Minted: Unique (and Adorable) Journals & Planners!

A Little Paris NotebookI really love a great journal or planner.  Before I was blogging, I was definitely writing in journals (see my post about it here), so it’s no wonder that anytime I’m in a bookstore, stationery shop, or even a large chain retail store like Target, I’ll usually stop by the paper goods section to see if there’s anything cute.

Imagine my excitement when I was introduced to Minted, an online stationery store that is also a design marketplace.  They source fantastic creative content from a global community of independent artists and sell the best designs on paper goods, art and home decor.  For instance, check out that lovely journal in the picture above called “A Little Paris” by artist Sharon Rowan.  When you select your item, you can click on the link to get to know the artist, as well as see other items they have designed for Minted.

Planner Journal Options for MintedWhat I like the best about their journals and planners are the options provided.  Even though I’ve selected a weekly planner, I can also order a matching journal, which all can be personalized through color selection and by adding your name or even uploading your personal pictures (depending on the type of cover selected)! Additionally, the options change, depending on what kind of product you want.  I love stickers, so it’s great that once you choose the planner option, the stickers then become available.

A Little Paris Notebook stickers

There are so many products to choose from, including personalized name labels that are waterproof, dishwasher safe and non-toxic, which is perfect for when Dominic goes to school.  Since school starts in about a month for him, I’m definitely going to have a great time browsing through the site and seeing all the great products for the both of us at Minted!

(Also, if you like what you see as far as journals and planners, here’s a direct link to their collection:

FTC Disclosure:  I received credit as a courtesy to enjoy the site, but not as compensation for this post.  Although I did receive credit, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Nail Art: Stamp Collecting


I made my first attempt at serious nail stamping.  I’ve actually acquired several nail stamping discs over the last couple of years, played with the discs a bit, but that was the extent of it.  Recently, I received some really cute nail stamping discs from Born Pretty with British and French travel themes, so I wanted to try them out.


I really just jumped right in without thinking about placement, or knowing any kind of technique, which is why they look like a bad photocopy!  Since my first attempt was not what I had hoped, I went on You Tube and found several tutorials and new techniques to try out, which actually made the stamp art look like nail wraps.  I guess this means I’ll need better stampers to make this work.  I’ll definitely post pictures of my new and improved nail stamping art!

Kiss 100 Tips Curve OverlapAlso, I tried another fantastic product from Kiss, which I got for a steal at CVS with a coupon.  I really like the Kiss 100 Tips Curve Overlap nail tips because they are easy to cut & file to the size and shape that I want.  The glue provided is very strong, and I’m currently using the Real Life Brush On nail kit by Broadway nails to smooth out the nail tip.  But soon, I’ll move to Kiss’ acrylic fill kit for a more even surface (all the products I mentioned are available at

Just a reminder: if you like the Born Pretty nail stamps you see here, or if you are going to make a purchase from their site, Born Pretty has given Any Second Now readers a 10% discount by using CGG10 at check out.  Cheers!

FTC Disclosure:  I received product and was asked to review the product in return.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(Kiss 100 Tips Curve Overlap picture courtesy of BeJour)

Review: My First Corset!


The only times I’ve ever worn a corset was when I was in Shakespearean plays in high school and the costume called for it, or underneath my wedding dress.  I have not yet worn a corset as a fashion piece that I could incorporate into my wardrobe, although I’ve always wanted to!  So when I was contacted by the folks at to try one out for myself, I thought it was a great opportunity to style one, and to understand the whole “waist-training” movement.  I’m not sure that I will actually go that route, but I do love the way a corset looks, especially since I’m quite attracted to the gothic and steampunk looks of shows like Penny Dreadful.

I’ll be sure to post how I styled the awesome corset and boots I received from  But if you are interested in learning more about waist training, check out the article they provided below.  Cheers!

“Celebrities Who Wear Corsets

Have you ever considered sporting a corset to achieve a slimmer shape, but weren’t quite sure whether corsets were officially back in style? If so, wonder no longer. The waist-training movement, made possible with comfortable, steel-boned overbust and underbust corsets, is moving forward full-steam ahead. Not only are women around the world just like you leveraging the power of the waist training corset to achieve longer-lasting results, but celebrities are, too!

Corset Deal dual picture

Which celebs have been spotted embracing the waist training corset?

  1. Kim Kardashian

Kim has been an unabashed advocate of the waist-training corset, as her Instagram account will attest! Kim frequently wears underbust waist training corsets both atop and underneath ensembles to give her figure that extra advantage. By all accounts, it seems to be working!

  1. Jessica Alba

Few would guess just by looking at Jessica Alba that this actress is actually a mother of two. Her slim physique and tapered waist gives nothing away, thanks in part to the help of waist training corsets. Corsets are not only helping women accentuate the figure they already have, but are helping them regain core toning that can be lost after pregnancy.

  1. Lily James

Lily James, star of the 2015 movie Cinderella, also achieved her incredibly small waist with the assistance of a corset. The actress noted in an interview that while her waist is naturally small, it was only with a corset that she was able to create that now infamous tapered waist while in Cinderella’s ball gown.

