Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I Bought - December 2014

1. J.Crew pop art rose tee - $20.99 (on sale - still available!)
2. J.Crew Donald Robertson tee - $20.99 (on sale - still available!)
3. Hulk fist bump tee - $11.19
4. Conair medium spiral rollers - $7.29
5. L'Oreal power volume 24H mascara - $6.99 (I'm not liking it at all - so don't bother with this one)

Total spent out of pocket = $67.45

Go forth and shop responsibly!
I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Hey, just for fun let's see how much I've spent in 2014!

Total Spent Out of Pocket for 2014 = $1,126.76 (which averages $93.90 a month - less than last year)

January = $30
February = $112.99
March = $160.40
April = $66.10
May = $27.98
June = $0
July = $32.65
August = $64.40
September = $227.20
October = $337.59
November = $0
December = $67.45

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book Review - "The Martian" by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir (Kindle version is $3)

This book has had a lot of buzz around it because the guy who wrote it basically just had the story on his website, but the more and more people read it, the more and more people wanted it in a "book" form so he put it on Amazon for the lowest price and it took off from there.  To the best seller list and now a movie (currently filming).  It's about astronaut Mark Watney, part of a crew sent to Mars for a mission, but in a turn of events he was left stranded all alone on the planet.  Mark is lovable from the first line, he's a GREAT character, absolutely love him.  It's a book that follows his efforts to get back to Earth, which are harrowing and seemingly impossible yet his trials and tribulations will not let you put the book down.  Can you tell this is Mr. Weir's first book?  Yes.  Does that hinder the story?  No.  He has jammed so much research and science into this book you forget that it's just a novel.  He did such a great job.  It's the story of a dude with a great sense of humor and joie de vivre that just happens to take place on Mars.  I highly recommend this book!  It's one of the best stories I've read in a long time!

Footnote:  The movie is being directed by Ridley Scott and Mark is being played by Matt Damon.  I can't say I'm happy about either choice.  I'm nervous Scott is going to make it more about Mars than Mark and more deadly serious than optimistic.  I hope I'm wrong.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review - "The EveryGirl's Guide to Life" by Maria Menounos

The EveryGirl's Guide to Life by Maria Menounos

Another book picked up on a whim at the library, I just love books like this, it takes me back to my adolescence, when I was trying to figure out who and what I should/could be.  Always on the lookout for tips and tricks about life.  It's like that old Ellen DeGeneres joke about adults asking kids what they want to be when they grow up - because the adults are looking for ideas.  I guess you never quite figure it out or maybe it's just me that hasn't.  Anyway, back to this book, it's really aimed at the older teen/young adult set so I didn't get too much out of it, just a few things here and there.  However if you have an older teen/college age/fresh out of college gal in your life then this would be a great gift!  She just gives very practical advice and encouraging words about being self sufficient, learning all you can and becoming highly organized.  Some of the technology she mentions is a bit dated and the "black book" she encourages you to start with all your vital information, etc (a good idea), I would add buying a fireproof safe to put that book in (and any other vital documents) and put the safe in a very secret place.  All in all a good book!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review - "The Selby is in Your Place" by Todd Selby

I found this at the local second hand bookstore in the clearance section for $5 (it was pretty much brand new)!  So I had to grab it and check it out.  I'm glad I did.  Now granted, it's definitely a book with a hipster vibe (which can make one roll their eyes, myself included) but I could overlook all that and just enjoy peeking into people's homes and workspaces.  I just love stuff like that.  As a person in a creative field I'm used to be surrounded by stuff that inspires me.  Pinboards full of images, toys, fabrics, boxes overflowing with color chips, etc. so the clutter that is in some of these spaces I completely understand.  Do I love clutter, no, but I do understand how you really have to have stuff around you for reference.  These spaces aren't perfect, they are lived in and not polished up to unattainable.  That's the part I love about this book and I'm happy to add it to my interior design book collection.  If you don't find spaces like that inspiring or interesting (and if you hate clutter) then this isn't the book for you.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review - "Bright Bazaar" by Will Taylor

