Five Things

 {my magnet shoe that holds my bobby pins}

It's finally Friday.  Hope you had a wonderful week! My week was filled with work, online shopping, trying new things with my hair and experimenting in the kitchen. You are going to love some of the new recipes that will be posted in the upcoming weeks.
 {homemade mint chocolates}
thanks Meeme for the molds & chocolate!
{cute notes}
 {a trendy summer manicure}
{my new shoe love courtesy of LK Bennett}


Banana Split Cookies

One of my favorite summer treats is a banana split. Over the weekend I was in the kitchen getting ready to make up my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe for my daddy, and suddenly I decided to change it up. I used my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and made some modifications to create the most delicious cookie ever...the banana split cookie. I even topped it with a cherry. This is my new go to easy cookie recipe that is perfect for any summer soiree.

Banana Split Cookies 
Ingredients 
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 large egg (I used Eggland's Best)
1 tsp. vanilla (I used Watkins Pure Vanilla)
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
about 1/2 a box of JELL-O brand Instant Banana Cream Pudding
1 pkg. chocolate chunks coarsely chopped
1/2 c.  coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 c. dried bananas chopped
10 maraschino cherries cut into quarters
Directions 
• Preheat oven to 350° F
• Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, banana cream instant pudding mix and vanilla together for 3 minutes. 
• Add the egg and beat until combined. 
• In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. 
• Slowly combine the flour mixture with the egg mixture and mix on a low speed until combined. 
• Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in chocolate chunks, pecans, and dried bananas. 
• Scoop the dough into tablespoon-size mounds and place on a non-stick baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Top with a piece of cherry. 
• Bake until lightly browned at the edges, 7-12 minutes depending on your oven. 
• Allow cookies to cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet before you transfer to a wire cooling rack.

OPI Touring America

Touring America is OPI's Fall 2011 collection. Now before I get to my review and swatches of this collection I wanted to remind you of what the nail trends are for this fall.

Top Nail Colors for Fall 2011
Nude
Plum
Almost Black 
Concrete or Graphite 
Metallic 

You can also view some of my New York Fashion Week posts for Fall Nail Trends
{from left to right: Are We There Yet?, I Eat Mainly Lobster, My Address is 'Hollywood', Color to Diner For, French Quarter for your Thoughts, Suzi Takes the Wheel, A-Taupe the Space Needle, Uh-Oh Roll Down the Windows, Get in the Espresso Lane, Honk if you love OPI, I Brake for Manicures and Road House Blues}

When I first found out that OPI's Fall 2011 collection was called Touring America I was beyond excited. They come out with France, Swiss, Tokyo...etc collections and now it was finally an "America" collection. The collection contains twelve new nail shades which were inspired by American cities and the rich cultural heritage that distinguishes them.

{Are We There Yet?}
Are We There Yet? is a soft peach melon hue with a dusting of shine. This color is a great transition into the fall. This year I have absolutely been in love with peach hues so it's no wonder I have fallen in love with this shade.
{I Eat Mainely Lobster}
I Eat Mainely Lobster is a watermelon coral hue with a dusting of shine. This color is very pretty and would look nice in the fall or paired against tanned skin.
{My Address is "Hollywood"}
My Address is "Hollywood" is a light plum hue that also has the dusting of glitter shine. At first I wasn't a fan of this shade, but after having it on for an entire day I really fell in love with it.
{Color to Diner for}
Color to Diner for is a deep cherry shade, that is perfect for the more color reserved. This red is actually very pretty and sophisticated. However it is my least favorite color in the collection since I am not a red fan.
{French Quarter for your Thoughts}
French Quarter for your Thoughts  is a concrete gray with a touch of blue. This hue is definitely pretty and I am already considering pairing it with a raspberry colored dress.
{Suzi Takes the Wheel}
Suzi Takes the Wheel is a murky gray with a touch of green and blue mixed together. This seems to be a pretty unique color and would definitely be gorgeous in the fall.
{A-Taupe the Space Needle}
A-Taupe the Space Needle as you can see this is not quite a taupe Which I did find to be disappointing because I do love my taupe polishes. This hue is actually more of a western brown that is trying to be a taupe. I think based on the person wearing this shade it will look more brown or more taupe. While it may not be what I had hoped for I actually love this color. It won't replace "You Don't Know Jacques", but it will be a nice change up color.
{Uh-Oh Roll Down the Windows}
Uh-Oh Roll Down the Windows is gorgeous army olive green that will definitely be popular through the entire fall season.
{Get in the Expresso Lane}
Get in the Espresso Lane is a vampy dark brown that definitely reminds me of espresso beans.
 {Honk if you love OPI}
Honk if you love OPI is a dark purple wine shade. My all time favorite dark purple is "Linkin Park After Dark" and I feel this hue is a shade or two darker than that one so I am definitely loving it.
{I Brake for Manicures}
I Brake for Manicures is a deep and dark plum shade with a touch or black. It is extremely pretty.
{Road House Blues}
Road House Blues is a dark royal blue. Immediately I thought this hue would look gorgeous with some of the outfits that the Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted wearing. Think about this color paired with white or maybe a lighter royal blue and you have yourself a gorgeous sophisticated outfit!



