On The 16th Day of Blogmas: Stella’s Favorite Things

Blogmas

Every year I am excited to read through Oprah’s Favorite Things list, unfortunately, even though she now partners with Amazon – the items aren’t that easy to get your hands on. I know that she curates items from small businesses, indie brands & big box retailers but the items go fast. This year, I am putting together my own Favorite Things list & most of the items are in stock because obviously I am not Oprah πŸ˜› Enjoy

BOGS BOMC Wool Snow BootsThe geometric pattern that I have is actually sold out but it’s not my fault πŸ˜€ I wouldn’t say that these are perhaps the best boots if you are going to be out for an extended amount of time in some serious snow. However, they are great for pretty much any other winter activity you are planning on doing. They are waterproof however, if you are walking through slush then they will stain. They are really warm, very comfy & the soles are great for slick surfaces.

Sapadilla Grapefruit & Bergamot Biodegradable Countertop SprayThis is a plant based line of household cleaners that smell amazing. This one smells like fresh cut oranges & it’s the perfect pick me up scent for winter. You can find Sapadilla refill stations in some grocery stores which is also eco friendly!

Greenlife Pots & Pans SetI actually own the teal set but I have supplemented them with a couple of the pinks pans as well. Ceramic cookware is the superior cooking medium, it cooks everything so evenly. Now, they do require some maintenance, I give them a good scrub with Bar Keeper’s Friend about once a month to remove any staining but they are great otherwise. I do still cook with oil but the nonstick does work & has so far been very durable.

UO Amped Fleece Throw BlanketThese blankets are so soft, I have one in every room – they come in tons of colors to match any dΓ©cor & they hold up to consistent washing & drying.

Threshold Bath BasketI think that most everyone went through a hyper-cleaning/organizing phase at the start of lockdown. I purchased a handful of these small baskets to organize all of the little bits hanging out in my bathroom & closets. They are the perfect size to hold any odds & ends, they aren’t terribly expensive & are pretty well made.

Pioneer Woman Pasta Bowl SetI eat most anything but pasta out of these, pasta isn’t something I make a lot. However, these are great for Buddha bowls, cereal, fruits & yogurt, chopped veggies & dip – pretty much anything that you can heap into a pile can go in these bowls. I was never one of those kids who worried about my food touching, I’m a fan of meals that have numerous ingredients that just get chucked together. These are very pretty bowls that fancy up just about whatever you put into them!

Old Navy Balance Yoga LeggingsThese are my favorite black leggings, they aren’t that really suffocating compression material but do provide enough support to be worn as workout attire or casual clothing. They aren’t necessarily comfortable enough to sleep in but very soft with good stretch.

Old Navy Oversized Funnel CoatThis is a very nice coat that is on an incredible sale right now! I purchased it about a month ago for a dressier coat that I could wear to work, this one does the trick. Does anyone else get closter phobic in their winter coat? I have a big duffel coat in my car trunk for emergencies but I can’t drive in it or wear it too long because I feel restrained. This sounds ridiculous, this coat is chic & comfortable to wear.

GAP Modern Crewneck T-ShirtHave you ever found the perfect shirt, not too thick but not too thin, fits right in all places, can be worn anywhere – this is that shirt for me. It’s just a cotton top but I love these, they are a staple in my wardrobe, I hope that GAP never stops carrying them. Also though, I think they are struggling right now & I should probably start searching for cotton tops elsewhere…

OUAI Melrose Place Body CrΓ¨me – Not the original scent, this one specifically & I think it’s limited edition for the holidays. The ingredients in this crΓ¨me are pretty standard, it is nicely moisturizing but it is the scent that I really enjoy. It’s a light floral that pairs well with just about any fragrance I am wearing. I think Tree Hut has a whipped body butter that is very similar but I will have to do a thorough comparison before this one runs out.

Opalhouse Stoneware Monogram MugI have already purchased a few of these as gifts & gifted myself one too. Remember when monogram was all the rage? I remember walking into JC Penney with my mom when I was in middle school & there was this table full of teenie purses with hot pink initials on them. I had to have one but my mom said that I didn’t need a purse and well, she was correct. These mugs are so fun & actually well-made. I find that Target mugs tend to be on the thin side & my coffee cools too fast in them. This is a hefty mug that holds a hearty amount of coffee. Back to my Secret Santa recommendations, I filled one of these with assorted hot chocolates & chocolate spoons as an office gift.

