Mermade Moments: 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cake in a Jar!

Cake cake cake cake.

This is a throwback post...from two years ago when I was getting ready to celebrate my first blogiversary. I'm going through all my drafts and finally publishing some!

I decided to bake...CAKE. Because what's a party without cake?  I decided any old cake wouldn't do. How about rainbow cake...baked in jars...topped with glitter and sprinkles??? Good. I'm glad we're on the same page.

This is super simple. Celebrations can be stressful and sometimes I think the simpler the better. I chose to use Funfetti cake mix for this because 1) funfetti. no explanation needed. 2) nothing says party like sprinkled cake - seriously even the box says happy birthday 3) i'm a busy girl.

You can use any kind of cake. Any kind! I split my batter into three different bowls and chose three different colors. Pink, purple, and lime green. The jars I used are smaller than normal mason jars. Those would take forever to bake. I used small Kerr jars. I layered the batter very carefully. My best friend and I took two different layering approaches and I loved them! DO NOT FILL THE BATTER TO THE TOP. We filled the jars about 3/4 of the way full and that was too much. I would say go for half full.

Bake low and slow and use a sheet pan. 325 degrees. I would check your cakes between 25 and 30 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your jars.

Once your cakes have cooled, frost those babies! AND THEN. It's sprinkle time. I used edible glitter first. So sparkly and so pretty. I really wanted the glitter to stand out so I used hot pink sprinkles as well! I think the sprinkles add even more sparkle and shine.

That's it! So simple, but so fabulous! I hoped you enjoyed this post! (okay seriously past me was just so cute)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Our Trip To Maui - December 2016

We're baaaaaack! We got back from Maui at 2 am on Thursday. Let me tell you, 5 days in paradise is not enough time! We had such a great time. Our trip started out a little rocky with a 2 hour delay. It doesn't seem like much, but we were supposed to arrive at 10:30 am and didn't arrive until almost 1 pm! That's a big jump when you're trying to start your vacation. It seemed like our day was wasted, but we tried to change our attitudes!

We stayed at the The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and it was fantastic! My sister + brother in law own a timeshare there and we loved it. Multiple pools, hot tubs, restaurants and surrounded by beaches!

We ate a ton of good food. I will be doing a separate post with a food guide for Maui. Can I just say that Maui has the best french fries? Oh and seafood too ;)

Everybody is so nice and helpful on the island. I didn't encounter one rude person! We also didn't hear anyone honk their car horns. That's unheard of where we live.

We enjoyed some snorkeling at Baby Beach. We loved it. It's waist deep water for at least 150 years. We snorkeled with my nieces and we had a blast. Jarad bought me by own snorkeling gear. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me! I had a bad rental experience in the Caribbean and now I'm set!

We shopped on Front Street in Lahaina and at Whaler's Village. I highly recommend both!

Jarad went on an overnight fishing trip and had a total blast. It was so fun to hear all his stories!

Have you been to Maui? What are your recommendations??

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What I'm Packing For Hawaii!


Alright, caps lock off and my breathing has returned to normal. I started "packing" for this trip months ago. I wrote list after list and set aside random things every time I thought of them. I'm trying REALLY hard not to over pack. We will be there for 6 days, 5 nights and I need to keep it together! I also want to be able to lug my suitcase around the airport without panting... Let's just say I'm the queen of being over-prepared.

I wanted to show you guys the super cute/fun things I'm packing for this trip.

Jax Sea Kimonos - my sister bought me the pink one last year when she went to Maui and she just bought me the blue floral one for my birthday a few weeks ago. These are actually made in Maui. You can drool over them here.

Target Tankinis - I was supposed to get in shape liiiike 10 months ago, but tacos. These tops hide my food baby and I feel cute in them. SCORE. Buy the black one here and the colorful one here

Kate Spade Coconut Purse and Seahorse Wallet - Jarad hooked me up you guys. He bought these for me MONTHS ago because he knew I wanted them for Hawaii. I mean seriously. These are the cutest things I've ever seen.

Old Navy 'Salty' Tote - I bought this soooo long ago knowing I would want it as a pool bag for this trip. I love the neon orange strap.

