Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Beauty Favorites

     I can't believe January is over!  I know people say that for every month, but this month I truly feel it.  For the last few months I have been both excited and mortified of turning 30 on January 15.  It has come and gone and I can't say I feel one way or the other.  It felt a bit different as my friends and family spoiled me a bit more than usual, but I didn't feel it was necessarily a different birthday.

   Anyway, that's a long introduction for my January beauty favorites!

*ELF Studio Acne Fighting Foundation in Porcelain and Buff*

I featured these in my last ELF haul and I am so glad I bought these 2 colors as they mix together to make my perfect color!  I have to say the coverage on these babies is pretty impressive, as is the staying power.  While I have seemingly gotten my acne under control lately, I feel these will be good to wear around that time of the month when I'm prone to breaking out.

*Lush's Buffy Body Butter*

This was in my massive Lush birthday present from my gusband.  It's an exfoliating body butter.  Moisturizing me and exfoliating me at the same time!  It's quite grainy, but it feels so amazing on your skin and leaves my legs super soft!

*Premonition Shadow by Brija*

Premonition is described as a light nude/ pink peach with red and purple duo chrome.  I use this as an all over single shadow look and it's GORGEOUS!  I may have to order the full size of this as it's such a unique color.

*PF Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Extreme Shimmer Shadow*

OMG- what a long name!  My Tammy sent me this for my birthday and it's AMAZING!  The sparkle and pigmentation on these is just amazing.  This palette makes any look fun and sparkly.  I recommend picking one of the shadows to pack on the lid with a sponge applicator, with a matte shade blended out in the crease.

*Yes to Coconut Oil Body Wash*

This body wash is so luxurious!  It doesn't lather up a whole lot, but it smells delicious and is so nourishing, especially on parched winter skin.  If you're looking for a body wash that lathers up a lot, this isn't it, but if you're looking for a super moisturizing body wash, I would totally look into this!

Such a rarity for me to have my favorites be all completely new to me products!  

What products were you reaching for in January? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cupcakes and Cashmere Book Review

    I love a good lifestyle book, as some of my previous book review posts may show (Mally review, The Every Girl's Guide to Life).  What I love even more is when a fellow blogger "hits it big" and gets a book of their own published.  This is the case with Emily Schuman's "Cupcakes and Cashmere".

   My local library just got this book and I had to snatch it up.  I didn't know much about it other than I love Emily's blog and it was an all in one life style book.

   When I got this book home I finished it one sitting and a few hours.  It's such a beautiful book with a lot of great information!  I am considering purchasing it for my first coffee table book at the new place!
   This book was broken into seasons and for each season there is a fashion section, beauty section, home section and entertaining section.  The information for each section is quite useful and the photography is just so beautiful!

Here are some of my favorite tips by season!


For each season Emily includes a closet checklist, a must have wardrobe list for each season!  I definitely took notes on this section!

One of my favorite sections from spring is tips and tricks on how to shop at flea markets.  Flea markets seems to be all the trend in Brooklyn lately, so I may have to head on down to shop with my new arsenal of shopping tips.

There's also a great article on organizing your closet.  I love watching closet organization videos on Youtube and this is another great resource.


My favorite idea from the summer section was this Summer Nostalgia Party.  Get some friends together and serve kool-aid and push pops and bring out the skip-its.  I don't have a lot of friends who have outdoor space, but you better believe I will find one and have this little party!

The summer section had a beautifully photographed article on organizing your bookshelf.  As a book nerd I love a beautifully style bookshelf and this article had some great tips to keep it from looking like a library.


I've always loved the look of tights or of patterned tights and the fall section had a beautiful article on how to pick the right pair of tights for the right outfit.

Fall also had a great article on how to take a good photograph.  I always hate the way that I photograph so I will be putting some of these tips into effect!

Finally, winter

With a foot of snow heading my way, this article on layering was of great help!  So often my layered outfits come out bulky instead of sleek.

There was a great article on how to find art on the cheap.  As I have to buy EVERYTHING for my new place, cheap art is definitely going to be helpful!

All in all, I LOVED this book!  If you have ever read Cupcakes and Cashmere or really just enjoy a beautifully photographed book, I highly recommend this!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Five by Cinco de Mayo

     I saw this post going around about finishing 5 products by 5/5.  Cinco de Mayo is my best friends' birthday so I of course had to partake in this tag!  I'm putting myself on a no-buy for the month of February and depending on how the finishing of products goes, might take it into March as well.

   Here are 5 products I think I can realistically use up by Cinco de Mayo!

