Friday Favorites | 12.18.15

I thought I’d start doing Friday Favorites posts when I have products to share with from the previous week. On YouTube, I’m subscribed to LipglossLeslie who does these videos weekly and they’re some of my favorite to watch. These posts also shows what I like do and wear throughout the work week in terms of makeup, clothes, and lifestyle updates.

Makeup

Brownie Points

ELF Smudge Pot – Brownie Points

ELF Smudge Pot Brownie Points

I’ve had the ELF Smudge Pot in Crusin’ Chic for a while and it’s the best cream shadow I own! It’s very similar in color to the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, but better. I purchased a new Bad to Bronze this past spring and it’s already too dry for my liking. The ELF Smudge Pots don’t dry out – they’re creamy, pigmented, and are great for one shadow looks and bases for more dramatic looks. brownie points label

I purchased Brownie Points because LipglossLeslie talked so highly about it, and it’s just as good as she said. It’s slightly darker and more bronze than Crusin’ Chic and works great as a base for a smokey eye. All I did was pop a transition shade in the crease, add some smokey liner, and use an inner corner highlight.
Definitely wearing that smokey eye to our upcoming Winter Solstice Party! I’m even thinking about going back to Target to get the Wine Not color, which would be great for a Christmas look!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Cannes

NYX matte lip cream

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Cannes

I picked this up at Ulta while I taking advantage of my 20% off coupon that’s offered during the holidays. I had always heard great things about these lip products, and I’m so happy I finally picked one up. I definitely want to go back and get a whole bunch more! The formula isn’t drying, even after the product sets down to a nearly matte finish. I own the liquid to matte lipsticks from Milani and ColourPop, and I’m not crazy about either especially the ColourPop formula – they’re just too dry. The NYX isn’t. And the color is a great everyday, terra cotta shade that I can easily wear to work or on an evening out.

 

Simple Eye Looks
Since I get up pretty early to be into work around 8 a.m., I usually keep the makeup pretty fast and simple. I don’t usually like doing simple eye looks as much, but this week I’ve really been into it. I’ve been using bronze and taupe shades to make everything easy, but still put-together for work. I dug out MAC’s Satin Taupe which was one of the first MAC shadows I ever purchased, and I still love it!

 

Outfit of the Week

HM sweater

Sweater – H&M, Necklace – Call It Spring

I think it would be fun to share my favorite outfit of the week if I’m able to get a good photo of it! I recently started a new job and had to switch to a business casual dress code, so I’m still learning on what clothes work for my style and that I can wear to work. This week my favorite outfit were simple black pants, a green sweater, low wedges, and a statement necklace. The pants are from OldNavy.com, petite section and sweater is this from H&M in an amazing jade green color that I always get compliments on it. The low wedges are Nine West Irina Wedge Pump add a bit of
sophistication to the outfit and I got the necklacerose gold necklace from Call It Spring two summers ago.

 

 

Cookies!
There’s not many times of the year when I rave about how much I’m enjoying cookies, but Christmas and holidays are an exception to the rule! It’s a tradition for many families to make cookies in celebration of their holiday this season. This past week I made two cookie recipes that I want to share in case anyone is looking for a new recipe to try this weekend! First, Jake and I made eggnog cookies last weekend; eggnog being one of Jake’s favorites this time of year. They’re soft and chewy, a little sweet so be careful with how many you have in one sitting. Then there was a cookie exchange at work and I brought cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies. These were amazing and highly recommend them! I found the recipe on Pinterest, and she suggests adding white chocolate chips to the tops of the cookies as soon as they’re out of the oven to make them look even tastier!

January Fitness Update

January is a popular time of year for people to get back into their fitness goals as well as for people to make New Year’s Resolutions to get involved with fitness or lose weight.  January is also the time when I re-evaluate my fitness goals and start preparing for the spring cutting season.  I know spring seams far away, but by the time it arrives the hope is that I have built up enough muscle to be able to cut and still maintain my strength levels.

A few weeks before Christmas, Jake and I started a new lifting routine which includes a basic three-day split.  I decided to invest in a pair of lifting straps at the advice of a coworker to improve my grip strength and overall improve my dead lifts.  For the past two years, I’ve used gloves for lifting but it’s not my hands that need the help anymore as I’ve built up some pretty good calluses.  Ladies, do not be afraid of getting calluses from weight lifting.  Mine aren’t even noticeable to the eye and most days no one is holding my hands to feel them.  In addition to our three-day split, my goal is run or do some form of cardio twice a week.  I don’t put a lot of emphasis on cardio during fall or winter, but moving into spring I like to keep it consistent.  I’ve never been one for doing ab exercises (I hate them), but this year I’d like to make it one of my goals.  Jake and I will probably add ab exercises onto leg day because generally that is our fastest moving day.  This weekend I’d like to find a basic everyday ab exercise that I can do in the mornings or evenings on a yoga mat, nothing intense likes those ad challenges I see rolling around on Pinterest.  Remember abs are made in the kitchen, not at the gym.

During the fall and winter months, I spoil myself with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin cookies, holiday parties, and all weight lifting at the gym.  Right now at the turn of the year, I have decided to start tracking what I eat and count my calorie intake.  I have used the app My Fitness Pal in the past and I really enjoy it.  Not only does it allow my to track my calories, but I can also see the breakdown of the nutrition in the food.  The app can keep track of your exercises and how many calories you burn which are then negated from your daily caloric intake.  The one downside to the app is that it doesn’t know how many calories are burned during strength exercises.  One of my best tips to eating healthy is to meal plan.  I like to prepare my lunch and dinners every week, cooking on Sunday’s and packing everything in containers for busy weekdays.  I just ordered a weekly whiteboard so that I can better organize meals for myself and for when Jake comes over.  I love lists and organizing my thoughts and I have been wanting a whiteboard for over a year now.

I’d like to do these fitness updates every three to four months, during the change of the seasons and fitness routines.  Moving into spring, my diet will become more strict with less carbs and high amounts of vegetables and protein.  The most important part of my fitness routine is making sure I’m keeping hydrated: drink all the water.  Start with a glass right after to step out of bed and add an additional glass or two if you exercise that day.

Getting Ready to Party

Fall officially begins on September 23 this year; the autumnal equinox.  For the past two years now I’ve been attending my boyfriend’s seasonal parties with the fall party being the biggest and the best.  Jake and his friends have been having these parties for the past four years or so and they’re the highlight of the seasons.  We’re having the party a few days early and I get to be a little more hands-on with the planning (yes, I’m all giddy on the inside about it), and today Jake and I start cleaning up his house and I did some shopping for the items we need.

I started searching a few week ago and found some fall shaped cookie cutters and sprinkles for cookies I’m planning to make.  I’m making pumpkin cookies, however, I’m still looking for a good recipe.  Me and my friend did a test run a few weeks ago with these Melt-In-Your-Mouth pumpkin cookies, but they were almost too melty.  Since I’m not much of a baker I may be getting some store bought dough (don’t tell anyone) and just make some pumpkin cream-cheese frosting to go on top.  As for food, I’m planning to make a crock pot chili with chicken and a small crock pot of chili for the vegetarians.

Today, Jake and I are going to start cleaning up his house in preparation of guests.  This includes typical yard work and cleaning, but I also went thrifting for some lights to use along the fence and in the garage.  I pick-up three boxes of basic white lights and a string of orange lights! Yeah, orange is more Halloween themed, but I figured mixed in with white and multi-colored lights no one will really notice.  Jake and his friends really wanted hay bails for the backyard, just as we’ve had for the past two years.  On Friday I found a coworker who was getting hay bails over the weekend for her horses, and she offered a few up to me.

And of course, my outfit is already picked out!  The weather for Saturday is a looking a little gloomy, but mild.  The past two yeas have been pretty cold, in the 30s once the sun has gone down.  The first year I attended, I remember being sick with one of the worst colds I’d had in years, and I decided wearing a short dress with only tights and a jacket was acceptable.  Last year, though I wasn’t sick, I was wearing a short skirt, tights, and about three layers on top.  This year, a similar outfit, with a mini skirt, black with mustard yellow stripes, tights paired with these new black boots I got from DSW in black.  On top, if it’s really warm I’ll just go with a lace tank top and a sweater, other wise, I think the skirt will look good with a cream colored sweater I purchased in spring  It’s thick, but it’s crocheted so I won’t overheat.  My favorite accessory in fall (and all year round really) is my denim jacket.  I thrifted it years ago for $11, and now it’s starting to wear holes in it.  You know I’ll be wearing it paired with a matte lipstick.

I love getting ready for the day on a fall day, doing my makeup and getting dressed while listening to relaxing music.  Getting to spend another party with Jake is definitely the highlight of it all, especially as he’s usually working nights on the weekends.  Then there’s of course seeing all my friends and having a few drinks bringing in my favorite season to make it all worth while.

Pumpkin Time!

I am beyond excited for pumpkin everything this fall! I know some people are going to get sick of hearing about pumpkin scented and flavored products pretty soon, but I’m guilty of being one of those lovers.

I already have started collecting some pumpkin items, but the wish list grows.  I have pumpkin string lights that I have placed on my TV stand.  I found pumpkin spice coffee creamer at Target this week, which I had already been searching for.  Starbucks’ famous Pumpkin Spice Latte became available this past Monday, early by popular demand.  I purchased some very wonderful scented candles at Walmart of all places.  They smell amazing and inexpensive compared to Bath and Body Works; I just can’t justify spending $22.50 on a candle, or even two candles.  That being said, I am headed out to Bath and Body works today to check out their pumpkin and other fall scented body washes.

Pumpkin silicone trays, Walmart
I’m very tempted to go and buy these for the fall party that we’re going to be having a few weeks.  I’d make ice cubes for our beverages and even orange Jell-O shots.

Bath and Body Works body wash
I haven’t been able to find many options elsewhere for fall scented body was so I’ll likely cave to Bath and Body Works.  They are having a 50% off sale this weekend, Labor Day, so I don’t feel purchasing them.

Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Frosting
I’m making this for the fall party, that I previously mentioned.  It’s my first time attempting to make this as well as pumpkin cookies.  I made pumpkin cheesecake last year and it turned out pretty good.  I’m not a baker, so I think cheesecake was a bit outside of my baking abilities.  Cookies are much more up my alley.

Pumpkin carving
This is so simple, yet I can’t wait to do it.  I told Jake I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch this year instead of an apple orchard.  I haven’t carved a pumpkin since I was a child and honestly I don’t remember what age I was.