Monday, June 30, 2014

Cruelty-Free Elnett Duplicate

As you know, I've been converting to cruelty-free skincare, beauty, and home products. While the going is tough on some favorites (deodorant and facial moisturizer), I am happy to say that I've converted most products. I have was having alot of difficulty with changing out my Elnett hairspray and while this Paul Mitchell spray is not identical, it definitely gets the job done! At $17, this spray is a bit pricey, but if you are a regular user of Elnett, you were already spending about $16, so it's all a wash in the end. I'll keep  you posted as I find more products that work for me!

Summer Reading-June Review

I don't want to have to be this person, but I told you so. If you haven't yet read The Fault in Our Stars or Gone Girl, you need to make it a priority to secure these books. I'll start off by saying this, these books could not be more opposite of each other, which is why I strongly suggest reading them back to back-it messes with your brain in the best way!

The Fault in Our Stars (TFiOS)-I loved this story, I found it to be a completely believable story. Love is such a strong theme in this book and John Green writes love in such a beautiful, real way. 16 year old cancer patient, Hazel Grace Lancaster takes you along for the ride of falling in love with Augustus Waters. Hazel is very wise and cynical for a girl her age and somehow, Augustus makes the world a better place for her and the reader. This book will have you sobbing by the end, but it's so worth it and you come out a better person on the other side of it, I assure you.

Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn is a fucking genius!! I try not to employ the use of my real life sailor mouth on this blog, but I can't sum it up better than that. At first, I was not interested in this book.  My best friend insisted that I read it and it took me a while to figure out why (because it's an amazing book, duh). Just to give you an idea, it took me about 5 hours to read TFiOS whereas Gone Girl took me about a week and a half. Once this book get's started though, it becomes just like a loose tooth that you can't stop poking with your tongue. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Amy and Nick Dunne- Amy's side is presented in a series of past diary entries while Nick's is given in present day excerpts. This book follows them both after Amy's mysterious disappearance on the morning of their 5th anniversary and I can't tell you where it ends or I'll spoil it all for you. I've never read a thriller before, but now I want to read every single one if this book is indicative of the entire genre.

Friday, June 27, 2014


I've always loved lariat necklaces. My grandmother had one that she often wore while I was growing up and like most women, I can't help my attraction to styles that I saw on my early life style informers. I've started to see this style popping up on my Instagram feed and in various other places on the internet.

As a very busty woman, I envy the less endowed ladies that can wear the long thin versions down to their belly buttons, but envy will get me nowhere. This is a style that I previously thought was closed to me, but I've found that plenty of shorter, still gorgeous styles out there!

Images: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blueberry [mint] Lemonade

This lemonade is so light and refreshing on top of looking like so much more work than it actually was! Unfortunately, after traveling to 2 different supermarkets (eff you Food Basics and ShopRite), I was unable to locate fresh mint. What makes this even more frustrating is that up until the moment that I needed it, we had wild mint growing in the backyard. Either my next door or upstairs neighbor trimmed it all back and I wanted to scream!

The moral of my story is that I highly recommend adding fresh mint to your lemonade if you can locate it in your area of the world (you're SOL if you live in Northern NJ). Also, I meant to say that this lemonade would be perfect for upcoming 4th of July celebrations! Just add vodka to take this right into cocktail mode!

If you have any leftover blueberries, drop them into an ice tray to freeze for later, these are perfect for spicing up water, seltzer, mojitos, prosecco, or Sprite!

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

8 Cups of water
2 Cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice (feel free to use bottled lemon juice)
1.5 Cups of Powdered Sugar (dissolves nicely into your water)
1.5 Cups of whole blueberries
2 whole lemons (sliced for garnish)
1 cup of whole mint leaves
Vodka (For those of you that want a little kick to your lemonade)

  • Mix water, lemon juice, and powdered sugar-stir to dissolve sugar completely.
  • Add blueberries, mint, and sliced lemons.
  • Allow lemonade to sit for as long as possible to ensure all flavors meld together.
  • {Optional} Add Vodka to taste.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday Words

I am the worst about exercising patience, but every time I practice yoga, I set an intention to invite more patience into my life. So far, it's not working! #HavePatienceAboutPatience

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Got You Babe . . .

