Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My 100th Blog Post!


This is my 100th Blog Post! Hurrah! For someone who has a hard time committing, this is something to celebrate. In celebration of this occasion, I wanted to do something different and fun for you. I found this Tag and it sounded perfect: The 100 Questions No One Ever Asks.

100 Blog Posts - 100 Questions...See what I did there?! Ok, I'll shut up. It's probably best I get to it because 100 questions is quite a lot...Here we go!


1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Closed
2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?
Sometimes
3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Tucked In! I hate when they come undone.
4. Have you stolen a street sign before?
Nope
5. Do you like to use post-it notes?
A little too much...
6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
I try to only cut them out only if I'm going to use them...but you can see differently from the expired coupons I found in my bag the other day.
7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Neither!
8. Do you have freckles?
No, sadly.
9. Do you always smile for pictures?
Yes
10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Many things...close talkers, repetition, voluntary ignorance,  CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE!!! Just to name a few.
11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Nope. My FitBit Flex does that for me...or round about anyway :)
12. Have you peed in the woods?
Does peeing in a ditch on the side of the road count?
13. Have you ever pooped in the woods?
Doubtful...but that would be something I'd block out of my memory if I did ;)
14. Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing?
Yes...much to my family's chagrin.
15. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
No, surprisingly.
16. How many people have you slept with this week?
Umm...well, I'm married...so just the one...my DH.
17. What size is your bed?
King
18. What is your song of the week?
I'm loving G-Eazy - Tumblr Girls right now.
19. Is it OK for guys to wear pink?
Sure! Just not neon pink...definitely not neon pink.
20. Do you still watch cartoons?
This question should be, "Do you watch anything OTHER than cartoons?" My kids are always bogarting the TV and ALL they watch are cartoons...and not the good ones. Humpf!
21. What is your least favorite movie?
Titanic
22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
Why would I tell you!?
23. What do you drink with dinner?
The same thing I drink all of the time...water.
24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Chic-fil-a Sauce *drools*
25. What is your favorite food?
Asian inspired foods (including sushi and ramen) mostly, but it is hard to choose. I just like food.
26. What movies could you watch over and over again and still love?
Something's Gotta Give...LOVE!
27. Last person you kissed/kissed you?
My youngest son.
28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
Girl Scout, for 9 years.
29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Hmm...I wouldn't rule it out.
30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Last week.
31. Can you change the oil on a car?
Yes...that was something we learned in Girl Scouts...go figure.
32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Who me?! Yes...yes, I have :(
33. Ever ran out of gas?
No, but I am terrified of that happening.
34. What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
BLT - hands down!
35. Best thing to eat for breakfast?
What I normally eat is yogurt and Belvita Breakfast Biscuits. But my DH makes the BEST waffles and scones...those are great! Also, quiche...I love quiche.
36. What is your usual bedtime?
Between 10 and 11.
37. Are you lazy?
I feel lazy often, but never act on it...
38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
Many things, none of which were award winning...a clown, a mouse, a ballerina, a pumpkin...
39. What is your Chinese astrological sign?
Rooster
40. How many languages can you speak?
Just the one.
41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yup - Real Simple and Allure
42. Which are better: legos or lincoln logs?
Legos
43. Are you stubborn?
Probably
44. Who is better: Leno or Letterman?
I've never watched either...is that bad?
45. Ever watch soap operas?
No
46. Are you afraid of heights?
No
47. Do you sing in the car?
Heck Yeah!
48. Do you sing in the shower?
No
49. Do you dance in the car?
Sometimes
50. Ever used a gun?
Yes
51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
Last Fall for our family holiday photos.
52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Yes, but I love them.
53. Is Christmas stressful?
For me, yes...but I try not to let it get too crazy.
54. Ever eat a pierogi?
Yup, love 'em.
55. Favorite type of fruit pie?
Does Lemon Merinque count?
56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Marine Biologist and Genetic Engineer
57. Do you believe in ghosts?
Not exactly.
58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?
Quite often actually.
59. Do you take a vitamin daily?
Yes.
60. Do you wear slippers?
Only in the Winter.
61. Do you wear a bath robe?
No
62. What do you wear to bed?
Warm Months: tank top and undies. Colder Months: tank top, leggings, fuzzy socks, long sleeved comfy shirt...
63. What was your first concert?
A Perfect Circle at Bender Arena
64. Walmart, Target, or Kmart?
Target!
65. Nike or Adidas?
Adidas
66. Cheetos or Fritos?
Fritos - the Honey BBQ twisty ones - so addictive!
67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds.
68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?
Nope
69. Ever take dance lessons?
Do you mean like Ballet or Ballroom? If Ballet, yes. If Ballroom, no.
70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
I don't plan on having a FUTURE spouse, but I can see my CURRENT spouse owning his own restaurant.
71. Can you curl your tongue?
Yup!
72. Ever won a spelling bee?
No, but I was in one in middle school.
73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
Yeah, I'm sure I have.
74. Own any record albums?
No
75. Own a record player?
No
76. Do you regularly burn incense?
No
77. Ever been in love?
Of course!
78. Who would you like to see in concert?
Incubus
79. What was the last concert you saw?
Yellowcard and it was amazing!!!
80. Hot tea or cold tea?
Hot
81. Tea or coffee?
The answer used to be coffee (and I still love coffee, it just doesn't like me so much), now I prefer tea (Harney & Sons Tea to be exact)!
82. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles?
Sugar Cookies
83. Can you swim well?
Yup
84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
Yup
85. Are you patient?
No!
86. DJ or band at a wedding?
Band, but when they take breaks, someone playing songs from iPod or something.
87. Ever won a contest?
No
88. Have you ever had plastic surgery?
No
89. Which are better: black or green olives?
Eww! Neither.
90. Can you knit or crochet?
Crochet
91. Best room for a fireplace?
Living Room and Bedroom
92. Do you want to get married?
Nah, I'm already married. I couldn't handle 2 husbands at once ;)
93. If married, how long have you been married?
12.5 years.
94. Who was your high school crush?
I don't recall having a crush in high school...I "dated" people, but don't recall any crushes.
95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
No
96. Do you have kids?
Yup, 2 boys.
97. Do you want kids?
Well...I want the ones I have.
98. What is your favorite color?
Yellow and Coral
99. Do you miss anyone right now?
Yup, my sister and my best friend. I never get to see these 2 people enough!
100. Who are you going to tag to do this post next?
All of you!

