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?