May Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope those of you in the States had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Mine was mostly rained out, unfortunately- but I still managed to have my share of fun with friends and family while paying respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while they were defending our country and our freedoms.

I’m back at work this morning bright and early to get a jump start on anything that may have accumulated over the long weekend and to assist with training a newcomer to the team (and she’s an absolute doll! I’m so excited to work with her!) but I wanted to take a little bit of time to share some of my favorite things from the month of May. Some are helping me prep for this Summer, others were the breakout stars during my recent trip to the West Coast- but I’ve put them (and some other things!) all right here to share.

Let’s take a look!

I had previously showed off these holograph sneakers from Primark in my pre-vacation haul/shopping spree post a couple of weeks ago- and while I am still completely smitten with how cool they look- I also just want to comment on how unbelievably comfortable they are, too. I was sporting these in the airport, around the Las Vegas strip, and throughout downtown San Diego last week and not once did my feet ever feel sore or stiff.

Considering I paid less than $20 for these- I wasn’t expecting long-term comfort or style- but these made it to and from the West Coast and are still in great shape. I’m so, so thrilled about this purchase that I had to share them again!

Last month, an Aveeno face wash had made my “Hits List” for being my g0-to cleanser when I was freshening up post-workout at the gym. This month, the brand returns- but in the form of a really incredible nighttime repair cream that I’ve been swearing by in recent weeks. I brought this with me to California and it’s a lifesaver, to put it plainly.

Between the climate change, staying out late with my friends out West and having one too many drinks (more than once)– I was pretty much expecting to wake up every morning of my vacation looking rough and tired- but after generously smearing this cream all over my face and neck every night when I got back to where I was staying/crashing- I THANKFULLY always looked fresh-faced and radiant. The multi-vitamins and soy complex loaded into this fluffy, lightweight moisturizer worked wonders at repairing, hydrating, and protecting my skin while I slept. I’m a believer now and I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve also been using this incredible color-changing/complimenting lipstick from Lipstick Queen I received in a recent POPSUGAR “Must Have” box pretty much non-stop. While the lipstick appears yellow in the tube, it quickly transforms into a flattering coral shade once it hits your lips. It brightens me up in the mornings when I head to work and is perfect for that no-fuss “beachy” look I covet around this time every year. I always keep it nearby in my bag for quick touch-ups!

As much as I love the latest Vegas key chain I picked up for my collection during last week’s visit- the key chain itself isn’t the only thing that made the “Hits List!” this month- but the overall memories, really.

I went to Vegas with a bit of an agenda- one, was to visit some friends I wish I got to see more often (which was also part of my agenda when I went to California shortly thereafter) and the other thing was to give a serious look and some consideration into the real estate options out that way.

I would love to live in San Diego- anywhere in SoCal, really- but the truth of the matter is that it is obscenely expensive. What I pay now for a lovely enough place that suits me and my present lifestyle where I’m currently located is barely enough to afford a decent studio (or even a basement apartment) in that region. Finding good condos or a suitable house is like winning the lottery- and I’m not getting any younger. I have to be realistic- and while I continue to take some roommate offers into consideration- the possibility of moving to the slightly-less-West-but-still-West-enough and infinitely cheaper Las Vegas/Henderson region has piqued my interest.

I did look at a couple of homes in the desert during my stay- still close enough to civilization so I’m not cut off but far enough away from the bright lights and the noise where I can get a full night’s sleep. I haven’t made any definitive decisions yet- but this entire trip really felt like a step in the right direction for a lot of reasons (some very personal) so that is a hit as far as I’m concerned.

On Mother’s Day, while out in Western Massachusetts for a day of shopping with my darling mom- I picked up a couple of packets of these punch mixes at a farmer’s market/general store to make on the hotter days this Summer. I ended up making them as soon as I got home- and yeah, I’m addicted. So much, in fact- that I went back and bought a few more during one of my recent days off- some for myself and some to gift to friends for their respective cookouts and BBQs.

These things are refreshing, and can be made with or without alcohol (guess which I prefer!) I have a feeling I’ll be including a couple in an upcoming giveaway I have planned for the Summer and a blogging milestone.

