Valentine’s Day Gift Box

Coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift can be so hard. Do you go with candy, flowers, jewelry, dinner out…or all of the above? Local SF jeweler Waffles & Honey has made the decision easier with their limited edition Galentine’s/Valentine’s Day Gift Box.

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Each box features their limited edition Gemstone Bar Necklace (in your choice of Turquoise, Labradorite or Crystal Quartz) and lots of other fun goodies. I love that they call it a “Galentine’s” box, because it’s the perfect gift for a best friend too!
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BOX INCLUDES:

  • 1 Gemstone Bar Necklace in your choice of Labradorite, Turquoise, or Crystal Quartz on a 14 karat gold filled chain (16″). Bar measures 1″
  • Tops Malibu Heart Sparkler
  • 1 Glass Jar of Valentines Chocolates
  • 2 Rock Candies
  • Hand Made Tassel Garland by Brittany Hill Boutique
  • A Handwritten Gift Card

The box retails for $79.95, and only 40 boxes are available, so act fast before they sell out! And for guaranteed arrival by Valentine’s Day, orders must be placed by Tuesday 2/9/16 at noon.

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Would you love to receive this box? Which gemstone would you pick?

xoxo,
Veronica

M•A•C Select Rewards Program

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Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

I have been using and wearing makeup since I was 12. My go-to at the time? The Wet ‘n’ Wild collection from my local Rite Aid. Once I turned 16, I got a job, and while I didn’t have any bills to pay, all the money I earned went straight impulse buys. That’s when I really started experimenting with pigments, shadows and blushes with none other than M∙A∙C Cosmetics.

For a long time their “rewards” program was exchanging six empty bottles (foundation, primer, eyeshadows, lip glosses, etc.) for a new lipstick of your choice. So when I was perusing the beauty section of PopSugar yesterday and came upon the M∙A∙C Select Rewards Program, my eyes lit up. A lot of beauty stores provide a rewards service already (think Sephora or Ulta), so it’s nice to see a cosmetic line that isn’t necessarily carried in those beauty stores providing a rewards program for their loyal clientele.

Here are the basics:

There are three tiers: Seduced, Devoted, Obsessed and each provide a certain amount of perks. You start out in the seduced category and the more you spend with M∙A∙C, the quicker you climb up to the obsessed status.

Perks:

Seduced

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Annual gift just for M∙A∙C Seduced members
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker Expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Product samples at checkout
  • Complimentary standard shipping

Devoted (spend $150 [on qualifying purchases] to become Devoted)

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Exclusive anniversary gift for Devoted members
  • Early access on selected collections
  • Enhanced product samples online
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Complimentary express makeup application
  • Complimentary 2-Day shipping (with $50 purchase)

Obsessed (spend $500 [on qualifying purchases] to become Obsessed)

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Deluxe anniversary gift for Obsessed members
  • Be the first to shop selected collections
  • Enhanced product samples online
  • Complimentary 2-Day shipping (with $50 purchase)
  • Access new products before anyone else
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Two complimentary makeup applications

I can’t wait to replenish and add more M∙A∙C eyeshadow palettes, glosses and blushes to my collection to reap these benefits.

Will you be signing up for the select rewards program?

xoxo,

Leigh

 

Pop Physique Releases Capsule Collection

My favorite go-to workout class, Pop Physique, has expanded their clothing options from just graphic tees and tanks to now include a signature capsule collection of workout clothing.

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From left: The Pop Sweatshirt ($68), The Pop Sports Bra ($42), The Pop Varsity Tee ($52)

This first capsule collection, “designed in LA with New York in mind,” contains 7 items that “tells the authentic story of the modern woman.” I really like the fact that they’ve kept it very chic and streamlined – mostly all black, with pops of blush and beige. The addition of mesh panels in several of the pieces gives the collection an edgy, urban vibe.

