Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Tonight is the end of another amazing year. I accomplished a lot, and I have a lot to be proud of. However, next year is going to be even more exciting. I will be graduating college, getting a real job and starting life on my own. I'm both excited and terrified for these major changes. 

As I ring in 2014 I took some time to think of some resolutions for the new year. Nothing too big or too complicated, just a few things that I think would make me...well, a better me! 

Eat Healthier and Exercise More | I always try to eat moderately healthy, but college definitely gives me the junk food blues. As I finish school and start "real life" I want to establish some good habits as far as eating and general health is concerned. Am I going to give up pizza and ice cream? Heck no! I just want to eat more fruits and veggies, eat out less, and enjoy natural health food too. I also want to drink more water. As far as exercise goes, I'm never going to like it but I do want to move around more even if its just taking my puppy for more walks. 

Read More Books | I love to read and I used to finish a book a week at least. Lately, I've been watching more TV and reading a lot less, not cool. So I want to reconnect with my inner book worm this year. 

Keep a Journal | I love to write down my thoughts, but I'm never very consistent about it. This year I want to start a journal and actually use it. 

Grow Up My Wardrobe While Staying True to My Style | As I leave school and enter the professional world, I am definitely going to need to grow up my wardrobe. However, I don't want to abandon my sense of style in the process because I know if I do I'll spend all day uncomfortable. I need to find a balance between professional and comfortable...plus I want to look good in the process! 

Get Creative | I am very much a doodler. This year I want to take that to the next level by actually spending time to create something. My wonderful boyfriend got me a watercolor set for Christmas and I am so excited to develop a completely new set of skills. This will be a challenge for me because I am such a perfectionist and art isn't about being perfect. 

Create a Space Just For Me | This is the resolution I am most excited about. A while ago I mentioned to my boyfriend that I love his house, but I felt like there was nowhere for me to make as girly as I wanted. So, he earmarked a spare bedroom just for me! I can do anything I want with it and decorate it however I want! Right now my vision is for a home office/reading room thats white with lots of pops of color! I'm so excited to really start designing it this year.

What are your resolutions this year?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 Simplified Planner

As the new year approaches many people are in search of a new planner. I am typically an academic planner kind of girl because I'm on a school schedule, but I have found the perfect planner and I had to share. Since I'm graduating college this year, I am seriously considering graduating to this big kid planner.

Without further ado, The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. Its targeted towards women with families, but I really thinks its perfect for anyone.

First off, how cute is the cover? I love the stripes and the fun colors. Its also great that the corners are reinforced, my planners always get dogeared by the end of the year from too much love. 

Each day gets its own page with a column with times to write down all of your appointments, etc. A section for your "To Do" list. There are also small boxes for notes and whats for dinner. While I'm still in college the dinner box won't be used too frequently, but upon graduating I can definitely see it being a major asset. 

I love the idea of having my "To Do" list right in my planner, it typically gets sticky noted in which can get a little cluttered (which makes my skin crawl). 

One of my favorite features is the weekly prep section on Sunday. Its a great reminder to start your week of right. Ideally I like to use my weekends to do laundry, clean my room, and get ahead on homework because during the week I'd much rather hang out with friends and my residents than do stuff like that. Its not always the easiest to keep up with though, so having a little check list would be super. 

Check out the website for more pictures/a cute little video about the planner. Emily Ley is super inspiring...I mean making your own planner! What a lady! Plus she does everything with a toddler. I love to read her blog too. The only downside about this planner is it sold out so now you have to pre-order and you can expect it around Valentine's Day. 

I'm very seriously considering ordering one and just using my old planner until it gets here. If not, the next addition is on my wish list for Christmas next year! Is it too early to start a Christmas list for next year? 

Note: I'm not being compensated for this post, I'm seriously just a huge fan. All photography was done by Emily Ley. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Essie Toggle to the Top

I have been obsessed with this polish since it first came out and I finally bought it last week at Target. I wanted to wait to put it on until right before Christmas, which was a major test of will power! Well it's finally on and it completely loves up to the hype! It's fabulous!


This isn't your usual glitter polish, it's regular polish with glitter in it. So, I didn't need to put another color underneath it which is great. Sometimes it's too much to fuss with base coat, base color, glitter,
then top coat! Whew! It also only took one coat of polish to be opaque, whereas I usually need two coats. 

The color is absolutely gorgeous. It's a dark red with red glitter. It has so much depth I've just been staring at my fingers all day! I really wish the picture could do the lovely color justice. 

P.S. The book in the picture is from my French copy of A Christmas Carol. I got it while I was in France last year. It's my favorite Christmas story and it always helps me remember the spirit of Christmas. 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Hand Cream

I don't know about anyone else, but as soon as winter roles around my hands get super dry and cracked. I am constantly applying lotion to my hands in order to keep the winter blues at bay. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite hand moisturizers. 

Neutrogena | I have used this hand cream my whole life. It works great and a little goes a long way. It soaks into your hands quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue. Plus it has a great bang for your buck at about $5 a tube. 

