Things I’m Love Thursday (With a Side of Awesomesauce)

Things I love Thursday july

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link used to support my Starbucks and shoes fund! Some products listed below were sent to me for review consideration. As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are mine.

Things I love thursday

Happy almost Friday! I haven’t posted a Things I Love Thursday wrap up in a while and I have several great things to tell you about, including something that is totally awesomesauce (literally).

Hide Away Pets – First off if you’re looking for a fun gift for a little girl or little boy you’ve got to check out the new Hide Away Pets. I’m still a sucker for cute stuffed animals and these guys are the perfect size for snuggling. My 9-year-old adores her cute penguin we were sent to review. They retail for just $19.99, which is a great price point for cute! I predict these little guys will be hot during the holidays! There are seven pets to choose from and I’m especially partial to the Hedgehog and Siberian Husky although they are all completely adorable.

Tropical Pepper Co. Mango Coconut Sauce – My husband discovered this awesome Mango Coconut sauce at Harris Teeter and it’s amazing on grilled fish. We’ve tried it on Mahi Mahi but I’m sure it’s delish on other seafood, including grilled shrimp. Totally recommend.

Sugar Scrub Wipes – I’m always on the lookout for great products that travel well and I love this makeup remover, scrub wipe combo from Sugar. PLUS it smells like a sugar cookie! This is perfect for tossing in your cosmetic bag.

PUR Attitude Serum – I love products that are gentle on my skin but work hard for their money! The older I get the more I struggle with dull skin and I’ve been using PUR Attitude’s Wild Durian Fruit Peel off and on this summer. I love it and I think my skin looks pretty darn good for nearly 45! PUR Attitude features several formulas and none have any harsh chemicals.

Caligenesis Immune Support Supplement – I honestly never made much attention to supplements, other than a multivitamin, until I hit 40. Caligenesis is a line featuring squid ink (yes, squid ink) which helps strengthen your immune system, cell growth, and more. If you’re under a lot of stress and constantly fighting off colds, I’d definitely check this out. I haven’t had a cold  in well…I can’t even remember!

Smirnoff Vodka Summer Edition – Smirnoff is a classic and vodka is perfect for mixing light summer cocktails. I love the limited edition American summer themed bottles by Charleston artist Jay Fletcher. This bottle just looks plain pretty ya’ll so you may not want to toss it once the vodka is all gone.

All American Wine Chardonnay – This is the second wine from All American Wine we’ve tried (I mention their red wine here) and although I’m not typically a white wine drinker I loved this wine. It’s not too dry, it’s light, and it didn’t last long at our house, always a sign of a good wine.

Have you tried any of these products? Tried anything great you want to tell us all about it? Let me know in the comments!



Five-Minute Chocolate Fondue

easy chocolate fondue recipe

Welcome to my annual 15 Minutes to Fabulous series! Over the next few weeks I’ll feature some fantastic guest writers. Let’s face it, give a busy woman 15 minutes of uninterrupted time and she can conquer the world…or at least 15 minutes of it! Today’s guest blogger is Debbie Cunningham, a fabulous jazz singer from Franklin, Tennessee. Please follow Debbie on Twitter and Facebook.

As an entertainer you’d think I would have “entertaining” down to an art form. I do …on stage in front of 1000 people! At home, however, I am always looking for something fabulous to make that doesn’t require specialty ingredients or all day to cook. I’m an every day food kind of girl but I do want my guests to feel that I spoil them at least just a little when they come over. So my go-to lavish dessert is Chocolate Fondue. It’s a guest favorite at my house. As a songwriter and for a little fun, I actually wrote a song about women and their love of chocolate. That song continues to be one of my fan favorites and I think you’ll find this recipe gives you a few fans of your own!


