Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What I've Been Up To This Week: Christmas Edition

Some of the holiday décor at Marketplace Restaurant
This past week, after countless days working overtime, I finally had a few days off to enjoy a couple local restaurants and festive events. The first evening a friend and I went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Louisville and then went to a Christmas party. The next night we went to dinner and a play. Needless to say I really got into the holiday spirit. I enjoyed dressing up to go out because there just doesn't seem to be many swanky Christmas soirée's these days thanks to the more casual ugly sweater parties.  

Our first evening began with a fabulous dinner at Marketplace Restaurant on 4th Street followed by a quick and cold walk over to The Brennan House for Yelp's Christmas Party. Dinner started out with a light and fresh Proseccotini cocktail and Salmon Croquettes. The greens and cabbage were just as good as the croquettes. Really, I could have had a dish full of the greens and been perfectly happy.
Proseccotini Cocktail with Prosecco, St. Germaine and fresh orange and
Salmon Croquettes Appetizer with greens, red cabbage "slaw" and sriracha aioli
My taste buds were elevated to another level with dinner. Sadly, my camera did not have time to take a picture before the dish disappeared. I got the sea scallops with roasted root vegetables, local mushrooms, sriracha aioli and almonds and my friend got the Fried Chicken (marinated in Franks Hot Sauce) with potatoes and greens and a chipotle honey sauce with red cabbage "slaw". We decided to go for something light for dessert and chose the Chocolate Mousse. The "candied" pecans, chocolate pearl crisps and strawberries gave the mousse extra texture and flavor. Mascarpone added creaminess and sustenance. 
Chocolate Mousse with Mascarpone for dessert
After Dinner we strolled over to The Brennan Historic Home and Gardens for Yelp Elite Squad's A Dickens of a Christmas event. From the moment I walked in the door of this beautiful historic home I was greeted with Christmas carols and holiday cheer. The house is ran by Preservation Louisville. An interesting fact, the Brennan's had eight children and none of them had children to leave the 1886 home to, so all the furnishing and décor are original to the family.
Posing on the stairs
Along with the original furnishings, select items of clothing are displayed throughout the upstairs bedrooms. You get the feeling the family could walk through the door and go on with their lives as if time had never passed. They would be shocked to look outside and see the "modern" buildings surrounding the house, including a parking garage, instead of the once stately street. Why people think it is ok to tear down historic homes instead of caring for them I will never understand. 
Two dresses displayed in the Brennan House
I loved all the vanity items. Besides clothes, shoes, bags, hats and jewelry I can't think of anything I like better than pretty vanity items to glam up a lady's special area to get ready.
Assortment of vanity items and another dress
A beautiful, and unexpected, purple chandelier tops off the library full of books that I was aching to open. My dream is to have a library in my home one day!
In the library. Wearing a skirt(here) and necklace (similar here) from Modcloth,
bodysuit from Forever 21 (similar here) and shoes from ASOS (similar here).
The next night we went out to eat and to a play. For diner we went to Down One Bourbon Bar and Restaurant. I ordered a new cocktail on the menu call Machismo because it had Rivulet Peacan Liqueur and chocolate bitters as two of the ingredients. This was a perfect holiday drink. We got the shrimp and pineapple skewer for an appetizer and blackened chicken with kale and jalapeño cheese grits for our entrée. 
Machismo Cocktail at Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant
After dinner we headed across the street to Actors Theatre of Louisville to grab some wine and see Fifth Third Bank's production of A Christmas Carol. 
Christmas tree at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Along with a huge Christmas tree there were four harpists playing Christmas music to make sure any remaining Scrooge was feeling the Christmas spirit. 
Harpists playing Christmas music
Our seats were on the balcony in the front row so we had a perfect view, although all the seats at Actors Theatre are great. I liked how my dress matched the program so I had to snap a picture. 
Waiting for A Christmas Carol to start
Below is a picture of the set before the show. The play was very entertaining and I enjoyed spotting a few actors from Dracula. My favorite character was The Ghost of Christmas Past. I couldn't stop watching her aerial acrobatics skills while she was on stage. While A Christmas Carol is at an end go online and check out the next play. You can even purchase season tickets. 
View of the set from the balcony
I wore a vintage 60s dress from the Nitty Gritty. The fabric's pattern and color is really pretty (pictured above). Below is the best picture I could find. Can I just say, I need a small new camera for my outings or I need to lug out my larger Canon! The camera on my phone takes horrible pictures.
Wearing a vintage 60s dress from the Nitty Gritty
What did you do during the holidays this year? Like, subscribe and comment below. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

7 Natural Gift Ideas for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner I want to share a few ideas for natural beauty, food and beverage gift ideas. With items for your hair, bath and body, makeup, sweets and tea I have something for almost anyone. Well, mostly just for us girls! My gift ideas, ranging from $13-26, can be mixed and matched. Hopefully you decide to pick up a few gifts and something for yourself! With so many amazing options out there I decided to stick with items from Vitacost. You can shop for all the following items with ease on one website and get free shipping if you spend $49 or more! Check out more information on online shopping at the end. Peruse Vitacost for an array of special gifts for your friends, family and yourself anytime of the year! Happy Shopping!
Holiday Natural Beauty Gift Ideas

Acure Organics Dry Shampoo $10.29
   Bass Bamboo Paddle Brush $11.99
   Total $22.28
I love this Acure Organics Dry Shampoo Argan Stem Cell + CoQ10 to help my hair get a couple more days in before I have to wash again. Bass The Green Brush 100% Pure Bamboo Paddle Brush is a great way to not only keep your hair detangled but will help evenly distributed hair products and natural oils to keep your hair healthy. While I haven't tried this brush the reviews are great and it is in my cart waiting for me to place my next order. Earth Therapeutics also has a couple very affordable wood bristle brushes.  

