Thursday, June 25, 2015

Life Lately: June 2015 Edit

Hello There!

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog because I have been insanely busy with life lately.  Ugh, I know I bet you've heard that before from me and other bloggers before, but seriously shit happens.
Anyway, I thought it'd be nice to fill ya'll in on what has been keeping me so busy.

My Aunt, my Mom, and I got together earlier this month to do all the addressing for my save the dates.
My Aunt does beautiful calligraphy so she did the names and my Mom and I wrote out the addresses as neatly as possible.  It all came together beautifully and I could not be happier.  They've already gone in the mail and are on their way to their destinations!
Our Save the Dates are magnets that we bought from Wedding Paper Divas, the waterproof calligraphy pens my Aunt had and my Mom bought some extras on Amazon, and we used a self-inking stamp for the return address that I bought on Etsy.



I got to hang out with my Mom and Step-Dad's puggle, Gracie.  I miss living at home and playing with her.  I love her, she's just the cutest, sweetest little piggle face ever.


That same day my Mom and I went to a florist to talk Wedding flowers.  I'll have a few posts coming soon talking about all things Wedding (if there is anything you have questions on let me know in the comments and I can work them in!).



I finally upgraded my phone to the iPhone 6 and I am absolutely in love with it.  I could not be happier and I love my case I got at Verizon from the brand Milk & Honey it is so pretty!
My step-brother Matt works at Verizon so I took the time to go to him and I am so happy I did because he is like a Verizon wizard.




My Mom and I took my brother and his girlfriend to breakfast for his birthday.  He chose Uncommon Grounds which is this tiny little spot that serves up fresh, tasty food.
I got eggs over hard on multi-grain toast (it was unbelievably delicious toast) with a side of homefries and sausage links.  We also got chocolate coconut milk pancakes to share that were ah-mazing.
I cannot believe my little brother turned 25!  I am so happy to have him in my life and I am so proud to be his sister.  He is growing into an amazing man.



I tried out some new products from Glossier.  I'd heard so much about them and wanted to see if the products lived up to the hype and they so do.  I am in love with their balmdotcom and the mask.  I cannot wait to try more products!




I've been helping to plan the massive annual banquet (over 500 people!) at work.  We finally had the banquet on 06/19 and it went off (with a few hitches), but it turned out fantastically in the end.  
Here's me when I got home from the banquet at nearly 10pm after working a nearly full day and then five hours at the banquet.  I was pooped, but kitty snuggles always make it better.




My fiance's parents breed and show Cairn Terriers (aka Toto from the Wizard of Oz).  They had a new litter about six weeks ago and so the puppies are now really playful and getting big!
We had lunch over at his parents house and played with puppies all day long.  It was absolutely wonderful.


We had our tasting at our venue for the Wedding on Monday.  All of the parents got to come which honestly made my night.  We had a big table to ourselves and really got to enjoy the whole experience.
Of course the one menu item that everyone loved is the most expensive (typical), but there were regular priced meals were delicious as well so we have our work cut out for us.
The cakes were incredible and there was one that had mocha filling that was unreal.




And that leaves us at today.  It would be my big sister's 29th birthday today.  She passed away before I was born so I never knew her, but I still miss her everyday.  I just imagine how excited she'd be in helping to plan my Wedding and be there every step of the way.
I just know we would have been thick as thieves.  In a way it makes me envious of other people's relationships with their sisters, but also makes me more appreciative of the relationships I do have with my siblings.
Here's to you beautiful girl, wherever you are know I love you.



So now that I've caught you up on all the goings on in my life lately let me know what's been going on with you in the comments below.

If you want to see all the exciting things that go on (aka cat pictures, food, and Wedding planning) just follow me on instagram.

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Current Favorites: Shower Edition

Hello There!

I tend to change my shower products up quite often.  My hair just seems to get tired of the same shampoo and conditioner (I know some people think this is a thing while others don't).
It's kind of a big deal for me when I consistently use the same products for a few months without my hair feeling like it's had it.
Since I have been seriously digging some products lately I thought I should share the love around.

I've been using these three products on my hair for the past few months and I love them.
The OGX Macadamia Oil shampoo paired with the Moroccan Argan Conditioner are heaven sent.  They leave my hair smelling amazing and smooth and soft as can be.  My hair gets rather wavy and curly and at times frizzy and this helps to keep it all in check.

When my hair is feeling like it need a little pick me up I use the Macadamia Nourishing Moisture Masque and leave it on for about 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it out.  This doesn't weigh my hair down, but keeps it feeling healthy and hydrated.  I got this as a sample in my May Birchbox which is why this is a smaller size than normal.  This is definitely something I will purchase once this runs out.


