Loving Lately

Monday, August 15, 2016

Local Stops: Onyx Moonshine Speakeasy

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm always looking for fun and interesting places around New England to share with all my readers. This time I headed out to East Hartford, Connecticut to the Onyx Moonshine Speakeasy Tasting Room. Located in the back of an old factory, the Speakeasy is purposefully hard to find. Once you find the main entrance you make your way through a secret bookcase and into the Tasting Room. The $20 admission gives you a tasting and a tour where you learn all about the process of whiskey making. Although they have been producing the Moonshine for 3 years, the Tasting Room just opened around Christmas. The Speakeasy is filled with prohibition era antiques, some of which are family heirlooms of the owners which help give the place a really great atmosphere. 

During the tasting you start with a sample of the flagship Onyx Moonshine which is the base for everything that they make. This is made from shoepeg corn, malted barley, and fresh Connecticut spring water. The Moonshine is great on it's own and has a smooth, slightly sweet finish. It also mixes really well with all of the Ripe Bar Juices, which are available to mix with your tasting as well as purchase. Next, you taste the Onyx Apple Honey Infusion, their seasonal release for Autumn. This is made with Honeycrisp apples from Blue Hills Orchard in Wallingford, Connecticut. They actually get the first pick of apples from the farm, so this infusion is made with the best of the best. The apples are sliced up and steeped in high proof Onyx Moonshine with cinnamon for a week before it is blended down to proof with spring water. This one would be great mixed with apple cider or in a hot toddy in the fall. The next thing you taste is the Onyx Cape Cod Cranberry. For this one, the cranberries come from PJ's Cranberries in East Sandwich, Massachusetts. It mixes really well lemonade to make an adult version of a pink lemonade, but is also really great on it's own. The next one on the tasting menu is the Secret Stash Whiskey. This is Connecticut's first barrel aged whiskey. It starts off as the Onyx Moonshine at 120 proof, then it's placed in medium charred American White Oak barrels where it is aged. The next beverage on the tasting menu is the Whiskey Upgrade which has more of a scotch profile. As the Secret Stash Whiskey is aging, they taste it and if it has exceptionally good flavor it is set aside and aged for 30% longer, becoming the upgraded version. The last last thing you taste is a Daily Infusion. These are different everyday, so you never know what you're going to get. Everything is exceptionally smooth and I found myself thinking of fun cocktails that I could make with all of the products. They never add sugar to anything so you don't get that syrupy taste that some flavored moonshines have. Along with the tasting, you get to learn all about the process of making alcohol, and specifically whiskey through a tour with the distiller. The tour is both enjoyable and informative. Being able to take a peak behind the scenes lets you build a more personal connection to the company and the products. It also gives you a greater appreciation for New England as a whole knowing that the ingredients are all locally sourced whenever possible. 

Overall, I had a really great time. The staff at Onyx Moonshine is really friendly and knowledgeable. They've done such a good job of elevating the moonshine experience and making it something really special without making it feel stuffy. I'll definitely be back in! I brought home a bottle of the classic Moonshine as well as the Cranberry and two mixers. Keep your eyes pealed for the events they will be starting on Wednesday evenings like a mixology class, jazz night, and swing dancing. They also offer private events. It's a great place to keep in mind for fundraising events, holiday parties, birthdays, showers, corporate retreats, team building, and any other events you can think of. 

You can find the Moonshine at liquor stores and bars in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. Check their store locator for specific locations. 

Onyx Moonshine Speakeasy Tasting Room
64D Oakland Avenue 
East Hartford, CT 

Special thanks to Onyx Spirits Co for being such great hosts! 

JORD Watches + Giveaway!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I am always looking for unique accessories to add to my ever growing collection. So, when JORD contacted me about featuring one of their watches, I jumped at the chance. They make gorgeous handcrafted wood watches for women and men. The designs are classic, but still different enough that they are a conversation starter. They have a variety of combinations with different kinds of wood and colored faces, from bright and bold, to understated and neutral. So, there is something for everyone. You can see their full women's collection here. I'm wearing the Cora Watch in Zebrawood and Turquoise. My favorite thing about this watch is the little details: the Swarovski crystals, the little windows on the front and back that let you see the inner workings of the watch, the pop of color on the face, and the rawness of the wood.

