Burt’s Bees Beauties

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Burt’s Bees!! Over the last month or so I have amassed a small collection of Burt’s Bees products that I’ve, for the most part, really been loving. Some I have purchased on my own, some have been given to me as gifts from friends. None have been given promotionally. Of all my products, these have been my favorite that I would again, for the most part, purchase again.

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I have actually noticed an evening in my skin tone while using this toner. It’s not perfect, and it doesn’t do much for active/healing acne, but it has helped with evening out my acne scars and past spots. I also really like that it doesn’t leave a very noticeable film on my skin after using it. Some toners make my face feel almost a bit sticky, but this one just makes my skin feel tight and clean. I like prep for this toner with a good wash and exfoliation, and finish things up with a solid, deep moisturizer.

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I was a bit wary of this chapstick when I first saw it. I’m not usually a huge fan of coconut but this is not a traditional nasty coconut. It’s actually coconut and pear and they do a fabulous job of representing both flavors/scents. It also does a fantastic job of moisturizing of my lips without feeling filmy. I’m not a huge fan of the plain beeswax chapstick because it doesn’t melt very well onto my lips, and it ends up feeling thick on my lips. This pear and coconut one doesn’t. I also really love this lip crayon. It’s not dark, it’s just nice and light; almost like the enhance button on iPhone editors. I layer the lip crayon over the chapstick so my lips look hydrated and smooth. The crayon is decently hydrating as well and has good staying power. It doesn’t last all day, but it’s nice and low-key and I really like it. n The color of crayon I have is Niagra Overlook (417).Aviary Photo_130697366723909850

These hand creams are why I included “for the most part” as a conditional above. I used to really love them, but these specific tubes just aren’t that great. I’m not sure if they changed the recipe, or if something is wrong with this “batch,” but this lotion doesn’t sink into my skin and it feels oily and greasy. I’m really bummed about this because I love having small lotions to keep in my purse to use on my cuticles on my way to and from work (aka downtime.) This is not one of those kinds of lotions. Unfortunately, these have pretty much remained full because everytime I think “Oh, maybe I should try again,” I am quickly reminded of why I choose other hand creams.

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I really like these facial cleansing wipes a lot. I keep them on my nightstand for those nights where I’m all tucked up in bed when I realize that my makeup is still all over my face. They’re a nice compromise for nights when I otherwise would sleep with my make up on. They don’t totally take off eye makeup, but they do a superb job with foundation removal. If I don’t take off my makeup at night, my face breaks out, but I’m also too lazy sometimes to get out of bed when I’m all set for sleeping. I actually just used my last wipe last night and I will definitely be picking up another. The only things in love with are that it doesn’t take off eye makeup well (as previously mentioned) and that it leaves a slight sticky feeling to my face for a while. But the benefit outweighs the very slight dislikes.Aviary Photo_130697370569699322While the hand creams haven’t really done it for me, I have really enjoyed the cuticle cream. It comes in the smallest, cutest little pot and it fits perfectly in my bag. It’s thick glass and metal which means it holds up well against the storm that is my purse, and it’s cute. I like this cream because it rubs nicely into my cuticles and doesn’t leave my hands feeling bad. Disclaimer: I don’t use this on my whole hand, I just use it on my nail and nail bed, but I have liked it so much that I would probably buy it again if I found it at a shop.

I would like to try out other cuticle creams, and I would love to try out other hand creams, so if you have one that you love, please let me know so I can try ’em out!

Hope you all have a lovely Friday eve!

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Lazy Sunday Walks

Oh my goodness. Things have been a quite crazy as of late. Brandon’s parents were in town for most of last week, it was spring break, and I have an O-Chem midterm tomorrow. However, this past Sunday we didn’t have anything immediately that needed to happen, so we decided to take a breather and have a lazy day. When life gets crazy, I’ve found that it’s so important to take time to relax. On our lazy days, we love to go on walks, especially when the weather is so nice. Next to fall, this is my favorite time of the year; It’s been getting warmer, and with daylight savings, the sun is now out until about 7:30p. On these walks, we like to practice our picture taking. These are my favorites.

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I really love the strands of patio lights they’ve strung up in the back of Trolley Square. They look so pretty…

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Street art mermaid with gold.Aviary Photo_130697400165453156

The most beautiful chickens in someone’s front yard! We first saw them last week when they escaped the fence and wandered into the neighboring apartment complex’s parking lot. I didn’t have my camera with me that time though. There were a couple more that were in the side yard too. Aviary Photo_130697400877658673Aviary Photo_130697402582004092

Lunch and snoozes. Cooper’s favorite thing to do on lazy days in between napping is sit up, look around, sigh dramatically and then flop back down on to the couch. I love how his little personality is finally coming out.Aviary Photo_130697402836065894Lazy Sundays are my absolute favorite, especially when it’s coupled with nice crisp weather and grey sunshine. What are your favorite things to do on Lazy Sundays? And how do you deal with busy times?

