Monday, February 28, 2011

Walking for a Cause

 Hey guys, ok so I felt the need to spread the word a little about something I hold close to me, charity work. Ever since I could remember I have always been a pretty avid volunteer, and I cannot begin to express to you all how great it feels when I reminisce about some of the things I have done to give back to others. We all have those God given talents, whether it be working well with children, elders, animals etc, why not use them to make our world a better place? The things you do to give back don't have to be grand, but they will affect someones life, and that's what counts. Nursing homes, nurseries, cerebral palsy center for children, soup kitchens, charity walks, all things of those sorts are things that are easy enough to start and just some of the things I have on my "giving back resume haha". I am going to be keeping this blog updated throughout the year with a little information about all the charity work that I do, so that it can maybe inspire you guys to step out of your comfort shell and be the change you want to see in the world :)

Today I am going to be speaking briefly about the Multiple Sclerosis Walk that my boyfriend and myself will be walking in come April 2011. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which is ultimately the brain and the spinal cord. Throughout high school, I participated in this walk for a cause annually with peers and my grandmother. It's so fun to get out there and meet with thousands of other people who have just as kind of a heart as yourself. These people either have a family member who is suffering or has succumbed to the disease, or they are simply doing what I am doing, spreading the word. Making your community and those you care about aware of the disease and how it can affect yourself as well as possible preventative measures in some cases is crucial for putting a halt to the hundreds of thousands of new cases diagnosed each year. There is no minimum to walk, and hey walking is good for you anyway :)

I encourage you all to take a day out of your year, and for just a few hours do something positive to change the ever so growing diagnosis of this terrible disease. This disease can affect everyone, kids and adults alike, do something!

To find out more about participating in an MS walk in your area click here . If you are a personal friend of mine think about joining me on my journey by finding out more info here ! xox

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Things I Could Not Live Without in The Month of February :)

Let me start by saying I do not think I can fully commit myself to doing these every month because frankly I don't purchase new things that often, however, I will do them as much as my "new things" collection allows :) Since this is my first one, I will explain a little about what these will typically consist of. The things I will briefly speak about will be things that I tried and loved, things that I found myself using consistently throughout the aforementioned month and thought worthy enough to share with you guys :) They can consist of everything from makeup products, general beauty products, shoes, all sorts of things! Now for the "stuff" haha Be sure to follow me on twitter as well, which is easy enough by clicking on that pink "follow me" banner on the right side of my my blog!

1.  My Planner!
Being that I am obsessive about being organized, this thing is a life saver. I love it because its small, I would estimate maybe 5 1/2 inches x 5 1/2 inches, and has a coil binding that makes the pages super easy to flip through. As you all know from a previous blog post, I love Anne Taintor and her super silly humor depicted in these retro pictures! I get a laugh everyday I use my planner, how cool is that! You can find this here !

2. My L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara  
A good mascara is hard to come by for sure. You always run the risk of it being too watery, clumpy or just not doing the job at all! A few years back I remember seeing a commercial that Eva Longoria did for this mascara, and being that I absolutely love her I gave it a whirl. Needless to say I fell in love with this stuff! The formula is perfect, not too clumpy or watery and makes my lashes look fabulous! I get the color Carbon Black :) Its very well priced too! You can find it here !

3. My iPhone 4 Case
I love this case! I have had the iPhone 4 for about 6 months now and have gone through a ton of different cases, mostly rubber ones. I was always skeptical of getting a hard case in fear that it would scratch the back of my phone etc., but when I heard about these Speck cases I was so eager to give them a try. My case is hot pink and beautiful! Rubber inside and hard on the outside, this case will literally protect your phone from nearly any kind of damage! My phone looks stylish AND is super protected :) You can find Speck cases at Target and other retailers, but I found the best deals to be here !

