January 31, 2014

Winter White at Work

This space hasn't seen my face in a while.  So here it is.  Along with my fab white jacket.

jacket/sweater/pants - The Limited // heels - Enzo Angiolini // scarf - old
I've been wanting to style this jacket again for a work look, and this is what I came up with.  Simple, but I like it.

On another style note, I can't seem to stop cutting my hair.  I went from long hair to the middle of my back up to my shoulders, then a little shorter, then a little bit more, now here we are.  This is the shortest it's been in, like...well, a really long time!.  I'm pretty sure I'm happy with this length.  I probably won't go any shorter.  Maybe.

Happy Friday everyone!

xo :)

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January 28, 2014

My Skin Faves

The wonderful wide world of skin care products is, to say the least, expansive.  I feel like every time I turn around there's a new cream, lotion, gadget, etc.  And each exciting new product claims that "this will be the one that will work for you!!"  Meh.  I've tried a ton of different skin concoctions (as has most every woman) and have only just within the last year or so settled into a pretty steady routine.  I thought I'd share my favorite products so maybe, if you have skin like me (fair, mega sensitive, sun damaged - oops, and often times acne prone), you might find something here that would work for you.

First, let's start with cleanser.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser - $11

Cetaphil has been my daily go-to for quite a while now.  It's gentle, doesn't dry me out, and washes off clean.  It's pretty ok at taking off mascara too.  I do tend to break out a teensy bit sometimes, especially if I sleep in my makeup from the night before (bad Monica!!)  So that's why I still have another cleanser in my arsenal...

Proactiv Renewing Cleanser - $20
Proactiv, as you may know, is a super popular acne treatment line.  I ordered it several years back while in distress with too much acne and unbalanced skin.  It DID work wonders for me, but thankfully over the last few years I just haven't needed it as much.  Maybe because I've improved my health and lifestyle quite a bit?  I don't know but I'm happy about that!  It's pretty powerful stuff, and using it all the time really dried my skin out.  Now I use just the cleanser once or twice a week as a sort of insurance against that whole sleeping in makeup thing.  I feel like it will keep the zits away even though I do bad skin things on occasion! 

Dickinson's Witch Hazel - $5.49
This stuff is just...the best.  It's natural, cheap, and effective.  Just a little bit on a cotton ball or pad and a quick swipe over the skin and you're good.  I have tried probably 20 other toners in my life and pure witch hazel beats them all.  I swear those little teeny blackheads that never seem to go away actually decreased in number quite a bit.  I also use it on other body parts (booty, legs) to soothe my skin and keep it smooth.

Natural bristle body brush - $10
Organic coconut oil - $12.50

And speaking of smooth skin, a natural bristle body brush and organic coconut oil are your BFFs.  A little dry body brushing before your shower and a slathering of coconut oil after is super beneficial.  It seems a little greasy at first, but trust me, it is awesome and yes, you will get used to the greasy.  To jazz up my coconut oil experience a little, I got an inexpensive glass jar and mixed the oil with a little bergamot essential oil for fragrance.  I love it.

Bergamot essential oil - $12.50
Pure grapeseed oil - $8
Oil??  On my face???  No way I used to say.  But since I first got on the facial oil bandwagon about a month ago, my skin has looked and felt SO much better.  I mixed in some bergamot (vitamin C!) with my grapeseed oil, about two drops of bergamot to an ounce of oil.  Just two little drops of this mixture rubbed between my fingertips and then gently pressed into my skin every night made a huge difference in how my face felt.  No more dryness, no more excessive oiliness (and putting on face powder to cover that up a few times a day), and...could it be?  The little blackheads diminished some more?  Amazing.

Yes to Grapefruit dark circle correcting eye cream - $16
This little almost miracle right here is so perfect:  totally affordable, light, non-greasy/cakey, and works like a charm.  For real.  I've even taken to walking out of the house to head to work minus under-eye concealer.

CeraVe SA Lotion
 Lastly, this is body lotion I refuse to live without.  I have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms.  CeraVe, in addition to the coconut oil, has made it practically disappear.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me!  All those unsightly bumps are gone and my arms are smooth and happy!  I also get super annoying bumps on other body parts and irritation from shaving my legs, and this lotion is my savior for taking care of that too.  I've tried everything under the sun for shaving and this stuff is by far the most effective at keeping my skin bump free.  It's a little bit expensive, $17 for 8 ounces, but for me it's a small price to pay for something that works SO well. 

I hope you're having a terrific Tuesday!

xo :)

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January 14, 2014

Apartment Therapy - January Cure

I've lived in my little place by the lake for almost five years.  In that time, I haven't really done much decorating.  I mean, I tried to make the place look nice of course -- matching dark wood furniture, a neutral couch, little things here and there -- but I really didn't have (or buy) any knick knacks or things to go on the walls.

Then my BF moved in.  He's an artist and brought all these framed drawings and paintings and hung them on every wall.  Over the last year he's been here, I've been feeling the itch to do something more with this (really) small space and make it feel more like a home than just a rental.  Especially now that there are two people (and a cat and a dog) in just under 600 square feet.

I got super inspired about 6 weeks ago when I discovered the Apartment Therapy website.  Hellooo?  Whyyyy did I not know about this site sooner??  I suppose I wasn't really looking for it, but I'm super stoked I found it and now I'm pretty much a daily reader.

I got this small space improving idea from Apartment Therapy:

Can you see us in the tv? Haha.
In love with these owl prints my blog friend Momo sent me. I FINALLY got them framed and hung!

We painted two walls in the apartment a fab shade of gray over Christmas break.  I love it so much!  Our art looks amazing against the dark walls.  When I'm able to upgrade that old living room TV it will be perfect!

Another thing I've been doing is de-cluttering, especially in the drawers.  There is such limited space in the apartment, that having clutter anywhere is just not good.  That said, it still manages to accumulate.  I cleaned out my nightstand drawers - couldn't believe how much old crap was in there! I managed to toss or recycle most of it and some (like my nice graphing calculators left over from college days) I'll save for the garage sale I plan on having as soon as early spring arrives.  I did the same with my closet and dresser drawers, though I could probably make another pass at the closet...sometimes it's hard to let go!  

At the end of 2013 I signed up for Apartment Therapy's January Cure.  It's a whole month of assignments and tips to get organized, get clean, and most of all, to have a space that's totally YOU and that makes you feel at ease.  They send an email each day with tasks and motivation and...it's quite awesome.  This past weekend's assignment was to tackle the clutter in the kitchen.  My kitchen is (of course) very small and I don't have tons of glasses or dishes or "stuff" in the upper cabinets so those are clutter-free, but I do did have one kitchen nemesis...

My one under-counter cabinet was crammed full!  Look how unorganized my plastic containers are, ugh.  And don't even get me started on the lid drawer...

Big mess.  I can never find the lid I need!  And wait till you see all the junk that was UNDER the lids...

Oh! THERE'S my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon!  Been looking for that.  And yes I saved Jack in the Box and Del Taco sauces.  And some chopsticks...because I'll totally use those again...rriiiiiiight.  Why do I have so many twist-ties??  Is that a toothbrush? Ugh.

Anyway, first task was to get all the stuff out of the lower cabinet and wipe it down. Then I put all the big stuff back in, crock pot, blender, etc., in a better arrangement so that the stuff I use regularly was more easily accessible.  And I totally forgot I had that pink George Foreman grill!

Then it was time to tackle the plastic ware.  I piled everything up...

Then I made sure every bottom had a lid...
What a random assortment of stuff...I'm pretty sure I didn't buy any of these.  If you gave me a container of something, I'm sorry I never gave it back to you!
Then I made an attempt to stack all the bottoms in a sort of cohesive manner...now to just keep them this way!

I couldn't think of another way to store my lids except for in that one drawer, so I cleaned out the other junk, wiped out the drawer, and put the lids back in.  In the couple of days since I did this, the right container and the right lid have been mega easy to find so...success!

On another sort of clutter note -- what do you guys think of having magnets/stuff on the fridge?
I'm kind of proud of my bib collection from various races I've done the last few years, but I'm not sure this is the best way to display them.  I plan on collecting more so...not sure what to do with those.

Then I have my favorite comics...ones I cut out of the actual newspaper, yes.

I think they are so hilarious!  Especially the first one, since I used to (many, many years ago) live in a roach apartment.  I could probably make your skin crawl with one of my roach encounter stories, but I will spare you for now.  Anyway, I thought of maybe getting teeny frames from the dollar store or something and putting these on the wall in the kitchen. I am a nerd, I know.

Then I've got a jury summons (don't want to forget about that!) and some various Groupon things I need to use.  I suppose it's not cluttery-like to have a few things stuck on the fridge, but I kind of feel like mine is a little too busy.  What say you, dear internet friends?

Happy Tuesday!

xo :)

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