Delightful Dishes

I am absolutely positively in love with Walmart’s new line of dishes from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. You can get yours here. It’s literally like Ree climbed into my head and created my dream line of dishes to perfectly complement my home. See for yourself, you’ll be drooling too. 

    
     

 Like what you see? Have you ever made a recipe from our blog? Well we have some EXCITING NEWS! Beauty & The Butcher is hosting it’s first giveaway!  

 You could win this adorable butter dish or another piece from the new collection of dishes by The Pioneer Woman, available at Walmart

Here’s how to enter: First make sure you’re following @beauty_and_the_butcher on Instagram. Then choose your favorite recipe from the blog, post a picture of the dish, tag us & three friends in the photo, and the grand prize could be yours! All entries must be submitted by October 12th! 

Delicious Legs 

Unfortunately ladies, until winter is in full swing, we have to shave our legs regularly. But there is a way to make it easier, more effective, and last longer!

Shaving is much better with exfoliated skin. When you shave without exfoliating, you’re simply shaving off a layer of dead skin rather than getting actual hair (this also causes ingrowns.) But if you exfoliate first and then shave, you get straight to the matter at hand, the hair, and the result is a super silky smooth “like a baby’s behind” leg. 

This easy DIY scrub takes to it a completely new level and is made with ingredients you have around the house. And it’s not just for women, men can absolutely benefit from soft exfoliated skin. 
 
Simply take 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and the juice of one lemon and mix them together in a bowl. Scrub onto to your legs, shave, and rinse. For extra smoothness, apply scrub once more after shaving and your legs will be so slippery smooth you won’t even be able to cross them! Happy exfoliating! 

Color Yourself Calm

“Wanna color?” 

A common question among children of all ages and one to which my answer was always a resounding, “Yes!”

I’ve always had an artistic flair, but coloring was a real favorite activity of mine. Maybe it’s because it’s the due to the quiet solitude that comes with it, or the fact that it was an activity I enjoyed with my big sister. She taught how to stay inside the lines and how to outline the shape in a bolder color and then use the same shade with a lighter hand to fill in the rest. Although we often colored together, we did not, however, share a coloring book.  

Because she was four years my senior, her skills were much more advanced than mine. I guess you could say I was, in the early days at least, a bit of a scribbler. Thus, she wanted no part of my scribbling in her precious coloring books. One said book, if I remember correctly, was a shiny green jungle themed Crayola coloring book. It was full of perfectly colored complete pictures (I emphasize this because most of my books were only half colored; since I would begin a page and get bored halfway through or, not being happy with the color choices I made, give up and move on) of toucans, palm fronds, and intricately drawn wildlife. I was warned by penalty of death to never touch the jungle book. Bah! Pun intended! If I remember correctly, I think I may have actually abided by that particular command, but my sister may disagree…

To this day, any time I get the girls all set up for a coloring session, I can’t help but join them!  

 

Apparently, adult coloring is actually a thing now. “Color yourself Calm” is the slogan of one such book I found by Anastasia Catris called, Color Me Mindful.  As someone who is artistically inclined and suffers from stress, anxiety, and depression, I had to give it a try!

   
The website, psychologies, has this to say about the subject; 

Coloring in may well be something you remember fondly from your childhood – or something your own children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren enjoy now.

But this simple activity has been making headlines lately, especially in France, where colouring books for grown-ups are selling faster than cook books.

With mindfulness the buzz word of the moment, colouring in is an easy way to calm the mind and occupy the hands. Speaking at a mental health workshop in 2009, author, speaker and communication expert Mark Robert Waldman explained that active meditation focuses attention on simple tasks that require repetitive motion. Concentrating this way replaces negative thoughts and creates a state of peace, and many people who have a difficult time with concentrative meditation can find this easier. This gentle activity where you choose the colours to create your picture and the repetitive action of colouring it in focuses the brain on the present, blocking out any intrusive thoughts.

Meanwhile, a recent study from San Francisco State University has shown that people who partake in creative activities outside of work not only deal with stress better but their performance at work improves, too. You need only look at the massive explosion of interest in crafts such as knitting and dressmaking in recent years to see how many people are choosing to occupy themselves in such creative activities.

Artist Wendy Piersall gives some helpful tips as well as supplies suggestions, I’ve shared some below but for even more, check out her website.

When I first published Coloring Animal Mandalas, I just assumed that this would be a zero-instructions-needed kind of book. It’s coloring! Who hasn’t colored before?! To my utter surprise, how to color in coloring books has been THE most asked question I have gotten as a coloring book artist. I realized that most adults haven’t colored in 20+ years (or sometimes 60-70+ years!). Also, when you’re coloring as an adult, crayons just don’t cut it anymore. We want a great experience, and want to use great, grown up materials. So since I’ve been asked about this a zillion times, here’s my overview of how to color coloring books.

How Do You Choose Which Colors to Use?

I’ve been asked this question a lot. The question I hear when I read between the lines is that people don’t feel particularly artistic and are fearful that they don’t have what it takes to color something beautiful. To which I say: IT’S COLORING. 2 year olds can handle this. There is no wrong way to do it. And almost any color combination will look good. But in the interest of actually answering this question, there’s several ways to tackle color choices:

Go with a rainbow spectrum. Who doesn’t love rainbows?

Go in blindfolded. Meaning: just pick up a color and go. Let the spirit of spontaneity take over.

Go hip. Pantone releases it’s trend forecast twice a year. Admittedly, they are pretty good at it.

Go overboard. Find an image with colors you love (I have a Pinterest board full of them here) and upload it to this free online color palette generator. I take no responsibility for the hours you will lose once you start playing with this tool.

How Do You Maximize Relaxation While Coloring?

One of the main reason adult coloring books are getting so popular lately is because they are a major stress-buster and tension reliever. You know how artists create art to stay sane and get into The Zone? That’s what coloring does for non-artists. Personally, I don’t think that there is any wrong way to color for relaxation. I’ve heard of people coloring on planes, in front of the TV, in coffee shops, and even in therapy sessions. It’s all good. For me personally, I like to color in my studio, which is an enclosed porch and has tons of natural light. I try to do it when I know I won’t be interrupted for at least 30 minutes. I also like to color with my favorite music playing in the background. 

So there you have it, adult coloring is all the rage and good for your brain! Right now I’m using colored pencils, but the tools I really have my eyes on are these Copic sketch markers, they are a pretty penny though!  

 
Until then I’ll stick with Crayola and my Carolina Beach playlist on Pandora.  Happy coloring! 

   

For a little video of me coloring, check out my Instagram, @beauty_and_the_butcher

Pretty in Pink Continued…

Earlier this week I featured a “classic” look using my Cool Gal Blue tulle skirt with a promise of two more looks to come. Today’s look is the tutu styled with a vintage look or, as the butcher call it, your Audrey Hepburn look. I’ll take it!  

 

Thanks to the inspiration of one of my favorite fabulous Plus Size bloggers, Tanesha Awasthi from girlwithcurves.com, I found this adorable bow top from Forever 21’s plus size line. The quality and feel of the shirt is very good in comparison to some of their other pieces and you can’t beat the price!  

  

This alligator leather envelope clutch belonged to my great grandmother. It still had a compact mirror and a 1942 calendar inside when I received it. It’s probably one of my most prized accessories.
    

One of my favorite beach hats, bought years ago at Kohls, just stood out to me as I gathered my accessories for this shoot. I thought it might add a nice flair to the outfit but I was still unsure about wearing it. When my two photographers from Copper & Co. Photography saw it, they said I just had to wear it. So I did! 

 This bow belt has also been in my closet for years but when I got this top I guess I went a little bow crazy and just had to pair the two together! Side note, I love the way the gold is reflecting off the light of the room. Photography is so cool.  
Twirl honey, twirl! So there you have it, my “vintage” inspired way to style a tulle skirt. Stay tuned later this week for the third and final installation, with a modern twist to styling a tutu. 

Crazy for the Caprese! 

  
For many of you, summer is almost over. Hopefully though you still have a few remnants remaining, namely, tomatoes and fresh basil. Let’s put them to good use!

To me there is no salad more refreshing than a traditional Caprese. Italians call it “Insalata Caprese”, meaning “Salad of Capri” and it’s a simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, seasonal tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. It was made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. In Italy, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter), not a contorno (side dish) like most salads. 

You can serve it in domino layers on a platter or make a little tower like I’ve don’t in the picture. For extra flavor, I like to drizzle it with balsamic vinegar or better yet, a balsamic glaze {made from reducing the vinegar over heat until it thickens and becomes slightly sweeter}. Mangia!

Pretty in Pink 

Molly Ringwald’s got nothin’ on me!  
For YEARS I have gazed longingly (a la Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink)

at tulle skirts on Pinterest, Instagram, and other sites. So this summer I finally decided to bite the bullet and get one for myself! I mean, you’re never too old for a tutu right?! Right. I’ll answer my own question. 

I found the perfect plus sized tutu from Cool Gal Blue and decided to follow the admonition of Donna Meagle to “treat yo self”… 

But now that I have it, I found myself asking, “Can I really pull this off?” and, “How am I supposed to wear it?” I thought you might be asking yourself the same questions. (I use “you” pretty loosely, as I know most of you do not, and will not ever, own a tutu…or even know what tulle is or how to pronounce it for that matter) 

So with the help of my lovely and talentedphotographer friend, Ashley of Copper & Co. Photography, I thought I’d show you a tutu styled 3 ways! I decided on three looks; classic, vintage, and modern and I’m going to share one of them today, stay tuned this week for the other two! 

Look #1 Classic 

   
   
  

   
I paired a delicate Eloqui cream colored cropped sweater with the soft blush color of the skirt. To accessorize I wore my Honora Pearl studs from my momma, then added this beautiful statement necklace from Walmart and cream patent heels from Chinese Laundry. For my lips I puckered up with NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair. I felt girly, and pink, and pretty, and I couldn’t stop twirling. You should try it! 

(Click the links in blue to get your own!) 

 

Five of my Favorite Things 

Last week’s “Favorite Things” was a big hit so I decided to try and make it a weekly thing. So, with the risk of sounding like Andy Cohen, here’s five things I’m obsessed with this week… 

 Little Golden Book: The Color Kittens…SO excited when I found this, it was an absolute favorite of mine as a child, now it can be yours too! Can’t wait to read it to the girls. Find your copy here 

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker…this little colorful gem is a powerhouse of sound in a cute tiny package. It’s been great for summer nights on the patio! Get yours here 

Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File and Callus Remover…this thing is amazing! It has cured my dry heels for good and doesn’t hurt or tickle! Sold here 
Mini Red Colander…these baby comes in all different colors and at only $1.99 a piece, you can get them all! Unfortunately they aren’t sold online but it’s worth the trip to your nearest World Market!

SMASHBOX Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer…this stuff works wonders, it gives you a smooth matte finish under your makeup without feeling greasy or heavy and it’s perfect for weddings or other occasions where you need your makeup to really last! Sold here