Happy New Year's Eve!

December 31, 2014

I have always loved celebrating New Year's Eve, especially after having children. It's always fun to include a family-friendly celebration during the day and then stay up past midnight to bring in the new year with a hug, cuddle or kiss.  Every year I fantasize about going out for a fancy night on the town with my husband but we always end up staying in and that couldn't make me happier.  This year, like so many years in the past, my mom is cooking her traditional New Year's Eve dinner of fried fish, black-eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread.  It's something that I look forward to and save my appetite for every single year.
I can't wait to relax, reflect, eat and of course drink a festive cocktail.  I am making a signature cocktail for the adults and the kids will have a yummy mocktail of their own.  Here are a few cocktail recipes {found via Pinterest, of course!} that have inspired me:
1. These adorable mocktails.  How cute! The kids will be making these for sure.
2. This lemon, raspberry and champagne cocktail sounds refreshing and delicious.
3. This spiced cranberry apple martini sounds like a flavor explosion, which is always good to have in a cocktail.  The tastier for me, the better!
4. This very pink raspberry cosmopolitan is almost too pretty to drink.  So appropriately fancy for New Year's Eve!
5. I couldn't create a cocktail post and not include my favorite drink of all time.  Margaritas!  This pineapple margarita recipe is absolutely perfect.  Perfection in a glass. Can't wait to try these!
6. This sparkling strawberry pomegranate cocktail  is festive enough to toast in the new year.  The combination of strawberry, orange and pomegranate sounds spectacular!
7. Raspberry sherbet champagne floats. These sound amazing!  I am a huge fan of sherbet and will be adding it to my cocktail recipe tonight.  Sherbet + champagne? Genius!
8. My sparkling apple cider sangria would be great to serve on New Year's Eve!  I would even add a bottle of sparkling wine to make it extra fancy and delicious.
I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's Eve and a wonderful 2015.  I'll talk to you next year!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

BeautyFash – Top Ten Recipe All Stars of 2014

December 29, 2014

As the year winds down, I thought it would be fun to countdown to the top ten recipes on beautyfash.com.  These will be in order of popularity, based on page views.  I want to give a huge thank you to those who enjoy my recipes – they seem to be really popular, especially over on Pinterest! Thank you so much and I hope you continue to enjoy.  Here's to more deliciousness in 2015!

10 - Pan Roasted Tilapia.  One of the easiest dishes I make.  This fish {paired with any green veggie} should be a staple in your kitchen if you are on the path to eating healthier.  It's simple and delicious.


9 - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.  The perfect Sunday dinner.  When I make this spaghetti, my house smells AMAZING.  If you are a beginner in the kitchen, this easy recipe should definitely be in your repertoire.


8 - Deviled Eggs.  I make deviled eggs for every occasion, pretty much.  My 15-year old son absolutely loves my deviled eggs and I joke that he could eat a dozen of them, but it's true. LOL! 


7 - Easy Creamy Leek Potatoes. This was such a random side dish that came about during  a time when I was obsessed with the taste of leeks.  And I still am. LOL! This dish is hearty and delicious and has tons of flavor.  Serving this with grilled chicken and a simple veggie will amp up any weeknight meal.


6 - Sothern Lima Beans with Smoked Turkey.  I literally just received a comment from someone who made these for the very first time for her boyfriend and she said he practically licked the bowl. LOL! Enough said.  You have to make these!


5 – Cheesy Potato Leek Soup.  I remember making this soup and being completely blown away.  I couldn't believe how much it tasted like a restaurant quality soup and it came straight from my kitchen.  I love when that happens.  This is the perfect time of year to make soup and I highly recommend trying this one. 


4 – BBQ Roasted Shrimp.  So simple.  So easy. So GOOD!  Just like with the tilapia, if your resolution is to eat healthier in 2015 {of course mine is!}, you should be making this shrimp dish at least once a week.  A good protein source that actually taste delicious and has flavor.  I could eat a dozen of these, easy.  Imagine them on top of a good salad. YUM!


3 – Brown Sugar Crusted Braised Barbecue Short Ribs.  When I crave beef, I am only thinking of these short ribs. The meat gets rich, tender and literally melts in your mouth. after braising for a few hours.  I have to make this before the year is over.  I HAVE TO!

2 – Zest + Creamy Seafood Pasta Salad.  The party staple, for sure!  This seafood pasta salad gets better after sitting in the fridge for a few hours and will wow your guests.  I love that it has a light creamy dressing that is a mix between a vinaigrette and a mayonnaise.  It's not only good in the summertime either – imagine this on a Friday night with a fried chicken breast. Mmmmmmm! LOL! My kind of meal.  

1 – Spicy Crab and Corn Chowder.  And the NUMBER ONE BeautyFash.com recipe with over 240,000 page views? This amazing Chowder. No seriously, I know I use "amazing" a lot but this chowder is one for the books.  It absolutely rivals a bowl of chowder from a restaurant.  The smoky bacon, sweet and crisp corn kernels, the lump crab meat in the creamy and spicy broth.  My stomach is growling so much right now. Lol!  If you don't try any of the recipes in this post you MUST try this one.  That's an order! :)
xoxo, thanks for reading! I love and appreciate you all and look forward to sharing more deliciousness in the years to come.


Rich Hues

December 23, 2014


{Denim ~ Old Navy / Gray Slouch Tee ~ Gap / Faux Leather Jacket ~ Forever 21 / Faux Fur Scarf ~ Zara / Leopard Oxfords ~ Cynthia Rowley / Black Handbag ~ Target / Lippie ~ Cyber (MAC)}

I wore this outfit out and about and also to the movies to see Annie on Sunday, which was a really cute film, by the way.  The reviews were less than stellar but that never deters me from seeing a movie.  The kids really enjoyed it and I thought it was really cute. :)

I picked this faux fur scarf up at Zara while in NYC on Saturday and of course I can't find a link online. It was $99 {a bit more than I wanted to pay – I hate that!} but I think it is worth every penny.  Much like my other faux fur collar, I will be getting tons of wear out of this.  Even with this super thin faux leather jacket and in 30 degree temps, I was so warm and cozy.

xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥


Festive Cocktail: Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria!

December 3, 2014

I have made this pitcher of sangria twice this past holiday weekend – on Thanksgiving and then that very next day.  It's that delicious.  With four ingredients, this could not be easier to throw together, especially in a pinch for something good to drink around the holidays.  The absolute key to this sangria is the Italian Tuaca. If you are not familiar with the taste of Tuaca, {I wasn't either until just a few weeks ago!} it is a mild not-too-sweet liqueur that has subtle flavors of both citrus and vanilla.  The 35% volume by alcohol was a little surprising once I tasted how delicious it is.  It seems so much lower – and that's the danger of this sangria.  This recipe calls for an entire bottle of Tuaca, so keep that in mind, the buzz will sneak up on you if you aren't careful.  These are my favorite types of cocktails to drink.  ...silent but deadly. LOL!


2 24 Ounce Bottles Sparkling Apple Cider
1 750ml Bottle of Tuaca
2 Pomegranates, Seeded
2 Large Apples, Diced

Directions: Add the pomegranate seeds and diced apples to the bottom of a pretty pitcher or carafe.  Pour in your sparkling apple cider sangria and Tuaca.  Stir and enjoy over ice.  Simple, easy and delicious!
Let me know if you try this one! It would be perfect for any holiday {or celebration!} cocktail table. 
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Leopard + Camo

December 2, 2014

{Denim ~ Old Navy / Green Turtleneck ~ Uniqlo / Leopard Pony Hair Oxfords ~ Cynthia Rowley / Hat ~ Old Navy / Army Fatigue Camouflage Jacket ~ Thrifted}
Happy December! I ended November on a really peaceful note – after enjoying a relaxing and delicious Thanksgiving.  I rocked this outfit on a day-date with my husband. We frolicked in the city on Sunday, sans-kids, doing a little shopping and grabbing a bite to eat.  I decided to pair a little leopard with camo because, why not? This outfit commanded the attention that it received – it was random and quirky but pulled together and classic at the same time, if that makes any sense at all. LOL!
I hope you are having a great week so far!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Suede Fringe Boots + Pencil Skirt

