Archive of ‘Favorite Things’ category

The Best Cyber Monday Beauty Deals

I tried my best, but my self control has absolutely failed on this Cyber Monday and several items are on their merry way to my house right now. Some of these deals were just too good to pass up and so I had to pass them along as well. The day is not over so there is plenty of time to scoop these bargains up!

Sigma Brushes – 20% off your entire purchase

I have been meaning to do a post dedicated to my favorite make-up brushes, but while you anxiously await my post, you should go check out Sigma’s sale. A good brush does make SUCH a difference in how your make-up applies.

A few of my “can’t live without” brushes from Sigma are:

  • F80 Flat Kabuki Foundation Brush
  • F86 Tapered Kabuki Brush – I use this for concealer under the eyes and LOVE it
  • E25 Blending – Perfect for buffing color into your crease
  • E40 Tapered Blending – Must have for blending out colors on the lid

Use coupon code: CM2014

Tarte Cosmetics

image

Tarte is offering some great deals on their most popular products. I picked up the Lights, Cameras Lashes mascara that I loved in a sample size. Full price is $19 and the sale for $10 was a nice steal. Their popular Amazonian Clay Blushes are down from $26 to $20 as well.

No code necessary.

NARS Cosmetics – 20% off Site Wide

null

20% off site wide with coupon code TAKE20

They are well known for many of their products like the iconic Orgasm Blush and Laguna bronzer. I love their Sheer Glow foundation and just picked up the Radiant Creamy Concealer, which I have heard rave reviews about and am excited to put to the test. Some great gift ideas are the Modern Roman Holiday Lip, Cheek and Nail set (pictured above) or

Lorac – Pro Palette

This palette is a fan favorite and is 25% off today, bringing it down from $41 to $31.50.  There are lots of great neutral warm tones in this palette that I find easy to create a variety of looks with.

Please share any great Cyber Monday beauty deals that you found today in the comments below!

What’s in my Travel Make-Up Bag?

FullSizeRender (27)

With everyone traveling for the holidays I thought I would share my must have products in my travel make-up bag.  Since you have limited space when packing, only the tried and true products that you are know are not going to let you down will make the cut. My favorite products can really vary by the event or look I am trying to acheive so I like to make sure that the products I do bring will be multi-purpose as well.

Foundation: Loreal True Match Lumi 

When I am traveling I don’t want to take the risk of bringing a $40-$50 foundation only to have it break in my bag, so I like to take a tried and true drugstore foundation that I know I won’t freak out if it breaks. The Loreal True Match Lumi has medium coverage and more of a dewy finish, which I prefer. It works great for everyday light coverage or I can build it up for fuller coverage, so it makes a great travel foundation.

Concealer: Laura Gellar The Real Deal Concealer 

I have yet to find the perfect undereye concealer but this one is my current favorite. The color match is perfect for my skin and it easily blends under the eyes (and does not crease) as well as works to cover up any blemishes or redness. It has been a win-win for me so I have no complaints.

FullSizeRender (30)

 

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder palette 

Alright, so this isn’t 100% necessary, but I just love this palette so much I couldn’t leave it behind. If you aren’t familar with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders they are very fine powders that give you a smooth and perfect finish. They are meant to make it look as if you are glowing from within and I just love it. I use one color to set my undereye concealer and another as a really light bronzer to warm up my cheeks and temples. I definitely took a risk traveling with this one (if it broke I would cry), but I just couldn’t imagine leaving it at home.

Highlighter: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige 

Some people can’t live without a bronzer in their make-up routine, but I can’t live without a highlighter. Winter leaves my skin dull and I love adding a slight glow that just catches the light perfectly.Bobbi Brown is known for her shimmer brick and the Beige Brick gives me the perfect highlight (withouth looking glittery) to complete any look.  You can swirl the colors together for a highlighter or also use them individually for eye shawdows. Another dual purpose product!

Blush: Milani in Luminoso 

I am a big fan of Milani blushes. They are super cheap (you can find them in the drugstore) and have great pigment. Luminoso is a perfect peachy pink color that gives just the perfect amount of flush.

