Thursday, March 29, 2012

Product of the Week

This week I've been loving L'Oreal EverCreme Sulfate-Free Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.

I have really fine hair that I have to wash every day. I have to be really careful with what kind of shampoo/conditioner I use for fear of my hair looking weighed down or greasy. For example, I love the smell of the Organix brand shampoos/conditioners but they make my hair so heavy and filmy. I also blow dry and straighten my hair every day (bad, I know) but if I don't, it turns into a frizz ball. I love trying new shampoos, so I nabbed this brand last weekend during my shopping spree at Target. 

I've been a fan of sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners since Marilyn and I stumbled upon a brand called Simply U that I've only seen sold at Walmart. There's something about the sulfate-free system that works really well with my hair type — I'm not sure if it's because of all of the ingredients that are left out or what, but it works. 

The L'Oreal shampoo/conditioner give my hair so much shine and volume, and they both smell delightful too. Don't you love when you use a new shampoo/conditioner and every time you turn your head you get a whiff of your delicious-smelling hair? (Or maybe that's just me being weird.) 

Anyway, I'm curious to see if anyone with different hair types has tried this and if it has worked for you. In my opinion, it's totally worth the $12 or so you'll spend on it. 

If you've tried it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Self-Confessed Pinterest Addict

This week I'm linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple
to share my latest Pinterest interests. 

Will someone teach me how to do this? I love an arm full of bracelets and a pretty watch.

Perhaps with these?
I want this outfit...

And this dress...

And this skirt/shoes combination...

Love this, minus the hat. I don't do hats. 

Some daily inspiration.
(I love this kind of stuff.)


Love this.

I wish more people thought this way before they spoke.

Happy pinning!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I love my followers!

Yes, you! I love each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog each day! I can't believe I'm already at 81 followers!

It's my goal that when I hit 100 followers, I'll do my first giveaway! But of course, I definitely need help with this! Where do I begin? What do I need to do? All the help I can get will be much appreciated!

Friday, March 23, 2012

TJ Maxx steals

I usually never have much luck at TJ Maxx. Only every once and awhile do I find really cute stuff there (unlike my roommate Julia who finds something adorable there every time she goes). But today, that luck changed!

First, I found this BCBG Max Azria dress for only only $30.

This picture really doesn't do it justice. It has a really pretty neckline, and it fits perfectly. The best part? It was originally a $99 dress. Score! 

Next, how cute is this Jessica Simpson clutch? I'm so tired of my plain clutches that I have, and I love the tangerine trend that's going on right now. This little number would add the perfect punch to an LBD. 

And it was only $20. Double score. 

Finally, continuing with the tangerine/neon trend, I picked up this beach tote for only $20. Not only will it fit a ton of necessitates (towel, magazines, sunscreen, water bottle), but the straps won't kill my shoulder on the trek to the beach (or pool) this summer. 

Adorable, right? 

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pistachio bars

Consider this my late St. Patrick's day contribution.

A classmate brought these delicious treats in one day this week, and it was the first time I've ever tried anything pistachio. They were so yummy! The best part about this recipe, however, is that you can substitute any other flavor of pudding mix for pistachio.

You'll need: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 box (4-serving size) pistachio-flavored instant pudding and pie filling mix
3/4 cup cold milk
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped


Heat the oven to 325°F (if using dark or nonstick pan, heat oven to 300°F). In a medium bowl, stir together flour and granulated sugar. Beat in butter with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Press dough on bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or just until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 30 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed until blended. Beat in pudding mix (dry) and milk. 

Spread over crust. Chop the pistachios and sprinkle them over the top.

Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top 5 Tuesday

Today I'm linking up with Rachel at Just Peachy for Top Five Tuesday: Books!

I love to read. There's just something about losing yourself in a good book that is just so relaxing to me. I enjoy reading mostly fiction, and I honestly couldn't choose a favorite author if I tried.

Here are my favorite books in no particular order.

eat, pray, love

If you haven't read this book, I strongly urge you to. I've read it countless times, and sometimes I thumb through it just for some wisdom. One of my favorite parts: 

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

Elizabeth Gilbert has some guts, and I think her journey of self-discovery is so inspirational. 

Has anyone read Committed (her follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love)? 

the hunger games trilogy

I was SO pleasantly surprised by this series. It was truly addictive to read, and I can't wait to see the movie, which I really hope they don't massacre. There's nothing worse than when they ruin the book for you by making it into an awful movie.

See my original post about the books here

anything by jodi picoult

This woman is a literary genius. She could write a book about plants and I would love it. I have cried over so many of her books, and I think that is the mark of a truly good writer. 

anything by emily griffin

Each of these books is amazing. This semi-series would be great for summer reading — start at the beginning and make your way through them all. Her writing style is so realistic, and a lot of the emotions in these books really hit close to home for me. 


I first read this book when I was in high school, but it's still one of my favorites. I think most girls can really identify with the emotions of the main character.

anything by mitch albom

If you've never read anything by Mitch Albom, before you buy these books you better have a box of tissues nearby. These books may but short, but they are full of insight and will really make you think about life. 

