Holiday Link Up!

Holiday Linkup
 
Oh boy – I just realized that we are ten days out from Halloween!  How fun!  Dressing up, visiting neighbors and eating candy is so my speed.  Today I am joining Lisa for the Holiday Link-Up.  At first, I was not sure what to write about but then I got some cute pictures of T in her costume for this year and decided to take you guys on a little trip down memory lane…
 
It all started in 2005 when my baby was four months old and I put her in a ridiculous Lion costume (which she hated).  We packed her into her stroller and went along with some friends and their kids for her first Halloween.
 
2005  
 
In 2006 I put her in a super uncomfortable lady bug costume (which she also despised – poor kid).  It was freezing the day I took the following pic and my little girl was already feisty.  Getting her to look at the camera proved problematic.  She just wanted to run into the neighbor’s garden and pick her flowers.  The picture below was the best I could muster that year.  I had to give up before she got pneumonia.
2006
2007 was cute and filled with accessories for my little mermaid.  She loved this costume and kept her wig on the whole time we trick or treated! 
2007
By 2008 she was old enough to choose her own costume and (of course) she picked Dorothy (since she was obsessed with her at that time).
2008
In 2009 Taylor decided to be Cinderella and dressed her baby to coordinate.  That baby doll was called Baby Pam Swensen (my maiden name).  She took it everywhere with her and she called it by it’s full name at all times.  
2009
 
2010 brought a few different costumes.  For a Halloween party we held for Taylor’s friends she was a cat.  For her Halloween party at school she was an angel.  
 
2010 2 2010
 
In 2011 my little lady decided to dress as Sherlock Holmes.  Her American Girl, Alexis, was a genie.  
 
2011
Sadly, I have no picture for 2012.  Hurricane Sandy had just hit and our area experienced mass devastation.  We had no electricity, my Mother in Law’s house had been wiped out completely (it was filled with water and Halloween was the first day we could get in to sort through her muddy and salt-water soaked belongings).   
 
By 2013 things were okay again.  My Mother in Law’s house was totally rebuilt and brand new and Taylor chose a rainbow unicorn costume for Halloween.
2013
That brings us to 2014.  I may have shown you a glimpse in past posts but here is the official 2014 costume choice…BATGIRL!
Halloween
 
Have your kiddos made their costume choices yet? 
 

Weekend Recap!

Weekend Wrap UpGood morning girls!  I hope you are feeling motivated and ready to start your week!  I had a pretty packed weekend but it was all good stuff so it’s okay.

I left work early on Friday to head over to T’s school for movie night.  It was so cute to see her sitting with her girls watching the movie.  They seemed so mature.  

We did a lot of running around this weekend.  I got my hair done (I am obsessed with the way it came out).  Taylor had a soccer game (they lost but she still had fun).  We had a sushi date (yummo).  I got my girl a new trumpet for band (she is super excited to play) and we got mani/pedis.  I tried a new purply nail color and sometimes I love it but other times I look down and want to take it off.  I am such a creature of habit when it comes to nail colors.  

It was go go go the last few days but we had a lot of fun together.

How about you guys?  Anything awesome happen this weekend?

I am linking up with Biana for Weekending.  If you get a chance, head on over and visit her!

Happy Friday!

b8599ee458c687e6d2382c307d10ca35Happy Friday!  Today is a short day for me.  I am leaving early to head over to Taylor’s school for movie night.  This has been a rough week.  Little things are getting to me and even though I keep trying to focus on the good things, (like my health, beautiful family and hilarious friends) I still feel a bit short tempered.  It will do me some good to be with my little one and regroup this weekend.  Here are my five favorites from this past week:

1.  Kreativ Case.  I am working with Cindy (who is the sweetest) to bring you guys a giveaway from her shop, Kreativ Case!  She sent me the cutest phone case and I am obsessed with it.  Enter to win your own below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.  Girl’s Trip.  My two besties and I just booked a weekend getaway at Foxwoods for December. After we got the room we discovered that JERRY SEINFELD was performing there and we were able to get tickets!  Yay!  Seeing Seinfeld live is on my bucket list.  Cant wait!

seinfeld-meme-generator-oh-really-now-7646be3.  Blonde.  I am getting my hair done tomorrow.  I know now is the time I should be doing ombre or a darker color but I’m not.  I love my blonde and I’m keeping it.  

Blonde

 4.  Cute Gym Clothes.  How fab are these?  I am totally obsessed with both pairs.

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5.  Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer.  I have been using this for about three weeks now and I am in love.  It is totally non-greasy and doesn’t make me break out at all.  After I apply it my face just sucks it right up.  No residue.  Love.

2ozBottle_UltraFacialMoisturizer_lg

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  I am participating in a few link-ups this week.  If you get a chance you should swing by and show some love to LaurenAmanda and Natasha. Thanks for hosting ladies!   

Kreativ Case {+ a GIVEAWAY!!}

Kreativ Case Giveaway A Little GlitterHappy Thursday Guys!  Sorry I was MIA yesterday but I figured maybe I could make up for it by hooking you up with the chance to win an awesome phone case from Kreativ Case.  Cindy was kind enough to reach out and offer to collaborate with me and I had the most difficult time picking my favorite item from her shop.  A few that I loved were:

This beautiful leopard one…il_fullxfull.651575031_p6ne

 This gorgeous colorful one:il_fullxfull.657650016_gb4h

This custom photo one…

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Or this Christmas one….il_fullxfull.651432254_a4o6

In the end I wound up going with this beautiful Aztec and wood plank design.  I adore it! Kreativ Cases 2Enter below for a chance to win one of your very own using the Rafflecopter widget.  The lucky winner can choose whichever case from the Kreativ Case shop they like best.  There are even cases for the new iPhone 6!

Good luck!  xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link Love!

Cronut

 Above:  The Cronut!  Chances are you haven’t been able to taste a Cronut from the man who invented them, Dominique Ansel.  (I also have not.  As much fun as waiting on line for hours at 4 am sounds – I decided to pass on that.)  Now, you can set aside THREE DAYS and create a Cronut yourself at home thanks to the release by Mr. Ansel of the official recipe.  

Here are the other things I am loving on the internet right now:

- 25 awesome group Halloween costumes;

- This guy is recreating the profile pictures of his Tinder matches and the results are HILARIOUS;

- Crockpot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks.  YES PLEASE!  I am totally making these;

- 10 biggest decorating mistakes according to Elle Decor.

 

Weekending!

Weekending Collage

Good Morning Loves!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I know that most of you are still home today enjoying another day off thanks to Mr. Columbus.  Unfortunately, I am at work.  Boooooooo!  

The only thing that makes me a little less jealous of all the people that are off today (and that is like 90% of Manhattan – the roads were totally empty) is that I had a weekend packed full of enjoyment so I feel satisfied that enough fun was had.

Taylor and I went out to Long Island bright and early on Saturday to visit.  It was raining but we got in some good shopping at Justice and I managed to spend a bagillion dollars on bedazzled sweatpants for my girl.  (Can I just say that it warms my heart that my daughter loves my best friend’s kids so much.)

On Saturday night I went to dinner with a big group of friends and had a blast.  From right to left you are looking at Mini Tuna Tacos,  Chicken Pot Pie and a Reece’s Pieces Blondie.  It was all delish but the tacos my favorite part of the meal.  They had this mango dressing that paired so nicely with the tuna. I really want to try to replicate these at home at some point.

Taylor and I met up with my family at Jones Beach bright and early on Sunday morning for the Lustgarten Foundation’s Pancreatic Cancer Walk.  We walked in honor of my Sister-in-law’s Mother.  It was a beautiful day and it raised a million dollars for a great cause.  

After the walk I was beat and even got in a great late day nap back at home.  I love when that happens.

Today I am linking up with Biana for Weekending!  If you get a second, stop by and show her some love.  

Happy Friday!