Finally, I’m in the process of compiling a list of my favorite burger joints around the New England area (the most fun part being the field research, of course)– but I’ve also been actively working on perfecting the art of the burger, myself. I recently picked up this cookbook featuring some of Shake Shack’s most famous recipes and it. is. awesome. Seriously- they have everything. Burgers. Fries. Breakfast sandwiches. Milkshakes. I’ve been working my ass off all Winter/Spring to get into shape and I’m going to blow it for the sake of trying everything in this book- but it’s gonna’ be worth it.

I’m actually thinking of sharing one of my recipe attempts a little later on this week/over the weekend- so stay tuned!

And now, for a couple of things that couldn’t quite be photographed so easily:

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– WWE: Okay, hear me out. When I was a kid- I desperately wanted to be like my two older brothers- who were the coolest as far as I was concerned. That included getting into what was then called the WWF and keeping a brave face on whenever either one of them would attempt to throw me in a figure four leg-lock or a Sharpshooter after every installment of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown! we’d watch together (I always tapped out, for the record. That shit is PAINFUL.)

My favorite wrestlers back then were undeniably Matt and Jeff Hardy- who recently made a triumphant comeback and thus caused me to sit down and tune in again. A group of my friends are still really into it, and have been giving me lessons on all the new faces and feuds I didn’t recognize- and I gotta’ say- it’s still wildly entertaining. I’ve been having a ball watching along- and now my brothers may be jumping back into it, too- which means I need to learn how to get out of a chokehold ASAP.

– “Wonder Woman”: While the movie hasn’t officially hit theaters yet, the early reviews are all fantastic so far- and I’ve been anticipating it’s release for a long time now. Coupled with some recent controversy over some “Women Only” screenings scheduled across the country- WW is looking to be the feminist movie us ladies need right now and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I might even go see it twice- just because.

I think that’s pretty much everything for May 2017’s “Hits List!”- it might not seem like much- but it’s all been helpful/fun.

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of May!

xx

April Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard

Good Morning! It’s FINALLY Friday, and what a tiring week it’s been! I’ve been so preoccupied with training on new software at my job and preparing for an extended weekend on the West Coast in a couple of weeks that I haven’t had much time for anything else apart from working out and sleeping as much as I can- and don’t even get me started on the never-ending April showers that have plagued New England these past few days.

I did find some time to put together a few of my favorite things from this month, however- and while it isn’t a ton of stuff by any means- they’ve mostly been lifesavers leading up to now.

As always, I thought I’d start with the items/objects that were easier to photograph before jumping right into some of the other miscellaneous things I’ve been loving throughout April- so without further delay- here’s my “Hits List” for April 2017:

I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard in the past few weeks- not only because nicer weather makes it easier to exercise and savor the outdoors- but because I want to look good when I head out to Vegas and California next month. So far, my results have been really great- and there’s no lack of motivation to keep going because of it!

Of course, after working up a sweat- the first thing I want to do after I get out of my gym clothes is wash my face. I have a couple of different cleansers that I use in the mornings and the evenings- but I wanted something mild for a post-workout refresher that would clean any dirt/oil/sweat from of my pores without drying me out. I’ve really, really, REALLY been liking this brightening face wash from Aveeno lately. It cleanses and conditions my skin- and I have actually noticed a visible difference in my complexion’s clarity and overall texture since I started using this, too!

And I can’t wash my face without a follow-up moisturizer. Again, I didn’t want anything too heavy like my morning and nighttime creams- so I turned to Neutrogena’s lightweight and oil-free face lotion to help me out. I like that this formula not only keeps my skin soft and doesn’t clog my pores- but my skin actually feels a little firmer, too. It’s a pretty good feeling after a long workout- and the price of both the face wash and the moisturizer don’t break the bank, either.

When it comes to makeup and cosmetics- I never shy away from experimenting or trying different brands and products- but when it comes to reliable foundation? I almost always turn to Tarte Cosmetics. Their coverage is amazing and their cover-up actually matches my skin tone perfectly!

I’ve been wearing their Rainforest of The Sea water foundation (with SPF 15) lately- and although the eyedropper applicator can be a little tricky to those with even the steadiest hands and strongest of Beauty Blenders- I’m in love with this! It covers any blemishes/imperfections completely, but it still feels so light on my skin- like I’m not wearing anything at all- and it doesn’t budge!

Even after a long day at the office- my skin always looks radiant.

I have a sweet tooth- which isn’t always a good thing when you’re dieting and trying to reach a fitness goal you’ve set for yourself- so I was pretty excited when my co-worker introduced me to the gourmet candy shop Sugarfina, and specifically their champagne and Rosé-infused gummi bears. These things taste ridiculously good and aren’t loaded with fat- which means I can eat a handful at my desk guilt-free!

