August 2018 Favorites

Another month come and gone and it’s time for my monthly favorites. Every month I curate a list of things that I’ve been using and loving all month long from all different areas of life. This month we have some food and beauty favorites, as well as some media favorites that I was particularly impressed by. Without taking too much time, let’s jump right into my favorites for the month of August. 


It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Powder: I purchased this powder foundation a few months ago when I was trying to find face products formulated without talc, bismuth oxide, or silicones. This proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. When I went to replace my old favorite powder foundation (which had talc as the first ingredient…sad day), and this powder was one of only a few options I could find. Since I know and trust the It Cosmetics brand, I decided to give it a try. While it took me a few months to appreciate it, this powder is now one of the only products I use every day.

The coverage is sheer to full, and it does, in fact, build up to a full coverage foundation, which is something I look for to cover the acne issues I have along my jawline. I apply it with my favorite flat powder foundation brush, and in less than a minute, I am out the door. There is SPF 50 build right into the powder, so when I’m out and about I don’t necessarily have to take the extra step to apply a sunscreen. I find that the IT Cosmetics powder lasts a long time, and I don’t just mean in the compact. When I apply it in the morning, I notice there is still a significant amount of product to be removed at the end of the day, whereas with other products seem to melt into the skin and be barely there at the end of the day. While some of the coverage does fade ever so slightly (and reapplication is a breeze), my skin goes all day and into the evening with a coverage that leaves me feeling good about my face. On my more recent videos, people have been complimenting my skin and make up a ton. It’s all this powder, my friends. Quick, easy, and flawless! Read more

2014 Summer Beauty Favorites!


2014 Summer Beauty

Since my monthly favorites posts never got done over the summer I decided it was time to throw together all of the summer months into one post.  Don’t worry, it isn’t too long.  I’ve been busy traveling for most of the summer, so there hasn’t been enough time or money to go truly crazy every month.  Instead, I want to show you the products that I have been using all summer long.  Each one of these has been a beloved piece of my daily collection for the last several months and my summer was made just a little bit more awesome because of it.  It took a lot of effort to earn a spot in my summer beauty favorites list, but these 10 items made the grade.


Smell Bent St Tropez Dispenser

I hauled this in the one Popsugar Must Have box that I treated myself to back in May, and I’ve been addicted.  Basically, it is the scent of a perfect summer day all bottled up.  It smells like sunscreen and the beach with notes of jasmine, aloe, coconut and summer breezes.  I wore this basically every day that I wore a fragrance all summer long.  It’s summer perfection in a little glass bottle.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face SPF 30 Sunscreen

I always hesitated to put straight sunscreen on my face and looked for makeup products with SPF in them instead, but for my honeymoon cruise this summer I knew I was going to have to suck it up because I’d be out in the sun all day.  Thankfully, this product was exactly what I needed.  Hawaiian Tropic came up with an oil-free facial sunscreen that actually has a light, matte finish!  I wore it daily and it kept my skin hydrated, sunburn free and it didn’t break me out.  Amazing product for my annoying, acne prone  skin.

Bath and Body Works Shower Gel in Endless Weekend

Here’s my shower gel of the summer.  The shea enriched formula of the Bath and Body Works shower gels are rich, lathering and leaves skin silky smooth.  Their summer scent “Endless Weekend” was another perfect summer scent for me.  With notes of raspberry lychee sorbet, magnolia, and vanilla, this was a great summery ( but not overwhelming) scent to wash with.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub

Tree Hut scrubs are wonderful.  With ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, safflower oil, and whole grain sugar, they are thick and incredibly exfoliating, smell amazing and leave your skin feeling great.  The summery smells made them a great addition to my shaving routine, as I like to exfoliate before I take a razor to my skin.  The best part is the price: $7.49 at Ulta, and I found mine on BOGO 50% off sale. Great value and a great product.  Win!

 Whish Body “Flawless” Ingrown Hair Serum

Okay, so summer is the time for really keeping that bikini line in check.  As if the problem skin on my face wasn’t enough, I happen to have a very sensitive bikini area too, which means one wrong move of the razor and its red bump city.  That’s not comfortable, nor is it attractive, and it seemed really difficult to find something that would actually help relieve the problem.  I happened to find “Flawless” on clearance at a local shop, and after trying it, I ended up going back and buying 2 more while it was still on sale.  Willow Bark, papaya, wheat germ and yeast extract all combine to make this serum a natural and effective way to beat the bumps.  It smells like cucumber and it doesn’t sting.  This is an epic find in my book.

Zoya Nail Polish in Dillon

Zoya’s nail polish in Dillion has easily been what my nail color was for at least half the summer.  This minty green with shimmer sums up one of my favorite colors ever.  While mint green is a more springy color, I happily wore this all summer long feeling bright and beautiful.  I also would put Zoya Monet (a multi colored cellophane special effect polish) on my “bling finger” (aka my ring fingers) to add a subtle but awesome pop of something special to Dillon.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation

I’m obsessed!  I love how evenly this wonderful powder goes on and how natural it looks.  Just yesterday, in the middle of my crazy breakout session that my face is going through, I actually had a friend compliment how great my skin looked.  This foundation is completely to blame because without it my face is a nightmare. Amazonian clay, Tourmaline, pearl powder, and Camellia leaf extract are the ingredients that turn this foundation into a full coverage skin saver.  Application is so easy and it looks really natural.  The packaging is also genius.  There’s a net over the opening that keeps product from spilling out.  Brilliant! I’m loving this and recently repurchased it because I don’t want to run out.  Highly recommended!

Sephora Bronzer in Los Cabos

I went into Sephora trying to find a matte, light bronzer to add a little glow to my summer look.  I’m really picky with bronzers because most make me look fake and orange.  I wanted to try the Chocolate Soleil by Too Faced, but I couldn’t bring myself to put the $30 into it.  The woman at the store led me to Los Cabos instead, and it was just what I needed: lighter, matte and a price tag of only $17.


Pixi Shea Butter Balm in Pixi Pink

Thank you, Birchbox, for this one.  This hydrating balm has a great (but not overwhelming) bright pink pop of color that is perfect for summer.  It kept my lips hydrated and in style.


TheBalm “How ’bout Them Apples” Lip and Cheek Palette

I did an entire post on this product, so I won’t bore you with the details again.  This palette was a go to for me this summer with its wide variety of sheer and beautiful shades for the lips and cheeks.  Buildable coverage lets you go anywhere from super natural to bright and bold by slowly adding more layers of whatever color you choose.  I loved this all summer long.


Those are the products that I have been loving all summer long and many of these I plan on taking with me into the fall season as well.  What products did you love this summer? Let me know in a comment below 🙂


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The Curse of the Black Mold & The Friday 5

The first edition of what I’m going to call my “Friday 5”- 5 thoughts of the week.  Here we go:

The Curse of the Black Mold

Every few days I look in my toilet and see these black streaks that inevitably creep on back despite the toilet’s cleaning a few days before.  The mold here is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  I actually asked the admin at the music school I work at if this mysterious black toilet ring was normal or if Erik and I were just dirty people and we didn’t realize it.  Thankfully, she explained that for some reason the mold down here likes to take over our world, and she wasn’t kidding.  Every few days I have to wash my cup in the bathroom (you can literally see the curse forming on the bottom), and the once a week I wash the toilet isn’t nearly enough, but any more often feels like a waste of toilet cleaner. And yes, I have one of those toilet tablet things in there too.   I even have to wash the faucets because the mold will actually grow and disrupt water flow in the sink.  Horrifying, disgusting, and now apparently a regular part of my life….



Bauble Bar Buried Baubles

A recent discovery of mine is Bauble Bar’s Buried Baubles.  Pictured above is the necklace I got today for $10 (and free shipping, always free shipping).  I also have a really cute sparkle cuff coming for the same price.. Oh and by the way, the necklace is usually $28 and the cuff was $30.  Yeah, got them both for $10 each.  Thank you Bauble Bar for helping me expand my accessory collection.  They also have a points plan, meaning for every dollar you spend you get a point (yes, you get points for the buried baubles), and 100 points makes $10 off a purchase.  I love loyalty programs.  Visit Bauble Bar, create an account and get your hands on some buried baubles.


Wedding Invitations 


Pictured above is the box of lovely wedding invitations I got in the mail yesterday thanks to a good friend from church back in Des Plaines, Pam, who has known me as long as I can remember.  I now have the daunting task of getting these babies out in the mail.  With most of the envelope labeling done, I just have to add RSVP envelopes and registry cards (custom made, super cute, should be here in a few days) to each one, get postage and send them on their merry way.  Everything else for the wedding has seemed so simple that this task actually makes me go “wow, this is actually happening!”  A stressful task, but I’m super excited to get these invitations out of my apartment and into the hands of our guests.

It’s Pumpkin Season!!!


My favorite part of fall is the world turns into a pumpkin flavored world.  The first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks is an event celebrated by coffee drinkers everywhere.  Okay..maybe not everywhere, but I know many people make it an event, even if it’s one no one else knows about.  My world turns into a pumpkin heaven.  Pumpkin spice coffee creamer, sweet cinnamon pumpkin shower gel, and pumpkin candles takes the edge off of the fact the world is going to get colder soon.

Which brings me to my #5

Summer in September

The last few days it has either passed 90 degrees or gotten quite  close.  While I know the temperatures are still high in many places, once September rolls around I start to dread the inevitable approach of winter.  Yesterday, as I was discussing how cold it was in my studio (and how that made dressing difficult since it was freezing inside and boiling outside) with one of my students, I asked her mother how long it would be until it actually cooled down enough to be considered fall weather.  Her answer: November! Apparently they’ve had Halloweens that were over 80 degrees down here.  Apparently I have to deal with the warmth sticking around for a while longer, and those of you who know me are well aware that this is a happy thing for me 🙂

Top 10 Summer Must Haves


I figured since I initially intended for this blog to be a branch of of my youtube channel, which is beauty related, I should probably get a post going that isn’t about my life and all of it’s changing glory.

Everyone has their list of summer beauty essentials to get through the hot summer months, and I thought I should share mine.

1: Clinique CC cream

Summer means time to bust out the less intense face makeup.  Translation: lose the full coverage foundation for something a little more giving.  I have been exploring the world of BB creams for a while now, and on a recent trip to Sephora I was recommended Clinique’s CC cream.  For those new to the products, a BB cream is a beauty balm; it has anti aging, SPF, light coverage to blur out imperfections and all sorts of good for the skin things.  Well, CC cream (color correcting) is taking BB to the next level.  I consider this product quite a find for several reasons.  SPF 30 is built right in, making it impossible for me to forget to protect.  It’s a hydrating formula yet oil free, meaning my skin doesn’t get thirsty but won’t get clogged up either.   It’s a great lighter summer alternative to foundation.  I’m not confident enough with my skin to go bare-faced, but this CC cream offers the right amount of coverage without weighing me down.

2. Crocheted TOMS

After seeing TOMS on many feet I finally managed to get a pair of my own (two actually), and my cream colored crocheted pairs very rapidly turned into my favorite pair of summer shoes.  With MD (see my post about MD for more information) sandals and shoes of the like that are comfortable enough to walk in are nearly impossible to find.  These shoes are wondrously comfortable and SO cute.  These shoes cover your entire foot, but because they are crocheted they breathe everywhere.  It’s like wearing no shoes at all.  High comfort and adorable.  What more could you ask for?  They also come in a wide range of colors: neutrals, blue, purple, neon green, and beyond. Click here to see the complete line

3. Lip Balms with Color

I am never seen without a lip balm of some sort in my pocket or in my purse.  Having to apply a separate balm to moisturize and then reapply your color throughout the day is a two step process that you don’t need to spend time on this summer.  Enter the colored lip balms.  I have 3 favorites: Maybelline Baby LipsRevelon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.  I was going to try and pick a favorite, but I couldn’t decide which of these I liked the best.  They all offer exceptional moisture and a nice burst of color.  The Maybelline Baby Lips has less color than the other two, so if you’re a minimalist girl, these will give you a subtle bit of color and a lot of lip moisturizing nutrients.  The Revlon stain balm is more about the color.  It does a nice job of staining your lips with a semi-matte finish.  While it goes on like a balm, it leaves the least glossy feel of the three.  The Revlon butters are a great payout of color and moisture.  You can go subtle baby pink all the way to a bright splash of hot pink (one of my summer faves for the days your makeup needs a bit more spice).  These are a one step must for a splash of color and kissable lips this summer.  Pop one in your purse or pocket and go.

4. Naked Eye Palettes

Urban Decay is hands down my favorite brand for eye shadows and liners.  The color payout is awesome, the staying power is great and the colors themselves are to die for.  My favorites for summer (well, lets me honest.  These are my favorites, period.) are the Naked Eye Palettes.  The entire collection offers a fun play with neutral colors: shimmers, a few glitters, mattes.  They’re all in one place and ready for action.  Naked and Naked 2 are the larger collections, and for the minimalist girl there is the Naked Basics Palette, which has all matte shades  except for a subtle highlight.  Again, I can’t pick a favorite because the entire collection is incredible.  Perfect to keep it beachy and natural while still looking a bit glam.  What more could a girl ask for this summer?

5. SPF

Let’s be honest, SPF might be the most important summer accessory.  Personally, I need to get a lot better at this.  Sunscreen is essential to healthy summer skin.  Let’s do everything we can to stay skin cancer free, my friends.  For the body I recommend Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration.  SPF and moisture all in one bottle.  I tend to notice that well hydrated skin tans better in the sun, so while protecting you this stuff offers a bit of soft and silky help too.  For the face you need to take a different approach.  Neutrogena Clear Face offers a nice coverage of SPF and the promise that it won’t clog your pores.  For trouble skin like mine this is a God send.  Now there’s no excuse to not protect your face while laying out catching rays.

6. A favorite water bottle

I know this sounds like an odd summer essential, but a water bottle could be the most important thing you keep with you this summer.  Water is SO important for so many reasons; Your skin stays clearer and more moist, your body functions better, it keeps you feeling fuller, it’s great for your diet, it will keep you a bit more tolerant of the summer heat; the reasons water is essential to your life are many and all are important.  Find yourself a cute water bottle that can double as a fashion accessory and keep yourself hydrated.  I am proudly sporting a cute purple one that ran me a whole $10 at Target.

7. Skinny cow ice cream treats

Ice cream is one of my favorite things about summer.  Skinny Cow is a brand that the Weight Watcher in me absolutely adores.  The ice cream treats this brand offers taste outstanding and have a PointsPlus value that doesn’t do the taste justice.  Amazing ice cream bars in flavors like chocolate, cookies and cream and pink velvet (my favorite, and pictured above) are only 3 points.  There are ice cream sandwiches and new bars (cookie dough and caramel pretzel OMG!) that offer sweet tooth satisfaction at only 4 PointsPlus.  Check out their site for all of your flavor options and then hurry to your grocery store to stock up.  Ice cream is an essential part of summer.  Feel free to enjoy and not feel one calorie of guilt!

8. Waterproof mascara

Whatever your favorite mascara is, I suggest getting the water proof version for summer.  Raccoon eyes are not hot, ladies.  Between pools and spending time outside (inevitably getting a bit sweaty) mascara is bound to get a bit runny.  Keep your pretty eyes together with some water proof mascara.  I use the Cover Girl Clump Crusher in the water resistant formula.  I use this simply because I found this mascara to make my lashes look the best, but I know every glamour girl has her favorite mascara.

9.  Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

I probably should have put this product at number 1.  This is one of my holy grail products and will be a continuous repurchase.  This is a makeup setting spray that also controls shine.  In the summer it is easy for your makeup to melt right off, and we don’t have time for that.  This spray will keep your products right where you put them, they’ll last a lot longer AND it will help keep shine at bay.  I have never had any breaking out from this product (added bonus!) and my makeup stays looking fresh.  To ensure this staying power I start my makeup routine with a splash of the spray before anything else as well as spraying it liberally after all is said and done.

10. Bright Nail Polish

Summer is about bright colors, and the easiest fashion accessory to change up and get noticed comes in a bottle.  There are amazingly bold nail polishes out there, and summer is a chance to try colors you normally wouldn’t.  Give the neons a go.  Try a hot pink or a peach, or go really bold with summer blues.  Pictured above are just a few of my summer faves.

I’m sure my list could have gone on for another 10, but there you have it!