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March 13, 2015

Five on Friday !

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Linking up with ladies again today!

I don't even have words to describe this week. I am so happy it's Friday and looking forward to the weekend to relax and recharge. But first, let's discuss our favorites of the week!

1. Favorite Tank: There are still a few more weeks until I'll be able to rock a tank top outdoors but while perusing Forever 21 last week during one of my snow days, I found the perfect tank top. I would describe my style as being very much on the casual side so I am sure I'll be wearing it a ton this summer. I got it in both gray (my weakness) and light blue. At $5.90, why not?

2. Favorite Pizza: Pizza is my love language and tied (with sushi) for my most favorite food in the world. I also love making it at home. Yes, it is time-consuming but one of my greatest joys is spending hours in the kitchen cooking-- so therapeutic for me! The Three Cheese Peach and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Reduction from Cooking Classy looks amazing! Can it be summer now so can peaches can be in season and I can make this pizza? 

3. Favorite Getaway: My sister, mom, and I are heading to St.Pete Beach in Florida at the end of April and I am really looking forward to it! I don't think we've ever been away just the 3 of us so I am excited for beach time, shopping, and relaxing! Anyone have any recommendations for the area? 

4. Favorite Snap: This picture of my best girl makes my heart melt. This was taken during our snow days last week after a rousing game of fetch (yes, I was throwing the ball from my bed down the hallway-- it was way too cold downstairs) and she was ready to relax! She goes from 60 to 0 in like 5 seconds. She will be running around like a maniac playing fetch and then just plop down on the bed. She cracks me up. Love her so much. 

5. Favorite Funny: I love browsing someecards.com because you can always find one that is applicable! This one definitely reflects how I am feeling about Friday this morning! 

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone has a splendid weekend!


March 10, 2015

Tuesday Trend: Skincare Essentials

Skincare Essentials

L to R: frank original body scrub//frank original body balm//soapwalla almond luxe body polish//kiehl's original musk body lotion//crabtree&evelyn lavender hand cream//aveda hand relief creme

Years ago I saw an Oprah episode about women who looked several (and I mean SEVERAL) years younger than their actual age. No joke, one woman was 75 and she legit looked 40. She said everyone thought her son was her husband when they went out to dinner together. The one thing the women all said they did to keep their youthful glow? Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Not just your face, they said. Your entire body needs to be hydrated at all times.I was a teenager but it has stuck with me all of these years. The skin is the body's largest organ so it makes sense, right?

Here's the thing, though: I HATE moisturizing. It is so time consuming and tedious but I make myself do it anyway because I know it's good for me. Using products like the frank body scrub and Soapwalla Almond Luxe Body Polish are great at helping to keep skin moisturized so if I do miss a day here and there my skin doesn't suffer too much. These products are on the pricey side so I do not use them everyday and sometimes I choose an area that needs it the most and skip other areas. The frank body scrub and body balm is an excellent combination and such a treat to use! The almond luxe body polish smells heavenly and leaves my skin so soft it's unbelievable!

My mom gave the Kiehl's Original Musk body lotion a few weeks ago and I have to say, it is the best lotion I have ever used! It is light so it dries relatively quickly and doesn't leave behind a greasy or sticky feeling on your skin. The smell is also a huge plus! I try to put this on right after I've toweled off so it feels like a part of my shower routine and not like an extra step.  I am a recovering nail and cuticle biter so hand cream is a must in my book. I haven't bitten my nails or cuticles in almost three months but they are still ravaged from 20+ years of habitual biting. Ugh. Such an unsightly habit but I am not going to lie, it has been really hard to kick! I alternate between using the Evelyn and Crabtree hand cream and the Aveda Hand Relief cream. Both moisturize really well and dry quickly so it's usually a matter of scent preferences that decides which one I use on any given day!

What skincare products do you use? Any tips or tricks to make moisturizing easier??




March 6, 2015

The Friday Five

Back again with another Friday Five!