I checked this out of the library on a whim and I must say I LOVED it!  It's by a blogger who I've never heard of whose passion is color and injecting color into interior decorating.  I loved the color palette section where he highlights some favorite pairings and the inspiration for them as well as using them in your home.  The book is chock full of inspiring pictures and wonderful color!  One complaint is they do re-use photos in different sections, I wish he would have used more/different homes as examples.  But otherwise this would be a solid addition to any decorating book collection!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Picks - Pre-Fall 2015

It's that time again, designers are presenting their Pre-Fall 2015 collections and as always, I'm pinning my favorite looks on my Pre-Fall 2015 Pinterest board (updating as the shows post).  Head over and check it out!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review - "A Story Lately Told" by Anjelica Huston

A Story Lately Told by Anjelica Huston

I've been hearing a lot about this memoir and was excited when I ran across a copy at the local library book sale!  It recounts her childhood in Ireland, London and then eventually in NYC as a young model.  Her life is fascinating, but I found her telling a bit scattered.  I honestly had a hard time keeping up with the cast of characters.  And I never understood if she actually finished school or not.  Her lineage is fascinating (granddaughter of Walter and daughter of John) but also created a bit of destiny for her in regards to being in movies.  When I finished the book, I was a bit "meh" and yet I still want to pick up part two to see what happens in Los Angeles.  As autobiographies go this was a solid 3 on a scale of 1-5.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What I Bought - November 2014

I bought nothing this month.  Not even a lip gloss.  It was my birthday month and I didn't indulge! Though I did buy this indoor grill and a Pencil by FiftyThree (during their black Friday sale - love the app).  Not really style related, just functional stuff.  Party pooper!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ultimate Holiday Wishlist

I decided to not do gift guides this year and just make it all about me (you can still check out last year's guys & gals - most of the stuff is still valid - seriously, if you know a person who loves to grill Mangrates are a must!).  Wow, such holiday spirit, right?  I know, I know.  Sometimes it's just fun to make a list of things both crazy expensive and totally affordable that you would buy for yourself if you could.  So I thought I would share my list.
1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9. / 10. / 11. / 12. / 13. / 14. / 15. / 16. / 17. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review - "The Body Book" by Cameron Diaz

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

I had been curious about this book ever since it first came out, so I checked it out from the library, not really knowing what to expect.  Well, I'm glad I did, bottom line I was super impressed.  Now, I should say that this is not really a book aimed at my 40+ year old self, it's more of a primer to basic nutrition, how your body works, and the importance of taking care of your health, best aimed at a girl in her teens/early 20s.  Not saying I didn't get anything out of it, I did.  I enjoyed how she wrote the book as if she were having a conversation with you.  I appreciated that she wasn't preachy, instead she is encouraging and empowering, she's like a cool aunt/sister/bff.  I am absolutely going to be purchasing a copy to have in my library.  Bravo Cameron!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review - "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

The story centers around Alice who comes to on the floor of her gym one day after hitting her head during spin class and has forgotten the past 10 years of her life.  She's stuck in 1998, when in reality it's 2008.  She thinks she's pregnant with her first child, that her marriage is blissful, etc.  Unfortunately a lot has happened in that decade she can't recall.  Her quest is to try to regain her memory as well as marry who she was in 1998 to who she's become in 2008.  I had a super hard time getting into this book, I had to get almost halfway through before the way it's written (following Alice around, mixed in with her sister's letters to her therapist) stopped confusing me.  But once you get used to it, it really flies by.  Was it my favorite book by Ms. Moriarty? No. But it's still a solid read.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review - "#Girlboss" by Sophia Amoruso

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

Picked this up on a whim, I've been seeing a lot of people online posting about this book, so I was curious.  I have no idea what her shop Nasty Gal is #nottheirdemographic #old and had not a clue to who she is.  The book gives a summary of her background and how she built her company.  That part was really interesting.  The second part of the book is more advice for younger readers, ones that may not be in the workforce yet, or are trying to find their way (resume advice, cover letter advice, you have to start somewhere and do some things that may not be in your job description stuff - duh).  It's a quick read and would be a great gift to any girl who's graduating soon or pick it up if you just want an inspiring story of a woman who built a company and brand from nothing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review - "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

