Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tips from Molly...

Sorry I'm MIA this week. I have finals for my second to last semester of law school, and since I'm still working full time while I'm studying, free time is non-existent: up before the sun to study an hour or so before work, go to work for 8 hours, then study for another 4-5 hours before home to eat and bed and do it again the next day.  I know you're jealous ;)

So since I don't have time to create my own content for you today, I'm sharing a link to one of the blogs I enjoy, that of model/actress/mom Molly Sims.  She probably never has to worry about the cost of her beauty products, but its nice to see she's down to earth enough to know that most of us do and to recommend some new quality items to try.  See them here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Z best thing...

I don't know how it happens, because I don't consider myself a big make-up girl, but my make-up drawer seems to slowly fill with various compacts of various powders and cream products that I rarely use, mostly because I don't know what I have!  I never stop at the make-up counters or the make-up aisles, yet through various gifts with purchase and from friends I have lots of loose items.

The problem with a lot of compacts is that their cases are solid, so you can't see what's inside without opening, and for the most part they are not customizable -- if you're anything like me you favor a shadow here with a shadow there, and if you're traveling you have to take a bunch of loose items to have your favorite colors on hand.  I was tired of the clutter and thought there must be a more efficient way to manage all my products.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Keep on blowing...

So this morning I was about half done blow drying my hair when my hair dryer just completely died.  It wasn't even very old, and I was running it on the low setting, but it just stopped. So I had to pull out my little compact travel dryer just to make myself presentable for work, and now I need a new dryer. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 pounds slimmer in a instant....

Just stand up straight!!  Seriously, this is one of the easiest ways to have a noticeable positive impact on your appearance, and how your clothes fit, and how you feel about yourself.  Slouching is actually a pet-peeve of mine, and I want to tell everyone I see to just stand up tall and straight.

Imagine if she was hunched over.
Sexy? I think not.
Now, most of us do not look like supermodels. And granted, even if a supermodel slouched, she likely wouldn't have a poochy belly or saggy breasts anyway.  But the point is, she wouldn't look like a model, and her clothes wouldn't look their best. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

And it begins...

I hope everyone had a fun and filling Thanksgiving. Mine was basically like a 3 day long meal: Thanksgiving Day with my family, Friday with my in-laws, and Saturday with my girlfriends and their families. And yes, we had a turkey meal with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean dish and pumpkin pies each of those days.  I'm starting to forget what other food tastes like. And of course our fridge is full of left overs now, even though we didn't host any of those gatherings.  Phew.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

We should be thankful every day, but its good to have a day to remind us to stop and think about all our blessings and everything we probably take for granted on a daily basis.

I hope whatever you do today and whomever you're with that it's a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quick post-gym hair...

We all know that we're supposed to get 30 minutes of exercise a day for our health.  According to the month's Health magazine, a recent study found that people who were most fit in midlife fended off heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's longer (I read that stat to my husband and laughed: they did a study on that? I thought it was common knowledge?)  I was blessed with good genetics in that I have never had a problem with my weight (fast metabolism), but I know as every day passes I get older and things are slowing down and becoming less tone. I think it's easier to maintain than to have to build.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding wonderful...

So I've been MIA for a couple weeks. Sorry about that!  First my husband hurt his back and was temporarily handicapped so that threw my days off.  Then I got some flu-like illness that had me stuck in bed for a couple days.  But then something good happened: one of my best girlfriends whom I've known since 6th grade got married this weekend.  It was a beautiful event, but it was pretty much a DIY wedding, with most every element gifted by her loving and talented friends.  I wish I had photos to share, but I was so busy acting as a co-coordinator, I didn't have my camera around to snap any.  I'm going to try to get some from friends and post later.  Until then, to give an idea, here are some of the images she had used for inspiration for the event (thanks to Pinterest):

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making me hungry...

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a lot of cookbooks that I rarely use. The problem is that I am a visual person, and I usually only want to cook something when I've seen it and it looks delicious.  So cookbooks without pictures are pretty useless to me.  The other thing is that I'm on a computer all day, not at home flipping through cookbooks, so its the recipes I see online that I'm drawn to.  And Pinterest seems to be full of only the yummiest recipes.  I want to try all that I have pinned, but the list is growing faster than I'm cooking! But here are some I'm trying soon:


Pan Seared Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime sauce, from cookingclassy.blogspot.com. I'm planning this for Wednesday this week (we like to try to eat fish at least once a week, but I'm getting a little tired of our go-to method of cajun seasoning.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Currently Craving...

Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple days. It's my goal to post daily on weekdays, but the hubby hurt his back the other night and my week got a little out of routine with having to take him to doctors and care for him at home.  He's doing much better now, though will be uncomfortable for probably a few more days at least.  But I'm back at the computer, so here's one last post for the week.

The weather in SoCal teased us last week with cool --dare I say fall?--weather.  We even had some rain. Everyone were pulling out their sweaters and boots. Then it was 90 degrees again this week.  [Sigh.] 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Tuesday to me...

My monthly Birchbox arrived yesterday, with new goodies for me to try. The month Birchbox partnered with Goop.com to offer a special box, or we could elect to recieve the regularly scheduled box. They didn't tell us what was in either box, so we just had to eenie-meenie-miney-moe.  I opted to recieve the Goop box, and while I don't know what I missed out on in the regular box, I'm happy with these samples. I may actually buy a full size of one of these.

October Goop BirchBox:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Looking Expensive: Hair color...

As I had said in a post a week or so ago, I picked up the book How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig. She starts off the book dealing with hair: our hair as a "wearable status symbol" and how to get expensive looking color without paying the expensive price tag.  This was relevant to me: I'm looking for a good hair color.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fashion for home...

I think pretty much anyone interested in affordable fashion knows about Zara.  A spanish company that is big in Europe and for a long time was only available on the east coast here in the states, finally opened stores in the west a couple years ago, and started online sales even more recently than that.  What wasn't available in the west coast stores or online was their home department.  I had heard tales of how wonderful it was, but unfortunately don't make it to the east coast often (ok, like hardly ever) and had never experienced their offerings for myself.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Succulent Green Thumb...

Or at least I'm hoping I have a green thumb with my cute succulent terrariums I made this past weekend. I'd been seeing pictures and DIY instructions around Pinterest for these, and I have always liked the idea of living centerpieces (I like the idea of growing my own plants as my personal fight against global warming - I'm sure I'm not making a dent in that problem, but still).  I discovered I had these two large vases left over from floral arrangements in the past, and I thought they'd be perfect for this project, and they are! (But if you don't have any on hand, there are neat glass containers here) I also remembered I had a bag of river stones from some other arrangements I had made, and a baggie of tiny stones from a former fish bowl.  Its like it was meant for me to make these!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stirring up color....

For someone who doesn't really cook very much, I have a LOT of cookbooks. Some I've never even ventured a recipe from.  I was weaning down my collection when I found a little seasonal booklet from Pampered Chef, and discovered that every recipe in it looked yummy AND easy. My favorite combo.

So last night I tried this recipe for a Sweet & Sour Pineapple and Pork Stir-fry.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Battling the dimples...

While it seems like the beauty industry emphasizes being as skinny as possible, there is no doubt that women are supposed to have a level of body fat for good health.  Women's bodies are designed to bring life into the world, and healthy fat is required for that. The frustrating part is that we can't control where and how that fat is stored (I'd happily carry around a bit more if it meant I needed to buy a bigger cup size! LOL) For most women, it tends to be carried in their hips and thighs.  And with that comes the dreaded cellulite.

Obviously keeping at a healthy weight and keeping toned muscles helps with the distribution and the dimpling, but fitness experts will agree that we can't "spot burn" the fat on just our hips and thighs when working out.  Cosmetic procedures are constantly evolving to provide less invasive options for spot treatment (versus the painful-looking liposuction procedure), but any of those treatments take a toll on the pocket book.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Currently Craving....

Clearly I'm not the only one!  If I had my Pinterest items in my actual closet, I would have no problem getting dressed every day.  Remember in the movie Clueless, with Alicia Silverstone, her character Cher had that computer program that would put outfits together for her? That's what Pinterest is for me ('cept I don't actually have most of the clothes in my pins!) Oh well. That just makes it more of a goal board.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Become a Lucky Lady...

I do most of my shopping on line, for multiple reasons:
  1. between working full time and going to school at night, I have little time to go to the mall;
  2. I find it easier to find items organized on a website than through the racks in a store;
  3. being almost 5'11", I usually need the special Long or Tall sizes, which many companies only carry online (annoying, actually.)
  4. I can always find coupons for my orders online.
So since I'm spending most of my clothing budget on line, how great is it that I can get money back for my purchases?!

I'm talking about Lucky Magazine's Reward program.  If you already subscribe to Lucky Magazine, you can sign up for free, and if you're not a subscriber, you can get a 90 day free trial.  The way it works is that when you are going shopping on line, you log in to the rewards site first and look for the merchant you want to shop from.  When you click to the merchant's site through the Lucky Rewards page, then a percentage of whatever you spent at the merchant gets returned to your Rewards account, and quarterly you will get a check (or shopping credit, your choice) from Lucky to spend however you want!  I made a couple small purchases mid-last-quarter, and got a check for over $20 back.  Not a lot, but better than nothing, and since I'm spending the money anyway, why not be getting some of it back?  You can use it to pay off some of what you spent (if you're responsible), or you can just shop more (umm, yeah!).
And don't forget to search on line for additional coupon codes you can use when checking out for savings or free shipping!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Expert Reveals....

It is my goal when I shop to be frugal yet to buy things that don't look cheap.  I also don't want to settle for something if its not EXACTLY what I was envisioning in my mind's eye.  But my mind's eye seems to have expensive taste.  You know those pages in fashion/beauty magazines that show multiple options of a current trend? Like "Oxfords are in this season! Here are 8 different styles all of different prices."  Inevitably, even before I know what the brand or price is, just by looking at the style, my favorite on the page will be the most expensive.  Never fails!  So annoying!

Well, I discovered this book yesterday that I have started reading and I'm hoping it will transform my shopping (and by consequence my wardrobe and style!).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blazer hunting....

Well, another weekend has come and gone.  I am not a morning person, and especially not a Monday morning person.  Because of that, Mondays are especially hard for me to care about what I put on for work.  'Cept it matters, I need to look somewhat pulled together even if I don't feel it.
Blazers and jackets are a great way to look pulled together regardless of what you are wearing under them. A blazer over jeans and a tee or a sundress can make a weekend look work appropriate (at least in laid-back LA/Hollywood), and as we start to head in to cooler weather, can prolong the wear of some warm-weather pieces and transition them in to fall. (Some ladies who are always getting it right here, here and here.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Because I like to eat good food...

White Chicken Lasagna
(image courtesy of
http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/)
That's really the reason I cook when I do. I don't 'like to cook', but I like the result.  And my husband loves to eat.  So I cook when I can (much less frequently when school is in session), and since I don't cook all that often I like to try a new recipe almost every time. 

We make it a point to eat healthy as a regular course, and Sundays are our pizza (or other junk food) day.  I tried this recipe this past weekend and I will definitely do it again, and while there are no nutritional facts given, I suspect its overall pretty healthy. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Currently craving...

Do you Etsy?  If you haven't discovered etsy.com yet, you are missing out.  Its like a wonderful land of creativity and, for the most part, loveliness.  Its like the ebay of homemade/handmade items, except its all sales and no auctions.  And I've discovered its a great place for jewelry. Not for gemstones, though you can find them too, but for unique and costume accessories without breaking the bank.  Here are some items I've been eyeing - though I better get to buying before they get snatched up!



Love the aqua shade.  www.etsy.com/shop/jennymasa

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pretty planet...

I stumbled across this link yesterday and was awestruck by some of these images. We live on an amazing planet, and too often we are too busy or disconnected to be aware. Plus, most of these are images from around the world from places most of us will never visit in our lives, so thanksfully there is photography that we can share in the sights.  Below are a few to give you a taste; check out the site for all 50 amazing images.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Soft as butter....



Or is the saying "smoothe as butter?" If so, that doesn't work as well for my point, so I'm making it "soft as butter."  And I'm referring to my hair after using one of the samples from my September Birchbox.  As you may recall, one of the product samples included was Fekkai Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner.  The packets were small, but I was able to get 2 uses out of them, and both times my hair was AMAZING.  SO soft, even noticably so while still wet in the shower.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mist me...

It has been pretty darn hot here in SoCal as of late. Actually, we're used to some summer heat, but its usually a drier heat. This has been a muggy summer. And I don't have A/C in my apartment. Which is usually fine, because we live close enough to the coast to have a steady breeze, and with ceiling fans it usually stays cool enough inside. But lately its been just past comfortable with the temp and the humidity combination.
So I like to keep a misting spray on hand to help cool and refresh me. Its also a good finish to your makeup routine, especially on hot days, because it helps your makeup set and not slip down your face in the heat. There are various options, from just mineral water to water infused with various extras such as botanicals and antioxidants. Here are some that I've tried and like:
Kinerase Hydrating Antioxidant Mist
 
I usually use this one before bed. And I also poured some into a smaller airplane carry-on size spray bottle and take on flights with me to keep me hydrated in the dry airplane cabin air.

Evian Mineral Water Spray
 
This one I usually find in the travel section of Bed Bath & Beyond. The mist is so super fine and light, and I have first-hand experience with professional makeup artists on a movie set using this to help set makeup.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist
This one I confess I have not tried yet, but it sounds good. Its already in a small travel size bottle, and it says it has a delicate rosewater scent. The very first misting spray I ever tried was years ago by Crabtree & Evelyn, and it was a rosewater refreshing mist. It appears to be discontinued ( I can't find it anywhere) but this sounds like its very similar.
 
For more options, check here. Hope these help you keep cool this summer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Its like Christmas once a month.....

For the past week I've been waiting for the daily mail delivery around the office in the hopes that my monthly pink box will arrive. Yesterday, the waiting finally ended, as my little box of goodies arrived.
I have so many products (beauty, hair, body...) at home. I don't know how it happened. I never wanted to be one of those girls. I've made a pact to myself (and my husband) that I will use up all the non-daily-necessity products I have before I buy more other products I want to try. And that's mostly the problem: if you hear good things about a product and think it's for you, you usually have to buy a full size (with a coupon, if you can find it). And then if you don't like it very much or it doesn't work as well as you wanted, you're stuck with a full size bottle collecting dust and taking up valuable bathroom counter/medicine cabinet space.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Currently Craving....

Yesterday when I was getting out of the car at home from work, one of my neighbors walking their dog asked me, "Are you a lawyer?" I smiled and said, "No, not yet. But I'm in law school."

"Oh," they replied, "Because you look like one."

I laughed. I'm not sure what about yesterday's outfit was particularly lawyer-ly - a pencil skirt and blouse can be any professional occupation - but I was flattered. For a moment. Then I thought about it and I don't want to LOOK like a lawyer, LOL! I used to get asked if I was a model (I'm tall and slender, and I THOUGHT fashionable). Things have changed, I guess. But I can still dress appropriately for my future profession without "looking" like a lawyer.

So here's some things I'm craving for their professional quality AND fashionability:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Boot hunting.....

This has been an unusually hot summer (at least this past month) in Southern California. So I've been wearing mostly sandals and pumps. But for the past 2 seasons I've been on the hunt for the perfect equestrian-style boot for the fall months. I have a brown and black pair of knee-high heeled boots, but I want a pair of flat boots. But since boots tend to be pricey, I'm searching for that perfect pair that can be casual with jeans on the weekends, and sophisticated and polished enough for work with a skirt. I think I might have finally found that pair.
Charlie Zip by Indigo by Clarks

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dreaming of the Loo...

It's funny how our daydreams change as our lift changes. 10 years ago I was day-dreaming about walking the red carpet in a designer gown, posing for photographers, on my way in to the Academy Awards. Now I day-dream about my ideal bathroom (or any room, for that matter.)
This weekend I spent the good part of a day cleaning the nooks and crannies of my master bath. This type of deep clean was long over due, and while I am happy with the results, its still not the bathroom I want. As a renter you're basically stuck with what you have. I'm trying to figure out some decor/design changes I can make that will pacify me until we can move and buy a place I can customize.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Feet! My first attempt at a DIY rug...

I live in an apartment that I don't plan on being in for many more years, so it's hard for me to bring myself to spend on expensive home decor or furnishings specific to a temporary space. But it is my home for the time being, so I want it to be personalized. I have wanted new rug for the dining area, but rugs are SO expensive. I found this one that I really liked, but it was thousands of dollars.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sweet Way to Start the Day...

I'm trying to become more organic and home-made with the body products I use. I've also been reminded from various sources that regular exfoliation is good to increase cell turnover and keep your skin young-looking, as well as the importance of moisturization to that same end.
Corrie’s Brown Sugar Body Scrub
I found this recipe for a home made brown sugar scrub, and I have given it a try.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick! A Sale!

If you've never heard of ELF Cosmetics, let me introduce you. ELF stands for Eyes Lips Face. And what better way to try a new products than with a 50% off sale! I wouldn't buy all of their products, but their studio line is pretty good, and its 50% today and tomorrow on orders over $20. (Use the code STUDIO50.)
Some of my favorite products:
e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set
e.l.f. Studio Kabuki Face Brush
e.l.f. Bronzer
e.l.f. Studio Lip Definer & Shaper

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Currently Craving...

Pinterest is good and bad for my pocketbook. Often, I satisfy my shopping urge just by browsing and then adding to my Style Board. But then I go back to my style board and buy things! Although I have to admit, Pinterest has saved me from purchases that I would have made had I not had the option to pin it, then to not really be that in to the item when I went back a few weeks later to look at my style pins. So its like a test. Pin it when I think I want it, and then go back in a few weeks and if I still want it (and it's still available) then its not a bad purchase.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It takes a good foundation...

I humbly admit that I was blessed with pretty good skin. The only acne I really have had to deal with coincides with a certain week every month, but its nothing bad and it passes and for the most part I have weeks of good skin. I started using the Mary Kay skin care system in my early 20s, and have been happy with that. As I've gotten older, the usual effects of aging are starting to show (granted, I'm only 32, but I spent my years in highschool out on the track field in Southern California without sunscreen - shame!) I've got a few spots that are appearing darker, and a few wrinkles that stay around when I stop smiling. My husband is constantly telling me to stop crunching my brow when staring at the computer or reading a book (my eyes are fine, its just that when I'm concentrating I crunch.) So I'm always looking for a good product that makes a difference when I use it and doesn't cost a fortune.
Thus, I have joined the happy family of users of BB Cream.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Yumminess for the Body....

This is the new product that I am obsessed with and telling everyone about. It's the greatest thing: all natural, multi-purpose, miraculous Coconut Oil! Specifically, Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.