Lifestyle, Beauty, Relationship, and Money Resolutions for ***2-0-1-5***

This year I rang in the New Year in a low key way. I spent NYE and NYD up in New Hampshire in the White Mountains with my husband, Nick. Last year, NYE was a bit of a disaster for me. Pretty sure my hangover lasted 5 days. Ick. This year, I vowed to ring in the New Year in a more controlled & loving fashion ūüôā We spent a couple days eating, napping, and yes, drinking to our hearts content. While I was up in those calm White Mountains, I started my resolution list for 2015. I realize having too many resolutions might just set me up for failure – but hey, I’m going to throw out a few to see what really sticks. Below are my resolutions. 4 categories – lifestyle, beauty, relationship, and money.

What are your resolutions? Do you believe in stating a couple resolutions at the start of the new year?

I’m finding it quite inspiring.

Lifestyle:

  • Get back into the gym and get fit¬†– I seriously love the gym. When I’m there. It’s getting there that’s the issue‚Ķgetting out of bed in the morning, to be exact. I love boxing class and pushing myself and seeing myself improve day by day. I love working out to rap music and getting excited during class when I hear a favorite song. But, this last year or so, I fell off the gym wagon. Hard. I paid for a $150-a-month gym membership and maybe went 3x in the course of the last 5 months. Shameful, I know. But here I am, making a pledge to myself to GET BACK TO IT. I’m ready to feel & be fit again. This is one of my top 2 goals of the year. #fitwithit2015 #bethgetoutofbed2015
A few of my favorite workout things: 1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops 2> IAMMAI sweatshirt, inspiration quotes are readable in the mirror 3> Twistband headbands, the best 4> BKR water bottle. Just enough water comes out with each chug

A few of my favorite workout things:
1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops
2> IAMMAI sweatshirt
3> Twistband headbands, the best
4> BKR water bottle

And now some random Fit-spiration. That’s right, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I mean, this guy, GOT FIT for Don Jon. I have to applaud him for his metamorphosis. #randomfitspiration

from scrawny to brawny.

from scrawny to brawny.


Beauty:

  • Wash my face every night – I state this one knowing it’s a taller order for me (because I’m lazy and sometimes pass out in the fetal position on the couch during the week — that should probably change too). BUT, I want to do it. I’ve seen the positive results of religiously¬†washing my face each night and I’ve seen the results of the counter¬†(sudden break out, uneven skin tone etc.) I am somewhat obsessed with my skin and the sight of a mere line or wrinkle‚Ķand now is the time to better care for it. So, here goes it. Every night‚Ķwash and moisturize. #operationwashyourfaceeverynight2015
2 favorite winter skincare products: 1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk  2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream

2 favorite winter skincare products:
1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk
2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream


Relationship:

  • Send thank you notes – I fancied myself good at this at one point but then I realized I got a bit lazy. This year I want to be better about acknowledging nice gestures/experiences/opportunities with good ole, real paper, thank yous. #showthanks2015
Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper <3

Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper ‚̧

  • Be more patient with my hubby –¬†I’m sure I could be more patient with many people and things‚Ķbut one person who deserves more patience from me is my hubby. He’s a hard working guy‚Ķwho is the ying to my yang in many ways.¬†He’s thoughtful and funny and smart. I tend to jump at him for the little things‚Ķand this year, I want to be more mindful of that. I want to think twice before I¬†snap at¬†him to “stop chewing your beer!” or “stop being so slow!” ¬†(when he’s walking “Nick-style” into a restaurant) or assuming he’s not listening when he’s really just taking a moment to think ūüėČ ¬†Because, he’s my BFF. Plain and simple. #bepatientspreadthelove2015
This guy. That face. <3

This guy. That face. ‚̧


Money:

  • Pay off my credit cards – this is it, it’s the year. The year I say “see ya” to my credit card debt. I’ve been good about managing it and using cash more often than credit. BUT, I’ve been carrying some CC debt from the days when I had little funds to spare (shout out to all those assistant media planners out there, it gets better). I want to pay it off once and for all.¬†#debtfree2015 (except for school loans, car payment, and mortgage hehe)
I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc

I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc. Who’s cuter than Isla Fisher?? Confessions of a Shopaholic – good flick

Girls weekend mini makeovers! Check out the “recipe” here!

While up in Jackson, NH for a girls weekend we spent Saturday afternoon on the couch snacking and chatting. Does it get better than that? Quality time with your girlfriends is a treat that is hard to compete with. No big party or lavish dinner could ever compare to just hanging out uninterrupted with some of your closest friends.

