Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Birch Box Finds & Review

Good Morning,

I try every once in awhile to get here with a review for some of the products that I have received in my monthly Birchbox subscription. As you know I receive a monthly Birchbox and I absolutely LOVE it, you get a bunch of sample size products to try and than you are able to tell what is worth buying and what isn't. As I post all that I receive in my monthly boxes I like to come buy and tell you what I think about the things that I have received and what was a little bit of a disappointment.

Super Good Forever Young Hand Cream

I hear a lot of people rave about this product so when I received it in my Birchbox I was really excited to try it out. About two weeks ago I put it on my nightstand to use as night and well... I don't like it. First of all the smell is fierce and not in a good way.. I don't even know how to describe it but I know that I do not like it at all. I found it to be greasy when you first apply it and it took a really long time to absorb, it wasn't a huge deal as I was using it while going to bed but for the price (above bottle is $29.50) I would definitely not purchase it. 

Modelco Powerlash High Impact Mascara - Black

I really like this mascara, it volumizes, its super dark and it has great lasting power. I don't have anything back to say about this mascara at all but I will say that I wouldn't purchase it. To buy this product full size its $20.00 which is fine but for me I find that regular drugstore brands that you can buy for $7.00 will do the same thing. I am lucky when it comes to mascara, I have my favorites but I also have pretty long and full eyelashes so I don't need to buy super expensive products to get achieve the look I want. I would recommend it, maybe if you have trouble establishing volume and fullness this may be the product for you. 

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer 

I will say this product does everything they say it does, smooths the appearance of fine lines and pores and it really preps your skin to apply foundation. It applies nicely and is not oily or greasy at all, I really like the way my foundation applies over it and lasts all day. Smashbox carries a huge variety of foundation primers for all different skin types which is fantastic because you can really find the product geared towards your needs, you can view them HERE. This product can be purchased for $15.00 - $39.00 and I would definitely buy it!

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

I wont lie I really never had the desire to try a lid primer, I just figured you were covering your eyelids anyways so why both? This product definitely changed my mind. I think everyone's eye lids show veins and what not and this covers EVERYTHING! Its super luxurious and rich in texture, I put a little on my lid with the applicator and then rub it in with my fingertip. It leaves my eyelid feeling smooth and honestly you can get away with just wearing this on a minimal makeup day. If you choose to apply eye shadow over it then I guarantee you will find that you eyeshadow will last all day and not crease in the least bit. You can purchase this for $21.00 which is a great price and cheaper than a lot of its competing products! I will absolutely be buying one when I finish this one!!

Mirenesse Matifying Lip Rouge in Sydney

The perfect red lip can be found with this baby! I absolutely LOVE this stuff, I love the color, texture, the way it applies, there is nothing I don't like. Finding the perfect red lipstick to suit your skin tone is really hard, and finding the perfect lipstick is also a feat.. for me this accomplished both. Its a really creamy but dries to a matte finish and has great lasting power. You can purchase this product in full size and in a variety of colors for $29.00. Here is a picture of my wearing this color on New Years, I really like it! Pardon the selfie! 

(Grainy iPhone picture. Sorry)

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

I didn't like this. It was thick and greasy, an odd yellow color. Maybe it was all natural or something but regardless I didn't like this at all. I actually saw it for the first time in a store at Ricky's in NYC. It can be purchased for $16.00, but honestly I wouldn't waste your money. If you have tried this and have a different opinion please share! 

Neil George Shampoo & Conditioner

I was pretty excited to receive these in my January Birchbox, in all the previews they were showing a lot of things I already had so I figured I would get doubles or something and I was super happy to receive this! I have tried them both and really like them, however although they don't say so I really felt as though they induced volume and that is the last thing I need. These products were created by Beverly Hills Stylists and are antioxidant rich and great for color treated hair. They both smell super strong of mint and lavender, similar to the Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner. I really liked both of these, I loved the smell and how the fragrance lingered, although I don't need the volume I would definitely purchase these. Also paraben free! What's even better is you can buy these full size for $9.00 each!! You're welcome! 

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Jaipur Gold

<source> (this is not my hand)

I had the absolute hardest time trying to find a picture of this stuff! Although the packaging portrays the color to be a almost gold it definitely is not, its more of a dark brown with gold flecks if you will. When I first got it I opened I swatched it on my hand and I swear I could not get it off! This stuff lasts all day and night, you are not getting it off without eye makeup remover and a little elbow grease. Generally I would only wear black eyeliner but I actually really like this for something different but not too far out of my comfort zone! It can be purchased for $11.00 - $21.00 in a variety of colors, I haven't used it a ton on my eyes but so far I think its absolutely great!! 

