lifestyle

TV Shows to Binge on Netflix, Hulu, HBO and CBS All Access

Happy almost-Friday, everyone.

It’s been such an exhausting week, I’m happy to be home (anxiously awaiting the release of the new Taylor Swift song, ME!) (!!!) and binging one of my favorite TV shows.

I always see friends and family members on social media asking for the next great TV show they should binge-watch, so I figured I’d share some of my current favorites with you.

Since there are so many different streaming services, I picked four of the most popular ones to provide recommendations on.

Image result for netflix logo

On Netflix:

British Bake Off: If you haven’t watched this delightful baking competition yet, you have to! The challenges and creations are super cool, the characters are quirky and lovable, and the judges are iconic. I’ve already devoured every episode on Netflix, but hope they have more soon!

Image result for hulu logo

On Hulu:

This is Us: I’m a sucker for a drama, and after hearing how amazing this one was over and over, I finally gave in and started it. I’ve teared up or cried at pretty much all 19 episodes I’ve seen so far, but it’s well worth the tears. The characters and their relationships are so real. Plus, I’ve always been a huge fan of Mandy Moore so I love that she’s a lead role.

Younger:
I was skeptical of this show at first, but I’m also a fan of Hilary Duff so I decided to give it a chance. Not only did I rapidly become obsessed, but every time I mentioned the show to one of my friends I discovered that they were crazy about the show, too. Apparently I was a little late to the Younger party, but I’m glad I finally caught up. I definitely recommend it to anyone, especially writers

Image result for hbo on demand

On HBO:

Game of Thrones:
Obviously. I’m not even going to go into much detail because you likely either already watch the show, or are set on not watching it. While I’ll admit the first two episodes of Season 8 have fallen a little flat for me, I’m expecting a big finish and am certainly going to watch up until the end. You should totally (read all the books and then) watch it.

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On CBS All Access:

Big Brother: I started watching this show about 10 years ago with my parents, and I find it so interesting to watch other people’s strategies on how to outsmart one another. My husband and I started watching the series from the beginning and there are some amazing seasons and really interesting people throughout. They also have pretty cool physical competitions once in a while, so it’s not all drama and deception. If you watch, you might want to skip Season 1. They still had a lot of kinks to work out at that point and Season 2 is drastically better.

The Million Dollar Mile:
This is a new show on CBS, so I’ve only seen a couple of episodes. I was interested in this show as soon as I saw the commercial explaining the concept of the game. I love athletic competitions, I love seeing the amazing things people can accomplish, and I love some good suspense. This show has plenty of those three things, and is just plain exciting to watch. I’m hoping the competitors get even better as the show goes on.

Those are the main shows I’m watching right now. Some past favorites that I’ve watched all the way through are One Tree Hill (favorite ever) on Hulu, The Jinx on HBO, and Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

Eventually I am going to need more shows to watch, so comment with your favorite series to binge in the comments below!

books

Spring Reading List

Happy Hump Day!

The weather is so perfect today and I feel like Spring has finally arrived in New Jersey.

If I’m being honest, I’ve been slacking when it comes to reading this year; I’ve been so busy with work, house planning, and Matron of Honor Duties, but I need to get back into reading on a regular basis.

To help motivate me, I’m giving myself a Spring reading list.

These are all books that I currently own and have been meaning to read for a while, so now I can push myself to finally get to them!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I actually just started this book and already like it a lot. I’d never heard of it until the Netflix series came out, but it’s well-written and interesting so far. Once I finish it, I’m definitely going to check out the TV adaptation, as well as some of the other books by this author.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Stephen King is my all-time favorite author, so I try to fit in at least one of his books every year. He wrote this one with his son, which makes me even more excited to read it. There’s also a rumor that this is being developed into a TV series, so I want to read it now and be ready to watch the show once it comes out.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

I haven’t looked into what this book is about, but judging by the sinister-looking cover I think I’m going to like it. I read a book called Pretty Girls by this same author a few years ago, and I loved it, so I’m hoping to enjoy this one just as much.

