Sentimental Lip Crayon


I tend to wear brighter-bolder lipstick during the fall and winter months; I think it just comes with the territory of cold weather. This is my favorite time of the year and I have always loved the new shades of lipstick that come out.

Even though I look forward to the new shades of lipstick every year, there is one shade  that I will always repurchase time and time again, and that is the brand Bite in Brandy.

The first time that I came across this brand Bite, I was recovery from going birth to Sophia (c-section). I remember feeling very off during the healing process and my coloring just looking pale.

So, I went to Sephora in hoping of finding the perfect red lipstick for the upcoming holidays three years ago. That is the day a sales associate introduced me to the brand Bite in the shade Brandy.


Every year after the winter season would wrap up, I would place my lip crayon in a safe place to bring out for that years upcoming holiday season. One of my favorite things about the brand Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon is that a little goes a long way. The pigment is so rich, that I am able to apply the shade once and know that it will last several hours before you may have to reapply more.

Except I have noticed that once I need to reapply more, the lip crayon actually stains your lips to a much lighter, shade but nonetheless pretty. There have been times that I left my stained lips alone and just went about the rest of my day.


Last year 2016 during the fall season, I was searching to bring out my lip crayon but I could not anywhere. I looked everywhere….even my car thinking that it magically rolled out of my purse and under my car seats…but no such luck.

I did however return to Sephora three times last year hoping that they had brought back my color, but every time I went back they were out of the shade Brandy….

I guess everyone caught onto how great of a color it is!!!!!


Two weeks ago, I was cleaning out a very old purse that should have been thrown away months ago…and there it was…sitting there…waiting….

I swear I looked through that purse except there was quite a hole in the lining of my purse…and I assume that is where my lipstick grew legs..walked itself into the hole in the lining of my purse and hide in there for over a year.


If you are looking for a new fun lip shade, I would highly recommend Bite in the shade Brandy. I look forward to bringing it out every year. Even though it’s just lip crayon, it has more a sentimental value to me, it reminds me of one of the happiest time period of my life. Even though I was not feeling one hundred percent three years ago, wearing that lip crayon always made me feel better.

Make a trip up to Sephora and try this shade out. It will look great for a girls night out, your next holiday party or it will even dress up a casual shirt and jean day!

The possibilities are endless and you can even wear during the day! How great!

I hope you try it out; if you do please send me your photos wearing it on Instagram at: Sarah_BellaLife.

**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.**


My Favorite Lemon Garlic Salmon


The other night I was craving Salmon like something fierce, ideally I would eat it constantly, but it can be quite expensive. Growing up I absolutely disliked it so much, but right after I had Sophia for as much as I disliked it, I ended up loving it.

Traditionally I grill my Salmon, but when you have to refill your propane, you make due with the kitchen stove and pray for the best.

Surprisingly enough it was just as fantastic!

Here is how I make my favorite Salmon in the world!

What You Need:

1 lb of Salmon (it does not have to be skinless, your choice)

1 whole Lemon

2 Whole Garlic Cloves (minced or put through a Garlic press)

3-4 slices of Salted Butter

1 Branch of Rosemary

Fresh Parsley (Optional)

Salt & Cracked Pepper

How to Prepare the Salmon:


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your Lemon and Butter, break apart some your fresh Parsley if you chose to use it, then take the shell off the whole Garlic Cloves and set aside.


Lay your fresh Salmon on some foil, allow enough to foil around the edges to bring them in around the edges of the Salmon. Add your sliced Lemons, Butter (spread out), Rosemary, Parsley, Garlic and then your Salt & Pepper.


Just another angle!


I made a “foil lid,” to cover the Salmon, but I brought the bottom foil edges in to meet the top and slightly pressed the top and bottom foil together with my fingers. Place on Cookie tray (or Sheet Tray) to bake.

Tip: You want to make sure that you will be able to take the top foil off without having to cut it off.


I baked it in the oven for 11 minutes. The Salmon goes from a bright Peachy-Pink Color to a light Peachy-Pink color.

I like my Salmon to have some more color, so I turned the broiler on high; popped it back in the oven without the top foil piece.

Make Sure you take the Rosemary branch off, because you don’t want to be like me…once I placed my Salmon under the broiler, my Rosemary branch caught fire.

But I saved dinner!

