I’ve been cultivating a FAVORITE THINGS list for the past 4-5 years and this year is no exception. I normally share things that I fell in love with this past year and recommend to others who are looking for UNIQUE gifts for their friends and family members or even Secret Santa (you know, for those who participate in that sort of thing). So without further adieu, here are my TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS of 2015 . . .
Do you remember when I told you how much I loved TAJJ cosmetic’s lipsticks? Not just the vibrant and glorious shades, but the consistency and the creaminess of the products and the fact that I’ve never used a product quite like it before? I even made a YouTube video about it [TAJJ Cosmetics Deja and Chic Lipstick] I’m not the type to knock other brands, but I will say that’s why TAJJ is on my favorite things list! Grab a couple of shade, heck grab all the shades. You won’t be disappointed! At $15 these are perfect for self-gifting! | TAJJCosmetics.com
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a clutch lover and if they don’t they should. This here is a long standing product that’s been on my list for years. Well, at least 2 years. Love Cortnie was a blogger who created her own brand and has been featured in popular magazines including LUCKY to name just one. I love the spotted pony hair, it’s so soft and supple and it’s the perfect size to go anywhere you want to take it. From $90-160 this is something that she is certain to thank you for again and again. | LoveCortnie.com
Day Three Bath & Body has always been one of my favorite brands. They have so many delish products. This milk bath is a must have. They help soothe, itchy dry skin, soften dry skin and smooth bumpy, irritated skin. They are filled with Milk (cleopatra knew) and a combination of botanicals, like Lavender, Rose petals, Calendula flowers, chamomile and more! For $7.50 each you can splurge on several combinations. | ShopDayThree.
Every single year a book makes my list and this year is no different. Prayer is my weapon of choice and when Liela Marie Fuller sent me a copy of “Don’t Stop Knocking, Don’t Stop Seeking, Don’t Stop Praying, Don’t Stop Believing” I knew it had to be on the list. Even if you don’t know how to pray or get a prayer through for that matter this prayer journal will train you to write it down, attach a scripture and wait on the Lord and it even gives you a spot to write down the revelation. I love this! You’ll want to give it to everyone you love! | Amazon.com
I am a total cuff fan so it’s only natural that I featured this cuff again even though I already featured it in our His and Hers Valentine’s Day Gift List. I just ADORE So Excessive’s “Love Collection” of cuffs and it definitely fits the season. The collection is available in gold, rose gold and silver and you can choose from the open heart to the word “Love” spelled out. From $54-58 this is something that she is certain to thank you for again and again. Get brownie points guys! | SoExcessive.com
Deborah Lippman is a celebrity and fashion manicurist who has designed nail polishes for stars such as Lady Gaga, Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian, Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow. Her shades range from nudes to glittery goodness. I love this shade called Candy Shop that is glittery in a bubble gum base shade. The other shade is Mermaid’s Dream and definitely catches the essence of the sea with flecks of sparkle. From $7.50 to $18.00 per bottle, these premium nail lacquers are perfect for the girly girl in your life. Get them here and here.
As a natural girl I’m always looking for something creative to do with my hair and a cute way to tie it up and keep it out of my face. The adorable array of products by Silk Wraps are excellent for this purpose. I love the reversible pieces like the tie pictured here. If you’ve got a natural girl in your life she’ll love this product, just log on and pick out a pattern. There’s a polkadot tie too that’ll make you swoon. She has an array of sleep caps and other hair protection accessories too. Browse and shop. I guarantee you’ll love it. | SilkyWraps.com
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This year I wanted to do a MASSIVE GOODIE BOX GIVEAWAY! I mean I wanted whomever won this goodie box to be floored at all the AMAZING STUFF that was inside of it. So, I’m opening up the contest worldwide and I’m also opening it up to give exposure to any brand who’d like to offer a product to be included as well. If this is the first time that you’ve ever entered the Mini Goodie Box Giveaway this giveaway will pale in comparison–or at least I pray it will. So, without further adieu, below are a list of items listed by sponsors. Feel free to visit their websites and shop, as they have been majorly supportive to me over the years.
THESE ITEMS RECENTLY ADDED BY OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS:
When I first saw this photo I fell in love. I bet you can’t figure out what I fell in love with. You’ll probably think it’s the plush coat because honestly I do love furry things, however it’s the bed frame. Although you can’t see much of it, you can see enough to detect how ornate it is. Love, love, love.
