June 26, 2017

Delicious marinade recipes that are simple and easy

delicious marinade recipes

Nothing says summer like dinner on the grill. While you can grill without a marinade and still end up with a delicious meal, marinading your meat and/or veggies before grilling can amp up the flavor and tenderness of your meal by a thousand (especially if you are buying cheaper, tougher cuts of meat). There are so many easy and delicious marinade recipes available nowadays. So many in fact, that it can actually be overwhelming when looking through recipe forums like All Recipes or Pinterest.

To prevent PMSM, or perfect marinade search meltdown, I have compiled a list of the most popular marinade recipes by food category. I put ** next to the recipes I personally tested and love, but all of these marinades are great for taking more affordable cuts of meat to the next level of yumminess.

Easy & delicious marinade recipes

There is no point in buying inexpensive meat then soaking it in a complicated marinade that calls for a ton of ingredients, or ingredients you’ll probably never use again (candied ginger anyone?).  All of the marinades below consist of six or fewer ingredients and call for everyday items that most of you may already have in your pantry!

Beef marinades

Coca-Cola Steak Marinade

Basic Bulgogi Steak Marinade (Sounds weird, but trust me it’s DELICIOUS)***

Chicken marinades

Sticky Sweet Korean Chicken Marinade***

Honey Balsamic Chicken Marinade

Shrimp marinades

Sriracha Peach Shrimp Marinade***

Honey Garlic Shrimp Marinade***

Vegetable marinades

Balsamic Vegetable Marinade***

Lemon-Soy Sauce Veggie Marinade

Tofu marinades

Tandoori Tofu Marinade

Vegan Peanut Sate Marinade***

I hope these quick, easy and delicious marinade recipes help jazz up your grilled meals repertoire. Do you have an easy marinade recipe that your family looks forward to every summer? If so, be sure share it in the comments below!



June 11, 2017

Vacation in a bottle…Pretty summer fragrances

summer fragrances

Ah, like the Bananarama song goes…”It’s a cruel, cruel summer…” (I totally just dated myself, but I love the 80s!) Fortunately the latest round of summer fragrances are tropical enough to transport you from your non-air conditioned living room or stuffy cubicle into a breezy, tropical paradise. The kind of paradise where your only worries are whether you have enough SPF on and why there isn’t an umbrella in your drink….(probably because it’s 9am on a Monday and your boss or kids would judge you…weirdos.)

Anyhoo, I have rounded up my favorite beauty products to use in the summertime, including several perfumes, body lotions, and a wash/scrub combo. The items below may smell like an expensive island vacation, but they are much more affordably priced (at $25 or less) so you can put more money in your real vaca fund!

Pretty summer fragrances

summer fragrances

Product details clockwise from top right:  Ulta Aloha Pineapple Body Butter $8,  Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill Shower Gel $21,  Pink Fresh & Clean Vacay Body Mist $18,  Cliffside Coast Perfume Ocean Sea Salt $25, Me! Bath Summer Rain Shower Sherbet $19Watermelon Bath Bomb $4Pink Beach Flower Wash & Scrub $19,  Bath & Body Works Waikiki Beach Lotion $14, Bvlgari Aqua Marine Fragrance Spray $15.

June 21st marks the first day of summer but you don’t have to wait that long to slather yourself in the fresh, relaxing and tropical scents of summer. Mahalo!




Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of each item sold- it does not change or increase the price of the product whatsoever. 

June 7, 2017

The patriotic outfit you can wear all summer!

I totally get the 4th of July themed tops and accessories for kids, and maybe even teens. But I have a hard time buying clothing that you can only wear once or twice per year. Not to mention, every time I see holiday themed garments I am reminded of my grandma (and now my mom) who, like most people over sixty, have at least three Christmas-themed sweaters that they did NOT buy in irony at GoodWill for an “Ugly Sweater” party.  I need a patriotic outfit I can not only wear for Memorial Day and the 4th of July but all summer long.

I figured out the perfect outfit combination for any patriotic celebration a few years ago, and the beauty of it is that you can also wear the same outfit all summer without looking like a walking American Flag. Or your grandma.

The perfect patriotic outfit you can wear all summer

patriotic outfit

Item details clockwise from top right: Dolce Vita Sleeveless Lace Back Top $52, Max Studio Ruffled Off Shoulder Blouse $37, Rosegal Scalloped Crochet Blouse $17, Joan Vass Split Neck Blouse $44, Lattice Bar Inset Crepe Tank $20, Rosegal Lace Trim Off Shoulder Blouse $17.

