Jun 30, 2015

Essential Oils


Hey there!

I always keep essential oils on hand. They have so many great uses. I began using essential oils about 3 years ago when I started making hand moisturizers for my nail care and hair oil. I purchased some almond oil, grape seed oil and jojoba oil. I googled and researched and figured out what I needed and why I needed it. After that, I made sure I had all of the essential oils that I could find a use for. And trust me -- there are a 1001 uses for essential oils.

Depending on the time of year (and what I am attempting to do and the phase of the moon and how much hair I have on my big toe), I rotate my favorite essential oils. There are certain ones that I always keep on hand for different reasons. But, there are also certain ones that I keep on hand for certain seasons.

This weekend I had to pick up a new container of Vitamin E oil. I have a scar on my face from a cyst issue earlier in the year. I do use cocoa butter on my body to lighten dark spots but recently, my dermatologist told me that cocoa butter on the face can clog pores. Well, that won't do. That's part of the cyst problem! So, I picked up some more Vitamin E oil because my older one was, well, old.

One of my favorite oils is what I call a "mixer oil". I love almond oil. It smells soooo good on its own and it has a myriad of uses. The oil itself has several vitamins in it and it's great for healthy skin. You can also use it to remove makeup but I find that it clouds my eyes when I get too close to them so I just don't. Because it smells good, I often use it in scrubs as a base oil.

My favorite essential oil for relaxing is Lavender oil. If you think you need something to help you sleep, take a sniff of lavender. It's so nice. Sometimes I steam a bit of water and add some drops of lavender and inhale. So nice. You can add some drops to your bath water it will help you relax.

There are so many more oils that I keep on hand. I'd spend the next 3 blog posts telling you about everything. There are also several brands, several storage methods and shelf lives for essential oils. I'll have to tell you about them one day.

For now, I just want to quickly give you 3 of my faves, why they are my faves and why you should have them in your starter kit.


Do you currently use essential oils? Is it something you've ever thought about?

Jun 29, 2015

Chlorine and Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme


Hey there!

The weather has been so nice that the kiddo and I have been living in the pool. We've been in the pool, next to the pool, looking at the pool, dreaming of the pool...you get the picture. Since we've been in the chlorinated water so much, I've noticed that my skin isn't 100% happy.

When I step out of the water, the kiddo and I immediately take a bath and get the chlorine off of our skin. Right after hopping out of the tub, we gotta moisturize. I could reach into my bag'o essential oils and pull out some coconut oil or jojoba oil but I have an old standby already prepared. You know what I've begun pulling back out? My Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme.

I normally only pull that out during the winter months but with the chlorinated water on my skin twice a week or so, I need to make sure my body is super moisturized. This stuff does the trick. Normally I can get away with my favorite lotion, Jergens original scent. But this summer, no. I have to give a bit extra.

My original purpose for the Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme was as a face cream for the winter. In the winter I have to boost my face moisture. This stuff, however, was a bit too much for my face. The container says it's for face - body - hands. It wasn't for my face but it is certainly for my body and hands.

The Nivea website says I should partner my Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme with one of the Creme Moisture Moisturizing Body Washes. I actually have a few of those so next time I'll try washing with the Moisturizing Body Wash and then slathering on the Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme. Sometimes working within a brand set helps out.

I've also noticed that quite a few people are talking about body gels for moisturizing. I haven't tried moisturizing gels yet. It just seems so wet. They claim not to leave a greasy residue but I don't know.


For now, I will just stick with my Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme. It has worked well so why change it up?

Jun 28, 2015

It's A Haul Y'all! - Lush



Hey There!

I am going to have to start shopping Lush on line because when you walk into the store you forget that you have to eat, pay car notes, pay rent/mortgage, whatever. I honestly spent twice what I had planned but I don't regret one damned dime!

I didn't take the best pictures of them individually because 1) that's really messy folks and 2) my allergies have been kicking my butt and just having this bag in the room was torture. But I needed this stuff. Yes I did!


I like bath bombs but I love bubble bars. They are so fun and because I am totally a bath girl, these are perfect to bubble up my bath water. The great thing about bubble bars is depending on how big the bar is, you can get 3 or sometimes even 4 uses.

 


I keep going back for the Blue Skies & Fluffy White Clouds ($10.99) bubble bar. It's very spicy with frankincense oil and patchouli. I don't know what patchouli is but I might need to marry it.



The Brightside Bubble Bar ($10.95) is a new one for me. It's bright orange and pretty and smells deep citrusy. You know the difference between bright, sunshine citrus and spicy deep citrus, right? Well, this is the spicy deep citrus.



