Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Eggshells Kitchen Co: Ann Potter Baking Cookie Class

Last Thursday, one of my good friends from high school Sara and I went to a cookie decorating class at Eggshells Kitchen Co in Little Rock. Sarah Eaton DeClerk, the mastermind of Ann Potter Baking hosted this fun class and shared so many tips and tricks on how to bake and decorate sugar cookies - the fancy ones. 

We had no idea what the class would be like. We didn't know if we would get to be hands on or just watch, but it was the best of both worlds. Sarah showed us how to make a chocolate sugar cookie with icing, then we got to practice decorating. 

It wasn't just a class where we had to sit and watch, we were able to get up and really see the techniques that she uses to outline and 'flood' a cookie with icing. For instance, she showed us that it's easier to outline a cookie when you raise your hand up and the icing is a little higher. It's true! I was much easier to control the cookie outline icing when you give yourself more room to control it. 

This was my first cookie that I practiced decorating. 

Then somehow I turned it into a weird looking cookie eye. 

Sara was doing a REALLY good job outlining her cookie and I was getting really jealous. 
A photo posted by Maegan Clark (@maeganclark) on
We had to capture the moment and share it on Instagram - otherwise, it didn't happen, right?  

These are how my cookies turned out in the end. Not the best... but I don't think that they're terrible! The class at Eggshells was SO much fun! I feel liked I learned a new skill but now I need to get some cute cookie cutters and start to practice on my own. 

Here are a few tips that were shared with us tonight: 
- If you want your cookies to be shiny, then place a fan around your cookies when they are drying. 
- The outline icing needs to be the consistency of toothpaste. 
- Flood icing needs to be the consistency of shampoo. 

And, my FAVORITE tip is how to make cleaning up pipe bags a breeze - I thought it would be hard to explain so I found a YouTube video from Lindsey Ann Bakes to explain: 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GIVEAWAY! Win a Philosophy Beauty Bundle!

Hi friends! If you know me or you’ve seen my blog then you know one of my favorite skincare products is Philosophy. After learning about Philosophy in 2007, I’ve been using their products ever since. Two of my all-time favorites are Purity Facial Wash and Renewed Hope in a Jar. No matter what other brands I’ve tried I’ve always gone back to those Philosophy classics because they do the best job at cleansing and moisturizing my skin.

One of their newest products that I have been LOVING is the Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel. I wrote a post about it a couple of weeks ago and even wrote about it in my PhilosophyBeauty Believer post!

The peel is really great for those who want to treat their skin well, but don’t have a lot of time to do it. You can apply it to your skin before you go to bed and it does all the hard work for you! That’s my pitch about Philosophy – it’s beauty I believe in because it does all the heavy lifting. These three products also makeup Philosophy's Cleanse, Peel and Treat routine. As long you use the products, the products will change and transform your skin into something even more beautiful. 

I could go ON and ON and ON about these products but I have something better in mind... a GIVEAWAY of these three products! With the help of Philosophy, I am giving away a Purity Facial Cleanser, a Renewed Hope in a Jar AND the Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel. (You can learn more about all of these products HERE.)

All you have to do is comment on this blog to enter. If you’re interested, check below to see how you earn extra entries! 

Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at midnight. I will contact the winner Wednesday, July 29, 2015. 

Rafflecopter giveaway

Good LUCK! 

as a philosophy brand ambassador/ "beauty believer", i received a free products in exchange for writing reviews. this giveaway is sponsored by Philosophy. all opinions expressed and content are my own. though I would give this stuff away to all of my friends if I could! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stitch Fix Review: June 2015

Hi! Happy Monday! Let's start this off by keeping it real that I am not a fashion blogger by any means. I just love fun clothes and I'm REALLY good at shopping. I've received a Stitch Fix box here and there for the past few months and thought I would share my experience and tips I suggest if you are doing it or want to try it. Now, I'm in a 'curvier' stage of my life that I like to blame on my love of eating out and not working out lately. 

It's always exciting to me to get a box of clothes in the mail that have been picked out with my taste in mind - I like a classic, fitted look that's trendy, but long-lasting. The older I get the more I want to buy good, quality pieces that will last instead of one-season throw away pieces. 

Every box comes neatly packed with a style card that shows you ideas for how to wear each piece they have sent you. 

I really enjoy the style card because it can easily show you how versatile one piece might with clothes you already have in your closet. Now let's get to the pieces! 

Primrose Sheath Dress by Kut From the Kloth - $88
Kut From the Klouth has some great pieces and this sheath dress is a great staple! It was light and very comfortable. 

Status: Sent Back. In the end, as much as I loved this dress I sent it back because the key hole in the front was a little too low for me. Everything about it I loved... (except not loving the bra lines you can see in the photos though. Sorry!)