If you do or have done this tag be sure to leave your link in the comments so I can check it out! Thanks so much for stopping by and I appreciate all of you (including long time readers and new ones)!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Feature Friday: The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara


I was sent the Covergirl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara in a recent #VoxBox from Influenster to test out. I am pretty picky about mascara. I have naturally longer curled eyelashes, and lots of mascara just doesn't do much for me. I usually fall for lengthening formulas. You know the ones...They normally have "False Lash Effect" or "Falsies" somewhere in the name and/or description. Although I've never worn false eyelashes, I love the look!

When I opened up this tube of mascara, I was a bit skeptical of the wand. It is very thin with short plastic-y bristles and a few longer ones at the end on 2 sides. The whole premise behind it was to sort of roll the wand as you run through your lashes - kind of what I imagine the Roller Lash by Benefit is like. I've yet to try that one though. I am just so used to the massive fiber wands that I found it hard to believe it would do much of anything.


I love trying out new products, so I put the Super Sizer to the test. The first time I applied it, I was amazed! My lashes were long and separated! I couldn't believe all of that had come from such a scrawny wand. I have used it everyday since and find myself reaching for it as my ONLY mascara for travel. This was not a waterproof formula, but it stayed all day and didn't flake. It isn't too wet or too dry either - it's just right. 

High end products can be really nice, but I just can't condone high end mascaras when there are drug store ones out there that are this good! Way to go Covergirl. I will definitely be picking this one up myself when this one a goner.

*Thanks to Influenster for sending the mascara to me to review! Just know that I was not asked to write a blog post about this product. It was just THAT. GOOD.

Don't forget, in the comments, tell me what your favorite drug store mascara is! I'd love to know :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What's In My Bag: Michael Kors Large Selma


Back in April, my DH gifted me a Michael Kors Large Selma bag in Electric Blue. Yeah, he's pretty much the best DH ever! Am I right?!

I have had a crush on this bag since last year when it came out in this color in the Spring (see blog post), but it quickly sold out and the only way you could get your hands on it was by braving ebay and spending loads more than it sold for in store. No thanks...To my surprise, it came back out this Spring in, basically, the same color, but with a different name. (No, I wasn't stalking the Nordstrom website...Yes...Yes, I definitely was.)




This has been the only bag I've used since I got it, and it is definitely true love! The size, the color, the style...love, love, love. I can carry everything I need...and more, and with the inside pockets, everything stays organized. It is a big bag. There is no way around that. If you like small bags, this is not the bag for you. But if large bags are your thing, this is a great pick! The textured leather will keep it looking like new for ages, even with small children and a husband who are constantly on a collision course with all of my most loved items. Why can't we have nice things?! I tend to carry this bag with the 2 smaller handles, but I leave the shoulder strap on all of the time for those "Mommy Moments" when you need both hands...or more.

That's the bag, so let's see what's inside, shall we! Note: I have not edited the contents for the sake of this post...I am a Mom, so this should be...interesting...


Surprisingly, not bad! Considering how big the bag is, it could be a LOT worse! These things are really my essentials and tend to always be in any bag I carry. That being said, I don't normally have my keys in my bag, but they were in there when I went to take these photos. However, I do always have my cell phone on me (iPhone 6). Other things you will always find in my bag are my wallet (Vera Bradley Turn Lock Wallet - Blue Bayou), my sunnies (Ray Ban New Wayfarer - Tortoise Shell/Polarized and Case), my business card holder (Vera Bradley Business Card Holder - Island Blooms, which they don't seem to have anymore), a pen (Vera Bradley Ball Point Pen - Blue Lagoon), a notepad (Vera Bradley Pocket Papers - Watercolor and one from Country Inns & Suites with 2 pieces of paper left), tissues (Puffs Plus Lotion Travel Tissues), ear buds (Apple Ear Buds in Case), and my Traveling Pharmacy.

I did find some random things in there too...I mean, a 50 cent piece?! Random coupons wouldn't be such a bad idea...if they weren't all expired. Yeah, I should really toss those. The tweezers (Mini Tweezerman Tweezers - Ladybug Print) and nail files (Trim Salon Boards) are really useful items to keep in your bag. I always found that I needed those and never had them, so in they went ( I should mention, that since they've been in there, I haven't needed them...Go figure!). The snack baggie full of mints is my way of trying to kick my gum habit. My jaw appreciates the effort. The crayons from Mellow Mushroom (I said I'm a Mom) and price tag from my bag are pretty random, I'll admit. And I must mention, the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (the perfect "your lips but better" shade for me) wouldn't be strange if it weren't for the other 5 (yes, 5) lip products I have stashed in my Traveling Pharmacy...Should probably dial that down a bit...


Speaking of Traveling Pharmacy, I dumped that out and found...lots of lip products (see above). This bag was from a Target Sample thing they did last year for free. It is the perfect size for carrying around the bits you'd need on the go.


Outside of the 5 lip products (Carmex Original Lip Balm, Julep Luxe Lip Conditioning Lip Treatment - Sheer Pink, Almay Color+Care Liquid Lip Balm - 700 Cantaloupe, Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15, and Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain - Sugar), I also have 6 wet wipes from various restaurants, a small Band-Aid (hope no one cuts off a finger), an eyeglass cleaning cloth, a sample pack of Always Radiant Incredibly Thin Liners (you just never know when you or someone else may need one), 4 large bobby pins,  a hair tie, Boscia Limited Edition Green Tea Blotting Linens, Fortune Cookie Soap OCD Hand Sanitizer - Do You Salsa or Mango?, and a travel sized Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intentisve Moisturizing Body Treatment.

And there ya have it. What I found in my bag! What random things do you tend to find when you empty out your bag?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Skincare Empties


The final installation of my 4 Part Empties is here and it is all about skincare!

There are quite a few things to get through here, so I think the easiest way will be to go by order in which I use them. Let's dive in!

Morning

I feel like I have nailed down the majority of my morning skincare routine at this point. This means that you will probably see a few items here that I have talked about before. I will so my best not to go on about those.

Cleanse:  I start each morning by cleansing my face. In the colder months, I prefer a balm cleanser, like Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser or Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. Ultrabland is lovely, but does leave an oily residue on any washcloth or muslin cloth you use to take it off. The Clinique balm is my top pick here because it has no scent, doesn't leave any oily residue, and washes off clean from your skin. The few samples I got through here were the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, and the Eve Lom Cleanser. I've used Cleanse & Polish a few times, and although it is nice, I'm not sure that I'd ever purchase the full size of this. I had been dying to try the Omorovicza one for ages after hearing countless YouTubers talk about it, but when I tried it, I was very underwhelmed. First off, the smell...awful! I just couldn't get past that. To be fair, the sample size it far too small to make a call on the actual product - but the smell was definitely a deal breaker for me. The Eve Lom Cleanser, I didn't like at all. It was gritty and oily. For something so pricey, I had expected a more luxurious feeling formula.