So there you have it, just a few more products I have gotten to use via my Birchbox. Like I said it really is a great way to try new products and prevents you from wasting money if they aren't for you or giving you a nice little trial before you go out and spend the money on the full size. They aren't all a win but that's half the fun of it. Even if I wouldn't spend the money for whatever reason on the full size generally I really enjoy using the sample when I get it. I appreciate that there is a variety, for me I mostly love the makeup stuff, hair stuff is hard because I have so much hair I generally get 1-2 uses out of a lot of the hair products but at least I know whats good and whats not! 

Do you have a Birchbox subscription? If so what have you been getting lately that you love?

I hope you guys are having a great week! I'm not sure when this is going to go up as I have some book reviews saved as well and am trying to give a little variety! 

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzard 2015

Good Morning,

Well they claimed we were in for the apocalypse and let me tell you by the look of the grocery store yesterday you would have thought we were going to get the storm Nantucket is getting. Let me just take a minute and say I have to laugh at the way people in the North deal with storms, I expect it in the south but in the north they should be use to it! I know its a lot bigger of an issue in a city of this size but good lord!

Yesterday morning knowing a mess of some sort was coming I figured it wouldn't hurt to head over to the grocery store and get a few things just in case. Tanya and I went for a little walk although the wind was pretty horrific and then headed to the grocery store. I was SHOCKED when we went in, the place was PACKED, I kid you not when I say line ups of hundreds of people. There were no meats on the shelves, no chocolate bars or gum at the registers (because that is going to save you! HA!) it was absolute madness!!

It snowed on and off yesterday afternoon and Jason emailed me and said they had closed site down for the day and all day today as well, which was pretty shocking to me. As the night went on the winds were really bad but the snow still wasn't. We were watching the news and they were estimating we were going to get 18-24 inches which is quite a bit and in a city like this could potentially cause absolute chaos! They closed all public transit which is huge here and put out a driving ban starting at 11:00pm last night for city streets and 9pm for highways. If you were caught driving you faced a $300 fine.

People were FREAKING out, not because of the snow coming but because they were being told what to do. Calm down New Yorkers, you will get where you need to go. I don't know why no one thinks, better safe than sorry!! They obviously thought it was necessary because no one would listen to an advisory and people would be stupid and drive and kill themselves or someone else. Its one night, one day why not just be safe and listen? I'm sorry but listening to everyone bitch this morning on the news about how the mayor went overboard.. stop your damn whining!

The storm obviously took a turn because we woke up to no more than we had when we went to sleep. We maybe got a total of 8" which really isn't a lot, Jason is SO UPSET! It is really windy and cold today and spitting snow on and off but I think we are officially in the clear! They have lifted the travel bands and restored use of public transit.. probably so people will stop their ridiculous bitching! They are still asking people to stay off the roads because they are not all clear.

I don't get why people can enjoy the ONE day we have had this year with snow! Enjoy the day off, sleep in, drink coffee, take your kids out to play in the snow! God forbid you can't get a Starbucks and make your way to work.. FOR ONE DAY! I'm sorry I just have no patience for the stupidity.

So we avoided snowmageddon but New England is getting POUNDED! (Thankfully the Patriots made it to Arizona safe and sound!) Brianne has been sending me pictures all morning from coastal Maine and it is just an absolute MESS! They are going to get 3 feet for sure, if not more! I hope for everyone in New England that you keep power and stay warm, don't drive.. its just not worth it! Hopefully there is a good plan in order to dig y'all out!!

Not much planned here for the day! Jason is home so we are thinking about maybe getting out for dinner if we can find anything that will be open! Jason's at the gym right now and hopefully by the time he gets back there will be some hot water. I went to go for a shower this morning and nada!! I had to go for a bath and warm the water in the kettle.. I was beyond pissed! Oh the joys of living in an apartment.. in the north!

Alright I am off to do some reading, I am falling behind on my speed reading trend and get some stuff done around the apartment! I hope you are all enjoying the day!!

If you are looking to do some reading, Tanya completed the A-Z beauty challenge today as well and you can check it out HERE.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Pegasus By Danielle Steele: A Book Review

Hi Guys,

Before you all go and groan because I am reviewing yet another Danielle Steele book I think we all need to take a minute and acknowledge the talent of this women as these are all new releases and there is a lot, so go her! Besides I must say this is book is quite different than a lot of her other books, in a way it reminds me of Lone Eagle but not quite as good (that one is my absolute favorite of hers ever!).

So I really wanted to come by and share my thoughts on this book with you. I am really sorry if you are getting sick of the book reviews around here but I have been reading a TON lately and I always like to share. Winter is a time that I believe people tend to read more, you tend to cozy up more in the winter with a tea and a book and I love to know what other people are reading and what they think of it. As I mentioned before right now I am cleaning up my books and just reading what I have before I buy more, my list of books I want to read is super extensive.

If you aren't into the book reviews, I get it and won't be offended if you don't read them. Sometimes there just isn't much to report in our lives and instead of not writing anything at all I am trying to fill the void. We may eventually get out of this place and than I will have more exciting things to write about! This summer is shaping up to have some traveling and I am pretty excited about it.

