Friday, March 27, 2015

Arizona Trip!

I wanted to share last weekend's shenanigans as B and I went on a trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. I think we spent most of the time in the car so the planning was subpar but we still had a blast! Thursday we headed out I waited for B to finish a work project and we left around 9:00. PM, that is. I was just like we got this, where's the coffee, as I typed the end address into my maps app. It loaded up as we hit the freeway and it estimated the arrival time at 4:00 am. 4?!? Turns out my finger counting earlier that day was 50 shades of wrong since I thought we'd hit the red rocks around 2.

I wanted to drive the first leg and have B drive the second since I tap out around midnight. We both hit a low as B commandeered the vehicle on the desolate Arizona freeways. For some reason I got a second wind around 1 or 2am and I took over, only minutes later to think we had a flat tire. We pulled over to the side of the road and no flat tire, I was just hallucinating. The minutes creeped by faster and the miles slower as we got closer and closer to Sedona. At this point I'd set the AC to 68 degrees as B shivered in a T-shirt with his eyes half closed. 12 miles out and I see some fog ahead and I panicked. I'm like how in the world am I going to navigate a foggy windy road with blurry eyeballs? The journey was nearing the impossible. In that moment, B reached his hand out and said, it's okay, I'm here with you, we got this. It was just the reassurance I needed. I sped up and the Pri Pri gained steam over the mountains at 60 mph. I drove by a speed limit sign, 40 mph, and I didn't think much of it. I hadn't seen another car in 50 miles and we were just 0.3 miles from the hotel! And then, a mysterious looking black car rolled right up behind me. He tailgated me for about 30 seconds before the sirens came on. I thought he might wake the neighbors. Luckily, he was a friendly cop and I laughed to myself for a few minutes as he background checked me from his computer. B was not laughing -_-. He was still shivering and I told him he'd laugh about it tomorrow. Friendly Cop came back and told us our hotel was at the next light and to have a Happy Birthday!

We stumbled to the hotel's front desk and were asked if we were checking out. Maybe no one had ever checked in at 4:30 am before because he was confused. We get the last room available and when we got inside I must have sensed it because the first thing I did was open the drapes to look outside. A construction site! It was so close I could almost touch it. I was like, oh well, tomorrow's (today's) Saturday. B was like uhh, tomorrow's Friday. We got a few hours of sleep and were awoken at 8am by drills and trucks and hammers!

Luckily we napped and I think at a certain point you have to relinquish control and understand things are not going to go perfectly and that's okay. It made the trip funny and memorable and luckily the rest of it was smooth sailing - relaxing vacation time!

Below are my favorite pics.

It's the weekend!! I couldn't be happier about it!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Smashbox Primer Water

Recently, at Sephora:

Me: Oh hi. I’m just looking for a powder foundation. I’m thinking of switching to a new one.

Saleswoman: Okay, I can help you with that. ::staring deeply into my pores:: First, what kind of primer do you use? Do you use primer?

Me: Oh, no, I’ve never used a primer.

Saleswoman: Never?

Me: … oh, no, I don’t think so…

Saleswoman: ::confusion::

Me: Is it super important?

Saleswoman: Think of it like painting a wall in your house. You never, ever, paint without a primer first!

After my primer shaming experience I went on a long internet hunt. I no longer feel like I can buy things without scouring online reviews. Smashbox and Benefit seemed to be the front runners with their classics:

{ Benefit, The Porefessional }

{ Smashbox, Photo Finish }

I think I've also been primer nervous since it seemed like an extra layer to block pores and potentially cause breakouts, which may or may not be true. But for me and my sensitive skin, I found a gem in Smashbox's Primer Water. It can be used pre and post makeup applications! It helps to bind the foundation and keep it looking fresh all day; but probably what I like most about it is it’s setting and reapplication qualities. Especially after powder applications, I can come out looking like George Washington on an extra pasty day. When I get too powdery I just spritz a little primer water and it re-hydrates my skin for a more dewy look! Also, it may be the weather but my skin has been drier than the Mohave and a spray or two really helps. I bet it would be ideal for post airplane rides as well. A little run-down of how I use it:

  • I apply lotion and sunscreen in the AM and then spritz a hefty amount of primer water all over my face and neck. It feels great too a like a mini wake up call. I then brush my teeth and let it dry and go ahead and apply foundation and a little bit of powder. I also put on my eye makeup.
  • After my face is ready, I spray a few more times to diffuse and melt the powder.
  • When I get home from work, I refresh my face with a little powder and you guessed it, more sprays!