The Rose Jam Bubbleroon ($6.25) is an oil bubble bar. It's supposed to make your skin even softer than bubble bars. I only got one to test it out. It smells good and it's cute to boot!



This Dreamtime Solid Luxury Bath Melt ($6.25) intrigued me. I don't think I had any knowledge that this even existed. It's a creamier bath melt that is perfect for bed time (that's what the Lush lady said). I can cut it in half (I bet I can do thirds) and I'm excited to try this one out.


I thought I needed the Space Girl Bath Bomb ($5.25). I've seen several people haul this and it made me want it. There are supposed to be pop rock type candies inside. It smells berry-ish mixed with rose. While I like the swirly, lovely colors of bath bombs but they don't make the bath water silky smooth so I prefer the bubble bars.



The great thing about going inside the store is that you can request samples. Yes! Did you not know that? Well, you can and this time I asked for a bit of the Aromaco solid deodorant. I wanted to try it under my arm after I shave. It supposed to help sooth after shaving. I'm also very interested to see if it does well as a deodorant. I'm not 100% on board the natural deodorant train but I want to try it out.

So after a long day at work (or at the mall) I can relax with a super Lush-ious bath (ha!). I am so tempted to get up and take a bath right now.


But first, I'm gonna take a nap.

Jun 27, 2015

e.l.f. Studio Ambient Palette


Hey there!

Am I the only person stalking this e.l.f. Studio Ambient Palette? I think not. I saw nouveaucheap talk about it on her blog (you have to follow her on every bit of social media you can get your hands on. She is amazing!) and immediately ran to the e.l.f. website to purchase mine. Well, it’s out of stock! It’s a limited edition product and it’s out of stock!

Oh, I have searched the web for places that might have the palette. Target and Walmart don’t have it. And, believe it or not, ebay doesn’t have it yet (doesn’t it seem like they have EVERYTHING two seconds after something sells out?)  for triple the price?



Let me backup. I realize that a few of you may not know what ambient lightening powders are. Well, to tell you what they are, I have to tell you what they aren't.

They aren't highlighters.

Nope.

Going into it, I thought they were highlighters. They do highlight and frame the face. They give you a certain glow. But, I wouldn't exactly call them highlighters.

They aren't face powders.

But they kind of are. They do go on certain parts of your face -- the parts that you want them to go onto. Certain ambient powders are good as finishing powders. They warm up your complexion and give you just that little but of umph!

A good one will do quite a bit of fantastic things to your skin. The only issues that I can find with ambient powders is that they cost so much. Hourglass powders are $45 each and MAC Mineralized Skin Finishes are $32 each. If you want to try a Laura Mercier Illuminating Powder you'll have to shell out $38. That's why when I saw this one for $6 I got really excited. You can understand I'm sure.


I have read that they should be back in stock within a few weeks. Trust and believe, I will be waiting for it with baited breath!

Jun 26, 2015

The Gift of Polish



Hey there!

I have some very sweet coworkers. One of my kinsmen from the old country gifted me with nail polish. She heard me speak of my obsession with nail polish and while she may not have understood it, she felt that it was ok to aid in my crazy and pass along polish that she wasn’t using. I just love her!

2 of the polishes are ones that I am very familiar with. She gave me a Zoya mini ($5, zoya.com) in the shade Shay and a Flower ($4.98 Walmart) polish in the color Evening Primrose. I have used Zoya polishes before and I am very aware of how much I enjoy their application and longevity. I’ve never used Flower polishes but if they are anything like their makeup products then I am going to love this one just as much.


Shay is a pearlescent cream color that is going to be beautiful. It’s a wonderful nude color that is perfect for weddings or office environments that frown upon too much color. It’s one of those colors that is great in the spring, summer, fall and winter. You can’t go wrong with it.

Evening Primrose is a pearlescent forest green. It appears to be a fun green that is best suited for fall or winter BUT you can pull it off any time really. If you are wearing a power suit, this can be your pop of color on your fingers and/or toes!

The third polish was one that I had never heard of before - Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Fox Hunt ($10 birchbox.com).  Ruffian appears to be a bring that can be found in a Birchbox or on their website. I also came across a mention by Nail It! Magazine. The color is pretty. It’s a burnt orange that are going to make my toes stand out! It is a perfect beach color. I don’t know about the wear but the reviews seem to be very favorable.

I like when people indulge my crazy. We all know that I have 998 nail polishes (NOT really!) and that 3 more will put me a true hoarder status. But you know you love it just as much as I do!