I've been trying out these products from the Boots section at Target.  I bought the Anti-Blemish Kit a few weeks back when I was out grocery shopping.
The anti-blemish cleansing foam seems to help with making my skin smooth and makes my skin feel clean without feeling stripped.  This is the one part of this kit that I really loved and would purchase again.  For being just a cleansing foam it really nicely cleansed my skin.
The anti-blemish scrub and mask is a just okay product.  It has a smell that I don't care for, but can get past enough to use it.  I like using this as a scrub more than a mask because I feel that it does help to slough dead skin from my face, but doesn't do a lot to help on the anti-blemish side of things.
The serum that came with this kit is okay, I like just tea tree oil instead.

You're seeing my clear shower liner in the picture which makes the mirror look a bit blurry, but it's not in person.
When I do use masks in the shower I like to apply it in front of our Fogless Shower Mirror* so that I can make sure I'm applying it to every bit of my face.
My fiance also uses this to shave his face.  It has taken us forever to find a fogless shower mirror that doesn't cost a small fortune.  This one is simple in design and is just what we need.
It came with hooks for both the mirror and one razor, but we already had razor hooks and since we're renting we opted to hang it with a command hook so that we could remove it easily.  
We've had this set up going for a few weeks now and the command hook has held up perfectly.
If you're in the market for a new shower mirror I would definitely recommend this one, even at hot, steam inducing temperatures this one stays clear of fog.


For my body I've been using these three products to get smooth, soft skin.
The Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Body Wash has a very nice light scent and gently helps to exfoliate my skin.
The EOS shave cream was something I just grabbed because I needed a new shave cream, but I've really loved how this one performs.  The scent is not overwhelming and it has helped prevent the razor burn I usually get every time I shave.
I've been using the Julep Brilliance Hand and Body Scrub all over in the shower to help get rid of any rough dead skin and also to prep before I shave so that I can get a closer shave.  I also use this to exfoliate if I plan to use any self tanner on my legs.

Are there any shower products you've been loving lately?
Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  I was sent the Fogless Shower Mirror by Cassani Company.  I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chobani's #BreakYouMake

Hello There!

 Chobani currently has a campaign going on called #BreakYouMake.  National Break You Make  Day is June 3rd.  The campaign is highlighting people you feel could use a break.


I love Chobani yogurts (particularly the yummy flip ones) for breakfast.  Today I'm having English Breakfast Tea and the Tropical Escape flip greek yogurt because I needed to take a break to relax after a busy stressful weekend and before I jump into the work week.

There is someone in my life who I feel deserves a huge break though because she works so hard for everyone, whether it be at her job or for her kids.  Have you guessed who I might be talking about yet?


If you guessed my Mom you were right!
My Mom works hard at her job everyday and has been working with me as my Wedding Planner/Wedding therapist since my fiance and I got engaged last September.
She's there for my brother and I day or night no matter what time.  She also helps friends and family at the drop of a hat.
We didn't always have an easy relationship during my teenage years, but we've grown so much closer in my twenties and now I consider my Mom one of my best friends.
So if anyone deserves a break my Mom definitely does.


Join in by sharing who you think deserves a break by using #BreakYouMake!
Check out on twitter all those who have already joined in!

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  I was asked to create a #BreakYouMake post by Chobani's Social Media Team.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Current Favorites: May Edition

Hello There!

There have been a few things I have been using and wearing over and over the past month or two.
I've also been doing a lot of reading lately.  For a time after I read a book there would be quite a time lapse before I'd pick up another one, but now I'm on a roll, as soon as I finish one book I'm already diving into the next one.

For my makeup favorites check our my Face Lately post.


From the top and counter clockwise.
The hat is a Boston Athletic Association hat (similar) from this year's Boston Marathon.  It is a beautiful cobalt blue with yellow stitching.  A family friend and my Wedding photographer ran the Marathon so it was especially important to show my support this year.

The lobster iPhone 5 case is an old one from Tory Burch (impractical or practical lobster options, love this one), but it is one that I constantly go back to.  I plan to get the iPhone 6 soon so I'm trying to get as much use out of it as possible.

I got the Produce candle in Rhubarb in my April PopSugar box and I've been so obsessed with it that I bought a new one.  This has lasted forever and the scent is slightly sweet and slightly tart.

I've been wearing this star scarf on repeat.  It's a light beige-gray with navy stars.  I love that it is lightweight enough that it doesn't overheat me, but large enough that it can keep me warm in my air conditioned office.  I bought this two years ago at the 9/11 Memorial Museum's shop when I visited the memorial with my Mom and soon-to-be Mother-in-law, Lin.