In addition to a lot of catching up there were also mini makeovers Рwhich was super fun for yours truly!  We used the same set of skincare and makeup products for all the ladies (4 ladies in total!). With a couples tweaks, the colors were adjusted for the different complexions. Below is a list and description of what we did. AND some before & after pics

“Everyday makeup” recipe:

Started with a clean face, of course!

1. Moisturizer. A good daytime moisturizer. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost moisturizer. It’s just the right texture – not too heavy/not too light. Paraben free. And serves as a silicone-free makeup base, score! I typically use 2 pumps but depending on the gal, I used more or less judging on their existing hydration level (in other words, if I found dry patches, we used¬†some extra). Lots of gentle patting to blend it in all over the face and neck

2. Eye cream.¬†I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost eye cream on all the ladies. Usually¬†1 pump is enough for both eyes. Dryness under the eyes is not a good canvas and it’s always good to use a designated ‘eye cream’ for that sensitive area. I love the m-61 brand because it’s hydrating without being greasy, paraben free, and the handy pump is travel friendly / hygienic

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

3. Foundation. Now that our canvas was prepped¬†– time for the foundation. Depending on the lady, some hadn’t worn foundation before and some swear by it. This foundation was definitely not a match for everyone’s skin tone which was risky – but I used moisturizer to dilute it – and because we were applying bronzer and blush at the end, I could take some liberties with a slightly paler foundation.¬†I like this new foundation by YSL¬†– it’s their new FusionInk foundation that’s been getting a lot of good reviews. It does have good lasting power (24 hrs – is the claim. I think that’s a bit of a stretch!) – but it gives great coverage – they call it “soft matte” – without being heavy or cakey. It feels super light on the skin. I used a couple drips just to even off any discoloration and start with an “even canvas”

YSL's new Inkfusion foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

YSL’s new FusionInk foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

4. Spot treatmeant with Eye Brightener &¬†Concealer.¬†Since I’ve had dark circles since birth, I’m almost certain I’ve tried everything to mask them. I have many favorites in this dept. But my latest love is the Eye Brightener wand by Bobbi Brown. It has a flesh tone to it so blends really well and can double as an eyeshadow primer. This looked nice on all the girls. Next, we did a little spot treatment with NARS radiant creamy concealer in Vanilla. Side note, I forgot my all time favorite concealer¬†Clea¬†de Peau Beaute¬†concealer¬†which is superb for the under eye area. But this one by Nars is great, does the trick (and much more afforable). Again, was able to get away with a lighter shade because I made up for it with added bronzer. Only a couple of light dots needed under the eyes and on any blemishes – lightly pat with finger tips to blend

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first - wear under concealer

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first – wear under concealer

Nars concealer - great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemi

Nars concealer – great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemishes

5. Eyeshadow. This was the first time I tried this eyeshadow palette and I loved it.¬†Microsmooth eyeshadow palette¬†by Sephora. A great combo of colors – I combined the lighter shades for all over the lid. I used the dark shades towards the outer corner to help open the eye. Also, a nice sweep¬†of the lighter colors on the brow bone. I used this lovely brush by Bobbi Brown called the “eye sweep” brush to apply

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

6. Eyeliner. I only had 1 on hand but this baby did the trick. Bobbi Brown’s long wear eye pencil in Smoke. Because it’s a pencil I was able to vary how dark it went on. In other words, I pressed a bit harder if I was going for a darker line (I did this for Ashley who was a more olive complexion and darker hair). I lined the upper lid and lighter on the bottom – used more of a light dotting motion under the lash line. I always brush my finger tip ever so lightly over the bottom line so it doesn’t look so dramatic…blending it helps make it more natural vs. a stark line

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil - we used 'Smoke'

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil – we used ‘Smoke’ – it goes on nice and smooth

7. Mascara. I brought out 2 different ¬†– I was disappointed to find that my Benefit’s “they’re real” mascara was chunking out a bit (might be because my sample is almost out) so I swapped to a tried & true Diorshow Iconic waterproof mascara. I put multiple coats on each girl. I’m big into mascara…a few coats per eye, it makes a big difference. Once applied, I typically dab lashes with a tissue to get off the excess

Two great mascaras for creating thick lashes - also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits "they're real" and Dior Show Iconic - both in black

Two great mascaras¬†grfor creating thick lashes – also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits “they’re real” and Dior Show Iconic – both in black

