Friday, February 19, 2016

Unboxing: Walmart Winter Beauty Box

If you know me, you probably know I've fully fallen into the hype of the subscription boxes. I've tried so many out, Ipsy, Birch Box, Pup Box, Dia & Co., etc.. However, since I'm not a millionaire I've limited myself to just Birch Box.(I'll post more on that later!) When I heard Target and Walmart both did boxes for a reasonable price, $7 and $5 respectively I knew I had to try them. Walmart does a quarterly box and here is what I got in my Winter box:

When I walked up to my door step and saw the box, I was immediately impressed with how large it was. See it compared to my February Birch Box.

Now for the goodies: 

  1. Swisspers 100% Cotton Swabs in leopard print (30 count)
  2. Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Body Wash and Lotion in nourishing coconut
  3. Crest 3D White Brilliance (a single use sample of the 2 step process)
  4. Vera Wang Embrace perfume sample green tea & pear blossom
  5. Pantene Pro-V Hairspray in extra strong hold
  6. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters facial cleanser
  7. Goody Slideproof hair ties (8, you can't tell from the pic but these have little grips)
  8. NSPA by Nirvana Spa Exotically Creamy Coconut Rich Body Butter (a pretty good size sample)
  9. Ken Paves You Are Beautiful Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner 
Overall I think it was a pretty good value, a lot of the samples were pretty large, but I did get 2 foil samples which aren't impressive size wise. For $20/year though I think I'll keep it. I'm most excited to try that body butter, it smells heavenly. They must have been on a coconut kick since 3 of the things in the box had that smell.
Pippa trying to get in on the action


Thursday, February 18, 2016


This is a quick rundown of products I have used up and how I feel about them:
(not a sponsored post)

1. L'Oreal Ever Pure Blonde Brass Banisher Shampoo and Conditioner ($5.99 each)
Miracles beyond all miracles, I actually finished both of these at the same time!  That never happens for me, I always seem to run out of conditioner first!

I really liked these and will buy them again.  out of the tubes/bottles they were a light lavender color, which is great for getting rid of all the unwanted brassiness that blonde hair gets.  It was gentle enough and not too purpley that it could be used daily.  it also seemed to help keep my hair hydrated without weighing it down.  I would recommend for any fellow ash blondes out there.

2. Lush Dream Cream ($27.95)
I love lush products and absolutely think they are worth the money, most of the time... This was one product that fell a little short for me.  If you're not familiar with lush they are a great brand that sells hand made, natural, cruelty-free products.  this lotion didn't have much of a scent, which was nice, but wasn't very hydrating.  the formula was a little more watery than i need.  Overall it was a nice light lotion that din't bother my sensitive skin.  However i just needed to use too much product to really hydrate.  Won't be repurchasing.

3.Crest Pro Health Whitening Tooth Paste ($4.99/2)
Ok, so it's tooth paste.  No miracle product or anything but what I love about this stuff compared to other toothpastes is the added "pro health" benefits.  I find that I have sensitive teeth and this paste seems to help with that, in addition to preventing build up and gingivitis.  The whitening power isn't going to work as a replacement for a real bleaching kit, but it works great at removing the day to day stains from drinking too much coffee, tea, etc.  I also love the minty flavor, not overbearing at all.

4. Sephora Radiance Flash Spray (similar $10)
Apparently Sephora doesn't make this anymore.  I think I've had this bottle for 2 years, but that is honestly how long it has taken me to get through it.  I didn't use it everyday so this bottle lasted forever!  I was sad they don't make it anymore as it worked really well to keep make up fresh all day.  I've since purchased the Ulta version and find it is very similar.

5. Maybelline lash Sensational Mascara in Waterproof Black ($6.99)
This mascara is wonderful, really everything you could want.  Lengthens and thickens lashes without clumping or giving you the dreaded spider lash.  For mascaras I alternate between prestige and drug store brands, but this may be one of my favorites yet.  Bold enough for special occasions but also nice for day to day.  Currently using Tarte's Lights, Cameras, Flashes but will definitely re-buy when I need mascara again.