L'Occitane | This is a fairly new addition to my lotion collection. It is an internet sensation as "the best hand cream ever." So, I obviously had to try it. Totally lives up to the hype. Does it work that much better than the Neutrogena? Meh, toss up. I do love that its natural, comes in a super cute tube, and smells nicer (in my opinion). I think its a nice item to splurge on and it makes a great gift, I got several people mini tubes for Christmas this year. 

Coconut Oil | I swear by coconut oil! My hands aren't the only dry part of me, my legs and arms get so dry they develop annoying bumps. Coconut oil is the only thing that helps. Every other body lotion I've tried seems to just sit on top and not really do anything but coconut oil really soaks in. I always have a jar of this stuff on my dresser and its a must have for winter. Body, hands and even hair! I have thick, dry hair so I apply coconut oil to my hair about 30 mins before a shower and then wash it out. It leaves my hair so soft and strong. I only do it once or twice a week to avoid greasiness. The only down side is it comes in a jar which is not ideal for throwing in your purse.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Parties

The week before Christmas is full of holiday parties which obviously means you need a fab outfit. I don't have any fancy parties planned for this year (all of my soirees will include jeans and sweaters, fine by me). But I love thinking about what I would wear if I had a glitzy event to attend.

I decided to go with a simple LND (little navy dress) with some festive red accessories.

I'm in love with this scalloped navy dress. Its pretty pricy, so you could definitely substitute any black or navy dress in your closet. Remember, the dress is just a canvas for the killer accessories! 

First find a fun statement necklace like this one from Bauble Bar. I like that its simple, I'm definitely not brave enough to wear some of this huge flamboyant necklaces. I think this one makes a statement without screaming it. I would probably go pretty simple with the rest of my jewelry (pearl studs anyone?) 

Don't forget your festive fingertips! Essie's Toggle to the Top is my favorite holiday shade this year. I just bought it at Target the other day, but I'm forcing myself to save it for next week. I'll report back when I try it on, but I imagine it will be a rave review. 

Last but not least the shoes. I am very seriously considering adding this Nina Culver pair to my closet, I mean the price is right. Plus I have a black pair of Nina heels and they are so comfy. I'm the biggest baby ever when it comes to shoes and I can wear them all night long with very little discomfort. 

Does anyone have any fun holiday plans for this week? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Girl

Raise your hand if you are obsessed with New Girl. If your hand isn't raised you are either lying or you've never seen it. If its the latter, log into Netflix and binge watch the first season and report back.

I started watching a year or so ago and I have been obsessed ever since. Its a great goofy show to unwind after a long day. Plus I find it super relatable. I've always been the girl that only hangs out with guys, so I can totally identify with the shenanigans that Jess gets into with the guys she lives with.

Under all the silliness and weird situations, there are some real life lessons to be found. My number one most relatable New Girl quote is this one...

I feel like every young woman has felt this way at some point in their life. They see a woman who has it all together and feel completely inadequate. They have a successful business or job as a lawyer, you're studying to be a teacher. They wear a lot of gray and navy, you like pink polka dots. They order a salad for every meal, you eat an ice cream sundae for dinner at least once a week. It can be hard to feel empowered if your constantly comparing yourself to these successful women. 

I love this quote because it reminds me that I know I'm smart and tough and strong just the way I am and I don't have to change myself to fit everyone else's vision of success. 

So ladies put on your pajama set, geek chic glasses and a big bowl of ice cream and enjoy some New Girl because your "successful" life can wait one more day.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy First Birthday Casually Obsessed!

I'm a day late, but Casually Obsessed just turned one! I started this blog my last weeks of studying abroad. I was feeling homesick and I was very much anxious to come home. My blog was intended to connect me with home and give me something to do other than worry about my finals.

Since then my blog and I have had many ups and downs. In the beginning I was super excited, but I quickly became discouraged that no one was reading. I struggled with this for a while until I realized that I started this blog for me and thats why I should continue it. I'm not writing this blog for anyone else but myself.

Thats not to say I don't appreciate every single person who reads and comments! You guys are great and it gives me extra incentive to post more regularly. Please stick around I love hearing from you and reading all of your blogs!

So here's the interactive part of this post! What do you want to see on my blog in the upcoming year? What do you like best? Where can I improve? I want to make this year a year of growth and maturing for my blog, so I'd love to see where I can improve! Thank you so much for reading! 

P.S. This week was another special birthday, my puppy Bella turned one too!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée is one of my favorite deserts. Unfortunately, my taste is more expensive than my wallet can afford. I only get to partake in this luscious dessert once in a blue moon...until now! 

I'm lucky I have a boyfriend that likes to cook with me, and is pretty adventurous in the kitchen. So, when I suggested we make crème brûlée he said sure. And so we did, and it was awesome! It was actually surprisingly easy too! 

The recipe we followed can be found here. Its a pretty dumbed down version of the real thing, no heating and double broiling required. I swear pretty much anyone can make this recipe. 

5 Egg yolks
2 Cups heavy cream 
1/2 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons of vanilla 

First separate 5 eggs and use only the yolks, save the whites for a yummy omelette. 