A New Day Velvet Twist HeadbandsAdmittedly, a headband with the face mask & then an ear piece is tricky but these are my go-to for adding a little festivity to my all black work wardrobe. They’re just cute, I love that these bulky headbands are making a come back.

Stars Above Kora Moccasin SlipperYou already know that Stars Above has become a fast favorite for pajamas & loungewear, these slippers are pretty great too! They are more of a structured slipper since the sole is hard but the inside is so soft. They match these sleep cardigans that I am constantly including in my monthly favorites posts.

Baby Foot PeelListen, I have not had a pedicure since February and I miss having soft feet. I don’t know what salons use but it seems like nothing gets my feet quite as smooth as a trip to the salon. These come close, they are plastic booties filled with various chemical exfoliants that really take care of tough, cracked feet. They are on the spendy side if you ask me but I use them about once a month & figure that’s less than the cost of a monthly pedicure by far.

Dashing Diva Nail StripsI also have not stopped in for a manicure since February & my nails are still pretty brittle from acrylics. They tend to get really stained when I paint them, I have switched over to these gel nail strips that aren’t too shabby. A couple of recommendations, definitely purchase the base coat unlike myself who didn’t realize that there was a base coat & thought these sucked. They do not in fact suck, I just can’t follow directions. Also, I recommend using a crystal/glass file to fit them to your nail, that makes the cleanest edge – they last about 10 days even with all of the extra hand washing & everything. Plus, look at these little heart prints!

David’s Tea 12 Tea Sampler – These make great gifts but they are also a way to try a bunch of teas! Each little container has a screw top lid to keep your tea fresh & you get about two cups from each one. I have discovered quite a few new favorites from these samplers & who doesn’t love tea?

Bombas SocksWhen I first saw ads for these socks, I was like – that’s outrageous. Then, they released Sesame Street socks & I was like – I need those. They are very nice socks, I have since ordered the ankle socks for my dress shoes, also very nice. I can’t say that I wear a pair everyday but I really enjoy the quality of them when I do.

Pela Case – Unfortunately, these cases do not fit my new phone but they’re still pretty great. It’s a phone case made from plants! They’re extremely durable, I had my old phone case for at least 2 years & it still looks fine. I have the original yellow one that I think was for a save the bees campaign which is another cool thing about this company, they donate to various environmental protection efforts.

I think that does it for my favorite things list, I tried to include a little home, a little beauty & fashion. What things made your favorites list this year? Also, let me know if you get excited about Oprah’s list too – I’m the only one in my friend group who is like – OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS LIST COMES OUT TODAY. Listen, she has taste – she recommended Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie one year & my life has never been the same. Also, she just seems so classy & looks like she smells great. This is getting weird πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, have wonderful Wednesday!

On the 8th Day of Blogmas: Scent of the Season

Blogmas

But before we get into today’s Blogmas; a story about renting in America. I rent, owning a home does not appeal to me in the slightest. I figured this out while house hunting the last year or so. Snow clearing, plowing, lawn care, having a driveway sealed, picking out new windows & all of the other delightful things that come along with homeownership just aren’t things that I am interested in. I can appreciate a beautiful home & the hard work that goes into one but it’s not for me. My apartment is my home, it’s not just another stop on the ride to somewhere else as it seems to be for most other renters. I take care of it just as I would if I did own it, the actual owners don’t. I’ve had numerous maintenance needs that I have ended up taking care of on my own or paying someone else to do it because the maintenance here is nonexistent. Recently, my shower started draining slower than normal so I dumped some Drano down it thinking my hair had just backed it up. Not the case, apparently the neighbors below me had a major clog from their washing machine that ended up causing some water main to back up & burst. First of all – what the fuck are you putting in your washing machine & how was I supposed to know?! So my building manager calls me to see if I have had any drainage issues, I tell him about the bath to which he freaks out & asks why I didn’t say anything. Because you wouldn’t have taken a look anyway. My kitchen sink dripped for months until I replaced it, I have water stains on my spare bedroom ceiling from rainwater leaking in while the roof was being replaced. The smoke alarm in my living room goes off randomly which isn’t disruptive to my life at all. All of which, I have requested maintenance for! But me not reporting a maintenance issue is such a huge problem & this sums up renting in America. All of the responsibility falls on the renter when in reality, aren’t we the customers. Shouldn’t we be the ones being made happy?! I’m over it, almost enough to start looking at houses…