Anyways lets move on to the book shall we?

The following synopsis is taken directly from the good reads website and can be viewed HERE.

 This is a story of courage, friendship, and fate as two families face the challenges of war... and the magnificent stallion that will link them forever.

Nicolas von Bingen and Alex von Hemmerle, titled members of the German aristocracy, have been best friends since childhood. Both widowers, they are raising their children — Nick’s two lively boys and Alex’s adored teenage daughter — in peace and luxury on the vast Bavarian estates that have belonged to their families for generations. While Nick indulges in more glamorous pursuits, Alex devotes himself to breeding the renowned white Lipizzaner horses that enthrall audiences throughout Europe with their ability to dance and spin on command, majestic creatures whose bloodlines are rare and priceless.

But it is Nicolas’s bloodline that changes everything, when his father receives a warning from a high-ranking contact inside the Wehrmacht. A secret from the past has left the family vulnerable to the rising tide of Nazism: Nick’s mother, whom he never knew, was of Jewish descent.

Suddenly Nicolas must flee Germany, wrenching his sons away from the only home they have known, sailing across the Atlantic for a new life in America. Their survival will depend on a precious gift from Alex, their only stake for the future: eight purebred horses, two of them stunning Lipizzaners. In Florida, where Nicolas joins the Ringling Brothers Circus, he becomes Nick Bing, with Alex’s prize white stallion — now named Pegasus — the centerpiece of the show.

Pegasus tells the story of a family reinventing itself in America, while the country they left behind is engulfed in flames and madness, and men like Alex von Hemmerle are forced to make unbearable choices. Alex’s daughter will find sanctuary in England. In America, Nick will find love, his sons will find a future, and their left-behind world will eventually find them. A novel of hope and sacrifice, of tragedy, challenge, and rebirth, It is a brilliant family chronicle that unfolds across half a century—a masterwork from one of our most beloved writers.

As you can see its your not typical Danielle Steele somewhat fluff read, there were tales of the war and honestly a lot of sadness. At first I wont lie it took me some time to actually get into the book which I cannot honestly say is a reflection of the book itself, at least I don't think. Once I got into it I really enjoyed the book and the change of pace from her usual writing. 

There were definitely twists and turns that made you want to turn and page and find out what was going to happen next. It gave a lot of perspective to a different time in the world and what life would have been like living through such a terrible time. 

I feel the book was extremely well written, I wouldn't expect anything less but I will say I didn't care for the ending. Maybe it was just me but I didn't love how the ending went from everyone just getting to wear they wanted to be in life to everyone dying.. for generations. I feel like although I know where the story was going it was .. so and had a baby then died, than their baby grew up and had a baby and then they died.. and so on.. then book over. 

I would definitely recommend the book, I feel the ending lacked realism basically which turned me off just a little. Its not a book I would read again but I did enjoy it. 

So those are just a few of my thoughts on my latest reads, definitely expect more.. one I have already finished another books since this one as I am writing this and I still have the reading bug! 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all stay warm and safe during this storm that is coming up the coast! I have heard mixed things as to how much we are suppose to get here but its looking to be up to 3 feet which SUCKS, but Jason couldn't sleep last night he was so excited! I am headed out to get a few things from the grocery store for the next few days, now that detox is over and just in case the city shuts down and nothing is open (you never know!).

I am going to write a little post recapping last weeks detox, what I thought and how I feel this week so stay tuned for that! I am assuming I will be stuck inside tomorrow so hopefully I will get some different posts written up because I'm sure y'all are sick of the book reviews!!

Have a great day!!!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

High Five for Friday 1.23.15

Good Morning Everyone!!

I'm not going to lie I am grasping at straws this week for some exciting top five things in my week! There has been no coffee or anything on account that I am still deep in detox! I am going to give you five things but I will warn you they are not all that exciting!!

Oh but before I start, are any of you guys watching the last season of Parenthood? Its literally breaking my heart.. I sat last night watching it hysterically ugly cry SOBBING. I mean tears uncontrollably streaming down my face, couldn't get out words if I tried.. awful! I am already preparing for the sob fest that will be next weeks series final. Ugh.

I hope you guys have a great weekend, if you are suppose to be getting snow I hope you stay safe and warm! We are most likely going to get more rain than snow which I am perfectly fine with!

1. Monday we started the Total Body Rapid Cleanse for 7 days, I was excited to start it but dreading it at the same time. I won't lie dragging my ass out of bed every morning and going to the gym has SUCKED, I am just not feelin' the gym right now and that's a really bad place when you are going everyday. I have totally changed my eating and have been going to the gym everyday.. so besides all the rest I actually feel pretty great! I won't lie though.. I really miss coffee.

2. Sticking with the pattern of the cleanse and how good I feel, Tanya and I have been walking our asses off all week (I wish I was speaking literally) and really exploring our area as far as we can go which we really haven't done since summer and its actually be really great! We really have been fortunate and had a mild winter so only slight bundling is required and we have basically been spending out afternoons outside which is truly a blessing in the middle of January.

