Posts Tagged ‘favorites’

December Favorites 2013

laelene Posted in general blog๏ผŒTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of december 2013 favorites including home ownership, vitabath lotion, julep, wrapp deals, sweaters, reading, wireless mouse, red lips, cat time, and snowI nearly forgot to get this together before the month was over! Oh boy, it’s already time to think about Jan favs and I’m still putting together the Dec ones…

1. home ownership โ€“ As of Dec 13th, 2013, we officially became homeowners. The keys were handed to us and since then we’ve been slowly planning the move. Meanwhile, all our neighbors are in and everyone is wondering when we’ll finally get into this condo they keep hearing about. ๐Ÿ˜›

2. VitaBath lotion โ€“ I got this in my Influenster Rose VoxBox in the fall and boy do I love it! I’ve been using it frequently after showers and I absolutely adore the lightly sweet scent that is also cooling and fresh. Even with frequent usage, I’ve barely used up a quarter of it and it’s wonderful how long it’s lasting me.

3. Julep โ€“ I finally caved and got Julep when they came out with a mystery box I couldn’t resist. I was totally impressed by it and will definitely get more, plus I’ve subscribed as a Maven to get some new nail polish colors every now and then. I actually really like the beauty products that Julep makes and will use my subscription as a way to explore them.

4. Wrapp deals โ€“ When I first found these shoes, I took that picture to remember to look for something similar. Then I got a great Wrapp gift card deal for something like $12 at Charlotte Russe (which cost me and Panda nothing to send to each other) so I ended up getting that exact style of shoe for a fantastic price. I only take advantage of the free offers in the app, which saves me a good amount.

5. sweaters โ€“ Well, my first proper winter in over a decade prompted me to go out and buy some sweaters to wear. I was also goaded on by Autumnfall, who laughed when I showed her what I considered to be a sweater, all proud that I finally bought one. I’ve since gotten ones that even she can’t dismiss as not “real” sweaters. ๐Ÿ˜›

6. reading โ€“ For that period when my life was a hot mess of confusion, I escaped into reading again. My childhood was filled with books and it was nice to get back into it. I hadn’t read fiction in many years, whenever that 4th Harry Potter book came out. I was surprised that I blew through the 50 Shades series the way I did (I thought I’d long since lost patience for fiction since it’s not a business book that I can learn a ton from).

7. wireless mouse โ€“ The touchpad on my new laptop gets wonky at times (kind of often). Thankfully, a wireless mouse makes it easy to move the mouse around and strains my fingers, hands, and wrists less. I’m rather particular about the feel of the mouse and I’m glad I found this one for my personal use. I even have a blog post drafted for my pickiness when it comes to this and what I look for in the perfect mouse.

8. red lips โ€“ I went through a few weeks when I experimented with bright red lips. It was fun, bold, and playful. I even tried making lip prints like this one on Panda’s cheek. Prior to getting that red lip crayon in my November Ipsy bag, I probably only used red lipstick twice before. Now I’m much more comfortable with something attention-grabbing like that, but usually only at night, special events, and the weekends. Still not a normal thing for me.

9. cat time โ€“ Going home for the holidays and spending time with Missy again was amazing. I can’t wait to settle enough to bring her over here. Having a cat around calms me and gives me something relaxing to do whenever I’m home. There shall be no ennui when I can cuddle with my kitty or play around with her. I absolutely love waking up to a cat on my chest or next to my legs, though I may never want to get up for work (or anything else) again.

10. snow โ€“ This was before the intense polar vortex/arctic chill madness. It was exciting to get snow again and get to sit by the window and watch it fall down. I’d be happy to get stranded indoors for a few days from a snowstorm so long as I have heat and food. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oops, I left out a picture from frolicking at the beach, but I had a whole blog post on that so you can check them out. Returning to Los Angeles was wonderful and a much-need reprieve from everything else. What did you find to be your favorites in December?