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From left: The Pop Legging ($70), 100% Organic Cotton Distressed Tank ($48), The Iconic Bodysuit ($110), Pop Carryall ($65)

Pop Physique has been gaining in popularity (counting such celebrity clients as Trina Turk, Selena Gomez, Kat Von D and Diane Kruger), so it’s a natural progression to now include workout apparel that can be worn to class (SoulCycle comes to mind as another class that has done this successfully).

If you haven’t tried Pop Physique before I highly recommend it! It’s a one hour ballet barre-based class that utilizes the principles of dance to create long, lean lines and tight, compact muscles. I took Pop classes religiously for the 6 months leading up to my wedding and had fantastic results.

What do you think of their capsule collection? Would you purchase any of these pieces?

xoxo,
Veronica

Netflix Binge-Watch: Making a Murderer

When it comes to watching shows I usually stick to my usuals: Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives franchise, Law and Order Special Victims Unit, Married At First Sight and a few others. Lately, people have been talking about the the Netflix documentary called Making a Murderer. Just by the title I was pretty hesitant to watch the show, but then a close friend of mine said it was a similar topic to the first season of the hit podcast Serial. If you’re not familiar with the first season of Serial, it’s about a teenager named Adnan Syed who was arrested and charged with the murder of his ex girlfriend. There is no 100% conclusive evidence pointing the blame on him and it’s still a mystery as to why he was arrested and charged (for some people).  

Debating on whether to watch the new season of The X-Files or Making a Murderer I decided to put on Netflix and watch the first episode of Making a Murder.  All I can say is holy smokes… The first episode draws you in and you just end up having to binge-watch it. It’s only 10 episodes (about an hour or so each) and each one dives deeper and deeper into the situation of this man who was imprisoned for 18 years on a crime he didn’t commit, then gets released due to DNA evidence, only to get arrested about two years later for a crime he believes he was framed for (still claims he’s innocent to this day) by the cops in Wisconsin.

While I don’t want to give away spoilers for those who haven’t seen the show, I will say this – at the end of the 10 episodes you will be questioning a lot of things about society, law enforcement and our judicial system.

Have you seen Making a Murderer yet?

xx,

Leigh

 

Simple Makeup

During the winter months it’s hard for me to get up early enough to apply full makeup. By full make up I mean adding the glittery eyeshadow and a great lip color. My skin needs constant hydration and applying full makeup every day then taking it off with makeup remover each night dries out my skin. My solution is a simple winter makeup routine. Here’s my routine:

Night before:

I am obsessed with the Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream by bareMinerals. After a shower or washing my face I apply this generously on my face and neck before bed and let it sink into my pores while sleeping. I wake up without dry skin. I can’t forget to mention that it smells wonderful.

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Morning:

While I moisturize with a butter/oil based moisturizer, I tend to wash with an oil-free face wash because my face will remain oily otherwise. I use Clean & Clear Morning Burst facial cleanser. It really does wake my skin up. Here are my next steps for my simple makeup routine:

  1. Urban Decay’s B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray
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  2. Urban Decay’s Pore Perfecting Primer
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  3. Too Faced Born This Way foundation in warm nude
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  4. Urban Decay 24/7 Black Velvet eyeliner
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  5. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara
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And there you have it. My simple makeup routine! It takes me about 10 minutes to apply which is great when I’m running late in the morning.

Did I miss one of your favorite products? Let me know!

xoxo,

Leigh

Packing for a Beach Getaway

I’m super excited – tomorrow I’m leaving for a 4-day trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! It’s a quick weekend getaway, so packing shouldn’t be too hard. But it’s still always the thing I agonize over – what to pack, and making sure I’m packing the perfect outfits.

