Play! by Sephora Subscription Box

by Lisa on Monday: Nov 23, 2015

A few months ago, Sephora came out with their first subscription box service, released only in a limited market. They started sending me promotional emails about it because apparently Boston was one of those very few markets! I resisted for a while because I’m already subscribed to several beauty boxes, and I didn’t think I needed another. But at the $10 price point, I just couldn’t say no to Sephora.

Sephora Play Box

Side note: This is NOT a sponsored post in any way. I subscribed to this box because I thought it looked fun and paid for it with my own money. Sephora does not know I exist!

The November box was the third I’d received, and overall I have to say I’m very impressed with the products they provide for just $10.

Here’s what I got:

  • Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
  • Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Dolly
  • Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
  • Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in blue
  • Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb
  • Stella McCartney Stella perfume sample

Sephora Play products 1

Sephora Play products 2

See? It’s so much stuff!

The Buxom Lip Cream is a pretty color, though I’m not sure I’m a fan of the “plumping” effect. You can definitely feel it working while it’s on your lips, which is somewhat of a unpleasant sensation.

The eye pencil is a pretty blue that swatches really nicely in a smooth formula. The lip pigment pencil is a nice, pretty color that looks good on my somewhat pale skin tone.

I haven’t tried the argan oil yet, but according to the booklet, this can be used in any number of ways. I’m looking forward to experimenting!

Sephora Play Booklet

The perfume sample is on the small side, but doesn’t smell too overpowering. I like more subtle smells, so we’ll see how this holds up when I wear it to work this week.

The last product is the primer, and well – you can never have too many makeup primers! Always a good product and one that will last a while.

Sephora Play Description

If you’re looking to invest in a subscription box (and I use the term “invest” loosely, since this is only $10!) and it’s available in your market, I’d highly recommend the Sephora box. They also include a Sephora Play! card in every box that you can cash in for beauty insider points. It gives you access to online makeup tutorials as well.


Do you subscribe to any beauty subscription boxes?

What’s your favorite?

Saturday Catch Up

by Lisa on Saturday: Nov 21, 2015

Happy Saturday, everyone! I missed out on Thinking Out Loud Thursday this week, so I thought I would do a Saturday Catch Up to make up for it!

  • This week, I got hit by the stomach bug that’s been making the rounds through my office, and as you might expect, it was miserable. All day Thursday was spent out of commission (hence missing Thinking Out Loud). I’m feeling better now, but still not completely back to normal.
  • While I was sick, I decided to quickly whip up a big bactch of veggie soup, which is a recipe I modified from my grandmother’s chicken soup that my mother made all the time when I was growing up. I might post a recipe at some point.
  • Speaking of veggies, did you check out my first post in my “How to be a Vegetarian at…” series? This one was about Disney World. Check it out! The next installment will be about Thanksgiving.
  • Can you believe Thanksgiving’s only a few days away? How did the year go by so fast? For Thanksgiving we always go to my aunt’s house and have a big family gathering. Then, either Friday or Saturday of that weekend, we go to my parents’ house and put up their Christmas tree. It’s been our tradition for years.
  • I have a confession: I’ve already started listening to Christmas carols. I find that they make the sudden cold and dark conditions a little more happy.
  • D is out for the day today with a friend, and I have the place to myself. I think I’m going to catch up on some things with the blog and tackle some housework that’s been neglected while I’ve been sick. Sounds like a nice, relaxing day!
  • D’s birthday is also coming up at the beginning of December, so it’s been gift central at the house lately, shopping for both that and Christmas. I think I might have all of his birthday gifts purchased at this point. All that’s left is to wrap them and get a card, and then we move onto Christmas. I used to find it challenging that his birthday was so close to Christmas, but after 6 Decembers together, I’ve gotten into a rhythm with it.


What are you up to this weekend?

Anyone else have loved ones with birthdays in December?

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

How to Be a Vegetarian at Disney World

by Lisa on Tuesday: Nov 17, 2015

It’s no secret that eating while traveling can be difficult when you’re a vegetarian. Will there be food there for me to eat? Will I have to eat plain white rice while everyone else is having a ten course meal?

Mickey Waffle at Disney

Luckily, Disney World is one travel destination that makes it easy to eat vegetarian without much effort.