FullSizeRender (29)

Eyeshadow: Chocolate Bar palette by Too Faced 

I won’t lie, I have lots of eye shadow palettes and love each of them in different ways. I tend to gravitate towards champagne lids and warm browns in my crease, so the Chocolate Bar palette is perfect to acheive this look or I can deepen the colors and create a smoky night out. Plus, this palette smells like chocolate, who doesn’t love that?

Eyebrow Pencil: Anastasia Brow Wiz 

There is no question that this is my holy grail of eyebrow pencils. Anastasia knows what she is doing when it comes to brows. The Brow Wiz makes it so a total novice at brows (myself) can figure out how to put in some definition and shape. You can use this pencil for a full out defined brow or just a quick fill in, it is really versitile and it has a built in spool brush as well. If you don’t have the Brow Wiz I would recommend you add it to your collection ASAP.

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On in Black Velvet 

I bounce back and forth between a liquid eyeliner and kohl pencil, but if I have to choose I bring my 24/7 Velvet pencil with me because it is versitle enough to create any look, goes on super creamy and lasts all day. I got this one as a sample in Birchbox and am down to my last bits but I will definitely be repurchasing it.

Mascara: Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye 

This mascara was another item that I got as a sample for free and have kind of fallen in love with. I typically wouldn’t shop Bobbi Brown for her mascaras but this version gives my lashes lift, curl and definition so it made the cut for my last trip.

Perfume: Elizabeth & James Nirvana White 

Okay, so perfume is technically not make-up but the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is just too good to leave home. I have both the Nirvana White and Nirvana Black and I love them both (I also love them layered over one another). Nirvana White is describe as a mix of peoney and musk and I love it. Rollerballs are the easiest way to travel with perfume and also a really cheap way to try out a fragrance without making the financial investment.

 

What are your must have items in your travel make-up bag?

Share in the comments below!

 

 

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Oversized Plaid Scarf 

FullSizeRender (24)

 

I found this little gem for only $16.99 at Target (if you go now it is currently on sale for 20% off) and I just love it.

 

target screen cap

 

It is the perfect scarf to pair with my go-to winter outfit: a chambray top with a black quilted vest. It is soft and a bit oversized, which are my two requirements in a scarf.

 

FullSizeRender (25)

 

Warning: if you happen to throw this scarf on the couch a small dog may use it as a blanket.

 

Lush’s Lip Scrub: Mint Julip 

FullSizeRender (20)

 

The cold weather is here which means that my lips will be in a constant state of disarray. I go through Chapstick like an addict through the drier winter months but one item that helps keep me sane is Lush’s Lip Scrub.

 

FullSizeRender (21)

 

Lush’s Lip Scrub is a perfectly sweet cocktail of sugar and essential oils to help exfoliate your lips from their terribly chapped state. I use it once or twice a week to help keep my lips soft and smooth. Another benefit is that you will notice lipstick/gloss/balm/stain applying more evenly and lasting longer.

 

FullSizeRender (23)

 

Like all Lush Cosmetics products, their Lip Scrub is all natural, preservative free and handmade. I love the Mint Julips flavor because it tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream, but you can also find Bubblegum, Popcorn, or holiday versions.

Of course, if you want to get crafty, you can make your own version at home: DIY Lip Scrub. 

US Department of the Interior Instagram

 

IMG_2942

 

If you are not following the US Department of the Interior on Instagram, I highly recommend that you go start following them now. They are posting breathtaking photos of our great nation that make you smile with a little more pride about the beautiful land that we call home.

 

IMG_2943

 

Each picture makes me add another spot on to my list of places I want to see.

 

IMG_2944

Or sometimes they just make a laugh. I mean, who doesn’t love a funny animal picture?

 

IMG_2945

And you may spot a photo that reminds you of home like this one did for me. Growing up the Everglades has always been my backyard and this gorgeous shot had me feeling a bit more excited to get home for the holidays.

What is something that you were loving this week?  