3. With all this eating super healthy I have been really experimenting with all things salad related! If you would have asked me a year ago I would have told you I didn't like fruit in salad and that would have been a lie, one because I actually hadn't ever tried it and two because when I did try it I absolutely LOVE it. This week has been full of salads with strawberries, apples, berries, all kinds of vegetables and healthy garnishes. I must say though the best part of our salad eating this week has to be the fact that Jason really expanded his horizons as well. He generally sticks to chicken and croutons and although I suppose that isn't terrible I really try to encourage him to try new things, if he doesn't like it fine but if he does its great for him to change up daily salads. So the other night he came home from work and added dried cranberries and almond slivers to his salad, his salad that he ate with balsamic vinaigrette and not cesar dressing!! WIN!!

4. The Christmas tree is still up. HA! Every time I look at it I feel happiness because I absolutely love it and SWEET SWEET VICTORY because Jason has been insisting we take it down for two weeks. Sometimes its just so great to get your own way, I mean really.. who am I hurting?

5. Victoria Secret is ending their Semi Annual sale and although I have gone in and looked around a few times I knew things would get cheaper before they went away. I am honestly not THAT cheap but this happens twice a year that the bras I love which are usually $60+ go on sale and I eventually get them for $14.99 which happened today!!! I got an AMAZING strapless bra for summer for $14.99 and underwear that are usually $11.50 for $3.99!! I am a sucker for a good deal, so much so that I even tried a bunch of them on and am quite happy with my purchases.

So there you have it, a who lot of boring really but none the less nothing to complain about! I am sad that there is no football this weekend and we will still be on our detox so we don't plan on really doing much.. maybe the Christmas tree will come down, who knows! Although I do plan to continue my reading streak as I am on a roll and really making some headway on my goal to read 50 books this year!

Have a great weekend!!!

Oh.. if you are interested in some light reading, Tanya sent me this article this week and I quite enjoyed it, you can view it HERE.

This week I am also linking up with:

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

A - Z Beauty Challenge

Hi y'all,

As you know I tend to follow quite a few beauty vloggers on Youtube as well as their blogs! One of the newer discoveries is Fleurdeforce who you can check out on Youtube HERE or her blog HERE. While watching some of her older videos I came across one that was a tag on Youtube and I thought it would be fun to give it a try here on my blog and see if I could do it.

The challenge is basically list the letters A through Z, name a beauty brand starting with that letter and a product of theirs that you have tried and either liked or disliked. I don't think its an easy challenge but I think its a great idea!

So here goes nothing...

A - AMIKA. Without a doubt I absolutely LOVE all of their products! You can read my review HERE for the Bombshell Blowout Spray, and Tanya recently gave me a hair mask and I couldn't love it anymore. All of their products are absolutely amazing!

B - BARE MINERALS. I have tried a ton of Bare Mineral products but still my favorite by far is the Marvelous Moxie lipglosses! They have a great color selection, wonderful staying power and are super pigmented.

C - CAUDALIE. I love Caudalie products but so far my favorite has been the Vinosource S.O.S morning eye rescue cream. I got a sample in my Birchbox and its absolutely fantastic. I generally think Caudalie is overpriced but this is a product I would actually consider purchasing.

D - DR. BRANDT. Pores no more pore refiner. This was another fantastic Birchbox find! If you have never used a pore refiner this is the one to try, although expensive let me tell you it makes a huge difference in your makeup application and the way it settles and wears on your face all day. Beauty is expensive people, believe it or not we don't wake up this way!

E - E.L.F (eyes.lips.face). I love E.L.F products and they truly are the cheapest priced cosmetics ever and it is by no means crap! You can purchase these products directly from them online as well as at Target and recently a variety of other places. I would say my favorite thing of theirs that I use is their studio brushes! I believe the most expensive one is $8 for a large kabuki and so far I have yet to have to throw one out! If you are looking to try new brushes I would check them out!

F - FOREVER 21. They actually have a ton of makeup products and I cant say that I have tried a ton but I have used their facial towelettes and I probably wouldn't buy them again. I have really sensitive skin and I felt like they dried me out but I know that Tanya uses them and there are some that work for her and some that don't. I suppose it could depend on the scent you use as well.

G - GIVENCHY. Very Irresistible perfume. I love this perfume, I wore it the last time I lived in New York and couldn't get enough of it. Truthfully it makes me nostalgic for my teenage years as a really good friend of mine wore it all the time! This perfume is timeless and when I'm looking for a new perfume this one is always a contender!

H - HOT TOOLS. This is technically a beauty product as you couldn't get beautiful curls with out a good curling iron. Jason bought me one of their curling iron two years ago and I absolutely love it. Sadly I had asked for a smaller size than I should have and with all my hair it takes a super long time to curl my hair where as it wouldn't with a bigger barrel, but none the less its an absolutely amazing product and you will often find them in salons.

I - INGLOT. I have not used this brand but I have been struggling with I for awhile and decided that I would use a brand that I have heard of and wanted to try but haven't gotten around to it. Its not really cheating I suppose in that I am still giving a brand and a product! I is hard guys! I have heard their eye shadows are what you should try!

J - JUICY COUTURE. The only thing I have ever tried from Juicy Couture is their perfumes and I really like the scent Viva La Juicy. I really love fresh floral scents, especially in the summer and this one is definitely that. I recommend checking it out next time you are in a Sephora or Ulta.

K - KIKO MILANO. You can read my post HERE about the products I have tried from Kiko recently and how I rave about them. Let me tell you guys, if you haven't checked it out.. I don't know what you are waiting for.

L - L'OREAL. Of course I have to say their True Match Foundation! I have used their regular one for years and recently purchased and love the new Lumi version. Its has the widest variety of shades to color match, its a fantastic foundation and reasonably priced. This is a holy grail product for me.

M - MAYBELLINE. This is a tough one for me, I can't decide which product I love more from Maybelline. It would either have to be their Instant Age Rewind Concealer or their new line of Matte Lipsticks to which I own most of. Maybelline is a great brand all round.

N - NYX COSMETICS. Definitely their Hot Single Eye Shadows! They are reasonably priced, super pigmented and therefore last a super long time. They have a great color range, they blend beautifully and are great to travel with. Not to mention their little pots are super cute!

O - OLAY FRESH EFFECTS. I really do love their whole line as you can see HERE but if I had to choose one thing to recommend it would definitely be the Out of This Swirl, Deep Pore Clean Exfoliating Scrub which I talked about in my Nighttime skin care routine HERE. I use it everyday on my very sensitive skin and honestly I feel like my skin has never looked better, its gentle but definitely does the job and smells fantastic. Its a reasonably priced everyday facial scrub!

P - PHILOSOPHY. I love everything about this brand, all of their products, you name it. A holy grail product for me has been their Purity Facewash, its the best thing ever. Last summer I purchased their Loveswept Perfume and I am still very much in love with it! Not to mention Jason bought me their Coconut frosting shampoo, bodywash, bubble bath combo for Christmas and I am smitten!

Q - ... I got nothin'... sorry!!

R - RIMMEL LONDON. Natural Bronzer. I am sure I have Rimmel lipsticks but I have used their natural bronzer for years. They have a variety of colors, some with shimmer and some without.. I find they suit my skin tone perfectly. I will say I recently tried one of their blushes and really didn't like it, no color pay off at all, complete waste of money.

S - SEPHORA. As I'm sure you know Sephora carries their own line of products and I have used their pressed powders for years. In fact I had always believed that there was no difference between drugstore makeup and higher end but that converted me. I still believe drugstore makeup is fantastic for the most part but I think there is a reason they can charge so much for higher end products. Sephora carries their own line in everything from powders, lip products, eye products, etc.

T - THE BALM. I have tried a few products from this brand and there are quite a few products that I would really like to try but of my favorite right now I would have to say it is the Cindy-Lou Manizer. I believe this is meant to be a highlighter but I think personally its more of a blush with shimmer. On days when I am not overly interested in going all out with my makeup I will skip bronzer and highlight and just use this stuff and I love it. I have to say that packaging for The Balm products are absolutely fantastic as well.

U - URBAN DECAY. Naked Basics 2 palette y'all! I got that palette just after Christmas and I couldn't love it anymore, it is all I have been using since I got it. I feel for what you get it is a really great price, the packaging is super sleek and seems pretty indestructible, I believe if you dropped it the eye shadows wouldn't shatter. The line of Urban Decay Products is HUGE and after using this palette I would absolutely try more.

V - VASELINE. Believe it or not I had a few options for the letter V but Vaseline is timeless. Not only do they have a variety of scents/tints for lip care but they have the fabulous body sprays that I am obsessed with! Their lotion line is vast and affordable, there is definitely a product for everyone! If you would like to check out some of the options please click HERE!

W - WET N' WILD. If you watch the Youtuber KathleenLights you will know that she RAVES about Wet n' Wild products all the time and often uses them as dupes for high end brands. When I was first looking to try out a red lipstick I wanted to make sure I would be comfortable in it before I spent the money on a really good one. I purchased a wet n wild red lipstick and although I have higher end ones now I still find myself reaching for that one. This brand is extremely affordable and offers greta products, I am sure I used more of it when I was younger.

X - XEN-TAN. This is not a product I have used or care to but X is just as hard as Q and when I went looking around for something this is what I kept coming up with. I am not a self tanner that is why this wouldn't be something that I would reach for but I made sure that I wasn't recommending something that was crap so I read a ton of reviews and apparently this is fantastic. So if you aren't already obsessed with the St. Tropez self tanner you might want to give this a whirl!

