Lust List: 11/22/13

Happy Friday!!!

My daughter and I both caught colds this week, and have been laying pretty low, trying to recover. Usually my husband is the culprit bringing home germs and whatever illnesses are running through his office, but this time I think I was the dirty bird who got us all sick. Wahhh!

I have been watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix while trying to recover, and I’m a little bit obsessed now. You guys, this show is CRAZY!! I keep catching myself getting all sassy (while drinking my chai tea, and hugging my box of tissues) and *Z snapping* at the screen, saying “Yeah girl, you tell her!”, and “Oh no he didn’t!”. I do the same thing when I watch Sons Of Anarchy. I’m an embarrassment to my family. ;-) Are any of you watching the show too?

If you missed yesterdays post, go enter the giveaway here. You can win the prettiest Anthropology apron and the “Can’t Cook Book”.

Here are all the other things I’ve been loving this week. Enjoy!
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1.|| I love this DIY gift guide from Lauren Conrad. These mugs are my favorite.

2.|| Please tell me you’ve seen this ridiculous Kanye West video. Is he serious? I love Ellen’s reaction at the end.

3.|| I bought my sister this candle for her birthday in April, and everytime I go to her house I smell it because it’s AMAZING. One of the best smelling candles ever. This would make a great gift.

4.|| These girls can sing!!

5.|| I received samples of the Guerlain Lingerie De Peau foundation with my Sephora orders, and it might just be my new holy grail product. It’s has absolutely blown me away, and I’m adding it to my Christmas list. (Dear Santa, I wear color Beige Clair 02) If you’d like to see me do product review “vlogs” or a tutorial on how I apply this, please leave me a comment down below. I’ve been on the fence about doing the occasional youtube video for “favorites of the month” videos, and product reviews like this. I know I always enjoy seeing a product used before purchasing.

6.|| How fun is this Christmas Bucket! Kids unwrap an activity a day, for example: write letters to Santa, make homemade ornaments, sort through toys to give to a shelter, go look at Christmas lights, hot chocolate before bed, Christmas movie and so on. I found this little gem on Pinterest, but couldn’t find the original source.

7.|| This book looks like DIY heaven.

8.|| Jennifer from The Chic Pad introduced me to High Street Market recently, and it’s so good! Definitely worth checking out. She’s rounded up some of her favorite pieces from there, so you can check her blog for a designers picks.

9.|| This post from Kristen of 6thstreetdesignschool was so refreshing. My previous home looked absolutely nothing like my current home. Pinterest and beautifully written blogs like Kristin’s have giving me a completely different look at interior design.

10.|| Awesome video from Fun Fun Fun Festival 2013 of the SprATX artists. They sell art and shirts designed by extremely talented local Austin artists.

I am starting to put together Holiday Gift Guides for you, so leave me a comment below if you want a specific type (ie: Kids, Co-workers, Husbands, or if you want me to focus on a store, like Target, etc) Wishing you all a great weekend!

XO – Samantha

Guest Post: My Simple Kitchen

Today is the last day in my crazy week of guest bloggers, and I’ve saved the very best for last. I have Rene, one of my very best friends, guest posting from her blog My Simple Kitchen. She has always been an incredible cook, and I remember when we worked together she would always bring yummy lunches, and I’d be drooling, or she’d tell me about the meal her and her husband cooked on their grill the night before…and I’d be drooling, again! I remember getting to go visit her in Oregon (where she currently lives) and I went by her parents house and saw their beautiful kitchen, and they had a pot rack hanging with the nicest pots and pans I’d ever seen. I’m talking about EXPENSIVE, high quality pots and pans, not at all like the ones I have. They ENJOY cooking, and have passed that awesome quality down to her.

Here’s a VERY old photo of us. I adore her. <3


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Hi all! I’m Rene, a brand new blogger over at My Simple Kitchen. I am so excited to be a guest at Playdates and Pearls today! My goal when I started My Simple Kitchen was to share recipes that are easy to prepare and taste great! I grew up with some awesome cooking from my mom. She always made healthy and creative dinners. But only in the last couple years have I really started to enjoy cooking and was able to appreciate all those homemade meals as a child. With our busy lives of work, family, activities, etc. sometimes it’s hard coming up with meal ideas that are quick, tasty, and don’t break the bank.

This meatball pasta is super easy, takes under 30 minutes, tastes great, AND costs under $15.00!


