Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hair, Hair, HAIR!!

Hair has always been something fun for me.  I desperately wanted a perm as a child of the 80s, crimped the heck out of it in the 90s, and began chopping it off in high school.  For years I had long dark hair...which is beautiful, but bored me.  Now, I sport a short rocker pixie.  I have the sides and back shaved with clippers.  The top is funky and piecey.  To say I love my hair is an understatement.  However, that being said, it's still just hair to me.  It doesn't define me.  I see it as one more way to express my style.  Short hair can be easy, as long as you have the right product.  I'm a product junkie. I've tried so many things out there, some are awesome, some I took right back to Ulta.  (did you know you can take stuff back there if you don't like it??)

I recently came across not only a product I adore, but an entire brand that I think ROCKS!  Best part?  It's at Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, Target...everywhere...which means the price is right ($6)!  Trust me when I say, I've truly tried it all...TIGI, Pureology, Got2Be, Redken, the whole gamut.  What product?  *drumroll*  "Not Your Mother's"  not to be confused with the older women's jean line.  This line of products is awesome.  I currently use the Beach Babe line that's sea salt infused and give that great texture like you want from a sea salt spray.  I use the spray, hair cream, shampoo, and conditioner.  I need grip to my hair to make it do anything.  After discovering how awesome that stuff was, I saw a BOGO offer at Ulta and decided to try the She's a Tease volumizing hairspray and the Short Order cream.  Both are great for my short hair!  The last product in my NYM arsenal is the Double Take dry finish texture spray.  It's very similar to a spray wax, without the build-up. 

Can you tell I really really love this stuff?  Do you use NYM, what products?  

fyi, I'm not being paid or sponsored by Ulta or NYM...though that would be pretty cool. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dallas Spring Bucket List!

Every season I have a list of things I want to see/do/eat/etc.  This spring is no exception, especially considering that a Texas spring lasts about five minutes.  In no particular order, here is my list of Spring "to-dos" in Dallas. **Giveaway alert!!  Check out that clutch on the could be yours!**

1. Dallas Farmer's Market on a crisp morning.  There are plenty of reasons to love the Dallas Farmer's Market.  One is the yummy local produce.  You can taste almost everything at the different stands.  I do prefer to buy organic produce, even better, local organic.  DFM has also grown to include plants and an indoor restaurants!  Starting this Friday, you can get natural meat, cheese, eggs, artisan food, handcrafted breads and pastries, and fresh produce!  It's a great place to go people watch and enjoy the outdoors.  Go early, wear comfy shoes, and bring your reusable bags!  I always end up leaving with a plant or two, as well. **If you feel like crossing the bridge to the Bishop Arts District, make sure to hit up Urban Acres Farm Store.  It's so so so good.  Go in the morning, and you can snag a delicious breakfast something made from scratch!**

2. Dallas Arboretum "Dallas Blooms".  This is, by far, the best time to go to the Arboretum!  The place is FILLED with tulips and other gorgeous blooms.  You can pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the feeling of cool grass between your toes as you stretch out under a shade tree.   If you're a parent, you can take the little ones to the new Children's Adventure Garden.  Get your tickets at Tom Thumb and save $1 per ticket or BOGO on Wednesdays!  They're open daily 9a-5p. 

3. Take pictures in the bluebonnets!!  I've managed to make this happen one year in the past four.  I forget, and then they're gone! poof!  Some of my favorite spots can be found on the Texas Bluebonnet Sightings Facebook page!

4. Cover our sidewalk with sidewalk chalk drawings.  The kid in me comes out when I buy the girls a new pack of sidewalk chalk.  I'm not being paid to say, I think Crayola makes the best chalk.  The colors are super vibrant.  My little ladies love: Tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, racetracks, a treasure hunt map, body tracings that they can color in, flowers, bubble letters of their names to color in, giant rainbows, and anything else I'm able to come up with.  

5. Carwash/housewash.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, I love to keep the girls occupied with fun non-electronic activities.  When the weather is gorgeous, like it is most days now, I like to send them outside.  A spray bottle and a washcloth in hand, and they're ready to "clean".  They have a cute little playhouse that my dad found on Craigslist.  It's adorable, but can be a dirt magnet when it rains.  Did you know kids love to use a spray bottle on anything they can??  I put their wellies on and let them have at it.  This also works for any outdoor toys or patio furniture that can get wet.  Genius! 

6. Baseball games!!  Being that the hubs is a coach (he keeps saying this year is his last year...), this one is easy to check off the list.  What's even more fun is a Ranger or Roughrider game.  The Frisco Roughriders offer a great family night out.  On Fridays, there's a firework show!  Their home opener is April 9th at 7:05p.  There are TWO playgrounds on-site, plus an abundance of hot dogs and popcorn. ;)

7.  Garden.  Does this surprise you since two of my ideas already included some form of plants/flowers.  I love to take the girls to the garden center and looks at all the flowers.  I plan to get them each a cheap clay pot to paint and then fill with their own flower selection.  This is a super cheap, but fun, project.  It can even span over a few days or a weekend, even better!  Nothing brightens up a doorstep or patio more than some color!  

8.  Have a picnic.  We love the local nature preserve, Arbor Hills.  There is a whole covered area with picnic tables that overlooks the park.  Wherever you go, just go!  Pack some sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks, maybe a blanket, sidewalk chalk or bubbles are always a hit, too!  **Central Market in Plano is another great spot, picnic tables right next to the playground.  Adults can also just dine al fresco and enjoy all the yummy food selections CM has!**

9.  Try a new nail polish color.  Spring is the perfect time to freshen your look.  I always love pastels in the spring, especially mint and lilac.  This season, mint is everywhere!  I love to coordinate my nails and toes vs matchy matchy.  Right now, I have a light grey on my nails and a soft coral on my toes.  If you're not into trendy colors on your nails, try your toes or even as an accessory!  I just got this mint clutch from Stella & Dot and can't wait to use it on Easter.    

10.  Have a backyard bbq.  This is one of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer.  I've been busy finding recipes for everything from jalapeƱo white sangria to a yummy homemade bbq sauce.  I better get the girls to work now with their spray bottles...

What's on your spring bucket list?  Tell me and you could win a swag bag of stuff to brighten winter skin and some great spring trends to try all packaged up in a new makeup bag!  Like that clutch??  You might just win it!! **giveaway ends on April 16th, winner announced on April 18th**

How to enter: Comment below with a thing or two on your Spring Bucket List! Follow my blog here or on Bloglovin'!  That's it!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Swimsuit Season...eeek!!!

Summer is quickly approaching here in Texas, which means one thing...the "S" words are upon us!  Sun, shorts, sandals, and eeeeek...swimsuits!  For some, that's not scary.  I may or may not want to be friends with you.  For others, it's dreadful.  My mailbox has a VS Swimsuit catalog in it almost daily.  STOP!!! I GET IT, VICTORIA'S SECRET!!  But seriously, stop.  My face when checking my mailbox these days looks a lot like poor little Ariana Grande, pictured here getting smacked in the head with one of those VS Angel wings.--->

Last year, I was coming off comp season and eating like I'd never had a bite of cake in my life.  I wasn't the shape I wanted to be by the end of summer.  My motivation wasn't what it had been for the 4 months prior.  That's not saying I'd completely lost hope, just enjoyed more carbs that I should.  This year, I'm pretty determined to rock one of the cute high-waisted bikinis that I've seen in all the magazines.  My trouble spot is my tummy.  Always has been.  I know what I need to do and I'm going to divulge my not-so-top-secret plan.  It'll work for almost anyone, not just the six-pack impaired.  

Food: I've long been a proponent of carbs, just in moderation...and really only certain ones.  I'm cutting them out at about 3p, so dinner will have veggies as my carb.  (vegetables are carbs, just good ones!)  My protein will go back up to 1.25g/lb bodyweight.  Some people do better with a little more, some a little less.  1-2g/lb is pretty normal.  Remember The Zone Diet craze? (see pie chart)  Well, it wasn't so crazy.  I've played around with the percentages and my happy place is with a little more carbs and almost equal protein and fat.  To LOSE fat, I'm sticking to 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 25% fat.  The fat will help keep me satisfied and the carbs will help fuel my 3x/week workouts.  My overall calories will fluctuate a little as I build muscle and as summer gets closer, I'll be flipping my ratios around to lean out even more.  We'll see how it goes!

Exercise:  I love to lift.  Do I want to go back to 6x/week?  Not's not as realistic for me right now.  Maybe again someday, but for now, I'm doing what I can.  So, Tues/Thurs/Sun will be my lift days.  I'll be doing all sorts of combos, but making sure to hit legs a little each time.  They're the biggest muscles, therefore help burn fat!  Have you ever tried Danceton??  It's super fun if you're someone who loves music and shakin' your booty.  You don't have to be coordinated, the dances repeat quite a bit throughout the songs and even week to week.  Just move!  

What things do you do to get your body ready for summer?  I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oh brushes, how I adore thee

Does this look like too much?
I remember when I very first started wearing makeup.  It was such an exciting event for me...I'll never forget it.  My mom wasn't too pumped, it took A LOT of convincing for her to let me get a compact of powder and some lipgloss.  "You don't NEED it", I remember her saying.  I was in 6th grade, in my mind I absolutely needed it.  I had shine on my nose by the end of the day and desperately wanted to keep up with the girls in my class that had already moved onto the "I love eyeliner phase" that also closely resembled a judgement, I think every girl goes through that phase at some point.  It might not be with eyeliner, maybe blush or lipstick in a horrid shade.  Anyway, I was excited.  I ripped open that compact as soon as we got in the car and swiped some across my "shiny" nose.  My best friend at the time, Noelle, was with us.  I turned and said, "can't you see the difference?!" to which she shrugged and said, "eh, not really".  Oh, but I could totally tell.  

That might have been a defining moment in adolescence for me, but my journey with makeup had just begun.  I studied (and still do) magazines, since blogs weren't really a "thing", yet.  Anything that I could get my hands on that showed me how to create the best look for me, I devoured.  I discovered I was a "deep winter" at a woman's expo and what color coordinated best with my skin...are you old enough to remember the seasons?  (the principles are still around, check out The Chic Fashionista for your coloring)

Fast forward about 9 years.  I had graduated from that little compact and was in full-blown makeup mode.  I had mastered eyeliner and blush and the smoky eye was slowly becoming something that wasn't just for prostitutes ladies that weren't very respectable.  I visited the MAC counter on a regular basis, just to look.  So many pretty colors.  So many options...and WAIT, so. many. brushes.  Brushes?  I had't even really thought about that.  I had a few from the drugstore and, of course, the little cheap brushes and applicators that came with some drugstore makeup.  After having my makeup done with the soft little brushes from heaven (another way I learned tricks), I knew they would be my game changer.  Boy, were they ever.  I asked for brushes for Christmas that year.  My mom delivered.  I now had the basics, but I craved more.  Needless to say, over the years, I've found my tried and true faves.  The blush brush I bought about 10 years ago is still kickin'...I may be replacing it soon for a fluffy, uber soft option...not because it's busted- I'll still hang onto it in case of emergency.

How do I still have a blush brush that's 10 years old? Actually, it's closer to 11 or 12, but doesn't really look a day over 2.  The answer is two part.  First, I invested in a quality brush.  The MAC 116 blush brush is a $35 brush.  I want to say, it was $28 when I bought it.  Why I remember that, I don't know.  Ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday...I can't tell ya.  Second part is I take care of my brushes.  They have their own place in my travel makeup bag and their own place on my sink in a cute mason jar.  They also get a bath at LEAST once a month.  This isn't as often as it should happen, but it happens and that's the important part.  

I used to use baby shampoo on them, but have since moved onto using castille soap.  I use castille soap for everything (homemade foaming hand soap).  Dr. Bonner's is my favorite, but there are a few emerging brands that might be just as great.  I don't like to soak them in a glass like you may see on some blogs.  I prefer to use my hands and work the soap into the brush and lather it up like a tiny little person.  Warm water works best for me and I rinse till the water is clear.  Typically, I make a whole ritual of it and lay out a nice clean hand towel for them to air dry on.  I washed my new IT foundation brush today and "shook" it out in the shower after I washed it, to try and get as much water off of it as possible.  It's now ready for tomorrow and I know that it'll work even better now that it's clean again.  

One way I know that I need to clean my brushes is if I start to get little breakouts that have no explained reason.  Brushes can harbor bacteria and then you're just spreading that all over your face!  Ew.  Keep 'em clean ladies!  Thank you for humoring me as I rambled on about makeup brushes.  Do you have a favorite brush?  Have you cleaned it lately?? hehehe...I bet you will now!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Five Things that I'm OBSESSED With Lately

There are phases that I go through, and I'm sure I'm not alone, where I have what seems like a long list of "must-haves".  I don't know if it's the fact that spring is upon us...hopefully soon...or just because I'm a product and trend junkie, but I have a new list of loves these days.  In no particular order, here's what I'm lusting after RIGHT NOW.

1.  Coffee...because, duh.  (if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this) Let me clarify, though.  NOT just any coffee.  Fresh, coarse ground, French pressed, delicious coffee.  Have you tried a French press before?  For me, it was life changing.  Now that I have the hang of it and what ratios are best, it's the only way I love it brewed.  Do I still use my beloved Keurig, yes...just not as much.  On the weekends, the Mr. prefers the press.  "Do you want coffee?" (this is such a rhetorical question in our household, but asked anyway) His response is always the same, "are you using the press? then yes!"  For those interested, I use this method.  There's plenty of opinion on ways to use the French press.  AND, did you know that if you enjoy coffee inside of Starbucks vs the drive thru, you can request a French press?  Pretty nifty.

2. The bootie.  Notice I spelled that with and "ie" and not "y".  Booties. Shoes, y'all.  Super cute with dresses, skinny jeans, and if you're brave enough (I have a friend who is), shorts with tights.  I was cleaning out my closet and organizing my shoes the other day and thought actually said out loud, "man, my spring/summer shoes have a lot to live up to." This past fall and winter, I collected quite the collection of booties.  Wedges, chunky heels, hidden wedges, you name it.  Now, looking towards spring, I'm on the hunt for a peep-toe bootie.  So. Cute.  Combine it with the still popular greige and you've hit the motherload.  BTW, flatforms and block heels are on trend for spring.  I don't know if I can rock flatforms...they're a little too 1999 for me. Eh. 

3. Cloth Napkins.  Weird thing to put on the list, right?  Well, it's because my Pottery Barn spring catalog is full of supercute options.  Normally, I get them from Pier 1, Target, or World Market...all on sale/clearance, of course!  I love that I don't ever run out of napkins like I used to with paper napkins.  Plus, it's way better for the environment and they just work better! I have quite an eclectic collection that started with a sweet friend sending me a vintage set.  Now, our napkin stash is split between two drawers in our kitchen.  I'll retire a few pretty soon and let them become cleaning rags or let the girls have them for tea parties. LOVE these for Easter/Spring. 

4. Lorac Pro Palette 2.   You know I couldn't list my faves without throwing some makeup in.  Ask my bestie, Jess...I had been obsessing for weeks researching all the different popular palettes that are out right now.  I decided after MUCH deliberation, to go with this one.  It's gorgeous.  Seriously.  I like that it's not one that geared towards any certain eye or skin color.  I watched a slew of YouTube videos of vloggers who raved about it.  I tried to find mostly brown-eyed gals, like myself, but there were plenty of blondies with baby blues, a couple redheads, and the rest of the gamut.  Gorgeous.  It was a Valentine's gift from the Mr. and I have played with it every day since!  Bonus- it comes with an eye primer that is legit.  Perfect peepers, allllll day. 

5.  Poshmark.  Have you heard about Poshmark?  It's pretty flippin great.  I've used it on and off over the past year or so.  It's kinda sorta like eBay, but better.  I scored a pair of $230 Current/Elliott jeans for spring for...$35.  No lie.  They are in near perfect condition, whaaat??  The cool part is that you can quickly sell using the smartphone app, then use your earnings to buy from others.  I'm not getting paid to give it a shout out, I'm just happy to not have any buyer's remorse! Maybe I'll find some of those booties listed above...hmmm...

FYI, I could've easily written a short novel (and maybe I did here) about what I'm loving right now...but I'll spare you.  What are you loving right now?  Anything on my list?  I wanna hear it!!

**a few goodies who didn't make the cut for the blog, but are still on my list: - I want about 72.8% of them; CC creams - I use and love both Younique & Smashbox; lipgloss - oh the obsession, I have about 40ish tubes...that's a whole other blog in itself; last but not least, all of my Young Living essential oils.  There's an oil for everything, people, no lie.**