Jun 25, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box - Summer 2015 - Preview



Hey There!

I always get excited when I see that my Walmart beauty box is on its way! I’ve mentioned before that it's only $5 a quarter.  I have yet for this box to disappoint me. Without any spoilers, I think I can safely say it won't disappoint me this time either.

This month my Walmart Beauty box has John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray ($5.99 for 5 fl oz) in it. You know I have to pass this along to my coworker. There is nothing I can do with it. She, however, will be going to the beach soon and we can get a proper report on what she thinks of it.


I also had a decent sized Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Complete Care Shampoo ($4.98 for 12.9 fl oz). Normally you get those little packet things that are soooo not enough for you to really try. This time I got a 1.7 fl oz. That’s pretty good for several washes so you’ll get a great report (however, this is my week for the hair salon so I may not get to try it before my box review).

Perfect timing! I got a Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Lotion with a 70 SPF ($8.48 for 5 oz). Yes! The kiddo and I LIVE outside. This time of year is my FAVORITE time of the year. I am glad that we have this to try. Full report coming back shortly!



I received another Caress Fine Fragrance body wash ($3.47  for 13.5 oz). I don’t think this is the same scent that I got last time. The last one was pretty ok so I figure this one will be too.

I also got the Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick ($7.97). Ahhhhhhh! Can you hear my excitement? I love Revlon lippies! They are so long lasting, smooth and have vibrant colors to choose from. You can’t help but to find a (several) colors that you like. So, trying these new lippies is going to be fun.

And last but not least, I got an Olay Total Effects 7 Anti-Aging Eye Treatment ($14.35 for .5 oz).. I won't give too much away but I have eye issues and sensitive skin. So....

I promise not to take too long to tell you good folks all about the Walmart Beauty Box this month. I forgot that it was coming but was very happy when it arrived.
  
I ask every post, have you signed up yet? It's only $5 per quarter and so far every box has been worth at least $15 in my book. Even without the products that didn't work for me, I tripled my investment.


Stay tuned!

Jun 24, 2015

Preview - Erin Condren Planner!



Hey There!

I got an Erin Condren Planner!

I know that some of you came for makeup information and some of you came for home decor information. This post isn't going to appeal to everyone and some folks don't really want a blog walk through of my brand new baby but I was super excited and you know what? You lovelies are just going to have to deal with my crazy today!

Yeah, I know. It was a big decision for me. I first thought about it a year ago but the price scared me. Even though I'm a paper girl and prefer a paper planner over the one on my phone, the $50 price tag really got me. I wanted to make sure that I'd use $50 worth of planner.

So I purchased a very cheap planner for the balance of 2014 (about July - December) and then bought a $10 Sugar Paper one from Target for this year. I added all my doctor's appointments, the kiddo's doctor's appointments and both of our personal appointments. I added blogging information like schedules and ideas and plans for the future. I added bill payment schedules because otherwise I would be lost.  I added book club information because I am a member of THREE book clubs and it's not easy staying on top of that! With all of that information, I really wanted one convenient place to keep everything.

I stayed on top of my paper planners pretty well. I used the bill payment schedule EVERY two weeks without fail. I also made sure to check every few days to make sure bills were paid and I that I was on financial track. I put all of our doctor appointments on the calendar pages and put most of my personal appointments on the calendar pages. My book club information went in the correct spots and blogging plans stayed in place. I even got real fancy and used different color pens for all the different activities.

When I heard that Erin was making some changes to her planner (adding a horizontal layout to her planner choices) and found out that for $5 more I could add the balance of 2015 (July - December 2015), I was ready to push the button. I was ready to take the plunge.


Tada! It's here!!

She (yes, my planner is a she) is the ready to ship "And so the Adventure Begins" planner. I thought about customizing one but then I realized I can add a customized cover later. Erin makes them and so do a lot of folks elsewhere. I looked at the inside of the customized ones and the inside of the ready to ship one and I liked the ready to ship one better.


I ordered my girl on June 12, 2015 and she arrived at my desk on June 19, 2015! Yaaaas! Can you believe it? It arrived just that quickly. That was my first plus. Then I opened my girl and fell in love. The cover is gorgeous but you already know that. The velum overlay in the front is nice and I love that there is an 18 month calendar double page. I love to see all my months at a glance.


Just like most other calendar layouts, there is a double page for each month and after are double pages for the weeks. On the monthly page you have extra space in the header area and a goal spot on the left hand side. That's not anything amazing but what is pretty good is that there is quite a bit of space to write. I have big, floral handwriting so I need space.



