Friday, April 18, 2014

Wedding DIY - Decor Crafts

I have been making SO many things for my upcoming wedding!!  I am obsessed with DIY.  I just love knowing "I made this" (or, "my dad made this" - which will be the case for a few things I will be posting soon!).  It is so nice to have almost everything booked and to be at the point where I can work on designing the decor (the fun part!).  Here are a few of the EASIEST and most SIMPLE crafts I have been working on.  These were so quick to put together and I feel like they really add a nice touch.  Plus, they are super affordable!  We have tons of real flowers at our wedding, but I still wanted a few groupings on side tables (like at the Photo Booth and candy bar), so faux flowers work great!  They are affordable, plus I can sell or donate them after the wedding!

This is SOO easy - I picked up lanterns at Target (I bought these last summer and use them as decor in my house!).  I simply cut off portions of a branch of fake flowers (picked up at Michael's half off) and arranged them in the lantern.  I like how they look like they are spilling out!


I love these little blue lanterns!  I collect vintage blue mason jars, so I was really excited when Ball introduced these pint-sized heritage blue ball jars.  I bought four cases of these for the wedding; I am using 8 as lanterns, 5 for the next craft, and the rest will go on the tables as decor (with real flowers!).  These lanterns are too easy; I simply tied twine (purchased at Home Depot for a whopping $2.50) around the lid and hug!  Make sure you use a small candle with this - you don't want your twine handle to burn up!  Another option is electric candles.  You could make the handle from a metal material, but again, this is super fast, simple, and easy - and it works!

And the easiest craft of all - and how I am using my other blue mason jars - are these cute little displays!  I made five in all, and I plan to have them at the candy bar, drink dispensers, the lounge area, and probably at the gift table.  They look pretty real - especially from a bit of a distance (that's why I wouldn't use them on the dinner tables - we have lots of beautiful real flowers there!).  My future mother-in-law got these at Michael's (also half off) and I just plopped them into these blue mason jars.  So easy!  You could always add ribbon (polka dot, of course!) and hot glue for an extra touch.

I hope this is inspiring!  I have many more crafts I'll be sharing, since we are just about at the 60 day wedding countdown!!  Wow!!  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

OPI Brazil 2014 Collection

OPI Brazil Collection
I was SO excited when I learned that OPI was creating a Brazil Collection for spring.  What could be better that bright, fun, festive colors?  This collection is a perfect marriage of polish and color, and I hope you love it as much as I have.  Enjoy!!

Kiss Me I'm Brazilian
I had to start with my absolute favorite in the collection (and a total favorite polish now - I am in love with this shade!!).  Kiss Me I'm Brazillian is a perfect bubbly pink.  I've been wearing it on my nails on repeat for over a week now and I can't get enough of it!  This is a medium creme pink that is perfect for February (you know, my birthday and Valentine's Day of course!).

This fun, festive coral creme is perfect for long, hot summer days.  The formula on ALL of these polishes is spectacular.  I seriously love OPI polishes - I'm a little obsessed - and I think the formula is the best of the best, and this collection meets the OPI standards!

Where Did Suzi's Man-go?
As always, I love the witty and cute names!  I don't eat mango much at all (except in smoothies) so I don't really know what color a mango is (although my mother did foster a cat named Mango last summer!).  This light orange is definitely a good orange (trust me - I am SO picky about orange polish - it just doesn't work with my skin tone!).

Toucan Do It If You Try
Also a cute name!  I really like this one - maybe a tad more than Carnaval, but that's a tough call - I like them both, and I may be biased toward Toucan because of the name.  Growing up, my family went to a restaurant called Tippies down in Laurel for some of the best queso and enchiladas.  A long time ago, the restaurant was renamed Toucan Taco, and this polish reminded me of one of my favorite childhood restaurants! 

I Just Can't Cope-ACabana
I'm not sure what letters should be capitalized in this name... so I'm just going to be totally grammatically incorrect about it and capitalize two letters in a row!  I LOVE yellow polishes.  I am a huge fan of the color yellow; I love yellow jewelry and yellow tank tops, and yellow nails are the same perfect pop of color (don't worry - I wouldn't wear all three at the same time!).  This is a FABULOUS yellow creme that I can't wait to wear (I'm just going to wait until the 2+ feet of snow outside melts before I whip out the yellow polish!).

Taupe-less Beach
My friend Amy (a total polish lover) stopped by the day after I received this collection; she looked through the first box of brights and oohed and ahed and said "perfect for summer!", then opened the second box of neutrals and said "and these are perfect for right now!"  I totally agree - this collection is awesome because it is really seasonally varied.  The neutrals in here are the perfect late winter transition into spring, and these brights will work spring through summer.  Taupe-less Beach is a FABULOUS neutral and one of my favorites in the collection.  I can see this being a favorite for years to come.

