It’s the middle of summer and Sephora knows that we have vacation on our minds, so they decided to help us out with a little beauty R & R by theming this month’s box as “Beauty Staycation.” Everything in my July box focuses on quick summer beauty fixes that will have me ready to travel or ready to sip iced tea in my recliner at home. My July box makes summer beauty effortless, natural, and oh so glorious. Let’s see what was inside.
I went to bed last night to an awesome summer thunderstorm that I figured would blow over by morning, but when I woke up this morning, thunder was still rumbling and it was so dark I needed to turn on all of the lights like it was 8pm. Not an ideal way to start the day, but at least it inspired a blog post. I’m all about taking the little wins lately, so let’s roll with it.
It’s dark and gross outside, which completely destroys my motivation to do much of anything except sit on my couch and binge watch Netflix. I have to leave home to go to the gym (and I hate driving in rain..that’s a story for another day), and I truly believe that I run on sunshine and coffee, and there is zero sunshine to speak of, which means my battery is flashing on low. So, what’s a gal (or guy) to do? Now, I have the rare lifestyle where I don’t actually have to get up and go to work since my occupation is “housewife” followed closely by “blogger,” which means I have the option of not leaving the house. While I know many of you don’t have that lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself with a gloom and doom day at home at some point this summer. Here are a few ways you can make the most of it.
May’s Sephora Play box is themed “Beauty on the Rise,” and is a tour of cult favorites, hard to find formulas and one of a kind brands that are making their mark in the beauty industry. This month, Sephora replaced their regular drawstring cloth bag with a cute, see through pouch that’s perfect for housing your essentials. Here’s what was inside my box:
Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone: This is a color-rich stick that is a lip liner, lip stain, and lip color all in one. While I love getting lip products, I tried this on, and the color is a rusty brownish red, which is definitely not my shade, especially for summer time. It’s a major bummer to get a shade that’s not in my preferences.
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser: I was so excited to see Sunday Riley in my box this month. This is a clay cleanser that brightens the skin while cleaning and minimizing the pores for balanced, clear skin. I was not expecting a clay cleanser to be so runny, but it smells good and makes my skin feel great when I use it with my Clarisonic Mia.
Grande Lips Lip Plumper in Clear: I was surprised to discover that this product was more than just a temporarily plumping gloss, but instead a treatment gloss with results over time. I’ve only applied it once, but the instant results are a little bit of a cool, minty tingle (not nearly as aggressive as some other lip plumpers I’ve tried), and a shot of hydration which feels really good. The instructions say that in order to achieve maximum results it should be used regularly for 30 days, and this sample will definitely not last that long, but I will enjoy using up what I do have. Read more
Self-sabotage: There’s no doubt that at one point or another, you’ve experienced a time when you’ve self-sabotaged yourself. Lately, I’ve felt like I have managed to turn self-sabotage into a new art form. It feels like it’s my calling, and let me tell you, I’m wickedly good at it. The unfortunate reality is, of course, this “art form” is one that is doing me all harm and absolutely no good.
I decided to write about self-sabotage in terms of overeating, especially while I’m trying to lose weight, but before I started typing I did a quick Google search to see what the official definition of self-sabotage even was. According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is
“behavior that creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self–sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting.”
It turns out that, while some of the behaviors mentioned I have no issues with to speak of (I’ve never once thought about any self-injury or self-medication..other than via food of course), I realized that not only am I a true artist at the food thing, but I am the freaking master of procrastination. I knew this about myself, of course, but didn’t necessarily equate it to my own personal form of self-sabotage, because I was so focused on the food thing. However, it turns out that the only thing I do better than sabotage my healthy eating is procrastinating. It’s no wonder I’ve felt stuck with the same goals and no progress for so long. Read more
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s obviously not Christmas season, but for planner addicts everywhere it certainly feels like it is. It is time for the new 2018 Erin Condren Life Planner releases! I know, it feels like we just got our 2017 planners, but there’s no rest for those that plan ahead. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Erin Condren Life Planner, which is so impressive! I’ve been an EC fan since my first planner in 2013, and I’ve had one ever since. Throughout the years I’ve seen many changes and improvements made to the beautiful life planner, and this year is no different. While the general idea behind the bright and colorful Life Planner is the same, there are so many new options that allow many people to make this planner what they want it to be. Let’s take a look and dive into the 2017-2018 Erin Condren Life Planner.
