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!


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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Current Favorites: Nighttime Edit

Hello There!

Lately I've been getting into a routine before bed.  I head to into the bedroom early, read a book, have a cup of Vanilla Caramel tea and start putting on some moisturizers.

I first use the Dickinson's Cleansing Cloths to make sure all the makeup has been removed from my face.  These feel really nice on my skin and do not dry it out.  They do actually get all remaining traces of makeup off my face, even waterproof liner and mascara.

I then go in with the Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum.  I got this as a sample awhile ago and just recently started using it.  It has helped so far to diminish the dark spots on my chin and cheeks from acne scars.  This absorbs quickly into my skin and helps it feel smoother by morning too.

I like to apply my eye cream next and I've been using this sample of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream.  This is a very thick formula so a little goes a long way.  It does seem to be helping with some fine lines I had starting around my eyes and overall helps me wake up with non-puffy eyes in the morning no matter how little sleep I've had.

I have had such dry skin lately and the Vaseline Intensive Care Advance Relief Healing Serum* has really helped to soothe my skin.  It helps especially well on my dry elbows and ankles.  This absorbs in pretty quick and is not greasy.  The fragrance of this is not too strong and it makes my skin feel soft and smooth.

Lastly, I've been using this Maxasorb Melatonin* cream that has been a game changer for me.  I have struggled with insomnia in the past and this helps me to fall asleep and stay asleep.  
I take one full pump of this and rub it into my arms.  It takes about an hour for it to start to take affect, but I like that I don't have to take a pill anymore to fall asleep.
I was honestly expecting this to be a big failure because I couldn't see how the cream could work over pills, but it really does.  I am very pleasantly surprised by how effective this actually turned out to be.

What are your favorite nighttime products?

Until Next Time,

disclaimer: All products I did not purchase for myself are marked with an *.  The Vaseline product was provided by Elle's Inner Circle in a surprise box (see my Instagram for more)The Maxasorb Melatonin product was provided by Vita Sciences via BrandBacker. I was provided the items to honestly review.  All thoughts/comments/whathaveyou are 100% my own

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#TBT | Birthday Edition

Hello There!

I can't believe I am 27 today! 
This year is flying by so quickly it feels like all of a sudden it's my birthday.  This is my last birthday as a "single" lady because this time next year I'll have been married for a few months.

I though it would be fun today to do a throwback Thursday post of a bunch of old pictures.


I hope you enjoyed a look back at a few pictures through out my life.

Until Next Time,