Tone:  After I cleanse my face in the morning, I go in with a toning step. I prefer a refreshing spritz in the morning to wake myself up as opposed to using an exfoliating toner (I do this in the evening.). My favorite is Caudalie Beauty Elixir. It smells lovely and natural, feels cooling and is oh so refreshing! I buy the small 1 oz bottles. They tend to last me a few months, and I spray VERY liberally every day.

Serum:  I do have 2 favorites in this category, but I love trying serums. This is a step that I haven't nailed down quite yet. The 2 favorites are Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster and Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector. The Ole Henriksen serum is refreshing and smells of oranges. It is a gel formula that sinks into the skin very quickly and works great under moisturizer and makeup. I feel like this one keeps my skin looking bright and youthful without being too "technical". The Clinique one is great! When it comes to repairing skin, I think this one does a great job. I don't have too many aging issues with my skin yet, but I did have some hyper-pigmentation after years of acne. I used this sample size and noticed a difference in my skin very quickly. Although I have repurchased the Ole Henriksen one a few times, I feel like I will purchase the full size of the Clinique one as I notice more signs of aging. I did have a few samples to get through here too. The Caudalie Polyphenol [C15] Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum, Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector, and Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel. The only one of these 3 that I felt did anything for my skin was the Lancome one. That one smelled lovely and had a pearlesence that gave my skin that lovely blurred effect. I didn't have enough of the product to get a really good idea of how it would change my skin though. The other 2 didn't do much that was noticeable to me, and if I'm going to spend big bucks on a serum, I want to see results...Am I right?!

Moisturize:  My final morning skincare step, aside from some lip balm, is to moisturize. I like my daytime moisturizer to have SPF in, but because I work from home I can get by with one that doesn't have it most days. The one I have liked the best over the last year has been the Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15. It is specifically for sensitive skin and I don't find it to irritate my skin at all. It is just a bog standard moisturizer with SPF in. I also like that I can get it from my local grocery store or drugstore. I did also try the Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, Hydroxatone AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex with SPF 15, and Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. The Origins ones are cooling gel formulas that would be nice for the Summer months, but you will need to be sure to put on an SPF with them. I have wanted to try the Embryolisse moisturizer since I've heard so much about it, but I always imagined it to be super thick and way too heavy for my skin type. I was wrong on all accounts! It wasn't too thick or greasy and it had a lovely subtle scent. The only thing this one was lacking was SPF. I'd definitely repurchase this one for the colder months. Although I did love the smell of the Origins moisturizers, I just didn't feel like they gave me enough moisture.

Evening

Again, I think most of my nighttime routine is set, so most of these products should not surprise any of you that read often.

Cleanse:  My favorite nighttime cleanser is the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash. I use this in the shower. You only need a tiny amount because, as the name suggests, it froths up a ton! My skin always feels super clean without that nasty tight itchy feeling. I have repurchased this many times over and will continue to do so (even more quickly now that I've found the DH using it)! I did try the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash to see how it stacked up, but it was too drying for my skin which is generally the case with foaming cleansers. I do really like Kiehl's products, but this one wasn't for me.

Tone/Exfoliate:  I love the idea of acid toners, but I have super sensitive skin after my Accutane treatment over a year and a half ago now. I heard Caroline Hirons talk about the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, and like everything else she talks about, I instantly had to try them! This are perfect. They keep my skin chemically exfoliated, but in the most gentle way. I use one, pre-soaked, pad every night after I get out of the shower - on clean skin. They never irritate my skin. I do notice my skin doesn't have as nice of a texture when I go a few days without using them, so I know they are working. You can see I've repurchased these and am working on my third jar! I don't generally like manual exfoliants because they are too abrasive for my skin. I did try 2 samples though that claimed to be less harsh, but just as effective. The Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator and the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (this is a powder that you mix with water, but I mixed with my regular cleanser). I LOVE Pai Skincare, but it wasn't enough to make me love the exfoliator...sorry Pai :( I still LOVE you though! I also didn't love the Dermalogica one. I think because it had Salicylic Acid in and my skin doesn't get along with that...I guess I still don't like manual exfoliators.

Serum:  My end all be all nighttime serum is the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. I LOVE this stuff! I have repurchased it countless times and never go without. The only other dry facial oil to rival this one is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, but I just can't bring myself to not have the Pai one in my regular routine. Ideally, I'd use both every night!

