4.30.2013

Never Ever Ever..

Hanging out with my home girl, Neelykins, today for her Never Ever Ever link-up. Check it out!


Never Ever Ever will I..


..pass on the chance to leave work early or have the day off

..stop planning dream vacations in my free time

..pass up coffee in the mornings, every morning

..stop making silly faces when someone pulls out their camera



..pass up a good deal online

..be good with my money because of said fact above

..stop trying to make Nate watch Grey's with me each week

..get sick of manicures that happen entirely too often

..not get excited to see Bink's face when I get home 



..pass up the chance to send my sister a silly text to make her laugh

Happy Tuesday, friends!

4.29.2013

My Top 3 {Skin Care} Products

I've been more active in trying to do better in taking care of my skin as of late. I'm always down for trying new products, but right now I have a few favorites that I want to continue using.

Today, I'm going to share my top 3 skin care products with y'all so you can try them out too. 

First up is the Murad Renewing Eye Cream


I'm sure you checked out the site I linked - and no, I did NOT pay that much for this. I actually received a sample of it (may have been through Birchbox, I can't remember) and it's a pretty good sized sample. Luckily, a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. Once I'm out of it, I'll be very upset because I just can't stomach the price.

I've been using it every night. After I have washed, toned and moisturized my face, I apply this to my brow bone and under my eyes. I feel like it really refreshes my face and evens the skin tone. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I have AWFUL dark circles. I'm trying to combat that with this!



I really love this stuff, mostly because it's all natural. I really appreciate products that aren't full of chemicals. I have a big ol' bottle of this, and since I have tons of other lotions and potions, I use this in rotation with my others. But, this one has always been my favorite. It dries quickly and doesn't leave the greasy residue that some lotions leave behind. I HATE that feeling, and I'm not patient enough waiting for it to soak in. 

This doesn't do that. And there's minimal scent which I like too. Too many lotions are overpowering with the perfumes. I like something light, since I mainly use it for moisture. I use this after my showers to lock in the moisture on my super dry skin.

Lastly, is the Befine Night Cream.


I actually did receive a sample of this when I was a Birchbox subscriber and loved it so much that I bought a full size! I use it every single night on my face after I've washed and toned. This also follows the "little bit goes a long way" mantra. 

This is meant to be put on at night because it works while you sleep. It improves circulation and helps to reduce fine lines. It feels great, is very light, and the smell is light too.

So there ya have it. My top 3 favorite skin care products. If you like this kind of post, let me know, and I'll do more (top 3 makeup, top 3 hair care, etc.)

What are your favorite skin care products that I should try?

4.26.2013

About Me from Nate's Perspective...

When I saw that Becky was hosting a link-up, where the idea was to have one of your loved ones write an "about me" statement for your blog.

The first person I thought of, was of course, Nate. My boyfriend. My best friend. The one who knows me better than most.


 I didn't think he'd agree to do it. I thought he'd roll his eyes and ask why he had to participate if it's MY blog. Finally after enough nagging, on my part, he said he'd do it. But give him a few days.

But I wanted it NOW. Like yesterday. But, he did agree to write for me, so I had to give him a little patience.

Although, I didn't understand why it was taking him so long. I just assumed he'd write a few one liners and that'd be it. He'd give me the bare minimum just to shut me up. ;)

Earlier this week, one afternoon, I saw a message pop up on my Facebook notification. Strange, (because I don't actively use FB to chat or message) but I opened it and saw Nate's words. 

Nate's words. They brought tears to my eyes. They made me happy. They made me proud to share on my blog.

So, I'll quit rambling, and let him introduce me to you, my amazing readers:


It was a beautiful morning, and as I was putting on my face before heading to work, I was accosted by a fiery, 5 foot brunette. No, not because I was hogging the mirror, but because she needed my words to describe her for her blog. I was forced against my will to put my thoughts to paper… well in this case computer screen. Well, me being the procrastinator that I am… the days turned to weeks until she finally threatened to post unsavory photos of me if I didn’t kick it into gear. All kidding and dramatics aside, let me tell you about Amber that you don’t already know… okay maybe you do.

