A Look Back at 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, you were absolutely incredible.

January 1// New Year's kiss
February 7// Wedding cake tasting
March 19// My bridal shower
April 13// My 21st birthday
May 30// Final dress fitting and hair trial
May 31// Joe's 24th birthday
June 7// My bachelorette party
June 18-25// Our honeymoon
July 6// My niece Amelia's birth
October 5// Disneyland trip
October 31// Halloween
November 27// Thanksgiving
December 25// Christmas

What are some of your favorite memories from this past year?

New Year Thoughts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tomorrow is New Years Eve, and then it will be 2015! I am just having the hardest time believing 2014 is over. What a crazy/amazing year it's been! I mean, it's the year I GOT MARRIED! 2014 will always be a super important year to me for that reason alone. I remember when I got engaged in the beginning of 2013 feeling like mid 2014 would never arrive, so overwhelmed and filled with excitement from all the wedding planning, and now that whole year is over and done. So for me, 2014 will officially be known as "Wedding Year" because even after the wedding and honeymoon came and went, the year still was all about receiving wedding photos and mailing thank you cards and preserving weddings dresses (we still haven't even seen our wedding video yet!)

So it's sad but also a little bit relieving that Wedding Year is over. It was an amazing experience having over a year completely dedicated to that special day, and now it's so nice to look at our big canvas photo from our wedding day and feel proud and relaxed.

So now that 2015 is about to begin, I get so anxious thinking about this time next year. What will I be calling the "theme" of 2015? What major event (if any) will be the thing that pops into my head whenever I think about that year? I hope to just go with the flow and allow whatever happens to just happen, and let this year be whatever it's meant to be.

What was the most exciting thing that happened to you in 2014?

My Favorite Drugstore and High-end Makeup

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I've always been interested in makeup, but I feel like this year I really developed a love for all things beauty. I have a makeup collection that I'm pretty proud of, and feel like I know much more when makeup shopping then I did before. Reading labels and researching before buying is something I started doing this year and really enjoy knowing more about. So I made a list of some of my favorite makeup products, both high-end and drugstore, that I use most often.

Up until recently, the only thing I ever used to apply my foundation was a basic MAC 190 foundation brush. It does the job, but it never seemed to blend well and would leave streaks. When I saw that a million Youtubers loved the Beauty Blender, I had to give one a try, and I'm obsessed. It's for sure my favorite tool to use for a flawless foundation application. I definitely use this on most days, but I also have this Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. For a brush, it blends really well, and for only $9, you can't go wrong.
I've mentioned both of these foundations here before, but it's for a good reason, they're amazing! I'm currently on my fourth bottle of Revlon Colorstay and have every intention to continue buying it. For me, it's the perfect everyday, natural looking foundation. It blends well, doesn't cake, and lasts all day! The Nars Sheer Glow is kind of like a nicer version of this, the only reason I even tried it was because I hadn't discovered the Revlon yet. The only differences are the Nars would probably be better if you have really sensitive skin and want nicer ingredients. 

Bronzer is something that always intimidated and kind of scared me. Since I'm so pale, I always thought it would look really unnatural and fake on me. But with the help of mostly my sister, I learned how to apply it to look natural and just add definition to my face. I started using Hoola by Benefit, since I love that brand, and it's perfect for contouring. I never add bronzer all over my face anyways, so this is perfect to add a little glow. I also love this one from NYX. It's matte, so it can look a little heavier on, but with practice it really enhances your look.

Blush has always been one of my favorite beauty products, along with lipstick, so I had a hard time coming up with only two I use often. I generally like to go for warmer, peachy shades, I feel like they compliment my skin tone, so the color Captivating by Tarte is one of my favorites. These blushes look very natural, and really last all day without being thick and cakey. I also love this one from Milani. It's a baked blush, so it's really soft and easy to apply.

 Concealer is a really important step for me, I have the darkest under-eye circles and look like I haven't slept in days if I don't cover them. I really love the MAC Pro Longwear concealer. It's like an all in one; heavy coverage, doesn't crease, and lasts all day. I love this stuff! A really cheap option for a  heavy duty concealer is Glamoflauge by Hard Candy. This stuff is crazy thick. The teeniest dot with cover up pretty much everything. Just make sure to use primer underneath it or it'll crease.
Liquid is the only kind of eyeliner I'll wear. I'm not a fan of the kohl, smudgy look, I like a clean line. So liquid pens are the way to go. They can be tricky to master, but once you've got it down it looks really good. The only real difference between these two eyeliners is the Stila one lasts longer, but the Maybelline is a great option for the price.

 One part of my makeup I don't necessarily want to look natural is my lashes, for me, the bigger the better. I want it all; long, thick, black, curled lashes. Mine are naturally pretty long, but stick straight out (I have to use a eyelash curler). Benefit's They're Real Mascara is my all time favorite. It gives me everything I mentioned before without making them clumpy and spidery. If you can't justify $23 for mascara, L'Oreal's Miss Manga is really good. All the same results, just don't go overboard or it'll start to clump.
 I'm always on the hunt for that perfect, everyday, keep in my purse lipstick. And so far I have a few I love. I tend to look for warm pinky nude shades, and YSL's Nude Beige is perfection. My favorite lipstick color ever, plus a creamy, soft formula, and just look at the tube it comes in, beautiful! A cheap nude I really like is NYX butter lipstick in Fun Size. It's a really pretty peachy-nude color I wear regularly. It's not as smooth and soft as the YSL, but amazing for the price!
And finally, a makeup collection isn't complete without the perfect red lipstick. My (and a ton of people's) favorite is MAC Russian Red. It's a really nice, deep matte red that looks amazing on every skin tone. And if you've ever had a MAC lipstick, you know how nice they are. A really good alternative is Rimmel Kate in the shade 10. To me, it's the perfect crayon red color, and these lipsticks are surprisingly smooth and moisturizing for how inexpensive they are. This is the only shade I have from this collection, but it's made me want to go out and get a bunch more!

So those are a few of the amazing makeup products I've discovered this year and love. And goes to show you don't need to spend a lot to get a gorgeous makeup application. Have you ever tried any of these products? What are your all time favorite makeup products, drugstore or high-end?


Christmas 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Joe and I had the most amazing first Christmas as a married couple. It's one I will remember forever. Such a lovely day spent laughing with family, eating delicious food, and being super lovey-dovey!

Christmas 2014 was definitely one for the books!

I hope those of you who celebrate had a completely wonderful Christmas, and the rest of you had a nice Thursday!

December 2014 Birchbox vs. Ipsy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

That's right, I've added on to my monthly subscription boxes, I now am receiving Birchbox and Ipsy, thanks to the recommendation from a friend. The reason I decided to add Ipsy into the mix is because of how different it is from Birchbox. The two do have a lot of similarities; both include 5-6 deluxe sized beauty samples based on your personal beauty profile, and both are only $10 a month (with free shipping), but they are very different. Birchbox seems to be more high end beauty samples that include some makeup, hair care, skin care, and lifestyle extras (snacks, accessories, etc.) while Ipsy contains mostly makeup products from well-known brands. So for now, I decided every month that I would compare the two and decide which box (or bag) I like better for the month.

So first I'll go over Birchbox, since this is my ninth box! As you probably know, this box is very hit or miss for me. Some months I absolutely love and I feel are well worth the $10, while others I feel are very boring and repetitive. This one I actually enjoy a lot. It came with a mascara called iCurl Secret Weapon 24 Hour Mascara. Mascara is something I always am okay trying out and discovering new good ones, so good sample there. Next thing I got was a can of Rusk Texture Spray. This is a brand I've heard a lot of good things about but have never tried it myself, so I'm excited to finally do so. Plus I love small cans this size, perfect for travel! The next thing is an Amika Nourishing Hair Mask. Birchbox had previously sent me a dry shampoo from this same brand and I absolutely loved it, so I'm excited to try this one out. Having long hair like I do means dry, split ends, so good hair masks are always welcome! Next sample is a Rosemary Shower Gel. I usually don't get super exited over shower gels, but oh my gosh does this stuff smell amazing. It's made with mint and rosemary essential oils, and it's that kind of smell that you know will wake you right up in the morning, making you feel super refreshed! And finally, the last sample I received is the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Cream (French??) It's a moisturizer that apparently is huge with celebrity makeup artists. It contains shea butter and aloe vera, and can also be used as a makeup-remover, post shaving soother, and allover body lotion. Sounds good to me! This box also came with a $10 gift certificate to The Gap. So overall, really great box! This box was worth about $32.25.
Okay, now onto my first ever Ipsy bag. I know a lot of people who are subscribed to this bag and absolutely love it, so I wanted to give it a try myself. Based on this first bag, I already love it! Every month, your samples will come in a different cosmetic bag, which is fun but also, who needs that many makeup bags? Anyways, the first thing I got in this month's bag is a Cool Way Boost Repair Treatment. This seems pretty similar to the hair mask I got in Birchbox, but like I said, with long hair they always come in handy! Plus even these little tubes last for 3-4 times, so I get good use from them! Next, I got a (full-sized) NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm. I like this brand a lot, and am always open to a new lip balm, what with this dry winter weather and all. Plus, the color I got (marshmallow) is supposed to be a good base and neutralizer for lipstick, love! The next product I got is a (full-sized) Cailyn Cosmetics Eye Polish. I had never heard of this brand before, but a ton of makeup junkies I know were stoked to be getting this sample, so it must be a good one! It came in the most beautiful rose gold color, which I'm loving right now, and looks so beautiful on the skin, I can't wait to try it on my eyes. The next product I saw that I got is this (full-sized) Crown Shadow/Crease Duet Brush. The name pretty much says it all, haha. This might be something that I'll see if someone else wants. It doesn't seems like a bad brush or anything, I'm just really happy with all the eye brushes I already have. Plus I don't really like the duo-ended ones like this, since I keep my brushes in a cup. And finally, the last sample I got is a Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara. I absolutely love Tarte, so I was thrilled to be getting one of their products in my bag. And even though I already own this mascara, I really love it and am glad I now have a small one for traveling! Keep the Tarte products coming, Ipsy! So yeah, my first ever Ipsy bag was a hit, definitely gonna stick with it and am already excited to see what's in my next one! This bag was worth about $39.50 (not including the bag.)
I really enjoyed both of these a lot! I really like being able to compare two really popular beauty subscription services, and especially love getting these little surprises in the mail every month! It's so much fun, and if you aren't already on board, I really recommend you try one, or both, out!

Get your own Birchbox subscription here.
Get your own Ipsy subscription here.

Holiday Treats to Try

Thursday, December 11, 2014

For me, so much the month of December is spent browsing Pinterest and drooling over beautiful holiday desserts, my sweet tooth seems to be out of control this time of year. Although I'm not the best baker ever, I really do enjoy doing it and trying new things. So I made a little "to-bake" list full of the recipes that looked the most amazing to me. But let's be real, I'll maybe make of these if we're lucky...

What are your favorite treats to make during the holiday season?

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I don't know about you, but when I was little on Christmas morning, my stocking was my favorite thing to dig through. Something about a big sock full of little surprises is just so fun, such a cool holiday tradition. So I thought it would make sense to gather a few things that I think would be awesome to receive in my stocking, and hopefully you'll see an idea for your best friend's, mom's, sister's, or even your own stocking! Happy stocking stuffing!


Decking the Halls

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December! Can you believe it's already the last month of 2014?! I know I'm shocked! It does not seem like a whole year has gone by since we decorated our house for Christmas last year, but it snuck up on us and last night we put up our little tree. I love so much when the house is Christmassy, it reminds me of being a little kid filled with excitement for all of the amazing things to come. Especially because this year is mine and Joe's first Christmas married, we're just so happy.

Have you decorated for any of the holidays yet, isn't it just the best!

Happiest Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Joe and I just got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at my sister's house. We are so tired from a day full of laughs, family and delicious food. I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving as well, we all have so much to be thankful for!


Mocking Jay, Tucson and Tattoos

Monday, November 24, 2014

It took about a year and a half, but this past weekend, Joe and I finally made the trip down to Tucson to visit my best friend Katie. She's in the Air Force and has been stationed there for over a year, and we just went down to visit for the first time! We usually see her when she comes here because her family lives close to us, but we decided it would be fun to finally see her place. It's about a four hour drive from our house to hers, but it was well worth it. We had so much fun! We first met up at a movie theater to see Mocking Jay, so good! Then the next day she showed us her favorite cafe and took us to two of her favorite restaurants, and shopped around at her favorite little stores. I even got a tattoo while I was there, the Matryoshka Doll I've been wanting forever! We had a really great weekend and I'm so glad we decided to finally visit, I loved seeing where she's been living and I'm sure we'll be going there a lot more now!

I didn't get a ton of pictures, I always get too distracted having fun, but here are a few I managed to snap. As always, I'll post a better tattoo photo once it's all healed. I hope your weekend was wonderful!

November 2014 BirchBox: Giving

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Oh, Birchbox. I have such a love/hate relationship with you. Okay it's mostly love. I can't be too picky with a box that's only $10 a month and is always a fun surprise. I loved last month's box, didn't like the one before that, and this month was okay. I was a tad disappointed because I saw that a lot of people got The Balm highlighters and Laura Mercier BB creams, both of which I would've loved, but of course got neither. Same thing happened last month when I got no Beauty Blender. It's not a big deal, I still love getting the little box of surprises in the mail every month, I just feel like I've gotten so many eye pencils, perfume samples, and lotions. Something different would be cool. But I'll still go through each product like I always do.

The first thing I noticed in my box this month was an eye pencil. And that's because it was smeared everywhere, ha! The Eyeko Fat Eye Stick I got came without it's cap, and got product all over the place. I was annoyed at first, so I emailed Birchbox letting them know, and they responded within fifteen minutes, super apologetic and said they'd send me another one ASAP, so that was nice. The color of this eye stick is really pretty and long-lasting, so I'm excited to get the good one!

Next thing I got was a Perlier Revitalizing Body Butter. Another body lotion! Definitely not exciting after getting so many, but I guess they come in handy to toss in your purse, especially for the dry, winter days coming up. It does smell really nice too!

Next, I got a teeny-tiny sample of a Supergoop BB Cream. I'll probably be able to get one, maybe two uses out of this little sample, but might as well give it a try. It seems to match my skin tone pretty well, and has SPF 40. I'll probably hold on to this little guy to use in the spring or summer.

This next sample seemed like a much better size. It's a Fekkai Fortifying Hair Masque. I know this is a really good brand, and like I said, it's a good-sized sample, which I need for my long thick hair. So this will be a good one to try!

Another perfume sample. Lame! I don't even wear perfume, it always gives me massive headaches. But they don't know that, so I guess I can't be too mad. The packaging of it is pretty!

And finally, I got a big pouch full of Chocolate Almond Butter. Birchbox mentioned that they were going to start adding little extras like this to boxes, and I'm not complaining! It's fun to get little sweets like this along with beauty samples. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like it'll be yummy, so I'm excited about that!

Like I said, not my favorite box ever, but not bad either. I liked how even though one sample came broken, they responded really well to my complaint, so I'm totally okay with it. Another thing about this month's box that's really cool is that it's associated with (RED), a company that helps fight aids. So for every photo of the box posted on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #shaRED, Birchbox will donate $1 to the foundation. So if you got this box, don't forget to do that!

What did you get in your subscription box(es) this month?
Get your own Birchbox subscription here.
See my past Birchboxes here.

My Cold Weather Essentials

Monday, November 10, 2014

Warm hats
One of the most important things to have when the cold weather hits is a warm hat or beanie. Keeping your head warm makes all the difference when you're cold. Plus they're a great excuse to not style your hair!
A good moisturizer
This one is super important for me. I already have naturally dry skin, and in the fall and wintertime, it gets so much worse. So I always make sure to have a moisturizing cream on hand. I'm currently using Benefit's Total Moisture and really love it. It makes your skin feel healthy and hydrated.
Dark lipsticks
My favorite makeup look for this time of year is a dark lip and minimal eye makeup. It's so much fun experimenting with different shades and finding what you like. I'm really loving deep reds, purples, and mauve.
Scented candles
My favorites are from Bath and Body Works. They have the most amazing scents ever! Nothing warms up a home for the holidays like a scented candle. Every time I go in that store I want to buy every single one!
Kind of like hats, socks are important to keep warm. I love so much wearing warm socks around the house, plus they're so cute! Pretty sock are a favorite thing of mine in general, you'll never hear me complain about getting these for Christmas!

With these trusty side kicks, I'm ready for the coldest weather (which isn't that cold, I live in Arizona.) What are your cold weather essentials?

Support Movember

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My husband's company Grafity is doing Movember this year! I would so appreciate if you would check out the links below, all donations go toward mens mental health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer research. Make the mustache he is growing worth it ;)

Click here to donate.

Click here to purchase Grafity Movember products.

100% of proceeds will be donated.


Day at the Pumpkin Patch

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

First off, sorry for the super late post, it's officially November and pumpkin patches are sort of an October thing (that's when we went) so hopefully you don't mind one last pumpkin patch post! 

Days like these are definitely one of my favorite things about Fall. It really puts you into "Fall Mode." Unfortunately, it was still pretty warm here in Arizona, so that slightly took away from the Fall feels, but it was still a really great day. One of my favorite things about doing things like this is watching my little nieces and nephew having so much fun and running around being crazy. It makes me so excited to be able to do things like this with my own kids! We had a really lovely time just strolling around our local pumpkin patch that we visit every year. It was such a wonderful way to welcome Fall :)