Handmade Pineapple Pouch - My niece Presly made this baby for me for my birthday. Did I mention that she's SEVEN??? My heart melted.

I can't wait to update on my trip once I get back! Aloha!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Worst Blogger Ever?

Jarad sent me these beauties for my birthday
It's been months since I've been on Blogger. If I'm being perfectly honest, I didn't think I missed it much. Random blog ideas would pop into my head and I would be jealous of all the awesome posts my blogger friends were writing, but I just didn't think I missed it. Funnily enough, the second my Blogger page heart skipped a beat. Say whaaaaat? This doesn't happen often, but I'm going to say that I was wrong. I did miss this. And I'm back. Hopefully.

How about a quick update?

  • I turned 25 this week. Insert quarter life crisis here.
  • Jarad and I moved in with my dad to seriously save money for a house. 
  • My brain is overflowing with future business ideas that I hope to put into action over the next year.
  • I leave for Hawaii in 15 days. A vacation with my dad, boyfriend, little sister, older sister, brother in law and four nieces. Lawd! That's a guaranteed blog post right?? 

I have a couple drafted posts that I hope to get up next week. I've missed you guys and I can't wait to start this back up again! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm Starting Weight Watchers?!


Oh, hi guys! I'm still alive and well although it would be hard to tell from the lack of posts over here. Let's just say life has been CRAZY. My coworker moved to a different department at work while my boss was still out on maternity leave. Now my boss is back and the two of us are killing it. I barely have time to breathe while I'm at work and I'm exhausted when I get home, so that's the main reason why I've been lagging in the blog department.

I've been surviving and thriving - baking a lot of cupcakes - and counting down the days until we move back to our hometown.  (36 days in case you were wondering)

The point of this post is to tell you about my newest adventure...Weight Watchers! My boss and I are doing it together and we're starting this week. Eeeeek. I've tried multiple weight loss solutions and quit before ever really giving it my best shot. I'm excited to try WW because it seems like a good option and I'll have a support system. Our "smart points" are actually exactly the same, so that will make this even easier. We signed up for three months - so our subscription will end September 20th - at that time I will assess whether or not I think WW is working for me. If so, I will continue! We are hopefully going to New Orleans in November and definitely going to Hawaii in December, so this is the perfect amount of time to lose weight and figure out what works for me. I want to be able to enjoy my vacation(s) without worrying about my taco food baby.

I've heard good things about Weight Watchers and I'm interested to see how it works for me! I'm thinking of it like a game and I'm thinking that will make it more fun. I don't know if this will be a long term thing for me or if it will be just what I need to jump start my weight loss. (for the 76th time)

So, stay tuned for more WW posts. Have you done WW before? What did you think? I would seriously love to hear your opinions on the program - the good and the bad!

Monday, April 25, 2016




my current arm candy
I know most of you don't know me in real life, but I wear 8+ Pura Vida bracelets a day. Every single day. I love them. I love the company's mission. I love the customer service experience they create. I applied on a whim to be a Spring rep for them and your girl got picked!

I encourage you to visit their website here and take a look around! The bracelets are made in Costa Rica by the locals. This gives them an opportunity to support their families. They are water proof and last forever! PV has come a long way since I started wearing them years ago.Think pineapples, flamingos, and all the other cuteness! PV has donated almost ONE MILLION dollars to various charities. They've only existed for 5 years! That blows my mind!

They sell more than just bracelets now too. Clothes, other accessories, and swim suits are coming in a few weeks!

snapchat sneak peak!

I hope this post makes some kind of sense. I'm just really excited and my thoughts are bouncing all over the place.

check out both of our arms ;)

THE BEST PART. If you use my code at checkout 'MIRANDAOBRIEN20', you get 20% off your total! What what!

even my dad loves them! 

So...what are you waiting for??? Go get yourself some!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Walmart Beauty Box // Spring 2016


I've been meaning to write this post for like two weeks now, but better late than never! I recently received my Spring Walmart Beauty Box in the mail and I AM IN LOVE. This was the best box by far. I think I said O-M-G five times. 

(In case you aren't familiar, Walmart does a seasonal beauty box. For $5! 4 times a year - with each new season comes a box that fits that season.) How many times can I say season in a sentence??


I was so impressed with the products!  All brands I recognize and love. I was going to buy a full size bottle of the Jergens Natural Glow, but I decided to wait. Lucky for me, it came in my box! I'm really excited to try the Curel Itch Defense body wash because the water at our apartment complex makes my skin soooo dry. A lightening shampoo for brunettes?? Sounds perfect for warmer weather. I've been really wanting to try this Biore baking soda face wash and I was soooo stoked to see that in here as well.

In addition to all of those items, the samples were pretty good too! 


I highly recommend this subscription box. It's so practical and I've never been disappointed. $5 pays for the shipping alone in my opinion! Do you get the Walmart Beauty Box? Do you love it as much as I do?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kate Spade Home Haul!

Let me start by saying - if you're trying to save money, just leave this post now.

I'm so stoked to show you the things I picked up from Home Goods and TJ Maxx. It all started when Tracy from Tracy's Notebook (best insta page for deals ever) posted this photo

FLAMINGOS? KATE SPADE? It just so happens that my niece wants a flamingo birthday party in June and I love all things Kate Spade. I obviously had to go on a hunt for that table runner. Her party couldn't possibly be complete without it!

Now...picture this. Stoked, full of hope Miranda turning down the aisle of Home Goods where the kitchen linens are kept, only to be met with a mother and daughter taking every single Kate Spade thing off the shelves. Yo girl was MAD. Granted, they got there first and blah blah, but still! Didn't they know I was coming for these things?? Didn't they know my niece needed that flamingo table runner!? I tried to get into the aisle a couple times with no luck. These women were ruthless. I did a lap around the store hoping to find SOMETHING Kate Spade. I went back to that linen aisle. They were gone. Aw yeaaaah. I did a quick look around and saw only a few remaining Kate Spade things. None of which had flamingos on it. Much to my dismay, the daughter decided to come back into the aisle and see what else she could buy. (I think she was planning a wedding or something.) Anyway, I stalked their cart hoping to see something flamingo. I'm not really sure what I would've done... ask for it? grab it and run? Who knows. Luckily, under a pile of ugly place mats, I found Kate Spade flamingo place mats! A 4 pack! I clutched those things to my chest and walked with them lovingly around the store. Yaaaasssss. On my way to the register, I saw Isaac Mizrahi table cloths that had flamingos on them for $4.99. I was going to buy that, but J confessed that he had bought me the table runner online while we were walking around the store! Insert heart eyes here.

After Home Goods, we hit up TJ Maxx. J was such a trooper. I went straight to the kitchen linen aisle and TA DA! I found every single thing I had hoped for. And there was no one to figuratively rip them out of my hands! I found the table runner I wanted almost immediately. (J cancelled his order because he paid full price).


Floral dishtowels : $9.99

3 piece flamingo set : $14.99


Flamingo placemats - set of 4 : $14.99

Flamingo table runner : $12.99

Icing dishtowels : $7.99

Christmas placemat : 30 CENTS. (I was looking for this during the holidays and never found them. It was my lucky day)

The items were priced a little higher than I had wanted, buuuuut a little splurge never killed nobody! I've actually really wanted these items for awhile now and I knew I wouldn't find them any cheaper! All of the items are super good quality and I cannot wait to put them to use. Confession : I think the icing towels are so cute. I don't even want to use them. I just want to stare at them all day. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pop Sugar Must Have // March 2016

I totally skipped February's Must Have box. Oopsie. So here you have, MARCH! This box was a good one.

If you aren't familiar, this subscription 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 that make the price cheaper. What what! I'll show you the item, the retail cost, and I will total everything up at the end. Eek! There's also a code down below for $5 off! 

Nanette Nanette Lepore Classic Rose Gold Watch - $55.00
Lordddddd. I was so stoked about this piece. The whole box only costs $39.95. This watch alone was worth it! It's gorgeous. I don't have much else to say.

Pixi by Petra Book of Beauty Minimal Makeup - $24.00
This palette is gorgeous! I don't wear much makeup ever, but this might be a good place for me to start! I love everything. Two highlighters, two cheek tints, and four eyeshadows!

Goodie Girl Cookies Toffee Chaos - $4.99
These are DELICIOUS and much bigger than I imagined. They taste like really crispy toffee Famous Amos Cookies. Yummmm.

Hello Extra Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste - $4.49
I'm really interested in trying this! It's good for you and good for the environment! It smells minty and delish too. I was worried it would smell weird.

Lola Gift Card - $10.00
I've never heard of Lola before, but this is an awesome idea!

Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set - $14.95
If I'm being totally honest, I don't care much about this. The cup fits over the carafe and it's super easy to take places, butttt I don't see myself using it "on the go". I would probably use the carafe if I was having people over though.

Miss Ivy Pearl Five-Tassel Necklace - $38.00
I LOVE THIS. I LOVE THIS. I LOVE THIS. I know my hand totally ruins the picture, but I wanted you to be able to see the ombre effect. This is on a longer chain and it's totally my style.

End Total : $151.43
So. Worth. It.

 If you're interested in getting your own Must Have box, click here for $5 off! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Honest Opinion of PIIT28

PIIT28 is Cassey Ho of Blogilates new HIIT style workout program.

My thoughts before PIIT28: Wow I could really like this! Only 28 minutes? That's too good to be true! Maybe I should just splurge and buy the program. I'll get my BFF Beth to do it with me. I definitely won't fail now!

My thoughts during PIIT28: This is not 28 minutes. That was a lie. There's a warm up and a stretch routine at the end. This is more like an hour. I have to BUY the timer for this even though I just spent $40 on the freaking program??? I hate jumping so much. I have a headache. Why is the sound so terrible? Some of the moves don't match the workbook. Why did I spend the money on this? I don't like this. Okaaaaay, who needs to finish 28 days of this anyway. 

That's pretty much an honest account of my thoughts. I should probably mention that I don't really like tabata or HIIT style workouts that much. I hate repeating the same moves over and over again. Knowing I have to go back and do the same sequence four times bugs the crap out of me for some reason. I have no idea why. I wanted to give it a try though because I LOVE Cassey's free workout videos on Youtube. I also wasn't expecting so much jumping. I get massive headaches after finishing these workouts and I live in an apartment and I'm not about that noisy neighbor life. We're on the bottom level, but I still feel like the apartment is shaking. HA.

I was slightly annoyed that the program is advertised as 28 minutes, when it really ends up being an hour. I realize I could just do the active 28 minutes and 45 seconds workout, but I love the stretching at the end. I'm confusing, I know.

I was REALLY annoyed at the fact that if we wanted the timer that went along with the program that we would have to pay an extra $1.99. Call me cheap, but hello! I just paid $40 for this program. Couldn't it be included?

If you love HIIT style workouts, then this is totally for you! Personally, I would much rather do Cassey's monthly calendars that follow along with her BlogilatesYoutube channel for free. I love them, they're shorter and did I mention they're free?

Have you tried PIIT28? What were your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Livermore Wine Trolley // Livermore, CA

I'm pre writing the intro to this post. It's currently Friday at 6:48 am. Tomorrow around 10:30 am, me, J and 6 of our friends are embarking on the Livermore Wine Trolley. I'm so excited and a little nervous. 6 hours of wine tasting...should be interesting! The rest of this post will either be written happy and carefree or hungover and miserable.

The consensus...not hungover!

Post Wine Trolley : so much fun! The weather was perfect. Our driver (Annie) was so funny and personable. I would highly recommend it. However, I was barely buzzed. So if you're looking to DRINK, do so before hand. Be advised that there is no drinking on the trolley either.

We visited the following wineries:
Garre - their Rosé is delicious. loved their white wines.
Rios-Lovell - beautiful outside area. we ate lunch here.
Ruby Hill - cutest winery/cute home decor items to buy
Tenuta - my favorite. very personable staff. they have a cat named Butters.

The lunch that you pre-order when you register is SO GOOD. I chose the turkey, apple and brie sandwich. Chips and a drink were in the box too. Beverage was wine of course.

If you're in the area, you should definitely check out the Livermore Wine Trolley. It's $99 a person. You visit 4 wineries, pre-order lunch, and get chauffeured around in a cool trolley. (This post isn't sponsored, but if anyone wants to sponsor a wine tasting trip, I won't say no!)