What you don’t see from Amber is her love of family and her loyalty to friends. The first time you meet her, you would have thought you’ve known her your whole life. She treats you like her best friend right off the bat. She’s willing to go that extra mile for anyone. I would question her patience, but come on, there has to be a reason she’s put with me for this long. She’s also an amazing cook, who’s not afraid to try new things… and she hasn’t poisoned me yet. So, I see that as a plus.
I know I joked a lot while writing this, but that’s me and as I once said to Amber, “Thanks for letting me be me.” She accepts everyone for who they are and is very open minded. Plus, she is very dedicated to her blog and grateful for everything she gets in return from it. Whether it’s a kind word or free dish soap… oh wait… that’s me that was grateful.
Love you, Amber and truth is, the reason I was delaying this is there is no real way to truly write about you… sometimes words just don’t do the trick. Everyone say it with me, “Awwww!!!”

I feel even more in love with him than I did before. Which I wasn't sure was possible.
I know, it's just a short excerpt of a description about me. But to me? It means the world. It means the world to me that he knew how much it meant for him to blog here for y'all. Plus, his words make me melt. Isn't he an amazing writer? ;)
Anyway, that's my "about me" from the love of my life.
Happy Friday y'all!


4.25.2013

It's OK Thursday #91 + Free Shipping Promo Codes!

Hi friends!

Thanks for stopping by today to join us for It's OK Thursday!

Before we get started, I wanted to let you know that my boutique, Brunch with Amber, has lots of sales going on right now for mother's day. Some items have been hand selected for the special mom in your life.


Also, I want to offer you free shipping! If you order this week, it's guaranteed to be received by Mother's Day.

So, either leave me a comment here with your email or email me at brunchwithamber@gmail.com if you'd like a free shipping promo code. I want to get you some savings, girl!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

If this is your first time linking up, thank you and WELCOME!

All you have to do is type up a post listing what's OK with you, grab the button for your post, and come back to link up.

Let's do it!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK..

..that today is 3 months 'til my birthday

..to feel a little dorky for counting down to my birthday ;)

..to not be in the mood to read blogs some days

..to not be in the mood to write blogs some days

..to know I promised a guest post from Nate last week, but he's doing some serious slacking

..to be doing some serious slacking myself when it comes to my diet

..to love when people end up surprising me

..to be a little too picky sometimes

..to be excited to start planning my BFF's baby shower

..to still be stuck with editing my vlog - anyone have tips on how to edit in iMovie?

..to enjoy peanut M&Ms entirely too much

..to be a little paranoid sometimes

..to feel like a shitty person when my dog shakes and hides when I leave for work in the morning because he doesn't want me to leave

..to have zero patience most of the time

What's OK with you this week? Come link up and share!



4.22.2013

All sorts of fun going down at BWA this weekend..

So how's about I tell you about, eh?!

First things first, I had planned to have a vlog ready for you guys today. Well, that didn't happen.

I did record a vlog, but I hated it. I skipped like 3 steps in my makeup routine, could hardly see because I didn't have my contacts in (for God know why?!) and then it ended up being really long and I cleared my throat an annoying amount of times. Soooo, it was a no-go because also? I don't know how to edit this damn video. I'll try again sometime guys, I promise.

Friday night:
Nate got off work late and after spending too much time in front of the TV watching news, we had to get up and get some dinner. The original plan was to walk with Binky down the block to Rusty Tacos for dinner, since they have a pet friendly patio.


Well, it was already starting to get dark once we left, so we knew we definitely didn't want to walk back in the dark. SO we drove. And Binky acted like a little jerk. We just can't take him anywhere. ;) haha. He gets anxious and nervous easily, but I'm trying to slowly but surely break him out of that. We'll see. We survived dinner and made it home. Where I proceeded to crash on the couch (like most nights) and Nate wakes me up to go to bed.

Saturday:
We got up pretty early and I talked Nate into getting ready for the day for us to do a little walking around and window shopping at Mockingbird Station which is a few blocks from our place. So off we went with my Bath & Body Works gift card that I was still hanging on to from Christmas - (I know right?!) and we got ourselves some new summer candles. Their BIG 3 wick candles that are normally $20 a piece, are on sale 2 for $22. So we picked a few up. Nate got some body soap since he was running out, and like always we took advantage of the 4 for $15 deal on the handsoaps. We're addicted to these things. They're in our bathroom, kitchen, and they go fast. They just smell so nice and aren't a bad price either!

{maxi skirt - Old Navy} {tee - The Shine Project}

After wards we headed to Victoria's Secret because I was in desperate need of a new nude bra. I was tired of seeing my bra under almost all of my shirts. Well, I get in there and Nate decides he'll just wait outside. The lady helping me thinks I'm choosing bras to try on that are too small for me. What?! So, she fits me, gets me comfortable, I have a bra in hand that I want to buy, and I find out that I went up a cup size. Like I'm gonna have to start buying specially handcrafted brassieres soon. It's getting out of control. So whatever, I needed it and I got it.

