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Throwback Thursday!

May 8, 2014
I've tried a few 'segment' styles on this blog, so with poor results (Manly Mondays might just start being pictures of what I dress Jonanthan in during the week!).  But I think I've found something that I can do pretty easy and it'll be fun to walk down memory lane....

This all came about because a guy at work walked past me and his cologne took me back to the 7th grade and a guy I was crushing on at the time....hence 'Throwback Thursday' is happening on the blog.  Everything Thursday I'll feature a beauty produce or style trend that I myself use to rock (picture of me in said trend may or may not be included)

In commemoration of #tbt on the blog coming from a cologne, I'm going to take you back to when you just had to have a bottle of.....Tommy Girl.

 Apparently the bottle hasn't changed at all in the last 15 years, and heading over to Macy's for a quick fragrance sample takes me back to nights spent roaming the mall with friends and weird backless crop tops that you can only wear when you're 13 because you don't have boobs yet.

I also remember having to BEG my parents to buy it because it was 'so expensive' compared to other crappy perfumes (aka those small colorful bottles they'd sell at Marshall's claiming to smell just like the designer version).  And now I spend nearly twice as much as Tommy Girl costs on my Chanel signature scent.

Hope that's you've had a fun bit of travel down memory lane with me, what was your 'signature scent' as a teen?

Product Review: Julep 'Party's Over' Remover

May 5, 2014
As you may have seen from my previous polish entry, I enjoy trying new products and colors.  One thing I've been loving the past year is an accent nail.  Normally I will do another color or a coordinating glitter to accent.  I did this last week from a Pinterest inspiration photo and I liked the way it turned out...Essie 'Fiji' with a sliver base/silver glitter on my ring finger....it was also a large coffee kind of morning :)


Now the WORST thing about glitter is the removal process....it normally takes 2 cotton pads to remove nail polish...but with glitter I feel like it takes about 18, and then you have glitter specs all over your hands.

Julep has heard your complaints!  About two months ago I was offered an extra with my monthly Maven subscription, and while I skipped the polishes, I couldn't pass up this new product....Party's Over.






















This product is suppose to make is easier to remove glitter polish.  Essentially it's little pre-soaked pads and fingertip caps to hold them in place.  You put them on, watch about 5 minutes of your favorite HGTV show and then 'TADA' the glitter is gone with one sweep of the pad!

It worked pretty well on me (see before and after below).  I put the pad on before I removed the regular pink polish, and by the time I was done with all my other fingers, the glitter was about 95% off and the rest came off easily using the same pad.  I would recommend always waiting about 60 extra seconds than you think you'll need just to make sure everything has loosened.

 Before

After

The only real con I found was that the pre-soaked pads come in packs of 10 and I only needed 2 since it was an accent nail.  I just clipped the remaining 8 closed with a binder clip, hopefully that will keep them moist...I'll report back on that.  Otherwise, the general idea of this product is pretty simply and you can probably duplicate it with a cheap DIY option instead of paying the $20 I did.  But it does come with 50 individual pads, so it should last me quite a while.

If you interested in another glitter removal option, OPI has a new product, which I have not yet tried, called 'Glitter Off'.  It is essentially a base coat you apply under your glitter polish that helps peel it off.  The PolishAholic has reviewed it here.


What other methods do you use to get off pesky glitter from your nails?  I'm excited to break out the summer colors, so look forward to another polish favorite for the spring/summer season!

Have a lovely Monday, and I'll see you back here in my closet!!




Pack It Up Tight! Tropical Vacation Edition

February 24, 2014
DISCLAIMER: This post was suppose to come out before I left for my Mexico trip, but I had an epic fail.  I thought I'd posted this nearly a month ago, but it's still in draft mode when I look it up! Also please ignore the horrible picture quality, I had to resort to tiny previews of some of the items....


As I said in the last post of this nature, I'm actually doing quite a bit of travelling before the baby arrives.  On Saturday we are flying to Cabo San Lucas for a week of sun and relaxation....one last getaway before 'we' become 'three'.  We knew we wanted to do Mexico because everywhere is all inclusive, and we've done Cancun already....so we decided to look for deal on the other side of the country.  I found a great package through a local travel agent and it included DIRECT FLIGHT!  No layovers!  Now let's just pray that the weather in Chicago in agreeable on Saturday afternoon.....

So, back to the task at hand....packing.  Packing for a vacation is much different than packing for a stuffy conference.  The clothes get brighter, and smaller (yikes!) and for me the beauty products I need go WAY down.  When I'm on a beach vacation I go really low maintenance.

Knowing we were going to do a babymoon, I've been looking at maternity shorts and skirts well before I should have.  Target was a plethora of clearance deals.  Here's the bottoms I'm packing, 3 pairs of shorts and one maxi skirt.  Normally I'm not a 'color on the bottom half' kind of girl, but these were cute and SUPER cheap on Motherhood and Target websites.



Tops I'm keeping pretty minimal, most maternity tanks.....






I've got a 2 maxi dresses I picked up sale/clearance for the occasion and a spring-y pink dress for 'dressy' dinners....
And now to talk about maternity swimwear.  Every woman is different in her comfort level while being pregnant.  Before pregnancy I wore mostly two pieces because while I'm not the skinniest woman, they seem to flatter my body more because tie sides are adjustable and nothing is digging into my hips making me look extra pudgy.  So I picked up two new two pieces that I should be able to continue to wear after pregnancy and I picked up some tankinis on clearance that I'm pairing with a basic black bottom.

*disclaimer that I will NEVER look as good as the models in these suits, but I'll rock it out as hard as I can :)  Plus I'm getting a light spray tan to take the pale off


Shoes are kept even more simple with just flip flops!  I'm going so low maintenance that I might not even recognize myself!

AND....because I pack pretty light, I am able to keep it to one carry on sized bag.  However, we're still checking them because we have to bring like 18 gallons of SPF (curse of being pale).

Beauty items I'm taking consist of mascara, some concealer for under eye circles, and a pink lipstick for evenings.  Bathroom wise I'm taking some travel self tanner for touch-ups and dry shampoo (besides the whole tooth brush/floss/deodorant/etc).  I'm banking on soap/shampoo/etc being at the hotel.

So that's it!  Packing for a vacation is all about how comfortable you want to be.  If you plan on going hiking, what I plan on bringing will obviously not be enough!!

I hope this gave you something to think about when you pack for your next vacation.  Think about mixing and matching to reduce quantity!!

Let me know if there's something you want to see here on the blog or a topic you want me to research!  I'm always looking for new products/services to try!!

See you faithful readers back here in my closet!!


Favorite Polishes for Winter!

February 10, 2014
After reading that one of my favorite bloggers, Kate, at The Small Things Blog mentioned that she got her first monthly Julep Maven box, I thought....do other people not know about this?

Right now a lot of my friends get Birchbox....and I LOVED Birchbox when I used it for about a year over a year ago.  My problem with the company at the time is that I started to accumulate samples of things I probably would never use.  I think over time it's gotten better brands, but it wasn't worth the money so I quit.

I like Julep Maven because you get to choose the polishes or products you get every month...and you can skip if nothing catches your fancy.  I have been skipping recently just because I seem to have similar colors.  It seems like one year on a subscription service is it's max shelf life for me.

Below are a few of the colors I like to wear during the winter, along with a variety of brands I use.  I attempt to do my own nails as much as possible since I do pay $8 per bottle and have a pretty steady hand.  I've learned over time that nail prep is the key to having polish that lasts.  I do a 4 stage file once a month to have a smooth surface and I make sure to use a base coat and a no chip top coat.  Tips I've learned in magazines is every few days reapply the top coat...but I've never had to do that.  Polish never really lasts on my nails more than 4-5 days....I get tired of it.


Sephora for OPI - Metro Chic...I was really into the 'grey-iege' thing a few seasons back and this was and has since been my go to color.  I just learned while writing this post this line has been discontinued in leu of the new Formula X line at Sephora.  I do love those polishes as well.
OPI - Russian Navy...it looks navy in the photo, but actually looks more purple on my nails
Julep - Laura (aptly named)...this has become a recent favorite since it's a muted color I make it into a neutral for cold temps.  Plus I feel like it's camo for my nails (I know...I'm weird)
Essie - Mink Muffs...just a good neutral that doesn't blend in too much
Sinful Colors - Black on Black....nothing says winter like black...it's the way most of us feel dealing with the frigid temps

Besides these 5 colors, I will consistently reach for my go to red no matter the season.  Nothing is as classic as a red nail.  The color looks good on long or short nails and unless you're wearing something really out there, it goes with everything.  Mine is the L'Oreal Paris Pro 'Lady Luck' and as you can see from my husband's practice photo below, I'm nearly half way through this bottle.  



And to end this post, I know I haven't had any OOTD photos in a while, so I'll dump a few below....









I'll try to get a post set up for when we're in Mexico....but I'm just going to enjoy weather that's above freezing!!!  See everyone later, back here in my closet!

Pack it up Tight! Conference Edition

January 29, 2014
I'll be doing some travelling in the next few months, so I figured I'd start a little series on packing.  I'm by no means an expert packer....I'm horribly inefficient and I pack WAY too many outfits, but I've been trying to get better.

This coming weekend I'm going to a sorority conference and it allows me to get really girly....that being said I don't want to be the person with 3 bags for a 3 day conference.  So this packing session is about versatile clothing options.

Day 1 is travel and evening meetings/dinner.  Normally I would travel in comfy clothes, but since we are going straight into events where we need to be in 'pin attire' (business casual in non-sorority terms) I figure it will be more efficient to just travel in those clothes.  I have a great maternity business dress that I have been just putting a non-maternity cardigan over since it's so cold.  Pair that with some tights and flats and I think it's still a pretty comfy travel outfit.



Day 2 is a full day of sessions, plus there is a awards dinner at night that requests cocktail attire.  My key here is to wear a dress that can go from business casual to dressy with just the change of some accessories.  And I happen to pick up the perfect number from Pink Blush Maternity (except mine is blue not aqua) over the holiday.  This blue dress paired with a cardigan, flats and pearls during the day can instantly go cocktail with the removal of some layers and addition of some heels.




Day 3 is tricky because we will have some time to shop after the conference is over.  Morning needs to be business casual again, so I'm thinking a nice pair of slacks/top/blazer combo.  Then when we are released and we want to hit the Mile for some retail therapy I can just change into a pair of jeans and I'm more comfortable....something like this....



Where I really get bad at packing is beauty products and accessories.  Since it's only a 3 day conference and my new shorter hair allows for less upkeep I think I can make a fresh wash on Friday last all weekend, eliminating any need for styling products.  I'll need a flat iron and dry shampoo to freshen the look day to day, but that's not bad.  Makeup I'm going to stick with my 'everyday face' look.

Packing commencing!

Outfit selection process, I like to put out everything I'll need for an outfit (including jewelry) if I can.  My furry children were no help in making any kind of decision......

I love this Mary Kay jewelry travel pouch I got while I was a consultant.  It keeps everything organized and rolls up nice a flat (as long as you don't stuff it ;)  )

BARE MINIMUM toiletry essentials.....again, hair washing on Friday in hopes to keep my style until Sunday.

Pretty much what I use every morning to get ready, including brushes....

Which packs up pretty nicely into this pouch!

I put everything into my smaller rolling duffel I got at Ulta during a sale.  If anything this blog post has helped me understand what is truly essential when space is a concern.  Some vacations that's not an issue (Mexico coming up!) and that's a whole other ballgame.

So I might put up some photos from the convention this weekend, otherwise I'll see you next week....back here in my closet!

Save Me from the Cosmetics Aisle!!

January 23, 2014
So not only do I have a problem with shopping for clothes, I also have a problem with cosmetics.  I blame YouTube.....I just get sucked into a haul or review and there's always something that I wind up wanting to try.  I guess that's their purpose, to get you to buy something.....I'm so weak.

My vanity is literally an old desk....full of makeup....it's ridiculous.



But with being pregnant, my skin has been on point lately.  This surprises me because I always had 'problem skin' in high school and college, but I found I was exfoliating too often and irritating my skin.....I WAS THE PROBLEM!!  So I've since changed my routine to a daily wash at night with a micro-dermabrasion weekly.

Here are a few beauty products (skincare and makeup) that I've been loving recently:


I've spent lots of money on high-end cleansers, but not seen the results worth the money.  Both of these Neutrogena cleansers work wonderfully on my skin...love the Naturals one since it is also a makeup remover and gets eye makeup off completely!  I normally apply this with just my fingers in the shower, but on occasion will use my Clairsonic if I'm feeling frisky.


These are two items I use weekly or bi-weekly.  This mask is amazing and soooooo cheap!  It pulls the oil from your nose and makes you feel refreshed!  This Boots exfoliator is a cheaper version of the Mary Kay I previously used.  It does it's job, but you'll want to make sure you moisturize or use a serum after to replenish your skin in this cold weather!!  Which brings me to a new product I just bought yesterday......

I read in my newest Redbook that you should be hydrating your skin halfway through the day since your moisturizer stops working.....seems legit since it's -4 degrees outside.  They tried to get me to buy a $26 bottle of Benefit Skincare hydrator, but I wasn't havin' it.  So I found the $7 alternative above.  And so far I'm loving it (use = twice so far).  It's got rosewater so your face smells a little rosey right after application, but it hydrates your face throughout the day without moving your makeup.

Speaking of makeup.....I go through a lot of phases with what colors I like or when I don't like to wear a lot.  Right now I'm sticking with a pretty basic combo of neutral eye with a slight wing and a pink or possibly bold red lip.  Here are a few staple makeup items.



My skintone is very pink so I NEED foundation.  Props to those of you who don't.  I got a color match at Sephora with their new iQ tool thingy and picked out the Sephora brand 10-hour wear foundation.  It's working so far, I love the pump and that's what truely drives my search for a foundation.  Other key items are a great blank liquid eyeliner.  I switch between this L'Oreal and the Revlon Colorstay liquid.  Also a great palette so you don't have to mess with individual shades.  I keep reaching for the original Naked palette since I tend to look better in smokey brown/copper/gold shades than black/grey (Naked 2).  I haven't found a blush/contouring combo that I love and that's really my hardest area.  I don't know how to contour my round face well to make it a bit more elongated.  More YouTube videos I guess.

But enough rambling for today....stay warm and I'll see you back in my closet (or makeup bag!).....:)

How do you dress when it's -14 degrees outside?

January 15, 2014
WARM! That's how....last week we got the #polarvortex here in Peoria and the temp was that low, not even adding the windchill in!  I actually worked from home because I wasn't about to venture outside with a growing baby when it feels like -42.

But getting back into the work flow after 2 full weeks off has been fine.  I've been in major nesting mode, mainly with my own closet and clothing and other (non nursery) areas of the house...should see a post about that soon.  I'm still waiting for the magic 'mother-fairy' to purchase baby J's furniture so I can get a better feel for how much extra room I have to work with.

Here's what I've been putting together for work!












Hopefully I'll actually start posting more regularly!

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