*NYX Pencil in Cottage Cheese*
I use this cream shadow as a base almost daily.  I already bought an ELF shadow pot replacement since I heard really good things about it.

*Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer*
I use this under my eyes on the days where I really need some extra coverage or where I know my photo will be taken a lot.  A little of this goes a long way, so I'm hoping this will be used up by May.

*Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation in Light/Medium*
I use this baby daily to set my BB cream and I've just recently hit pan on it.  While there's still a lot of product left, I'm hoping the fact that I already hit pan and use this daily that it'll be all used up.

*Physician's Formula Circle Rx Concealer*
I actually don't use this on my under eye circles, but as a spot concealer around my nose when my allergies are acting up.  I can't actually tell how much is left, but it's a product I use often so I have high hopes that it'll be empty by May.

*Milani Easyliner in Espresso*
This is my daily liner and it's absolute love.  I will definitely be repurchasing and I'm assuming I will be done with this well before Cinco de Mayo.

So I think I can meet my goal of finishing up this 5 products prior or by Cinco de Mayo.  I know a lot of people had a fun product such as an eyeshadow or lip color, but I rotate those products so frequently that there's no way I would have those used up!

Would you like to join in this little personal challenge with me?  Which 5 products do you want to use by 5/5/15? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Birthday Swag

    Let me state that this post is not meant to brag.  Ok, maybe I can brag a little.  My friends and family are seriously the most awesome people in the universe!  My birthday isn't usually a big deal since it's so close to after Christmas, but this year turning 30 was a big one.  My friends and family made sure to make it a big deal for me and I am so incredibly grateful for all of this outpouring of love.

My friend Tanya got me this beautiful Kate Spade bow ring.  This is my first piece of KS jewelry and I'm already hooked! I love bows and I love that this is adjustable and can fit over my plump fingers from all of the booze and cake consumed this week.

My friend Brianne got me this beautiful Alex and Ani necklace with my birthstone, garnet.  This is actually my first piece of jewelry with my birthstone.  I used to see a lot of gold and garnet jewelry and never loved the combination, but I love this combination of garnet and silver.

My best friend Allison got me this beautiful Michael Kors clutch.  I have so many clutches that are so tiny so I instantly fell in love with this larger clutch and I love the structured shape of it.  I used this last night at my birthday party and loved how much room it had!

My mom gave me money towards buying a new couch but also got me a few basic pieces that I love.  I love this H &M stretchy skirt and will pairing it over leggings for a cute and casual work look.

I have an obsession with nautical looking stripes and this long and lean cami is no exception.  If you have never tried H&M's camis before, I don't know what you're waiting for.  They are longer length so perfect with leggings and a bit thicker so they aren't all see through.

I have an obsession with dresses with pockets and this Gap dress has them and stripes and a zipper back!  It's perfect!  Gap is having an insane clearance sale so my mom was able to snatch this up for me very cheaply.

My best friend Anthony got me this awesome Lush gift set and added quite a few goodies to it as well. This kit is called "The Whole Fruit".  
It contains:
I love Juicy Shampoo
Miranda Soap
D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap
Jungle Solid Conditioner
The Olive Branch Shower Gel
Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub
Each Peach Massage Bar
Magnificent Soap
Whoosh Shower Jelly
Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter

He also added a few lip scrubs, lip balm and a body butter.  I am going to be well moisturized and smelling delicious for QUITE some time.

As some of you may know, I am a HUGE Mets fan.  My dad got me this framed ticket from the Mets only no-hitter and it will be going up in my little "man cave" area of my new co-op.  

…..and in the Louis box, well you will just have to wait and see my new baby!  I named her Miranda.

As you can see, I have amazing friends and family and everyone really went above and beyond to make this birthday so special for me.  

I apologize for the horrible pictures, but I have had boxes and bags in my living room for days now and I need to get everything put away!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My It's Never Going to Happen 30th Birthday Wishlist

    This Thursday I will be turning the big 3-0 and just for shits and giggles I decided to create a super, luxe, dream 30th birthday wish list.

Let's see some of the items I would want if money were no object!

A Brooklyn Heights Townhome

While I may live in the suburbs of New York City, I am a New York City girl at heart.  I spent most of my childhood in the Bronx and I would throw Westchester to the curb in a heartbeat if it meant living in the city.  However, my favorite area to live in the city is not in Manhattan, it's in Brooklyn.  I have been Brooklyn Heights obsessed since my aunt moved there when I was only 8 years old.  The town homes are huge and beautiful and all pre-war.  If money were no object this is where I would be purchasing a home.

