Sunday, December 21, 2014

Exercise Revamp: Couch to 5k

So now that I have more time on my hands, time to get back to being serious about my weight, nutrition, and fitness. I have gone back to tracking my food intake, and have been hunting for some fun recipes. But the most revolutionary development is my sudden desire to try to become a runner.

Up until a week ago, I would tell you that you'd only see me running if something was chasing me. Unfortunately, I am so out of shape, something chasing me wouldn't have to work very hard to catch me as I am now. Part of the challenge of running for me is my general size. Carrying the extra weight makes running tough. But I downloaded the free couch to 5k program on my new iphone 5s, and did the first day today.

The workout is 30 minutes total, but there are 5 walking warm up minutes at the beginning and 5 cool down at the end. For the middle 20 minutes, there was jogging 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds alternating. I felt I needed more of a warm up though, so I added 5 minutes, and I DEFINITELY needed a longer cool down so I added 10 minutes to the end. Overall it was a 45 minute workout. I typically walk 20 minute miles, and my average mileage was 19mph so I am not exactly the quickest runner. I am glad to find out I don't run more slowly than my brisk walk though - apparently for others like me who are running newbies, oftentimes running is slower than walking even if it is tougher.

But, I am not worried. Speed supposedly will come on its own. My plan is to do the plan 3 times a week as scheduled, and just do my normal 30 minute walks on off days as weather permits to keep my muscles loose. I did the whole Week 1 Day 1 as it was laid out, no extra breaks, and I will keep progressing until/unless I hit a day where I can't do it as it is laid out. Then, I will just repeat that day until I can do it. There is no rush for me to finish this program in  8 weeks just because this is an 8 week program.

I feel really accomplished.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

iPhone Revamp?

So, it was bound to happen eventually. My iPhone 4 took a beautiful dive into the sink, straight into a bowl that was soaking and therefore full of water. It was removed immediately, but clearly this is a scary prospect. I have clients who need to be able to communicate with me, and might be trying and I am ignoring them. I am also applying for teaching positions, and can't send out any apps or resumes until I have a phone number to call. I am normally so careful with it, but accidents happen to the best of us.

Luckily, my family was up for renewal less than a month from now, making us eligible for new phones. After convincing my father that yes, the plan we have is perfect for us, and no, other plans or special deals would not be deals for us because they no longer offer our plan anymore and we are grandfathered in. The current options would leave the family paying about 20 more per month at least, not less.

So, I am going in the morning to pick out my new phone. The iphone 5c is what comes free, 8GB. I loved my 4, but found in the last 6 months I used up the memory more often than I liked. I am debating paying an extra fifty bucks to get the 5c with 32GB, which seems like serious overkill, or paying a hundred to get the 16GB 5s. A newer model, more data to a reasonable level, but is it really that much better or different?

Not really sure. I am sure I will really love whatever I pick, and I am sure I will be MUCH more careful with my phone near water in the future.

Monday, December 15, 2014

End Of Student Teaching

So the past three weeks have been totally insane. I finished out student teaching and got a TON of the sweetest cards from my adorable second graders. I managed to finish up my portfolio which ended up taking so much more time than I anticipated. Then I came to my parents' to visit, and that is where I still am.

I've spent the past week reading a ton and visiting family and friends. It hasn't really sunk in that student teaching is over, really. I've mostly been resting a lot, trying to decompress from the whole experience. Once I get back to Bethlehem on Thursday, I will need to gear up for the new year. Applications to contract positions, getting signed up to sub, dog sitting, and apartment overhaul cleaning are all on the menu. It will take a little bit for my certification to come in, but I actually think I will very much need that time to get organized while it does.

Also on the agenda is to get back into trying to eat healthier and exercise more. Even though it is cold out, I am actually FAR more a cold weather person than warm, so I am hoping that I will get a lot more walking in with having days off. I didn't lose as much weight this fall as I was hoping, with the yo-yo effect student teaching stress had on my weight, but I am excited to restart. I have a list full of recipes I want to try now that I have a little more time, I am rediscovering colors in terms of my makeup wardrobe, and generally really hopeful about everything to come.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving internet world!!

I am pleased to report that I am prepped and ready to go to Thanksgiving dinner in a few hours. Wine was purchased, and I made cranberry sauce as my contribution. I am celebrating with my friends Katie and Joe this year, and I am so glad they decided to open up their table. There will be lots of other people there, so it should be a super social and lovely time.

