Friday, August 31, 2012

Introducing Teach Me Something Thursday.

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you are all ready to welcome September with open arms. As many of us associate the upcoming holiday weekend with the arrival of the school year (you can't walk into any store without being greeted with an array of school supplies), this was the perfect time for me to roll out something fun + new on the blog - Teach Me Something Thursday! Seeing as my background is teaching, I love learning and helping others learn. This is just as important outside of the classroom as it is inside of the classroom.

There will be a variety of areas that will be covered, so there is something for everyone. Anyone can contribute, so feel free to contact me regarding your submission. TMST will premiere on September 6, and our first contributor is one of my first friends in the blogosphere, Callie, from the awesome blog Coffee and Cardigans. I'm so excited, this is one of the many things I have been working on for short girl, long island. Once autumn arrives, there will be even more awesomeness - for now, its being kept under wraps. Trust me, its going to rule.

Bobby Flay + America's Best Home Cook.

Something you might not know: my guilty pleasure is watching Food Network. This is often where I get ideas for my kitchen creations. Well, this week, Food Network contacted me, looking for some of my New York readers to participate in the new show, starring Bobby Flay! If you are a fan of the Flay, I suggest you apply sooner rather than later. Here is the casting information. If any of you are chosen, let me know - I'll try + sneak on set with you to get the scoop + blog about it!

If you'd like additional information, visit

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight.

Happy Thursday! Hope the week is going well and that you're all gearing up for the holiday weekend. I'm happy to introduce some of the lovely ladies who are sponsors of short girl, long island.

Hi! My name is Marissa and I blog over at The Modern Austen. I'm a twenty-something English teacher moving out on my own for the first time. I blog about my new adventures, DIY projects, fashion, beauty, and education. The Modern Austen is all about classic style with a contemporary twist. I also have a cool feature called Teacher Tuesdays where teachers of all grades and disciplines are welcome to share their teacher outfits, crafts, lesson plans, and/or strategies. Thank you to Michele for featuring me today! I hope you'll stop by The Modern Austen soon :)

You can also find Marissa on TwitterFacebookPinterestGoodreads, + Polyvore.

hello! my name is allie. i am wife to mark since april 10, 2010, and mommy to a little mouse a.k.a. squeaky a.k.a. norah bean since january 16, 2011. i am 25 years old and i have no idea what i'm doing with my life (ha!). currently i am a stay at home mama, but before that i worked in a preschool for 3 years. it was there that my true love for children flourished and when i became a mother it only multiplied further.  besides being super-mommy and super-wife (hehe), you might also find me digging through piles of 'junk' at a thrift store, running the bike path near my house, drinking too much coffee, watching weird movies with my husband, wearing two or more patterns in one outfit, or sitting on pinterest/stalking more and more blogs until way past my bedtime. 

my goal, and the inspiration for my own blog, is to give my daughter the best life possible. i believe that the best life is the simplest life, filled with love, laughter, dreams, and play. childhood is the best time of your life (ask ANYONE) and i want to give my girl the most magical one i can. at little mouse's house you will see how we play, the things we make, our thrifty lifestyle, and how we live out our faith.

Allie can also be found over at PinterestInstagramTwitter, + Facebook.

Make sure you swing by and say hello to these lovely ladies! If you are interested in sponsorship or swapping ads, please check out my sponsor page

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No More Dirty Looks Features SGLI.

One of my Meatless Monday meals was featured over at No More Dirty Looks, which happens to be one of my favorite blogs. You can check out my meat-free day here. They also referenced The Breakfast Club + used a picture of Ally Sheedy, whose character Allison was one of my faves in the film!

If you've never ventured over to NMDL, I highly suggest it. The website is ran by clean beauty queens Alexandra Spunt + Siobhan O'Connor, authors of the book No More Dirty Looks. This book changed my entire outlook on clean beauty products (not to mention clean eating), so its an honor to be featured on their site. No More Dirty Looks is also the first book I purchased for my Kindle, and I love going back and referencing it. I highly suggest you snag a copy of the book - it makes you think twice about using that chemical-laden body wash you snagged at the dollar store. I'm all for bargains, but when it comes to my body and wellness, I'd much rather dish out a few extra bucks for clean beauty products.

If you've read the book before, let me know what you think!