A Trip around Europe

I am embarrassed to admit that I don't even have a passport! I've filled out the application a million times and then I always forget.  I need to get on that!  
I have been dying to travel to Europe for as long as I can remember.  Now that I can handle being on a plane, that dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.  If money (and mortgage payments) were no object, I would be hopping on a plane yesterday!

A Manolo Shoe Wardrobe

I know that Loub's are all the rage, and I wouldn't mind getting a few pair of those, but my original shoe obsession was Manolo's.  I can't think of a single girl who ever watched a single second of Sex and the City who didn't lust after a pair of Manolo's.  If they were good enough for my girl Carrie, they are good enough for me.

Victoria Beckham Dresses

Victoria Beckham knows how to design a va-va-voom dress.  The more celebrity fashion blogs/magazines I read the more I see VB's dresses and they are all simple and sexy.  I want them all!

A Personal Chef

Let me preface this by saying, I actually like cooking.  However, I don't always cook the healthiest foods and I don't always have the healthiest foods and snacks on hand. If I had a personal chef who can make healthy food delicious and accessible there's no excuse for me not to eat healthy!

Pier 1's Hayworth Collection

Every time I walk into Pier 1, I drool over the Hayworth Collection.  The mirrored pieces don't look practical to me, but they are so beyond stunning.

Mets and Penn State Season Tickets

Come on- I couldn't leave my sports out!  I wouldn't mind spending every Autumn Saturday at a Penn State game and every summer weekend at a Mets game!  Good seats only please!

….and here's one dream item I will be making a reality


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year's Empties

    While this empties post is my first empties post of 2015, it's technically my last batch of empties of 2014.  This garbage has been sitting around in it's sparkly shopping bag under my desk for quite a while.  Looking at this batch of empties I think it's the most makeup I've ever went through.


*Living Proof Full Conditioner*

I bought this in a Living Proof set and I must say, I wasn't blown away by the products.  I didn't notice any more volume or lift with these products than I do with my drugstore hair products.  I won't be repurchasing.

*Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse*

Same disappointment with this mousse as with the conditioner.  I won't be repurchasing.

*Batiste Dry Shampoo*

I can honestly see why this product receives so much hype.  This in combination with my blow out/straightening routine as had enabled me to wash my hair way less often.  I've already repurchased this.

Body Care

*The Fortune Cookie Soap Make it Rain Whipped Cream*

We all know I love the FCS whipped creams.  While this one isn't my favorite scent, I made do with it and it more than thoroughly moisturized my skin.

*The Body Shop Chocomania Body Butter*

This stuff did smell heavenly, but it was the tiniest bit greasy.  Also, The Body Shop is no longer cruelty free so I won't be repurchasing.

*Lavanilla The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut*

I have been on the hunt for a super effective natural deodorant for a while now.  This one sort of met the bill.  If it's not a very sweaty situation, this one works amazingly, if my day didn't involve sweating, this would be a winner.  I repurchased a smaller size one to keep in my purse.

*EOS Shave Cream in Lavandar Jasmine*

I purchased this in a pinch over the summer.  I really liked it, but it doesn't compare to my Trader Joe's Shave Cream.

*Bath and Body Works Honolulu Sun Hand Soap*

This was a yummy summer scent and I love my Bath and Body Works soaps, but I am so saddened that they are no longer cruelty free.

Skin Care

*Yes to Carrots Face Wipes*

This was another product I had to buy in a pinch and it was another sort of let down.  There was nothing that I didn't like about it, but I love my Yes to Cucumbers Wipes.

*Arbonne FC5 Hydrating Eye Creme*

I bought this from a friend who used to sell Arbonne and I actually really enjoyed it.  However, I have been so hooked on my Younique eye serum that I don't see myself buying anything else for quite a while.

*Konjac sponge*

I got this from Kay in a swap quite a while ago and I can't wait to try out another Konjac sponge!  These things are awesome and my skin feels so clean afterwards.  


*PF Organic Wear Mascara*

This is my second favorite mascara behind my Younique mascara.  I already have 3 backups which I purchased during CVS Semi-Annual Sale.

*ELF 3 in 1 Mascara*

This stuff SUCKED! This isn't even empty I just had to throw it away.

*PF Super BB All in 1 Balm Concealer*

This stuff is pretty awesome! I wouldn't say it's full coverage by any means, but it's a brightening enough concealer that it works well on a daily basis.  I have already repurchased a backup of this.

*ELF Studio Concealer*

This is another product that's not technically empty.  I've had this concealer for so long that though it had to be kicked to the curb.  I don't remember loving this though when I actually did use it.

