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Monday, December 15, 2014

6 Gifts under $30

If your family is anything like mine, you already have a list of what each family member wants for Christmas so there isn't a lot of guessing to be done. What's tricky is the smaller gifts that you want to give to your neighbors, teachers, group of friends, etc. Here are a few ideas all under $30!

6 gifts under $30

1. Rewined candles are made from re-purposed wine bottles. Try the Wine Under the Christmas Tree scent over the holidays! 

2. Y'all know my love of NYX and these butter gloss sticks are amazing (and inexpensive). Any girl would be happy to receive these colors! 

3. Help save the planet by gifting a Brita water bottle. No one can ever have too many reusable water bottles! 

4. This hand cream from Anthropolgie feels wonderful on your hands. There are multiple scents to choose from. 

5. A corkcicle will chill your wine to the perfect temperature in 15 minutes and will keep it chilled for hours. I have one of these and I love it. Tip: Pour some of the wine into a glass before inserting the corkcicle because it will overflow if you don't (lesson learned the hard way)!

6. These mason jar measuring cups are so fancy. Plus, who doesn't love something shaped like a mason jar! 

Love, sje

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Products I've been loving

I'm still here - promise! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My schedule has been packed full of time with family and friends while celebrating the holidays so this little blog has been pushed to the curb.

Funny story...I actually created a video where I talked about different products that I've been loving lately and was so embarrassed by it, I couldn't post it. ha! I am definitely NOT a vlogger! So, here are the products I've been loving lately in blog form:


1. Anastasia Brow Powder Duo $23 (I use chocolate)
This is the best brow powder. It looks natural and stays on all day. People don't give their eye brows enough credit. Eye brows can completely change the shape of your face and well-done eye brows will make your eyes pop. Try it out....trust me, you'll love it.

2. Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes $6
These facial wipes clean off all your makeup with one sheet. Not to mention, they smell delicious!

3. Scunci Braided Hair Ties
As I have mentioned before, I have very fine hair so my hair falls out of a ponytail easily. I found these hair ties and they are the best! My hair never falls out no matter what activity I am doing. Plus, they look pretty on your wrist.

4. bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream: Dry Skin $28
I have dry skin, esp, in the winter. I will put on a moisturizer and a few minutes later I feel like I never put anything on. I started putting this cream on after I wash my face at night (and sometimes in the morning) and it is so smooth and nourishing which makes my face feel so nice. This really combats dry skin. I love it.

5. Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo & Conditioner $4 each
This shampoo/conditioner smells so good and makes my hair so shiny. I'm going to have a hard time trying something else when these bottles are empty.

6. Studio Barre James Island
I have loved going to barre classes at Studio Barre on James Island. Studio Barre is explained as "a specialized barre class that focuses on building core strength, improving posture and creating a dancer-like body." Classes go by so quickly, yet, I am so sore the next day. If you live in California, Rhode Island, or near James Island, SC you should definitely check out Studio Barre. If not, there are multiple other barre companies that'll give you a similar workout.

What have you loved lately?
Love, sje

Monday, November 10, 2014

World Market Finds

I love World Market. If you come into our house, you'll find that a lot of our decor came from World Market. This weekend we bought a few more pieces to add to our collection. If you're in need of furniture, go to World Market by tomorrow to receive 25% off (print the coupon off the website)!

*yes, I know I need another candle :)

Love, sje

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Healthy "Cookies" - No sugar, No Flour

I had 3 really ripe bananas that I didn't want to go to waste so I began searching for a healthy way to use them. There are so many recipes these days with mashed bananas, I knew I would be able to find something. Of course, Pinterest came through! I pinned this recipe about 3 months ago. What I found out today, literally while writing this post, that the directions under the picture on Pinterest are completely different from the actual recipe on the blog, Plain Chicken. Go figure!!! I love Pinterest...I really do...but man, that happens way too much. I altered the recipe under the picture as well so here is my Healthy "cookies." I put cookies in quotations because, although they are a great healthy alternative to cookies, they are NOT cookies. Make sense? 

Healthy "Cookies"
  • 3 Mashed Bananas (ripe)
  • 1/3 Cup Applesauce - I didn't have applesauce on hand so I made my own. Put one apple (peeled and sliced into chunks) into a microwave safe bowl with a little bit of water. Microwave until the apples are soft enough to mash with a fork (the water will also be absorbed). 
  • 2 Cups of Oats
  • 1/4 cup Vanilla Almond milk
  • Splash of Vanilla (I added this but I think it is optional)
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Love, sje

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Caramel Apple Sangria

I found the most delicious fall sangria recipe from The Wholesome Dish on Pinterest yesterday. It is so good I had to share it with you. This is the perfect fall drink for any gathering. I made it last night and it was a hit!

