April BoxyChrarm Review

by Lisa on Tuesday: Apr 26, 2016

As usual, I’m always very excited to see BoxyCharm arrive in my mailbox. This month’s contents were very fun, and I can see myself using pretty much everything in the box – a rarity for any subscription! Here’s what I got this month:

BoxyCharm April - Contents

As always, this post is not sponsored.

BoxyCharm April - lotion and mascara

Anderson Lilley Manhattan Beach Hand Cream
The great thing about this hand cream is that it absorbs into the skin very quickly. This means that I will actually use it. If there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves it’s when I use a hand cream and my hands feel greasy for a long while after. The scent was pretty light, and my hands did feel very smooth after using it.

Blinc Cosmetics Black Lash Primer
I’ve received products from Blinc Cosmetics before, and I haven’t been a fan of their mascaras, due to the odd nature of the products – instead of a traditional mascara formula, they form “tubes” around your lashes which have to be taken off in a specific way. I was wary of this product for that reason, but this primer is not the type that forms tubes. Though this is a primer, it could actually be used as a mascara thanks to its black color. Because of the more traditional formula, I will be using this again.

BoxyCharm April - lipstick and lip balm

Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Pasadena
I’m not too big on lip products, but I’ve been trying to incorporate them more into my beauty routine lately. This one was a huge win. The color is nice, it goes on easily, and I love that as a liquid lipstick it dries after you put it on and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything. Also as a bonus, the color goes well with my skin tone, which is rare to find.

Pur-Lisse Lip Comfort with Mango and Shea Butter
I love this lip balm! The smell/taste of mango is amazing and it makes my lips feel soft. It’s a great change-up to my usual plain-old Chapstick routine.

BoxyCharm April - Your Minerals top

BoxyCharm April - Your Minerals bottom

Your Minerals Eye Shadow in Brown Hypnotic
This was the product I was most excited about when I opened the box. It’s very shimmery and complex. I tried it on its own and it was slightly too dark for me, but when paired with a few different eye colors, it works great. I’m happy to have this as an addition to my collection.

I can’t wait to keep using these products and to experiment with some additional looks using the eye shadow. I’m happy to add all of these products to my collection.

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What do you think of the contents of this month’s BoxyCharm?

Thursday Thoughts

by Lisa on Thursday: Apr 21, 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I last participated in Thinking Out Loud Thursday, so we have a lot to catch up on!

Thinking Out Loud

  1. The biggest news is that my bridal shower was this past weekend. It was amazing! Our extended families got to meet for the first tim,e and I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in quite a while. We were very spoiled that day. I will write a more comprehensive recap post soon.
  2. Now that all the invitations are out, it’s been very exciting to come home and check the mail everyday. It’s 2 months to the wedding – crazy!
  3. In other news, for the past few days, I’ve been catching up on the latest season of Girls. I’ve watched the series off and on anytime it appeared for free on demand, but the last season was a bit on the boring side. I’m pleasantly surprised to be enjoying season 5 a lot more.
  4. I especially like that a portion of this season takes place in Japan. I’m noticing that I can understand a lot of Japanese when I’m listening to small talk, which is a good sign. However, when hearing full conversations, I’m pretty lost. D and I are planning to do a lot more studying of the language before our trip.
  5. D and I have also been spending a few nights a week watching the NHL playoffs. Our team, the Bruins, didn’t make it into the playoffs this year, but we’re following a few other teams.
  6. Interestingly, I had absolutely no interest in hockey before I met D, but after watching a season or two with him at the beginning of our relatioship, I actually became interested. Now it’s something we can talk about together and have fun with.
  7. Tuesday night I was up at 4 in the morning not sleeping, and I filled up my shopping cart on Etsy with $45 worth of planner stickers. I decided to back slowly away from my phone and didn’t place the order. I’m proud of myself for not spending!
  8. This week I met up for dinner with my future maid of honor and her new boyfriend. It was great to catch up and we ended up eating at a new restaurant nearby – Wahlburgers
    Wahlburgers - sweet potato tots

  9. They had a portobello burger which was decent, and I also got a side of sweet potato tots, which were delicious. Overall though, the experience didn’t live up to the hype. There were some glitches during the meal with service and my friends didn’t enjoy everything they ordered. Still though, we had fun and it was long overdue for us to have some time to catch up on life.
  10. It’s spring, and today it’s going to be 70 degrees. I’m happy!