So you can probably tell by the image above the formula is this: white top + jean shorts + red bandana. Easy peasy. Even if you don’t have long hair you can wear a bandana, either on your head, or tied around a straw hat. You can also use a cheap red ribbon as a belt if you are truly anti hair accessory. The beauty of this formula is that you look patriotic on Memorial Day and the 4th of July, but no one is going to look sideways at you if you wear it any other day during the summer, especially if you wear a different colored bandana or change out the bandana for another accessory like a cute fedora or dangly tribal earrings. I’m so sure you can get amazing mileage (read: cost per wear) out of this outfit I went over my $50 limit (by $2) on one of my suggested picks above!

You can get a cheap bandana almost anywhere, but I got mine from Walmart. As for cute jean shorts, if you don’t already own a pair I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.

Cute jean shorts to complete your patriotic outfit

patriotic outfit

Item details from left to right: Jennifer Lopez Cuffed Boyfriend Short $33, Gap Factory Destructed Denim Short $17, Juicy Couture Bermuda Jean Short $33.

I love outfits that are cute and mom appropriate, and I love outfits that you can get a ton of wear out of, and this patriotic outfit formula is the perfect combo of both!



P.S. Rosegal has a sale on right now with $5-$15 off your purchase AND free shipping!

June 5, 2017

Father’s Day gifts for all kinds of dads!

Father’s Day is coming soon and if your dad is anything like my dad he is really hard to shop for. Most dads fall into one of two categories- there is the “I don’t need anything” dad or the “really, I don’t need anything” dad. But I know that even though he doesn’t need anything, he deserves a fun, unique and most of all useful Father’s Day gift – so I set out on a quest to find some cool gifts in a variety of themes. And in true Faking Fancy style, none of these gifts are over $50!

Cool Father’s Day gifts he’ll actually love!

Father's Day

For the sci-fi/techie dad: Asos Star Trek shirt $23, Casio Calculator Chronograph watch $16

For the car-loving dad: TeNeues Luxury Toys book $32, Lucky Brand Nascar shirt $18

For the carnivore dad: Socksmith Spam men’s sock $10, The Little Bacon cookbook $13

For the liquor connoisseur dad: Etched Globe Whiskey Decanter $18, Trouva Granite Whiskey Stones $19

My dad actually falls under a couple of these categories and he doesn’t really have many any hobbies, so I hope these gift ideas come in handy for you as well! Remember, when your dad says, “Really you shouldn’t have- I don’t need anything”, just hug him and make him open it anyway – he’ll love it just because it’s from you.:)

Still at a loss? Check out my post here for even more fun and affordable gift ideas for dads!




Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which this means I get a small percentage of each product sold- this does not affect the price of the product for you the consumer.

June 2, 2017

Pom love! My favorite pom tassel trimmed fashion & decor

pom tassel
I don’t know what it is about poms that appeal to me so much. They are just so stinking cute. They have the ability to transform even the toughest, edgiest pieces of clothing into something more whimsical and fun. Below is a list of my favorite pom tassel fashion and accessories. As most of my loyal readers know, I try to keep the price point for any clothing or accessories I promote on this blog to $50 or less. But in this post, I managed to even outdo that and keep everything under $30! All that cuteness for under $30? You are welcome.

Pom tassel trimmed fashion for spring and summer

pom tassel

Details (clockwise from top right): Lulu’s Pina Colada Clutch $21, RoseGal Beach Tunic $9.99,  Shiraleah Ava Pouchette $25, Forever21 Striped  Pom Tassel Dress $28, Charlotte Russe Two-Piece Sandals $20, M. Haskell for Inc. Multicolor Necklace $26, DollSkill Sun Hat $14, WearAll Strappy Chiffon Tassel Tank $22.

Some fun pom DIY

pom tassel

I saw this wreath on Pinterest a few years ago and HAD to make it. It turned out gorgeous and I use it every Christmas as an indoor decor. You can vary the colors to match any holiday, like this Halloween wreath and this Patriotic themed wreath.

pom tassel

This pom garland would be so precious hung up in a nursery, or used as decor at a baby shower! Again by changing the colors, you can make it appropriate for so many other uses.  Try peach, aqua and gold for a little girl’s room or black and orange for a Halloween themed garland. The possibilities really are endless. I also looooove this pom rug! It looks so soft and comfy, perfect as a bathroom mat on cold tile floors.

