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:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Thanksgiving is a pretty big holiday for my family. We always get a huge turkey that is no exaggeration around 50 pounds. My mom cooks dinner and I'm usually in charge of the appetizers, dessert, and choosing the wines.

Pairing wines with your Thanksgiving dinner can be a tricky task. Turkey is poultry, but there are also lots of rich and heavy sides. Before I get into anything too specific it's important to know that there is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to pairing wine with your Thanksgiving dinner. This is really more of a loose guideline for you to help you get started so that you don't get overwhelmed and find yourself in the middle of the store and completely lost. Just keep these things in mind and maybe ask an expert at the liquor store what specific wines they recommend that go along with your taste and the kind of wine you're looking to serve.

First and foremost, it's important that you consider your guests and their taste. You don't want to only have red wine if you know you have a guest who only likes white, or only serve dry wines if you know that you have guests who prefer sweeter wines. Personally, I like to give guests a couple of options rather than choose for them what they want, so I find a good strategy to be to set out one red and one white and then let people choose which they would prefer.

Champagne is always a bright and festive choice for any occasion. There's a certain je ne sais quoi when you pop the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine that makes it the perfect pairing for any celebration. Prosecco or a great sparkling wine from America can be a more budget-friendly option to serve that's still very cheerful and just as tasty. If I was only putting out one wine for guests, this would be what I would serve.

When you think of pairing red wine with food, you typically think of pairing it with red meat and hearty dishes. But, when it comes to finding a red to go with your Thanksgiving dinner you're going to want to pick a lighter red wine. My go-to is a pinot noir. This is the classic choice, and admittedly not very adventurous; but the classics are the classics for a reason. Pinot noir is softer on your palate than other kinds of red wines like cabernet sauvignon; the lighter body pairs well with poultry making it the perfect choice. If you want to be a bit more creative try a slightly chilled Beaujolais or a plummy and peppery zinfandel.

As far as white wine goes, think of pairing something with a little acidity to cut through all the richness of the traditional Thanksgiving feast. I wouldn't go with any white wines that are too sweet, save that for dessert. Mind you, I'm not a fan of sweet wines at all, I find them undrinkable but if you are a fan or have a guest that's a sweet wine drinker, go for it! An oaked chardonnay that has a little more body is a great and time-honored choice. Two other good options are a dry riesling or a light and crisp sauvignon blanc.

Personally, I'm not a huge rosé drinker but I know it's trendy right now and a lot of you are probably into it so I tried to do a little research for you. This can be a good option because rosés have an easier time standing up to all the flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal than a white wine and they're lighter bodied than a red wine. I recommend going with a dry rosé for the same reason I would go with a dry white instead of sweet. A drier selection offers more versatility when it comes to food pairing than a sweeter wine. 

Whatever wine you end up going with, I wish you all a wonderful holiday and I'm sure it will be fantastic! Let me know how your pair wines with your Thanksgiving dinner down in the comments!

Monday, November 6, 2017

A November Afternoon

Happy Monday! November afternoons are one of my favorites, with the warm sun and the chill in the air. I openly hate summer. It's hot, it's uncomfortable, I hate shorts because I hate my legs, I always feel like I need to shower because I'm sweating. I can't ever find a bathing suit that fits and I'm not crazy about the beach. I'm miserable when I'm hot, so I am exceedingly happy when I can finally have on a coat or a sweater in October and November. This weekend was probably the first time I was able to do that this season, so I was thrilled! 

I have had these Kendra Scott earrings on repeat, and I'm not even sorry about it. I love any kind of statement earrings, but I also have a really tough time finding a pair because my ears are super sensitive so most pairs are either insanely expensive or end up giving my ears a crazy rash. I never have an issue with Kendra Scott earrings so I snagged this pair when I first saw them. They give me a very Edie Sedgewick vibe. I don't think I have ever mentioned it on here before, but she's one of those people I am super fascinated by and look to for fashion inspiration. Also, just an FYI the top I'm wearing here is currently on sale for under $35 and the coat is also on sale! 

What I'm Wearing: 

Shirt: Loft (Only a couple sizes left but similar here and here.) | Coat: Eliza J c/o | Pants: Old Navy | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Booties: Nine West (Similar

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