 

 

Tip Tuesday: How to get FREE Make Up

How to get (1)

My last Tip Tuesday was all about how to return make up for a FULL refund. This week I want you to take advantage of all the free make up samples that are available and get FREE make up! Brands know that you are more likely to buy their product if you try it and stores love to use loyalty points programs to keep you coming back.

I would say that at this moment about 1/4 of my make up is either a sample or a result of a sample product. That is the problem with make up, we are always on the hunt for a product that is going to be better and samples are a great way to  A sample size of mascara can last me several weeks, which is more than enough time to figure out if the formula works for me and if it doesn’t, it saves me from taking the time to return the product.

Sephora

Sephora makes it SO easy to get free make up samples (they also make it really easy to throw $100 away in less than 10 minutes).  First step is to sign up for the Sephora Beauty Insider account. You can do it in store or online. I also love that they just need my phone number when I shop in store to link to my account (I hate carrying all those cards around). Once you sign up, every purchase you make will go towards your Point Perks and your Beauty Insider status.

If you spend $350 at Sephora in a year, you become a VIB, which gets you access to their twice a year sale where EVERYTHING is 20% off!

Sephora Point Perks

Whether you shop in store or online you are depositing points into your Sephora Beauty Insider Account. Once you earn 100 points you are eligible for your first reward and there are some great products available. Here are the current 100 Point Samples:

100 points

There are some great items up for grabs!  The next level of samples is at 250 points are typically a little bit higher in value, here are some of the 250 point samples:

250 points

I had a rollerball for a new perfume (Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black) in my shopping cart for $28 and when I went to check out I noticed that a deluxe sample size of the same perfume was available as a points sample. I put that $28 rollerball back and  I am still using that sample after several months!

Point Perks typically change out each week to two weeks so I like to keep an eye on them in case there is a product I really want to try out.

Sephora Online Orders: 3 Free Samples

To get the biggest bang for your buck at Sephora I recommend that you always shop online. When you shop online you always get to add 3 free samples to your shipment.  These samples are usually a one time use sample but they still give you a preview of the product and let you try it before you buy it.

3 samples

Samples can range from fragrance, foundation, hair care to skin care. I always spot at least one sample that I am interested in trying and if nothing catches my eye, I still grab my 3 free samples for a jar that I let guests use when they stay over.

Sephora Promo Codes

Another great reason why I recommend shopping online with Sephora is that you can take advantage of promo codes and more deluxe samples that you wouldn’t receive in store. There are typically requirements like a minimum purchase, but come on, it is not tough to spend at least $25 at Sephora.  These samples rotate weekly as well, here is an example of what you could get this week:

weekly promo codes

From time to time you will get promotions for Sample Bags, which are typically a combination of one-time samples and deluxe samples. These are a great value!

promo special

If you shop at Sephora online, with just one order you can receive:

  • A Deluxe Sample from Points
  • 3 Free Samples
  • Deluxe Sample from Promo Code/Weekly Special

Ulta Point Perks

Ulta has a similar point program but instead of redeeming your points for samples, you earn money back towards a future purchase. You can sign up for Ulta Rewards in store or online and for each $100 spent you earn $3 off a purchase. I know this seems a bit measly, but these discounts don’t have any limitations (which Ulta is notorious for having on their coupons) and something is better than nothing!

ulta rewards

Ask the Cashier

Being polite goes a long way and you will be surprised at what you can get by just asking. Cashiers at Ulta and Sephora often have tons of samples behind the counter and are happy to distribute them (because that is the whole point of having samples) so don’t be afraid to ask.

A few of my favorite products I discovered from free samples and there is no reason to let the perks of your spending go unused! Go grab your free make up with your next purchase!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Threads: Military Green Jacket

military green jacket

I live in my Military Green Jacket. I picked this up back in March at H&M and haven’t taken it off since (yes, even through the summer).  I love how versatile the color is, I can pair it with black, brown, white, navy, pink, orange, or cream. I have thrown this jacket over a little black dress for a concert, layered it with a pencil skirt to work and worn it with white denim shorts (to make me feel a bit more covered up now that I am 30).

