- Curved Scroll Picture Frame
- Square Scroll Picture Frame
- Embroidered Dot Silk Pillow Cover
- Diamond Dot Crewel Pillow Cover
- Allover Brocade Pillow Cover
- Metallic Texture Pillow Cover
- Nourison Vista Ikat Ivory Rug
- Hemnes TV Media Cabinet
- Safavieh Hampton Pillowtop Bench
- Upton Home Ambrosia Champagne Brass Coffee Table
Continuing my little mini series on packing and travel (check out my previous post on my carry on essentials), I bring to you... What I plan on packing in my makeup bag! I have already showed you what I like to pack when I am going on a little weekend trip (see here), but when packing for a longer trip I pack my makeup bag differently. I like going for multi-use products, long wearing products, palettes and pieces I can get a variety of looks out of, since you never know what each day will hold.
When travelling I like to bring a full coverage, long wearing foundation such as my favorite CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation (wow that is a mouthful). The reason I go for a long wearing, high coverage foundation, is because I am normally out of the hotel all day and I want to look good for as long as possible, but also because I can thin it out with moisturizer if I want a lighter coverage.
Running about and trying to take in as much of your destination as possible, can take a toll on you. Plus with the lack of sleep and jet lag, the dark circles under my eyes come out in a blaze of glory. Bringing a corrector, like Bobbi Brown's Creamy Corrector (serious holy grail product here) will help mask the darkness. For added coverage I will apply NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is moisturizing enough to use under your eyes and full coverage enough to cover any spots or discoloration.
Because my skin is oily, I always have to set my foundation. When wearing a full coverage foundation, I like to wear a light setting powder such as ELF's Tone Correcting Powder. It has a translucent coverage, but the mix of colors in the powder help correct the imperfections in your face. You get the correction without the heaviness of a powder foundation. Plus it's only $3, you can't beat that.
Palettes are great for travel. I have a great NARS blush palette that I got over the holidays last year. It is my absolute favorite thing to bring while travelling, it has 4 blushes, plus a bronzer and a highlighter. The NARS Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Palette (NARS has the naughtiest names, I love it) is very similar to the one I got last year. It covers every possible look, you can contour with a bronzer, or just us it to warm up your skin. There are also a variety of blushes, both matte and shimmery, plus shade that are light, bright, or dark. Investing in a blush palette is great if you travel a lot (or just ask for it for the holidays).
Another palette that is great for travel is Urban Decay's Naked Palette (Naked 2 is great too) . The original Naked palette is my favorite for travel, because I can use the shade Naked to fill in my eyebrows (Naked 2 is much cooler). Either palette is great because it comes with great matte shades that are great crease colors, as well as a variety of shimmery eye shadows, which can help you accomplish any look under the sun., plus you can use the black shades to line your lash line, if you don't feel like bringing an eyeliner.
To help make the eye shadows long lasting, it is great to bring a primer. A neutral cream eye shadow, such as Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Barely Branded, is great because it works well as a primer, but also as a quick wash of color if you want a simple look.
Finally for eyes, I like to bring both a liquid and a pencil eyeliner for variety. Liquid eye liners are quite long wearing, but I struggle to find a great long wearing pencil. Urban Decay makes a good long wearing pencil with their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. It's easily blendable when first applied, if you want a smokey eye, but once it sets you are set for a while. Of course mascara is a must, I promise I won't harp on about how much I love CoverGirl Clump Crusher, so that's it about mascara.
Lastly comes lips. A nude and a bright or dark lipstick are my go to's for travelling, also a neutral gloss is great for using everyday. Lately my go to nude has been Milani's Color Statement Lipstick in Nude Creme, I love to layer it with NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee. The glosses are amazing, I definitely need to get more of them, the gel formula is high shine without the stickiness, it is also very long lasting. For a dark lip I have been obsessing over Milani's Color Statement Lipstick in Sangria, which is said to be a dupe for MAC Rebel.
When packing makeup for travelling, it is best to bring products that you can get a variety of looks out of. An eye shadow palette and blush palette are a must for me, all the other products are interchangeable. For me, I prefer long wearing products when travelling, because I know I will be spending a good amount of the day away from the hotel without the possibility of massive touch-ups. I try to pack as minimally as possible, but I am still the girl who likes to do full makeup most days and I like having those options while I am away from home.
Since palettes are my travel go to, then what are some of your favorite palettes that you would bring with you on vacation?
As I posted in my 27 Things, I want to read 27 books in my 27th year of life. So far so good, I have finished 2 books so far. One was a slower more tedious book (I didn't say it was bad) and the other was a quick light read, both had their ups and downs.
