Birchbox: September 2011 – First one ever!

I finally received my first Birchbox! I signed up at the beginning of August, so I’ve been waiting very patiently =).

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription service. It costs $10 per month and every month you receive a box containing between 4-5 deluxe high-end beauty samples. You earn points for every box you receive and also for reviewing the products on the website. Enough points gets you $10 off a full size item, and every item you receive is shipped for free the month you received it in your box! This month happens to be their one year anniversary.

Here is the box upon arrival and the contents:

I’ll try and take better pictures next time. I was super tired the night I unboxed this was glad I even remembered to take photos! Inside my box this month:

Incoco Nail Polish Strips – “We all have a wild side. Eye-catching nail strips are the latest trend- try them on your fingers or toes.”  | 16 strips $7.99 – $10.99 |

I have tried these before! Back when I worked at walgreens in the cosmetics department, these hit our stores for the first time and I got a lot of samples to try. I love the color First Love. It’s an opaque baby pink color. I also am a big fan of their french tips because it makes french manicures sooo easy! I haven’t bought any in a long time, but I was psyched when I saw the color of these. It’s a super glittery cinderella blue!

I think I’m going to put them on my toe nails and paint my fingers a light blue that matches, and use one on each ring finger as an accent! I don’t think I could stand these on all ten finger nails. I have never tried the nail strips on my toes before so we’ll see how that goes. My one regret is that they don’t have this color for sale on either the Birchbox website OR the Incoco site … boo!!!

Jouer Lip Enhancer – “Why settle for plain ‘ol lip balm when you can hydrate, plump and condition all in one go? Right, we thought so.” | 0.33 fl oz $14 |

This is probably my favorite product in the box. This is a very sheer pink gloss that is NOT sticky and it doesn’t taste funny. Oh, and it doesn’t tingle like most plumping lip products! I am not sure if I notice plumper lips after using this product, but this is a really great non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that I would actually consider purchasing in the future.

LIV GRN Earth Eau de Parfum – “Made from sustainable ingredients, this sultry scent is laced with jasmine and sandalwood. Plus, ten percent of sales go directly to Global Green, an environmental non-profit.” | 3.4 fl oz $60 |

I really don’t have a lot to say about this perfume, besides the fact that I don’t like it. It’s kind of heady and gives me a headache. It’s kind of masculine smelling to me.

Pangea Organics Facial Cream – “An all-natural moisturizer, with antioxidant-rich grape extracts and essential oils. Keeps skin both hydrated and shine-free.” | 2 fl oz $36 |

This is very gingery smelling, but that goes away quickly enough to not mind it. It IS hydrating, it IS shine-free and so far so good, but I haven’t been using it long enough to be confident saying that I would be willing to spend almost $40 for only 2 ounces of this stuff. I put my makeup on right after my moisturizer, so I really haven’t noticed a difference one way or another to be honest. Maybe when it gets dryer outside and I require more from my moisturizer, will I start to notice the pro’s of this product.

There was also a special treat in the form of a friendship bracelet, in honor of their “birthday.” It’s basically a bright pink string that has a silver metal box in the middle. It’s cute, but I would have rather received another beauty item! Some people got one or two items more than me so that kind of made me a sad panda. But oh well! There is more to come =)

I really enjoy this concept and I will definitely continue receiving these boxes. It’s fun getting a nice surprise in the mail every month, and trying out new products without having to shell out all the money before hand and not being able to return the product if you don’t like it, or even just going through the hassle if you can. I can think of a lot of things I’ve wasted $10 on in the past few months. Much better spent toward this!

If you subscribe to Birchbox, give me a link to your review or let me know what you got in your box!

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makes me smile

image

My grandmother gave me this ringholder. I love it 🙂

september shall be the month of no spending… already blew august!

I’ve been soo naughty lately… okay well just today. I might have ordered a couple things on Amazon that I really don’t need.

First, I got a few cookbooks. Two taste of home books, one on slow cooker recipes and one on slow cooker, soups and casseroles. The next one I got is the food network stars favorite recipes. At least they were all pretty cheap as they were sold on amazon, right? And it will give me good dinner ideas to feed my wonderful husband-to-be, right?? 😉

The next part is actually the very bad part. The first time I went to my new hair salon, I was given a few samples. One of them being the Revlon Nature’s Rescue Refining Sea Polish.

hair.. exfoliator?

I used it the weekend we spent in Jamestown on our last day there. I saved it for that moment because I knew I’d have a TON of product in my hair after getting it done for the wedding. And let me tell you something… it made my hair so FLUFFY. My hair was so ridiculously soft and fluffy that day and I give this product all the credit.

The next thing I got was Fekkai Coiff Defense Pre Style Thermal Spray. I need a good thermal spray because I use my flat iron EVERY day to make waves in my hair. Or, every other day, depending on how often I wash. Either way, it’s a lot. And my hair lady always says my hair feels so healthy every time I’m there but sometimes I wonder if she just doesn’t want to butter me up for her tip 😉

But it’s also just a regular ol UV protectant too, so even if you just spend lots of time out in the sun… yeah, justify it any way you want.

Last but not least, I got this Aquage Sea Salt Texturizing Spray.

Because I heard it is the bomb. And I have a natural wave to my hair if I don’t blow dry the beejezus out of it using a paddle brush, so I’m kind of excited to use this in conjunction with the Fekkai product. I’ve heard that using these two types of products together gives your natural waves a good opportunity to form without being crunchy from using mousses and heavier sprays and gels, like I have in the past. So i’m kind of excited to try these! My hair left to style itself on its own accord generally ends up looking like… god I can’t even explain it. It’s kinky. It’s not necessarily wavy, it’s got like, a bit of wave and then the rest of it goes straight. Wavier in some spots than in others. It’s odd.

Anyway, I splurged on those things and I shouldn’t have. If I’d only have been able to buy one, I’d have gotten the Redken product. I’m actually curious about the entire Nature’s Rescue line. It actually includes a texturizing sea salt spray too. There is a “Refreshing Detox Shampoo, to be followed by Refining Sea Polish (that’s what I ordered), to be followed by Cooling Deep Conditioner and finished up with Radiant Sea Spray”

Ha!

But yeah the polish is really weird. It’s gritty, and you’re supposed to kind of “roll” it through your hair in a circular motion. I have a hard time picturing that. I kind of just slathered it on and took sections and rubbed it in, I guess you could say.

what a day!

Alright so as most of you know, Tuesday is a pretty stressful day for me at work because I lay out the paper on Tuesday. It’s basically a day that consists of lots of yelling at people because they are always doing things wrong and screwing me up.

I don’t know how most editors jobs are, but the way we do it at my small place of employment is I am given an audit sheet – a list of ads to be placed in the paper/ads that may already be placed in the paper. This sheet includes the name of the ad file, the column width and length, ad category and other info that does not pertain to me such as the cost of the ad, etc. What I do is, I go through each page of the paper (in Publisher) and highlight the ads already placed.

Then I grab the stack of ad change sheets, if there are any, that lets me know if I need to replace the ad if it has been updated, etc.

After that, I make “green boxes” or “pink boxes” for the ads not yet placed. (I make mine pink 😉 ) And I basically just write the name of the ad in each box and it saves a place for the actual ad, which I place after I lay out all the rest of the paper with editorial, etc.

LOTS of times, people size ads wrong so that when I go to transfer the ad into the paper, it’s bigger or smaller than what it’s supposed to be.

Sometimes I think it would be more beneficial to place the ads before I actually lay out the paper, that way I could avoid moving a lot of the stuff around. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle. But anyway, that’s my Tuesday.

It can be very stressful!! Today actually went pretty smooth. But a Tuesday itself  just has a stigma that doesn’t budge whether it’s a good day or not.

SO after work I decide to stop at the drug store, because I want to pick up my face wash (today is payday) and a covergirl eye shadow called shimmering sands (i recommend…) … so I’m waiting to check out. There’s a *middle aged* woman in front of me in line chatting with the cashier as she checks out. I’m absentmindedly looking around waiting for my turn.

The woman leaves, I step forward, and WHOOSH!!!!!!!! My flip flop hydroplanes on… on what???

I catch myself on the counter and look down – a humungous puddle of …. unknown! The cashier is like “omg are you okay?” and I’m like “There is a HUGE puddle of…. did that lady pee herself?”

She looks toward the door where the lady is walking out. The lady’s bottom of her pants are wet but I dont know if it’s because she peed herself or if it’s just from standing in the puddle.

The cashier says to me “Well, she WAS buying depends… ”

……….

“I was just over on that side and that wasn’t there!”

And it was a standalone puddle. It wasn’t coming from a leaking coke cooler or anything of that nature….

So I can only assume I almost fell into a big puddle of  piss today.

 

Happy Tues 🙂

 

On a lighter note- I got my new litter box today. It was pretty funny when I set it up. My cat decided to watch me while I put it all together. I sat on the stairs reading the paper that came with it after I set it up. No sooner did I open it did she slink into the box to check it out.

She must have liked it, because she immediately started peeing. After she peed, she dug a hole and took a dump. And she did this all right in front of me. I guess she doesn’t care, because she’s a cat, but I never witnessed this before so I admit, it was kind of like watching a car wreck or Jersey Shore, it’s hard to look away sometimes.

But that’s not the best part! After the show was over, I came back into my room after cleaning up a bit and was just hanging out, when I heard her out in the hallway rustling in the litter again. Maybe she likes it in there?

I too, am impressed by the new box. But after reading reviews, I know the importance of good timing. I didn’t want to try rolling it over (you roll it over and it gets separated and when you roll it back, all you have to do to remove the poo is pull out a little drawer and it has all the treasures in it, if ya know what I mean) too soon. So I waited about an hour and a half and could wait no longer.

I rolled the box, rolled it back, and then opened the drawer! Ta-Daaa! Clumps in the drawer!! It worked like a charm. Immediately after I righted the box, phoebe climbed in it ONCE AGAIN. LOL

She’s happy. I’m happy. We’re all happy.

SIGH. I’m tired now. Tuesdays take a lot out of me.

have a great evening everyone 😉

 

i’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town

So, I’ve realized some things about myself lately that I’m sure are entirely obvious to others… but somehow only recently have these little nuggets of truth crept up on me.

I’m a little too self-depreciating for my own good and I need to love myself a little more in order to actually let the other bits fall into place. If I don’t love myself or respect myself, I won’t stick up for myself when the bad food is telling me to eat it. I mean, lettuce can’t stand up to beef all on its own.

That’s kind of a silly analogy, but it makes a lot of sense. I happen to think so anyway!!

I am committing myself to running daily again. I am following a diet founded on the 17 day that I previously lost 15 lbs on. I made Bobby make a salad lunch pact with me LOL. Salads for lunch every day, and I will send him a picture of my lunch and he will send me one of his, so we are both accountable. No hiding from that!

And we’ll let ourselves eat pretty normal dinners. Aka, I can eat the delicious things his mom makes such as haluski (she makes it better than my hungarian grandmother), the beef and noodles and breadcrumbs thing and baked corn and on and on and on!!!

But yeah. I am comfortable with that game plan.

So these themes are carrying on throughout other aspects of my life as well. I’m trying to love myself more, take better care of myself, and finally, take care of the things I own. No more throwing clothes wherever they land or not putting them away or being completely unorganized. That’s actually what got me to rearrange my bookshelf, which looks great now by the way. I just need to take better care of myself and my belongings.

Someone once said that there is no such thing as an ugly girl, but there is such a thing as a lazy girl. So the moral of that morsel, essentially, is take care of yourself, take care of your belongings and do what you need to do. Make yourself feel pretty, make yourself feel worthwhile. And you will be. Just like that.

So that’s really what I’ve been striving to do in the past week. I think a lot of the issues I have come from complexes that my despicable ex-boyfriend gave me. So I feel bad that Bobby has to deal with that fallout, but my ex is not solely to blame. I think women are just so susceptible to feeling this way and I think some of us just have a much harder time brushing off the bad experiences we associate with it, and get down much, much easier!

Don’t get me all wrong though, I don’t think that I am ugly. And I’m seriously not whining here in a self pity party OR fishing for compliments. I just feel as though I am not good enough the way I am. And I have to remind myself that it’s not true. I simply am not comfortable as I am now in my skin, but as long as I’m working on improving that, it’s all that can be done! And as long as I am actually making an effort, I can’t be too hard on myself.

Bobby & I

Blurry!

the ring is from forever 21, 2.50 and the top was from forever 21 also. 22 dollars I believe!

So yeah that was my attempt at pretty today. I love that top and I feel like those pictures don’t really do it justice. It’s very flowy and comfortable. The front kind of .. had folds? that came down and there were no buttons to close it or anything it was just loose and flowy. LOL. That’s a great description, but yeah!

We also found a couch we LOVE at Big Lots actually, haha. I can’t wait to buy it. It’s only like 350 but I really want to have the cash for it rather than put it on a charge card. I have a photo of it somewhere on my phone, maybe I can upload it later with my new wordpress app for android LOL… still getting the hang of that.. when did I become computer illiterate? The girl who used to write HTML code in Notepad can’t even get the hang of using WordPress.

I’m going to go look into Google Pages now real fast before bed. Night!

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inside and out, he’s better than i am

So… I think I’m moving to blogger/blogspot… again. ‘Cause you know what? WordPress is lame. What subscribers? What neighborhood? Sigh. Just saying, WP is like … *tumbleweed*

Just like that!!!

Of course, I am boring. But yeah I don’t know if anyone updates their blogs because I STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW to work the “subscriptions/blog roll” that this thing claims to have.

ANYHOW… I’ve made some purchases lately. Actually, some of them Bobby has made for me. But not all of them will be shown because I think the bracelet and the necklace is in my makeup bag in the bathroom woopsie. The star of that purchase will be shown though, I love the earrings so much! (They were 3 for 10 at American Eagle.. and their stuff is usually $10 a piece, so not a bad deal!)

OK where to start. This is how I like to do my hair lately, maybe it will actually be more polished/styled tomorrow and I will get a better pic:

So that’s the hair. Up next, some purchases as of late. Here are the earrings that are obnoxious and lovely:

I just love them! They kind of match this cute hoodie I got from Old Navy not too long ago too, see

Anyhow, next… here are more makeup/nail polish purchases:

That is Sonia Kashuk in Tauped and Taunting Teal and Essie in Lady Like. I love flat colors. Adore them. Got them at Target.. except Essie, I got that one this morning at Super K, $8… the Sonia ones were $4 something. And those are gorgeous… the Essie one doesn’t show its true potential there but I took another one to show my nails painted in Tauped and it came a little truer to color so maybe this will work better:

And it’s a terrible manicure already hahaha, but that gives you a better idea.

Next, I was searching all over for my ELF makeup removers ($3 for a really nicely packaged [aka won’t dry out.. actually has a plastic flap lid thing] 25 sheets). Around here, the only place to get ELF products besides the internet is at a Super K Mart, and now it seems as though they are unavailable there as well. Must have stopped carrying them all together, because I checked two K Mart’s! Blah… but I did pick up some Wet N’ Wild  eyeshadow to try because believe it or not, these get RAVING reviews on makeup alley.

The left one is Walking on Eggshells, and the right is Sweet as Candy. They are both nicer than I expected. And believe it or not, I picked them up before reading the reviews on MUA. I read them this morning at work, after I’d purchased them… because I looked them up out of boredom LOL. So I did myself a favor by picking them up. They were like $3 a piece! Cheap.

I tried them out tonight also and I can say they are pretty nice. Some of the MUA reviews are a little… generous, in raving on their highly pigmented-ness… a lot of people claim they are better than their high end makeup. I don’t know if my favorite shadow brand Too Faced is considered high end (at $16 a pop for a duo, that’s pretty high for me. It’s not a $34 lipstick but still) but that brand, as far as I’m concerned, has more pigment and is more blendable. But for being so cheap these are really good. And Walking on Eggshells is perfect for every day, despite the shimmer.

If you have a matte highlight color you can blend it between the highlight and crease at the end to kind of tone down the shine, but it’s not bad. My problem with really shimmery shadows is that they can apply really thin and flaky at times, looking too sheer.

I also used my Urban Decay Primer Potion before I applied though, and that will help anything. Hmm, what’s next:

 

Lately I’ve been inspired to try a bright lipstick. I have several really beautiful pink ones that I never wear just because I feel too … ostentatious in them. I just feel silly wearing bright LOOK AT ME lipstick, but I feel like the way I dress and my chapstick routine does not adequately represent the way I feel inside, so I’ve been sort of shifting the tide a little lately. Of course, I can’t revamp a wardrobe AND pay for lots of new apartment appliances, so a new lipstick it is, for now.

That is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme in Coral Berry. I wore it today and it cheered me up a little. It was $8.99 at Rite Aid. I have a few nude shades from Revlon as well which I also never wear because honestly I am so low maintenance when it comes to my appearance. Maybe it’s just my lack of self confidence right now, but I do feel like I will be wearing them more often now.

I also got:

From Amazon. Can’t wait to have super ’50’s hair. I threw these on my order for like $7, because I was purchasing this too (don’t ask me how cat boxes and hair rollers go together)

A super duper cat box. It’s called “Roll N Clean Litter Box” and it’s $31.99 on amazon for the large one. The idea is that you no longer have to scoop the box because you just roll it over almost all the way, and then roll it back into place. Once you’ve done that, the solid clumps and bits are supposed to wind up in that basket on the right of the box that you pull out and empty, and stick back in. You’ve probably got to shake it a bit to redistribute the litter evenly but that’s the general idea. It kind of rolls the clean litter into a reserve space on the right and puts it back when you roll it the other directions.

It has wonderful reviews. Anything to make cleaning the box a little more hygienic. Blah! Next on my list of expensive things to buy for the cat: a furminator! She WILL be brushed and she will learn to LIKE IT. I don’t want to suffer the cat hair phenomenon when Bobby and I move out like I do here at home.

Last bit of news: I have subscribed to Birchbox. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a subscription to a box of 4-5 deluxe sized samples each month delivered right to your door based on a personalized beauty profile you fill out when you sign up. It’s exciting because you don’t know what you’re gonna get and it’s fun to try out new products. The products are all high-end, but the good part about signing up is that for every month you are subscribed you receive 10 points, and 100 gets you $10 off a full sized product. They sell all of the products on the website in the full size so that if you wind up liking what you’ve been sent, you can buy it right from them. IF you do it the month that coordinates to when you received that item, you get free shipping.

You also get points for reviewing the products you’ve been sent on the website. So that is nice too.

OK this is the longest post in the history of my blogging life, even before vox.

Goodnight.

bridesmaids and cruises

So here is the bridesmaid dress I picked:

They’re from Alfred Angelo. That’s a bad quality phone pic because their website makes it really hard to steal photos from LOL… that’s the color they will be too. Angelo calls it “Hunter” .. i call it Emerald.. :p

Onto the next thing… I really just want to be married already and go on our honeymoon and just live happily ever after… But in the meantime I will dream about the cruise haha.. it will most likely be on the Disney Dream. 3 night Bahamian cruise, and our itinerary will go something like this:


Day Port Ashore Onboard
1 Port Canaveral, Florida 3:45 p.m.
2 Nassau 9:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
3 Castaway Cay 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
4 Port Canaveral, Florida 7:30 a.m.

So that should be fun. I’m soo excited! We should be able to book it this October. Here is the Disney Dream:

Disney Dream

Bobby has been on a cruise before. I’m a first timer. But I really think it will be the perfect way to end our Honeymoon 🙂 And if it ends up being too cold for us to swim at the resort when we’re in Disney, at least we should be able to in the Bahamas… lol.

My mind literally revolves around the same things lately… paying off bills, saving money, moving out, getting married, and going to disney. With the man of my dreams.

I guess I should go run now, before it gets too late. I’ve done laundry all day and that’s about it. I fail.