A tragedy has occurred during an school fundraiser. The book follows 40 year old mom Madeline, her best friend Celeste who seems to have it all, Bonnie who is married to Madeline's ex and Jane the young, single, new mom in the school.  As soon as Jane arrives and Madeline takes her under her wing, things start to unravel.  Jane's son is accused of bullying, Celeste's "perfect life" veneer starts to crack, Madeline's daughter wants to live with her father.  It's a good story, interesting and easy to read and follow.  For some reason I just had a hard time getting into the book, but once I was 100 pages in, it just sort of flowed.  I didn't like it as well as some of her other books, but it's still worth your time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review - "Overdressed" by Elizabeth L. Cline

Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline

This one hits close to home for me, which is why I was eager to read it.  It's full of information about the manufacturing methods of "cheap fashion" and how we got to be so dependent on it.  It's a book everyone should read, especially if you have a crammed closet full of clothes you barely wear.  I found it oversimplified at times, preachy at others, but overall the message is good.  Having been in the textile industry for close to 20 years and then at school for textile and apparel management before that (I remember finding out NAFTA passed in class one day and we all collectively groaned, seeing our job prospects diminish in an instant) I've seen the decline of the domestic industry firsthand.  I've seen quality diminish, I've fought with overseas suppliers, I've pulled my hair out at customers wanting something for nothing, etc.  Maybe that's why I'm so conscious to how much I bring into my home.  My closet has never been vast, I thrift a lot, I buy quality over quantity, I wear stuff out, I mend instead of throw away or donate for the most part.  Sure I love my fast fashion fix every now and then but I'm fully aware of what I'm going to get at places like F21, H&M, Zara, Target, etc.  In fact I can't even walk into F21 without thinking "look at all this garbage".    I think the idea of the book can be summed up by one of the interviewees in the book, vintage dealer Sara Bereket when she said "We blame companies.  But at the end of the day we have to be responsible for our actions."  Stop buying so much stuff, buy better quality stuff, hunt out made in the USA items if possible, learn how to fix your clothes or find someone who can, shop with intention.  Ultimately it's in our hands, we created the demand, we can change the game if we are willing to be more mindful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Review - "Tory Burch: In Color" by Tory Burch

Tory Burch: In Color by Tory Burch

I pre-ordered this book the second I was able to.  I'm a Tory fan from way back when there was just the one store on Elizabeth Street.  This book is gorgeous, instead of chapters, it's broken down by colors, a sort of personal scrapbook with gorgeous images and stories.  If you are a Tory fan pick this up.  Would be ideal as a gift!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review - "The Arsonist" by Sue Miller

The Arsonist by Sue Miller

I had high hopes with this one, however was supremely disappointed.  Reading this was like walking through mud, it was work.  It's the story of a small New Hampshire town one Summer in the late 1990's where fires are destroying homes of the residents who summer there.  There is an arsonist on the loose and everyone is scared.  Focusing on Sylvia and Alfie who have retired there and their daughter Frankie who has returned to town after fifteen years in Africa doing aid work.  And that's about it.  It's touted as "suspenseful" with "emotional insight", it is neither.  The only suspense was if I was going to actually finish the darn thing.  I would skip this one.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review - "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" by Mindy Kaling

I picked this one up on a whim, I liked her on The Office and I enjoyed Tina Fey's Bossypants so I thought it might be a fun read.  It was a big bowl of okay.  Nothing life changing, nothing laugh out loud hilarious, just stuff about her childhood and career.  She's likable but I just was underwhelmed.  I just didn't "click" with her much.  If you like Mindy then you will like the book.  I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I came away feeling like I never got to know the "real" Mindy.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review - "The Last Original Wife" by Dorothea Benton Frank

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

One of my favorites I've ever read from Ms. Frank.  The story is about Les the middle aged wife of Wes.  The issue is that in Wes's posh circle of friends, Les is the last of the "original" wives.  His friends are all on their second marriages to young, gorgeous girls, with whom she has nothing in common.  She's had enough of Wes's controlling ways and feeling like Wes is doing her a "favor" by not dumping her for a newer model.  After an incident in Scotland while on vacation and a discovery about their finances, Les decides she's had enough and up and leaves to stay with her brother in Charleston.  What follows is a lesson in self-discovery, identity, what happiness really is and what you are willing to put up with in the last part of your life to truly live.  I adored the story!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review - "One Plus One" by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Yeah, it's a bit rom-com formulaic, yet the story has so much heart you can't put it down.  It's the story of Jess, a single mom in a gritty town outside of London.  She works multiple jobs to keep the family fed and housed since her husband went AWOL and left their young daughter and teenage son (Jess' stepson) behind.  The daughter is a math prodigy and the stepson is being bullied.  Jess is trying to keep her head above water when help arrives in the form of software guru Ed (who's got major problems of his own).  What follows is a story that has so much heart and soul, that redefines what family means, gives you hope that good things happen to good people and that you can succeed against all odds.  Pick this one up!