New Sponsors + Etsy Store Sale!

The last few days have been pretty hectic. Our vacation came to a close, so we had to catch up on the little things. I connected with fellow bloggers, added more fun things to my Etsy store + added new sponsors, which are on the right-hand side of the blog. Please go check out my sponsors when you have a moment - a few are actually running some amazing sales at the moment, specifically Modcloth. If I had extra cash lying around, I would buy half a dozen dresses from their Last Hurrah sale.

Speaking of sales, I am having a sale at my own store. Use the code SGLI10 to receive 10% all items in my Etsy store - this is also good on custom orders, so if there is something you'd like me to create, shoot me an email at michele [at] shortgirllongisland [dot] com. More items will be added daily, so if there's something that you see in the picture above + want to snag it before it goes live, let me know!

Monday, August 27, 2012

LA Fresh Travel Lite Kits.

Last month, I wrote about about my newfound love for LA Fresh's on-the-go beauty products. After I had tossed a few in my bag, I was talking to a friend's younger sibling about preparing to go away to college. I thought to myself, these packets would be perfect for students living in dorm quarters! LA Fresh's Travel Lite for Him and Her would be a perfect "in case of an emergency" kit for any student to keep stashed in their closet or under their bed, along with a plastic shower caddy, filled with full size LA Fresh products. When my friend Sean went away to college, he was constantly running out of grooming products, and would go days without hitting the store. Every time I would visit, I would do laundry for him, and go with him to the grocery store, to stock up on necessities. If these were around when we were working on our undergrad, you know what he would see under the Christmas tree each year!

The Travel Lite for Him kit comes with various towelettes: Hydrating Lotion, Anti-Bacterial, Deodorant, Shoe Shine, Lens Cleaners and Minty Mitts. I tried out everything but the Shoe Shine. The lotion wipes are awesome - I thought they'd be gunky or gooey, but it went on smooth and moisturized my skin well. The deodorant wipe was kind of a bust - it lasted a few hours, but that was about it. The lens cleaners are probably one of my favorite LA Fresh products now, and the mint flavored mitt worked great after I had a vegetable hummus wrap for lunch. 

The Travel Lite for Her kit comes with an assortment of towelettes: Makeup Remover, Nail Polish Remover, Anti-Bacterial, Feminine Hygiene, Hydrating Lotion, and Lens Cleaners. In this kit, I tested out everything but the Feminine towelettes, solely based on the fact that they creeped me out. In my previous review, I covered the first three items, and the last two are the same ones I just spoke about in the kit for him. 

Overall, both LA Fresh kits make great gifts - not only for those going off to college, but for teachers, those who spend long hours at the office, or stashed somewhere in the house, ready for when you travel (or if you just run out of something and don't feel like heading to Walgreen's at 3am). Its also a great way to test out the line of LA Fresh products. I tossed a few of the lens cleaners in my glove box and plan on mailing a few down to my friend, Sean. He's no longer a messy college student, but he travels quite often for his job. These would be great for him to stash in his carry-on.

Are there any on-the-go products or items that you can't live without? I love getting recommendations from my readers, either on the blog, Twitter, or Instagram [stellarmichele] - it gives me an excuse to try new things!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birthday Adventuring: Greenport.

This afternoon, Erich and I ventured out to Greenport, which is located on the North Fork of Long Island. It usually takes over an hour to get out there, but since we were stuck behind a construction vehicle on a single lane road, it tacked on an extra thirty minutes on to our drive. We didn't mind, though. The windows were down and the pre-autumn air swirled around us, as we talked and listened to music. Scenery heading out east is spectacular as well. Vineyards, farm stands, windmills and beautiful homes kept our attention as we make the trek out east.

When we got into town, I suggested we snag a late lunch at BBQ Bill's. They have indoor and outdoor seating, and since the weather was absolutely gorgeous today, we opted for the outdoor seating. I have been dying to try a brew from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, so I ordered their Harbor Pale, which was delicious. The brewery is within walking distance from the restaurant, but we just wanted to lay low and enjoy some time together. We had fun sneaking random pictures of each other and Erich said he would help me take some photos for our adventure, so I could blog about it. I totally forgot to take a picture of my food, but Erich captured his before digging in. He joked that I was missing my obligatory food shot. Honestly, I was too busy talking and enjoying the time with him, that I completely forgot to snap a shot. I chose the pulled pork sandwich with macaroni and cheese, while Erich opted for the pulled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries. The mac and cheese was bland (one of the few foods I am super picky about), but I added some pulled pork to it, which definitely made it taste better.

