Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Hundred (and Counting)

It's my one hundredth post!!!  To be honest, I never thought I'd make it this far, but boy am I glad I did!  I have met some amazing readers and fellow bloggers along the way, and to anyone who reads this I am thankful to have you!

To celebrate and to do a little reminiscing, I've rounded up my most popular as well as my own favorite posts!  Again, thanks to all of you for dropping by my little ol' blog, and here's to another 100!

Store Credit Cards: Savers or Enablers?

Top 10 Products for Oily Skin (All Under $25)

Factory vs. Outlet: A Frugal Gal's Guide

Fashion February Week 3: Tartan

10 Key Pieces for Spring (for Less): The Fringe Bag

If you'd like to do a little more celebrating, head on over to my giveaway!  Lots of beauty goodies up for grabs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not in the Mood

Have you ever been in the mood to do nothing?  Well, that's how I've felt pretty much everyday for the past couple of weeks.  I dunno what it is, but I just feel like doin' nothing but catching up on some blogs and watch random YouTube videos.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I'm sharing a few of my favorite videos!  I'm including things I like to watch when I need a good laugh and a few beauty guru videos I've found helpful.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Most Loved

Today, I'm showing you a few of my most loved outfits.  They're the pieces and ensembles that I reach for most; they may be simple, but they get more love than a crop top can dream of.  Meet my loves:

This Forever 21 top is probably the most used item in my closet, and with good reason!  It goes with pretty much anything.  I'll wear it with jeans or dress it up for work and pair with a pencil skirt like this one from New York & Company.  You can definitely match it with bright bottoms to make it more appropriate for spring and summer, or pair it with a neutral for winter.

Shop the look:

Words cannot describe how much I love this look!  I'll wear it if I want to look extra fancy for work without getting crazy.  If you're not a fan of red, I would use a bright yellow or blue belt for the jolt of color.  New York & Company have lovely blazers at great prices, and although they're not sold in stores, you can purchase petite and tall sizes online.  (Pictured: Dress, Cato; Blazer and Belt, New York & Company)

Shop the look:

Again, with the New York & Company!  Both of these pieces are from NY&C (their jeans fit me perfectly), and they're my go-to items when I want to look casual, but a little more put together than jeans and a tee.  If you're a short and curvy gal like me, I think you'll love NY&C jeans!  (No, this is not a sponsored post!)

Shop the look:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Luxe for (A LOT) Less: April 2014

So, never mind that I completely skipped the letter K in the A to Z challenge and let's just move right along.  Is that good with you?  It's certainly good with me!

For April's Luxe for Less, Marie Claire featured an array of the ever-trendy modern motorcycle boot.  The cheapest boot featured was from Aldo at $39.99 (not too bad, MC).  The most expensive?  A pair of Daniele Michette boots for a whopping $995.  Luxe?  Sure.  For less?  Not by my standards.  Let's see how I fared:

Forever 21 Gallery Girl Booties ($30)

Red Herring Black Studded Boots ($30)

Black studded lace up boots

Ah, MUCH better than the overpriced Marie Claire selections, eh?  Personally, I'm not a big fan of the moto boot, but I do love the last selection.  The cut-outs and buckles make for a much updated version of the practical motorcycle boot.  I'd love to know which boot is your favorite; leave a comment below!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Julep Vanish

Unruly cuticles got you down?  Well, put your cuticle scissors down and read on 'cause I've got a product that not only gets rid of your stubborn cuticles, but also helps keep them at bay.  It's pain free, and you don't have to pick up your cuticle scissors again!

This miracle nail treatment is called Vanish by Julep.  It is a tad bit pricey ($18), but this works so much better than your run-of-the-mill drugstore cuticle remover.  It helps to keep your cuticles from growing back, removes stains, and generally improves the look of your nails.

I have a bad habit of picking away at my nail polish which really does a number on my nails.  A couple of drops of this, however, and they're back in tip-top shape!  If you like to wear gel or shellac, this would be a great treatment to use to get those nails looking their best.

The directions say to push cuticles back after applying, but I simply use a cotton swab to rub the remover and cuticle away and it works just the same (if not better).

As I said, it is a little pricey, but if you sign up to be a Julep Maven, the price goes down to $14.40 and you get free shipping!  You don't need a lot to get the job done, so you'll be able to use it for quite a while.

I received this product in a Julep Maven box, which is a monthly subscription service where you get $40 worth of nail or beauty products for $19.95 a month.  Your first box is free (plus shipping), and once you're a Maven you'll get 20% off and free shipping for every order!  You do have the option to skip the month without losing your other Maven benefits and you can swap products or add extras to your box.

If you're interested in becoming a Julep Maven and want to learn more about how you can get your first box free (use code FREEBOX at checkout), click here!

Friday, April 11, 2014


I know, I know, not even two weeks into the A to Z Challenge and I'm already behind.  Truth is, I just didn't feel like blogging, so I didn't.  Sorry.

Have you ever purchased something you previously had no use for with the intention to learn a new hobby or trade only to eventually lose your interest in the item?  Like, for example, you buy a sewing machine so you can sew and tailor your own clothes, and you're all excited about learning how to use and make new things with it.  After a while, however, it proves to be more difficult than expected or you just lose interest in the project so now the machine is rarely used.

Does that sound like anything you've ever done?

Well, after an impromptu trip to Michael's today, I apparently have another hobby I can add to my list: jewelry making.  The only jewelry I've ever made has been at summer camp, so I'm not sure how this is going to pan out, but I'm pretty excited about the goodies I got today:

It might have been the 55% off sale that got the only crafty bone in my body in a tizzy, but all I know is that I'm excited to see what I can come up with (for now, at least).  It might be a disaster, but I think it's good to try and learn new things.  Who knows, it might become my new favorite hobby.

Have you had any hobbies come and go?  Anything you've tried on a whim that actually stuck?  I'd love to hear - comment below!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Helping Hands

I have a love/hate relationship with makeup application tools.  I love how quick and easy it is to apply makeup but I hate having to clean them.  I wish there was a machine akin to a dishwasher where I can just plop my brushes and sponges in and let it do it's magic.  Sadly, there is no such device (someone needs to get on that pronto), so I'm forced to clean them manually.

In any case, I've rounded up my top 5 makeup applicators in honor of our complicated relationship:

top 5 makeup brushes

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, $9:  Pretty much all I use for applying foundation.  It is THE most difficult brush to clean, but it does a great job with applying liquid foundation.

Real Techniques Blush Brush, $9:  It's a blush brush.  Nothing groundbreaking here (not that it doesn't do a nice job).

e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush, $3:  This is just a larger version of the overpriced purminerals Chisel Brush.  Great for any kind of powder.

e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush, $3:  Great for the and defining shades of eyeshadow.  It's a little more dense than most, so the product doesn't fly everywhere during application.

Real Techniques Complexion Sponge $6:  I know, another RT product!  This thing's a wiz at applying cream blush!  I just pinch the two pointed ends together, dab it into the product, and apply to my cheeks.  Easy-peasy!

And, whenever I finally break down and clean my brushes (after days of applying foundation with my hands), I like to use Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap.  It's available at Target (and select Walgreens, I believe), and is the best cleaner to use for brushes and sponges!

What are your favorite brushes or other makeup tools?  Comment below!