So get your pom pom on girl! Pom trimmed clothing, accessories and decor are fun and appropriate no matter what your age, sex, income bracket, etc…They are universally cute!



May 26, 2017

Decorating a pretty patio on a budget

With summer coming I have really, really been itching to renovate my patio. Right now it’s tan and red color scheme, mostly because that is the color of the cushions on the faux wicker patio set we bought four years ago (from Big Lots for like $200!). Lately, I have been loving the color combination of turquoise and lime green – it just sings summer to me! Our patio and our budget are tiny, so using the following Pinterest images for inspiration I searched for a way to get my dream outdoor space…

My patio design inspiration…

Photo courtesy of houseofturquoise.com


Photo courtesy of 21rosemarylane.com


Photo courtesy of refreshrestyle.com

My picks for a pretty patio on a budget


Sweet Summertime “Hello Summer” Outdoor Plaque, $5


Mainstays Teal Chevron Pillow 2 Pack,  $10.53


Pillow Perfect Outdoor Bench Cushion, $49


Wilson & Fischer Turquoise Lattice Garden Table, $24


Vintage Home Decor Gold Pineapple Pillow, $2


Happy Peace Statue, $13 (I’d spray paint it lime green to make it more whimsical)


Small faux succulents, $1

I have two whitewashed wooden shelves that used to be in our master bathroom. I’ll ask my hubby to hang them up on the one free wall on our patio and then I will place three of these small faux succulents on each shelf.  I’m not a very savvy gardener to the faux succulents are the perfect way to add more green to my outdoor living area without worrying about actual gardening.


Photo courtesy of Beth Schoepflin

Our view includes about ten acres of protected swampland, and one of the area’s three lakes are just down the street from us, so mosquitos are rampant during the summertime. To add more green and keep the mosquitos at bay I’ll get a pretty lemongrass plant like the one above.  Pots for larger plants can get expensive so I’ll probably get a cheap plastic or terracotta pot and spray paint it turquoise or lime green.

DIY projects for a pretty patio

Photo courtesy of fantabulosity.com

Our outdoor space gets a LOT of direct sun most days. We had thought about getting some outdoor rolling blinds, but these outdoor curtains are way dreamier! The DIY tutorial on them looks pretty easy as well! The author of the tutorial says she created the beautiful curtains above for $500, but I would only need 2-3 small panels on the side facing the sun (versus around the entire patio) so I think I can get it done for less than half of that.


Photo courtesy of flavour andsavour.com

I love these citronella luminaries for keeping mosquitos away as well. They are not only beautiful they use all natural essential oils to keep your space insect free!

I hope to send you before and after shots once my dream patio renovation is complete. If you have some creative ideas for redoing or renovating your outdoor space this summer feel free to share them below!






May 19, 2017

Faking an endless summer wardrobe

How do you fake an endless summer wardrobe you ask? By renting it of course! If you missed my initial blog post announcing my love for Le Tote you can see it here. Basically, Le Tote is a clothing rental service that offers a variety of monthly subscription boxes, called “totes”. You fill out a brief style profile for the Le Tote stylists to work with when putting your tote together.  To ensure a tote of items you really love, you can also curate a wish list of specific pieces from their online catalog. Le Tote has a vast catalog of items to choose from, both clothing items and accessories like jewelry and handbags.

I will probably be getting a new tote each week, which means for $49 a month I will be wearing about $200 in clothing and accessories each week. The best part? I don’t have to worry about washing or storing these items after I wear them. I just place them in the prepaid return envelope, mail them, and wait for my new tote to arrive!

My summer wardrobe picks from Le Tote

Below is a list of items I will be renting this summer from Le Tote:

summer wardrobe

Calvin Klein Bermuda Short (Retail $60)

summer wardrobe

Max Studio Halter Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Boho Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

Sanctuary Camo Short (Retail $79)

summer le tote

1 State Confetti Halter Top (Retail $79)

summer wardrobe

Jessica Simpson Striped Tank (Retail $30)

summer wardrobe

Ava Ruffle One Shoulder Top (Retail $58)

summer wardrobe

Eliza J Off Shoulder Dress (Retail $138)


Johanne Beck Cascade Dress (Retail $140)

summer wardrobe

Tart Sleeveless Printed Romper (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Belted Knit Dress (Retail $98)

This list does not include the jewelry and handbags in my virtual Le Tote closet. But these Octavia & Co. earrings, Kate Spade bangle, and House of Harlow necklace are my most anticipated summer rentals.