*Too Faced Shadow Insurance*

I have so many eye primers and I have to say I really enjoy this one.  I have quite a few to test out though so I don't know if I will be repurchasing this one.

*Tarte Poreless Primer*

I enjoyed this primer so much that I cut open the tube to use it all up.  This stuff is really amazing, but Tarte is no longer technically cruelty free so I won't be repurchasing.  Plus, I have actually been enjoying my ELF primer.

*Physician's Formula CC+ Cream*

This has been my go to daily foundation for quite a while.  I have already repurchased and will continue to do so.

*Real Techniques Blending Sponge*

I don't know how I lived so long without this sponge in my life.  It is now pretty much the only way I apply my foundation.  I have already repurchased a second one.

*Essence Stay All Day Shadow*

This is another product that is not empty, but it unfortunately dried out.  I love using cream shadows and this one was one my of favorites.  I will have to make an Ulta trip to repurchase soon.

Finally, I can throw all of these things out!  Let's see what my next batch of empties brings about!

Monday, January 5, 2015

ELF Haul

     I had been wanting to buy quite a few things from ELF for a while, and I was stalking their site to see when they would have their 50% off sale.  To me a BOGO 50% off deal at ELF just isn't worth it (cheap much? lol).  A day or 2 after Christmas they had their 50% off an order over $30 sale and I knew this was my time to buy!  

Heres what I ended up picking up:

How cute is this little GIF?  I downloaded the Party Party App from A Beautiful Mess and have had so much fun playing around with it!!

*Acne Fighting Foundation in Porcelain and Buff ($3 each on sale)*

I have heard good things about this foundation and since I have been experiencing more acne than usual lately, I thought I should give this a try.  I heard some of the shades were off, so I decided to purchase the 2 lightest shades.

*Smudge Pot in Pearls of Wisdom ($1.50 on sale)*

I am almost out of my NYX Shadow Stick in Cottage Cheese and heard this was a good cruelty free alternative.  I use a white base almost every day.

*Matte Lip Color in Natural ($1.50 on sale)*

I have been really into lip liners lately, and this product is very similar to a lip liner.  Morgan Joyce used this color in her video to overdraw her lips slightly and it gave such a plumping effect.  Can't wait to try this out.

Face Brushes/Tools

*Studio Powder Brush ($1.50 on sale)*

I had one of these a while ago, and this is a great foundation application brush!  I LOVE my Real Techniques Sponge, but every now and then I like to switch it up.

*Studio Mineral Powder Brush ($1.50 on sale)*

I desperately need a blush brush and ELF's blush brush is too tiny so I thought I would give this one a try.

*Studio Kabuki Face Brush ($3.00 on sale)*

I've had my Costco kabuki brush for almost 2 years now and it's beginning to show its age.  It was time to get a new one.

*Blending Wedges (50 cents on sale)*

I thought this would be great to help clean up any eye looks or to travel with instead of my Real Techniques sponge.

Eye Brushes

*Eyeshadow Brush (50 cents on sale)*

I have one of these and it's so awesome to just pack on shadow or pigments with.  I bought 3 of them and will most likely be using them non-stop.

*Lash & Brow Brush (50 cents on sale)*

I've needed a spoolie for my brows for quite a while and for this cheap, how could I not?

*Studio Contour Brush ($1.50 on sale)*

I always struggle with creating an outer-v and I heard good things about this brush so I decided to give it a try!

*Studio Lash & Brow Comb ($1.50 on sale)*

I've really needed a lash brush to help with the application of my 3D Lashes and this was the right price!

*Eye Shadow Applicators (50 cents on sale)*

I've really wanted to start experimenting with glitter shadows and I've seen a lot of tutorials use these little guys to pack the color on.

Have you purchased anything from ELF lately?

I just saw that the released a skincare line…interesting! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Etsy Lovin: Brija Cosmetics

    I have been an Etsy lurker for quite a while and even ordered a few things here or there.  Recently, I've found myself checking Etsy constantly and would really like to begin purchasing more cosmetics,skincare, home goods and gift items from this amazing site.

    To kick off my Etsy Lovin' series, I ordered a few items from Brija Cosmetics.  Brija Cosmetics is a natural cosmetics line started by Brianna of iluvjesse444 on Youtube.  Brianna is a great natural beauty vlogger and has introduced me to a lot of products.

   I was never a fan of working with loose pigments until I got my Younique representative starter kit and fell in love with the pigments.  Now pigments is like all I want to try!

