Mermade Moments: 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pop Sugar Must Have // December 2015

I did it. I caved. I signed up for a 6 month Pop Sugar Must Have subscription. They offered $75 off and I can't say no to a good sale. 6 months for the price of 3? Sign me up!


I received my December box last week and I am so impressed!!! I can tell that this subscription is going to be a great investment.

It costs $39.95 a month, but the cost of goods that you get is way above that! They also have 3 month and 6 month subscriptions. I'll show you the item, the retail cost, and I will total everything up at the end. Eek!

 
Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box : $36.00
 - This was my favorite item! It is such great quality and the color is very Tiffany blue.

Luv AJ The Rose Gold Ombre Bracelet : $65.00
- This bracelet is so cute and different! I love all the different colors. It's perfect for stacking.

My Cup of Cake Souffle Mix : $5.99
- I cannot wait to try this! I'm all about dessert in a mug.

Nima Oberoi Lunares Geo Wine Stopper : $24.00
- This little thing is pretty heavy and great quality! I'm giving it to my mom because she loves wine. 

 
Meri Meri Silver Star Washi Glitter Tape : $4.00
- This tape is so so cute. I love washi and I love sending letters, so I'm excited about this! 

 
Stowaway Cosmetics Creme Lipstick Trio : $30.00
- I've never used this brand before, but the colors are perfection! 

End total = $165! 
I was pleasantly surprised with this box and I loved everything in it! I can't wait for January!

To try it yourself - click here and get $5 off your first box! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our First Christmas Tree!

J and I got our first Christmas tree together last week! We've been dating for almost three years, but this is our first time living with only each other. Luckily, we had similar opinions on the style we wanted. Simple, nothing too crazy. We compromised on the tree. I really wanted a giant Charlie Brown tree. I picked the style and he picked the actual tree.

The end result? MY DREAM TREE. We got our ornaments, tree topper, tree stand, tree skirt, and lights all from Target. Cartwheel had coupons for everything and I couldn't pass up those deals! We wrapped the lights around the middle and I really liked the way it turned out.



If I tried to describe our tree, I would say it's rustic chic, winterwonderlandy, simple, classy, and all of the other pretty adjectives. 

I included some close ups directly from the Target shelves below! 

 

 

I love love love our choices. I was also looking at the set below, but we decided it was too many ornaments for the kind of tree we were looking for. 

  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Friday Favorites 12.18.15 on Tuesday!?

Soooo, it's Tuesday. For some reason, I didn't schedule this post like I thought. Here's a little last Friday action for this lovely Tuesday.

 
1.

Michael Kors Watch + Bangle Set. I won this at our office Christmas party! I never win anything! It's gorgeous and I'm thrilled.


2.


Mahogany Teakwood BBW Candle. Honestly, this candle smells like a hawt, wintery man and I have it burning every day that I'm home. I picked up some more when Bath and Body had their EIGHT DOLLAR 3 wick candle sale. All of the heart eyes. 


3. 



Christmas @ Target. In my opinion, this is Target's cutest year by far. The Halloween decorations were on point and now the Christmas decorations are so stinking cute. Since this is our first Christmas in our apartment together, I tried to use some serious self control and not buy every single thing I saw. I figured people usually collect their holiday decor over the years, right?


I got the burlap tree shown above for $3 and a pack of ornaments for $5. So cute and they go so perfectly together! The cupcake stand holding the candle (shown above) was also $3 from Target.


What have you been loving lately? Where do you get your Christmas decorations? I would love to know!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Favorites 12.4.15

In a desperate attempt to blog more frequently, I've decided to start doing Friday Favorites! I think this is the perfect way to talk to everyone about what's going on in my life and what I'm loving without creating a whole blog post for each little thing. I might alternate between Five on Friday and Friday Favorites. Get a little crazy up in here!



1.


Hallmark Christmas movies. I am sooo in love with Hallmark movies this season. They are so cheesy and far fetched and fantastic. J makes fun of me for watching them, but they make me happy! Who doesn't want to watch people fall in love in the most outrageous ways? My current favorite is Merry Matrimony.

2.



"Buffy" Lush Body Butter Bar. (say that three times fast) This thing is fantastic. My BFF got this for me for my birthday. It takes the place of lotion. It's super exfoliating (with almonds, beans and ground rice) and moisturizing (with cocoa and shea butters) all the day long without feeling greasy. It heals my dry elbows too. Love! I haven't used lotion since I got it! You rub it all over while you're in the shower, which is super  convenient.


3.



Starbucks Advent calendar. I have been lusting after this baby for weeks, but was too cheap to buy it for myself. J came home with it on Monday and surprised me! Every night when we get home, we open the little ornament and share the piece of chocolate inside. Awwwww. It also came with a $5 gift card. They're 40% off online and in stores right now!