Get $25 off your first tote!

Want to build a virtual closet and fake an endless summer wardrobe with Le Tote? It’s free to join and browse their catalog, just click here! If you sign up for one of Le Tote’s monthly subscriptions be sure to use this link to get a $25 credit off your first tote!

Looking for more chic summer fashion? Check out my post on gorgeous but affordable swimsuits and my post on the Holy Grail of summer shoes, the nude sandal.



May 12, 2017

Easy wedding hairstyles you can do yourself!

easy wedding hairstyles

Depending on the bride, hair and makeup can be even more important than finding the perfect dress. To make sure they look their best on their special day, most brides book experienced and oftentimes, very expensive hair and makeup artists.  I was lucky enough to have my cousin Kendy, a truly talented hair stylist, do my hair for my wedding day. Because we were on a strict budget for the wedding, had my cousin not been available, I most likely would have ended up doing my hair myself.  To help other brides on a budget who are not fortunate enough to be related to a professional hair stylist, I have compiled a list of gorgeous and easy wedding hairstyles, along with easy step-by-step tutorials that make doing your own bridal “do” a piece of cake!

Easy wedding hairstyles

Most of these hairstyles can be worn anytime, not just at a wedding or special event. The trick to transforming a regular hairstyle into “wedding hair” is the accessories. Be it a rhinestone headband, birdcage veil, or a floral halo, accessories are the key to making a pretty hairstyle special event worthy. Below are a few of my favorite bridal hair looks, followed by a couple of super easy hairstyle tutorials from hair guru and beauty blogger, Kate Bryan.

easy wedding hairstyles

I love the casual elegance of this low messy bun with a loose crown braid. Like I mentioned above, this could easily be an everyday hairstyle, but add some bling or a sprinkling of baby’s breath, et voila, gorgeous bridal hair.

easy wedding hairstyles

Half up hairstyles are a great option for girls who aren’t used to wearing their hair up, but still want a style that is fancier than their everyday hair down style.

easy wedding hairstyles

This last look is perfect for the Bohemian bride. It’s romantic and free-spirited style would fit in perfectly with an outdoor or garden-themed wedding. Flowers and/or ribbons are a must for making this casual style appropriate for a special event.

Tutorials for easy wedding hairstyles

I’ve showcased Kate’s hairstyle tutorials on this blog before, but only because they are seriously so easy to follow, and this is from a girl who is all thumbs when it comes to hair.

Kate has tutorials for almost every kind of hairstyle you’d need for a pretty wedding do. The bow style below is one of my favorites, and would be perfect with a dress that had a low cut back.

So if you don’t have the money to hire a professional stylist for your hair on your wedding day DON’T FRET! Simply pick an easy style from the options above (or another pretty style from Pinterest) and hit up Kate’s Youtube channel for a detailed video tutorial that virtually walks you through recreating the wedding hairstyle of your dreams.

If you are in the market for some affordable but glamorous hair accessories check out these beauties below!

easy wedding hairstyles

Flower rhinestone bridal hair comb, $5.99

easy wedding hairstyles

David Tutera Birdcage veil, $13.84

easy wedding hairstyle

Peach rose crown halo, $8.99 (Tip: add in real flowers between the fake ones for a gorgeous floral halo at half the cost!)



April 26, 2017

Pretty spring makeup- a bright lip is it!

bright lip

Bright lipstick is my Holy Grail beauty product. When I’m in a hurry and I don’t have much time to do my makeup, I put on a bright lip color. Add some tinted CC cream and a swipe of mascara and BAM, I’m done! Ha-ha, just kidding… Like I would ever leave the house without concealer. My neighbors would think I inhaled bath salts and zombie-fide myself. But I digress… If you want to look polished, but don’t have time to painstakingly follow the twenty-something steps in your average Jaclyn Hill makeup tutorial, just throw on a bright lip. Of course, if you do have the time then, by all means, hit up Youtube and watch y’all some Jaclyn, she’s insanely gorgeous and her tutorials are the bomb.

