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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Accessories On the Cheap

I never put much effort into accessorizing, but I’ve realized in the past few years how much the right accessories can take an outfit from looking good to looking great.

Problem: sometimes accessories can turn into a big expense. Personally, if I’m going to invest my money I’d rather it be on a good pair of shoes. So in order to compromise, I’ve made it a point to only buy jewelry and other accessories when I can find them for dirt cheap.

That’s where Forever 21 comes in. Quick story. Once I was in Forever 21 looking at a top. That’s when a much younger girl came up and looked at the same exact top. She then turned to her friend and said “isn’t this a cute dress?!?!” That’s when I realized – I am getting old. Yes, sometimes it feels ridiculous to shop in a store where 15-year-olds girls run amok, but have you checked out the accessories section? Great deals on very chic jewelry.

Here are a few things I got on a recent trip:

How much do you think these six pairs of earrings cost? If you said $12, you would be absolutely correct.

What are your go-to places for finding cheap and trendy accessories?

Trend We're Loving: Oversized Watches

It's no secret that cell phones have taken over and almost everyone uses them to do just about everything - including to tell time.

However, recently the watch trend has come back in full force and oversized watches are dominating the fashion world. They're not just for men anymore - women are borrowing the look and are making it their own.
Designers such as Michael Kors, Chanel, Dior and several others have taken advantage of this and have come out with some amazing designs seen almost everywhere. Even celebrities are seen everywhere sporting this trend - driving the demand way up.
Lower priced alternatives such as Fossil area also out there if you're watching your budget.
I found a rose gold Fossil watch at TJMaxx for half of the price. There were tons of Michael Kors watches there too (for about the price of a full price Fossil) so keep your eyes peeled for discounts - they're out there. 

What do you think of this trend? Do you think it will be around for a long time? 

Simple Craft For the Home

I have to admit that growing up I was never very artsy. My brother was blessed with all the artistic talents and I was the kid churning out art projects only a mother could love. I always felt like because I didn’t have the ability to draw or paint, that I wasn’t very creative. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that creativity isn’t just about art. I’ve found my creativity lies more in writing and crafting.

As part of this blog, Amanda and I are planning to share some craft ideas that we’ve worked on together and separately. 

Here is a sign I made for my laundry room:

As you can see, I've failed to actually hang the sign.

How cute is this? All I did was purchase some wooden letters, paint and a canvas from Hobby Lobby. I painted the canvas and letters white, and then hot glued the letters to the canvas. Including drying time, it took less than an hour and a half. It’s a super simple craft that can be done for a variety of rooms in the house like the kitchen or bathroom. You could even put your child’s name on a canvas and hang it in their bedroom. Choose the colors to match your d├Ęcor. I went with all white because when I think laundry, I think clean and crisp.

Share your ideas with us! What are some fun and simple crafts you’ve done to spruce up your home?

Our Health: Why I'm a Vegetarian

If any of you follow me on my personal blog, it's not new news that I'm a vegetarian. I've been living this lifestyle for over 6 months now and haven't looked back since. Before I embarked on this health journey I never imagined giving up meat. Of course there are environmental and animal lover reasons to be vegetarian but my choice was mostly for my health. You see - high cholesterol, cancers and other bad bad things run in my family. When I was checked out a few years ago at my general doctor I found out that my good cholesterol was really good but that my bad cholesterol, due to my family genetics, was high too. No bueno.

At the time I didn't know what I could do about it but knew I didn't want to go on any medication if it could be avoided. I continued my life as "normal" but was a little more conscious of my choices. Fast forward to the end of December of last year when I visited my mom and stepdad in Arizona. My mom is a certified nutritionist and although I think she can be extreme sometimes with the way she eats - I really admire her for all the things she does (and does not) put into her body. She doesn't look a day over 35 and she's in her 50s (sorry mom) but you would NEVER know it.

Anyways, back to my story. So I was visiting them and my mom was really excited to show me this documentary about vegan and vegetarians (I was not excited about this at all and thought it would be boring) man was I wrong. When I finally decided to let her show us this video I was blown away. It was life changing - yes, seriously.

Forks Over Knives convinced me to become a vegetarian forever. It focused mostly on the health aspect of begin a vegetarian/vegan and that really hit home with me. They highlighted examples of countries throughout history that did not have meat based diet at one point of time or another (mostly due to war) and how the deaths due to cancer and heart issues DRAMATICALLY (yes I had to put that in all caps to get your attention) declined when they did not have access to animal protein. Uh ... there's a way that I can help control if I have cancer and heart issues or not? Sign me up. I'm telling you - spend the hour to watch this video and your mind may change a little too. Jay still eats meat but he's more mindful about it now and even has vegetarian meals and days without meat. Even reducing your consumption a little can make a huge impact.

I'm not here to preach my views on this to you all and do not think this way of lifestyle is for everyone. It's just my take on my health and the choices that are best for me. I've received some criticism for my choices when I decided to switch - most people don't understand and don't want to - and that's perfectly okay! I know we've all grown up with the philosophy that eating meat with every meal is healthy and we need our protein - but let me just say that this works best for me and my lifestyle now and it was a choice I made for me.

Have questions? I'd love to hear from you! I'm also planning on having my mom guest post in the near future so if you have any nutrition questions for her please let me know.

Adrianne's April Birchbox

I love, love, love makeup and beauty products. So naturally, getting samples delivered to me is a no-brainer. I’ve been a member of Birchbox since December 2011 and have really enjoyed trying products that I may never have been able to try otherwise.

