Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Best Friends LA & being thankful

So happy to be doing a small part as a volunteer for this organization.
Thankful to one of my favorite friends for getting me involved.
Thankful for the people who work so hard for these animals.
Thankful to the people out there who give rescued pets another chance.
Thankful to my dog Mitch who makes me smile each and everyday.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Almost Famous

"I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends."- Penny Lane

One of my friends posted that quote the other night, and tonight I found myself in a record store.  I felt it all around me, it was like a hug from my high school self.  I entered and to my left was a wall of decals with the likes of Save Ferris and the Aquabats catching my eye immediately.  I had these decals on my car 15 some odd years ago. 

All around me were names and words that stirred happy memories. Memories of driving to the record store the day the album came out and scratching the plastic wrapper off with my keys on my way to the car.  Memories of certain lineups and venues...some of these involving bands and places that no longer exist.  It was bittersweet really, the nostalgia made me happy for the memories and sad for the things I've lost over time. 

I hope that we never truly lose the nitty gritty little record stores, that they will continue to endure as the years go by...every now and then I need to visit my friends there.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

quickie review: Vaadi Herbals Cold Cream

I've been using Pond's cold cream for years.  I can rub some on, wipe it off and go to bed.  It's gentle enough to remove my eye make up too.  It's something I've stocked up on in the past, but now as it's come time to replenish I've had to look for something new.

Enter: Vaadi Herbal Cold Cream.  I found it on Amazon, it was a reasonable price so I've been using it a little over the last week or so.  It's active ingredients are Saffron, Aloe Vera extract, Almond oil and Jojoba oil.  Upon first usage, I felt it was a bit more fragrant than I like.  I also felt like I broke out the very next morning after I used be fair though that blemish may have already been on it's way.

Overall, with continued use I've adjusted to it pretty well.  It feels like a decent value (comes as a two pack 3.18 ounces each for $10.99).  Not completely sold just yet...still looking for a simple, natural face cleaner for those nights I really just want to go to bed.

Any other faithful cold cream users out there?  What's your go to night routine when you're trying to keep it simple?

Cheers all!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

oh my thai...a massage experience

I've been working some crazy hours this month (as I do at the end of a quarter)...and decided to treat myself to a massage before month end.  I'd been looking into Thai massage and liked the idea of being stretched into relaxation.

I Yelped a bit, looking for a place with good reviews in my area. I was in luck, as there were a couple of places with rave reviews.  I opted for the Sukho Thai Healing Center in Glendora. I called as I was leaving work, hoping to snag an appointment that evening.  I was in luck and headed right over.  Drove right past it, thinking I knew exactly where they were.  Called them back, circled around, found their little place.  A very friendly older gentleman greeted me.

Being new to the Thai massage experince, I didn't completely know what to expect.  A petite little lady greeted me (I easily stood a foot taller).  She showed me to our small curtained off space and directed me to a box to place my clothes and left me to get to it.

I laid down in the very dark yet calming space.  My massage therapist came back and went to work.  She used oil, and had a very firm pressure.  It began as a pretty basic massage but with some added stretches here and there, I could feel her resting her weight on the back of my thighs which I think gave her better leverage on my back.  I turned over (face up) and she crossed one leg over the other and stood on the table to help stretch the back of my leg...with my leg up on her shoulder I realized very suddenly that I now had nothing covering my lower half. She half asked, half told me that I was okay...and then we repeated it with the other leg. Perhaps modesty is not my thing when my aim is to relax...but she didn't make me feel awkward for one second (maybe one..but not 5 seconds).

I really enjoyed the whole experience.  I also really like that we started off with a warm towel to give me a quick overall cleanse (I spent the whole day in flip flops, so it was super nice to have clean feet!), we finished off with another warm towel with a little essential oil to refresh the senses.  It's maybe a bit of a hole in the wall from the outside, but I would totally go again.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chakra Balancing

A couple weeks back I went to Palm Springs with my work crew.  We stayed at the super lovely Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.  Saturday, one of my work friends and I hit up this little place called Crystal Fantasy.  I realize that this is not a place for everybody, but I enjoyed myself.

As we wandered about the store filled with crystals, books, and tarot cards we soon found ourselves in the back room.  There were two ladies sitting next to massage tables and we asked what they did.  Crystal Healing and Chakra Balancing.  We consulted each other for a moment and it was decided, we were in.

I got set up with a sweet sprite like little lady named Holly.  She was so soft spoken and radiated kindness, I immediately felt at ease with her.  I laid back on her table and closed my eyes.  She asked questions about my life, stress, things I'd like to work on.  I told her anything she wanted to know (she just had that kind of presence).  She placed assorted crystals on my person and swept her hands over was a very relaxing experience and also hard to explain.

Afterwards, we talked a little and she gave me her card.  I will for sure visit her again some time, and she let me know that I could contact her for a phone consultation anytime.

Like I said, it's hard to explain what happened.  If you're open to that kind of can be kind of neat.  I'm going to try and learn more about these types of healing alternatives.

Cheers all!

Friday, August 1, 2014

of mountains and molehills

For the last few days my face has been growing a blemish the size of volcano on the region of my chin.  I have been trying to remain strong and patient.  I'm trying my best not to anger it.  I went to Google on behalf of my chin and the underground nightmare that has yet to unleash it's full fury.

Special thanks to Bella Sugar for some tips:

  • Tea bag: I rinsed a tea bag with water and heated it in the microwave for a few seconds before placing on the affected area. The tannins are supposed to reduce redness and swelling....this technique did not do much for me at this time. I wouldn't completely rule it out though.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: I'll say that I did absolutely no research on this...I had some cream handy and I dabbed it on my face with looking at no other sources (and without looking for any possible consequences) but it seemed to help.  It brought it up some.
Special thanks to Top 10 home remedies for this tip (and plenty more):
  • Warm compress: Wring out a wet washcloth (again I heated mine in the microwave) and place on face (hot, but not like burning your face off) the heat is supposed to stimulate circulation and bring the blemish up to a head.  (They also recommend tea bags).  
The hydrocortisone and washcloth combo is working, slowly.  Luckily it's still semi-coverable with concealer.  

As far as actual treatments I'm using Dermalogica's Overnight Clearing Gel...this works to a point, but I've never found an amazing spot treatment that I could swear by.  

Anyone out there struggling with the occasional breakout that feels like it's taking over your face...and your life?  Please share tips and products that you use.

Cheers all!

Monday, July 28, 2014

spa day (July edition)

After a very long work week I went for some relaxation at Wild Earth Spa in La Verne, CA it wasn't quite what I expected but ended up okay. I've always had a good experience in the past, but based on this trip I don't know that I'll go back.

I opted for one of their spa packages with a wrap and massage...apparently it's available on their website but is no longer on their in store menu.  The guy up front kept asking me if I was a new client...which was weird as I kept telling him "No".  The therapist who worked with me didn't seem to know what I was there for (maybe no one at the spa checks their website).

She walked me out to the sauna...and was about to leave when I asked how long she recommended I stay in there.  "About 30 minutes?...Um, or however long you want." I did 20 minutes.

We moved on to the wrap...she rubbed some tingly gel/cream on my upper arms, upper legs, and stomach.  I asked about the ingredients that make it tingle, she didn't know.  At this point I figured she must be new...nope, she said she'd been there for two years!

I will say the massage went alright, not stellar.  Very relaxing in spots...and I'm not one to complain about going over time on a massage, but the treatment was supposed to be 2 hours and altogether I was there for almost 3...partly because we started late.  It just wasn't that much fun and only semi relaxing.

Oh well, in plus news we're going out to Palm Springs in August with work and get 10% off spa services at our hotel.  Here's to trying again!!


Update: I contacted the Wild Earth regarding my service.  Management did not reply until I reposted my e-mail to their website (for all to see).  At that point the manager let me know all the personal details of her life as reasons why she didn't respond before.  She didn't address any of the issues I had with the service, but she did offer to let me come back for a free service.  She came across as super unprofessional, and I let her know as much...and that I was no longer comfortable coming back to her spa.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

E.L.F.ish fun

Went to Target and spent too much money...but found some delightfully inexpensive beauty products by e.l.f.. I got an eyelash curler for a dollar...a DOLLAR! I didn't love the feel of it, but the pad of it fit in my Tarte eyelash basically I got two replacement pads - still a win.  

Also snagged a Flawless Foundation in Buff for $6.00 and some brush cleaner for $3.00.  The foundation was such a score because I was looking at both Sand and Buff...took a chance on Buff and it's a great match. I've been using it with a faux beauty blender sponge that I picked up at ULTA one day.  I hear great things about the real thing, but since the cheapie knock off has been working so well I haven't worried about it.  

Totally on board to pick up some more e.l.f. next time I visit Target.  Check out the e.l.f. product line here (and check out their "Beauty Bundle" subscription plan...$19.99 every 8 weeks!)

Super affordable, available at Target, and cruelty free to boot!  

Cheers all!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

a visit with the doctor

Sometimes I read articles about how to get more time with your doctor, what questions to ask and whatnot.  I've never had an issue with this myself.  My doctor remembers the specifics of my life, and always wants to make sure all my questions/thoughts/concerns are answered.  This week we did the yearly checkup...and boy did she really get me thinking.

She asked about my eating habits: breakfast: in the car on the way to work (sometimes drive thru, sometimes just coffee), lunch: either at my desk or in the car (usually take out), and dinner: snack food/sometimes a salad.

She asked about my exercise: I aim for Pilates and Dance class every week...but often miss one (this week both). I miss because I can't seem to get out of work in time, no matter what time I start my day. I know I should exercise more, but after a long day where do you find the energy? (Seriously though, if you have suggestions--I'd love to hear them!)

Then my doctor asked how work was going...and I told her.  Technically and paperwork speaking I have two jobs.  I work for two companies in one office.  I regularly work 8 1/2 to 9 hours a day. The other day I was there from 7am-7pm...with no overtime (because two jobs=two time cards).  She looked at me and said basically I am not benefiting from this kind of schedule, and that I could not keep it up; she said it's not good for me. Then she said something that has stuck with me all week, "you're being taken advantage of".
Wow.  I sat quietly and realized she was right.

Having to own up about yourself to a medical professional really makes you take a look at where you need to make some life changes.  It's one thing to discuss life's trials and tribulations with a friend over a glass of wine...but it's quite a different feeling when your sitting there in one of those backless gowns.  I need to find some inner strength to make some necessary changes.  Wish me luck.

What motivates you? Are there life changes you need to make too?  I'd like to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

why didn't I think of that?

Two tips I got this week from The Beauty Department and Buzzfeed:

1.  Instead of fixing eyeliner smudges with a q-tip and makeup remover...try a q-tip and eye treatment (i.e. eye cream). I like following The Beauty Department on FB...but whatever floats your boat. For eye cream, I like Derma E, it's has a very light consistency so it would be especially good for day/makeup corrections (about $15.00, ULTA, Puritan's Pride, and other places).
Borrowed from The Beauty Department 

2. Spray bobby pins with hair spray to help them stick (before you put them in).  Link to the full "29 Hairstyling Hacks Every Girl Should Know" here. They appear to have borrowed this particular tip from Pretty Gossip, has reviews and tutorials.  For hair spray, right now I'm using Jason's Thin to Thick Extra Volume Hair Spray. (Around $8.00).  I don't think it's very sticky, but it may be enough to give the bobbys a little help.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

a very merry unbirthday

Tomorrow is my best friends we celebrated it up this weekend.

Saturday began at the Voda Spa  in Los Angeles.  The outside really doesn't prepare you for the inside.  You enter into a peaceful little paradise.  You check in, get your locker, go upstairs to hop in your robe and sandals and you're ready to your swimsuit, as this is a coed place.  There had been some discussion about visiting a "naked" spa, but that's been postponed for a bit.

We visited the different saunas and steam rooms, took a dip in the pool and had our treatments.  I got the aromatherapy massage, and the therapist took a lot of time working on the knots in my neck and shoulder area, which I appreciate greatly because I've been told that's where I hold my tension.  It did feel a little rough in spots, but hey, whatever works sometimes.  The BF had a pretty amazing facial.  So good she got her card and plans to visit her again.  Our other friend went for deep tissue massage and really felt like she got a good one...I'm more for Swedish styles, but maybe that's why I have knots.

Later we did the lunch thing at Gracias Madre also in LA.  This is a Vegan/Mexican restaurant and pretty tasty.  They have a great patio, perfect for drinking.  In the mood for a super fun outdoorsy summer drink? Let me recommend their "La Quinceanera" it's pink and yellow and has tequila and a I wish I'd taken a picture.

We finished up the day with mani-pedis at Limon Nail & Spa Boutique super friendly ladies at very small shop.  $35 for a mani-pedi combo, I call that a score.  I went a mermaid type of route with my color choices.

For Sunday we did our volunteer shift with the kitties at BFLA.  Best Friends Animal Society is an amazing organization doing great work for the adoptable cats and dogs of LA. While there is nothing glamorous about cleaning cat cages, it does give your heart a boost knowing that you're doing good.

While it wasn't my birthday, being able to see hang with a friend having fun all weekend long felt like a very merry unbirthday for me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

a week (or so) in the life

So, I gave online dating another shot...and even went on a date! Then we went out on another...then nothing. Still better than my last couple of online dating experiences though.  I also did that thing.  You know that crazy girl thing where you kind overly obsess about why that guy hasn't called you back and then you ask him about it (via it turns out really long and embarrassingly pathetic).  He, being him...opts not to answer.  I have to say, after rereading what I wrote a half a dozen (dozen and a half) times...I probably wouldn't answer me back either.  Oh wells, it is what it is.  There are some guys in the Plenty of Cupids pool that I've abruptly quit interacting with - now I've been on the other side.  Lessons have been learned. I also completely deleted that guy from my phone so that I can go on about my day.

Shop small, shop local they I tried. I went shopping the other day in hopes of finding a dress to wear to an upcoming Summer wedding.  There is an adorable little shop in La Verne (The Little Dress Shop).  Their Yelp review is here.  Unfortunately for me it really was a "little" dress shop...everything I liked was too small for me.  As in, didn't even get to try it on because it was all size small.  They had a few dresses in large, but by the time I found them I felt like an elephant.  Decent prices, a fun mix of new and vintage, and fun jewelry.  I picked up a pair of flowery bobby pins for $5.00.

Have you fancied up your water lately?  I did.  I've been mixing mint sprigs and lemon slices in a water bottle (let it set/"infuse" in the fridge overnight) and voila crisp refreshing water the next day! I also did a day with watermelon mint too...also pretty tasty.  They've got all sorts of ideas on Pinterest. Try searching "detox water", I don't know if it's so much of a detox, but it does change it up a bit.

That's my little check in! Hope all is well with you.

I'd always love to hear from you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

it works!...does it? kind of.

A friend started selling body wraps...and although being skeptical I'm also someone who would love to lose inches around by belly instantly.  I know I'm not alone, otherwise a company like "It Works" wouldn't exist.  Company wise...I'd call them questionable.  They want everyone to be a part of their "Loyal Customer" program which means you get the product delivered monthly for a discount.  Or you can opt to sell their product...I chose neither of those options, so I paid more. Whatev.

I've used the product three times now, and for a couple of days after I do see a small difference in how my jeans fit.  The product says you can use the wrap every three days.  I've used it once a week (I like to put it on after a workout night and then sleep in it).  In the morning I take a quick shower, because while the scent of the wrap isn't terrible, it's not beautiful either.  I feel like for the next couple of days my clothes do fit better. Realistically, I know that this quick fix is not doing anything real...but it might be just the thing to use before a big event...or a day at the beach.

It feels a bit cold at first, and throughout wearing it does get a bit tingly. You simply open the package, place it where you'd like to lose the inches (tummy, arm, thighs) and wrap some plastic wrap over it.  It is recommended you wear it for at least 45 minutes, like I said I wear it overnight.

**This is totally a use at your own risk type of product. Be careful of possible allergies, probably not a good idea on sensitive skin.  The wraps run about $25 a pop, be sure you try it first before you sign up for any of the discounts.**

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lush visit (quickie review)

Wandered in to Lush for funsies.  Wasn't looking for anything in particular...the kind of pushy sales guy showed me the Ocean Salt scrub, "See, feel how soft your hand is now? Isn't that great?" Yeah dude, got it thanks.  "How about a moisturizer?" "Try this, it's a best seller!"  Ok guy...thanks...just here to look around.
I carried the moisturizer around for a bit until he moved on to another unsuspecting browser.

Then on my own I came upon their Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter.  Yum.  A little really goes a LONG way with this and besides the delish scent it's super moisturizing. $16.95 for 1.5 ounces...but it's good until May of 2015.

I also picked up a BB Seaweed mask.  It promises to be soothing and smoothing.  Haven't tried it just yet, it's chilling in the fridge waiting for me.  $6.95 for a 2.1 ounce pot.

Lastly at the register I picked up the Lip Service lip balm.  Lightly scented, and makes my lips feel super soft. (I just haven't felt that my current chapstick-y deal has been doing much).  Loving it, keeping it in the purse and will for sure pick up another for home...and maybe one for work, just in case.  $7.25 for 0.3oz, and again a little goes a long way.

Pushy sales dude aside, it was a pretty delightful visit.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

getting fit: bra edition

For a while I wore a very consistent 36C.  I could pretty much pick up any bra, in any style, from any brand and it fit like a glove (for my boobs).  Then as I got a bit older and a bit heavier and the ladies did too.  I found myself trying to make my 36C bras work, but they wouldn't cooperate.  I would spill over no matter what I did with the straps or the hooks...not a pretty sight and very uncomfortable too.

I went to Kohl's, they always have a sale on something.  I looked around, but it appears that the cute and pretty designs stop at 36C.  I went up to a 38C, found a few that worked and went about my life.  Weeks and months passed, and I spent my days adjusting my bra.

My best friend told me that she went to a boutique and got fitted.  So simple, but seems so awkward...turns out it's not. I visited a shop in Glendora called Undercovers, a very knowledgeable woman measured me and brought over options.  She's had years of experience and know her stuff.   I was actually very comfortable the whole time...and walked out with two new (and amazingly comfortable) bras. 

While I was paying for the purchase she went over with me the importance of hand washing bras (and apparently any items with Lycra). She gave me a sample of Forever New Fabric Care Wash and told me how to go about the hand wash process.  Basically you fill a sink/basin with water and add your soap, swirl your bras around then let soak for five minutes, hang up to dry.  Haven't actually done it...we'll see.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

my week in rants and product raves

The last couple of days have been kind of rough work wise.  My boss and I had a sit down that brought me to tears...more out of frustration than anything else.  She went on about how much she appreciates what I do, and that I'm someone she depends on and all that I do doesn't go unnoticed...which is all very well and good, but I just wanted to work out a more reasonable schedule.  To me reasonable is an eight hour day (more on occasion if necessary), but she just didn't seem to get it.  I don't know how better to explain it...we're just not seeing eye to eye right now.  I'm not sure what to do from here.

The good news is, I was wearing Urban Decay's All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray and after putting it on at 6:30 in the morning, wearing it all day and crying a makeup stayed in place!  All you do is mist on your face after your makeup application and voila!  I picked up the trial size at ULTA, and am totally happy with the purchase (especially in this insane heat we've been having...100 degrees at 6pm!).  I would have given the NYX version a shot, but it was out of stock that day.

I've been keeping up with Pilates and doing weekly sessions with Becky at Equilibrium Fitness in La Verne. I feel like I've become more aware of my posture, especially that my shoulder are always super tense apparently.  Last week I also visited the Ricciolo Salon (located next door to Equilibrium) because my eyebrows were out of control...and sometimes they just need a pro with a lighted magnifying glass.  The salon is nice, the staff was friendly and they took me as a sweaty walk-in no problem.

How do you deal with work stress?  Have you have any new go to products you're loving?
Let me know, I'd love to hear from you!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ulta's Mango Tango (quickie review)

Did you know that Ulta's Beauty Smoothies are not tested on animals? I didn't and when I found out it was a pleasant surprise.  Right now they have their Limited Edition Summer Adventures fragrances out and I must say I'm loving the Mango Tango scent. Right now they are running a buy two get two free promotion, and body wash is a good stock up buy. 

I love summer and summer scents...I hate that so many of them are limited editions.  Who doesn't want a light summer feeling around all year long?  Pina Coladas all around all year I say!

Favorite summer scents anyone?  Favorite summer pastimes?  I'd love to hear back! :)

Cheers all!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

crazy week...leads to bright future

What a crazy week at work! We were short one person down at the end of a quarter...stressful for sure, but overall our little office pulled together and got stuff handled. We've got until Wednesday to see how we did for the quarter total, but I think it's looking good.

Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I'm looking forward to getting my life back. Some of things I'm looking forward to in the next couple of months are:
  • Getting back to YBB at Heartbeat House, over in LA/Atwater...Love dancing with Luisa and Kristen teaching!
  • Meeting up with the Pilates trainer.  Just going to look at the cost as an investment in me.  I really like this quiet little studio in La Verne, Equilibrium Fitness.  I've been working with Becky, but everyone seems nice.
  • Would like to schedule a little trip in there somewhere many ideas up in the air.  Suggestions for solo travels anyone?
  • Getting together with friends for some lovely summer nights!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

going with the flo

I've considered this purchase for a while and finally broke down and bought myself and Indo Board.  Although I've only ever been to surf camp once (forever ago) deep down I fancy myself a surfer at heart.  I love the idea of paddling out and waiting for that perfect moment where you paddle and pop up and gracefully guide across the ocean for a few delightful seconds.

I initially picked up the board with just the roller...based on the reviews the cushion was too easy and people quickly switched to the roller.  I on the other hand had the roller and quickly went and ordered the cushion.
I'm glad I did, it's more stable and I can actually balance (a little) on it. So far, I've only used it in five minute increments...but it's a start and at least I'm using my purchase.   

I'll update my progress on this.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

short hair selfie time

A couple of weeks ago I went to my hairstylist and went short.  I'll admit I was a bit nervous at that moment she touched the back of neck and said "OK, here we go", but I kind of love a lot. My thanks goes out to Lisamarie at Luxe in Glendora.

My hair hasn't been short since I was about 7 years old.  Back then, I wanted a bob like my best friend at the time had (she pulled it off well).  I insisted even when my mother and the stylist seemed to want to talk me out of it.  After the mother drove me home, and I went into the bathroom sat on the the counter and proceeded to cry at the mirror whilst pulling my hair willing it to grow back.

Now though, I've got this grown up a line bob.  My hair holds curl now, I can wear it wavy if I want.  The flat iron makes it all sleek.  There is just (barely) enough to pull into a ponytail for when I'm lazing around the house (today's look).

I do feel that I need to work on the selfie thing though.  As much as I love my hair, I do not like taking my picture.  I'll put selfies on my to-do list (or maybe my to-do-later list) one of the two.

Cheers to you and hope you had a great day and a happy Easter.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

little updates

I've made a couple of minor changes to the Prettypalooza the description and the tamapalooza (about me) areas.  

From here on out, I'll be taking on more areas of my life.  Beyond just product reviews (although I'll still have those too...I like to share).  Maybe it's because I watched Bridget Jones the other morning in it's entirety...I don't know; but I'd like to tell it like it is.

Pretty is not just inside or out, it's a combination, it's life experience, it's everything all mixed together and it's different for everyone.  I'd like to put more of me out here and see what happens.

I hope you'll continue on with me.
Thank you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hard Candy

Whilst waiting for my prescription to be filled I sometimes wander the beauty aisle (other times I snag a tabloid from the magazine section and get comfy on a bench).  My wandering brought me to Hard Candy.  I associate this brand with my teenage years (I checked they began back in 1995).  Hard Candy was unattainable to me then (it was beyond my Bonne Bell budget and non-pink nail polish was frowned upon by my mom at the time).

I walked away with their Just Face It (their "featherweight" foundation).  My shade turned out to be 777, how lucky am I?  Pros: For guessing on my shade, it turned out right.  A little goes a long way with this as well and it blends nicely too.  Cons: The pump quit pumping within a week...bummer, but whatev I'm not above unscrewing the lid.

I also picked up their 1,000 lashes mascara in Divine Purple.  Oh yeah, I did it...purple mascara (my inner 15 year old was stoked!).  It's really subtle, just a little hint in the right light.  Pros: Subtle enough for everyday, not at all clumpy. Cons: None that I've found.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

beauty on the cheap

Did you know that Marshall's has beauty products?  I guess maybe I did...but I didn't pay much attention.  I found some awesome deals and they were are all cruelty free to boot! (Going cruelty free has lead to some fun surprises. It can be a little work, but it's totally worth it.)

Marshall's fun finds:
1) Resveraderm: Advanced Skin Care Complex.  A day and night cream with Resveratol (red wine grape antioxidant) by Dermapeutics.  (MSRP: $125.00, Marshall's: $14.99)

2) Also by Dermapeutics a Hyaluronic Eye Lift Serum. (MSRP: $55.00, Marshall's $9.99).

3) Intensive Heel Repair (because flip flop season is pretty much year round) by Earth Therapeutics.  It's got Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint. ($3.99)

4) A nummy scented scrub "Peaches and Passion" also by Earth Therapeutics (and also $3.99).  Getting my arms ready for tank tops has never smelled so delicious.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pleased by Pilates

My weight is a little bit of an issue for me.  It felt like it came on all of a sudden a few years back (thank you 30s!) and I've been struggling with it ever since.  Not a big struggle mind you, I would rather go out to eat than go to the gym.

I've been enjoying taking the occasional Yoga Booty Ballet class at the Heartbeat House in Atwater Village. Luisa and Kristen's classes just leave me feeling good about myself both mentally and physically.  The only issue I have is the drive.  One evening recently it was pointed out that my drive took longer than the class. Womp womp.

In an effort to find a closer alternative (but by no means giving up on my YBB) I looked in Pilates.  Tucked away in a small lot in La Verne I found Equilibrium Fitness.  After a little phone tag with the trainers, I made an appointment with Becky and went in for my first training session last Friday.

It was AMAZING.  How have I not tried Pilates before this? It was slow and relaxing...but I worked muscles all over my person. I was just sore enough the next day, like a "hello muscle, where have you been hiding?" kind of sore.  Becky showed me how to breathe and made corrections throughout our one hour meeting.  She was super sweet and supportive. Once I am more comfortable around the equipment (it is a bit daunting) I will try out the group classes they offer.  I am so excited to see Becky again on Wednesday and even better I am finally looking forward to working out again.

I highly recommend checking out studios in your area.  I've noticed that a lot of places offer an introductory special.  If you've been looking to get in shape but dread going to the gym (sweaty treadmills and people hogging machines playing on their phones) a one on one or small group class may be the way to go.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It never hurts to ask

I remembered my ULTA coupon today! I also brought the entire catalog with me...a little way for me to stay focused.  I wanted to pick up Too Faced's "a la mode eyes" (sexy St. Tropez eye shadow collection). As an added bonus, it qualified for a gift all on it's own. The cashier rang me up and I was about to go about my merry way when I remember the gift, so I pulled out my handy dandy catalog and asked if the gift was still available.  Sadly, it wasn't...but because I asked, the girl behind the counter put together a few little samples just for me.  I ended up with a lip brush, a bareMinerals primer sample packet and 2oz sample of "it's a 10".  I actually have the full size of "it's a 10" and really like it, so all in all it was a pretty decent sample selection.
Too Faced, a la mode eyes

So, when it comes to ULTA's 21 days of sure to know what offers are available, and it doesn't hurt to ask if they're able to sub in some other samples!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thanks mom!

My mom is very no fuss about her hair (must be where I get it from).  She doesn't like to spend a lot and has been coloring her own for as long as I can remember.  Occasionally a stylist can talk her into a product (not often, but it happens).  As was the case with the Fantastic Sam's Fantastic Style Volumizing Potion.  She bought it, used it once, immediately disliked it, and offered it to me.  I checked the back, found "Not Tested on Animals" so I thought I'd give it a try.  

The directions are simple, apply a small amount to towel dry hair.  For added volume, blow dry.  It has a light scent and is not too heavy for my hair.  After using it just once my hair does feel thicker. 

All in all this turned out to be a delightful little hand me down.

Monday, February 3, 2014

just dance

I did not work out in January.  Like, not even a little bit...but that's okay.  I read somewhere that February 7 is the day that the gyms clear out across the country as people give up on their new year resolutions.  So, with that in mind I began my exercising for the year on February 1.  

