February Hits List!

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Good Morning and Happy 50%-Off-Valentine’s-Day-Candy-Day, everyone!

With temperatures staying consistently in the negatives since Friday night, and wind chill statistics causing a statewide safety alert- even in the afternoons when the sun has been shining brightly- I’ve been in a bit of a hibernation mode over this past weekend- only stepping outdoors if it was absolutely necessary (I’ve even forgone my usual coffee/tea runs at my local cafe!) Poor Oliver, who loves rolling around in the snow unlike any dog I’ve ever known in my life- has refused to go anywhere near the door when it comes time for him to take his daily walk. He wants no part of it.

Of course, a couple of days spent mostly confined to hot baths and warm blankets isn’t all bad. It’s given me a chance to catch up on my e-mails, update and re-organize my makeup collection- and prepare my monthly “Hits List” post for February!

This month I admittedly got a little swept up in ‘Valentine’s Day Fever’. I’m not talking about not-so-subtlety hinting to the guy I’ve been seeing for a romantic, candle-lit three-course dinner or six dozen roses or anything like that, since that’s never really been my thing- but I’ve picked up a couple of holiday-inspired finds in recent days and my current, mostly-neutral makeup and wardrobe color palette has been flushed with touches of romantic pinks, ravishing reds, and bold purples throughout February so far.

Like I did in my first ‘Hits List’ post last month, I’m going to start with my products and pieces, first- and then move onto the other stuff that couldn’t quite be photographed properly for this month’s collection!

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Starting in the bottom, left-hand corner of my laid out spread for February are my Valentine’s-inspired products from Lush Cosmetics. Not too long ago, I ran out of my absolute favorite lip scrub of all time, Lush’s ‘Popcorn’ scrub- and I was looking to replenish my little tub by re-ordering online. Instead, I saw this limited edition mandarin/cherry infused version, ‘The Kiss’ (with edible hearts mixed in it!) and knew I had to have it. It works incredible, tastes delicious, and the hearts are pretty fun. I’m not even going to deny it.

To pair with the scrub, I also purchased it’s matching lip gloss of the same name- which applies like and has the same moisturizing texture of a lip balm. I like that it doesn’t feel sticky/tacky on my lips and that the light pink color is really, really faint- since I tend to apply this a lot in the car or at work and don’t want to have it all over my face.

Finally, nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like Lush’s ‘Sex Bomb’ bath bomb! The last time I used this floral-scented moisturizing bomb was when I was in Las Vegas last October and wanted to unwind after a long day in the desert on the strip in the gigantic bathtub inside my hotel room. It’s been really nice having a couple of these on hand- especially when it’s been so frigid outside! I leave my bath feeling relaxed, refreshed, and with touchable soft skin.

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Moving upwards are two pieces from my wardrobe I’ve been adoring lately. The first is a knitted and embellished headband that I’ve been using to keep my ears and scalp warm when I’ve been in need of a break from my Winter hat collection. This thing definitely comes in handy in-between stylist appointments since it covers up my roots really well, but it’s also versatile since I can wear it indoors, too (just as long as I push it back behind my ears!)

Next up is my new favorite pair of leggings, the ‘King of Hearts’ printed stretchy design from Black Milk Clothing! It’s been a while since I’ve made a BMC purchase, but I saw these leggings and couldn’t resist. I love a good statement piece- something that is unique, comfortable, and really stands out- and these met all the requirements. I’ve been pairing these with my favorite slouchy black sweater and my black leather ankle boots in recent weeks and I get stopped wherever I go so people can take a look at them! I posted a photo of me sporting these over on my Instagram, if anyone wants to see how the print looks when it’s on!

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Moving a little to the right on the spread-out of this month’s favorites are these three crystals (rose quartz, amethyst, and obsidian) I recently obtained from a spirituality-centered store in Western Massachusetts. Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to crystals, their uses or meanings- but I like to keep an open mind- and I’ve been placing these around my home and my work space (or holding them in my hand when I’m being absent-minded or driving since they’re smooth and cool to the touch) and they’ve just been nice to have within reach. I’d like to pick up some larger ones for decorative purposes in the future, but these pocket-sized ones are good for now.

