Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beauty Rituals

The more I read bloggers' posts on their beauty rituals and favorite products, the more I think about what I do (and don't do) on the reg. For instance:

*I don't have a face wash I swear by. I'm currently using a combination of Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash and Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser, but frankly. . . I'm not that picky.

*I don't use the same shampoo all the time. In fact, I used to care a lot and would only buy fancy stuff like Bumble & Bumble or Redken. But in the past couple years I've accepted that I can't afford fancy everything, so now I mostly use TreSemme or the organic stuff from Whole Foods.

*I do care very much about foundation! I hate the idea of thick, runny drugstore foundation (omg remember the way Cover Girl foundation smelled in the 90's? Does it still smell that way? The horror!). I use a tinted moisturizer + mineral powder and that is generally it for foundation.

This is my fave: sephora.com

*Eyeshadow is the most important part of my makeup routine. I mix it up a little, but tend to stay with browns and purples (I have green eyes). I love my Naked 2 Palette that my sister and brother-in-law got me for my birthday, and I use Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk (it's purple, I promise!) almost every day as well. I really want some more of them (Audacious Asphalt, Bad to the Bronze, Tough as Taupe, and Bold Gold are in my wheelhouse). Also: e.l.f. has really great, cheap mineral eyeshadow! I have three purple shades & they're solid. 

*I've been using Crest Whitestrips (thanks to Influenster) and am really impressed with the results. My teeth are sorta high risk because I drink coffee every day & plenty of red wine. ;) I haven't used them every single night, but I've been pretty regular with them, and I can definitely see a change in my teeth: they really are visibly whiter. 


The only trouble I have is that they leave my teeth feeling quite sore. I asked the darling Brianna about this (since she is a dental hygienist), and she recommended taking an Advil right before applying the strips and/or the next day when they're hurting. That's definitely brought me some relief. In-office whitening treatments are SO EXPENSIVE that they're totally out of the question for me. Since these Crest Whitestrips really do work, I'll be using them again for sure . . . just buying a bottle of ibuprofen along with them. ;)

Tell me about your beauty routines! What are your do's and don'ts?

*p.s. You really should join Influenster if you haven't already. So fun to test products for review!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Update: Lazybones

Really, only one significant thing happened this weekend: we got our Christmas tree! Unfailingly one of my favorite days of the year.


The living room is kind of a mess, but isn't the tree lovely? Other than trekking out to get the tree on Friday, we didn't do a whole hell of a lot. December is the month where I basically don't want to do anything other than sit on my couch staring at the tree and watching Christmas movies (so far Matt and I have watched The Christmas Puppy and The Christmas Bunny--I kid you not). Unfortunately, work beckons . . . but this evening, you know where to find me.

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#SportsFreak365

It's funny that I'm loyal to the New Orleans Saints and not the Atlanta Falcons. When I really think about it, I think it's probably because college football is so big in the South . . . and my college (Tulane University) was all kinds of awesome, but they don't exactly have a world-class football team. ;)  Therefore, the Saints are sort of the bridge between college and football for me, since I went to school in New Orleans.

One can find many a fleur de lis around my house. :) The Saints mean more to me than football; my love for the team is deeply connected to my love for the city and all it has overcome.

Thanks to the Clever Girls Collective, I received an NFL #SportsFreak365 custom calendar featuring my favorite NOLA boys!


You can create your own calendar here. There are over 3000 players to choose from, and you can select which pictures go with which months (you can even choose which month you want to start your calendar with!). What's even cooler is that you can enter custom text & pictures to mark birthdays/anniversaries/etc. on your calendar! And if you order now, they're 35% off (regularly $24.95). 

Showing off your team spirit has never been easier! Whatever team you root for and whatever sport they play, find the gear you need at SportsFreak365.com. Just in time for the holidays, you can get 30% off  any purchase using the code “Clever30.” And while you’re there, be sure to enter to win $500 toward team gear in Ditka’s SportsFreak of the Week Contest!

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What happens in Vegas . . .

You know your job is pretty awesome when it sends you to Vegas for an English teachers' conference. And you get to stay at the Cosmopolitan and hang out with your buddy Lindsey and attend a workshop entitled Literacy on Lockdown about teaching writing in correctional facilities. The conference was really great--TONS of books, lots of information, lots of chatting about our incredible Voice of Witness titles . . . but I'm pretty sure y'all are not nearly as interested in the National Council of Teachers of English as you are in my time with everyone's favorite Bargain Blonde.

Lindsey and I had an amazing time together, but we only took ONE PICTURE. Well, she took one picture of me on Thursday night but suffice to say it is inappropriate for the internet. In any case, here's all I got:


We had our typical wild Vegas night on Thursday, which was a blast. But let me tell you that the City of Sin is freakin' EXPENSIVE! I paid $4.25 for a plain coffee in the mornings and we couldn't even afford a bottle of wine at dinner Thursday night, because there was only ONE BOTTLE under $100. Ridic. So we did what any smart girls would do . . . we headed to the hole-in-the-wall pizza joint where they serve huge glasses of $6 box wine. Ha.

After the boxed wine, before the real shenanigans

On Friday night, we went with one of Lindsey's new friends to La Cave (inside The Wynn). We had all kinds of delicious food, most notably S'MORES FLATBREAD:

it tasted even better than it looks

And the food adventures didn't stop there. On Saturday night, we went to the Cosmopolitan's famed buffet, the Wicked Spoon, and oh my Lord was it good. I mean I felt like I wanted to die afterwards, but ultimately, it was worth it. The mashed potatoes . . . the nutella gelato . . . the mac and cheese bar.