The outfit above has been my uniform through Fall and I will continue to rock it until it becomes too cold…then I will throw on my military green puffer vest.

Similar jacket from Tobi (take advantage of their 50% off your first purchase)

Similar from H&M 

Tunes: She and Him

She and HimI feel like I have been living under a rock. How am I just discovering how adorably awesome Zooey Deschanel’s band is? Zooey pairs with M. Ward and they recently made the rounds on talk shows to promote their new album Classics, in which they cover vintage pop classics from Frank Sinatra, Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson. Zoeey’s voice is sweet and subtle, but her quirky 60’s style shines through. Count me as a new fan because they have been on repeat for me all week.

TV: Parenthood

friday favorites parenthoodWhile I was on medical leave from work I had some serious time to kill on the couch. I stumbled on Parenthood on Netflix, started binge watching, and was emotionally invested by the third epsiode. The show follows a variety of storylines around the Braverman family, each compelling and complex.  With every episode I can guarantee you will either cry tears of joy or sadness because this family

This is the final season is no exception and I can not wait to see how this roller coaster is going to end. If you are looking for a new show to binge, check out Parenthood.

Doing Good: Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a non-profit organization of medical providers that promote early literacy and reading by providing new books at each pediatric doctor appointment. The doctors and nurses that participate in Reach Out and Read discuss the importance of reading aloud and often read a book during the appointment. The books are selected by age (from 0-12 years old) and can often have seasonal themes.

Not many people know that I have an Early Childhood Education degree so early literacy is very close to my heart and I think the Reach Out and Read program is amazing. If you want to learn more or donate to their virtual book drive, check them out their website.

Eats: Smashburger

smashburger

I have a problem. There is a Smashburger within walking distance of my desk and I keep finding myself walking there. You can order online and when you do, you walk in and they know you by name (okay this might just be because I have been there at least once a week since they opened) and hand you your food.

The burgers are delicious. Think of Five Guys, but a little less greasy, with the perfect balance of cheese, sauce and patty. I go for The Classic with Smash Sauce and jalapenos (fresh, not pickled), but their Cucumber, Spinach and Goat Cheese Burger with Balsamic is also out of this world.

Their fries are the shoestring kind, with less fluffy potato and more crispy coating, which I love! I loved the plain fries, but then I went for the buffalo version and have a new found favorite. They sprinkle the perfect amount of dry buffalo seasoning on the hot fries and serve them with ranch dressing.

Adventure: Leaf Looking

fall foliage

Spotted this golden tree while walking in my neighborhood

As a kid growing up in Florida the only colored leaves that I would see were when someone would travel North and bring them back for school crafts. Now I get to watch as each day the leaves turn just a little bit more, transitioning from green to shades of red, orange and yellow.

fall foliage

My friend Kelly’s dog, Charlie., on our evening walk

I love the crunch of leaves that have fallen underneath my feet and the collage of colors that they make on the ground.

Chimney Rock fall folliage

The road to Chimney Rock

I had watched the fall foliage reports for Western North Carolina so I could make sure to go up when they hit their peak and I was not disappointed during my hike last weekend.

Golden leaves off the trail

Golden leaves off the trail

I was lucky enough to go up to Chimney Rock (where they filmed The Last of the Mohicans) last weekend, which is right next to Lake Lure (where they filmed Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon).

View from Chimney Rock of Lake Lure

View from Chimney Rock of Lake Lure

My friend Gillian joined me for the day trip and we spent the day “hiking” (90% of the trail we took was stairs, 26 flights to be exact) and taking in the gorgeous color and weather of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gillian, Meyer and I post hike

Gillian, Meyer and I post hike (my Military Green Jacket made an appearance as well)

I don’t think I could live anywhere that doesn’t have all four seasons. I am addicted to fall.

Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Falls

UPDATED: 10 Stores You Can Return Used Makeup

10 stores you can return used makeup

Have you ever purchased a makeup item and then gotten home only to be disappointed the moment you tried it out? It just didn’t brighten and conceal those under eye areas like it promised. The color match was completely off and you look like a ghost. That mascara didn’t make your lashes longer, fuller and curlier than ever before. Or worst case scenario, your skin completely freaked out and now you are covered in spots.

Not only do you feel let down after the product doesn’t live up to its promises, but you are also frustrated because you have just wasted your money on a gimmick. Typically the failed product gets tossed in a basket, where all failed make up products go to die alone because you can’t stand to throw them in the trash and admit that you have wasted your money.

Cry no more my friends, did you know that you can return those failed products and get your money back in your pocket? Many retailers know that you are less likely to take a risk on a new product because you fear this exact scenario and they have created liberal return policies to help quell your fears.

Typically, I shop for make up based on price. I have my tried in true products that I know and love and I will pick those up wherever the price is right. But when I am looking to try something new, I make sure to pick it up at a store that allows me to return the product for a full refund (and I hang on to my receipt).

As with any refund, bringing the receipt, original payment method and product packaging is your best bet for no hassle process.

My favorite stores with no hassle makeup return policies:

These retailers offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and easy return process on used products.

Sephora

Full refund in store within 30 days of your purchase with the receipt (they also can look up your purchase in their system). After 30 days they will offer you a product exchange or merchandise credit. 

Ulta

Full refund in store within 60 days of purchase with receipt and card used to make the purchase. Store credit is given to returns with receipt after 60 days. 

Nordstrom

Nordstrom does not have a return policy, but they are well known for their customer service and they always provide full refunds for beauty products, opened or unopened, with the receipt.

“We stand behind our goods and services and want you to be satisfied with them. We’ll always do our best to take care of customers—our philosophy is to deal with you fairly and reasonably; we hope you will be fair and reasonable with us as well.”

Macy’s

Full refund anytime after purchase on new or gently used products. Must have receipt in order to be refunded in the original method of payment.

CVS

100% satisfaction guarantee on beauty purchases.
Be 100% happy or receive 100% money back on any beauty products. If you’re dissatisfied for any reason, you can return the beauty product (opened or unopened) along with your receipt or invoice to any CVS/pharmacy store. We’ll refund the full purchase price — no questions asked!

Rite Aid

The Rite Aid 100% Risk-Free Beauty Guarantee.
Any opened or used beauty product of any brand name can be returned for a full refund when accompanied by a register receipt. Beauty categories subject to the guarantee are skin care/depilatories, sun care, bath/soap, hair care (shampoo, conditioner, styling and professional), hair color, cosmetics, ethnic beauty aids, fragrances, cosmetic organizers and personal care appliances.

WalMart

Products can be returned (used or unused) within 90 days of purchase, with the original receipt. 

Stores where you may have to plead your case:

These retailers are a little bit more fickle about returning used makeup, but I have found that while their official return policies may be a little tougher, you can usually return used products with no issues.

Walgreens

All products purchased from Walgreens.com may be returned either to a store or by mail within 30 days of purchase unless otherwise noted on product page. All returns should be accompanied by the original receipt included with the shipment.

Returns for cosmetics or electronics are handled at the discretion of the store manager, usually in the form of a Walgreens gift card.

Target

Of course Target is the place where I make most of my impulse buys (damn you Target, you are killing my budget) and this usually includes makeup. Target’s official policy states “Items that are opened or damaged or do not have a packing slip or receipt may be denied a refund or exchange.”  I have never had an issue with returning a used product at Target, but technically it can be left up to the manager’s discretion so be aware that you may need to make your case on why they should accept the return.

Remember – you have 90 days for a return at Target and they always want to track your returns to your drivers license.

 

Now that you know you can get a full refund take a risk on that trendy lipstick color for fall, if you hate it after a few uses, return it! You have nothing to lose and you may just find your new favorite product in the process.

Friday Favorites

friday favorites

Here are a few things that I have been loving this week…

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day – Basil Scent

mrs. meyers cleaning basil scent

I know that Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products are not new, but I recently discovered their basil scented products and I am in love.  I picked up the hand soap and multi-surface cleaner and love the fresh, crisp green fragrance.  These beat the chemical fragrance of other cleaners because they are packed with natural essential oils. It doesn’t hurt that they are cruelty free as well.