Written from the points of view of people all over the world who survived the zombie apocalypse, World War Z by Max Brooks, covers all aspects of the war from army men to stay at home mom's. I thought the lay out of the book was interesting, he treated it as a compilation of short stories about how the war started, how they fought it and some of the after effects. This way of depicting what happened makes it almost a more historical in feel novel, which is not typically what I go for. I liked it, but it left me with more questions then answers, I wanted to know more about how these people survived. The fact that each chapter was someone else's oral interpretation of what went on made it more confusing and less consistent. If you are into more historical books then I think you would love this, for me it was a struggle to read but I did find it interesting.
After reading a heavy book, I was looking for something a bit lighter. If I Stay but Gayle Forman, is about a teenager named Mia, who got in a terrible car wreck with her family. She doesn't recall the accident but she has to put the pieces of her life back together to make some important decisions. I really liked this book, it had a nice flow that kept you wanting to read. I was so engrossed in this book waiting to find out what happened next, that I read it in about 3 days (which is impressive considering I only have about 1 hour of reading time a day). I enjoyed this book so much that I went and bought the sequel immediately after I finished, which is from the point of view of a different character a few years after the accident. The sequel, Where She Went, has been equally as good so far.
What have you been reading lately?
In less then a month I am going on a trip to visit my family overseas. Spending 6 hours on an airplane is not exactly my idea of fun (I am not a huge fan of airplanes, but I do love travelling). In my lifetime, I have gone on at least one if not two or three trips a year. To celebrate this trip, I am going to do a little series on travel, packing and surviving jet lag.
When I was younger, I always grossly over packed my carry on, an excessive amount of books and CD's for entertainment. While technology has helped me reduce the amount of stuff I carry, I have also learned to ween it down to the essentials. With the rising cost of luggage fees and the lack of space on an airplane I am proud to say I have mastered carrying everything I need in my handbag, leaving room for me to stretch out my legs under the seat.
Airplane seats are super uncomfortable, I like to pack things that make the journey as comfortable as possible, such as headphones, a sleep mask and a neck pillow. I always try to get some rest on the plane, because I know once I land it is just go go go. Bringing headphones helps you from having to use the grubby headphones they give you for free, or worse make you pay $5, to watch TV or listen to your music. They also help with drowning out outside noises, such as crying babies, while you are trying to sleep.
I always try to take a nap and rest up on the plane. To make that more comfortable I love having a neck pillow for support, it is especially helpful when you are stuck in a middle seat. I don't require pitch darkness to sleep, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have. Sleep mask's help me from becoming annoyed from my neighbors light or woken up by the rising sun when taking a red eye. They also help to create a comfortable space to help you relax, I always like to carry them, even on short flights so I can take a little time to rest up.
There is a world of entertainment available on airplanes these days. You can watch movies, even play video games on the airplane. Since I am an avid reader, I always like to bring a couple of books while travelling. Bringing my Kindle (I have the Paperwhite which I love for low light situations, but there is also a great $69 version) prevents me from carrying a few heavy books to entertain myself. Plus if I don't like, I can always purchase new books on the go.
While travelling for long periods on an airplane, the cabin air always dries out my skin. I try to keep a rich moisturizer with me to help keep my hands soft and moisturized. My dry hands have been loving the Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Cream, its rich and moisturizing but does not leave your hands feeling greasy.
It is important to stay hydrated while flying, especially on those long haul flights. Airports charge obscene amounts of money to buy water once you are trapped in the terminal. I always like to carry an empty water bottle with me to fill up once I am past security. Lately I have been eyeing the Vapur water bottle, the compact design does not take up much room in you luggage when it isn't full of liquid. I can't wait to order one for my trip.
Inevitably I always manage to get a headache on the plane, no matter how much water I have had. I like to keep some necessary remedies on hand such as Dramamine (I get motion sick so this is a must, plus it can make you sleepy which is great on a red eye), Advil and a few other essential drugs (decongestant or heartburn medication). There is nothing worse then being stuck on a plane for an excessive amount of time suffering from something that can be relieved with stuff you can get in the drugstore.
When travelling on long haul flights or even some domestic ones, I always add certain things to my travelling. On domestic flights I try to take a small carry on as my only luggage, but I keep these essentials in my handbag for easy access. On international long haul flights you don't pay luggage fees. My main luggage goes below the plane, but I will add a few things like a change of clothes and a few toiletries to my carry-on.
What are some of your essentials that you like to carry on with you when you travel?
So today is my birthday (Happy Birthday to Me!) and in honor of this momentous event in human history (ok, it's not that momentous, but a girl can wish) I decided I would do a list of goals or things I would like to accomplish this year (a la Kelly Purkey and her birthday lists).
