the MJR Troy Grand Digital Cinema 16 at 7 p.m.

The movie starts out with Jack Sparrow on the run again and as you can see from this clip, he is still up to his old tricks. I’m looking forward to a movie marathon this week (complete with some rum) to get ready for this screening:

If you would like to join me for the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales screening for you and a guest, enter the Rafflecopter below and I will announce and contact the winners on late Friday night/Saturday morning.

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For previous movie reviews, click here.



May 2017 Pinspired

I bought these BCBG Pretia Pumps ($49.95) a while back and still haven’t worn them. Everytime I go to put them on I think that they’re a little much. So then I started wondering what I should wear them with. Pinterest to the rescue! I found a few looks that I loved and wanted to recreate.

I loved this look with the bright cobalt blue and peplum top:

I also found a number of photos of Reese Witherspoon rocking her red pumps:

These tops are inspired from the above looks and would make for a great recreation:

Tommy Hilfiger Polka-Dot Tiered Peplum Top ($59.50)

Lulu’s Keeping it Classy Navy Blue Peplum Top ($29)

Joie Iva Cap-Sleeve Silk Blouse ($64.50)

These Washwell Mid Rise Sculpt True Skinny Jeans ($99) are perfect to highlight the pumps:

To add a little sparkle try this Crystal Venus Flytrap Necklace ($79.99):

So now I have no reason not to break in these shoes. How would you style red pumps?

For more Pinspired looks, click here.



Brunch Bites: A Taste of Royal Oak

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Royal Oak Brunch Bites. All opinions expressed are my own.

I had a blast at last year’s Brunch Bites, so I was excited when the event coordinator reached out with tickets to this year’s event. I live in the Royal Oak area, so this is a fun opportunity to get out downtown and explore 12 different brunch destinations for food and drinks.

We kicked it off again at Bigalora with a Bigalora Waffle, house made peanut butter, banana and fresh whip cream with a Gordon Bombay Loves Brunch (Honeydew infused Bombay Sapphire, hibiscus/rose syrup, lime, soda). This was probably my favorite food item – SO GOOD!

Our second stop was at The Morrie where we chowed down on a Nashville hot chicken and waffle paired with the Lola (a Sugar Island Coconut Rum, coconut milk-bourbon vanilla simple, cold brew coffee). I don’t even like the coffee, but this was amazing. I will go on record and say this is the only coffee I will drink. The Morrie was new to brunch bites this year and I was happy to visit again.

Bastone Brewery is up next and they were another new addition this year. They served us corned beef hash with bell peppers, skillet potatoes and cheddar cheese along with a Tropical Mimosa (pineapple, orange juice, passionfruit and grenadine).

Lockhart’s BBQ is always a treat and they didn’t disappoint this year with a smoked brisket mess including smoked sausage, potatoes, onions, peppers, cheddar cheese and eggs all scrambled together. Their Poor Man’s Bloody Mary was to die for (a mix of their house made bloody mary mix combined with craft lager beer).

I had just been to Andiamo for Easter brunch so I was excited to what they were offering for Brunch Bites. They didn’t disappoint with Eggs Wellington: soft scrambled eggs, prosciutto and imported cheeses in crisp phyllo pastry with creamed leeks. They topped it off with a white sangria with fresh fruit.

No brunch would be complete without chorizo and Mesa Tacos and Tequila did not disappoint with their chorizo hash taco and Violet Beauregarde (Reposado Tequila, fresh blueberry compote, fresh squeezed lime juice, sparkling wine).

New this year was Rebel Cafe, which I hadn’t been to before. They served a mini cinnamon roll sandwich and these AMAZING brownie cheesecake bites along with a Beermosa. It was so delicious!

I was enamored with Blackfinn Ameripub’s Sea Breeze Mimosa (grapefruit, cranberry and champagne). They served a southern skillet with southern fried chicken, scrambled eggs, tasso cream, hollandaise sauce and green onions stacked on a bacon and goat cheese grit.

Pronto! served a decadent stuffed French Toast with blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cream cheese filling and caramel maple sauce. It was to die for! Their Oiu il (Yes Please!) drink included cinnamon spiced Khalua, Chambord, coffee and whipped cream.

I took a time out at Cafe Muse due to their exotic mushroom and Boursin scramble. I cannot handle anything with mushrooms so my friend got two. They served an Aperol spritz with muddled blueberries which made up for it.

Lily’s Seafood Grille & Brewery let me customize my shrimp & grits with no shrimp so I was happy. They served a Hefemosa with Whitefish Bay Wheat Beer and orange juice.

By the time we made it to Gayle’s Chocolates, they must have been out of the advertised cookies, but we got truffles and Gayle’s Homemade Haute Cocoa so all was well.

