Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life's a Beach

     I nearly forgot all about these photos during these last couple of chaotic weeks, but was so happy when I stumbled over them. These are from a day spent lake-side with my wonderful family; laying in the Sun and splashing in the water. We don't get to see these kiddos as much as we all would like, so I go a little camera-crazy when we get together. It's weird being old enough to watch the next generation of your family grow up. I finally know what my aunts and uncles felt when they'd tell me how "big" I was getting or how "grown-up" I looked between visits. It's all very sentimental. (Cue the "Aw's".)
Until next time,

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Beauty Must-Haves

      If you are anything like me, your beauty routine changes with the seasons, especially summertime. I tend to go for brighter color palettes, and light scents when the season arrives. I also have very sensitive skin and fussy hair, so things like wind, humidity, heat, and the sun can cause a few unwanted troubles. Luckily, I have found a few products that take the hassle out of the warmer months. Here's the scoop!

I've been using a Climate-Protective mousse by TreSemme, and it basically works miracles. It helps shield my colored hair from any sun damage, and keeps frizz out on humid days. I put a palm full on damp hair just before blow-drying it, and I'm good to go. Another product I've come to love is Garnier Fructis' leave-in conditioner. You can spray this into dry or wet hair and achieve the same results. I spray the bottom section of my hair that covers my neck to get tangles out, and through the rest of my hair for added shine. IT SMELLS SO GOOD. One more staple, that is unfortunately not pictured, is a spray-on dry shampoo from Suave. It's super inexpensive, and refreshes hair between washes. My hair tends to go from dry to greasy fairly quickly, so this has been a godsend. It is an added way to stretch the life of your color!

During the Summer, putting on make-up seems like a chore. In my hot prison of a bathroom, it essentially melts off before I'm even finished. I've recently started using BB and CC creams to simply things a bit. BB stands for beauty balm. It's rich with moisturizers and has SPF 35, making it perfect for days spent outside. It provides light coverage, but gives skin a healthy glow. CC stands for color correction. It has a lower SPF of 15, but provides skin with a fuller coverage. It has very high moisturizing properties, and gives skin an all-over evenness. It's replaced my usual foundation this Summer. I use a BB Cream by Maybelline and CC Cream by Hard Candy Cosmetics. Another product I use to enhance a sun-kissed look is a cream blush by Flower Beauty. I opted for a peachy tone, rather than my usual light pink. It's easy to apply, and adds a dewy shine to your face; that's a good thing, people!

C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve is EVERYTHING. I actually use this all year round because it is the ultimate fighter against chapped lips, but find it even more helpful during Summer. You can use this salve on your lips, elbows, cuticles, or anywhere else you struggle with dryness. I even apply a small amount to sunburn for relief. It rules. You can find this product at Bath and Body Works. After using the rose salve on my lips, I cover it with a bright coral shade of lipstick. This prevents any cracked or cakey feel, and makes your color last longer. I use a shade called "Siren" by Revlon. It is my absolute favorite.

I like my bright colors in smaller doses, even in the Summer. So, when I do my nails, I use a neutral tone for every nail aside from my ring finger on both hands. I reserve that nail for a bolder color. A pair I'm really loving together is "Merino Cool" by Essie and "I Need a Refresh-Mint" by Wet n Wild. Both are long-lasting, and dry fast-ish.

I"ll admit right away that I buy way too much perfume and lotion, but I LOVE things that smell good. Who doesn't, right? My go-to lotion is Lemon-Vanilla from Bath and Body Works. I use it all year, but it's especially fitting for Summer. It's light and subtle, and gives a bit of a twist to a familiar and classic fragrance. And, for my perfume, I'm all about anything by Marc Jacobs. Lola is my current obsession, and is packed with so much floral, fruity goodness. And, the bottle looks like a flower, so it's obviously suited for this time of year. I found my Lola set at T.J. Maxx for an astounding twenty-nine dollars; almost 75% off of the full retail price. Holler.