What are your favorite books? What do I need to read next?

I know that was way more than five books, but oh well — I just couldn't choose five!

Happy first day of spring everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dear Monday

Today I'm linking up with Megan at Happy Day for Dear Monday.

Dear Monday, thank you for going by pretty fast and for also being another beautiful day. Besides the little bit of rain this morning that threatened to turn my just-straightened hair into a frizz ball, you actually turned out wonderfully.

Dear semester, you really need to hurry up and be over with. Seven weeks seems so far away. My motivation is slipping and the distractions are looming. Spring cleaning. Baking. Running. Anything other than schoolwork.

Dear Mom, Dad and Steven, I love and miss you, and I can't wait to see you soon. xo

Dear friends, I hope your week goes by fast so we can get to celebrating the weekend! I wish you all less stress and more chances to be able to relax and enjoy each day.

Dear Michael, I hope you win both of your baseball games this week. You deserve it!

Dear blog, I want to redesign you, but I can't decide what to do with you yet. Blog friends — is it worth paying someone to redesign your blog (for a reasonable price) for you?

Dear Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy and blog, now please stop distracting me and let me get back to my homework.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Today's wisdom

"Positive attitude has nothing to do with what happens to you. It’s what you do with, and how you react to, what happens to you."

Food for thought.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Product of the week

It's been almost a week since my spray tan (which actually turned out great), and it's just now starting to fade a little. With all this warm weather requiring me to wear skirts and dresses, I found the perfect way to maintain this tan as long as I can.

Enter Banana Boat Sunless Tanning Lotion.

I've tried my fair share of tanning lotions, and let me tell you, this is the best I've found (thanks Mare!). I think the Deep Dark Color version works the best for my skin tone, but there is also a lighter shade available as well.

But instead of using the tanning lotion by itself, the key is to mix it with a regular lotion, such as Vaseline Cocoa Radiant, which is my all-time favorite (thanks Leah!).

I usually use a ratio of about 70 percent tanning lotion to 30 percent regular lotion, and voila, I get the perfect amount of color. It doesn't streak, and it looks so natural! Plus this Vaseline lotion makes my skin so soft.

And after I wash my face at night, I mix a little dab of the Banana Boat with my face lotion before I go to bed, then wake up to a tan face! 

Here's the tricky part: I can only seem to find the Banana Boat at Walmart. Every other drugstore I've tried hasn't had it, but maybe you'll have better luck than me!  

If you try this or have tried it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

First and foremost, I'm loving this beautiful weather, which I'm hoping will stick around for good!

Next, I'm loving the mix-and-match patterns of these Victoria's Secret bikinis! 

I'm also loving these super cute outfits from Blair at Atlantic-Pacific.

She. Is. Adorable.

I'm loving this one-shouldered navy dress from Modcloth. It's perfect for a summer wedding!

I think I'd add a pretty statement necklace to it. Maybe something similar to one of these? 

Via Jessica at Style Obsession

And finally, I'm loving this yellow chevron clutch! How cute would it be with the navy dress?

Via The Perfect Palette on Pinterest

What are you loving this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NYC Part Two

My apologies for being so behind on posting! I was just tagged in two other posts as well, and I'm sorry if I haven't gotten to those yet either! I think my brain is still on spring-break mode.

To summarize up our NYC trip — we ate so much food and I loved every second of it!

We hit all of the major New York food groups: bagels, pizza, hot dogs, Shake Shack, and of course, world famous frozen hot chocolates from Serendipity.

The next time any of you go to New York, you HAVE to go to Serendipity and get a frozen hot chocolate. You simply must. (A note about Serendipity: Be prepared to wait. We put our name on the waiting list and walked around Central Park for an hour and a half before they were ready for us.)

But before you go there, you have to get a burger and fries from Shake Shack. Delicious. End of story. (Also be prepared to wait here. It's so worth it though.)

Ah! Don't let me forget about the amazing brunch we had on Sunday at a place called Bondi Road.

Endless mimosas. Enough said. 

On Monday, we went to a Thai place called Spice, which I also highly recommend.

I had pot stickers, chicken fried rice and a Thai iced tea. And then I was in a food coma for at least two hours afterward. Don't get me wrong — I enjoyed every bite that led to that food coma. 

So promise me, if you're in NYC, you'll look up the locations for these places and you'll go there. I'm hungry just thinking about all of these delicious things we ate! 

I think one of the reasons that I don't feel bad about all the food we ate is because of all the walking we did. On Monday, we visited the 9/11 memorial and it was very touching and beautiful. I can't believe how much progress is being made on the new buildings. 

These roses were a really lovely touch to the sides of the memorial pools. 

Elizabeth pointed out this sign to us, and evidently, it's how Jay-Z got his name. He grew up near this part of Brooklyn, and the J and Z trains stop there. 

Thanks to Elizabeth and Rachel for being the best tour guides we could ask for! 

I can't wait to go back! 

I also promise to get back to regularly posting after this little backlog. I've missed blogging every day!