I also think one of these watches would make a really great gift. They arrive in a wooden box with extra links on a little herringbone pillow, so you wouldn't have to do much to make gifting it to someone special. It's sure to be an extraordinary piece that they will treasure for years to come.

Giveaway: JORD has generously offered to give one of you a $75 voucher to put toward your own JORD watch. Simply follow this link and you will instantly be entered. But that's not all, even if you lose JORD is giving every single person that enters a $20 e-gift card that will be valid for 3 months. The giveaway ends on Friday, July 22.

What I'm Wearing: 

Wooden Watch Review

Disclaimer: I received a free watch in exchange for this post, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support Petite in Pearls.

Watermelon Margarita Pops

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Watermelon season is in full swing! It's definitely one of my favorite summer treats. Sometimes I find myself with a really ripe watermelon that I can't possibly finish eating before it goes bad. I was faced with this problem a few days ago, and wanted to come up with a way to get some of it in the freezer so it wouldn't go to waste. I ended up coming up with this popsicle recipe that mixes two of my favorite refreshing summer pleasures: watermelon and margaritas. I hope you enjoy and I'd love to hear your watermelon recipes down in the comments! 

Ingredients (Makes approximately 10 pops): 
2 cups pureed watermelon
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup silver tequila 
2 TBS triple sec
1 TBS lime zest

First, puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor and pour through a strainer (to make sure there aren't any seeds in your pops) into a large pitcher or bowl. Then stir in sugar, lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and lime zest. 

Next, pour into popsicle molds and set in freezer for about an hour. You need the pops to freeze a little bit before you try to put the popsicle sticks in, otherwise they will just fall over. After an hour mine were ready for the sticks to be put in. If you are using a mold that has a built in stick and drip tray, you can just skip this step. Place the popsicles back in the freezer for about 4 hours or until completely frozen. 

To get the popsicles out of the mold once they are frozen, either run under warm water or dip in a large bowl of warm water for a few seconds and they should slide right out. 

You can either enjoy as is, or whip up a less sweet version of this mixture, pour in a glass, and place the popsicle in to chill and sweeten. Enjoy responsibly! 

A Little Life Update

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

You may have noticed that I have been a little MIA for the past week and a half, so I just wanted to give you guys a little update. I will be getting back into my regularly scheduled blog posts next week.

At the end of June I drove down to New Jersey to visit a longtime friend. We met at a concert when I was in high school and have remained friends. We still enjoy going to concerts together so we drove down the see blink-182 in Pennsylvania. It was strange to see a band like blink-182 playing in such a small venue when they usually sell out huge arenas that hold tens of thousands of people. We had a lot of fun and met up with another friend that we met at a wine mixer the next night for dinner. 

I came home on the weekend and then had surgery to remove the screw in my left foot on Monday. My foot had been swelling and turning blue and causing a lot of pain, which could have been a reaction to the screw so we took it out to see if it will help. Then on Tuesday the new puppy came! I'd like to introduce you all to Yuki. She's also an Alaskan Klee Kai but she's grey and white with blue eyes. So I've had my hands full with my foot recovery and taking care of a new puppy. I had my stitches taken out yesterday and am finally getting back into my normal routine. So I'll see you here next week! 

June Beauty Favorites

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's time for another installment of my monthly beauty favorites! This month the products come in at all different price points, so there's something for everybody. I am bringing this post to you a little early because I am having surgery on Monday and won't be able to get it up next week, but I have been trying these products out for over a month. Let me know what you guys are loving this month, if you have tried any of these products, or if there's something you would like me to test out and review down in the comments! 

I was so excited to try out some products from Tata Harper because they're based in Vermont. This lip and cheek tint is 100% natural and nontoxic. I tried it in the shade Very Charming, which they describe as a classic petal pink. It's definitely the perfect everyday color for me. It's easily blendable and hydrating which gives your skin a beautiful natural flush. It also looks really good on your lips; I love a good product that multitasks! Also, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous, which I know is important to some people. The jars are glass, which is great so product doesn't get contaminated with chemicals in plastic, but I'm always afraid I'm going to drop them because I'm so clumsy so I just have to be extra careful.

