Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sweater Weather!

The days are starting to get colder and all the leaves on the trees have pretty much fallen off. In Colorado, the weather is odd because one day we will get snow along with cold weather and the next day, it's 80 degrees and all the snow has melted. It's very beautiful on the warm days because it's the essence of a perfect fall day. When it's cold, I like to bundle up and wear my favorite sweaters. I decided to do a post on a few sweaters that I've recently purchased, so for those cold days, I have something cute to wear. Click on the pictures to be directed to the sites I bought them from. Not all sweaters are available, so some may not have links.... Enjoy! :)

This first sweater I recently bought from Rue21 is called the Laced Sleeve Rib Knit Sweater. I am absolutely in LOVE and had to get it because of the details on the sleeves. I am a sucker for bows and ribbons and when I saw this, I had to immediately put it in my basket. The only available color is black and it's a pretty thick sweater. The sides of the arms are laced in ribbon in a cute pattern and meet up at the bottom to form a bow. The bow does hang beyond my hands but in a way, it hugs it and just looks adorable. The sleeves are longer than the actual sweater. I ended up going a size up for this and it ended up fitting me perfectly!The only thing that was a downside is that I ended up wearing this sweater for the first time to Olive Garden with my boyfriend, and my sleeves kept getting dipped in the Chicken Alfredo sauce so I had to pull up my sleeves while I ate.

This gray sweater is also from Rue21, however unfortunately, it's no longer available. I bought it over the summer when it was on sale and I'm glad I did because I absolutely love this sweater. I went a size up on this one as well, just because I love my sweaters to be big on me. The side detail is what drew me in because it has the cross stitching that is really in this year. This sweater is big enough that I consider it a tunic sweater because it does go down fairly low when I wear it. It's super warm and a medium size thickness.

I ended up getting this Ivory Lace Up Grommet Sweater from Rue21 as well. (sorry, they had a sale!!) This is available in the color Ivory or the color Pink. I chose to go with Ivory. This sweater is a thick, chunky sweater. The details on the arms really drew my eye. It has four rings with string going through it. I chose this picture so you can see the detail at the end. I love the detail at the top, also, because it matches the arms but doesn't over-do it. The sleeves look shorter here, but I assure you that they are not. They fit me perfectly. This sweater was very warm to swear at the office. I had a jacket over it, since it was snowing that day, but quickly took it off and wore just this. It kept me warm and stylish throughout the whole day. They also have a dress version of this sweater and I think it may be my next purchase!

This last Rue21 purchase is one that I've talked about in a previous post. I decided to finally purchase it and I love it. It's unfortunately unavailable on the Rue21 website. :( I don't know how I would feel about this whole 'cold shoulder' on sweaters thing, but I guess you can say I'm still getting use to it. I'm someone who's always cold. Wearing this, I'm not gonna lie, it made me cold at the beginning of the day so I had to wear a light sweater over it. As the day went on, I began feeling warmer so I took my sweater off and it was the perfect temperature to wear it. I think when we have those warm days in November, this would be perfect to wear; Maybe around 60 degrees or so. The ruffles across the chest area and below shoulders is my favorite part because it brings detail to the sweater, but not too much that it's overpowering it. The color is a blush pink so it's not drawing too much attention and I love that.

This sweater (SO® Lace-Up Tunic Sweater) is from Kohl's. I purposefully scrunched up the ends to show you the details. This sweater I ended up buying in store because I had Kohl's cash. It's a very light-weight sweater and to be honest, it's very see-though. I bought the sweater in the color 'Blue Crest' and I noticed when I wore a white tank top underneath, that you could see the entire tank top, so I ended up switching it to a black tank top and it was not noticeable at all. It's very cozy but not as thick as other sweaters. Since I was in store, I was able to see the sweater and it's fairly large. I usually wear a size medium so I bought it in medium and I thought it fit perfectly. If you like your sweaters to be tighter, I suggest getting a size down. It is a tunic sweater, so it will be longer than regular sized sweaters, which I prefer because I usually like to wear leggings with my sweaters. The details on the side show that it's a laced. Unlike the gray one, this one is laced on both sides, however, there are no rings, it's laced just with string. I think it's absolutely soft and warm and can't wait to wear it again!

This final one is my most recent purchase. The picture makes the sweater look odd, but trust me, it's super cute. I found it at Marshall's for $16.99!! They only had size small left in this color so I decided to get it. (It was either this or black and I have too many black sweaters as it is! lol) The details on the sleeves is what really drew me to it. it's three little half-pearl-like studs that are sown into the sides of the sleeves. This goes all the way from the top to the bottom of each side. The sweater is fairly thick so I would wear it if it's cold outside. This is not a tunic sweater, so it will be regular sized. I'm a total grandma and love wearing sweaters but I also want to be fancy so this sweater is what represents me. lol. I love that it's purple because I don't have many purple clothes so I decided to step outside my comfort box for this one.

Do you know of any cute sweaters and where we can find the best deals!?!?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Crock-pot Loaded Potato Soup

I recently have been really into crock-pot cooking. I don't know if it's because it's fall or because I live in Colorado, but lately I've been obsessed. I have been making this potato soup recipe and I've decided to share with you all!

4 large potatoes - peeled and diced into small/medium squares
1 small can of cream of chicken soup
1 box (32 oz) of chicken broth
1 block of cream cheese
1 cup of shredded cheese
bits of turkey bacon - I cooked mine and then tore it into little pieces
salt and pepper to taste

1 onion - shredded (I like to shred mine, you can dice or chop it up however you want)
1 carrot - shredded (you can choose to do what you want as well)
1 stalk of celery - shredded (same as above)

You don't have to add in the turkey bacon or the vegetables but I find that it tastes best with all of them. You can add in any additional vegetables to your choosing. 

1. Add in all your ingredients into the crock-pot.
2. Cook on high for about 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Keep an eye on it because I made one batch and it came out like mashed potatoes (LOL!) and another batch where it needed more time to cook.
3. I sometimes top it off with a handful of shredded cheese just cause I love cheese.
4. Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall Essentials!

Hello Fall! This is my second favorite season - next to summer, of course. It's time for leggings, light sweaters, and cute boots. This weather is perfect because it's still a little warm but with a slight, cool breeze and yet not cold enough for snow and slush. It's also somewhat rainy, which I absolutely love. I live in Colorado so we are able to experience all four seasons. Fun fact: I didn't ever really think about how the leaves change until the other day when I took a walk outside and saw the leaves changing at the tips to a brown color. I thought it was really cool. Anyway, as I did for summer, I have decided to do a fall essentials post with the things that I believe are great to have during this cool down season!

Colorado :)

1. Leggings. Duh. These will literally become your bffs if you don't already own leggings. They keep me so warm and they're really stretchy so I don't have to be stiff in jeans all day. The ones I usually get are from Victoria's Secret but it seems like they have started to discontinue them so I haven't bought any new ones recently. I have heard that Target has really great leggings as well, and they are affordable of course. If you're looking for really great ones, LuLuLemon has ones that are wonderful quality but are on the pricey side. I, personally, don't own any but I've heard nothing but fantastic reviews. Wherever you purchase your leggings, it does not matter, as long as you do own a pair. If you don't feel comfortable walking around in public with them on, you can always use them to lounge because it literally feels like you're not wearing anything. They're awesome!!

2. Sweaters. Sweaters are my absolute favorite piece of clothing ever. I don't know why but they're just something that makes me so happy. The types of sweaters that are in now are tunic sweaters, which basically means long ones. I like to pair these with leggings for the perfect comfortable fall day! I personally love this one from Rue21 because it's simple but also has a design and has the 'cold shoulder' look, with the cut out shoulders. They also have this one but I only got drawn to it because it's gray and I'm obsessed with wearing gray. I was also looking around Kohl's and they have some great tunic sweaters as well. This one in particular drew my eye because right now, the sweaters with the lace up on the side is what most people have been wearing so I recommend purchasing at least one because they are adorable!! 

3. Heated Blanket. My heated blanket is probably he best purchase I have ever made and do not regret one bit. I first got one from Big Lots, just to test it out and see how they are. I ended up LOVING it and using it almost every single day. In Colorado, it snows during the fall sometimes so it's nice to be able to get warm even if it's cold outside. That blanket ended up breaking so I ended up buying a new one from Kohl's and I absolutely love it. I only turn it on when I'm about to go to sleep and usually in the middle of the night, I wake up and turn it off, although it does have an automatic setting where it will turn off after 8 hours I believe. The dial has up to 10 settings so you can chose how warm you want your blanket to be. I keep mine high but end up turning it off after a couple hours. It's up to you how you want to use yours. I don't use it every night, just when I think I'm cold and so far, I love it.

4. Halloween Movies!!! You know it's October so you gotta pull out the Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. Those are my absolute favorite movies to watch during this time of the year. No matter how old I get, I still love them. If you're more into the scary side, American Horror Story comes out with a new season every year around October and this seasons has been really great. My favorite season would be season 1, the haunted house. If you're not into bloody and scary, then I don't recommend watching. One other personal favorite of mine, that I love more than any Halloween movie, is Casper Meets Wendy. This one is a few years old but it's my absolute favorite and if I had a list of my favorite movies, this would be #1. Someone actually uploaded the full movie to YouTube, so you can watch it here, or click the picture below! :)

5. Jaclyn Hill Palette. This palette has been my go-to. It literally has every color that you could possibly need. I did a review on it a couple months back and I still am obsessed with it. I think the colors I've been using most is the dark reds and rich browns. I think those colors would be perfect for fall.

6. Fall Decor. My favorite American Holiday is Halloween but I also love the fall time. I love decorating my office at work with fall stuff. My favorite place to get things is at Michaels. They almost always have some sort of sale going on. The website doesn't show much of a sale but if you walk into any of the stores, you will see what I'm talking about. I went to one about 2 weeks ago and almost everything was like 60% off. The other place that has great things is the Dollar Tree. Just for $1 you can get fall and Halloween decor and some of them are actually really cute. I recommend browsing around your local Dollar Tree, you never know what you might find!

Do you have any other great Fall tips?!

Happy fall y'all !!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Contour, contour, contour.

When I was in middle school, the only makeup girls would wear was eyeliner.. and LOTS of it. I had 1 eyeliner and used it on my waterline and that's it. As I grew older, I started experimenting with more and more makeup and now I have about 10 drawers full of makeup along with a counter top, as well. I remember when I first started using makeup, I use to get bronzer and put it all over my face so that way I would have more of a tanned look. I'm about 99.9% sure that every other girl did the same thing. Then, I discovered the beauty of YouTube, where a beauty community was slowly starting to grow. Many years later, I have become in love with makeup and want to learn and use new things every day. One of the things I found important was contouring. Contouring is basically going in depth where the shadows of your face are. If you do it correctly, it can make your face look skinnier and your makeup more professional. Kim Kardashian is well known for her use of contouring. Here is an example of how it would look before and after you contour:

Now, I'm not saying you're gonna look 20lbs lighter, but it does add structure to your face and make your face pop. I mostly use mine right underneath my cheeks so my cheek bones can look sharper. I wanted to share the contour kit that I use because I'm absolutely in LOVE with it.

