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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Beauty Box 5 Review: Gracefully Grounded

How in the world is it already November? Not just November, but nearly Thanksgiving! Somehow, the time between July and December shortens every single year. That said, my November Beauty Box 5 snuck into my mailbox without me even realizing it was about that time, which is totally fine. I do love fun surprises! Their “Gracefully Grounded” box is perfect for this time of year when it seems like everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off. This box is a just-right compliment to our beauty routines and will keep us prettily primped whether traveling to turkey dinners or just trying to stay put-together during arctic temperatures. Without further ado, here’s what was neatly packaged in the November box:

November Beauty Box 5, Beauty Box 5 Reviews

Monday, November 17, 2014

Love Surf Spray? You’ll Love this Inexpensive DIY Version Even More!

Nutiva Coconut Oil, bumble and bumble surf spray Hack, DIY texturizer, sea spray beach waves, Beach waves spray

As I look out my window and see snow lightly falling I’m realizing something…it’s not the snow I hate each winter, but the cold. Well…maybe by March, I hate the snow, but even then, I hate the cold more. There’s just something so carefree and chill about the summer heat. And while I appreciate the snow covering the browning grass and coating leaf-less trees, I’m already thinking about April. Sigh.

Regardless of the cold temps, I’m still donning beachy waves from time to time. I used to achieve them by using a texturizing spray like Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Surf Spray, but at $26 a pop…well…it’s not always practical. Enter Nutiva, the world’s leading brand of all-organic hemp foods, coconut oil, red palm oil and chia seeds. When I received an email with a “recipe” for their own version of an Ocean Hair Spray I had to try it! With an easy DIY concoction of Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil, sea salt and H2O, I can’t imagine ever going back to anything else. Seriously. It’s. That. Good.

Ready to whip up your own batch and make your own sea salt spray? Just follow these easy instructions…use the remainder of your Coconut Oil in recipes (replace butter or vegetable oil), as a lotion, makeup remover, to clear a variety of skin ailments…literally, there are about a million and one uses!

DIY Ocean Hair Spray

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good For Your Skin and Organic – NVEY ECO Makeup Review

We love our makeup, but, it’s a little scary to consider what goes into the production of our favorites. Most are laden with ingredients we can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they actually are. If you think about it, we put a lot of trust into the makeup we’re slathering on our faces, don’t we? NVEY ECO is making it easy to keep us pretty sans the chemicals other brands sometimes use. Their line of completely organic options are produced without the use of chemical ingredients such as parabens, petrochemicals or synthetic fragrances. Instead the ingredients on the back of their boxes include things like organic castor oil, organic jojoba, organic corn starch and organic safflower seed oil, among many other pronounceable things good for your skin.

I was able to try out a few products from the line, the Creme Deluxe Flawless Foundation in Cool Honey, Powder Blush in Blushing Peach and Advanced Care Lip Colour in Viva. The foundation was a perfect match to my skin tone thanks to their Shade Selector and I adored the blush and lipstick. Nudes with a naturally peachy-pink hue, they’ve helped to make my day look pure and not fussy, BUT, I love these shades mixed with a dramatic, smoky evening eye. Very rocker-chic! I’ve also layered brighter hued glosses and stains in with my Viva and loved the looks I’ve come up with. I used each of the products in this style post, the lipstick was worn alone…no additional glosses or lipstick layers.

Nvey Eco Makeup, Organic Makeup, Organic Lipstick

Monday, November 10, 2014

November’s Top 10 Workout Songs

Taylor Swift
Fort Wayne, IN – October 31, 2014 – This month's top 10 list makes three things clear:

#1. Iggy Azalea isn't going anywhere. The Levi's model and rap phenomenon shows up in the list below with two different collaborators—Rita Ora and Jennifer Lopez.

#2. Calvin Harris is quickly becoming the face of electronic dance music. He also turns up twice this month—in a pop hit alongside John Newman and a club track with Alesso and Hurts.

#3. 128 beats per minute (BPM) is the Iggy Azalea and Calvin Harris of tempos. By that I mean it's omnipresent. Seven of the ten songs below are within a few beats of this tempo.

In terms of working out, 128 BPM's dominance in pop music means that--if you can find an exercise routine that approximates this pace--you'll never be short of new workout music. If you've already got fixed a routine, you can swap in any of the songs from that range and see how they fit. If not, you might try walking, kickboxing, or a bootcamp-style workout—all of which are good matches for this speed.

Whatever this month's top songs lack in tempo variety, they make up for in the genre variety thanks to a woozy remix from Tove Lo, some Australian folk from Vance Joy, and the fervent rock of Walk the Moon. Whether it's the eclectic mix that draws you in or the four-on-the-floor beats, there's something here that will invigorate your workout.

Here's the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred--the web's most popular workout music blog.

Taylor Swift - Welcome to New York - 117 BPM
Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High) (Hippie Sabotage Remix) - 120 BPM

Vance Joy - Riptide - 104 BPM

Jennifer Lopez & Iggy Azalea - Booty - 129 BPM

Calvin Harris, Alesso & Hurts - Under Control - 126 BPM

Demi Lovato & Cher Lloyd - Really Don't Care (Cole Plante Radio Remix) - 128 BPM

Walk the Moon - Shut Up and Dance - 128 BPM

Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora - Black Widow (Justin Prime Remix) - 128 BPM

Pitbull & John Ryan - Fireball - 125 BPM

Calvin Harris & John Newman - Blame - 128 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Beauty Box 5 November Sneak Peek!

November Sneak Peek, Beauty Box 5 November, Hask Macadamia Oil


Eek! Who else is excited to receive a full size bottle of Hask Macadamia Oil in their Beauty Box 5 box this month? If you’re not yet a member, sign up by 11/21 to make sure you don’t miss out on the Hask, or other goodies beauty mavens are about to squeal about!

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sweater Weather on a Budget

Autumn is way too quickly starting to change into winter…days are shorter,trees are bare and many of us have seen our first snowflakes of the year. Sigh. I’m still getting over last year’s winter! Even though I don’t like the cold, I do look slipping into a nice cozy sweater. Who doesn’t? Those of you on a budget should LOVE this season, because dressing for sweater weather couldn’t be easier and in fact, doesn’t have to drain your wallet.

Use these tips to find yourself a new sweater without paying an arm and a leg:

  • Be thrifty! Shop a thrift shop for sweaters – you can find some with the finest of threads – wool or cashmere for example, for practically nothing!
  • For oversized sweaters especially, shop the boy’s or young men’s departments.

For skinny jeans:

  • Try a pair of jeggings instead, the ones I’m wearing below are from Target.
  • The Vera Wang leggings at Kohl’s are other great options – their weight keeps them lasting longer than most leggings. Even though you can find less expensive leggings, the Vera Wang options tend to last quite a bit longer making them a much better investment.

For boots:

  • Treat them right! I keep all of my shoes in their boxes. Yep, those boxes are treasures to me. Instead of throwing my shoes into a corner of the closet, I can stack them and keep them looking great for years and years (my boots below are 4 years old).
  • If you’ve been out in the snow or rain, make sure to get the salt or mud off right away, but especially before storing.
  • If you have to make that initial investment, check out places like Marshall’s. Did you see my Fall Flannel post? I saved nearly $60 for a pair of boots from this season. Yay!

Budget friendly fall fashion, Affordable Winter Fashion

Friday, October 31, 2014

Be your Own Mixologist with these Holiday Inspired Martini Recipes from Bombay Sapphire

So, technically, today is Halloween. “Technically.” As I sit looking out the window in my faux fur slippers and big crochet infinity scarf, watching the snow (that’s right, snow!) hit the pavement, I’m thinking it looks more like winter. I guess for us in Northern Indiana, fall is over. Sigh. The good news I suppose is we can officially start planning our holiday happenings. Below I’ve posted some great cocktail recipes for festive twists on classic Martinis shared by Bombay Sapphire gin.

First, some Martini history: dating back to the mid 19th century when it was referred to as the “Martinez,” the cocktail was served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. Gaining popularity, by century’s end, the “dry martini” concoction was served in bars throughout the country and featured London Dry gin, dry vermouth and an olive garnish. The Martini reached icon status after Prohibition and shows such as Mad Men and Sex and the City have helped caused a resurgence in the drink’s popularity.

Which one of the below will you be mixing for friends? And anyone trying out the Yuletide or Good Memories…I’m open to invites!

Bombay Sapphire Classic Martini

1 ½ parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
A whisper of dry vermouth

Chill chosen Martini Glass. Fill the glass half of the shaker with Ice, coat the inside of the glass shaker with vermouth, discard the ice and vermouth and refill with ice, pour in Bombay Sapphire holding the base of the glass shaker – stir – NEVER – shake until ice cold -  pour into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive twist.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Breaking Ruts – New Recipes, Adventures and Mixing the Unexpected

I hate being in a rut. Whether it’s what I’m cooking, where I’m going, or of course what I’m wearing, from time-to-time, I’m there. Stuck. Eating the same food, going to the same places, or wearing the same things. For the past month, I’ve been rutting it up and a couple of weeks ago I decided I need to break the cycle. I’ve been determined to cook at least one new recipe each week. This week’s recipe was a chicken white chili that actually was not that good. But hey, I tried:) Last week I went to The Tie Bar grand opening private party and got to meet Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and just like that, my social rut was kaput. When it comes to clothing however, unless your budget allows for a shopping excursion, wardrobe ruts can be the worst. I’ve found one of the easiest ways to break them is to pair pieces together that you typically wouldn’t. It keeps your older items fresh and feeling new, despite their age. Each piece I’m wearing below is at least a year old (I think I’ve had that skirt for four years), yet I’ve never worn any of them together, nor have even considered it.

Easy Fall Outfit