sephora fun finds

Yesterday was my 25th birthday, and I had as much fun as a pregnant girl can have on her birthday.  Blueberry pancakes for breakfast (served by my husband), Fort Wayne for lunch, a trip to Sephora to be spoiled, dinner with family and a movie and a milkshake to top off the night.  (Yes, it was a hot fudge milkshake, and yes it was incredible.)

It has truly been forever since I have gone into Sephora to shamelessly spend a bit on myself, and gosh it felt good.  I could get lost in there for hours, just ooing and awing over shadow palettes and lipgloss.  Yesterday I was on a mission to replace my blush and bronzer, and found a million other dreamy things along the way.  I scored The Naked Basics palette and their new bronzer/highlight/blush trio and wearing them today I couldn’t be happier with my purchases!  Here are some other fun things I stumbled upon that caught my eye:

sephora fun finds  |

1. Urban Decay Smoked Palette - I was two inches from buying this palette.  The colors are perfectly pigmented and gorgeous!  2. Naked Flushed (Bronzer/Highlight/Blush combo) - This is the combo I went with for bronzer and blush- I was surprised at how much I liked using the highlight powder as well.  A great trio!!  3. Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara - This mascara has great reviews, a bottle that will catch your eye, and it is made without parabens, sulfates and phthalates- and boasts that it lasts 24 hours! Score!  4.Too Faced Melted Lipgloss - The pigment of your favorite lipstick, in gloss form!   5. Benefit Boiing Concealer - I sampled this concealer years ago and truly had forgotten about it until recently.  I love all things Benefit, but this is a great concealer!  6. Julep Plie WandOkay, how cool is this?  Designed to make polishing your nails easy with both hands, this wand makes at home mani’s and pedi’s a snap.


sephora fun finds  |


P.S. Thank you all so so much for the birthday love yesterday!

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her birthday style | shan

“Shan has a good heart, she always has.” Angie (Shan’s mom)

When a person first meets Shan they cannot deny her beauty.  She is striking, undoubtedly.  But what Shan has in looks pales in comparison to the warmth that comes from her heart.  It takes very little time to know this is true about her.  Angie could not be more right about her sweet little girl.

her birthday style | shan | her birthday style | shan | www.prettyplainjanes.comThis stylish girl likes to “claim” she has no style, obviously this could not be further from the truth.  She may also try to credit me for any fashion sense she has acquired over the years which again, is not true.  I may have encouraged a few foundation pieces to find their way into her closet but she is the one that has figured out how to mix her playfulness with sophistication.  (And yes, she is ridiculously gorgeous with that baby bump!)

her birthday style | shan | www.prettyplainjanes.comOne of my favorite “Shan traits” is her genuine excitement for others’ life events.  Whether it’s a birthday, engagement, baby or you simply feel like celebrating she will be there, with giddiness in her eyes, making you feel like someone else truly gets why you are so happy.  There is never jealousy, bitterness or empty joy.  She feels happiness because someone she loves is happy.  I find that absolutely intoxicating about her.

her birthday style | shan | www.prettyplainjanes.comAnd then there is her ability to share her feelings in such a vulnerable and beautiful way.  Her words so eloquently woven into the story her heart is telling.  Writing is undoubtedly a precious gift she possesses.  But her bravery to let her guard down and put it all out there is what I admire most.  What a blessing she is to this blog and all those who her words have touched.

her birthday style | shan | www.prettyplainjanes.comShan, thank you for loving and accepting me.  Thank you for giving my daughter another set of arms to fall into.  And thank you for sharing your family with ours.  I could not have asked for a better friend to share all the highs and lows of life with.  Thank you for simply being you.

Happy Birthday Beautiful!


her birthday style | shan |




Posted in bump style, outfits, style | Tagged | 4 Comments

these things

It’s Friday!  Cookies in the oven for tonight’s market, and a checkup scheduled with our OB, our Friday is well underway.  Here are a few feel good’s for your Friday!

these things |
A collection of photo’s captured 50 years ago- I love the simplicity and beauty shining through these black and white images.

these things |

My August reading list: Hands Free Mama, The Best Yes, Let’s All Be Brave.


these things |

A month ago I started an online bible study called She Reads Truth. A community of women, guided daily study and the journal is designed so beautifully. If you are thinking of joining a study, I highly recommend this one!

these things |

An item or two from this little stamped jewelry shop is definitely on my birthday wish list. I’ve been drooling over their bar necklaces and brass cuffs for some time now.
Have a great weekend!


these things |




Posted in web love | Tagged | 1 Comment

antipasto salad

antipasto salad | www.prettyplainjanes.comOver a year ago I made this pasta dish for Jettie’s 2nd Birthday Party.  The plan was to search for a salad that would be easy to prepare a boat load of the day before the event.  I had no idea whether it would be good or not but figured if Giada made it then it can’t be all that terrible.  (The saying “never trust a skinny cook” does not apply to Ms De Laurentiis.)  Not only was this devoured but I still receive the occasional “That salad from Jettie’s party last year was so good.”  When people can remember food from over a year ago you know you have a winner on your hands.  So this is my gift from me to you – a crowd pleasing salad that is shamefully easy to throw together.

antipasto salad | www.prettyplainjanes.comI know what you are thinking. “Brandy you do not eat meat and once again you are telling me something with meat is worth making.”  You are just going to have to trust me (as well as my satisfied friends and family).  Besides, there is pasta, cheese and olives involved.  You bet your britches I pick around the salami and smoked turkey to get my own sampling of goodness.

antipasto salad | antipasto salad | antipasto salad | www.prettyplainjanes.comBetween the 50 Shades trailer premiere (what, we didn’t read those filthy books in a few days or anything…), Project Runway starting and sharing this recipe I would have to say that today is shaping up to be a kick arse Thursday.  Pasta, red room of pain and fashion – what more could one want?


antipasto salad |




antipasto salad

antipasto salad |


  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • SALAD:
  • 1 pound spiral pasta (such as fusilli or rotini)
  • 1 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup green olives, halved and pitted
  • 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1.2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the dressing: Combine basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve. Store leftover pasta in fridge (is just as delicious the next day).
antipasto salad |

recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Posted in recipes, what's cooking | Tagged | 2 Comments

blueberry nectarine pie

blueberry nectarine pie  |
Two days in a row of blueberries, because like Brandy said yesterday, when they are $10 for 5 pounds you buy a lot, freeze some, eat some, put some on your face, and put some into pie.  (I love pie.)  As I served up the leftovers of this dish to my friend Kate she commented on how she never has liked pie, because she hates crust and warm fruit…. ummmm what?  those are literally two of my favorite things on earth.  Weird.  But anyways, this pie shifted her attitude in a more sane direction and I’m proud to say she ate the whole piece.

blueberry nectarine pie  |
blueberry nectarine pie  |
This recipe comes from the prettiest cookbook I have, that Brandy surprised me with a few months ago called First Prize Pies.  It’s filled with delicious spins on classic pie recipes, and the book itself is such a treat. If you know a pie lover- this would be a perfect gift (pair it with a pretty pie dish and you’re really set.) This recipe combines blueberries and nectarines- a unique pair that works fabulous together. In place of a traditional pie crust I topped this one with an almond crumb topping that gave it a bit more texture.
blueberry nectarine pie  |

The homemade version of Jeni’s Backyard Mint ice cream (from her cookbook) made it’s way onto our plates during family dinner this week- right next to the pie.  Somehow the mint, berries and nectarines all acted as though they were made for eachother- the combo  could not have been better!
blueberry nectarine pie  |
Cheers to dinner with friends, and of course, to pie.
blueberry nectarine pie  |

blueberry nectarine pie

blueberry nectarine pie  |


  • 1 9inch pie crust (I used Pillsbury, or you could make your own!)
  • Filling:
  • 1 lb nectarines (about 4), sliced, peeled and cored
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • zest of 1 lemon (I used two!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Prepare filling by placing nectarines, berries, lemon zest and vanilla in bowl, and mixing to combine. In a seperate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Prepare topping by whisking together flour and brown sugar. Cut in cold butter using a fork, pastry cutter or fingers until you have a coarse crumble. Toss in almond slices.
  4. Place bottom crust in pie pan. Toss berry mixture into the dry ingredients and immediately pour into bottom crust. Sprinkle topping over the pie, covering it completely.
  5. Bake pie at 425F for 20 minutes, and then lower the oven temp to 350F, rotate the pie, and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes until golden on top.
  6. Let cool for an hour before serving.
blueberry nectarine pie  |


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