Did you attend this year’s Brunch Bites? What was your favorite pairing? This is one of my favorite events and I can’t wait until next year!

To see last year’s Brunch Bites post, click here.



Five on Friday: Sixth Anniversary

On Sunday, John and I are celebrating our sixth anniversary. It’s rather fitting that the sixth anniversary is the Iron Anniversary because at this point our relationship has evolved into something so much deeper. After you go through so much together, the other person really becomes your constant and a source of strength in times of adversity. More than our fifth anniversary, this one seems like much more of a milestone as I feel like we’ve overcome a lot in the past year.

Every year of our marriage, I’ve always given John a traditional gift:

Here are a few of my gift ideas for the iron anniversary:

1. Monogrammed Forged Steak Brand ($49.95)

This is so adorable! I could either get my husband’s initials or you can also do a one-initial brand.

2. Le Creuset Cast-Iron Heart-Shaped Dutch Oven ($149.95)

This is too perfect not to include. A pink heart-shaped dutch oven?! What more can you ask for?

3. Hampton Bay Marshall Patio Chaise Lounge with Textured Silver Pebble Cushion ($159)

I’ve decided I want a chaise lounge for our backyard. I have no idea where I would put it or where it would even fit, but I’m envisioning myself lounging outside reading a book all summer and I want one.

 

4. Endless Summer Fire Pit ($181.99)

John and I have wanted a fire pit for the longest time and I love that this is a propane one making it easy to use. You could also replace the lava rocks with fireglass.

5. Fire Pit Cookout Kit ($49.99)

Once we have a fire pit, we’re going to want to make s’mores and hobo pies!

If you have any other ideas for the iron anniversary, I would love to hear them:

For more Five on Friday/Friday Favorites posts, click here.

If you would like to join the Five on Friday with Smidge of ThisThe Good Life BlogHello Happiness and Carolina Charm just click the button below for more details.

You can join the Oh Hey Friday Linkup with The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm just click the button below for more details.

I am also participating in the Friday Favorites Linkup with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog and Momfessionals. You can click the button below for more information and to join the linkup.

Friday Favorites



Step It Up in April with Sephora PLAY!

I’ve finally succumbed to subscription box mania (besides Barkbox for Sport). I’ve resisted signing up for other beauty boxes because I’m pretty particular about my makeup products. I felt that I would rather spend the money on a full size product. I changed my mind when I saw that Sephora had their own version called PLAY! for just $10/month! You cannot beat that price for what you get.

Sephora PLAY! is in demand so you do have to sign up and be accepted to start receiving your box. I got accepted right away so I guess it depends how demand is when you decide to sign up. It includes five skin care, makeup or hair care samples and a fragrance. Everyone gets something a little different depending on the answers you provide when you set up your profile. Each box comes with an adorable bag that has a different theme. You also get a PLAY! Pass that you can redeem in the store for 50 bonus Beauty Insider points and a free tutorial. You get a ton of other tutorials and instructions along with your box as well.

April’s box was themed “Step it Up” to focus on stepping up your beauty routine. I received five great products and lots of tips.

Philosophy Made Simple Face Cleanser ($24)

I’ve never tried the Philosophy cleanser before, but it’s so gentle you can even use it to clean your makeup brushes!

Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover ($11)

The extra bonus in this eye makeup remover is a lash-strengthening complex full of flavonoids and olive wood extracts. So you can get rid of that pesky mascara while building your lashes at the same time. Win-win.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream ($52)

This moisturizer contains 30 percent hyaluronic acid, which I discovered constantly attracts and retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the atmosphere. It also include ceramides to lock in moisture, ProHyal+ to improve hydration and elderberry to curb aging with antioxidants. It packs a lot of punch for one product.

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36)

This has been one of my long-time staples. I like to test out new primers but always come back to this one. I normally prefer the light version. Fun fact: This is the first product that Smashbox ever created.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner ($21)

This eyeliner is an Allure Best of Beauty Winner which always makes me take notice. The reviews seem pretty negative about it staying put on the waterline, but I will have to try it out and let you know.

MIU MIU L’eau Bleue ($68)

This is a fun take on the original Miu Miu perfume and updates the bottle using a glittering transparent glass. Scent notes include lily of the valley, wild rose and akigalawood. I LOVE fragrance commercials, I could probably watch them all day, and I especially love this song from Dirty Dancing!

Did you get a PLAY! box this month and get something different? I’m curious to know what you purchased with your PLAY! pass. I got a refill of Dior’s Fix It 2-In-1 Concealer that I was out of.

For more beauty posts, click here.



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