FMM's Top 12 Posts of 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Wow, what a year it's been!  I thought i'd top off this amazing 12 months with some of my favorite posts!  It was quite the challenge deciding on which would make the cut, but... here they are in no particular order!  Here's to a whole lot of fun posts in 2013!  Happy New Year!  Which of my 2012 posts do you remember most? 

1.  French Bang Braid Tutorial (this post has received the most page views out of all of my posts!)
2. Fishtail Braid Tutorial
3. Incoco Nail Appliques
4. Side Swept Bun Tutorial
5. DIY Knotted Hair Ties
6. Beauty Chat with Allure at HBA Global Expo in NYC
7. Finding Beauty in Curacao - Inglot Haul
8. Deborah Lippmann's Reverse French
9. Deborah Lippmann - Lets Go Crazy
10. Nars Flowers 1 Palette- Andy Warhol Collection
11. How To Clean Makeup Brushes
12. Julep - Emilie

Thank you all SO MUCH for your love and support this year!  Cheers! 

Santa Baby!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Soooo Santa was real good to me this year!  Thought I'd share some of my favorite things with you!

The first thing was this STUNNING Anthropologie boho top.  It was on my wish list but was so expensive that i honestly didn't think I'd get it.  I screamed when i saw it!  I'm obsessed with it! 

The hubby got me the gorgeous chunky JCrew bracelet that I'd been drooling over for a while now!  He also gave me the Derek Lam slippers... they're so fun!  My parents, whom also gifted me with the gorgeous top, paired it with this super cute Anthropologie wristlet!  I'm so in love with it! 

I also received gift cards to Sephora, Target, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks... my friends know me so well!~  It was a wonderful Christmas!  The gifts were gorgeous, yes... but the memories made are priceless! 

FMM Turns ONE!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today is a very special day!  FMM turns ONE!  One year ago today, i sat in this very same chair, and set off on what would be a life changing journey for me.  You see, fashion and beauty have been a passion of mine since childhood.  While many of my teenage friends shopped their local drugstores for lipsticks and eyeshadow, i saved up every last penny i could get my hands on to splurge at the Nordstrom's MAC counter!  I studied fashion and beauty magazines as though they were college text books... still do!  I sketched many clothing in hopes of one day becoming a fashion designer.  I even attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) over the course of a couple of summers to indulge my love of fashion.  After college graduation, i decided to work in fashion.  Sadly, that dream went silent after September 11th.  It was a day that changed my whole life... i became petrified of traveling to NYC everyday.  So my life took on a different course.  One I'm incredibly proud of and happy with.  However, for years and years, i longed for something more.  I searched and searched, knowing one day, it would come to me.... and it did.  I'm honestly not sure why i didn't do this sooner, but perhaps i just wasn't ready.  But one year ago, i embarked on this wonderful journey.  I knew in my heart of hearts that this blog would be a tremendous success.  Not so much in the conventional term for success... but simply for what success means to me.  This blog has been a wonderful vehicle for me to share my innermost passions for fashion and beauty.  Interestingly enough, my initial intention was to create a fashion blog, hence the name.  But as the weeks and months progressed, i realized that beauty was my nitch and what i most loved to write about. 

My dream was completely validated when only two months into my blogging ventures, Allure Magazine selected my blog as an alternate in the beauty blogger awards.  I couldn't believe they selected my little blog out of thousands!   While i didn't make it to the actual competition, this selection alone was an incredible nod from the beauty Gods affirming that this was indeed what i was meant to do.  So much has come to fruition this past year.  I'd say that my absolute favorite venture was being selected to represent Allure Magazine and the HBA Global Expo in NYC.  Wow, talk about an amazing experience!  I am very much looking forward to the year ahead!  I look forward to new ventures, new opportunities, and most importantly providing my amazing readers with fun and informative material to read!  I thank each and every single one of you for your precious time... every comment, and every compliment validates all my time and effort.  Being a mommy sometimes poses its challenges when it comes to finding the time to post... but this sweet little blog of mine was the last piece of the puzzle i searched so long and hard for.  Now... I'm complete. 