Don't Bossa Nova Me Around
This is a lighter neutral than Taupe-less Beach and much more of a true neutral on my pale hands!  This covered well (none of these are sheer - yay!).

Next Stop... The Bikini Zone
Wahoo!  A shimmery sparkle!  To be totally honest, I was so surprised that the Brazil Collection wasn't loaded with sparkly shades, but also a little glad (they can be a pain to remove).  This shimmer is so fine that is comes off easily, plus it looks stunning in the light.  With hints of grey and purple, I would still consider this a neutral.

I Sao Paulo Over There
This is a darker taupe that will be nice come fall (ok - forget that - I seriously should not be thinking about fall yet!).

Amazon... Amazoff
Oh la la, loving this turquoise creme!!  This is such a rich, lovely jewel-tone!!  I love this one.  I know I'll be wearing this a lot!

OPI Scores A Goal
I am guessing this is a soccer reference, so I'm not sure why it is wine-colored (am I missing something?).  Scores A Goal is a nice shade, but I've never been a big fan of this sort of color (probably because I end up getting it all of my cuticles and look like some kind of messy vampire).  I have a feeling my friend Michelle would really like this one.

OPI Red Hot Rio
Cute name!!  This is a gel, not a creme, so it is a little more sheer than all of the others.  It is a beautiful red, but I would suggest three coats for this one (all the others are two coats).

OPI Brazil Beach Sandies
Liquid Sand Mini Nail Lacquers
And it isn't over yet!!  OPI also created a cute four-pack of "Sandies" to go with the Brazil Collection!  These four shades all feature OPI's "texture finish," which gives this polish a matte, textured look - like sand!  (Oh, and here are those glitters!!  Yay!).  With a thick top coat, these go from "Sandies" to shimmers.
I'm Brazil Nuts Over You
I thought this was pink, but it is more of a reddish magenta.

You're So Flippy Floppy
A bright yellow texture coat; I used two coats here and it is nearly opaque.

Samba-dy Loves Purple
This is definitely my favorite of the four Beach Sandies.  I love this pretty purple!

What's a Little Rain Forest
A pretty medium blue textured polish.

I hope you enjoyed this fun, bright summery collection!  
What shades are you most excited to get this season?

Learn more at  
Samples provided by OPI

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy 2014! (My wedding year!!)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the new year!

This is a big year for me... I am getting married this year!  Isn't this a beautiful picture of my ring??  The amazingly talented Katelyn James took that - and all of our engagement pictures!!  You can see more at my photography page here!!  This has been many years in the works and I am so excited to finally celebrate our wedding with friends and family this June.  (And I will also be VERY excited to get some of this wedding stuff out of my house!!).

So far the decor we have purchased or collected is:
13 vintage blue Ball mason jars (ok - not getting rid of those!!)
22 vintage milk bottles (maybe not those either...)
100 Fiestaware Flamingo pink dinner plates - stunning! But we can't keep 100 plates... you would not believe how much space those take up!  I clearly had no clue what 100 plates looked like all boxed up... trust me - it is a LOT!  We drove to the Fiestaware Outlet in beautiful Newell, WV to get these (only six hour drive - no big deal for my favorite dishes! haha).  I will post later with all the details, but let's just say I am VERY grateful to the outlet and warehouse employees for their help in getting 100 of these babies because initially it was not looking like it was going to happen!  We are so excited to have this special touch at our wedding!
86 clear glass cake plates - they were a steal at .50 cents each at Target - the same price it would cost to rent them!!  It took a while to scrape the stickers off of all of them, but they look great!  They only had 86... so if we have more than 86 guests we have an issue!
15 lacey tins from Ikea for florals
60+ mason jars (and I still need more!!).  I found some at yard sales last summer, and saved some from canning
120+ teacups - so our favors are going to be cute vintage teacups with plants inside.  I have been buying these teacups at yard sales for six years (yup - SIX years!).  I have turned down SO many because I only want pretty ones!  I have paid as little as 10 cents (ok - that only happened once) and as much as $6 (but it was gorgeous!!).  Most were $1 each, and some came with little plates (I am still debating what I should do with those)
6 apothecary jars - for a candy bar! We used them for a surprise party too for a popcorn bar :)
11 lanterns - not getting rid of these! I use them as decor throughout my house!
30+ doilies - got the whole bag for $5 at a cool place called the Pink Cabbage!  They are super cute!
Vintage couch and four vintage chairs - these are adorable and are going to be our vintage lounge.  I love it!  My mom and I are sewing pillows to decorate the furniture.  I got the couch and two chairs on Craigslist (thank you to my dad for driving out with me to get these - there is NO way I could have lifted them!) and my mom picked up the other two chairs a few years ago through Craiglist.
A giant chalkboard - my dad made me this for Christmas :) Can't get rid of this!
A retro blue typewriter - also a Christmas gift and I love it!
Old windows - just so cute.
A vintage writing desk
A photo printer for the photo booth!
Various small decor items, like a vintage mailbox, antique handkerchiefs, books, etc.