After lunch, we walked around Greenport for a bit longer, then decided to head back home. Our allergies/sinuses started acting up again, plus we needed to make a pit stop at my cousin's house for his fourth birthday. 

It got darker earlier than usual, so I snapped a couple shots while we drove westward. Next trip, I really want to head to Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue. I have always been intrigued by the quaint building and the eye-catching sign. I just read reviews, and it seems like a solid dining choice. 

By the time we got to my cousin's house, we had just missed the piñata, and saw the birthday boy in tears! He was upset that the piñata was smashed, so his dad promised to piece it back together, so he could keep it on his dresser. I gave him his card, to try and help ease his worries. The card definitely helped take his mind off the piñata, and soon, we were ready to sing happy birthday. Even though my head was pounding and my eyes were burning (awesome week to get sick, huh?), I was really happy to see my family. One little showed me how she could do cartwheels, another told us that he was going to kindergarten soon, and littlest princess wouldn't let me put her down, covering me in cookie crumbs. The rest of the peanuts ran around, sippy cups or cookies in tow. They are seriously the cutest. Earlier that day, LYSA held a pep rally in memory of Dominic, to retire his football number and to announce they would give out a scholarship for the next three years, until Dom would have graduated. Tonight, I could see the sadness in everyone's eyes at the party. He's been gone three months; its so weird to celebrate milestones without him. Whenever I get sad about Dom being gone, I let the waterworks flow, then think about what Dom would want me to do. If he were here, he would give me a hug (probably a cookie, too), flash that wonderful smile of his, and tell me not to worry, that everything will be okay. He would want me to smile and enjoy life. So that's what I'm doing. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is Erich's birthday. He has been a bit under the weather for a few days (as have I), so we have been bumming around all day. I must admit, that I totally loved hanging out in pajamas most of the day, with no responsibilities on my plate. Very refreshing. He got a surprise birthday cake last night, and has one in the kitchen for today, but is waiting for his dad to come home, so we can all celebrate together. Luckily, our day of rest has us feeling much better, and we will be adventuring out east to celebrate tomorrow afternoon.

Today is Erich's birthday. He has been a bit under the weather for a few days (as have I), so we have been bumming around all day. I must admit, that I totally loved hanging out in pajamas most of the day, with no responsibilities on my plate. Very refreshing. He got a surprise birthday cake last night, and has one in the kitchen for today, but is waiting for his dad to come home, so we can all celebrate together. Luckily, our day of rest has us feeling much better, and we will be adventuring to celebrate tomorrow afternoon.

His mom had balloons delivered to the house today, but they were from the kittens (haha!) and the family cat and dog. He was so surprised and happy about his balloons, it was the cutest. Definitely helped make his day a bit brighter. Since we are feeling better and only left the house to get takeout for lunch (General Tso's Chicken for him, assorted sushi for me), I think we might get some fresh air and take a nice drive around town. 

I'll leave you all with a bit of birthday music with a silly video to boot. My Aunt Kathi calls me each year and sings this song to me on my voicemail - my phone is always on silent on my birthday until I decide to roll out of bed. The person who made the video got the title of the song wrong, but you get the idea. Enjoy your weekend, I know we will!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Anticipating: Erich's birthday! Its tomorrow, and we took a nice little "staycation." Unfortunately, he has come down with a cold, so he is laying low. I'm hoping he feels better by the weekend, so we can adventure a bit. Oh, and I'm also anticipating listing items in my brand new Etsy store! The coasters I just made in the picture above will be listed, among some of the jewelry I have been making. My vintage Gucci bags will also be going up there, because I just have way too many bags and I need to clean house a bit.

Listening to: Summer 2012 Saddle Creek Sampler. I snagged this from Amazon for free, which was awesome. It has artists such as Bright Eyes, Cursive and The Mynabirds. You can find the album here, and check out more of their free downloads. This is how I discover new music, and its safe to say that 15% of my iTunes library are free albums I snagged from Amazon.

