Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013: Bring It On!

 I can't believe 2012 is coming to an end.  It's personally a year that has brought me a lot of challenges that I didn't think I'd be facing.  I found myself single again, living at home again, and considering a career change.  However, 2012 brought me a lot of amazing stuff too- it brought me an amazing group of friends that got me through  some difficult times and a sense of personal worth that I've never really had before.

However, there are plenty of things I still have to work on and isn't that where resolutions come into play?  Here are my 2013 resolutions!

Beauty

♥ Work with more matte shadows- Matte eyeshadows seem to be taking over lately and I think as I get older and wrinkles may appear, I'll be glad to wear more matte eyeshadows.  They seem to be more easily accessible in a variety of price ranges also.

♥ Learn to contour- I hate my face shape! I have zero cheekbones and a rather large chin so I'm dying to learn how to properly contour.



♥ Work in more color- I've started to take some dares when it comes to lip color, but I'm still pretty safe with eyeshadow colors, liner colors and even blush colors.  If I can't be daring now, when can I be?

♥ Find the best bangs for my face shape- I hate my forehead, well I call it a "five head", so I'm one who NEEDS bangs.  I always request side bangs, but they never come out just right.  I need to find a great hair stylist and get the perfect bangs cut and then maintain them.

Fashion

♥ Dress more professionally- I'm a teaching assistant so I'm happy I don't have to wear dress pants and heels to work everyday.  However, I feel like as I look for a new job, I'm not going to get away with wearing skinny jeans to work everyday.  I need to purchase some more professional looking ensembles.

♥ Thrift more- My family has been thrift store shopping for as long as I can remember, but I never really took it seriously.  Now, seeing all of the amazing pieces that bloggers have been able to thrift has really piqued my thrifting interest.  Unfortunately, my area doesn't have a lot of thrift stores but I do live 20 minutes from NYC so I want to begin thrifting and seeing what treasures I can discover.


♥ Master arm candy- I know the arm candy trend might have it hit its peak a few months ago, but I'm still obsessed with it and really want to give it a try.  I have quite a collection of bracelets, so I want to play around with different stacking combinations to really add visual interest to an otherwise boring outfit.

Health/Fitness

♥ Learn how to eat- This sounds ridiculous, but I swear I do not know how to eat like a grown up.  My favorite foods are reeses and chicken fingers.  What 27 year old woman says that?  I'm thinking of purchasing the Tone It Up Plan because I really need to learn how to eat to fuel my body and not just make me temporarily happy.

♥ Sweat everyday- I've seen this meme going around Pinterest, and it's so damn simple!  I don't have a lot to do when I get home from work so instead of spending hours on blogs and Youtube it's time to get my ass up and move.  I'm only getting older and my metabolism is only getting slower, so I need to help it along!



♥ Start a journal- Yes, maybe I've been watching Bridget Jones' Diary too much lately, but I love the idea of keeping a journal and it's been years since I've written one.  I think it's so important for our mental health to get everything off your chest and writing it is just so therapeutic.

Personal

♥ Find my dream career and get it!- Unfortunately, I am very unhappy at my job now and I don't think education is the career field for me.  This is super upsetting to me as it's something I'm very passionate about it, but I just can't pretend that it makes me happy anymore.  So this year is going to include a lot of soul searching, researching and resume writing to try to find a career path that makes me happy and pays the bills.

♥ Perform Random Acts of Kindness- I've really been inspired by the 26 Acts of Kindness trend that has been going around in light of the Newtown Tragedy.  Why not perform random acts of kindness every chance we get?  My change will just get lost in my purse so why not leave it for the next person at the parking meter, or how much does a pair of gloves and a hat cost for someone in need?  I've really been inspired by this movement and it's motivated me to just be a kinder and better person overall.



♥ Call/write my friends once a week- I have a lot of friends from college who live all over the north east, I also have plenty of friends who live around me who I don't talk to enough.  It's time to use this amazing invention called a cell phone and call them or get even more personal and write them a beautiful hand written letter.

