Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years Eve Outfit

Need a last minute New Year's Eve outfit? I gotcha covered! I've been super busy the last few weeks too, with doctor appointments, not to mention Christmas, so I haven't had much time to devote to the perfect New Year's Eve outfit. Since I have a few sparkly things in my closet already, I pulled out my sequin and gold accessories including my mani, a GORGEOUS WHITE JACKET from Old Navy and voila! A perfect NYE thrown together style that looks anything but. This look says: polished and put together #ladyboss.



NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~AT SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
A little gold. A little white. A little black!


NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~AT SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
I featured this LBD in another post here, check it out too, for more ways to style this dress. Because a girl can never have too many styling options!!

NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
Pull your hair into a low side bun, add the perfect red lip and you are done! Ready to party 'til midnight!

NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS


NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
Its as easy as 1-2-3!


NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
The pictures are dark because it was raining on and off this day! Don't you just love winter?

NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS


NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
THREE THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD OWN: A gold sequin clutch, a gold sequin belt and a versatile LBD!

NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS


NYE 2014 PERFECT OUTFIT: GOLD, BLACK AND WHITE~STYLED BY SUNSHINE AND SEQUINS
Dress: Forever 21 Great options here and cute options from my new go-to dress store Windsor.

Shoes: Forever 21 here

Sequin Clutch: Gorgeous options here ranging from $20-$50 plus some designer clutches for rent!!

Sequin Belt: Target I bought mine in the store but several options here

Gorgeous Old Navy White Swing Coat in Sea Salt: Old Navy here still available!

Don't forget the manicure: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Guilty Party
 

These items I put together with things in my closet. I believe every woman should have a complete dressy outfit to throw on at a moments notice! Sequin clutches, LBD's and the perfect winter white coat are closet staples, in my opinion!




Have a Very Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year!
 
 
 
~B
 
Starving for more inspo? Check out my Insta page @sunshinesequins and Pinterest @livs4fashion.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blue Pocket Sweater and Plaid Scarf

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit
J Crew Factory Patch-Pocket Sweater perfect for Christmas
Isn't this the most adorable outfit! You can never go wrong with J Crew. I love the bright colors of the scarf and the cutest little button pockets ever plus the red lipstick is perfection! Warm, cozy, knits are comfortable, and chic! Perfect for enjoying Christmas lights.
J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Kate Spade Red Crossbody Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Kate Spade Red Crossbody Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Kate Spade Red Crossbody Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Kate Spade Red Crossbody Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Kate Spade Red Crossbody Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit
 
Sweater: J Crew Factory
 
 
Crossbody Handbag: Kate Spade
 
Skinny Jeans: Here and
 
 
 
J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit

J Crew Factory Patch pocket Sweater Plaid J Crew Scarf Holiday Outfit
 
 
Every year, we load up the family, I grab a coffee (Mav hates coffee) and Mav chauffeurs us around looking for Christmas lights. While we have a few Christmas light displays in our area, last year we drove a little further to a large walk through Christmas light display. This year we've got company coming in town, so we are going to have a blast!
I always say, the more the merrier!
 
 
~B
 
 
 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas in a Jar: Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

 


Cinnamon Sugar Almonds Teacher Gifts Handmade Christmas Gifts
Christmas in a Jar: Cinnamon Sugar Almonds


Christmas Almonds

30 oz Whole Raw Almonds
2 egg whites
2 TBSP Water
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Sugar (give or take some depending on how sweet you want the coating)
1/2 TSP Salt

1. Mix the egg white and water in a bowl.

2.  Wisk until foamy but not peaky (not a word but when you are working with egg whites it turns     white and begins to form peaks after a certain amount of whisking).

3.  Add the cinnamon, sugar and salt. Wisk until mixed well. Add almonds and stir to coat.

4.  Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or use a silpat.  Preheat oven to 275. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove. Stir carefully then return to the oven for 20 minutes more.

5.  Be prepared for your house to smell delicious and Christmas-y while these are baking!

 
Cinnamon Sugar Almonds. Seriously Christmas. Just the sound makes your mouth water. You can admit it. Its ok, we're all friends here. 
 
As I've written before, I love almonds. Not only are almonds high in protein but almonds offer 35% of your daily recommended Vitamin E, 6% of iron and 20% of magnesium. The perfect afternoon snack. I can even get my kids to eat Cinnamon Sugar Almonds!

I've tried many recipes to make different flavor almonds. My version is a take on a wasabi almond recipe I attempted several months ago. These are my go-to afternoon pick-me-up. Some people have a candy bar, some people a coffee, I eat almonds. Sometimes I feel like a sugary snack. Using the wasabi almond recipe from the almond makers website, this cinnamon sugar almond recipe turned out superb. This recipe is adapted from the Wasabi Almond recipe here.



I used three 10 oz. bags of almonds, which was enough to fill both jars and have a few cups left over. This made the perfect amount to make these holiday gifts for my kids teachers.