The Enchanted Hour by Megan Cox Gurden

My husband’s aunt was nice enough to get me a signed copy of this book when she went to the author’s reading a few months ago. I’ve never read anything by this author or about this particular topic before, which makes it extra exciting! I’m interested to find out more about the benefits of reading aloud and potential ways to stay focused while reading.

Small great Things by Jodi Picoult

I used to read a LOT of Jodi Picoult around the time that My Sister’s Keeper came out, but then took a break because I felt like a lot of the story lines in her books were the same. Last year, I started reading her again and was reminded of how much I enjoy her writing. I got Small Great Things as a Christmas gift last year, and I can’t wait to dive into the story!

Comment below to let me know what’s on your current list of books to read, or ones that you think I should add to my future lists!

My goal is to get through all of these before the Summer starts, but once I’m finished with this list I’ll surely be making another one.

I’m hoping that having this list will help me keep myself accountable and make sure I’m taking the time to read (when I have the time, that is).

It’s always a challenge to be able to do the things we love, but it’s so rewarding when we’re able to successfully make the time.

That’s my goal with these next few books, and I promise to share some details about them and how they are as I’m reading.

❤ 🙂



recipe

Recipe: Butter Chicken

Hey friends,

I’m a pretty picky eater, especially when it comes to foods from other cultures or with ingredients I’m not used to eating.

I tried Indian food for the first time about five years ago, and the spices were so foreign to my taste buds that I was completely turned off.

However, my husband has been easing me into broadening my food horizons for a while now, and he got me hooked on a mild but classic dish: butter chicken.

We have this recipe for dinner almost every week, and I’ve really come to love it.

If you’re a fan of butter chicken, you should definitely check this one out; and if you’re new to Indian food, this is a great gateway dish because it’s flavorful and different but doesn’t have a super strong spicy taste to it.

Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):
1. 1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
3. 2 tablespoons butter
4. 1 medium onion, chopped finely
5. 2 teaspoons turmeric
6. 1 teaspoon red pepper
7. 1 teaspoon paprika
8. 1 teaspoon garam masala
9. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
10. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
11. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
12. Salt and pepper to taste
13. 1 15-oz can of tomato sauce
14. 1/2 cup heavy cream

Step 1: Cook the chicken stove top using one tablespoon of the olive oil. It should be cooked through but not browned on the outside. Set aside the chicken once it’s done.

Step 2: Heat the butter stove top over medium heat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the onion, stirring frequently, until it turns transparent.

Step 3: Add the cooked chicken back into the mixture; add all of the spices, the sugar, and the tomato sauce

Step 4: Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes. This will help ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Step 5: Add the heavy cream while stirring, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes uncovered. The sauce should start to thicken.

Step 6: Plate over rice (I prefer basmati) and enjoy

What are some of your favorite Indian food recipes?

Comment below with the one you think I should try next time I’m feeling adventurous.

And definitely let me know if you make this butter chicken.

Hope you enjoy! See you tomorrow ❤ 🙂

lifestyle

Work Desk Essentials

Hi everyone,

Here we are again at the start of the work week.

I hope your Mondays weren’t too rough…I for one can say I’m super excited to be home and relaxing for the rest of the night.

Since I’ve got work on the brain, I figured this was a great time to do a post on my must-have accessories for work.

I spend a LOT of time at my job and, therefore, at my desk, so I try to make sure I have everything I need––or could possibly need––there with me.

Here’s a quick list of my work desk essentials.

If you’re getting into a new job or are just looking for a list of things you should keep at work, this may be helpful for you.