Y - YSL (Yves Saint Laurent). This is actually a wishlist item as the brand is pretty pricey. I would love to try their Shocking Mascara as a ton of the British beauty vloggers recommend it. I would also love to try to Touche Eclat radiant touch highlighter, and any of their lipsticks. I'm not sure I will ever spend over $30.00 on a lipstick but if I ever to it will be a YSL one.

Z - ZOYA. Believe it or not I have tried a Zoya nail polish! They have a great selection, I would say they are average price for a nail polish because lets be honest they are mostly all extremely over priced! They do carry this brand in a lot of salons as well, maybe next time you are out for a mani pedi give it a try.

So there you have it, I challenge Tanya to make the same list while trying to use completely different brands than I have selected and anyone else who is interested! I think its a great way to be introduced to new brands and products that may be of interest to you!!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson: Book Review

Good Morning,

I told you I have been reading a lot and I enjoyed this book so much that I was really anxious to share it with you guys. I suppose generally I tend to pick books that I am in the mood to read at the time but as I mentioned before I lately I have been trying to read what I had around before buying more books. This book has been on my nook for quite some time and for some reason I just haven't read it, until now.

This is the synopsis taken directly from the Goodreads website:

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...'

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

When books are on my nook its not like I can read the back of the book and know what its about, so I went into reading this totally blind. As I started reading it I felt the story was going to be very similar to Still Alice by Lisa Genova as Catherine suffers from severe memory loss. It soon becomes apparent that the story is actually quite different. 

Reading the book you have immense sympathy for the situation Catherine is in, you cannot imagine being there yourself. You instantly like her. The book is extremely well written and kept me guessing the entire time I was reading, however I must tell you that I absolutely never expected what happened at the end. 

Catherine's husband Ben is also a primary character and there was something about him that was totally off. I couldn't decide if I felt so terrible for him, having his own life basically ripped away, if I didn't understand his behavior and therefore tried to empathize, I felt his character always left me a little intrigued but confused.. I never exactly knew how I felt about him. I always felt that that the writer was making you feel that he was guilty of something, but you were never sure what exactly he was guilty of. 

Without ruining the story I must tell you that the ending almost knocked me over!!! I read this book always thinking I knew what was coming and in the end I would have absolutely NEVER guessed and I love that!! 

I wouldn't necessarily say this is my kind of book but I really loved it and it would highly recommend it to all of you! If you are looking for something dramatic and suspenseful than this would be a great book for you!!  

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January Birchbox

Good Morning!!!

Its that time of the month again folks... my beloved Birchbox has arrived and as always I was super anxious to see what it might contain. I follow Birchbox on Instagram and they generally do sneak peeks of all the things you may possibly receive in your box the upcoming month and this month I was convinced I was going to get duplicates. Honestly that would not be the worst thing because I have pretty much loved everything I have gotten but its always nice to get new stuff as well.

For some reason they are no longer leaving the Birchbox in the mailbox but delivering it with all other packages to the leasing office so when I got my notice that they had a package for me I was super anxious!

I was pleasantly surprised with what I received this month and am super excited! Care to take a gander?

I've been loving the boxes the last few months! They make for great storage later on as well.. and in this little apartment we sure need it! 

I received the Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner! They are antioxidant rich and safe for color treated hair, I don't have color treated hair but if you do than you can still use these. 

I also received the Perlier Intensive Nurturing body balm in Shea Lavender which I am really very excited for! You really cant have enough lotion in the winter, and this scent is something that I would actually purchase! 

I also got the Sumita color contrast eyeliner in Jaipur Gold. Tanya highly recommends this brand of eyeliners and I was super happy to receive this color as the other possibility was silver which I don't seeing myself using. This actually comes out a brown with specks of gold which I like just as much. I definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of this. 

Finally I got a sample of Christian Siriano fragrance in Silhouette! This scent is totally me, fresh, fruity with a hint of musk, I cannot wait to try it! 

I just received these items on Tuesday so I haven't had a chance to try them just yet, but when I do I will be sure to review them here and let you know what I think of them all. I have moved all my Birchbox goods front and center in my bathroom so I can really start using them more, one because they are great and two because I am running out of room to store it all. 

So there's that, stay tuned for reviews in the following weeks! I hope you are all having a great week! I apologize that this week has been a lot of makeup stuff but its been freezing and therefore life is less exciting. 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Detox Day One

Hi guys,

I'm quickly dropping in today, I have posts ready but I thought I would stop in and touch base a little.

First did y'all watch football yesterday? Absolutely amazing games, I cant even begin to tell you my disappointment about the Packers losing! I'm sorry but I am not a fan of Seattle at all and would rather see anyone in the Superbowl than them. However did you see the Patriots whoop the Colts? SUPERBOWL BABY!