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Next up are my three “go-to” beauty products for the month of February. While January was all about nudes, light browns, and grays- I’ve been infusing my lids, lips and cheeks with more pink/red shades. My favorite shadow palette to create the perfect “romantic” inspired look has got to be my Urban Decay ‘Naked3;’ mirrored compact. I love blending the shimmer and matte rose and gold tones with my neutral shadows. It just gives my eyes such a beautiful sparkle that will be a nice way to transition into Spring (if it ever arrives!)

One of my all-time favorite drug store finds that I keep re-purchasing are these Color Sensational Creamy Matte lipsticks from Maybelline. They’re long-lasting, highly pigmented, non-drying, and affordable. While a nice bold red lip has become my trademark of sorts- I’ve changed it up a bit for this month and have been wearing a more subtle rose shade that works well with my ‘Naked3’ palette and my overall fair complexion.

Of course, I wanted to have a fun pop of color somewhere in my everyday look, and I turned to my longtime favorite ‘Hypnotic’ nail polish from Sephora’s Formula X line to give my digits a burst of beautiful, prismatic purple to brighten things up. I swear, I don’t have any kind of endorsement deal with Sephora or Formula X for constantly plugging the polish. I just absolutely love the longevity, range of shades and overall quality of the line.

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I was fortunate to have more than one Valentine this year in the form of friends and family- and in true V-Day tradition- those friends and family made sure I had plenty of chocolate to get me through the end of the month. This box (and bear!) was a gift from my aunt, uncle, and cousins- and I managed to hold off on eating each piece until I knew I had a decent photo of the not-destroyed box. Talk about willpower!

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I’ve been making my own juices and smoothies lately (anything with mango is an automatic favorite for me!) but on those mornings when I don’t have the time or the ingredients- I’ve been turning to Naked Juice to keep me going. My favorite is the ‘Green Machine’ beverage– a mix of fruits and vegetables (but thankfully tastes more fruity and sweet) but I’m also quite fond of the banana-chocolate smoothie and the orange-mango juice. I stock up on these weekly to bring with me to work or when I’m on the run. They’re delicious!

And last, but certainly not least- ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ IS BACK, YOU GUYS! Can we talk about last night’s mid-season premiere? I need to talk about it. At length. In detail. With lots of flailing and unintentionally raising my voice in excitement. I’M SO HAPPY.

But I digress- this past Christmas, my best friend Sean not only bought me a real Samurai sword designed to look just like Michonne’s (and there haven’t been any injuries or extensive property damage when I’ve swung it around for fun, by the way)– but he also picked up this “Mrs. Daryl Dixon” wallet for me, too! My current wallet, which I’ve had for roughly seven or eight years now- is in it’s final stages of falling apart- so I’ll be switching over my IDs, cards, and cash over to this hard-cover clutch-style one this week! It’s quite fitting, after all.

My friends know me so well.

And now, onto the other things I’ve been loving this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES –

  • ‘Deadpool’, ‘Zoolander 2’, ‘The Witch’ and ‘Triple 9’ February has proven to be the month filled with movies that I really want to see. Although ‘Triple 9’ isn’t out for a couple of weeks and ‘The Witch’ is out later this week- that gives me plenty of time to get caught up on ‘Deadpool’ (I might go see it today since I have the day off!) and ‘Zoolander 2’- which is surely the guiltiest pleasure out of the four. Sean and I re-watched the first ‘Zoolander’ over the weekend to refresh our memories, and it stands up to the test of time. I’m really excited to see how ridiculous the sequel is.
  • #TeamIronMan and #TeamCap – While Marvel fans are flying high on ‘Deadpool’s record breaking success at the box office so far, I’m still reeling from the most recent trailer for ‘Captain America: Civil War’ that aired during the Super Bowl and the resulting hashtags that took off on social media afterwards (I’m Team Cap all the way, for the record.) Tickets for San Diego Comic-Con go on sale this coming weekend, and if I can get in- I have a feeling I’ll be creating a Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier costume for the occasion…

I’ll probably make a Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier costume anyway, but that’s besides the point…

  • ‘Off The Wall’ – I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan, so it goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed Spike Lee’s documentary that premiered on Showtime earlier this month which details the making of Michael’s pre-‘Thriller’ album and broke down it’s brilliance and catchy-ness track by track. With commentary from fellow musicians, producers, choreographers, celebrities and Michael’s friends & family- it was a really interesting look inside the mind of a late, great genius during a tumultuous era and one of my favorite records to put on when I’m having a glum day and/or want to dance.

– TECH/APPS –

  • The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset – Sean had received an Oculus Rift headset from his parents for Christmas last year, and whenever I get the chance- you best believe I have a ball playing with it. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been having way too much fun blowing my mind with horror games and short animations/films. Maybe I’m just showing my age here, but the technology is seriously incredible- unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’ve been recording my friends playing the game ‘Sisters’ (it involves creepy dolls and a power outage- need I say more?) and their terrified reactions are always priceless. I’m thinking of getting my own headset eventually- but only in the hopes that there will be an influx of zombie-themed games by the time I do. I want to really feel like I’m in that post-apocalypse setting, you know?
  • CLUE – Ladies, this one is for you. If you’re on a funky form of birth control (that isn’t the pill) or if you’re off birth control and you’re trying to monitor your cycle- you’re gonna’ love this app- which is completely free for the iPhone and Android. CLUE allows you to enter daily stats on your body’s behavior- from your mood to your complexion to your food cravings and your amount of sleep per night/energy levels- to make it 110% easier to be prepared for your impending period or ovulation. It takes a few weeks of daily data entry to get an accurate calendar established, but once you do- you’re golden. You’ll never be caught off guard again! I’ve been using this for a couple of months now and it’s been really, really helpful to me to better understand my body.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Hey, New Yorkers – are you familiar with NeXT Stop Project? For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s a MetroCard recycling service of sorts. You can mail in your low balance MetroCards to the address provided on the website, and the service combines the low fares into full fares for subway riders in need. Pretty cool, right? I only recently heard about it after going through some of my own MetroCards I’ve accumulated from weekend stays in NYC over the past few months and didn’t know what to do with them. I’ve since mailed them in- and I hope they can help someone get to where they need to be on time! I don’t know for sure if Boston has a similar program for the T, but if not- they should definitely look into it.
  • The Lush Spas in NYC & Philadelphia have a Beatles-inspired treatment – I know I’ve already talked at length about my recent Lush purchases, but I’ve been meaning to share this for a while and thought I may as well do it now! At my last job, booking any sort of spa treatment always proved to be difficult since I typically only had weekends off and spas were either fully booked or closed on those days. I’ve known about Lush’s ‘Hard Days Night’ treatment since it was launched circa 2014, but until now booking the service was nothing more than an unlikely dream.

But now, with a new work schedule that includes a weekday off, too- I’m actually able to book the service- and much sooner than I expected! I’m working out the appointment details now- but I cannot wait to share the experience with you all once I go!

  • Starbucks’ ‘Molten Chocolate Cake Latte’ – If 50% off Valentine’s Day candy isn’t enough chocolate for you, may I recommend what could very well be one of the most indulgent treats I’ve allowed myself? For a limited time, Starbucks is offering a line of ‘Molten Chocolate Cake’ beverages (cocoa, lattes, and frappuccinos) to get a pretty good sugar rush. With steamed chocolate milk, chocolate whipped cream, and a shot of chocolate syrup- I think I’ve reached my cocoa quota for the month. I might even have to skip my next cheat day in order to fully recovery from this one.

And I think that’s everything I’ve been loving/coveting throughout February so far! Although it doesn’t feel like it right now, Spring is on it’s way- so I’m sure I’ll have some fun, colorful things to share in March’s “Hits List” post!

And as always- if you have anything you’re crushing/loving/obsessing over this month- feel free to share!

xx

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