  1. Some cute writing utensils and stationary; my job provides me with basic stuff like this, but it’s always fun as a Creative to get inspired by pretty pens or paper)
  2. Gum; you never know when you might need to freshen up your breath, or when the 3pm snack urges will arrive and you won’t want to give in to them yet again
  3. Water; I keep a washable bottle at my desk and fill it up at our water coolers a few times a day. The bottle includes volume measurements on the side so it helps me keep track of how I’m hydrating and set goals to keep myself drinking throughout the day
  4. Lotion; those bathroom hand soaps make my skin feel so dry, so I always keep a nice-smelling lotion on my desk
  5. Tissues/napkins; tissues are obvious, but it also helps to have napkins in case you’re eating (most of my lunches take place at my desk during busy months) or have a spill you need to clean up
  6. Tea; I did a post not too long ago about my love of tea, so it’s nice to have a few different flavor options with me at work
  7. Chargers; especially one for my phone. I can’t count how many times that thing has saved me
  8. A blanket; or sweater…most offices keep the temperature pretty cool (I’m sitting at my desk shivering regardless of the season), so I keep a blanket at my desk to keep my legs warm when I’m feeling chilly. My blanket has Spongebob on it, so my coworkers get a kick out of it
  9. Headphones; my office recently changed to an “open seating” layout, which doesn’t bother me too much because I’m great at tuning out pretty much anything. However, on days when I’m tired or frustrated and need to shut out all the noise, headphones are a Godsend
  10. Snacks; I try not to keep too many snacks at my desk, because if I did I’d probably just sit there munching all day. I do keep some granola bars, oatmeal, and other emergency foods with me in case I’m feeling extra hungry or forget to bring food with me that day

So, what am I missing?

Comment below to share some additional things you keep at your desk…you may be helping me think of something I’ll need in the future!

As much as I wish this weren’t the truth, my job has become a bit of a second home to me.

I spend a lot of time there, and in recent weeks I spend a lot of EXTRA time there, so it helps for me to have things I need there and to make the space feel a little more comfortable.

I think part of dealing with a stressful job is making sure you take care of yourself as much as possible, and having some items that I need or enjoy at my fingertips every day helps make that a little easier for me.

I hope you all have a great Monday night, and are able to rest up for the rest of the week ahead.

We’ve got this!

beauty, lifestyle

My Daily Skincare Routine

Hi all, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

I’m on my way to our second family dinner for the day, but wanted to make sure I get today’s post in.

I’m going to share my daily skincare routine, including the products I use to wash and moisturize my face.

I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, so I won’t be including that in this post.

I’ll probably do a future post with the makeup products I use and how I use them, though, if you guys are interested!

So here we go…daily skincare routine!

Step 1: Morning Wash

I wash my face once per day, in the morning.

I use a basic Cetaphil daily cleanser, which is unscented and great for sensitive skin.

I had a lot of acne and skin issues when I was younger, so I try to stick to tested and true products that are dermatologist recommended, which is how I found this cleanser.

I use it every day and it leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed without drying out my face.

Step 2: Moisturize

After washing my face, I rub it dry with a clean hand towel.

I have been told in the past to pat my skin dry, but I actually feel that rubbing it with the towel helps add some extra exfoliation to my daily routine, and that’s been working for me.

I use Neutragena face lotion on my face immediately after washing and drying.

There is a sensitive skin version that works perfectly for me, but when I’m going to be running or spending time outside I use the one with SPF 15.

I do feel that the one with sunscreen in it makes my face feel just a little bit greasy; it’s not enough to make me break out or anything like that, but still enough of a reason for me to use the one without sunscreen if I’m going to be sitting in the office all day.

That’s really all I do to my face in the morning, and I don’t wash it at night unless I’ve had makeup on.

I use this Garnier makeup remover when I do wear makeup, and it works really well.

It is great for getting off any kind of makeup, including waterproof, and is gentle on the skin.

It even works well for removing eye makeup, and I obviously avoid getting it in my eyes but it doesn’t irritate them when it’s close to them or anything like that.

The only other thing that I do for my skin is derma roll about twice a week.

