Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Went (almost) a month without blogging ... Again

Okay guys, May has been crazy! I know I say this every time I go a while without blogging, but this month it's especially true. I found out pretty last minute that I'm going to have to find a new roommate, a new apartment or move home, so I've been stressing and scrambling with trying to figure out what I'm going to do July 1 when my lease runs out, though all signs are pointing toward shacking up with mom and dad for a few months. It's not all bad, though! I'll have more money each month to put toward my students loans or start my 401K!

Not only has my personal life been a tad stressful, but work has been cray cray, too! It was slow for a minute, but that's not the case anymore, and I love it!! The days fly, our team is working so well together and we are working on some awesome projects. Work has been so rewarding lately for so many reasons. One of which is feeling like I'm kicking butt at my job. Few things are better than that.

I've also been away from home every evening since May 15. I've been to Disney, Kansas City and my parents' house since then. Tonight is my first night home and alone in a while, so it's time for a blog post! I know you've all been dying to know what I've been up to since May 2.

The first part of the month was all about trying out a few new restaurants and beers. Matt and I had VIP tickets to STL Microfest a few weekends ago, and it was a blast. Matt was totally in his element, we both got to try a few too many beer samples, and it was a perfect way to enjoy one of the first nice weekends of the year.

We checked out brunch at Gamlin Whiskey house the next morning. It's definitely my new favorite brunch place in St. Louis. The coffee was to die for (is there anything better than restaurant coffee?), and my omelet was fantastic. They also, according to Matt, have great chicken and waffles.

And then, the craziness ensued. Two weeks later we were off to Orlando for my first trip to Disney since 1999! My feet might have hurt worse than after my two half marathons at the end of every day, but it was such a fun trip, and I can't wait to go back. We certainly made the most of our time. We rode all the fun rides (Rockin' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios is by far my favorite), we ate like kings, traveled (and drank) around the world and even had a little bit of pool time.

And two days after we got back to a very cold St. Louis, it was off to Kansas City for a long weekend of baseball games! Matt and I checked out some great new restaurants (Go to Beer Kitchen as soon as you can!), slept great Sunday night, did a little shopping and checked out a new brewery. The reason we went to KC for the weekend was to catch a few Cardinals/ KC Royals games. The I-70 series is a tradition every year and a great excuse for Cardinals fans to make a weekend trip out of a good baseball game or two. We had tickets for the Saturday and Sunday games. We had awesome seats for both games, but unfortunately we only got to see one full game. It was rainy and cloudy all weekend, but the hardest of the hard rain fell Saturday right as the Cardinals were getting ready for the sixth inning. They called the game, so Matt and I spent the rest of our evening in the Westport area of Kansas City. Westport is a few streets full of local bars and restaurants. It was a great night until the torrential rain started all over again (RIP white chucks).

Well, now you're caught completely up on my escapades since my last post. Work is still busy, my summer is filling up fast, and I'm still not totally sure what I'm doing when my lease is up, but summer bucket list item #1 is definitely blog more regularly again!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Summer temps are here!

 Yesterday, on probably the nicest day of 2015 so far, I was in bed all day battling some sort of flu/cold/annoying illness. All I wanted to do this weekend was spend every second outside soaking up the sun and warm weather, but all I could do was daydream about the sunburn I would get and the fun I would have. Of course, any part of a good day dream is figuring out what you would wear, right? I am so excited to bust out my denim shorts and white shirts and fun sandals. Tonight Matt and I are going to a craft beer festival, and I would love to wear this outfit for that — and every other occasion I have coming up this summer.

Friday, May 1, 2015

What's in my makeup bag

I have a confession to make.

Yesterday was the first time I'd ever bought anything from Sephora. But I really don't think it will be the last.

I've always been 100-percent committed to my drugstore cosmetics, and I've always been relatively satisfied with my Almays and Covergirls. But lately I've been really frustrated with my perpetually dry skin. It seemed like every product I tried made me skin flaky and wore off after just a few hours. Finally, like any other girl, I consulted my besties for suggestions on what makeup I should be getting. They all suggested stopping by Sephora, telling one of the employees what I was looking for and just splurging on a really good foundation. As usual, they were right.

I went in, the employee knew exactly what to suggest and my skin looked and felt amazing after we sampled a few foundations. So now, I am the proud owner of Urban Decay's Naked Skin Foundation. While I don't think I'll be splurging on all department store products, I can really tell a difference a good foundation that's right for my skin can make. Urban Decay's foundation is lightweight, offers enough coverage to get rid of imperfections but is light enough that my freckles still show through.

When I'm determined to do something I do it all out, so I clicked around on the Beauty Department (a great resource for everyday makeup ideas as well as special-occasion hair and makeup) and learned how to better utilize the makeup I already have as well as some other key products I was missing.

I stuck to a few products to pick up, and together with my new foundation and my old standbys, I think I have a great new makeup routine that can be toned down for work or kicked up a notch for a night out.

I got a Bobbi Brown eye and lip palette for Christmas, and I'm obsessed! I mix a few of the shades for my everyday eyeshadow and in some darker, more shimmery shades for nighttime. The eyeshadow goes on so evenly and stays put all day.

I got this NYX cream blush yesterday at Target and it has converted me to a full-on cream blush user. It goes on a lot lighter and makes my skin look less flaky and dry. I think it's a great alternative to powder blush for us dry-skinned girls.

When I was testing out foundations yesterday, the Sephora employee suggested using a brush to apply it so it goes on lighter and more evenly. I couldn't part with $32 for a single makeup brush, so I opted for this Sonia Kashuk set for $23. I can definitely tell my foundation is more even and the brow and blush brushes are also much better than what I was using. This set is a great deal if you're looking for a bunch of new brushes.

I also got a sample of this Smashbox primer yesterday. It's done a good job of keeping the foundation in place and keeping flakes at bay. When my sample runs out, I think I'll be looking for a more affordable version, but I would definitely recommend adding primer to your makeup routine if you're struggling with dry skin.

Some of my other favorite products include Almay eyeliner. I've been using this eyeliner for years and I love it. It goes on easily and stays on throughout the day. I've started using Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara recently. It adds amazing volume to my lashes, and the price is perfect. And the most important part of my beauty routine- my moisturizer! I don't leave home without applying a thick coat every morning. Nothing it quite as refreshing as starting the day with smooth, soft skin.

I will always be a makeup bargain hunter because I've always had really good luck with drugstore products. The price is right and I think a lot of them are very high quality. But I definitely learned yesterday that there is value in splurging on a high-end product every once in a while if there's a feature or product you really struggle with. Plus, working with an expert can be helpful if you're a little clueless like I was.

What are the makeup products you can't live without? Any bargains I should try?