I’ve personally developed an obsession with their “Bubbly Bears”, which are dusted in a thin coat of sour sugar to give each bear that fizzy feeling on your tongue- but I recommend trying pretty much anything from Sugarfina. They have something to satisfy everyone!

I’ve heard of copper-infused water bottles before, but only recently discovered their magic and wonder courtesy of this sky blue bottle from PURE. I was skeptical of the notion that this bottle could keep a beverage cold (or hot!) for 24 hours- so it pretty much blew my mind when it actually did and the water I sipped after work was just as cold as it was when I’d first poured it into the bottle that morning. It’s awesome.

I hear there’s a lot of health benefits to drinking water from a copper bottle, too- although I don’t know how accurate those statements are. All I know is that my water is always ice cold and it thankfully doesn’t taste metallic- so I’m sold!

Finally, I couldn’t resist picking up this “New Phone- Who Dis?” Ouija pin from Gimme Flair. It’s currently tacked onto my leather jacket and so many people crack up whenever they lean in to catch a glimpse of it. The photo above doesn’t do it justice. It’s really such a great accessory and one I’ve been truly having fun with over the past few weeks!

And that’s it for the photogenic favorites- but a couple of other things made the list,too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– “Archer: Dreamland” – I’ve loved this series since day one, and each season just gets better and better- but “Dreamland” (set in 1940’s noir while Archer is in a coma from the events of the last season) is side-splitting funny. Krieger and Pam remain my favorite characters!

– “Mystery Science Theater 3000” – Netflix is bringing me all things wonderful and pure lately, including the reboot to one of my favorite shows! I’ve been binging on this when I have the time- usually at night after a long day- and it’s just as fantastic as ever. My love of bad movies with sarcastic commentary by robots knows no bounds.

Alright everyone- I think that’s pretty much it for the month of April. My look back on these past few weeks will be up this weekend before we launch into May- where I’m sure I’ll have more favorites to share!

Enjoy your Friday!

xx

March Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard

Happy Hump Day, everyone! I’m getting ready to head into my office for another day of keeping busy and staying caffeinated- but I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month that was- and to be honest I’m still a bit shocked that March is almost over since it feels like it only just started! Have I been so preoccupied at my job that I missed these past few weeks? Or did my recent fight with the flu just knock me out for a while and I completely lost track of time?

I’m going to go with the flu, since it was pretty brutal- but oh well. At least I’m feeling better! There’s plenty I can do to make up for lost time in April.

I only have a handful of physical favorites this month- but they’re all a lot of fun and I’m very excited to share them before I get into some of the other things that made March memorable!

In regards to beauty products that I fancied in March- two were breakout stars that garnered repeated usage. In desperate need of a replacement lipstick that walked the fine line between nude and subtle pink- I fell in love with the “Naked” shade of Urban Decay’s VICE Lipstick line. Creamy and long-lasting, this formula gives me a natural pop of color that I can wear with pretty much anything in my Spring wardrobe- day or night.

To keep my digits nice and neutral- I turned to Avon’s TRUE COLOR collection in “Rose Quartz”- which is one of my favorite colors, anyway. The formula is smooth and chip/smudge-resistant, so I can type and text without fear of having to constantly re-apply this. Like the lipstick, this shade matches nearly everything I own.

I really do make an honest and earnest attempt to keep myself from impulse purchases, but sometimes- a girl has got to treat herself and splurge a bit- which is exactly what I did when I spotted these glitter ankle boots from ASOS and knew I needed them in my life immediately. Typically paired with black leggings, jeggings, and a simple top (and a good piece of statement jewelry to balance out my shine)– these super comfortable boots give me just a little bit of height and are easy enough to walk in for long periods of time.

I feel like David Bowie in these and I LOVE them.

Okay, so I recently started my new position at my job following my promotion- and I have to confess: I love it. Truly. It’s such a breath of fresh air. The people I work with are wonderful and fun, the work is challenging and detail-oriented (which I am ALL about) and it’s just so, so rewarding and fulfilling for me and I couldn’t be happier.

That said, I wanted to decorate my new desk space with a little something to keep me motivated when those inevitable challenging days emerge- and I picked up this “W.W.B.D?” desk plaque I had initially seen advertised on ModCloth a while back. I’ve been keeping track of my co-workers’ reactions when they see it for the first time and it’s always priceless.