4. I Finally Found My Favorite Orange Candle!
I have been on the hunt for a good aromatherapy orange candle for months! I came across this one "Orange Ginger Aromatherapy" at my local Bath & Body Works. It is potent and smells amazing and is almost mentholated, I could swear I breathe better when this is lit behind my bed lol I am in love with this candle and will be buying tons of them in the future for sure! :)

5. My E40 Sigma Brush
I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Sigma for making such a wonderful brush. It can be compared to the MAC 224, which retails for $29.00 (but WAY better in my opinion). This brush is BY FAR my favorite makeup applicator for my eyes. Its soft, dome shape is the perfect blending tool for making your eye makeup come out to perfection. I am compiling a few looks I have done using ONLY this brush for my all over eye makeup and I'm so excited to share them with you guys soon. If you are going to invest in any kind of brush, I'm a firm believer you could survive using just this brush. Its only $9.00 on the Sigma Website which you can access here !

Happy Shopping! xox

Monday, February 21, 2011

Art In Motion, Inc.--- A Non-Profit Organization!

 A college friend of mine, Dacil Tilos, as well as two other passionate women co-founded this non-profit organization that ultimately deals with task of empowering children through dance to better themselves and their communities as well. Did you know that children involved in hobbies and things that they enjoy outside of the regular mandated schooling are often more likely to feel better about themselves and ultimately contribute something great to the world? When children are put with their peers and are given the opportunity to shine, they will! Unfortunately in Paterson, NJ, children didn't have this type of opportunity readily accessible to them. Art In Motion, Inc., is the first registered dance school in all of Paterson! Staffed by women who are well trained in their specialty, and armed with the determination to execute something wonderful in this community, this Organization is bound for success. Offering very affordable dance classes that include ballet, hip-hop & jazz, children aged 4-17 are given the chance to explore and express themselves, gain confidence and build strong bonds with others in their community. For more information on this organization please visit their website at !

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Favorite Staple Beauty Items Under $10!

I can honestly say I'm one of those people who will try almost anything once when it comes to beauty products. Sometimes it is in fact true, you are going to have to pay the price for something to really work. On the other hand there are one too many times I try something high end and think to myself, hymm this does the same exact thing as my "blah blah blah" one that only cost me 1/3 the price! I finally have it down pat as far as my favorite items that all fall under $10, and I thought I would share them with you guys :)

I am going to start off with my favorite all time beauty go to item for under $10, my Rosebud Salve! I have been using this since freshmen year in HS! I was introduced to it by a good friend of mine, and needless to say I almost always have had one in my purse since then, now that's almost 10 years :) Normally they come in a small round tin, but recently I've come across these tube ones and I think they're absolutely genius. You no longer have to get your fingers all dirty or leave unwanted bacteria in your tin. Rosebud Salve heals everything from chapped lips, dry skin, even diaper rash! It smells like pretty little rosebuds and isn't too greasy and gunky. Makeup artists all over the world rely on this on a daily basis to shape brows, heal chafed skin etc. Its a miracle worker in a tin/tube :) You can try this little bundle of joy out for just about $6.00. Click here for more info!

My almighty heat tamer spray lol There's honestly no need to spend a wad of cash on a good heat tamer, this one does the job very well and I've been using it for years as well. Its job it to shield your hair from any damaging that comes with heat ie. blow dryer, curling iron, flat iron etc. Just section your hair (doesn't have to be perfect) and spray evenly from the root to the ends of your hair and the shield goes up! haha You can find this at target for a little under $4.00!

Good makeup remover wipes that don't irritate my skin afterward or my eyes are hard to come by for me, someone with sensitive skin. When I the Neutrogena Night Calming makeup remover wipes out and found they did their job amazingly and didn't irritate my skin, I stuck to them! I don't wear makeup everyday so at $5.99 at my local Ulta I found this to be a steal :) Note: I highly recommend thoroughly removing all makeup before you lay your beautiful faces down to sleep. Through the night sleeping with clogged pores can lead to unwanted breakouts and blemishes! let your skin breathe and it will treat you well, its a give give relationship!

Recently I have been suffering from extremely dry skin and it has been so bothersome to me. I have tried different face washes and moisturizers, even ones that cost me up to $34, and no difference! My boyfriend swears by this lotion and only uses this, so I decided after his persuasion to try this one out. Although its not a face lotion per say, I was using it as a last resort method hoping that it would pull through for me. This lotion by far has been the most healing and soothing to my dry skin, even on my face! It does not irritate me, leaves me looking healthy and moisturized AND after using it for about a week, my visible dry skin was gone! Amazing I tell ya lol and for only about $3.99 you definitely can NOT go wrong!

Every girl should have an eyelash curler! This little tool changes the way your lashes look completely, and if you feel like your eyelashes look a little drab, this is the thing for you. I have been using an eyelash curler since before I was even allowed to wear makeup. Once you learn how to use one correctly and safely, any one should work just fine. My personal favorite happens to be my Revlon Extra Curl Lash Curler. You can find this at target or any drugstore for about $4.99.

There you have it, my 5 Top beauty must haves for under $10. There are a ton more in my collection, but I figured instead of blabbing here all day, I would just choose the 5 that I feel like I use most often :) Enjoy xo!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heroic or Not So Heroic Line? My Personal Thoughts on MAC Wonder Woman

Let me start off my saying, I have not personally tried every single product in the line, ex: the MSF's and whatnot because I didn't need any at the time of the launch anyway. I have however dabbled in a few of the items and am sharing my mere opinion with you guys about what I thought was worth it and not so worth it, but please, give them all a whirl yourselves and come to your own conclusions. What works for me may not work for you! Ok lets get started:

Athena's Kiss, Emancipation, Secret Identity, Wonder Woman

Firstly, these darn lipglasses are HUGE! MAC really took the idea of Wonder Woman to a whole other level lol They will eat your other permanent lipglasses alive! haha That being said, one would think the more product the better, and on any other occasion I would completely agree, however, with this also came a huge applicator. I could literally almost cover both of my lips with one swipe, and I have rather nice full lips. The packaging is what you would expect, nothing out of this world. As far as consistency and color, the consistency is just the same as my other lipglasses, sticky (which I find makes it last longer so I don't mind that as much). The only other thing I think its necessary to mention is that I feel like MAC offers other lip glasses etc that are almost spot onto the same colors as these. They threw some new packaging on and decided to hike up the price of these babies to $20, NOT worth it at all to me. I did have a personal favorite though, which I almost bought because the color is so spring and fabulous to me, and that would be Athena's Kiss. What a beautiful Magenta color! ($20)

Heroine, Marquise d', Russian Red, Spitfire

These were just plain ol' lipsticks to me. They did go on creamy, like most other lipsticks from MAC, and did for the most part have a nice pigmentation. Personally brown lipstick like Heroine does NOT appeal to me lol I would never wear this, but maybe some of you can pull it off?! I loved Marquise d' which is a creamy peachy color, and although very sheer, I felt it could definitely work if built the right way. Russian Red, Oh Russian Red, I love a good red lipstick. This one definitely has a blue undertone and is matte which looks great on my skin tone so I LOVE! I just didn't like the fact that it wasn't a new red for the line (as you know Russian Red already exists in MAC's permanent line) ::sigh::. Spitfire reminds me again of my Athena's Kiss Lipglass favorite, its a nice magenta color that can work well (if paired correctly) with almost any skin tone that is more olive under-toned and darker skin tones. Overall I skipped this lipstick because I felt like it was nothing that I didn't already have lol ($15.50)

Bright Fuchsia, Marine Ultra
 There were only two pigments offered in this line, and believe me that was fine by me lol I always find MAC pigments awkward in that you only literally need a pinch to go a long way and they come in such massive amounts. It's not everyday I find myself wanting  to splatter pink and blue all over my makeup so I passed on these. I do however LOVE MAC pigments, but would recommend getting them from a site like this so that you can sample them out before being stuck with a hunk of powdery pigment that you don't know what to do with. With that being said, I would have to say pass on these unless you have just been absolutely dying for a pink and blue pigment, or are merely getting them as a collectors item, like most people have started doing with MAC Special Edition products.($21)

Army of Amazons, Victorious, Bad Bad Black, Themyscira

Oohh La La! I saved my favorite for last haha I love colorful mascaras, they add a pop of color to what can be drab makeup. I usually use my regular mascara conditioning base and then my black mascara but try and be careful enough to not really apply it to the tips of my lashes. I will then apply my colorful mascara just at the tips and it is just so beautiful! From this line I loved the Green and Purple mascaras, they are again huge but this could just be compared to my everyday L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. My favorite blue mascara believe it or not comes from Maybelline Great Lash in Royal Blue. It's only around $4.99 at the drugstore, perfect! Having said all that, I only purchased the purple one "Victorious". I really wanted to try it out for a few days before I went on a colorful mascara spending splurge, since these are only special occasion things. I would have loved the green, but the purple will definitely suffice! These are $15 and if you're just going to be experimental and try one, then I say definitely worth it since the quality is good :)

To purchase any of these and view their complete collection not mentioned in this post check it out here ! Happy Makeup Shopping xox!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

For the LOVE of Food :) Valentine's Day Meal with a Healthy Remix!

My Boyfriend has been on a health food kick lately as we all know going to the gym and eating a Big Mac is quite counteractive lol When you have committed yourself to eating healthy and cleansing your body of all yukky toxins, its really not cool to take a day off and binge just for the sake of love :) The only way you will "train" yourself and be successful when choosing a healthier way of life is to STICK TO IT! This being said, just because I can eat 5 Quarter Pounders and not gain a pound doesn't mean I should, nor should others. This Valentine's Day the mister and I are keeping it low key because its on a work evening. I absolutely love cooking and I figured why not prepare a special meal for him?! In sticking close to his new journey into healthy foods, I customized this Valentines Day Menu to be yummy but also health conscious. I did some online research and threw these things together for dinner. Lets get started :)

Appetizer: Edamame (low sodium soy sauce & salt optional) 
1 1/2 cup serving brings approximately 120 calories

Edamame are so great. Not only are they packed with soy, protein and fiber,  but they are  great snacking option as well to fight down those sugary cravings. Served as an appetizer in many sushi restaurants, they have always been a hit with the bf and myself :) These can be found in your grocers freezer or bought fresh, your choice!

Main Course: Lemon Thyme Baked Salmon
Each Serving brings approximately 315 calories and is packed with Zinc, Potassium and Vitamins D & B!

Lemon Thyme Baked Salmon is absolutely delicious! I often sneak a little garlic in there too :) Its simple in that it requires only about 5 ingredients, and if you get your salmon descaled and "de-skinned" (which I HIGHLY recommend) its a no brainer when it comes to making this dish. I know it may scare some amateur chefs away, but don't be intimidated, you can do this!  For a simple recipe click here !

Entree Side 1: Steamed Brown Rice
Each 1 cup serving brings approximately 216 calories

Brown rice may pack more calories than you were looking for, but compared to white rice this is a steal :) Its still bringing you fiber and also is jam packed with Magnesium, Selenium and all kinds of Vitamin B! My boyfriend often eats this with grilled chicken, another good alternative.  An easy brown Rice Recipe can be found here !

Entree Side 2: Mixed Steamed Vegetables
Each 1 cup serving brings approximately 50 calories!

Vegetables are great to throw with almost any dish, which is why I love them, their versatility! You can choose any vegetables you like or just one. The key is to steam them to perfection, there's nothing I hate more than soggy vegetables that have lost their gorgeous color! If you have a steamer great, if not some lightly salted water will do, steam just a few minutes checking on them often, and when al dente (still a little firm) remove them promptly, and here's the trick throw them into some ice cold water. This will stop them from cooking and getting all wilted :)

Dessert: Low Fat Ice Cream Topped with Fresh Fruit
Per half cup serving low fat ice cream brings approximately 120 calories

I know I know, you look at this and think what?! How can anything that looks this good even be considered for someone trying to not overdo it with the calories. Well everything in moderation can be done my friends :) Serve yourself small portions, and eat slowly (converse in between, this will take the concentration off of the food and assist in keeping you from scarfing down a whole pint!) Low fat ice cream can be a great treat, and topped with fresh fruit, an even better one. Fruit is always a healthy option any time of day. 