Andalou Naturals Glycolic Brightening Mask $11.99
   Badger Organic Face Oil $11.89
   Total $23.88
While I am not a fan of eating pumpkin I love the Andalou Naturals Glycolic Brightening Mask in Pumpkin Honey. The ingredients are great and it doesn't leave my face dry like other mask do. The Badger Organic Face Oil Damascus Rose with Lavender and Chamomile is a great partner to keep your face hydrated after a mask and great after washing your face at night before putting on your moisturizer. 

Deep Steep Sugar Scrub $7.19
   Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzer $9.29
   Total $16.48
The Deep Steep Sugar Scrub in Grapefruit Bergamot is a great way to get a burst of citrus in the morning. While this scent is my favorite, Deep Steep offers six other fragrances, and a wide array of other products. They even have a Christmas inspired Candy Mint Foot Care Line. After a nice body scrub the Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzer in Grapefruit Bergamot is a great way to get an extra helping of this delicious scent. While it does moisturize, I wear it as a perfume on top of my everyday moisturizer. 

Honeybee Gardens Eye Liner in Blue Jeans $5.99
   Honeybee Gardens Lip Liner in Zen $5.79
   Honeybee Gardens a Lipstick in Cherokee $8.99
   Total $20.77
Honeybee Gardens has an array of colors and products to choose from but I picked these three because they will work for almost anyone. The Honeybee Gardens JobaColors Eye Liner in Blue Jeans is not your typical shade of blue, the Honeybee Gardens JobaColors Lip Liner in Zen is a perfect warm pink and the Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick in Cherokee is beautiful warm mauve that will work for almost any pout.
Holiday Natural Food and Beverage Gift Ideas
Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Manuka Honey $18.49
   Living Raw Organic Truffles $4.49
   Wonderfully Raw Mini Coco-Roons $3.19
   Total $26.17
This decadent gift set for your favorite foodie is not only tasty but completely raw. The added health and skincare benefits of the manuka honey will make this gift the envy of all. With rich Living Raw Organic Truffles in Darkest Cacao, sweet Wonderfully Raw Mini Coco-Roons in Vanilla Maple and delightful Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Manuka Honey (Hi-Active 15 Plus) the recipient will be over the moon.

Numi Glass Teapot "Teahouse" $17.99 
   Numi Flowering Tea Petite Bouquet $6.49
   Total $24.48
Why get someone flowers when you can give them tea that transforms into unique tea flower bouquets. With the Numi Glass Teapot ''Teahouse'' and Numi Flowering Tea Petite Bouquet (assorted) you will be able to share a unique and fanciful gift. This artistic and tasty set makes me dream of bygone days with afternoon tea, tea parties, Alice and Wonderland...
Yogi Tea Assortment:
All teas are $3.39 and the total is $13.56.
Since you can never have enough tea why not give someone you love an assortment of flavors. All the Yogi teas I have tried taste great and have health benefits. I haven't had the skin detox yet but with a sweet floral flavor and ability to cleanse from the inside out this tea is sure to be in my next order. Also, I am pretty sure everyone could use a detox after the holidays!
Top off each gift with an Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Chocolate Bar! Who doesn't love chocolate? There are three kinds and they run $1.79 each (with a minimum purchase of four for each type). Share a few with friends but keep a one for yourself! 

I hope my gift ideas help make Christmas shopping a little easier! By shopping online you can avoid crazy stores and people but always check out your local shops when you can! Below are some ways to save even more money while shopping online! Let me know your own natural gift ideas below. Like, comment and subscribe today!
More information for shopping online:
I love shopping on VITACOST for almost everything: healthy food, supplements, bath and beauty products. You can get most things for a fraction of the price compared to Whole Foods and other health stores. You get free shipping if you spend $49.
Vitacost: Save $10 of your first order of $30 if you click the link: http://goo.gl/y0hE3P
If you shop online ANYWHERE you should sign up with Ebates, Extrabux and Topcashback to get cash back. When shopping check each and see who is giving more cash back. Once you find the one that will help you save the most, click on their link to the store and shop away. It's that easy! Click the links below to get extra perks.
EBATES: Get a $10 gift card to selected store or $5 Ebates credit when you sign up
EXTRABUX: Get an additional $5 cash bonus when you sign up http://www.extrabux.com/r/538ca48a12
TOPCASHBACK: Get an additional $10 cash bonus when you sign up http://www.topcashback.com/ref/member112513373322