Yearly Archives: 2017


Little Love Notes

Little Love Notes: our New York and Main Vacation by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc.

We’re officially on VACATION! We left yesterday on our road trip and today we’re in NYC for a long weekend to visit family and get a little blog work in. (I promise to share some of the fun behind-the-scenes of where we’re headed and who we’re meeting up with over the next few days!) There really is something magical about this city, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I think I just love the chaos, the excitement, and all the great shopping and food, of course. After a few-day trip in New York, we’re driving the rest of the way to my parents’ house in Maine on the coast and I cannot wait to soak up all of that salty ocean air. One of the things I miss most about Miami these days is that ocean feel. Looking forward to playing in the sand, squeezing in a little down time, and stuffing our faces with lobster rolls. Stay tuned!

I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend over on instagram (lots of fun behind-the-scenes on my insta stories too!), facebook, and twitter. Follow along! How about you? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes …

Dear lazy girls’ beauty regimen, are face wipes as effective as washing your face? (Yep. And here’s what to look for.)

Dear Sofia Coppola fans, have you seen the eerie first trailer for her remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1971 ‘The Beguiled’? SO looking forward to it.

Dear growing old, the two happiest years of your life, according to science.

Dear what’s for dinner, 8 weeknight power sauces to make and keep in your refrigerator.

Dear reading for the soul, how to read a whole damn book every week.

Dear design dreaming, just LOOK at this farmhouse-style back porch.

Dear Spring must-haves, this swingy Free People tunic dress is the kind of piece you’ll wear all Spring and Summer long (and it’s under $50!)

Dear weekend baking, dark chocolate chunk, pistachio, and sea salt cookies.

Get the origins of these sweet little love notes, here, and catch up on love notes of the past.

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Photo by Annie Watts Photography for Glitter, Inc.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey

I was asked to participate in the #JaredTimelessMoments campaign, sponsored by Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry. Although I have been compensated, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors who help to make Glitter, Inc. possible!

If you don’t know by now, our little family and I, we love celebrating; even the small things. I think part of what makes our happy marriage tick, and a lesson I learned long ago from my own parents, is to enjoy the little stuff, to have goals and vacations and events; basically, things to look forward to. (I touched on this here.)

And although for some, a new job may not feel like the biggest thing – matching for hubby’s medical residency two years ago – that felt pretty monumental. (If you’re curious, this post explains medical residency, the match process, and the life of a doctor’s wife and here’s where we wound up.)

It was two years ago, just a few weeks back, that we matched for Mike’s residency at a big ceremony in Miami. We gathered with family and friends, and heard our fate read aloud from an envelope. In that moment, everything changed. We would be moving from Miami to Durham so that hubby could work at Duke. It was a huge dream for him, and a big move for me and Scarlett, who was just a baby at the time.

Jewelry Gifts: Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

We had two months to pack up our lives, find somewhere to live in a city we’d never been, and say farewell to our jobs, family and friends. Hubby was focused on his new career, and getting us there, so it was up to me to fret over where and how I would work, if I would take the North Carolina bar exam, if and where we might put Scarlett in school, if we’d need a nanny, the list goes on and on.

Jewelry Gifts: Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

But somehow, in less than two months, we had completely packed up Scarlett’s first home – a not-so-big apartment in the heart of Miami, and made the trek to a new home in North Carolina. Hubby always talks about how amazing it was that we managed such a big move so quickly, and we usually celebrate each year with a little celebration.  He lovingly jokes to anyone who will listen, “This is my wife; the rockstar.”

That guy. He’s awfully cute.

Jewelry Gifts: Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Now onto the fun stuff. let’s talk jewelry gifts. You can color me obsessed because I am loving rocking this beautiful bracelet. Sometimes being unexpectedly spoiled can feel so unbelievably special. Hubby knew that jewelry gifts, particularly this tennis bracelet would be the most amazing way to commemorate the anniversary, and boy, was he right. I mean, just LOOK at it. I remember as a kid, thinking that tennis bracelets were the height of sophistication. My mom’s fancy friends had tennis bracelets. Getting to wear one from Jared – one that happens to be covered in diamonds – it felt pretty surreal.

Jewelry Gifts: Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

And if  gorgeous jewelry gifts aren’t one spectacular way to celebrate, I don’t know what is. Jewelry is one of my favorite ways to commemorate the timeless moments in life. Every piece of jewelry I own has a special meaning behind it. My engagement ring and wedding ring are obvious, but I also wear a small diamond ring my Dad gave my Mom when she had me, plus a few rings with special meaning as well (one for Scarlett, one for our wedding date, one for my blog … yeah, I’m a dork.)

