Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Current Wish List

Since I'm between jobs right now and haven't been buying much, my wish list has gotten long!  Here are the items that I hope to be able to pick up in the near future:

*Lilly Pulitzer Trippin' and Sippin' 2014-2015 Large Agenda- I had a separate idea notebook just for blogging, but to organize my posts better and to remember when certain link ups were taking place, I started to write my blog ideas in the planner I'm using now.  If I'm being honest, the one I have currently is a very cheap monthly planner that I got for just a few bucks.  While I'd like to continue to use it, after I write my blog topics in, there isn't a whole lot or room for anything else.  That's why I'm wanting a planner that has a daily spread (for more details) as well as a monthly one.  I've been researching planners, and this Lilly Pulitzer one seems to have everything that I'm looking for--a great design on the cover, an elastic bound closure, pocket folders, etc.  Right now it is selling on Amazon for $34.95 plus shipping, which is cheaper than both the Whitney English and Erin Condren planners.  I feel like I should just go ahead and splurge on this planner soon because it is a 17 month planner that starts next month!!  If I wait to buy it, I'll just be missing out on days that I could be using the planner for, right??  ;)
Image via Amazon
*Top Coats- Heather blogged about her love of Seche Vite topcoat over on Stephanie's blog.  My friend Autumn raved about Nicole's 3-in-1 Top Coat.  Both girls said their manis lasted at least 10 days using these respective top coats.  With the top coat I'm currently using, my polish usually chips after 5 days.  I'd love it if I could extend the amount of time my manicure lasts for and would like to compare the two brands.
Image via: Newegg
Image via: Walgreens
*Sheer Floral Print Kimono Top  I don't necessarily follow all the trends (still own nothing pineapple!), but once I saw Charlotte Russe's floral kimono tops I knew at least one of them would be making this list!  I'm drawn to a lot of floral designs and this kimono looks comfy and flowy.  Plus, since it's going to be layered on top of shirts, I can style differently depending on the look I'm going for.  (I'll probably have about 2 different looks...face it, no fashion blogger here!)

Image via: Charlotte Russe

*Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Shampoo and Conditioner-  The reason why I'm so interested in NYM's shampoo and conditioner is because I already own NYM's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, which is one of my favorite hair products.  It makes my naturally wavy hair even wavier, plus it smells coconut but not too strong.  I'm hoping the shampoo and conditioner smell similar (or just like) the texturizing sea salt spray and that using all three products together will make my hair wavier (and not frizzy) longer.  

Image via Ulta

Image via Ulta
*The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- Rebekah wrote a mini review of this book and described it as "one of the best books" she's read "in the past few years." A simple summary of the book is that it's about two magicians that compete against each other in a Victorian circus.  I find the idea of a traveling circus pretty fascinating and the plot of the story sounds intriguing, so I really want to purchase the book!

Image via Goodreads
*FJELL Bed frame with storage- I left my old bed behind in Ohio, so I have to get a new one sooner rather than later.  Right now I'm just sleeping on two mattresses that Ev's aunt let me borrow!  The bed I like the most is this bed frame from Ikea.  It's black so it will match everything, it looks sturdy enough, and it has four drawers for storage underneath!  I really need that extra space since I'm sharing an apartment now.  The only bad thing is that the closest Ikea to me is in Atlanta, so picking up the bed would take all day and I'd probably have to rent a truck.

*Love With Food Monthly Subscription Service- Who doesn't love snacks?  These are sent right to your door for $10/month, and some of the past boxes I looked at seemed to have a decent variety of savory and sweet snacks.  Each box includes at least eight snacks, there's free shipping, and for every box purchased a meal gets donated to a food bank.  

Image via: Love With Food
What's on your wish list?

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Try So Hard

I usually wear makeup, but not always. The reactions I get when I don't wear makeup (from those who always have seen me with makeup on) aren't the nicest.  One weekend when I lived in Seoul, I got back from a trip late on Sunday night and overslept in the morning, so in order to make it to school on time, I had to run out the door without applying makeup.  That day several of my students commented and told me I looked "very bad."  One student even started to stick her fingers down her throat and pretended to throw up.  REALLY?  Two co-workers asked me if I was sick that day, too. After that, I thought I must look pretty bad without makeup, so for awhile I wore it religiously when going out in public. 

When I opt to go places makeup-free, I also frequently get asked if I'm tired.  I find this kind of funny because I don't even wear heavy makeup unless I'm going out on the town for the evening, and let's face it, I'm 33, so bar hopping isn't exactly my cup of tea (or should I say beer?) anymore.  Some days I'll only put on eyeliner and lipstick and be out the door, but without those few lousy swipes of makeup I get, "Are you feeling okay?"  On the plus side, if I ever want to get out of something, at least I know how to appear sickly, haha. Another thing that happens when I don't wear makeup is that people tell me I look a lot younger, so at least that's good, right? Thanks, I think?  

This summer I have been going without makeup more frequently, which isn't that typical for me. After three days in a row of not wearing any makeup and then finally applying some, both of my roommates commented on how I looked pretty that day (with the makeup, basically.)  It has been nice to not even bother with any makeup some days this summer, though. #lazydays 

I know that I shouldn't, but I do feel more beautiful with makeup on than without it.  The media and advertisers got to me, I guess, but this link up appealed to me because I think it's just one way to help redefine beauty. I'm certainly not opposed to makeup (HELLO, product junkie!), but I wish many of us felt at ease letting our natural beauty shine through more often.

Since one of the rules of this link up is to say something that you like about yourself (don't want you to think I'm randomly bragging, haha) I'm going to say that I am pretty proud of how my skin looks for my age.  I try to always use SPF and to stay hydrated, and I think it has paid off. 

Are you comfortable foregoing makeup in public? 

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More Highs Than Lows

I'll be wrapping up my week by writing about my highs and lows.

HIGH: I had a great time swimming on Monday with Ev, his mom, and his baby nephew.  I even swam 20 laps!  Okay, the pool is small, but arms were sore, so that says something, right? 

LOW: I got an e-mail back for a job I applied for saying they rejected me...which pissed me off a little because they didn't interview me and I had every qualification they asked for.  Arghh.  I have to not take it personally.  I mean, who knows?  Maybe the job was filled already or maybe they had to post it by law but had an internal candidate.  I just have to let it go.

HIGH:  Despite that e-mail rejection I received, I have a good lead on a job that I am pretty much guaranteed.  That is a relief to know!

HIGH: I made a Ranch pesto rigatoni bake for Everett and Jared using this Pinterest recipe and it turned out really well.  It was so easy to make, and I didn't have to go out and buy many ingredients for it.

HIGH: This weekend I headed back to Ohio and got to see Rachael!  I didn't think I'd be able to see her again before she left for China, but this spur of the moment trip back to Ohio made it possible!  Yayyy!!  We went to Applebee's and saw 22 Jump Street.  I never would have thought that I would make such a good friend through blogging!

LOW: I was not feeling well at ALL on Saturday...I think I had some bad food.  It pretty much ruined my whole day.

HIGH: I got to see my parents a little this trip.  We played some cards, and then my mom took me to Wal-Mart and bought me two Essie polishes. (Hellloo Play Date and For the Twill of It!!)  I love how I'm in my early thirties and my mom still spoils me! :D

HIGH: I am so picky about my hair because a lady three years ago cut my hair into a mullet-like shape, and I finally found a hairdresser that did a good job in Ohio.  I was wondering where I was going to get my hair done in Georgia, but since I'm back in Ohio now I was able to squeeze in an appointment at my favorite place!

HIGH: Being back in Ohio is making me 100% sure that moving was right for me!  Don't get me wrong, there are things I really like about Ohio, but so far I'm much happier down in the Savannah area.

What were the highs and lows of your week? 

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm going to skip past the introduction and get right into my favorites! 

* Marvis toothpaste:  I was shopping around in downtown Savannah and came across a small tube of Cinnamon Mint toothpaste from Marvis.  The stylish, old-fashioned tube caught my interest right away, and because I had never used a cinnamon flavored toothpaste before, I decided to go ahead and try it out.  The positive reviews I read from those who received a sample of Marvis in one of their Birchboxes also didn't hurt!  Although I'm pretty religious about brushing my teeth, I wouldn't necessarily say that brushing my teeth is something that I necessarily look forward to.  However, when I had this tube of Marvis in my possession (mine is actually already all gone), I found myself brushing my teeth more often than I normally would.  It's because the flavor and consistency of this Italian toothpaste make a routine task more fun!  After using this kind of toothpaste, my mouth and teeth felt clean.  Marvis makes other flavors besides the cinnamon mint one that I tried, which are: ginger mint, jasmine mint, acquatic mint, amarelli licorice, and classic mint. 

* Mini frying pan:  When I say "mini," I mean mini!  This frying pan is so small that I can only fry one egg in it at a time.  Besides the fact that it's cute, I like this pan because it's easy to clean, doesn't take a long time to heat up, and my eggs are always cooked to perfection!  

* Snail Mail in general: On Wednesday, I confessed how annoyed I got when people did not send thank you cards after I gave them money for their wedding, but some people are just so courteous that they send thank you cards unexpectedly!  Heather @ My Little HEA is too sweet and send me a thank you card for a gift I got her for a swap we participated in.  Also, my mom sent me a funny card out of the blue.  I am thankful for the little things in life that bring a smile to my face!  

* eShakti.Com- eShakti is an online retailer that specializes in custom clothing for women sizes 0-36, and I just had a great experience with their company.  Being a tall and curvy girl, shopping can be a nightmare.  Oftentimes, I'll see an article of clothing I want, only to find that it is not available in my size which can be very disappointing.  Specifically, I've always had issues with finding dresses that are long enough for me.  In fact, a lot of the dresses I own look more like shirts on me...Even my five year old students noticed and one of them asked me, "Miss Lisa, are you wearing a shirt or a dress today?" 

A "dress" from Express that is way too short to wear without leggings!
On, I was able to customize my dress so that I could get the length I wanted.  I don't even have to wear leggings with it, either!!!  (And, let's face it, when you live in Georgia like I do, you don't want the extra layer of clothing in this heat!)  My dress is the perfect length for teaching, so in addition to wearing this dress out in town, I'll also be able to wear it in schools.

Another feature that I was over the moon about was that there were different options available for the sleeves of the dress.  Since I gained weight in recent years, I'm a bit self conscious of my upper arms and try to avoid anything with capped sleeves.  The dress shown on EShakti's site was actually this one:

Since I didn't want the capped sleeves, I went ahead and changed that in order to achieve a more flattering overall look.  The best part is that the changes can be done with the click of a button at no extra charge!

If you like what you heard about eShakti, head on over to their Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest page to see some more adorable styles.

* Gone Girl- I used to be an avid reader, but not so much this summer with the exception of Gone GirlGone Girl was the first book in a long time that sucked me in with the plot.  The mystery around Amy's disappearance hooked me right away.  There are so many twists and turns that I could not put the book down.  It is the definition of a page turner, at least it was for me!

Can you tell me of a recent time in which you had a favorable shopping experience?

**The dress was provided to me by EShakti for review purposes, but all opinions are my own. 
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Favorite Snacks Lately

Since I have a tendency to get low blood sugar, I have to have my snacks throughout the day.  Snacking during the day also prevents me from getting super hungry and then pigging out on big meals.  I have certain go-to snacks like cherry tomatoes and hummus, grapes, bananas, and yogurt, that are pretty much staples for me.  In addition to my regular snacks, I also like to change it up a bit because I get bored eating the same thing over and over.  Today I'll be sharing with you some of the snacks that I've been enjoying since my move to Georgia.

* Salsa and hummus mixed together with Sun Chips- I saw Everett eating salsa and hummus mixed together and tried some for myself.  Delicious!  I found myself saying, "Now why didn't I think of that?"  I've probably had this snack at least 5 times since he told me about it a few weeks ago. 

* Fresh French bread with Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate spread- Our local Wal-Mart is selling a loaf of fresh French bread for just a dollar, making this a cheap option.

* Oikos Key Lime Yogurt with a tiny handful of chocolate chips and dollop of whipped cream on top- It's better for you than a real piece of Key Lime Pie, but just adding the small bit of chocolate and whipped cream makes it feel like an indulgent dessert.

* Cookie in a Cup- The reason why I love this snack is because it doesn't take long to prepare, and you're only making enough for ONE serving.  If I made regular chocolate chip cookies, do you think I'd stop at just one?  No way!

*Garden Veggie Straws in Zesty Ranch- These are supposedly better for you than regular chips because they have "30% less fat."  I'm kind of wary of that statistic and certainly do not consider these to be healthy because they have the word "veggie" in the name, but I will say that I find these pretty tasty as a chip alternative. 

*Fruit Smoothies- I've been on a big smoothie kick since I moved to Georgia.  I don't even have a specific recipe that I follow.  I'll just go to the store and buy a lot of fresh fruit and mix together whatever I feel like and add in some yogurt and ice or just some milk.  Everything always ends up tasting great and it is helping me to consume more fruit than I normally would.

* Flour-less pancakes with blueberries- My friend posted a picture on Facebook of two eggs and a banana.  With those ingredients and some blueberries, you're all set to make these pancakes.  I put the eggs and banana into my NutriBullet, blend them together, and then just pour some batter into a frying pan to cook like I would a regular pancake.

* Dr. Pepper Cherry Cupcakes- Because Ashliegh's post made these cupcakes look so tempting, I decided to go ahead and make them yesterday.  Let's just say that they didn't last long--my roommates devoured them.  I may have, too.  Ashliegh mentioned that using Dr. Pepper Cherry in place of the egg and oil the normal recipe calls for actually cuts the calories in each cupcake.  Check out the recipe for them over on Ashliegh's blog.

What are some snacks that you can't get enough of lately?

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