Ok, so after inventorying it looks like my house isn't necessarily going to get less crowded after the wedding!  But I am really excited to see how it all comes together.  I am very excited for 2014 and will definitely be sharing some wedding details leading up to June! :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection

I LOVE holiday polish collections, and nobody does it like OPI.  I look forward to this every year, and the recent collaboration between OPI and Mariah Carey is truly a perfect match and the reds and glitters are absolutely magnificent.

With shades of red, gold, and a feel silvers, this collection truly hits a high note (I know, I know - I couldn't help it - but this is a Mariah Carey Collection after all!).  Enjoy these beautiful holiday shades from OPI :)

OPI Ski Slope Sweetie
If you've been reading this blog for the past few years, you know I love these shimmery pearly whites.  Years ago (like more than half my life ago!), right before Christmas, my mom, sister, and I all got our nails done together, and we all chose a color much like this one.  That is such a special memory to me, so I've always had a love for these pearly whites.  This one is super pretty.

 OPI Sleigh Ride For Two
Gorgeous!!  Love this deep, rich shimmery red!

OPI All Sparkly and Gold
Very pretty glitter gold polish that looks a-ma-zing over top of  OPI Sleigh Ride For Two.

OPI Wonderous Star
OK this is a cool polish too.  It has gold glitter plus bigger black polka dotted glitter!  Love it!!  Isn't this cool?  (The yellow is a base polish I am wearing)

OPI Warm Me Up
This is an awesome gunmetal gray with some duochrome!  Us polishers just love duochromes. They are so cool!  This is a really awesome color, in my opinion, and I love how edgy it is.  This is like a wonderful cup of hot cocoa - with glitter!!

 OPI I Snow You Love Me
This is some serious glitter.  Honestly, it is bigger than a lot of snowflakes!  I find it really interesting though, but I think it depends on how you use it.  It looks like rhinestones, doesn't it?  So I feel like if you very carefully arrange it to either be polka dots or rhinestones, it it going to look cool.  You need a heavy duty top coat for this one though, because that is some big glitter.

OPI Underneath the Mistletoe
Very much a "true red" with medium pieces of glitter.

OPI My Favorite Ornament
Also a cute name!  I get a new ornament each year as a gift, so I certainly am someone that has a favorite (or a few favorite) ornaments.  I always really enjoy decorating the tree with Justin (and he likes it too, even though most of our ornaments are pink.  He always wedges some kind of Miami Dolphins ornament in there somewhere!).  This shimmery gold is very sheer, so it makes a great topper for another color (like Underneath the Mistletoe, for example!).  

 OPI In My Santa Suit
I feel like this red kind of got the short end of the stick because it looks SO much more amazing in person than in photos.  OPI In My Santa Suit (a name I do not love!) is a gorgeous bright red with lots of super fine fabulous shimmer.  Really - this one is gorgeous under some bright lights!  

Cute Little Vixen
This one is the most pink of the reds, but I would still classify it is as a red polish.  It has magenta shimmer, which gives it a pretty pink glow.  And the name - talk about adorable.  I have been calling every one of my adorable pets a "cute little vixen" ever since I wore this color.  I am totally someone who would buy this just for the name!

OPI Visions of Love
OK, clearly I can't handle dark jelly polishes.  I made a mess of this one!  I'm not a huge fan of dark jellies (probably because I am awful at applying them!) so this was my least favorite of the five reds in this collection.

OPI Make Him Mine
This is a Liquid Sand shade, so it is a matte glitter.  It is a very light salmon-y pink (it looks pinker in the bottle than on the nail) with lots of pretty glitter and shimmer.  

Happy Holidays everyone!!  I would love to know what holiday shades you pick up this year!!

Visit to learn more about this great collection!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Remy Clips - Hair Extension Review

 I am SO excited to share my review of beautiful Remy Clips Hair Extensions!!

As a special bonus just for Babbling Brooke readers, take $25 off Remy Clips with code BROOKE25

Remy Clips are 100% real grade 5A remy human hair - which means that they are absolute top quality. Remy Clips can be washed, dyed (I highlighted them!), and curled or straightened - just like your own hair!  

In the photo above and the photos below, I am wearing Remy Clips Hair Extensions in Honey.  I chose the 24 inch Remy Clips because my hair is already long (but I still wanted it to be a bit longer!) and I went with the 280 gram because I really wanted to add body to my hair.  I have pretty thin hair, so I wanted it to look fuller.  I chose to get the body wave instead of leaving the hair straight since my hair is naturally wavy.  I also felt that this would help the extensions hold a curl, and since I plan on always wearing them curled, this was perfect!

The extensions come with 8 different clip in extensions in a variety of sizes, which means you can have as much or as little volume as you want!  There are two 1 inch clip ins, three 4 inch clip ins, two 6 inch clip ins, and one 8 inch clip in (it's my favorite!).  In all of the photos below, I am wearing the two 1 inch clip, two 4 inch clips, and the one 8 inch clip.  I am not even wearing the full set and my hair is longer and fuller than it has every been!!

On the left is without extensions and the right is with extensions.  If course I took my "after" picture after I went out and took pictures in the tremendous wind, so a lot of the curls in my natural hair were windblown out!  But this shows you how well the extensions hold a curl.  I did not apply hair spray or any other styling product to my hair or the extensions.  I also started by straightening my own hair (before curling) because it is frizzy.

 The women who work at Remy Clips are SO sweet!!  They were all so helpful when I was trying to choose the right color.  I sent over a few photos of myself and they helped me narrow it down.  They are always available to answer questions and help out, and they are SO sweet!!  They are based in California and they all have Remy Clips also, so they are very knowledgable about their product and able to answer any questions.  If you are between two shades, I highly recommend seeking their advice.
The card they sent was so cute :)

Remy Clips extensions arrive carefully packaged in small storage totes and wrapped in netting to keep the hair tangle-free.  Isn't it gorgeous?  My hair has never ever been as beautiful and healthy as these extensions.  

Don't the Remy Clips blend so well with my natural hair?

Remy Clips were surprising easy to put in.  Each extension has between one and five small clips - like a barrette - along the top.  Basically you just open all of the barrettes, place the extension in your hair, and clip shut.  It was SO much easier than I ever expected.  What took a long time was curling all this hair!  I am used to just curling my thin, fine hair, so it took a lot longer to curl these extensions!  I curled everything once the extensions were in so they blended better.  Even now, a few weeks later, the extensions are still curled. They hold a curl REALLY well.  Remy Clips suggest buying two sets - one for straight styles and one for curly styles.  That way you do not need to apply heat tools to the extensions too often - which can be damaging.

It was a WINDY day and the wind was messing my hair up quickly!

I am SO happy with my Remy Clips.  They are so much easier than I could have ever imagined to use, and they are absolutely gorgeous.  The extensions are real human hair, and the quality is outstanding. 

To see more great looks with Remy Clips, make sure to visit Remy Clip's Pinterest page (trust me - you will soon have major hair envy!). 

Check out Remy Clip's website to see which color will be perfect for you and to take advantage of a great offer - $25.00 off when you use the coupon code BROOKE25.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Do the polka dot

I absolutely adore this white button up blouse with black polka dots.  It is SO CUTE!!  It is a silky chiffon and slightly sheer.  It pairs perfectly with a fun skirt - but it can totally work with basic black also for work.  It was slightly short on me untucked, but I had a somewhat long torso.  The best part?  This is only $21!  Check out the Polka Dot Button-up Chiffon Blouse at Oasap.

I am obsessed with statement necklaces right now, and Oasap's awesome white enamel and rhinestone necklace is PERFECT.  I paired it with each of the blouses and got tons of compliments on it.  The fact that it is white makes it such a perfect neutral necklace, while the shape makes it stand out.  At just under $15, it is a great price for a unique accessory.  

This blouse was just like the black and white one, but in a peachy hue with orange dots.  It is a different color than what I normally wear, which is why I bought it, and I can't wait to add the beautiful touquiose one to my collection too!  I am wearing the Polka Dot Long Sleeve Chiffon Blouse in small and it works well tucked in to a skirt.  I got SO many compliments on this blouse, and I love it with the purple skirt!

I love these looks so much!  I hope you enjoyed them too.  What are your thoughts on these polka dot blouses and the white necklace? 
Thanks to for these beautiful items!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

OPI Halloween Rock Goddess

For 2013, OPI introduced this adorable mini collection of Rock Goddess neon shades, complete with a cute free skull bracelet.  Enjoy this fun Halloween collection!

The Drummer is Hot
This is not a Halloween-orange (check out my candy corn nails for that!).  This is a more reddish orange.  I'm never a big fan of orange polish, so this one is just so-so for me.  

This is a fun yellow creme that covered really well.  I want a full sized bottle of this!  I love school bus yellow polishes.  They are surprisingly hard to find, and this is a really nice one.

Rolling Bones
For some reason I thought this one was sheer so I applied it over a base.  It definitely isn't - this polish needs no base color.  It is beautiful and so shimmery!  This was surprisingly my favorite in the collection.

Stand in Lime For Days
Great limey green creme.  This one reminds me of some of the Shrek polishes OPI came out with a few years ago - but this is not a dupe.  I'm a sucker for lime greens, and this one did not disappoint - especially with the stronger yellow tones.  I'm a fan!

Happy Halloween!  

Be sure to check out this collection at or your local retailer.
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