Cranberry sauce might be my favorite part of the holiday meal, which is amazing because it is so easy to make. Inexpensive, too. Because there will be 14 at dinner, I made a medium sized pot's worth, which took 3 bags of cranberries. At two dollars a bag, and the price of two cups of sugar, it is a delicious contribution that won't break the bank.

First, put one cup of water in the pot for every bag of cranberries you intend to use. The Oceanspray recipe also calls for a cup of sugar per bag. I do not do this. I prefer my sauce to be more tart, a hair healthier, and more runny/juicy, and I only put in 2/3 of a cup per bag. So this batch of 3 bags called for 3 cups of water and 2 cups of white sugar. Bring these to a boil.

Then, add the rinsed cranberries. Bring the mixture to a boil again. It is hard to tell when it is boiling again, but you will hear the berries starting to pop. Then, boil it for 10-15 minutes. I like my berries to be mostly popped and smushy so I will even cover it partially to help facilitate this.

When it is done, mine looks like this. Cover it and let it cool at room temp...or let it cool at room temp for a couple hours and then put it in the fridge like I did.

The next morning...


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tea No-Buy...FAIL.

So much for avoiding purchasing new tea. I was at Marshall's (for an entirely different purpose, new shoes I did not get) and saw a fairly varied selection of tea from Les Palais des Thes. The packaging for this French company is SO gorgeous and their tea isn't cheap to order online, so I was SO excited to see this in store. I found myself very quickly with about $100 worth of tea in my hands, and then I saw three options from Den's Tea as well. Den's Tea specializes in Japanese tea, and is also a brand I have meant to order from for a long time.

Don't worry, I did make cuts. I realized that with the sampler, and having some at home already, I should cut what was in my arms in half. My deal with myself is that I can go back on Tuesday or Wednesday to get more/get the bigger canisters of some flavors IF I taste the samplers first and really feel I cannot live without. The full size canisters at Marshall's are $13 and originally $18 or $19...twice as expensive as any other tea they tend to carry.

Here is what I came home with.

By far the most exciting purchase was the gift set from Les Palais des Thes. Originally $60, I paid $40. It came with 12 little vials of their tea blends, each reporting to contain enough for a 6-8 cup teapot, and a 125 page book/catalog hybrid that I found to be very interesting. It will be a lot of fun tasting all of the blends.

I already flipped through the book, which contains information about tea history, countries of origin, all to showcase the types of teas this brand offers in a comprehensive way. A tea newbie would find this really helpful in general, and I found it to be interesting even though I already knew a lot. A seriously cool way to provide a catalog of the options of a company, one I plan to keep on my coffee table.

Also from the same brand they had an iced tea set on clearance...$9, less than half the original price. It was shrink wrapped so I know it wasn't tampered with. It contains four teas, with five iced teabags individually wrapped, meant for 16oz room temp brews. Normally I am all about loose leaf, and prefer the lack of packaging of it. Even for tea bags. But one thing I hate is that unless I brew up a few bottles of iced tea before going to school to teach, I don't have much opportunity for tea all day. These are meant to be steeped at room temp for an hour or so, making them perfect for throwing in a purse or bag and steeping them after I finish my morning hot tea I take with me.

Next, I found a couple things from Den's Tea. I stuck with the Houjicha, which was a couple dollars cheaper ($4) than the Genmaicha ($6). The Houjicha is also individually wrapped teabags, which I like having around for when I am dog sitting for extended periods of time. I will be visiting family from Dec 10-18, and dog sitting from Dec 20-Jan I will most definitely be using these. I often bring loose leaf tea home as I know they have an infuser, but I keep things simple when I dog sit.

As a bonus, only vaguely tea related item, I got a skincare set from Origins including the Frothy Face Wash, White Tea Skin Guardian Serum, and the White Tea moisturizer for $10 because it had no tag, there were no others, and the girl at the register had no clue about the price point of the brand. Given how sure I am that the set was likely meant to be two or three times that price at minimum, I am a happy girl.

I love Marshall's.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Face Oils and Candles

I woke up this morning and it was 20 degrees. Ugh. I know it is just a cold front and it won't stay QUITE this frigid permanently, but it is still jarring when yesterday had a high of 50. Today it isn't supposed to get much higher than 25. I suppose at least the rain finished yesterday?

Two of my cold weather saviors are face oils and candles. I use face oil all year round, and recommend it to everyone I meet. If you have oily skin, most of the time adding a drop of face oil to your routine at night will help calm down your skin because it won't feel the need to overproduce. If you have dry skin like me, it is a no-brainer. Nothing has improved the tone and texture of my skin so drastically. I use it year round - I just finished a little size of the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light, which I was using over the summer for a slightly lighter feel. This is available for less than $20 at Sephora in a small size, which I can attest will last you for at least three months. I use a drop underneath moisturizer, more if I am struggling with a dryness issue. This oil is routinely in various sets as well.

Another must are candles. Candles make the cold weather a lot more worth it to me. The house smells nice and cozy, and the look of the flame is soothing to me as well. I recently purchased four Diamond Candles on special. I have used them before, but they tend to be a bit pricey at $25 and shipping is never cheap. With my 40% off deal, and a promo code, I was able to get 4 for $60 including shipping which made them basically half price. They are huge, and are well worth it. I am trying my very best not to get sucked into the Bath and Body Works money pit candles this year, as they don't last as long as soy blends do. Also, Diamond Candles have a fun ring packaged inside the candle with a code to type in online to see if you win a ring worth something more than costume jewelry.

I have never won, but I don't buy the candles for the ring. It is just a fun extra. I like how unique my ring is for this Pumpkin Chai candle, but it isn't super practical or my style. I save my rings in a little jar - I am thinking they could be fun to use for decor or something someday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Empties: Argan Oil and Concealer

It is a miracle when I manage to finish a beauty product. I go through items like conditioner, shampoo, and body lotion with regularity because I use them the most often, and I have a pretty sizable surface area for body lotion. But I seriously never finish the vast majority of my cosmetic items. Financial revamp is definitely a part of what I am trying to change about my life, although I have been working on that much longer. Little things, like trying to waste less food, purchase less when I have no need (particularly when my urge to goo hoard backups upon backups of things is so strong), and use up what I have can go a long way. I will always want and purchase new beauty related things, but I feel way better doing so when I have used up some things along the way.

These two items are go-to for me. The first is a small bottle of the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light. I use facial oils every night as a serum before bed. I have combo/dry skin that tends to be sensitive. In the past 6 months, I have had some issues with hormonal breakouts. Nothing mediates all of the problems the way oil does. It calms redness, makes my skin look more even toned, seems to reduce the appearance of any acne scars quickly, and obviously hydrates my skin well. In the summer, I was using a drop of this with a drop of rosehip oil. I am glad to finish this, as late fall/early winter is upon me which means using 4 drops of oil, and a switch to using the regular version of this oil. It really solves the dry skin winter issue to the point where if I could go back in time and tell my past self 3 things, how to properly prevent/treat dry skin would be one. Luckily thanks to subscription boxes, I am never without a good facial oil, and this brand is easily accessible.

The second one is even more amazing. I don't think I have ever finished a concealer before. This Bobbi Brown Undereye corrector was the right tone to counteract the crazy blue circles I get on even my best nights of sleep. Nothing holds up so well, covers and counteracts so effectively that I have ever found. And I know I bought a replacement two months ago when it looked like I might run out. But my replacement is currently lost in the abyss of the student teaching mess, and even with the Sephora VIB sale I managed to force myself to hold off on replacing. I still have the concealer I use over the top, and have been layering another concealer underneath as double duty...but it just isn't the same. I am giving myself a few weeks after student teaching to clean and reorganize and hunt down my new one before I replace this one. I don't really hesitate on dropping 25 bucks for this one.

Oatmeal Kick Up

So I am eating my breakfast getting ready to go to school after two of the most insane weeks of my adult life, medically. I have a new allergy, amoxicillin, and the kids have really virulent strep bacteria and viruses they are being a bit too free with sharing. Here is hoping the mess is over.

But I am so bored with pretty much all of the food in my house. This blog is supposed to inspire me to make changes, take life up a notch. Well, student teaching has sucked every ounce of improvement motivation right out of me.

This morning, however, there was a flash. I wanted some cinnamon-y tea that tasted like red hots that would hopefully wake me the hell up after my sick day yesterday. So I double strength brewed a cup of tea using Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset...and used it in my oatmeal as the liquid, with a dash of almond milk.

Oh heaven of heavens. The possibilities this has opened. Delicious is just not a good enough word. And now I am rather curious to see what flavors happen if I use greens, or oolongs, or other flavors of black.

I highly recommend it if you have an extra 5 minutes in the morning and want to make oatmeal something a bit more special.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Student Teaching: Second Placement Week 2

I meant to post this a long time ago. Then student teaching happened, and the sick kids with their strep throat happened. I am now on the mend, having had strep for the first time since I was in elementary school myself, and I feel like time is whooshing by!