I cannot recall a time in my life that I ever matched the nail polish on my toes to my fingers. Even though my nails don't "match", I have combinations that I go-to when I'm planning my nail wardrobe*. See below for a few of my favorite Summer combinations! Tell me your favorite pairs-I LOVE to try new polishes!

I got you babe

*I fully intend to make this happen, much to the chagrin of  term "fetch".

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Couldn't Help Myself

Please enjoy this video of a twerking Corgi-I couldn't resist!! Enjoy the rest of your Monday :)

Peachy Keen

A couple weeks ago while food shopping, I spotted "donut peaches" (aka Saturn Peaches) and knew that I had to buy a few. I don't particularly care for peaches, which is attributed to the fact that I can count on 1 hand how many times I've eaten them. That's just how I live my life though-buy the peaches now, form a plan later! I found myself with some extra time last week and decided to make use of said donut peaches. Of course, I turned to my best friend, Pinterest (sorry Alyssa!) and found an easy recipe for peach crostata. I'll tell you this, the recipe is just as easy as it claims to be- this one can be added to the low impact/high value recipe box that I don't actually keep.

Peaches (2-3 small)
1/2 TSP Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pie Crust (I used store bought)
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP sugar
1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, cut peaches to preference.
  2. Mix peaches, 1 TBSP sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  3. Roll out pie crust until it is 12-15 inches and pile peach mix in the center.
  4. Cube butter and place throughout peach mixture and fold crust inward.
  5. Beat egg and apply as wash on pie crust, then dust with remaining TBSP of sugar. 
  6. Bake for 13-17 minutes-checking throughout. 

Original recipe found here

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Post About Toast

We all enjoy the humble piece of toast on occasion. Be it a dry piece when we have a stomach ache or an overly buttered piece from your favorite diner, but how many times do we take the time to really dress up our toast and enjoy it? I decided that I was going to have toast for breakfast everyday for 5 days and report the results.

I was determined to find different (healthy-ish) ways to enjoy toast and I feel pretty confident that I succeeded-and I didn't just throw some eggs on that ish either! All of the below variations include foods that are common in most households and do not require anything more that toasting your bread and slicing some fruits! Tell me you favorite toast recipe, I'm always looking for ways to spice up my breakfast!

Monday- Sliced avocado with alfalfa sprouts and fresh salt and pepper

Tuesday-Sliced Bananas over peanut butter with sprinkled chia seeds

Wednesday- Sliced pears drizzled with honey and topped with chopped pecans

Thursday- Multi grain toast with flavored butters (Honey/Orange and Strawberry)

Friday-Sliced apples with crumbled blue cheese

My husband would like you all to know that he titled this post. I had it tentatively titled as "Toast Swag" and he insisted that "A Post About Toast" is far superior. So here we are, folks. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dainty-Wire Earring Tutorial

You may have noticed that I have a serious affinity for accessories-jewelry specifically. I could very happily live my life without purchasing another piece of clothing as long as I had access to unlimited jewelry! In short, I'm warning you that this is yet another post about making jewelry (see here, here, and here). I'm normally all about statement pieces and lots of layer- I maintain that I must have been a Christmas tree in a past life- but for some reason, these dainty earrings really struck a chord with me.

I previously saw these gorgeous earrings from Kathleen Whitaker (via HonestlyWTF) and while I absolutely love them, I couldn't justify the price tag, especially because you have to purchase each earring separately. I am a subscriber of Whimsey Box and happily I receive their Friday afternoon emails detailing easy DIYs that can be executed over the weekend. In its most recent iteration, I saw this tutorial for these wire earrings and I was SOLD.