We ran over to try Smashburger for a late lunch. Neither of us had been there before, but the reviews were good and the prices were decent so we gave it a shot. And we LOVED it. Will definitely be back. I love that it's so close to the apartment that we can swing by whenever.

We were headed to get home and get ready for our triple date with Neely, A, Stephanie and Mathew. We ended up at Victor Tango's - which is delicious! We found out that our beloved crab mac & cheese has been taken off of the menu. So needless to say, everyone was a little sad. 


After dinner and drinks, we were off to Barcadia, which is a really great bar that allows what Nate says, "for a 30 year old to be a 10 year old for the night" - it's true. We played lifesized Jenga, skee ball, pacman on arcade, and all of that extra fun stuff. 


Stephanie and Mathew had to leave early because they were driving back that night. Sad day to leave my BFF fo' lyfe. 


Came home, Nate popped in Pineapple Express - I don't know.. something about an appropriate movie for the date.

I passed out on the couch (the ush for me), went to bed shortly thereafter.

Sunday:
Woke up nice and early. Had breakfast and coffee on the couch with Nate.

Checked my emails and my day was made when I got one from Leeann saying I won her Greek Life Girl giveaway. YAY!!!! I had wanted this one so badly.

Remembered I needed to take a couple of items to the tailor to be hemmed. So off I go. Well, I get there and realize that they were closed on Sundays. Well, I'm out already and in the same shopping center as my nail salon.......

No question. I got a manicure. I'm a self proclaimed addicted.


I won't lie.. this is an old picture. Not my current manicure. BUT I chose the exact same color. So it's basically the same. :) If you're interested, it's "Gelery - Without Me Babies"

Came home, made my mama's famous hot sauce so that Nate and I could use our leftover taco meat to make nachos. They were de-damn-licious. 

And now? We lay on the couch together while this night flies by entirely too fast :(

Here's to another Monday.... I hope yours is fabulous!

:::Linking up with:::

P.S. Don't forget to enter this giveaway I got goin' on!

4.18.2013

It's OK Thursday #90

Yay it's Thursday! Thank God this week is going by fairly quickly. I hope you're having a FAB week!

Thanks for stopping by today to join us for It's OK Thursday!

If this is your first time linking up, thank you and WELCOME!

All you have to do is type up a post listing what's OK with you, grab the button for your post, and come back to link up.

Let's do it!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK..

..to eat frozen meals for dinner every now and then

..to tell my dog he's cute approximately 100 times a day (okay, maybe more!)

..to feel incredibly depressed by the news

..to be lucky to have parents I still talk to every day

..to be BEHIND on life

..to be crazy excited for my triple date this Saturday with Neely and Steph and our men!

..to have finally gotten Nate to agree to a guest post on the blog ;)

..to kinda dread A/C weather coming, hello electric bill!

..to re-evaluate what I follow

..to be slightly addicted to salt & pepper kettle chips

..to have certain articles of clothing that I want to wear over and over again

..to have died from cuteness when my BFF's daughter called to thank me for a gift the other day

..to love mail, but not bills ;)

What's OK with you this week? Come link up and share!



4.17.2013

Workin' on my fitness, kinda... {GIVEAWAY}

Anytime I actually get my lazy booty to the gym, I always ALWAYS have to make sure my phone is fully charged before I go so that I can listen to some music. Ya know, to keep myself entertained and pump myself up and hopefully work a little harder.

I have a pretty good playlist (but I could use some more songs) on my iPhone, and I use my trusty headphones to listen while on the treadmill.

However, it's not always an easy task to make sure my phone stays in a safe spot somewhere. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pause a workout to keep my phone from tumbling down. It just doesn't stay put well!

Luckily, I found the perfect solution! And, I want to share it with you!


This handy little armband keeps my phone safe and secure on my arm!

Side note. I'm a little embarrassed to put this awful picture on my blog... BUT my digital camera crapped out on me and I have to use my phone camera. I can't very well take a picture of my phone in the case now can I?


This armband rocks. It's got a velcro adjustable strap to fit any sized arm. It fits my phone like a glove. It stays in place on my arm and doesn't slide around or bother me while I'm workin' on my fitness.

Basically, anyone who uses their iPhone for music while working out needs this armband in their life.

Today, I'm giving you the chance to win one of your own!

Enter below! Good luck :)


Disclaimer: I was given this product to review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

4.16.2013

Healthy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Since Nate and I moved in together, I have had the most fun making us dinners. I've been trying to make it fun, different and delicious most nights.

While doing weight watchers research, I came across a recipe for Chicken Fried Rice. I love fried rice when I go out to eat asian food, so I figured I'd make it myself. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

It was so good that I wanted to share it with you all. Here it is!

Chicken Fried Rice


Ingredients:

Cooking spray
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup scallions, uncooked
2 cloves of garlic, minced
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
1/2 diced carrots
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and cook, until scrambled, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.

  • Off heat, recoat skillet with cooking spray and place back over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken and carrots; sauté until chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

  • Stir in reserved cooked egg whites, cooked brown rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Yields approximately 1 cup per serving.

And this is the end result. Doesn't that just look mouth watering?! 



Side notes from me about the recipe:

  • You could use any cooking spray you want, I just choose to use olive oil because I feel like it's the healthier alternative.
  • I added in a bit more than 1/2 cup of the scallions because I really love the onion flavor. I think for most of the veggies you could just eyeball it and put in whatever you want.
  • I did not measure out 12 oz of chicken. I had 4 very thin breasts, and I cut those into bite sized pieces. I felt like it was the perfect amount of chicken.
  • I didn't completely thaw out the peas before I added them in because I like the crunch the texture gives.
  • I added in more than 3 tbsp soy sauce because after it was all stirred together, I felt like it needed more sauce. I don't like super dry rice.
Nate approved too, and he even took leftovers to work the next day. I'd call that a win. We will definitely be adding this to my rotation of meals to make on a regular basis.

Have you ever attempted chicken fried rice before?
Will you try this recipe and let me know how you like it?


4.11.2013

It's OK Thursday #89

Hi friends! It's your favorite day of the week!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by today to join us for It's OK Thursday!

If this is your first time linking up, thank you and WELCOME!

All you have to do is type up a post listing what's OK with you, grab the button for your post, and come back to link up.

Easy peasy Japanese-y! (heard that on a movie the other day & loved it!) :)

Let's do it!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK..

..to only wear makeup to work one, maybe two days a week

..to have energy to write

..to eat Mexican food 3 times in one week

..to almost always do work as it comes to me, but some times it's OK to put it off a bit

..to feel the need for a 2nd cup of coffee some days

..to wonder why some people even come to work when they aren't even useful

..to feel a little bad for the above statement, but it's TRUE!

..to really be thinking about Shelley's post a lot here lately

..to feel like a slacker when I don't post on IG for a couple of days

..to be super excited that my BFF is finding out the sex of her baby today!!!

..to still be jealous that our friends are on their honeymoon in ITALY right now. Not fair.

..to be hard on myself

..to need a plan to put into action to go back to school

..to think Reese's taste better in the egg shape

..to carry floss with you everywhere you go

What's OK with you this week? Come link up and share!



4.09.2013

A Giveaway on a Tuesday?

I know giveaway days are typically Mondays here at Brunch with Amber, but I like to try something a little different every now and then. :)

How would you ladies like a chance to win a....... 
$50 credit to Shabby Apple?!

I know I'd do some majah damage there if I had a chance to do so!

I could live with this black and white polka dot dress in my closet!



And this maxi? LOVE! It seems so retro and fun!



So there it is ladies. Enter for your chance to win $50 to Shabby Apple and pamper yourself!

Good luck dolls! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


4.08.2013

It was my favorite kind of weekend..

..it was wedding weekend!

I absolutely ADORE going to weddings. I love getting to dress up in something nice, go see 2 people profess their love for one another (and possibly shed a few tears, oops!) and then have a bad ass party afterwards. :)

Our BFFs, Chriz (Chris & Liz) got married this past weekend. It was a gorgeous ceremony, a beautiful reception and the food, music and company were amazing as always with this group.

A little tidbit about myself, if you will, I ALWAYS get emotional at weddings. Even for people I barely know. But these guys? I know. Chris is like a brother to me, and Liz and I have grown close the past couple of years. Going to a wedding when your close to the couple getting married makes it much more emotional. I felt a tug at my heartstrings all night long. 

When I saw her coming down the aisle in her dress with her father, it took my breath away.


Then, when I looked at Chris, he had just turned his head to see her coming down the aisle. And the smile that spread across his face and seeing him mouth "I love you" to his bride made me very teary eyed.


Then when they read their own vows they'd written, it was all over for me then. I was a blubbering mess. I love it though. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love how emotional I get at witnessing my friends in love.