I ended up keeping the broiler on high, but moved the racks down to the lowest shelf per say in the oven.


My finished product!

It took about 5 minutes to get my Salmon to my desired color and doneness to my liking.

The Salmon was amazing to eat… definitely hit the spot!

We ate our Salmon with fresh steamed White Rice and mixed Vegetable!

Sophia ate hers all up and even wanted seconds….

And lets just say Jimmy ate like a king that night!



Dessert Date with Sophia


The other day I was dying to get out of the house. My week so far has been really off, everything and anything has been going wrong; I picked Sophia up from preschool and we headed to our local Barnes and Noble.

This is our spot, we both love Barnes and Noble, it’s my happy place….the atmosphere gets me every time.

The employees are always so cheerful, I have never come across one that was miserable…

Ever…have you?


The first thing Sophia says upon our entrance into Barnes and Noble is “mommy this place smells so good and is really clean….”

Which was overheard by two employees and their response was while chuckling “if a child recognize that..then we must be doing something right.”


Right away Sophia and I head back to the children section. She LOVES their train they have there, if I had more space in her bedroom I would consider purchasing her own train set just like this one.

I normally sit there and watch her play or I play with her, depends on what she wants me to do. Just watching her imagination run wild is so amazing, if she catches me listening to her she will automatically stop, so I pretend I am “reading,” just so I can enjoy her story telling.

My favorite is when Sophia will say to me “mom remember,”….when this or that happened.. and I honestly have no idea what she is talking about; she starts making up stories all the time.

It’s adorable, it melts my heart.


Barnes and Noble has been a place where I have been taking Sophia for quite sometime. When we go to the mall we typically end up at the Barnes and Noble just so she can play with their train station.

Most of the time during our visit I am usually following Sophia’s lead, if your children are anything like Sophia she also loves Barnes and Noble Cafe.

Every time we have our mother and daughter day dates, we always end up at their cafe for an afternoon snack.

Normally, it’s their pretzels that I LOVE… OH….SO….MUCH, but this time Sophia had more of a sweet tooth.


We both grabbed a slice of the Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake, that just so happens to be my favorite from their restaurant.


This was Sophia and I before I dropped her off at school that day, I wanted to get a photo of her and I at Barnes and Noble, but she just was not having it.

Anyone find it challenging to take decent photos of you and your kids? Mine is always making goofy faces.



I do Cake Talk instead of…


So you know how people have coffee talk? Well, over here we have cake talk! I have been blogging for over a year and half now and have quit the followers that have subscribed to my mailing notifications. I have to admit every time I get a notification of a “like, comment or a new follower…” I still get excited!

You have no idea how much your notifications mean to me; for me it lets me know that what I wrote you were able relate too and that I may have helped you…made you smile or even laugh.  It’s such a comfort.


When I started my blogging a little over a year ago I was unsure what king of blogger I wanted to be. I literally contemplated that for months…then I contemplated my blogs name for literally a year…

My gosh I wish I was exaggerating on that, but truth be told….I’m not.

Over time I started to figure out that I wanted my blog to fall under the category of  “lifestyle blog,” I loved the idea of sharing recipes, stories and my adventures with my family.

Then one of my main goals was to created a blog that anyone could relate to. I want a blog that no matter who you are, where you are from, male, female that when you visit my blog that you find something that you can relate too, make your laugh or even give you a “did you know fact…” that you can share with a friend.

In the end….

Diversity…diversity is what I strive for. And still am striving for.

Since my blog has resorted to a lifestyle blog, I believe I have become more personal with my blog posts, beyond just sharing “What I Made for Dinner,” and “Look What I did,” posts, I opened up about some of the most heart-wrenching moments of my life. And the honest truth, it was some of the hardest posts I ever had to write, but in some ways it was very therapeutic.


Along the way I have met some of the most kind-hearted people that you would ever want to know, I have received emails for advice on life situations, baking or cooking tips and even random questions. It has been such a blessing and so much fun to receive your emails and comments from all over the world.

So…to get to the main point of this post…I want to get to know you….my readers..

If you would be willing to comment or email (whatever you choose to do) and answer these two questions…that would be fantastic:

1. Your name…where you are from and maybe something about yourself. Whatever you feel. 

2. I want your input on some future blog post ideas. Beauty topics? Family topics? DIY’s etc. 

Thank You everyone! I really appreciate it!