November Favorites 2013

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collage of november 2013 favorites including fall colors, touchscreen laptop, yoga, going home, bruins football, fun hair styles, revisiting new york, long sleeve v-necks, and pumpkin flavored

Well gosh, I better get my Nov favorites up before it’s time for the December ones!

1. fall colors โ€“ This was the month of gorgeous colors. Fall beauty was everywhere to be found and I loved it. It’s one of the things about having real seasons that I was looking forward to. I don’t know if it was the richness of the leaves, but I swear even the sky was more pigmented.

2. touchscreen laptop โ€“ I’ve been using my new ASUS laptop and now I’m used to having a touchscreen laptop. It’s a lot easier than trying to navigate the touchpad. It’s very convenient just to tap on what I’m looking at. Too bad not all my devices are like that – I’ve found I try to tap all other laptops now too, lol. It’s hard to remember when I’m using other laptops that they don’t have touchscreens. Hopefully everything will just have that in the future so I don’t have to keep track.

3. yoga โ€“ I’ve been going to yoga again and picking up my practice, which is wonderful. I like that I can choose from a range of levels depending on what I’m feeling. I’ve tried everything from Hatha Yoga for all levels to Power Yoga with some meditation thrown in too. I look forward to continuing with my practice and getting strong enough to do a handstand one day!

4. going home โ€“ It was so nice to return home for Thanksgiving and be reunited with my parents, cousin, and cats. It was the first time I’d been back since starting work out east and it was a welcome break. We also got a chance to get together my family and Panda’s!

5. Bruins football โ€“ UCLA’s program has finally been doing better and it was so thrilling to watch our team beat USC in our football showdown this year. Our crosstown rivalry is going strong and with the liberty bell securely in our possession, we can proudly say that we run LA. ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. fun hair styles โ€“ For a long time, I’d just let my hair fall however it wanted. It’s the easiest to do and requires absolute minimal effort. I started to play around with some hair styles more recently, particularly a side braid, French braids, or a bun. I want to try a braid that wraps around my head, but I’m not quite sure how to end it so I’ll have to test it out.

7. revisiting New York (and the city) โ€“ After over a decade, I finally got a chance to return to one of my childhood homes. It was so nice to be able to share that with Panda so he can see some of what used to be my life. It also became an opportunity to explore parts of NYC that I’m not that familiar with. It’s the first time I’d been back to any of my old stomping grounds other than a brief visit to Penn State many years ago. I’ve never returned to my homes in Kansas and Missouri, but I sure do plan on it!

8. long sleeve v-necks โ€“ I find these to be so perfect to wear. They’re comfortable, warm, and flattering. I can wear them under another shirt or alone and throw on a jacket for extra warmth. I even use it during yoga if it’s an extra chilly night. It’s easy to dress them up or down and if I don’t want my neck so exposed, I just throw on a scarf. Simple, the way I like it.

9. pumpkin flavored โ€“ I almost never get pumpkin flavored stuff, but somehow I ended up trying a few this month and they were quite good! This was a pumpkin souffle I got at a happy hour. Very yummy. I also had pumpkin spice caramels and a pumpkin creme brulee snack. Maybe I should try more pumpkin things since I really enjoyed those foods.

What about you? What did you find yourself gravitating towards in November?

September Favorites 2013

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collage of september 2013 favorites including kia optima car, kashi hummus crisps, mascara and eyelash curler, edinburgh castle, teavana perfectea tea brewer, sherpa blanket, dunkin donuts iced tea, bathtub with bath salts, biba purse clutch purse, walking trail, and sugar scrub

1. Kia Optima โ€“ I love my new car. Every time I go to drive it, I smile a little. The dual moonroof, the heated steering wheel and seats, the keyless entry, and the maneuverability are just some of the features that make it a pleasure to drive. I love the little touches too, like when the lights turn on inside when I get close to it at night. It’s like a nice little greeting, welcoming me back to the car and making me feel safer by showing me the inside is a-okay. I’m having a lot of fun with my car and I know I’ll be enjoying it for many years to come.