The weather there should range from the high 70’s during the day, and cool down to the low 60’s at night. I have lots of different activities planned during the day (sailing, snorkeling, exploring the town, cooking class, pool time) and nice dinners planned at night, so I’m taking that into consideration and throwing in a couple of nice dresses. In the end, this is the clothing list I came up with:

  • 2 swimsuits (so I don’t have to wear a wet swimsuit)
  • 1 beach coverup
  • 3 dresses (one for each dinner)
  • 4 tank tops (one for each day during the daytime)
  • 1 pair linen pants
  • 1 lace romper
  • 1 pair flip flops (for the beach, pool, and water activities)
  • 1 pair leather sandals (my most comfortable sandals for daytime)
  • 1 pair nude wedges (for dinner)
  • 1 light cardigan
  • 1 beige clutch (to go with all dresses)
  • simple jewelry
  • and of course pjs and undergarments

Packing list

I plan on wearing another pair of comfy pants on the plane that I can also wear during the day there, as well as a light cardigan that can be worn at night when it cools down. I’m sure I’m slightly over-packing, but I like to have one or two extra pieces just in case I feel like wearing something else that day. Packing tip: Try to pick a color scheme, so that items can easily be mixed and matched. You can see I’ve stuck to a blue palette, with black and white thrown in.

What do you think, am I missing anything? Do you have any packing tips to share?

xoxo,
Veronica

Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

career of evilLast year I wrote a post about books I love and some I haven’t read yet. Well for my book club, we just finished reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. Who’s Robert Galbraith, you may ask… J.K. Rowling of course! Love her. I’ve read the Harry Potter series eight times, going on my ninth at some point this year. My opinion as to why she created this pseudonym is because her first adult novel after the Harry Potter series (The Casual Vacancy) didn’t receive the best reviews. Side note: I didn’t even get 100 pages into The Casual Vacancy.

Career of Evil is the third installment of the Cormoran Strike novels. Genre: action-mystery, in my opinion. Cormoran Strike is a detective in London who, essentially, solves cases faster than the police can with the help of his assistant Robin. While I’m not going to spoil anything, my advice is to read the first of the series (The Cuckoo’s Calling) before picking up the third. Skip the second if you want. I did and didn’t feel like I missed any vital information. The first book, however, introduces you to the main characters so if you do end up skipping the second book, you’re not left wondering who’s who.

On to my review. I really enjoyed this book. While it did take me a little over a month to read (a month and three days, actually), the book captures your attention in the first four pages. From then on you’re hooked. The nice thing about the Cormoran Strike series is that it’s always action packed and you end up reading more chapters than you thought you would right before you go to sleep. This book flip flops between two sets of characters in every chapter and it’s interesting to see how both sets of stories intertwine throughout the book. That’s all I’ll tell you about the plot because I don’t want to ruin the book for you, but my only real critique of the book is the ending. I was thoroughly disappointed and you might be too after you read it.

All in all, the writing is captivating (I mean, it is J.K. Rowling after all) and the plot is well thought out and intriguing. If you end up picking it up to read it – or have already read it and loved it, hated it, or was meh  about it – let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Leigh

Bachelor Bracket Time

The Bachelor

The Bachelor is on it’s 20th season, and I’m still (sadly?) an avid viewer. It’s a guilty pleasure I just can’t seem to give up. Luckily, my friends are just as into it as I am, and we regularly get together for Monday night viewing parties.

Reality TV madness

Bachelor bracketTwo of my friends are so into it that they decided to start up a website where we can track our picks from week to week (instead of paper brackets like we were previously doing). It’s really great and much more user-friendly than other brackets I’ve seen out there. You can see what it looks like and my picks for the remaining weeks on the right.

It’s open for anyone to join, and it’s not too late! So if you’re interested, head over to their site (Reality TV Madness) and make your picks. Brackets close at 8pm EST tonight (that’s 5pm for us West Coasters), so sign up and get your picks locked in ASAP!

Join us in a little friendly competition, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Who do you think Ben is going to end up with? My initial pick was Olivia, but seeing as she’s going crazy lately, I think it’s going to be between JoJo and Lauren B.

xoxo,
Veronica

Favorite Drugstore Finds

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I tend to stick to specialty store brands when it comes to makeup and skincare, but I love the drugstore for everyday hair and body products. I have several that I’ve used religiously for years now, and wanted to share my favorite finds with you. Trust me, they work!

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Vaseline Lip Therapy (Cocoa Butter Mini) – This has to be my favorite hands down. I have several stored around the house, and really can’t live without it. The tiny Vaseline pot is comes in is adorably small, and it will keep your lips moisturized for hours. I always put it on before bed, and I wake up with it still on.

Garnier cleansing towelettes

Garnier SkinActive Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes – I use this on nights I’m too tired to wash my face, and nightly to remove eye/face makeup before I wash my face. It’s also perfect to use during long flights to refresh and “wash” your face. The formula is infused with grape water extract to revitalize skin for a healthy glow.

Palmers cocoa butterPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (Body Lotion) – A deeply hydrating moisturizer with a soft cocoa butter scent (my husband says it makes me smell like chocolate). I slather it on before bed and use it after showering in the morning. Because it’s inexpensive, I don’t feel bad about using a lot of it, and I love that the scent is so light (perfect for the workplace if you don’t want to offend anyone with a heavy scented lotion).

Neutrogena shampooNeutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – If you tend to use lots of styling products or dry shampoo, you’ll want to get a bottle of this. I couldn’t figure out why my hair seemed so dull and hard to style, and after attempting solutions like washing it twice and deep conditioning, I decided maybe it was due to product residue. I saw this in the shampoo aisle, and all I can say is WOW! It leaves hair squeaky-clean, and restores bounce and life to lifeless hair. It’s super-effective, so I only use it once every couple of weeks when it starts to feel like it needs it. Be careful though if you have colored hair as it may strip out the color.

Psssst! dry shampoopsssst! Instant Dry Shampoo – I have brown hair, so finding a good dry shampoo is always a challenge. Most dry shampoos leave behind a white residue that makes it look like brunettes are going grey at an early age. This “true original” dry shampoo doesn’t leave that white residue, and keeps my hair looking

Elnett Satin Hairspray (Extra Strong Hold Unscented) – The hairspray that lots of stylists swear by, and for good reason. This will hold style all day long (it held my normally straight hair in curls throughout my entire wedding day)! I prefer the unscented version so that the smell doesn’t overpower my perfume (who wants to smell like hairspray?). I started using this years and year ago and will never switch to anything else.

What are your favorite drugstore products? Any good ones that I missed?

xoxo,
Veronica

Home Decor

These next three weeks are sure to be hectic. My husband and I are currently packing up our apartment and moving into a bigger one a few streets over (at another complex). While I do love all the current art pieces we have (and one we bought on our honeymoon in Hawaii), since it’s a bigger space I need to accommodate and make it feel homey rather than empty.

Where do I go? Pinterest, of course! It has truly been my savior in figuring out how to organize in a stylish and creative way. The two main rooms I need to focus on is the bathroom and kitchen. Here are some of the ideas I will be implementing in my new apartment:

Bathroom:

Using a wine rack as a towel holder. Such a great idea!

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Loving this tiered tray to store things like q-tips, lotions and small hand towels. My new bathroom counter will have the space for this.

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Bedroom:

I have everything pretty much set for the bedroom already as we’re bringing over what we already have, but I am always looking for a better way to store my jewelry. I love this framed jewelry board. I love that this one has a little shelf/tray for rings.

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Kitchen:

I’ve always wanted to put up cute signs and these are printable. Just head to the dollar store and find a nice frame to put these in!

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Living Room:

Loving these shelves and how they’re decorated. Will be sure to do this in my new place.

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Guaranteed over the next three weeks I’ll come up with more ideas. Once we are settled in I’ll be sure to take some photos and share them with you.

If you have any cool ideas, be sure to let me know in the comments – I’m always looking for more.

xoxo,

Leigh