As I mentioned, I used to have a lot of acne as a teen, so I do have some scarring on my face and I just feel that my skin has gotten damaged over the years.

For those who aren’t familiar, derma rolling basically involves taking a tool with a spiked roller on the end and rubbing it over your skin.

It feels a little prickly but isn’t too painful, and it helps your skin regenerate itself.

I get lazy with rolling sometimes and don’t stick to the twice weekly schedule, but I do see an increase in smoothness, softness, and radiance of my skin when I’m doing it regularly.

There are also people who use derma rollers on areas of the scalp where their hair is thinning, and some see hair regrowth after doing it for a little while!

Those are basically all of the things that I use on my skin.

This is a bit of a simple post, but I feel that the less stuff I am putting on my face, the better.

When I was younger I put so many creams and treatments on my skin, I felt like it was always irritated and it got red so easily.

When it comes to skincare, I’ve definitely learned that less is more, and hopefully this approach can work well for some of you.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and have a great week! ♥️😊

See you next time.

fashion, lifestyle

Easter Sunday Outfit Inspiration

Hi all,

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend.

For those who celebrate Easter, I’ve got some great inspiration for your outfit tomorrow!

See below for a few different outfits I put together, with links to buy.

Top | Jeans | Heels

This top from Venus is one of my favorites lately. Between the ombre pink color, the sparkles, and a little criss-cross detail on the sleeves, it has so many little details that make it unique and pretty.

Top | Skirt | Heels

I love this yellow skirt for Spring, but it’s especially perfect for Easter. Since it’s so bright and stands out on its own, I’ve styled it with a simple but pretty white top and nude heels.

Dress | Shoes

For those who prefer to wear darker colors, this black dress from Guess is great for many different occasions. I’ve added a mint colored Kate Spade purse to brighten it up for Easter.

Denim Jacket | Shoes

Here’s another way to style the Guess dress shown above. I’ve changed up the purse for an even bolder color, added a cute denim jacket, and swapped the sandals for a flat pair.

Dress | Shoes

For a dressier Easter look, this baby pink midi dress is perfect. It’s light and flowy, and has a beautiful off-the-shoulder sleeve detail. I added these Madden Girl sandals for extra sparkle.

Top| Jeans | Shoes

Here’s another casual outfit if you’re keeping it low-key tomorrow. This light colored top is great for Easter, and the black jeans are super comfy.

Do you already have your outfit picked out for tomorrow, or are you going to figure it out then?

I will probably choose one of the above to wear tomorrow, depending on my mood.

I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy the holidays if you celebrate! ❤ 🙂

lifestyle

My Favorite Blogs

Hi friends,

For today’s post, I want to share three of my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs.

I’ve followed these bloggers for a while and they were a big part of my inspiration to start my own blog.

Their blogs have great content, I love their style, and they are so personable.

1. Little Blonde Book

My favorite thing about Little Blonde Book (Taylor) is how real she is.

She is beautiful and has great style, but she also isn’t afraid to share videos where she isn’t wearing makeup or even when she’s sick.

I feel like a lot of blogs are so fake, so I enjoy seeing a lot of her “behind the scenes” moments and just feel that she’s very relatable.

2. Champagne and Chanel

Champagne and Chanel is one of the most popular bloggers I’ve come across on social media, and it’s not hard to see why.

I’ve never met or spoken to her, but she just seems so sweet and genuine.

I love her style too (of course) and she posts a lot of great content every day!

3. 1st and 10

I found 1st and 10 (Meg) through a google search when I was trying to find information about the best way to start my blog.

In addition to a cool style and interesting content, she has a lot of great posts and resources for bloggers on her site!

Who are your favorite bloggers? I love to read others’ posts and see what they’re up to on Instagram.

It’s great for inspiration, plus I just love supporting other bloggers out there because we all share the same passion.

Comment below with your favorite blogs so that I can find even more to visit regularly! ♥️😊