Well, that does it for me, readers. I so hope you find these products helpful for this season. What are some of your beauty staples?
With love,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Front Bottoms: Round Two

     So, I (unashamedly) saw The Front Bottoms again, and it ruled. The show was in Columbus this time, so Laura and I filled the day with plenty of thrifting and a trip to the North Market. After our tummies were full, we claimed out places in line, and awaited the blessed, air-conditioned venue to open. We held our spots in front row the whole show, and saw a few familiar faces from the last venue we saw the band play. We also had the pleasure and privilege of  talking to lead singer, Brian, again. He's literally the coolest. (<--fan-girl enough="" for="" jeesh.="" p="" you="">

     If any of you who were at the show happen to find this post, feel free to leave a comment! I'm off to take a nap, and then perhaps another. I'm WIPED.
Until next time,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Outfit: I Can Feel a Hot One

     This week, Ohio bid farewell to a two-week raining spell and welcomed a heat wave; the temperatures have stayed in the very upper 80's-90's for days. I do not deal with extremes very well, especially when it comes to temperature. My body apparently missed that lesson on homeostasis, because I have only ever managed to range from frigidly cold or sweltering. Can you guess which one has been the case lately?
     When Andy and I set out to do this week's "Outfit" pictures, I had something quite different than our end result in mind. But, sometimes being practical takes precedence.  So, I threw on some floral shorts and a t-shirt with a cat on it. How's that for style?
With love,

Outfit Details:
Sunnies- Gabriel Brothers
T-shirt- Urban Outfitters (found at Gabes)
Shorts-Urban Outfitters (thrifted)
Shoes- T.J. Maxx

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Recipe: Vegan/Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

     Let me confess something that may come as a shock to some of you: I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth ever. Ice cream, doughnuts, candy, cake; I'm not picky, as long as it is as sweet as can be. I try to keep my snacking to a minimum, but sometimes you just can't help yourself. Fortunately, I've found a few recipes that adapt traditionally unhealthy foods into something guilt-free. This recipe is a great substitute to the usual junk food kept in all of our cupboards, and is just as easy to throw together. Without further ado, I bring you Vegan/Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies.

     What you'll need:

  • Three ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • Two cups of oats (the instant kind)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

     In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork into a paste.

     Next, add in the applesauce. We used a cinnamon-flavored kind, but you could really use any kind that appeals to you. However, remember that these are supposed to be healthy, so avoid using a sugary brand just this once!

     Measure out two cups of oats, and add them to your bowl. The recipe that we adapted these cookies from didn't really distinguish whether to use instant or raw oats, but we settled on the instant variety we had on hand. 

Almond milk comes next. We used a vanilla-flavored almond milk, just because we already happened to have some in the fridge. I think it added some more flavor, but this is another ingredient you can chose from your favorite kind.

     For some texture and sweetness, throw in the raisins. Dried cranberries, apricots, or bananas would also be delish; use whatever your heart desires!

     Finish with vanilla and cinnamon, then combine the mixture with a wooden spoon. We decided to add some walnuts at the last minute, but that is also optional. (And, not pictured. Woops!)

     Spoon the mixture onto a greased baking sheet, and put them into a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

     And, voila! You have a sweet treat that won't throw off your diet in the slightest. No sugar, butter, oil, or animal products; just wholesome goodness. These are also perfect for a breakfast on the go. After these were out of the oven, I was already thinking of how I could add fresh diced apple pieces or berries to a future batch. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!
Until next time,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I Can See Your Tracks

     When I was a little girl, I was a bit of a tomboy. I loved playing in dirt, reenacting scenes from The Power Rangers, climbing trees; the whole nine yards. As I've grown into womanhood, so to speak, I have lost a lot of the childhood bravery and spirit I once held. I've gotten increasingly comfortable being indoors or in cities, where bugs and nature are scarce. Actually, I am a huge baby when it comes to any critters invading my space. But, there is one place that brings me back to my outdoorsy, past-self: Mohican. 
     Andy and I have always loved taking the drive to the trails, and spending the day commuting to all the different sites. Mohican has several different trails, some leading to look-out points or waterfalls. We enjoyed a very cloudy day of hiking, and snapped plenty of pictures along the way. Alas, it started pouring down rain as soon as we reached the end of our selected route, and we were forced to call it a day on the adventuring. We picked the perfect time to get our butts outside, seeing as though Ohio has been at sweltering temperatures everyday this week. I hate to say this so early in season, but Autumn is really calling my name.
With love,

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