2. Kashi hummus crisps โ€“ This bag shown was sent to me for free by BzzAgent. I also got smaller ones of a different flavor from Goodies and I’ve gobbled all of them up. I like how they’re so crisp and light – none of that greasiness from normal chips, but still the same kind of crunchy satisfaction. I enjoy the flavor a lot too, which is mild and makes me keep eating more. It also feels like a healthier snack in general, so there’s less of a guilt component to chomping on them.

3. mascara & eyelash curler โ€“ I started to use a bit of mascara when I started to work since I want to look presentable and not like I just rolled out of bed. It’s been fun to do a little more than wash my face and put on lotion or BB cream. At first I was trying the Pixi mascara from the August Ipsy bag, but it’d leave me with darker under-eyes by the end of the day. I needed something that could withstand the heavy rubbing I tend to do without realizing. I’m used to touching my face and not worrying about stuff coming off or getting things dirty, so using makeup is not my forte. It’ll usually end up smeared all over the place over the course of the day, which is no bueno. Then came the September Ipsy bag, which had an It’s So Big mascara that I tested and found to be much better! It stuck to my eyelashes like it grew there naturally so now I don’t have to remember to not touch my eyes.

4. UK trip โ€“ Our trip abroad was so much fun! Pictured here is Edinburgh Castle, one of the many places we checked out in the four cities we visited on our 10-day vacation. Panda and I both liked various aspects of what we saw, experienced, tasted, and bought. I’m so glad we were able to do that trip and I look forward to all the places we’ll go in the future. For me, it was great to go back to the UK after 5 or 6 years, and for Panda, it was fascinating to leave the country for the first time. I’m glad we got to do it together and I know we’ll be returning.

5. Perfectea brewer โ€“ At the office are these two PerfecTea brewers from Teavana. They really do brew a perfect cup/mug of tea and I love using them! It’s always so cold in the office that I am constantly drinking tea – something like 8 mugs a day. That excludes any soda or water I might have around lunch time, so you can imagine how much I’m chugging all the time. It’s so easy to brew my tea with this contraption and I never have to worry about tea leaves getting in the way. Amazing.

6. sherpa blanket โ€“ I’ve snuggled up in this blanket every night and enjoyed the coziness oh so much. It’s instantly warm and soothing. In fact, it’s so good at putting me to sleep that I must beware if I crawl in the covers after a shower – I’m sure to fall right to sleep! I really wish I could bring this to work to curl up in, but would be a bit too much. Plus, if I was that snug I might not get much work done. I’m trying to convince Panda to get one more for us (me) to use. Maybe when we move to the new place.

7. Dunkin Donuts free drink Mondays โ€“ Starting 9/9 through 10/14, Dunkin Donuts in the metro DC area are offering a free iced tea or coffee drink! I’ve taken advantage of this every Monday that I’ve been working so far and I’m sad that there’s only one more left. I always get the peach iced tea, no ice, half sweet. Yum. Sometimes if they still have powered Munchkins or chocolate glazed ones, I’ll get some, but lately I’ve gone after work and by 7 pm they’re out of most Munchkins.

8. baths โ€“ It’s been years since I took a bath, but since I’ve gotten so much bath stuff in boxes over the past couple of months, I decided I would start using them. I liked it so much that I’m doing one bath a week now. It’s such a wonderful way to relax, clear your mind, take care of your body, and enjoy some peace. Each time I try a different bath salt, bubble bath, or bath soak. It’s been a ton of fun and my skin is loving the extra attention!

9. Biba purse โ€“ I got this cool purse in the UK on our trip and it’s been my daily bag ever since. I love the design and the quality of it. I do wish it had hooks for a shoulder strap, so I might try modifying it since I happen to have a strap that matches it pretty well. I don’t want to ruin it though, so we’ll have to see. For now I just hold it between my arm and body and for the most part it’s not inconvenient.