My Sprouting Lip color Collection

My latest slightly scary, but mostly exciting endeavor has been building up a collection of lip colors. Up until probably two months ago, I had only ever used chap stick aside from dress up as a child. I had never seriously worn lipstick or have even considered the fact that I could buy my own until now. Lipstick can be so pretty, but I haven’t been confident enough to get serious about lipstick until lately. So here is my very small collection that I am very proud of. To me they represent the beginning of my journey, and that makes me so excited.
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Here are the three lipsticks: MAC Cremesheen Pure Zen, and Crosswires, and Bellepierre Burlesque

Aviary Photo_130697361690680283Along with the lipsticks, I also have added a Royal Apothic Lip Tintie. I love my little collection because as you’ll be able to see below, the colors go from nude to bright which means I have options for depending on how brave I’m feeling. I like to layer each of these over Burt’s Bee’s first so that my lips are as moisturized as possible.
Aviary Photo_130697362907508847This is the MAC cremesheen Pure Zen. How I ended up acquiring this lipstick is a bit of a funny story that I’ll have to do a post about at a later time. I really love this color, and this is one of two that I have been brave enough to wear out of my house and I really like it. The only thing I’m not in love with is that I feel like it shows when my lips aren’t perfect; like you can see if my lips are peeling a when I use this, and I’m not sure how to make that stop.

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The other lip color that I’ve been brave enough to wear out of the house is the pink lip tint. I love how natural that it looks, and I love that it doesn’t “highlight” any lip imperfections like peeling or dryness. You can find this at Anthropologie or via the link above. I like layering even this one over some Burt’s Bees to help with moisturizing. I’m terrible when it comes to chewing on my lips, so keeping them covered helps. This one is genuinely a tint; it’s almost like hitting the enhance button on photo-editing apps: it gives your lips just a bit more color and depth.

Aviary Photo_130697364056489896Now these are the colors that have not been worn outside of my house yet. For some reason, wearing lipstick is so scary to me. The above is the MAC cremesheen in the color Crosswires. However, after taking these pictures, I realized that this MAC Cremesheen Crosswires isn’t as stark of a color I had previously thought…. I think I will try wearing this out this weekend…
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Bellapierre’s Burlesque is one shade that will probably take a while to work up to. I actually got this in a GlossyBox, which could have ended not so well, but I ended up really like this color. I’ve tried it on in my bathroom and when I’m home alone many many times, but I haven’t been brave enough to wear this out of the house yet. Hopefully soon…

Aviary Photo_130697400611182966Here are all of the colors. I would LOVE to add more colors, and become more adventurous with my lipsticks, so please let me know in the comments what your favorite lipsticks have been so I can try them out!

Food Friday: Homemade Nacho Fries

A facebook friend recently posted THIS article on buzzfeed about the most delicious looking nacho fries ever.  After being unable to forget about them, (and after realizing I didn’t reside in any of the states that the nacho-fry restaurants did,) I decided to try my hand at making my own. 
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Here are all of my lovely ingredients. I used plain old giant potatoes for my french fries, and I decided to use kidney beans instead of black beans.Aviary Photo_130697357528766188

After peeling my potatoes, I rinsed them and cut them into french fry shaped sticks. After that, I drizzled them with olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. The brand of chili powder I used had no salt in it so I had to use quite a bit of salt to make up for that. After mixing all the spices together, I used my hands to make sure the potatoes all were evenly coated. Aviary Photo_130697401343454418

Then I heated up the oven to a hot 425, and popped those fries in to cook for 25 minutes. While my fries were cooking, I took that time to tidy up and get all my toppings ready to go. Aviary Photo_130697366992847929

I used fiesta cheese, kidney beans, corn, green onions and medium salsa. I also made some simple guacamole with a whole smashed avocado, diced white onions, salt and pepper.

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These were my finished fries; I love crispy fries, and I think these turned out quite nicely.

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Then I sprinkled the cheese over the fries and popped it back in the oven to melt for a bit. This way, the cheese will be melty even under all the other toppings.
Aviary Photo_130697385571226421Then I added the my toppings and put it back in the oven one more time to heat up the beans and corn, and to toast the green onions.

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And this is the final, mixed up result. I put the guacamole on after everything was cooked well and after the cheese was completely melted. They were crazy delicious and completely satisfied my cravings for nacho fries.

Are there any recipes you’ve been wanting to try? Any especially delicious food ideas that have been hard to get out of your mind? Let me know!

The Surprisingly Wonderful Comfy Pants!!

A couple weeks ago I was in H&M just browsing around, when I came across some really cute pants. Unfortunately, I’ve become quite jaded when it comes to almost anything that is supposed to fit my legs. I remember as a kid trying on what seemed like endless pairs of pants, and after several hours leaving empty handed. It was always such a draining process and it left me feeling terrible about my body. My legs are not proportional to the rest of my body like everybody else’s and so the pant-makers don’t usually make pants for me; my thighs and calves are huge compared to my bum and waist, which means that the were always tons of jeans that I couldn’t even get over my calves, or that we’re incredibly tight in the leg and baggy in the waist. The worst were jeans that pulled weird in the crotch, and unfortunately that was most of them.

As a result of this long and troubled relationship for pants, that has become my least favorite item to shop for, and most of the time, I don’t even look at jeans in shops. However, these pants were stretchy, and the friends I was with persuaded me to try them on. It was magical. On a whim I tried on some pants, and they FIT me!! I don’t think I have ever had such a positive pant shopping experience. So of course, I bought them right up. Now, I can’t stop wearing them. They have just the right amount of stretch to them, which means they are stretchy in the right places, and tight in the right places. They fit my legs and my waist and I absolutely love them.Aviary Photo_130690570332936809Are there any items of clothing you’ve been loving lately? Favorite places to shop? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday Music

This Tuesday, the music comes from a group called The Cellar Door. After high school, Brandon went to Seattle Pacific University for a year and a half while I moved down to Salt Lake for University here. During that time we maintained (read: struggled through) a long distance relationship. We were about a year into distance when he sent me a mix CD of songs. Some were lovey dovey, and some he just thought I’d like. The one below was included on this CD and I have loved this group ever since. Even though I have listened to these songs many, many times, they still sound so lovely and make me feel just the slightest bit nostalgic. With the turn of the season and the new plants sprouting, these songs feel fresh and crisp and bright.

The Cellar Door was a group of students at SPU who made music together in their dorm and then recorded some of it. Brandon saw them perform on campus once and he said that they were simply amazing. They’re an indie roots group that finds home within the chamber-pop genre. Unfortunately I’m not sure that they’re still making music together; their Facebook group hasn’t been updated in quite a while, and their website expired a couple weeks ago. If they really have finished making music together, then I am grateful to have gotten to know the music they did make. If they aren’t done, then I cannot wait to hear what they create next.

After listening to Spring, I found the one above: Ground. This is my favorite of the two. I love the lyrics and the idea of wanting to be someone’s ground; someone’s stability and home. Just an all around lovely song.

I was unable to find them on Soundcloud, so instead, the YouTube studio recorded versions are above, and a live music video of their song Ground, is below. Their music video is incredibly intimate and raw and beautifully styled and put together. I can’t imagine how fun it would be to get to write and record music with friends like that. How lucky are they.

What have been your favorite songs this week? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for good, new music!

Face moisturizers: a Review

Aviary Photo_130689722713999924I’ve been experiencing some really dry skin on my face this winter, especially with the intense cold snap we had about a week ago. These are the products that have been saving me! I like to switch things up and not just use the same products every day, so from left to right, here are my four most recent mainstays:

1. Origins Drink Up – Intensive

I’d seen this moisturizer on a couple different beauty blogs, so when I put in my most recent Sephora order, I thought that this would be a good product to toss in. Everybody has raved about it, and now I totally understand why. It smells incredibly good, it doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky or filmy, and it’s perfect to smooth on after washing my face at night. It leaves my face feeling smooth and hydrated when I wake up and this would definitely be something I’d repurchase. It wasn’t too expensive either, only being about $25 for the tube, which will last me forever because I use such a small amount each time.

2. Jason C – Effects Pure Natural Lotion

I like to use this lotion in the morning before I put on my makeup. It smells very clean and almost a little citrus-y. I like the thin consistence of this lotion because it spreads easily, absorbs quickly, and is a good top off if your face is already quite hydrated. It doesn’t have any SPF, so it’s not for a sunny day. The vitamin C is really great for repairing your skin though, and would probably be good for a after sun exposure. I know the consistence and lack of SPF is an issue for some people, however I really like the consistence and the lack of SPF doesn’t bother me.

3. Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute

I received this creme in a Glossy Box, and have totally loved it. It smells fancy and feels so rich and smooth. The only thing that I don’t love about this, is that it can feel a little heavy on my skin, and sometimes when I forget to wipe off the excess with toner, it feels uncomfortable against my pillow. It does feel nice though after a good mud mask and exfoliation, and it makes my skin look glowing the next morning.

4. Earth Science Almond Aloe Facial Moisturizer

This is the other lotion I like to alternate between before I put on my makeup. This is the only lotion of the four that has absolutely no scent; none added, and no accidental smell at all. You could close your eyes and smell it and you wouldn’t be able to tell it was even there. There isn’t any SPF in this lotion either, so I wouldn’t recommend this lotion if you were going to be outside a lot that day. For the most part, I’m inside almost the entire day, so I don’t usually have to worry about SPF. It does have jojoba and almond oil though and hyaluronic acid which makes my face feel smooth and lovely. It’s a little more thick and moisturizing than the Jason C-Effects and so if my face isn’t feeling quite as hydrated as I’d like, I’ll use this before I put my makeup on.

As a side note, I’ve noticed that my skin is much more resilient when it’s well moisturized. By this I mean that I feel like my acne heals much quicker when it’s hydrated than when it’s dry and thirsty. So let me know what your favorite moisturizers are! What lotions do you turn to when the elements are drying you out?