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until they're smooth

Add cream and vanilla, mix gently you don't want to add any air bubble to the mix 

Place custard in ramekins and then in a casserole dish with water at the bottom. Bake at 325 for about an hour. Be sure to check the mixture after about 45-50 mins. When the custard is done you should be able to insert a knife and have it come out clean (Ours was never completely clean but it turned out fine). 

After cooking the custard let the ramekins cool and then refrigerate for an hour or so (DO NOT put hot ramekins in the fridge! They could break). Then sprinkle some sugar on the top and torch it! I let my boyfriend do this part, he used a regular blow torch but they make special ones for the kitchen. 

If you don't have a torch you can sprinkle sugar on top and then broil them in the oven for 2-5 mins. Place the ramekins back in the casserole dish with ice water so they don't get too hot and crack. 

These turned out amazingly delicious, not as beautiful as the restaurant variety but it tasted just as good! Sorry I didn't get a picture of this finished product, they were too good to stop eating and photograph. 

P.S. The photo quality isn't great because our kitchen has horrible lighting and we did this after dark. I hope its good enough to get the idea. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Geek Chic

Most people I know would classify me as geek not chic. But every once in a while my inner girly girl breaks through. Here is a combination of the best of both worlds. This is part gift guide, part things I love.

Pilot Prera Fountain Pen | Ok, I'm sure at this point everyone is sick of me telling you how great fountain pens are...but one more time, they rock! I have this pen and I love it, worth every penny. It writes so smoothly. I think I'm going to do a more in depth review soon, but until then you have my word its awesome. It also comes in a bunch of cute colors!

Russel and Hazel Mini Smartdate System | This is such a great planner system. I think next time I buy a planner this will be the one. Its a little bit more expensive, but its refillable so its not like you buy it once and done. My favorite part is its customizable, every nerd's dream. 

Pink Dictionary | Need I say more? Throw in the matching thesaurus and I'm a happy girl. 

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | As a total nerd, I am appalled to say I have never read this series but I want to so badly! I love these Barnes and Noble leather classic collections, they just look so good. If your geeky friend leans to the girly side, there's also the complete Jane Austen set

Katie Spade Gasses Ring | So cute. A perfect little trinket to let your geek flag fly even if your Dr. Who t-shirt is not acceptable apparel. 

Kate Spade Bow Flash Drive | Every girl needs a flash drive, geek or not. This one makes your boring file storage a little more fun. 

Warby Parker Ames Glasses | So every time Warby Parker comes out with a new collection, I feel like I need a new pair of glasses. Eventually I'm sure I will end up with about ten. This pair came out this fall and I am obsessed. A pair of geek chic glasses would be a little harder to gift because you have to know the prescription, lucky Warby Parker offers gift cards

Monday, December 09, 2013

Add Some Glitz to Your Wish List

I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I wear the same pieces literally every day, I have a silver heart necklace from my brother, pearl earrings from my mom, and a gorgeous pearl ring from my boyfriend that you couldn't pay me to take off. Even though I keep it pretty simple, I thought I'd compile a list of glam I've had my eyes on.

You'll notice from these choices that I have very classic (read simple) taste in jewelry, so if you're looking for colorful statement pieces keep looking.

First up, Kate Spade bow ring. I love how simple this ring is and I think it would be a great addition to my daily jewelry collection. I typical prefer silver, but this ring is also available in gold and rose gold. 

Another Kate Spade piece I've loved forever is this polka dot bangle watch. Isn't it so cute? I love pieces that are stylish and functional! I would be hesitant to buy it though because I have such tiny wrists, most bracelets fall right off of me. Dear Kate Spade, please make this in child's size. 

I have been obsessed with this rose gold bangle from Fossil since it came out. I think the pattern and color are so pretty. Plus it would look great stacked with my rose gold watch

This necklace from J. Crew is gorgeous. Its simple, but glamorous at the same time. The gold edges add just enough  special something to dress up a simple pearl strand. Plus who doesn't love a necklace that ties with a bow? 

Last but not least a cute pair of pearl earrings withe the signature Kate Spade bow! These are a fun variation on my favorite classic pearl studs. I like these that I might be convinced to change my earrings once in a while (for some reason that's a total struggle for me. 

I'm surprised how much gold got included in this post! I used to hate yellow gold, I guess its growing on me at least a little.

Anyway, I hope this helps anyone shopping for something a little extra special this holiday.

What jewelry do you wear daily?

Friday, December 06, 2013

Study Necessities

Since I was student teaching this semester, I didn't really have traditional classes. I had my student teaching seminar where we essentially met and discussed student teaching. Well, now its time for my final project. I have to write a 10 page paper...gasp! Ok I've written papers way longer than that during my college education, but I haven't done any school work all semester so I'm struggling.

So, since everyone else in college is going through the end of the semester too I thought I'd share some of the things I can't get through finals without. These are not really things I use to study. So this post isn't really a practical how I get down to business kind of post. Its more like how I stay sane when I have tons of work.

