Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Travel Resolutions

New Year, New Travel Plans! Here are the trips I hope to take in 2015:

1. New York City - In February I am going to New York with a friend and can't wait!  I'm already making a list of things I want to see and do, even though I know I won't have enough time to get to everything. I'm hoping for snow too!

2. Denver - I almost went to law school in Denver, but since I didn't it is still on my must visit list.  Luckily, I have a friend living there now so I hope to visit before the end of winter to experience some cold weather and gorgeous scenery. 

3. Stockholm (or somewhere in Europe).  I love traveling abroad and ideally would like to travel somewhere new every year.  I think this year I might just be able to swing an international trip and plan on joining some sort of group tour with young professionals full people who are like me and want to see more of the world.  Ideally I want to go to Stockholm, as I've wanted to visit Sweden since I was kid, but in theory anywhere in Europe would be great.

4. Chicago - My mom and I like to take Mother/Daughter trips and I think Chicago is our next destination.  We love watching the Steve Harvey show, so going to a taping is a high on our list of things to do when we visit.  I also really want to take a river architecture cruise that I missed out on last time I was in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Traditions


1. Christmas Decor

My family decorates the whole house - inside and out.  Our Christmas decor tends to change from year to year as we get rid of things and add new things in.  This year, I'm loving this Christmas Tree I saw on A Thoughtful Place blog, so I've purchased supplies to make the "Baby It's Cold Outside" garland... though it never is cold in California.



2. Christmas Eve Dinner

As kids we ate dinner at home and went to church.  However, the last few years we've eaten out, choosing a different area of Los Angeles each time.  This year we are going to Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles and I'm very excited.  The food is fabulous and the location and glittering lights should definitely get everyone in the Christmas spirit.



3. Christmas Stockings

While presents are great, stockings are my favorite.  We open stockings bright and early Christmas morning and put just as much thought into stocking stuffers as we do regular gifts.  Needless to say, they are generally bulging at the seams.  To make it extra special, we wrap each stocking stuffer so everything is hidden ahead of time and there is more to open on Christmas Day.


4. Christmas Day Movie

Christmas Day, after the presents have been opened and our non-traditional dinner eaten, my family heads to the movies.  This year we've decided on Night at the Museum 3.  Unbroken looks great but not cheery enough for Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Unite Haul




A few weeks back I got an amazing haircut at Brambila Salon in Santa Monica.  I searched on Yelp for days, reading review after review on salons and stylists.  I finally decided on Brambila because of excellent reviews, beautiful salon pictures and convenient location.  My stylist, Jam, used all Unite products on my hair and I could not get over the scent.  Unite products are the best smelling products, ever!  Although I had absolutely zero intention of buying products to take home at the end of my appointment, I ended purchasing quite a few.... setting my bank balance back quite a lot.

Here's the rundown on what I got: Unite Luxury Shampoo, Unite Luxury Conditioner, Unite Luxury Argan Oil, Unite 7Seconds Condition and Unite Lazer Straight.  So far all of the products produce great results and are super luxurious to use, but I love the oil and straightener best because they smell like candy! I'm not sure I can ever justify buying these products on a regular basis, because of the price, but I will enjoy the scent and the results for a little while.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Gift Exchange



Last night I attended my first holiday party of the season.  In addition to great food and drink, the night concluded with a holiday gift exchange.  Seeing as I love all things beauty I had to bring a beauty related gift.  I saw the Rituals Ancient Beauty gift set on the Gilt website and decided it would be a great gift to bring.

Well, it just so happens that I managed to win my gift back in the holiday gift exchange and I couldn't be happier.  The set includes mini versions of Yogi Flow, Brilliant Bliss, Honey Touch and Ayurveda Scrub.  Though all of the products smell amazing, I'm looking forward to trying Yogi Flow first because the concept sounds so cool - foaming bath gel!  I love foaming hand wash so I imagine foaming shower gel will be just as great.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide for Him


Stocking Stuffer. For keeping beer cold - Chillsner ($17).

Under $50. A classic but casual wallet - Herschel Hank Wallet ($35).

