Friday, November 22, 2013

[Shopping] Shoes, Shoes, and More Shoes!

Ok, maybe the title is a bit of an exaggeration. However, this has been a shoe filled week.

I had a pair of plain, pointy toe black pumps. I had them up until this past Tuesday, when I threw them away. I had put on an outfit and was trying on 230498 different pairs of shoes and none looked right. What I really needed was a plain, closed toe pump. I put on the ones I own - and promptly cringed because they were embarrassingly worn and beat up. It then became my mission to replace them, because as a gal who wears them frequently for work, I shouldn't be without them in my shoe collection!

I started out at Macy's since my husband works there and the discount is always a plus. I didn't find anything that jumped out at me for a decent price, so as I was leaving the mall, I saw Payless and decided to pop in. Because I'm so hard on my black pumps, I thought a cheap pair might be able to tide me over.

Instead, I walked out with these:

WomensChristian Siriano for PaylessWomen's Icon Pointy Pump

aaaaaand I also left with these:

Womens FioniWomen's Kasbah Studded Platform Pump

 Not quite black pumps, but definitely cute!!

I did find some pumps for a great price online at Macy's, so I ordered a pair (and maybe another pair? oops!). I will post when I get them!

Hope you all are having a wonderful day. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 18, 2013

[Beauty] The Perfect Palette

I've not been blogging around here too much lately because my attention has kind of waned. Not to blogging necessarily, but I've found myself gravitating a bit away from fashion and towards makeup. I've lost a bit of motivation in terms of photographing outfits and all that jazz, and I haven't been putting nearly as much thought into outfits as I'd like.

What I have done is recently discovered the fantastic world of YouTube beauty videos. This has been great because like I have been insecure with putting myself together clothing-wise, I've always felt the same way about makeup. My mother never wore makeup, and I never really learned how to do it. The last few months have been a crash course in learning how to make my face pretty.

So, in an effort to revive this blog and really make it about what I'm currently passionate about, I'm going to be working in some more makeup/beauty related things. Especially because I've been picking up a lot of the seasonal packages available at Sephora and Ulta and trying out products I never would have thought to try otherwise.

This "Palette Tag" has been going around lately, so I thought I'd use it for my first beauty related post! If any of you would like to do this on your blog, I tag you!!

Perfect Palette Tag Questions:

1. Best Packaging 

This is a tough one! I don't know that I have a palette whose packaging I get overly excited about. I guess if I had to pick, I'd choose Urban Decay's Vice 2 palette. It's huge, which isn't great for traveling, but it has a gigantic mirror that opens to the perfect angle and the hard case protects the shadows. It's also really pretty!

2. Best Color Payoff

Anastasia Lavish palette. Hands down. This one just needs a teeny, tiny tap of product to deliver plenty of color!

3. Most Versatile

This was no contest - my Coastal Scents 120 palette. 120 shadows. You don't get more versatile than that.

4. Best for Traveling

I like any of the Too Faced palettes for travel - my faves are the Smoky and Romantic palettes. They have a good variety of shades, from light to dark, and it's easy to get a number of full eye looks out of each palette. Plus, they're small and relatively compact and well built to withstand a bit of travel!

5. Biggest Regret

This one is easy - the Kat Von D Ladybird palette. I don't know what it is about this one, but the shadows crease on me within 2 hours, no matter if I use a primer, a base, a primer with a base, or even nothing at all. There doesn't seem to be a single thing that keeps this stuff from creasing!!

6. Best Color Names

Meet Matt(e) from theBalm. Each shadow is named after a "Matt" as though they were people. I think it's adorable.

7. Least Used

This, in all reality, would also be the Ladybird palette because I don't reach for it knowing how badly it creases on me, but in the interest of making each answer unique, I'd have to say the Sonia Kashuk Jewel of an Eye palette. I think it's because there are no really light colors in here and rarely do I do an eye look without light colors. I find that I have a lot of these colors in other palettes or individual shadows, so I often forget to grab for this one!

 8. Most Used, Most Loved, Desert Island

This one is easy. The Urban Decay Naked palettes take this one away. I use them constantly and I can do a lot with them. I wouldn't say they're totally desert island because I couldn't live without color, but they are definitely my most used and most loved!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

[NaBloMoPo] Eat Drink and Be Merry

Today's prompt:
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow. What does your last dinner look like?

Yeesh. Could we start off a little more morose? Yikes!