Jewelry Gifts: Celebrating 2 Years on this Residency Journey by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Jared has a huge selection of fine jewelry for any milestone or occasion, the perfect jewelry gifts. A tennis bracelet is topping my list. (Can’t you tell?)

How about you? Anything sparkly on your wish list? 

Photos by Annie Watts Photography


Lexi

Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes

A few weeks ago I was wandering the grocery store while Scarlett was at school (isn’t it amazing how much more leisurely a grocery shop can be without little ones in tow?) I stumbled upon boxed ramen broth – right where the chicken and vegetable broths are – and I did a double take. I had no idea ramen broth came packaged and ready to buy at the supermarket; but of course, I had to buy it. I mean, ramen is delicious, and at-home ramen noodles recipe sounds pretty awesome. Then I set off to get the rest of my ramen ingredients, focusing on a few favorites. Ramen noodles, of course, shitake mushrooms, bok choy, green onion, and eggs.

I am a ramen lover through and through, but despite loving to cook, I’ve never actually attempted homemade ramen because a traditional ramen broth can take hours and hours to make. To even the best chefs, making a truly fatty, salty, umami-dense rich ramen broth is a feat in and of itself. But the result is the ultimate meal-in-a-bowl and pretty near close to perfect comfort food.

Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc.

I’m not saying the original decadent ramen noodle dish isn’t worth the trip to your favorite local ramen house, but when you just want a bowl of hearty noodles (because, carbs) covered in endless topping options that give you the power to make a bowl your very own – from the comfort of your sofa, I might add – this simple ramen noodles recipe in under 15 minutes might just be the key to at-home ramen bliss.

Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc.

Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

dried or fresh ramen noodles*, cooked as directed
ramen broth or vegetable broth
1 TB olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1-4 mini bok choy, quartered into long pieces
1 soft-boiled egg
sesame seeds

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

bok choy
shitake or enoki mushrooms
pork belly or sliced roast chicken
scallions
bonito flakes
fresh spinach (blanch and squeeze all of the water out)
frozen spinach (defrost and squeeze all of the water out)
corn (canned, fresh or frozen)
bamboo shoots (canned or fresh) OR Bamboo Shoots in Chili Oil
dried seaweed
tofu (drained and cubed)
snow peas (blanched)
sliced Japanese fish cakes
fresh bean sprouts
chili oil
miso paste
soy sauce
sesame seeds

*I used dried ramen noodles for this, though admittedly, fresh ramen noodles are even better, but not quite as easy to find. Since falling for this soup, I’ve even ripped open one of those 25 cent instant ramen noodle packages and uses the noodles from the package, throwing away the spice pack. It all works.

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, sauté fresh vegetables like onions, bok choy, and mushrooms until golden brown.
  2. In a separate pot, heat your broth and cook noodles according to the package.
  3. If you like having a soft-boiled egg on your ramen, boil your eggs for 5-6 minutes, no more. (I usually cook mine closer to medium, but is purely preference.)
  4. Pour broth and noodles into bowls, followed by any protein and vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds, and any soy sauce or chili oil, then place half the soft-boiled egg on top. Serve hot with chopsticks and a spoon.

NOTE: I went the pretty traditional route, topping my ramen noodles with shitake mushrooms, bok choy, green onion, a soft-boiled egg, and sesame seeds, but I’m looking forward to trying a whole variety of toppings as we add this simple dinner into our rotation. I’m definitely going to add sliced roasted chicken (something you can easily pick up pre-made at the grocery store) or tofu for extra protein in the future. Everyone loved having ramen at home, especially Scarlett, who was a big fan of slurping up the soft noodles.

Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes Simple Ramen Noodles Recipe in Under 15 Minutes by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc.

Happy slurping!

If you make your own simple ramen noodles recipe at home, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your delicious meals!

Photos by Annie Watts Photography

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Little Love Notes

A few little love notes to the things I loved most this week by lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc.

Happy weekend! Hubby is out of town for a conference but my baby brother, all 6-foot-5 of him, is coming to town and Scarlett is beside herself with excitement. I have a feeling he’ll be finding a way to fold himself into her tiny “princess castle” (a.k.a., teepee) because she is ready to PLAY. We also have a fun playdate Saturday, and I have lots of packing to do, because at the end of next week, we leave for VACATION! More details to come, but feel free to send me your NYC suggestions. (We’re headed there first for a few days, before we drive up to Maine, so that I can squeeze a little work in.)

I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend over on instagram (lots of fun behind-the-scenes on my insta stories too!), facebook, and twitter. Follow along! How about you? What are your Little Love Notes? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes …

Dear email truths, let’s all stop apologizing for the delayed response in our emails. “Adulthood is emailing ‘sorry for the delayed response!’ back and forth until one of you dies.”