MAC has a similar product called Fix+. I've tried it and I like it as well, but I feel like it gets a scotch oily looking on the forehead (eek) so I prefer Smashbox.

Here's to Friday! Have a fun-filled weekend!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valetine's Weekend!

Having Valentine's on a Saturday this year was a fun treat; although B was in Australia so I celebrated with my bff and we saw 50 Shades! I had read pretty bad reviews so I was expecting a stinker but I was entertained through all 2+ hours. I think it also helped that I didn't remember the book at all (dur). V-day eve I went in to the heartland of Stater Bros. expecting to pick up some water and eggs and got a little distracted. With hearts in my eyes, I was all like I'll take one of each pink item, thank you, bye-bye. I probably forgot what I went in there for. In this post from a few years ago I mentioned my newfound appreciation for the holiday.

I bought candies for my gal co-workers, cards for a few peeps, a lil Tootsie Roll bouquet for my bff (4got to take a pic), and flowers and candy for myself and called it a day! ;)

Oh yeah! I also made B a cake - complete with a red heart in the center. What doesn't say "I love you" more than a boxed cake with sprinkles?

Below are some pics:

{ Pixy Stix Valentine's }

{ You so prettay! }

{ cake time }

{ It just felt right }


Monday, February 9, 2015

Think Pink

I'm about to have a moment of silence for the holy pink cupcake that is Rihanna’s Grammy's gown. I can’t get enough of this Giambattista Valli masterpiece. Enjoy!

{ Photo c/o People mag }

Happy Monday?


Saturday, February 7, 2015

How to get CLEAR skin! (step-by-step)

Dealing with acne can be depressing and I've spent a decade finding the right solution for me. The following is exactly what I have done and I hope this helps if you have struggled or you know someone struggling! Below is a photo of my skin today. I'm only wearing a light moisturizer (Dermalogica) and Jane Iredale face powder in Satin. I purposefully did not edit this photo - you can see I have one small blemish on my forehead and cheek, since they do appear occasionally, but for the most part my breakouts are gone! :))

**A quick disclaimer - you can also combat acne with changes in diet (lots of fruits and veggies, less dairy and red meat, apple cider vinegar, vitamin supplements), drinking a lot of water (80 oz. per day), regular exercise and stress remedies like Yoga, meditation or acupuncture. If all else fails – bring in the big guns. 

For my cyst sisters you know cystic acne can rear its ugly head in the form of painful, seemingly never-ending blemishes. This type of acne (rather than white heads and black heads) cannot really be treated topically - which is so frustrating! Ultimately I was able to get on track using birth control pills and any formulation that contains spironolactone can do the trick. A popular option is Yaz. That is step #1 and here is the scary part – my skin got worse before it got better and that is typical for most. Years ago when I cleared my skin the first time I used Yaz in combination with the IPL laser (around 6 sessions) and my skin was reborn in the most incredible way. The IPL laser is known to kill bacteria while also fading dark marks and scarring – bingo! Since I haven’t had the funds to do that this time around, I have been getting microdermabrasion around once a month  -  the results are good with that as well but you will notice a slower change in dark marks and scars and it doesn’t have the same effect on bacteria as the IPL, but it is still a great option for tone and texture. If you have severe scarring (deep pits) I would recommend the Fractional laser. This is more expensive and painful than the IPL but the results are also remarkable. There are many beauty spas that are now using laser technology, but I went to South Coast Urogynecology & Laser Center in Laguna Beach. 

In combination with the pill, lasers or microdermabrasion facials, the topical treatment Clenziderm from Obagi is the way to go. There is a powerful Benzoyl Peroxide in the kit that is great for spot treating. My only concern with the kit is the lack of moisturizer. Even though acne is caused by oil on the skin, the face still needs a light moisturizer because over-drying it can cause more oil production = more acne! So in combination with the Clenziderm, Yonka Creme 15 is a lightweight daily moisturizer formulated for problem skin. I also recommend the Clarisonic facial cleansing system. As long as you are cleaning the brush after use (nightly) with an antibacterial soap - the brush really does the trick to keep the skin texture smooth. I also use a tightening face mask every 3 or 4 days to keep the pores clean. Really important to mention here - I always change face towels every 2 days, and I wash my pillow cases and makeup brushes once a week. Acne is caused by the spread of bacteria and you can limit the spread by washing regularly! If you are doing all of the above and still notice acne breakouts, I would recommend speaking with your doctor for an additional prescription of Spironolactone / Minocycline. Some take either of these drugs in combination with the pill.

To summarize:
1.) birth control pills containing Spironolactone
2.) lasers if you can
3.) facials / microdermabrasion if you can
4.) topical treatment (i.e. Obagi Clenizderm kit)
5.) Clarisonic brush
5.) light moisturizer (i.e. Yonka Creme 15)
6.) face mask (i.e. Voila Ve dead sea mud mask)
7.) washing towels, pillow cases, makeup brushes and anything else that comes in contact with your skin!

And voila – clear skin and less anxiety!!!!

Below are the products I've mentioned and have found great results with! 

{ Obagi Cleniziderm kit - available on Amazon }

{Yonka Creme 15 - available on Amazon }

{ Great mask to use every 3 or 4 days - available on Amazon }

{ I highly recommend the Clarisonic - there is also an acne specific brush head! Available here. }

I hope this helps!! Feel free to message me with questions -


Friday, January 16, 2015

Home Goods Haul

Happy Friday!!

Today I’m sharing photos from my recent TJ Maxx Home Goods haul! (I guess that's what happens when B goes on a work trip and my credit card rolls over.) Shopping at Home Goods can take some digging since it’s like the Forever 21 of housewares and decorative items but sometimes you can uncover treasures! Lately I’ve been inspired to help our house get to a more comfortable and cute state. It’s about time considering we’ve been living in the same house for almost four years, but I somehow always think of it as our new house. Probably because most spaces are minimal (barren). I think that’s part of our aesthetic though, more of a minimalistic/modern/lack of color kind of home. Some people probably find that style to be cold but it’s my fave :P.

I would link my items but I don’t think that’s how Home Goods rolls. Each store is pretty unique too in terms of stock, but that’s what makes it fun. Also, I went photo crazy so the last three items are not from Home Goods :D

{ plastic container for makeup! }

{ Vase - iridescent in real life }

{ mini globe }

{ this guy didn't have a matching pair but I'm gonna need to keep my eyes out }

{ I am obsessed with this lamp and it was kind of the inspiration behind it all }

{ faux sheepskin ruggy rug }

{ these tulips have my heart }

{ My mom gave me this terrarium, so pretty, from the Mission Viejo mall }

{ a little Canadian treat from B }

Happy Weekend !!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Boots ! etc.

I love a good bargain and I've been on the hunt for over-the-knee boots. I felt like most of the ones I've seen are black suede and maybe I’m just partial to shiny black leather but the suede wasn't doing it for me. One day I’ll venture into the world of brown but for now it’s black all day every day! I struggled to find a pair that I liked besides my fave Stuart Weitzman boots ($635.. ::rolls eyes::). AND THEN I found the Franco Sarto boots on Nordi’s Rack. They are on sale at $59!!!!! Normally $179, talk about an insane steal. How could I not buy them and they hug my calves in all the right places. I’m obsessed and I almost went to bed with them on like when I was five. I hope to do an ootd post with them soon but for now, check out the similarities:

(Stuart Weitzman 50/50 boot, as seen here)

(Franco Sarto Motor Boot, as seen here)

PS - Quick note on Christmas, I hope yours was great! I've eaten enough for three people and I'm not pregnant with twins but really quick I wanted to share B's gift to me. We always pick out each other's gifts, which we decided was super unromantic, so this year he surprised me and the man did good. I've been wanting a wallet for a little while and he found the perfect one at Burberry. Keeping with the black theme of the day, check it out:

(Here is the link)


Happy New Year!