Caramel Apple Sangria
6 cups of your favorite apple cider
750 ml bottle of Pinot Grigio
1 cup of caramel vodka
1 apple (I used Honey Crisp) diced

Mix it all together & serve chilled. 


Let me know what you think! 
Love, sje

Friday, October 24, 2014

NYX Makeup

NYX has quickly become one of my favorite inexpensive makeup brands. Don't get this confused with the NYC brand. It wears like a lot of the expensive products for a much smaller price tag. I still haven't used all of their products but can see myself doing so over time. 

I went to Ulta yesterday and stocked up on a few NYX items and here's my review: 

This is my favorite concealer. It covers dark circles better than any other concealer that I've tried. I use the color "beige" but it comes in many different shades. 

This is the first time I've tried cream blush and I fell in love with it. It applies easily and stays on much longer than a powder blush. I tested a few colors on my hand and they are all very pigmented so you don't have to apply a lot of product. I usually wear pink blush but I wanted to try something different and I chose the color "orange." I love this color! Don't let the bright color scare you. I have found that the brighter the color the better it looks. 

This palette gives you 6 beautiful, natural eye shadow colors. I foresee this palette being my daily go-to eye shadow. There are numerous ways to wear these 6 colors and I am really excited to try them out. 

If you apply an eye shadow base before applying your color, the color will show up better and it will last longer throughout the day. This base is cream and easy to apply. I chose the "white" color because, in my opinion, it gives the best base to show off your color. It also comes in "pearl" if you want a little shimmer and in "skin tone" if you only want the long lasting benefit. 

These lipsticks are fabulous! They are so smooth and truly feel like butter on your lips. I chose to start my collection with the above two colors, "sweet tarte" (pink) and "hunk" (purple). Both colors apply lighter (and more pink) than the packaging appears which was a little disappointing but they are still really beautiful colors that I am excited to wear during a night out. My lips are naturally pretty pink which may be the reason. I think "hunk" is going to become one of my favorite colors. 

Have you tried NYX before? What are your favorite products or colors? 
Love, sje

Coastal Home Style

One year ago today, Michael and I closed on our house! It's hard to believe it has already been a year. I love homes that are styled with a coastal theme and thought today would be a great day to show you some of my favorite items. All items are from wayfair.com.

Coastal Home Style

Monday, October 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Sunday afternoon/evenings are a treasure to me. It's usually only me, Michael and Tucker lounging around relaxing from our weekend. This summer, we grilled almost every Sunday evening. Now that the weather is starting to feel like fall, we've started making meals in our crock pot. We've had a lot of fun searching through recipes, preparing them together and enjoying what we made that evening. Last night, we made chicken noodle soup and served it with a warm ham and cheese sandwich. The next time you make soup, this should be the one you choose. You will not be disappointed!

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup by Cooking Classy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Yield: 4 - 5 servings

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 3/4 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
4 stalks celery, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (3 - 15 oz cans)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp celery seed, finely crushed*
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
3 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

To a slow cooker, add chicken (un-cut), diced carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over top then add in chicken broth, water, thyme, rosemary, celery seed, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat 6 - 7 hours.

Remove cooked chicken and allow to rest 10 minutes, then dice into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, add egg noodles and parsley to slow cooker. Increase temperature to high, cover and cook 10 minutes longer (or until noodles are tender). Stir in lemon juice and toss in cooked, diced chicken. Serve warm with saltine crackers or top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

You may be in search of slow cooker recipes too so here are a few others that I want to try:

Honey Sesame Chicken

50 Back to School Crock Pot Recipes

Slow Cooker Pot Roast - We made this a couple weeks ago and it is outstanding!

Fiesta Chicken

Share with me your favorite slow cooker recipes!
Love, sje

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marsha's Pork Loin

A couple of months ago my parents came to Charleston for a visit. Even though Charleston has many fabulous restaurants, we often choose to grill out at the house at least one night while they are here. My mom made this recipe and it was so delicious. Michael and I quickly fell in love with it and have made it several times since they were here. I made it last night and knew I had to share it with y'all.

This recipe is my favorite way to cook a pork loin and it is one of my favorite meals. It is SO good and only takes a total of 30 minutes to make. You seriously need to add this to your dinner rotation.