6. Secret Scent Expressions Invisible Solid in Ooh-La-La-lavender ($4.29)
Like the tooth paste, this isn't one of the more exciting items to review, but it works really well.  Secret Scent Expressions are one of the few deodorants I find that really works for me and I've been using it for years now.  If you aren't careful it does leave the white marks on clothes, so i try and apply and then let it set before getting dressed.  Also not crazy about some of the ingredients, but for now it's effectiveness is worth the risk.

What are some products you've used through that you'd recommend? Or didn't like?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

DIY- Silhouette Canvas wall Art

For my first D.I.Y. post (Do It Yourself), I thought I'd share how to make you're very own Silhouette Canvas Wall Art

This is probably one of the easiest and cheapest art pieces you can replicate yourself. Even if you have to buy all of the supplies it won't cost more than $10.

What You'll Need:

  • Canvas, I used a canvas panel (similar)
  • Acrylic Paint in color of your choice
  • Scrapbook Paper in patter of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge or any paper glue
  • Foam Paintbrush
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Silhouette printout
How To:

1) Make your animal silhouette.  Simply google the name of the silhouette shape you want, ie, deer silhouette, pineapple silhouette, etc.  Paste your desired image into a word document, enlarge to your desire size and print!  Cut out your shape to use as a template.  tip: image quality isn't important and you may need to tape together a couple of pages to get it large enough for your desired canvas.

2) Pick out the printed paper you'll be using and select a color paint accordingly.  

3) Gather the rest of your supplies

4) On the backside of your scrapbook paper, trace the animal silhouette from step 1.  Make sure your pattern is facing the right way

5) Cut out the shape you traced.  If your silhouette is your silhouette shape is larger than the paper, like mine was, you can just match up the pattern on the paper to extend the shape.  If you line it up right it is not noticeable.

6) Flip you shape over and make sure you like the way it looks.

7) Paint your canvas the color you picked.  To get a nice solid color it is going to take several coats.  for my navy blue it took about 5 coats.  Acrylic paint dries very quickly though so it doesn't take long to do coats.  hint: use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

8)Take a clean foam brush and paint on a light layer of mod podge to the backside of your silhouette. hint: the less glue you use the easier step 9 will be

9) Canter your silhouette shape and smooth out any wrinkles and bubbles. Add any extra glue to edges that may be rolling up or you may have missed. 

And viola!

I also made some pineapple ones for a friend and a cute little pooch that is already up on my wall!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Link Love II

A Quick Monday List of Links I'm Lovin':

Another run down of websites/blogs/links I am loving:

1. I don't have kids (Pippa doesn't count) but Camille over at Friday We're in Love, had some beautiful thoughts on the kind of mom she wants to be.  Wonderful thoughts on body positivity and living for our loved ones that everyone can relate to. 

2. Ok, it's not exactly a website but I'm going to say Apps count.  Vivino is this awesome app I was introduced to this week that let's you rate(and keep track of) different wines you try.  It also gives you a rough idea of the flavors to be looking for and average price per bottle.

3. Curious about the year of the monkey/Chinese New year?  So was I, thankfully the Telegraph told us everything we needed to know!

4. Still unsure about who you are going to vote for in the primaries/general election?  Take this quiz on to give you a better idea of which candidates align with your political beliefs.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Nighttime Routine

These are some of my favorite posts on other people's blogs, so I figured it was time for me to do my own.  While I wouldn't consider my nightly beauty routine to be fancy it does involve 6 steps/products so maybe I am more high maintenance than I originally thought?  My night time routine is by far the most regimented part of my skin care and most of these products I have been using for quite a while.

Pippa cuddles are not on the list, but should be..
Step 1/
Bioderma Sebium H2O Micelle Solution

Unless I didn't put any makeup on that day, I always start by removing my eye makeup.  This particular miceller water has a bit of a cult following now and I think it's totally warranted.  It's a little pricey, especially now that Simple and Garnier have their own versions. I fully plan on trying those out after my current bottle runs out.  I like miceller waters because they remove all the makeup easily, you don't need a ton of product, it's gentle and most importantly in my opinion, it doesn't leave your face with that oily feeling.

Step 2/
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

I wash my face with the classic Cetaphil cleanser. I have been using this for years!  My dermatologist recommended this to me quite a while ago because I have very sensitive dry skin and almost every other face wash I tried was just too harsh.  Plus at that price, and it comes in a HUGE bottle, you just can't beat it.  I find that by massaging a pump full in to my face and rinsing with warmish water it removes all my makeup and grime from the day.