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

If you're an eyeshadow lover, or better yet and Urban Decay Naked palette fan like me... you're gonna die of beauty lust when you feast your eyes on this beauty!  The Naked Basics palette consists of 6 pretty little neutral matte shades.  I've mentioned before that I'm a huge fan of shimmer, but matte shadows are essential for creating a flawless look.  In fact, i find myself reaching for my matte shadows a whole lot more these days!  These hues will complement any skin tone and will help you create anything from a simple clean look to a slightly more dramatic look if you wish.  I'm kind of in love with black eye shadow right now.  Yes, it may sound a bit dramatic, but if you apply it correctly, it can look incredibly sexy!  So did Santa leave one of these pretty babies in your stocking this year?  Tell me what you think!  Oh and i just spotted the Naked Basics nail polish set!  Wouldn't it look lovely with this palette?  I kinda need it now! 

Thank you so much for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM! XOXO Carla

Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I just wanted to take a few moments from this hectic yet wonderful and memory filled day to wish all of you who celebrate a very Merry Christmas!  I hope you all enjoyed this beautiful day with those you love most.  Our house was so filled with love today... we even booked our vacation to Europe!  Woohoo Oh and i'm pretty sure we are the only house where santa visits TWICE in one day!  Can we say spoiled?  I was beyond excited when i opened my gifts... there were some amazing unexpected goodies that i will soon share with you all!  Hint.... from my favorites store Anthropologie and JCrew!  I will leave you with these silly pictures from our Christmas card photo shoot!  The first was the winner... but i wanted to share with you the close runners up!  Merry Christmas everyone... now where's my coquito? Cheers!

Julep - Emilie

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last week, Pantone (the color forecasting Gods) declared that Emerald Green is 2013's color of the year!  You can imagine my excitement when my friends at Julep sent Emilie my way... a stunning emerald green!  The second it arrived, i ripped open the package and proceeded to my nightly manicure!  Yes, my nightly manicure... some people read, some watch TV, i paint my nails!  I find it therapeutic... don't judge!  I was immediately impressed by how well it applied.  One coat was enough, though two was perfection!  The texture was creamy and dried relatively quickly.  Here's another plus about this particular polish... it lasted at least 5 days.  I really wanted to test it's staying power and was nothing but impressed!

So i thought it'd be fun to showcase this stunner with a few of my favorite accessories!  I love emerald paired with blues, oranges and even leopard print!  Hey, I'm a proud Jersey girl!  So lets chat... what do you think of Pantone's choice for color of the year?  What emerald pieces will you be stocking up on for 2013?  Oh and are you a Julep Maven?  If not, sign up now!  Also, Julep is offering all FMM fans a 20% discount off of purchases of $20 or more.  Simply use code VIP20 at checkout.


Sorry for the spam but i kinda love how the pictures turned out and simply couldn't choose which to post... sooo i posted them all! Thank you Julep for sending me this great polish and for your continued support!  Thank you SO MUCH for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM.  XOXO Carla

FMM Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 - Wish List

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's hard to believe that Christmas will be here in ONE week!  So have you completed your holiday shopping?  I'm almost done but still have a few items on my list.  This time of year is so busy for me since my little girls' birthday is also in December!  It's hard to believe they're already FIVE!  Between party planning, holiday decorating, shopping, baking, working, blogging... it's what Rachael Zoe might call BANANAS!  But regardless of the craziness, I'm trying to enjoy and savor this special time with my family.  Today in particular, I'm grateful that i have my beautiful baby girls to hug and kiss.  Sadly, many families in CT can't say the same as their babies were so violently taken from them.  So rather then complain about the madness of the season, I'm going to simply say... I'm grateful that i have my beautiful family to share this special time with and make yet another Christmas filled with wonderful memories. 
So with no further ado... here are a few of my favorite things!

1.  TOMS 'Classic' Canvas Slip-On
2.  Tory Burch Haircalf Printed Priscilla Bootie
3.  UGG® Australia 'Ansley' Slipper in Light Grey
4.  TOMS 'Classic - Metallic Dot' Slip-On
5.  Lula glitter ballet flats
6.  Tory Burch Chelsea Ballet Flat in Flame Red

1.  Anthropologie Spangled Bobby Pin Set (I rock mine all the time!)
2.  J.Crew Classic Chunky Link Bracelet (I may have slipped a hint to my hubby on this one!)
3.  Tory Burch 'Cole' Logo Double Wrap Bracelet
4.  J.Crew Classic pavĂ© link bracelet
5.  Kate spade new york 'spade' thin hinged bangle
6.  Tory Burch Cole Enamel Stud Earrings

1.  Anthropologie Eileen Buttondown (I need this! Like really need it!)
2.  Tory Burch Satchel - Robinson Dome Large
3.  Anthropologie Stone-Dotted Wristlet (Totally asked Santa for this)!
4.  Anthropologie Tracing Stars Pouch (I purchased this for a friend but i wanna keep it!  Bad Carla!)
5.  Baggu for J.Crew
6.  Michael Kors Faux Fur Trim Poncho Sweater (I. WANT. THIS. NOW.)

1.  Kate Spade NY 'Ring' USB Drive (Because it's GENIUS!)
2.  Juicy Couture Faux Fur Headphone Ear Muffs ( I totally treated myself to these last year! So fun!
3.  J.Crew Printed Backup Battery for IPhone (O M G why didn't i know of this before?!)
4.  Rebecca Minkoff Pop Phone Handset
5.  Case-Mate® Monogram iPhone 5 Case (Nordstrom Exclusive) (Love Chevron!)

There you have it!  Some of my favorite things!  Hope you enjoyed!  Thank you SO MUCH for reading!  XOXO Carla

FMM's Holiday Beauty Gift Guide

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's that time of year again! Ahhh the beautiful sounds of the season are everywhere... the red cup is finally back and adorned by many Starbucks lovers.  'Tis the season for family, gifts, laughter and fun!  Well, that's all wonderful and dandy but lets face it... holidays can be STRESSFUL!  My girls just celebrated their 5th birthday and between planning that, recovering from Thanksgiving, decorating, sending out holiday cards and checking off all the people on my 'gift giving' list is making me seriously hyperventilate!  So, i thought I'd help you all out by sharing some of my favorite things with all of you in hopes that you can find some 'gift giving' inspiration for the special people in your lives.  I'll spend the next week or so dedicating my posts to all your holiday shopping needs! 

So here are a few of my favorite 'beauty' gifts to grace your favorite beauty mavens with!

I'm obsessed with Baublebar's collaboration with Essie!  Look at these amazing sets!!  I totally hope I'll have one of these in my stocking this year!

I completely fell in love with the Kate Spade NY 'Sprinkles' mini set!  Isn't it just delish?

I'm professed my love for Sheswai polish before here, but I'm crossing my fingers and toes that Santa sends me Winesnob and Rootsy!  I'm head over heels with both shades!!! 

I recently added Snow Angel Color Palette & Stay All Day™ Waterproof Volumizing Mascara to my collection and am completely smitten by the combination of delectable shimmers and stunning mattes!  At a mere $28 currently at Sephora, you can't afford not gift this beauty... heck at this price, you might as well snatch one up for yourself!  It's a total steal and an absolute must have!

I've adorned my lips with Stila glosses for years and years now!  Not only do they look great but they feel wonderful on my lips!  This pretty little set will delight even your pickiest of mavens! 

I just love Benefit cosmetics!  This 'She's So... Jetset" set looks uhhh-mazing!  Perhaps Santa will leave this cutie under the tree... for meeee!

I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay Palettes!  You've heard me chat about the Smoked Palette... even did a smokey eye tutorial!  I love my Naked 2 palette (still have to purchase the first Naked palette).  The Naked Basics palette by Urban Decay looks stunning!  So perfect for those days where you want to highlight your best features without overpowering them!  I. WANT. NOW.
If you're searching for the bomb bang diggity of eye cream, look no further!  This is a MUST on your list!  I'm a HUGE fan of Naturopathica products but this Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum is like nothing I've every EVER tried before!  Go ahead and add it to your list!

OK so i love NARS anything really, but every time i walk past this pretty "foreplay" palette, i play with it a little, perhaps give it a sniff or two and then put it back and walk on.... still... thinking about it and wishing it was mine!  This stunner has definitely been added to my list!

Well, i could chat beauty all day long!  There are so many other products I'd love to feature here but for now, I'll leave you with these.  Stay tuned for more holiday gift giving posts featuring my favorite accessories and fashion finds!  Thank you SO MUCH for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM!  XOXO Carla

**I photograph most of my material.  However for this post, all the pictures used have been borrowed from their perspective sites.  I have linked and credited all the editorial photographs in this post. 

