Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Things Friday 11-29-13

In my mind, once we've cooked and eaten Thanksgiving Dinner, it's officially winter. Sort of like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We start with the turkey and end with Santa. Not much to say for this past week. I'm sure it was the same chaos-adled, tryptophan fueled crazy holiday week for everyone. I hope you were able to spend it with family and were able to remember everything you're thankful for. There's a quote I can't attribute because I can't remember where I heard it, but it's so appropos right now ..."When you're grateful for all that you have, you've got all that you need."

Five Favorite Things from Thanksgiving

1. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nothing makes me feel more like a kid or more grateful for the magic of the holiday season than watching forty-foot blimps of my kids' favorite cartoon characters glide down Sixth Avenue. My favorite this year? My boys LOVED the SpongeBob Square Pants. My favorite float was probably Santa and Mrs. Santa at the end.

2. Father Sarducci's Homemade Cheese Cake
This is the best recipe for cheesecake I've ever seen or eaten. My mother-in-law makes it, and so does my husband. He mixes up fresh caramel and nuts to go on top and consider my diet busted. Even if I can resist seconds of the turkey, this cheesecake is like the siren song to my taste buds and gets me every time.

3. Tryptophan Football

There were three football games on yesterday. And there is something soothing on a deep subconscious level about laying back in a Lazy-Boy with a belly full of turkey and dozing in and out of slumber with the sounds of a riotous crowd in the background and sports announcers too eager to say weird things like, "He raced up the back side!" or "He took him from behind!" And can we pause for just a second to remind ourselves of the horror of yesterday's most important game - Lions 40: Packers 10. WTF?!

4. A Hike in the Woods
Knowing that I'm going to have to hike in the woods with the boys after dinner helps me keep my turkey consumption to a "don't eat so much they have to roll up up the trail" level. It's a tradition for us now, and one I thoroughly enjoy. We're fortunate enough to live next to an expansive national forest, so we can literally walk for miles.

5. Getting to Decorate for Christmas
We can officially start decorating for Christmas, guilt free. Although, just between us, we unpacked the first box of decorations a week ago. ;)

Five Favorite Beauty Products

1. OPI 3-in-1 Base Coat, Top Coat & Strengthener
I have tried a lot of base coats. I go through them like pudding. This is my current favorite. I have had a lot less chipping and breakage on my nails since I tried this stuff. My nails are usually quite thin and brittle, so less breakage is always a win in my book.

2. CHI Keratin & Silk Infusion
So this is a Keratin and Silk infusion that you put on your hair after you've showered. I've been on an intensive healthy-hair program for months now and am always eager to try anything I think might make my hair healthier/stronger/more beautiful. This retails for about $14 from Walgreens, FYI. So when Ulta came out with sample bottles for $2, I jumped on it. The first few times that I tried this in my hair, my hair was noticeably soft and shiny. But that wasn't unusual. So I couldn't say for sure that it was doing much. Let's just say there was not an instant WOW factor. Then one day I paired it with my next favorite thing, Fekkai's PrX Reparatives Conditioner and finally got my WOW factor. Not only was my hair soft and shiny, but it was strong and resilient. A win in my book.

3. Fekkai's PrX Reparatives Conditioner
I have used this conditioner on its own before, and I've always really liked it. My hair is soft and smells amazing after I use it. Then I paired it with the CHI Keratin & Silk Infusion and suddenly my hair was another echelon above its usual as far as health, strength and shine are concerned. I think I've struck gold with this combination.

4. Bombshell Lip Crayon in Shameless
This lip crayon came in one of my Ipsy bag's, and I was only 'meh' about it. It seemed to me more like a Smoochie-caliber lip product (lip balm with sheer color). Not a lot of pigmentation or longevity. But the more I use it, the more I like it. It's less like Smoochies and more like a lipstick in the color pigmentation and how long it wears. I keep it in my pocket, and this past week I've worn it almost daily. It's just the perfect color for this time of year, I'm enjoying how it feels on my lips, I haven't had a lipstick-on-teeth situation with it yet and it's super easy to use (no mirror required). 

5. Stila Portrait of A Perfect Cheek Palette
When I first saw a picture of this palette on Ulta, it was love at first sight. I've had a wicked fascination with blush lately, despite the trend for winter to be minimal in that area. What can I say? I'm a rebel. So I ordered this palette the first time I saw it. When it came, I was disappointed. The pots are small, the same size as a pan of eyeshadow. How would my brush fit in the pan? How long could this last? It was truly a sad moment for me. I decided to try the blush out anyways.  There is one color, second up from the bottom in the picture above, that I thought I would never use. It's a very glittery-taupe color. So I tried it first. Remember that whole, "I'm a rebel!" part? Yeah. So I dabbed in my blush brush and put it on and literally said, "Wow." Good pigmentation, the color adjusted for my tone in an unexpected way and suddenly I was happier. I've since used every color in the palette and feel the same way about each. Good pigmentation, a little goes a long way and now I have a palette for every look I can muster.

Bonus Level: Daily Look Style Sets  If you haven't discovered Daily Look yet, now you know. They have a feature on their site, the button is top left, called "Style Sets". You literally get to pick and match clothes, accessories, shoes ...whatever you want, and create your own fashion plates with them. They've got templates or you can design your own. While you're limited to what clothing and accessory items they have in their store, I still spend hours and hours making my own looks. Literally, I've done it so much lately, I've started dreaming about pairing accessories. Is that such a bad thing? ;)

That's it for me this week. I hope you're all smiling about something. Thank you for your time, have a happy holiday weekend, and stay beYOUtiful!

- Becky xoxox