What are your favorites this week? Also, if you have any LUSH products that you would recommend, let a girl know! I'm looking to expand my collection.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November // A Time To Be Thankful

(Intro written on November 1st.) This November, I am setting a goal. A goal to be thankful. MORE thankful. To tell people that I am thankful for them. To be thankful for ALL things - whether they be physical things, mental things, material things, any and all things. Over the course of the month, I plan to include what I'm thankful for each day - cheesy or not. I'll also include my snippets and thoughts throughout the month to explain why I'm thankful. (I'm including this line because some of the things I'm thankful for seem ridiculous.)

image source

1) My mom doing my laundry and making me mashed potatoes. I came over to her house sick as a dog with laundry in tow and she took care of me. Sometimes, you just need your mom.
2) RAIN. California is in a huuuuge drought right now and it poured all day long. I always say "I love the rain if I don't have to be out and about in it." I actually stayed home sick today and got to enjoy it  from the couch all day long.
3) Our apartment. It costs us an arm and a leg to live there, but it is so cute and so perfect for us. I spent the evening cleaning up to surprise J after a long week for the both of us.
4)  Red Starbucks cups. I know, I know. This cup symbolizes my favorite time of the year and the fact that I am over this disgusting stomach flu and enjoying a yummy beverage for the first time in a week!
5) Date night. J and I live together. We obviously eat together every night because we need to food to survive. So calling a dinner a "date" seems so special.
6) A faithful relationship. This is a weird one, but something to be thankful for. I was cheated on multiple times in a past relationship. I know what it feels like. Sitting at dinner last night with Jarad and my dad, we overheard an older man talking to a much younger woman. They were having an affair. They talked openly about it. It was terrible and dysfunctional and so bad. The wife actually called while the husband was at dinner with this young woman. #awkward
7) My immediate family/my health. J and I spent the day in Pacific Grove. We walked the By the Bay 3k with my dad, sister, brother in law and four nieces. It was so much fun! My heart melts for those little girls. 
8) A day with no schedule. Jarad and I had absolutely no plans today, which is practically unheard of for us. We went Christmas shopping and hung out with my sisters. A breath of fresh air.
9) An easy commute. I commute about 60 miles a day to work. The drive isn't as bad as it was when I lived in Monterey, but commuting still sucks. The drive today was ridiculously fast and I was in heaven. I got home in 30 minutes, instead of my usual hour plus.
10) Our Veterans. All gave some, some gave all. I am so thankful for our veterans and their service to this country.
11) A homemade dinner. Jarad had the day off of school and he cooked me the most delicious meal - steak, red wine mushrooms, and potatoes. We've been eating out so much lately and this was much appreciated.
12) Cupcake orders. I bake cupcakes at night after I get home from my day job. It's what I love doing. I'm alwaaaaays tired, but I love making people happy and the extra money doesn't hurt. :)
13) My best friend, Beth. Today is the day before my birthday. My coworkers took me out to Chevy's to celebrate. My bff that lives an hour away from my office surprised me at lunch after she told me she wouldn't be able to make it. The best surprise! I almost cried.
14) My birthday. I'm thankful for my mom enduring 2 WEEKS of labor to bring me into this world. I'm thankful for the time I got to spend with my friends and family and all the good food we got to eat.
15) My house. My dad's house is my favorite. It always feels huge when I stay there (apartment living). I love my room there and my dog and spending time with my Dad like before I moved out. It feels like home to me no matter what.
16) Target. I'm sure you knew this one was coming. Besides Target being the best store ever, I've had such fun memories there. My sisters and I have been frequenting Target lately and there is never a dull moment.
17) Jarad. My boyfriend is so sweet to me. I've been in a bad mood the last couple of afternoons and yesterday he went to the grocery for me, so I could eat cake and watch reality tv on the couch. It's the little things, people.
18) Technology. My brain can't even fathom all that technology has become. We are able to do so much. I honestly can't imagine my life without technology as sad as that sounds. Without it, I wouldn't be able to reach someone if my car breaks down or in an emergency, or check in on Jarad's day, or receive the cutest pictures of my nieces at random.
19) Warmth. In all sense of the word, really. I have a warm house, a car with a functioning heater (most of the time), a warm office to drive to, and people in my life that warm my heart. There is a man that lives at a table in front of a Safeway across the street  from my house. He has one blanket that he pulls up to his neck. I bought him a latte and a breakfast sandwich today - in hopes that those items would bring him some warmth - in all sense of the word.
20) Good Mexican food. Mexican food is my favorite. Unfortunately, the best Mexican food is in my hometown and I don't live there anymore. However, J and I found a pretty good restaurant a few minutes from our house. Score!
21) Not caring what people think. This is an ability that I have been working on for years. Luckily, I think I've got it down - most of the time. Me and Jarad took my sisters to IKEA today. We were being ridiculous - playing with stuffed animals and dancing and singing to the cool music that was playing. We didn't care. We just had fun.
22) Hallmark Christmas movies. They are so outrageous and so far fetched, but they fill my heart with joy and hope. Seriously. Cheesy movies are my thing and my heart was bursting all day. Also, Jarad was building my dresser, so maybe that helped.
23) My job. I love it. I hate it. At the end of the day, I am thankful to have a job where I love my coworkers (most of them) and get to work with my dad every day. I also love having money to pay my bills and fund my excessive Target trips.
24) "I don't care lunches". My boss and I went out to lunch together today. We went to Applebee's and ordered whatever we felt like. It was fun...and delicious. #nojudgementhere
25) The heart of a child. That sounded sort of creepy, but I mean it to be sweet. My 2 year old niece looked up at me today and said "I'm having a great time with you today, Nanda." It was totally out of the blue and completely melted my heart.
26) Deep fried turkey. I honestly don't care much about Thanksgiving. I love my family, but I'm basically on a countdown to Christmas starting November 1st. I had deep fried turkey for the first time this year and oh lord have mercy. Try it.
27) My dad. I got to spend time with him this weekend at his house and it was just like old times. He is my ultimate best friend.
28) Suite life. J and I got to join my coworkers at a San Jose Sharks game in the suite! This hardly ever happens to us and we had so much fun! Free tickets and lots of fun!
29) Sleepovers. I get to have a sleepover with my nieces tonight because I am taking my sister, brother in law and the girls to the airport. Let the fun begin!
30) Bravery. I'm a chicken. Full blooded chicken. I hardly do anything by myself. I get super anxious driving new places. Blah blah. Well, this weekend, I drove a lot of new places without much panicking. I even drove J and I to the Sharks game a few days ago, which is quite the accomplishment. (He was sleeping and I was on my own with directions.) I really hope to continue this bravery streak into 2016 and beyond. (haha) 