Dear what’s for dinner, one pot mushroom and swiss chard pasta (covered in parmesan, of course.)

Dear fashion risks, you have to see these unreal embellished fishnet tights.

Dear way back when, remember Scarlett’s very first birthday party? It’s time to start planning her THIRD birthday!

Dear DIYs to try, the cutest DIY patio umbrella.

Dear beauty tricks, this tip for applying lipstick is simple and will give you the perfect “cupid’s bow.”

Dear home must-haves, the prettiest floral jewelry plates (that I really just want to use as dessert plates.)

Dear weekend bakingjam butter cookies. OMG.

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Get the origins of these sweet little love notes, here, and catch up on love notes of the past.

Photo by Annie Watts Photography for Glitter, Inc.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Delicious Chewy Granola Bar Recipe: Soft Chocolate Chip Pretzel

Warm weather is here and I am all about no-bake snacks that kids (and grown-ups alike) will love. I stumbled across this chewy granola bar recipe, and made a few simple tweaks, to come up with a new household favorite. Between hubby and Scarlett, these dairy-free* soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars were gone in a matter of days.

Hubby declared them “the best chewy granola bar recipe yet,” so there’s that.

How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

The texture to these granola bars is perfect – soft and chewy – and the saltiness from the pretzel and peanut butter plus the hints of sweet from the semi-sweet chocolate, makes these granola bars THE perfect snack. I actually cut our granola bars into “granola squares”; perfect for little hands.

*Scarlett can’t have any milk protein, so we’re always experimenting with vegan and dairy-free recipes, in case you want to check them out! While this recipe is not vegan because of the honey, it can be made dairy-free using dairy-free chocolate chips. We use Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and chips; they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, and totally delicious. They also bake incredibly well. Even Target carries them! Obviously, you can use regular semi-sweet chocolate here instead if you don’t need to keep the recipe dairy-free.

How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

How to Make Our New Favorite Soft Chocolate Chip Pretzel Chewy Granola Bar Recipe

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups twisted pretzels, crushed down to about 1 heaping cup
½ cup salted peanut halves
1 cup peanut butter (more as needed)
½ cup honey (more as needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss the oats, crushed pretzels, salted peanut halves, and chocolate chips (optional) together in a large bowl.
  2. Stir the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla together in a separate bowl until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients in the other bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Press the bar mixture into a 9×9 inch pan lined with parchment paper (9×13 will work – it will just yield wider, flatter bars). Freeze for 30 minutes. Pull out of the pan and cut into bars. You can also wrap the bars individually in freezer or parchment paper and ziploc bags for quick grab-and-go snacks. They can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

NOTES

If your bar consistency seems too dry or crumbly, add more peanut butter or honey, and add more oats or pretzels if the mix seems too sticky.

You can mix-in anything else you want to make these granola bars totally customized. (i.e., dried fruit, chocolate chips, more nuts, seeds, etc.)

Store-bought peanut butters like Jif or Skippy work best in this recipe because sometimes natural peanut butter is less sweet, less salty, and more oily. You can use natural peanut butter, just do your best to balance out the honey dry ingredients until you get the right consistency.

Recipe adapted via Pinch of Yum

How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make our favorite dairy-free soft chocolate chip pretzel granola bars. Click through for the easy recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you find yourself throwing together a batch of this chocolate chip pretzel chewy granola bar recipe, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your fun snacking!

 

Photos and Video by Annie Watts Photography


Lexi

15 Of The Best Things To Get At Sephora’s HUGE Sale

Attention: This is not a drill! Sephora’s HUGE sale starts NOW. We’re talking 10-15% off EVERYTHING! And if you’re a devout beauty junkie, you’ll know these sales are few and far between, and it is not easy to get your hands on coveted beauty items at a discount.

Here are the sale details:

1) Between 4/18 – 4/24, VIB Rouge members get 15% off — use code ROUGESPRING.

2) Between 4/19 – 4/24, VIB members get 15% off — use code VIBSPRING.

3) Between 4/20 – 4:23, Beauty Insider members (that means anyone with an account!) get 10% off — use code BISPRING.

If you don’t have an account, you can still sign up right now. And why not? It’s free to join and you get fun member benefits, like (amazing) freebies on your birthday and points that add up to other great beauty prizes.

In case you’re staring at the beauty black hole that is Sephora right now, I’m rounding up my favorite products and the most-talked about beauty items that you’ll definitely want to score up to 15% off of right now! It’s like I took my everyday beauty bag and dumped it out on the counter. Seriously, these are my personal favorites. Scroll through to see why …

15 Of The Best Things To Get At Sephora's HUGE Sale, plus my Beauty Favorites. Click through for the details. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

 

Happy shopping!

Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection

Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection (in 1 Le Rouge), $37

1. The most classic shade of red, possibly ever. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with YSL beauty products. Their lipsticks in particular are luxe, rich, and beautiful. I’ve never met a shade of red I didn’t like, but this is THE shade of perfect red. For the record.

Dior Diorshow Mascara and Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara

Dior Diorshow Mascara, $28.50 and Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara, $24

2. and 3. These mascaras are so GOOD, I’m choosing two. I’m calling it a close tie between my two favorite mascara formulas: Dior Diorshow Mascara and Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara. I use them both regularly, and both give those glamorous look-at-me lashes without clumping.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation

Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation, $64

4. The foundation you keep hearing about. This is everyone’s favorite foundation for a reason. And I have tried so many. This foundation formula just gets it right. This lightweight liquid foundation achieves a radiant, silky finish, plus full glorious coverage, without caking, flaking, or ever feeling heavy. (By the way, the reviews for the Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Powder Foundation are equally amazing and I have it in my shopping cart as we speak.)

anastasia-beverly-hills-tinted-brow-gel

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel, $22

5. Everyone’s favorite tinted brow gel. Want the appearance of fuller, thicker brows in one easy swipe? This brow gel – a fan favorite – if your go to. The combination of cream and gel easily defines and fills in the look of brows while controlling and shaping without flaking or fading.

dyson Special Edition Supersonic Hair Dryer Set

dyson Special Edition Supersonic Hair Dryer Set, $399

6. The coveted top-of-the-line blow dryer. If you’re willing to make a beauty splurge, the forever talked about dyson hair dryer is actually on sale. This never happens.

 Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Box o’ Powder Blush

Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Box o’ Powder Blush, $29

7. For perfectly pink, flushed cheeks. Over the years I’ve tried a number of different blush brands and formulas, but something about Dandelion has me coming back all these years later. (I actually started wearing this blush when I was just 16!) The formula is a long-lasting, pressed highlighting powder in a classic ballerina-pink. Its shimmery, satiny, and radiant formula leaves an immediate perk-me-up finish that brightens up your face—even at eight in the morning.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye™ Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye™ Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer, $24

8. Say bye-bye to under eye darkness. I love this stuff. SO much. If you get dark circles under your eyes, buy this. Don’t think twice.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $62

9. A groundbreaking lighting recipe, in a palette. One of the brand’s best-selling items and easily the beauty item that sells out quickest during the Nordstrom #NSale every year as well, this lighting palette means business. Ambient Lighting Powder is a high-tech, soft-focus finishing powder collection of pressed powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on skin.

Nars Lipstick in Cruising

NARS Lipstick (in Cruising), $28

10. The nude lipstick shade that works on everyone. One of my favorite everyday lipstick formulas, NARS lipsticks go on smooth and velvety and I love the color choices. A few favorites: Cruising (probably my favorite nude, ever), Schiap, and Heat Wave. But it’s Cruising – a beautiful shade of nude with the subtlest rose undertones – that truly has my heart. I wear this most days over chapstick.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, $40

11. The contour Queen of contouring kits. If contouring is your thing, or you’re ready to give the face-slimming beauty technique a shot, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is your answer. This collectible contouring kit features six blendable formulas to sculpt and define features.

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand

T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand, $270

12. A curling wand to get that perfect wave. I have and LOVE this styling wand and can’t sing its praises enough. It’s a splurge, I’ll admit, and you can save a few bucks by buying just one barrel extension. This curling wand does it all — from uniform spiral curls to beachy waves to extreme volume. It’s magical.

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette, $54

13. The most usable eye shadow palette around. All of the Naked palettes are amazing, but I will say that I’ve found Naked2 to have the colors I tend to use the most. That and the Naked2 Basics (which is great for travel!) The Naked palette is my go-to everyday eye shadow palette. It’s just so good.

Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, $94

14. The classic feminine perfume. If you love a feminine, subtly floral scent, Miss Dior is for you. It’s been one of my favorites for years. I love the hints of jasmine. I also adore Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, especially in the spring and summer.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain

SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain, $14

15. Rich, long-lasting and affordable lip stains. You didn’t really think I’d mention just ONE shade of red lipstick? Sephora’s own line of Cream Lip Stains are surprisingly great and affordable, and their classic red – shade 01 Always Red – is a matte bold classic red that lasts.

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So tell me, are you shopping Sephora’s HUGE sale? What are you scooping up? Any beauty favorites I should know about?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi