Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday!  I am especially happy the weekend is here...this week seemed a little longer than usual--I'm sure it's because of the building anticipation with the holidays around the corner!

I am SOOOO excited for Disney's new's my very favorite Disney movie and this version looks amazing.  Have you seen the trailer yet?  Contrarily, I'm not as excited for the new Annie...I mean, can you really replace Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan?

I am also really happy that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is back.  TV has been so slow lately and I just get enough of these crazy ladies.  I am especially happy that Carlton is gone!

If you missed my holiday wish list, you can find it here.  I'm thinking I also want to add a nice, new robe, especially for the hospital after I've delivered this little bambino.

Have you seen this video?!  My husband and I were cracking up over it and also secretly freaking out.  This is SO going to be our life before we know it.  #lifewithtwoboys

Last, I'm so excited to introduce my newest sponsor, Caley of Ellie Love.  Caley is a total sweetheart and I'm in love with her sweet little family.  Be sure to get to know her below {check out her house!!} and pop over to say hi!  ;)

Hi everyone!
My name is Caley - a 29 year old lucky lady living in Durban, South Africa and I blog over at Ellie Love.

I married to the man of my dreams, Marc on 2 October 2010 after four years of dating long distance (between South Africa and London). In April 2012, we were blessed with our first daughter, Sophie Jade and in May 2014, another little princess, Ellie Nicole (no she wasn't named after my blog!) joined our family.

I am currently a stay-at-home-mom to our two little girls but have a Bachelors Degree of Arts and a Post Grad in Education - I am therefore a qualified Intermediate school teacher. Before having children, I worked in PR and Advertising working on print advertisements, events and press releases for many Unilever products before furthering my studies and teaching for a few months. I am very grateful to be able to be at home with our girls and be an active part of their daily lives.

I also spent the year of 2013, project managing the building of our dream home. We were so blessed to be able to purchase land and build a home from scratch - it was a huge achievement and great fun for me to plan and watching the building go up, brick by brick. I absolutely love every square of our home.

I love to travel, cook and bake, read books and magazines, organise and host parties, blog and teach and being with friends. I am A-type personality with OCD so I love to get involved, organise and write lists. It is no surprise then that I would love to start my own business - either opening a small play school for toddlers or a party planning business - both require organisation and planning. My own business would also allow me the flexibility of being a SAHM too!

I started a blog just after we got married but with severe morning sickness in my first pregnancy, I was unable to blog consistently and gave it up altogether. I started my new little creative space: Ellie Love in 2012 when I craved and missed the creativity of writing and the opportunity of having an online diary  to share with friends and family, and meet new blogging friends all over the world.

My blog is labeled a lifestyle blog as I blog about anything and everything that goes on in our lives - from recipes to reviews, holidays to parties, good times and bad times, blog challenges and goals, motherhood and marriage. It's a little a bit of everything.

I look forward to having you over at Ellie Love and getting to know you all a bit better.
Thank you Natasha for having me - a friend of yours is a friend of mine.

Thanks so much to Caley for stopping by!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

xo natasha

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Her Wishlist 2014

Gift guides are everywhere, so I am joining the masses and getting started on ours for the season.  First up, is my wish list {not self-serving at all!}.

I remember a similar scarf from Zara last year and am now seeing this copy-cat version it!

My Maya Brenner "E" necklace broke earlier this year, but instead of replacing it, I think I want to get the double version to include our second baby.  And yes...we are pretty set on a name!  ;)

UGGs make the comfiest slippers...and I am loving this port color.

When I was in Portland, I fell in love with this candle...the vanilla fig scent is divine!

Speaking of divine scents, I am also in love with Jo Malone's Tuberose Angelica is so sultry and perfect for the winter.

Perhaps the thing I am most hopeful for on my wish list is the new iPhone 6...and of course, I need a new case to go with it!  ;)

Last, I was SO sad to miss out on this shirt from last year's JCrew collection...luckily, JCrew Factory is carrying it this year.  They also have a pajama pant version of it too!

What's on your list this year?

xo natasha

PS...don't forget to enter my $250 giveaway!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

$250 Card Giveaway!

Many of you know of my adoration for Minted...we've done many Christmas cards through them, as well as Ethan's birth announcement and several party invitations.  They simply are the best!

This year, they have several fun options to make sure you have a unique card for the holidays.  I love their foiled collection {so pretty!} and they also introduced booklet cards this year.