If you’re a member of Birchbox, then you’re familiar with the fact that they sometimes send boxes that have themes. April’s theme was Natural Wonders – most of the products contained natural and good-for-you ingredients.

Here’s what I got:

The whole package
1. Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Rhubarb
2. J.R. Watkins Hand and Cuticle Salve
3. Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream
4. Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift
5. Dropps Laundry Detergent

1. Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Rhubarb: When I first opened this lip balm, I was a little disappointed because the color (Rhubarb) wasn’t all that appealing to me. It looks like a very dark pinky-brown. BUT, when I put it on I was happily surprised. The color, when applied, is actually similar to my natural lip color and the balm makes my lips super soft. Since I received this sample, it’s made its home in my purse!

2. J.R. Watkins Hand and Cuticle Salve: My hands tend to get pretty dry and rough, so I’m constantly using hand lotion and applying cuticle oil when I get the chance. Though this salve is a bit greasy, it definitely works to help soften and relieve dry or cracked cuticles. The look and texture are similar to Vaseline, but the salve has a slightly more pleasant scent.

3. Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream: This cream is SO THICK. It also smelled a bit floral. Some people do enjoy scented face lotions – I don’t. I have extremely dry skin, so the cream did work to hydrate my face. However, the cream is way too thick to wear during the day time and it left my skin feeling a bit greasy. If you’re looking for something very moisturizing, go ahead and give Jurlique a try. I’d recommend it as a night cream though.

4. Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift: I was so surprised with this perfume – it smells lovely! It’s a very sweet and fruity scent, which is right up my alley. I’ve been searching for a new perfume to purchase and this one is definitely on my list for consideration.

5. Dropps Laundry Detergent: Hmm. How do you review laundry detergent? I admit that I was a bit confused by receiving detergent in my Birchbox, but they do say you will receive lifestyle samples in addition to beauty samples. I received two packets – Dropps is the kind that comes with the detergent contained within a small plastic packaging. I did use the packets and I can really only comment on the fact that it’s convenient not to measure out liquid or powder detergent. 

Stay tuned for our May Birchbox reviews!

Amanda's April Birchbox

Adrianne had told me about how awesome it was to receive new product samples in the mail each month and shared an amazing secret with me: Birchbox. It's only $10 a month and you get 5 amazing samples delivered straight to your doorstep. How amazing is that?

They just came out with one for men. I'm not sure I could imagine Jay getting as excited as I do when I see the "you're Birchbox has shipped" email or running out to the mailbox to see if his Birchbox had arrived each month - but the concept is a good idea.

My first one arrived and I was beyond excited. I tore open the box like it was full of the most delicious food or there was a million dollars inside. I instantly texted Adrianne to tell her what I got an was shocked to hear she received completely different products. We were afraid that we would get the same things each month since we are so similar but so far they haven't disappointed us.

I was surprised to see the variety I received and was excited to try them out. Here's what I got that month:

1. June Jacobs - Perfect Pumpkin Enzyme Polish 
2. Befine - Exfoliating Cleanser and Daily Moisturizer with SPF
3. Viva La Juicy Perfume Sample, 4. Show Stoppers Double Sided Tape and 5. Color Club Nail Polish in Age of Aquarius

1. I was happy that there was a broad range of products to try. The June Jacobs enzyme polish was amazing. It smelled exactly like pumpkin pie and had little micro scrubbers that were great for exfoliation. The smell was enough to win me over immediately but my face felt great after using it too. I will be sad when this sample runs out!

2. Holy disappointment. I was excited to try some food skin care products and loved the smell when I opened them. The lotion felt really slimy though and I wasn't sure why. Fast forward a few days later and I received an email from Birchbox saying that some of the Befine samples were past their expiration date and to double check mine before continued use. Sure enough they had expired ... in 2009!! Birchbox was amazing about it though and gave me 100 bonus points (100 = $10 worth of products in their store) to make up for the mishap. I don't hold it against them at all - I'm really glad that they realized there was an issue and alerted their customers about it and took immediate action. Darn you Befine! I so wanted to love your products ... sigh.

3. I would have never picked out this perfume in the store but the second I tried the sample I was in love. It's light and refreshing and even Jay commented that he liked the way I smelled when I was wearing it (guys never notice this so it was a huge plus!) I would consider buying a full sized bottle in the future if I need a new scent.

4. I don't have the wardrobe of celebrities (or strippers) to need double sided tape very often so I don't have a review for this one yet. I promise to update you when I do though!

5. This nail polish was awesome and came at the right time. I was wanting to try some mint or aqua nail polish for the spring/summer and when I got this sample I was so excited! The best part? It actually stayed on. I painted my nails and toes immediately after getting it (about a month ago) and it's still on my feet. I need to take it off soon but it's really lasted without many chips. Usually my pedicures only last a few weeks so this was a great surprise.

That's it for this month! Stay tuned for Adrianne's April Birchbox review!

Welcome, welcome!


And welcome once more…

We’re happy you’re here to check out our space. This blog is the result of several months of planning, discussion and work, and we’re so proud to finally launch.

The idea for this blog originated as a simple question between two friends. Wouldn’t it be great to have a creative outlet to talk about and share the things that we love? A blog was and is the perfect solution. We’re planning to regularly post about fashion/outfits, crafting, beauty, health/nutrition and lots of other topics that we’ll just have to keep secret for now. What we can tell you is that everything you read on this blog is something we’re passionate about. Everything stems from our love of writing, creativity and new ideas.

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