Good news on that crazy Bath & Body Works order(s), their customer service was able to cancel the duplicate orders but I will have to keep the additional candles that I had added by accident because of site latency. No complaints though, it’s not like I won’t use the extra candles πŸ˜› Which brings us to today’s topic, my current home scent picks for the holiday season! First, I have this Winter Pine candle from ULTA, that is surprisingly good for a new candle brand! It is a 3-wick soy blend that is the perfect blend of pine, spice & musk. It smells exactly like a sappy, fresh cut Christmas tree – I love it. I will say that it doesn’t burn as clean as a Bath & Body Works candle, I’ve had to skim the burnt wax off a few times to keep it burning but other than that it has been fine. Sadly, it is now out of stock but Fresh Balsam, Tree Farm & Mahogany Balsam from Bath & Body Works are all very similar scents.

Next, are these Fresh Pine & Juniper Airwick that I found at Walmart recently. These are definitely a sharper tree scent but still pleasant & not PineSol smelling – although, I do love the scent of PineSol so I might be biased. I have not seen these ones in year prior but I hope they keep making them. My apartment smells like a tree farm now & it’s perfectly festive.

I’m not totally sure why I associate pine scents with Christmas, I think it’s the memories of wood burning in the stove in addition to the fresh tree in the living room that puts me in a holiday spirit whenever I smell it. What are your favorite holiday scents? I used to really like Champagne Toast but now it just smells like burnt plastic to me. Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you are surviving this holiday season πŸŽ„

On The 7th Day of Blogmas: Holiday Movie Watch List

Blogmas

Have these movies all been watched at least a hundred times by most everyone on the face of the earth? Yes. Are we still going to watch them on repeat until New Years? Given the current lockdown situation, probably. Listen, I just don’t think that the cheesy, made for television holiday romps will ever compare to the classics. They’re cute but they don’t have that re-watch ability factor for me. I can watch Kevin McCallister slap aftershave on his face 50 times over & still laugh…I can only watch a hunky knight kiss Vanessa Hudgens under the mistletoe like…once. Not to mention, those feel good films make myself & most single females bitter – when am I going to be proposed to on Christmas by some time traveling hunk?! Never, the answer is never.

My inner monologue watching Hallmark movies…

I much prefer holiday comedy films over the feel good rom-coms, but everyone’s taste is different. These are just a few that I must watch each year.

Frosty Regular

Just the original for me, please – Lost in New York is pretty good but can the same preposterous thing happen two times over? Seems unlikely. I am sure that we all know the premise of this classic, Kevin makes a Christmas wish for his whole family to disappear & Father Christmas grants this wish when the family hits a flight to Paris & leaves him home alone. Kevin enjoys his newfound freedom until a couple of local burglars case his family home. It’s a classic that I think has aged very well and should not be remade.

Frosty Regular

Probably my favorite holiday movie, I love this quirky, crazy, relatable chronicle of Christmas with the Griswolds. Again, it’s a hilarious depiction of how the holidays can go so wrong but still be so much fun when the family gets together. The turkey scene especially kills me, my mom would start cooking the turkey at about 2 AM & cook that thing for hours. I still don’t know why, when I started cooking my own turkey & realized that it takes a mere few hours, I figured out why my mother’s turkey was always so dry πŸ˜› No, sometimes it was perfect but I still don’t understand the 12-hour cook time.

Frosty Regular

This is a newer addition to my holiday rotation but it became a fast favorite – probably because it is set in 1940 which just adds to its charm. The movie chronicles Ralphie’s attempts to acquire a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. The costumes & sets are simply perfect, it’s just a delight. I’m that crazy person who will actually sit & watch this one on marathon, it’s so much fun & who can’t relate to desperately wanting something for Christmas as a kid?

Frosty Regular

Scott Calvin has stopped believing in the magic of Christmas until he inadvertently pushes Santa off his roof & finds himself having to the fill the role. My favorite parts of this one are when single dad Scott burns the holiday meal & they have to eat at a Denny’s that is fresh out of pie & when Neal receives a Weenie Whistle. It’s a fun move that touched on some very real topics, like navigating a new family dynamic during the holidays & hanging onto the true meaning of Christmas.