I’ll be back later this weekend with this month’s BoxyCharm review. I hope everyone is having a great week!

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Twitter: lisavegetarian
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Vegetarians: do you prefer veggie burgers or portobello burgers?

What TV shows have you been binge watching lately?

April 2016 Planner Update | Erin Condren

by Lisa on Tuesday: Apr 12, 2016

At the end of December, I wrote my first post about my Erin Condren planner and how I was using it at the time. Just a month prior, I had started using planner stickers and I wasn’t sure if I would be sticking with them. Well, the verdict is in and I can’t see myself ever going back to a non-decorated planner!

Erin Condren cover

Since we’re now into the fourth month of the year, I thought I would do an update on how I’ve been using my planner and what I’ve been tracking in it.

Erin Condren - March

I’ve been using my monthly pages to plan out my blog posts. Above is an excerpt from March. I use the Erin Condren stickers from the back of the book and try to color coordinate them with the colors of the month. The great thing is that the stickers are removable so I can easily rearrange my schedule if things change.

Erin Condren Goals Page

Toward the back of the book, there is a section of colorful notes pages where I track my yearly goals. This page is one of many and tracks the ongoing list of house projects I want to tackle, which will be expanded on in the second half of the year. I also have pages for health/fitness, wedding, blog and personal goals.

Erin Condren - Current Week

Over the past few months, I’ve been really figuring out the things I want to track on a daily basis. Each day, I track my hydration using a sticker like in the above picture. I also have a step tracker in the sidebar which I use in conjunction with my Fitbit. I also have recently started doing habit tracking, which is what you see in the upper left.

Erin Condren - Last Week 1

But overall, my weekly pages are overwhelmingly filled with to do lists. I’m such a huge list maker, and I find that I’m most productive and least stressed when everything is written down in front of me.

Erin Condren Inside Cover

Not only is my planner keeping my life on track and helping me reach my goals, but it’s also a big stress reliever. Often, I will find myself sitting in the living room and will just reach for my planner and start decorating weeks in advance just for fun.

Erin Condren May Week

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If you want to get your own Erin Condren planner, you can get $10 off your first purchase if you use my referral link: http://bit.ly/1QDm26r

This post is not sponsored in any way, but the link above is my own referral link.

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Are you a fan of to do lists? If so, what do you use to keep track of them?

Any other planner sticker fans reading?

Play! by Sephora March Review

by Lisa on Saturday: Apr 02, 2016

The “Perfection Collection” is the theme of March’s Play! by Sephora box. I’d say that accurately sums up the types of products included here, as many of them aim to give you a flawless, airbrushed look.

Play by Sephora - March

Here’s a look at what came in this month’s box and my first impressions of each of the products:

Play by Sephora - Murad and Tattoo Eyeliner

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I’ve used many primer-type products over the last few months, and aside from helping my makeup go on smoother, none really did anything additional. This one, however, was a different story. It took my makeup up a notch and gave my face a smooth, glowing texture. It was a noticeable difference!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

I struggled applying this eyeliner a little bit upon a first attempt. It’s possible that I just need more practice with these liquid style liners, but the line was too thin and I had to go over it a lot. Plus it was hard for me to get the line to look straight.

Color IQ empty container

This confused me for a while. At first, I thought they had put an empty container in my box by mistake, and a cursory flip through the info book didn’t tell me what to do with it. It wasn’t until I was reading more thoroughly through the book for this blog post that I found out that this was intentional. They included this cute little empty container with the intention that you are to bring this to your local Sephora for a Color IQ sample, which will be placed inside. I suppose this is one of the more “interactive” elements of their boxes that they’re always talking about.

Play by Sephora - Replica Perfume and Smashbox Primer

Maison Martin Margiela ‘Replica’ Beach Walk

This perfume sample was possibly the biggest surprise of the whole box – I absolutely loved it! It is a rare occasion for me to find a perfume that is not only light enough for me to wear all day (many give me headaches and I also work in an office environment and don’t want my perfume to overwhelm my neighbors), but that also smells so incredible I keep going back for more. I may have to actually look into buying this one in a full size.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

This is the second primer included in the box, but I have to say I liked the Murad much more. I wasn’t a big fan of using an oil as a primer, and I didn’t notice that it made my makeup look any nicer.

Play by Sephora - Blender and Cleanser

Sephora Collection The Perfectionist: Airbrush Sponge

I don’t have a Beauty Blender in my collection, nor have I ever used one, but this seems like it is Sephora’s answer to that product. I tried it to blend my concealer and highlighter today, but it didn’t really do what I wanted. It seemed like it was taking away the concealer instead of blending it, and I’m so used to using my fingers to blend that area that I didn’t like the change of pace. It seems like a good sponge, but I’m not sure I’m a blender person.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

I didn’t really end up liking this cleanser. It had a strange smell to it, and it was a little too creamy for me for a face wash. I don’t feel like it cleaned my face as well as my usual cleanser.

Overall, there were more misses than hits in this box, but the fun for me is still in trying new products and becoming more educated on makeup and beauty every month. Plus, the hits in this box were actually very big hits with me and are products that I may consider buying after I finish the samples.

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Beauty blenders: yay or nay?

Favorite perfume of the moment?

Wedding Thoughts and Updates

by Lisa on Thursday: Mar 31, 2016

Today’s Thinking Out Loud is going to be based on what’s been on my mind non-stop: my upcoming wedding! We’re now slightly less than 3 months out from the big day, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot to think and talk about.

Thinking Out Loud

  1. Two weeks ago, D’s sister and I went to look at bridesmaids dresses. I wasn’t sure what we were going to find, or even what I was hoping for other than the color being purple. However, it didn’t take us long at all to find a beautiful, long purple gown that fit all the requirements of the other girls. It was so much easier than I thought it would be to find something, and since then, all the girls have ordered their dresses!
  2. The day after that, D and I visited a florist that had been recommended to us by our venue. We met at her home, and she was extremely sweet and accommodating to what we did and didn’t want. She didn’t even seem to mind when D prefaced our appointment with the statement: “My fiancee doesn’t like flowers” (which is true – I don’t). Flowers – booked!
  3. Last week, our order of invitations arrived. They came out great! I was nervous during the ordering process that some detail was going to get messed up, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.
  4. Now I have 100 invitations strewn about on my dining room table waiting for me to do all the addressing, stamping, stuffing and sending.
  5. Before I can send them out though, I have to finish putting together our wedding website. I decided to code one from scratch, since I am a web developer and all. It hasn’t been too much work to get something up, but there are a few details left and a lot of pictures to add. Then we’re good to go!
  6. Also this week we met up with our officiant for the second time to go over our choices for the ceremony. She told us we were really on top of things and organized (that’s one of the biggest compliments anyone can give me “you’re so organized!” :)
  7. Next week we’re going back to the cake shop to finalize our cake design. We think we know what we want, and it’s just a matter of printing out some ideas we found online and bringing them with us.
  8. As if that wasn’t enough wedding activity for the past few weeks, this coming weekend we scheduled a dance lesson so we can start working on our first dance. Then on Sunday, I’m going to pick up my wedding dress, which has already come in.
  9. I’m super nervous to try it on, but at least this isn’t going to be a fitting appointment. Apparently they want you to come in to pick it up and pay the balance first, and then schedule a fitting afterward.
  10. And, last but not least, my bridal shower is scheduled for two weeks from this coming Sunday! We have already begun receiving gifts in the mail from people who won’t be able to attend. It’s been unexpected and fun.

Whew! That was a whirlwind. I knew we’d been busy lately, but putting it all down at once makes me realize how much it really has been.

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Tell me one of your random thoughts from the week!

If you’re engaged/married, what was the most fun part of the planning process? The most stressful?