Thirsty Thursday – Flavored Water


It can’t always be booze you guys. Besides, with the weather warming up, water is super important! It helps your skin, your hair, your weight – everything you want looking perfect for summer.

Personally I have a hard time just drinking plain water, unless I’m super super dehydrated or it’s really hot out. Otherwise I need some kind of flavor or bubbles or something to keep me interested in drinking it. I first started using the little Crystal Light powder packets, but they ended up being too sugary tasting, plus the artificial sugars were kind of messing with my system. Then I began using the little drops they came out with – tons of people make them now, like Dasani and Mio and even Kool-Aid now – which were great because you could control how much flavor and sweetness you wanted. But they still have artificial flavors and colors which, I’m not super against those things necessarily, but natural is almost always better.

So now, I take a water bottle, cut up any fruit I have on hand and put it in the bottle, and then fill it up with water. The longer it sits the more flavor there will be! I like it because you get just a hint of flavor without it being overpowering or super sugary, and it just seems really refreshing. Today I used half of a granny smith apple and a few frozen raspberries – which is nice cause then you don’t have to use ice! You could also experiment with certain vegetables like cucumbers, or herbs like basil and tarragon. Cucumber lime would be good, as would strawberry mint or strawberry basil. It’s fun to play with and come up with new flavor combos!

What I’m Loving Wednesday – Hollow City


(photo courtesy here)

Hollow City is the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and it picks up right where that one left off – with Jacob and the children adrift in the ocean following the destruction of their home and their loop on the island. They find land finally, only to find the wights have followed them, and thus begins a mad dash through England trying to find the one last ymbryne besides Miss Peregrine that hasn’t been captured.

There will be a third book in this series – Library of Souls, due out September of this year – so this doesn’t wrap up the story, but it does a fine job of making you think it will right up until the very end. I enjoyed this book immensely, though not as much as I enjoyed the first one. It felt like the success of the first one came as a surprise, so the writing of the sequel had to be hurried up a little; whereas the storyline in the first one was tight and well crafted, parts of Hollow City felt a little rushed and under-baked. Jacob was a little too verbose and introspective in parts for the action happening at the time – you wonder how he had the time to think such grand thoughts when he’s being chased half the book. Despite some slow parts especially in the middle, I kept with it and really enjoyed the ending, which has me chomping at the bit for the third book.

As I said with the first book, this is technically YA fiction but it doesn’t feel young or dumbed down in any way. I would enthusiastically recommend this to anyone! So now that I have to wait for the next book, I’m looking for a new one to read – I just started Shades of Milk and Honey, which is like if Jane Austen had written a fairy tale. Has anyone else read it? What are you enjoying right now?

Makeup Monday – Haul – Ipsy, Sephora, Drugstore

This was supposed to just be a mini Ipsy haul, but then I got some stuff at the drugstore, then my friend and I went to the mall and of course I had to stop by Sephora because why wouldn’t I, so now it’s a regular sized haul with lots of pictures! Let’s get to it.


Let’s start with Ipsy!


Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Apricot GlowThis was made specially for Ipsy. The formula on this is very nice – it feels creamy, and it has nice pigmentation. The colors, at least on my skin, are a little fair/neutral – they’re nice for highlighting or accenting, but I like something brighter to be the main show. Also both shades are very sparkly – no mattes here.


NYX Butter Lipstick in PopsI love these lippies – they’re very moisturizing and comfortable, and have good color payoff. I already own Little Susie, with is a nice bright pink without being too bright – it’s still very wearable. This shade is more like a mauve, raisin sort of shade. Very neutral, nice with bright eye looks, but I already own similar shades. I would have liked to get the other color Ipsy was offering, Hunk – a dark blue violet. You win some, you lose some.


skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye GelsOh my these are delightful! You take them out of the package, peel off the backing, and place the gel side under your eyes. These immediately felt very cooling and refreshing as soon as I put them on.


They’re easy to apply and easy to take off – they stick right on with little effort, come off without pulling, and leave no residue. Leave them on for about 10 minutes, and after your eyes will look and feel less puffy and more firm. Loved these.


Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace: This product was fine. It is a light, matte highlighter type product, meant to be used around the eyes or wherever else you’d like to highlight. I like that it’s in pencil form – it’s easy to apply wherever you want – and it’s nice and creamy, but I don’t think it’s revolutionary, nor worth it’s $18 price tag. There are lots of great highlighters out there – and if you want to use this in your water line or around your tear duct, Rimmel makes a great nude pencil.

I also got Acure Day Cream, but I gave it to my friend as it’s for dry skin, which I don’t have. Not sure where she squirreled it away either so no picture, but click on the link if you’re interested – it’s supposed to firm your skin, fight off free radicals, and stimulate new cell growth.

Now on to the drugstore portion of the program:

Bodycology Moisturizing Body Cream in Runaway HeartI just noticed this scent at Target last night. It is a blend of raspberries, lemon sorbet, and musk, and it smells delicious without being overly sweet. I really like these lotions – they feel very nice, don’t make you greasy, and they’re cheap!


Hard Candy Top Ten Trendsetters Eyeshadow Collection in AphrodisiacHard Candy is found exclusively at Walmart. I’ve never tried any of their products, but had heard good things about some items and thought I’d pick up a couple things. This palette is really not bad, especially not for $6 only. You get, from left to right, a matte royal blue, matte purple, shimmery black, shimmery white, shimmery gold, shimmery yellow, matte orange, matte ivory, matte green, and a matte teal. I love that most of the shades are matte – you never really find that in drugstore palettes. As you can see in the swatch, some of the shades are so-so, although I’ve found a primer or base really helps out.


This swatch is over Sephora’s Velvet Eyeshadow pot in No.03. You can see the yellow and orange in particular stand out more.


Hard Candy Poppin Pigments in Lock and KeyThis product was a fail. Can you even see it in that swatch? I was hoping it would be a cheaper version of MAC’s pigments or something like that, but it is basically just glitter in a tube. The website says it provides dense color but … yeah not so much. It also doesn’t really stick to anything you want it to stick to – that swatch is on top of Vaseline and it still barely stuck to that. Also, the packaging is not very intuitive – it has a little shaker top but hardly any product comes out when you shake it. It would be easier if it was just an open pot you could dip a brush into. This is definitely a pass!


Flower Kiss Stick High Shine Lip Color in Ginger LilyI love this! Flower is Drew Barrymore’s brand of cosmetics, again found exclusively at Walmart, and it is a lovely brand. This lippie is a pretty kind of dark apricot color, which is really flattering, and the formula is really comfortable to wear. It also delivers on the high shine promise! I’m not sure if it was on sale or there was a glitch in their system when I bought it; it’s supposed to be $6.98 but I only paid $1 for it!

NYC Smooth Skin BB Crème in MediumThey also have a matte version, which Target was out of. However, I haven’t had a problem so far with this one breaking down on my skin. The medium is actually a good match for my skin, and I think it does even out my skin tone fairly well, though I do have to use a separate concealer and under eye concealer – so I would put this in the light-to-medium coverage.


(before NYC BB Crème)


(after NYC BB Crème, before concealer)

I’ve been enjoying this way more than I thought I would, considering it’s under $5! Like I said, it doesn’t seem to break down on my skin in any weird way, it moisturizes without feeling heavy, and it’s just light and lovely for these coming months when it is (finally) getting warmer out. My only complaint – it only comes in Light and Medium, which doesn’t offer a lot of range for girls with different complexions.

Finally, from Sephora!

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter in Sweet CitrusI got the smaller size in the Checkout of Doom where are the sort of deluxe samples are. This stuff smells amazing – like an orange or peach topped with sugar – and feels light, even though it’s super moisturizing. I just tried it on my hands so far but I really like it.


Formula X Chromes Nail Polish in Need for SpeedI have been searching for a good opaque silver that wasn’t overloaded with glitter, and for some reason I’d been having no luck at the drugstore. This is exactly what I’d pictured in my mind – you probably only need one coat of the stuff, and it’s super shiny.


I had some Beauty Insider points saved up, so I got a couple deluxe samples also. This is the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer and it is totally amazing. Extremely smooth, extremely black, and long wearing. My only complaint is it doesn’t have a fine tip, so it’s hard to get a good cat eye with it. Otherwise, this is a seriously good eyeliner.


Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in DollyFinally, I got a sample of Buxom’s plumping lipstick. This is a darker mauve, raisin-y color – it’s actually very similar to the NYX one above.


As you can see in the side by side comparison, the Buxom one is maybe a little more brown, a little less purple. It’s a fine color, though maybe a little dark for my skin tone. Also, I didn’t really notice any plumping effect – not that I need it!

I also snagged some samples of Marc Jacobs’ Daisy, Daisy Eau So Fresh, and Daisy Dream perfumes, plus an anti-acne treatment from Murad.

Finally today, I put together a look for you guys that combines a lot of these new products:


NYC BB Crème in Medium / Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 120 / Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach under eyes / Milani Brow Pencil in Natural Taupe / Maybelline Brow Drama in Soft Brown / Jordana Eyeshadow Pencil in White / BH Cosmetics Neutrals Palette / Hard Candy Eye Shadow Collection in Aphrodisiac – I used the shimmery black in the crease, the matte royal blue, matte green, and matte teal on the eyes, and the shimmery gold in the tear duct area / Chella Highlighting Pencil in Ivory Lace blended in tear duct and on cupid’s bow / BH Cosmetics Professional Blush Palette / Buxom Lipstick in Dolly (Later I noticed that I never put on mascara! Boy that eyeliner is good if I don’t even notice that)

Hope you enjoyed this! Happy shopping!

Skincare Saturday – DIY Pinterest recipe …

… or as I like to call it, “Jill tries it so you don’t have to”. Have you seen this floating around Pinterest? Basically it’s a DIY Bioré strip recipe, or blackhead removal peel off mask. You mix gelatin and milk, heat it up so it’s goopy, apply it to your face and let it dry, then peel it off.


Mix one tablespoon of milk (you can use any kind of milk you want) with one tablespoon (or 1 1/4oz packet) of unflavored gelatin. You can add one drop of essential oil if you’d like. Heat in the microwave about 15-30 seconds; you want it warm but not so hot it burns your face.


Stir to mix, then use your fingers or a makeup brush to apply it to your face, avoiding your eyes, nose and mouth. You’re also going to want to avoid your hairline – this is sticky sticky stuff. Let it dry for about 15 minutes; it will feel really tight on your face.


(Boy that’s a hot look innit?) Starting at the bottom of your face, start peeling it up and off your face.


In theory this will all come off in one fell swoop and clear your pores in the process. In practice … this stuff was kind of like glue. It was difficult to apply, and as I applied it to my face it would peel up other parts of it I had already put down (you can kind of see that under my right eye there).


Also, I tried to get a nice edge around my face so it would be easy to get a grip on it and pull it off, but I ended up having to scratch at my face trying to get it to peel up. Peeling it off did not feel cleansing or therapeutic – it kind of honestly hurt, although one silver lining is I don’t think I have any hairs on my upper lip anymore. By the time I got up to my forehead I got impatient with the process and ended up just scrubbing my face with warm water to get all the rest of it off.

In the end, I don’t feel like it actually did anything for my pores. There was no visual, visceral aspect of seeing all the stuff it pulled out like with the Bioré strips. This is billed as a cheaper DIY option to Bioré strips, but honestly if that result is what you want – just get a box from your local drugstore! They’re not that expensive unless you’re using them every day, which really isn’t necessary.

Pinterest fails are their own Internet category, and sadly I think this has to be added to the mix. It doesn’t make me lose my faith in the site though – there are still some great ideas on there! What are your favorite DIY recipes?

Fashion Friday – Spring Outfits

It is unseasonably warm in Minnesota right now. Usually we would still be slogging through a snowstorm or two or five in March, but instead it’s been in the 50’s or 60’s all week and what little snow we had is nearly gone! All of which has me dreaming of spring fashion, gardening, and painting my toenails. I might even shave my legs. Crazy, I know.