Step 3/
Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner

After patting my face dry with a towel, I put a squirt of this toner on a cotton pad and wipe this over my face, avoiding the eyes and mouth areas.  This step makes sure you removed all the dirt and makeup from your face and is supposed to clean out clogged pores.  I love this formula as it's gentle but effective.  It doesn't have any kind of scent and does not sting at all.

Step 4/
Mario Badescu Drying Cream

I use this as a spot treatment on any pimples I have popping up or that I am trying to control. Another Mario Badescu product! (I actually love their facewash too, but for the price my trusty Cetaphil is still my go to) This one is a great one too, I really primarily only use it in the mornings as it is slightly tinted and so can double as a concealer on those horrid red spots, but for a stubborn pimple I will use it overnight.  This is a great treatment for people with sensitive skin as it is not drying (despite the name) at all.  It is rich with aloe and other nourishing ingredients that will fight the acne but leave your skin lovely.  Bonus is that I've had my pot for over a year and am only halfway through, a tiny dab goes a very long way.

Step 5/
Yes to Cucumbers! Cooling Eye Gel

With my ring finger I dab a bit around my eyes.  I believe I got a sample of this in a Birchbox or and Ipsy bag and I loved it!  As the name would suggest, it has a cooling sensation, think aloe vera  (apparently I have an aloe obsession?) which feels fantastic on tired eyes.  I like how quickly this absorbs into your skin, as mentioned above i hate it when products leave your eyes feeling greasy.  It is very hydrating too.  As with most eye creams/products you only need a little bit, so I find that this too lasts a very long time.  I believe I have had this current bottle since July.

Step 6/
Olay Age Defying Classic Night Cream

As my final step, I rub in a generous amount of this cream in to my face. When I turned 25 this year I figured it was time to actually start worrying about my skin's future beyond just sunscreen.  So I ventured into the world of night creams.  My mom has used this brand for years and she has amazing, youthful skin (please be genetic!), so I thought this would be a great place to start.  when I first bought it, I thought I picked up the sensitive skin version, but surprisingly this hasn't been an issue for me.  It has a light, pleasant scent and absorbs fairly quickly.  In truth I could probably use a somewhat thicker cream as sometimes I have to apply more, especially in the winter months, so let me know if you have any good recommendations...

Had to add one more...

What are your go-to evening products?  Anything I should try?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Florida Dreaming

I can't belive we are already in February?  I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately, "I can't believe it's insert month/year/day here?!" Which is both bad and good.

One of the good things about it already being February (seriously though, where did January and 2015 go?) is that this is the month I'll be going on vacation!  my immediate family lives all over the place, well Texas, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  This makes getting together and seeing each other a rare thing, especially since some of us work in industries where Holidays off aren't a given. So last year we started a new family tradition of taking a week long vacation together.  I'm lucky in that we all like each other and last year's trip to the Dominican Republic was a smashing success!
Who wouldn't have a good time here?

This year we opted to stay stateside and are going to Orlando, Florida.

Naturally we will be enjoying all things Disney and Universal.  The Summer between High School and College I participated in the Disney Career Start Program and worked at Epcot for 3 months and have dying to go back ever since.

Plus I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and can't wait to explore the Wizarding World in Universal.

Now that we are so close, I feel like I can officially start the count down.
18 days!!!!

Do you have any big/exciting trips coming up?  Do you still go on family vacations?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Link Love

A Quick Monday List of Links I'm Lovin':

In no particular order:

1. A TV Channel is England will be showing Groundhogs' Day all day long on Groundhog's day! Hilariousness!

2. Confused by the primaries and when you actually will need to vote? The Skimm released a handy dandy guide.  If you don't already receive the Skimm's daily emails you should!  Great way to get news highlights first thing in the morning. Subscribe here  (not sponsored, I really do just love them!)

3. Parks and Rec fans?  This website randomly "Tom Haverford-izes" food names.  think: Milk on the rocks for ice cream.  Good for a chuckle or two...

4. Missy Sue is one of my favorite blogs to follow, she does amazing/dreamy hairstyles.  Check out her great guide to 3 messy buns that somehow all look so polished.  Can't wait to try them out myself.