So I guess I pretty much just described my Weekend in Food with Lindsey. Which is fitting, since we pretty much discuss food 24/7, ha. Even better than the food we ate & the drinks we drank, though, was all the laughing and talking that's been building up for months. She's pretty much the best: beautiful and funny and friendly and smart. But you already knew that. ;)

As if that weren't enough awesomeness for one weekend . . . this happened:


I saw on Instagram that Meghan was in Vegas . . . the very same weekend I was! We've been chatting via our blogs (and email, and twitter) for a couple years now, so we knew we had to meet up! Meghan came to the Cosmopolitan and we met at one of the many fancy bars there for some Joel Gott Cabernet (so funny to go to Las Vegas and drink wine that originates 45 minutes from where I live). We only had an hour together, but rest assured that I could have easily hung out with her for five more! She's even more darling in person than she is on her adorable blog. Meghan, I'm so excited that we got to hang out! Here's hoping that next time, it's for longer. :)

I think I've written enough for one dang blog post, but I'll be back in a day or two to tell you about these cool performance artists Lindsey & I experienced. Happy almost-Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Tuesday Miscellany

Apparently I've been too busy for blogging these days! Trying to snap back into shape in the form of a general life update + some randoms:

This past weekend was so pretty in San Francisco. It's finally starting to get chilly (yay!) and a trip downtown on Friday night proved that my favorite time of year has arrived!

The tree in Union Square

Even better than the big tree? The ice skating rink is open!! I can't wait to get tickets and make a date to skate around Union Square while listening to Christmas music and gazing at the enormous tree. It's one of my favorite things to do all year. While we didn't ice skate on Friday night, Matt and I did have a sushi date downtown, followed by dessert at Burger Bar. Feast your eyes on this:


That is a sugar donut (halved), passion fruit gelee, a nutella "burger," cheesecake mousse, kiwi, and strawberry. Holy mother, it was amazing. Terrified to calculate how many calories I consumed with that bad boy, but it was unequivocally worth it!

I did have to exercise a lot this weekend to make up for the Dessert Incident of Friday Night. I went for a neighborhood run on Saturday, and then put in 5.5 hilly miles (alternating running & walking) on Sunday. I still may not have burned off those Burger Bar calories . . . haha.

And then something marvelous happened on Sunday:

nola.com

The Saints beat their rivals--the previously undefeated Falcons--on Sunday! I was biting my nails on the edge of my seat, but my boys brought home a sweet, sweet victory in the end. The Saints/Falcons games are especially meaningful to me since I'm from Atlanta, but went to college in New Orleans and am a Saints fan. You can imagine the shit-talkin' that goes down on my facebook timeline. ;) I didn't gloat, though . . . it was an incredibly well-played game on both sides, and the score is always close between these two teams. In any case, WHO DAT!

Yesterday it was back to the grind, with meetings and classroom visits and such. But I'm lucky to have a job that I think is fun. I know that's pretty rare. And speaking of my job, I'm off to Vegas on Thursday for the National Council of Teachers of English conference . . . needless to say, I cannot wait to see this girl

In other news, have you seen this blog post? I cannot stop reading. 

Also, this is my current favorite thing:


But don't ask me where I got it.

Okay, time to get back to work. Looking forward to catching up on your blogs--I've missed everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Go America!


Pretty psyched for America right about now.


But Mr. Obama, since California voted to retain its killing machine, I'm going to need you to repeal the death penalty in the U.S.  Can you work that out for me?

In other news, someone wrote "Thanks for ruining our country" on my celebratory facebook status and then promptly defriended me.  ha!  Are you guys experiencing this kind of social media vitriol?

I'm sad that so many people have the misguided idea that Obama hikes up taxes in order to "give" money to poor/lazy people so that they don't have to work. I've known many hard-working folks who've needed help at some point or another. Why is it so difficult for some people to empathize? Entitlement programs are such a small percentage of the national budget, yet people seem to hyper-focus on them, while not even mentioning the multi-billion dollar foreign wars (um, your tax dollars are paying for this too, and a lot more of them than are paying for food stamps!) or the prison industrial complex that costs us billions and doesn't make us safer. 


That guy probably did me a favor by defriending me anyway.  I'm too busy celebrating Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren and marriage equality and Prop 36 and a Senate majority and all that to bother with his bitterness.

Happy day after election day, USA!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Faves

Happy Friday, everyone!  We're gearing up for a visit from Matt's dad this weekend (he lives in New Jersey and is coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy--he still doesn't have any power!), so I'm in cleaning/organizing mode.  Gotta at least dupe guests with the idea that our house is normally in perfect order! ;)

Here are some of my favorite things this week.  Behold:

FAVORITE RECIPE:

I made these lasagna cupcakes on Halloween, and they are divine!  They took a little assembly time, but when all's said and done, the whole thing took maybe an hour (including cooking time).  I made two trays of them and froze one--how domestic, right?  Try them--they're soooo delish.

FAVORITE TV SHOW:


Loving this show so much.  It's so good to have at least one of the Friday Night Lights folks back in my life, though it's weird to see her without Eric Taylor by her side.  Nashville has quickly become one of my favorites--have you been watching?

FAVORITE VIDEO:

I have watched this video approximately 84 times and will continue to do so.  This 4 year old girl started crying while listening to NPR in the car with her mama, and when asked what was wrong, she expressed that she was "tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney."  HILARIOUS!

What are you loving this week?  Link up with Lindsey here!