Avocado Maki at Disney

One of the first times D and I planned a trip to Disney World, we used a travel agent who helped us explore some new restaurants we otherwise wouldn’t have known about. When I informed her that I was a vegetarian and asked if specific locations would have options for me, she provided me with tons of information about the places that offer vegetarian options. She also let me know a very important fact: At Disney World, even if there’s nothing veggie on the menu, nearly every restaurant has a vegetarian option waiting in the wings if you just ask (side note: the same goes for other dietary concerns and allergies).

Mama Melrose - penne vodka

Let Your Server Know You’re a Vegetarian

During that trip in 2012, we booked a restaurant at her recommendation called ‘Ohana. This restaurant specializes in Hawaiian style foods that are brought around by the servers on giant meat skewers which they slice off for each person who wants that particular meat. In other words it is an almost exclusively meat-centric menu. When I informed them at the start that I was a vegetarian, I was given a special multi-course meal that was all vegetarian. It began with hummus and pita chips followed by tons of veggies, rice and tofu among other side dishes. It was so much food, I couldn’t come close to finishing it all – and that says a lot for me!

I have also been offered vegetarian entrees at several other restaurants on property when there were none listed on the menus. The Mexican restaurants especially come to mind, as they always have a veggie quesadilla, burrito or fajita dish to offer you.

Be Prepared to Eat Veggie Burgers

Of course, it’s not always that easy. For one thing, I’m not a huge fan of veggie burgers. I find them kind of boring and only eat them when they’re the only option. An unhappy trend that I’ve noticed at Disney lately is that they’ve been replacing several of their very tasty roasted veggie sandwiches at quick service locations with plain old veggie burgers. Not my favorite! But at least there’s still an option if you’re hungry.

Do Your Research

While I have definitely walked into many Disney restaurants without knowing what was on the menu without consequence because of the accommodating nature of their staff, it does help to come prepared with a list of restaurants you want to try. Disney provides the menus for all restaurants on their website. It’s a good idea to have a look whether you’re a vegetarian or not to make sure you’re getting to try everything you want!

The Festivals Can Be Challenging

When Disney does their Food and Wine Festival and Flower and Garden festival, they open up numerous booths around World Showcase which serve food and beverages from any number of different countries around the world. This is a fun event for everyone and brings in all kinds of unique foods. But I have to say, the vegetarian options are pretty limited. The menus do a good job of indicating which items are veggie friendly, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that most of them are dessert options. If you’re looking for savory foods, you’ll be looking for a while. Luckily, there are still the normal Epcot restaurants all around if you strike out at every festival booth.

Some Delicious Veggie Meals I’ve Eaten in the Past

As a vegetarian, I have still been able to eat many delicious, mouth-watering foods in Disney World. Here are a few!

White Lasagna:

White Lasagna at Disney

Mushroom Ravioli:

Mushroom Ravioli at Disney

Caprese Salad:

Mama Melrose - appetizer

Pistachio Creme Brulee:

Creme Brulee at Disney

Vegetable Cottage Pie:

Rose and Crown - Vegetable Cottage Pie

Pasta Primavera:

Tony's Town Square - Pasta Primavera

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Disney is really very accommodating to all kinds of diets, and in fact at most restaurants, they will begin by asking if you have any dietary concerns or allergies. Take advantage of this if you are a vegetarian and you won’t be disappointed.


Tell me about a delicious meal you’ve had while traveling!

So I Went Wedding Dress Shopping

by Lisa on Sunday: Nov 15, 2015

Before I begin today’s post, I want to acknowledge the events in Paris on Friday night. I started hearing about what was happening before I left work that night, and then followed along on social media and the news for a few hours afterward. Thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by these horrible events.


Last Saturday was a big day in the wedding planning journey because… I went wedding dress shopping!

To be honest, I was sort of dreading this day because I didn’t think it was going to go well, and I was anticipating a lot of frustration. This is mostly because I’ve never had much luck finding clothes I like of any kind in the past, combined with not having my bridesmaids local to go shopping with me, and topped off by the fact that I’m not nearly at the weight I want to be for trying on dresses.

However, I psyched myself up and reminded myself that this is one of those events that comes along once in a lifetime and is something that I should be having fun with. I was as prepared as I could possibly be going into the day. I had spent the week prior scouring the dress websites and making documents of the dresses I liked so that I could print them and take them with me. I had also been browsing through Brides magazine for a few months (thanks to a gift I had received last Christmas of a subscription).