I ended up making 2 pairs, because my first pair sucked (honestly). But I promise you, this tutorial is very easy. At first, I cut the disc of my earring posts and left them too large and it didn't give the look that I wanted, so I threw them out and cut my next set (using kitchen shears) down to a tiny dot-just enough to support the post. Also, you should know that this is a big step for me. I'm one of those people that when I find a place for something, it's not moved to a new place for any reason short of catastrophe. I'm a one and done kind of girl-so it's actually a big step for me to stand in my kitchen and think, "These are okay, but I can do better. Let's start over". Life is all about baby steps, and if I can work on improving myself while making jewelry, then I'd say I had a productive Saturday!

Dainty Wire Earrings: 
Earring Posts/Backings (Sold Separately)
Strong Adhesive (I recommend Gorilla Glue or E3000)
Sharp Scissors
Wire (I used 16 Guage Jewelry Wire)
Pliers (Needle Nose if possible)

  • Cut jewelry wire to your desired length and straighten if needed. 
  • Snip earring posts as small as possible while still leaving a circle of metal attached to the post for the wire to sit on. 
  • Apply glue to earring post, let sit for a minute to become tacky. 
  • Attach wire-at this point, I stuck my earring posts into a slice of an apple to help them stand up straight without me holding them.
  • I recommend allowing them to dry for at least 2 hours if you can wait-the longer the better!

As you can see, I left the original posts too large. On my second go 'round, I left a very small circle-just enough to balance the wire. 

I've been loving these earrings-I find myself reaching for them everyday and I'm very pleasantly surprised by how sturdy they are!

You should also check out Virginia Wynne's Etsy shop for similar styles at a fraction of the price- I love every single piece of her collection!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday Words

Like this.. But mainly pinned cause it had my name it it. Lol
I very much agree with the late, great Maya Angelou. I'll never be normal  and I hope never to be. Being genuinely and authentically me is what I will always strive for! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cynthia Rowley Beauty

Somehow, I think in a contest or perhaps by a happy mistake, I received Cynthia Rowley's Beauty Collection. I love this set and I have been wearing the marshmallow eye shadow as my base shadow for the past few weeks! It's matte, easily blended, and lasts throughout the day-this can be said of all the shades in the palette! It took me a few minutes to realize that the print on the packaging of the palette and the makeup bag is a close up of confetti and that made me love this set even more!

As you can see, cloud and marshmallow are very light-this makes them the perfect neutral shades for me. I actually had to enhance the above picture for them to even be visible, that's how well they blend into my skin (in natural light). 

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter to win a gorgeous set of wooden tassel bracelets made by yours truly! Comment on my post with your 3 favorite colors for 1 entry, comment on either of my IG posts (here and here) for 2 entries and repost a picture on IG with the following hashtag for 3 entries! #NoveltyblgGiveaway

Friday, June 13, 2014

What Does Your Birthday Say About You?

I was researching zodiac compatibility with my coworker and after learning how "explosive" my relationship with my husband could be (we're both Aries), I decided to click on the link that provided a Birthday Profile for you. I've always been very true to my zodiac sign, but I was blown away by how accurate this profile was! Enter your birthday here to receive your own profile, mine is below!

"You are ruled by the mythical God, Neptune, which describes your nature most adequately. Just like the vast ocean you are restless, moody and fond of change and travel. You love the water and places connected with the sea. This line could not be more true- I can be very moody and I LOVE to travel!

You possess unusual and original ideas on religion and philosophy. It means your compassion has risen to sublime heights and you will do anything for a person in need. In this respect, you must learn to balance your own needs lest you become a victim of the people you are trying to help. Learn the lessons of financial economy for best material results.  Again, these two lines are SO true of me-financial economy lessons are definitely needed here!

Your lucky colors are the darker green shades.

Your lucky gems are turquoise, cats eye chrysoberyl, tigers eye. Ahead of the game here on the turquoise front!
Your lucky days of the week are Mondays and Thursdays. I actually like Mondays because I feel optimistic that the week will be great! 
Your lucky numbers and years of important change are 7 , 16, 25, 34, 43, 52, 61, 70, 79." I was born on the 7th and it has always been my favorite number! 