June Polka Dot Skirt - $58 
I LOVE this skirt! It was the right size, had patterns on the bottom, and was flatter from the bum area. Let's be real, when you got a bum you have to make sure it looks good in what you're wearing. 

Status: KEPT!  
The only thing I have to do is find new nude shoes to wear with them. The shoes I am wearing in the photo are mine - but it's like they've expanded because they are too big for me now. 

Shenley Mesh Detail Knit Tank by Loveappella - $48 
I LOVED this top. It fit perfectly and had a really nice detail at the top of the shirt. This tank would have also been great for layering if it ever decides to cool down in Arkansas. 

Status: Sent Back & regretting it. When it came time for me to check out on Sitch Fix I decided to send it back because the price was making me think twice. However, I do wish I had kept this top. It was soft and fitted.

Alliyah Button Down Top by Mavi - $68 
I LOVE these types of shirts, they are light, but build-able in a way that you can throw on a jacket, or a vest, or a scarf and are fashionable. I can roll the sleeves up and wear with shorts, or roll down and layer it with other things. The only thing I wish I had done differently in this photo is put on lipstick. and blush. and maybe makeup. 

Status: Kept! And it's currently hanging up in my closet. 

Lyd Mesh Neckline Knit Top by Pixley - $58 
Back is one of my favorite colors to wear. I was a little unsure about this top when I pulled it out of the box but once I tried it on I knew it wasn't right for me. The gathered material in the front would be forgiving, but the mesh at the top made it feel too adolescent for me. I liked the idea - but it wasn't right for my body. 

Status: Sent Back 

3 Stitch Fix Tips for Getting The Perfect Box 
1. Create a Pinterest board that you use in your profile. You can see my style board here - and you can see the official Stitch Fix board here. I like to pin items that I see directly from the Stitch Fix boards because that means you will be more likely to receive those pieces.  
2. Be honest in your style comment box A tip I learned is to tell your stylist what's going on in your life and what exactly you are looking for in terms of clothes. That's going to help them find the right pieces for you. Also, if you change your comment box every new fix, those other comments won't be seen by the stylist again.  
3. Try on the pieces a couple of times with different pants/etc before you makeup your mind You can easily pull a piece of clothing out of a box and say 'no' based on what you see. That's not fair to you or to the clothing. I suggest that you try on each piece and see how you would wear it, it might show you that you really like the piece. Maybe you try it on and still isn't a fit for you - at least you will know and can send it back with no regrets.  
Bonus Tip: Do Stitch Fix with a friend and get your boxes delivered around the same date. Just because you didn't like/want a top/dress/pant in your box, doesn't mean that you friend may not want it and vis versa. I got a GREAT jack and I love so much from one of my friend's boxes and she got a great skirt that she loved from one of mine. It makes the process more fun and get everyone involved! Have a girls night Stitch Fix try-on party! 

If you want to try a Stitch Fix box for yourself click this link to get started on making your personal profile! You will be charged a $20 styling fee upfront however, if you keep any item [one or more] you will be credited the $20 to the total amount that you're charged. If one top is $40 and you have a $20 styling fee, then you will only owe $20 on the total charge. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I signed up for Stitch Fix and purchased the box myself. I’m sharing my opinions because I think they will help others. If you decide to signup for Stitch Fix after reading this point, please use my referral link: Stitch Fix

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy 4th of July Canoeing down Spring River!

The 4th of July is my third favorite holiday right behind Christmas and my birthday. There's something about celebrating your freedom in the summertime that just feels right. For the second year in a row, we went canoeing down Spring River in Mammoth Springs, AR. 

We stayed at the Southfork Resort last year and again this year. It's a great little spot with clean cabins, lots of outdoor space and they make it really easy to rent kayaks, canoes and rafts. 

We had seven people in a six bedroom cabin - All we did was sleep in the cabin so it wasn't bad. 

The cabins have a little kitchen with a sink, stove, microwave and table. They also have tv with cable in case you want to watch tv. Cell phone reception is spotty but that's OK - I didn't really want to be on my phone anyway. 

We kayaked on Friday (no photos because taking my phone seemed a bit dangerous) but it was a 12-mile kayak trip where it ended up raining pretty hard on us at one point. Though it was fun! 

On Saturday we all went canoeing down the Spring River.  

As soon as we got on the river we took a little break - to grab a drink ... or two. 

It was pretty much all smiles throughout the day. Though a couple of the guys tipped over once, everyone made it through deadman's curve with ease. Though we did see a couple of arguments on the river from people who tipped... 

We stopped for lunch by a camping area and even enjoyed some Bray Gourmet turkey spread! 

It's soooooooo good. On crackers, on a sandwich, even just with chips. It's really that good. 

We got on the river around 11 I believe and floated and canoed until 6 that evening. It was a long day - but a really fun day. 

I hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July like we did! 