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Not to be annoyingly chipper but I am in a great mood today!  I have felt inspired with my blog this week and things are just flowing.  You know how sometimes you feel like you HAVE to post and sit there and brainstorm about what you are going to write about and it feels like work? This week has been the exact opposite of that.  I got so much accomplished and it has been really effortless and pleasant.  Along with the joy ALG has brought me this week, my other favorites are:

1.  The Big Apple Circus.  The Circus is coming to Lincoln Center in NYC and I am going with my family.  T and I love the animals and the clowns and the trapeze the most!  I have also partnered up with the Big Apple Circus to give one lucky reader tickets to the Saturday show on opening weekend!  You can enter below using the Rafflecopter widget.  Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Press for Champagne Sign.  I bought one of these for my bestie for her birthday a few months back and I have been coveting it ever since.  The other day I bit the bullet and got one for myself!  I cant wait to get it!  IT EVEN RINGS!  

Press For Champagne

3.  Business Cards.  Last month I attended a blog event and discovered that apparently bloggers were supposed to have business cards?  I had no idea.  I was literally the only one in the room that did not have one.  I HATE TO BE UNPREPARED!  So, I designed and ordered a batch and I am obsessed with them!  (I’d show you the back but I don’t like my telephone number to be out on the internet.)

A Little Glitter Pamela Bannon

4.  Pumpkin Decorating.  We have yet to go pumpkin picking but I am leaning towards painting mine this year.  I feel like they last so much longer and look so much better (and I also enjoy not dealing with this mushy guts or gross smell involved in carving).  I saw this one on Pinterest and I am loving the gold!

Gold Pumpkins

5.  Halloween Costumes.  I took this cute face to the costume store last week and she chose what she is going to be!  Introducing the sassiest and sweetest Bat Girl ever!

2014-10-03 15.21.03 2014-10-03 16.06.47I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  I am participating in a few link-ups this week.  If you get a chance you should swing by and show love to the hosts.  They are LaurenAmanda and Natasha.  Thanks for hosting ladies!   

The Bouqs Company Review

Sunflowers

 If you follow me on social media you will notice that I post a lot of pictures of flowers.  My husband sends me bouquets often and I buy them for our house a lot.  I think they make a space feel more special and I LOVE the smell.  I am sure you can imagine my delight when The Bouqs Co. reached out to me to review a beautiful arrangement from their site.  Yes, please!

Before accepting their offer I did some research.  While I do enjoy reviewing products, I cant recommend something to you that I don’t believe in or would not use myself in real life.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are extremely eco-friendly.  They cut only the flowers they sell.  They don’t hack off dozens of them and throw them in a freezer somewhere.

They also save energy by shipping directly from the farm (instead of having to keep the flowers refrigerated for weeks like other companies).  That results in a lot of energy savings.

Additionally, and this was huge for me – their farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education to their workers.  I was really impressed with that.

After I decided that I loved Bouqs as a Company I went on their website and looked at their selection and it is gorgeous.  You can order any bouquet from their volcano collection and it is shipped to your door from South America for $40 flat.  No shipping charges, no processing fees. There are options to add additional flowers or enlarge your arrangement for a bit more money but I did not choose to do that and my plain $40 bouquet was phenomenal.  They also have other more intricate bouquets that are a bit more but we are talking $50 not $150. 

I don’t know about you guys but I have had a few instances lately where I have been annoyed with the process of ordering flowers online.  Every Mother’s Day I wind up spending so much time trying to get a good deal when ordering flowers for our Moms and Grandmothers and then I still spend a few hundred anyway.  It really adds up.  I HATE when I see a pretty bouquet, think the price is reasonable, click on it and it is tiny unless I upgrade to a much larger price point.  I also hate all the hidden fees they tack on at the end. Astronomical shipping and handling, processing fees and service charges can change a decently priced order to something that is out of control.  I appreciate that on the Bouqs site I don’t have to deal with that.  It was $40 total.

Here are some of the gorgeous bouquets they offer:

Bouqs Co Review Bouqs Co Review Bouqs Co ReviewAfter much deliberation I wound up selecting the Desperado Bouquet.  It is a beautiful exotic pink rose arrangement with accent flowers.  I am a pink girl, so I had to go with that.

Desperado Bouquet Bouqs ReviewHow gorgeous are those?  For real!  I scheduled my delivery date and the box arrived on my doorstep via Federal Express.  They were very well packaged and the flowers were in pristine condition.

Open Box 1I took them out, cut them stems on an angle and put them in some water.  They were beautiful on that day and they are still sitting on my table (EIGHT DAYS LATER).  They’ve opened and each day they get bigger and prettier.  Forty dollars (including delivery) was a STEAL for this bouquet. I think since they are shipped directly from the grower they have a longer lifespan because these still seem in their prime while other Companies I have ordered from have sent me flowers that were dead in 48 hours.

Here are a few pictures I took when they first arrived:

Flowers 1 Flowers Close Up

Here are a few photos I took last night (7 days after receiving them):

Open Rose Rose 2 Roses 3I would not hesitate to recommend The Bouqs.com to a friend or family member.  I was really blown away by the Company’s ethics, price and the quality of the flowers I received.  They will definitely be my new floral go-to.  

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click them and place an order I will receive a small compensation.  Thanks!

Big Apple Circus Giveaway!

Metamorphosis

Step right up!  The Big Apple Circus will kick off their 37th season with a fun show coming to NYC later this month. The World premier of “Metamorphosis” will be at Damrosh Park in Lincoln Center starting on October 17th, 2014 and running until January 11th, 2015.

I am attending with my family in November and I am SOOOOOO excited!  I love it all!  The music, the popcorn, the animals and the clowns.  I cant wait to be under the big top!

I have a great promotional code that you can use when buying tickets (if you don’t win them below). Use code BIGAPPLE to save up to $25 off tickets.* That’s per ticket, not just off the total purchase! (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.)

The Big Apple Circus has been kind enough to offer one lucky ALG reader two tickets to attend the show on Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 4:30 pm!  I am going to run this giveaway a bit differently.  Instead of following me on various forms of social media I am going to have you guys answer a question and leave the answer in the comments section of this post.  Please leave your contact information on the Rafflecopter widget so that I can reach you if you are the winner.  I will be choosing a winner on October 14th, 2014 at 8 am.  

QUESTION:  Name the performers and/or acts from this year’s METAMORPHOSIS cast that you are most excited to see!

You can find the answers here.  Good luck!   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peanut Butter & Co. + Fall Cookie Pizza

Peanut ButterEarlier this month, Peanut Butter & Co. was kind enough to send me some samples of their products.  I don’t know if you are familiar with their brand but I first heard of them when my husband worked in downtown NYC.  They have a sandwich shop on Sullivan Street where they make delicious things, such as the Elvis (a grilled peanut butter sandwich, stuffed with bananas and honey).  I get a lot of samples from companies that want me to write about their products on my blog.  This was HANDS DOWN my husband and daughter’s favorite bit of swag to date. They were SUPER excited.

If you look closely at the above picture you will notice that they had already dipped into the White Chocolate Wonderful before I even got a chance to photograph the jars.  

While we will be making tons of pb&js with these (and the hubs will be putting some on his pancakes) I also wanted to bake something Fallish with Taylor and incorporate them somehow.

Of course, I started my search on Pinterest and came across this thing of beauty:

Peanut Butter Candy Corn Pizza

In case you cant tell – that is a peanut butter cookie pizza topped with marshmallows, Reeces Pieces and candy corn!  Taylor was all about making that!

Peanut Butter Model

I used the peanut butter cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and incorporated the White Chocolate Wonderful from Peanut Butter & Co. into the recipe.  Then I had Taylor smush it into the bottom of my 12 inch cast iron skillet and baked it for 15 minutes.  

Sugar CookieAfterwards we poured on tons of marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy corn and Reeces Pieces and I put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown.  

Cooked 1 Cookie 2

This cookie pizza was so easy and fun to make.  Taylor and I had a blast.  It also didn’t hurt that it was DELICIOUS!  Obviously, it is not the type of thing you can eat every day but it was a nice treat.

Today I am linking up with Kate and Emily for their recipe swap!  Swing through and show them some love if you get a chance!

Martinis & Bikinis
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