Under $75. A grown up watch that doesn't scream businessman - Timex Easy Reader ($65).

Under $100. Perfect for tracking New Year's fitness resolutions - Fitbit Flex ($99).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birchbox November 2014



Another month, another good Birchbox.   

I'm most excited about trying the Amika Nourishing Mask because it has been on my must-try list ever since reading about it on The Small Things Blog.  I think it will make it a great addition to the Sunday pamper.  I love travel sized mascaras and can't wait to use the Laura Mercier mascara.  I haven't read any reviews on this mascara before but generally Laura Mercier products are good.  I plan on using the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer samples to have a little at-home color matching session.  Hand cream is always a welcome addition because I seem to go through so many. Looking forward to adding the Tocca Hand Cream to my purse soon.

I have so much perfume right now that I don't think I will be using the Harvey Prince Perfume anytime soon, but still something I enjoy receiving in my box.  The Dr. Brant Blackhead Extractor Mask initially seems like it will be too drying and intense for my skin but I will at some point try it.

(Yes, that is a Christmas blanket in the background, and yes I'm already using it.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Products I've Used Up Fall 2014


Haircare

1. Cavair Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. Too many good things to say about these. Check out my post here.

2. Amika Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo is non-sticky, non-crispy, doesn't leave too much white residue and smells nice.  An overall good product but one that doesn't last very long and costs a bit too much. 

3. L'oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This took me ages to use up, mostly because I forgot about it.  For a drugstore hair mask, this is actually really good stuff.  Leaves hair feeling very soft and hydrated and isn't too intense to use as a conditioner if you have thick hair or just lots of hair.


Bodycare

1. REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion.  The scent is fantastic and gives this product a luxury feel.  Unfortunately it is not super moisturizing and for that reason alone isn't worth the price.

2. The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter. This is one of the best Christmasy smelly products I've ever used.  As with all Body Shop products, it is super moisturizing and long lasting.

3. Lather Yuzu Sugar Cane Body Buff. This scrub exfoliates skin very gently while adding moisture at the same time.  This scrub has so much oil in it it almost feels like you are applying body oil instead of body scrub.

4. Lather Coconut Creme Body Wash. Come summer I will be stocking up on this scent.  I generally don't like coconut scented things but this is so fresh and clean smelling.  A great morning body wash to wake you up.

5. Supergoop Hand Cream.  What would otherwise be a basic hand cream is something special because of the added sunscreen.  I'm terrified of sun damage and skin cancer so I will definitely pick up a full size of this, even though it has quite a strong sunscreen scent.


Skincare

1. Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Facial Oil.  Third empty bottle of this pre-cleanse oil.  Enough said.

2. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment. At first this eye cream worked wonders.  Towards the end I think my eyes got used to it and it started to feel less hydrating and made my eyes water.  Probably won't repurchase.

3. Marcelle 8 in 1 Power Serum.  I used this only on my neck and chest to hopefully prevent signs of aging.  I wouldn't use this on my face because it feels quite silicone like.


Makeup

1. Hourglass Arch Brow in Soft Brunette. A great product that is almost an identical match to my eyebrow color when applied.  The actual product lasts quite a long time but I wished the product had longer lasting power on the skin.  

2. Sigma F10. While not an "empty", it was time to throw this brush in the trash as it was shedding so much.  The size of the brush is great for applying just the right amount of blush to the apples of my cheeks.  Too bad it started shedding almost immediately after the first time I washed it.

3. Covergirl Liquiline Blast.  Also not an "empty", for some strange reason I cannot get this to sharpen anymore.  The color is the perfect brown, not too dark but not too light and not sparkly or shimmery.  It glides on easily and if applied holding the liner horizontally to the lash line, can be applied in a manner of seconds.

4. L'oreal Miss Manga Mascara. One of my all-time favorite mascaras.  Read about it here. 

5. Pur Minerals Eye Shadow Stick.  I used this about three times before the eyeshadow stick came completely out of the packaging and fell on the floor... disappointed and will not repurchase.