1. Favorite Dessert: I try so hard not keep sweets around the house but then I go to Whole Foods when I'm starving and somehow Steve's Salty Caramel Ice Cream ends up in my freezer. This is the stuff dreams are made of! I should preface this by saying that I am admittedly obsessed with sea salt caramel anything so this ice cream is right up my alley. The perfect blend of vanilla ice cream and salty caramel. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You also gotta love that this ice cream is straight out of Brooklyn.
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2. Favorite Planner: I've been through my fair share of planners, Kate Spade, Erin Condren, and Whitney English. I used to be all about the WE Day Designer. This year, however, I couldn't bring myself to pay $70 for a planner. I mean, let's be honest, some weeks I completely forget to even write in it so shelling out a lot of money wasn't happening this year. I still have to have a planner though, so I bought one of the Sugar Paper for Target 2015 planners for 9.99. I love this planner! The way the weeks are set up is perfect for me. The rigidity of the Day Designer just isn't my style, I like being able to write different times and to-do lists in the day space. Plus, it gave me anxiety whenever I wrote a task on the wrong line and then had to cross it out and put it next to the correct time. I don't need that kind of stress in my life, ha!
Sugar Paper 2015 Daily Planner - 8.5"x11"
3. Favorite Podcast: Ever since listening to Serial, I've become obsessed with podcasts. I love listening to podcasts on my way to work in the morning, such a nice change from the radio or silence! I really, really enjoy the TED Radio Hour podcast. Each podcast is a different subject like success or learning and it is basically TED talks that deal with that subject adapted for radio. The host, Guy Raz, interviews the TED Talk speakers during the podcast as well an it makes for a great show! You can listen here on the computer or download the Podcast app and search for NPR Ted Radio Hour. Some of my favorites have been Simply Happy, Unstoppable Learning (prob my number #1 fave!), Seven Deadly Sins, Success, Brand over Brain, and How We Love. Check them out if you're looking for something new for your morning commute or workout!
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4. Favorite Bag: For my 30th birthday, my mom gave me the Gigi New York Olivia Shopper in Saddle Pebble Grain and it is the prettiest and nicest bag I've ever owned. It is big but I like that in a purse! It holds everything I need so I'm never worried about forgetting something! A real plus is the fact that it can be worn on your arm or as a crossbody. I was initially worried that it would be too bulky as a crossbody but I wore it out to a pretty crowded bar on a Friday night and it was perfectly fine :) 

5. Favorite Weather: I know most people in my area are completely sick of the snow but since I'm working on a four day weekend, I am pretty happy! I can't complain that I only worked one full day this week. A lot of people get bent out of shape thinking we'll have to go well into June but since I teach P.E. all of our units at the end of the year are outside so I'll take some days off from being stuck in a gym with 60+ kids!  

Not really.. but maybe a little :)

Happy Friday, friends! 

March 5, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday: Confession

I have a confession to make and it make get me kicked out of blogland. I do not like Lululemon clothing. Yes, the founder is a dingbat who makes stupid comments but that is not even one of the issues I have with this company. Every single girl in my barre class is shrouded in Lululemon and I truly cannot understand it. Although, I do find it kind of funny that barre class is a row of chicks all in black leggings. Group think, I guess. As someone who wears workout clothing on a daily basis, I can tell you with certainty that Lululemon's quality and price are not worth it. To find out what else irks me, read on:
The reusable bag that Lululemon gives you when you make a purchase says "friends are more important than money" on it. Really? Because I am pretty sure I have to work 2 jobs in order to afford your $64 tank top. Ergo de facto, in order to afford Lululemon I would have to spend more time making money and less time with my friends. Lower your prices or take that shit off of your bags. Either one would make me like you more.

I own a pair of Wunder Under pants. I thought long and hard, asked around, and did research before I bought these pants two years ago. I have taken meticulous care of them. I legitimately wash them all alone on delicate cycle. ALL ALONE. Every single time. For two years. And yet, they pilled almost immediately.  They are pilled along the waistline and the leg seams. For $82, these leggings should still be in impeccable shape. So disappointing,
I do not even wear these leggings to work out because they are not tight like workout leggings should be. I mainly wear them around the house and running errands. To me they are useless as workout leggings. And what is up with the length? I get it that they offer complimentary hemming but why make them so damn long in the first place? My legs are pretty long and these leggings go almost to my toes! Make two lengths if you are worried about them being too short on long-legged ladies. I think a lot of people would appreciate that, rather than paying a boatload for a pair of leggings and then having to hand them over to be hemmed. 
I am all for buying quality clothing but it truly does not need to cost an arm and a leg and if it is expensive, it needs to hold up to years of use. Yes, Under Armour can also be expensive but I have UA gear from years and years ago that look brand new. My favorite running leggings are from UA and cost me 39.99. The Zella Live-in Leggings are also a great pair of leggings for the price and have held up incredibly well through wear and washes. Same goes for Nike apparel. My favorite running tanks are from Nike and cost around $30 or less (on sale currently!). I also have several pieces from the Danskin line at Walmart that have held up really well and cost me less than $15 dollars. 

What do you think of Lululemon? Worth it or not?

Thoughts for Thursday

March 3, 2015

Tuesday Trend: Nighttime Beauty Products

Nighttime Beauty Products
L to R: Shea Moisture African Black Soap/Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam/Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins (oil free) Night Cream/Beauticontrol Defend and Restore Night Creme


With my skin being more combination now than it used to be, I switch up my nighttime routine depending on whether my skin is feeling dry or oily that particular day.

Routine:

If oily/breaking out: I wash  my face with the African Black Soap which helps to dry up the oil and blemishes. I have definitely seen a decrease in blemishes since I started using this soap I use the Beauticontrol Defend & Restore Night Creme pretty much every single night regardless, it is a truly amazing night creme. It hydrates without clogging my pores and I feel like my face looks refreshed in the morning. If my skin is feeling extra oily, I'll use the Origins Night-A-Mins instead to help moisturize but also clear up some of the excess oil-- that is where this night cream really stands out to me. 


If dry: I wash my face with the Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam which I have used on and off for years. It does a great job of cleaning my face without that super tight feeling afterwards. I follow up with the Beauticontrol Defend and Restore Night Creme every night that my face is feeling dry. 

I recently added Burt's Bee Garden Tomato Toner to the rotation and while I haven't been using it long, I am happy with the results. It definitely appears to be balancing out my skin tone which is a welcome relief. It doesn't feel overly drying but I do follow it up with one of the night creams. 

burt's bees garden tomato toner-burts bees garden tomato toner 8 fluid ounces


What do you use at night? I love hearing about people's daytime routines but I am fascinated by what people do for their skin at night. Please share!



*At times posts on this blog contain affiliate links. You will never pay more for an item found by shopping through an affiliate link. The small commission received allows me to bring you original and creative content. I only link to products I love and use or would use myself. All opinions and statements are my own. *

March 2, 2015

J. Crew Factory Favorites

Happy Monday! I have another snow  ice day today so I am pretty pumped. Four day week? I'll take it! We had a great weekend spent babysitting our niece on Friday night and hanging out with friends on Saturday but I took nary a picture! So today I'm bringing you some of my favorites for spring/summer that I found while browsing J.Crew Factory during the ice/rain storm we had yesterday. 

J. Crew Factory Favorites

1// Varsity Stripe Tee: I need another gray t-shirt like I need a venereal disease but this one has pink varsity stripes which makes it different from the other 35 gray tees I own, right? I have a t-shirt hoarding problem but I also have a serious love for being comfortable. Pair this with jean shorts and I've got my spring/summer uniform. 
2//Scalloped-hem Top: I love the look of this top from the drapey sleeves to the detailing and scalloped-hem. It is the perfect top to be worn with white jeans and a pair of wedges or with shorts and sandals. The color is so pretty, as well!
3//Printed Flutter-sleeve Top: How gorgeous is the print on this top? I love the dark navy with the pop of the green clovers, it is stunning! My job doesn't require fancy clothes but if it did I would be wearing this with cropped pants during the week and shorts on the weekend. 
4//Pom-Pom Tunic: This cover-up was super popular last summer but I missed the boat so I am glad it's back! My sister, mom, and I are heading to FL at the end of April and this would be perfect to throw on and head to lunch after lounging at the beach.
5//Boardwalk Pull-on Shorts: I ordered these shorts last spring and J.Crew did that thing where they cancel your order when it takes too long. So annoying! I am determined to get them this time. I need them to go with all of my t-shirts, ha! I love the red, it's so fun.
6//Scalloped Bodice Dress: Love the scallop trim and the black and white. Perfect for summer weddings!

What are you loving for spring/summer? I absolutely love snow days but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready for warmer days! 


*At times posts on this blog contain affiliate links. You will never pay more for an item found by shopping through an affiliate link. The small commission received allows me to bring you original and creative content. I only link to products I love and use or would use myself. All opinions and statements are my own. *



February 26, 2015

Florence, Italy {2}

Our second day in Italy was spent very similarly to our first day-- lots of sightseeing! First up was Uffizi Gallery. I was most excited to see the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and it was stunning in person! Uffizi Gallery also offers some pretty cool views of the campanile, the duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio. Who know?



We made the trek over the Ponte Vecchio to check it out and grab lunch of burrata pizza and bacon, olive oil, garlic, and pecorino romano. Delicious. Followed up with gelato - mint chocolate for me and caramel for G.




We ended our sightseeing that day with a trip to Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens. The views were spectacular and the gardens were beautiful as well. 




Dinner that night was at La Giostra. I loved this place. The atmosphere, the service, and the food were all on point. The restaurant was fairly small and low-lit which are two of my most favorite qualities in a restaurant atmosphere. The food was definitely the best we had in Florence and up there for the one of the best meals we had in Italy. Confession: the menu was in Italian (the first menu we encountered that was entirely in Italian) and I ordered steak when I thought I was ordering a pasta dish but the steak was amazing so no harm, no foul. G had steak in balsamic and I had steak in olive oil and rosemary. So, so good. I would highly recommend this place if you are headed to Florence! The place was empty when we got there and packed when we left!






We ended with a nightcap at the hotel bar and then headed to bed for our last full day in Florence. 

Linking up with the ladies for Thoughts on Thursday!
Thoughts for Thursday