At the end of each month is a blank page and a nice inspirational quote to kick of the next month. I've decide to use my blank page for blog information. At the end of the months there are several blank (but designed) notes pages and a calendar for 2017. You also get some great stickers for voting, birthdays, days off, hair - doctor - dentist appointments, concerts,  mani/pedi's, parties and vacations. There are also 2 pages of blank stickers that you can write on.


Erin also includes a perpetual calendar and contacts book. It's actually a good idea for someone like me that always forgets birthdays so if I have them in a perpetual calendar, I can transfer them annually to my planner.



Erin also gives you quite a few goodies. You get some do-it-all dots, compliment cards, a coil clip sample, sticker samples and referral cards. All of those come in a fantastic plastic pouch. Sure, all of those things are self promotion BUT they are also a fantastic way for me to figure out which of her products that I like and which ones I can do without. I like it.



So, I am ready to test drive my new baby. I will be doing like everyone else and Instagraming my layouts. I'll also be trying out all the sticker ideas that other folks are using. You don't have to come with me on this journey but I'd seriously think about it! If you like planners like I like planners, it's worth it.



If you are thinking about a new planner from Erin Condren, check her page out. If you are 10 or so days away from pulling the trigger you can use my code to get $10 off of your planner (CODE HERE!). I used a $10 off code, because I have to use a code or coupon for everything!



*Please, don't feel that you have to use my code. You don't. I just know that when I was making my purchase I was supper stoked to get $10 off of my purchase. I wanted to extend my discount to you too.

Jun 23, 2015

Quickie Review - Giovanni Frizz Be Gone



Hey There!

I have been very hesitant to try new hair serums. I've used the same Mizani Spradiance High Gloss Serum for years. It works well, smells good and makes my hair soft, strong and looks great. When you find something that works well, you don't want to make changes.

I saw the Giovanni Frizz Be Gone in my local health food store. It smelled good and felt good in my hand. I still wasn't sure that it was what I needed for my hair. But, I had a coupon and needed 5 more dollars to get my discount. Well, that would make this 2.75 fl. oz. serum about $3.99. I figured since we were running low on our beloved Mizani serum, this would be worth the $4 trial.


The kiddo and I were pleasantly surprised! Frizz Be Gone does a heck of a job. It got our hair smooth, bouncy and healthy looking. It's not greasy or sticky and the price isn't bad at all.

I've seen this product at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx but I completely ignored it. I had something and didn't think anything could be better.

Well, I'm not saying this is better (not at this early stage in my testing) but it's good.

Very good.

I have to keep an eye on this one. It may fool around and creep up on my Mizani and pass it!


Stay tuned!

Jun 22, 2015

You Cheeky Thing!


Hey There!

I was getting ready to trade out face products for the next week or two and I realized that I hadn't told you good people what I've been wearing on my cheeks. I've been wearing the same blushes and bronzers for the last two weeks. The foursome has been really good for just meeting all of my face needs. I've gone from "no-makeup" makeup looks to work looks to night looks.



On my cheeks I've been going from my L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush in Spiced Plum and my Milani Baked Blush in Corallina. The ability to go from soft pink to soft peach is a summer time must! I like the soft pink but I do have to admit it's not as fantastic as the soft peach. But, when you wear pink and red as much as I do, you don't want to finish it off with peach.



Before I smear blush on my cheeks, I begin with some "contour" from my bronzer. I put contour in quotes 'cause what I do probably isn't considered anything close to real contouring. I put some NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny or Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronzer on the hollows of my cheeks (cause it hides some of the dark spots on my face!!). I also drag it up near my temples to give a bit of summer glow. I use NYC Sunny for everyday and I use Park Ave Princess for night time use. TPAP is a tad bit glowey so it's nice for a nice out.


My lippies (as you have seen) have varied from day to day. My smell goods (as you will see) vary too. But, my cheek looks have remained the same for two weeks. Now it's time to change it up. Stay tuned for what I wear for the next week or two.

Jun 21, 2015

10 Things I Love About Me!


Hey There!

I only get to spend about 10 minutes in the car on the way to work (I drive to the train station) and about 15 minutes on the way home. So, I don't get to listen to a lot of talk radio. But, last week I caught a bit of talk radio and they were challenging their listeners to come up with 10 things that you love about yourself. I thought that would make a great Sunday Funday post!

10. I try to always see the glass as half full. I try to be as positive as possible. It doesn't do much good to be pessimistic, really. I always think, you know, be thankful --- it could be much worse. And a glass half full gives you more to drink!