Book Review - "Elements of Style" by Erin Gates

Elements of Style by Erin Gates

Erin's Elements of Style blog was one of the first interior design blogs I stumbled across when I first discovered the blogosphere, and have been following her ever since.  She's got a great eye, fabulous style and feels like a friend with her candid writing.  So when she announced she was writing a book, I couldn't wait, in fact I pre-ordered the book way back in March.  It was worth the wait.  I devoured the book in a day.  It's a great mix of stories from her life and gorgeous photos from her projects.  It's chock full of inspiration, laughs, honesty and beauty.  Plus it looks gorgeous on display (with that stunning striped spine).  If you are an Erin fan or just love looking at gorgeous spaces, then this is the book for you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review - "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell

I liked Fangirl so much I immediately checked out this one:

Another great book, again classified as "young adult" but this was was a bit darker and more serious than Fangirl.  The story is told in a back an forth switching between Eleanor and Park's point of view.  Eleanor is sixteen and comes from a very difficult home situation.  Park is also sixteen with a more stable home life and an established reputation in their school.  When Eleanor has to sit next to him on the bus on her first day at their school, they slowly start to form a relationship that evolves into first love.  The story is funny at times, heartbreaking at other times.  The ending is tough, you really want her to write a sequel at some point.  Ms. Rowell's characters are so wonderfully well developed that you feel their pain, joy and hope.  A movie is in the works as well.  If you loved books like The Fault In Our Stars and The Age of Miracles then pick this one up!  

Book Review - "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

I'm switching things up a bit around here.  If you are a regular around here you know I keep a running list of books I've read (and my thoughts on them) on the "Books I've Read" page.  But the list is getting out of control and I want to be able to search my book list more easily.  Plus, let's face facts, I'm not posting as much on the blog as I have been and I feel the blog is evolving a bit.  I mean, I love sharing my reviews of products why not add my thoughts on books as posts too?  So along with the usual posts I'll be posting my book thoughts as well.  Starting today!  I went on a bit of a "putting books on hold" binge at the library over the past few weeks and they have started pouring in. So let's get started.

Oh my, I LOVED this book so much.  It's technically classified as a "young adult" book but I found it totally relatable.  The story centers on Cath and her first year of college.  She has a twin but her twin decided that they shouldn't room together, she wanted to be her own person and thinks that Cath should want that as well.  Cath is a popular (albeit anonymous) fan fiction writer for a Harry Potter-type series of books.  It's her escape, her passion and part of her identity.  Her home life is complicated with an absentee mother and a father who has mental health issues.  I totally related to Cath, the story brought back those "first year of college, coming of age" issues.  Just finding your way into adulthood, crossing that bridge.  I highly recommend this book, it's a light, easy read that satisfies!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What I Bought - October 2014

We had a wedding to attend this month so I had to buy a new dress and a clutch.  I can honestly say I had not one dress in my closet that wasn't a summer "beach trip" dress and my beloved vintage clutch that I usually carry has started to fall apart (that's what happens after 10+ years of special occasion use).  Here's what I brought home:

1. J.Crew tee (on super sale) - $10.49
2. J.Crew tunic (in the most perfect green, also on super sale) - $13.99
3. H&M dress (mine is cobalt blue - color not available online) - $39.99  - this dress is absolute perfection, it looks way more $$ than the cost, it's structured, yet stretchy and comfortable.  Plus it made me look 10 lbs thinner!
4. DVF clutch - $156 (25% off promo on Piperlime but it's now sold out there) - got this clutch after Jessica raved about it.  She's right (she's pretty much always right BTW - love her blog), it's gorgeous and holds enough for a night out.  Totally glam and will be chic for years!
5. Nike sneakers - $70.17 (on sale - so they might go quick) - $20 (FabFitFun gift card from Fall box) = $50.17
6. Beauty Blender - $19.95 - swear by these!
7. Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation - $47 - a little more coverage than my regular foundation, yet still not heavy feeling. Really liking it.

