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 www.OPI.com 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 Oasap.com 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.  



Yellopalozza
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 www.OPI.com or your local retailer.

Friday, October 11, 2013

10 Year Veggie-versary


It is SO hard to believe, but I have been a vegetarian for ten years today!  What started really just as a "try it for the weekend" sort of thing became my lifestyle - and I never looked back.  I am so excited that I can say that I have been a vegetarian for ten years - a decade!  When I first became a vegetarian, I was so worried I would not get enough protein, so that I would get only carbs.  But becoming a vegetarian allowed me to discover so many wonderful and delicious foods that I probably never would have tried, and I am so thankful for that.  In fact, I plan to only serve vegetarian food at my wedding next June!  I love the three dishes we have selected, and I am sure my guests will too.

In 2003 I was very aware of vegetarianism because many of my friends were vegetarians.  I cared about animals, and I did see a disconnect between my love of life and compassion towards animals and what I was consuming.  But when I began researching the process of farming - namely factory farming - a bit further, my resolve quickly deepened.  As much as I had enjoyed bacon, chicken tenders, and turkey sandwiches, I could not eat them with a sound conscience.  At first I craved the foods I was used to - that is normal.  But now, ten years later, I almost always forget that my dietary choices are different than the masses; I am reminded only when I find myself at a restaurant that offers nothing but a side salad for vegetarians - and luckily, those restaurants are becoming fewer and fewer.

I am proud that I made such a life-altering and mature decision so many years ago, and grateful that my family and friends have supported and encouraged my choices.  To read more about why I became a vegetarian, click here.


Check out some of my favorite vegetarian recipes below!  I eat a lot of vegetarian bean chili, spaghetti with tofu shirataki and Morningstar Farm crumblers, veggie patties, Greek yogurt (14 a week!), and of course, tons of fruits and veggies.  I try to avoid packaged foods, but I do enjoy popcorn once a week :)





Minestrone (an all-time favorite of mine!)
And for dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Growing out my hair!

So I have been growing out my hair for a LONG time now.  The last time I had a real cut was February 2012, and my last trim was September 2012 (I know, I know - I am way overdue for a trim!).  But I have been determined to have long hair by June for my wedding.  I am so determined, I started taking biotin!  (30 days in and nothing... still sad, short nails and not-so-great hair - but I will keep you updated!).

But I am SO excited to share that in just a few weeks I will be reviewing Remy Clips clip in hair extensions!  My hair has always been so thin, so I am so excited to show you it with Remy Clips extensions!! 

My sister; she has always had thicker, fuller hair (my mother is certain it is because I'm a vegetarian; I just blame it on genetics).

Meanwhile, in other wedding planning news, we booked our photographer (Katelyn James!!  Love her!!) and our caterer (Laurrapin - so excited!), and we have an amazing hair and makeup artist, Syvonne Baron (she did my sister's hair and makeup in the picture above).  I've been trying on dresses for the past few weeks; it is so difficult to choose one (and one that is a somewhat reasonable price... I very easily found a $3200 one that I love but that is absolutely not happening!).  I will be sharing some more wedding planning updates, plus our engagement photos soon :)

Finally, just for fun (especially since this is Apple Harvest time!), take the following quiz and see if you can guess if the names listed are apples or nail polishes.  Weird, right?  It is actually kind of challenging (Ellen has a similar hilarious quiz - I'm pretty proud to say I know my polishes!).  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Cara and Emily!

I celebrate my dogs' birthdays on August 11 every year, and this year Cara is approximately 10 and Emily is around 6!  When we adopted our dogs from the shelter, they were both around 6 months old (and we adopted both during January - of different years).  For their birthday, we gave them fun new toys (hedgehogs!), some treats, new beds, and we baked them a dog-friendly cake.  We love these dogs so much!!






 
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