I realize that this post is outrageously long and I won't blame you for skimming. I'm considering doing this every month in some way or another. It really made me stop and think about how great I have it. At one point this month, I stopped and said "wow, even my bad days aren't that bad." I can' wait to see what December brings! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your loved ones.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Minion Cupcakes!

I've been on a baking roll lately!
I recently had an order for minion cupcakes. I had seen photos floating around Pinterest and knew that these cupcakes could be done fairly easily and look so cute!

What You Need:
  • blue cupcake liners
  • cupcakes of your flavor choice
  • yellow frosting
  • brown or black frosting for piping
  • giant marshmallows cut in thirds
  • brown m&ms 
What To Do:
  1.  bake your cupcakes in your blue liners
  2.  let them cool completely
  3. tint your white frosting yellow, or use store bought yellow frosting. spread a thin layer of frosting on your cooled cupcakes 
  4. depending on what minion you're making - you'll use one marshmallow slice or two. stick them right on the frosting toward the top half of the cupcake
  5. take a brown m&m. place a dot of frosting on the "m" side and place that side down onto the marshmallow slice(s)
  6. take your brown or black frosting and draw straps coming out of the marshmallows to the end of the cupcake
  7. take your brown or black frosting and make a cute little mouth
  8. i wish i had some witty or cute minion quote to make, but i don't. soooo, enjoy!!

The birthday boy loved these! I loved the way they turned out. I actually have an order for 4 dozen later this month. I'll be a minion making machine!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mermaid First Birthday Party!

My sweet niece Hanaly (hawn-uh-lee) turned one a few weeks ago and we had her party this last weekend.

I had a lot of fun putting things together for her mermaid celebration and everything turned out so cute! She is a little ball of sunshine and I love her to pieces.

Decorations:
  • lanterns from Target
  • banner from Target
  • plates, napkins, cups and silverware from Target 
  • sea shells collected over the years
  • printables found in the depths of the internet 
  • plastic sea shell plates from Oriental Trading 

Mermaid Munchies:
  • clam shell cookies (nilla wafers, frosting, and sixlet pearls)
  • seaweed skewers (grapes)
  • flip flip cookies (nutter butters with frosting straps and sprinkle accents)
  • fish and chips (potato chips and goldfish crackers)
  • submarine sandwiches (Togo's sandwiches)
  • sea foam floats (root beer floats) 
  • star fish (rice krispies)
  • beach themed smash cake 

I was in charge of the various sweet things, decorations and the smash cake. Surprise! ;)

Let me start by saying, those super smooth ombre cakes found on Pinterest are hard work! Next time, I need a cake turn table and different frosting. And maybe some unofficial practice.