Allure Beauty Enthusiast - Pantene Age Defy

Sunday, December 9, 2012

As an Allure Magazine Beauty Enthusiast, I've been graced with wonderful opportunities from attending a "meet and greet" at the Conde Naste Building (AKA Allure headquarters), to being an Allure Magazine panelist at the HBA Global Expo this past June in NYC.  My most recent task was to test Pantene's new line of hair care called Pantene Expert Collection Age Defy.  Allure sent me an Age Defy shampoo, conditioner as well as the Advance Thickening Treatment.  My job was to use the shampoo/conditioner at least 6 times consecutively.  I was also asked to use the thickening treatment every day.  Once my task was complete, i needed to report back to Allure all my thoughts on the products at hand. 

In all honesty, when i first received the products, i was a bit skeptical simply because many years ago I'd tried Pantene products, and they simply weren't a great match for my hair.  However, i committed to this task and wanted to give these products an unbiased fair chance.  So let me preface by saying that i can immediately tell if a shampoo/conditioner will work on my hair from the minute i apply.  The reason being that my hair is very thick and course, so if a shampoo/conditioner does not immediately smooth out and hydrate my hair... then it simply won't work for me.  Well, the very minute i applied this shampoo, i felt an immediate connection.  First, it smelled wonderfully light and not overpowering.  Second, it worked up a nice lather and my hair felt very soft.  I could easily run my fingers through it without any major tangling which completely impressed me.  Next, i applied the conditioner.  I left it on for a couple of minutes while i completed my shower/shaved etc.  When i rinsed it off, i combed my hair thoroughly in the shower and didn't even have to struggle with any unruliness!  My hair felt incredibly soft and super smooth... so far so good Pantene! 

I decided not to use any of my usual 'after shampoo' products so that i could truly put these products to the test!  I simply blow dried my hair and was incredibly pleased with the outcome.  My hair felt very soft and looked great!  I was very concerned about trying out the thickening treatment considering i have thick hair already.  But as i used it more and more, i felt that it actually worked for me.  I'll explain why... you see, although my hair is thick and dry for the most part, i do have some oiliness that builds on my scalp.  So there are plenty of times where a little dry shampoo gives me the help i need to even out my hair.  However, i felt that this product 'woke up' the hair on my roots leaving it more vibrant and not so flat in that area.  I simply dabbed a few drops of this on my hands and applied solely to my root area.  As an added bonus, this product left my hair smelling sooo good!  I also love that it's not greasy and has quite an interesting texture. 

Overall, i felt that this was a wonderful experience for me.  I typically spend a ton of money on hair products.   Thankfully now i know i don't have to!  These products worked very well for me and i have already purchased a second set as I'm really enjoying them.  I'm so grateful to Allure for sending these out to me because it opened my eyes to a brand that i would have otherwise skipped past in the store.  Now, i stop... and purchase!   So lets chat... have you tried these products yet?  What are your thoughts?  I'd love to hear them! 

You can purchase these products at your local drugstore or at Allure.

Thank you so much for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM!  XOXO Carla

Julep - Classic... With a Twist!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

For many years, I've considered myself to be classic with a twist.  This is why I'm a huge fan of stores like J.Crew that embody what my personal style is all about!  You'll find wonderful classic pieces with interesting color combinations and stand out accessories that give your otherwise outfit, well... a twist!  Last Spring, i discovered Julep!  In doing so, i was asked to take a profile quiz to determine what kind of "maven" i was.  Well, naturally i knew that i was Fashion Maven Mommy... but we need more clarity when it came to nail polish colors! So, i carefully selected all my favorite celebrity dos, accessories, looks, etc... and what do you know?  Even Julep knew that i am a 'classic with a twist' maven!  You'd think we've known each other for years right?  Well, I've been a loyal maven ever since and have loved all of my wonderful monthly selections! 

So i thought it'd be fun to highlight three colors that totally embody the "classic with a twist" look i love so much! 

Lets begin with Olivia... i fell instantly in love with this color not only for it's name (one of my twin girls is named Olivia), but because of the rich chocolate hue.  I mean, what girl doesn't love chocolate right? 


The next color, a rich plum, is called Gayle.  I've become a huge fan of deep aubergine hues and have been rocking them often this Fall. 

Doesn't it look gorgeous against this coffee cozy my mommy made for me?


The third color Catherine, is the epitome of classic... red that is!  Every maven needs a great red polish and this one does not disappoint!  Pair it with a great animal print or metallic for  a fun twist!