I have been reading reviews on the KAT VON D Shade + Light Face Contour Palette for months and watched several YouTube videos that I decided that I should just get it. OH MY GOODNESS. I am so glad that I did!!! This is probably the best contour palette that I've ever had. The colors and so beautiful and cool toned. Sometimes I get colors that are warm toned and look orange on me but this one does not have the slightest hint of orange in it. The top three shades are used for highlighting the peaks or highest points of your face. I use the middle one - Lyric - and sometimes I will use the farthest one to the left - Lucid - because my skin is so light. To be honest, I have been really lazy and usually don't use the highlighting parts of this pallet because if I do concealer, I will just use my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. But again, that's once in a blue moon cause I get lazy with concealer. (Maybe I will do a later post on my highlighting routine) As far as the contour/bronzing colors at the bottom, I always start with the lightest one - Sombre - and use a small definer brush to sculpt in the lines in my face and then blend it through. I then go in with the middle color - Shadowplay - and really make the color deepen. I will sometimes even go in with the last color - Subconscious - and make it even darker but that's when I want a heavy makeup look, otherwise it's not used often. I've already hit pan on Sombre and Shadowplay and am close to it on Subconsious. I've had this palette for about 2 years now and I still have enough color left to continue using it. I think it's a wonderful contour palette and I highly recommend it. The palette will last you a long time and the colors can blend so nicely on your face so you don't have to sit there for 10 years blending. A little goes a long way so if you pick up just a little bit, you will have powder on your face immediately. The colors are pretty creamy and very pigmented. I think Kat Von D did a great job with this palette and she actually revamped these so the individual colors can be removed and replaced, instead of buying the entire palette.

I also wanted to mention that lately, these palettes have been spotted at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for only $19.99!!! (Compared to $49) So if you're wanting this and don't want to spend all that money, hit up your local Marshalls or TJ Maxx to see if they have it. Since I've hit pan on 2 colors I decided to browse around and actually found only 1 at TJ Maxx and bought it on the spot. I've heard that other ladies have seen like 10 of them at their stores so don't be discouraged if you don't find it, check every week and maybe you just might!! Keep in mind, these are not the replaceable colors so if you hit pan, unfortunately you won't be able to remove the colors individually. I think it's still worth it though. :)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Makeup Brush Cleaner

So I've recently been a part of a makeup group on facebook that has a bunch of ladies who have the same makeup obsession and give tips and tricks for different makeup techniques and such. I stumbled across a post which showed one gal who posted about using the soap 'ZOTE' for cleaning makeup brushes. Being the type of person who's willing to try out makeup tips, I decided to go and buy it and try it for myself. I made the mistake of looking in the body wash/soap isle and couldn't find it. I later found out it's actually in the detergent isle and only in Walmart. So I lugged back up to Walmart and finally found it. It was hidden on the very top shelf in a corner. It's a fairly large size, almost as big as my hand, so I found a sandwich size plastic bag to put it in, when I would be done. Coming back from my California trip, I had a perfume that cracked and spilled all over my makeup bag so I decided that it was time for my brushes to be cleaned and so nothing gets into my skin that shouldn't be. I bought myself a medium size black towel, a little basket to carry all the brushes, the ZOTE soap, and my pink brush cleaner mitt from Ulta. I actually saw that Walmart also has this mitt but I don't have a link to share because it's not online. Check your local Walmart because you might find the same or similar mitt.

Zote soap for cleaning brushes

I first wet the brush a little bit with regular water. I then went into the Zote soap and swished it around a couple times to pick up the soap and then used the cleaner mitt to thoroughly clean it and then layed it down to dry on the towel. I did this with all the brushes that needed cleaning. (I have around 50 brushes but I didn't clean all of them, just the ones that I used the most and needed to be cleaned.) At first, it was a little difficult because I had to break in the soap but once I got it, the cleaning process was a lot smoother. I can successfully say that the Zote soap cleaned my brushes and beauty blenders very well and they all came out great! Even the little spots on my beauty blenders were gone. I've had some beauty blenders for years and the spots would not budge, no matter how many times I tried, but with the Zote soap, they came off easily and with minimal effort. I recommend this product to anybody who's looking for a good brush cleaner! I left my brushes and beauty blenders to dry overnight on my black medium sized towel and they were in perfect shape the next day. Nothing was shedding or frizzy. The only thing is that the brushes I started at the beginning with were not very clean, but that was my fault because I didn't swish them in the soap as much as I should have. If I had gone back over the first few when I was done, they would have been just as clean. I would still say this soap did a pretty good job.

Do you know of any other good brush cleaners?!

A few of my brushes that needed to be cleaned. (Don't worry - I have a lot more lol)