Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Spiral Curls"

Disclaimer: I only wash my hair once a week, twice if it gets too oily. My hair is super dry, and my roots take about 4 days before they get oily. I consider myself lucky in that regard, because I get so bored when doing my hair! After I wash it, I'll either blow it out with a round brush, or run a 1 1/4 inch curling iron through it. Every once and a while I'll wear it up, but that's the extent of it.

I was browsing through my YouTube subscriptions when I came across this how-to by michele1218 (who is my favorite YT guru, you should definitely check out her channel!). I also have a 1 inch and a 3/4 inch curling iron, both of which I hardly ever use. I decided to bust out my 3/4 inch and copied her tutorial. My iron has a clip, but I used it like it was a curling wand.

It came out great! The technique takes some getting used to, and I could definitely use more practice. But it gave a more "natural" curled look. If you're getting bored with your everyday hair routine, try her tutorial!

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 2013 Birchbox!

Have you ever heard of Birchbox? It's a subscription service where you receive deluxe samples once a month. And it only costs $10! I've gotten the chance to try some products that I've really loved through it. It's so exciting to see one in my mailbox each month!

This month, I got quite a few products that I was already in the market for, which is great. Now I can test them before deciding what to purchase!

The first is Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo. I've been in the market for a clarifying shampoo to use once a month, but one that won't strip my color-treated hair, or dry it out. This shampoo is 100% vegan, sulfate and paraben free and gentle on hair. Can't wait to try it out!

 The next item was theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama eyeshadow/blush. To me, it looks exactly like Nars Orgasm (you can't really tell from the picture) which is my all-time favorite blush. Even though it is cheaper and just as pretty, I probably won't replace this for Nars in my collection. This size would be nice to travel with, though!

The third item is Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. I currently use a Josie Maran tinted argan daily moisturizer, which doesn't work as great in the winter as it did in the fall, as far as moisture goes. But, it has SPF 40, and I prefer daily lotions with a high SPF. This may be good to try for a night cream, since it doesn't have SPF.

The next item is LASHEM Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum. My lashes aren't pathetic by any means, but I definitely want thicker, fuller lashes! I've been in the market for a serum. I used to use the one by wet n wild, but it ended up giving me a stye along my lash line (eww...). I'm excited to try to see if this works, but the full-size is $69.99 - which I wouldn't pay unless there were dramatic results.

The perfume sample I received was Harvey Prince Skinny Chic. It says that it's a blend of green apple, mint and lotus blossom - and you can definitely smell the green apple! It will be a nice scent for spring.

The last piece that came was the Birchbox fold-out poster with 25 ideas "for maximizing your individual happiness."

That's it! I'm pretty happy with mine this month. Do you have a Birchbox?

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Five for Friday!

This week was back to reality, big time. It was the first five-day week after vacation (I can't believe how whiny that sounds...) and I return to school this week. For those of you who don't know, I work full-time and go to school full-time. I'm an occupational therapy assistant and am a year away from receiving my Masters degree in occupational therapy (I just did a little happy dance!). My program is unique in that I spend every other Friday night and all day Saturday on campus, and the rest of "off-campus" time is online and independent work. It sounds like it would be easy, but rest assured - it's not! I plan on doing a separate post about my schooling in the future to explain more. Long story short - this has been a very long week! (and it ain't over yet...)

That story ^ was getting to the point that my favorite thing from this week was my girl's trip to Foxwoods over the weekend. So my HF4F is dedicated to that! We went on Saturday and stayed overnight at MGM Grand, which is a gorgeous hotel. I highly recommend.

1. The ceiling lights in the lobby. Gorg.

2. Gratuitous bathroom shot after getting ready.

3. Snowy view from our room.

4. 4 person drink from the Scorpion Bar!

 5. Amidst shaking our bon-bons!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grapefruit and Orange Juice

I have a juicer that I use pretty regularly (even though it's a total pain to clean...). Usually I'll throw in whatever I have in my fridge to make some kind of juice. I like things more on the sweet side, so I try to use more fruits than vegetables. I like making my own juice because you can have anywhere from 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies in one glass!

Last week, I did a one day "cleanse" to jump start my New Year's resolution (which is to generally eat healthier). I drank homemade juice all day long - and after one day, I definitely felt a difference! It was a good way to get me going on the right path. It definitely isn't for anyone, but for myself, I like to do a one day cleanse when I haven't been eating so great.

One of the combinations I liked was grapefruit and orange juice. It's great to have every morning, doesn't have added sugar like store bought juices, and provides a lot of vitamins (that are especially important when you work with germy kids all day like I do). I'm not normally a fan of grapefruit because they're bitter, but mixed with oranges, it becomes less tart.

1 ruby red grapefruit
2 medium sized oranges

Peel the oranges and grapefruit and process through the juicer. Tada! The hardest part about this recipe is the clean up, which is well worth it if you're becoming more health-conscious. If you prefer it even less bitter, try juicing just a half grapefruit and adding an extra orange. Or add 1-2 packets of stevia to the juice once you're finished.

It goes great with oatmeal, enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Top 12 of 2012!

There where a few standout products for me in 2012. I made a list of my favorites (in no particular order) that were both beauty and non-beauty related items. I didn't include links for where to buy them, but I'll talk about where I found them in the description!

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo in "Bad to the Bronze" - This is my favorite "lazy day" shadow. I just swipe some all over my lid with mascara and it makes a very put-together look! It's also a great base when doing a bronze-y look. It does tend to crease, so I always use a primer. I got mine at CVS.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12hr Blush in Exposed - Another great "lazy day" shade! It's a mix between a bronze and rose color. It can be used as both a blush and a bronze or contour color, and adds a nice amount of color if you're going for a more intense eye look. Tarte is carried at Sephora.

Tazo Zen tea - I don't drink a lot of coffee, maybe twice a month if that! I drink a lot of tea though. This one was one that I kept reaching for all year! It's a great pick-me-up in the morning, and it's great iced in the summer. It's a green tea with a mild mint flavor, which I really like. Target has a great selection of Tazo teas.

Clarisonic Plus - scratch what I said above - if I had to chose an all-time favorite, this would be it! I cannot say enough about the Clarisonic. My skin has never looked better. Every woman should have one! I also get that annoying chicken skin on my upper arms, and the brush attachment really helps with it.

Brush Lab round brush size large - This makes my hair look like I had it done at a salon. I am by no means a hair expert, but this brush helps to make you look like one! I got mine at Ulta.

Scarves! - I'm a scarf addict (this is a small sample of my collection). My favorite this year has been big, chunky infinity scarves. I wear them to work, when out running errands - anywhere! They can add so much to an outfit.

Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Water - I used to swear by witch hazel until I found this. I always use a toner after washing my face, and this has really made a difference. I've noticed a reduction in the amount of breakouts I've had, and my face doesn't get as oily as it used to. Plus it smells great!

Cooking Light subscription - I love to cook, and I try to cook as healthy as I can. One of my resolutions was to get back on track with eating healthy, but I get tired of grilled chicken and brown rice. This magazine has a lot of great ideas for healthy, easy meals that don't get boring!

Tweezerman angled tweezers - I pluck my own eyebrows instead of getting them waxed. This little baby gets every.single.little.hair. I kid you not. You can find Tweezerman at Sephora.

Alex and Ani bracelets - These bracelets have really exploded in New England (I'm sure elsewhere as well) over the past year. I have a pretty little collection growing. I love how dainty the bracelets are, the meaning behind the different ones, and the possibilities for stacking/mixing them.

e.l.f. eyelid primer - This gem is literally $1 at Target. And it makes my eyeshadow last all day. What could be better than that? I've heard it's a dupe for higher end products, but for the price and quality, I have no desire to try other primers.

Bath and Body Works eucalyptus spearmint pillow mist - I spray this on my pillows before bed at night. It really helps to relax both Matt and I and it smells so great (this is one of my favorite scents from B&BW).

So that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading this list, and maybe found some new products to try. What were standouts for you in 2012?

Friday, January 4, 2013

High Five for Friday!

I work in an elementary school doing occupational therapy. The first week back (even if it's short) after vacation is rough! I'm so glad today is Friday. Here are some of my favorites from this week:

1. Who doesn't love wise teabags?

2. Snow, finally! Last year, we had a very strange winter with almost no snow. It didn't go much below 40 degrees the entire season (yesterday was about 15 degrees). We usually get a good amount of snow from January to March. I love snow more than anyone probably should, and was so excited that we got a little storm Saturday night!

3. Next year's Christmas card.

4. Matt and I decided to collect ornaments from the places we visit. I got this little pretty on mega after-holidays sale. We went to New York City last April and it was so much fun! I can't wait to have this on our tree next year.

5. I'm heading to Foxwoods tomorrow for a girl's night with some of my friends. So excited!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheers to the New Year!

Happy New Year! 2012 was definitely a great year. I settled in to my grad program for Occupational Therapy (now I'm halfway done!), I became established at my job, Matt and I got our first place together - definitely looking forward to what 2013 will bring!

Do you set New Year resolutions? I do every year, and last year I was proud of how far I kept them going - but I didn't follow through until the end. I definitely set some resolutions and intentions for this year. I feel like I say this to myself every year, but this year I really feel focused. Maybe it's because I can see the end in sight for school, or maybe it's because other exciting things are happening - but in any case, I want to work hard to keep them!

I plan on sending out thank you cards for gifts I got for Christmas (I intend to every year, but it rarely happens...) And with cards this cute, how could you not? (I got them at Marshalls)

Today, we had my sister and mom over for New Year's "snacks". I made a red velvet cheese ball with gingerbread pita chips (make this, you will not be sorry!) and buffalo chicken dip (probably one of my favorite things ever) with tortilla chips and baby carrots. Hope everyone had a great day!