Ombré Ocean Dress

I know you’ve read my post on Rent the Runway, so I won’t waste time reiterating how much I LOVE this company. But I did want to share my latest rental… an ombré Hervé Léger bandage dress that reminds me of the ocean, and fits like a freakin’ dream!

The dress was $40 to rent for the weekend; a steal, considering it goes for $1690 retail. Hervé Léger is known for understanding women’s bodies and fitting all your curves in the right way. It’s a thick, heavy material, SO comfortable to wear, and covers any rolls or bumps (except the GOOD kind) on my bod! I would kill to own an Hervé Léger dress of my own, but until then, I’m just peachy borrowing one for the weekend. :)

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Pier 1 Essentials for a Girly-Girl Bedroom

Here at Pepperminting, we all love to be ‘girly girls’ sometimes, because really, who doesn’t love bein’ a lady and bringing out our feminine side once in a while??

My little sis, Angelina, has one of the most classy, girliest bedrooms I’ve ever laid eyes on. So while I visited home, I thought I’d share her lovely bedroom essentials to inspire you all in your girly ventures! Here are my three favorite essentials she found at her favorite classic fashionable store, Pier 1.

Makeup Vanity

Every girl needs a vanity to display her jewels, perfumes, and other treasures. Sit on the bench and powder your dainty nose! How very Marilyn Monroe-ish.
Pier One $399
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Papasan Chair

A papasan chair is essential for any girly room. Where else would we seat our guests, dear ladies? It’s the comfiest of all seats for your delicate tush and the perfect cuddling piece.
Pier 1 $200
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Mannequin

This Frenchy Mannequin is such a cute way to stylishly drape your scarves or outfits to reflect the season. It’s covered in a vintage, Paris design, too!
Pier 1 $109
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Do you shop at Pier 1?? What makes your room girly?

Thinking about eating less meat? Here are some reasons why you should. (Plus a SUPER easy vegetarian recipe!)

Ok, let me preface this by saying, I am not totally vegetarian… yet. Alas, I still eat meat for probably the same reasons as most of you reading this: it’s convenient, cheap, and damn tasty. But the older I get, and the more I learn about the horrors of the factory farming and how harmful animal products are for my body, the less meat I find myself buying and consuming.

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I think education and open conversations are important, regardless of what decision you ultimately make when it comes to eating meat. No matter what your passion is, you’ll find some reason to cut back on the meat, even if it is just once a week on Meat-free Mondays. So here are some facts I’ve come across over my few years of research if you’re interested in possibly making a change in what you put in your body. [Plus see below for a delicious vegetarian recipe to try out this week!]

For those who care about others…

–> 1/3 of all cereal crops, and more than 90% of soya, are turned into feed for farmed animals just to feed us. Consider that in our world, nearly one billion people are undernourished, this fact hits you like a wall. If all of the grain used to feed livestock was instead consumed by hungry people, it would feed nearly 800 million.

For those who care about the environment…

–> 14.5% of global carbon emissions are related to livestock, which is really only bred for us to consume. Also, 1/3 of all land is used for livestock feed, which equals out to areas of the Amazon that are the size of a football field being ‘cut down 100 times an hour, just to make way for grazing ground for cattle’. (Source)

For those who care about animals…

–> Nearly 65 billion animals worldwide are crammed into factory farms. Their living conditions are deplorable. They live a life of torture and fear, and there are plenty of horrifying videos (like this one, that shows the behind of the scenes of factory farms in under a minute) to prove it. Chickens have their beaks cut off, pigs are crammed into crates so they can’t move, and cows are often not killed immediately on the killing floor, and are conscious during the process. One thing you can be sure of, if you buy cheap, factory farmed meat, the animal went through a traumatic, painful process to get on your plate.

For those who care about their health…

–>With such a high demand for meat, companies obviously want to produce more of it, and the best way to do this is to make the animals gain weight faster so they can be slaughtered sooner. And how does one achieve this? Drugs, of course! 99% of all beef cattle in United States’ feedlots are given steroids and hormones to promote faster growth. So whenever YOU eat meat, you’re also consuming whatever was in that animal’s body, including drugs that weren’t prescribed to you. Scary.

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For those who are starting to think twice…

Why do all factory farms look like this?? No windows, no tours, no people, no animals seen… what don’t the factory farm owners want you to see? Makes ya’ wonder…

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Ok so now for happy stuff! A YUMMY alternative to meat! Try it! I promise you won’t even miss it :)

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^^ I made the AWESOME baked eggplant parmesan above with this recipe from Whole Foods! Only 400 calories per serving. :)

There you have it! My thoughts! What are YOUR thoughts about eating meat?? Please share in the comments section it would be great to have a conversation started!

Oh no! My summer tan is fading! Now what??