So these are my go to classic with a twist nail colors.  What are your go to colors?  Are you a Julep Maven yet?  If so, what kind of Maven are you?  If not, then stop reading and go sign up!!!! 

Thank you so much for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM!  XOXO Carla

Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub and Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener

Monday, December 3, 2012

'Tis the season... for dry hands that is!  It's a good thing I'm armed with Julep's Glycolic Hand Scrub and Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener!  These products have essentially become a staple in my Winter skincare routine!  So lets chat a little about each of these! 

I still remember the first time i tried the Glycolic Hand Scrub!  It came in my very first Julep Maven Intro Box!  It was truly love at first scrub!  So much so that I've kept one on my bathroom sink ever since.  You see, every time i wash my hands, i use this scrub to gently whisk away dirt and dead skin all while ridding my skin of flakiness!  Oh and may i also mention how uhhhh-mazing it smells??!!  YUM! 

Once the skin on my hands is nice and polished, i hydrate my hands with Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener.  This product is incredibly hydrating, absorbs easily and is long lasting.  I like to keep one on my night stand and one tucked away in my purse so that I'm never without my Winter shield!  I totally love that this lotion hydrates my hands without making them feel greasy!  I'm not a fan of greasy... though i can't imagine anyone that is!  These two products make the perfect marriage, working harmoniously to combat the effects of the cold weather on your hands.  Be sure to pick some up for yourself... your hands will thank you for it!  Oh and guess what?  If you use the special code VIP20, you'll get 20% off purchases of $20 or more!  Sooooo why not splurge on some for your friends as well... they'd make the perfect holiday gift.  Throw in a super cute Julep polish and you're all set! Click here and start shopping!

Thank you so much for reading!  Don't forget to become an official follower of FMM!  XOXO Carla

Preschool of Rock - Everything Makes a Sound!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Calling all mommies, daddies, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas and anyone with a special little one in their lives.  Do you cringe at the sound of the Wiggles?  No disrespect to them... i mean, I certainly appreciate their entrepreneurship skills, but honestly, if i hear "Fruit Salad" one more time, i may have to poke my eyes out!  But like any parent who loves their little one, you'll endure their music with a big smile on your face because you know it'll make your little Timmy happy!  Well, thanks to Preschool of Rock's Michael Napolitano, and his new CD "Everything Makes a Sound", you can now bid farewell to those cringe worthy moments!  Michael's talents have led him to work with the famous Blue Man Group in the Creative Production Department!  However, his talents date way back to the age of three, where one might find him spinning records on his Fisher Price record player!

This CD is filled with kid friendly, parent approved tunes that will have you and your little one jammin' all day long!  In fact, my girls can't seem to stop singing "Run Cupcake... Run" from the Cupcake Song.  I mean, what kid (and parent) doesn't love themselves a cupcake?  Another favorite in our household is the Safari Song, taking you on a little trip for some fun with your little one's favorite jungle animals!

The song 'Everything Makes a Sound' is composed using everything but conventional instruments!  Michael brilliantly illustrates how using a little creativity and imagination can provide you with wonderful tunes!  If you've got house keys, a book, compressed air, a paper towel, voices, whistles, tape, scratched glass, a bouncy ball, a glass jug, wrenches, clapping hands, an electric drill, knocking on wood, a chain and some rice... well then... you've got yourself a band, and a great song!

This CD, scheduled for release on December 4th, will be a life saver for me at home and at work!  As a mommy, i love watching my girls get down to some great tunes around the house!  It's a total bonus when the hubby and i actually enjoy the same music they do!   As a preschool teacher, i know that Preschool of Rock offers a unique, music based curriculum program that has been specially designed to align with NAEYC standards.  This CD will be a wonderful addition to my classroom, not to mention educational and loads of fun!

Nick Jr. listen closely, Michael's Preschool of Rock CD 'Everything Makes a Sound' is worthy of your consideration!  Move over Laurie Berkner Band!  Oh and DJ Lance Rock, watch out  'cause Michael would be the BEST addition to the Yo Gabba Gabba crew!

Be sure to pick up your very own copy of 'Everything Makes a Sound'!  This awesome CD will make the PERFECT stocking stuffer for the special little person in your life!  If you're interested in learning more about Michael's super fun music classes and shows, check out his Preschool of Rock website!