½ Cup heavy whipping cream

1 Cup (8oz) Bittersweet or Semi-sweet Chocolate chopped in small pieces.  (You may use chocolate chips. My favorite is Ghirardelli Bittersweet. You can use any good quality dark chocolate and chop into small pieces)

Place chopped chocolate in a heat resistant bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat cream to a simmer-just before boiling. Immediately, remove from heat and pour cream over chocolate. Let stand a minute to melt chocolate. Then stir continually with a wire whisk until smooth and glossy.

To Serve: ladle chocolate fondue onto plates with an assortment of fresh

Sliced fruits: strawberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapples, raspberries and pound cake or angel food cake.

TIP: This can be used as Hot Fudge over ice cream or Chocolate Ganache over cake too.  Oh and always wear a fabulous apron!

Debbie Cunningham is a jazz recording artist. Her style is romantic & soulful. For free music downloads including the Chocolate Song go to



Fall Fashion Forecast From Belk

Belk evening

Me with my fellow fashion loving peeps! Katie (far left) from Effortless Style and Anicka (center) from Moxie Media. We’re also all members of Nashville Femfessionals.

Belk is one of my favorite department stores and our Nashville area Belk at Cool Springs Mall is fantastic. I worked with Belk on my fun Valentine’s Day post so I was excited to meet up recently with the Nashville fashion blogging scene at a fall fashion forecast event.

The delightful Arlene Goldstein (@BelkFashionBuzz) led the evening and we also were treated to some great wine and appetizers courtesy of Red Pony in Franklin. We all left with some fun leopard goodie bags. I got a gorgeous Jules B statement necklace and one of my favorite beauty items in the bag is Michael Kors Glam Jasmine perfume. It’s my new favorite fragrance!

Belk is all about modern Southern stylish looks and there are three overall looks shaping what you’ll see in Belk this fall, according to Arlene:

His Is Hers - The menswear look is in. This is a textile driven look and tweeds, especially, are hot. Grays, wines, and browns, especially my all-time favorite camel, are hot. Two of my fave patterns – snake and cheetah – are going to be popping up this fall. I loved it when Arlene commented, “cheetah is my favorite color.” Tartan plaid is also in, although of the three patterns she mentioned it’s my least favorite. Arlene mentioned the menswear look inspired by Pharrell Williams and his signature fedora will be an influencing factor. Shirt dresses are also hot as well as the “dressier” athletic look.

Complex Simplicity - This look is all about clean lines with unexpected details. Fall jumpsuits are in (Arlene was wearing gorgeous snakeskin print jumpsuit) and are an extension of the summer romper hot this season. Assymetrical wrap dresses, the clean modern look of leather and high-quality pleather, and the mixing of materials and textiles make up this look.

Rebel Rebel - Think leather and lace, block heel black boots with hardware, and mixing pearls with chains and stacking bracelets. As Arlene says, these are “not your mama’s pearls.” “Be a mix master and rule breaker” this fall.

 Fashion and Style Quote

I loved that Arlene noted that versatility equals value for so many savvy women shoppers now. We want pieces that can be worn a multitude of ways and many women are becoming adept at shopping their closet. “The modern Southern woman likes a completer piece, like the creative cardigan or trophy jacket,” Arlene noted. Think about it, don’t you have that one fantastic jacket or sweater that you could wear almost daily?

Some of this fall’s most wanted fashion items include:

  • The creative cardigan

  • Novelty vest (an alternative to the jacket and can be worn over sleeveless tops or long-sleeve)

  • Fashion sweatshirt

  • Statement neck

  • Over the knee boots

  • Satchel bag

  • Mixing metals (no matchy matchy jewelry!), with the return of yellow metals and rose gold

I also learned the term shootie, which is a shoe/bootie combo, such as the gorgeous black wedge shoe from Bandolino shown below and the Jessica Simpson shootie (both at Belk.) I’m loving the wedge shootie as it looks super comfy and this mama just can’t do spike heels!

Here’s a Polyvore board I’ve put together inspired by the Belk event. What trends are you liking?

Fall 2014 Trends at Belk

I’m linking up to Fashion Friday, hosted by great blogs like Musings of a Housewife.

Fashion Friday Link Up





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