10. walking to lunch โ€“ The majority of lunches at work have involved us walking to the Reston Town Center and choosing whatever sounded good at the time. I like that it gets us moving and out in the fresh air for at least half an hour a day. Certainly better than driving somewhere, though I am going to start wanting some more options after a few weeks of that selection. Whenever someone wants to go get Starbucks or a dessert, I try to go so I can stretch my legs and catch up with them. Now that the weather’s cooling, it might not happen as much.

11. sugar scrub โ€“ Related to the bath thing, I’ve been using the sugar scrub that I made with Brandy of MommySplurge and it’s fabulous. After soaking in a bath, I rub it in until the sugar granules melt and I’m left with super-soft skin enveloped in a layer of coconut oil. I don’t even need to lotion after drying off! I’m all about keeping my routine as simple as possible – while I love trying products I generally am too rushed to go through a 273521-step skincare routine. So one product that will exfoliate and hydrate my skin in one fell swoop gets an A+ in my books.

August Favorites 2013

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collage of august 2013 favorites including lightweight jackets, ipsy bags, jcpenney businesswear dress, olay eyelash serum, instant udon noodles, gogobot canvas bag, basin products, and american eagle clothing

1. lightweight jackets – In the summer months, it’s so uncomfortable wearing heavy jackets but I still needed something to keep me warm in air-conditioned areas. Literally the day I decided to look for a new jacket, I happened upon the blue on at Kohl’s! It was pretty much exactly the kind I had in mind – this sort of super thin and lightweight material that had a lot of texture on the inside to trap more heat. Perfect. Then I headed over to Target and discovered the purple one, which is the same sort of cloth but with a hoodie. It was on sale for a good price so I decided to get it as well. Now I can choose between hooded or not!

2. Ipsy bags – Over the months I have acquired quite a few Ipsy bags and I am still thinking of uses for them all. I plan on putting one or two in the car and using some in my purse once I start carrying a larger one again. They are perfect for organizing small items like foil samples, hair ties, and lip balms. I think I might also use one for receipts since they always get so mangled in my purse. I enjoy all the different patterns, textures, and shapes that Ipsy comes up with. Certainly keeps things fresh!

3. JCPenney clothing – The last time I shopped at JCPenney must have been in high school and that was to buy a purse. For the longest time, I never gave their clothing a chance, thinking the quality and style choices might not be suitable. Panda convinced me to swing by though when I needed something to wear to an interview and I’m so glad he did! I found this dress, which was just the kind of thing I wanted – a dress with pencil skirt bottom and blouse-like top. I don’t have to worry about matching and I only have one article to put on. ๐Ÿ™‚ We got it for such a steal too! In the future, I will keep them in mind for my clothing needs.

4. Olay eyelash serum – I got this as a sample from VocalPoint awhile back and then I lost it. Ever since, I’d been searching for it at a good price (most stores offered the eyelash serum and eye cream set for around $30-35). Then I came across it at Costco at such a deal!! I forgot the exact price, but it was like $25 for two sets of the eyelash serum and eye cream duo. Oh, that was another thing – I only wanted the eyelash serum, not the eye cream, but Olay doesn’t sell them separately! Anyway, I got them for a price I was happy with and I probably remember to use it about once a week. I really do feel like my eyelashes have gotten better since I started using it and I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or just that I didn’t notice what my lashes looked like before. Whatever the case, I’m happy to use this as long as I see results!

5. Nongshim instant udon – We discovered this at Costco as well and I pounced on it. Instant udon?! I don’t really see that around and I love udon noodles. I wasn’t sure how the quality would be and while it’s certainly not healthy for me, I sure do love the taste. This is such a fun and easy meal to have when I don’t want frozen food or leftovers or instant ramen. I try to limit how much I eat since it is priiiicey (about $2/bowl compared to like maybe a quarter for ramen) and very salty. I’m not trying to kill myself with over-consumption of salt here. This is a new staple in the house and I expect it will stay that way as long as they are sold in our area.

6. Gogobot bags – I received this super cool canvas tote bag from Gogobot when I became a Pro. Ever since, it’s been my go-to travel bag. The UK trip and that Panda and I took was no exception, which this bag and my suitcases carrying all my stuff. I also love the toiletry bag I got for writing a certain number of reviews on Gogobot. I can’t seem to find a picture of it and I’m too lazy to get one for you but it’s quite a large bag, with various compartments for all your toiletries. I love it and keep it on the counter at home as well so I can (somewhat) organize my various products. Both of these bags were essential for my travels and I’m so glad I have them.

7. Basin products – I’ve been using the pink grapefruit solid shampoo and conditioner for my showering needs. They smell fabulous and I love how well the shampoo foams up. These bars will last me months and months. I even brought them with me on the trip so I wouldn’t have to worry about liquids. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how abused my checked luggage would get on the way home, because I decided to throw them in the checked bag and now my shampoo bar is one crushed mess. I will need to find a container for it! I’ve also been using the charcoal face wash, which smells nicely of something sweet and makes the skin on my face feel calmer.

8a. & 8b. American Eagle sales -I mentioned Hukkster about a month ago when I got these skinny jeans and dress from American Eagle. If it wasn’t for that service, I never would have known the amazingly cheap jeans I could have gotten! I ordered three pairs of pants and then just a few days later was browsing their site again when I found some cute dresses. This one was on sale for one of the lowest prices so I decided to get it too. I love AE free shipping! Now I am the happy owner and wearer of these articles, three of which made it to the UK with me!

secret passage ipad game screenshot loading screen9. Secret Passages game – For some reason when I tried to open this picture in Picasa to add it to my collage, it wouldn’t work, so here it is shown separately. This is a game I’ve been playing a lot lately, where you basically search for items in a picture. It’s designed so you can’t play more than four searches in a row so I have to put it down a lot. While that made me frustrated at first, I kind of like that since it forces me to do other things in my life. Sometimes I can get into games with no end and play for hours!

365great Day 155: Thailand

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 155: thailandThailand is one of the most amazing countries I’ve been to. It has a little bit of everything I love in a place: beautiful weather, gorgeous landscapes, fascinating animals, quiet beaches, sprawling bazaars, amazing food, a rich culture, and relaxation treatments. I enjoyed both Phuket and Bangkok for their very different experiences and I absolutely loved the tour I took, which included an elephant ride, lunch on a floating restaurant (and a chance to drift on a raft), splashing around in a cute park with waterfalls, and (omg) petting tigers. I had so much fun relaxing by the beach, getting a wonderful hot stone massage from a very nimble old lady, and getting rides from strangers on Phuket Island. I equally enjoyed roaming the streets of Bangkok where I had THE most delicious pad thai I’ve ever experienced. And then I’d wander off to the Chatuchak market to get my shop on. So much to do, see, and appreciate. Thailand is such a great country and I can’t wait to go back.

Check out some of my posts from my trip to Thailand:

Tiger baby [feeding a tiger milk]

Pet clam & sea snail [the cool creatures I found at the beach]

Burrowing clams [entertainment at the beach]

Tiger-rific [petting tigers at the Tiger Temple]

Fish spas, the newest craze [oh what a fun experience to have fish eat at your feet]

A story of shopping and sandals [when a trip to the market yields some laughs]

Serendipity [more on my rides with strangers in Thailand]


July Favorites 2013

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Let’s do a recap of the things I enjoyed in July!

collage of july 2013 favorites including julep products, alo drinks, mossimo flip flops, juice beauty skin clearing kit, mossimo bikini, pocket planes, closetmaid cubeicals, dr. scholl's for her insoles, and minnie mouse tank top

1. Julep products โ€“ Ok, so this is actually a picture of the trade in which I got a bunch of my most recent Julep products. I’ve actually yet to purchase any Julep products since I’ve gotten much of what I want through trades. Still, if they start selling the green tea blotting papers on their site, I might have to spring for it. I’ve yet to find someone willing to trade! At least I’ve gotten to try their gel top coat, multiples shades of polish, and the cool nail polish dispenser shown here. I’ll definitely continue to try to acquire their products and one of these days I might just subscribe.

2. ALO drinks โ€“ I first tried these when they came in my March Goodies box. I really enjoy the bits of aloe floating around, as well as the light fruity flavor of the drink. So when I saw them at Whole Foods, I was pretty happy. I waited until they went on sale and took advantage of the cheaper price, plus the box discount that Whole Foods offers, buying a dozen. I got a total of 5 different flavors to determine which ones I like the most. I’ve now narrowed it down to the original watermelon+peach I got from Goodies and the pomelo lemon+pink grapefruit. Depending on if I want a sweeter or more tart taste, I alternate between the two.

3. Mossimo flip flops โ€“ I eyed these at Target for just about two weeks before they went on sale! Of course I had to jump on that the moment Panda told me. The gold tips of these flip flops are so nice and the overall look is casual yet fancy. I love simple things that make you look good but don’t require upkeep – that’s why dressed up flip flops, tinted lip balms, and summer dresses are my friend. Each makes you look like you put in a lot more effort, but they’re pretty effortless. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Juice Beauty skin clearing system โ€“ I get emails from Juice Beauty since they’re a brand I wanted to try. When I saw an offer for a 30-day skin clearing kit, I couldn’t resist. I mean, my skin needs help, I’ve been wanting to try this brand (especially the green apple peel), and they have a money back guarantee! Might as well try it, right? I’ve got to admit that the bamboo face towel was a big draw too. I can’t get enough of cute little super soft towels! I got the box on the 10th and have been dutifully using the products as directed. I’ll be sharing my experience in another post.

5. Mossimo bikini โ€“ The last time I bought a bikini was in Thailand about four years ago and that set was quite worn! I finally decided to get a new set this summer so I could enjoy the pool without oddly droopy swimwear. I had hoped to use our Disney gift cards in Orlando to find a cute Minnie Mouse bikini, but apparently Disney’s adult swimwear consists of boring black and white pieces best fit for older generations. So, where else would I turn but Target? They had a ton of styles to choose from and I’m most picky about the shape of the bottom, so once I picked that out I just found a top that matched. This one was super cute with the little twist in the front. I also got a reversible triangle top that I can pair with the bottoms, since this top is better for lounging and not too much movement.

6. Pocket Planes โ€“ Many years ago, I started playing Pocket Frogs, where you grow and breed frogs in an effort to “collect them all.” Every now and then I get back into it and the last time this happened, they showed me an ad for another game from the same company. I decided to give it a try and now I’ve been playing Pocket Planes consistently. I’m not sure what the draw is, but I sure do want to conquer the world and build airplanes at every available location. As you can see I’ve done pretty well in North America, but have yet to venture far from that. And so the flying continues.

7. ClosetMaid Cubeicals organizer โ€“ When I “moved” out here to live with Panda last month, it was the first time I knew I’d be staying for a long time. I finally started to feel like I could make this place home, so my first order of business was to get a piece of furniture I’d wanted. I then found this perfect cube shelving solution that I can use to store my stuff and as a pseudo desk when I’m sitting on the bed. We moved it out to the living area when Panda’s dad came to visit and I’ve yet to decide where it will go in our new place, but no matter what it makes my clutter a little less crazy.

8. Dr. Scholl’s For Her โ€“ I got not only the high heel insoles pictured, but massaging gel insoles as well! Both were free – the high heel insoles came in my Sunkissed VoxBox from Influenster and the massaging gel insoles came from BzzAgent. I’ve enjoyed trying these out in my shoes and I found the high heel ones particularly helpful in my recent interview, when I wore those shoes. Not only did they make it less painful to walk in the heels, they helped my feet fill them in better. Without the insoles, my feet would have slipped in and out of the shoes as I walked since they’re more spacious than my feet require.