I love second grade. I've missed it. This group of kids is a lot rougher than my fourth graders were, but even still I feel a lot more confident going in each day. The concepts they learn are simpler, and to me easier to teach. I also find it easier to assure them that I am teaching them important information. While I also felt confident in telling kids that learning to multiply was important...I felt less confident with needing to learn specific grammar concepts I don't remember ever learning myself, or three different techniques to add and subtract. And oftentimes, there is info involved that just isn't important all, or at least hasn't been in my life so far. I feel like everything you learn in Elementary school should be important to the rest of your life, and sadly, it is not.

Now I can focus on being anxious about getting a job. Yay?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Student Teaching: Second Placement, Week 1

Last Monday I went to a brand new school to go work with second grade. I have to say, the class couldn't be more different from my last one. Both great, just in very different ways. These second graders need a lot of guidance when dealing with their emotions, and I am going to miss the focus and attention the fourth graders always gave. That said, I have really missed second grade. I love that I don't have to learn any crazy techniques I never learned as a kid to teach math class, and grammar concepts are actually useful. Even more, I love how interactive the lessons are naturally.

I also love that this district is nearby, and starts much later than my last district, so I have nearly an hour and a half longer in the morning to get things done. It really is a thing of beauty. I find myself with SO much more energy in the mornings, feeling more prepared for my lessons, and at the end of the day I am home by 4. Granted, when I go home, there is work to be done...but it is the kind of work I CAN do at home.

So far, I am pretty happy. I took over teaching Math on Friday, am starting taking over Intervention today, and will take over Science on Wednesday. It is crazy that I have been there one week, and in another week I might be teaching all day already. It is even crazier that I actually feel really confident in doing so. I still can't wait to finish, and apply for real work, but I have a feeling the next 6 weeks will fly!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tea Drink Down and Cup of The Day

So I am failing pretty badly at the tea no-buy. I am "down" to 58 samples and 63 tins. And when I began I had less. Even though I am drinking a ton. Is it my fault that there were 5 French teas at Marshall's that are typically very hard to get ahold of in the US? And that a few people were offering unbelievable sample sets for super cheap moneys on Steepster?

Whatever. I still hold that it is a good problem to have. And actually, I am making really decent headway on the iced tea collection - it definitely all fits in it's half of the cabinet now. But thanks to the Golden Tips Tea Subscription, I have a TON of hot tea to drink. Luckily, the weather is getting cooler.

Last night I drank a Teavana Rooibos Chai. It has lemongrass in it and makes me feel like I am drinking dessert even though I usually only put a single drop of agave in it. Mmm.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ipsy: October 2014

Another great month from Ipsy, mostly due to the diversity of the products. They are usually pretty good about that, and there is only one I plan to give away.

The bag is a gorgeous fall color, a cool teal, but it has that on-the-side zipper thing that to me is harder to work with. I find I fit less into these types of bags, but no biggie. I will use it, or put it in my give-away pile. Most normal people don't have a bajillion little makeup bags and love getting them for free.

Jesse's Girl Baked Eyeshadow in Graphite Frost - Full sized, value: $3.99
Some inexpensive drugstore products are amazing. Over half of my lippies are from the drugstore, and I routinely pass over more expensive products for drugstore formulas and shades. For me, this one wasn't it. It is a gray color with a light light pink veining color, which pulls a cool toned gray on me. It is beautiful and shimmery, but I have a similar color already and when I went to rub the swatch on my hand it was very sheer. Perfect for a lot of friends I know who prefer more subtle colors. This is why I always freshly wash my hands before touching a product for the first case it is the only time!

Indie Lee Brightening Face Wash - 0.5oz value: $4.00
I haven't used this yet, but I've found most cleansers are usually pretty good. This one gets good reviews so I stuck it in my travel bag where I keep all the tiny products for when I pet sit. I avoid opening products I don't intend to use up right away so the ingredients don't go bad, so I am saving this one for now.

Noyah Lipstick in Deeply In Mauve - 0.15g - estimated value ~$5.00
I couldn't find the grams for a full size lipstick, which retails for $18.00, but this is a fairly substantial sample sized lipstick. It is also the standout of this entire bag. It is all natural, the color is this mauvey brown as the name would suggest, making it perfect for fall. Above all else, it is the creamiest lipstick I might have ever tried. It has a lot of waxes in the ingredients list, and it is very much a creamy lipstick with a creamy feel. The color payoff is absolutely outstanding - I will be investigating these in full size for sure.

Ecru New York Acacia Protein BB Cream for hair - 1oz - value: $12.00
This is technically a small "full size" version as this is available to purchase in this size from the Ecru website, though if you get the large size it is $7.14 per ounce. I kind of hate how sizing works when it comes to that. I use natural haircare for the most part, but will be putting that aside to give this a try. It has a lot of natural ingredients and while I don't buy into the whole "BB" craze (just get one from Asia - the US ones suck), particularly for hair, I will certainly give this a try for travel.

Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin- 0.67oz - value: $6.56
This is another that is available in the small size, but per ounce is worth $3.30 when you buy a larger tube. And despite having to do a little hunting, another tube is a MUST. Like the lipstick, this product is remarkable. It smells heavenly, has natural ingredients, but as you rub it in feels almost like water. I have NEVER used a hand cream that was effective and rubbed in completely within three minutes.

This bag was exceptional - I usually am excited to try the products, but in two cases, I was exposed to new brands that have awesome products that are so great I will be repurchasing full sizes at some point. It actually isn't the most high-impact bag in terms of value, but still well worth my ten bucks.

Paid: $10.00
Value: $23.43- $31.55

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Harvest Festival and Norah Jones

I have been having such an awesome week off, I nearly didn't realize that it was over half over! I can hardly believe I will be going to a new school on Monday, with a whole new group of kids (second graders) and a new cooperating teacher (who I've heard is awesome, a classmate had her last year). I have been making the most of my week off for sure.

On Saturday, a friend came to visit and we went to Harvest Festival in Bethlehem. It is my favorite festival of the year, though this one was a hair lackluster due to the spitting rain the whole afternoon. However, we still had a lot of fun. Got to taste a lot of great beer, eat some tasty roasted corn, shop a few of the vendors, and catch up. We had lunner at Bethlehem Brew Works after, and I had a delicious burger while I made sure I was good to drive us home. We spent time with Katie that evening chatting the night away, and it was a great start to break.

On Sunday we did a couple really cool things. We went to The Colony Meadery to use a LivingSocial deal on a tasting and a tour. I had mead once, purchased from the Renn Faire and consumed in a single sitting after breaking up with a boyfriend the next day. Not amazing memories. But after trekking around in an area of Allentown I have never before been to (and see no reason to go to again unless returning to this meadery), we found the place in a little industrial complex.

The place is plain, and could use a little more decor to give it some warmth, but the mead is fabulous. The owners are both really knowledgeable, and it seems like mead is the new cider. And given how much I love hard cider, I am excited for this new trend. I particularly loved the Earl Grey, Kiwi Strawberry, and the Mint Lime. Real produce gives it all a super fresh flavor, and I got the Kiwi Strawberry (Pikwant Field is the official name) and Mint Lime (Do-Me-Doh) to take home. I can totally see going down to pick up even more pretty soon. There is a distillery and a brewery going into the same complex soon, so it will be a fun afternoon destination!

 Later Sunday evening, I checked a tic off my bucket list and fulfilled a longstanding dream to see Norah Jones perform. Luckily, Katie had sent me a link earlier in the week to Puss-N-Boots coming to Artsquest Cafe here in Bethlehem, a group Norah Jones is a part of. It is very country, but three women harmonizing is basically my favorite, and I went to see them having only ever heard one song and it was great. The opening act was horrific, and I think I might run if I ever see an overweight middle aged man wearing satin ever again, but Puss N Boots made up for it big time.

To see the video I took, click here to go to youtube.

And the next morning, my mom came to visit for a few days, and Elisabeth and I had an awesome pancake and bacon breakfast.

Now, I am spending the rest of my week resting, mentally preparing for the next 7 week stint, and working on a couple silly projects I have to do for school that I have put off for a long time. I still have a long weekend left to go, but I am happy to report that even if all my work doesn't get done, and my place doesn't get cleaned quite as much as I'd like, I really made the most of my break and will start the second half of student teaching recharged and refreshed mentally and physically.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Life Update and Weight Loss Check In

As of yesterday, my first placement is over. I am SO sad to leave that classroom and that cooperating teacher, and I can't believe it was only 7 weeks. We had a surprise party for me at the end of the day which was truly a surprise, complete with a cake baked by one of the kids, brownies, cupcakes, candy, and a huge basket full of things to help me in my future classroom. Each kid brought in something, and I have never in my life been so proud to own 40 highlighters. Now it is time for a week of resetting and relaxing before starting a new school, in second grade,

(Excuse my student teaching prep mess and my crock pot serving as a stand, things got a little nuts with prep for the inventions unit for science)

I also missed my monthly weight check in on here because life got so nuts, but I did weigh myself, and was happy to see that overall, I have lost weight despite the emotional eating on some of my rougher days. I now weigh 308 pounds, which is pretty much on track for my ultimate 295 goal by the end of the year. I definitely need to reset my eating habits, as the more exhausted I got in my placement the fewer veggies and fruits I was eating.