Brady was amazing and Blount pretty much owned the entire game, definitely player of the game! Without a doubt!! Now they have two weeks to celebrate their AFC Championship win, get healthy and go at the Seahawks with all they have.. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT!

So today is the first day of our 7 day detox and I am mostly feeling the fact that it doesn't include coffee and not having coffee in the morning gives me a headache! I got up, went to the gym and then met Tanya and went for a walk. We somehow got stuck in the oddest little snowfall, wind gust mess that was not in the forecast.. the weather here is so wonky I swear! 

Anyways I have made it through day one basically, I know I will feel so much better after this is over and it will be a good kick start for beyond healthy eating and a good gym routine. I really miss coffee already though. 

So that's my scoop, I am still reading a ton so keep your eye out for more book reviews and I managed to find the sequel to If I Stay which I cannot wait to read!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, in case you were wondering our Christmas tree is still up! :) 

Stay warm, GO PATRIOTS!

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Friday, January 16, 2015

High Five for Friday 11.16.15

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Are you all ready for some football this weekend??? I know I am!!! We really don't have much for plans this weekend as Jason's nasty head cold has come back and sadly worse! He's been in rough shape all week and I think a little rest and TLC will do him some good. 

Anyways lets get into this weeks top five shall we???

1. Birchbox. This week my January Birchbox came and that always tops my list. Come back on Monday and see what I got for goodies this month!

2. Lindsey and the girls came out for a visit this week and it was so great to see them! If you remember they were living here when we first got here and then moved to a more kid friendly area just outside the city, we haven't actually seen them since they moved with the holidays and stuff things get busy! It was so great to visit and see them, the girls have changed so much in such a short time. Check out this little money below.. she makes my uterus hurt!

3. This was a good week on the coffee front! It was super cold last week and we really didn't do much so on Saturday we decided to meet close to home for a coffee at Cosi. We ended up getting a Honey Vanilla Kiss latte that was absolutely fantastic! We also ventured into the city this week and Tanya recommended we stop at The Coffee Bean and get their Winter Dream Latte, let me tell you it was worth all the hype! You can check out the tea used HERE

4. Tanya and I went into the city yesterday just for a change of scenery on a warmer day! We stayed in midtown and the flatiron district and spent a couple hours walking around! Its nice to have a change of scenery every once in awhile, go to different stores, walk different streets.. and the city really is so beautiful. 

The mural inside The Coffee Bean on Broadway. 

The Flatiron Building. 

5. I saved the best for last!! This week Tanya got us tickets for LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL!!!!!!! How excited am I! We will be attending the show on February 11 and I cannot wait! I haven't been to a taping of any shows any of the times we have lived here so I seriously cannot wait! 

So that is my scoop for the week, I hope you guys had a fantastic week and have a great weekend planned! Stay warm and root for the Patriots!! 

This week I am linking up with:

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

If I Stay By Gayle Forman: Book Review

Good Morning,

As I have mentioned recently I have been doing a ton of reading and as much as I love reading I love talking about the books that I have been reading just as much. I won't lie the last few books I have been reading have either been the only ones left on my nook, in a folder of ebooks I have in my emails or actual books laying around the apartment that I haven't gotten around too.

I go through phases where I read a lot and than I wont read for awhile, then I only feel like reading certain things but right now I just want to read whatever I have before buying more. Truthfully I am hoping I will have enough books to get my through until we go home again and than I can grab a few while I am there.

Anyways I am rambling, lets get on to the book shall we?

This was actually a book that Mel had given me in the summer, I stuck it on a shelf and totally forgot about it. The other night I picked it up as I was getting in bed because I have also been finding that reading is helping me sleep at night (if I don't stay up all night reading). I read this book in 3 hours and really enjoyed it... that was until I realized at the end there was a sequel that I didn't know about and now I cant find it anywhere online. (For the sequel see: Where She Went by Gayle Forman).

If you are interested here is the overview taken directly from the Goodreads website. 

"Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.?

I really enjoyed this book, I liked the way the story was introduced with what seemed to be a total real life family and a very unlikely love story that instantly took a tragic twist. It involves real life decisions, real life realities and tragedies one would hope they will never face. 

The story is told by Mia a teenage girl from a musical family, including her own love of the cello with a younger brother she couldn't love anymore. You are introduced to many aspects of her life and you really get to know her before tragedy hits. For most of the book through a very unexpected state. I appreciated the prospective this narration gave the story and definitely made you think of your own life and the people you surround yourself in and how they may react in certain situations. 

I would definitely recommend this book, I would like to get my hands on the sequel that's for sure. Its a quick read but I am never opposed to that, a book is a great way to escape into another world and another persons life! 

If you are interested in reading more this year and possibly participating in a book club I highly recommend you hop on over to Life of Bon and check out her monthly book club and what they will be reading this year! I really enjoy her blog and although I didn't participate in her book club last year I kept up with it and really enjoyed it!