Frosty Regular

This one tends to end up on some worst movie lists but I think it’s delightful. Howard is a high-powered mattress salesman who forgets to secure a hot toy item for his son. This leads to a hysterical series of events as he tries to find a Turbo Man for Christmas morning. There are a lot of Minnesota landmarks in this film; Mall of America, Wabasha St. & downtown St. Paul, the Cedar bridge – it’s fun to watch.

My favorite thing to do is have these on repeat while I wrap gifts through the night. Do I have any reason so stay up all night & wrap gifts? No, it’s not like there is anyone in the house that I need to have asleep so I can wrap gifts πŸ˜› Also, I never wrap gifts on Christmas Eve anyway because most of them need to be in the mail well before Christmas. So usually, it’s like a random Tuesday night that I am staying up way too late wrapping gifts & watching holiday movies. What are your favorite holiday movies, let me know if any of there top your list!

On The 6th Day of Blogmas: My Favorite Vlogmas

Blogmas

Confession, I’m a vlog junkie. I love watching people just living their lives. Oh, you’re detailing your car for two hours? Fascinating. Vloggers bring me back to a more wholesome time on YouTube when it was normal people broadcasting themselves. Now YouTube seems so hyper-stylized & plagued with drama. Many of my favorite vloggers have stopped vlogging or left the platform altogether. For those who still post YouTube content, few continue to post Vlogmas which is just a bummer. Luckily for me, my favorite content creators who still post Vlogmas definitely do it the best!

Jessica Braun & Family – I’ve been watching Jessica for a long time & just adore her little family. They live in Indiana & their content is delightfully Midwestern. She posts a little bit of everything; lifestyle, grocery hauls, recipes, beauty, travel & it’s all genuinely relatable. She & her husband (Tyler) are so goofy & wholesome. I also appreciate how they include their daughter in their vlogs without over sharing. Kids on YouTube & family vlog channels mostly just weird me out. The Braun family vlogmas highlight decorating, cooking, baking & loads of other wholesome content.

Fleur De Force & Family – Fleur is another one I’ve been watching for a very long & she is the coolest. Her style, her taste in home decor – she’s a total class act. Her family lives in the English countryside in what appears to be an old manor house with at least 100 rooms. I’m sure it’s not that big but whenever she posts in a new room I’m like – what room is this?! Her house is to die for, check out her kitchen renovation 🀩 Fleur & her husband, Mike have the cutest daughter named River. Again, while she is included, it’s not seemingly invasive. Also, her name is River – just the coolest. Their vlogmas are a bit more posh, stunning trees, handmade gift wrapping, gin & tonics – I love it all. Her lockdown vlogs have been really delightful as well.

It’s been fun watching these Youtubers grow up & evolve over the years – I hope that they keep posting & sharing glimpses of their lives for a very long time. Do you have any vlogger recommendations, let me know & thanks for reading ❄

Best Of: Current Lifestyle Favorites

Life & Style

As I am typing this, I realized that I pretty recently posted a lifestyle post but I figure that since I have some new cold weather things, that it will be OK. Who knows – since I’m not leaving the house again this winter, I might just be posting lifestyle favorites for the foreseeable future. I find it appalling that restaurants are being forced to close again while Target announced $22-billion in quarter three earnings. Nobody’s catching COVID at Target?! Really, nobody? That’s absolutely the place where I always think I’m going to catch it because that is one of the few places that I go & it’s always busy. I don’t know what kind of bullshit these statistics are on but they cannot be accurate. I’m truly bummed for all of my friends in the service industry, I personally think that they are being disproportionately regulated. Like most everyone else, I have been at home a lot more & here are a few items that I have been especially enjoying recently.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I found a new robe after years of trying different robes & not liking them, I stumbled upon this Stars & Above robe a couple of weeks ago. I was actually on the hunt for more of their lounge cardigans but I’m not sure they will be releasing those again this year. This was a fantastic consolation find since I can wear it around the house & it’s not too thick or too thin. It’s the perfect length to be worn with pants or nightgowns, it belts completely closed & it’s so soft. Having never worn robes until I was gifted one from Old Navy in college, I am surprisingly particular when it comes to what robes I like. I think it’s because the Old Navy robe was my first introduction to robes & has become the standard to which I hold all robes to. This robe is the closest that I have ever found & I love it.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I’m not one to get hyped about limited edition anything, I think it’s an easy way to sell a lot of stock before consumers come to their senses & realize that they may not need said item. I really had no idea that there was so much hype around the Starbucks seasonal mugs until purchasing one as a gift for a friend & went to three different locations to find the one that she wanted. After becoming very well acquainted with their holiday collection, I decided that I wanted one…or two for myself. They are very cute but I cannot imagine that I would need more than the two that I purchased, I mean, one can only use one cup at a item. Their holiday stuff is very cute though, very pastel, very to my taste.