Loving: The Beatles Yellow Submarine vinyl figures, recently released by Funko. I am totally in love with these little buggers, but I can't really justify spending the money on these at the current moment. My birthday is in November, so here's to wishful thinking! Fun fact: I have The Beatles Yellow Submarine tattooed on my back.

Planning: what to do this weekend for the boy's birthday! Especially tomorrow. I have no clue what I want to do yet. Maybe I'll take him out for a nice lunch out on the town or something. He just made a comment as I was typing this, saying something that he wants me to surprise him. This coming from the guy who does not like to be surprised. Jeez, nothing like pressure at the last minute, right? I'm sure I can think of something. 

Reading: my advance copy of Damien Echols' Life After Death. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the publisher a few weeks early, in order to give my readers a brief review of the book. If you are unfamiliar with Damien Echols, he is a gentleman who was on death row since the mid 90s for a crime he did not commit. If you have ever heard of the West Memphis 3, Damien is one of the three individuals who was wrongfully imprisoned for the horrific murders of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas. Their story has fascinated me since I saw a documentary on HBO when I was in middle school, and I am so grateful that Damien sent me in the right direction to obtain a copy of the book. 

Watching: Disney flicks, believe it or not! I just got my paws on The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under Blu-Ray set , and I'm going to watch it as soon as I'm done typing this. I will never tire of watching Disney films, even when i'm 64. :) 

Wishing: I could get my paws on a solid camera, to take pictures for the blog. I usually use my iPhone, or I have someone with a nice camera help me out and take some shots for me. I would really like to have something of my own, so I could adventure out and snap some beautiful shots. I have been eyeing the Nikon D5100. A friend of mine used to work for the company and recommended this model for what I plan on using it for. The price is definitely not in my range at the moment, but I have been saving up points on my credit card, which I can cash out for gift cards to various places that sell the camera. Its an older model, so I'm hoping I can still acquire one before the holidays. 

Working on: my organizational skills. I have been utilizing my planner to a greater degree, and using mini Post-it notes for my blog posts, thanks to something I read on little chief honeybee. Its actually been one of the best things I've done lately! I'm actually putting together a ginormous contest, which will hit the blog later in the year, plus starting up a weekly or bi-weekly feature from other bloggers I admire. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blogger Craft Night!

Last night, I met up with Sarina, the gal behind the awesome blog, Nerd Craft Librarian. Now, we were both connected in numerous ways, but hadn't officially met until yesterday. Sarina went to high school with my brother, Vinnie, and I went to kindergarten with her brother, Charlie. Also an interesting fact: in kindergarten, I tried kissing Charlie on the school bus (I was very forward, even at the tender age of five). The bus stopped short and Charlie fell, which gave him a pretty gnarly gash, and I'm pretty sure he had to get stitches. At his birthday party, which I want to say was at a bowling alley (I'm trying to remember 25 years ago, so bear with me), I was saying goodbye and I was afraid to hug him (I hugged all of my friends, and actually contracted mono from a girl I hugged who bit my face. No bath salts, just a girl who hated hugs), but our moms said I wouldn't hurt him by hugging him.

We hit it off right away, and Sarina gave me a tour of their awesome new house before we got to work in the craft room. Yes, she has a craft room, and it rules. I had brought over supplies to make tile coasters, and Sarina was going to teach me the ways of using freezer paper to make a stencil for a tote bag I had. Our first project we embarked on were the coasters. Here is a quick tutorial on how we did this.

Tile Coasters
4" x 4" tiles - purchased 5 at The Home Depot for under $1
Paper/fabric (we used stationery, tissue paper, scrapbooking paper and a bag from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
Glue gun or Tacky Glue
Foam Brush
Acrylic Sealer

1. Cut felt to be a bit smaller than your tile - don't want overhang. Glue to bottom of coaster BEFORE decorating. I did it after I started. It wasn't the end of the world, but it is wiser to get this taken care of first.

2. Figure out what you want to put on the coaster, paper/fabric-wise first. Lay the items out on the tile, before applying Mod Podge, so you can see if you like the layout.

3. Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge onto the tile with your foam brush, and start placing the paper on. Smooth down with your fingers. Once all of your pieces are on, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge on top.  Let dry for 10-15 minutes. Repeat process twice.