Once it was made official that they were now husband and wife, we were off to the reception for a long night of FUN with awesome friends. Me and Fish hanging out waiting to get fed! haha. Love this girl


Once the bridal parties made their grand entrance into the reception we were all ready to eat. Well, I knew that we had to get a picture with Chriz before they get sucked into doing other wedding duties that I have no idea about.


This picture turned out SO well I thought. I'm going to get it framed for our place and for theirs. I love it! BFFs :) Love them!

After dinner, the cake was cut (which was delicious by the way!) so I snapped a few pictures of that for them.


Up next was the toasts. I was excited to hear what Nate had to say. He could've gone with embarrassing drunken stories or sweet and sappy. He did such an amazing job. It was so sweet.


Then I got a wonderful picture of the sweet brothers. I love this one, and I'm going to frame it nicely as a gift for both of them.


 So Chriz, thank you SOO much for letting us join you on your special day. It was beautiful and such a fun time. We're blessed to know you both and can't wait to hear all about your honeymoon when you come back! Love you!

 :::Linking up with:::

4.04.2013

It's OK Thursday #88

Hiii friends. Sorry I've been kinda scarce here on the blog this week. It's been a rough week. But that's a whole different story for another time.

Anywho! (I hate when people say that...)

Thanks for stopping by today to join us for It's OK Thursday!

If this is your first time linking up, thank you and WELCOME!

All you have to do is type up a post listing what's OK with you, grab the button for your post, and come back to link up.

Let's do it!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK..

..that I totally forgot about this post until I was in the shower late Wednesday night

..that I also thought about most of these while in said shower

..to think my dog is a little bitch, and sometimes I'm irritated to no end with him

..but then I love him more than anything, and I'm happy to have a little companion :)

..that I'm disgustingly addicted to Candy Crush. Gee thanks for the favor Heather ;)

..that I missed out on a free canvas print because my computer wouldn't upload the picture properly :(

..okay, so that's not okay is it?

..to be crazy excited for our best friends wedding this weekend

..but then I'm sad because it's basically the last of Nate's good/best friends to get married, hmmm whose wedding will we attend next?!?! ;)

..to want a manicure really bad but I'm thinking about how I will feel better if I actually make my student loan payment this month instead

..to hate being a responsible adult

..to feel like I've just floated around this week with no purpose

..to find Everybody Loves Raymond ridiculously hilarious

..to want to lick my hands after I wash them with apple scented soap from B&BW

..if I want yall to link up with us, and spread the word! we wanna hit 100 this week!!!!!!!!

What's OK with you this week? Come link up and share with us!



4.02.2013

The Most Comfy Dress I've Ever Worn

I am very picky about the clothing that I wear. I tend to get very frustrated when trying on clothes because it never fits just right. If it fits in one area, it's too big or small in another area of my body. 

And shopping online?! Freaks. Me. Out.

Anything I order never fits and then it's wasted money because I leave it in my closet for years.

So, when eShakti contacted me to review one of their pieces, I was very hesitant at first. I didn't answer back on the email for at least a week while I did my research.

After checking out the site, I learned that eShakti offers both design and fit customization for women size 0 through 36.

After much consideration, I decided to jump at the chance to have a dress made just for me. And I sure am glad I did!


I chose the Owl Love cotton knit dress. (which is now on sale because it's from the fall line) - If you know me, you know I LOVE owls. Plus, this just looked so fun and cute. 


I paired it with a mustard colored cardigan (from Forever 21//similar) and black wedges I found at DSW last summer that are identical to the TOMS ones for way less. ;)

As soon as I put this dress on, I was immediately in love. It was super soft, fit perfectly in all the right places, and most importantly - is flattering. I don't feel like I need to walk around sucking in when I wear it. Best part? There's POCKETS! Love.


I was trying to keep my hair outta my face from the wind. 

I wore this to the kickoff reception at Blissdom, and I received a lot of compliments on it. Random people stopped me and told me how cute the dress was. 

Lucky for me, my BFF Meg O. (also one of my bliss roomies) brought her fancy schmancy camera and snapped a few pictures of me in my new favorite dress so I could share with y'all!

And because I like to be silly, I did a "fashion blogger" pose too. :) 



If you register at eShakti, you will receive a $25 off coupon! Go get yo' shop on, girl!

Have you shopped with eShakti before? Share your post so I can see how awesome your dress is too!

Disclaimer: I received this dress in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

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