Total spent out of pocket - $337.59

Go forth and shop responsibly!

I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reviews - PopSugar September Must Have Box & Fall FabFitFun Box

Starting with the September PopSugar Must Have Box:
This was my first PopSugar Must Have box and the reason I pulled the trigger was the spoiler of the scarf.  I wanted that scarf.  So the rest of this is gravy.  

Here is the scarf - it's gorgeous, buttery soft, light as air and HUGE!  It did not disappoint!  (some similar patterns from the same brand here and here).

The other items I've used are the earbuds and I've framed one of the cards.  I'm going to use the $20 Nike gift card too - just have to figure out what shoes I want.  I need some new gym shoes badly.  Overall I was pleased.  I did end up cancelling my subscription (but not before the October box was billed - the box still hasn't arrived though).  The only complaint I've had with this box is that it took FOREVER to get to me and customer service was so slow to respond to my questions.

Now for my (usually) favorite box - the FabFitFun Fall box:
I have yet to be disappointed with this box, until this one.  The only thing I've even used are the Great Soles Ballet Barre Peds, they are awesome!  I mean there are some good things in the box, but they just didn't appeal to me.  I'm going to be passing most of this on.  I'm hoping the Winter box is better, if not I might rethink continuing with the subscription.  If you are interested in subscribing then go here (use code WINTER5 for $5 off your first box).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shopbop Friends & Family Sale - 25% Off Sitewide 10/14-10/16/14

It's that time of year again, Shopbop's 25% off sitewide Friends & Family event - use code FAMILY25 - the sale runs from today 10/14 - 10/16/14 at 11:59 pm PT.

It's a great time to start your holiday shopping (in fact I just bought these earrings as a gift).  Also, this necklace has been on my wishlist for well over a year now and I might just have to snap it up!

Here are some of my other picks from the sale (all under $100)!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review - L'Oreal Superior Preference Mousse Absolue Hair Color

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm an at-home-hair-color fanatic.  I've dyed my hair at home (off and on) for 20+ years and I love trying new products when they hit the market!  I was super excited to try out L'Oreal's new Mousse Absolue - this is a no-mix product that can have up to two applications (depending on your hair length).  So I booked it over to Target and picked up color #654.  I was a little disappointed in the red range - I always want more options, I'm so picky and super specific with my reds.  I rushed home and applied it.  This is by far the easiest hair color I have ever used.  No fussing with mixing, you just shake and go.  The application is along the lines of any other mousse, not drippy and really easy.  I have just below chin length hair and I got two full applications out of this - score!  The color was easy to rinse out, even and had great shine.  In fact when I went to get my hair cut at the salon a couple of weeks after I colored, my stylist commented about how gorgeous my hair color was.  She asked what I had used (she knows I do it at home), she was super impressed.  It did fade a little quicker than some other colors I've used, but not enough for me to balk at using it again.  I highly recommend this product!

Check out my other hair color reviews here, here, and my most read disaster post here.

Have you tried this product yet?  If so what did you think?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What I Bought - September 2014

We took a weekend trip to Hilton Head, SC earlier in the month and I went a little nuts at the outlets!  Here's what I took home:
1. J.Crew Factory tunic sweater with leather pockets - $58.80 (I had the J.Crew version on my wishlist a year ago!)
5. Under Armour skinny headbands - $3.97 (similar)
8. Under Armour storm Sherpa jacket - $23.97 (not pictured - similar)
9. Under Armour Wonder Woman tee - $20.99 (not pictured - similar)

Total spent out of pocket - $227.20

Go forth and shop responsibly!

I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I Bought - August 2014

Here's what I bought this month:
1. Audrey Hepburn tee - $16.94 + 25% promo = $12.71
2. & 6. Old Navy active sports bra - $14 each + 25% promo = $21
3. Wet n' Wild nail polish - $1.19 (on clearance)
4. & 5. Old Navy compression capris - $25 each + $37.50
7. Trinket dish - $22
8. Mara Hoffman candle - $19.95 (on sale - sold out online but check stores, it's a beauty!)

Total spent = $114.35
- $49.95 Anthropologie gift card
Total spent out of pocket - $64.40

Go forth and shop responsibly!

I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review - Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Collection

Disclaimer:  As a member of the Vogue Influencer Network, these products were provided to me by Neutrogena. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was so happy I was chosen to give the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair products a try because let's face it, when you are my age (ahem - 40) wrinkles really start to become an issue.  As does dullness, discoloration/dark spots, and just overall "glow".  I have used these products (and only these products) for a solid week, because the products say that they will "help fade the look of wrinkles, brighten skin's tone, and smooth fine lines and texture in just one week".  I was a little skeptical, but am pleased to report that they aren't exaggerating.  After about three days in, my skin was glowing, so soft and radiant.  Side note, I must say (and I preach this to everyone) ALWAYS apply serums/moisturizers/sunscreen, etc to your face AND neck.  Always.  I have done this since I was 16 years old and my neck shows almost zero signs of aging, it's why people, when they meet me, think I'm younger than I am.  Start now, it's never too late!  Face and neck always!  Getting off my soapbox now...

The standout product is the serum:

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair serum

I used it once a day (at night) before applying my moisturizer and it just soaks in, sometimes serums can feel watery or like they sit on your skin.  This one did not.  I LOVE this product.  I've always been so-so on the  serum front, but this one changed my tune!

I followed with this:

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night moisturizer

I LOVED this nighttime moisturizer, my skin drank it up.  Now I have mostly oily skin and I was okay with this, it didn't break me out.  Sometimes when you have oily skin you have to worry about a serum then moisturizer just making a greasy, zit-filled mess.  So far, so good.

A little side note for people who have never used Retinols before, they can feel uncomfortable at first (warmth, itchy), if it feels that way then scale back to every other day and/or use the serum or moisturizer for a while before combining. Also make sure you use sunscreen every day because Retinols can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn - trust me on this one.

Every morning I applied this:

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Broad Spectrum SPF30 moisturizer

Another really great product that gives you SPF (which you need with the retinols) and does very well under makeup.  My only complaint is I didn't like the smell, but it's not overpowering and doesn't last long, but you can smell the sunscreen.

And lastly, probably the product that didn't do as much for me as the others, though still a great product.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair eye cream

I didn't see as many results with this product as the others, because I have used similar eye creams for a while.  I've been a religious eye cream user for two decades, so while I do have crows feet, they aren't as pronounced as they could be had I not been using products like this for as long as I have.  This is a perfect eye cream if you are starting to see those nagging crows feet.  It's great because the retinols will help lessen the look of those suckers.

Like I said, three days in my skin was so glowy and radiant.  This was the most exciting development, my skin seemed vibrant again.  The "parentheses" around my mouth didn't seem as pronounced as they did before.  My hyper pigmentation in my temple area seemed a little lighter (I think I'm stuck with it though post-baby).

Final thoughts:  This is a great retinol system, if you are new to retinols and are confused figuring out what should be used with what for maximum anti-aging power, then this is a great way to start!  It's easy and it works!  If you just want to cherry pick one or two items then I would say the serum #1 and the night cream #2.  Those are the two I will be purchasing when I run out.  I liked everything, but those were my favorites from the system.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Picks - Roland Mouret for Banana Republic

Another high end designer collaboration just came out today and it looks fantastic - Roland Mouret for Banana Republic!  Chic, timeless pieces that you can dress up or down - if I were still working in an office I would snap a few of these up because they are perfect for work wear.  I have a feeling this collection will go quickly.  Here are my picks:

Poplin Tee (I may have to make this one mine!)

Lace Yolk Dress - this has a very Victoria Beckham Collection vibe too!

Check out the rest of the collection here!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What I Bought - July 2014

Not much this month, but more than last months $0!

Here's what I bought:
1. Bolle tennis skirt (similar) - $7.19 (thrifted)
2. LOFT shorts (similar) - $10.79 (thrifted)
3. Maybelline Color Whisper in Go Nude - $2.98 (on clearance in store at Target)
4. Gap ballet flats (not pictured - similar, similar, similar) - $11.69

Total spent out of pocket - $32.65

Go forth and shop responsibly!

