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Did you say monogram?

 

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Yep.  All day everyday! As one of my bestfran’s would says “I’d monogram my underwear if I could.” She speaks truth. Who doesn’t love a good monogram-ed anything? One shop that would agree is, Country Shabby Chic in downtown Frederick, MD. They opened their doors in April of this year and have been making quite a splash among the monogram in-crowd. They specialize in customization, personalized gifts, home décor, furnishing, as well as clothing and adorable accessories {monogrammed-striped-infinity-scarf…yes please}. They also offer up Wine & Design classes for you and your friends to attend. Let your creative juices flow while sipping on some other kinds of um juices… You might learn how to re-purpose some furniture, make your own chalkboard paint, or create your own custom picture frame. Sounds like a killer pinterest party where what you set out to make, actually turns out like the pictures! Go figure. 

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With football season right around the corner {HAIL yes}, CSC’s owner and myself thought it would be fun to give-away this fun chip & dip platter to get the finger food season started right. Oh and in addition to the fun geometric design, it will also be personally customized with the winner’s monogram. It’s a beautiful thing. Enter to win below & be sure to check out this awesome shop for yourself. Whether you’re looking for a gift or something for yourself, this shop has a little bit of something for everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 North Court Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701
www.countryshabbychic.com
like them on facebook

 

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Back to School Essentials

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Well it’s here! Ready or not school is around the corner. As a teacher {going into my 6th year} I have my personal list of essentials for the school year. Nothing too exotic or unexpected here, but just a collection of my favorite things that get me into the teaching groove and help make the magic happen. You know, nothing like a little brain food, kitschy office supplies, and minty/gold accessories to get the synapses flowing. Looking forward to routines, post-it note over usage, catching up with colleagues, lesson planning fun STEM lessons, filling up my planner(s) like it’s my job {oh wait it is}, and most importantly meeting all of the incoming 4th graders! It’s time to be more awesome. #letsdothis

The Gear

 

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The Organizational Tools

 

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The De-Stressers

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The Snacks 
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The Inspiration

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Restaurant Review // Cafe Bueno

After 12+ years working in the restaurant industry I feel I hold many of the credentials needed to truly ‘review’ restaurants at this point in my life. I take critiquing restaurants in general pretty lightly, however after all these years I feel I do know a thing or three when it comes to running a successful establishment. I’ve worked in fine dining restaurants, micro-breweries, country clubs, seafood restaurants, gastro pubs, cocktail bars, in addition to major catering companies that throw intimate gatherings & big fat weddings. I’ve been a hostess, runner, busser, bar-back, bartender, waitress, assistant manager, and an event coordinator. I’ve been exposed to cuisines that run the gamete and clientele that is just as broad. And I’ve worked in restaurants in MD, NC, and in the UK. Essentially I’ve developed a side-restaurant-career, of sorts. 

Oh and I  love to eat. I grew up eating at amazing restaurants, thanks in major part to my parents & grandparents. Growing up close to DC and Baltimore going out to dinner was part of the adventure. When visiting my grandparents in Palm Beach, FL or Palm Springs,CA dinner was scouted & planned well in advance. They were never too concerned with the ‘fancy’ aspects {sure that was an added bonus} but more so for the exposure to quality food, different cuisines and exceptional dining experiences. At the end of the day restaurants are the facilitators of memorable moments. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate those well crafted moments more and more. Good food, good friends, beautiful space, magical ambiance…what’s not to love about that?

Restaurant reviewers are often looked at as snooty, detached, and unrealistic. Just trying to make the point, that’s not the case here. I get it. I’ve been around it, experienced it, & lived it for a greater part of my life. And with that being said…I give you my first official restaurant review. Enjoy! :)

Last week I got a major hankering for some huevos rancheros. Like major. Lucky for me I remembered a friend recommending that I check out Cafe Bueno. I’ve driven past it several times and had heard several people sing it’s praises but never ventured in myself.

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Cafe Bueno
503 North East Street
Frederick, MD 21701
301.620.2688

 To cure my huevos fever I had the Huevos con Chorizo and it was muy muy bueno! Eggs were served scrambled with spicy crumbled chorizo sausage, a side of refried beans, mexican rice, and freshly made corn tortillas. I also ordered a side of guacamole and chips, which turned this breakfast into one killer brunch for uno.

Below is my official Restaurant Review Rubric. As you can see Cafe Bueno scored a very solid 30/40 on my scale. Overall I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by all aspects of this establishment. I have to say I think this place is a little diamond in the rough. Here are a couple of specific points I noted during my dining experience.

  • food was seriously {seriously} tasty
  • no liquor licence = BYOB
  • serves breakfast everyday until 11am
  • menu is 1/2 ‘classic american’ & 1/3 ‘authentic mexican’
  • only minor negative critique was their television choice…Jerry Springer {though muted was still a bit of a buzz kill}
  • the atmosphere feels rooted in the community and totally welcoming
  • every order of chips are made fresh and include a complimentary cup of salsa #score
  • speaking of the chips…yeah those were some of the best tortilla chips I’ve had. maybe ever?
  • the trio of homemade sauces that accompany your meal serve as perfect condiments for extra heat & flavor

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bottom line…check it out.
de nada.

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Ladies, we’re talking LASHES + a GIVEAWAY

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Ok stop laughing,  we all do it. Admit it or watch yourself while applying mascara next time. No really watch yourself, not just your eye. Only for a second! Don’t want anyone poking their eye out.  Why are we talking lashes? Well my BFF & dear dear friend Kasey is selling this incredible new product that makes your eyelashes truly pop! They’re called 3D Fiber Lashes and they’re pretty incredible. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant at first. I had never heard of this cosmetic brand nor this concept of adding fibers to your lashes on top of regular old mascara. BUT! I did know one thing, Kasey and I have had 15+ year friendship filled with beauty secrets {among others} and if she said this stuff was the bees knees, I knew it had to be.  
Younique is unique in the sense that it’s the first direct sales beauty company that allows presenters to use social media to throw virtual parties. This company is similar in structure to that of like MaryKay or Avon where there are consultants who throw parties etc. however it’s much more convenient because you can attend these “parties” from your couch in your pjs thanks to social media! Pretty great idea if you ask me. I always feel so awkward at those kind of parties. The peer pressure to buy things you aren’t really into + the silly ice-breaker games…ugh ain’t nobody got time for that! This platform really is the best of both worlds, it’s still in the spirit of social enterprise and entrepreneurship, minus the awkward encounters. #winning
So as I said, Kasey says you gotta try this…I don’t think twice. And you guys, wow! This stuff is kinda magical. I’ve been blessed with my Daddy’s eyes, so I’ve always had longer eyelashes. However they’re mostly blonde and practically invisible without some mascara. Hence, I wear mascara just about everyday. If I don’t, I’m either sick or having a blonde moment and simply forgot. My favorite mascaras brands in the past have been Benefit, Lancome, Bobbi Brown, MaryKay and of course good old Maybeline. Until now…
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This stuff is the stuff. Seriously. It’s an extra 3 steps to add to your beauty routine, but in my opinion it’s worth it. Especially when strangers ask you if your eyelashes are real. 
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As a contact wearer I was worried that I’d have the usual issue of clumping and flaking, but thankfully that is not a problem at all! 
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So how does it work?
The simple three-step process combines Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers to help create the appearance of incredible thickness and volume to your existing lashes. Watch as your lashes transform into something you have only dreamed of! The 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but easily washes off with warm water and facial cleanser at the end of the day. Or they come right off with regular eye makeup remover. Honesty they come off easier than a lot of my old mascaras I used by themselves! 
What do you do?
To prepare your eyelashes for optimal results, first apply one thin coat of your own regular favorite mascara and let it dry. 1. Then, apply Moodstruck Transplanting Gel to your lashes. Immediately following, and while the gel is still wet, 2. apply the Moodstruck Natural Fibers. 3. Reapply the Transplanting Gel a second time to secure the natural fibers onto your lashes. 
That’s it. 
Soooo…you want to try it for yourself?? Well you’re in luck. Kasey is giving away a 3D Fiber Lash set right here! Enter to win below. If you gotta get your hands on this stuff ASAP you can buy directly from Kasey here. The turnaround time on these orders was pretty impressive, so you could have 3D lashes by next week ladies. Just sayin… ;) 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
fabulash weekend
**this is not a sponsored post**

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