I hopped over to Polyvore and put together some ideas, plus some of my own stuff I can’t wait to put together this year, to give you some inspiration. An added bonus – nothing is over $50! Cause new wardrobes don’t have to break your bank. Check out my profile there, and you can click on the items in the sets for links!


Spring Florals

I’m not a huge floral person; it really has to be done right for it to catch my eye and not think of grandmotherly couches. In general, I like bolder colors and a bolder pattern – tiny florals make me think of Laura Ashley. All these pieces caught my eye in a good way. I love the shape of the first cami top, plus the combo of green and pink is classic, slightly preppy, and always makes me think of spring. I love the colors in the second and third tops – they are so bright and almost tropical – and for a subtler hint of floral, you can’t go wrong with lace in a strong color. The top next to the lace top is a bird and floral pattern; I cannot resist a cute bird print! The sweatshirt would look super cute with skirts or jeans or thrown over a dress on a cooler night. Lastly, I’m not sure why I like the last top but I just do! Something about the colors.



I love a good flouncy skirt. How cute is that little green skirt with the bow? It would look really cute with that bird print shirt above, tucked in, with a cute pair of black heels. I also love the galaxy print on the skirt next to it, very fun and colorful without being overly girly. Anchors are timeless, and you could mix prints nicely by pairing it with a blue and white striped boatneck tee – add in some red accessories if you want to go full tilt, or scale it back with neutrals. That yellow flouncy skirt is so bright it almost hurts to look at it doesn’t it? What a great bright almost neutral color – you could pair it with nearly anything so long as it lets that yellow stand out. I’m always in the market for an easy long skirt – they make me look long and lean, which is a feat considering I’m 5’2″ with hips. And finally, you will never fail with a cute denim skirt.



Can’t or don’t want to overhaul your whole wardrobe this year? Accessories are the easiest and cheapest way to update your look. A new pair of cat-eye sunglasses, or a fun floral hair clip, or delicate jewelry can make last year’s jeans and tees and skirts feel new and fresh. I love those neutral sandals, they look dressier than flip flops but are just as easy. The fisherman’s cap looks really classic; I’m picturing it with ripped jeans and a soft white t-shirt, and brown booties. And the easiest way, hands down, to update your look is a new lippie or blush or hair color! The purple locks are actually hair extensions – seriously considering those. I keep getting the itch to dye my hair purple, but I don’t want to have to bleach my hair into oblivion. That would be an easy way to do it!


Finally, some of my own pieces. A couple are new, most are things I’ve had! It’s a good idea to assess what you have before you buy more – you may be able to remix your own wardrobe into something that feels new. The strapless blue dress is from Old Navy, and is a good example of the florals I go for – bold colors, bold pattern. The grey striped top is from Gordman’s – I cannot ever resist grey or stripes, and I love the shape of the hem, how it goes down longer at the sides. It’s very easy and breezy but doesn’t overwhelm me. Ripped jeans are from Aeropostale, and I got them on sale last year – I would never pay their full price, and you don’t have to spend $50 on ripped jeans either. If you like the look, find a pair at your thrift shop that fit you well and distress them yourself! The top is from Target’s Merona line, it’s a nice layering piece since it’s kind of see through, and a nice color combo with the light purple and orange. It honestly looks really good with that green skirt, which I wouldn’t have expected! Lastly, the crocheted bright orange shoes I got at Target last year, the saddle shoes I found at TJ Maxx, and the leopard heels at DSW for $10 (I KNOW)!

Here’s to new outfits and new accessories, and I hope it’s just as warm where you are!

Thirsty Thursday – Blackberry Ginger Ale

I’ll have a What I’m Loving post next week. I just finished Hollow City, Ransom Riggs’ sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, late Tuesday night and the story was still too fresh for me to write about! Until then take a look at what I found at my Target today.