8. Brow pencil. If anyone needed some brow fixing, I used this pencil liner by Chanel called the sculpting eyebrow pencil in blond clair¬†which has a natural look. In other words, no harsh lines that scream ‘hey, I drew this on.’ I used it to buff in any bald or scarce brow areas. I’ve been hesitant with this step on myself in the past but have found if I do it right and use this pencil, it has a natural look and helps fill in my thin brows

Chanel eyebrow pencil - create for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture

Chanel eyebrow pencil – great for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture. Handy brush at end of stick to tame any wild brow hairs and blend in the color

9. Bronzer. I used this awesome, soft Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in golden light. Thankfully, it was a good neutral color Рnot too dark or red and mixed well with each complexion

Bobbi brown bronzer and bronzer brush. Great combo

Bobbi brown bronzer in Golden Light and bronzer brush. Great combo

10. Blush. I love this one by Nars in the color Orgasm (thank you, Jilly Bean for making the introduction). Applied with a Bobbi Brown blush brush

Nars blush in Orgasm - used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

Nars blush in Orgasm – used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

11. Set it. We used Make Up Forever HD Finishing¬†Powder to set everyone’s makeup using the sheer powder brush by Bobbi Brown. I’ve typically avoided this type of powder out of fear that it’ll be too heavy. But I love the lightness of this powder and have adopted into my routine to beat the excessive greasy glow I get on my forehead! I carry it in my purse because it tends to ramp up at the end of a work day

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder - swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown's sheer powder brush

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder – swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown’s sheer powder brush. Set make up and dull down unwanted shine

12. Lastly, lipgloss. I used a combination of this gloss by Sara Happ called The Lip Slip – The One Luxe color shine lip gloss in color ‘The Nude.’ Literally, the perfect nude gloss. On top of this, I put Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge. Nice POP of pink color. Looked good on everyone! This is a great combo for glossy lips with a pop of color without getting too dramatic

Great gloss combo - Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in xxx

Great gloss combo – Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge

Boom. done. Links to all products and brush accessories below.

The Before & After shots! Ashley, Whit, Jules, and Shannon <3

The Before & After shots! Shannon, Jules, Whit, Ashley ¬†‚̧

IMG_2619 IMG_2620 IMG_2621

It might seem like a lot of steps but this took all of 5 minutes per girl. It was an everyday look but everyone looked freshened up and ready to head out. We took our makeovers to a locally NH brewery – hooottties!!!

Links below to all products:

1. m-61¬†hydraboost¬†moisturizer 2. m-61 hydraboost eye cream 3. YSL fusionink foundation 4. Bobbi Brown eye brightener;¬†NARS radiant creamy concealer; Cle de Peau Beaute concealer¬†5. Sephora eyeshadow palette; Bobbi Brown¬†eye sweep¬†brush 6. Bobbi Brown eyeliner 7. Benefits “they’re real” mascara; Dior Iconic waterproof mascara 8. Chanel eyebrow pencil 9. Bobbi Brown¬†bronzing powder¬†; Bobbi Brown bronzer brush 10.¬†Nars blush ; Bobbi Brown blush brush 11. Make Up Forever¬†finishing powder; Bobbi Brown sheer powder brush 12. Sara Happ nude lipgloss; Nars lipgloss

I’m digging these thangs right now…

  • Colored/mirrored aviators. I see these on celebrities and fashionistas and I think ‚ÄúI need these.‚ÄĚ In reality, I certainly don‚Äôt. But I think they look so summery-chic and fun. They add a pop of color to any outfit. If you’re in the market, click here
Beyonce sporting a pair of mirrored blue aviators

Beyonce sporting a pair of mirrored blue aviators

Hilary Duff sporting a pair of blue mirrored aviators

Hilary Duff sporting a pair of blueish mirrored aviators – hawt

  • @Home coffee AND espresso maker. We packed up our Keurig months ago‚ĶI was just over it. Now, we either use the french press or go to the local coffee shop (I love an early morning trip to the coffee shop!) But, recently, I‚Äôve thought…wouldn‚Äôt it be nice to have an espresso maker? Then I could make myself a yummy spot of coffee and avoid the temptation¬†that is half & half and raw sugar at the local coffee joint. But, we don‚Äôt really have the counter space for another appliance. That logistical detail aside, I came across the Nespresso Vertouline coffee & espresso maker at¬†the mall a few weeks back. They were sampling coffee and espresso ‚Äď I was mesmerized by this machine that makes delicious frothy coffee AND espresso. I wanted this ‚Äúall in one‚ÄĚ machine‚Ķalas, I didn‚Äôt want to fork over $200+ so I went on my merry way. But, I still think about this little gem. If you‚Äôre in the market, check it out here
Nespresso Vertuoline Coffee and Espresso maker - the ultimate caffiene machine

Nespresso Vertuoline Coffee and Espresso maker – the ultimate caffiene machine

  • K Kane Jewelry ‚Äď I‚Äôve been obsessed with it for awhile now. I recently got a necklace from her monogram line. I adore it. I‚Äôve been pining over her new ring line. Simple yet unique designs. The ring will run you around $250 but would make a lovely gift for a special someone. Check it out here
Gawd, I love K Kane's designs

Gawd, I love K Kane’s designs

  • Jane Iredale tinted moisturizer. I‚Äôm not in the market for a new tinted moisturizer, I‚Äôve been using¬†Vitalumiere Aqua¬†by Chanel and digging it. However, the other day I sampled Jane Iredale‚Äôs and really liked it. It‚Äôs light ‚Äď paraben free ‚Äď perfect for summer. Although it doesn‚Äôt have a heavy SPF (only 15)¬†it at least offers some sun protection. Check it out here
Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 tinted moisturizer - I'm medium light...love

Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 tinted moisturizer – I’m medium light…love

  • This robe by In Bloom by Jonquil. I have a pair of pajamas by this line ‚Äď the material is super silky soft. I love the colors in this robe and picture myself getting ready in it each morning. Alas, I don‚Äôt really need another PJ item‚Ķbut dang, isn‚Äôt this pretty? Check it out here. *In Bloom also makes some lovely bridal lingere and robes
I want you robe, I want you!

I want you robe, I want you!

  • This eye mask by GLAMGLOW. I got a sample in a gift bag ‚Äď it definitely feels soothing on my eyes. My eyes are my ‚Äútrouble zone‚ÄĚ since I‚Äôve been squinting since birth.¬† I hope to find another sample soon ‚Äď because a¬†$60 eye mask isn‚Äôt in the cards right now. Click here to check it out
GLAMGLOW "brightmud" eye treatment...my tired eyes need ya

GLAMGLOW “brightmud” eye treatment…my tired eyes need ya

Chew these for better skin? Let’s discuss

I came across NeoCell Beauty Bursts “Gourmet Collagen Soft Chews” as I flipped through Natural Health magazine. I was intrigued by this product’s claims. In a nutshell,¬† NeoCell Beauty Bursts are vitamin chews that claim to help improve your skin’s health and appearance (from the inside – out). They come in 2 flavors, Fruit Punch or Mint Chocolate. Being the perpetual tester that I am and intrigued by a chewy vitamin that could possibly help improve my skin, I grabbed a bag at Whole Foods (for approx. $20). They only had the Fruit Punch flavor which was ok for me!

NeoCell Beauty Bursts

NeoCell Beauty Bursts

So, what’s in these babies?

  • Collagen Type 1 & 3 For Firm, Smooth Skin & Strong Hair & Nails
  • Hyaluronic Acid For Skin Hydration & Renewal
  • Vitamin C:¬† Collagen Enhancer
  • From the brand: “Having beautiful & radiant skin has never been so easy- or so delicious. Deliver high absorption beauty nutrients in delectable, gourmet soft chews.¬† Collagen Type 1 & 3 is the body’s beauty protein & strengthens skin, hair & nails. Hyaluronic Acid is known as “Nature’s Moisturizer” & hydrates the skin.¬† Vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen in the skin.¬† Together, these three beauty nutrients work together to build beautiful skin from the inside out.”
  • No lactose, gluten, or artificial ingredients

My initial thoughts:

  • I get what Hyaluronic Acid is, I’ve used it topically before. I get Vitamin C. But what is/are Collagen Type 1 & 3? And why would I consume it?
    • Found online: Collagen I is found in many bodily structures including bones, skin, and intervertebral disks. Present throughout the body and is the type of collagen most commonly used in the gelatin industry and for research. (I gagged a little reading this). Collagen type III, which can be found in the skin, muscles, and intestinal walls, has been found to be the second most abundant type in the body. It is often closely associated with collagen I. This is because these collagen types are commonly found in the same places and they are synthesized in a similar manner. These collagen types are often combined to form supplements taken to maintain and promote healthy skin, bone, and muscles. (from wisegeek.com)
    • Over time, our body produces less and less of this ‘connective tissue’ protein. The outcome of less production = increased lines, sagging, and wrinkles as our skin looses this important ‘booster’
    • I’d been chewing these for about a week before I did this research. And after getting more info, I felt a little weird about WHERE this Collagen Type 1¬† and 3 comes from. It clearly has to be something mammal, right?
      • After doing some more digging, I found the answer on NeoCell site…”all natural sources of bovine hides. all cattle hormone and antibiotic free. grass-fed. free range. pharmaceutical grade. gluten & wheat free.” Hmmm…ew? kinda?¬† But then I realized, I eat meat. I’m not a vegetarian. If this is a “pure” source, what makes it different from the other products I consume from ‘bovines’? It seems pretty clear though, if you are a vegetarian, you might avoid this product

Directions/taste:

  • You are directed to take 2 to 4 chews daily. I’m starting with 2 a day for now because I want the bag to last
  • The Fruit Punch chews are quite tasty. Thankfully, no chalky after-taste
  • Didn’t upset my stomach or anything like that (that some vitamins can do)
  • I’ve been trying to take in the AM, when I typically get my vitamins in

After a week of using & my research:

  • I will say, my skin looks brighter! I can’t completely attribute this to the chews though. I’ve been good about washing my face every night before bed. GO ME! And it’s the time of the month when my skin isn’t acting as ‘funky’ from a hormonal perspective
  • I am pretty torn about this product because on one hand I feel like I’ve seen some results. On the other hand, I’m not sure I believe the hype. And yea, I’m a little weird about where they get the collagen…even if it’s from a source I consume regularly as food.
  • I felt better knowing it’s sold at Whole Foods and promoted in natural living magazines/sites though. But I’m not a fool, I know that doesn’t mean it’s “safe” So, I’m still pondering this one for now…

Has anyone else tried a supplement like this?  What do YOU think?

Click here to go to the brand’s website for more information on this product

10 tips/tricks to a healthier complexion

Work a couple (or all!) of these into your routine, stick with them, and you will see/feel a difference!

1)¬†Drink MORE water/tea: Replace your afternoon soda with a sparkling mineral water or replace your 2nd cup of coffee with green tea (I ‚̧ MightyLeaf). Buy a portable, yet cute water bottle¬†(CamelBak Groove Bottle; $19 on Amazon.com). Keeping this full and on hand will make it easier to sip throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated will flush your system and you will notice it in your skin.

2)¬†Use a Humidifier in your Bedroom: This appliance increases the moisture in the air…which helps alleviate symptoms of dry skin, eyes etc. Especially during winter months when heat can really parch the skin.

3) Wash ya face every night: Washing off the day’s dirt each night will definitely pay off in your complexion. Get yourself into a nightly routine where you cleanse, tone, and moisturize before bed:

4)¬†Use a Silk Pillowcase: Even if your cotton sheets have a high thread count, silk is still easier on the skin because it is woven closer together. Buy a silk pillowcase to snooze on (you don‚Äôt have to buy the whole sheet set!) ‚Äď it will feel luxurious and be gentler on your delicate facial skin

5) Routine Facials: Schedule a facial every 6-8 weeks. An aesthetician will know how to properly cleanse and treat your skin. By going regularly they can address skin problems/concerns over time.

  • Spaweek.com offers spa gift cards that can be used at thousands of different spas throughout the US

6)¬†Sweat (often): Beyond helping reduce stress¬†‚Äď get in a good sweat at least a few times a week. Your body is your temple, treating it well will be felt inside and radiate outward.

  • Sweat for less by dialing up works-outs On-Demand through your cable box. From yoga to basic aerobics, On-Demand offers a variety of work-outs you can do at home.

7) Keep Moisturized:  Properly moisturized skin looks healthier and more even.

Try for day:

Try for night:

8) Get enough ZZzzzz’s: Stress and lack of sleep shows in your face… strive to get at least 6 hours a night. 2 ways to make it easier to fall & stay asleep:

  • TV sleep timer: although TV can lull some people to sleep it can often disrupt sleep during the night. Use your trusty TV sleep timer and set it for 30 minutes after you get into bed so it shuts off once you‚Äôre asleep
  • Noise Machine: be it breaking waves or whale cries, these repetitive sounds can help lull you to sleep

9) Get a fo-glow: The real deal is not a healthy avenue.  If you need to fake a little color to brighten up your complexion:

10) Eat (and drink) more Greens: Cut back on processed sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables. This will improve not only your general health but also your skin. Read this piece by Shape Magazine’s on juices for healthier skin