*I_Love~Christmas}

In all honesty I am unsure if these are a favorite or something that I have been using non-stop but these melamine mixing bowls were worth every penny that I spent on them. Not only are they just pretty to look at, they are perfect for all of my mixing needs. The base of these bowls has a rubber grippy strip which is awesome when I am mixing & measuring & trying not to make a mess. I found these on Amazon, come in a couple of different colors but the pink are just adorable. I do have the biggest bowl with the spout but I use it for decoration, batter pours out of the regular lipped bowls just fine.

*I_Love~Christmas}

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have been surviving on mostly coffee, Cameron’s Breakfast Blend has been my go to recently. It’s a little milder, a little less caffeine that what I usually drink but it was a necessary change since I have been drinking so much coffee more recently. These pods are commercially compostable & I think the coffee tastes a bit richer from the EcoPod – could be just my imagination but I enjoy them.

*I_Love~Christmas}

When I am not drinking coffee, I am drinking delicious cups of David’s Tea & my most recent favorite is the Sweet Potato Pie blend. Pumpkin Chai had been my front runner but when I got a taste of this sweet, nutty goodness it was over. I mean, the chai is still very good but this literally tastes like I am drinking a pie – much more enjoyable than it sounds.

*I_Love~Christmas}

Yet another Target find, they get ya’ with those damn endcaps – these Off the Eaten Path crisps are delicious. I am not a snack person most of the time, my snack of choice is typically popcorn but with my new fillings I am being very cautious so that I never have to go back πŸ˜‰ These are very low calorie & provide just enough salty, crunchiness to satisfy my savory snack cravings. I have not dipped them in anything yet but I think they would probably be delicious with most anything.

*I_Love~Christmas}

Those are a few of the things that have been keeping my happy at home – I will save all of my Christmas goodies for Blogmas but they have definitely been brightening my day too. What have you been enjoying lately, let me know in the comments!

Blogtober Day 26: Best of October Lifestyle

Blogtober

I can’t lie, as soon as my plastic storage bins arrive in the mail – the Halloween decor is coming down. We had a good run but I’m over it. Watch, all of this snow will melt & then I will be back in a fall mood – I’m just flaky like that πŸ˜› I anticipate spending a lot of time at home this winter, I am guessing that most everyone is. Actually, I was watching the news & apparently instead of food shortages – home goods are the next target of American panic shopping. Specifically luxury sheets, sounds pretty American. Not the luxury sheets. Anyway, I only have a few favorite things this month, enjoy!

Remember that Casaluna Comforter Set that I was all, will I, won’t I about? Well, I did & love it. One of the main reasons that I was waffling on it was because I don’t like a lot of weight on me when I’m sleeping & generally just use a knitted blanket. This comforter was described as heavyweight & I have no idea why I was drawn to it aside from it being beautiful πŸ˜› It is heavy but also very comfortable, the underneath is a soft polyester blend & the top side is a coarser linen – it’s a unique sensory experience. It’s so cozy, I don’t know how it will wash but so far so good.

I may have already talked about the cauldron mugs that Target recently had, I purchased a second one to contain my newest obsession – incense! I threw out all of the boxes so unsure of what the different flavors are but I know there is a jasmine, sandalwood & something to do with patchouli. Incense reminds me of Christmas morning, it always puts me in a good mood! I’ve never burned it since I’ve lived on my own, my mother always had something burning though & it’s such a nostalgic scent. I don’t know if all of the sticks touching will make them smell the same…?

I have a very celestial theme going on in my bedroom, it makes sense to me considering I do all of my sleeping in here. Urban Outfitters is good for some new age, moon decor for not terrible prices. This moon shelf is my newest addition, it’s really beautiful & well-made. I did not do a fantastic job of hanging it & need a brace or something at the top to keep it flush with the wall – it could have used a couple more brackets. My only complaint is that this is the second shelf I’ve purchased from them & there aren’t any screws! Drive me nuts.