This is what will be going on the table tomorrow ladies and gents. I'm so excited as it all looks even more delicious as I blog about it haha This meal in total leaves me at approximately 900 calories give or take leaving room for your personal touches. That's not half bad if you ask me! I hope you all have a happy and healthy Valentine's Day with your loved ones. Valentines day isn't only for couples, but also to remember how loved each of us really are. Celebrate with your family, friends, anyone dear to you. Enjoy xo!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Road to Smelling Delicious!

Its no secret women are kind of sort of expected to smell amazing all the time, c'mon now! lol The natural oils in ones own skin really determines what fragrances will smell best on you. For myself, I'm one of those "super loyal to my perfume" gals. I rarely venture outside of these three below and I have yet to get any complaints so I'm going to stick to it! :)

Daisy by Marc Jacobs: (left) One word, HEAVEN! This fragrance is feminine and not to harsh on the nose. Its one of those super pleasant smells that you normally catch yourself uttering in your head, "man I've got to find out what perfume that is". You can find this little bottle of bliss at Sephora or by clicking here !

Lolita Lempicka: (middle) This fragrance caught my eye immediately just because of the bottle! Seriously, how cute is that little purple apple thing!? lol This is the perfect mixture that I can only describe as a musky vanilla?? I'm not a "perfumologist" so bare with me and my descriptions of the scents lol This is the perfume that I have been wearing the longest, I'd say about 9 years! This can also be found at Sephora or by clicking here !

Juicy Couture-Viva La Juicy: (right) I started out with just a roller-ball of this perfume, I picked it up while waiting in line at my Sephora, you know those little "tease" containers that tempt you as you're waiting on line? lol Well yea they got me! I threw this in my purse and kept it for "emergencies". When this little baby ran out I definitely decided it was worth it to invest in the full size. Just in the nick of time my boyfriends mother bought me the entire gift set for my birthday this summer! I have worn this everyday since :) I would describe this one as something similar to my body wash, which says is "honey-suckle" and throw in some floral scents and voi la, you have yourself exactly what this smells like! You can find this at Sephora also (duh! haha) or by clicking here!

Happy smells :) xox !

I Love Birthdays! (and all the food that comes with them! haha)

Wednesday was a great friend of mine, Gary's Birthday! I absolutely LOVE birthdays. Aside from the fact that I love being able to witness another year of someones life dear to me, they bring the best of friends and family together for a good time of reminiscing and laughing and usually include some great food :) For this birthday celebration, we celebrated on the water, the Hudson River to be exact haha Here 8 of us gathered to wine and dine at a spectacular restaurant where the food and view compete with each other for which more deserves my 5 star rating! I ordered the Herb Salmon and my boyfriend had the Stuffed Shrimp, boy did we chow down! There's nothing quite like enjoying delicious food in the perfect ambiance with the perfect people. The stunning NYC skyline shined through the floor to ceiling windows that we sat next to, making this dining experience, and the celebration all in all, THAT much better :) Ill insert a few pics below of the shenanigans that evening haha Enjoy xox!

Birthday Boy and his divine Raspberry Creme Brulee!
The Boyfriend and Myself <3
Desarae and I :)
Oh my what a view! Love Love Loved it :)

Recent Obsession: Bows!

Over the course of the past few months, I have become pretty obsessed with every and anything bows. I'm talking rings, headbands, necklaces and earrings, just anything really! I came across these super cute bow earrings at Macy*s a this past week and of course I had to grab them. Betsey Johnson makes some adorable bow accessories as well. To me, bows are just a cute way of being feminine :) I went to a friends birthday dinner this weekend as well (that post should be following this one), and I wore a bow headband, which unfortunately didn't show clearly in any of the photos I took, boo hoo! I threw together a few of my favorite bow pieces from all of the categories mentioned above.

Rings! I had one similar to the top left, but over the years it lost its "umph" lol I must get a new one asap! :)

Earrings! (The ones I grabbed this week are the silver ones in the middle. How cute yet so simple! :) ?!)

Headbands! I wore one identical to the bottom left this week at a friends birthday dinner, my boyfriend loved it! :)

I love finding new cool things while I'm out shopping, can you tell?! haha For these and other things "bow-ish" lol check out Polyvore (one of my favorite go to sites for fashion) here ! xox