Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Favorites 2013

I was extremely busy during the month of May with studying for finals, moving out of my apartment, starting hurling, and traveling a ton! So the things that ended up being my favorites were things that are my essentials!

The Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate was constantly in my pocket and on my lips. I love how easy it is to swipe on my lips without looking in a mirror and *bonus* it's a great everyday pink shade!

I received the Osis Dust It hair powder in the Spring VoxBox from Influenster and was skeptical at first. I didn't like the way it made my hair feel and I thought it had a strange smell. Regardless of these first hesitations, I ended up using it every day in May. That is just testament to the fact that this product really works and I hope I don't run out any time soon!

The Wet n Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana doesn't quite look like a bronzer, so I've been using it as a highlighter. You'd think with how fair my skin is I'd be able to use this bronzer correctly, but I love it as a highlighter. It is just an easy glow for a lovely summer day.

Pantene Aqua Light shampoo has been my recent shampoo obsession. Who knew that the tried and true Pantene could still impress me? It doesn't weigh down my hair, and I love the pleasant scent. This shampoo leaves my hair voluminous and ready for styling.

I can honestly say I used the Pink Vibrant and Beachy body splash every single day in May. I carried it with me back and forth from Minnesota to Wisconsin while traveling between home and school and I couldn't leave it out of my May favorites.

This cute little notebook I purchased from Target last summer has become my Fitness Journal. I've been recording my daily workouts so I can track my progress and training. I grew accustomed to recording my workouts during the half-marathon training and thought it would help me to stay on a schedule. Up until last October I played hockey like a mad woman on a very structured schedule. If I schedule my workouts I will make time for it. This is one of my top fitness tips to anyone who is looking to start a fitness program or trying to get back in shape.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Baby Lips from Maybelline in Quenched. This is just the plain scented lip balm and I use it on a daily basis. I've mentioned the Neutrogena Hand Cream in previous posts as my all time favorite lip balm, but while I was traveling it was easier to carry a lip balm in my pocket than a bottle of hand cream. I highly recommend this lip balm.

My favorite song of the month was definitely "Mexico" by Dave Moisan. I'm pretty sure I played it over a zillion times already.

Can't wait for what products June will bring me!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Michael Todd True Organics Tropical Fruit Enzyme Scrub Review

The Michael Todd True Organics Tropical Fruit Enzyme Scrub takes you out of your bathroom and places you on the beach with a pina colada in your hand. If that doesn't say "I smell fantastic" to you, then I don't know what does!

The smell alone could sell me on this product, but it has also evened out my skin tone and smoothed my skin texture. I don't think it is a holy grail item that I'll always have on hand, but I do love using it and have noticed a difference in skin texture since I've begun using this. I like that this is an enzyme scrub because it is gentle enough for my sensitive skin. Enzyme products exfoliate without damaging delicate facial skin. It's delicate enough for me to use it every other day!

If you've read any of my previous posts you'll know I love natural products. Michael Todd True Organics uses many organic ingredients as the brand name suggests, 98% natural organic ingredients to be exact.

Overall it smells fantastic, it works, and I'd recommend it to a friend.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Influenster VoxBox Review

****I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.****
I will be completely honest with all of my reviews of these products because I am not being paid to say anything. I am happy to receive this box, but it will not sway my opinion of any brands or products.

I was so excited when I opened my mailbox to find this pink box peeking out with an array of new products for me to test out. 

I have not yet tried out the Broadway Nails imPress Press-on Manicure, but am quite skeptical. I've never actually worn fake nails and don't think they will be very comfortable. I will give it the old college try and if I like them it will be a nice alternative if I'm in a rush. They are pink which is nice because it's one of my favorite nail colors!

OSiS Dust It is a mattifying, texturizing hair powder. I don't especially love it because it leaves my hair feeling tacky, but it does really work. I have quite flat hair and this pumped up the volume. It makes my hair feel like second day hair which will be great for days when my hair is feeling too slippery for styling. Overall, it's a good product, but I recommend it with minor reservations. 

The NYC New York Color Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm smells just like apples. It has a pleasant taste, gives sheer color, and doesn't feel sticky. If I'm looking for a lip balm I usually lean toward the non-tinted shades, but this is nice and I will end up using it for days when I want something that smells yummy. 

I should have tested the Secret Outlast Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deodorant yesterday during the MHC Opening Day hurling matches when I was running all day, but forgot and used my regular deodorant. So I tested it on a normal day and was pleased with the results. I probably wouldn't repurchase this because I prefer solid deodorant, but it does work well. The scent is a bit stronger than I like for deodorants, as well. 