Finally, I picked up a couple of t-shirts this month that have been getting some considerable wear. The first is my black and white Dropkick Murphys tee from my recent St. Patrick’s Day weekend insanity. The last shirt I own of the band’s is starting to fade out since I’ve had it for so long- and this one is a fine replacement. I love the design on the front!

The second, made of softer material- is this longer gray and pink tee from Yes Way Rosé– because if I’m going to be one of those people who want to tell the world about how much I enjoy a certain type of wine- then I’m just going to show my appreciation with a cute and cozy t-shirt. The brand also offers some other accessories that are adorable, too- so any shameless winos should definitely check it out!

I think that’s it for the more photogenic favorites from March, but I was loving some other stuff, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Feud: Bette and Joan” – I have a love/hate relationship with “American Horror Story”. Every season starts off with so much potential and promise and five episodes later there are 30 new characters being jammed into a single hour with convoluted plots that serve no real purpose but for some inexplicable reason have to be resolved within the season finale. It’s almost always a mess- and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard Ryan Murphy was going to be directing a new series based on the off-and-on-camera drama between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Thankfully, the show is excellent. With a small cast led by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange- “Feud” is funny, surprising, and not to miss. I’ve been having a blast watching it.

  • The Lumineers – “Cleopatra” – I know it’s been almost a year since The Lumineers (one of my favorite bands!) dropped “Cleopatra” on us- but it recently ended up back in my regular rotation and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it all over again. This is one of those albums that is perfect for those rainy day Springtime drives when you just want to mellow out and get some deep soul-searching and contemplation done- and I admit that listening to it again in it’s entirety has moved me to tears more than once in the past couple of weeks.

I’d love to see these guys live someday, but I know I’d be reduced to an emotional wreck three songs into their set.

  • Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Specials – THANK YOU NETFLIX. THANK. YOU. I have not laughed that hard in a long, long time.
  • SYFY’s “Cosplay Melee” – From the same network that brought us the disastrous and overly petty “Heroes of Cosplay” series a couple of years ago, SYFY finally hit the mark with their most recent offering to the cosplay and comic-con community with “Cosplay Melee”- which focuses more on the actual fabrication and construction of the costumes themselves by talented, passionate and actually NICE contestants who are striving to win weekly cash prizes for their efforts instead of perpetuating drama between women week after week. It’s only a couple of episodes in so far- but the show is fascinating.

Which brings me to…

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Planning For Comic-Con – It’s that time of year again when people spend perfectly good Saturday mornings in front of their computers for hours at a time while hoping and praying they can score badges to this Summer’s San Diego Comic-Con. I recently received the e-mail with the information I’d need for the sale when it happens in a couple of weeks, and as is tradition- I’ll be giving it a shot- but leading up to that point I’ve been focusing on starting the costumes I have planned for the 2017 Comic-Con circuit that typically kicks off at the end of Spring.

While I initially had outfits inspired by “The Walking Dead”, Punisher, and “Preacher” planned out- I’m also going to see if I can go a little further with my detailing and fit in a “Resident Evil” costume into the mix as well. A couple of the costumes are team efforts- so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with great groups of people- and I’m excited to start sewing/gluing/sobbing into plastic molding more than once.

And I think that’s everything for the month of March! I’m looking forward to finding new favorites in April- and as always- my full recap of this month will be up in a couple of days.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share- feel free to drop me a line!

xx

February Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard

february2017hitslist01

Goodness, is the weekend almost over? Is tomorrow really Monday and is February nearly finished? It’s been so unbelievably warm out in New England these past few days that it almost- ALMOST– feels like I’m in the midst of Spring Break. Having to switch back into work mode and return to a heated office tomorrow morning seems a little unfair if you ask me!

But before I look back on all the exciting changes that happened this past month (and believe me- I have a lot to look forward to!) and share what I have planned in March- and before I prepare to meet friends for brunch a little later on this morning/afternoon- I wanted to review some of the things that I’ve been absolutely loving in the entirely-too-short month of February 2017.

This is my monthly “Hits List”! Enjoy!

february2017hitslist02

First things first- this year’s Super Bowl was one of the most unexpected, exciting games I’ve ever watched- and the celebrations throughout Boston only made the 72 hours following the Patriots’ comeback and subsequent victory over the Falcons all the more fun. I know they aren’t the most beloved team outside of New England- but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing this silky, commemorative quarter-sleeved shirt out and about (especially on casual Fridays at my office.)

While most of the post-Super Bowl memorabilia has been a tad on the expensive side- this officially licensed shirt was reasonably priced and will surely get more wear than if I had purchased a $150 jersey or $50 hat. Plus- it’s so comfortable!

february2017hitslist03

Now that I’m in my 30’s (just don’t tell anyone)– I’ve been researching different skin care products that will keep my complexion clear and my face looking smooth, bright and firm. Every product or system dubs itself a miracle worker- which can leave a person skeptical after reading for so long. For assistance with my occasional breakouts (usually after PMS)– I turned to Reviews.com to get honest opinions from others who were also doing their own homework into better skin care and results. Reviews.com doesn’t just stick to skin care, however. They weigh in on pretty much everything and anything- making them a valuable resource if you ever want a second, third, or fourth opinion on anything you’re thinking of trying/buying!

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to skin care, and one of the things I saw mentioned quite frequently on Reviews.com is over-exfoliating the skin. While it might seem like a good idea to scrub and slough away dead skin cells as much as possible- you can actually be doing more harm than good if you overuse products like scrubs or tools like cleansing brushes.

I’ve wanted to pick up a decent cleansing brush for a couple of months now- but had read mixed reviews on different brands (most that were overpriced or very harsh)– and I finally found this really great brush from Avon that has been working extraordinarily well on my skin! The bristles to the brush are soft and clean out my pores without shredding my face or drying me out. It’s my new wonder tool that I use each night before bed. I find that once a day with this thing works just fine!

february2017hitslist04

I don’t wash my hair every single day (I do always condition it in the shower, however)– since I don’t want to dry my curls or my scalp out by over-cleansing- but since product can build up pretty quickly, especially if I’m wearing any type of hat for any length of time- I’ve turned to this light, fresh-fragranced dry shampoo from Batiste to keep my hair looking and feeling soft and squeaky clean. I simply spritz some of this on in-between washes and massage it into my scalp and through my curls before styling my hair as usual- and the formula adds volume and shine without any residue or stiffness.

Batiste makes dry shampoos that also add temporary color to your hair, too- so if you’re looking for a quick fix to problematic roots peeking through in-between salon visits- it’s worth checking out!

february2017hitslist05

One of my favorite finds in February was this holographic nail polish (the color itself is called “MEGA”) from ILNP. The shade- shimmery and multi-colored- never appears quite the same in different angles and lighting. I treated myself to my first manicure and pedicure in a while literally hours after this arrived in my mailbox because I was s excited to see how it looked on- and I’m confident that this is going to be the lacquer I’m spotted in the most throughout 2017.

It’s so gorgeous, and fun- and long-lasting. I made it just beyond the two-week mark before this started to fade/chip and even then it wasn’t all that noticeable and was easy enough to cover up. That’s impressive for someone who does as much typing and texting as I do!

february2017hitslist06

I am an avid collector of key chains- and although not all of them have made it onto my main key ring (can you imagine how heavy it would be if they did?) I try to keep them on display. This Prince chain from The Found, however- has been added and is proudly on display on my main key ring alongside my Michonne from “The Walking Dead” charm and a flip-flip souvenir from my very first trip to San Diego back in 2007. That’s how awesome this one is.

I’m loving the sass levels of this key chain- the charm being considerably larger than the U.S. quarter I had thought it was initially compared to. I’m not complaining, though. I’ve already had a ton of people notice it and ask to see it up close. It’s so well-made and so, so much fun. My keys just feel ten times sexier with this chain hanging out next to them.

february2017hitslist07

Finally, as we begin to transition into Spring and I begin to re-organize my perfume collection- I splurged a bit via Avon and bought a bottle of their PRIMA fragrance (the body wash and lotion were a bonus with my purchase!) This scent is a really pretty, light and unique blend of rose, plum and patchouli- which might sound a little funky on paper- but I assure you all it’s quite lovely!

It reminds me of sunny mornings spent in a garden- which given the recent warm weather- has me feeling extra happy these days!

And I think that’s it for all the photogenic stuff for February 2017. Let’s move onto the other odds and ends that have made this month so enjoyable!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Get Out” – I was a huge fan of Key & Peele’s sketch show on Comedy Central, and their first movie since the show wrapped up, “Keanu”, left me pretty much in stitches from laughing so hard- so when I heard that Jordan Peele was working on a horror movie- I was intrigued. When the first trailers/previews for “Get Out” were released and were already SUPER unnerving, I couldn’t wait for it to be released- and now that the movie is getting glowing reviews and is dominating at the box office- I’ve made plans to see it after work this week and I am. so. excited. I love seeing other, brilliant sides to comedic geniuses- and I love a genuinely good horror flick!
  • “Logan” – Speaking of movies that are getting glowing reviews, I am all about the new Wolverine movie (even if the last few weren’t that great.) The latest- and I think final- installment to this particular franchise looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ll happily spend an afternoon checking it out with my friends in the coming days. Hugh Jackman, after all…

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • “You Must Remember This” – Hello, newest podcast obsession. If you love old Hollywood and all the bizarre and salacious stories that came out of it, this one is a must-subscribe-to. Every episode, approximately 30-40 minutes long (perfect for that morning commute!) details different famous figures from Hollywood’s golden era through the 70’s and 80’s- including their work, scandals, contributions to film/society, etc. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, etc. The podcast is fascinating- and free on iTunes- and extremely entertaining!

And I think that’s it for this month! I have to take off to meet my friends for brunch- but I’ll be back to recap this past February in it’s entirety on Tuesday.

As always, if you have your own favorites for this month that you’d like to share- drop me a line!

xx

January Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard

january2017hitslist01

Happy Saturday and Chinese New Year, everyone! If you didn’t know, today marks the beginning of the Year of The Rooster (specifically, the Fire Rooster)– and if that’s not another reason to get out there and have yourself a wonderful and celebratory day/night- then I don’t know what is! The Chinese Zodiac is fascinating, and if you haven’t checked out all the associations with this coming year (or even your birth year) like lucky numbers, colors, etc., then I highly recommend it. You just might learn something new about yourself!

I’ll be celebrating with friends tonight, more than likely digging into some Chinese food (as is tradition) and snapping some sparkler and Chinese lantern selfies- but before I get going on my day- I wanted to share some of my favorite odds and ends from this past January. In what has become a monthly tradition here on “Legally Redhead”, it’s my Hits List post: a re-cap of all the things I’ve been loving/using/wearing/watching/eating/etc. over the last few weeks.

I always start these posts off with the things/items I could easily photograph before I divulge other random and assorted bits and belongings that aren’t quite as easy to capture with a snapshot. January was chock-full of great stuff, so this post might be a little on the long side. Sorry in advance!

Without further delay- here’s what I adored in January 2017!

january2017hitslist02

January was all about self-care- inside and out- and that included freshening up my skincare and makeup, too. I’ve been sticking to and continually using some of my long-time favorite scrubs and cleansers, but I also integrated a couple of newer products into the mix to keep my complexion looking bright and radiant during these harsher Winter months. Without a doubt, my new favorite face mask is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask- which I reviewed earlier this month HERE. I use it once a week and still get the same, amazing results- and it’s just as fun to use as the first time I tried it!

At night, I’ve swapped my more oily, plant-based serum for something that will moisturize and tighten my skin without ruining my pillowcases. I’m really liking the ‘Rejuveness’ cream from POND’s lately. My mom had given me a jar of the stuff a little while back when I was in-between moisturizers and needed something to keep my skin hydrated until I could make it to Sephora- and I really liked it. Loaded with Vitamin E, collagen and AHAs- this cream is lightweight, non-greasy and doesn’t clog my pores. I wake up with softer, smoother skin every morning.

january2017hitslist03

Of course, self-care also includes getting a good and undisturbed night’s sleep, too- so I’ve been utilizing this eye mask from Pier 1 Imports to shut out any light while I’m snoozing. I know there are super fancy masks available out there that help reduce puffiness around the eyes or offer cooling sensations and whatnot- but this one does a fine enough job for me. The elastic is adjustable so it’s never too tight or loose, the satin fabric is soft on my skin- and I’m a sucker for zebra print.

january2017hitslist04

january2017hitslist05

I picked up some new makeup in January, too- bold shades to brighten up my more neutral-toned wardrobe pieces this time of year. One of my favorite new additions to my collection is this golden/brown long-lasting liquid lipstick from Sugarpill. Accurately named “Pumpkin Spice” (with the matching scent to boot!) this color glides on effortlessly and dries to a smudge and fade-proof sparkling finish that doesn’t budge for hours. I am absolutely in love with the shade, and often pair it with my copper-colored eye shadow I’ve been wearing on the regular.

When MAC Cosmetics announced they were creating a line of makeup inspired by the Queen of Tejano- Selena- I knew I was all in. I loved Selena growing up, and wanted to get my hands on some of the collection (if not all of it!) After browsing the makeup- which was GORGEOUS– I settled on three products that I felt would better compliment my fair skin tone. There’s the purple “Selena” eye shadow- which is a spot-on match to the singer’s purple disco outfit from her last concert at the Houston Astrodome. Then there’s “Coma La Flor”, a vibrant red lipstick with a shiny finish- and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”- a bubblegum pink lip gloss that doesn’t feel sticky or tacky on my pout.

january2017hitslist06

It’s a weird New Year’s resolution- but I’ve wanted to start wearing some of my perfume collection more often in 2017. So many friends and family have bought me gorgeous bottles of lovely fragrances- and I’ve worn them maybe once or twice before tucking them away where they have unfortunately been overlooked. One of those perfumes, which has stayed in mint condition- is a Prada fragrance (the “Amber” Eau de Parfum) my father bought me while he was away in Las Vegas a few years ago. It’s heavy with sandalwood and Patchouli- and perfect for this more frigid time of year. I forgot how much I loved it and cannot stop wearing it.

january2017hitslist07

Also new this month? My weekly planner. This coral and gold colored notepad is a lifesaver and is already filled from cover to cover with my appointments, engagements, meetings, blog post schedule, vacations, trip details, etc. etc. I check this thing nearly every other day to keep track of all the important happenings and due dates in my life- and I cannot thank my mom enough for picking it up for me. It was a lovely Christmas present last month! She knows how busy I can get.

january2017hitslist08

And finally- I am so, so SO excited that chokers are making a comeback. I used to wear them all the time with my friends in the 90’s and then during their brief resurgence in the early 2000’s. I have to admit that they are much prettier now than they were back then- and lately I’ve been sporting this ultra-sparkly one I picked up at H&M recently. It goes with pretty much everything and adds a nice touch of bling to even the most basic of ensembles. Here’s to recycling more trends in 2017!

That’s it for the stuff I was able to take photos of. Time to get into the random things that also made the list this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…” – One of my favorite shows of all time, the latest season kicked off earlier this month and it has held no punches. It’s been brutal, offensive-and-funny, and just as hilariously over-the-top. How I needed these five awful, terrible characters back in my life to make me laugh so hard I cried again.
  • Dropkick Murphys: “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” – I am always going to have a special place in my heart for the Dropkick Murphys. The guys are gracious, funny, and have given so much back to their communities and to the city of Boston over the years. I was thrilled when they released their ninth studio album earlier this month. It’s got the fast-paced and clever stuff I know and love, like ‘Rebels with a Cause’ and ‘Kicked to the Curb’- but there’s also a couple of slower and more somber songs, too- such as ‘Blood’ and ‘4-15-13’. My favorite so far has been the closing track, ‘Until the Next Time’- and I’m hoping to catch them live soon!

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • “Resident Evil 7” – Out of all the video game franchises, the ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’ series are by far my favorites- even when the games get ridiculous with their plot lines and character development or when they inspire awful movies. While I don’t personally own a VR headset (yet…), some of my friends do- and we have all been waiting anxiously for the latest installment in the RE series to be released. I’ve played a bit of the demo- which was absolutely terrifying- and later on tonight my friends and I are going to attempt our very first run-through together. If you follow me on Instagram– expect our results to wind up in my feed/story!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • My “2017 Keep Calm and Quote Movies Daily Desktop Calendar” – Another Christmas present to keep me organized, I had actually wanted to snap a photo of this tear-away daily desk calendar that I’ve been using at work- but accidentally forgot it in my office for the weekend. You can see some of the calendar HERE through Amazon- but basically every day features a different and popular movie quote, all designed similarly to the famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters. I’ve been having a blast reading each one every day- and some of the quotes have inspired me to re-watch some of my favorite classic movies or seek out the ones I haven’t seen yet.

And I think that’s pretty much it for this month. There were so many new and exciting things to make these first few weeks of 2017 wonderful and I can’t wait to see what I discover in February!

As always- if you have any of your own personal favorites for January 2017 to share, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line!

xx

Hello, 2017…

Comment 1 Standard
hello2017selfies

New Year’s Eve, Vermont. 12/31/16

Good Morning and Happy (Belated) New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend ushering in 2017! I’ve been preoccupied at my office the past couple of days, staying busy and on top of my first-of-the-year workload- but before I dove into that, I spent an exquisite weekend in Springfield, Vermont savoring some much needed peace and quiet at one of my favorite New England getaway destinations- The Hartness House.

The Hartness House is a former Victorian-style mansion (which belonged to James and Lena Hartness) turned inn that is a popular destination for locals’ weddings, formal functions, and for skiers and snowboarders to lay their heads for a night before hitting the slopes in the early mornings. My first trip to The Hartness House was when I was about eight or nine years old. My parents brought me up for a weekend during the holiday season and I quickly fell in love with the house, the surrounding gardens, and the underground tunnels that lead to the gigantic Hartness Equatorial Turret Telescope on the property (James was a big fan of astronomy, as it turns out.)

One of my most vivid memories of my first trip to the inn, however- was sitting in front of the fireplace and a massive Christmas tree in a large library area and reading a book undisturbed while my parents sat nearby and played board games. And then, of course- was the food. The inn boasted an impressive menu and talented kitchen staff. My family and I were so thrilled with our first initial visit that we ended up making a few more stops there throughout the next few years.

So when it came time to make plans for New Year’s Eve, and the idea of doing anything other than fall off the grid for a few days and relax was enough to make my head spin- I thought of re-visiting one of my fondest childhood memories and booked Lena Hartness’ suite for the New Year’s weekend. I had heard the inn had gone through some renovations and a change of ownership in recent years- so I wasn’t sure what to expect- but my mind was immediately put at ease when I first walked in and saw the main hall in all it’s splendor (and still decorated from Christmas!)

Click on any of the images to make them bigger!

Every room- including mine- was adorned with Christmas trees. It was such a nice treat to walk into- and right away the staff were so unbelievably friendly and accommodating. On New Year’s Eve, as the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight- I crept down to the inn’s tavern to grab a drink and a bite to eat. Not only did I get those things, but I got some funky 2017 glasses, a tiara and a confetti popper from the ladies who were bartending, too! By the time midnight rolled around- most of the kitchen staff had gathered together with those of us lounging at the bar- including a few locals who had dropped by- to celebrate and share a toast with us. I could not imagine a more pleasant group of new faces to drink champagne and ring in the New Year with!

By the end of the weekend, we were all on a first name basis with each other. Even though I had gone up to the inn solo- I never, not once, felt lonely. Everyone went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and comfortable during my stay. I’m so grateful for their hospitality and laid-back natures. It was so refreshing.

And remember how good I said the food was when I was a kid? It was even better this time around. The head chef, Nick- is AMAZING– as made evident by my delicious NYE dinner and the follow-up brunches and breakfasts I had during my remaining days there. I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the menu and one of my meals before I dug into it- because it even photographed incredible:

hartnesshousemenu

hartnesshousebrunch

And while I caught up on plenty of rest at The Hartness House, I did take some time to explore some of the surrounding towns, as well- Charlestown, Rockingham, and Bellows Falls- where I did some antique shopping and marveled at the mountains while I sipped a hot cup of coffee.

I also discovered a lot of abandoned places around the section of Vermont I was traveling around, too- which is going to make for a nice follow-up trip to photograph them once the warm weather rolls around and I don’t have so much snow blocking my views!

Click on any of the images to make them bigger!

I returned home on Monday, the 2nd- but not before making a pit stop in Melrose to meet up with Sean, grab some Mexican food and catch up since we hadn’t had the chance to see each other since right before Christmas. His birthday is tomorrow- and we’ve got some big plans I can’t wait to get to!

Overall, my New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Post-New Year’s Day were wonderful and very chill. If anyone reading this should ever find themselves in Vermont- I strongly recommend you make a stop and take a night to rest at The Hartness House. Being there is an experience in itself and you won’t regret it! I promise! Every room is unique and gorgeous in it’s own way, the staff are an absolute joy, the food cannot be beat- and it’s the perfect spot if you just want to get away for a little while. I came home feeling positively refreshed, radiant- and ready to take on the new year!

nyehartnesshouse8

Not a bad start to 2017, if I do say so myself!

xx