9. I'm a great mom. No, I'm not perfect. I'm nowhere near perfect and yes, there are times me and the kiddo go at it. But, I do my best. I give my all and if you give your all, you are the best mom in town.

8. I'm down for almost whatever. You want to go to that new restaurant next week? Let's go. You want to take a trip to Fiji at the end of the year? Let me get my dollars in order. I figure my friends are pretty exciting and I can tag along for the awesomeness. I often invite myself on trips or experiences. So far, no one has said I couldn't go.

7. I can read my way into other worlds. I love that it doesn't take much for me to be transformed to another world through books. I like all types of books and absolutely any book can take me away just as great as Calgon could!

6. I am such a sports girl. I mean I love sports. I went to the Atlanta Braves game last night (they won!). I make sure I go to at least 3 or 4 games every year and I watch them on the TV when I can. I love football just as much (go Falcons! Rise Up!) and I've just been getting into Hockey. Basketball is ok and I'll go if there's a special game or something cause I don't shy away from any sport. Give me a good game, glass of wine, good friends and of course a game shirt and I'm ready!

5. I love my body. It's not perfect. It's curvy and certain things droop. Some parts are a bit lumpy and bumpy and some things are larger than I'd like, some things smaller. But I love every single bit of it! Sure, I wouldn't mind losing a bit of weight and I'd like to tone some things but on a grand scale, I wouldn't change my body for anything in the world.

4. I'm kinda handy and home interior-y. And, the things I'm not so handy with, I'm willing to give it the old college try. I'm typing this during a break from building my television stand. I want to cuss and scream and have a drink but no, I'm just powering through. Because, when I'm done I am going to be so proud. I can't stage a house but I can pick 3 colors and match a room around them. I like to DIY things on the cheap and I like to throw a splash of expensive (that I bought on the cheap!).

3. I'm girly and tom boyish too. I like makeup and perfume and all things frilly and fluffy. And, I like to hike (slowly, leisurely) and watch sports. No, I don't play them (I might break a nail) and I don't like beer, but I'll watch a game and yell in all the right places.

2. I am such the foodie. Even though I am a pescetarian, I still eat well. I like to try new things, new places, new restaurants. I enjoy cooking (not as much as I use to) and I have a variety of cookbooks that are marked up. I am so snobby when it comes to food that I often turn my nose up at "common" food. I just have a rich palette (minus most meats).

1. And, I love myself. Not everyone can say that. Many people are so unhappy with portions of their lives that they aren't happy with most of it. Yes, there are things I'm unhappy with but overall, I'm pretty, freakin' fantastic! I love me and if others don't love me, their loss. If they don't love themselves as much as I love me, they need to sit down and figure out why. It's important to love yourself!


So what 10 things do you absolutely love about yourself? I know that it's not going to take long to think of 10 -- you all are fantastic!

Jun 20, 2015

It's A Haul Y'all! - Bath and Body Works



Hey There!

Yeppers! I went to the Bath and Body Works and finished spending my birthday gift cards. My lovely friends know that I love some bath time smell good. And, well, some home smell good too!



I love the Bath and Body Works hand soaps. I've used others but they don't last as long and they certainly don't smell as great. I always wait until they are on sale and then stock up. This time I got all of my soaps for either $2.60 or $2.40. I had an extra 20% off! It's not the best sale that I've gone to but not bad and I was getting low. I try to pick up new fragrances when I go in. This time I picked up Island Margarita, Perfect Beach Day, Sunrise Sail and Island Pineapple.



I only picked up 1 shower gel and I only picked it up in the 3 oz. mini. I picked up Twilight Woods. It was on sale ($1.00) because the scent is being discontinued. It sells nice so I might pick up one more mini. Because I have a ridiculous amount of shower gels I won't pick up a full size.



Because I don't have enough candles in my life (just kidding), I got 2 of the mini's for $1.60. I wanted to try Guava Colada and Honolulu Sun. Spoiler alert -- Honolulu Sun smells so goooood! I like this mini's because it's like a try before you buy size.



And, the reason that I walked into Bath and Body Works was to grab the wallflower deals. With my coupon and the sale, they were only $2.40. I picked up Watermelon Lemonade (repurchase), Beautiful Day, Georgia Peach (repurchase), Sunset Beach and Kitchen Lemon. I recently did a post on why I've switched from Glad plugins to B&BW plugins. They have a great room throw and so many yummy scents to choose from.


So I didn't do too much damage. I think I didn't get too many miscellaneous items. I think it was ok. What do you think? Too much? Too little? And, ahem, what did you buy during the B&BW sale?