  1. Beyoncé

Even the reigning Queen of, well, Everything is rumored to get a little help from shapewear like waist training corsets. Beyoncé has frequently worn costumes that involve corsets while performing on stage, but it’s believed that she also is a fan of the corset offstage, too. Like Kim, if her Instagram photos are any indication, the corsets are doing their job!

  1. Emma Watson

Yes, even Emma Watson has been spotted in a corset. While Emma’s corset ensemble appears to be more of a fashion choice than an attempt to train her waist, she still raises an important fact: corsets are fashionable! Thus, even if waist-training isn’t on your list of priorities, the corset is still worth considering for its fashion potential.

Ready to experience a waist training corset for yourself? Follow us to shop for corsets and learn more about their benefits!”

FTC Disclosure:  I received product and was asked to review the product in return.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

ASICS Opens at Carlsbad Premium Outlets!

ASICS grand opening Carlsbad

 A quick post to tell you all about a great offer to take advantage of over the weekend at Carlsbad Premium Outlets.  Cheers and have a great weekend!

“ASICS will open a nearly 3,000 square-foot store between Banana Republic and Calvin Klein.

Committed to developing the most advanced athletic products in the world, ASICS will celebrate their grand opening with special offers. From July 23 to 26, shoppers who spend $50 will receive $10 off. If they spend $100, they will receive $25 off, and shoppers who spend $150 will receive $35 off.

ASICS is an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano – a sound mind in a sound body. The store specializes in athletic shoes, apparel and accessories.”

For more up-to-date news and events, follow Carlsbad Premium Outlets online at and

Nail Art: “Real Life” Sparkle

14821432I tried something different than my normal nail care routine for artificial nails:  I did it at home!  I have these great nail wraps and stamp plates from Born Pretty that I would love to try without having to wait until my nails are the right length, or until I go into a salon just to get the acrylics.  So I tried the Real Life Brush-On Gel Nail Kit by Broadway Nails, which I recently purchased from Target.  They are very easy to use, but remember to re-apply the gel and activator once you file the nail seam to smooth out the nail tip.  This will help strengthen your nails for whatever polish or wrap you want to apply.

The result?  I think the pictures speak for themselves!  In fact, it worked out so well that I purchased two more kits.  So for the price of one salon visit, I get four complete nail changes.  But really, how absolutely pretty are these nail wraps from Born Pretty (available here)?  The pictures don’t nearly do these lovely wraps justice, and now I want to try all of the colors!

And remember, if you like the nail wraps you see here, or if you are going to make a purchase from their site, Born Pretty has given Any Second Now readers a 10% discount by using CGG10 at check out.  Cheers!



FTC Disclosure:  I received product and was asked to review the product in return.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(Rings from the WendyB Collection by Wendy Brandes)

#SaveTheSparkle: What Happens AFTER The Wedding?


I was recently asked by to share a story on how I continue to #SaveTheSparkle with my wedding and engagement rings, especially now that it’s well after the nuptual events.  I actually wear my rings daily and only take them off at home because of chores that involve water like laundry, washing dishes or bathing our son.  If I do have to clean anything using abrasives, I’m wearing gloves. This keeps cleaning my rings to a minimum, and they shine just as brightly as they did when we first got engaged and then married.

But I think #SaveTheSparkle can also apply to how we keep the sparkle in our marriage alive, and we do it by taking the time to incorporate what we love to do individually, into something we can do together.  For instance, the picture collage above is from this weekend, where we celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary.  My husband, Deon, had a golf tournament on our actual anniversary.  So we had my mom watch our boy and had a mini-holiday to celebrate our anniversary a day early with a lovely dinner out at a restaurant in Irvine, close to the golf course where he would play the following day.  This way, we still celebrated together, and he gets to do something he loves.  While at his tournament, I took the time to roam around Irvine and Costa Mesa, found an awesome record shop and got in some shopping.  I then had a quick dinner and read a book until it was time to pick up my tournament winning husband (see his winning result here)!  We were so happy at the end of our weekend because no matter what, spent it together.  We continue to do just that, turn events like his amateur golf tournaments (or golf playing in general) into full weekends, either alone as a couple or with our son.  In fact, they’ve become fun adventures, and you can find a few of them right here on my blog (like here, here and here)!

How do YOU #SaveTheSparkle?  Share your story in the comments below, or check out the hashtag to see how others are saving the sparkle!

Nail Art: Starry Night


Born Pretty has tons of great nail products, and I recently got to review quite a few new ones!  I’m a big fan of good nail wraps because they’re so easy to apply and in most cases, you can have instant nail art in about an hour!  These nail foil wraps based on Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” were so much fun, I wish my nails were a bit longer to capture the full effect!

I’ll be posting more reviews in the days to come as I try out more products, and I’ll even have my niece join in on the fun as well (she’ll be very excited)!  If you like any of the products you see here, or if you are going to make a purchase from their site, Born Pretty has given Any Second Now readers a 10% discount by using CGG10 at check out.  Enjoy!

FTC Disclosure:  I received product and was asked to review the product in return.  Although I did receive product, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.