5.On another great blog, Bourbon, Lipstick and Stilettos, Lindsey shared her Favorite Budget Hair Beauty Items that had me itchy for a target trip!  Can't wait to pick up some of the products she recommenced.

Anyone else stumble upon a great website this week?

Friday, January 29, 2016

What I'm Currently Watching

After my other TV inspired post, I figured I share the shows I'm currently obsessed with watching.


I know I'm pretty late to the game on this one, but i am currently on season 3 and loving it.  They are all terrible people and there is just so much drama, but I LOVE IT!  The characters are very interesting and I love that you see how torn some of them are about the bad things they have to do, while others don't seem to have any remorse.  Plus Olivia Pope's wardrobe?  To die for! Seriously, I need who ever does costume design for them to pick out my work outfits.

Project Runway Junior:

I'm obsessed with Project runway.  While Junior isn't my favorite spin-off, it's still fun to watch between the regular season. All of these teens are ridiculously talented though.  i'm always amazed when I see the runway shows.  i also feel like i need Tim Gunn in my life, for real though, who doesn't.  he is so sweet and encouraging.  the perfect mentor.  I'm also loving Christian Siriano and Kelly Osborne as judges.  Can't wait for All-stars to come out in February though, love me some Dom.

Fresh Off the Boat:

This show is hilarious!  If you aren't watching it, you should be.  I think it's probably the funniest thing on TV right now.  Each member of the Huang family is hilarious and has there own little shtick.  If you're looking for a funny 30 min sitcom, look no further!

On my "To what" list:

  • Making a Muderer, - all almost anyone seems to be talking about, I need to get with the program here.
  • Chelsea Does- This netflix docuseries looks both hilarious and thought provoking.  I adore Chelsea Handler's stand up and books, so looking forward to seeing a more serious side of her.
  • Angie Tribecca- As a huge Office and Parks and Rec fan this is a must see.  Everyone i know who watched it liked it.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pippa: Surviving A Blizzard With A Puppy

Welcome to my first Pippa post!
"Finally a post all about me?"-Pippa probably
We live on the East coast, Philadelphia to be more specific, so Pips and I got to experience the joys of Jonas this weekend.  the timing was a little less than ideal, but when is inclement weather ideal? we were supposed to go to Rhode Island this weekend for a girl's trip with my roomie, her pup Pickles and out other friend. As driving 5 hours away on Friday proved to be unwise we decided to have a little weekend long slumber party at our place instead.  Even though we were all sad to not be enjoying a little beach trip, I think we ended up having way more fun.

While it wasn't Pippa's first time playing in the snow, it was going to be the first time she'd be seeing a lot of it for multiple days in a row!
What is this stuff?
 Here's what I'd recommend you have on hand:

  • Warm Clothes
    • I didn't have a snowsuit per say, but I made sure to layer her up whenever we went outside. She wore a onesie with a coat on top.
      Making snow angels
    • I'm seriously considering investing in a snowsuit though, she loved to frolic but got cold quickly!
      From Amazon
  • Towels and a bowl of water waiting for you
    • Wet dog + house = huge mess, enough said really
    • I recommended a bowl of water too because I made sure to thoroughly clean off Pippa's paws when we came in.  Rock salt and animals do not mix.  Don't want to take any chances and my sink is on the opposite end of our row house. 
      Bedtime after a day playing in the snow
    • Snow boots would probably also solve this issue, I might need to order these from amazon(plus how cute?!)
      From amazon
  • Plenty of dog food and treats
    • Grocery stores are always a mad house right before a big storm with people stalking up on supplies, don't forget your pooch in the rush!  A trip to the pet store may not be possible for a few days.
      Pippa watching the shoveling
  • Plenty of toys
  • Optional: Pee pads
    • This might be a controversial one in the dog community.  I don't personally use them on a daily bases but it's nice to have them on hand for situations like this.  Before we managed to shovel the side walk completely and a place in the backyard for the pups to go it was nice to put this up on our covered porch.  Makes clean up easier and you aren't risking any accidents inside.
      Pickles trying to find a safe spot
What are must haves did I leave off the list?  East coast friends, how did you survive?