I’ve been looking for a pair of black, casual boots that I can wear inside & outside. Doc Martens are my usual go to but the salt really tears up the stitching around the soles & I think I might be getting too old to be wearing Docs all of the time anyway. I dunno, is there an age limit? Anyway, I found these Keds that are super cute & very comfortable. They don’t look too snow boot-like & can be worn with most anything. I’ve so far worn them with skirts & leggings, they hit at about the same height as my Docs & have the same ankle cinching appearance. Definitely not as stiff & don’t require a break in period.

That’s it! I’m out of my favorite tea at the moment but when my order gets here, might post about it then. David’s Tea released a pumpkin chai, it’s delicious but really requires a picture to convey its full beauty. Let me know what you’ve been loving this month. Are you ready for winter or still in a fall mood 🧑

Blogtober Day 25: Best of Treehouse of Horror

Blogtober

I saw this Britney Broski meme & it was choosing between a new television show or rewatching a comfort show. I’m a comfort show person all the way & The Simpsons are my ultimate pick. The Simpsons have been on television a loooooooong time, too long in my opinion. I stopped watching them probably 10 or so seasons ago, aside from their annual Halloween Treehouse of Horror specials. I remember waiting patiently each year to watch these as a kid and getting screwed a few times because of that pesky mountain time. Those were the days when you actually had to be physically home at the time  your favorite show aired to watch it. If you aren’t familiar with these episodes please leave there are three horror stories, that sometimes parody well-known horror films or are otherwise just creepy stories. These are the episodes that I appreciate the most. I am doing these by air date since I own the actual seasons of only Treehouse of Horror episodes so I’m unsure of where they fall in the regular seasons and I’m lazy.

Pieces NFI Regular

Hands down my favorite episode – it has everything from Satan to der vampyr. In the first story, Homer sells his soul to Satan (played by Ned Flanders) for a donut. Bart is terrorized by a gremlin trying to wreck the school bus in the second story and Mr. Burns plays Dracula with wig a la Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the conclusion. There isn’t a bad story in this episode which isn’t always the case.

1993
Pieces NFI Regular

This one parodies I Know What You Did Last Summer with a twist that was just as ridiculous as the original movie ending. It has a weak filler story about Bart and Lisa acquiring superhuman powers but ends on a strong note with Homer failing to prepare the plant’s computers for Y2K and causing the crash of the technological world. Remember when we all thought that the world was going to end because computers couldn’t compute zeroes? Good times.

1999
Pieces NFI Regular

Homer goes insane in The Shinning, then travels back in time in an attempt to fix a toaster and Springfield Elementary cafeteria starts eating misbehaving children. I think  this episode has the most comical Marge line of any episode, when Bart and Lisa try convincing her that they are going to be eaten she responds with; Kids, you’re 8 & 10 years old, I can’t keep fighting all of your battles for you. Classic parent response.

cafeteris
Pieces NFI Regular

Homer is attacked by an evil Krusty the Clown Doll, the middle episode story is a lame King Kong parody and ends with Lisa turning the residents of Springfield into zombies while trying to bring her cat back to life. I also love that this episode takes place during a Halloween party at the Simpson’s’ house and Bart is rocking the classic A Clockwork Orange costume.

III
Pieces NFI Regular

This one starts out strong with the Simpsons moving into a haunted house that just so happens to be on the site of an ancient burial ground. The second story is lame, something to do with aliens overfeeding them but not wanting to eat them…? And finishes with a parody of Poe’s The Raven narrated by James Earl Jones.

The Raven

There are so many good ones but these are classic introductions to these specials. I think the only reason I will be sad to see The Simpsons retire from television is that there won’t be anymore Treehouse of Horror episodes. Did you watch these as a kid? Let me know what your favorite episodes are 🧑

Blogtober Day 18: Cold Weather Body Care

Blogtober

The seasons have changed, fall might be over already. We had a very crisp high of 32 degrees today & are looking at 4-inches of snow this Tuesday. I know that Halloween is a toss up on whether or not we’re still having mild weather or a foot of snow on the ground but I’m not sure I’m ready! Good thing I work from home on Tuesdays because I cannot with these city slickers driving on bad roads. The air has been dry for awhile now which is torture for my already dry, eczema prone skin & I’ve already switched my body care routine. I’m trying some new things this year that are more luxurious than my usual Cerave & am really pleased with the results so far!

Shea Moisture is an awesome brand and has been for awhile. They were some of the first to offer products specifically for curly, coily, kinky natural hair. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, fair trade & they are cruelty free. Over the years, they’ve expanded to body & skin care – I have been using their coconut oil line & am obsessed. Here’s my routine for soft, clear skin!

Cleanse & Exfoliate: to start, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Body Wash that is absolutely delicious. It’s sudsy, smells amazing & cleans my skin without making it feel dry or tight. I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or skin flare ups since switching which is rare for my overly sensitive skin. It leaves my skin sweetly scented & nourished.

Next, as unpleasant as exfoliating dry skin sounds, I find that regularly sloughing off the dead skin really improves the overall appearance of my skin. The Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub is just the right amount of grittiness & since it’s sugar, it just dissolves as you work it in. It’s a very hydrating body scrub, I use it all over & it makes my skin sparkle.

Moisturize: I have severely dry skin, I use an oil on particularly dry areas & then seal it in with an occlusive moisturizer. Shea Moisture offers a few lightweight, nourishing body oils but of course I went for the coconut. I have to mention that the coconut line smells like real coconut, very nutty & not that synthetic coconut that some might expect. Everything smells great but it might be a bit different than what some might be anticipating. Generally, a palm full is plenty for the areas I need extra moisture. I then work the Daily Hydration Body Lotion in all over my body. This stuff is thick, I don’t love the packaging & think it would work better in a tub. I put the bottle on my shower floor so the hot water can soften it up then it’s a bit easier to dispense. It doesn’t take terribly long to work in given the thick consistency & doesn’t feel greasy. This lotion keeps my skin comfortably hydrated all day & then some.

Shea Moisture can be purchased at ULTA, Target & on their website! They’re products are affordable & high quality. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for something new.

Let me know what you’re go-to winter skin picks are. Have you tried anything from Shea Moisture? Thanks for stopping by πŸ§‘πŸ–€

Best of December: Beauty

Monthly Favorites

For the new year I think I am going to try a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule which, is why this post is a few days later than I had planned. In past years, I have taken Blogmas right up to the 31st but was a bit burnt out on holiday posts and called it quits on Christmas this year. I cannot believe that Christmas has come and gone, yet again – I also cannot believe that New Year’s Eve is tomorrow already! I remember the week between Christmas and my birthday seeming like it was months away, now it’s already upon us. The weather has been incredibly horrendous, we had rain on Friday that turned into an ice storm on Saturday then more rain and now about 4 inches of snow. I don’t mind the snow but the ice I can do without. I think it will be here for awhile though since temperatures are supposed to plummet this week. I have this whole week off still but was already looking to see when the next federal holiday was because…I’m tired. In fact, I’ve had two people comment on the fact that I look tired recently and I’m like bitch, this is just my face at this point. Anyway, I had quite a few beauty favorites this month and here they are!

There was a time when I exclusively used Bare Minerals products but I couldn’t tell you what they’ve released over the last decade or so. I stopped wearing mineral foundation but when I decided to switch back to it, I was surprised at all of the new complexion products they had to offer. I decided to try their new stick foundation instead and am really glad I did, it’s a very light formula for a stick foundation with just the right amount of coverage. It claims to be hydrating and it does feel really good on the skin but it’s also long wearing. They really nailed it with this product although, I am miffed that they convinced everyone that liquid foundation was poison and then are selling that shit back to us. Well played.

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Next is a total impulse purchase that I snagged while in the Bare Minerals section. In my defense, it was in a two pack and it was 40% off. Their Lashtopia Mineral-Based Mascara is pretty awesome, it is volumizing and a deep matte black. It plumps up my lashes but leaves them so soft and natural(ish) looking. I also like how it washes off, this is the only mascara that I’ve tried that actually comes off with just micellar water. I really like it, I’m glad I snagged two tubes.

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I’m back on the Buxom Full-On Lip Creams but I’ve always loved these. I don’t know how plumping they are but I like the minty scent, my go-to shades have been a mix of Hot Toddy and Brandi.