I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Look For Less - Victoria Beckham Tote

I'm a huge fan of Victoria Beckham and her designs, but us mere mortals can't really justify dropping $2000+ on a handbag.  So it's nice when you can find a similar look at a much lower price!  This tote from Boden is just chic for a whole lot less.
Victoria Beckham totes - left and right

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Having A Moment - Star Wars

This trend is so up my alley, it's not even funny.  Fall 2014 saw not one, but two designers (Rodarte and Preen) sending Star Wars themed looks down the runway.  Is it going to appeal to everyone?  No. But it's a great way to get ready for next year's new movie!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Having A Moment - SpongeBob SquarePants

Unless your name is Patrick and you live under a rock under the sea, you have to have noticed that SpongeBob SquarePants is having a bit of a moment.  Jeremy Scott sent a whole bunch of SpongeBob items down the runway for his debut at Moschino for Fall 2014.  The band AJR samples SpongeBob for their song "I'm Ready".  Here are some fun fashion picks if nautical nonsense be something you wish...
5. Loudmouth golf skort  / 6. Moschino bag

Now try not to sing the SpongeBob theme all day. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

FabFitFun Summer Box Review

It's a happy day when my seasonal FabFitFun box arrives, as always this box is chock full of goodies.  Let's dig in!

1. FabFitFun water infuser BPA-free water bottle - $15 - using this as I type.  I've been wanting to get one of these bottles and I was thrilled one was in the box.  I'm loving it!
2. Always Xtra protection long daily liners - $1.50 - Included as a sponsor, I use these so I was happy to have them included.
3. POPchips - $1.29 - So yummy!
4. Thursday Friday Away Mini Clutch/Makeup bag - $35 (similar yet cheaper) - I have a Thursday Friday tote (I have the pink version that I can't find online) that I love so this will go nicely with it. They also included a $30 gift card to use at the online store too!
5.  Skintimate Shave Gel - $1.99 - also a sponsor - but who can't use shave gel?
6. Sonya Dakar Flash Facial - $95 - This. This was the product I couldn't wait to get my hands on.  It's nice, really nice.  I've used it one time and it really does make your skin feel nice. I want to give it time before I do a full review.
7. Zoya Nail Polish - $9 - Love their polishes and this is a perfect coral color for Summer.
8. Slimfast Have Your Cake... meal bar - $1 - another sponsored item, but I love trying different bars and this one is pretty darn good.
9. Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil - $25 - I haven't tried this out yet, but I'm always on the hunt for a good frizz fighter, so we'll see.
10. KISSTIXX lip balm - $5.99 - interesting concept you and your partner each try one flavor and when you kiss the flavors should mix nicely.  Not sure about all that, but I love a good lip balm.  I got the strawberry and chocolate flavors. 
11. pur-lisse pur-protect SPF 30 - $55 - Totally jazzed about getting this, I love a good moisturizer with SPF.  This won is very lightweight and I like it so far.

For a grand total value of $245.77!

Again, just like the Spring Box, I'm really happy with the variety, value and introducing items to me that I might not have sought out on my own.  

There are still some Summer boxes available (but they will go quickly) just head over to an enter code 5081804 for $15 off your first box (while supplies last)!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review - "Homemade Nail Polish: Create Unique Colors and Designs for Stunning Nails" by Allison Rose Spiekermann

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the book for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

I'm a color junkie, and my color preferences change rather frequently depending on my mood, the season, trends I see, etc.  And we all know that nail polish is a quick and easy way to hop on a trend without spending buckets of money.  But sometimes it's super hard to find just that right color that you are looking for.  Or maybe you are looking for one-of-a-kind nail art.  Have you ever just thought "I wish I could just make my own polish."?  If so, then this is the book you have been looking for.

To be honest, when I first scanned the book, I was a little intimidated, there's a lot of information and recipes with ingredients I'd never heard of.  But, when I started from the beginning and actually read the text, I relaxed.  The goldmine in this book is the first chapter, she really breaks down what ingredients are in polish and what you will need in order to create the looks you want.  Allison really takes something that seems super complicated and makes it simple.

While I didn't have time to tackle any recipes right now, I will in the near future (I didn't even want to go there with my 6 year old home with me for the Summer, this will be a project best attempted when she is out of the house).  I'm going to dip my toes in with the polishes made with eye shadow and then the holographic top coat.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is remotely interested in creating custom nail colors or just wants to be able to get a unique look that they can't find.  So much fun!

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