November 20, 2014

{Black Pencil Skirt ~ New York & Co. / Gray Graphic Tee ~ Gray Stretch Graphic Tee Shirt ~ Simply Vera via Kohl's / Black Duster ~ Thrifted / Brown Five-Layer Fringe Boots ~ MinnetonkaBlack "Whatever" Clutch ~ Asos}
These boots weren't the perfect pairing for this outfit but I wanted to rock them with a pencil skirt so I simply threw them on anyway. Lol! I love these boots so much – they are really comfortable and are such a statement shoe; they go with EVERYTHING, in my opinion.  I think I love the color the most, it is the richest chestnut brown, that is neither too dark or light.  I have been wearing them non-stop.  My favorite outfit featuring these boots has always involved a legging of some sort. I've already warned my husband to prepare to see me in these A LOT. :)
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Red Suede Cropped Jacket

November 17, 2014

{Red Suede Cropped Jacket ~ Vintage.Thrifted / Distressed Denim ~ DIY Old Navy / Gray Stretch Graphic Tee Shirt ~ Simply Vera via Kohl's / Black Booties ~ H&M / Black "Whatever" Clucth ~ Asos}
This red suede jacket has been sitting in my closet for the longest time. I thrifted it a couple years ago, had it dry cleaned and only wore it once before.  I decided Saturday was the time to pull it out and rock it again.  Coupled with this big curly hair, I was giving off quite the 80's vibe and I absolutely loved it. Lol!
I hope you had a great weekend!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

The Ultimate Indulgence – Creamy Gouda Grits

October 31, 2014

Here I am again, posting an incredibly indulgent recipe while I am in the middle of another 20-day fruit and vegetable cleanse.  And of course, my mouth is watering as I type this.  I totally have to put a disclaimer on this recipe post – it is INSANELY indulgent.  The calorie count is probably off the charts and let's not even talk about the fat count.  But sometimes you just have to splurge and enjoy GOOD food.  And this is one of those GOOD comfort food recipes.  One that will probably haunt you in your sleep.  You will wake up craving these, possibly every Sunday. LOL!
I have been eating grits for as long as I can remember.  My mom used to make us a hot bowl of grits with eggs and toast before school in the morning.  They were so perfectly smooth and creamy.  With plenty of cheese and black pepper.  That's what I remember the most.  I don't make grits as often as I would like for my family, but when I do it's a huge treat.  For breakfast or even as a side dish with dinner. {Um, braised short ribs with cheese grits!}
This is a pretty simple recipe but it does require some babysitting.  Grits are not something that can be left alone while cooking.  The pot requires constant stirring and in some occasions, adding of  more liquid to get the perfect consistency.  Another important note about cooking grits: they are to be gently simmered {not boiled!} and cooked sloooooowly over reaaaaaly low heat. If you cook them too fast, they will be hard and well, ...gritty. LOL! You want them to be smooth and creamy without a "bite" if that makes any sense at all.  
1 Cup Quaker Oats Quick 5-Minute Grits
2 Cups Water
3/4 Cup Half and Half {plus a few splashes at the end of cooking}
1/2 Cup Milk {I used 1%}
1/2 Stick Butter
1 Cup Shredded Gouda
Salt and Pepper to taste
{Start by shredding your cheese.  I have also {primarily} used cheddar for cheesy grits but this gouda is AMAZING in grits.  Gouda is probably my favorite cheese {unless it's smoked}.  The texture and mild buttery taste won me over years ago.}
{Add the water, milk, half and half and about a teaspoon of salt to a pot {that has a lid} over low heat.  Bring the liquid up to a high simmer, just below boil. If you let this boil, you will have a huge mess on your stove.}
{Turn the heat down as low as it will go and slowly stir in your cup of grits. A whisk is probably the best tool here but I couldn't find mine and used a fork, which works well. Stir, stir, stir as you slowly pour them in.}
{Continue to stir these so that they are perfectly creamy. Remember I said you have to babysit these.  The last thing you want is lumpy and clumpy grits.}
{Let them cook over a really low heat and continue to stir {every few minutes or so} for about 20-25 minutes.}
{Your grits will be thick and creamy without being lumpy and dry, which is the key! If they get too thick, too fast, your heat is too high.  They can be saved though.  Turn the heat down really low and add a bit of milk or water and stir them well.}

{Add in the butter, a few splashes of half and half, salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper.}
{Stir this well to incorporate.}
{Now for my favorite part – the cheese!}
{Mix well after adding your cheese and serve immediately.  What's better than piping hot, buttery and cheesy grits? NOTHING!}
{And as an added over-the-top measure, I enjoyed this bowl of decadence with crispy bacon. DROOL!} :)
How do you enjoy your grits?
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