Monday, November 30, 2015

November Budget

Welp, that escalated quickly. As of Friday, I had only bought the J Crew flannel. But then Black Friday and errands and poor impulse control happened.  Oh well. The good news is that I finally found a few things I've really wanted - black jeans, gray skirt, navy vest, and everything was on major sale.


1 // Old Navy Vest - 21 dollars
2 // Gap Jeans - 18 dollars
3 // J Crew Factory Socks - 6 dollars
4 // Gap Jacket - 30 dollars
5 // Old Navy Sweater - 15 dollars
6 // Old Navy Skirt - 18 dollars
7 // J Crew Factory Flannel - 23 dollars

Notes - Everything runs true to size for me.  The flannel is definitely oversized, and nothing like the sweatshirt J Crew thinks it is - the material is warm but not jacket weight. The Gap jeans are the legging fit and I'm obsessed with them - so soft and cozy and they fit great.

Linking up with Fran

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hunter Original vs Hunter Tour

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I've owned a pair of Hunter boots consistently for over 4 years, and I don't imagine myself breaking that pattern for a long time.  The boots are durable (for the most part) and invaluable in a number of situations we frequently face in New England.  During an average week, I wear them at least once, for things like dog walking, commuting, getting through high snow etc.  My first pair of Hunters were the Originals, and once those died, I invested in Tours. I figured I'd do a comparison, as there are some pretty important differences.

Comfort // To be completely honest, encasing your lower legs in rubber is not the most comfortable of options.  The Tours do have a distinct advantage in that they don't weigh 12 pounds each.  The Originals are much thicker rubber, which makes them, in my opinion, much more uncomfortable.  As long as I don't get too hot, I can wear the Tours all day, which I could never do with the Originals.  Honestly, my legs would get tired of lifting the giant boots up by about noon.  Tours for the win.

Look // The big downside to the thinner rubber of the Tours is that they sort of wrinkle on my legs. They don't fall down or anything, but they are certainly more pliable. Again, I find this a fair compromise for the comfort, but they definitely can look a little more sloppy.  Also, the Tours come in a much more limited array of colors, so if you're really dying for pink boots, the Tours aren't for you.  I found both to look the same in terms of tightness on my leg.  I was concerned about getting the Tours on, but found the shaft plenty wide.

Longevity // I owned Originals for 3 years without any problem, even with frequent use and non-optimal care.  The Tours, on the other hand, died a pretty dramatic death after only 8 months.  Luckily, Zappos was great about exchanging them for a new pair.  I'm hoping that those specific boots were the issue, not Tours in general, but if this pair develops holes along the edges, as the last one did, I'll absolutely switch back to Originals.

Specs // The Originals have a shaft height of 16 inches, while the Tours are 1/2 an inch shorter.  The Tours also have an inch wider calf circumference (16 vs 15 inches). The Originals weigh 2 pounds, 2 ounces and the Tours are 1 pound, 8 ounces, but I promise, you can feel that difference.

You can buy Originals here and Tours here

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review // Furiously Happy, So, Anyway, Sapiens, Why Not Me

Mooooooorreeeeee books, lalalalalala. I've been in a bit of a reading slump recently, which I'm hoping to rectify over Thanksgiving break, but in the meantime, here's what I've gotten through recently!



Furiously Happy // Ohhhhhhh, I loved this book.  I first tried to read it while proctoring the SAT, but that ended quickly when I started laughing out loud.  Jenny does a phenomenal job telling funny stories while also being informative about what it's like to live with mental illness.  She walks a very fine line beautifully and made me lose it multiple times.

So Anyway // Yet another funny one.  I grew up watching Monty Python and love John Cleese, so when Blogging for Books sent me this memoir, I was thrilled.  In terms of writing, I think this book fits pretty well with what I was expecting - it's rambly and sprawling, but fun and warm.  It surprised me to learn more about Cleese's upbringing and start in comedy - the process took a while and wasn't always pleasant.  The book isn't perfect, but it's definitely worth a read for Cleese fans.

Sapiens // As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of nonfiction that goes really in depth into a particular topic. This book, which is a history of humankind, is anything but brief. I'm hard to bore with this type of thing, but there were a few sections that had me skipping ahead a little.  There's a fine line between informative and over-detailed and this book isn't always on the right side. I don't regret reading it, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Why Not Me // Mindy Kaling is the best.  Honestly, I am in the Mindy-can-do-no-wrong camp, so it should come as no surprise that I loved this book.  As opposed to Mindy's first book, which covered a lot about growing up and becoming who she is, Why Not Me is much more about her professional life and being an adult.  It read as more mature, self aware and reflective, which I absolutely loved.  She made me laugh out loud a few times and more than once made me really think.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cold-Weather Skin Routine

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Since the last time I did a skincare routine, every single product has changed, so it's probably time for an update.  Brief refresher - I have combination skin that gets very dry and dehydrated in the winter.  Also, now that I've reached the ripe age of almost-23, wrinkle-prevention and bounce-retention are top of my priority list. Caroline Hirons writes a brilliant skincare blog and I've basically copied all of her tips and worked them into my routine.  You'll notice that lots of my products are Paula's Choice.  I love the brand because they do quality, unfussy skincare with ingredients that really work

Morning

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Once I wake up, I quickly wash my face with PC Hydralight cleanser, which gently sloughs off the nastiness that I get on my face from the bottom of Tallulah's feet when she shoves them in my face in the middle of the night (#foreveralone).  I follow up with the incredible Pixi Glow Tonic, which has a mild acid in it to remove any dry spots and enough moisture to not throw things out of balance again. I finish up with the Dr Jart Ceramidin cream, which hydrates like absolutely no other.  Once that's all on, I start in with makeup. I've been using the Ceramidin Day Tint and absolutely love how hydrated and even my skin looks.

