TASTE by SPELLBOUND

I am so excited about this post for a variety of reasons. First off… does anyone listen to the Elvis Duran show in the morning? I tune in on my way to work every single day, and it really is the most entertaining program on the radio, I love starting my mornings with that crew!

Back in December or so everyone on the show was tasting and raving about these amazing cupcakes and truffles! They mentioned that she sold her truffles online and I was dying to check them out. Once at a computer, I immediately found her website and looked through all of the delicious treats she had available. I hate to admit that I never ended up ordering any… but was thrilled when I heard she was opening up a shop in Avon, CT…which happened to be very close to where I currently live.

I’d been following Miriam, the owner/designer/baker extrordinaire on Twitter and Facebook for a while now and have been completely blown away by the legitimate food porn that she creates and posts on a daily basis.

Taste by Spellbound has officially been opened for less than a month, and I finally made the trip to check it out!

The front of her new dessert studio at 5 Ensign Drive in Avon, CT. Credit
How fun is the design? Nearly everything was DIY! Credit
Re-furbished/finished chairs. Credit
Are these not the cutest tables you've ever seen? Credit
So much detail. She didn't miss a beat. Credit
A beautiful collection of frames lined the walls in the entry way. Credit

I must say, I truly admire Miriam for a number of reasons…

1- She has a kick a** style. Holy moly, this girl has such a unique but elegant/feminine look…not to mention she has mastered the perfect top knot/ bun!

2-She is so ambitious, a risk taker, and go-getter.

3- She is beyond talented. Let her desserts speak for themselves…you Β can honestly tell how amazing they are just by looking at them.

We picked up a little bit of everything
TJ's Carrot Cake. I honestly don't even like Carrot Cake- but I have heard so many people rave about this particular cake that I had to try...and oh my goodness, I've officially been converted! The cake was so moist and the icing was incredible, it was a stellar combination and I'm proud to say this was the first piece of carrot cake (in my life) that I honestly enjoyed!
We had to sample some truffles! Dark chocolate, carrot cake, and red velvet. They were all just as delicious but the dark chocolate was my absolute favorite!
Mike was so excited about the red velvet truffle- it's one of his favorite flavors.
Now that I was a carrot cake lover, I couldn't wait to try the carrot truffle! (Excuse the dead flowers in our apartment lol)
Yummy!!
And a peek at the dark chocolate..for good measure πŸ˜‰ (Ahh Mike needs a manicure...)
Chocolate chip & Peanut Butter Chocolate chip cookies!
Healthy lemon blueberry scone made with ViSalus Vi-Shape shake mix. This was the perfect breakfast this morning πŸ™‚
Mike was so obsessed with this strawberry cinnamon cupcake, he swears it was the best he's ever had...I took a bite and I can't disagree...that icing is something else! I can't wait to try some other flavors πŸ™‚
Miriam & I in front of the gorgeous butterfly wall in her studio. She was such a sweet girl, and put up with my millions of questions πŸ˜‰

I was so glad to finally visit this charming place! Everything was truly delicious and I will surely be back! (I’m dying to get my hands on one of her famous salted caramel cupcakes!)

If you are in Connecticut and looking for some delicious desserts…THIS is the place to go!

Spring Work OOTD

I’m starting to change up my work outfits now that Spring is here! Here is today’s OOTD in pictures…enjoy πŸ™‚

Chipper on the way to work this am πŸ™‚
Cotton Peach bell sleeved top.
Fitted black slacks
Off-white mini heels
Turquoise necklace that I bought in the Bahamas
One of my favorite Aquamarine cocktail rings
Light shimmer eye makeup- bronze/peach and light pink, liquid eyeliner & mascara
Loose ballerina bun πŸ™‚

How have you welcomed the Spring with your work clothes?

Motivated on a Saturday Day Morning!

I am in an amazing mood this Saturday morning! I woke up at 7:30 (which is pretty early for me) and was lying in bed dreaming about some upcoming beach trips, and the amazing bikini I bought last week when I had a serious urge to workout! I was debating between a run, a hike, a bike ride…I almost got up and joined the gym down the street! I snapped back to reality, and went into my living room to do a couple rounds of ab, arm, leg and butt exercises. After about 30 minutes of crunching and squatting I wanted to do something different. Then I spotted my roommates Body by Bethenny Β DVD!

Body-scultping workouts to unleash your skinygirl- I was in πŸ™‚

The DVD has 3 portions, a 40 minute yoga segment, a 10 minute strength training, and a 5 minute booty blast! I started with the 10 minute strength training- it was so simple and Bethenny was complaining the entire time…my kinda girl ;). It was just my pace. It felt really good to do a little work with weights.

(Excuse my bed head!) Doesn't everyone smile when they exercise?! πŸ˜‰

After the strength training I did the Booty Blast! It was ridiculously simple and quick- I did it twice!

Honestly, I’m not a fan of yoga- I don’t have the patience, or mindset for it, but I decided to give it a try. I did about 15 minutes of the yoga workout which was a nice opportunity to stretch out after everything I had already done.

What a pro πŸ˜‰

And Ta-da! It’s not even 9:30am and I got in solid hour workout, and a new blog post!

I'm feeling good!
Time to shower and do something about this hair LOL

So glad I got a workout in….I’m looking forward to enjoying this beautiful day! Have a wonderful Saturday everyone! XOXO

Gelish “Starburst” & “Rendezvous” Manicure

After about a 3 week hiatus, I am back on my gel manicures! I was missing my long lasting, shiny, strong manicures. After posting about the new Gelish Candy Land Collection I was dying to pick up their new yellow shade “Don’t Be Such a Sourpuss”.

They were nearly out! They had one of each color, except for "You're So Sweet, You're Giving Me a Toothache" which luckily, I already had!

I was so excited that there was one left…it appeared to be a pastel-yellow, but when I took a closer look, it was much more Frenchs Mustard-ish…with a hint of shimmer. I was so bummed, I didn’t end up getting it πŸ™

I don't think I'd care to look at this color on my nails for 2 weeks lol

This Sallys had a poor selection of Gelish colors in general, so I didn’t end up buying anything new. I got home and decided to work with colors I already had.

I chose to work with Gelish Starburst and Rendezvous.

I used Rendezvous, a deep magenta/pink on all of my fingers except for my thumb, and ring finger…which were painted with Starburst.

I'm not sure that I love these colors together, but it was something different! (Rendezvous isn't as red as this picture would suggest)
Day 5: Still chip free and shiny πŸ™‚ (Oh I've missed manis that last longer than 2 days!) This shows a more realistic shade of "Rendezvous"

UPDATE: (I like to note the longevity of my gel manicures) I tweeted a picture of my manicure on day 11…it was still holding up, but I am really ready for a change.

Day 11

How I Beat Acne

I have such sympathy for those who struggle with acne and are consistently trying to achieve clear skin, because I’ve been there. It can be one of the most difficult, and frustrating beauty challenges to face…especially when those who’ve never dealt with skin problems are quick to criticize.Β I struggled with cystic acne towards the end of high school and for a couple years while I was in college, and it honestly put me into a slight depression.

Before I move on, let me clarify that while my skin was bad, it was not nearly as severe as others have suffered. I wish I had quality pictures to share with my face completely stripped of any and all makeup- but to be honest, I did everything in my power to not be photographed- so the pictures I was able to find are not 100% accurate of my skin at the time.

Me in my senior year of high school after a softball game. You can see some of my active acne, as well as many of my scars.

I was a clean person, I took excellent care of my skin, and just could not understand why it wouldn’t clear up. I tried every product under the sun (Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Cetaphil, Dove, Biore, Aveeno, ProActiv..the list goes on), I used a handful of different prescription creams and face washes from my dermatologist- (benzaclin and tazorac worked for a while, but I ended up with a crazy allergic reaction- half of my face was swollen for 2 days!), Β I concocted every home remedy I could find on the internet (crushed Tylenol pills mixed with lemon juice to reduce redness, tomato face masks…), I tried tanning, I tried completely avoiding the sun (definitely a buzz kill during my Summer beach vacation) I drank tons of water…but still nothing. My hormones were not going to let up. I strongly considered Accutane, but was turned off by it’s ridiculously strict rules and harsh side effects.

This was taken during my sophomore year of college. I was tanning a lot during this time.

I wish I could tell you that I found a miracle OTC product that cleared my skin up overnight, but that was not the case, and I went through a lot of trial and error before finding a solution.

In my Junior year of college, I decided to start taking birth control pills- I had been so against birth control for the longest time, I didn’t want to take any kind of medication that would alter something natural, but I opted to try it for its promise to clear up my skin. I had exhausted every other opportunity.

I began taking Necon 1/35 – the generic contraceptive for Ortho-Novum 1/35 in the Fall of 2008.

Necon 1/35

I quickly began to see results. My skin wasn’t breaking out as badly, or frequently as it had been.

FALL 2008: A couple of weeks after I started taking Necon 1/35
SUMMER 2009
FALL 2009
WINTER 2009: Completely clear!

A little over a year after starting Necon 1/35 my skin had fully recovered. Today I occasionally deal with a major pimple or two, but I’ve developed a skin care routine that has helped me to maintain an overall clear complexion. Β A couple rules that I live by:

1) NEVER go to bed without washing your face.

I scrub my face every single night with St. Ives apricot scrub. It's the only facewash that actually feels like it works.

2) TONE!

Never underestimate using a toner!

3) Always moisturize!

I usually tan my face at night (this is totally optional) many people would disagree with using tanning products, but I find it helps to even out my skin-tone before morning.

When I opt out of tanning lotion, I prefer to use Ponds Dry Skin cream. It keeps my face super hydrated all day/night.

Taking care of your skin is a lot of work. It can be expensive, time consuming, and tedious, but it is important! If I could only secure one physical beauty attribute- it’d be a clear face. Like I said, I feel for anyone who struggles with acne.

If you currently take a birth control- check with your gynecologist that it is also beneficial for your skin. I’ve recommended Necon 1/35 to a couple of friends and they have seen incredible results as well. It truly saved my skin, and was not as difficult as committing to Accutane or other prescription medications.

A recent picture! (I may be a little gummy..lol) but my skin has been doing excellent πŸ™‚

I wish anyone struggling with clear skin lots of luck!

Do you have a story about your journey to clear skin? What helped you beat acne? Do you have any favorite products?

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