September 2014 BirchBox: Fresh Paint

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

With the last few BirchBoxes I've received being awesome, it makes sense to get a just okay one once in a while, that was this month's, okay. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad box or anything, it's always fun to try new things you probably wouldn't have picked up on your own, but this box just wasn't all that exciting to me.

The first thing I saw was a pretty good sized tub of Davines OI Conditioner. I love getting big samples like this one, plus this one came with the brand's shampoo and oil to try along with it. I'm always open to trying new shampoo and conditioner, it's just not the most exciting thing in the world. But this stuff seems pretty nice so I'll give it a try!

The next thing I saw was another good sized sample of Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser. Definitely boring looking, kind of like a hotel wash, but sometimes the best products are! It smells super fresh and clean, which is nice. I'm just a little unsure about it because it's meant for oily skin types, which I don't have at all, and reviews from people with dry skin say their face was left feeling too tight and dry. Probably not the best option for me. My profile on BirchBox says I have dry skin, so I'm not sure why they sent me this one. I'll see if Joe wants to try this one, it'll work better on his skin.

Next I noticed a cute little dropper of Temptu Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer. Highlighter is a makeup products I really like, and enjoy trying new kinds of. I've never tried one with such pigmented color, usually I go for white/pearly ones, so maybe I'll try this as a blush or something. Honestly would have never chosen this color, but I might as well give it a shot!

This next product was the one in this box I'm most excited about, Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I have actually been wanting to try a serum for a while, and I've heard really good things about this brand, so this was a good sample for me. I kind of hope I don't love it though, the full size is kind of pricey!

And the final thing I got in my box is the thing I hate to get in my boxes, tiny little perfume samples. Perfume isn't something I ever wear, it just gives me headaches, so I'm always a little disappointed to see that I got one. I never even keep these in my little sample bag where I put other samples I plan on trying eventually, I just throw them out, so it's a waste. This particular perfume though, called Juliette Has a Gun Anyway does smell good, clean and classic. 

So yeah, not my favorite BirchBox ever, but the really good boxes I've received in the past make it okay. The occasional dud isn't a big deal, I'm sure next month will be better! 
Get your own BirchBox subscription here.
See my past BirchBoxes here.

Homemade Pumpkin Body Scrub

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To kick off the start of one of everyone's favorite seasons, I did some experimenting with ingredients to make a homemade Fall scrub. There are a lot of really simple scrubs to make with Summer scents (lemon, sugar, and olive oil) but I had never tried a Fall scented one.

I played around a little bit and decided that this simple mixture might work. I tried my recipe out to make sure it did what it was supposed to, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Not only does it smell amazing, but it leaves skin feeling so soft and smooth. 

The benefits of this scrub is:
Exfoliation: The sugar and coffee grounds remove dead skin cells and leave skin softer and brighter, and the caffeine in the coffee reduces inflammation and redness.
Moisturizer: The coconut oil has a ton of skin benefiting ingredients including anti-aging properties, natural moisturizers, proteins that promote healthy blood flow, and it reduces the appearance of pores and acne.
Vitamins: Pumpkin puree is full of tons of skin loving ingredients including Vitamin A and C, and is also easily absorbed into the skin. 

1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tbsp coffee grounds
1/4 cup coconut oil

Just mix together the pumpkin, sugar, and coffee grounds. Then add in the coconut oil. Massage it all over legs, arms, or anywhere on your body, let it sit for a couple minutes, then just rinse away. Put leftovers in the refrigerator, it should last for 3-4 days, it makes plenty to share!
Do you have any homemade beauty remedies you love?

Musical Favors

Monday, September 15, 2014

Music is something that's very important to Joe and I. It was one of the first things we really connected over when we first started dating, and something we continue to bond over, whether it be going to shows together or singing our hearts out together while driving home late at night. So when it came to wedding planning, we wanted to make sure music played a big part. After choosing the song we wanted to have playing during our first dance (Crazier by Taylor Swift, the song playing in the background when we shared our first kiss) and the songs that would play during the reception, we wanted to take it a bit further.

For me, and probably a lot of people, music is something that really brings back memories and can really take me back to a certain place and time. When trying to think of a fun wedding favor, we first thought about doing sunglasses, since it'd be so hot and sunny out, but decided we'd want something that meant a little more. What could be a good souvenir of the day, something that brought back memories. And then it made sense, wedding soundtracks. We would put together a playlist of songs that meant something to us, and that we knew would always take us, and hopefully other people, back to that wonderful day.

Together, we thought of the perfect songs we wanted to share with everyone, then Joe took the time to put then in an order that he thought would transition well. We found these amazing CD sleeves and knew they would be perfect, along with the adorable CDs that resemble records. I spent about four days burning all 125 discs individually. When the product was all done, we couldn't be happier with the results. We were (and still are) so excited to be giving our guests this little gift that we put time and thought into. And even though I know these songs mean so much more to us than anyone we gave this playlist to, I was so happy to be able to share this part of us to the people that we love.

I'm so happy we ended up with this as a wedding favor, it's one of the many, many souvenirs from that day that I'll treasure forever. I keep a copy of it in my car and when I listen to it, it does when I was really hoping it would do for me, completely take me back to the wonderful feelings I had on June 13. 

Links to Love

Friday, September 12, 2014

How cute is this custom return address stamp?! I figured now that I'm married it only made sense to have one with my new last name on it! This Etsy shop has the cutest stamps if you write a lot of letters like me!

Here are a few more awesome Etsy shops to check out: one, two and three.

A good read on being a girly feminist.

So many celebrities are saying enough to gun violence in this video.

I'll be so happy if this ends up being true!

I'm so very excited to see this movie!

Anyone else excited about the iPhone 6? Joe and I stayed up until 12 last night to pre-order, true nerds!

The Best {and Easiest} Glazed Donuts, soo tempting!

Starbucks Baristas are Fighting to Show Their Tattoos at Work.

That's all I've got for now! Leave any links you're loving in the comments below for me to see, and have a wonderful weekend!

mini Fall Haul

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Haul videos are one of my favorite things on YouTube to watch to pass time. And although I'll probably never be able to get myself to talk in front of a video camera, I decided I wanted to do a haul post, no talking needed!

As I've mentioned a million times before, Fall is my favorite season, and it makes me want to go out and do so much shopping and buy everything fall-related. But unfortunately that's not really realistic for most people, including me, so I'm going to go at it a little at a time. All of these clothes I bought are from Forever 21, and I got a bunch of my classic fall favorites; collars, plaid, and chunky-knit sweaters. By the way, this sweater (mentioned here) is completely wonderful. For starters, it was twenty-dollars, but it doesn't look or feel that way. To me, it appears to be much higher quality. I went ahead and got this blue I normally wouldn't pick, to try something new, but I'm sure now I want to go back and get a couple more colors, it's just too perfect!
Another thing I grabbed was this special edition Mac Simpsons blush in the color Sideshow You. I love when Mac comes out with these collections and I love grabbing pieces when they come out. I remember getting makeup from the Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Disney Villains collections. They're just so fun to have, plus this color is just so pretty!
I also finally decided to give the BareSkin Foundation a try, and so far I really like it. It has a really nice finish and goes on so smoothly, I also really like the little brush that goes with it. I bought it in their lightest shade (as usual) called Bare Porcelain, and it seems to match my skin tone pretty well, which is rare for me! My only complaint about this makeup so far is that it doesn't last very long, it starts to fade after a few hours. So I think trying it with a primer or setting spray would be a good idea.
I also decided to give a plum lipstick a try. I mentioned wanting to try this one, which I think is so beautiful, but I wanted to start out with a much cheaper one to decide if I like how it looks on me. I bought this Revlon one in the shade Plum Velour (it looks much more purple than red in person) and I actually like it! I've always felt awkward in bold lipsticks, but want to start venturing out into it more. I think this one will work really well with Fall clothes.
So that's it for now! I'm excited to pair some of these things with tights and boots when it's cool enough, but for now I'm still stuck with sleeveless dresses and sandals!

Ps. I just posted some things to Poshmark, and I'm having a little buy one/ get one free sale, go take a look! Also, if you haven't signed up for the app yet, use the code HUCPG for a $5 credit!

Fall Wish List

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall is just around the corner (12 days, to be exact) and I feel like I'm already completely in Fall Mode. I was afraid I was going to miss Summer, since it practically rained here the entire time, but I feel really ready for a new season. Fall is one of my favorite times to shop for all new things, it reminds me of when I used to go back-to-school shopping with my mom and sisters, picking out all new sweaters and boots and fresh makeup. It's such a nice, refreshing feeling. Here are a few things I have my eye on for Fall...

1. This Forever 21 sweater is seriously perfect. Everyone needs a chunky cable knit sweater like this one for Fall, and for the price, you really can't go wrong! Plus it comes in six awesome colors, I want one of each!

2. This Made Well tote is something I've had my eye on for a while. I always prefer smaller, cross-body bags in the Summer, but Fall is all about the huge bags. Plenty of room to fit an extra sweater if it starts to get cold, and the color is just perfect! Plus, you can have it personalized with your initials, how cool is that!

3. Socks. Boring for some, a favorite of mine. Something you'll always find me wearing when it's a little chilly in the house but I don't feel ready to crank the heater yet. Plus, cute pairs like these are fun to put under short boots with dresses, super Fall-ey!

4. This Elizabeth and James perfume has quickly become a favorite of mine. I usually don't even like perfume at all, it always gives me a headache, but I got suckered into buying the rollerball version of this one (thanks to the cute packaging) and I actually love it. It has a very soft, light smell to it that just adds a touch of scent, not overpowering at all. I'm thinking I'll have to go back for the bigger size soon!

5. I realized after putting this wish list together that I had this candle on my Fall Wish List last year! Ha, I must really want this thing. For one, the jar is so beautiful, and two, who doesn't want their house to smell like pumpkin soufflĂ© all Fall long! I know I do! I also wouldn't mind the Oatmeal Cookie one, yum!

6. As you've probably seen, plum and violet lipstick is just about everywhere right now. And for some reason I feel like I really want to give this trend a try. It worries me that I may be too pale for this, I don't want to look "goth," but I've seen it look quite amazing on others and want to try it out myself. Plus, how pretty is the color of this one, absolute perfect purple for Fall if you ask me!

What's on your Fall Wish List?

Be Crafty and New Tattoos

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This weekend has been filled with so many things that I love; new tattoos, crafts, hanging out with my mom, and of course, tons of time with my wonderful husband.

Friday at 4pm was the time of my tattoo appointment I've had for a couple months now. I was nervous but super excited for this one, it's the start to my sleeve, and what will end up being the main piece. If you can't tell from that photo, it's a hot air balloon carrying a heart locket. No special meaning necessarily, just thought it would be a beautiful and positive piece of art to wear. So far only the outlines and some shading has been done, and in a few weeks I'll have it colored. I absolutely love how it turned out and I cannot wait for it to be full of beautiful colors.

Then on Saturday, Joe and I (with a swollen, red arm) drove down to Phoenix for the Be Crafty Workshop. I was so happy to be able to go this year since I missed the last one. The whole place was set up so beautifully, and it was so neat to be able to meet so many women with similar interests as me (none of my friends IRL are into crafty-type things like this.) There were drinks and cupcakes and really cool crafts to create. Not to mention an amazing box of goodies we got to take home, full of stationery, prints, and fun, handmade things from people who sell on Etsy. I really loved being able to talk with people who also blog, and even met a couple ladies I've been following on Instagram for a while, which was really cool! I'm so happy I was able to make this one, it was a really great experience!

After the workshop (and after visiting a couple comic book stores) we headed out to my mom's house. She lives pretty far from us, about two and a half hours away, so we don't see her as much as we used to. But whenever we do, we always have a wonderful time. It was really fun getting dinner, and just catching up and laughing a ton. She showed us her new pool and we promised to be back soon to go for a swim, which I can't wait to do! We got home about 1 in the morning and just passed out from our busy and amazing day.

So now it's Sunday, and Joe and I are so tired and satisfied from our weekend, it was a good one! We're spending today just at home relaxing, which means him playing video games and reading comics, and me catching up on blogs and pen-pal letters. Weekends like this one are my absolute favorite and they leave me ready to take on another week! I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Here are some photos I took at the Be Crafty Workshop (except the group photo was taken by a photographer)

Beauty Products I'd Like to Try

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One: Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System. This is a product I've been hearing about for years, mostly from my mom and sister, who absolutely love it. For me, I've always been a little turned off by the price, I guess not seeing how it was any better than a $5 face brush. But, I've been thinking about it more and more and would really like to try it out. With Fall and Winter coming up, my skin gets even more dry and dull than usual, so maybe it would be good for me to have this system. It claims to:

  • remove makeup six times better than usual methods
  • clears pores and reduces pore size
  • cleanses so thoroughly that skin care products absorb better
  • removes layers of dead skin
  • leaves skin looking noticeably healthier.
That all sounds really, really good to me! Most of the reviews are really positive and some people say it feels like a facial every day! So this product is next on my "to try" list, I'll let you know what I think!

Two: Benefit Majorette Blush. I've mentioned a bunch of times how big of a Benefit fan I am, so whenever a new product comes out (this one just did today!) I'm really excited to give it a try. This blush is a cream to powder, so it can easily be applied with fingers, and can be worn alone or under a powder blush to amplify it. The color is a really pretty pinky-peach shade, and oh my gosh, the packaging is so cute, I'm such a sucker! I actually just bought a new blush, and already love mine that I use, but I do want to give this one a try. New blushes are always fun to experiment with, so I'll grab this one eventually!

Three: Bare Minerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation. I'm already I pretty big Bare Minerals fan. I really like using the powder foundation on days when I don't want to wear a ton of heavy makeup, so I was pretty interested when I found out they made a liquid. I've heard from a lot of people that it's a really natural-looking and has a luminous finish, which I love. It also is supposed to be great for dry skin, which I have. It's also cool that it only takes a couple drops into the special brush and it buffs on really nicely. This is actually sold where I work, and I've tried it on other people but haven't tried it myself yet. So far people are really happy with how it looks and it looks nice on everyone, but everyones skin is different so I'll have to try it for myself soon! 

Have you tried any of this products? What do you think of them? Are there any beauty products have you been wanting to try?

Have a great week, everyone!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Enjoying: The last couple weeks of Summer. Yesterday was pretty warm out, so Joe, Katie and I went out for frozen yogurt and walked around downtown. It's so crazy to me that August is over, but September has a lot of exciting things in store; tattoos, trips, weddings, FALL, it's gonna be a great month and I'm really looking forward to it. But for now, I'm trying to soak up the last bit of Summer and sunshine.

Watching: Joe and I just started watching Modern Family, and we're loving it! I had seen a couple episodes of it here and there, but now actually watching it and paying attention, it's so good and funny! We love watching it together and laughing, if you haven't seen it yet I suggest you do, it's really good! Also been watching Pretty Little Liars, the mid-season finale was last week and it was cRaZy! Love me some overly dramatic shows about high school aged murderers ;)

Feeling: Inspired! Every year when Fall is just around the corner, I really want to go out and buy all sorts of Fall-related items. Sweaters, tights, boots, home decor, tons of Fall-scented candles, I love it all so much! Fall kind of feels like "New Years" for me, it makes me want to start fresh. I'm planning on doing a huge closet clean-out soon, I want to give away or sell all of my clothes I haven't worn in a while, and want to slowly start buying new things. Out with the old and in with the new!

Wanting: To continue to blog often. I feel like I'm doing better about blogging more often and feeling more confident about it. I've mentioned before how comparing myself to more experienced bloggers, or not getting a lot of comments and followers has made me feel insecure, but I'm starting to realize that I enjoy blogging for myself, not for those things. I love that I've made a few friends along the way, but I'm trying to make sure it remains something I do for my own enjoyment instead of something that causes stress or self-doubt.

Loving: A lot! Seeing Halloween stuff in stores, cooking dinner at home almost every night, slowly but surely getting our house together, experimenting with new makeup, making tons of Fall plans, and life being just comfortable and content. The past year up of our lives seemed so busy, and it's great when there are tons of things going on, but right now everything is just calm and we're really enjoying it! Sometimes boring can be good!

So what about you? What are you currently up to? I hope you're having a wonderful Labor Day!
Oh, and Happy September!

Currently posts inspired by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet.