Friday Faves-Holiday Gift Guide-12-4-15

Friday Faves-Holiday Gift Guide

Dun dun duuuunnnnn. Guess what?!? 21 days until Christmas! And if Christmas isn’t your holiday, it’s getting close to a lot of other gift giving holiday times as well.

I actually have the majority of my holiday shopping done! (I know…what a show off). But don’t worry, I still have a few things to make and complete but going out to the crazy stores for last minute things will NOT be happening this year (first time ever???)

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday Faves post and today I wanted to do a special one and share with you some of this years new items (or new to me 🙂 ) that I’ve come across while holiday shopping that I think are really cool and wouldn’t mind receiving a few for myself…*cough cough* BUT FIRST!!! One little piece of exciting news for us!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will be doing a short segment for our local (Madison, WI) ABC affiliate channel, WKOW27. We were contacted by a representative for JoAnn Fabric and Craft stores to do a short (3 minutes or so) segment on some easy holiday crafts. Of course we said yes! I am pretty excited, I’ve never done anything like this so it’s be really interesting! If you’re in the Madison and a early riser we’ll be on at around 6:25 am tomorrow December the 5th! Tune in if you’re around and if not, send good vibes 🙂

Now onto these great gifts! There’s definitely something on here for everyone on your list.
Copy of FAVORITE

  1. Hair tie BRACELET: I can NOT believe I didn’t think of this!! Who doesn’t hate wearing those pesky things on their wrists? I need at least two on me at all times but I hate how it leaves marks and also hate that I know it looks tacky but there’s no way around it. UNTIL NOW PEOPLE!!!
  2. Blackberry Elderflower Pimms: Maybe this is a British thing (my dad is from England and I grew up visiting family there frequently) but  Pimm’s is delicious in the first place and then combine it with Elderflower (one of my all time favorite flavors) and blackberry and I’m already drooling over it. The *ONLY* thing that could make it better was if it was already chilled in my fridge waiting for me after work today 🙂 While it may be a more summery drink, I’m down for it all year long.
  3. Cooler Tube: I’m not sure why I think this is so cool but how awesome is this?! A cooler just for a couple of cans that you can wear and have both hands free to do activities?!? Ok typing it out it seems like sort of dumb, and unnecessary but I don’t care, I still think it’s cool!
  4. Swell Bottle: First off, they look so sleek and chic and pretty! (& there are a TON of designs to choose from) 2nd and probably most important, they keep your drink HOT for 12 hours (yeah not a typo) or they keep your drink cold for 24 (also not a typo). They’re composed of non-leaching and non-toxic stainless steel, comes in three different sizes, and the company gives back to many charities around the world. Talk about win, win, win!
  5. Typhoon Digital Kitchen Scale: I totally stole this from Oprah’s favorite things list of 2015. I love this because it’s sort of retro looking and cool. It also can be used with or without the bowl and really makes things easy to measure more precisely particularly if you’re cooking recipes from abroad that ask for grams and ingredients measured by weight.
  6. Perfect Skin Spin: I’ve been aware of these face cleansing brush systems for a couple of years now but they were all (that I had seen) too pricey for me to try and not know if I’d like it. But this one on the other hand is extremely reasonably priced and also is multi functional! There are multiple heads to use (rough, gentle, even pumice stone for your feet or rough elbows!) It comes in a variety of cool colors and it’s awesome to have an option to give this type of cleansing a try without breaking the bank!

So there are some of my favorite things this holiday season! Go out and get your shopping done so you can have a *more* stress free holiday! As always, thanks for stopping by and checking out our blog!

xoxo
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*Please know that we have not been compensated for featuring any of these items. There are no affiliate links contained in this post. We simply wanted to share some great products and are not benefiting from this post or earning income in anyway. Enjoy! 🙂 

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Product Rave Deodorant

Product Rave- Deodorant

ALWAYSSUMMER

Wooooaahhhh. You guys. It’s been so long since I’ve posted! And there have been 1000 reasons and excuses, none of which anyone really cares about but to sum it up: 50 days from today I get married!!!  Crazy.

I even planned ahead for this crunch time and drafted extra posts for the blog, and still failed! Sheesh.

But I fell in love with a product and I couldn’t go one more week without sharing it with all of you- seriously, in love.

As a lot of you know I try really hard to use “clean products” for my beauty and personal care routine. What does that even mean? Basically I look for products that are nontoxic and don’t have chemicals or known harmful ingredients.

Many people spend a lot of time and money and effort to monitor what they put IN their bodies without giving much thought to what they put ON their bodies. The skin is the largest organ in our body and it only takes something like 26 seconds for what you put ON your skin to be absorbed and can be detected in your blood stream. And I’ve also read that absorption rates on our faces and scalps are 5-10 times higher than on other parts of our body. Scary stuff!

Anyway, one of the products that I’ve been leery of for quite some time (but up until recently couldn’t find a healthy alternative) was deodorant/antiperspirant. It’s a pretty common fact now that traditional deodorants, and specifically antiperspirants containing aluminum, are bad for you and have been linked to a number of nasty illnesses and side effects  (cancer, enlarged lymph nodes, list goes on….)

I had decided last year to ditch the antiperspirant deodorants and go a more natural route. This included trying the “crystal”, trying baking soda/enzyme sticks from those ‘natural stores’ and other nontoxic options. Nothing really worked. I mean sure it worked but I’d still sweat a lot and it would smell somewhat bad under there pretty quick, almost mildewy (gross I know- sorry) and also it was really hard to get over the “wet” feeling you’d get upon application.

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ME- with all other natural deodorants 😉

 

Sidetrack: one of the resources I use to help me shop around for products is an app called Think Dirty. You can check it out here.  Basically it lets you scan the barcode on any product you have at home or see in the store and it will give you a rating from their database on “cleanliness” ie if the ingredients are toxic, if any have been linked to cancer etc…. so I use it frequently and I love it. I’ll note that they are adding new products all the time. I can’t imagine the time and organization it must take to have each and every item in the world there, but not everything I try to scan shows up- be patient.

Anyway, one of the features is that if a product you scan is “dirty” it will offer you cleaner alternatives. I scanned my current deodorant at the time (just curious) and it popped up a yellow (not great, but not aweful) and it showed me some suggestions. One of them was my new love, Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. I checked it out and read all the reviews with a little skepticism- I mean everyone was literally singing their praises for this stuff from the rooftops and from what I knew about natural deodorants, how could it possibly be that great? By some grace of god I talked myself into giving it a try, maybe I’m a shopping addict? Maybe I was desperate?  Maybe both? I don’t know, but I’m glad I did. I couldn’t make up my mind on what scent to order; there are five options. So I found a travel size 5 pack on Etsy and thought that was a great (and cost effective!) option to try them out before I fully commited.

I used it the first day I got the stuff and haven’t turned back since. You guyyyysssssssssssss all the reviews were right. This stuff is a miracle in a jar.

*It feels dry to the touch right away.

*Keeps you dry.

*Keeps you smelling nice.

*Lasts through workouts.

*Lasts through HOT MUGGY weather.

*Smells awesome.

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Me so happy that my deodorant works 🙂 haha

 

I’ll warn you right now, it might take you a little while to get over the application. You basically use a little scooper to get a little pea sized amount out of the jar, and then apply it to your pits with your fingers. Personally, that didn’t bother me at all, but Jake still gives me weird looks when he sees me doing it. My favorite scent is a tie between lavender + sage and bergamot + lime. But I love them all and actually just rotate through the scents occasionally. I gave the unscented one to my mom since she likes unscented and I don’t, and now she is hooked too! She’s a really un-sweaty person (why wasn’t that gene passed on to me????) and says she can wear it for two days at a time without smelling.

If you have been struggling with your natural deodorant options or have been considering making the change to a natural alternative- YOU NEED TO CHOOSE THIS ONE! You seriously will not be disappointed- I promise.

Hope you are all doing well and staying happy and healthy and enjoying life! I’m so sorry again for leaving you all hanging for > a month!! I’d say it won’t happen again but fo’ realzzzzz this wedding biz is a lot to handle!!! I hope I’ll be keeping you updated as things start to really come together!

xoxo

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Red Lips

Red Lips

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! (a day late) and Happy Holidays!  At first when thinking of what I could post about I was thinking of doing some of my favorite presents I got this year, or some of my favorite holiday traditions that take place in my family, or how much I love the holidays and it’s not that those things wouldn’t be fun or that they aren’t meaningful, but then I bought this red lip stick and fell in love and new I had to share it with you.

I am not a big lipstick wearer, I focus on my eyes and always do a natural lip (usually just lip gloss, sometimes a nude colored gloss/stick, but that it). I got the idea in my head this year that it would be fun to do a super bold red lip for Christmas. I mean I see people pull them off all over the place and they look so good, and I’d never tried it.