Extras:  Every night I put on a thick layer of lip balm as the last step in my skincare routine. My absolute favorite is the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15. Because it is so pricey, I only tend to use this when I have gotten it as a gift. This one I got for Christmas and it lasted me 6 months! I am a huge fan of Fresh products. Finally, I have one mask. I like to use a mask every 2 to 3 weeks, and mainly on targeted areas (read - where I have spots popping up) unless it is a sheet mask. The one I used recently was the Freeman Facial Clay Mask with Avocado & Oatmeal. I got quite a few uses out of this little sachet because I don't use it all over my face. It was a very nice creamy clay mask that didn't overly dry out my skin. With avocado and oatmeal, I felt like it was nourishing as well as deep cleaning. I have heard loads of lovely things about the huge line of Facial Masks from Freeman, and I plan to try out a few more at prices like these!

With this, my 4 Part Empties comes to a close. If you stuck with me through all 4 of them, you get a gold star!!! Thanks so much for stopping by! Stayed tuned for my next post which will be an updated What's in my Bag. I may or may not (definitely did) have gotten a new bag!

What are your skincare all stars??? I'd love to know what you repurchase on a regular basis!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bath & Body Product Empties


Massive Empties - Part 3...here we go! Let's talk about Shower, Bath and Body Products, shall we.

Things I use in the shower...Body wash - I've used many, MANY, different types of body wash. I find that my skin is super picky when it comes to this product group. The formula has to be free of any junk that would irritate my skin and needs to be VERY moisturizing. If it isn't moisturizing enough, my skin goes all tight and itchy - which, as you can imagine, is so annoying. So far, the one at the top of the pile is the OGX Hydrating Argan Oil of Morocco Body Wash. Surprisingly, it is also the one with the least frills! Actually, I really like this entire range. It ticks all the boxes for me, and it smells great :) I do enjoy the Aveeno Active Naturals Body Wash, though. I've tried the Antioxidant Infused Body Wash in White Peach + Ginger and Calming Body Wash in Lavender, Chamomile + Ylang-Ylang. I am a big fan of Lush products for the bath, but when it comes to their shower stuff, I think they fall short. Although the scent of the Rose Jam Shower Gel is amazing, like roses and honey, it's just not moisturizing enough for me. I'd love this to be more of a creamy formula - maybe mix in a little of the good oils that are in Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (which has the same scent and is lovely, BTW) *hint, hint* Lush. Just be careful with the body conditioner - it tends to make the shower floor a bit slippery! If I am in a pinch and can't get my hands on any of the above body wash, I reach for the Olay Advanced Ribbons Soothing Creme Advanced Moisture Body Wash (gosh these things have long names). It smells nice, is super creamy and moisturizing enough - just a bog standard really.

For shaving, which I do in the shower, my favorite product is the Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel Lotionized Vitamin E for Sensitive Skin. I've talked about this before, so I won't bore you with the details. It's a shave gel and it does the job. I also used up a travel size in Raspberry Rain because I traveled earlier this year, but it's not my favorite scent.

Now, for bath products...I know I don't have them shown here, but there have been MANY Lush bath items (bath bombs, bath melts, bubble bars). Because this company doesn't believe in extra packaging (and this pleases me), I don't have any "empties" to show you. Just know that there have been MANY! Once I ran out of those, I picked up the Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath. It smelled of lavender, bubbles up beautifully, and doesn't leave your skin feeling stripped. It is a go to for my kids too. On those days when my muscles are in need of some TLC, I've been using the Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution in Soften & Nourish with Milk & Honey (geez, what is it with these names). It smells yummy and makes for a relaxing bath. I really like the Velcro resealable packaging too!

Lastly - Body Lotions/Creams. I get TONS of body lotion/cream samples. I have a stock of these types of products that could last me for years! I do have a Holy Grail item in this category, Soap & Glory Butter Yourself. It smells amazing and has the AHAs in that keep my skin smooth and nourished, but recently Soap & Glory decided to distribute through a few other sites and pull from Sephora. When they did that, this product became unavailable! *cue sobs* I have found it on Amazon, but I decided that I should probably use up some of these samples I have taking up space. The two I got through: Tocca Bianca Green Tea-Lemon Hand Cream (AMAZING for hands! and would make a beautiful gift) and Amlactin Ultra Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Hydrating Body Cream. The Amlactin is the best AHA cream that I can find at the drugstore, but it is just not as good as the Soap & Glory one...I guess it would do in a pinch.

Weee! That rounds out Part 3 - stay tuned for the final installation, Part 4. This will be my favorite part, Skincare Empties.

Does anyone have any good AHA body cream recommendations? I'd love to check out others. Thanks for stopping by!