Marsha's Pork Loin
Serves approximately 4 people
Total time: 30 minutes

Pork Loin
Onion Mix (with 2 envelopes)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Drizzle the olive oil over the entire pork loin.
Pour one packet of onion mix on the top and one packet on the bottom on the pork loin.

Place the pork loin on the grill (we let it sit on the aluminum foil so it doesn't loose any of the seasoning but that is optional).
Grill for 20-25 minutes or until pork is cooked all the way through.

Slice the pork cutting against the grain. 


I served the pork with red wine, green beans and Italian roasted potatoes (red & russet potatoes covered in zesty Italian dressing and cooked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once). 

So. SO. Delicious! 
Love, sje

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 Fall-to-Winter staples under $150

This past weekend, my sister-in-law's and I were talking about fall fashion and one mentioned that she would love to see a blog post on inexpensive fall-to-winter staple pieces. I've thought about it constantly since she asked and here's what I came up with. It wasn't easy but I think I found some great pieces (many of them you may already have in your closet) that add up to less than $150. I've also put together many different outfits with these 10 pieces.

These are the items I chose. When shopping, choose the same basic items but always remember to intertwine your personal style.

Outfit #1:

fall to winter

Outfit #2: 

fall to winter

Outfit #3:

fall to winter

Outfit #4:

fall to winter

Outfit #5:

fall to winter

Outfit #6:

fall to winter

Outfit #7:

fall to winter

Which outfit is your favorite? How do these pieces compare to what you already have in your closet? 

Love, sje

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts (or muffins)

I saw this recipe on King Arthur's website and knew I had to make them immediately. I don't have a doughnut pan (and now I will be purchasing one soon) so I made this recipe as muffins. It is so easy and so delicious. Enjoy!

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. If you don't have doughnut pans, you can bake these in a standard muffin tin; they just won't be doughnuts.

2) Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.

3) Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.

4) Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full; use a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well. If you're making muffins, fill each well about 3/4 full; the recipe makes about 15, so you'll need to bake in two batches (unless you have two muffin pans).

5) Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you're making muffins, they'll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.

6) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

7) While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with the cinnamon-sugar. If you've made muffins, sprinkle their tops heavily with cinnamon-sugar.

8) Cool completely, and store (not wrapped tight) at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 12 doughnuts or 15 muffins.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Liquid Foundation

The long awaited post is finally here! A couple of weeks ago, I asked y'all what your favorite foundation is. Y'all gave some great suggestions, many, I have never heard of and now want to try. I absolutely love Bare Minerals MATTE Foundation but wanted to change it up a little bit and try a liquid. I bought four different foundations, in different price ranges, to see how they worked. Here's what I found:

1. Maybelline Fit Me! (4 out of 5 stars)
I've never used Maybelline foundation before but the marketing of this product made me want to try it. This was the first foundation I tried and I really liked it. It applied heavier than the other three but it looked great on. The color (I bought 235) is more "pinkish" and it blended with my skin perfectly. I foresee myself wearing this foundation when I am dressing up or when I know there will be lots of pictures taken. It gives great coverage and is only $8!

2. Cover Girl truBlend (5 out of 5 stars)
The pump on this foundation makes the application process so easy. It is extremely lightweight and one pump of foundation gives you plenty of product to cover your entire face. This product is more yellow (I bought warm beige 445) than the Maybelline but still blended nicely on my skin. This has become my everyday foundation since it is so easy to apply. At only $10, I will buy this product again.

3. bareMinerals BARESKIN (3 out of 5 stars)
With my love of  Bare Minerals, I wanted to love this foundation. I bought the special brush to go with it and every time I use it, I just don't love it. I think I bought the wrong color (I bought Bare Nude 09), although, this is the color they recommended in comparison to the mineral foundation that I use. It has a lot of yellow tone to it. It is very lightweight but requires a few layers to cover my entire face. Maybe it'll work better once I lose my summer tan...we'll see. With a $29 price tag, I think I'll stick to my mineral foundation.

4. Arbonne CC Cream (3 out of 5 stars)
I received this product as a hostess gift for holding an Arbonne party for one of my friends. I ordered the medium color since it was during the summer and I figured that would match my skin best since I am more tan during the summer months. It was actually too dark. I didn't wear it much because of the color. It applies lightweight but doesn't provide much coverage, although, it is a CC cream so it does exactly as it is supposed to. After I bought the BARESKIN foundation (which was too light) I started mixing the two and that created a fabulous foundation. I'll wear this combo when I'm having a laid back night with friends. If you prefer a CC cream over foundation, this is a great choice. It's $40 but is created with all natural products and is good for your skin. If you would like to try this product or anything from Arbonne, let me know and I'll connect you to my friend Allison who will be able to answer all of your questions.