These booklets are a darling way to showcase the entire family...and you won't have to settle on one photo!

Minted also started customizing the recipient addresses as well...they don't skip a beat!  ;)

Another fun addition this year, is their foiled art prints...which would make a perfect gift this holiday season!  I'm also loving this gold-foiled print of California!

Now for the fun part...Minted is giving away $250 credit to one lucky winner!  Simply enter here for a chance to win!  Winner will be announced next Wednesday.

Thanks and good luck!

xo natasha

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

31 Weeks

How far along? 31 Weeks {first 31 week update}. 
Baby Size: A coconut
Total weight gain: 20+ pounds
Maternity clothes? More leggings and cozy sweaters.
Stretch marks? Doing ok still.
Sleep: Ugh, it's getting harder.  My left foot keeps cramping and it's SO painful.  Also, my lower back is taking a major toll.  Oh and it seems like my allergies are acting eyes were so goopy the morning I took this photo.  Oy!
Best moment this week: Taking our Christmas photos this past weekend!
Miss Anything?  I miss my back feeling normal.
Movement: Lots of rolls and kicks into the ribs!
Food cravings: Sweets and more sweets...the holidays are here!
Gender: BOY!
Looking forward to: No big plans this week...just thinking more and more about the room decorating.  And I can't believe that this little man will make his debut in less than 10 weeks...that is CRAY-ZAY!
Differences this time around: I feel like the foot cramps are way worse this time around!

xo natasha

Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting Festive with Mary Kay + $100 Giveaway!

For me, the winter months mean changing up my makeup routine and getting a little more festive with my color palette...especially around the holidays!  With parties galore around the corner, it's fun to have more opportunities than usual to get dressed and dolled up.  For makeup, I love to add a nice glow to my cheeks and shimmer to my eyelids.  And of course, for wardrobe, a little sparkle along with rich patterns, are a must!

I recently had the opportunity to play around with some new Mary Kay® goodies...what girl doesn't love a chance to play dress up?  And I've recently become more familiar with Mary Kay® cosmetics since they became the go-to makeup source for Project Runway {I love that show...please tell me I'm not the only one!}.    
The look I got to try out is the Festive Flirt look {oh yes!}, which included a really pretty amber and copper eye shadow.  I think the colors complimented my dark eyes and features really well...without making me look too "over the top".  
They provided a step-by-step guide on how to best apply the eyeshadow--which was super helpful for a mom-on-the-go, like me:
Highlight inner corners of the eyes with Amber Blaze mineral eye color. Brush Copper Glow from eyelids to creases and along lower lash lines. Line with black eyeliner. Top eyeliner with Coal and smudge.
Easy enough, right?  Here are the results:
The lipstick...called Whipped Berries was also really pretty!  I don't wear a ton of lip color, but I will definitely "whip" this out for the upcoming holiday season.

Mary Kay makes applying makeup super easy with their step-by-step tutorials, as well as their video tutorials.  You can find them, along with other inspiration, on
Other looks in the holiday collection include Merry Berry, Playful Party Girl and Holiday Romance...there's a little something for everyone!
Now for the fun part!  Mary Kay is offering one reader a $100 Visa gift card plus a collection of Mary Kay® products to create one of the looks featured + some beauty essentials.  All you have to do is comment below on your favorite Mary Kay look.
Thanks and good luck!
xo natasha

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/17/2014 – 12/21/2014.
Be sure to visit the Mary Kay brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Holiday Family Photo Attire

For Her: Dress // Scarf // Boots
For Him: Shirt // Jeans // Boots
For Little: Hat // Shirt // Jeans // Boots

I'm hoping to have our picture taken this weekend or next, and naturally, it has me thinking of what we all should wear.  I don't like to be too matchy matchy, but I do love keeping a similar color palette, while mixing up patterns.  

What's your favorite family photo attire look?

I hope you have a great weekend!

xo natasha

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Parmesan Chicken // Healthy Comfort Food

I've never run across a Barefoot Contessa Recipe that I haven't loved...and this is no exception.  The breaded chicken which has parmesan in it, makes for a perfectly crisp entree.  It's like a chicken fingers for adults.  And the best part is the fresh lemony salad on top...we included arugula for that peppery flavor.  Yum yum!  This is a great fall meal but is still fresh/healthy enough to become a regular staple.

Recipe via Ina Garten

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.


xo natasha
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