Here's what I ordered from Brija:

*Adhesive Eye Wax*
A primer to be used with glitter shadows and foiled shadows.  I have been dying to try out more glitter shadows so prior to purchasing any glitters, I thought this adhesive would be great.

*Shadow in Nothing Sexy*
This beautiful color is described as a light purpley/taupe with icy blue duo chrome.  I love wearing this shadow all over the lid with a soft black liner for a great everyday look.

*Shadow in Premonition*
This color is described as a light nude/pink peach with red and purple duo chrome.  This is such a pretty color and looks really nice popped onto the center of the lid over a darker color.

*Shadow in Keith Scott*
Warm semi-matte deep brown color
This color looks so basic in the sample baggie, but when swatched OMG it's gorgeous.  A great crease color!

*Shadow in Ladies Man*
Deep purple with green duo chrome
Another color that looks like nothing special in the sample baggie, but is so beautiful swatched.  This would be a great color for a gray/silver smokey eye.

*Shadow in Spatter Analysis*
Gray base with red sparkle
This shadow was super unique looking so I had to pick it up.  It is such a beautiful color and would look great with a rust/fall look.

*Shadow in Strive*
medium magenta purple with orange duo chrome and copper sparks
This is another rich/fall color and would also look great on tanned skin.  

*Hoola Hoop Bronzer*
This is a great deep matte bronzer.  Unfortunately, it's a bit too dark for my winter skin so I will be saving this one for summer.

From top to bottom:
*Spatter Analysis*
*Ladies man*
*Keith Scott*
*Nothing Sexy*

All in all, I am incredibly pleased with my purchase from Brija.  I got all of these shadows, with the exception of Premonition, from the Blogger Pack.  The Blogger Pack allows bloggers (you have to submit your blog URL) to pick one full size shadow and be sent 4 baggie samples randomly.  If you have a blog or a Youtube channel I totally recommend looking into this!

I plan on purchasing from Brija again, especially when she releases her Harry Potter Collection (come on, I'm a nerd at heart!) at the end of the month.

Have you ever tried Brija Cosmetics?

Any recommendation on what Etsy shop I should try next?

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Resolutions

   The time has come where everyone is posting those oh so believable "New Year, New Me" posts and making a super long list of resolutions.  I must admit,  I am usually that person who is writing that long list of resolutions.  I had planned on doing that same thing yet again, until I watched a video that Mae did about choosing a word of the year.  This word can sort of guide your resolutions and goals for the year.

     On New Years Eve as I was sitting with my best friend we decided to come up with our words of the year.  He came up with the word pampering as he works non-stop and forgets to take care of himself.  My word of 2015 is going to be manage.

   Why manage?  I chose manage for several reasons.

1.  I need to manage my time better.

This was a big one as I came up with the word manage.  When I get home from work I am usually so DONE that I just lay on the couch the whole night and veg out.  Some nights I get home as early as 4:30 why in the world aren't I working out or writing my blogs or reading a book?  As exhausted or as drained as I feel I need to force myself to come home and workout, write my blog, do something for myself, do something for work, etc.  That's so much lost time!

2.  I need to manage my portion sizes

2014 was the year that I made the most positive changes in my life in terms of health and fitness, but unfortunately I am never able to consistently stick to them.  When I look at my overall diet the problem that sticks out the most to me is portion sizes.  The crap I eat may not be as bad if I ate the proper serving size of it.  It's time to pay close attention to portion/serving sizes and force myself to learn and to adapt.

3. I need to manage my stress

Due to the fact that it's my first year being a full time teacher and I'm untenured and teaching a very non-traditional class I have a much higher level of stress than I have had in previous years.  I need to get my stress under control and not lean on wine or junk food or mini panic attacks.  I want to look into some yoga classes and definitely journal more.

4.  I need to manage my finances.

Within a few weeks I will be paying a mortgage, maintenance , cable, electricity, etc. for the first time in my life.  While I have been saving a lot of money while living at home, I know that I will need to create and follow a proper budget for the first time.  

4.  I need to manage my expectations.

I'm turning 30 in 2 weeks and for a while I had panicked about this, a lot.  By the time I was 30 I thought I would've been married with children.  Obviously that is not the case.  However, by the time I turn 30 I will be a home owner.  I didn't have any help from my parents, I did this on my own and that's pretty amazing.  I also have a job that stresses me out but fills me with love and hope everyday.  I have friends that make me smile and make me feel loved constantly.  I also have a family that support me every step of the way.  I may not be where I thought I would be, but that doesn't mean that I have failed.

So manage will be word of 2015, what will yours be?


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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