Friday Fives


It’s our first round for Friday Fives, if you read last weeks blog post you may remember me briefly mentioning sharing my top 5 favorite photos of the week, that has a little story behind them.


This first chosen photo of the week is my Starbuck drink. Naturally around this time of year I am your typical Pumpkin Spice Latte kind of gal, but for some reason I can’t stomach it. And since I a creature of habit, I was really stumped as to what to order the other day.

After discussing what I like with the barista, she suggested the Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea….and…

Ohhh my was amazing! It literally blow Pumpkins Spice Latte’s out of the water..

On your way to work tomorrow stop by your local Starbucks and pick yourself up the Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea you won’t regret it!!!

I promise!

I typically don’t make promises…well…I don’t like promises; but I promise this drink is worth a try!!!!


Sophia had her first official Starbucks date with her friend Karsyn! They both enjoyed Cake Pops and those Puree Fruit Pouches. It was so sweet.


Sophia, Karsyn, Jess and I had a playdate at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, it was the first time I have been there in about 20 years and it ended up being sophia first trip there as well.

Both Karsyn and Sophia loved digging for fossils, it was adorable to watch them dig with the chisel and brush…and let me say the goggles they wore were my favorite part!


On Wednesday night we met up with Karsyn and Jess again, this time it was to experience their Baptist church that they attend. Sophia went to their little “Cubbies class,” that very much reminded me of her KDO program I put her in occasionally after school.

Then Jess and I went to their Bible study class. It was very nice to see how they pray for individual people and give updates on their health progress if there is any. Their ways of worship is a little different than my experience of going to church growing up.

In the end Sophia had a blast…

Then we ran in the pouring ran to my car!


My mom came home from work on Tuesday night asking me if I would be interested in going to the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert. My moms friend Rose got the tickets for all of us to go; I believe they were given to her….possible connections…

I remember hearing about their concert on the radio and thinking “I would love to go and I sure as heck can’t afford it….”

Needless to say, I found a babysitter for Sophia, and headed off to the concert last night with my mom and her friends from work!

It was so much fun! It’s been years since I have gone to a concert I forgot how fun they are.


Patiently awaiting for the concert to start! I was so excited I could barely contain my excitement!

I have to say Faith Hill can sing like no ones business, her voice is so amazing and so strong…I was in complete awe of her!

And let me just say…I want her hair so badly! It’s so fully of volume, it would be the perfect mermaid hair!

On the other note I heard Pink is coming to concert next Spring….(I think)….and I am dying to go! She is my top 5 favorite artists!

I totally realize I have 6 photos instead of 5….but whose counting???!?!?

This week was a lot of fun and full of definite surprises and unplanned play dates!

What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun? I believe I am taking Sophia to the Pumpkin Patch!


Not So Mini Meatball Sandwiches


We have officially hit the football and hockey season, and besides the games I have to admit sometimes the food is my favorite part. I served this mini Meatball Sandwiches for dinner the other night and they were a total hit.

I am definitely one of those people that have to switch it up when it comes to dinner; I can’t eat the same thing over..and over…and over again…I get really bored.

So when I was browsing Pioneer Woman’s website I can across her Mini Meatball Sandwiches and knew I had to try them out!

They were super easy to make, you can whip these bad boy up in no time!

What You Need:

1 Pound of Ground Chuck or Ground Beef

1/2 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs

1 Garlic Clove, Minced

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup of Milk

2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1/2 Whole Medium Onion, Diced

1 Large Marinara Sauce

Dinner Rolls

Provolone Chesse Sliced



Add your Ground Meat, Salt, Pepper, Garlic (minced) and Panko Bread Crumbs.


Add your Milk. I can honestly say that I never added Milk to meatballs before, we usually add Eggs.

What do you use? Do you use Milk or Eggs? Or something completely different?


Using your hands if you’re daring…combine all the ingredients together!


Then make your balls!

I used an Ice Cream scooper to make them and as I was lining them up I noticed how massive they are….massive balls…massive meatballs…

Next time I can make them smaller…..

Nah…who am I kidding….bigger the better…..right?

For the sandwich rolls….get your mind out of the gutter….

Geeeesh! 😉


Look how big those balls are….sorry Pioneer Woman mine aren’t so mini….just sayin’….maybe the one of the far left…that’s the odd man out….