Now as all those other people are giving up and sliding back in to their sedentary lives, I strike! I started by attending a dance class last Saturday.  I am not by any means coordinated. I sometimes have to pause and think about which is right and which is left (sometimes I feel that it's an embarrassingly long time...but it's probably not...probably).  Anyway, I danced...and it didn't matter if I went left right left or right left right.  It was fun...some ladies worried a little more about whether or not they were getting it right.  The way I see it, if I was going to be a professional dancer (ballet, exotic, what have you) I would have started practicing a while ago.  

Getting out there and moving really did make me feel better though.  I was happier, and it lasted into the next day.  When I woke up a little sore the next day...that felt good too.  It had been so long since I'd done something good for myself like that I'd forgotten what it felt like.  Which is a little sad, but it's okay because it's February and a whole new time to start fresh. 

(Also, if you're in the LA area and want to take some awesome dancey classes may I suggest the Heartbeat House.  I like the Yoga Booty Ballet classes, but they have a lot of variety)



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Overheard at the grocery store

A week or so ago I was at the grocery store and overheard the clerks talking about Emergen-C (or Airborne/Air Armour...what have you).  It was a generally agreed upon fact that mixing these tabs or packets with water is unpleasant.  Then one of the ladies said to mix it with 7up (or Sprite...again, what have you).

Earlier this week, I was feeling poorly almost to the point of being sick but not quite.  I had some Airborne packets...I picked up a bottle of Sprite and went to work.  I mixed the two and voila, not bad.  About an hour later I did it again.  By noon, I have to say I was feeling better.  Sickness averted, hooray!

Hope you're keeping healthy so far in the new year!


Thursday, January 16, 2014


I like many others out there really love Pineterest.  I used recipes from Pinterest for most of Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Here's a little something that I stumbled across today (which lead me to Etsy..oh dear):

I really like her whimsy, here is a sample:

If you like it too, check out:  liliana design

(I don't sponsor her or anything, I just wanted to share.)


Sunday, January 12, 2014

foundation factors

At Sephora today, my friend and I were perusing foundations.  I'm pretty evenly running out of 3 different BB creams and one Bobbi Brown foundation.

While I've been online and seen how many brands are cruelty free, it still feels like a very small collection once you are actually standing in the store streaking your hand with makeup.  We reviewed the list as we entered: Tarte, Urban Decay, and Too Faced...there are a few more brands (but it's not like they have blinking lights in the shape of a bunny beckoning you nice would that be?).

Not all brands that are cruelty free carry a bunny logo, so unless you know before you go or carry a list of animal friendly companies with you at all times, you may not know to check them out.  There is also the "parent company" to consider.  Estee Lauder and L'Oreal own a lot of companies out there and the "parents" choose to sell in China (who requires animal testing).  Here I thought the hard part was choosing the right shade in bad lighting!

I didn't end up with anything from Sephora today, but I've got an Ulta coupon all cut out and waiting for me to forget so I'll be heading over there soon.  Maybe I'll bring a list!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dilemma in the beauty aisle

So my resolution for 2014 (I only made one, so as not to lose focus...and I because I'm a bit of a quitter) was to only purchase beauty products that are cruelty free.  The first week was a breeze (as I did not need anything). 

Then came the eighth of January.  I was out of chapstick.  I didn't have one on me at work, and by the end of the day my lips were chapped big time.  I tried to drink lots of water and even spread some hand lotion over my lips.  It did not help.

I was at the drugstore and looked around at the lip products.  My eyes spied Maybelline's Baby Lips.  I had tried it before and really liked it.  I picked it up.  I held it in my hand.  Then I realized I couldn't purchase it.  I fought with myself in the beauty aisle.  I had the whole angel/devil shoulder dilemma going on.  "Just get's one little thing." said the one..."YOU will know...every time you put it on" said the other.

I put it back.  I ended up with a Burt's Bee's product.  I don't love it, it's only okay.  My options were limited in this particular store at this particular time.  It's okay though, because in the end I felt good about my choice, and I now have something to keep in my desk at I won't have the same problem again any time soon.

Do you have any resolutions this year?? How are they going?

Good luck to you!