4. Wait a few hours (or overnight, like I do), and use an acrylic sealer. It will make the coaster last longer, because the Mod Podge won't protect from water damage. Follow the directions on the sealer bottle, and apply at least three coats to your coasters. On my last batch, I applied half a dozen coats of sealer, over the course of two days. I'd rather be safe than sorry, especially since these will be used as gifts!

Regarding the freezer paper, Sarina be posting a tutorial soon, so make sure you bookmark her blog. If you want to see a larger step-by-step photos of her latest Halloween themed freezer paper project, click here. I'll tell you this, though - it was simple and awesome. Check out the bag I created below!

We took a crafting break, and my gracious host fed my hungry little behind homemade doughnut holes and Caprese salad, while we discussed our next crafting escapade. I seriously had so much fun last night. It was the first time I've actually hung out with a fellow blogger - crazy, right? But we definitely have more blogging and crafting projects up our sleeves for the future.

I also had to post this for you Dr. Who lovers out there. Sarina made this amazing TARDIS bag, which will be up in her Etsy store shortly.

Do any of you often have blogger meetups or crafting nights? If any bloggers on the island are reading this, let us know if you're interested in either. Its always fun meeting new people and making fun creations.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An Afternoon with Eastern Phoebes.

I love when an interview can be unscripted and totally candid. Sometimes in this line of work, its not possible to do so, especially when questions are sent via email. When I'm given the chance to sit down and shoot the shit for awhile, its great. Its even better when the folks you're interviewing aren't total strangers! Last week, I got to meet up with Eastern Phoebes, a band hailing from the South Shore of Long Island. We discussed the band, life without the 'net, the upcoming EP and plans for their next video shoot.

The band is comprised of Ry Smith and Meg Bayley, who also happen to be the most adorable couple I've ever met. When they play live gigs, they are joined by friends Rick Katterman and Gary Norton. I've known Ry for years, but this was the first time I had met Meg, but I felt as if I'd known her for years after I left that afternoon. We conducted the interview at their lakefront cottage, which was fantastic. The beginning of our conversation was essentially Ry and I catching up on our lives as of late - we had met back in 2007, when he was performing with the band, Camera-Head Shark. We have had brief encounters in the last year or so, but we haven't had time to sit and chat in years. I knew that he had a new musical project going on, but I didn't find out about it until a couple months ago. I know, I'm a horrible friend - I should be up on these things. I had listened to Lion Gardiner, which the band released this year, and fell in love with it. There are so many elements and facets to their music. It makes you feel happy, but not in a cheesy sort of way. Do yourself a favor and put on a pair of headphones and just listen. Don't surf the 'net, leave the land of Instagram for the next hour, and lose yourself in the music. Its free (just enter your price as $0.00), although it wouldn't kill you to pay a few bucks for the album.

Lion Gardiner is the first full-length album created since the formation of Eastern Phoebes, but the band prefers recording EPs. Working for an LP for months on end is far more tedious than banging out an EP in around a month. In fact, their next EP, Better People, will be out this October. Ry worked on most of this while Meg spent the month in San Francisco, completing her yoga training. I got to hear a few rough cuts, and I am really digging what Ry had been working on while Meg was getting her Ohm on in California. Meg's vocals need to be added in, along with whatever else Ry sees fit, but trust me on this, its gonna be good. We spent a good chunk of the conversation discussing the upcoming video, which will be for "I'm a Wolf," a song which will be on Better People. I can't spare details, but from the ideas Ry and Meg are swirling around, it will definitely be spectacular. 

As we sat in their sunroom, entertaining the pup, Penny Lane (yes, the same name as our cat), we discussed life and the lack of interaction we see between folks these days. It seems as if most people we know hide behind some sort of gadget, instead of going out and seeing the world. If most people we know go out to do something, the hot spot is almost always a bar, which is a scene that we really don't frequent much anymore. I'll be the first one to admit that I am totally guilty of zoning out on my computer (and my iPhone), but I do take time each day to spend time connecting with people and creating fun things. We all agreed that game nights are totally underrated and that we need to resurrect them, for the sake of humankind. 

You can find Eastern Phoebes on Facebook, Twitter and make sure to download their tunes [for free] over at Bandcamp. For even more fun links to Meg's yoga journey + Ry's artwork, head over to Eastern Phoebes for the links.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lazy Root Beer Float!

