Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask Review

Something for both the Lush AND coffee lovers out there: This mask from Lush Cosmetics is sure to give your skin and your mood the perk up it needs.

Lush is one of my favorite places for skincare and bath time goodness.  Coffee is one of my favorite things.  This mask combines both.  I knew I had to give Lush’s Cup O’ Coffee mask a try as soon as I heard about it.

What is it?

It’s a face and body mask made with coffee.  The ground coffee stimulates the senses and the skin while offering an exfoliation.  Kaolin helps give your pores a deep cleaning. Agave is the “glue” holding this mask together, leaving the mask as soft as it leaves your skin.

How to use: Read more

LUSH Rudolph Review

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I went to Lush to return a product that was just not working for my skin, so while I was there of course I looked around to pick out some other things.  I headed straight to the fresh face masks and as I was checking out the freshly stocked mini-fridge and discovered a mask with a Christmas theme: Rudolph!  Without hesitation I bought it and couldn’t wait to try it out.

Rudolph is specially formulated to calm winter skin.  The featured ingredients here are cucumber and calamine powder.  Calamine is known for its skin calming properties.  There’s also oatmeal, witch hazel, green tea and lavender oil which are also all skin soothers.   The mask helps calm and moisturize dry and irritated skin, but doesn’t contain so many moisturizing ingredients that it is a risk to acne prone skin like mine.  I love the emphasis on “calming” rather than moisturizing, which tends to be the common trend for winter themed skin care.

Rudolph has a fresh scent that isn’t necessarily the greatest smelling thing (especially when compared to LUSH’s Cupcake mask), but it isn’t unenjoyable by any means.  The mask takes a little bit of effort to smooth onto the skin due to its chunky texture, but it did stay put once I got it on my face and did not crack off in pieces as it started to dry.  You aren’t supposed to let this mask dry completely before washing it off anyway.

I liked how smooth and calm my skin looked after the mask.  There was no tightness or dryness, and no overly moisturized feeling either.  It was just slightly cooled, smooth and pleasantly clean feeling.  Rudolph is a nice treat for any Lush fan for this time of year.  I imagine any skin type would get some sort of benefit from this red nosed, limited edition treat.

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This was the first time Erik has ever seen me in a crazy face mask (I tend to do them while he’s at school).  Of course he took a picture..

The Friday 5: October 19th, 2013

Welcome to a late night posting of the Friday 5. Technically it’s Friday (12:50am) so it’s legit.  Since I’m enjoying a quiet night in alone (more on that in a second), I figured I’d get a head start on my Friday by getting some work done before bed.  There’s going to be a lot happening here this weekend.

Blogging Weekend

I don’t get to see Erik until Saturday, and since today is my day off, it means I have a chance to get a lot done without interruption or anything, however, “freedom” like this also causes me to be a lot less disciplined about pretty much everything.  I tend to need to be held accountable (kind of why I work at Weight Watchers.  I have to practice what I preach) in order to stay on track.  This weekend, I decided that needs to happen despite the fact no one is “watching” me.  So, here’s the plan: a little “A weekend in the life of the almost-wife of a traveling businessman: having a productive and enjoyable weekend, including a food plan that’s ON plan.  I figure that posting on here holds me super accountable, as all of you see it.  That’s why I’m posting this so early.  There will be another post tonight 🙂

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Thursday Night

Technically my alone weekend started Thursday evening, so here is the prologue (I guess?) to the posts to come.  After getting home from a productive day at voice lessons, I went and fulfilled my kitty-sitting obligations and managed to be back in my apartment for the night by about 10:15.  I figured there was no better way to start this weekend than by giving my skin some TLC.  Shown above is everything I used for a mini spa night .  I removed my makeup using the Sephora Tripe Action Cleansing Water and 3 (yes, it took 3) exfoliating cotton pads.  I find they give a deeper clean, in my opinion, than regular pads.  After taking the washcloth and soaking it in hot water to rest over my face (open up those pores a bit), I used one of my new obsessions: LUSH Let the Good Times Roll cleanser to exfoliate (full review coming soon). Now clean, pores open and dead skin gone it was time to apply my mask, Origins Clear Improvement mask for some deep pore cleansing.  After slathering some Fresh Sugar Lip Polish on my lips (they needed some exfoliating TLC too) I made some ginger tea and started to clean the apartment (yeah…at 11:00pm).  Now I’m sitting here with really fresh skin, in a clean looking apartment and will wake up in the morning feeling ready to tackle the day.  While the apartment is picked up, there’s a lot of other things to accomplish.

