Wednesday, March 28, 2018

How to Elevate Supermarket Flowers

Everybody loves fresh flowers! They make wonderful gifts and can add a pop of color to any room in your home, or an event you're throwing. However, custom arrangements are pricey and grocery store flowers have a bad reputation for being generic and unremarkable. Something that you may not know is that my grandmother owned a flower shop called Rosebud. My mom used to help in the shop so I asked for her help with today's post. I headed to the grocery store and grabbed a bunch of garden flowers and one bouquet to pull apart and create my own custom arrangement for a fraction of the price.

Before you head to the grocery store to pick out your flowers you will need a couple of things: some kind of vase and a wet foam brick. If you're doing this on a budget, somewhere like TJ Maxx has great deals on cute vases, or you can use one that you already have. A wet foam brick will help you create your arrangement and extend the life of your flowers. You can find these online or at a store like Michaels. This is the exact one I used.

When you're picking out your flowers ignore the way they're arranged and just look at the flowers that are in the bouquet or bunch. There are different ways you can approach this. You can go for a monochrome look and do all flowers in the same color or color family. Another option is to do what I did and mix and match color stories from different bunches or bouquets. Or you also could just do a bunch of fun bright colors. 

Once you're home, you're going to want to take apart the bunches and/or bouquets that you bought. Lay everything out on a table and put all the like flowers and fillers together so you can see what you have. Then, place your foam in your vase or container (you may have to cut it to fit) and saturate it with water. 

Now you're ready to start arranging! As you place the flowers cut them with a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle taking note of the height and how much of the stem you're going to stick into the foam. Also, remove any leaves below the water line on the stem. As a general rule of thumb, the tallest flowers and filler in your arrangement should be at least twice the height of your vase. Use your tall spikey flowers to create the height first placing them in the center back, and lower right and left sides creating a triangle. Next, fill in with your focal points; larger blossoms, roses, or anything you want to receive attention in your arrangement. Next, use smaller flowers or stems of smaller flowers to fill in around these focal points. Then, add filler flowers or greens like baby's breath or ferns, whatever came in your bouquet or bunch. Don't forget to fill in the back of your arrangement where the foam is showing. Here you can use your leftover greens or flowers and stick flowers that don't look the best to cover the foam. As the last step, fill the vase the rest of the way with water and the flower food that came with your bouquets and/or bunches at the grocery store. Make sure whether you are keeping the arrangement for yourself, or gifting it that the water is replenished daily. You want to make sure the stems are covered with water inside the vase. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Light Blue Trench Coat for Spring

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you have seen and heard me talk about these magnetic lashes. I was really curious about magnetic lashes for a long time but I wasn't willing to spend $60 on a pair when I didn't know if I would like them. Then I found out Ardell finally came out with their own version. These were only $13 at Ulta. There's definitely a bit of a learning curve putting them on but once you find your groove they're a great alternative to glue on lashes. I've tested wearing them for up to 10 hours with no issues. I did trim my pair a little bit both so they were shorter and at an angle so they blended in with my natural lashes more. Otherwise, they did look a little aggressive on me, but if you naturally have fuller lashes they may blend fine. I linked the exact pair I'm wearing but there are other variations as well. 

Also, just so you know, the coat and the dress in this post are both on sale right now! They're both true to size and I'm wearing a 4 in the dress just for reference. It also comes in petite sizes and another color combination. I'm wearing a medium in the coat because I always size up for outerwear in case I have layers or a sweater on underneath so I don't feel like a sausage but a small definitely would have fit. This would make a great look for Easter. 

What I'm Wearing: 

Trench Coat: Banana Republic | Dress: Banana Republic | Flats: Sam Edelman | Sunglasses: Old from Loft (Similar) | Magnetic Lashes: Ardell 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring Wishlist

Sunday, March 18, 2018

How I Regained Control of My Skin After Going off the Pill

One of my most frequently asked questions is what products I use in my skincare routine. Not only do my readers ask often, but I've even had random people at parties make me write down everything I put on my face for them. None of these products are sponsored, these are all products I buy and use regularly. And I'm not linking you to a $300 miracle serum; the majority of these products are under $20 and only one is over $50. I've tried everything from high-end products to drugstore products to all natural products and this has been what's worked the best for my skin. I've never had really horrible acne maybe just a small breakout here and there but when I went off the pill it wreaked havoc on my skin and I was constantly breaking out. However, I have finally found a routine that works keeps my skin hydrated, glowing, and breakout free.