Well, if I have to plan a last dinner, we're going big. I am taking every person I love in my life - my husband, our families, our friends - to the biggest, loudest, most celebratory dinner. On Mt. Washington, in Pittsburgh. I would take the people I love to a place that I love.

the view from Mt. Washington

We would be rowdy, and laugh, and drink wine and cocktails, and celebrate life. Because even without the world ending, life is something to celebrate. Family and friends are something to celebrate. Every single day.

[Life] A Month of Giving Thanks: A Blessing

Well gee. Isn't this an easy prompt to start the month of thanks?! A blessing? My husband.

My life wouldn't be what it is without him.

And like many husbands, he drives me crazy at times, but there is so much good brought to my life because he is in it.

He's my biggest supporter. My rock. He has more faith in me than anyone. He's there when I need him. He's loving and kind and such a huge part of the happiness of my life that there is no better blessing than this. Him

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

[Life] Off My Game

Guys, since falling off the blogging wagon about 2 months ago, I've really struggled to get back into it. I haven't been willing to invest the time or the energy in taking pictures, and I've not been planning outfits. I found myself gravitating towards more beauty related things - tutorials and beauty favorites and recommendations on youtube instead of outfits and bloggers in my RSS feed.


I'm not ready to give up this blog because it really is beneficial in keeping me from just being lazy and not putting myself together (which then results in me not feeling as fabulous as I would if I had just made the effort). So, I'm trying to come back. What I really need is to get on a roll with some photos. I haven't pulled out my tripod in months.

I'm also going to share some of the beauty discoveries I've made. And perhaps some recipes and things. But I'm trying to get the drive to come back to this 4 days a week minimum. Crossing my fingers!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

[Life] Happy Birthday Husband.

Today is all about this guy.

Usually I'm rather poetic about my feelings but today I'm just going to say this: Happy Birthday, Hubby. You're my world and I love you so much. Let's make it great!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

[Beauty] Ipsy Glam Bag

If you're interested in your own Ipsy Glam Bag, you can sign up here. Please note that by using this link, I'll get referral credit which could result in an extra item in my next bag. Just sayin.

I think we're all aware there are a ton of subscription beauty services out there. I was, at one point, a Birchbox subscriber, but after a year I didn't feel I was getting my money's worth. I got a few repeats and more than a few product types that I wasn't interested in (acne serums, exfoliating scrubs). I got a number of really random items that I thought were essentially fluff items - things thrown in that were of no value that appeared to be added solely to reach the proper item number - you know, "friendship bracelets", stickers, postcards. And the final straw was when I started getting more and more samples in those little packets or cards that you can get for free at makeup counters. Come on. I'm paying you $10 a month to send me 3 samples I could get for free, a friendship bracelet I'll never wear, and one legitimate product sample bottle? I know some gals have had great success with Birchbox - I just wasn't one of them.

So I was leery about trying Ipsy's Glam Bag. For the same $10, you get "a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products" - that's straight outta their About page. After seeing some of my favorite YouTube beauty vloggers open their bags, I thought I'd give it a try. Honestly, I was drawn by the "deluxe samples" and "full-sized" products. July was my first month and this is what I got:
BH Cosmetics California Collection Eye Shadow Sample

Ok. So I was really excited about this one when I saw that it was going into the July Glam Bag. (Side note - when you subscribe to the bag, at the middle of the month you can go to the website and see which items are in that month's bag. You can also which of those items your bag will contain. For July, there were 10 items and each bag had 5, decided upon by your preferences in your quiz when you sign up). Anyway. I was excited. I just got my first BH cosmetics palette and so far I really like it - the colors wear pretty well. However, these colors are all a little crazy - that gold is GOLD. And Hollywood is actually a really deep, dark, sparkly purple. Not sure I'll get much wear out of it. Plus, BH Cosmetics are generally pretty affordable, so I was surprised to see that these shadows were on the smaller side. I thought they would be full size since the full size isn't overly expensive.

Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush

Guys, Coral Crush is the bright one in the middle. I have no idea what in the world I answered in my quiz that would make Ipsy think that Coral Crush was the best color choice for me. Now, granted, I have yet to try it. So I don't have any feedback on this brand or product - but I'm a little scared of the color. Most of my lipsticks fall in the color family of the other two. However, I'm willing to try this one, and I'm loving the fact that it's a full size lip crayon!