(We (or mainly I) roasted s'mores both nights but forgot to snap a picture! They were too good not to eat immediately! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beach Getaway: Hilton Head, South Carolina

The second week of my birthday week extravaganza, I went to Hilton Head, SC, with one of my best friends Melissa from Atlanta. We decided that we needed a girls trip to the beach. Hilton Head is a five-hour drive from Atlanta so it made sense to us to head that way! 

This is a picture I sent out via SnapChat of the gorgeous view we had from our room. We stayed at the Sonesta Hotel. It's a lovely hotel that's right on the beach. 

The Hilton Head beach was CLEAN and GORGEOUS. 

Melissa and I enjoying our first day walking on the beach. 

The beach at sunset was also gorgeous. There was a guy who played the guitar on the beach, kids running to find seashells and lots of couples walking up and down the beach. 

I, of course, just found a happy spot to sit in to sip my white wine that I and brought with me while the sun went down. 

The first night we went to dinner at The Fabulous Frankie Bones. It's a wonderful steakhouse that was only about 10 minutes from our hotel. 

This was the Caprese salad that dreams are made of. 

I kept busy on SnapChat (username: maeganclark) the entire time on the trip! 

Our second night we went to a restaurant called CQ's Restaurant. It's the first restaurant built on the island. There's even a rumor of a blue woman ghost that roams the area... 

CQ's Restaurant also gave us a couple of Moscow Mules. Very sweet of them! 

Though you can't tell what this is - it's oysters with butter, parmesan cheese and a lot of other delicious things. 

If there is a caprese salad that's what I am getting! 

For dinner we had a ahi tuna that I forgot to take a picture of because it was so good we just dug right in. 

Our last day we went to eat at a local spot that had the BEST GUMBO I have ever eaten! 

Saturday night we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta called JCT Kitchen and Bar. This drink was called the "Pursuit of Happiness."It was a gin martini with basic and other things. 

The face you make when you drink all your happiness. 

JCT Kitchen and Bar has some of the BEST food - this was a steak tuna tartare and a pimento cheese with crackers. 

One of JCT Kitchen and Bar's best food item is their truffle & parmesan fries. They are so good. Every time I go to Atlanta I have to have these fries. 

That was our trip! We had a great time and it was sad for it to end. 

On to the next one! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

All About Philosophy's Purity Made Simple-Clean Mask

When I heard that Philosophy was introducing a Purity Mask to their skin care collection I became overly excited since their other products work so well on my skin. Other masks either cause breakouts or dryness; sometimes they are so harsh that my skin actually peels! (Attractive, right?) So I had very high hopes for the Philosophy Purity Mask after reading that it was gentle enough to use everyday.

The first time I tried this mask was at night after washing my face with the Purity Facial Wash. It doesn’t take much product to cover your skin and as soon as it turns white you know it’s working! My skin felt fresher and tighter after I used it for the first time, but I wasn’t entirely sold. After all, I know that many times masks can make your skin dry out or in my case, peel.  The mask is light, has no mask-like smell and didn’t cause any irritation. Though the directions say you can leave it on for 60=seconds, I leave it on for a couple of minutes while I multi-task on email or check out Instagram. Once it’s done working it’s magic just wash it off with warm water and follow up with Renewed Hope in a Jar.

After long days of wearing makeup and then sweating at the gym, this masks has helped clean out my pores and soften my complexion. My Philosophy beauty routine keeps my skin soft during cold winter months, or hot, humid summers in the South. If this mask is gentle enough for my sensitive skin, then I know other Philosophy lovers will also see the benefits! 

as a philosophy brand ambassador/ "beauty believer", i received a free Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel n exchange for writing a review. all opinions expressed and content are my own. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Birthday Week, Atlanta & Hilton Head: Part 1 in Photos

Hiiiiiiyyaaaaaa! Every June I take off a week from work to celebrate my birthday and hang out with friends. This year, I decided to stick around Little Rock for a few days, head to Atlanta, then off to Hilton Head, South Carolina.  

Birthday Eve was celebrated at Ciao Baci in Little Rock with two of my good friends. 

Ciao Baci has my FAVORITE dessert - s'mores! 

On my actual birthday I met up with my good friend Sara for lunch - I kept it healthy with a salad and burger on the side. 

After lunch I hung out by the pool for a bit ... I mean, it was my birthday so I had to relax. 

I'm so sad I don't have any photos from my dinner with my parents! I was having such a good time I forgot to take a picture! 

The next day I hung out at the pool again with some friends! 

A few days later I was off to Atlanta. First thing was first, had to go have dinner at a new restaurant called Craft Izakaya. 

This is called the "Tuna Bomb" - I'd give you a joke that it was 'da bomb' but that's silly

More food! 

Melissa & I had a great time at dinner! We hadn't seen each other in over a year. Against friendship rules.

Oh Atlanta! I miss you, but I don't miss your traffic... 

Stay tuned for Part 2 - more of Atlanta and Hilton Head!