Lastly, I received the Tastykake Kandy Bar Kake. I wasn't actually the one to enjoy this, but instead I let my friend help me out. His direct quote was, "It was good. I'd eat another one." So if that says anything I'm guessing it was good. 

I had a fun time testing out these products and am happy to have been a part of this Spring VoxBox!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Me Without Makeup: A Post About Loving Yourself

In the midst of all the concealers, cleansers, treatments, and creams I sometimes lose sight of what is truly important: loving myself without any of the additions. Loving my skin blemishes, freckles, moles and all. So drumroll please...here I am in all my bare-skinned glory.
As all of you must know by now, I love beauty products. I stroll down the aisles of Target looking for the newest skincare treatments hoping that I will find a life changing product to end any and all skin issues for the rest of eternity. Because that will change the world--kidding! Recently I've been thinking about the kind of person I am and the kind of person I hope to be. I want to inspire, motivate, and instill hope in future generations (or really anyone!). I want to be someone people can look up to. I want to, dare I say, change the world. And although talking about beauty products can't change the world, perhaps I can inspire just one person to be confident and love herself. No one is perfect, no one looks flawless all the time, and everyone has bad days.

I've always looked up to strong female athletes like Angela Ruggiero, Cammi Granato, and Wilma Rudolph because they're strong and fearless and have paved the way for women in sports. To be as successful as they have been they had to be confident and love themselves every step of the way. I'm sure there were times they didn't feel beautiful or confident, but guess what? They went out and fought tough battles and are now legends.

I want to be like these strong women who are beautiful and passionate and happy with their bodies and their lives. I've never been unhappy with my body, but as a girl I do sometimes feel pressure to look a certain way. I've hidden behind concealer for years and it's time to stop. I'm almost 21 years old and it's time to feel proud and beautiful and happy with who I am when nothing is covered up. I've picked at blemishes leaving scars, another issue I'm currently working on. I'm no where near cured of this habit, but I've gotten exponentially better. I have finally realized that most people will not notice if I forgo the makeup for a day. If I don't wear concealer to cover up my imperfections, the world does not end. As much as I love makeup and the way I look all done up, I've come to love myself not wearing makeup as well.

I dare you to go a few days without any makeup at all! It's scary and it's revealing, but I promise you'll feel more confident and love yourself just a little bit more!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Burt's Bees Honey & Shea Sugar Scrub Review

As much as I love beauty products, especially skincare, I've never purchased a sugar scrub or body exfoliation product before this week. I know, you're all shocked! I always just thought it wouldn't make that much of a difference, but after using the Burt's Bees Honey and Shea Sugar Scrub I'm a full convert.
First off, this product smells like heaven. It is unmistakably honey scented, but it's also very warm and cozy with a hint of vanilla. I can't buy anything without knowing what it smells like so I had to poke a hole in the foil covering while standing in the beauty aisle of Target. I know, I know, that was bad, but I bought it so it's ok!
The only reason I picked this up in the first place was because I read that exfoliation was the key to a good self-tan. I've been heavily using Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer in the attempt to look less like a ghost by the time I'm wearing shorts full time. Not only did the Burt's Bees Sugar Scrub impress me with improvements in self-tanning, but my shave was so much closer on my legs after using it! I can also attest to the fact that my shave has lasted longer than usual and my skin is extremely soft. Always a plus, especially in shorts season when I'd rather not shave my legs every single day.

If you've always scoffed at exfoliators like me, pick this up and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Style Wishes

I love online window shopping and have been spending a lot of time doing so while procrastinating studying for finals. So I'm not surprised to have come across quite a few items that would fit perfectly into my summer wardrobe. It's hard to know if I'd even like these items in real life, but as I'm sitting here dreaming about summer I can picture all of the fun outfits I could create with these pieces!
Tank-Blogilates, Pants-lululemon, Scarf-Anthropologie, Daisy-Sephora, Bikini-Victoria's Secret, Maxi Skirt-PacSun, Earrings-Loft
If you've not yet heard of Blogilates (YouTube Pilates) I definitely think you should check it out. Cassey Ho is a certified fitness trainer and Pilates instructor who does fun and creative workouts on YouTube. Cassey calls her workouts POP Pilates because she creates all of her routines with pop music in mind. Each month Cassey releases a free monthly workout calendar on her blog so her readers can pair the videos for a well rounded workout. I love her upbeat attitude and motivating character. I've definitely noticed a difference in muscle tone, and I've had so much fun doing it! I want this shirt for summer to represent my Blogilates pride as a POPster and because it's cute and fun for all of my outdoor workouts in the summer sun.