Cinnamon Sugar Almonds Teacher Gift Handmade Gifts

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds Teacher Gift Handmade Gifts

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds Teacher Gift Handmade Gifts




Wishing You the Best Holiday,
 
 
 
B
 
 
"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store." Dr. Suess


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pixie Pants, Fair Isle and Herringbone Vest





Holiday outfit inspiration
What I'm Wearing: J Crew Factory Vest (old)/Old Navy Fair Isle Sweater (here All sweaters on sale now)/Old Navy Mens Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt (here I bought a size small)/Old Navy Long Strand Pearls (I bought these in the store)/My next pair of skinnies will be the Flirt from Old Navy (here) I tried these on while in the store the other day to see which ones I need to put on my list. I need a new pair anyway.
As I wrote in another post, I thought I'd missed out on all the sweater sales and was going to be stuck with my cardigans but I found a few at Old Navy that are perfect for this time of year. This Fair Isle sweater is warm but also lightweight and soft! Perfect for a fit, petite, chic lady. I layered it with a flannel men's shirt for a festive pop of color!


J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife

J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife

Holiday Style J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
 


J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife

J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife

Love the femininity of the pearls with the menswear flannel!


Kate Spade Red Crossbody Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater
If you order this handbag now, it will be in your mailbox just in time for Christmas!


J Crew Herringbone Vest Buffalo Check Flannel Shirt Fair Isle Sweater~The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
 Kate Spade Handbag: many choices here I almost bought this one here and here/Forever 21 Heels (similar here)/Black Skinnies (similar here) Nail Color: OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress

I've written before about how difficult it is for petite/fit/curvy women to successfully layer and not look overwhelmed. So the challenge: layer and add feminine accessories to offset the menswear. Layering on pearls, adding heels and a pop of color from the handbag, adds femininity without bulk making a perfect concoction.

 I needed something festive to wear to my husbands office Christmas party but that could also double as my Christmas Day outfit. This sweater paired with the red and black buffalo check flannel shirt is not only warm and comfortable but feminine and festive! Just the right amount of layering without overwhelming or adding bulk to the curves. Don't get me wrong, curvy girls like me need to accentuate sometimes just not when layering for warmth!

I hope this gives all the curvy, fit and feminine ladies out there great inspo for the holidays!



~B






Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Great Gifts in a Jar: Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce Teacher Gift: The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
Healthier Gift in a Jar: Salted Caramel Sauce
I've spent some time during the last few weeks trying to make healthy, handmade gifts to give to my kids' teachers around the holidays. It's always nice to get a break from all the cookies, candies, candles, and apple shaped gifts that seem to show up. I found this gift idea on Pinterest and made it my own with my own caramel sauce recipe. I've honestly never had caramel sauce with an apple but I loved the idea so much I decided to try it. This delicious sauce adds a little sweetness and saltiness to an otherwise tart green Granny Smith apple.
 
Caramel sauce is really easy to make. Don't let it fool you. It isn't candy so you don't have to worry about a candy thermometer. It is as easy as boiling water! This is one of those recipes that I can't find a good substitute for the brown sugar, so the real thing is what I used.
 
Salted Caramel Sauce
 
1 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
2 TBSP Butter
1 TBSP Salt (more or less depending on your taste, I like the salt flavor to come through with the sweet)
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
 
Add the water and brown sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium high heat (about 10 minutes) while whisking. Bringing to a boil slowly is very important for the sugar to dissolve completely without burning and allow the syrup to be at a lower temperature when the butter and cream are added. Once the sugar is completely dissolved lower the temperature to low. Add the butter first and let it melt and whisk completely then slowly add the cream. Let this simmer on low for another 10 minutes. What you are looking for is a brown color to the sauce. This takes forever with white sugar and through lots of trial and error I found brown sugar does the trick. It makes for a delicious and beautifully brown, creamy, sauce.
 
Healthier Gifts in a Jar: Salted Caramel Sauce-The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
Salted Caramel Sauce=Yum!
Healthier Gifts in a Jar: Salted Caramel Sauce-The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
Quick. Easy. Delicious.
 
It took me a few tries to get this sauce right. Three to be exact. I found several recipes online for caramel sauce that made a mess, turned out watery, never turned brown or just didn't taste good. My sauce is quick, easy and so delicious you'll want to keep it for yourself! 
 
Add the sauce to small glass jars such as Mason brand. Let cool completely. Cover and place in a pretty bag topped with a gorgeous green apple. This recipe is just enough to fill two pint size jars. Add a handwritten note, tie it up with a ribbon of your choice and this gift is ready to be given! This is what Christmas is all about to me! Spreading a little handmade holiday cheer with a healthy twist! Perfection!

Caramel Sauce Teacher Gift: The Army Life of an Aviators Wife
Salted Caramel Sauce
My kids gave these as a special thanks to their teachers before Thanksgiving. Both teachers raved about this sauce.
 
 
Happy Gift Giving!
 
 
 
~B

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas 2014 Weekly Sales Roundup: Week 1





Old navy Poncho Sweater
Another look for the Old Navy Poncho Sweater
All sweaters on sale at Old Navy! Plus Supercash is back! For every $25 spent, you get $10 towards a future purchase!
 
 
Wow, the sales ads are blowing up my inbox! Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over doesn't mean the sales are!! We are still in Christmas shopping week one!