Some of my goals are silly, some are serious, but mostly I want to get myself out of my comfort zone and appreciate the things that my life and my area have to offer. So without further ado these are the things I hope I can accomplish in my 27th year of fabulous-ness.
- Visit 3 NYC museums.
- Get into a workout routine.
- Visit a city I have never been to.
- Have a picnic.
- Read 27 books.
- Take a bus tour of NYC.
- Visit the Statue of Liberty.
- Take more photos.
- Go skiing.
- Run a 5K race.
- Go to the ballet.
- Use my passport.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Go on a hike.
- Go to a blogging conference.
- See an outdoor movie.
- See a Shakespeare play performed.
- Purge and organize my closet.
- Go to a state fair.
- Go apple picking and makes something delicious out of it.
- Go on a road trip
- Have a dinner party.
- Complete Project 365.
- Decorate my apartment.
- Set and stick to a budget.
- Buy a DSLR camera.
- Go to Smorgasburg.
I failed. Gosh that sounds terrible, but I failed my spending diet (two days before the official end date too!). To be fair, I failed for the betterment if my blog, but as my boyfriend would say "that's not a valid excuse". (Click here and here for the previous posts about my spending diet).
I will quit babbling about the fact that I failed and get into specifics on why this happened.
Before officially starting the spending diet I had reached out to a photographer friend of mine to help me out and take a few pictures of me to use on the blog. We talked about doing it but never officially set up a time that the shoot would actually happen.
A few weeks ago we finally scheduled a day to do the photo shoot. It was scheduled for this past Sunday (aka end day for the spending diet). I freaked out. I had nothing to wear (so I thought) I had no jewelry to go with outfits (this is actually true, I barely owned any jewelry at the time).
Anyways, in my moment of panic, the Friday before, I went to H&M and found the perfect outfit for the shoot and bought it. Then Saturday I went to Charming Charlie and bought some jewelry to compliment the outfits (click here for the blog post about the jewelry I got).
Buying clothes for a shoot while I have a closet full of them wasn't an excuse to break my spending diet. I shouldn't have done it, but I had a moment of weakness.
Even after that moment of weakness I did have some clarity on what I learned during my spending diet. I don't always have to go shopping to have a fun and fulfilling life. There are plenty of other fun and cheap / free things to do to pass the time.
During my time away from the wallet I was able to get caught up on movie watching, we had a couple lovely dinners with friends over the house and we even went on vacation to my boyfriends lake house. All with spending minimal money.
Truth be told, I didn't really think about what I wanted to buy during the time I spent not shopping. The first week was tough but I know I was tougher. The true test now will be to see if I can tone down my spending now that I have given myself the ability to spend again.
I plan on developing a "budget" for myself. The air quotes is because typical budgets stress me out. My fake budget might be that I can treat myself to one thing every paycheck, but who knows.
I was able to take away from this test on my psyche what I was secretly hoping I could do all along. I was able to survive without constantly getting new things. I have been able to utilize items that I already had, I even got to use up products I had and start using ones in my stash instead of going out and buying them.
Would I do a spending diet again? Absolutely Would I amp it up and challenge myself not to shop for a year? Most likely not, life comes in the way, priorities happen. It was important to me to have this photo shoot in a fresh outfit so that you guys could learn more about me (seriously the lack of personal photos on my about page is getting to me too!).
Sometimes you have to give in for something important. Mostly I came away from this more conscious of my shopping habits and the fact that I can survive if I don't go shopping for a while.
Whenever I commute into the city (or anywhere on public transportation) you will typically find me reading. Lately though, I have been in a funk when it comes to reading, nothing I have read has been able to keep my attention lately. To hold myself over through this funk I have been re-reading some old favorites.
Slowly I have gotten out of the funk and now I have a long list of books I want to read in the upcoming months, most of these books have been or will be turned into TV shows or movies. I am an avid proponent for reading the book before seeing the movie, so I need to get on with reading these so I can enjoy new things to watch.
- Game of Thrones (series) by George R. R. Martin
- Horns by Jon Hill
- If I Stay by Gayle Forman
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
- The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
- The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
- World War Z by Max Brooks
My taste in books in generally all over the place, there isn't a certain genre I prefer over another (although sappy drugstore romance novels is definitely a genre I haven't touched yet). I enjoy a good book that will keep me reading, a series is even better. What are some of your favorite books or books you plan on reading soon?
It has been two weeks since I started my "Spending Diet" (you can read about it here) . So far so good.
When I started my spending diet I didn't have much money in my checking account. The true test to me was when I got my paycheck this past Friday. I always go on a shopping binge right after I get paid. One week of basking in money and new items and one week of wallowing in the lack of finances I had going on, that was the cycle.
So far this first weekend after getting paid was good. I paid my bills and only left myself with about $200 worth of spending money for the next two weeks. That money is meant for things like gas and food. Once it is gone it is gone.
I have been trying to be diligent about bringing my lunch since starting the spending diet, but I have probably forgotten it more times then I have actually brought it. When I do forget my lunch, I try to keep the lunch I get cheap ($10 and under is the goal) which can be hard working in midtown.
For the next two weeks I need to be better about bringing my lunch. Once I get myself into a routine then I should be good. Sometimes its hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
I don't think I have crossed over the hump into the space where not spending money is easy yet. I know I have had to make myself stop and pause before reacting and walking into a shop, even if it is just to browse.
Trying to keep myself distracted has been a great way to forget about the mile long list of items I want to get. I have been concentrating on organizing my home and spending time with family.
The next two weeks will be an interesting challenge, but I have made it to the halfway point and I am proud of myself. I hope that I can keep myself on a limited budget after I complete this challenge, it would definitely be much better for my wallet.
My stubbornness will keep me on track until this bet is over. I just hope that I can keep up the good work and be more conscious of the things I buy after this is all over.
Music is a magical thing. It can alter moods and can recall memories.
I listen to music everyday, mostly when I am commuting to and from work. My boyfriend and I will also listen to music as we cook and clean around the apartment.
Recently I have have been loving a variety of songs and albums, I thought I would share them with you so you can enjoy them as well.
1. Katy Perry "Roar" - This upbeat song has been my go to song for the last week. It is a great morning song to get you motivated for the day, but I have also turned to it when I was having a bad day. It helped cheer me up and bring confidence to myself when I felt like I had lost it.
2. Sara Barielles "The Blessed Unrest" - I am a huge fan of Sara, her last album "Kaleidoscope Heart" is in my top 10 favorite albums ever. Her new album definitely does not disappoint. I could listen to her serenade me any day of the week. She has a good mix of upbeat and breakup songs on the album, there is a song to fit any mood. Some of my favorites are "Chasing the Sun", "Manhattan" and "December"
3. Taking Back Sunday "TAYF10" - This album just has good memories for me. "Tell All Your Friends" really shaped my teenage years. This year Taking Back Sunday re-released the abum rerecording the songs acoustically for the 10 year anniversary. It is great to hear the songs in a fresh new way. Plus there are little snippets from the live show it was recorded at, giving a little background into the songs.
4. Jay-Z "Magna Carta... Holy Grail" - Compared to the rest of the albums I have been listening to lately, this one might feel like the odd one out. Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers and I feel like this album does not disappoint. This has been my boyfriend and I's go to album to listen to in the car. There are some of my favorite artists featured on this album such as Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross and The-Dream. A lot of the songs were produced by Timbaland and Pharrell, I always feel like they bring a fun lively twist to the songs they produce. Some of our favorite songs are "Holy Grail", "Somewhereinamerica" and "BBC"
5. Parachute "Overnight" - This album is melodic, poppy and I can't help but want to sing along. This is the kind of album that I love playing in the car because I am content just listening to it or singing along like it is a concert of Holly. Seeing them live might be my favorite way to enjoy their music. It's a weird way to explain it but their songs feel whole, like they aren't missing anything. It almost sounds like they have a full orchestra with them when they play. My favorite songs off the album are "Meant to Be" and "Drive You Home"
What have you been listening to and loving lately?
WARNING: This is a little different from my typical beauty, fashion, food and occasional decorating posts, but I really just wanted to share it with you. because I have been addicted to this for a week.
Since high school I have been trying to learn a language. I took 2 or 3 years of French in high school and one semester of it in college. Learning language in the classroom has always been a struggle for me. In the end I was able to read it but I struggled with writing and conversing.
Last week I found a new app for my iPhone called "Duolingo". It is a free app that helps you learn a language. Of course I chose french because I thought it would be a nice refresher (but they also have Spanish and German and some other language choices as well).
Unlike a typical classroom you don't sit there memorizing verbs and how to conjugate them. It teaches you like you would be learning it more naturally. (Like that super expensive language program that everyone raves about but no one wants to pay $700 for).
The app takes you through a series of exercises using a series of basic words. There will sometimes be a series of pictures with the words in french below saying "choose the cat". Then they will use that word in a sentence and then will have you translate it out of words available at the bottom. Sometimes you have to translate it with no help and just typing.
They also will then give you the sentence in English that you have to translate into French. The app even has you work on pronunciation.
I have been really enjoying practicing and learning French. I do one to two lessons everyday on the train, its quick, easy and you can do it on your own time. Plus the bonus is that the app is free!
Au revoir, mes amies!
If you could learn a language what would you learn?