I've also been trying out the Tata Harper Very Illuminating Highlighter. I had been on a mission to find a really good, and natural cream highlighter, so I am happy that I found this one. This is a gorgeous pearlescent illuminator. It's creamy, hydrating, and very blendable. It leaves your skin with a natural healthy from the inside glow. I also found it to be very buildable if you are looking for a less subtle look. It's long lasting and wears really well. I can't wait to try more products from Tata Harper. Next on my list is the Natural Lip Treatment Set and some of their skincare products. 

You may or may not know this, but I am obsessed with coconut lime scented everything. The first time I opened this lotion I think I stood there for 5 minutes just smelling it out of the bottle. It smells SO good. This lotion absorbs quickly and leaves your skin hydrated without feeling greasy. They have a ton of scents to choose from if coconut lime isn't your thing, but if it is, I highly recommend this one. It's under $13 so it's also budget friendly. Just so you know, all Deep Steep products (including the ones I mention later) are 100% free of synthetics (including fragrance and dyes), vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, paraben free, and cruelty free. 

This has easily become my new favorite lipstick. It's the perfect neutral pink. It has no shimmer so it's perfect for everyday. It gives you that "your lips but better" look. Audrey is the swatch on the bottom in the picture below. They say that it is great for all skintones and have some photos on their website that you can see at the link above of it on different skin colors, but I can only vouch for it being a perfect color on myself. The formula has some slip and glides on wonderfully. It doesn't just sit on top of your lips like other natural lipsticks I've tried. It's creamy and hydrating leaving your lips in better condition than when you first applied it. All of the products from Red Apple Lipstick are handcrafted in the USA. They are gluten free, paraben free, allergy free, cruelty free, non-GMO, and corn free so you can feel good about using them. 

Unpinkable is the swatch on the top in the image above. This shade seems to have better lasting power than the Audrey, I think because it's a brighter shade and very pigmented so it leaves more of a stain on your lips. It's a wonderful bright pink option if you're not looking for something really bright or if you are looking for a pink with cool undertones this would be a great one to try. 

This body butter is thick and creamy but absorbs quickly leaving a beautiful scent on your skin. It's thicker than the body lotion and takes an extra few second to massage into your skin, but I don't mind that. I had recently tried an all natural body butter by another brand that was half the product for triple the price, and it made me laugh. They had very comparable ingredients only the other one had a funky smell. I would never purchase the other one with my own money. This one on the other hand, I want to try in every scent they have available. This would make a great treat for yourself or a gift for someone else. 

I got the Honeydew - Spearmint scent which is so refreshing and perfect for summer. It's a unique scent combination that you don't find very often. As is the case with all body mists the scent doesn't last a really long time. However, it's under $10 so you don't have to feel guilty about generously reapplying it. You can see that I've used quite a bit of it over the past month. It's so hard to find a body mist that doesn't contain artificial fragrance and/or colors, so this was an exciting discovery. The body mist also comes in other scents including vanilla, passion fruit guava, lavender chamomile, and grapefruit bergamot. I wish it came in the coconut lime, I would probably buy it in bulk. 

Disclaimer: Products in this post were gifted in exchange for review consideration. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Petite in Pearls. 

Crane & Lion Activewear

Monday, June 20, 2016

Nothing motivates me to workout more than cute new activewear. Crane and Lion is easily becoming one of my new favorite brands. They are located (and everything is designed) in Boston. They design for the sophisticated, active woman. They hand select high quality fabrics that can carry you from errands to yoga or jogging. They are soft, lightweight, and high performing. My absolute favorite thing about Crane and Lion is the little details they add to each garment that elevates the activewear and sets them apart from other brands. I'll definitely be adding more of their stuff to my collection soon! 

What I'm Wearing:

Tank: Crane & Lion c/o | Capris: Crane & Lion c/o | Sneakers: New Balance | Water Bottle: S'well