So many women are afraid they cannot pull off a bright lipstick. They think it will draw too much attention to any flaws in their complexion or facial features. But while a bright lip certainly draws attention, it mostly does so to your mouth alone, which means it can actually help detract from a multitude of other sins. Keeping the rest of your makeup fairly simple means you can wear it during the day, even running errands or the office. Just add some winged eyeliner and you’re ready for a hot date, fundraising gala, red carpet event…

My bright lip picks

Below are the lipstick and lip glosses I use when creating a fab bright lip. All of them can be found at your local drugstore for under $10:

bright lip

I actually have this $5.99 Whipped Lip and Cheek Souffle from NYX in both Pink Lace (above) and Pink Cloud, a pretty pale pink color. I use the Pink Cloud as a blush – it’s  a perfect dupe of the $40 YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Frivole Rose. That’s a $34 savings- insert virtual mic drop here.

bright lipThis gorgeous hot pink from L.A. Girl is called Bliss and reminds me a lot of the $17 MAC lipstick Fusion Pink, only it’s a much cheaper $3.99.

This glamorous red from the Rimmel Provocalips line has the greatest name, “Kiss Me You Fool”. Ah, if I had a nickel…It looks like the lip color Sienna Miller is wearing in the collage above. Bonus- it’s long wearing and only $6.99.

bright lip

I think this bright pink lip stain from J. Cat is pretty close to the bombshell shade Emma Stone is wearing here. Only I doubt she is wearing a $5.00 lipstick. Welllll, she could be…she seems like the kind of girl who wouldn’t poo-poo drugstore items. Unless of course she swallowed one. (Yeah, I went there…)

bright lip

This beautiful fuschia-red from Fiona Stiles is normally $16, but right now it’s on sale at Ulta for only $8.00. Most of the other lipsticks shown here are matte, but this Hydrashine lip color is creamier and glossier, while still delivering a brightly pigmented look.

I’d be remiss if I did not include the iconic Fire & Ice lip color from Revlon for $8.49. This orange-based red that first made its appearance in 1952 looks like it might make your teeth appear more yellow, but it doesn’t seem to do that to my less than snow-white teeth, and it is flattering on a variety of skin tones.

bright lip

And last but certainly not least, is this $7.99 Electric Pink from Maybelline New York’s Color Sensational line. Despite its name, it’s one of the most wearable brights in my makeup bag. Because it is a matte shade, the color is a muted bright making it appropriate for everyday wear. And, take it from a consummate lip licker (uh, my own, jeez), it lasts much longer than most long-wearing lipsticks out there.

So the next time you’re out of time, or the next time you need a pop of color to brighten up your makeup look, try one of these super affordable bright lipsticks above!





April 20, 2017

When GMA calls your house…the effect of viral social media

viral social mediaSo in case you haven’t seen the video about the Starbucks barista who rants against the new Unicorn frappuccino, it’s posted below.  My connection to it? My stepson Braden is the barista, lol. Apparently, the video went viral and was picked up by USA Today off of Twitter and the social media ball just rolled from there. About an hour after the USA Today story hit the internet, people from as far as Ireland started calling Braden asking for radio interviews. A producer from Good Morning America called the home phone to ask him for a statement and his video was aired on GMA the next day, with Michael Strahan saying he was going to watch it again because he’d never seen anything so funny.  Let me tell you, the effects of viral social media are insane people.

My husband is panicking because, like any 19-year-old, my stepson sometimes speaks before thinking. Hence the rant on social media against a product his own employer makes…cough. But hopefully, the increased publicity and increased sales (everyone we know is already planning on hitting Starbucks later to order ten of these…) will be enough to save his job. Starbucks corporate met with him and insisted Braden pull the video from all social media to stop any negative publicity, but it was already out there, already viral, there was no stopping this train… While Braden complained about how hard and messy the drink was to make in his “rant’, he did not bring up the sugar content, which is what most of the backlash against the drink is about.

Being a blogger means I deal with social media all the time, but this viral video is one more example of how powerful social media can be. Should you film some crazy rant about the price of Urban Decay eye palettes while dressed like a pineapple and hope it goes viral? No. But if you are getting frustrated with your results on social media remember that being famous for laughing hysterically like Chewbacca can work for some people, but it’s probably not the kind of attention that will help promote your blog in a positive light. Instead, think about producing videos with DIY instructions or tutorials for things related to your blog. This is what has made people like  Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota attain celebrity status. Still plagued with questions on how to use social media to promote your blog? Check out this article by the Social Media Examiner.

The effects of viral social media

While Braden is a good looking and very personable kid with an amazing heart, we don’t want him to become “William Hung famous” (famous for being a little ridiculous). Advice on how to counsel him about properly managing this sudden attention would be greatly appreciated below!  For any inquiries related to this video, please contact press@starbucks.com.



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