Brides Magazine

I had a lot of trouble finding dresses I liked in the magazines. The style I was anticipating going for was a ballgown with sparkle – but no lace, flowers, feathers or tulle. I like the “clean lines” look and the smoother fabrics. The pictures I printed out represented this.

I had made two appointments for the day and my parents were accompanying me, though my mother was the only one who came into the shops. The first shop was the “fancier” of the two and had a ton of dresses and designers available. When I got there, we were assigned a sales associate who would be helping me and she showed me around to the designers that fell within my budget. Right off the bat, I found it difficult to find anything that fit my style profile that I mentioned above, but I did spot a few ballgowns that had at least a little bit of sparkle going on. When I tried them on though, I realized something else that I needed to add to my “must have” list: straps. The strapless look did not work with my body type at all, and I was constantly pulling up on the dresses, worrying that they were showing too much skin.

After about an hour and a half there and 5 or 6 dresses that I tried on, I decided to call it quits at that shop. They were very nice there, but there was just nothing that was working for me. So, off we went to shop #2.

Of course, during the drive between shops, I was getting down about the fact that this might be a failed mission, and that the day would end without a dress. We got to the second shop about a half hour early for our appointment, and after checking in, they told us to just browse around until our assigned associate was available. This was an interesting development because we weren’t given the chance to browse around on our own at the first shop, and it proved to make all the difference.

Right off the bat, I found 3 dresses that fit exactly what I had discovered I wanted while shopping at the first store. We pulled 5 dresses total and had them ready to go before the sales associate even came over to help. This shop was a completely different experience than the first and almost every dress I tried on was a hit.

The third one I tried on in that store ended up being the one. I can’t share too many details about it because D may read this post, but I’m very excited about it, and to make things even better, the dress came in under budget!

In conclusion, I don’t think I had so much to dread in advance of going shopping. I’m a worrier by nature, and I think that was just my anxious side coming out. Overall I’m very happy with the dress I chose, and I can’t wait to see it again when it eventually comes in, especially because I anticipate having lost more of the weight by then. Purchasing a dress really made the whole “I’m getting married” thing feel much more real than it has thus far.


For those who have been married, what did your dress look like?

Anyone else have a hard time shopping for clothes?

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

by Lisa on Thursday: Nov 12, 2015

Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s time for some Thinking Out Loud.

Thinking Out Loud

1. Today I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4AM for no good reason other than my eyes popped open and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. This happens to me from time to time. After attempting to go back to sleep for a while and then browsing through facebook and twitter, I decided to just call it quits and get out of bed.

2. Which brings me to now! I just made myself a healthy breakfast of 2 scrambled eggs with some hot sauce, and now I’m trying to be productive before work begins.

3. Speaking of hot sauce, it was only in recent times that I began to like Tabasco sauce. Before that, I was (and still am) a die-hard sriracha girl. I put that stuff on everything – mac and cheese, pizza, cheese, popcorn. It’s the absolute best as a dipping sauce on the side for mac and cheese! But when we were in Disney this past year, I decided to throw some Tabasco on my scrambled eggs at brunch, and I’ve been loving it ever since!

4. Last week I mentioned I had been obsessed with watching vlogs. Well, this week I’ve become obsessed with watching planner videos on Youtube! I like to queue up a bunch of the “plan with me” style videos and let them play while I’m at home.

5. I’ve always been a big planner person, ever since I was young. I have a collection of my old planners (and other notebooks) that date back to at least the age of 11, if not younger, so it’s extremely exciting to me that this type of thing is suddenly popular. I’ve been using an Erin Condren Life Planner for the entirety of 2015 and I love it!

6. According to Timehop, here’s what I was doing on this day throughout the years:

  • Going to a Zumba class
  • Playing the video game Catherine
  • Scanning hundreds of pictures for a family holiday gift
  • Going to a Mute Math concert

7. On the agenda for today in the healthy living category, I’m going to make myself a new batch of salads (I have some fresh beets to use – yay!) and drink at least 100 ounces of water. I’ve been neglecting my water intake lately, and I can definitely feel the effects. Time to get back on the bandwagon!


Tell me some of your Thursday thoughts!

If you use Timehop, what were you doing on this day last year?