I know everybody's skin is different and what works for one person doesn't always work for everyone, which can be really frustrating but I hope someone finds this helpful. Let me know if you use any of these products or if you have any questions down in the comments!

Acure Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream // I use this cleanser morning and night. It's creamy and gentle so it leaves your face feeling clean without stripping it. It foams up nicely without any harsh ingredients, and it's under $10.

Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel // This toner is packed with antioxidants and natural antibacterials. It fights inflammation and redness, balances your skin, and helps moisturize. It also smells great!

Sunday Riley U.F.O. // This is the most expensive product on the list but it's loaded with ingredients that help clear your pores, calm and nourish your skin, and brighten dark spots. I definitely notice a difference when I use this and then stop. 

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion // If you only try one product on my list, this is the one you should try. It's had the biggest impact on my skin. Since I started using this I haven't had a breakout and the overall tone and texture of my skin has improved. I think this product works way better than Good Genes for my skin and it's literally 10x cheaper.

Acure Rosehip Oil // Rosehip is one of my favorite oils to put on my face. It absorbs quickly and doesn't clog your pores. It's also loaded with fatty acids that give your skin that natural glow everyone is trying to achieve with highlighter. I usually use this as a serum in the morning.

CSI Collagen Nourish Anti-Wrinkle Serum // This serum contains peptides that help stimulate your collagen production and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. Oh, and it's under $15. I use it every night.

Acure Seriously Soothing Day Cream // This is a fantastic moisturizer for people with sensitive skin. I usually use it in the morning as my last step before I apply SPF.

Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream // I have combination skin that gets dry and flakey in certain areas, especially in the colder, drier months. This is the only cream that moisturizes my skin thoroughly and keeps that from happening without leaving my skin greasy.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub // I use this a couple of times a week. It's all natural and not overly harsh. My skin always feels extra soft afterward.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay // I mix up a mask with this clay and apple cider vinegar and use it about twice a week. This is super affordable and really helps clear out your pores. Your pores will look a lot smaller and your face will feel so smooth after you use it. It can be a bit drying so if you have drier skin this may not be the best product for you.

Acure Pore Clarifying Red Clay Mask // If your skin is a bit drier this might be the clay mask for you. It helps clear out your pores but it's also really moisturizing. I use this when my pores need a deep clean but my skin is feeling less hydrated than usual.

That's pretty much it! I do use sheet masks but I don't really have any brand loyalty there. In addition to these topical products I take a fish/flax oil combination supplement and do one scoop of collagen powder in a cup of tea every day. Also, I am in the market for a new eye cream so if you have any recommendations let me know!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and time spent with loved ones. I have had a cold for the last few weeks, and it is finally just starting to get better. I think the thing I'm the most excited about this month is new episodes of The X-Files. Anyone else? Also, I am trying to schedule more regular visits to Mass Appeal this year, so if there are any topics you would like to see me cover in a live tv segment as opposed to a written blog post please let me know in the comments, in an email, or on social media because I want to produce content that you all enjoy and find helpful.

Total PSA, because I got a lot of compliments on this dress. First of all, it's a maxi dress on me and it's meant to be a midi but I don't have a problem with that. Second, it came with a bodysuit with a snap crotch underneath it which made the entire dress look cheap, made it harder to go pee in (which is a huge thing for me), and I felt uncomfortable in it so I cut it out and got a full-length slip to put under the tulle. It transformed it into an entirely different dress, and I linked it below for that reason. 

What I'm Wearing: 

Dress: Express | Slip: Amazon | Earrings: Touchstone Crystal c/o

Monday, December 11, 2017

Local Stops: Yankee Candle Village

If you are a fan of Christmas, then visiting the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, MA should absolutely be on your list of things to see in Massachusetts. The Village is one of New England's largest travel attractions with a 90,000 square foot location. On average, people travel 1-2 hours to come and experience the flagship store. There is something for everyone, and it makes a great family trip. Year round, there are 260 different fragrances for you to choose from including a wall of "returning favorites" that you can't find anywhere else. You can visit The General Store where they have lots of treats, gifts, baking mixes, and maple goods. There are thousands of ornaments throughout the store, I mean literally tens of thousands of them. Santa is here year round and there are hands-on activities for kids and a candy shop. There's a man-cave section for the men to enjoy and if you get hungry you can savor gourmet popcorn, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, homemade fudge, and sandwiches from Au Bon Pain. This isn't just a candle store, it's so much more.

Wax Works is a fun hands-on and interactive activity for kids or adults. You can create your own custom jar candle by dispensing colored and scented wax into a jar, however, you want. They put it under a heater for you to melt the top layer and in about 20 minutes, once it's cool, you can come and get it. You can also get creative and make a wax mold of your hand or dip wax critters in colored wax 

Both whimsical and charming, the Bavarian Village is my favorite part of the flagship location experience. I vividly remember visiting the store as a child and this part stands out in my mind the most. This is where the magic of Christmas comes to life. You can experience it snowing indoors and visit Santa all year, see a waterfall, a castle, and a 6' tall nutcracker. No, seriously it snows indoors year-round every four minutes:

There is a 25' rotating Christmas tree under a starry ceiling and model trains going around above your head. Enjoy looking at the suits of armor, nutcrackers, ornaments, and a huge miniature Christmas village. They have a Halloween one too, but it isn't quite as large. You can then enter Santa's toy shop where you will find him a lot of the time and a big countdown until Christmas day.  

A new addition to Yankee Candle Village, you can now personalize any large candle right in the store in under 20 minutes. The process is really simple, you just email your photo to the email address provided in the store and then the employees will walk you through the rest of the process. They pull up the photo and help you crop it to your desire and then you can add 1-2 lines of personalization to each candle. There are also 6-8 photo ops set up throughout the store including a sleigh, thrones in the Bavarian Village, and a tugboat where you can snap a photo to send in if there isn't one on your phone that you want to use. This service is available in all the Yankee Candle stores, although they don't all have the photo ops. You can also personalize a candle on their website here if you aren't near a store. This is so much fun because you can mix and match a scent to a specific memory in a photograph or a pick a color candle that goes with your photo for complete customization. These make such a wonderful gift for any occasion. 

In addition to the personalized candles, you can also customize Christmas ornaments. These are a great way to commemorate special events in your life like a baby's first Christmas or add to your collection each year. 

Yankee Candle Village also has a candle making museum which offers an entertaining and educational demonstration of candle making in a recreated 1830's shop at no charge. Live candlemaking demonstrations happen daily at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. The candles in this section are handmade of pure beeswax which are a great allergen-free alternative to the other candles in the store. There is also a wide selection of German traditional beeswax ornaments in the museum.

In addition to all of the candles, there is also a huge section of the flagship store that includes other items to shop including jewelry, home decor, and beauty products. Here, you get a chance to see how to incorporate Yankee Candles into your interior design and find gifts for just about anyone.

There are always events and seasonal happenings at Yankee Candle Village so make sure you check out their event page before you head there. You should set aside at least two hours to explore the location, most people stay two to four hours. Just a random side-note, the staff are always really friendly and helpful at any Yankee Candle store I've ever been to including this one, and the bathrooms are clean. This location is special any time of year, but there's something extra enchanting about it during the holidays. 

Yankee Candle Village | 25 Greenfield Road | South Deerfield, MA | Website 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Seeing Stars

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I was in Boston for the Annual General Meeting of the International Dark-Sky Association. I volunteer a few hours a day with them and was helping to update their social media accounts during the conference and also moderating a panel for them. You all know that I have a love affair with the night sky, so it's a cause that means a lot to me. Since I love it so much, I take any opportunity I can get to wear stars on my clothes or something space themed. Here are some of the things that are currently on my wishlist:


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