The earrings are from BaubleBar (similar and love these) in a set awhile ago and I just love them.  They add a statement without having to be dangly and instantly pull any outfit together.  Ladylike, but with an edge.

I finished reading The Knockoff* by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza last month.
The book was so good that I just didn't want to put it down.  
Per Amazon, "An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app".   At times the story was a bit predictable, but the characters were interesting and the story moved at a great pace that I didn't mind.  I don't want to ruin the story for anyone, but I will say that if you liked The Devil Wear's Prada and you need a book to read that has a story that will sink you into its world then this is just the book for you. 


Now for an unexpected un-favorite.  I bought a pair of Toms shoes because I was thinking about using a pair of the plain canvas ones to have them painted for my Wedding shoes.  
I have wide feet and tend to be a 9.5.  I went to a store that carries them and tried on a 9, but couldn't even get my toes in it.  I tried the 9.5 and ended up getting them because everything I've read insisted that they get so comfortable and stretch to your feet after a week.
These things didn't stretch enough over a week and left indents into my feet because they were tight.  They did fit okay in my heel area, but my toes and toe box were so painful I just couldn't put my feet through it anymore.
These would work so much better for someone with normal or narrow width feet, but for my wide feet and high arch they were so uncomfortable I couldn't wear them.

For my Wedding shoes I ended up going with white Keds.  Once they're all painted and I have them back I'll definitely take pictures and show you all!


And to end on a high note here is my kitty who is always a favorite every day.

What were your favorites this month or maybe over the past few months?

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  The Knockoff was won in a BirchBloggers giveaway to get an exclusive first read of the book. I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips | Using Essential Oils in the Home


Hello There!

Link


Spring is coming to a close and Summer is just around the corner so if you have been putting off getting some Spring cleaning done there is no time like the present!

The biggest things I did this year to Spring clean are to go through all my clothing and purge anything that had holes in it and donate anything that I have not worn in the past year and do not plan to wear.
Go through each drawer individually and then your closet and it makes it a lot less overwhelming.

Updating your bedding can make a huge difference in how your bedroom feels.  It is a very simple change that has a big impact.

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Work on dusting and cleaning shelving in chunks, work on one area at a time and make sure you have all your supplies for cleaning with you.  Make a caddy if that helps that has paper towels, multi-surface cleaning spray, dusting supplies, trash bags, etc so that you have all that you need in one portable place.  It makes you stay more focused if you're not having to constantly go get something.
Trust me when I say making one of these is a game changer for efficient cleaning.

After kicking up all that dust and spraying all those cleaning sprays the house smells a bit too clinical for me so I like to light some candles and use some essential oils to freshen the place up again.
The lemon essential oil is supposed to be refreshing and the peppermint revitalizing.
I like using essential oils in my cleaning because they are a natural way of freshening up a space and have some great properties other than just smelling amazing.

Uses of Essential Oils Here and Here.
I have been using both Lemon* and Peppermint* oils from InstaNatural lately.  
A little bit of these go a very long way.

These are my favorite ways and places to use these essential oils:

1) For stinky trash place 1-3 drops of your choice of essential oil on a cotton ball and place on bottom of trash can or diaper pail.

2)  Clean the carpet with an all-natural carpet deodorizer. Add 5-10 drops of Lemon essential oil to a box of baking soda. Mix well and sprinkle over carpets. Let the mixture sit for an hour or more and then vacuum. 

3) Take 2 cotton balls and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the cotton balls and drop them in your vacuum bag to fill your home with your favorite aromatherapy scents while vacuuming.

4) To help keep squirrels, spiders or mice away place 3-6 drops of Peppermint on a cotton ball at the place they enter. No harmful chemicals and no critters, win win.

5) For sticky messes, use 1-2 drops Lemon to remove gum, oil, glue, adhesive or crayon from most surfaces.

I like these essential oils in particular because they come in such a huge bottle that they last forever.  They also have a pipet style applicator which makes it so easy to get just the right amount of drops out.
You can also use these in a diffuser which is a great way to use the scent as you would a candle, but you don't have to have an open flame so it is great for dorm rooms and any rooms or houses that you either can't have candles because they're not permitted or shouldn't use them because of pets or kids.

Check more out on InstaNatural's website, facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google+.

Let me know your favorite ways to use Essential Oils and if you have any cleaning tips I haven't thought of yet!

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  The Essential Oils were provided by InstaNatural via BrandBacker. I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

I took this picture two years ago when I went to visit my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather's grave-site and to bury my paternal Grandfather at Calverton National Cemetery in NY.

They place flags at every single grave in remembrance and it is truly a moving and incredible sight to see them all waving in the breeze.

Whether you enjoy the day at a barbeque, on vacation, or just spend quality time with friends and family, remember that this day exists to honor those who served and currently serve our country.

 

Until Next Time,
 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Face Lately

Hello There!

For the past month and a half I have pretty much been wearing the exact same looks.
Bit of a shimmery eye and a thin cat flick.
I thought I would share my favorite products I have been using to achieve this because these products are just outstanding.  I love them so much I've hit pan on one of the shadows already!


Everyday I wear this Pur-Lisse Moisturizer with SPF 30 no matter if I am just going to the office or plan to be outside.  I apply it to all over my face and neck making sure to get it into my hairline and on my ears.  I rub whatever remains into my hands.  This absorbs quickly and only has a slight Sunscreen scent.

While my cheeks are still absorbing the moisturizer I use a light swath of the Make blush in Geisha.  I find this helps it last all day.  This blush gives my cheeks that been-in-the-sun-all-day glow without actually having to expose my skin to the sun.  It is very pigmented so a light hand is required in application.

I have been using the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer. This helps my shadow last from morning 'til night when I get around to taking it off before bed.  I love this because it goes on smooth and doesn't feel greasy.

I tight-line with the Lollipops Eye Pencil in Goodbye Moon/Black (This is hard to find in the US.  I also use Sephora's liner).  I put this on right after the shadow insurance so that if any of it gets onto my lid I can easily swipe it off.

I like to fill in my brows next using the Gimme Brow from Benefit.  I have pretty thick brows so I just use this to fill in any gaps there might be and to hold the hairs in place for the day.  I like this because it's just a bit of color and does not make my brows feel crunchy.


I have been using (L to R) Silk Teddy, Nude, and Cashmere Bunny from the Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection.  These shadows are soft, go on smoothly, and last all day.  I end up using Nude and Cashmere Bunny with any palette or all over lid shadow because they're great for blending and giving the crease a bit more definition.  

I have also been using these colors from the Marc Jacobs The Dreamer Palette.  These shadows don't have names, but I have been using the (show above L to R) 2nd, 6th, and 7th shadows.  These are so incredibly pigmented that just a little goes a very long way.  The color payoff is unreal with these palettes.  I know they are up there in price, but in my opinion they are worth it.  Just look at that gold!



Last and certainly not least I have been using these two drugstore products from Covergirl.  
The Mascara is The Super Sizer* in very black.  You can see the graphic of the wand on the packaging.  I find that the short bristles and the tapered shape help to get every little lash, even the ones on the very outer edge and the very inner corner.  I always twirl wands as I apply them and I like that this wand is built for that. 

The Intensify Me! Liquid Liner* is in black and has a very interesting tip design.  One way it is thick and if you turn it it has a very thin, flat edge.  The tip is a felt tip design and the color is a very dark, but matte black.


I wanted to show these pictures of my naked lashes.  They are pretty straight and short.



This is what my lashes look like with the mascara on.  This helps them hold their curl and definitely makes them stand out more. 
I also love that this does not have any sort of overwhelming fragrance and it does not flake.


I wanted to give some close ups of the liquid liner's tip.  It is a felt tip and here you can see it the wider way.  I use this to fill in the wing.  


The thinner side is what I use to wing out and to tight do a very thin line across my lash line.  


Here you can see the wing I was able to achieve with this liner.  I am so pleased with the results.  This is an amazing product and I am so happy I have had the chance to try it.  This out shines any other more expensive felt tip liquid liners I have tried.


Just look at that pigmentation.  This liner really gives you the control you need as well as options.  It is so easy to do just a tiny, thin cat flick or to go for drama and make it bold and wide.



Here is a look I did using the Covergirl eyeliner and mascara with the Too Faced shadows.  This was taken in the morning about an hour or two after I applied everything.


This look is using the Marc Jacobs shadows with the Covergirl mascara and liner.  This picture was taken almost to the end of the day, so this is showing about 8 hours of wear and it was still going strong, no flaking or fading to be seen!

These looks are weeks apart, but I'm basically wearing the same outfit.  I just love a good red lip.  I'm also obsessed with my star scarf paired up with stripes.  I just can't help myself.

If you've tried any of these what do you think of them?
What have you been wearing on your face lately?

Until Next Time,



disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  The Covergirl products were graciously provided by Influenster.   I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own