9. Minnie tank top โ€“ I found myself wearing this shirt quite a lot in July! It’s the perfect summer shirt – loose, light, soft. I also love the design that is cute without being too over-the-top. It was the very first item I knew I was going to buy with the Disney gift cards we had. As soon as we were down in Orlando, I made sure to track down my size in a store and claim it. I may not be a huge Disney fan, but I do enjoy my sweet tank!

Alright, that wraps up July for me. Have you tried any of these products? What would you have highlighted in your July favorites?

June Favorites 2013

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I’ve been meaning to put together my June favorites for quite some time, but I kept putting it off because I wanted to try creating a cool professional-looking collage with Polyvore. Alas, many of the items didn’t come with pictures or had ones I didn’t like, so I decided to just make my own collage with Picasa. I can always try again next month, right? So anyway, here are some of the things that I really loved using/doing throughout the month of June.

collage of june 2013 favorites including nyc new york color glossy lip balm, trade/swap, spring sing tank top, juice beauty lip gloss and hydrating mist, seabuck wonders facial cleanser and cream, cat it senses feeding maze and play circuit, and graze snack container

1. NYC New York Color Glossy Lip Balm – This came in my Influenster Spring VoxBox and I’ve been using it frequently! I love the light apple scent, the slanted design, and the cute apple design creating a two-toned lip balm. It’s my go-to lip product now and I’ll definitely look out for another one when I finish this one. I’ll probably go for a slightly more subtle color though, since every time I put this on, Panda can tell and I don’t want it to be that obvious!

2. swaps/trades – My newest addiction, thanks to Ipsy, is trading or swapping products. It all started when I decided to subscribe to Ipsy, but found that they sent me my least favorite color nail polish. In the hopes of trading it for the purple one I so desired, I began to explore trade forums and groups. I also had a ton of things from other subscription boxes as well as items I’ve accumulated that I didn’t plan on using, so I decided to create a trade list. Now I’ve done over a dozen swaps and I’m loving all the products I get to try!

3. Spring Sing tank top – When I heard that there was going to be Spring Sing apparel, I got pretty excited. I’m a sucker for anything branded with UCLA-related stuff (<3 my alma mater!) and I didn’t have a Spring Sing item. Then I saw it and fell in love even more! I love the design and that it’s a tank top. It didn’t look so great on the racks, but gosh once you put it on it’s perfect! I just had to get it when I was at UCLA for Alumni Day and I have been wearing it all the time. It’s exactly what I needed for lounging around on the hot summer days. I hope they keep making more designs each year so I can start up a collection. ๐Ÿ˜‰

4. Juice Beauty lip gloss & hydrating mist – I believe it was through subscription box bloggers that I first learned about Juice Beauty. Something about the brand caught my eye and they quickly made it on to my wishlist. When I found out that Juice Beauty lip gloss was being offered in the May Ipsy bag, I really hoped I would get it! Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but I did manage to get it in a trade. It smells wonderful and goes on well. It’s not too gooey and just the right amount of glossy. Then there’s the hydrating mist, which I thought would be nice to have whenever my skin needed a little freshening boost. There’s something very relaxing about spraying yourself (particularly your face) with a gentle, soothing mist.

5. SeabuckWonders facial cleanser & cream – I won these from a blogger’s giveaway and I’m really glad I got to try them! I love a nice scrub and you need so little of this one to cleanse your face that this will last me a long time. I’m also fascinated by design and the spout of the facial cream is so cool! I love the way it pumps out the cream and you barely need to press it to get plenty for your entire face. I was already obsessed with sea buckthorn products and this has just fueled the interest.

6. & 7. Cat It Design Senses feeding maze & play circuit – Once I got my Amazon gift card for participating in a focus group, I immediately ordered these two cat toys for my furries. The feeding maze is fun because it makes your cat work for their dry food and you can change the difficulty to help control portions. Unfortunately it seems that their overall laziness is not enough to overcome their hunger so they stopped using it after a few days. The play circuit can be assembled into a circle or other squiggly shapes and Missy has really enjoyed playing with it. It’s nice for her to have something to be active with indoors so hopefully she doesn’t go out as much.

8.ย reusing Graze containers – For a long time, I’ve needed something I could place tea bags on (or in) in between steeps. Once I started getting Graze boxes, I found that they made the perfect little container! I could place my tea bag there without worrying about it staining something, drink my cup of tea, then reuse the bag for more steeps! It was just the right size to hold the tea bag without being too large. Then I started to use some of them for my solid shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as soaps. Once my bars start breaking into little pieces, I keep them all in a Graze container so they don’t go to waste. I love it!

So those are some of the things I’ve enjoyed most in June. Stay tuned for a new July list once the month is over! Have you tried any of my favorites too? What would your June list consist of?

365great Day 32: body pillows

laelene Posted in 365great๏ผŒTags: , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 32: body pillowsHave you ever tried one of these? THEY ARE AMAZING. I first got a blue one at Costco back in my 2nd year of college and I kid you not, I did not get out of bed for a week. It was sooo soft, sooo comfortable, sooo warm and wonderful… my roommate probably thought I’d lost it when she came back from class to find me still snoozing away. I used this to keep me warm at night many a time when the blanket just didn’t suffice. It’s also great on road trips in the back of the car, wrapped around your waist when you’re working in bed/on the couch, or even laying on top of when the ground’s too hard. My blue body pillow is very well-loved!

For years I tried to find it again, but Costco only carried ones with weird designs that didn’t feel as good. I then finally found some listed at Kohl’s! I quickly got the beige one pictured and was more gentle with this one. One thing about the lovely fuzzy material that it’s made with is that it gets rougher the more you use it (you know like that stuffed animal that you lug around with you everywhere… the one that’s got the weird clumpy fur now). So with this one I wanted to preserve the lush, soft feeling for as long as possible. For whatever reason, they’re not that easy to find! In fact, I can’t even find a single listing online for these Hollander Home Fashions ones. Perhaps I should stock up… they’re really that great.

Quality Street

laelene Posted in photo blog๏ผŒTags: , , , , ,

I was walking by Rocket Fizz in Westwood one day when I noticed a gigantic box of Quality Street sitting in the window. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find some of my favorite candies from England available in the US! When I saw the price, I was pretty shocked, but the next time I was there I got one because it made me too happy to see them (and get to eat them).

purple tin octagonal box of assorted quality street chocolates by nestle

Oh Quality Street, how I love to snack on you. Who can resist your vibrant colors, variety, and delicious chocolate morsels?

Larkspur Landing luxury

laelene Posted in photo blog๏ผŒTags: , , , ,

I stumbled upon this hotel chain when looking for a last-minute place to stay back in the fall. It turned out to be the best discovery ever! Not only was it a good deal, it had the most amazing and comfortable bed I had ever slept in. Plus who doesn’t love a place with free internet, breakfast, and gift basket of snacks? I even wrote a rave Yelp review.

entrance to larkspur landing hotel in campbell california

It feels like we might be entering a cabin in a mountain somewhere.

small kitchen area in larkspur landing hotel room

We had a nice little kitchen space and they even had a gift basket of free snacks waiting!

larkspur landing hotel room living area and desk

I got set up right away to take advantage of the free internet service.

larkspur landing hotel bed

What a glorious bed! It was the softest I'd ever felt and they had amazing down comforters. For extra enjoyment, I had my big blue body pillow with me too. ๐Ÿ™‚

larkspur landing free continental breakfast

Free breakfast included all kinds of fruits, bagels, muffins, hot drinks, juices, and even string cheese! I really enjoyed that string cheese...

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