Blackberry Ginger Ale. Doesn’t that sound scrumptious? It sounds yummy all on it’s own really, but the first thing I thought of when I saw it was, “I bet that’d be a really great mixer.” And wouldn’t you know I was right? No fancy recipe at all this week – I just put some whiskey in a glass and put the purpley ginger ale on top. It is really very good this way. It would be equally delightful with any manner of liquor, such as rum or vodka. Speaking of vodka I did find a recipe while doing research online that would be very good with this – it’s called a Blood Orange Collins. It specifically calls for Stolichnaya Cranberi vodka but I bet it would work with any vodka really, since you’re getting a berry note from this ginger ale. Somebody try it and report back to me how good it is!

Short post today – I’ll be back tomorrow with spring outfits, and Saturday with another DIY skincare item! Until then, have a lovely day.

Travel Tuesdays – Accessories

You don’t really need cute accessories to travel; all you really need is a way to get there and a heart full of adventure. However if you believe in horoscopes (I almost typed that as horror scopes, haha), since I am a Libra I have to surround myself with pretty things. I don’t put a lot of stock in such things, but I am a total and complete magpie and pretty things make me happy. So here are some super cute things I found that might make your travel easier, or at least more beautiful.


(photo courtesy of

Scratch Off World MapHow very cool is this?! It’s a map that you can hang on your wall, and the countries are covered with that metallic coating you find on scratch off lottery tickets. Every time you visit a new country, you use a coin and scratch off that country on the map, revealing a bright color underneath – so you and others can see where you’ve been and where you still need to go. This makes me want to travel the world just to uncover the whole map. (Seattle Travel Shop, $34)

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(photo screenshot)

The Perfect Travel Jewelry BookConsidering I usually just throw my jewelry into a little Ziploc baggie I think I need this in my life. This little “book” contains pages with spots for earrings and rings, pouches for small items, a mirror, and hooks for bracelets or necklaces. The whole thing zips up all the way around so nothing falls out or is lost, and there’s a protective soft flap so nothing gets scratched. Comes in four pretty colors. (Ross-Simons, $29.95; 30% off through 3/15/15 with code BIGSALE)


(photo courtesy

Minimergency KitThese are super cute. Inside each little pouch for her is a bandaid, dental floss, a mending kit, double-sided tape, a pain reliever, an emery board, tampon, deodorant, stain remover, polish remover, a safety pin, earring backs, lip balm, breath drops, nail polish, and hairspray. Basically anything you could possibly need in any emergency! The pouches come in all different colors and patterns. There’s also a “For Him” version for $2 less that contains a mending kit, deodorant, buttons, safety pin, nail clipper, bandaid, stain remover, hand cleansing towelette, pain reliever, breath drops, dental floss, and shoe shine. Very handy to take on trips – it’s compact and TSA friendly! (Pinch Provisions, $16)


(photo courtesy

4-in-1 Lens for iPhone 6/6 PlusThe camera on the iPhone keeps getting better, and it is so much easier to take that on trips – since I’d have it with me all the time anyway – than to lug around my Nikon and have to worry about damaging it or leaving it somewhere. Plus it’s heavy! This great little product clips on to the phone and gives your phone photos a professional feel; s good as the lens included with your phone is – the bigger a camera lens is, the better photos it takes. There are four lens options – fisheye, wide angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro. (Olloclip, $79.99)

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(photo screenshot)

Gadget CarrierThis product is pure luxe. You absolutely do not need this, but how sleek and beautiful would this look in your travel bag? This leather flip-open case is lined with a soft cotton canvas and has 4 pockets and 1 zippered pouch that can carry your phone, mp3 players, mini tablets, cords and accessories. The whole thing snaps together with brass closures. Somebody buy this for me for my birthday! (Carbon2Cobalt, $99)

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(photo screenshot)

Taste for Adventure FlaskFinally, a lovely little bit of fluff for you. Like the gadget case above, you will have the time of your life on vacation without this – but how adorable is this? Having this flask on me would make me feel like Hemingway on a safari (without the big game hunting, because endangered animals). This stainless steel flask is made by British brand Wild & Wolf, who supports WaterAid – an organization committed to providing clean drinking water to people around the world. (ModCloth, $39.99)

If you’re planning your own adventure and would like a little pretty in your bags, take a look at one of these! Here’s to happy travels.