My overall thoughts of the collection
This is the first fall collection that I have tried and I am absolutely loving it. The only color in this collection that I would not wear is "Color to Diner for" and that's because I am not a red fan at all. I loved the fact that this collection contained a couple colors that were not dark. While I absolutely love dark colors this collection allows you to transition into fall which I absolutely love!


What is your favorite color in this collection?

Kate's Wedding Dress on Display

 While the Royal Wedding may be over if you are lucky enough to live near Buckingham Palace you can see Kate's dress on display. If you are like me and live on the other side of the pond I have pictures below for your viewing pleasure!
 
The Duchess of Cambridge accompanied the Queen to a viewing of her wedding dress.
 What She Wore
Dress: Joseph Scala 
Shoes: Jimmy Choo Lovely Pumps in Powder Pink

 
 The headless mannequin is the focal point of the room and it kind of has an eerie look.
 The back of the dress is absolutely gorgeous. The dress was created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
Kate's shoes. Aren't they gorgeous. They are also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
 
Kate's wedding earrings from her parents.
 Kate's bouquet recreated with silk flowers.
 The Cake
  Finally the Cartier Halo Tiara that the Queen loaned to Kate for the wedding. 

A collection for all seasons

 {Lovely, Glee, Tranquil, Bold and Nurture}

One of my favorite beauty items is nail polish. From bolds and brights to nudes, golds and everything in between my polish goes with my outfit or my mood. Dr.'s Remedy recently released their summer collection called "Hot Hot Hot Summer Shades" Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish is free from harsh toxins to promote healthier, stronger nails and is the first ever nail polish on the market approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Another plus to Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish is that it is hypoallergenic!
 {Lovely, Glee, Tranquil, Bold and Nurture}
 {Lovely}
Lovely is a pale lilac shade that I am absolutely loving. I think that this hue is more of a spring shade, and definitely a must have color for attending a garden party!
 {Glee}
Glee is a dusty shimmer gold and is a pretty color for summer. However I think Glee would be a must have shade for fall!
 {Tranquil}
Tranquil is a shimmery tangerine hue that reminds me of the sun as it is setting over the water.  I absolutely adore this shade and think it's perfect for a day spent beach side.
 {Bold}
Bold is an ice blue shade with a splash of glitter. While I do feel like this color would look pretty against a blue ocean, lake or pool. I feel like this color would be perfect for winter. I have never really found an icy blue shade before that I absolutely loved for winter and this one is now my absolute favorite. You will definitely be seeing this on my nails come December.
{Nurture}
Nurture is of course my favorite color in the collection. It is a delicate nude pinky peach. If you love pink, peach or nude polishes I definitely think you need this color in your nail polish collection. This shade is feminine and would look lovely against any skin tone.

My overall thoughts
I feel if you look at this collection as a summer collection it fails. If you look at each individual polish it's amazing and is definitely a collection that would get you through all of the seasons with style and class.

What do you think of these colors?

Waterfalls, Chicken Wings, Lucille Ball and my disappointment with Louis Vuitton

 {Niagara Falls, United States side}
Here is a little peak at my three day New York trip.

 {The Anchor Bar creators of the Buffalo Chicken Wing}
 {mild buffalo chicken wings with homemade blue cheese and celery}
 {medium heat buffalo chicken wings with celery and homemade blue cheese...so good!}
 {Anchor Bar seasoned chips}
 {visited Jamestown, NY which is Lucille Ball's hometown!}

Now to my disappointment!
On saturday I went to the mall, walked through Louis Vuitton and decided I just couldn't live without a bag......I decided on a Speedy.
 The bag came like this! Completely smashed flat.... this really didn't thrill me. If I am spending $1,000 on a bag I do not want to receive it all smashed up.
 This is what the bag should look like. I am not thrilled with the creases in it, and I also hate the fact that the smashing caused it to even peel!
That's when I read this "made in U.S.A.".... yes I am from the USA and yes I do like to buy things that are made in the USA this is one thing I DO NOT want to be made in the USA. I want it to be made in Paris... as it is Louis Vuitton Paris. So I decided I would call corporate where I learned that if you buy a bag in the United States from a certified LV dealer the bag is real but it's not genuine. If you buy the bag say overseas it is made of leather, not smashed and made in Paris. Needless to say this bag is definitely being returned.

Have you ever been disappointed with something you bought?