Ohhhhohoho I will TELL you, ladies! My favorite product this month goes to Suave Professionals Visible Glow. This self-tanning body lotion is a MUST for September; when all of our gorgeous, hard-earned summer tans are beginning to fade away, this product will gradually add color and make the weather change a little more bearable. :)

Here’s a few reasons I love Suave’s Gradual Self Tanner:

  • It’s inexpensive. I found it for $2 cheaper than Jergen’s ($6.97 from Amazon)
  • The color comes on gradually. Normally, I’d be against this, and I’d want my tan immediately after applying the lotion. But in this case, it’s nice to have a product that shows up over a 2-3 days time frame. That way, I can address any spot I missed, and the color doesn’t appear streaky or orangey. Just be aware, it took me a full week to notice a significant change in color. So if you’re looking for an instant tan, this isn’t what you want.
  • It doesn’t smell that bad! The worst part of self-tanners, especially Jergen’s, is that awful chemical smell. Suave’s lotion smells floral, a bit like shampoo, and isn’t a strong odor at all. After you apply, you’ll get a brief whiff of ‘tan stink’, but it’s not bad compared to other tanning products.
  • It really glows. Your legs and arms will truly glow from this product, but it’s not a glittery, cheesy look. It’s a light shimmer, and really catches the light. So flattering!

Suave Visible Glow

I apply a quarter-sized amount of lotion on my legs n the morning so it can dry while I get ready. The lotion doesn’t go on thick, so if I’m looking to really moisturize, I top it with regular body lotion.

Use sparingly around knees, ankles, wrists and elbows (I didn’t do this at first, and you can kinda see blotches of color around my knees in the picture above). WASH YOUR HANDS and under your nails after application so you don’t see any orange!

I’ve seen a gorgeous change in color, and I love it! Definitely a happy consumer. :)

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Will you try Suave Visible Glow??

BROWNS SEASON IS HERE

Quick post to share how excited we all are for football season! Here’s what to do to prep for today….

Now do this Johnny Jamboogie

  • The best place to watch the Browns play, if you’re in Chicago, is Red Ivy, a Browns Backers bar in Wrigleyville! Their buffalo chicken pizza is to die for, and Cleveland fans go nuts during the games.
  • Follow my tutorial post on how to make a DIY creative fan tee! I made my own “How Ya Doin’ Johnny?” shirt and it turned out super cute.
  • Make this amazing Kick-Off cocktail to pre-game in style for each Browns game. :)
  • Watch this hilarious Cleveland fan tourism video to get you in the mood. (I swear Cleveland is way more amazing than depicted hehe)
  • And then watch THIS video of the Cleveland Browns Fans Chat host losing it over an inappropriate call.

Go Browns!

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Perfect Fall Meal: Veggie Lasagna

Whenever I search for recipes online, I become overwhelmed pretty quickly. My ideal online recipe has the following criteria:

- I have most of the ingredients already at home
– There’s positive reviews written at the bottom (bonus points if the readers share how they modified it)
– I can fit all of the steps into one screen on my computer
– The picture makes me drool

In this case, I knew I wanted to make lasagna last night, and I found this perfect recipe from Cooking Channel! Lasagna reminds me of home and of fall; especially one that uses amazing September vegetables like squash and zucchini. My prep time was about 15 minutes, and the cook time was 40, so in under an hour, I had a beautiful, hearty, fall dish! Make this tonight. :)

IMG_8654Sister tip: I try to make my own pasta sauce in the Vitamix when I can, but if I’m going with a premade jar, my absolute favorite is Bertolli Organic sauce. Read about the benefits of organic tomatoes here!

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The Cooking Channel Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

 

Here I go again, tryin’ to be like Beyoncé.

So, this summer, I attempted to copy Beyoncé’s Top Shop striped A-line dress look (check out the post here). Now I’m back, desperately trying to be one step closer to Queen B herself with a powder blue, ribbed crop top that she wore in an Instagram photo! I CAN’T HELP IT! She’s SO FABBBB!!!!!! And you KNOW I love a good deal.

Top Shop CropI have a love/hate relationship with crop tops. On one hand, they’re adorable, versatile, and give the illusion that your waist is Barbie-thin. On the other hand, ain’t nobody wanna see my tummy unless I’m in a bathing suit, and I’m not even sure crop tops are allowed to be worn by women over 20…

But THENNNN, Ms. Carter started rockin’ crop tops all summer long! And my favorite of her bunch was this totally affordable ribbed Top Shop crop (hehe), and I knew I had to have it! Plus Top Shop offers free shipping and returns, and it was only 16 bucks! (I consider it $14 though, because of this 10% off coupon code!!!!: 000110204242314)

Although I’ll never be within the same fashion galaxy as Bey, I absolutely love this top, and I will probably buy several other colors. Top Shop win again and so does Jesi. :)

Beyonce Top Shop CropLauren Conrad: How to Wear Crop Tops

Where to Dine in Chicago: Maude’s Liquor Bar

maudes

I live right outside Chicago, but I went to school at Loyola, so I’m familiar with downtown dining and entertainment! Chicago is such an amazing place. The people are friendly, the steaks are good, the lake is beautiful, and the weather… well… we … Continue reading