Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Favorites

Hey guys!

I can’t believe how February flew by! Literally, it was the fastest month ever. I’m sitting here wondering where Valentine’s Day went! Even though this was a fast month, I still have a ton of favorites! They are pretty random too.
Revlon Photoready BB Cream, ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer, The Rocket Mascara, Simple Cleansing Wipes, BBW Wildberry Dahlia Foaming Hand Soap, Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells, Mossimo Boyfriend Cardigan, Essie Watermelon (upper), Essie Plumberry (below)
Revlon Photoready BB Cream
Finding the shade light/medium proved to be virtually impossible, because this is such a popular item! With good reason though. Out of all the BB creams, this is by far the best on oily skin. It's extremely similar to the Smashbox one (just a lot more affordable). My only complaint, it's a tad hard to blend. But that's not too bad of a complaint.

Elf Mineral Infused Face Pimer
As I reviewed earlier this month, the ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer has been a really pleasant surprise. While it has a slightly more watery texture than the Sephora one I used previously, I honestly think it has better staying power and is better on my oily skin. The one day I went without it, I definitely noticed a huge difference in the look of my face makeup.

The Rocket Mascara
As I've documented several other times, I've had a love/hate relationship with Maybelline's the Rocket mascara. But after some debate, I've gone back to it toward the end of the month. I love the dramatic look it gives my lashes. I love how long and volumized it makes it. The two downsides: it's very hard to take off and the bristles of the brush hurt the base of my eyelashes! But, it's two things I'd be willing to deal with because the results are so good.

Simple Cleansing Wipes
So I used these last fall and really enjoyed them, but then got distracted with the Up and Up brand ones. However, I started breaking out! It was really annoying, so I thought I'd try a different brand of makeup removing wipes to see if that helped. And it did! These just are really refreshing and gentle on the skin, and I love it. It even does it's best at removing the Rocket mascara (which is no simple feat). I'm definitely going to repruchase these again!

Bath and Body Works Wildberry Dahlia Hand Soap
I can't say enough great things about this handsoap. It smells amazing! I sometimes just wash my hands for fun to smell this! Some reivewers say it smells like grape soda, and I can kind of see that. However, I love it. You definitely need to go out and smell it because it's perfect for spring!

Wet n Wild's "Walking on Eggshells"
There are so many great things about this trio on the internet, and I know I've talked about it before as well. For the last few months, I was all about the Covergirl Shimmering Sands pallet, but this month, I've been using the Walking on Eggshells trio constantly! I love it, particularly the champagne color! I've worn it almost everyday!

Mossimo Boyfriend Cardigan
Another new obssesion this month is the Mossimo Boyfriend Cardigans from Target. They are amazing! I picked up the black and the oatmeal colored ones (and I've really been eyeing the red one haha). I absolutely love the color of the oatmeal one. It's the perfect neutral!

Essie Watermelon
I've been eyeing Watermelon for such a long time (mostly because I love the name). It's a really pretty pink color that was perfect for wearing Valentine's Day week! I love it!

Essie Plumberry
After seeing Plumberry on Pinterest, I decided I need this color because I don't have any berry reds in my nail polish collection. Although it can be a little dark, it's such a pretty, different take on red. It's hard to describe but it's like a red-purple.

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Lusts

Hey everyone!

My life has been kept busy with school and sorority stuff! Sometimes that’s how it goes I guess. The wonders of 17 credit hours haha. Anyway, I wanted to share with you some things that I’ve been lusting over for the month of February. I love showing the products/things that I really wish to get my hands on!
Macadamia Deep Repair Masque

So if you watch Youtube, I'm sure you've heard rave reviews about this hair mask/deep conditioner. It's apparently supposed to make your hair really soft and smooth and strong, at least that's what the reviews say. The one thing that's holding me back from trying it out: the price! It's $33 for just 8 oz. Target has a deal where it's essentially buy one, get one free, but I still don't like the idea of getting that much product just in case I don't like it. It's so tempting though because I'm in the process of growing my hair out (literally, I want it to get long as fast as possible haha), so I was hoping this would keep it healthy and promote growth.
Soft Neon Orange Infinity Scarf

First off, I love scarves. It's a huge problem. I pretty much wear a scarf every day because I'm so obsessed. Recently I found pretty neon scarves (in the ever popular coral and mint colors that are huge for spring) at Gap. I walked away with the mint one for $20, but I was dying to get another in coral or pink. Well, imagine how excited I got when I walked into Target and that they had pretty much the exact same scarves, only for $15!! I instantly snatched up the neon pink one, but this soft orange/coral one is also calling me.
MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch
I love MAC eyeshadows a lot! Actually, I'd say that MAC is probably my favorite makeup brand in general. And recently I just got this urge to buy more eyeshadow from there. I've been wanting Naked Lunch forever, so I currently am lusting over it. If you have any other suggestions of favorite MAC eyeshadows let me know! I absolutely love champagne colors and I honestly think you can never have enough! I'm really wanting a MAC palette. When I bought all my other MAC eyeshadows, I bought them individually because I thought a palette would be too difficult to store, but now I'm realizing that I think the palettes are much more efficent.
Vera Bradley Sorority Shirt Urban Outfitters Chevron Duvet
The Monogram Express

Another thing that I've been lusting over is a new Vera Bradley letter shirt for my sorority. I found this site, the Monogram Express, that makes them and I have at least three shirts I would love. I also really like how they give you the option of an American Apparel v-neck. It's tough deciding between Go Wild, Summer Cottage, English Rose, and Camelia. I think you can never have enough good block letters! Now if only I'd actually buy them.
 Urban Outfitters Chevron Duvet
Chevron Bedding
 Anything chevron! Seriously, I know that technically design experts are saying that chevron is out. But I can't get enough of it. I know I definitely have my eye on Urban Outfitters chevron duvet for my apartment next year...



Thursday, February 21, 2013

There Seems to be a Pattern...

It’s funny how when you love something, you buy thing that have the same characteristics, sometimes without even noticing it, sometimes, fully aware of the similarities. Usually for me, it’s Vera Bradley or dots, or lace, or something along those lines.
Well, on a trip to Kohl’s today, I picked up this super cute tank top. I love flowy tops, but it was the pattern of this one that instantly caught me eyes. Yep! Those are in fact Scottie dogs. And little red hearts. And Scottie dogs with hearts attached to their collars. I knew I had to have it. 

When I got it home and laid it out, I instantly noticed that it looked pretty similar to something else that I absolutely love.... 
My fleece Scottie dog blanket! I love Scottie dogs, and I especially like one that are red or black or have some sort of hearts or polka dots. 

I think it would be such a cool idea for HGTV to do a decorating show based on the things people have in their closets. I would watch it. 

Anyway, do you notice themes of things you love? Like Scottie dogs? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Take on a Long Distance Relationship

Hey guys!

Continuing on with my Valentine’s Day and relationship themed posts this week, I thought I’d give some of my thoughts and some advice that helps me get through my long-distance relationship with my boyfriend Francisco. I am by no means an expert, I still struggle frequently. However, this is what helps us and this is just generally my thoughts on LDR’s.
Growing up reading romance novels and watching romantic comedies, there was always a pretty common theme with long distance relationships: they were painful, messy, and never lasted. Pretty bleak and depressing, right?

Well, Francisco and I didn’t start out long distance. Actually, it was the exact opposite. Our first date lasted fourteen hours. Normally, I’d day we only parted ways for class, when I was at sorority events, and when he would go hang out with his guy friends every night. So easily I’d say we spent at least fifteen hours a day. That’s a lot. And it was that way for the first nine months of our relationship.

So the shock of being separated was huge. No longer could we take naps in each other’s arms. We couldn’t just lay in bed and watch Boy Meets World or movies or cuddle or talk any time we wanted. Just thinking about it hurts now.

Being an hour and a half apart isn’t as bad as a lot of other couples, but it’s still not fun either. We try to see each other every other week or every two weeks, since he works and I have sorority stuff and school constantly filling up my schedule. Sometimes we see each other in blocks of two days (I stay the night at his parent’s house or he stays at my family’s house). Sometimes we just spend a day together.

The goal is that we make each second in those trips count. We usually plan out a little beforehand what we are up to. We laugh, talk, catch up, hug, kiss, hold hands, cuddle, and play. We do everything we love doing normally. I will admit usually the first hour or so together feels a little weird. I mean, sometimes I haven’t seen him in weeks. It takes a second to get used to talking to him in person, wondering what random stories I’ve told him already. But we do settle back into how we normally are. Here’s my tips for those so important times you get to see each other in person:

1.)    Relish every second. Put your phone away. Connect with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Talk, laugh, tell stories, catch up. It’s so important to reconnect.

2.)   Use physical touch. Because you don’t have the chance to do it normally, hold hands when you are sitting in the car or walking around a park or mall. Hug every chance you get. Kiss constantly. Cuddle and snuggle on the couch. The smell of Francisco is so calming to me, so I’m constantly smelling him as well haha.

3.)   If you have an important issue, talk about it and move on. This is tough. Because the time together is so rare and important, if you have an issue with the person, address it directly, resolve it, and move on. If I’m feeling slightly ignored by him, I’ll tell him, we’ll figure out a solution, and then go on. That’s so important whether you are in a close relationship or long distance.

4.)   Have fun! Do you wanna go to your normal hang out spots (for us Target is always a must!) or visit someplace new (the zoo! A park!)? I think you need a balance of both. We always settle down and watch a season of Friends together, and then we usually go out to eat and do simple things like go to Target or a park. We just enjoy each other’s presence!

5.)   Live in the moment. This is the hardest thing for me. At some point in our visits, I start dreading the moment we have to part. This makes me sad and worried, which always ruins the moment. Try as best as you can to enjoy your love’s company, and not think about saying goodbye. My boyfriend and I have even recited the Winnie the Pooh quote “How lucky am I to have something that is so hard to say goodbye?” Try to make it positive. It’s hard, but it’s less painful.

6.)   Try to always set a date for the next time you’ll see each other. It gives you something to look forward to.

Being apart isn’t a piece of cake either. Being up at college, where so many of our memories were made is so painful at times, especially when I’m at the dining hall where we met or by the dorms we lived in. It’s still a struggle for me. But here’s some of my advice.

1.)    Have set times when you talk on the phone. We talk every night before bed. Sometimes we talk for five minutes sometimes for an hour. But that communication is vital in any relationship, particularly a long distance one.

2.)   Text, Facebook, and Skype. Use all the technology you can. They are all tools to help you communicate and feel connected.

3.)   When you are really sad and missing the other person, try to distract yourself. Francisco does by playing video games. I do by watching The Office or Scrubs on Netflix. Or by hanging out with my sorority sisters. Or journaling. When that doesn’t work, I write a letter to him. Rarely do I ever give it to him, but it helps ease that temporary pain.

4.)   For me, looking at pictures of us together helps. And reading old texts.

5.)   Ask your boyfriend/girlfriend for a piece of clothing or something you can associate with them (it really helps if it has their scent). My boyfriend gave me two shirts of his to sleep in and his hoodie. I gave him a Pillow Pet for Valentine’s Day last year (a penguin named Paul).

6.)   Try to find friends that are also in long distance relationships. It always helps to have people that know the exact same struggles. Be warned though, that all people have different coping mechanisms and each relationship is unique.

Some other good advice I’ve read that helps me, is never make decisions when you are mad or sad. There’s times I’ve missed him so much, that I want to break up to ease the hurt. But as we’ve discussed, that wouldn’t make a difference, we’d still miss each other just as much, if not more. Another piece of advice, is never start doubting your relationship or distance or your trust in your partner. The second you let doubt in, you are making it worse. Also, try to think positively. I tell myself that I’m thankful for the distance because it has allowed me to focus more time on school, allowed me to take two leadership positions in my sorority (something I never would have had time to do before with him there), and to learn to become more independent on my own.

It’s hard. There’s no doubt. But at the end of the day, if he is my boyfriend, that’s all that matters.

Have you had any experience with long distance relationships? What helps you when you miss that person?

Monday, February 11, 2013

How I Met Him

Hey everyone!

So in honor of this week being Valentine’s Day week, I thought I would do some self-indulgent sharing about my relationship with my boyfriend. If you dislike sappy love stories, this may not be the post for you. But I know I love reading about romance and things like that, particularly around Valentine’s Day, so I thought some might be in the mood for a story like this.

It was Friday, the end of the second week of my sophomore year of college. I was not in the best mood. I was coming down with one my annual Labor Day weekend colds that makes my nose stuffy and runny and my throat sore. To make matters worse, the night before I had burnt my tongue to a crisp (probably the worse burn of my life) on hot chocolate. It was also the first day of my period (insert cramps, exhaustion, and crankiness). To say that I just wanted to get my class over with and go home was an understatement. I threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt with my college’s name on it, and went to lunch with my roommate and of our friends. This had become our routine the first two weeks of the semester. They would come back to my dorm room after class and then we’d head over to the dining hall for lunch, which my class immediately followed.

It was pretty much like any other lunch. The four of us sat a large, six person table and we just sat there enjoying our food (I have no clue what I was eating, but I know I couldn’t taste because of my stuffy nose and that my tongue hurt). Not too far into lunch, my roommate noticed a guy, Francisco (who had actually met a few days before briefly in the dorm), sitting alone. My roommate, who hated seeing anyone sitting alone at the dining hall, instantly urged our friend Nate, to invite Francisco over.

“Nate! Francisco’s alone! Call him over.” Nate nodded and turned around and called Francisco’s name and jerked his head in the direction of our table. “Come sit with us.”

Francisco, looking up kind of surprised, nodded and picked up his tray and carried it over. Our fourth friend that was sitting with us had her keys and wallet in the empty chair next to her, so Francisco sat in the empty chair next to my seat. Lunch went on as normal for a few more minutes or so. I remember I asked Francisco some random, polite question to make him feel welcomed, and as he was answering, I finally glanced in his direction (I have no clue why, probably being shy, but I hadn’t yet looked at him). I have no clue what he was saying (and neither does he actually looking back on it), but it was this moment that kind of changed everything.

“Oh my god! You have the most gorgeous eyes I’ve ever seen!” Honestly, the way he reacted was like something out a movie. He literally looked like he had seen a ghost. He had jerked backward, away from me, and had grabbed his chest like he was having a heart attack. Looking back, he says that that moment was one of the most powerful of his life. I don’t know what he exactly means by that, but I’ve honestly never seen anyone react that way to my greenish-blueish-hazel eyes before.

I honestly have no clue what I said back to him. I remember feeling really nervous and shy. I know my face turned at least ten shades of red. I think I stammered thanks and laughed shyly back.

After that, everything changed. I became really aware of him, eating his lunch, as he was trying to catch my glances and attention. I don’t know what happened, but soon (being college-aged boys), Nate and him got into a flirting contest. Nate’s was all jokingly on my friend. Francisco’s started flirting jokingly with mebut over the course of a few minutes, I could tell the flirting was actual flirting, not jokingly at all. He ended up holding my hand. He whispered something really sweet about my eyes in Spanish in my ear. And I definitely knew he was serious a few minutes later when he whispered in my ear: “Are you seeing anyone?”

Thinking back to that day, I get goosebumps thinking about that. I remember gauging my reaction in my head. If I said yes he would leave me alone. Nothing would happen. I wouldn’t have to worry about moving out of my comfort zone at all. If I said noI wasn’t sure what would happen, but it would definitely encourage him to keep doing what he was doing. Finally, I responded by shaking my head and whispering a simple no. He definitely seemed pleased by that.

He then asked me, as the other three were all focused on some random conversation they were having, if he could kiss me. Being incredibly stunned and shy (confession time: I had never been kissed before!) I stalled and said, “Not here!”

I told him that because I wasn’t sure yet if I wanted to kiss him! And I definitely didn’t want to do it in the dining hall!! Rolling his eyes he responded, “Of course not here!”

Lunch went by in a blur the rest of the time. I remember not being able to finish whatever I was eating. I remember wondering if he was actually going to try to kiss me later. And I remember all of us picking up our trays and walking them over to the area you put them when you are done. As my friends departed toward my dorm, I turned to walk to the parking lot to my car to go to class. Francisco lived in the dorm in that direction, so he walked with me. I remember being so nervous!

We stopped in front of the stairs to his dorm. He pulled me in for a big hug, which I remember not expecting at all, but felt so right in! It’s funny, we had only known each other thirty minutes tops, and being a non-touchy feeling person (seriously, hugs are the most awkward thing for me), but I loved that hug. It felt safe and nice and warm. It was a pretty late summer afternoon. Probably in the 80’s at least. I remember the sun shining down hard on us. I remember noticing the big height difference between us (I’m 4 foot 11 and he is 5 foot 10). And that’s when it happened.

He pulled back slightly, to look down at me. I remember seeing the look of concentration on his face. The look of determination and excitement. And that’s when it happened. He leaned down, tilted his head slightly to the right, and kissed me! I remember thinking: A) Oh no! I have a cold and now he is going to get sick! B.) Close your eyes! You’re being a creeper! C.) My first kiss!!!!!!

It was amazing. Truly amazing. The kiss honestly seemed to last forever. I remember a group of people passing by and feel slightly embarrassed. It was sweet and gentle, and even though we had just met, passionate. He then hugged me again, and in a husky voice bid me a good weekend.

I remember getting to my car and just sitting there for a few minutes thinking about this guy I had just met kissing me! I felt my lips, which were slightly damp from him. I remember touching them. It was just surreal!

I didn’t focus in class that day to say the least. Or the ride home. Or during my second trip ever to Ikea that evening (which you know something is a big deal when you can't get focused on a trip to Ikea. That place is seriously heaven).

At that time, I didn't know exactly what he would mean to me. I wasn't sure if it was just a random kiss or if it was going to lead to something more...meaning a relationship. Everything was so new and scary. I can definitely say though, that day changed my life in ways I didn't even realize at that moment.

Does Valentine's Day make you think back to the early parts of your relationship? Do you and your boyfriend/girlfriend like reminicing or do you like staying in the present?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Favorites

Hi again!

I hope that everyone’s January went great! Mine was pretty good! Extremely busy with the start of the spring semester, but good! Here are some of the products that I was loving this past month!

1.) My favorite mascara for 2013 so far is the Clump Crusher by Covergirl. I love the formula and the wand!
2.) Covergirl's Toasted Almond Nail polish is one of my new favorite neutral colors! It's a brownish taupe.
3.) For Christmas I recieved Philosophy's Christmas Cookie 3 in 1 body wash. It smells like a bakery! I've always loved how Philosophy's body wash makes my skin feel smooth and moisturized. Plus the scents are heavenly!
4.) I finally broke down and bought the Pink body mist that I'd been eyeing for the last month and I'm so glad I did! I've worn this more than all my other body sprays and perfumes (including my new Dot perfume!). It's a blend of artemisia, neroli flower, and peony. If you haven't tried this, go to Victoria's Secret and try it out. It's amazing! Plus the packaging is adorable.
5.) For the start of the new semester, my room has been smelling like Bath and Body Works' Frosted Cupcake. I absolutely love this scent so far! Can you tell that sweet scents are my favorite currently?
6.) Speaking of sweet scents, the Cinnamon Sugar Donut candle I picked up at the Semi-Annual is the best scent ever! I love this scent so much! It's so sweet and cozy! I hope that they bring it back next fall! I will definitely stock up!
7.) Earlier this month I broke down and decided to try out a new drugstore blush. I picked up Bourgeois Pig by NYX. It's a bright pink (much like Dollface by Tarte). It's so pigmented and been a breath of fresh air!
8.) The Covergirl Shimmering Sands eyeshadow trio is always a huge favorite of mine, and this past month I've enjoyed it just as much as ever. I'm constantly amazed by the quality for something that is less than $5. Seriously, there is no eyeshadow that I love more than these three.
9.) I'm still loving red nails, and this month I've gone back to Wet n Wild's I Red a Good Book. Once again, this is a drugstore product that I'm continusouly impressed with. It lasts for days, covers so well, drys quickly, has a good amount of shine, and is a pretty classic red color. If you haven't tried out this shade, you have to!
What things have you loved this January? Has anyone else noticed that drugstore brands seem to be really stepping it up these days?

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Rocket vs. Clump Crusher Mascara

Hey guys!

Mascara is without a doubt my favorite makeup to buy and use. It’s also one of the ones I’m the most picky about. I don’t know if it’s just me, but finding the perfect mascara is virtually impossible. If it’s not the formula that’s a little off, then it’s the wand. Or the packaging. Or the price. Or everything.

So in my search for the holy grail mascara from the drugstore, I decided to give the cult favorite, L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black a try. I’ve read from many blogs and magazines that this mascara is essentially magic in a tube.

On a trip to Target recently, my mom and I decided to try a couple and see what we think. She got the waterproof and I got the non-waterproof (I do not have the patience to take off waterproof mascara).

The results? Here's the before...

And the after!


I was pretty impressed honestly. I’ve been eyeing this mascara for a while now, but the reviews online always sorta scared me. People talked about raccoon eyes, smudging, goopies, and just pretty much stuff that makes nightmares when it comes to mascara. There’s nothing that I hate more than clumpy, messy mascaras, let me tell you.

This was nothing like that. It didn’t clump, went on easily, built up fast, and was pretty much great from the get go. It defines my lashes beautifully, makes them long, and like the title says, they are super black and definitely voluminous.

However, I do have a tiny complaint

First, it does sorta smudge. More than the other mascaras I currently love (Clump Crusher, Cat Eyes, Telescopic Shocking Extensions). If you have itchy, allergy eyes that water, don’t wear non-waterproof, because your mascara will be a black runny mess. Let me tell you.

It comes off pretty easily, but the next morning I still find some smudges below my eyes.

So final thoughts? I like it a lot. What makes me the most happy about this mascara is how fast and easily it builds up. It seems like I could spend 10 minutes with Clump Crusher or Telescopic Shocking Extensions building them up. This mascara definitely doesn't take that long to build up to where I like it. I think I'll definitely repurchase!

(If you like mascara reviews, make sure to check out my comparison between The Rocket and Clump Crusher, as well as the Telescopic Shocking Extensions!) See this compared to the new L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess! Love drugstore mascaras that add volume? Also look at my review of the Jordana Best Lash Volume Extreme mascara!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Simple Pleasures

Hey everyone!

School is crazy as always, but it’s the little things that can make stressful days and busy nights a little happier. They say that the key to being happy is being able to appreciate the little things in life. So during this busy week, these are some of the things that brought me the greatest amount of joy.
First, this week marked the first day of February. You probably don't know it, but Valentine's Day has become my second favorite holiday to decorate for (besides Christmas of course). I love the red, pink, hearts, dots, ladybugs, cupcakes, and the pure happiness that this holiday evokes for me. Even though I have a boyfriend for this special day, I'm pretty sure I'd still love it if I were single. Another highlight of February (besides the mere fact that January is over), is this page in my Lilly Pulitzer agenda. I love it so much!
This past week also marked the discovery of my new Starbucks obsession! It's a vanilla latte with added raspberry syrup. It may not be a new invention to the world, but it is a super fun change for me. Not only is it pink (see, I'm a little Valentine's Day obsessed), but it's sweet, warm, and cozy.
A joy that I'm always appreciative for is my boyfriend. He is my strength. He keeps me strong, focused, and wants nothing more than my happiness. Having his hand to hold (even if it's not everyday due to distance), is the greatest joy ever. Words can't describe how much I look forward to our nightly chats, whether they last three minutes or an hour. They are so precious to me.
And there's nothing like wearing your most favorite sweater in the world. I absolutely love this one from American Eagle, which my mom bought me for my birthday. I love the lace stripes on it, and I especially love it paired with this black infinity scarf from Pac Sun.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to brighten any day is buying a new nail polish. I recently spotted this one on Pinterest, and when I found it at Target, I had to pick it up. It’s this really pretty berry red. It has a lot more purple than this picture shows, and it’s such a lovely color. It's Essie's Plumberry.
What simple things bring joy to your life?