Target is still running their buy one get one 50% off all clothing. Wait for it.....this Saturday only they are offering an additional 20% off select women's and men's styles.

By far, this is the best deal this season at Target on Women's and Men's Sweaters, Outerwear, Sleep and Slippers, buy one get one 50% + an additional 20%!!! But remember, its only this Saturday, 12/6/14. Plus free shipping! Make sure you plan to shop Saturday morning in your pj's!

That is a steal! Here are some of the items in my wish list to grab up Saturday!

For the men: Mav actually has the "Happy Elfin Christmas" sweater. He wore it to the office Christmas party last year and, if I know Mav, it will be worn this year, too. That's about as dressed up as he gets. I also have no idea why these men's pictures are giving me such a hard time. I can't seem to get them where I want them to be! Argh, technology.


 Sweaters and Outerwear:












These are on my list:


Toms for Target Sweater

Toms for Target Sweatshirt

This peacoat is so adorable in the brown or blue. Although, I do adore this navy color, too!

Target hasn't forgotten about the kids either! They are offering buy one get one 50% off select brand toys this week! Bonus!

More sales:

ShopStyle: Check out this site for all the sales from stores like Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus and others.

Madewell: 30% off sitewide with code hinthint only through tonight 12/4.


That is all I have for today!

Have a great weekend! Time for the countdown to Christmas!



~B





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Don't Forget Those Who Serve

Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without thinking back on the many holidays we missed during my husbands combat deployments. The thought that comes to mind: don't forget those who serve and their families during the holidays. I know what its like this time of year to have my husband deployed. He was deployed 4 times during the holidays. For me, these were the hardest moments during those year long deployments.
 
Thinking back on all the memories we missed and how many Thanksgiving's I spent getting together for potlucks with fellow spouses who weren't going home for Thanksgiving, it makes me sad and thankful. I remember being with my son watching other families play together, with just a pull of sadness in my heart, wishing my husband was there. I remember too many Skype and telephone conversations with Thanksgiving wishes with a sad undertone. I remember feeling so desperately alone even though I had my son and my friends to lean on. I remember putting on my happy face counting down the days until the holidays passed and I would be "over" that. I remember asking Mav how the Thanksgiving meal was in some far off country. His reply, "It's alright. Your pie is better."
 
All of these thoughts and memories bring me back to a place. A dark place where too many tears were shed, too many memories lost forever. But it's also a thankful place. I am thankful for my husband, my hero, who gave so selflessly without one complaint. I am thankful to all those men and women, who are, right now, at this moment, away from their families, half enjoying their Thanksgiving meal courtesy of the United States military. Half enjoying because their other half is half a world away. I am thankful that these soldiers give so freely of themselves so my family can enjoy this day, together, finally. I am thankful for my friends whose husbands are home this year.
 
I am sad for all my friends whose husbands are deployed right now. I know the desperation in their Facebook plea's. I am sad for all our friends who are missing their family today. Everyone in an Army family sacrifices. Sacrifices memories, happiness, time.
 
Please don't forget those who serve, as you are serving your Thanksgiving meal today. Say a prayer of thanks for them and their families.


With Thanks,
 
 
 
~Mav and B




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Syrup

You know the holidays are in full swing when everyone's gotten over their Pumpkin Spice obsession because Starbucks breaks out their Red-Cup-Christmas-World with Peppermint Mochas and white chocolate everything. Let's back it up a bit and prepare a healthy version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte. After all, Thanksgiving is still a week away. Many are going to have full houses Thursday and what better way to treat your guests than with a homemade, healthy pumpkin spice syrup to go with the coffee and desserts portion of the day. It's my favorite time of the day! Or bring this to wherever you are headed for Turkey Day. This syrup lasts for about a week in the fridge. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee Syrup Using Stevia~Army Aviators Wife
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Coffee Syrup Using Stevia

Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

1 Cup of Water
2 TBSP Stevia (I used 3 1/4 packets)
2 TBSP Pumpkin Puree (I used Libbys canned but you can use fresh if you are so inclined)
1 TSP Pumpkin Spice
1 TSP Cinnamon (or if you have time a cinnamon stick)

Add water and stevia to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until all stevia is dissolved. Add pumpkin and spice (if you use a cinnamon stick I would recommend simmering on low for at least 45 minutes). Even if you use ground cinnamon let it simmer for about 5 minutes so all the spices have a chance to marinate. Once it is cooled, use a rubberband to attach cheesecloth to a regular Pyrex 2 cup glass measuring cup. Then gradually let add the syrup through.





Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup~Army Aviator Wife
Finished Healthy Pumpkin Spice Syrup
I decided to attempt my own version of the syrup to save myself time, money and inches to my waistline. Most zero calorie sweetener's are not only a detriment to a metabolism, but your health. Using alternative sweeteners from all natural sources like honey, stevia and agave syrup, is not only healthier but will make your body happier. I do occasionally use white and brown sugar simply because some recipes the alternatives just don't translate well.

I love to use this syrup in my morning cup of coffee. It is delicious without all the guilt! I am so thankful for that!

Happy Thanksgiving All,
~B
"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop