Round-up: June 2016



“All June I bound the rose in sheaves.  Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves.”  — Robert Browning

This month has been so wonderful!  The days slipped by quickly and I wanted them to, because I was looking so forward to my two-year wedding anniversary at the end of the month!  It was a really special day, and the perfect way to end June.

As is my tradition, here is the list of what I had planned for June (some of which I didn’t do):

  1. Take a family beach trip.  It was SO fun.  Our baby’s and fur babies‘ first beach trip ever!
  2. Write a guest post on someone’s blog.
  3. Teach baby to say Dada.  She is trying, but I think teeth will help her perfect the ‘d’ sound.
  4. Buy the Twilight novels.  I even bought them in limited edition white.  #nostops
  5. Edit my book. Ooops.
  6. Catch up on my baby diary.  I definitely didn’t completely catch up, but I worked on it!
  7. Get a Twitter account.
  8. Take baby swimming.  She is my little fish now!
  9. Celebrate our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. <3 two years <3
  10. Learn to make Pico de Gallo. Lots of chopping.  But lots of chips later.  🙂

The highlight of my month was definitely our wedding anniversary! <3 But we also had some really fun times throughout the month, especially on our beach trip to Topsail!  The dogs were non-stop energy, but that is what happens when you take two labrador retrievers to the beach.  A few fun hauls from this month are also coming to mind–especially “pre-beach” hauls like sun hats, kimonos, and beach tents.  You know, the essentials.  🙂  I also got my last “big” trim for my hair (a whole inch) so now my hair is even, thickened, and damage-free; and I can just get the ends dusted every 10 weeks.  So happy about that!  Last but not least, I got a few things ironed out “behind-the-scenes” for my blog, and that’s always a good thing.

Thanks for stopping by to read my monthly summary.  I hope your June was fabulous too!  Cheers to a sparkly July!!



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Wishes for Summer 2016


“A something in a summer’s noon / A depth–an Azure–a perfume” – Emily Dickinson

I love making wish lists!  I spend waaaaay too long on and other online stores just “window” shopping and compiling shopping carts that I never end up checking out of.  Just for the fun of it…just for the sake of daydreaming.  I do, of course, buy a fair share of things on the internet, but I have to say that I browse more than I actually purchase.  Here are the things that I really do want to purchase!!

  1. Embroylisse Concentrated 24-hr Miracle Cream
  2. Palmer’s Natural Bronze Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion
  3. Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Cream
  4. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask
  5. Maskcara foundation set
  6. A gel polish top coat, any brand
  7. Toopoot 7pcs professional makeup brush set in rose gold
  8. Tangle Teaser
  9. BY framesi Slush Gloss
  10. A chest for my essential oils

My spring wish list was a little ambitious, to say the least.  But I did get a few things from it: L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush, Burt’s Bees Radiance Serum, and the Victoria Secret Lip Scrub.

Thanks for reading!  What is on your wish list this summer?

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Glam Bag Unboxing: June 2016


It’s that time again! I received my June Ipsy Glam Bag a few days ago (they arrive mid-month) and can’t wait to show you what’s inside. You might remember from my closing statement during last unboxing, but I had my fingers crossed to receive the Urban Decay color-changing eyeshadow in June. Well, spoiler-alert: I GOT IT!!


The theme of this month’s bag was rebellion and punkiness.  Being a punk.  Punking out.  Punkiness.  <–definitely doesn’t seem right when it’s spelled out, but you know what I mean.  Anyway, the glam accessory pouch had a graffiti design that brought me back to my European Graffitti days.  And south Bronx.  But mostly Europe.  The contents weren’t super punky, but that’s simply because the Ipsy personality quiz I took had results that were pretty far from punky.  (My personal style is far from punky haha). Probably the closest any product came to being “rebel” in my glam bag was the Urban Decay eyeshadow, but that’s mostly because the entire Urban Decay company has rebel vibes to it, imho.  On that note, let’s kick the unboxing off with a look at some rebellious eyeshadow!


Urban Decay Eyeshadow – Lounge

IMG_20160623_233543I was holding my breath as I opened my glam bag, hoping there would be an Urban Decay color-changing eyeshadow inside.  Sure enough, there was!  I would best describe Lounge as a mix between grey, blue, and green.  A peacock is the first thing that comes to my mind when I see it–but I’m not thinking of deep blue feathers–I feel like the color comes pretty close to the green eyelet circles on the bird’s tail.  The concept of a color-changing eyeshadow isn’t completely new.  Duochrome, or eyeshadows that give off more than one color depending on the lighting, have been around for a while.  The reason this one is particularly mesmerizing though is because even in the pan, you can’t quite decide if its grey or green or blue (though in my pic it looks decidedly grey).  And when it’s actually being worn, it continuously gives off an array of colors–not just a shiny color in the sun and a more muted version indoors.


Cake Beauty Everything Balm – Delectable

This is a sample size balm product that I hadn’t heard of before.  Apparently it can do everything.  I haven’t used it for everything myself obviously, but so far I’ve liked using it to treat eyebrows (since I prefer natural brows). It’s sweetly scented, cruelty-free, and vegan!  The wonderful and creamy consistency of this product is in between a vaseline and a lotion.  The line this comes from is inspired by confections and sweet-treats, and is supposed to nourish your skin the way food nourishes your body.  The product line was even started in a kitchen, rumor has it!  I was pleasantly surprised by it, though I must admit I didn’t know what to expect.


Dirty Little Secret Baked Highlighter – Bellissima

Dare I use the word “go-to” when describing a new product?  I think I have to.  You might remember that my highlighting history has been less than fabulous.  Enter DLS baked highlighter.  Just as a disclaimer, I didn’t love this to highlight my t-zone, cheekbones, or the bridge of my nose.  But as a blush?  GAME CHANGER.  It has such a feminine rosiness to it, with a chic and glam dewiness because of its highlighting roots.  I have to admit, I have never even considered myself a blush fan.  I rarely wear it.  I’m all about bronzers.  But now…this is going to be a regular occurrence in my makeup life.  PS. And it comes in cute retro polka-dot packaging!


Kajal Vasanti Waterline Eyeliner – Intense Black

Here we have another full-sized product that also just so happens to be my favorite kind of makeup product ever: EYELINER.  Maybe eyeliner is my favorite because it was my first “real” makeup item.  Or maybe I like it because it is the fastest and quickest way to look like I’m wearing makeup.   Anyway, this eyeliner is supposedly designed for the waterline, but I used it both for my waterline and my lower lash line.  It is a good crayon liner–soft, pigmented, smudge-able, and relatively easy to apply.  I wouldn’t say this is my favorite liner for the waterline, but that’s simply because I already have a favorite for that.  It carries good pigmentation when applied to the lower lash line, but I felt like the blackness became a little grey when applied to my waterline.  Overall, this is a successful waterline eyeliner as it is gentle is doesn’t sting or run.  I will definitely use the entire product up, but I wouldn’t repurchase it over my favorite crayon liner.


Royal and Langnickel Brush – Crease/Smudge

One of my favorite things about the Ipsy Glam Bag is that it offers tools in addition to makeup.  I was super excited to get an eyeshadow brush for the second time in a row.  I have to say after using it, I definitely prefer the fluffy end over the dense end.  The short-ended bristles are a little to stiff and short for my taste.  It would be a good brush for packing pigments onto my lid (maybe like glitter) but I didn’t love it for applying everyday colors.  The fluffy end was almost too sparse for me, but I like it for delicately working a contour shade into my crease.  I can’t rely on this brush for any bold crease work, but for light contouring with a gentle hand, it works just great.  Based on its structure, I think I could also use the fluffy end as a finishing-touch brush, to dust off excess products.  Overall I think I can get some good use out of it!

That’s a wrap!  Even though I’ve never considered myself to be a rebel-child, I felt like all the items that came in my bag will fit in nicely with my current collection.  As a side note, I was excited to received full-size versions of almost every product. *sweet sigh of value*  I never expect to get full-sizes for every single product, but I love it when it happens.  I still can’t believe the Ipsy glam bag only costs $10 a month.  I hope you enjoyed peeking into Ipsy’s June release, and I look forward to sharing my July glam bag with you!

If you want to join Ipsy yourself, follow this link. Doing so will not provide me with any money, though it will give me bonus points to earn beauty products.  I would not recommend this glam bag to you if I didn’t stand behind it myself.  But I love it, and I think you will too!

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Empties: Spring 2016 Edition



It’s that time again!  As it is “officially” summer now (even though spring feels long gone) I thought I’d post a round-up of all the bottles I emptied out during this past spring.  I would have to say it was a good season of empties.  Everything I used up I *generally* liked.  I don’t usually use up products I hate, although I make an effort to use them once in a while.

Here we go:


Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream

This is my current go-to moisturizer.  Even though it’s a night cream, I wear it during the day too.  I think its a fabulous moisturizer and I don’t plan on switching any time soon– though I might try the day cream!


Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner

I like this toner so much that I wrote a review about it.  I think I’m on my third bottle of it already.  It’s just that good!


Sea Breeze Sensitive Skin Astringent

I have had mixed feelings about this toner ever since I got it (on the recommendation of the beauty guru Carli Bybel).  But after using up the bottle, I can safely say I have settled on liking it quite a bit actually.  It’s more powerful than the Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner, and I prefer using this at the end of a “heavy” makeup day.


Oil of Olay Gentle Clean Facial Cloths

These have been a go-to cleansing product for years.  I love how clean the get my face, and the fact that I usually don’t have to use makeup remover if I use this (even for mascara)!  It’s also nice having a fresh, clean cloth every night, instead of reusing a washcloth like I would if I used bar soap.


Mary Kay Acne Treatment Gel

This is one product that I technically didn’t “use up” completely but which I have to throw out.  I used it a few years back as a spot treatment, but was never overly impressed with it.  About a month ago I tried using it and broke out into a fierce rash.  So into the trash bin it went.  I can’t say I felt like it was much of a loss.



Elf Expert Liquid Liner ~ Midnight Black

So apparently I wasn’t kidding when I spent all of May focusing on my skincare and not makeup.  So far all my empties have been skincare-related.  But here is my token makeup item– an eyeliner nonetheless.  You know I’ve been having a moment trying to find a good liquid eyeliner to replace my beloved and discontinued Mary Kay Liquid Liner.  This was one of the best replacements I found, though I didn’t entirely love it.  The brush was composed of hairs, whereas my Mary Kay liner was felt-tipped.  And “midnight black” was a bad color choice because that meant that the liner had a shiny and almost blueish tint to it; and I prefer matte eyeliners.  All in all, it wasn’t a total flop, considering the price point and wearability, but I’m not completely sold on it as my go-to liquid liner.  The search continues!


L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara — Carbon Black

It wouldn’t be an “Empties Post” without this one.  You might be tired of hearing about this product, so I’ll spare you the review.  This is my absolute go-to mascara, and I think that one lasts me about 3 months.  I have tried SO MANY mascaras but none of them are as good as this one.


Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

You probably remember this product from my pink nail-look a while back.  Or as part of my manicure routine.  This is a tried-and-true product, though I didn’t repurchase it.  I got a similar Sally Hansen product, but not this exact one, because I’m not super picky about my base coats.


Jergens Natural Glow — Fair to Medium

Back to skin products!  I really like this because it is a two-in-one product.  As any self-tanner knows, to keep your tan you must moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  But this lotion is a moisturizer.  Mind blown.    It’s my current self-tanner, and I’m pretty satisfied with it.  I might be doing a tanner comparison in the future, since my opinions on the self-tanning game are strong.


Neutrogena Triple Moisture Shampoo

Since we were on the topic of moisturizers…I picked up this product during my last PX beauty haul in obedience to my hairdresser.  Apparently using grocery store shampoo on 28 inches of hair just doesn’t cut it.  I got this one because of its emphasis on moisturizing, and because I am generally pleased with Neutrogena’s products.  After weeks of use, I can say I really liked this shampoo and did notice a difference in the texture and sheen of my hair.


Neutroenga Triple Moisture Conditioner

Even though I’m not above mixing-and-matching shampoo and conditioner brands, I did consistently use the Triple Moisture line this season.  Even though both bottles counted as empties this spring, to be honest the conditioner bottle is an emptier empty than the shampoo bottle.  But who didn’t already know that. 0:)

I really love writing posts about the products that I used because I get to sneak a mini-review in, as well as reminisce over my beauty trends the past season.  Keep a look-out for my summer empties, which I’ll be posting at the beginning of fall!  (Too soon to say that word?)  Thanks for sticking around to the end of my empties post!

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Fashion Haul: Post Exchange


Once upon a time, I took a pledge not to buy any makeup during the month of May in an effort to save money and focus my attention on my skin/hair.

Little known fact: when you don’t spend money on makeup, you find other ways to spend it, i.e. clothes.  And once you start buying clothes, you don’t always stop.  And then you have a clothes addiction on your hand.

And a Post Exchange clothing haul.

I went to the Post Exchange (AKA the PX) to buy t-shirts, and was more than successful.  If you’ve never heard of the Post Exchange before, then just think of it as the Army’s version of Target.  Its inventory varies from military post to military post, but its overall purpose is to provide name brands and a variety of options for families who may be living where there aren’t many stores.  (Don’t feel too bad for us…with online shopping we have the world at our fingertips like everybody else).  But I still love going to the PX…and who doesn’t love tax-free shopping?

Anyway, I snagged some shirts that have become my new favorites, as well as some tops that are “new territory” for me in the style world.  Let me know what you think!


First of all, I had to buy this beauty because it was 1) in my color and 2) had lace-of-sorts on it.


I wouldn’t exactly call this one “my color” but it was half tank-top and half teeshirt so it caught my attention.  As did it’s lacey tassel situation.  I just like it.  It is a definite step outside my usual style and so that was exciting.  But maybe I shouldn’t give myself too much credit– I haven’t worn it yet, and bravely buying clothes is not the same as wearing something outside your comfort zone.


Then I bought two shirts with ruching. These are an adjustment for me too, as I kind of hate ruching. I guess I associate ruching with a pregnancy wardrobe–although that’s kind of odd since I didn’t wear ruching at all when I was pregnant.  Anyway, even though the ruching almost convinced me not to purchase them, their fabric was so incredibly soft that I couldn’t resist.

IMG_20160529_155500The shirts obviously don’t scoop at the hem when you wear them, but the picture makes it look like that.  I really loved the colors (besides the feel) of these two, which is partly why I bought them.


This might possibly be my favorite shirt in the haul.  It is stretchy, soft, and has quality weight to the fabric.  I liked the criss-cross neck because it adds a nice detail to an otherwise plain black tee (and I have MORE than my share of those).


So I got this tee purely for kicking around the house while I blog, cook, clean, and otherwise generally “mom” around.  You can’t really tell in the photo, but the letters are covered in glitter.  Which I loved.  Until after wearing it for 15 minutes and I had successfully covered my daughter, my husband, myself, and basically the entire room in glitter.  It spread alarmingly fast and stuck with the power of wet concrete.  Needless to say, this shirt is being returned.  Glitter-covered receipt and all.


This soft and stretchy micro-ribbed tee is my other favorite of the haul.  It is ridiculously soft, comfy, and well-fitted.  I don’t mind that the hem has an unfinished look to it–it kind of suits its casual design and fabric.


Last but not least, I got a pair of shorts inspired by Anna Kendrick’s sailor pants during the Barden Bella’s Finale performance in the movie Pitch Perfect.  Well, that’s probably not what the designer was inspired by, but that’s what went through my head when I bought them.

That is finally the end of my haul! I didn’t bother including the brands because none of these were brand-name clothes, and I haven’t seen these brands sold anywhere besides the PX.  If you’re curious about a brand, leave a comment below!  Thanks so much for reading!


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