There are SO many options for personalizing your planner this year. Here’s the breakdown:
2 Color Schemes: Colorful or Neutral
3 Layouts: Vertical, Horizontal, & Hourly
4 Coil Color Options: Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, or Black
Cover options: Interchangeable, personalized covers with 12 new classic designs and 3 new metallic designs (with multiple color options in each) or a non-removable, leather-like luxe color option with 3 color choices (light taupe, sapphire, and black), the same coil options, and 4 (3 letter only) personalization options (blind print, silver, gold, or rose gold)
Brand new this year is the HARDBOUND Life Planner. It comes in 4 colors (each color book has a different color and theme inside) and 2 sizes. 5 x 8 (horizontal only) & 8 x 11 (vertical layout only).
I think that covers the basic idea of what’s available. I got my hands on a vertical layout, colorful Life Planner, so that’s what you’ll see more of below. However, you can see pictures of everything else on the Erin Condren website.
First, and quite possibly the biggest change, is the paper upgrade that all Life Planners received this year. This year EC used Mohawk paper company to put thicker 80# paper in our planners, giving us a more sturdy page with less pen bleedthrough. The tabbed pages are also thicker and no longer require plastic reinforcements at the binding. A small detail, but worth noting. Read more
We all know that weight loss is essentially one giant mathematical equation: if calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight. Plain and simple. We also all know there are healthy foods, less healthy foods, and that exercise will help you boost your calorie burn. What I find more interesting are the unexpected things that help me along my weight loss journey. While I’m sure there are more, I put together a list of my top 5 unexpected things that help you lose weight.
#1 Getting a Dog
You all know by now that I rang in the new year by bringing home our little Yorkie, Gracie on the first day of 2017. Since she’s a tiny pup that we’re pad training, we haven’t had a need to take her out for a walk in the freezing weather. Now that it’s warming up, we’re going on daily walks to train her how to behave on a leash and help her get some extra energy out. While this is great for her, it also helps me get extra steps in that I wouldn’t have otherwise. On today’s walk, I gained 3000 steps, which is 1/4 of my daily step goal, and those steps are in addition to what I normally do daily. If you add up all of those walks that are for the dog’s benefit, that could most definitely add up to a few fewer pounds on the scale.
#2 Cleaning Your House
Dagne Dover first popped onto my radar when I started to see Facebook ads for them. Because Facebook is clever and very scary, it knew that I was a prime target to be converted into a Dagne Dover customer. Not only has my handbag obsession been around for years, but I also deal with the struggle of having too much stuff floating around in my bag, and at the same time not having nearly enough room for everything I wanted to put in there. After being convinced that this bag was perfect for me, I decided to boldly reach out to the company and tell them why I was the perfect person to write a review for them. Amazingly, they responded and agreed to send me their classic tote. While I was sent the bag, the following opinions are 100% honest. Remember, I reached out to them…and let’s be real here, if they didn’t agree to send me one to review, pure curiosity would have caused me to drop the money on it anyway because I already decided I had to have it. I just want to be fully transparent here. Ok, now we can get started.
While 95% of the time I’m working it’s in the comfort of my own office (and sometimes my couch), there have been plenty of occasions where I have wanted to take my blog’s HQ to a different location. Okay, usually that location is Starbucks and occasionally a meeting, but still, it requires me to pack up my things and go somewhere else. When this happens, it’s pretty typical that I’m carrying my big purse as well as a laptop bag and a water bottle. I’m clunky, clumsy, and take up far too much space. If only there was a way to solve my traveling dilemma.