I have been drooling over these running pants from lululemon for over a month now and I could never justify buying a pair of yoga pants that are that expensive ($100!!), but I can still select them for my wishlist! They look absolutely fabulous and I'm sure they'd make me a faster runner (kidding!).

This scarf from Anthropologie is another pricey purchase at $48 dollars, but it's so pretty. It's on my list so I can keep it in mind while shopping at cheaper stores this summer. I'm positive that if I keep my eyes open I'll be able to find a dupe for this at a much cheaper rate! It's so colorful and summery I know I could pair this with anything from a plain tank to a dress!

Daisy by Marc Jacobs is a scent I thought I'd never like. I'm not big on floraly scents, but this is a perfect summer scent. There must be a hint of vanilla in there to warm it up! I think the fresh light fragrance would be great for summer date night or even a day at the beach! I must earn enough money to buy this before summer is over, for sure. I will wear it like it's going out of style. If you've seen my Perfume Collection post you'll know I say that about everything and am a perfume hoarder. But still, this smells great regardless of my product hoarding.

The bikini top is from Victoria's Secret and I know I have suitable swimwear, but what girl doesn't need another bikini top? Right? I probably won't purchase this, but it's always fun to imagine your dream bikini wardrobe! I love the mint green paired with the white polka dots because it is almost reminiscent of pin up style swim suits, but a bit more modern.

Maxi skirts are always in for summer and I think they give a boho vibe to any look. I want to boho-ify my look this summer and this skirt would be a great start! I also have a lot of white tops that would pair well with this along with my trusty Gizeh Birkenstocks.

Last but not least, these Loft earrings are pretty similar to a pair I purchased from Forever 21 for a dollar, but I'm guessing these are a bit higher quality. I love bigger post earrings because dangly earrings make my ears hurt. These are sparkly and give a summer shine to the ears! Another item I'll be drooling over for the next few weeks!

What is on your summer wishlist?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Outfit Inspired by Evergreen Love by Misty Miller

I said this, this is great
And I hope that we can make
It last like evergreen love should

I feel Evergreen Love is a perfect song to represent summer romances. It's hopeful for the future and Misty's innocent lyrics allow the listener to feel light and happy. There are no hidden meanings, nothing that the listener must think about-- just pure, happy, lasting love.
Earrings-Etsy, Bag-ASOS, Nail Polish-Ulta, Dress-Forever 21, Necklace-Brandy Melville, Shoes-TOMS
This simple love song is pure and beautiful. How perfect for a beautiful spring or summer day? Summer love is uncomplicated, hopeful, and fun, just like this outfit. The on-trend high-low dress is floaty and romantic, the TOMS shoes are comfortable and classic, and the bag adds a bit of character as a feature piece.

You can listen to Evergreen Love by Misty Miller here.

If you have a favorite song you'd like me to pull outfit inspiration from I'd love to take suggestions!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Motivation Monday - May 13

Finals week is quickly approaching and I thought it'd be nice to dedicate a post to motivation and inspiration. There's only one week of school left and I might as well go out with a bang! Here are some quotes that leave me feeling like I can take on the world.

This really speaks to me during finals because I've been battling with a math class (I'm a writer not a mathematician!) and I will not give up. This quote can fit into so many situations that I think it will always hold meaning for me. 

Mondays are an easy excuse to follow the crowd and just ignore the urge to go out and be something. So forget about the easy way today and make your voice be heard. You have something meaningful and important to say to the world, so go out there and say it.

As summer is quickly approaching, quite a few people may be out exploring new places even if you're in the next town over. You're still adventuring! Take it all in and enjoy life for all the beautiful things we take for granted every day.

And finally, this one is particularly special to me because I'll be heading back to my beloved Wisconsin in just a few short days! This is my reminder that I get to spend a glorious summer at home with my friends and family. But first I must ace those finals! So I better get back to studying...

Friday, May 10, 2013

What's In My Purse - May 2013

I love seeing the contents of other people's purses because I feel like it really gives you a sense of who they are. Here is what is in mine!

The bag I've been using for about two years now (that's how much I love it) is from the brand Roxy. Unfortunately, I don't believe they carry it anymore. I even searched Zappos to find a link, but I couldn't find it. Roxy has so many options for purses though, and they are very durable. So even though you wouldn't be able to purchase this exact bag, there are so many similar styles.

I always carry a nail file around because you never know when you'll snag your nail on something or your nail polish will chip. I never thought I'd be one of those girls carrying a nail file around, but here I am. And I've found it useful on more than a few occasions.

Body spray is a must for any bag of mine. If I need to feel fresh I can just spritz away and then I smell as pretty as I did when I left my house!

My hand sanitizer, a Shout stain wipe, a tampon, and a Listerine spray go with me everywhere. I never know what I'll spill on myself and the Shout wipes are a hit when I'm out with friends too. I'm the hero if there's ever a spill.

I have the L'Occitane Hibiscus hand cream and Burt's Bees Chapstick because I always reapply if I'm out all day.

My wallet is from Urban Outfitters and is extremely durable. I like that it zips up and keeps all of my cards and money safe. There are also quite a few compartments to help keep my things organized.

Sunglasses are a necessity in spring and summer and these are from Target (sorry they're quite hard to see in the photo). They are big and I love the way they frame my face.

Finally, I carry NYX blotting papers and Evian facial mist with me in case I need to touch up my makeup. I never carry makeup around with me because I find my makeup stays on pretty much all day without reapplying. It's just nice to have tools in case I find myself sweating or feeling oily.

Not photographed: My keys! I hang my keys up on my wall when I'm home because they're on a lanyard. I don't take my purse to class with me so my keys have a different spot in my room where I know I won't forget them on my way out the door.

What is in your purse?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Outfit Inspired by Just One by Blind Pilot

Born in with a reason,
blown out like a ghost.
We came with our best lines,
told them like jokes.
If I could have known then
we were dying to get gone...

This beautifully simple song could have many different meanings, but I interpret "Just One" as a love song. I'm a hopeless romantic so I'll try to pull a love story out of almost anything, but I'm fairly certain that it is about a love that may not have worked out. I believe this song alludes to the fact that we only get one destiny, one true love, one life. This outfit, just like the song, is simple, beautiful, and full of details that encourage you to live your life because we only get "just one."
Bag-Forever 21, Nail Polish-Amazon, Romper-Target, Necklace-Bauble Bar, Bracelet-Brandy Melville, Shoes-DSW
I put together an outfit that is simple in nature, but highlighted with accessories that help you embrace the essence of your one life, one love, and one destiny. The bold coral accessories along with the gold accents brighten up this dark ensemble. They remind you that even in the dark there are point of light and reason. You must see past the dark and fully enjoy every moment you have. Also, thisbag is a Forever 21 dupe of the Chanel quilted bags! What a great find!

You can listen to "Just One" here

From Grandma With Love

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Healthy "Fried" Bananas

I was inspired to use some of my quickly browning bananas today, but wanted something sweet. I adapted an actual fried banana recipe from Pinterest and created this delicious treat! I'm no chef, and I'm sure this has been done in some capacity before, so I'm not saying I'm the first one to ever do this before. Also, none of the measurements are going to be exact. This healthy treat is gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and fully raw. It's nice to know you can create something so scrumptious with so few ingredients! All you need is a banana, honey, water, cinnamon, and almond butter (optional).

All of these ingredients are very healthy and I recently read an article about cinnamon that said even the scent of cinnamon can boost your brain. As a college student preparing for finals, I definitely need the brain boost. Cinnamon also enhances memory and focus so I'll be sprinkling it like a magic potion next week!

I took one banana and cut it into pieces as if I was making a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I wanted the pieces to be small enough to cook quickly and not be a mouthful to eat! I threw the banana slices into a pan on medium heat with some cooking spray so the banana pieces wouldn't stick.

I let them cook for about 45 seconds to a minute before flipping them. Then I took raw honey and tried my best to dissolve it into water so the bananas would be evenly coated in the mixture. I used a heaping spoonful of honey and just enough water to dissolve it. I turned off the heat on the stove, poured the honey mixture in and let it bubble for a second. It gets nice and brown, like caramelized sugar. Then I placed the mixture in a bowl and covered it in cinnamon. It's not photographed, but I also placed a spoonful of almond butter on top because the combination of almond butter and bananas is classic. I know it doesn't look like the most appetizing thing you have ever eaten, but, believe me, it is delicious.

Have you tried any healthy snacks lately? Let me know!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Products I Regret Purchasing

I don't often buy a product I don't love, but there will always be a few where they just don't work out. Occasionally I'll have an impulse buy, or something will not work well with my skin, but for the most part the other products from any of these brands are great.

Smashbox HD Concealer, Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, The Body Shop DeoDry Deodorant, Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
If you've read any of my previous posts you'll know I'm a concealer fanatic. I'll try anything once, and I'd heard so many good things about this Smashbox HD concealer. Magazines dubbed it "Best Concealer," my friends raved about it, and I trusted that a high end brand could do no wrong. Unfortunately, this product didn't work out for me. The color is too yellow, I find it goopy and hard to work with, and it does not blend very easily. For me, this concealer was much too heavy. I know many people love this product, but it was just not the right match.

The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream wasn't a huge disappointment for me because I only got a free sample in a Sephora order, but I thought it was going to work wonders. Instead, it stung my eyes and made them look puffier than before. I do have sensitive skin, so I'm sure this eye cream would be great for those with less sensitive skin.

I love The Body Shop and all of the more natural products. This was a non-aluminum deodorant that actually kept me dry and smelling fresh all day. The only downside for me was that I had an allergic reaction to the eucalyptus in this line of products. If you're looking for a natural deodorant, and are not allergic to eucalyptus, then I highly recommend this. I only regret purchasing this because I cannot enjoy it.

Mascara is a must have item for me everyday. I heard so many beauty gurus on YouTube talking about this mascara and how much they loved the brush. Being the sucker for beauty products that I am, I went out and bought the coveted mascara. I got home and tried it on only to be disappointed with the flimsy brush. I need a sturdy brush to really work the mascara onto my lashes. I like to have a bit of force behind it and this brush took away any sense of force. The formula is great, like all Maybelline mascaras, but I do not like the brush.

The biggest beauty disappointment for me recently was this Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream. This was an impulse buy and I hadn't heard much about it, but I'd always wanted to try BB cream for its wonderful benefits. Unfortunately my sensitive skin couldn't handle this product and it broke me out. I am too afraid to test it out again so I'm just giving up on it. I wouldn't recommend this to those of you with sensitive skin.

Are there any products out there that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rainy Day Outfit

So, as we all know, spring is a rainy month. And while there has been more snow than rain here, I thought it'd be fun to throw together an outfit for a rainy day where you don't feel like staying indoors. Sometimes even 20 year olds need to splash in the puddles and dance in the rain.
Head Band- Forever 21, Jacket- Gap, Tank- Victoria's Secret, Rain Boots- Target, Leggings- Tilly's, Umbrella- Amazon
With this adorable rainy day ensemble you'd be able to splash through the puddles and look bright like the flowers that are blooming this spring! The Target rain boots are almost exactly like the very cute, but very expensive, Hunter rain boots that everyone loves. The flower umbrella reminds you that the April (or spring) showers bring May flowers. You can keep your hair out of your face with a bright head wrap that complements the look by adding the brightness to your face. Once the rain stops you'd be able to slough off the coat and be ready to take on the sunshine in a cute low back tank. Pair it with a fun bandeau to really make the look pop. 
Don't be afraid to dance in the rain, even if you're 20.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow - Golden Sunset (Eyeshadow Perfection)

So I know this eyeshadow is a little worse for wear, but it's been well loved. This L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow in Golden Sunset is an ultimate favorite eyeshadow for me. I've probably had it for almost two years now, but I still love it as much as the day I purchased it. Some eyeshadows lose their magic with me, but not Golden Sunset. Now I'm almost positive this color has been discontinued (*tears*), but I scoured the web searching for places to find it online and they do still carry it here.

This has become an everyday staple for me because the golden shimmer is not at all chalky or chunky. It sweeps over the eyelid effortlessly and creates a bit of dimension for my eyes. It's subtle enough for everyday, but bold enough to be layered and worn out at night. I think this is a beautiful shade perfect for any complexion. If I ever see more of these eyeshadow singles at Target I might just have to grab every single one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meeting Laila Ali

I had the incredible opportunity to hear Laila Ali speak at my school this week. She's a legend and she's only in her 30s! Obviously, her father is a boxing legacy, but she has accomplished so much on her own that she will be a legacy as well.

From a very young age, Laila decided she didn't want to be known as Muhammad Ali's daughter, she wanted to be independent. She spoke about her inspirations, her training regime, and how a healthy lifestyle wasn't always a part of her plan.

Her outlook really resonated with me as an athlete because there I was sitting in the audience listening to a 24-0 world champion. I know to be successful in anything I need to be motivated and inspired by people like her. When asked about staying motivated in the gym she replied, "If I'm lagging or dogging it and not doing my best, I ask myself, 'Why am I here?'" This is true of all things in life. Why do something if you're only going to do it halfway? Do everything 110% to be successful.

Laila Ali is tough, beautiful, and inspiring. I want to be like her because she's a member of the Women's Sports Foundation working to motivate and get young girls excited about sports. This is an organization that is special to me because I've had such great experiences in sports growing up and I want to share that with others. I wouldn't change it for the world and being an athlete has sculpted me into the woman I am today. She a fighter, a role model, and a beautiful person. I hope I can be as successful as she is someday.
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