What you’ll need:

Sausage (you can use ANY kind you like. I like to use chicken sausage, makes me feel like it’s healthier :P)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. minced garlic

1 small onion, diced

1 jar marinara sauce (or you can be fancy and make your own)

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

Parmesan cheese

What you’ll do:

Roll sausage into meatballs. Or, if you’re using links like I do, pinch desired size meatballs out of casing.

Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.

Sautee onions and garlic until tender.

Add meatballs and cook until done. 5-7 min each side, depending on size.

Add 1 jar marinara sauce, oregano and thyme (If your sausage is already spiced, omit the oregano and thyme.)

Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Serve over noodles and top with parmesan cheese.

If you’re staying away from carbs or just want a lighter version, use zoodles instead.



Pardon the glove. I’m not a big fan of handling raw meat. Ewwww :P




Total cost for this meal for 4 = $14.39!

Thanks for reading and come see what Samantha whipped up in her kitchen!


If the picture of Rene, wearing her purple gloves, squeezing that “sausage” doesn’t make you cry from laughter then you need to scroll back up and look again. When she e-mailed me, I nearly lost it. She told me she took a TON of photos trying to not make it look so “nasty”. HA!

Rene and I are teaming up to bring you a very exciting GIVEAWAY! You can enter to win “The Can’t Cook Book” and a beautiful Anthropology Apron below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scroll to see photos of both prizes.

Go say hi to me over on My Simple Kitchen. I’m cooking pizza, drinking wine, and pretending I know how to cook as well as my friend. :-) You can also follow My Simple Kitchen on Bloglovin’

XO – Samantha

P.S…My site was down for a short time yesterday, so if you didn’t get to see my guest post with Style by Kristen Blair, please go check it out. She’s so chic, and said the nicest things about me. *Blush*

Guest Post: Style by Kristen Blair

Happy Hump Day!
I have another amazing guest for you guys today, the beautiful Kristen of Style by Kristen Blair. She is so sweet, and has impeccable taste, so I hope you go check out her blog, and follow her here.

Hi, I’m Kristen!

I’m a 20-something student, intern, fashion lover, daughter, little sister, best friend, and author of Style by Kristen Blair. I am a lover of all things, clothes, shoes, and accessories… Basically anything fashion related. You name it, I probably love it. I am a senior marketing major at James Madison University, and I am hoping to get a job somewhere in the fashion industry after graduation in May! I started blogging as a requirement for a class, but after the class ended I kept going in hopes of sharing my love of fashion with the world. I live in Northern Virginia, but I am hoping to move to New York City (my favorite place in all of the land…) after graduation! If you want to learn more about me and my blog, stop by and visit at!

1. In 10 words or less, describe yourself.

Sister, Daughter, Best Friend, Fashion Lover, Outgoing, Goofy, Workout Fanatic

2. “In my dreams, I live in…”

New York City. When I was 6 years old my family went on a road trip and each on of us got to pick a place that we wanted to go on the east coast. Well, I picked New York City. When we were there we were on the Staten Island ferry, I remember looking up at my dad and saying “Daddy, I’m gonna live here one day…” and ever since then I have known that was where I wanted to live.

Living in the city for 7 weeks this summer while interning at a fashion PR firm really was a dream come true. It was one of the best 7 weeks of my life and it only made me all the more excited about the possibility of one day calling the city my home. (Also, chasing a career in fashion, that is really where I need to live… So, I’m hoping that after graduation in May I can go home and work for the summer, save as much money as I possibly can, and then make the big move!)

3. “If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…”

Jimmy Choo black patent leather pumps. They are just a timeless classic that everyone should have in their closet! They really are a staple… My black pumps are one of my most frequently worn shoes that I own. I would be Jimmy Choo because he is my favorite shoe designer… (My goal is to be able to buy a brand new pair of Jimmy Choos and wear them on the first day of my big girl job after college! … A girl can dream!)

4. What beauty product can’t you live without?

Granier BB Cream. Where to even begin?! This stuff is absolutely amazing… every girl needs to at least try it. I promise you will love it. It is basically a tinted moisturizer, but it does so much more than the average moisturizer. In addition to moisturizing, it also mattifies your skin tone, minimizes pores and conceals imperfections to give your skin a smooth, matte, flawless finish.” Pretty much the only place I don’t wear BB cream is to the gym!

5. Why did you start blogging?

Read all about how I got started here. (

Thank you so much Kristen! I’m guest posting today over on Style by Kristen Blair, so come say hello!
On a side note…
Remember these x-benches? If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I finally got around to spray painting the legs a lacquered black, and reupholstered the cushions in a black greek key fabric. I might be a little in love. :-)
See you guys tomorrow for a special cooking edition of P&P with my sweet friend Rene of My Simple Kitchen.
XO – Samantha

Guest Post: Afternoon Style


I had the wonderful opportunity of teaming up with Jessica of Afternoon Style to show you guys how we transition our wardrobes from fall to winter. We didn’t plan our outfits together, and yet we look a bit like twinsies! Jessica and I are both battling indecisive weather, so layering is essential. One minute it’s 80 degrees, the next it’s cold, windy, and raining. I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together! :-)


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Hi there! My name is Jessica and I blog over at Afternoon Style, a fashion and lifestyle blog. I live in Colorado with my husband- where we both go to school. I am senior in my program, studying communications and marketing. I am so excited to be here on Playdates and Pearls today, so that Samantha and I can show you how we transition fall looks into winter wear. Here in Colorado, it tends to get freezing around this time of year. However, Colorado is also very bi-polar so you never really know what the weather is going to do. Last weekend, I was out on a date with my husband and it was soooo cold. It is indeed that time, when the weather starts getting cooler than just fall weather. Because the weather can be so unpredictable here, I love dressing in layers, as does Samantha [in Texas]. For this outfit, I layered up with an oxford top (they are my absolute favorite), a green thermal top, a black puffer vest, and a chunky plaid infinity scarf.
1 2 3 4 6 7 This outfit is the perfect way for me to transition into the winter season. If the weather is really cold, I am good to go and if it decides to suddenly change then I have the option of not wearing the vest or the scarf… and the outfit will still look pulled together. What is your favorite way to layer in the colder months of Winter? Vests? Scarves? Coats? Sweaters?
Be sure to visit me over at Afternoon Style to see the rest of Samantha’s look and to see my other style posts. You can also find me on bloglovin’ here!


We even had matching tassel bracelets…great minds think alike, right?! Thank you so much Jessica!

XO – Samantha

Home Tour: Master Bedroom

Hello dolls!

I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve written a full post for y’all. Sorry I skipped out on you Friday, but this Mommy needed to get my life together, AKA clean my messy house so I could take home tour pics for you!!

Since I didn’t post my Friday Lust List, I do have a few tidbits that I want to tell you about real quick.

1.|| If you missed out on the SKII facial masks that I talked about in this post, or if you didn’t purchase them due to the OUTRAGEOUS price tag (but for real though, $125 for 10 sheet masks is insane. I wish they weren’t so damn good!!) then I found a site that sells them for much less. has them in stock for $89, and they ship worldwide.

2.|| This article makes my skin crawl.

3.|| Nordstrom is hosting their (up to) 40% off half-yearly sale. I have my eye on these, but there’s no way my husbands buying me them after my recent Sephora haul. ;-)

I won’t make you wait anymore, here’s my bedroom.


Meet Aly, our 8 year old yellow lab. She was being my helper…and getting dog hair everywhere.


The art above our bed is a collection of watercolor paintings that Camryn has done. It’s a work in progress, and has a few bald spots still, but it makes me happy everytime I walk into my room.


This photo makes everything in my room look itty bitty, but it’s just the ridiculously high ceilings. I think they’re 12-14 feet tall. floorview2 chairfarviewedited

I cropped this photo, so what you can’t see is the door beside the mirror that leads to our main patio. benchdetails chair viewofdoorwithaly roses alybedroomedited

DSC_0029 This is what she did the entire time I was trying to take pictures. “Hi Mom!” Her eyes are getting that glazed look, and it makes me so sad! My husbands family dog, Sierra, went blind as she got older and it was so upsetting watching her run into things…I’m always worried my sweet Aly is going to have the same thing happen to her. Is that common in labs?

Hope you all had a great weekend! I will be blog swapping Tuesday-Thursday, so you guys have a lot of fun posts coming up…very different guest posts than what you’ve seen the last few weeks. I think you’ll enjoy the change.

XO – Samantha

Cinderella Day

“Cinderella, Cinderella…”

I am taking the day to play Cinderella, and decluttering and getting my house in tip-top shape before this weekend.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy something much more fun than dishes and laundry!

XO – Samantha

YouTube Beauty Guru’s

I love, love, love watching Youtube beauty guru videos. I might be an addict. I always watch a few at night, when I’m relaxing in the bath, or laying in bed before falling asleep. I’ve been watching them for so long that I feel like I know these people. I trust their opinions, and have bought countless products based off their reviews. Some of them are in the industry, and some of them are just makeup, skincare, fashion, and beauty product lovers like me. A bunch of you have been asking for my top 10 youtubers list, so here it is. (in no particular order)

1.|| Pixiwoo - Sam & Nic

These sisters are both professional makeup artists, and actually teach their own classes. When it comes to recreating a look, they are your girls! They are so incredibly talented, and they have the most fun personalities. They also have ADORABLE kids, which I’m a sucker for, as you know. :-)

2.|| Lisa Eldridge

Lisa is also a professional makeup artist (to the stars). “The list of celebrities she has made-up reads like a who’s who of the world’s most glamorous women including Kate Winslet, Katy Perry, Keira Knightley, Emma Watson, Eva Green, Cameron Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Cate Blanchet, Demi Moore and Salma Hayek.” So when Lisa says “this is in my pro kit”, I run and buy it! I love her fresh faced, flawless looks, and I think her videos are especially great for women over the age of 30 who are beginning to see signs of aging. Lisa is always aware of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc. and gives amazing tips on how to work with what you’ve got, and fix what you don’t like.

3.|| Zoella

Zoe is stunningly beautiful, and watching her is mesmerizing. Her videos are young, lighthearted, and easy. It’s like watching your favorite trash TV show. She gives good beauty reviews, and does a lot of “haul videos”, which I enjoy watching. It’s a nice way of seeing what’s new on the market, and getting a quick review without investing yourself. She’s definitely not who I look to for a tutorial, but more for a laugh, and reviews, and her voice is AMAZING.

4.|| Chloe Morello

Chloe started off modelling, and then began making youtube videos. She is very down to earth, and her videos never seem very scripted, or overly edited. She’s kind of like the beautiful girl next door, but with an awesome Australian accent. Chloe is the queen of contouring, and eyebrows. She’s extremely honest with her followers, and gives real advice that never seems biased or purchased by any makeup company.

5.|| Michelle Phan

Michelle is like the Queen Bee of the beauty gurus. She recently launched her own cosmetics line called “Em Cosmetics”. I love that she covers such a wide range of topics with her videos, and she is extremely skilled with makeup. Her videos are like mini movies, and I get most excited when I see a new video pop-up from her. She’s incredibly sweet, came from nothing, and built and amazing empire through Youtube. She’s also the brains behind the beauty social networking site and sampling program Ipsy. Her voice is so soothing, and her videos are just so enjoyable. Here’s some more about her…pretty inspirational!

6.|| FleurDeForce

Fleur is another youtuber I enjoy for easy, relaxing videos. She used to film a lot of tutorials, but has moved into more haul, tag, and review videos. She has the most adorable dogs, and watching her feels like watching an old friend. Fleur also films “lookbook” style videos which I really enjoy.

7.|| MissGlamorazzi

Ingrids videos are always fun to watch. She has one of the most adorable smiles, and seems like a real girly-girl. I have tried a number of products that she’s recommended and have always loved them, so I am highly trusting of her. She does a lot of outfit videos as well, and has great taste in clothes. She’s the total package.

8.|| Tanya Burr

I found Tanya through the Pixiwoo sisters. She is engaged to their little brother Jim, and used to be a model in their makeup tutorials. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and creates really incredible smokey-eye looks. What I love most about Tanya’s tutorials is her mix of high-end, and drugstore products. She’s also a professional makeup artist.

9.|| Essie Button

If I had to pick a favorite YouTuber, it might just be Estee (her nickname is Essie). There is something so effortlessly chic about this girl, and she’s someone who I always think “I could actually be her friend”. She’s so down to earth, and real, and just so damn cool. She met her boyfriend while living in Canada (he lived in the UK), and after a few months of talking, he flew to Canada, they went on a roadtrip across the US, and a few months later she packed up and moved to the UK to be with him. They travel a lot, and vlog their trips, and they just adopted the cutest new dog named Reggie. Her boyfriend Aslan jumps in her vlogs and tries to be a part of her youtube world….they’re just cute, and I love them! Ok, enough fangirl talk… She posts tutorials, product reviews, and hauls, and her videos are very laid back and she’s also super funny. I also really love her vlog channel.

10.|| MakeupByTiffanyD

My sister started following Tiffany on Instagram a year ago, and told me I’d really like her because she’s a product junkie, fashion obsessed, but even better…a home decor enthusiast! Uhh…Yeah, she’s my long lost soul sister. :-) Sometimes her videos are long and chatty, and she takes awhile to get to the point, but I really trust her opinion and rely on her for reviews, tips and tricks, and beautiful tutorials. She has the most insane eyelashes you will ever see, and for the first few videos of hers that I watched, I swore they were fake. She’s always up to date on the most current, newly released, and “hyped” products, so I look to her first for reviews.

I follow so many other YouTubers, but these are just a few of my favorites. Do you follow any youtubers? Who are your favorites?

Playdates + Pearls Facebook page hit 100 followers today (WOW, you guys are amazing!!!), so thank you all for reading, following, and supporting my blog. I am going to host a Facebook only giveaway in the coming days, so if you’re not already following, you still have time to join. I have been having SO MUCH FUN writing this blog, and I’ve been meeting some of the coolest people (bloggers, readers, owners of companies that I’ve been able to work with). I have a lot to be thankful for, and y’all are high up on my list! <3

XO – Samantha


You guys thought you had gotten rid of me for the day…sike!

I have been searching for fun Holiday cards, and thought I’d share a few of my favorites with y’all! I absolutely love Minted, and I have used them in the past for holiday cards, as well as birthday invites, and custom stationery. Here are a few of their cards that I have my eye on:

Christmas Twinkle Holiday Card

Happiest Holidays Photo Card

Gilded Holiday Mini Book

I love these mini books as a mom. It’s so fun getting to recap our year with Camryn, and share pictures of her growth with friends and family.

Another darling mini book

Twisted Peppermint Holiday Ornament Card

Silentish Night

I LOVE this one!!

Home for the Holidays (For anyone who recently moved)

Merry Typography Mini Card (New Baby)

Conversation Bubble Mini Card

Non Photo Card: Glitter Very Merry Mini Card

Naughty is Nice Mini Card

Those are all my favorites from Minted. Aren’t they adorable? Hope you found a few you like too.

XO – Samantha

Guest Post: Cheeia of “Notes By Cheeia”

1.|| In 10 words or less, describe yourself.

Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Christian, Compassionate, Goofy, Sensitive, Beauty & Fashion Lover. Here’s more random facts about me:

2.|| In my dreams, I live in…

Colorado. As you get older you realize that it’s really not about the place that brings you joy, but the value of people. I’ve travelled all over the world and moved twice (Minnesota and currently residing in California) however, my heart lies in Colorado where I can enjoy my mom’s home cooked meals, gossip with my crazy sister, and a place filled with childhood memories. It’s authentic you can’t find it anywhere else!

3.||If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…

Saint Laurent Classic Jane Ankle Strap – They say, you can tell alot about person from their shoes – Let me start off and say 90% of my wardrobe are solid colors – I’m plain Jane, however, I believe it’s simplicity that makes great statement pieces. Additionally, they’re versatile and you can mix-match these babies with any seasons/occasions! I don’t think they will never go out of style.

4.|| What beauty product can’t I live without?

Clinique Moisturizing Lotion – Sadly, I have very dry skin and I cannot go a day without it.

5.|| Why did I start blogging?

I was dating this guy for almost a year. I know that doesn’t sound long, but we moved in together right after we met and things got complicated. I was heartbroken when we split; however, I was able to move forward by reading and expressing myself through blogs. Strange how things work out sometimes right? I have a passion to serve women so the ultimate goal I have for my blog is to create my own space/community and build positive relationships! On another note, I have a big heart for fashion so it’s a cherry on top that I’m able to share that with my readers as well.


Today I am guest posting over at Notes By Cheeia, and talking all about my marriage, so come and say hi! :-)

XO – Samantha

Give {A Delicious} Thanks

I have been trying to come up with quick, easy, and affordable gift ideas for my friends and family for Thanksgiving. It is, of course, the day to be thankful for all those wonderful people who support you, love you, and make your life that much sweeter. I decided the thing my loved ones enjoy most is food…desserts specifically…so I started looking up pie recipes, and stumbled upon these adorable “Pie In A Jar” recipes. Is it just me, or is everything in a mason jar so much cuter?!

Lets start with Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar, by Brenda of A Farmgirl Dabbles

Click here for her recipe.

More of an apple pie lover? These look mouth watering!

Click here for the recipe.

Cherry is my personal favorite, so I’ll be trying these.

You can check out the recipe here.

Or if you want a gift that can be mailed, why not try cookies in a jar!

Layer the dry ingredients, and attach a card to the jar with directions on what to add (wet ingredients) and baking instructions. Easy peasy, and so cheap!

XO – Samantha



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