So, there’s day 1 I guess.  Or a nighttime skin treat regimen.  How ever you want to look at it.

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I am Catwoman

I somehow have become the substitute cat-lady of the apartment complex…at least it feels like it this week.  One of the couples Erik and I have grown really close to left town this week and asked if I would kitty sit for their fur-babies, Jasper (fuzzy orange one) and Rosie (the baby)  I of course said yes.  Then I was visited by another MBA student, who was planning on having the cat couple pop in on her cat while she was away this weekend, so since everyone was leaving, I was asked to visit Frank as well.  All week I’ve been checking in on Jasper and Rosie, and I now want to call Rosie the “little terror” as she was a little monster tonight.  I’ve never seen a kitten try to jump on top of a table lamp before.  Even when there is success, it just doesn’t end well…  Despite her insanity, I love being able to cuddle a kitten (the whole two seconds she lets me when I pick her up), and today’s first visit with Frank (aka the Lover) was amusing.  He apparently had a lot to say, and was not content unless I was petting him.  It’s nice to be needed for affection by animals again.  I think Erik has finally given in to the fact that we’ll end up with a dog at some point.  I miss my puppies so much, so the kitty sitting is a nice way to get a little fur fix.

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Climb Every Mountain

At least that’s what it felt like we did on Tuesday.  We went to visit one of Erik’s closest friends from college, Amanda, at her parents house about 4 hours away in the mountains.  She is recently engaged and moving to Canada, so we had to take advantage of the fact she was in North Carolina rather than Florida.  To get to her parent’s beautiful house we had to drive my little green machine up hills that made me feel like I was prepping for a roller coaster drop.  They were seriously THAT intense.  (see the view out of the window of the house?  Breathtaking, but scary to get to) On our way back down the mountain to leave, there was one point my car was making a noise that freaked both of us out.  Thankfully Erik was a good (great, amazing, wonderful…the list goes on) fiancé and did the driving so I didn’t have to, which worked out well because I was totally freaked out just being on the passenger side.  Driving those winding roads plummeting down would not have gone well.  Other than the mountain we had a great time nerding out with Amanda and her fiancé by playing a few favorite card games.  Great time, but I definitely learned I’m much more of a city girl.

Note:

Munchkin: if you haven’t played it, do it.  It’s really good for a laugh, but be warned: backstabbing WILL happen.  What happens at the Munchkin table gets forgotten when the game ends, or any couple playing will go home angry.  Get ready family; when we visit this winter, the game is coming too!

Chinese Food..

My students love showing me videos that make me lose hope in their generation.  We all thought that one of the worst songs ever written was about our favorite day of the week (to watch “Friday” by Rebecca Black, click here.  Then you’ll understand what I mean..), but alas, that song as been beaten for worst song ever written…

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to show you the beginning of the fall of the children who are supposed to be our future:

Yeah…I know.  -.-

Happy Friday, my friends!

*Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were mine and all opinions are my own*

Friday 5: 2 Part Edition

Because I ended up having to be up at 6:30 and off to work some Weight Watchers meetings last Friday morning, I completely forgot to do a Friday 5 post, so this week is the special Friday 10 edition to make up for it.

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Wedding Rings

Erik picked out a wedding ring! After repeatedly telling him he doesn’t have an option when it comes to wearing one (business man who wants to be traveling every week?  Come on..I’m no dummy..) We went back to a high end jeweler we visited once before and after a lot of back and forth, trying different rings on, he narrowed it down to two.  It took me taking one away and saying “what if I told you this was your ring?” to discover that the one I hid was really the one he wanted.  The smile on his face gave away that he was actually excited by the idea of having a ring, and as the bride-to-be, it’s nice to see the occasional bit of excitement show through, even when he’s not putting forth the effort to show it.  It’s those moments that mean the most.

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Rekindling a LUSH-ious Love

My face has been terribly unkind to me lately, so being on my last nerve I decided to make the 30 minute drive to a different mall that contained one of my favorite beauty stores, LUSH, to get my skin some TLC.  I haven’t gone in quite some time because it is a tad pricy, but after making two trips (in one week…I get bored on my days off sometimes) I quickly remembered that it was worth the money, and have found myself falling back in love with a brand that I had ignored for almost a year.  The fresh face masks work wonders on the skin, and my Fresh Pharmacy face soap is trying to rescue my face from disaster.  I picked up a good haul from there, but I will be writing about the products later.  I’m just glad that I rediscovered this cult favorite.  Thank goodness my birthday is coming..

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower

I am a Bath and Body Works addict, and have been since age 11 or so.  I have a strong loyalty to this brand, always have, always will.  That being said, I really disliked their wall flowers for the longest time.  I just felt like they didn’t work. Well, something this time around inspired me to get a fall themed one (Halloween wasn’t out yet) and a few scents I knew I loved just to add a little something to my bedroom.  10 minutes after plugging this baby in my room smelled like their Leaves fragrance like you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would, if you’re smart unlike me and have been using the wall flowers).  I don’t know why I haven’t been using these, but I promise you this: I will become a collector of seasonal wall flowers to use year round.  These are WONDERFUL.  I’m sorry that I ever doubted you, Bath and Body Works.  It won’t happen again.

Two Week’s Notice

I gave my two week’s notice to Kohls on Tuesday!  It has gotten to the point that going to work for them 4 or 8 hours a week has turned into one of the less productive things i could be doing with my time.  With my studio and Weight Watchers picking up I have really lost the ability to take time to enjoy things like working out, cooking healthy things and blogging.  They have all turned into a chore because of this lack of time, and when the things you do for fun start to not be fun, something has to go.  I’m willing to take the rather tiny hit to my bank account (which won’t be a hit at all if work picks up like it has been) to increase the quality of my day.  Happiness is more important. Bye Bye retail, God willing, forever!

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Saturday at a Dairy Farm

Last Saturday the MBA program had a nice evening planned for the students and their families at a dairy farm about 25 minutes away.  We got to go on a hayride around the farm, where the tour guide stopped along the way and told us about how things work.  They have about 350 cows on the farm, each of which eats 100lbs of food a day!  Craziness.  We even got to see a cow who was expected to have her baby by morning and all of the little newborns.  Major cow cuteness.  Pictured above is a ring of pregnant cows.  The mamas must feel the need to support each other.

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Real Southern Pig Picking BBQ

Guess what else was at this farm??  A real Southern style BBQ, complete with the whole pig on the grill.  I must admit, this is some of the most delicious meat I have ever eaten.  Down South I guess the thing is a vinegar based sauce that gets injected right in.  This meant was tender, juicy, and unlike any BBQ I’ve ever had before. Take a look at that plate: The pig picked pulled pork, mac n cheese, a sweet potato casserole that was decadently delicious, green bean and 3 bean salads and southern potato salad.  Needless to say, I was NOT counting PointsPlus that night.  SO good!

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0 Calorie Cake?!

Product find: Limited edition Chapstick in Velvet Cake and Cake batter flavors.  Surprisingly I like the cake batter one better than the velvet one (shocker, I know!), but they both taste yummy.  I got mine for under $1 at Wal-Mart.  Look for them in the check out line. I will be going to get more.

Mod 1 Finals!

Yesterday Erik finished up his last final of his first module of business school!  Translation: total chaos is part way over.  I refuse to believe it gets better until next year, but many have said once he makes it past interviews for his internship in January he will have more time and more of a life (to spend with his new wife, maybe??).  Finals here are odd, as they all take place in the evening.  All week he has gotten up to go to a review session, most of which he left early, and then came back home only to go take his exam from 6:30-9:30pm!  By the end of the day I would not be motivated to take exams at all.  I give props to you UNC MBA students.  Congrats on getting through Mod 1.  Added bonus: Erik has a day completely off today, which means we get to spend the whole day together shopping, cleaning, making dinner together, and watching a movie.  I think I’m going to make him sit through Hunger Games 😉

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Trader Joe’s Find: BODY Butter??

Yup, you read that right.  There’s this little section in Trader Joe’s that had bath and body products.  I read they had pumpkin body butter and had to check it out.  Turns out this stuff is pretty awesome.  Made with shea butter, coconut oil and pumpkin seed oil, this a nice moisturizing  butter, and the scent is very subtle.  It’s a barely there pumpkin smell so I still get the gratification of wearing a pumpkin flavored product while not having to worry about carrying around an overwhelming scent of food.  The best part: it’s only $4.99 for a big container.  Way to go, Trader Joe’s!

Epic Turtle Jump

Make the most of your small accomplishments.

Happy Friday!

Welcome October!!!

October 2013
I am so excited that October is here.  Not only does it mean I’m one month closer to becoming Mrs. Erik E., but there is just something so refreshing about October.  Fall is in full swing, the season actually starts to change, your wardrobe changes to warm and cozy things, fall scents and flavors are everywhere, and what’s not to love about Halloween (except that it is quite possibly a Weight Watcher’s worst nightmare..)??  All in all, October is a an awesome time.  This month I tried to create a board that expressed a bit of goal setting for the month as well as a wish list (things to keep my eye on, etc) for the month.  Note that I have them numbered, so I’ll use corresponding numbers below. So, lets jump on into October!

Goals, etc.

1.  First, (and maybe most importantly in by opinion) this month marks a really important anniversary for my all time favorite musical, Wicked.  October 30, 2013 will mark 10 years since the show opened on Broadway!  Considering how much of a Wicked fan I am (my senior recital in college was called “Defying Gravity,” I have a lime green Ford Fiesta, and until I left Illinois, my bedroom was color matched and painted to match the Wicked poster…obsessed much?), this is a fun opportunity for me to celebrate Wicked, AND hope and pray that some fun companies come out with some products honoring this milestone (one that I know of will be mentioned below).  My Wicked challenge for the month is pictured above: I have had that exact book sitting in my collection for maybe 5 years and have yet to complete the reading of Wicked (the second book, “Son of A Witch” is in there too) and that is completely uncalled for.  This month, to honor my beloved musical, I WILL read Wicked in its entirety.

2. My Active Link challenge continues with getting 100% for the week.  Last week I somehow missed the mark by a few percent, and I’m going to have to work my butt off to get it to happen this week too.  There are some days (like today) where I’m running around like a crazy person and feel like I must have made some major progress, and yet, I don’t even complete half of my day by the time I’m wiped out.  It’s also hard when I sit in front of a piano for 5ish hours 3 nights a week.  That basically means if I’m not near 100% by the time I go to work, then odds are I won’t be hitting it.  October is going to be better!

3. Oh pumpkins!  As I’m sure you all know, I’m obsessed with all things pumpkin flavored.  My search for pumpkin and pumpkin spice things will continue this month.  Also involving pumpkins: I’m hoping I can find a few things to decorate the apartment with for cheap.  I know I can buy stuff after Halloween dirt cheap for next year, but what about this year?!  My first year out on my own and no festive decor?  Unacceptable.

4.  I’ve got two fitness goals up there.  I need to start strength training again.  I don’t have access to quality weight machines at my little gym here in the complex, and I haven’t been able to find my 2nd 2lb weight to bust out Jillian’s video.  No more excuses because I went and bought another 2lb weight so I can do some “Ripped in 30” with mismatched weights.  I can really feel (and see) that I haven’t been strength training, and I simply can’t handle it anymore.  I’m a month away from my wedding dress fitting and I’ve got to be in tip top shape.  The photo of the girl means I have a flexibility goal.  That’s another area I’m severely lacking and want to fix.  I just move so much easier when I’m stretched out.

5. No, my goal is not to run around the house with no pants on.. I’m on a mission to find the perfect oversized comfy sweater.  I want it to be thick and warm, and a bit on the sexy side, so I can curl up and keep warm (because soon that will be harder for me with the weather change) and not look like a total schlub while doing it.  The one pictured above would be a great one, but of course Pinterest couldn’t direct me to it.  If you know where I can find something like that, please let me know!!

6.  Little wedding details are starting to be the focus in my wedding planning world now.  I need to make decisions on things like garters (I want a set so Erik can toss one and we can keep one), jewelry and shoes for me and my girls, unity sand sets, guest book and everything in between.  I fly home at the end of the month for my bridal shower/bachelorette party weekend.  The days are flying by and the day for “I do” will be here before we know it.

7. I need to get back the fire for music that I had in college.  It fueled me in every way; mind, body and soul.  With the whirlwind of life not allowing me to perform and music meaning work and not “me time”, that makes it harder for me to keep the fire burning.  I need to get that love back, and I’m pretty determined to do so, but with a schedule that definitely doesn’t allow for rehearsals for a show or group, I’m not exactly sure how..

Wish List

You’ll notice that there are things that look very similar on there.  I went to Lush yesterday because my skin is in major freakout mode, and I know that Lush can help better than anything.   I adore Lush and it is one of my favorite places to splurge.  As I made a few purchases and bonded with the girls in the store, I was also sent home with several generous samples of things to try, and of course after one try I’m dying to add them to my arsenal.  That’s why there are so many black pots up there.

1. LUSH Lovely Jubblies: This is actually a breast firming cream (which I regret not asking for a sample of today) that has gotten rave reviews for what it does, not just to the chest, but to anywhere that needs a little extra help.  I’m also told the smell is to die for and  it even works under your eyes.  I figure, with a wedding around the corner I want to look my best everywhere, so this might be worth a try.

2. Julep’s Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary collector’s set (found on QVC): Not only is it Wicked’s 10th birthday, it’s The Wizard of Oz’s 75th Birthday!  That means WoZ (as we appreciated it when I was in the show) special edition products will be popping up all over as well.  Happy day to a nerd like me.  I’m a nail polish addict, the colors are pretty, so naturally, this is on the list.

3.  LUSH Let the Good Times Roll face cleanser: A polenta based cleanser with cinnamon that smells like ground up shotbread cookies makes this an amazing thing to wash with.  I got this as a sample and love how my face feels.  I believe it’s limited edition, or at least has been labeled “back by popular demand” so since it works with my skin type (will use it a few more days to know for sure).

4. LUSH Imperialis moisturizer:  As we discussed my crazy skin, we talked about how I’ve tried several moisturizers and they just didn’t work for me, so the girls sent me home with a sample of Imperialis.  With calming ingredients like lavender and shea and cocoa butters for moisture, this is supposed to manage my dry and my oily areas.  I will say this, I used it yesterday, and my skin was soft and there was no shine.  My Sephora moisturizer might be taking a back seat if this sample keeps up like that.

5. Teavana Acai Matetini Mate tea: I was a huge Teavana girl for awhile, and after an impulse visit there when Erik dragged me to the mall after church so he could get yet another suit (not gonna lie, I’ve been very jealous of the money he’s been spending on clothes lately.  I know it’s for business school, but still..that wreaks havoc on a girly girl’s heart when she can’t partake), and so I walked into Teavana asking if the rumor I heard about them accepting Starbucks gift cards was true.  It was!  So I bought a mate (aka tea that is as caffeinated as coffee) iced tea and browsed a bit and it kind of rekindled my spark.  Tea is so healthy, so I was inspired.  I learned they had this awesome tea made with super fruits and other awesome tasting things.  I’d love to get my hands on it.  I should probably finish up my other teas first…

6. Deborah Lippman Wicked Anniversary Nail Polish Set: I stumbled upon this thanks to Instagram and flipped out.  Two of my favorite things in one awesomely colored little celebratory package!  There’s not much else to say except I will be adding this beauty to my collection.

 

 

Wow..long post.  There you have it friends.  What are your thoughts on October?  Goals? Products you have your eyes on?  I want to know!   Time for a pumpkin spice bagel and some coffee 🙂  Happy October! Be happy 🙂