Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Budget

Spring has sprung and I can't stop, won't stop with blue and white combos.  This month, I finally checked a few things off my wishlist, including white jeans and a denim jacket, plus picked up a few major loves at bargain prices. The espadrilles are my new obsession - I've worn them twice a week since I bought them.  Major heart eyes, and they look especially nice with the dress, which was a bit of a dark horse in the favorites race, but makes me feel super pretty.

Soludos Espadrilles - $75
Button Front Dress - $10
White Jeans - $20
Peplum Cami - $10
Denim Jacket -$20

Total - $135

I also got $5.63 in cash back from ebates, plus a sign up bonus, which means my total cashback is $30.63 for the month!

Fit Notes // Like last month, I ordered both the peplum cami and the dress in the tall version of my usual size, which bought me the extra length that I prefer for clothes.  I was surprised at how well the cami fit, even with my bigger chest - it shows no bra except for the straps, and the adjustability of the straps is awesome. I did order one size up in the white pants, but that was a fit preference for me - they do fit TTS.

Linking up with Fran

Monday, April 25, 2016

Graduation Gift Guide

I'm having a hard time believing that graduation season is already upon us, but here it is.  I loved my graduation weekend and can't wait to head down to Nashville for my brother's. Some of the best gifts I've ever gotten were for graduation, but high school and college (looking at you, Beyonce).  Below are some of my favorite gifts for grads!

1 // Phone Case
2 // The Alchemist
3 // Starbucks Giftcard
4 // Home Necklace
5 // Simplified Planner (my absolute favorite!)
6 // Headphones
7 // Laptop Case
8 // Longchamp Tote
9 // Card Holder
10 // Pearl Earrings
11 // Madewell Transport Tote
12 // Watch
13 // Madewell Weekender
14 // Stationery 
15 // Travel Book
16 // Diploma Holder

Monday, April 11, 2016

Perfume Collection

When I got the idea for this post, I thought it would be a fun way to talk about my favorite scents.  I'm pretty picky about fragrances and there's only been a couple that I've liked enough to buy in full size.  The only problem, though, is that I am crap at describing what they smell like. So, this post is part real, part joke about how inane my idea of what things smell like are.

Chloe Eau de Parfum // This was my first ever favorite fragrance, and the first big bottle I bought. It's a sweet, floral scent without being too girly - I like that there's a little bit of an edge to it. It's also the perfume that lasts longest on me, which is a bonus.  According to Sephora, it smells likPink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey and also the rich and varied personalities of all Chloe women. So, enjoy the scent of flowers and souls.

Replica Beach Walk // I don't wear this perfume out and about very often, but I have definitely been known to borderline bathe in it when I'm home alone. It smells like the best kind of beach day - sunscreen, salt, no sand in awkward places.  I'm not sure if I would ever wear it as an actual fragrance, but I love it as a memory/spirit lifter.  The notes are Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Coconut Milk, Heliotrope, Musk, Cedarwood, Benzoin, so there's that.  

Thierry Mugler Alien //  This is the scent I wear most often. Like Beach Walk, it smells a little like sunscreen to me, but in a much more wearable way.  There's nothing floral about the scent, more fresh and light.  Let's go with a combination of laundry and sun tan lotion.  Which sounds like it's messy, but it definitely smells good.  Just go smell it, it's delicious.  The actual notes are Solar Accord, Jasmine Sambac, Green Notes, Cashmeran, Vanilla, Transparent Amber which is honestly not that much more helpful, considering I've heard of one of those things and don't think transparent amber is a thing.

Marc Jacobs Mod Noir // I am kind of surprised that I like this fragrance as much as I do.  It smells like straight gardenias, but not in a sickly way.  It just smells like I stuck my head in a gardenia bush, complete with a little bit of the greenery (the notes are, in fact, greens, gardenia and creamy musks)  It's not a scent I want every day (vair floral), but it's a gorgeous and light, rather than sickly, and perfect for spring.  I also love layering it with the fragrance below.   

Jo Malone Wild Fig and Cassis // How I got this perfume is actually really funny - my parents and I were stuck in the Dublin airport for approximately ever, and the duty free section was a little too tempting.  I somehow ended up smelling all of the Jo Malone fragrances, and decided to buy one.  But not this one... I thought I had grabbed Peony and Blush Suede, but alas, got home and discovered Wild Fig and Cassis.  In general, it worked out though, cause I love this fragrance. Honestly, the best assessment I can give is that it smells like green. Like plants and baby flowers (like, when they grow up they'll smell floral, but right now they only smell like plant and maybe a little sweet) and fresh.  It's gorgeous and perfect for those who want to smell delicious, but not like a bouquet. It's my absolute favorite for summer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sephora VIB Sale Picks

amuse bouche lipstick, beauty review, sephora sale picks, lavanila sport deodorant, make up for ever pro sculpting palette,

It's the second most wonderful timmeeeeee of the yearrrrrrr.  Woot!  Sephora does only two sales per year, so they produce a bit of excitement within the beauty-product-loving community.  Though I'm trying to control myself and not spend all the money, I have a few things currently in my basket and a bunch of products I love and highly recommend.  The sale starts on Friday and the code for 15 percent off is VIBNOTE (if you're Rouge, the code is ROUGENOTE and the sale starts tomorrow). Don't forget to use ebates to get even better savings - 4% cashback right now!


Amuse Bouche lipsticks // Bite is one of my favorite brands - smart ingredients, wearable colors and great packaging.  The new line also smells like oranges, so bonus.  I have Sweet Cream, which makes both my eyes greener and my freckles pop, so I may never take it off.  I'm thinking of picking up Gingersnap as a brighter alternative for summer. 

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Face Palette // As a round-faced human, contouring is a part of my makeup routine no matter how basic I'm going - I want to at least pretend I have cheekbones.  This palette has near perfect reviews and looks perfect for travel. Sign me right up.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes // My eyelashes are thick, but miniscule.  I love the fluffly, soft length and volume this mascara gives, without looking clumpy. It sticks around all day, but is pretty easy to remove, which I love. 

bareMinerals Original Foundation // When I started looking into more natural products, this foundation seemed like an easy switch. I'd never really entertained a mineral base, but was very quickly regretting that. This foundation is a piece of cake to apply, looks very natural and doesn't cling onto dry patches or get oily by the end of the day. New must have. 


Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base // I got this as a 100 point perk to use on the flight to Africa, and expected it to be good, but not memorable. Lols - this shit is awesome. My makeup has never gone no better than the days I use this cream.  It's pretty basic in terms of what it provides (no spf, no magic claims), but for anyone with dry skin, this is a life saver.

Origins Night-a-mins // This isn't the first time I've talked about this cream, but it's worth going on about. It smells great, makes my skin noticeably brighter and keeps it hydrated, without being greasy. I lovelovelove it and will be ordering a backup.

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Cleanser // This was an aisle-of-doom impulse purchase for me, but a good one.  I don't use physical exfoliators like this every day, but there are definitely times when it's the right thing for my skin. I love that this cleanser is relatively mild, super easy to travel with and fun to use (also, smells like rice, which I love)


Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray // My hair is at a length where piecy, beachy waves are it's preferred texture, so I'm looking for products to vamp that up. I've never tried this product, but it seems promising for second day hair!

Thierry Mugler Alien // Holy god above I love this perfume. Like, would bathe in it, spray all of my coats and stick my head in my closet like a loon, love this perfume. To me, it smells like sunscreen and a little floral (not overwhelming) and to Thierry Mugler, it smells like solar accord, jasmine sambac, green notes, cashmeran, vanilla and transparent amber, none of which sound real.

Lavanila Sport Luxe Deodorant // One of my current natural product struggles is trying to avoid both spreading chemicals all over my lymph nodes and smelling stinky.  I've used and like Lavanila products in the past, so hopefully this sport deodorant is the perfect no cancer/no stink balance

Monday, April 4, 2016

Apple Tarts

This has to be the easiest high-impact dessert on the planet.  I made it for a crowd at my parent's house and it made me look much fancier than I actually am... It's a little bit time intensive, but not difficult, and would probably be pretty fun to do with kids.

Apple Tarts (serves 6, 45 minutes prep time, 15 minutes cook time)

1 package puff pastry
4 medium apples - look for colorful skin and a more tart profile, I used fuji
1 lemon
1 egg

Core the apples, then slice as thinly as possible

Microwave the apple slices with a couple tablespoons of water and the juice from the lemon (toss to combine)

Let the apples cool while rolling the puff pastry out a little on a well-floured surface

Beat the egg and use it to wash the entire puff pastry, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

Cut the puff pastry into 6 slices the long way (could probably do 8 the short way and make smaller tarts...)

Starting at one of the of pastry, layer single slices of apples with the bottom edge in the middle of puff pastry

Fold the bottom half of the puff pastry up

Starting at one end, roll the puff pastry onto itself (I held the top of the apples in while I rolled)

Put the rolls into a well-oiled muffin tin

Refrigerate for 15 minutes

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes

Tips //

A sharp knife is so important for slicing the apples - you want them to be as uniformly thin as possible

Because slicing the apples is pretty time-consuming, I added lemon juice to the microwavable bowl as I went, so that the apples wouldn't discolor

We served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce - highly recommend.  I also want to try adding marzipan to the inside of the puff pastry