Thankfully, this week of break will help. I have my final portfolio to work on, attempting to add half of the contents from my first placement, my video story of my experience so far for school, an apartment in dire need of cleaning, a fridge in need of some restocking, and some fun to be had along the way. I have a friend coming for the weekend to go to a fall festival and a concert, and we are likely going to camp for a night as well.

Life is pretty good, and while student teaching has been rough, I will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel throughout my next experience.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Glossybox: September 2014

I am a huge fan of Glossybox. It costs twice as much as Ipsy, but the things you get tend to be well worth the 20 bucks. And this box was no different.

Benefit They're Real Mascara - Value ~$7.50
I have used this mascara before and I really like it. I like how the rubbery bristled brushes really separate my lashes, as my left eye is prone to clumpage. I know, weird, it is only the one eye. I have so many mascara samples and drugstore ones to try, I rarely buy mascara. I can usually make the little samples last a full two months, which is about the shelf life of a single mascara anyway.

Vichy Liftactive Night - Value ~$16.50
I have gotten Vichy lotions from Glossybox before. I enjoyed them, but haven't fallen in love. Perhaps this is the one?

Bvlgari Au Vert Conditioner - Value ~$16.50
I am excited at the prospect of perfumed conditioner, as hair is one of the places that holds scent the best throughout the day.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Black Dahlia - Value $18
I am jazzed and totally freaked out because I've been wanting to try the lip tars, but this nearly-black berry shade is not something I would normally ever wear. That said, it will give me a good idea as to whether I like the formula, and the tars are meant to be mixed, so if I got other colors in the future, having something to darken them up is not a bad thing. Or perhaps I will go very vampy this fall.

Essie Nail Polish in She's Pampered - Value $8.50
I love reds. I have soooo many reds. But none exactly like this one...

Overall: Awesome box, will be keeping everything. Paid: $21. Value: ~$69. Well worth it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ipsy: September 2014

This is a bit late, but it was a great month, so I felt I had to share.

First, the bag is awesome. It is a steely gray with the zipper on top. I love when the zipper is on top, it means I can fit more inside.

Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask - ~$5 value
This seems to be natural, which is the way I try to go with my hair care these days, and I can't wait to give this a try. My curly hair drinks up deep conditioners.

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Smooth Criminal Powder - Full size $12
This tiny jar might last me forever. I don't have a plain translucent setting powder, and this one is travel perfect. I am a big fan of the Be A Bombshell line in general, and am happy to receive this.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Color and Top Coat in Redgy - Full size $15.
I love red, and I love how these subscription plans let me try the latest and greatest. I have never tried gel polish, and have heard mixed reviews. I am looking forward to giving this set a go.

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct - Full size $19
This seems like it is great, but I am not a huge gloss wearer these days. This does seem like a lovely, wearable shade, so I don't want to wear it twice and contaminate it with my germs when I could rehome it.

Pacifica Natural Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Fringe - ~$5 value.
This greenish shade is right up my alley. I adore Pacifica body products but have had some mixed feelings on the makeup line, as everything so far has been sheer and doesn't have good staying power. I hope this eyeliner breaks the trend.

Overall: Excellent bag. I think everything in here has potential, and only one thing is going right into the give away pile. And even then, I appreciate these bags for adding to the give aways, as it is like investing in Christmas and birthday presents all year round. Overall estimated value: about $56. Paid $10. Can't beat that.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gilmore Girls and Cup of the Day

My quality of life just got several notches higher.

My favorite show of all time, Gilmore Girls, is now on Netflix to watch instantly. I remember when it came on, I was the same age as Rory. And even now so many years later it is my go-to show to pick me up when I am sad, or make me even happier when I am happy.

Plus, wearing my Luke's sweatshirt helps me identify awesome people when they recognize where the logo is from.

My happy place is much easier to reach now. :-)

It is the first real day of fall, it barely hit 60 degrees today. I put on a sweatshirt to go outside for the first time in over six months. Today I am drinking a Tealux oolong called Gui Hua that has Osmanthus flowers in it and it tastes so amazing.
Sugary, peachy, and floral all in one. Super super awesome.

Here's to fall.