Funnel Cake & Neon

Morgan's Pier Philadelphia
Last weekend, Nick and I celebrated two years together, which was kind of like a whoa milestone as far as I’m concerned (where has the time gone?). Our big plan was to go to Dave and Buster’s (we racked up the tickets but are saving up for better prizes), we first had dinner at Morgan’s Pier, a Philly beer garden overlooking the Delaware River.

The menu is described as “refined foodie picnic,” but that seems to mean a slightly-upscale twist on classic American bar food. Nick ordered a burger and I got a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich.

We both thought the food was fine. It was good, but nothing spectacular, so a bit overpriced. Also, the sandwiches didn’t come with a side of fries, which is surprising and saddening, because fries.

We also each ordered a drink. Nick got a craft beer, and I choose a speciality drink, the Watermelon Rickey (watermelon-flavored simple syrup topped with beer). I’m not really a beer drinker, but I enjoyed the fruity twist. Also, it looked pretty:

Morgan's Pier Watermelon Ricky
But dessert. Oh, the dessert. Can you believe I’ve never had funnel cake before? Like any good American, I’ve had fried dough before (I was seen enjoying an elephant ear in Miami last winter), but never in funnel cake form. It was pretty perfect and delicious:

All in all, we had a good time at Morgan’s Pier (and a better time at D&B). Next time though, I think we’ll stick to the drinks, and this awesome view:

Morgan's Pier Philadelphia
I mean…

Finally, our anniversary meant I got to take my new dress for a spin. Because nothing says summer like a neon sundress.

Dress – Old Navy (similar) ; Bag – Fossil (gift, exact); Wedges – Payless (similar)

Hope you’ve all been enjoying eating al fresco this summer too!

~ Sarah

P.S. I’m flying home to Florida later this afternoon, so don’t expect any more posts from me ’til next week!

Review: Glamour Look By Mary Kay VoxBox

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Last month, I had the opportunity to join Influenster, an online community where “trendsetters” (their words, not mine!) have the chance to test and share reviews of  upcoming products (for free!) and the like — a level up on your basic brand engagement, if you will.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was quickly selected to test a new set of products from Mary Kay, as part of the Glamour Look VoxBox program. As far as “mail-order” beauty lines are concerned, I grew up an Avon girl because their products were more affordable for my mom and I, so needless to say I was very excited to try out Mary Kay products for the first time!

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The products in my Mary Kay VoxBox?

Lash Primer

❀ Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in black

❀ Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush

True Dimensions Lipstick in Pink Chérie

Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm

First things first, the primer/mascara duo were pretty incredible. As far as makeup goes, I’ve never been the girl to prioritize mascara. (You know the girls, I’m talking about — never too far from an eyelash curler, etc. Give me a tinted moisturizer and lip balm instead any day.) That being said, with one swipe of the primer alone, I saw a noticeable difference in my lashes. And the mascara isn’t clumpy and it doesn’t budge.

I don’t really have much to say about the concealer brush, except I guess it’s nice? I’m pretty attached to my Ecotool brushes, but I can’t complain about having another one around! Now onto the two more hit-or-miss products in the voxbox…

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This lipstick was the first thing I tried on when I received the products (even before I snapped a photo!) and it was initially so disappointing. The color is very pink, almost Pepto Bismol pink on my coloring. Not that I can blame anyone for not knowing what works with my summer complexion! It was mostly disappointing because it’s also super moisturizing.

After mulling it over for a few days, I decided to give the lipstick another go — this time as a cheek stain! I tend to favor powder blushes over creams, and peach tones over anything else, but had been meaning to pick up a pink cream blush…eventually. And this lipstick turned out to be perfect for that! It didn’t work on my lips, but it did on my cheeks. It helps that it’s not too shimmery too.

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After the initial disappointment with the lipstick I really wanted to love the eyeshadow. I don’t know why it didn’t photograph true to color, because it’s a beautiful purple. Seriously. And I also love purple shadows because they flatter all eye colors (but especially hazel eyes, like mine). Still, I don’t have much experience with cream shadows, so it seemed difficult to apply and kind of drying on my lids. Nonetheless, I appreciate the thought with all the creamy products — usually your best bet for the summer!

Did any of you receive the Mary Kay VoxBox? Is anyone interested in joining Influenster? Let me know (and I have invites!).

~ Sarah

I received these samples to test and keep from Influenster and Mary Kay, but the opinions in this post are honest and entirely my own. Besides the product, I was not compensated in any other way. Please read my disclosure policy here.

It Happened One Night

Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the 2011 Oscars

… and it was terrible.

That’s right, I’m talking about the 83rd Academy Awards.

For once, I don’t really have a problem with who took home Oscar gold this past Sunday. I didn’t pay as much attention to the smaller, technical categories as I usually do, and the major categories all went as predicted, with the exception of Tom Hooper’s well-deserved upset for Best Director. Anyway, what really went wrong wasn’t the awards – it was the telecast.

Let me explain. If people just wanted to know which movies and performances were the best of the best, well, an awards show like the Golden Globe circa the writers’ strike is fine. The Academy Awards are so much more. I’ve been watching them since I can remember, and to me, the Oscars are all about entertainment, glamour, the moment. I don’t know how else to explain it, but it’s a tradition I cherish.

But this year, it was pretty awful. Which is a shame, since it started so promisingly:

… well, actually Mark Wahlberg tried to warn us, and it’s not like Alec Baldwin was that great of a host last year. Sigh.

The ceremony was entertaining, but for all of the wrong reasons. If you didn’t watch, well, I can’t explain how awkward it was. (I’m sure my tweets may have helped.) I guess that’s what happens when at least one of your two hosts is under the influence (I’m talking about you, James Franco).

Besides the predictable awards and the miscasting of the hosts, I think the problem with the telecast is that it doesn’t know how to change. The Academy is always toying around with their production, like when they gave out technical awards in the aisles or the last couple of years when they had multiple presenters for the acting categories. Both of these changes were terrible. I guess they were meant to quicken the pace of the show, or build the drama.

This year, like Hathaway and Franco facetiously reminded us during their opening, was all about appealing the “young and hip crowd”. Which obviously explains why the presenters were constantly giving the audience history lessons about the technology behind movies. (Did you know that movies didn’t always have sound? Me either!) Or you know, auto-tune the most memorable scenes from… Twilight? It was like a bad SNL short. And since I’m such a traditionalist, I was pretty disappointed they didn’t show montages of the Best Picture nominees throughout the show. Not only do I love montages, but it almost lets you forget why you’re watching in the first place.

At least Anne Hathaway looked pretty, right?

The 83rd Academy Awards were memorable, but I wish I could forget them. The Academy better step it up, because the 85th Oscars, well, that’s a pretty big milestone. Find a formula, pick one host, and stick to it. Just don’t ask Franco back, okay?

~ Sarah