Coola Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented

I haven't tried this one yet, but I'm excited to - I've been looking for a facial sunscreen that works well with my makeup. I'm guessing everyone got this plain, unscented one, or the tinted one, as that was another of the options for this month's bag. Frankly, I'm glad I didn't get the tinted one, since my skin is so pale a lot of times tinted stuff that's not made for fair skin looks ridiculous on me. The only downside of this is that the sample size on this one is pretty tiny.

Nailtini Straight Up Nail Lacquer in Mai Tai

I'm super psyched about this one. I love the color (even though I have similar colors...but that's my issue because I'm a polish addict rather than an issue with Ipsy, haha) and I'm stoked to try it. Plus, this is a full size polish!!

Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray

Finally, I got this Sexy Hair Humidity Spray. I haven't tried it yet, but can I just say Ipsy got it so right with this one??? I live in Atlanta, where the humidity runs about 800% on the daily during the summer (and the other 3 seasons sometimes). Also, I am an avid fan of a few of the products by Sexy Hair - namely this stuff. Not joking. It is the jam. Plus, this spray was a great size - obviously not full size but definitely a deluxe sample. If this stuff works, it'll be going in my travel toiletry bag for sure while I go grab myself a full size version and I'll still get a lot of use out of it.

So that's it for this month's grab bag. What products didn't I get? The tinted version of the sunscreen, Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal Beach spray, Benefit's Benetint, Demeter Salt Air perfume roll on, and Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub.

Out of all the options, I'd say Ipsy definitely did great. I have no interest in a microdermabrasion scrub (I'm finicky about my skin routine; very rarely does it change). I also mentioned why tinted stuff is usually bad. I don't use beach sprays often - maybe 10 times a summer - so that wouldn't have been my preference. I'm kind of indifferent to the perfume, and while everyone on the Ipsy site was pining for the Benetint, I love eye products way more than lip and check products, so I wasn't all that bummed that I didn't get it.

The only thing I wasn't loving this month was the size of a few of the products. However, I did get 2 full size products and one definitely large sample, plus the bag they came in was cute and will be useful, so I can't complain. I'll update with what I thought of the products as I use them, and am looking forward to see what next month has in store!

If you're interested in your own Ipsy Glam Bag, you can sign up here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

[OOTD] Jolly Roger Flying on the Picnic Table

I have to apologize in advance here - the next few days of pics are phone pics (blech). The weather here has been so ridiculously rainy I haven't been able to get outside to take pics. Bear with me!!

Earlier this week, the hubs and I went for a date night. We decided to be adventurous and went to our good buddy Scoutmob - you know, the app with deals that you don't have to prepurchase. Our choices are always limited - my husband is a vegetarian, but he's also a big strong dude, so places that only have salad or a plate of sides as options for vegetarians are not options for us. (And you'd be surprised how many restaurants that includes).

Top: H&M
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Jessica Simpson via Macy's
Scarf: London street market
Bracelet: New York & Company

So we narrowed it down to a Thai place and a Mexican place and ended up going for Thai. I tend to forget that these places are always a crapshoot. I got a little nervous when we pulled up - it was in a Big Lots shopping center. (Side note - this is one of the sh*tty things about Atlanta - everything's in a freakin strip mall). We go inside and this place looks like a lunch place - not much in the way of ambiance and decor. And they don't server beer or wine. My hubby, being the trooper that he is, was into staying.

And I'm so glad we did. The food was amazing. I personally put a lot of stock in the ambiance of a place so I was a bit disappointed when we first arrived, but the delicious food and giant portions were great for the both of us, and I'm glad we went. Have you ever had one of those experiences? Where you're a bit nervous because of how something appears and then are pleasantly surprised?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

[Shopping] Dressing Room Diaries

Time for another edition of dressing room diaries. These things pile up on my phone and I want to share them before the items are no longer in store!

Let's start with Old Navy:

I thought these dark green shorts were classic and versatile - bought! I really liked this top, but I have a lot of white tanks and felt that it wasn't worth $18. If these go on sale, I might grab one or two, but for now, I didn't get any.

These seahorse print short were adorable. Definitely grabbed them!

Every time I look at this pic I wish I had bought these shorts. They're adorable. However - my Old Navy only had them in smaller sizes and while these look ok, they were so tight on my waist that they were borderline rip-them-off-immediately uncomfortable. Didn't buy. I've even tried them on 2 more times since this trip and am reminded of their uncomfy-ness.

Lastly from Old Navy - this striped sheer tunic. I loved it and could think of plenty of ways to wear it. Bought it!

Now on to Gap:

I've been looking for a pair of cutoffs this summer to replace a pair I got rid of. So far the search has been unsuccessful. I'm thinking I might just have to make my own, but it's going to be hard to find a pair of jeans I'm willing to part with so I'm exhausting all my store bought options first. I didn't like this pair, specifically because they are the cutoff version of mom jeans:

YIKES! These too had the same issue:


Then New York & Company. I had bought this shirt:

And the first time I wore it I realized how much I loved it. So, remembering they had it in black too, I went back for the second color because there are very few tops I put on and am just head over heels for. So I got the black:

Aaaaaand the pink:

Next, my favorite consignment shop, Alexis Suitcase.

I need to stop going in there because I buy more jeans I don't need. Like these Miss Me jeans:

 I also tried on this pair of True Religions, but the original owner appeared to have hemmed them and while they were fine for flats, they didn't work with heels. I have so many heels that I prefer the longer length. I generally only buy "flats jeans" when they're a great deal. And while these were a great deal at $65, that's steep for jeans I can only wear with about 20% of my shoe collection. I didn't get these:


Lastly, Target. I tried this dress on:

And I really wanted to love it. But the way that it hit against my high hips just made me look wide in the waist. I spent a solid 15 minutes trying to decide but eventually walked away. You can probably still find this for about $18 on the sale rack!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

[OOTD] When I Grow Up

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it's hard to focus because of something fun looming on the horizon? I am totally having one of those weeks. This weekend, I'm heading to Orlando with ten of my girlfriends to be inundated with dance. Eleven of us dance team members are headed to the Fun In the Sun line dance event to learn fun new stuff that we can turn around and perform.

We'll be staying across 4 rooms in the hotel, bringing tons of provisions (read: rum punch, beer, and lots of liquor thanks to Cheryl, whose husband is a distributor), and just having a fun, dance-filled girl's weekend. I'm riding down with 3 of my girls, and all I can think about this week are the things I want to get done before I go - things like personalized cups to carry around our drinks, and making 2 gallons of my infamous rum punch.

Anyway. Today's look is an inspired one - perhaps my favorite recreation so far. I had pinned this image from Emily at A Devine Life and wanted to create my own version:

Top, Skirt, Heels:  Target

Sunnies: New York & Company

Bracelet: Charlotte Russe

Sunday, July 14, 2013

[OOTD] Baby We Can Party

Well, if that isn't a misleading title. There's nothing about partying over here today. However, the weekend was a fun one - enough that perhaps it could be argued it was as much fun as a party.

I got to spend a lot of time this weekend with some folks who I haven't seen in ages. Friday night, the hubs and I went and hung out at our friend Mike & Haley's place - we just ordered some pizza and hung out. It was really enjoyable to be so low key, and we only get to see them every once in awhile.

Yesterday I had a less fun morning, spending it at the eye doctor, but then I ran some errands and got ready to head out at night. My amazing friend Robin is having a birthday this week, so a group of us went out for dinner and a movie last night. I got to see a few friends I haven't seen in literally years, and a couple other friend who have disappeared over the last few months.

Today I have dance team practice, but other than that, I'm spending some time reorganizing a few things around the house. I hope you're having a great weekend!!

Top: Gap
Pants: Target
Shoes: Kohl's
Cardigan: Target
Scarf: Semester at Sea souvenir (I can't remember what country offhand)
Sunnies: New York & Company

Saturday, July 13, 2013

[OOTD] I'm Not a "Dress Pants" Kind of Girl

I've recently come to a realization that I've probably actually known for awhile: I'm not a dress pants girl. It's so strange - I have always striven for a variety in my wardrobe - some jeans, some tops, some dresses, skirts, and dress pants, a smattering of shorts, and some workout/sleep attire. I own some of all of these, but what I've noticed is that I hardly ever wear dress pants.

Top: the Limited (Dec 2012)
Skirt: Express (old)
Shoes: Candies via Kohl's (summer 2012)

Is it possible? Can you be a person who just "doesn't wear" a certain type of clothing? I've never thought of myself that way but it appears I am! The problem lies in the fact that I have yet to find a single pair of dress pants that make me look and feel great. I have some that are ok, some that are good, and many that are downright bad, but none that I would want to be wearing when I run into an ex. So I just don't wear them. And I've stopped buying them. And I'm contemplating just getting rid of last few pairs I still own. It feels weird, like cutting out a whole food group or something, but I don't see any reason to keep them.

Are there any items of clothing you feel this way about? Is this more common than I thought?

This picture made me laugh because I look like I'm sticking the girls out, but it showed the cute button up side!