This post is live, from my kitchen. Sure, there will be a bit of a time delay by the time it posts, but this is as close to real-time as I'll get (until I decide to be brave and vlog). I keep eyeing the IBC Root Beer in the fridge, but I'm craving something more than that. The ice cream flavors in the freezer aren't really my cup of tea, but there ARE ice cream bars. Vanilla ice cream with a chocolate shell. Simple, yet delicious. So, I've decided to experiment with what I am calling a Lazy Root Beer Float.

Lazy Root Beer Float
1 bottle IBC root beer
1 ice cream bar (whatever brand/flavor you like)
1 tall glass
1 straw
1 spoon

Now, before you start gathering the goods, get a nice tall glass and toss it in the freezer, along with the root beer. Leave them in there for ten to fifteen minutes before you do anything - just don't forget them in there!

Once your ready, unwrap your ice cream bar, and place stick side up in your glass.

Add root beer, but leave a few inches at the top of the glass. Dunk ice cream bar up and down a bit to mix. Be careful, it'll foam up a bit. Once the ice cream starts to fall of the stick, mix with the stick.

When its ready, stick a straw in and start sipping! Now, please excuse me while I stuff my face and wait for my photos to upload from my phone. 

Seeing as I was uploading the pictures without wifi, it took a considerable amount of time. I'm already finished with my float, and added the spoon as one of the things you need. Why, you might ask? Well, you're going to have chunks of chocolate at the bottom of the glass. Seeing as its a crime in this part of town to waste perfectly good chocolate, I scooped it out and ate it! Is was super crunchy and delicious. Mmmmm, chocolate.

What are some quick concoctions you've thought of lately? Are you more of a sweet or savory snacker?

Retail Therapy that Didn't Break the Bank.

Awhile back, I was approached by Dots to check out one of their Long Island locations. I was definitely interested, as I had never stepped foot in one of their stores before. About five years ago, when I had asked a friend if I should stop in there to look for a dress for a night out, they told me not to bother - the stuff fell apart after a few washes. Well, most of the stuff I've purchased from H+M hasn't lasted an entire season, but that same person rants and raves about H+M. I've even watched their purse from the store fall apart while we were out shopping, so I figured I would give Dots a shot. I mean, I needed to see it for myself. Plus, if the prices were as affordable as they claimed, I would be cool with the item just making it through the season. 

After I finished touring The Container Store, it was off to Dots in Levittown. Since Avalon couldn't come with me to snap some shots, my mom came along with me. It was nice to spend the afternoon with her (even though she dragged me grocery shopping with her after we were finished), and she got to see what fun stuff I get to do when it comes to blogging. We met up with the store manager, Karrie, and chatted about the merchandise in the store. Early Fall is now in all stores, as you can tell by the colors in the pictures. Lots of warm tones. Dots had lots of dip-dyed denim, strappy sandals and neons this summer, as many retailers across the country showcased. 

 Dots was kind enough to send me a couple gift cards to fund my shopping adventure, but seeing as my mom was my photographer for the day, I used them towards her purchases. My mom recently lost a good amount of weight, so she's been trying to pick up a few nice pieces, without breaking the bank. This was the best place for her to go. Not only did we have the gift cards, but we also had coupons ($10 off a purchase of $35 or more and $15 off a purchase of $50 or more) - how could we say no to a teensy shopping spree?

 Mom and I actually chose the same two floral dresses. She ended up getting both, but I only snagged one, because they were out of mediums in the other one I wanted. I was bummed, because the dresses are super soft and comfortable, and would look great with a stack of bracelets, a crystal necklace, and a pair of docs (or even a pair of Lita's). While I didn't get the bright floral one, I got a black and white one, which I will be featuring on the blog in the fall.

While mom was trying stuff on, I was clowning around with her camera. If you look to the left, you can see her walking out of the fitting room in a black and white floral print dress. That is the same dress I got. They were $18 apiece, which is a steal. 

The coolest part of the store? The fitting rooms! Inside, there are three hooks to hang your clothes on: need a better fit, not for me, and love the looks! When we were in the fitting room, Karrie came by a few times to check on all of the customers, to see if they needed items in different sizes. Now, this is something I wish all stores had in the fitting rooms, and their employees did. I don't know how many times I haven't purchased something, simply because I didn't want to have to wait on line for the fitting room again. On the other hand, this could be extremely dangerous.

Overall, I was impressed with the selection Dots carried and I wished I had gone in there sooner. While some of what they carry is not my style (this happens at every store I step foot in), a lot of their dresses were frocks I'd rock. Plus, they have an array of really cute shoes and accessories that will help complete an outfit without breaking the bank. For the the prices, its definitely worth checking out. Plus, if you sign up for the Dots newsletter, you will get coupons sent on a regular basis. If you pass a store in your travels, swing by and see what they have to offer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coconut Butter + Chocolate = Candy!

Last week, I got lots of fun stuff in the mail. Postcards and letters from pen pals, fancy postcards to send to said pen pals, and a boatload of nut butters from Artisana. I have purchased their cashew butter and Cacao Bliss in the past and loved it, but had not tried many of their other products. They graciously sent me over lots of goodies to try.

Now, I have had ample time to try all of the nut butters they sent me. I picked up a slew of apples and bananas to snack on at work. Between phone calls, I would squeeze a bit on my fruit and take a bite. Super convenient and not messy whatsoever. I really liked their almond butter, and really dug the macadamia butter - it has teeny tiny bits of macadamia nuts in it, which made the texture awesome. I didn't dislike the pecan or walnut butters, but they weren't my favorite of the bunch. I've never really been a fan of either nut, which probably has to do with this. When I was younger, we would have mixed nuts in a wooden bowl on the table. The pecans and walnuts were always my least favorite. Apparently, not much has changed over the years. So, if you like walnuts and pecans, I have a feeling you will like the pecan and walnut butter. 

I used the coconut oil as a moisturizer on my arms and legs after my shower, and it worked wonders. No, this isn't the first time I've done this. If you haven't tried this, I suggest you do (unless you're allergic, then stay away). Next trip I take, I will definitely grab a few of these packets for travel - I wouldn't dare take my jar of coconut oil with me. With my luck, I wouldn't close the jar completely, and it would be a disaster, to say the least. I ate the Cacao Bliss straight out of the package, because its just that delicious. 

 Now, I needed to do something awesome with the coconut butter. I was craving candy when I was mixing the jar, so I decided to chop up little bits of chocolate, mix it with the coconut butter, then freeze it for about then minutes. This took all of fifteen minutes to do, including mixing the settled coconut butter. 

Chocolate Coconut Butter Candies
3 ounces Artisana coconut butter, mixed thoroughly
1/4 ounce chocolate of your choice, roughly chopped (I used Raaka's Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt)
Ice cube mold (or a candy mold, whatever floats your boat)

Step one: mix your coconut butter - make sure its not separated. Like natural peanut butter, this will also have naturally occurring separation of oil and solids.

Step two: chop your chocolate. I chose this chocolate because I figured the sea salt would be a nice touch to the sweetness, and I was so right. Its not strong, but it adds a nice depth to the flavors. You can use whatever chocolate you have on hand. I'm sure it will be delicious any way you make it!

 Step three: put a few bits of chocolate into the bottom of your mold. Scoop a bit of coconut butter into your ice cube tray or candy mold. Make sure to tap the tray or mold lightly (I stress lightly, because you don't want to make a mess - can you tell I've been down this road before?), so remove air bubbles. Place a few pieces of chocolate on the coconut butter. Finish filling the mold with coconut butter, and sprinkle a bit more chocolate on the top. You don't have to put a lot of chocolate, unless you want to. I just put a pinch each time, because I wanted to incorporate it, without mixing it in with a spoon.

Step four: place your tray/mold in the freezer for about ten minutes. Remove and toss in the fridge until you're ready to pop the candies out. I left mine in for about thirty minutes, then transferred them into a wooden bowl. They've been in there for a couple days, and they still taste delicious. I used one of my awesome dinosaur ice cube trays to make these fun, but as I mentioned before, use whatever you have lying around.

My first experience with coconut butter was yummy. If any of you have ways to use your coconut butter in the kitchen, let me know! I'd love to experiment with the rest of the jar!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


 I seriously love getting mail. Last week, I got a TON of goodies. Postcards from pen pals, new postcards to mail out to my friends, samples from Artisana, and samples from LA Fresh. Last month, I did a write-up on LA Fresh's beauty on the go, and they sent me more fun stuff to check out. This time, there is stuff for the guys, so I'm making Erich test some of these out for me!

 Now that I have a desk job, I need to pack snacks to eat healthy and not be tempted by lunch specials at the local restaurants (I have fallen victim lately). Each day, I have been testing a different Artisana nut butter, to be able to write the review. I don't mind getting healthy products to review. It actually helps keep me on track, believe it or not!

 I love driving around with Erich, especially with the windows down in the summer. The other day, I forgot to bring a hair tie with me, so my hair was all over the place. I snapped a picture, to show the mayhem. After seeing how out of control my hair can get if I forget a hair tie, I'm pretty sure that I won't be buying a convertible. Too much of a hair hassle, ha!

I tried out a new photo app, called Pic/Photo Collage. It was free, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose, expect some of my precious time. I tested it out with a few photos from an outfit I wore to a family affair this afternoon. It was really nice seeing this part of my family - I don't see them often, due to varying schedules and distance. Hopefully I will be able to see them before summer comes to an end.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Steve Kardynal's Call Me Maybe

Steve Kardynal is a YouTube sensation that just wants to make you laugh. His bio even states, "Today you need to smile. You need to smile so big it hurts your cheeks. Recently, Kardynal made a video, lip syncing to Carly Rae Jepsens hit, "Call Me Maybe." There is a twist, of course. Kardynal decided to don a wig, lipstick and a bikini, and go onto Chatroulette. I don't know how many times he recorded this, as you can notice a handful of costume changes. Erich and I were laughing hysterically, as Kardynal got an array of reactions from fellow Chatroulette users. Some gave looks of disgust, some laughed, and many sung along with him. I really loved how many males actually knew the lyrics to the song.

If you have a chance, check out other videos on Kardynal's page. Erich is pulling the videos up on his computer as I put this post together. I would love to collaborate on a video with him, that would make my life complete!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blogger Preview at The Container Store.

Today, I spent part of my afternoon checking out the brand spankin' new organizational haven on Long Island - The Container Store. For those who don't know me very well, I love keeping everything in compartments of some sort. In my bag, in my car, in my closet - various types of storage. So, when I was contacted about this particular blogger preview, I was stoked beyond repair. I had never stepped foot in any of The Container Store's locations, so this was a real treat for me.

Myself and a dozen other bloggers were given a tour of the Westbury store, by Audrey, The Container Store's PR Director. Audrey gave us background on the company, the products, and other awesome pieces of information. Until today, I didn't realize how much this company invested in not only their employees, but also their communities. For the grand opening weekend (which is this Saturday and Sunday), 10% of sales will be donated to The Women's Fund of Long Island. How awesome is that?

Milk crates you don't have to steal - plus, they're colorful. Genius!

Now, The Container Store didn't just decide to give back to the community - they will also be giving back to their customers! On both Saturday and Sunday, they will be giving away prizes every hour, plus one $1,000 elfa Space Makeover each day. If you haven't heard of elfa, you're in for a treat. This is customized organization on a whole new level, for every aspect of your home. I wish I had a reason to reorganize, because I would do it in a heartbeat!

 Creative ways to store odds and ends! I want those LEGO containers!

There are still more goodies to go around. If you spend over $100 at the Westbury store August 11 - 26, you get a $15 Shop Card, which can be used September 1 - 23. With The Container Store covering your bases in all areas of the home (including gift wrap and office supplies), you can't go wrong! I am trying to think of reasons to go back and snag a plethora of goodies I saw. In order to keep my wallet from crying, I decided to make a gift registry for my birthday and Christmas. Yes, you can make one for something other than a wedding or the birth of a child. 

The container store has something for everyone: storage for your LEGO loving nephew, unique tech goodies for your significant other, and the secret santa that you know nothing about, but don't want to look lame for snagging them a bottle of wine (now, you have something rad to put the wine in).

Organize with elfa!

I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure at The Container Store in Westbury today. I got to chat with local bloggers, which, believe it or not, doesn't happen often. Most of my blogger pals are across the country, so it was nice to speak with those in my area. If you have time to swing by this weekend, do so. Even if you just go in to snag a few odds and ends (they have a ton, and I bet you won't walk out empty handed), its worth the experience. 

Wrapping up the end of our organizational adventure.