So off to Ulta I go. At first I was just looking at the cheaper brands (drugstore brands) but you can’t test any of those out like you can the ‘fancy’/prestige brands. So I started testing some out just to see if I could determine what type of red would look good on me. Blue undertones, darker red, cherry red, etc…..

Then I tried this baby:

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You guys. It goes on like a gloss, stays wet for about 2 minutes (so you can fix any mistakes 🙂 ) and then dries matte and gorgeous and WILL NOT BUDGE ALL DAY.

I was debating between two shades of red and ended up going with Beso (vs. Fiery). The difference is Beso is more of a ‘true’ red (think cherry red/Taylor Swift red) and Fiery is a slightly darker red. Anyway, I snatched it up pronto!

I love doing people’s makeup so I did my sisters make up for Christmas eve and did the bold lip and she looked GORG! and then I did the look for myself on Christmas day. Here are some pictures.

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My sister with the gorge red lips on the left, my dad in the middle, and me on the right.

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Sissy with Red lips again

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Me with the red lips this time

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My love and I celebrating Christmas

Sooooo if you’re looking to try a new look or you need a new lipstick or just another lip stick. I 100000000% highly recommend that you give this a try. You can find it at Sephora, or Ulta, or Stila‘s site or my fav, Amazon and not each one has all the color selections and I’m sure you can find it other places too- but those are a few good places to start.

Hope you enjoy as much as me! Also hope you all had a wonderful Holidays and cherished moments with loved ones!

xoxo

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At Home Gel Manicure

At Home Gel Manicure

GelMani


Ummmm, you guys…… this is a miracle. Seriously.

I got my first gel manicure about 2 years ago and obviously loved it. It stayed glossy and shiny and chip free for almost two weeks!  Butttttt I cried a little when I had to take it off and my nails peeled and cracked WAYYYYY more than normal. 😦

I got a few here and there in-between then and now but I didn’t go in regularly because a) it’s a freaking expensive habit! and b) the state it left my nails in for about a month afterwards.

I saw someone post on Pinterest about this magical base coat that would make any regular old nail polish last for weeks! Needless to say I was highly skeptical. When I paint my nails at home I’m lucky if  I can get 3 chip-free days. Well, I’m a sucker so I went to Sally Beauty and picked up the base coat. It’s like $5, that’s less than a Starbucks.

I would not lie to you. This worked sooooooooo good. All you do is:

1) Clean and prep your nails.

  • Whenever I paint my nails before I put anything on them I’ll shape, cut back cuticles etc…. but last step is to wipe the nail down with rubbing alcohol. It cleans the nail and makes sure you get a really good bond with the polish and actual nail. 

2) Apply 1 coat of the Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat. Allow to dry

3) Apply 1-2 coats (as needed) of ANY COLOR NAIL POLISH YOU WANT!

  • Yep no special ‘Gel’ colors to buy. You just use anyyyyy color you want! From expensive Butter nail lacquers to $1 NYC Color  and anything in-between! 

4) Finish with a your favorite top coat!

  • Hands down my favorite is Seche Vite. Not only does it protect well but leaves your nails looking fresh and GLOSSY for days ❤ ❤

5) ENJOY your nails for up to 2 weeks!!!!

Yeah, I’m not lying. Up to two  weeks. This picture was taken just after one week.

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Yes, I got engaged a while ago for all of you that didn’t know 🙂 Wedding is next summer!

ONE WHOLE WEEK PEOPLE! And virtually still perfect!

And one of the BEST parts about this?!?!? Is that it comes off extremely easily with regular old nail polish remover. No soaking your fingers in that poison for 15+ minutes. (Seriously you guys know that acetone is a carcinogen and is really, really, really bad for you? Yeah it is. I try to only put it on my nails and not all over my fingers skin to soak in and never do I soak my whole freaking hand in it! OK rant over). Just take it off like a regular old manicure, super simple!

I am honestly so excited to have found this and I can’t wait to paint my nails again and again.

This is almost TWO WEEKS People! I know the pointer has a chip but the others are still perfect

Go pick this up and try it yourself! Tell me what you guys think!

xoxo

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This is really the first post I’ve done raving about a product. I just want you all to know I am in NO way being paid by or endorsed by any of the companies of the products listed above. This is just a product I found that I fell in love with. I’m not being paid to try to get you to try it too 🙂