Friday, April 26, 2013

Weekend express is over & I rewarded myself!

I have completed the Weekend Express class!  Tomorrow will be the first day since Easter that I didn't have to work.  Well, I worked on Easter getting ready for my Express class, but tomorrow is the first day I don't have to actually be anywhere working.  I'm so darn tired I feel like this squirrel I caught chilling on my fence...


I got through with court today at about 1:00.  I spent the afternoon working in the yard.  I have been collecting plants for over a month and I finally got around to planting them. 

The weather was great.  Overcast, but not windy.  Warm enough, but not too warm.  Lola enjoyed some time in the great outdoors as well.

Working in the yard is just one of the 50 things on my to-do list.  Cleaning my house needs to be somewhere high up on that list.  It's a bio hazard at this point.  But I don't know how much I will accomplish tomorrow.  I feel a serious case of lazy's coming on!

Oh, and whenever I teach one of these weekend express classes, I try to reward myself for making it through.  For this class, I got a new Kate Spade wallet.  I love Kate Spade and her cute packaging.
I saw this wallet over a month ago.  I sent my friend Abby a link and said, "We must get this!".  You see, my friend Abby and I have had matching wallets for at least 4 years.  Not the same wallet mind you.  Different ones.  But always matching.  It wasn't really a big plan we had, but at this point, when I change, I advise her so we can just continue the matching!  Anyway, we decided that we hoped it got marked down so we could justify the purchase.
One morning I got an email from kate spade about a sale.  I discovered the wallet was on a great sale and immediately ordered mine.  I then called every number associated with Abby, texted, and emailed too.  I might have said something like "Shopping Alert:  Immediate action required!" 

It's just like the wallet I've had. Except cuter!  I love the kate spade Lacey zip around wallet .  This past week while I was in a drive through, I noticed that my Butter london Primrose Hill Picnic polished nails looked especially cute with my wallet too!
 
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Confessions of a Product Junkie....Hair product trial run edition

In my previous installment of my Confessions of a Product Junkie, I wrote about my hair product crisis.  I reported that I was researching and investigating new products.  Well, I finally received all my Devacurl products.  Today was a great day to try them out because I didn't have to be in court, have a meeting, teach a class, or see anyone important.  In other words, if my hair turned out to be totally craptastic, I could just re-do it tomorrow, no harm-no foul. 

Here's what I was trying out:

In the shower...
 
I tried the DevaCurl Low-poo and One Conditioner.  I also tried out their microfiber towel on my hair instead of a regular terry towel.
 
My thoughts:  I decided to try the Low-Poo instead of the No-Poo "shampoo".  After researching up on the curly hair products and what is best, I learned that most shampoos strip too much of the moisture from hair.  Moisture is the key to a good curly hair-do.  I really thought that was the problem I had been having with my new shampoo and conditioner.  I had tried a couple that I was liking way better than the replacement version of my discontinued models, but I think these really are pretty great.  I was leery of not using a leave in conditioner, but I think they did such a great job, a leave in wasn't even necessary.
 
I also got sucked into trying their microfiber towel (I had a coupon at Sephora and had to spend exactly that amount to get free shipping, so...).  Since I used all the new products at once, it is hard to say if this made a huge difference, but I'm just going to go with a thumbs up, because the combo I used worked pretty great. 
 
 
For styling...
 
Only two products!  T-W-O!!
 
I used the Ultra defining gel on my hair when it was wet, and then I used the Styling Cream on it once it was dry.
 
My thoughts: I was suspicious of going from a six products routine down to two, but I was willing to give it a shot.  I had been using the styling cream for over a week and was loving it.  I first got it in the mail and tried it on day-3 hair.  I was shocked at how well it sprung those curls right back into shape.  I think that the gel did a great job of replacing 4 of the other products I normally use.
 
So here are some pics of the hair today.  Only DevaCurl products were used (except for my trusty Matrix Proforma hairspray which I have been using since 4th grade.  I WILL jump off a bridge if they discontinue this product!). 
 
 
Back
 
Side
 
Same side, just a little different angle
 
other side
(kinda blurry because I was using my left hand to hold the camera!)
 
Overall, I'm pretty dang happy with Deva Curl products.  I think the curls have good definition, and so far they haven't frizzed.  I can't wait to see how day 2 goes, and lord have mercy if I can make it to a day 3 without having to wash, I will call the Vatican and report a miracle!  (I know that sounds gross, but us curly haired people tend to have dry hair, so the longer we can go without washing, the better condition our hair will be). 
 
Of course, now I'm wondering how awesome their fancy blow dryer and diffuser would be?
 
 
Of course, I'm sure I'll just keep wondering because that puppy costs $160!
 