So first off is my lovely geek chic glasses, mine are Prestons from Warby Parker. I love love love these glasses in case anyone was wondering. I love to wear these while I'm paper writing because they make me feel smarter, duh! Also, my eyes don't really like contacts so my eyes get super uncomfortable and dry if I wear them while focusing a lot, plus if you accidentally fall asleep no contacts suction cupped to your eyes. 

Next up are my Bose AE2 headphones. Remember in this post when I was debating which headphones I want? Well my boyfriend decided for me and got the Bose pair for my birthday and I love them! Highly recommended. Music sounds awesome and even though they aren't noise canceling headphones, you can't hear anything if you have music on. Which is great because you can just get in the zone and not get distracted by library chatter or noisy first years running around on your hall (#RAproblems). 

A cozy throw is also a must have. I don't know about anyone else, but my dorm room is always cold. Having a snuggly blanked to wrap up in makes everything better. I don't really know if it helps my productivity but it certainly makes me a happy girl. How amazing is this one from Pottery Barn? I don't think I've ever seen something so soft in my life. It needs to come live at my house end of story.

Tea is another must have. I try to avoid coffee at night or in copious amounts. Having a ton of work messes with my sleep schedule enough without adding the effects of caffeine on top. Red Rose tea is my favorite for during the afternoon (since its caffeinated), then I switch to herbal tea as the night wears on. Something about a warm drink makes everything better, plus a cute mug cheers me up too. I can never have too many mugs.

Last but not least candy. I live my life on a rewards based system. Write a paragraph get a peanut butter cup, finish three pages watch a tv show. Whatever it takes to get things done am I right? Mini Reeses are my favorite and I have an uncomfortable amount of gold foil wrappers sitting on my desk right now...whoops.

What gets you though the end of the semester (or a tough project for those grown ups out there)? 

P.S. Yes I did write this post as a way to procrastinate on my paper.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Stocking Stuffers for Him

Boys are definitely tough to shop for, but I think I've come up with a pretty good list for stuffing boy's stockings.

Fossil Leather Phone Case | This phone case has man written all over it. Who wouldn't want their phone encased in leather?

Zippo Lighter | I think every guy needs one, I'm not really sure why though. Most of the guys I know never smoke anything, but all of them have a zippo lighter. I guess its a guy thing that ladies just don't get. Plus you can find a lot of cool custom ones to fit your guy's personality.

Socks | Everyone needs socks and guys don't buy them for themselves (at least the ones I know) or if they do its an 80 pack of white ones with a nike swoosh. Do them a favor and get a cute pair once in a while. 

Boxers | See above. I really love this red checked pair, its festive without being too festive.

Kaweco Fountain Pen | I've said before how much I love fountain pens. This is a great started pen thats pretty cheap and still has a manly feel to it.

Whiskey Stones | Real men don't want watered down drinks. End of story.

Small Bottle of Alcohol | For all the boys over 21 of course. This is great because doesn't everyone need a little help getting through the holiday with family? Disclaimer: If they are spending time with your family, they may need a bigger bottle.

I hope this helps everyone who as the what to get guys blues. Are there any others that I missed?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Stocking Stuffers for Her

So, here's my first gift guide of the season. I decided to start small with stocking stuffers. I love opening my stocking because its all surprises! Who asks for stocking gifts? I typically get lots of candy, some nail polish, and socks. All of my favorite things!

Here are some great ideas for stuffing the stocking of a lady in your life.

Essie Polish Set | This set is their fall collection minus After School Boy Blazer (which everyone and their mother already bought anyway). The cute mini bottles are great to tuck away in stockings. 

Kate Spade Pencils | This pencil set is too adorable, typical Kate Spade. These would look great in a cup on any girl's desk

J. Crew Socks | If I only got cute socks for Christmas, I'd be ok with it. 

Julep Mini Polish Set | Another mini polish set. Nail polish is my weakness and a definite mush have for any stocking. I love the cute glitters in this one.

Pinch Kit | This kit has everything you could ever possibly need. Its perfect for the girl on the go who always needs everything at her fingertips... Or the complete klutz who's always spilling, losing a button, or has an embarrassing piece of salad in her teeth. 

Tarte Lipsurgence | I know I mention these all the time, but I'm obsessed! I love these because they add some color with out being anywhere near as intimidating as lip stick. 

Tarte Cheek Stain | Another Tarte product I couldn't go without. You put on this blush and it just stays on! It blends so easily and its perfect for the days you don't really feel like putting on makeup but still want a little color. No brushes necessary, just roll on and go. 

Check back tomorrow for some ideas for boy stocking stuffers! 

Monday, December 02, 2013

My Christmas Wish List

Now that Thanksgiving is over, its definitely Christmas season! I am so excited, I've been scheming for weeks what I want to get my friends and family. My boyfriend and I also went to get a Christmas tree for his house!

So, I want to do a couple gift guides over the next week or so, but I thought I'd start with what's on my wish list this year.

1. Pilot Cavalier Fountain Pen | I love fountain pens, they are just so elegant and they add a little wow factor to your writing. I have been drooling over this particular pen for a while. It writes with such a fine line, which I love. Plus the color is to die for. 

2. Tarte Lipsurgence Holiday Set | This is a great set. You get 8 mini lipsurgences in both matte and regular finish. I love all of the colors and its a great excuse to add some bolder colors that I would usually shy away from 

3. Essie Nail Polish | I love Essie polish and their holiday colors are great this year! I especially love Toggle to the Top. The red glitter is just so festive! 

4. Crate and Barrel Copper Shaker | My boyfriend loves making mixed drinks and I love when he does. I think this is a fun unique piece that would look great on my future bar cart. Thats a story for another day though

5. L.L. Bean Peacoat | This is the only thing on my wish list that I really want. I currently have the most awful bright green winter coat that I've had for years. What was my 10th grade self thinking!? It really started to stick out when I had to wear it with my work clothes. I knew I needed to get a grown up coat thats classy, timeless and still warm enough for PA winter. This one is absolutely perfect! 

6. Drybar Blowout in a Box | I mentioned in another post that I am obsessed with Drybar's at home line. This kit is just too great! QVC had a pretty good deal in November, and now that its gone I'm having pretty big not-buyers remorse. Funny because its usually the other way around. 

Whats on your wish list this year?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Clarisonic Mia

I have wanted a Clarisonic forever, I have heard so many great things. However, the price tag was a big deterrent for me. Spending $125-150 was just too much for something to clean my face!

So, as my student teaching semester was drawing to an end, I was looking for a gift to get myself as a reward. I thought an accomplishment that big deserved a big splurge. I bit the bullet and ordered a Clarisonic Mia. I got my light blue one on QVC.com for a little cheaper than anywhere else, they actually have some pretty good deals. I decided the Mia 2 was not worth the extra price for just adding another speed. After I bought mine, Clarisonic came out with the Mia First for only $99. It seems to be very similar if not the same as the original Mia. So, if you're skeptical about the price that may be the way to go.

I was so excited when I got my Clarisonic, I had to use it! No way could I wait until I finished my student teaching. Besides, my skin was a mess from all of the stress.

At first, I was seriously considering returning it. I broke out pretty bad, but I was expecting this "purge," but my skin was also super irritated. I didn't really notice any significant change for the positive my first two weeks using the Clarisonic. I was so disappointed, but I cut down how much I was using it and decided to give it another week.

Then one morning I washed my face and my skin looked great! Seriously it was like night and day. My skin was so smooth and clear. My makeup applied so much nicer. My face just felt cleaner which was great. So, if you're thinking about getting one, I definitely recommend it (based on my three weeks of experience with it). I also recommend giving it plenty of time for your skin to adapt and starting with light use and building up your tolerance to it because it can be irritating.

I use my Mia at most once a day, usually only once every other day. I use it with my Cetaphil cleanser and finish with Olay Complete moisturizer. This is the same combination I've used for years, so for me its tried and true. I am thinking about upgrading my face wash and moisturizer next time I run out. I feel like I've reached the point in my life where I can splurge a little.  

Does anyone have any good suggestions for a good face wash or moisturizer? Have you tried the Clarisonic, what do you think? 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Makeup Upgrade

I was totally late to the makeup game. I didn't wear any makeup at all until high school and then only for special occasions like homecoming or prom. I definitely stuck to the basics, tinted moisturizer, mascara and maybe a little lip gloss. Around my sophomore year of college, I finally started wearing makeup on a day to day basis. I still kept it simple, but I worked my way up to a daily routine.

Over the last few years, I have started building building up my makeup routine and experimenting with better products. I usually stick to drugstore brands, but lately I've been splurging on some better products and I can really see a difference. So, I've decided that its time I start to grow up my makeup routine a little bit.

Here are some products I've been eyeing lately and would love to add to my collection in the near future.

1. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette | This eyeshadow palette is super popular, and I can see why! I always gravitate towards neutral colors for eyeshadow, this is great because they take neutral and give it a fun pop! I also feel like its pretty idiot proof because the colors are already made to go together. 

2. Tarte Brush Set | I have never used makeup brushes, I always just use my hands. I feel like I've reached the point where I should upgrade. I love this set because it has all of the basics and the bamboo handles are too die for! Plus they have awesome reviews. 

3. Nars Eye Paint in Tartar | I love purple on my eyes, it really makes my green eyes pop. I thought this glittery long wear shadow would really pack a punch for nights when I go out. I feel like every lady needs that one thing in their makeup bag that is totally outside of their norm. This product make it onto my must haves after seeing this look. I don't know if I could even pull it off, but I'm sure gonna try, obsessed! 

4. Nars Blush in Orgasm | The hype around this blush is too much to resist. So many people have said this is their go to blush. I have to give it a try. 

5. Nars Bronzer in Laguna | I have never found a bronzer that I like, I always feel like they make me too orange. That being said I feel like once you find that perfect bronzer it totally changes your makeup routing. I hear this bronzer is pretty much universally flattering. 

6. Beauty Blender | There is so much hype around this product. I struggle to get my foundation to look good, so I feel like this could be a total game changer. Plus unlike brushes, a sponge is pretty much idiot proof. 

7. Tarte BB Cream | I hate foundation (read I haven't found one that I feel comfortable in). So, I typically stick to some kind of tinted moisturizer. This BB cream from Tarte has great reviews and I feel like has all the positives of tinted moisturizer with a more medium coverage. It is also supposed to work as a primer. Everything all in one! Yes please! Perfect for those days where I slap something on with a little mascara and run out the door. 

There you have it, my makeup wish list. Since all of these are more expensive products, I doubt I will be adding all of these to my collection for a verrrrryyyyyy long time. However, I might start slowly adding them this holiday season. 

Are there any must have products that didn't make my list? 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day with family and friends. As we eat great food, share stories, and maybe watch a little football, be sure to remember what the holiday is all about. Be sure to reflect on what you are thankful for in your life. 

Some things I'm thankful for: 
1.) My family
2.) Friends who might as well be family
3.) A wonderful education 
4.) A great student teaching semester
5.) Always having food on my plate and clothes on my back
6.) And you! My blog readers (all ten of you)

Plus about a million other things, I am a very fortunate person and thats easy to forget sometimes. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Yesterday I finished student teaching! I'm officially done! I'm so happy, but I definitely going to miss my kids. It was really hard to say goodbye. Anyway this morning I set out for the two hour drive home. I was super worried about the weather, it was supposed to be icy rain and snow the whole ride home. But, the weather gods smiled upon me and it was clear the whole drive. 

Now I'm home! I also got home in time to see my mom while she was on her lunch break and now I get to spend the afternoon hanging out with my little brother and my black lab, Remy. Love it. 

Couldn't resist stopping for coffee on the ride home

The view from home, yes those are our chickens 

Its good to be home, looking forward to spending time with my family and celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. Safe travels to everyone else who's driving today! 


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Outfit

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Family and food (read hanging out with my mom and my mom's cooking)! At our house Thanksgiving is very casual, nothing fancy at all. Like buffet on the kitchen island and paper plates and cups casual. I think thats what I love about it, no need to stress about getting dressed up, traveling, or which fork to use (there's only one choice).

Sometimes, I like to imagine what Thanksgiving would be like if my family classed it up a little. Ha! I love them, but they are not classy people. Anyway, here's what I would be wearing to this year's fancy Thanksgiving.

So even in my fanciest Thanksgiving dreams, I'd still keep it pretty simple. I am in love with this Elizabeth McKay dress, pink and navy whats not to love? This pearl necklace from J.Crew is also a current favorite. Add some adorable Jack Rogers flats and a Tory clutch and its pretty much the perfect outfit. 

Ok, no matter how much I love the idea of getting all dressed up and eating off nice china I think I'll keep my Thanksgiving just how it is. Its not about what you wear its about being thankful for what you have. And I have a lot to be thankful for including four wonderful grandparents who still make it to every Thanksgiving and a mom to share coffee and peeling potatoes with in the morning. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kennedy and Lincoln

Due to their mutual tragedy and funny coincidences, Kennedy and Lincoln will forever be linked in the minds of conspiracy theorists everywhere. This week however, they are linked for another reason. November 18th was the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address, and today November 22 is the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's death.

Both of these events have hit very close to home and caused me a lot of personal reflection on our country the past week. These two men gave so much for our country, especially in the quest for equality. It is amazing to look at how far our country has come since Mr. Kennedy dedicated himself to aiding the Freedom Riders and creating the Civil Rights act, and even further since Mr. Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863.

I have always loved the Kennedys and their story. JFK has one of the most amazing stories of perseverance and determination. If you have never read a biography about him, go to the nearest bookstore and buy one now. I guarantee you will never look at him the same way.

His death brought our country together in mourning regardless of party affiliations. It makes you wonder, would the same thing happen today? All of the conflict between parties makes us forget that we are all Americans, and we are all on the same side.

When I was in high school I took a trip to Dallas, TX and was lucky to get to see the Kennedy memorial and museum located in the Textbook Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was located when he shot Kennedy. It was a wonderful experience if anyone ever finds themselves in Dallas.

And to think, this used to just be a regular road. 

The Gettysburg Address anniversary hit a little bit closer to home, literally. I'm currently living in Gettysburg. When I first got to college the first thing I saw was a copy of the Gettysburg Address left on my desk. Since then, the history of the battle and the legacy of our town has followed me. 

I have heard the Gettysburg Address delivered so many times over the last few years I basically have it memorized, but that does not stopping it from giving me chills every time. It is honestly one of the most beautifully eloquent speeches ever given. At only 272 words and less than 3 minutes in length, the power of this speech is a marvel. If you haven't read it since high school take a few minutes to read it, or watch the last 10 minutes of this PBS special. Listening to how these historians revere his words is very moving. The Gettysburg Address is truly poetry in prose. 

There are very few places on this Earth more beautiful or historical than Gettysburg, PA

This is the type of history the needs to be remembered and revered for generations to come. It is important because these events from our past define our future. "The government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this Earth."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


So, I am obsessed with the idea of Drybar. If you don't know what Drybar is, have you been living under a rock?! Like seriously. Ok, so Drybar is this new hit idea where you go to a salon just for a wash and blowout, not to get your hair cut or colored or anything. It has seriously developed a cult following in bigger cities recently. It just seems like the most luxurious thing in the world, and all of their hair styles are AMAZING! Everyone's hair just looks so great when they are done.

I have never been to a Drybar because I do not live close to any cities that have them. To be honest, I'd be a little worried to go because stuff like that stresses me out more than it relaxes me. I seriously tense up every time a stylist washes my hair, I usually beg ask them not to do it. I don't know what it is, but having a stranger wash my hair freaks me out. But, all you weird control freak ladies out there, Drybar has created a solution! They have released all of their products for use at home!

And I am obsessed. They are seriously the most gorgeous hair tools I have ever seen. If they weren't so expensive I would have bought every single one already. The downside is they cost a pretty penny, I mean they are professional grade products so, its to be expected. It just breaks my heart.

I think I might slowly start adding these to my repertoire. I really love the hairdryer. I have really frizzy hair and my old hairdryer just makes it a million times worse. The reviews on the Drybar Buttercup all say that it has helped with Frizz due to ion technology (Ok, the reviewers on Sephora are not scientists, but I do tend to trust them for the most part).

The other product I really love is the curling iron. I fell in love when Carly at TheCollegePrepster did a video on it. I love that the top spins rather than staying stationary like most curling irons. The curling iron I have now barely even gets warm, so I think its time for an upgrade.

The Drybar also has their own line of products that they use at their salons. I don't know if I would personally buy them just because they are pretty expensive. I have a hard time justifying that kind of price for something I will be essentially washing down the drain. The only two I would consider would be their dry shampoo, Detox and their heat protector, Hot Toddy. I just have not found a product I like for either of these uses, so it might be worth a try.

But look how pretty the packaging is...maybe I need them all. Total sucker for pretty packaging. 

For those of you lucky ladies that live in a city with a Drybar, there's even an app for that. You can schedule your blowout before you even get out of bed, plus its free! Ah the wonder's of technology.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Drybar or their products! Please share, it would be nice to have input before I make any big purchases. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back up

Sorry about my lack of posts this weekend. Friday afternoon, my computer hard drive completely died. I was using it fine one minute and the next I had the spinning beach ball of doom. You know the one. Anyway, this wasn't super unusual. I just restarted my computer but it would not restart. Being the moderate computer geek that I am, I rebooted it to the disk utility and ran some diagnostics and I had a hard drive error that I couldn't fix running disk repair. Ugh! I knew this was not good news and I had a sinking suspicion that my hard drive had died.

After school I took my laptop straight to my college's tech people. They verified my fears and added on the worst news any college student could ever receive. They could not recover ANYTHING from my hard drive! Lucky for me I back up my computer somewhat regularly to an external hard drive. The crew at the tech office told me that 99% of the people that come into their office don't back up at all!

Anyway even though I'm kicking myself for not backing up the past month, at least I avoided a serious disaster of losing everything I've ever done for the last 5 years. So, I ordered a new hard drive which will be here on Tuesday and hopefully putting everything back onto my computer goes smoothly.

So, let this be a lesson to anyone out there reading this. Back up your computer and do it regularly! Seriously, it is not that expensive to buy an external hard drive. And if you have a Mac like I do, it is so easy to set up back ups using Time Machine. Your computer will literally do all of the work for you!

There are also several cloud options that will automatically back up for you for a small monthly price.

Anyway I will not be able to post much until my computer is back up and running. I'm currently working on an ancient loaner computer which takes forever to do anything. Photoshop? Forget about it! So, hopefully everything goes according to plan and I'll be back Tuesday or Wednesday.

Does anyone have a good system for backing up their computer?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Waxed Jacket

So the last few years, slouchy barn coats have been all the rage. At first I wasn't that into them, because thats the kind of coat my mom wears when she's doing yard work. Not exactly a glamorous fashion trend. It didn't take long for me to change my mind. I mentioned in this post that I love the Barbour Beadnell Wax Jacket. Unfortunately at almost $400 that is never gonna happen. I mean seriously, is it made out of waxed gold instead of waxed cotton!?

Anyway, I mentioned last year that I got a barn jacket on sale for like $30 and its made me happy. That doesn't mean that I've stopped searching for a Barbour alternative. The other day I was on the L.L. Bean site contemplating a new peacoat when I noticed that they have a waxed barn coat for sale!  At $119 its still pretty pricy, but much more doable than $400. I think this is a pretty good dupe for the Barbour version.

Pretty similar right?! The only big difference I notice is the one from L.L. Bean does not have a zipper, only snaps. But I find it hard to imagine that would be a deal breaker for anyone. 

Here's how I would style a L.L. Bean waxed jacket for those cold, damp fall days. Cozy sweater, Hunter wellies and my favorite Smartwool socks of course! 

Well now that I've picked out how to wear it I need to buy it... right? This jacket is definitely on my wish list. 

What do you think of the barn coat trend?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cosmic Blue

Sorry I haven't been posting much the last two weeks, I have just been so busy. With student teaching about to end, I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. Anyway, I figured I would write a quick post about the nail polish I'm wearing this week since I don't have time to write a huge long post.

This week's polish of choice is Cosmic Blue by Avon. I have always been a big fan of Avon products, they are pretty good quality and relatively cheap. I especially like their nail polishes. They last about as long as their more expensive counterparts and they are only $6. Plus if you wait to strike Avon usually has some pretty killer sales. I always have tons of Avon products because my mom has a friend who sells it so I can usually expect a nail polish or fun colored eye liner in my care packages or Christmas stocking.

I really love this color, to be honest I forgot I had it. It got pushed to the bottom of my nail polish bag and it just resurfaced this week. I essentially just grabbed whatever my hand grabbed first and I was super excited. Cosmic Blue is a super pretty bluish-purple color. Its just shimmery enough to look fun but not obnoxious. I think it might make its way back into my rotation. Unfortunately this color is discontinued, I think. I couldn't find it on their website, but it might still be listed in their catalogues. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Alright, so I've written about my (boyfriend's) puppy Bella several times on my blog but I wanted to be sure I told her story. Bella was a rescue, we got her when she was really little, like 8 weeks old. We're not totally sure how old she was because she was found by the road with all her puppy siblings. 

Bella is the most lovable, cuddly, energetic creature on the whole planet (I might be a bit biased because I'm her mama). Don't get me wrong, she gets herself in plenty of trouble chewing sticks in the house, stealing from the garbage, and escaping the fence in the back yard to name a few, but I would change and of the challenges for anything. 

We believe that Bella is also part Pitt Bull, which could be the reason she was left on the side of the road. Our best guess is that she is a Lab/Pitt mix, and boy is she a cutie. I have always believed that a dog is how you raise it not the breed. Bella has just confirmed this. 

Anyway I'm on this whole tangent because there are plenty of puppies out there that need loving homes. So, before you go out shopping or a designer breed check out your local ASPCA. We had originally been looking at golden doodles and went to look at Bella on a whim. The second her foster mom put Bella into my arms I knew she had to come home with us and there was no looking back. Now I think I'm a Lab/Pitt girl for life. 

Now for some cute baby pictures of Bella. 

Driving home for the first time

Just being a model for her puppy photo shoot. 

Sorry the top picture is the only one I can find from when she was a little baby pup. I'll have to look around and post some more later. 

Have you ever rescued a puppy? What kind? 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Under the Weather

So I have been fighting a cold all week, and I think it has finally caught up to me. My throat hurts and I feel exhausted and achy.

Also, I just had a crumby day in general. It was pouring as I walked to my car this morning (about 10 mins across campus). My rain jacket didn't really help much, I was soaked through. It gets worse, I get into my car and when I go to turn on my wipers I realize its no longer raining!

So, I'm tired and wet and sick all day. When the last bell rings I'm just ready to get out of there and I realize I have a parent-teacher conference I have to go to. It lasts literally an hour and a half! So, as soon as I get home I have to go straight to my next meeting. I didn't have time for the nap I'd been dreaming about all day, I didn't even have time to change out of my teacher clothes.

After I got back from dinner, there was no way I was doing anything social. So, I'm spending my night grading papers in bed and drinking plenty of tea. I'm crossing my fingers that if I just relax tonight and get plenty of sleep it will not develop into a full blown knock me on my butt cold/flu.

Every time I get sick at college, I always just want to be home. There are so many sick day things that just never work out at college. So, tonight I'll be wishing I could have some of these wonderful home remedies.

 First tea with honey to make my sore throat feel better. I know you're supposed to add lemon too, but I don't think it tastes good and when I'm sick, I'm not eating or drinking anything I don't like, no way!

Next up, homemade chicken noodle soup. Sure the canned stuff is good, but nothing beats homemade.

You can find the recipe for this soup here, obviously this strategy works best if you have someone who loves you enough to make homemade soup...or at least will splurge the extra dollar for the can with big noodles and real carrots. 

Step three, a hot bath. I don't know about anyone else but I never really have a desire to take a bath until I'm sick. There is something about a nice hot back that makes all the aches go away and the steam clears out your sinuses and you finally feel normal again (at least until you get out of the bath). 

These homemade bath bombs look amazing! You can add essential oils like eucalyptus or camomile to make you feel better, plus that fizzy feeling is just wonderful. Its like making your bath do double duty. I definitely need to make a big batch to keep on hand in my bathroom. 

Finally, someone to cuddle. 

Preferably my little Bella. She's the perfect cuddle companion because she loves to get right under the covers and be as close to you as possible. I feel like just that would be enough to make even the sickest patient better. 

Hopefully, by tomorrow morning I'll be feeling better. I feel like the biggest part of the problem is going all week without enough sleep. 

What remedies do you swear by?