I’m not one of those who had the luxury of having my grandmother’s cornbread recipe passed down to me. I didn’t even graduate to making cornbread that wasn’t from a box until just a few years ago. I tried Martha Stewart’s recipe, because well her pancake recipe is OUTSTANDING, but her cornbread recipe didn’t do it for me. But when I stumbled upon the Betty Crocker recipe–I hit payday! I had to double the recipe below so that it could have the thickness that I like my cornbread to have. Here you go:
Butter to grease pan
1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups yellow, white or blue cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round cake pan with the cooking spray.
2 In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted.
3 In a large bowl, beat the melted butter, milk and egg with a fork or wire whisk until well mixed. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour batter into the pan; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl. Spread batter evenly in pan and smooth top of batter.
4 Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
Germanee Gerald, the creator of The Prada-G, blog is an assistant merchandiser at Old Navy and a stylist in the San Francisco Bay area. Joelle Purifoy, the creator of The Colors of Joelle blog, is a Master’s of Fashion Design candidate at SCAD and a merchandising intern at SPANX, Inc. in Atlanta. Brittany Curry, is a full time coordinator and model at a local boutique in Washington, DC.
All three of these fashionista’s target Millennials, whether in the workforce or in the hallowed halls of higher education. They all share their own distinct personal style, paired with current trends to inspire other women.
Get inspired, and learn how to rock their nine fashion must-haves by visiting these three brown beauties’ blogs:
It’s Fall, it’s time to throw on a pair of leggings and pair them with cute boots all day, all night, every weekend, go to the movies, go to dinner, put on a blazer and go to work and so on. Here’s my quick and easy round-up that won’t break the bank from some brands I totally love. And remember, when you buy quality (not brands that construct their products with rubber soles) they last and can be resoled season after season.
I love the fringe of the Arctic Burnished Boot in Camel. They come in other colors too but there’s just something about the camel colored suede and fall leaves turning colors that does it for me. Yes!
I love a tee. I’m partial to vintage tees but this one fits the bill. It’s VERY popular right now and the orders are coming from EVERYWHERE. It seems that all the ANOINTED entrepreneurs want one. It says “This Girl Is Anointed For Kingdom Business.” It’s comes in a soft v-neck and a crew neck too. Both have a slight curve and are made to fit a woman. They are very true to size and you can snag one before they run out!
Ballerina Misty Copeland opened up about awhile ago about her lawyer boyfriend (now fiance) Olu Evans:
“It took me finding a person that respected me, that allowed me to still fulfill what i wanted in my career. That was most important to me. I always said, ‘no man is coming in and taking me away from ballet.’ And that was so important to me that the person I ended up with was going to support me in every way, because my career is so important to me.”
“And I knew immediately when he wasn’t afraid of hearing or seeing me so damaged – and that he wanted to help because he cared about me as a person.”
Shhhh! I have a secret to tell you. Come closer because I don’t want this to get out. I have always wanted to grow an herb garden. I know, I know. What does a pastry chef need with an herb garden? Well, we can’t live on sweets alone you know.
I won my first herb plant in a health challenge at work earlier this month and it’s still alive!!! I am by no means a successful plant grower yet but I’m off to a good start. My basil plant is still looking good. I’m so excited and can’t wait to cook with it! That led me to researching how to grow herbs for beginners. So here we go…
First thing you need are good supplies. A more robust pot for growing will take you a long way and can be used over again. You want to look for quality pots that will hold your plants. You want to make sure they have room to grow and don’t get cramped. Secondly, you need labels for your herbs. The labels can be a simple as using colored popsicle sticks or you can get more fancy and use different shapes.
Thirdly, you need good potting soil. A plant can’t grow without good nutrients so don’t get cheap on the soil or you might as well continue to buy the herbs at your local grocery store or market. Fourthly, you need a watering can. Lastly and the most important, are the herbs you are going to grow. Herbs that tend to grow fast are chives, dill and coriander. There are others but these are a few of the more common ones. You will need to pay extra attention when growing these herbs. Herbs that tend to grow slower are oregano, parsley, rosemary, fennel & thyme. Again there are others but these are a few of the more common ones. These require a little more patience and be sure they have plenty of room to grow.
You want to be sure to give your herbs plenty of sunlight but keep them out of high temperatures. The sun can actually burn them. They need about an inch of water a week so be careful not to flood them out. As you start your own kitchen herb garden, don’t be afraid to consult the experts as you are shopping for your supplies. Share with us your herb garden pictures. We would love to see your progress. Now if they only had a plant for beignets!