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I have two new skincare items that have been helping me battle the winter flakiness and redness. I hadn’t tried tula until I stopped in ULTA one day when a rep was there handing out samples and doing demos. tula is a clean beauty line, cruelty free, made in the USA and packed with probiotics. I have been using their glycol toner and gel-cream along with my regular skincare and they are both great. The toner is mild enough to use everyday and has helped to clear up some of my most stubborn dry patches. The gel-cream is similar to an emulsion or serum and adds an additional layer of hydration that my skin has been needing. I am looking forward to checking out more of the brand when I use up my other skincare products.

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This next one is a beauty tool really, I dermaplane at home but this is something that I’ve been using to touch up areas when in between full dermaplaning. The Flawless Touch does really well at removing unwanted peach fuzz and stray eyebrow hairs without irritating the skin. I am curious to know how long a single head lasts, I have been using this well over a month and it seems to still be plenty sharp.

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I usually steer clear of the holiday scented lotions and body products because most of them are gross but Hempz did an awesome job with this Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Chai scent. It’s sweet and spicy, I only picked up a couple of the small bottles because it’s pretty potent and I can’t imagine that I will wear it all year round.

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My last pick is this tinted brow gel from Colourpop that I picked up when I ran out of my Glossier Boy Brow. This gel is less than half the cost and honestly, just as good. I like natural looking brows, this gel shapes them up just enough and adds enough to tint to look polished.

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That’s most everything that I’ve been loving this month – what products have you been loving? Let me know if you have tried any of these!

Blogmas Day 24: Best of December Lifestyle

Blogmas - 2019

People, I just realized that I have not watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and I am just as shocked as you are. Here’s what happened, I got rid of most of my physical media last year and swapped to digital media. For some reason, I don’t own this movie though and don’t know how I overlooked this! It’s one of my absolute Christmas essentials, I’m purchasing it on Prime Video as we speak. I don’t think I have time to watch it today since I have places to be but tomorrow for sure. I was going to do one post for beauty and lifestyle but like I said, I’m on a time crunch – mostly because I slept past 8 this morning and it was glorious but I’m paying for it now. I wanted to quickly share what I’ve been loving in lifestyle this month!

The first item is this oversized sweater robe from Stars Above, a new pajama brand at Target. I purchased a grey one and this blush pink one (and another pink one since they went on sale), I have been wearing them non-stop. They are great for lounging around the house, I am a big nightgown person during the winter and they add just enough warmth if I’m up and about in my pajamas. Also though, I wear them out of the house too since they just look like super cozy cardigans. A little pricey but really awesome and so soft. The cats really like them too, as soon as a laid this out, Neptune came over – you can see her little cat butt πŸ˜‰

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She’s mad that I scooted her out of the shot, that is her pillow – plus an additional two other pillows that are hers on my bed. No other cats are allowed on the bed, even though there is plenty of room and she can’t lay on three pillows at once.

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If you are a runner and like to get out in the winter, which I do since I actually run better when it’s cold – you have to have Yaktrax for your running shoes. They are like snow chains for your shoes and help you run on ice and snow without biffing it. Now, you can’t like sprint across the ice but they do help a lot with stability. They slip on over your shoe, I don’t really feel them through my show – maybe over the toe box but not enough to change my stride. I purchased these on Amazon, they run around $15 and last a good while.

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I don’t like headphones, I have weirdly small ear holes and in the winter I get terrible eczema patches in them so I really can’t have anything in them over them. I cannot justify spending too much on something that I can hardly use, I recently found these Purity Wireless Headphones on Amazon and I don’t hate them which, is about all you will ever get from me when talking about headphones. They fit in my ear tight enough to stay in but not so tight that they rub on the eczema since they are also kinda smooshy. I use them for about 1-2 hours each day and only charge them overnight once a week. They weren’t crazy expensive and seem to be holding up well – if you need some solid wireless headphones but don’t want to spend a fortune and have finicky ear holes, check these out!

Finally, I have owned this little beauty for like three days but I love it. The Echo Dot is amazing, it has added just enough background noise to my home and I already ordered another one for my living room. You can listen to books, music, podcasts, newscasts – pretty much everything. The speaker quality is fantastic, it sets alarms, has a sleep timer, whisper mode – I know that most everyone probably already owns one of these devices but if not – get one. Plus, it’s so small and cute.

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That’s it, I will post my beauty picks tomorrow – let me know what you’ve been loving this month. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve, I cannot believe that it is here already.