Verbiage regarding Birthday Profile

French Toast

I know, I've cruelly led you to believe that this post is about the American invention of egg soaked bread hailing from the land of berets. Luckily for you, this post is about something so much better than bread (a few of these things actually exist).

You may have seen this beauty parading around NYC with some very famous fashion friends (Eva Chen and Hannah Bronfman to name a few) all while dressed in some of the very best outfits I've seen to date (here and here)! Toast was rescued from a puppy mill and now lives the life of love that she deserves and her parents (presumably) have teamed up with IOMOI to create a line of REALLY cute products with proceeds benefiting the Humane Society! I have to be honest here though, I'd want one of these totes even if it didn't have a philanthropic tag attached! My birthday is nowhere to be found, but feel free to send me one of these bags if you are in the giving spirit, folks.

Check out this cutie on Instagram for a daily dose of adorable!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


My suspicions have been confirmed by a very reliable source (specifically Clothes Minded by Jo), and I'm here to let you know that tassels are very in! I have to say, I loved making these tassels (I used this tutorial), they're so fun and colorful and SUPER easy to craft-I've actually started walking around asking myself what items in my life can be improved by a tassel (answer: all of them). I decided to add tassels to a raffia clutch that I bought a couple years ago and I also made a set of wooden tassel/mala bracelets. Remember when I added a couple tassels to this vintage purse? The great news about adding these little beauties is that they can be snipped right off if I grow tired of them-love the flexibility!

SO, what's the deal with this giveaway? I had so much fun making these bracelets and constantly receive compliments on them and I decided that one of my readers needs a set as well! How do you enter? See below for ways to earn up to 3 entries!

1 Entry: Leave a comment below with your 3 favorite colors, if you win, I'll use these colors to make your bracelets!

2 Entries: Leave a comment on my Instagram picture of these bracelets telling me how you would style this set (expect it to go up around noon today)

3 Entries: Re-post my picture of these bracelets with the following hashtag: #noveltyblgGiveaway

*I'll choose and announce a winner on Monday June 16th, and get these babies made and sent off to you ASAP!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Words

So true.
This quote could not be more accurate-recently I've been focusing on being better, doing more, and staying focused. This blog has definitely helped me in all three aspects and I hope to see it continue! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dirty Denim

Ever since I grabbed this gorgeous pair of worn-in 505's, I've found myself reaching for them on a daily basis. As of late, the pattern has been to come home from work, walk and feed the dogs, and immediately change into my trusty jorts. Sometimes, on very trying days I will change into them first in order to comfortably parade my knees around the block whilst walking the furbs (fur babies). As with any quick onset obsession of mine, I've pulled images from Pinterest to help me plan some more outfits with my new lovers. The only thing that really concerns me is that I can't wear them to my office. I mean, its 2014, I have my nose ring and tattoos visible on a regular basis but I can't wear ripped denim shorts? Totally lame.

Spotlight on Sonia Kashuk Beauty

Now that I've committed to incorporating more cruelty-free products into my life, I've become very aware of all the beauty products that are available to me as I embark on this new lifestyle. I have to say, it's been very easy to switch my products over, with the exception of my deodorant, hair spray, and facial moisturizer. My husband keeps telling me that it's better to be 90% c-free than nothing, so I'm trying to abide by that rule!

When I wrote my last post, I was unaware that Sonia Kashuk products are cruelty-free and  I was honestly upset that I wasn't going to allow myself to re-stock this lotion, because it is so amazing! Happily, I've come to realize that it's all good and I can use it guilt-free! I've also grabbed this eye shadow palette and this bronzer and I love them both as well! The best part is that this line is very reasonably priced, and who doesn't love a trip to Target? Next up, I plan to give their lipglosses and nail polish a try! Let me know what your favorites are!

Spotlight on Sonia Kashuk Beauty