♥ Try new things- I am a complete creature of habit.  Actually, I would say I'm boring at times.  It's time I start trying new things.  Even if it's just trying a new restaurant or going to a different bar for happy hour, it's time to break out of my routine.  I also want to take sewing classes, as nerdy as that sounds.  Again, I'm a single woman with no children, if I don't do these things now, I never will.

I'd love to know what your New Year's Resolutions are? Also, any tips to stick to them? I usually make it to about my birthday (January 15th) and everything goes out the window.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tip Thursday: Shampoo

  My hair is just so strange sometimes.  I can thoroughly wash out my hair and not put in a single product, but there's this pie piece section at the back of my crown that always feels "gummy".  I remember telling Tammy of a Not A Rich Girl this, and she suggested leaving your shampoo in your hair for a moment.

I always leave my conditioner in my hair for a minute or two, but I never thought to do so with my shampoo.  I leave my shampoo in for about a minute before washing it out, and it works beautifully!  So if you have super oily hair or get greasy patches like I do, try leaving your shampoo in while washing your face and see if it works!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

  Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year.  It's the warm, fuzzy feeling that Christmas gives me that I love.  Of course, the presents don't hurt- but my favorite part of presents is watching my loved ones open their gifts.

I wish every single one of you a Merry Christmas today and hope you are doing something today that makes you happy.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gift Guide: Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Only two more days until Christmas and you're not done shopping yet? Here's some last minute gift ideas to prevent you from showing up to that holiday party empty handed!

* Gift Cards and E-Gift Cards

Gift cards are the easiest gift to get for someone, although not the most personal.  Try getting a gift card to a store/restaurant/activity that is not a necessity for the person.  Meaning, don't get a grocery store gift card when you can buy them a gift card for the movies.  I personally feel like gifts should be something the person won't buy themselves, so don't get them broccoli when you can get them a sweater!

* Magazine subscription

Head to the drugstore or bookstore and pick up a copy of a magazine and sign your recipient up for a gift subscription.  Then you can wrap the magazine and put in a little notice that they will be receiving that magazine every month.



*Booze

Liquor stores are guaranteed to be open the next two days, so why not get a nice bottle of booze (if you are of age!).  Slap a pretty ribbon on the bottle and voila- instant gift!

*Picture Collage

Drugstores are another store that may not be as packed as all of the department stores out there and you can make a beautiful photo collage if they have a kodak machine in it.  You can pick pretty backgrounds, frames and fonts and make a beautiful personalized photo collage.  You can probably pick up a basic frame right in the store also!



* Drugstore Makeup Gift

I love watching Emily Noel on Youtube and last year she did a great gift video on making a drugstore makeup kit for Christmas and this year she did a drugstore stocking stuffer video.  If you have a makeup lover in your life put together a little cosmetics bag of the most popular drugstore items and you have an instant gift.





Do you have a go to last minute gift idea? I'd love to add more ideas to my repertoire.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

TAG! Winterlicious

 You guys know that I love doing tags, so here is the Winterlicious Tag going around Youtube.  I love the holiday season so this was a tag that I just had to do!




1.  Favorite Winter Nail Product
Revlon Steel Her Heart- I love this gunmetal grey color.  I like this color  for the winter in particular because it's not great for just one holiday, but great for the entire season.

2.  Winter Lip Product
Lush Sweet Lips Lip Scrub- My lips have a tendency to get very dry in the winter so I use this scrub daily.  It expired like last year, but I still use it and it still works great. Shhh!

3.  Most Worn Winter Clothing Item
Banana Republic Outlet Sweater- I love this sweater so much that I even wore it the day of the tag (hence the stain on the collar).  The fit is just perfect and actually quite flattering considering it's a heavy sweater.  It's so warm and toasty but the low cut neckline prevents you from looking like a snow woman.

4.  Most Worn Winter Accessory
White Pashmina- I know this is super boring, but I just love this white pashmina.  I have to spend a lot of time outside at my job so I have a standard boring super warm dark jacket, this white scarf always provides me a nice bright and crisp winter accessory.



5.  Favorite Winter Candle
Slatkin & Co Winter Night- This is my current favorite candle.  It's hard to describe the scent but it smells crisp like a cold winter night but also a little bit toasted like a wood burning fire.  I've really been enjoying Slatkin & Co candles this year.