Chop up your onion…


Add your Olive Oil…did you know that reason why most recipes call for Olive Oil is because it is resistant to high temperatures.


Sauté your onion, I let mine cook up until they were about a nice golden color…

Before adding…..


My Meatballs, since mine are on the larger side of the scale I did let them cook up more before adding my sauce.


Add your Marinara and then incorporate the Meatballs and Marinara together.

**I did drain the grease out of the frying pan before adding the Marinara.**

Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, and stir occasionally to stop from scorching the Marinara or Meatballs…


My one ball jumped out of the frying pan….landing on the stove and creating a greasy trail as it slide into home base…..



Since my Meatballs are quite large, I actually used a sheet tray (aka baking sheet) as a “lid,” and turned my heat down to low just to help with the cooking process.

And of course I did check the doneness before serving….


Mmmmmm….I only add a little bit of Marinara on top..BUT…if I was pregnant it would be loaded with Marinara.

Add sliced Provolone on top!


My little tester enjoyed them, she kept saying “mmm mom I like Meatballs….”

This recipe would be perfect for a football or hockey party, make them up a couple hours before and put them in a roaster on low…and stir occasionally!









5 Days in Photos


We have survived the first week of October and we are still getting some pretty warm days in Pittsburgh; except for the nights they have reached around 40 degrees.

So I am patiently awaiting for cooler days, so I can whip out my fall gear…scarfs…boots…hoodies…ahhhh my favorite clothes to wear. The cooler weather seems like it’s never ever going to arrive…but that doesn’t stop us from craving comfort fall food….

This week my mom her a traditional fall dish for dinner, her stuffed peppers! They are always so good and make amazing left overs! I will have to get the recipe to share with you, except when my mom cooks she hardly uses measuring cups! Which drives me insane….I need measurements! 


Since most days are still reaching mid 80’s and the mornings have been perfect for trips to the park, Sophia and I have been walking to the park almost every morning. Except for days that she has school. She insists on bringing her one teddy bear with us so that he can ride the tire swing or go first down the slide. Lets just say he doesn’t sleep with her at night.

I would like to throw him in the washer this weekend when Sophia is preoccupied but should he air dry OR can I put him in the dryer on low heat-tumble?

He doesn’t come with washing instructions as I imagine he wasn’t intended to ride the tire swing or go down slides…


My parents left for New Orleans on Wednesday and are returning Sunday. I have been enjoying the photos my mom has been sending me during the course of her trip.This would be the perfect trip for my friend Charnaye and I to go on together; especially since we are turning 30 next year….

How do you pronounce New Orleans….’New Orleans,’ OR ‘New Orlens’…? Because I have been pronouncing it wrong for years…oops.

** Update: My mom just texted me and said she will be home tomorrow due to Hurricane  Nate, damn you mother nature.**


A good friend of mine John came to Pittsburgh from Florida (who I call Lopez on my phone) for literally a day and a half. He had some unfinished business he had to take care of. We have not seen each other for either 8 or 9 years, but kept in contact throughout the years. John took me to dinner at one of my favorite local Hibachi restaurants in the area, the funny thing is we mainly talked about our kids the entire time.

He is a single father to his daughter Bailey and I am a single mom to Sophia, the funny thing is our stories are very similar so we have a lot in common and can relate to each other.

It was great seeing him and catching up, it’s been way to long.

Here is mini clip from dinner the other night…yes that is me screaming, because I swear the cook took my eye brows off….but they are still attached.


The one day after I picked Sophia up from school we had to make a quick run to Target for some necessities….and when I mean quick run to Target anything under an hour is a quick trip.

We ended up browsing the entire store and covered the toy isle about a million times over, but I came across these blankets.

O.M.G it would be like laying on a giant rabbit…they are so amazingly soft! And they go by the size of your bed which is kind of great!

Although I was very much tempted in purchasing one for my bed, but I resisted. But if I did, I would probably be standing there for 20 minutes trying to decide on a color.

One of each…thank you! Haha!

What are some of your favorite photos you took this week! Please share!

I would love to know. I don’t realize how many photos I take on a weekly basis until I either look at my phone or my camera…..

I am thinking Fridays are going to be geared towards 5 photos that I took over the week, that have stories behind them.

EXCEPT…I need a title that fits….

Do you have any ideas…please share!