May Hits List!

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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

March Hits List!

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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

Liberty and Lipstick.

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I haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty since the Summer of 2002 when I spent a weekend in NYC with my parents when I was 16. My dad, ever an avid sight-seer and a bit of a stickler when it came to scheduling, had us up at the crack of dawn and on a ferry to Liberty Island before I’d even had a chance to wake up properly. Regardless, it’s a good memory, even if the photos of me posing at the base of the monument at the time- awkwardly throwing up a peace sign like John Lennon and squinting in the sun under a horrible D.I.Y. bob cut- are more than a little embarrassing to look back on.

Yesterday morning I had the impulse to take a day trip to NYC to re-visit Lady Liberty (and take a more updated photo- WITH sunglasses and no peace signs this time,) and I couldn’t have picked a better day. It was clear, sunny, and warm-by-this-winter’s-standards. From the island, I had a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline- including One World Trade- which of course wasn’t there the last time I’d been. I spent an hour or so just walking around the island, enjoying the weather, and snapping away with my camera.

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The Statue of Liberty wasn’t the only destination I had planned for my afternoon, however. After docking back at Battery Park, I walked to SoHo to check out the BITE Beauty Lip Lab at 174 Prince Street to see if I could concoct my very own Springtime lip color. The Lip Lab had come highly recommended via friends and beauty blogs, and as I came closer and closer to the shop’s doorway, I was already dreaming up a bright, fun hue that would stand out from my standard lip color collection.

Of course, with it being a Saturday afternoon, the place was a little booked up- and I put my name and number on a waiting list in the hopes of having a consultation before I headed back home later on that evening. It was my lucky day, though. No sooner had I started to aimlessly roam SoHo when the Lip Lab called me to come back after a few of the people ahead of me on the waiting list failed to show/call for their appointments.

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I knew I wanted a bold purple, and preferably something with a matte finish, and the staff- who were so friendly, fun, knowledgeable, and willing to experiment with and build upon my idea- whipped up a color I fell in love with after only a couple of tries (the fact that I was able to apply the trial colors to see how they looked on my actual lips as opposed to the back of my hand or something was a definite perk in the overall experience.) From there, I was allowed to pick a scent for my lipstick (this is optional,) and after much deliberation- I chose a citrus fragrance and watched as my lipstick was mixed, blended, cooled, and eventually tubed and packaged!

The Lip Lab experience cost me just under $40, which is roughly the same price as some designer brand lipsticks. To me, this is infinitely better since it’s 100% personalized. The lipstick formulas are long-lasting, non-drying, and packed with essential oils and moisturizers that are actually good for your lips- and should I run out (which I most definitely will with how often I plan on wearing my color,) the Lip Lab has my formula on file so I can re-order the same shade in the future.

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If you’re in SoHo and looking for your own custom lip color, then I definitely suggest checking out Lip Lab (but call ahead to make an appointment- just in case!) I had a blast and I cannot say enough good things about the staff and my finished product. I will absolutely visit again the next time I’m in the area.

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All in all, it was a lovely day in the city. I’m already planning on heading back soon.