I hope this narrowed down your foundation search!
Love, sje

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Homemade Deodorant

If you don't know already, I'll let you know that the aluminum in store bought deodorant is terrible for our bodies. Aluminum should not be in deodorant, although, if you look at the ingredients on many different brands, it is in there. I used to be that person that ignored the health risks of it because I didn't think homemade deodorant would work. "They" say it causes Alzheimer's and cancer (what doesn't?). My friend, Allison, told me that she finally found a recipe that worked on MindBodyGreen's website. I'm not ashamed to say that I smelled her underarms after a long day and she didn't have ANY odor. I was shocked and immediately asked her for the recipe. I've been using it for months now and I love it and think you will too. It is super easy and quick (about 5 minutes) to make so we have no excuses! 

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup baking soda (some people are sensitive to baking soda, if that is you, only use 1 tbsp to make sure it still gets rid of the odor)
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup arrowroot powder (Allison gave me some of hers which is why it is in a plastic bag. You can buy this at any health food store.)
Essential oils of choice (optional...I didn't add any.)


Combine coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch, and arrowroot in a mixing bowl. (It will be white...I don't know why the oil looks yellow here)

When well combined, add in a drop or two of your favorite essential oil if you decided to use some.

Pour into an old deodorant container or a small mason jar.

Put in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. After it sets, you can leave it in your bathroom.

If you put it in a small mason jar, scoop a little out with your fingers and rub on. If you put it in an old deodorant container, put it on as you would any other deodorant. It will go on a little slimy so I always make sure to put it on before I start getting ready. That way, it has time to dry before you put on your clothes. It will also create little deodorant balls under your arms as it is drying so just keep rubbing those in as you are getting ready. 

This deodorant keeps the odor away even when you sweat, although, it doesn't help the perspiration much. I wore it all day, went to the gym, then went to a Mexican restaurant with some of my friends and didn't smell at all even though I was very sweaty.
Summer in Charleston will make anyone sweat more than usual and the store bought deodorant didn't help my perspiration either. 

The amount of money you save on this deodorant is crazy. You'll spend about $10 (equivalent to 2 store bought deodorants) on all of the products and you'll easily be able to make at least 8 deodorant containers with the size of products shown above. 

Have you ever made your own deodorant? Do you have a recipe that works? If not, try this one and let me know what you think!
Love, sje

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Booties ~ Boots ~ Anthroplogie

I am a flip flop kind of girl but as soon as the weather begins to cool down those flip flops are quickly replaced by boots. I love boots. Even though the weather hasn't cooled down here in Charleston, I can't help but swoon over fall's new boots. Below are many (definitely not all) that I am eyeing.

fall booties

12 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

tall boots

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Oh, don't think I forgot the beauties from Anthropologie! Prepare yourselves...you'll immediately want to buy all of these boots. Seriously...

Below are my favorites but you can see all of their fabulous boots here

Anthroplogie boots

....still swooning....
Aren't they fabulous?!
You're welcome.

Love, sje

Saturday, September 13, 2014

DIY: Replacing the skirt of a dress

If you like my Facebook page you saw where I was working on 3 sewing projects over the past couple of weeks. If you're counting, I've only posted 2 of those projects. The 3rd one was a little more detailed and intimidating for me to start. I took it step-by-step and allowed myself to work on it over the course of a few days and I finally completed it. One of my favorite summer dresses had a hole on the backside of the skirt. I didn't want to throw the entire dress away so I decided to replace the skirt myself. I think it turned out well!

Here's the dress:

Here's the hole:

I cut off the skirt of the dress to make my pattern. I placed the front and back of the skirt onto my new fabric (I chose a jersey knit) and cut the new fabric about an inch wider than the old fabric since I needed to sew those pieces together.

I pinned the front to the back, along the sides of the skirt, wrong side facing out.


Then sewed a straight line along both sides of the skirt.

I pinned the skirt to the top of the dress.

I held it up to make sure the skirt fell like I wanted it to.

Then sewed it together.

I cut the lace bottom off of the dress and pinned it to the bottom of the new skirt then sewed it on.

Wha-la! My new dress:

I paired it with a chunky black necklace, bright pink lipstick and a fishtail braid for the perfect vintage look.

What do you think? Do you have any dresses that you want to revamp? Let me know!
Love, sje