Evening

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This is admittedly a very princess-y skincare routine.  It's cool, I've got nothing better to do.  I start by removing my makeup with Clinique Take the Day Off balm.  This is the first cleansing balm I've used and I much prefer it to oils - less messy, easier to control and way easier to travel with.  Once I've removed that with a washcloth soaked in hot water, I was my face with the Hydralight again.  Before that dries completely, I use a cotton round to apply the PC Skin Balancing Toner, which does a brilliant job of taking off any last makeup and keeping my skin calm. Next is PC 2% BHA.  BHA is also known as salicylic acid, and this acid step helps with both acne and wrinkles.  It also helps remove dead skin, which prevents those yucky dry spots people often get in the winter. Once that dries a bit, I apply the Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Serum and Origins Night-a-min Cream.  Though a recent purchase, this lotion is a huge favorite - it keeps my skin balanced, hydrated and bright, all while smelling like orange sunshine.

As I did previously, masks still make their way into my routine occasionally, but I don't really treat them as part of my skincare routine.  What I do count as my routine, however, is drinking lots of water.  I notice a huge change in my skin if I don't drink 80+ ounces of water a day.  Overall, these products and enough water are all I need to keep everything hydrated and happy throughout the winter!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lust List // Christmas

My birthday is in early December, and I have a very hard time containing my Christmas spirit past November 1st, so my gift list usually arrives pretty early in the season.  I like to think it's helpful, but I'm pretty sure my mother's blood pressure increases a few notches immediately.  Oh well.


Perfume Sampler // To be honest, I only want this because it means 10 dollars off the bottle of Chloe I'll inevitably trade the certificate in for.  Just trying to save the fam some money

Lemon Tree // Weird, I know, but it's on my 101 in 1001 list and I have a lemon kitchen, sooooo

Cookbook // After my CSA experience, I want to get better about cooking vegetables more simply, but with more flavor.  And this is one of Orangette's favorites, so I'm sure it's flawless

Illustrated Harry Potter // This should surprise no one, especially after the excited melt-down over the Cursed Child tickets

Winter Coat // Last year, I got a winter coat at H&M during the Black Friday sale, and the 20 dollar investment served me well, but is in need of replacement.  This one ticks all the boxes - covers my bum, lots of pockets (with fuzzy lining!), giant hood, reasonable price.

Car Vacuum // As anyone in my family can tell you, my car is in a semi-permanent state of messy. In an attempt to rectify that, keeping a little vacuum for dog hair/sand/spilled snacks seems a good way to go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DIY // Travel Display Ideas

As I think I've mentioned, I spent half of my junior year abroad, living in Denmark and traveling around Europe. Since then, I've gone on a couple of other big trips.  Typically, my souvenirs are actually what most other people would consider trash, so I end up coming home looking like a scary hoarder. I also, like most people, take lots of pictures.  In decorating my apartment, I really wanted to showcase my travel, because I love it, without looking like a showoff. Here's what I came up with - 

Place Boxes // This is for my hoarding tendencies.  I bought photoboxes at Christmas Tree Shops, painted them in my favorite colors, then stenciled the name of the places I visited on them.  Inside each are tickets/stubs/maps/brochures/receipts/napkins.  Basically, anything and everything from the trip. I love to go back through each and remember the specifics of the days, not just the overall trip.

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Photo Displays // I typically take tons of pictures on vacation, both on my phone and with my good camera.  Like everyone else, it's pretty fun to display them. I used this site to make the instagram poster, and I chose two images from my trip to Cornwall, England to get printed in a higher res.  I don't love to pick really obvious travel images (Eiffel Tower, London Bridge, Colosseum), but instead ones that I took in places I loved or from days I want to remember.

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Maps // I obsessively hoard maps when I travel, and have basically wallpapered one wall in my bedroom with them.  It looks really cool, and most of them have drawings or notes on them from travel, which is another fun reminder of the details of the trips.  And the scratch map is just awesome.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Winter Lipstick Favorites

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In general, my makeup routine is pretty basic - tinted moisturizer, bronzer, blush, setting powder, brow gel.  On special days or days where I'm wearing all black, I'll occasionally throw on a lipstick.  In the winter, I feel like I can get away with a little more color.  These are my favorite options -

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MAC Ruby Woo // One of the cult favorite MAC products, this is by far my favorite red lipstick. It's a matte formula, so I need plenty of chapstick before I put it on, but the staying power is impressive.  And the blue base makes my teeth look supah white.

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Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush // Though a painfully long name, the formula and color of this product is fabulous.  It goes on shiny, but dries down quickly to a more matte, long lasting formula.  The color stays put for a long time, and I kind of prefer the faded color a bit more.  Flattering without being too much.

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Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Haute // I love this color.  The purple brings out the green in my eyes, but it's not too much of a color that it makes me look weird.  And the tube feels verrrryyyy classic fancy old lady.

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Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina // This is my favorite everyday winter color.  The formula is kind of insane - once it sets, I basically have to chisel it off.  It's a pretty basic color - pinkish brown, which I love.  It works with every makeup look and outfit. 

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YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in 15 // This is the spendiest lip product I own, and you could absolutely find something similar for less, but dayum doesn't the packaging make me ridiculously happy.  I mean, the lipstick is gorgeous, and the juicy rose shade works as a great everyday, no mirror required option, but the packaging man. So fancy.