Enter: The Dagne Dover Classic Tote
When I first laid eyes on that targeted Facebook Ad I was instantly smitten with this tote bag. It had all of the features of any bag I could possibly want, and even a few features I didn’t know I needed. Here’s some info on the features of this bag (we’ll get more in-depth in a second):
- Drop Zipper Opening
- L 13” x H 8” x W ¾” Padded Laptop Sleeve with Hidden Magnetic Closure
- L 10 ½” x H 7 ½” Padded Tablet / Notebook Sleeve
- Phone Pocket with ID / MetroCard Compartment
- 3 Pen / Lipgloss Loops
- Large Interior Zipper Pocket
- 2 Slip Pockets (L 5 ½” x H 6”)
- Additional Side Slip Pocket (L 4” x H 4 ½”)
- 4” Diameter Neoprene Bottle Holder
- Detachable Leather Key Leash with 2 interior D-Rings
- 2 External Aesthetic D-Rings
- Pyramid Hardware Feet
The Classic Tote fits everything you could possibly need to get you through a work day all the and take you all way to a night out with friends. The coated canvas looks super chic but is also water-resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth, making it ideal for the woman on the go.
Oh my gosh, I feel like world’s most terrible blogger. Lately, I’ve been lucky if I can get one post up every few weeks, and I have no one to blame but myself. It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t make the time, and that’s on me and me alone. This month is the start of the second quarter of 2017 (already??) and I feel like this year so far has been a bit of a bust, but it’s time for me to get things turned around and working in my favor, and that starts with some new goals.
Start doing the Miracle Morning daily. I’ve started to reread Hal Elrod’s best seller “The Miracle Morning,” and I am loving it. I’ve read it once before, but I failed horribly at actually implementing all of the great things that this book has to offer. This time around I’m in a little Facebook book club that will serve as an accountability group to ensure each of us is not only reading, but doing what the book tells us. For fun, even though I’m only 1/3 of the way done with the book, I decided to try doing a “Miracle Morning” this morning, and it worked! I feel great, I’ve been productive, gotten a workout in, read, journaled, prayed, ate a healthy breakfast, and even did some blog work, and it isn’t even 11 am yet! My goal is to finish the book and to start doing this miracle morning routine every day, and my hope is I’ll get some very positive changes out of it. You can check out the book on Amazon. For only $15 it’s definitely worth picking up. Read more
Air Fryer | Benefit Boxed Blush | Ole Henriksen Kit | Village Candle Coffee Bean | Beauty and the Beast Journal | Iconic Protein Drink
Here are a few of the awesome products that have caught my eye and made it onto my wish list for the new month. We’ve got a little bit of everything this month. Check it out!
Air Fryer ($150)- My biggest wishlist item of the month is an air fryer. After seeing all of the awesome creations people are coming up with in their fryers, I’m having some severe envy about not having one of my own. Air Fryers help you achieve the crisp cook of fried food while using little to no oil in the preparation. This sounds like a dream come true. I’m longing to get my hands on one of these so I can try out different veggies in there to make my own sweet potato fries, butternut squash bites, and I’m really dying to try the Green Giant cauliflower tots in there. I was obsessed with them when I had them at my parent’s house, and I imagine tossing them in an air fryer rather than the oven will make them even more amazing. This appliance actually surpassed a new coffee maker on my wishlist. That’s just crazy talk!
Benefit Galifornia($29)- I’ve always enjoyed Benefit’s cult classic boxed blushes. Coralista has always been one of my favorites, and GALifornia looks like it might be a slightly brighter, but still completely wearable version of my all time favorite. Read more
Starting this year Erin Condren decided to put out a seasonal mystery box full of exclusives, sneak peeks, and product favorites. The catch is you don’t know what is in the box until it shows up at your door. By the time you start seeing posts on Instagram or on YouTube, the box has long since been sold out and you wouldn’t be able to get your hands on it anyway, so you have to be willing to fork over the moolah and hope for the best. The box costs $35 and ships free in the USA. I didn’t get the winter box, but I decided to take the plunge for spring. Curious as to what is inside? Read on!