Little Free Library

IMG_2653

The Little Free Library is a community library where you can swap books.  These have popped up all around Charlotte neighborhoods (Dilworth, South End, and Plaza Midwood to name a few) and I think they are a simple way of creating community. I am always looking for my next favorite book and picked up Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane from this Little Free Library in Dilworth. Next time I walk by I will be sure to drop off a few of my books to share.

LearnVest

learnvest alexa von tobel financial planning

 

I am embarrassed to admit that it took me turning 30 to really get serious about my finances. I have always been terrible with my money and have never even had a budget (gasp! I know this is not okay).

LearnVest was started by Alexa Von Tobel (woohoo! a female business) to empower women (fine, guys are allowed too) through financial planning. I started reading her book, Financially Fearless, and loved her approach so much that I dove into her free tools.

On the LearnVest website you can create and manage your budget in 30 minutes. You connect your checking account and LearnVest will import your transactions and put them into categories (shopping, restaurants, groceries, health care) of your budget. You immediately see what you are spending your money on and it can be eye opening!

I have tried other services, like Mint.com, and prefer LearnVest’s tool.  The user interface is easier to navigate and their mobile app makes it easy to manage your budget on the go. My budget is no where near perfect, but LearnVest has made financial planning a lot less intimidating!

 

Tip Tuesday: Best Way to Wash Your Make Up Brushes

FullSizeRender-8

I guess I am becoming an adult (when did this happen?) because my Sunday routines are less about a funday and more about housekeeping and prepping for the upcoming work work. Along with laundry and meal prep, I always make sure to clean my make up brushes.

I was shocked when talking to my friends how many people don’t wash their make up brushes. You take your make up off every night, but you reapply yesterday’s dirt and germs each time you use a dirty brush. Washes your brushes helps keep your skin healthy, helps the way your make up is applied, and extends the life of your brushes.

FullSizeRender-9

You don’t need any special tools or cleaner to wash your brushes.  A gentle make up remover or face wash is a really convenient brush cleanser.  It is meant to take your make up off your face so it makes sense that you can use it to take make up off your brushes.

I love the Beauty Blender solid cleaner. It does a really great job of cleaning your brushes quickly. You just swirl the brush over the solid cleanser and the make up melts right off. It is the most expensive option at $15.95 but it has lasted me about 6 months and well worth the price.

Pure Castille soap is really good as well. I got mine at Target from the travel size toiletry section.  I think I picked mine up for under $3, so it is really cheap and easy to pick up on your next Target run.

Take a few minutes and wash your brushes, I promise, you won’t regret it.

 

Friday Favorites

Friday

Another Friday is here and while Friday is my favorite day of the week, here are a few things that I have been my favorite this week.

My Po Campo Gym Bag

IMG_2311

The Po Campo Midway Weekender bag is the bomb dot com. It looks great, is made of waterproof vegan material, has great compartments inside and the straps outside can hold your yoga mat. Po Campo has a giving program linked to their sales, for every 25 bags they sell they provide a bike for a schoolgirl in Africa to provide them with reliable transportation to school.

IMG_2354My favorite part is the lower compartment for your shoes. No more dirty shoe bottoms on top of your clean gym clothes.  (My new shoes from little sister Kelsey are pretty awesome too).

Mason Jar Kitchen Accessories

FullSizeRender (7)

I couldn’t pass up these up when I spotted them in World Market. The kitchen utensil holder was only $9.99 and gives a nice pop of color on my counter tops.

FullSizeRender (5)These Mason Jar Measuring Cups were the perfect compliment to my utensil container. I don’t know where my measure cups go but I have become an expert of measuring everything with a 1/3 and 3/4 cup for years (this might also be why I am not great at baking).

FullSizeRender (6)

 

With these stack able cups, I am sure not to lose any and maybe I’ll perfect the chocolate chip cookies I have been failing at for years.

Bath & Body Works Fall Candles

FullSizeRender (2)

 

Since I worked for a scent marketing company for the past few years I have been spoiled with a commercial scent machine in my home. Now that I am on to a new career, I craved that warm and cozy feeling that fall fragrances bring to my home. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles are my favorite and their variety of fragrances ensure that you will find that perfect fall scent.

FullSizeRender (3)

 

Some of my favorite fragrances are:

Keep an eye out for Bath & Body Works 2 for $22 sale on their 3-Wick Candles, which is basically a BOGO.

Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte Concentrate

IMG_2528

 

Just call me your basic white girl. I will not deny my love for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL).  There is nothing more comforting than sipping a warm mug on a cool fall morning. My favorite Starbucks treat is their Chai Spiced Latte and I was thrilled when I discovered the concentrate in my local grocery store (yes, I am too lazy to brew a cup of tea).

They have come out with the Pumpkin Spice Latte version of the tea concentrate and it is fall perfection. I whip mine up in my trusty Mr. Coffee CocoMotion  and top it with a dollop of whipped cream and a little cinnamon sugar for an extra treat.

I have only found the PSL version at my Target store and they are on sale 2 for $6 this week.

My Tree Climbing Dog

IMG_2639

 

My dog Meyer is my favorite every day, but this week she really threw it over the top when she learned to climb trees. In our normal routine, she was teased by our neighborhood squirrel as frolicked just close enough that he caught her attention. The squirrel then ran up the tree and rubbed in his victory by leaping from branch to branch, but Meyer surprised myself and the squirrel when she decided today was not the day she would stay on the ground defeated and broken by the constant teasing. She jumped into the tree and then attempted to shimmy her way up the trunk…before she flipped over head first and fell out of the tree.

You can’t win them all Meyer pup, but you definitely got an A for effort this week.

What has been your favorite this week?

Share in the comment section below!

How I Get My Straight Hair to Curl

 

It is a fact of life for girls, if you have straight hair, then you want curly hair. If you have curly hair, then you want straight hair. The grass is always greener, right? I was a girl with straight hair. I am talking straight as a board. It didn’t matter what I did, it would not bend or curl. High school dances? It wouldn’t hold a curl.  Weddings? I should have saved the money on the hair stylist.

Then somewhere in my mid-twenties my hair changed…all of a sudden, my straight hair could curl.  Not only could it curl, but the curl would hold, day one was tight curls and day two was beachy waves. It was my curly hair dreams coming true!

Here are a few tricks that I have learned to help get my straight hair to curl (and more importantly, hold a curl).

Start with Dirty Hair

When your hair is fresh from being washed it feels silky, smooth, and glorious! Well, this is the worst time to try and get your hair to curl. There is no texture for the style to grip on to, so it will slip right out!

If you can, start with dirty hair, depending on how much oil your scalp produces this could be day two or day three hair.  If you must style your hair after cleansing, use a texturizing or seal salt spray to give the style something to grip on to.

Prep Your Hair

living proof prime style extender

Living Proof’s Prime Style Extender is my hair’s best friend. You can use a hair primer or mousse to help add texture, volume and grip to hold on to your curls as you style. Just a small amount worked into the length of your hair will get the job done.

Let Your Curls Set

You know how you are supposed to set a hairstyle by using a cool blast of air when you are done blow drying? Same concept applies to curling your hair.

Once you curl your hair, do your best not to run your fingers through it for 15-20 minutes. This allows the hair to cool down completely and set the style.

make your curls last longer

My curls cooling and setting.

A Great Hairspray

best hairspray 2014

Of course, a great hairspray never hurts. L’Oreal’s Elnett is a cult favorite and for good reason. It is a fine mist with great holding power. You can spray it on before and after you curl. The best part of this hairspray is that when you totally screw up your hair and need to start again, you can brush this spray right out.

When I use these few techniques not only does my stick straight hair curl, but the curl holds for days. My favorite is the beachy waves that I get on day two of my curls.

beach waves hair

Day 2 curls

1 2