P.S.  I'm sure you know this already, but this isn't a paid DevaCurl endorsement.  I bought all this stuff myself in my quest for the perfect products in light of the recent deaths of my beloved products.  But hey DevaCurl~I'm open to trying out whatever products you want to send me! :-)
 



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Confessions of a Product Junkie...hair product crisis edition

I ran across an article from Allure Magazine (February 2013) the other day.  It was about curly hair.  It spoke to me in a way it wouldn't have even a year ago.  Not because I didn't have curly hair last year, Lord knows I did, but because a year ago, I had my concoction of products perfected and I got nearly perfect hair all the time.  Then something really bad happened.  An almost apocalyptic event...Not one, not two, not three, but six (S-I-X!) of my hair products were discontinued!

Now I know what you are thinking... You use six products on your hair?

If you are passing that judgment on me, you must not have curly hair.  From shampoo to hair spray, I use nine products.  Judge if you must, but it's not just me.  That article from Allure backed me up.  In a line that particularly resonated with me, it said...

"Curly-haired women are like chemists:  We use a dab of this, a dollop of that to create our perfect concoction." 

That describes it perfectly.  Unfortunately, this statement is also true "Curly-haired women spend almost twice as much on products as those with straight hair."  And to that, I will add my own quote about hair products...  Curly hair is why I can never fly without checking a bag.  I couldn't dream of getting all my hair products in a small zip lock baggie! 

Anyway, I've digressed, back to the issue at hand... all my dang products were discontinued!  I've been trying to find substitutes, but as of yet, I haven't gotten there.  My hair does not look the same, or if it does look the same, it doesn't hold up as well for day 2 of wear.  I'm super hopeful that this article has changed my life.  It introduced me to a website called NaturallyCurly.com, which is a website where you can take a quiz and it will tell you what kind of hair you have, and even recommend products for your hair. 

It's fascinating.  There are 3 categories of hair and 3 breakdowns within each category:

Wavy ~ 2
Curly ~ 3
Coily ~ 4

I'm a 3A... "Curly Twirly" 

They even tell you which celebrities have "your" hair.  Fellow 3A's are:

Debra Messing
 
Shakira
 
and Annalynn McCord.
 
 Of course, I couldnt' find a great hair picture of me to save my life, but here are a couple
 
 
 
Naturallycurly turned me on to DivaCurl.  DivaCurl has it's own categories for us curly girls, and there I'm a "Botticelli" curl.  I've ordered some products.  I'm also contemplating other changes they recommend which include sleeping on a silk pillowcase. 

I'll report back soon...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Confession of a Product Junkie...Skin care edition

I am a self proclaimed product junkie.  Not that I buy tons and tons (well, probably more than some people I'm sure), but I am a full believer in products... make-up, hair products, skin care, you name it.  I'm a little suspicious of people who don't use products.  Not as suspicious as I am of people who carry small purses, but it's a close second.

I'm going to write a few posts on products and I'm starting today with Skin Care.  I have tried a zillion types of skin care...  Expensive, Inexpensive, 3 steps, 20 steps, department store, drug store, etc. 

For the past couple of years, I have found myself leaning toward the cheaper products.  I have found that they provide just about the same amount as satisfaction as the more expensive brands.

To remove make-up, I like two products:

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash is a good one.  It's made by Johnson and Johnson.  It's cheap too.  Like around the $6 price point.  It's pretty gentle and I like using it with my Clarisonic.

 
I have been using a different product for a while though.  I've been using CeraVe hydrating cleanser because my skin tends to be dry, especially in the winter.  It's a bit more expensive (around $14), but it's a bigger bottle and lasts longer than the Purpose.
 
I also really like the CeraVe PM Moisturizer.  This costs around $13, but I bet it has lasted me about 9 months.  I use about 5 pumps every night, and rub it all over my face and neck.
 
Finding an eye cream has been the bane of my existence.  Several years ago my body decided that it would reject almost every kind produced. I've recently found one that I like, and thankfully my weird eyes have agree with me.  It's Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.  It is the most interesting eye cream I have ever used.  It goes on thick, then emulsifies into an almost water like feel, then back to a thick moisturizer feel.  Best of all, it really feels like it moisturizes AND my eyes don't swell (as long as I don't put any on my eyelids).  This size is $28.50, but you can buy a bigger jar that's almost double the size for $48.
 
Finally, I finish up my nighlty regimen with a good lip balm, and my favorite is Rosebud's Strawberry lip balm and moisturizer.  It costs about $7 and I've bought it all over, but Sephora always has it. 
 
 
Those are the products I use every single night.
 
 
From time to time, you may need to give your face a good scrub.  I like a good scrub, but let me tell you that a good scrub is hard to find.  How do I define a "good scrub"?  I want it to feel like it is scrubbing my skin off!  As I mentioned, I have dry skin, and my skin tends to flake.  There is nothing I hate more than using a scrub and then seconds later seeing flakes on my face!
 
In the world of face scrubs, there are two kinds:  (1) a manual scrub (granular of some sort) or (2) a chemical scrub.  I've tried both, and a manual scrub is my fav.  Take my word for it that I've tried tons of scrubs.  I have gone to Sephora and Nordstrom and taken sample after sample.  For a while, I was convinced they had my photo posted in the back saying "No more samples for her!". 
 
I still haven't found one that has completely rocked my world (well, I do really enjoy Kate Somerville, but at $85 for 2 ounces, it just isn't happening).  I have settled on one that I think is a close close runner-up, and it is only $30 for 3.4 ounces.  Laura Mercier's Flawless Skin Face Polish.
 
Not necessarily considered skin care, but I'm addressing it anyway, is the importance of cleaning your brushes.  There are a couple of reasons why this is important.  (1) You may have a considerable investment in your brushes, and you should take care of them.  (2) You don't want some weird funk growing in your brushes and transfer that onto your face.... hello, breakouts! 
 
I know I sound all preachy here, but I'm the first to admit I don't do it often enough.  I cleaned my brushes this weekend, but to tell you the truth, I was prompted by my desire to change from winter to spring make-up colors.  I decided to set up a prompt on my cell phone calendar to remind me to clean them more often. 
 
Here are my clean brushes which were drying...
 
They say you can use your face wash or a gentle shampoo to clean your brushes, but neither of those have really been a fav.  The most common brush cleaner is a spray.  I do not like that either.  I love love love, this brush bath by Trish McEvoy.  I just got a new bottle in my stocking at Christmas, but I'm sad to report that I believe Trish has discontinued this fabulous product. (Why Trish?!? Why?!?)
 
Sephora has come out with a brush bath.  My Mom had to get it when we couldn't find Trish anywhere after Christmas.  She has reported that it works really well.  It's $6 for 2 ounces, or $14 for 6.75 ounces
 
 
So those are my recommendations for skin care products.  I'm certainly no expert, but I have tried a bunch of different products.
 
Stay tuned for more of my confessions of a product junkie...
 


Monday, April 8, 2013

The Weekend Express...all aboard!

It's time for the Weekend Express...all aboard!   Yep, I'm teaching another crazy 3 weekend course.  We go for 4 hours on Friday night, 8 hours on Saturday, and 5 hours on Sunday afternoon.  It's called an express class, which makes me think of a train.  Express trains are all well and good, unless your train has mechanical problems, and my train (me) was experiencing a bit of a mechanical issue this past weekend.

It all started on Monday night.  My throat started to burn.  Instantly.  Like the flipping of a switch.  I knew it was Spring rearing her ugly head.  She tries to kill me every April.  On Tuesday morning, I made an appointment at the doctor for later in the day.  I went to the doctor and explained that I felt a real allergy attack coming on and that I wanted preventative medicine because I had to have a voice to teach all weekend.  He said, "Preventative medicine?" and looked at me like I was cookoo for cocoa puffs.  He said "let's check you out".  He proceeded to look up my nose, in my ears and down my throat and said, "I'm not giving you preventative medicine because you actually need medicine."

I got a shot. A z-pack.  A steroid pack.  And nose spray.  I seemed to in fact have an allergy problem.  That was now a throat problem.  A sinus problem.  And an infection in both ears problem.  In short, I apparently have no gauge for whether I am sick!  I knew I had been really tired over Easter weekend, but I thought it was because I had been working hard getting everything ready for the weekend express class to start.

I'm not sure the medicine really helped.  Maybe it has.  Maybe I would have been super sick had I not had it.  But I sure wasn't 100% for my first weekend of express class. 

So I've been AWOL from the blog for a bit because I've been prepping for this 3 week marathon.  I may be sporadically posting over the next 3 weeks because I'm in the eye of this hurricane that is my life from time to time.  It's the kind of time where a potential client cancelled a meeting this afternoon and I did a little happy dance because it meant that I could, for the first time since seeing the doctor last Tuesday and getting diagnosed with the myriad of conditions, finally take a nap!  I do have some ideas for a couple of posts I want to do, so hopefully I will have time to get those done.

Hope you are enjoying spring (and that it's not trying to kill you too)!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm Throwing an Online Party, & You Are Invited!

I hosting an online party.  I think the point was for it to be an e-mail your friends an evite kind of thing, but I checked to make sure it was legal to include blog friends too, and it is!  So consider yourself cordially invited...


This company has great jewelery. I want one of everything!  And if you click on this link HERE, you can get the secret code to get 10% off.  The code will work for 7 days, so take advantage while you can. 

P.S. If you like a design of a necklace, bracelet, etc., be sure to click on the item to look more closely because many of them come in multiple color options!

P.P.S. Somebody please order a bracelet, or ten, and wear them in my honor.  My wrists are huge and bracelets never fit me :-(

 

2009 sweet cheeky designs sweet cheeky designs

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