The rest of the munchies were super fun and easy to make! Fun and easy are two of my favorite things. I'm an over thinker, worrier, and planner - so I like to keep things as easy as possible.






I had a mermaid themed birthday party last year that I never  blogged about. I'm a pro now! This theme will never get old. I think it would be super cute to do a mermaid/pirate theme. You could have so much fun with that.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Easiest Candy Corn Icing Ever!


I'm in full Halloween mode over here, you guys! This past weekend, J and I went to visit our old roommates in Monterey. Lucky for me, my BFF loves Halloween as much as I do. On Saturday, we decided to bake cookies and watch the Hollywood Tower of Terror on DVD. $7.99 at Target with a cartwheel coupon!

We didn't want to make plain old sugar cookies and we may have picked up a few bags of candy corn on said Target trip. Soooo, ta daaaaa!

CANDY CORN ICED SUGAR COOKIES.

This is sugar on sugar on sugar and we're okay with that.

Use any sugar cookie recipe you want. Bagged, boxed, homemade, whatevs! The icing is all that matters on this one.

snap chat sneak peek ;)
We straight up dumped candy corn into a double boiler and stirred until they melted. It was a slow start, but once they started melting it was quick! We added a few splashes of cream to create icing consistency.

appetizing orange goop, I know.




This was really a brilliant idea on our part. Most icings are 99.9% sugar anyway, so this was perfection! These aren't outrageously sweet or anything, so don't be scared off! We drizzled our icing because we weren't sure how good these would be. You could most definitely spread a thing layer on the cookie and add some festive sprinkles! That's my plan for next time. Also, we pushed a piece of candy corn into some of the cookies for a fun surprise!





Now, let's take a poll. Do you love candy corn? Or hate it? I bet you can guess what side we're on!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DIY Halloween Costumes - Mike and Sully


We scare because we care! Straight up, I love Monsters Inc. Annnnd so does my best friend. She's Mike and I'm Sully. We dressed up for Mickey's Halloween Party a couple weeks ago and we decided to go in costume. Obvi!

Beth was Mike. (surprise)  Her costume was perfection. Below is the list of items she used to put her costume together.
  •  an over-sized sweatshirt and dyed it lime green (Tulip brand dye)
  • felt for the eyeball and smile
  • green beanie
  • horns were actually plastic squash covered in felt from the craft store. how brilliant is that?
  • lime green converse 
waddup snap chat?
I was Sully. (surprise) Below is the list of items I used to put my costume together.
  • a white fur vest from Target that I dyed teal (Tulip brand dye)

  • purple acrylic paint + textile medium for the spots + a giant round ish sponge
  • a tail made of feather boas
  • a black headband
  • horns were actually red devil horns painted with a mix of tan and white paint
  • pastel purple lips for funsies
  • silver sparkle toms because yes 
snapchat for the win...again!
Our costumes ended up being fairly simple to make and turned out so cute! I've seen many different variations of these costumes online, but none were exactly what we wanted.

TIP: If you mix acrylic paint with fabric medium it makes a permanent fabric paint! An employee at Hobby Lobby told me that! It worked perfectly for my spots.

 What are you being for Halloween this year? Do you DIY your costumes?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Disneyland at Halloweentime 2015 // Anaheim, CA


I looooove Disneyland. I'm no expert, but I'm hoping to be on that level some day! I've gone twice in 4 months, so I guess that's a start!

I recently went to Disneyland while it was decorated for Halloween. You can read all about my experience at Mickey's Halloween Party here. This year was a unique year to go because it's also the 60th anniversary. This was my first time going in September. (I heard this year is less Halloweeny then usual because of the anniversary, but I couldn't tell you!)

this is in California Adventure
The Halloween + 60th decorations were so pretty/cute/lovely. It was balls hot though! (I'm a lady, I swear.)

I wanted to share all the photos I took, so even if you can't make it to the park this year, you'll still get to enjoy the decorations!

Let the photo dump commence! (again with the I'm a lady thing)

this adorably delicious cake pop
These Disney pumpkins adorn the gates right before you enter Disneyland! 



those leaves are her bow. i die.

that diamond anniversary castle though!!!

even the lamps are all decked out! 


That giant pumpkin on Main Street was almost too much for me to handle! It was like a real life Halloweentown. (my second favorite Halloween movie ever)


What's your favorite time of the year to visit Disneyland or Disney World? I'm thinking I need to make a Christmas trip next year.