I hope you are all having a great week!!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kiko Milano Cosmetics

Good Morning,

Have you heard of Kiko Milano Cosmetics? If not I wouldn't be totally surprised as they are a European brand that I believe started in the UK and have recently been introduced to the US and we were lucky enough to have one put into the mall right across from our apartment.

The signs were up for weeks announcing that Kiko was coming for weeks and I have to tell you I was super anxious for it to open. I follow a lot of UK beauty vloggers and a few of them have talked about Kiko Milano, reviewed their products and used them in tutorials. From what I could tell they were excellent products and sold at a reasonable price.

Kiko opened here just before Christmas in quite a small store but they managed to fill that place to the brim with all of their amazing products. I went in during a opening sale and although I could have purchased a million things I stuck with just a lipstick to begin with. They carry absolutely everything from makeup, brushes, nail polishes, a full skin care line and so on. My wishlist for the store is pretty extensive.

Ignore the fuzzy picture, I just wanted you to be able to see the color because their U.S website SUCKS!

I really wanted to be able to go on their website and find the exact lipstick I bought but that isn't going to happen but I HAD to show you because it is THE PERFECT LIPSTICK! I know you are probably thinking that's a pretty hefty statement but it couldn't be more true. I have my fair share of lipstick as in the last year I got really into it, there are tons of good lipsticks that I have and like but absolutely nothing compares to this. This particular lipstick, which sadly isn't labelled on the packaging (although if you go into a store you will be able to tell because the packaging is different in every line) is number 507 and it is my perfect tinted nude color! I have pretty much been wearing this stuff every single day, its my new go to! This is regularly priced at $9.00 although since they have been opening they have been consistently running sales and I only paid $6.00 for mine which is cheaper than most drugstore brands. 

Recently Tanya and I were at the mall and they were running a 50% off sale and we popped in! Tanya purchased an AMAZING compact palette that contained 6 beautiful neutral eye shadows, a blush and bronzer, as well as the brushes for $18.00. It reminds me very much of the new Urban Decay on the go palette that contains the same combination of products, if I did not just purchase the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette I would have gotten one myself. While we were there I restrained myself and just purchased a Color Up Long Lasting Eye Shadow Chubby Stick, the packaging said "Matita Ombretto" but I'm not sure if that is the color. For me its a base color or a under the brow highlight, its a creamy color with the slightest tint of rose gold, but so slightly! I absolutely love it. 

I'm sorry for the crappy pictures!

So far I am a huge fan of the products that I have tried and am looking forward to trying their skincare line when I am have used up some of the stuff I have right now! 

If you are in the States and close to one of their locations I highly recommend checking it out, their staff is beyond friendly and helpful, their prices are extremely reasonable and their products are FANTASTIC! 

Have you tried any of their products or heard any reviews?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream Review

Hi guys!!

So this post is a little late in a way because I bought this product quite awhile ago but I suppose I have used it enough now to give a well informed opinion.

Closer to the end of summer I was looking for something other than foundation to use as a base on my face because generally when I have a tan my skin is really good and I don't need anything thick with full coverage. I decided to try out a tinted BB cream as it is basically a tinted moisturizer, therefore I was getting minimal coverage in a cream and you can never have enough moisture, especially going into the winter months! Finding one was super hard as every brand makes one and you really don't know what will work for you until you try it.

I did a bunch of research and decided I would try L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream in light. I decided on L'Oreal because I am really anxious about my skin and trying new things, but I use a lot of L'Oreal products including their foundations so I was sure it would be fine. This one is a little different as it came out of the tube in a white lotion full of what appeared to be silver sparkles/beads. I didn't know what to expect but when I applied it to my face it was suppose to color match itself... didn't happen. This stuff came out ORANGE and I mean seriously ORANGE! I immediately took it back to Target and got my money back because obviously this wasn't the one for me.

I did a lot more looking around and decided that I would try Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in the lightest shade (light) because of course I am fair and see where that got me.

I purchased this at Target for $7.50 which was about what I was expecting to pay, make up isn't cheap people! It is the tinted BB Cream that I wanted but also contains 2% Salicylic acid to ward of breakouts. Instantly I was impressed with the color match and consistency, it is not super thick and it blends out out really nicely! I like that a little goes a long way and I do find it to be extremely moisturizing! 

I don't really have any complaints about this product, I would highly recommend it if you are looking to try out a BB Cream and never have before. I don't know that you are going to find anything cheaper and I don't really encourage spending a lot of money on a product you have never tried before. 

I started using this BB Cream at the end of summer and I use it most days and still have quite a bit left, so I really do feel you get a good bang for your buck! I highly recommend a BB Cream if you have great skin and are looking for minimum coverage with maximum moisture, or just looking for lighter coverage and more moisture. I would definitely repurchase this brand, although I would also consider trying something else as I am always on the hunt for the absolute perfect product (most likely not possible). 

Do you use a BB cream? If so I would love to know which ones and your thoughts on it! 

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