6.  Favorite Winter Beverage
Hot Chocolate- I just love, love, love hot chocolate.  It's warming for the heart and soul as corny as that sounds!

7.  Favorite Christmas/ Holiday Movie
The Holiday- I know there are so many classics, but this is a movie that I can and do watch every single time it's on even if I just watched the day before.  It gives me that warm lovey dovey feeling.

8.  Favorite Holiday Food/Treat
Reeses Trees- Oh do I love Reeses, but Reeses in shapes? beyond amazing!  The peanut butter ratio is just so much higher that it makes it that much more delicious.

9.  Favorite Holiday Song
Ummm...all of them! I love Christmas music.  It's the one thing that can instantly get me in the spirit and there aren't many Christmas songs that I don't like.

10.  Favorite Christmas Decoration
My advent calendar- I've had this calendar since I was two years old and it's my favorite Christmas decoration ever.  I still feel like al little kid every time I move the mouse over a day.



11.  Top of Christmas list
I have quite a few things on my Christmas wish list this year, but the top two are a 4 in 1 clipless curling iron and Will and Grace Complete DVD Collection.  I want to look good and laugh!

12.  Holiday Plans This Year
I spend Christmas morning with my mom and Christmas night with my dad.  Then my dad and I go visit my Grandma and my relatives.  For New Year's Eve this year I'm spending it at my friends house for a little house party.

I tag ALL OF YOU! I love the holidays and I think this is the cutest tag!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tip Thursday: Wrap Away

  I wish I had the creative and crafty abilities to have a "Pinterest" like Christmas.  You know those people who have the beautifully decorated houses, the themed Christmas trees and their house always smells of hot cocoa?  Well, I'm far from it!  The part of the holidays that I am the absolutely worst at is wrapping.  I think it's my lack of hand eye coordination that prevents me from being a gift wrapper.

  I do wrap a lot of my presents though because I love the idea of ripping open presents as opposed to looking in a gift bag.  I don't have a lot of family members I give presents to, but I do have a lot of different houses that I go to for Christmas and different sets of gifts that go along with it.

My new favorite wrapping tip: Wrap gifts for individuals or different house holds with the same paper! I wrapped all of my mom's presents with these silver gift sock things and I wrapped all of my dad's presents with a different wrapping paper.  This tip is especially helpful with young kids so they don't accidentally rip open someone else's gift.


What is your favorite gift wrapping or gifting technique? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gift Guide 2012: Best of DIY

  A few of my friends and I are having a "Pinterest Christmas", meaning handmade gifts only!  I think that's such a great idea to do amongst your friends or even your family because these gifts are truly from the heart.

Here are some of my favorite DIY gift ideas from Pinterest:


Word Bookends- Love this for the reader in your life! Buy the large craft store letters, paint them up, hot glue them together and voila! Instant book ends!


Glitter Candles- I'm a fan of glitter anything- but glitter candles is such a beautiful gift and also super simple to do!

Instagram Collage- I love this idea! It's super adorable and super cheap.  Grab some of your friends' Instagram pics and turn them into an amazing collage-pretty and personal!


Homemade Lotion Bars-  This is a super easy recipe to make homemade lotion bars a la Lush, but any homemade spa product would be a great DIY gift to make someone.  Some of the recipes are surprisingly easy.


Post It Memo Pad- This is a great little stocking stuffer or even a gift for a coworker!  These are great for anyone who works in an office or someone who is constantly writing stuff down to remember it like I do!

Pinterest is obviously full of TONS of project tutorials.  I just wanted to post a few that don't require an insane amount of DIY skill or a lot of materials.  

Are any of you making any of your gifts this year? I'll post a few of mine AFTER  I give them out!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tip Thursday: Dry Body Scrub

  Winter is the time of beautiful snow falls, family gatherings AND dry skin.  Keeping moisturized is definitely more difficult come winter and applying lotion daily should be an important step in your skin care regimen if it isn't already.  But how do you prevent dry skin flakes altogether?

Image from Google Images

Try applying your body scrub on dry skin!  I keep my scrub in my shower, but apply it on my legs in circular motions before I turn on the water.  The absence of water keeps the scrub from being diluted and it really works to slough away dry skin.  This also helps break down cellulite.

My favorite body scrub of the moment is the Arbonne Ginger Citrus Scrub, but you can make this work with any type of body scrub or even try searching Pinterest for DIY body scrub recipes!

What is your favorite winter skin care tip?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My New Shopping Obsession

  I feel like online shopping has just been flooded lately with daily deal and monthly subscription sites.  There are so many great sites to choose from, but I don't think I've seen any beauty/fashion blogger or vlogger rave about the two sites that I've recently become obsessed with!

Very Jane




Both Very Jane and Groop Dealz work in similar ways.  They work with independent sellers to bring you really fantastic deals on items for usually a span of three days.  

I like to think of these sites as an Etsy like daily deal site.  The items range from accessories, home decor, holiday items to every now and then some pieces of clothing.

The prices are fantastic and even the shipping prices are amazing.  This site is especially great if you like popular jewelry pieces like the J Crew inspired bubble necklace or J Crew inspired gold pave bracelet.  These are frequent items!

While I've ordered quite a few items from both sites and have been pleased with everything- I do have one word of warning- check the shipping window for each item!  Because these sites work with independent sellers and a lot of crafters, the shipping time frame is different for each item.  I ordered one crochet shirt that I didn't realize had a shipping window of 30 days.  So if you need an item or gift for a certain time frame make sure to check that shipping time!

What is your favorite daily deal or e-tailer site that isn't getting enough credit? I live for my online shopping and the more sites the merrier!


I am not affiliated with either site.  I'm just really in love with their products and prices.






Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Guide: Co-Worker Edition

  I always find it tricky to buy gifts for co-workers.  I'm fortunate enough that some of my co-workers are my best friends so I don't have to worry about that awkward "what do I buy and how much do I spend" for some.  However, there are a few people that I buy typical "co-worker" type gifts for.

Here are some of my top picks:




Vera Bradley Note Cube- $10
I bought quite a few of these last year for the secretaries at my school.  I'm fortunate enough to have a Vera Bradley outlet close to me, so I was able to snap these up for just a few bucks.  They are affordable enough as is though!


Decorative Desk Accessories
I've seen some of the cutest desk accessories at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods.  If you work in an office like environment your co-worker probably spends a lot of time of their desk.  Help make their work space just a bit prettier!


A tumbler with a coffee gift card
I love these cold drink tumblers, and these too can be found for only a few dollars at places like Home Goods.  Throw in a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks gift card and it's a great little gift.


Desktop Calendar- $14

I would be so lost with out my desktop calendar, but they are so plain and boring.  Why not get this pretty one for one of your female coworkers and snazzy up their desk even further!


Pen and Letter Opener Set- $25

For your male co-worker why not try a more manly desk accessory.  This pen and letter opener set is very masculine and chic and useful!  I would check your local office store for more options.

What are you getting your co-workers for gifts this holiday season? 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

OOTW: Is it Christmas break time yet?

I don't know about where you live, but the weather here in New York has been insane.  It went from seriously freezing to mid 60's and back this week.  Unfortunately, the temperature in my school didn't follow suit, so from room to room I was sweating or freezing.  Arghh!  Here are some of my outfits from the week.

Lunch with Dad
Leopard flats- Target
Grey jeans- F21
Navy scoop neck top- Old Navy
White pashmina- NYC Corner


60 Degree Work Day
Red and white striped top- F21
Blue and silver scarf- Marshalls
Black skinnies- Gap Outlet
Spike shoes- Rampage via Marshalls
Blue and white chain bracelets- Groopdealz.com

Berry Skinnies

Black cowl neck top- Gap Outlet
Berry skinnies- Nordstrom Rack
Black flats- Charming Charlies
Shambala bracelet- gifted from my bff

Cardi Days

Striped cardigan- Tommy Hilfiger Outlet
Black v-neck tee- Walmart
Denim skinnies- F21
Black flat boots- Target
Monogramed necklace (love how I photographed it backwards right?!)-Glam Bag Accessories


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tip Thursday: Upright Sleeping


With so many holiday parties coming up, you're bound to have a late night and possibly even a hangover.  If you are coming home super late or coming home a bit tipsy, you'll most likely want to avoid that "beautiful" puffy look the next morning.

Try to sleep as upright as possible to help keep some of that puffiness (and possibly even acid reflux) at bay.  By lying upright you are allowing drainage to happen and that helps cut down on some under eye and facial puffiness.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fitspiration: Hungry Girl

  Thanks to Pinterest, I've become obsessed with trying healthy recipes.  However, I realized that thanks to my daily emails from Hungrygirl.com I've been interested in trying healthy recipes for quite some time now.

  If you've never visited Hungry Girl or browsed through one of her cookbooks than lordie you are missing out!

   Hungry Girl takes our favorite recipes and gives them a healthy slant.  She provides nutritional information as well as Weight Watchers points on all of her recipes.  She also provides information on new healthy products that are hitting the shelves.

Here are some of my favorite recipes from Hungry Girl:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes



Chipotle Chicken Panini


Banana Cream Pie


What's your favorite source for healthy recipes?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gift Guide: Parents/Grandparents

  Sometimes I find relatives the most difficult to shop for.  You want to strike the balance between being sentimental, practical but also fun.  Here are some under $50 options for your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles-really any older relatives you may have.

Moms/Grandmas/Aunts




The Body Shop Soften and Scrub Coconut Set- $15

I really love The Body Shop products and the coconut scent is a universally flattering one.  This set includes bar soap, shower cream, body butter and a loofah.  A perfect little gift set.


Immersion Blender- $47

My mom cooks quite frequently and uses her blender or food processor in a lot of her dishes.  Sometimes these can be a pain to use and especially to clean.  I think an immersion or stick blender is a great gift for anyone who likes to spend time in the kitchen.  This one has a whisk and chopper attachment which makes it even more useful! Truth be told, I kind of want one of these myself!


Cuff Watch- $20

My grandma has started to develop arthritis and this makes it very difficult for her to close the clasps on her watch.  A cuff watch takes away the need to close a clasp and because it's bendable it can fit a variety of wrist sizes.


Hooded Robe- $40

I don't know about where you live, but it gets pretty darn chilly in my neck of the woods.  I love stepping out of the shower, especially after I wash my hair, and wrapping myself up in a nice and cozy robe.  This hooded version provides even more warmth.


Dads/Grandpas/Uncles


Electric Wine Opener- $26

There's something so comforting about coming home and having a nice glass of red wine for dinner.  This electric bottle opener makes that process a lot easier and also acts as an aerating pourer to keep that wine tasting even yummier.


Universal Remote- $12

If your dad is anything like mine, his living room is covered with remotes.  A universal remote can help cut down on clutter and confusion.  Although this version is only $12 it got great reviews.  Check with kind of tv, cable provider, blu-ray player, etc. your relative has prior to buying a remote.


ESPN 30 for 30 DVD set- $20

This is a great DVD set for any sports fan you know.  These documentaries are on a range of sport celebrities and famous sport stories.  You don't need to like a specific sport to like and really learn from this DVD set.

Gifts for the couples (Parents/Grandparents/Aunt and Uncle, etc.)


Instant Scrapbooks

I love, love, love instant scrapbooks.  It's personalized without having to put all of the effort into making a scrapbook from scratch.  The pages are already created and they are just waiting for your photographs and text to complete them.  Check your local Hallmark stores, craft stores and even Home Goods to find different options.


Family Tree Picture Frame- $30

I love this family tree picture frame for your grandparents or older relatives.  Print out pictures in black and white or sepia for even cooler effect.


Family Wall Decal- $30

I love the idea of putting up a beautiful wall decal somewhere in your family's house as a present.  The quotes that you can find are beautiful and they add something so nice and so subtle to your home. 


I ordered one one of these for my Grandma a few years ago and she loves it.  It looks so pretty and elegant and is different than just a regular photo frame.

What are your go to gifts for your parents or grandparents?


FTC Disclosure

All products are purchased by me unless noted otherwise. If a product is supplied for review, this does not affect my opinion. My opinions can not be bought.
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