February Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


  • “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…


  • “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!


May Hits List!

Leave a comment Standard


Good Morning and Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope those of you who have the long weekend off are savoring it with friends and family, and those of you who have to work through it are surrounded by caring, kind, and fun people to make it a little easier and more enjoyable.

Memorial Day is a lot of things to a lot of different people. For many, including myself, it’s a day to give pause and appreciate those who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces in order to keep the rest of us safe. For many businesses, it’s an excuse to send a ton of spam e-mails and produce tacky commercials advertising low prices and weekend-long sales events…

… But Memorial Day also commemorates the beginning of the Summer season. Cookouts, BBQs, getting a pool or sprinklers ready for impending heat waves and long, lazy days. I’ve been waiting for Summer to arrive for what feels like an eternity- so I’m more than happy to kick off the season with some of my mom’s famous macaroni salad and a juicy burger later on this afternoon at her house.

Now, May was a bit trying for me- the details of which will be shared in tomorrow’s scheduled “In a Nutshell” post- and while I was handling some personal matters, I didn’t quite accumulate a lengthy list of favorites these past couple of weeks. Nevertheless, I did want to share some of the things that helped alleviate a lot of stress throughout the month and products I’ve been seriously praising recently.

So here it is- short, but sweet- my Hits List for May 2016!


With the hotter weather seemingly here to stay for the foreseeable future- May became all about updating my day & night skin care routines to allow my face and body a chance to adjust and get acclimated to the Summer temps. Gone (for now) are the days of heavy moisturizers to outlast the colder elements and harsh, stripping cleansers- and in are the days of lightweight SPFs and replenishing nighttime creams. I’m thinking of doing an updated skin care post next month to show exactly what I use on my face & body- and when- but here are three products that I implemented into my regimen in May that I’m absolutely loving. From left to right:

I’ve been keeping my hair and makeup as simple as possible lately. Not only because it’s hot out- but because I have to go to work AND squeeze in a workout after I leave the office Monday-Friday (and on Saturdays, too.) I don’t want to spend a lot of time getting ready when I’m just going to be a sweaty mess by the time I get home- but I also don’t want to skip a daily moisturizer and SPF, either. This mattifying, quick-absorbing moisturizer from Cetaphil (with SPF 30) has become a lifesaver in the mornings when I’m on the go. It hydrates my skin without clogging my pores, keeps my face shine-free- and gives me plenty of sun protection when I’m outdoors, too.

Next- I know people have been raving about micellar cleansing water for months, now- and I’m seriously kicking myself for not listening to them sooner. This stuff is a game changer and a must-have for anyone and everyone who wants a quick and efficient way to remove makeup and/or cleanse their skin without leaving behind any kind of greasy residue or worse- drying themselves out. I’ve been using this one from Garnier for a few weeks now in the morning and at night- and it literally pulls the impurities from my skin. I can actually see it working. My skin feels refreshed and cleaner than it does with just a regular cleanser.


Finally, I have found my new favorite Summertime night cream in the form of this firming night balm from FARMACY. I received this product in a recent POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ Box and I have been hooked ever since. The product looks and smells like lime Jell-O (just stay with me here) and melts into your skin as you apply it- finally setting in as a lightweight oil that hydrates and firms while you sleep. When I wake up, my skin looks brighter and feels so much softer and smoother. A little goes a long way with this stuff, too- so I know I’ll only need a little bit each night to get through the Summer.


I have been spending a lot of time outdoors since the weather took a turn for the better, and I plan on spending even more time out in the sun now that Summer is here- but since my hair is (dyed) red- I have to be careful and use the proper products to keep it from fading into an awkward tangerine color. Enter this spray in color-protectant from Not Your Mother’s. After I wash and towel dry my hair- I spray some of this product from root to tip and work it through with my fingers. Then I style as usual. My reds have stayed considerably stronger than they did prior to me using this stuff- and it’s pretty helpful at keeping my frizzy flyaways at bay, too!

My only gripe with this spray is the smell. It kind of reminds me of grape cough syrup and I find myself frantically grabbing for my styling products to mask the fragrance in the seconds after I work it through my curls so I don’t gag.

Next- I am a total germophobe when it comes to my makeup brushes and sponges. I have this whole, intricate system of soaking/scrubbing/drying my tools that can actually take a couple of hours to see through from start to finish. In the Summer- that germophobia gets even worse since sweat is continually thrown into the equation. Thankfully, BeautyBlender threw me a time-saving bone with this solid version of their sponge/brush cleanser. All I have to do to get my blenders/brushes sparkling clean is wet them and swipe them across this solid soap a couple of times and presto! Foundation, dirt, grime and sweat are history!

I especially love this solid cleanser because it lasts way longer than the liquid one- and it works just as good- if not better!



I had eyed this Prince pillow (as well as it’s tote bag version) from Heart Felt Design months ago- but had never got around to actually ordering one for myself. After Prince’s passing, it seemed like the right time to finally own a version of the legend that I could hug, squeeze, and make my home look really awesome with. This recently arrived in my mailbox and I have been head over heels in love with it since. Each pillow is handmade- with loving and precise detail- and arrives a few weeks after ordering.

Heart Felt Design has a wide variety of items, too- music legends, movie/television/book characters, custom designs and so on. Definitely go check them out if you’re looking for something unique to spruce up your space!

And now, for the stuff I couldn’t photograph!


  • Summer Blockbuster Season is upon us! – The new Independence Day movie? ‘Jason Bourne’? ‘Star Trek: Beyond’? ‘Suicide Squad’? I feel like a good chunk of my Summer 2016 is going to be spent in air conditioned movie theaters and munching on popcorn. Although I got a head start catching flicks like the new Captain America movie and Key & Peele’s ‘Keanu’ a couple of weeks ago- I’m really looking forward to shamelessly diving into some over the top action movies this Summer.


And that is pretty much everything for the month of May! I’m sure now that Summer is officially underway- my list for June is going to be much larger than this month’s Hits List was- and I’m looking forward to it!

And as always, feel free to share your Hits for May 2016 in the comments.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone!


“It’s time we all reach out for something new – that means you too.”

Comment 1 Standard
Image via Martin Homent - www.martinhoment.com

Image via Martin Homent – http://www.martinhoment.com

Today/Tonight’s blog post was supposed to be a review of my April GlossyBox- but given the circumstances- I thought I’d take the opportunity to pay tribute to an unparalleled genius, a musical and cultural icon, and a man who has inspired and who will continue to inspire me throughout my life, instead.

2016 has been pretty brutal with the celebrity deaths so far. David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying within days of each other back in January was a one-two combo that sent music and movie fans alike reeling  in shock and sadness- and just this past week the world bid farewell to both Doris Roberts and former WWF/WWE star and sports entertainment pioneer Joan “Chyna” Laurer.

However, yesterday’s announcement of the unexpected and premature passing of Prince Rogers Nelson made the world feel as though it had come to a standstill- and I think many people are still trying to regain their bearings- myself included.

I was brought up in a musically diverse household- something I’m so very proud of and so grateful for because I was able to learn, absorb and appreciate different types of artistry and cultures from a very young age. My father was a former drummer and classic rock/Beatles buff. My mother loved MoTown and jazz. My two older brothers’ tastes ranged anywhere from heavy metal, 80s hair bands, punk and ska- and the occasional foray into gangsta’ rap- which went over about as well as you’d expect in our predominantly conservative, suburban neighborhood where we grew up.

And while all of our tastes were definitely different- my family collectively loved certain artists. Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston come to mind almost immediately- and so does Prince.

I was born in 1986- two years after ‘Purple Rain’ well, reigned supreme- both at the box office and on the charts- but much like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’- ‘Purple Rain’ was an album that was on heavy rotation in my household from as far back as I can remember. If ‘Billie Jean’ was the song that had made me want to take dance classes as a child- then ‘When Doves Cry’ was the one that had made me want to play guitar when I was still pint-sized. The album just had that affect on me- and when I was finally old enough to watch the movie and actually understand it’s plot and it’s characters (shout-out to Morris Day- who I love oh so much!)– I fully grasped why it was such a big deal to so many in the two years before I was even on this Earth.

It was art- and it made the music take on an even more profound meaning when you saw how it intertwined with the story and the struggles of “The Kid”.

Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr

‘Purple Rain’ was the thing that got me hooked on Prince when I was still a young girl- and his ever-evolving music, image, style, and overall cool, mysterious and provocative demeanor KEPT me hooked. Every song, every album, and every performance I’d catch on television was electric and innovative. Prince not only broke racial, gender and sexual barriers- but he made it look so effortless while he did it. He was one of, if not THE ONLY man who could rock lace, ruffles, eyeliner and high-heeled ankle boots (or ass-less chaps- because we all remember that one) with such unabashed confidence- but still be irresistible and desirable while he did it.

Prince re-defined and re-constructed any previous established tropes of masculinity and played a definitive role in my own sexuality and my preferences in men as I grew up. Fun, TMI fact- the song ‘Cream’ was playing when I lost my virginity- which was really the only redeemable moment in what was otherwise an awkward, fumbling disaster (I wish I could have personally thanked Prince for that one, honestly.)

And through Prince I discovered so many other unique, talented musicians and performers- each with their own style and visions to bring to the table. A whole new world of music and art was opened up to me- and it was through that exploration into his protégés and his collaborations that I learned more about myself and about a scene where it truly felt like anyone and everyone could be themselves and still belong. We all had a place there. We were all welcome.

For someone like me- someone who never felt like I really belonged anywhere for a very long time- this was a huge deal.

Prince and his music united people like that- in a way that I truly feel only someone as brilliant and as eccentric as him, could. He was one of a kind and a trailblazer through and through. Everyone has a favorite Prince song- a song they shamelessly sing along to in the shower, or in their car, or one that gets them out on the floor to dance or pushes them to work out a little harder at the gym to because it’s so funky that you can’t NOT move or groove to it. Ask anyone what theirs is- and I swear to you- they will have one (if not more than one.)

And even through moments of unusual or unexpected behavior- like briefly changing his name to a symbol, or his strict policies on fans sharing his music, or his dabbles into social media- Prince remained endearing, charismatic, and cool. Where many artists struggle to maintain their relevance in pop culture- Prince never had to try. He was always a constant fixture- omnipresent in a way- which makes his death all the more horrible for the people who knew him personally and the fans who adored him. Despite his incredible body of work over these past decades- it feels as though we’ve been left with a void that none of us are quite sure how to fill except by looking back, reminiscing and listening to those very same songs that first made us fall in love with him all those years ago.


Since the news broke of his passing, people around the world have been sharing their favorite Prince songs/memories/performances. I’ve re-watched his amazing guitar solo during a cover of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ at the 2004 Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I’ve teared up during clips of his perfect Super Bowl halftime performance from 2007 (a set I locked my then-boyfriend at the time out of the house to see so that he wouldn’t interrupt it in any capacity because I’m pretty sure he was jealous of my affection for Prince) and I have laughed watching Dave Chappelle re-enact Charlie Murphy’s tale of the time Prince and The Revolution completely schooled him and his friends during a game of basketball (Game. Blouses.)

Even MTV, VH1, and BET have done the unexpected and have started showing music videos- HIS music videos- again as a tribute and a nostalgic nod to an era gone by- lost to reality TV shows and scripted teen comedies/dramas.

And through it all, there are a few things that remain perfectly clear and consistent: Prince’s otherworldly talent as a musician is undeniable. His prowess as a songwriter is unmatched, and his influence- not just on music and pop culture but on the world itself- is something that we may never get to see again in our lifetimes.

When Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston died, it felt as though an important and integral part of most of our childhoods went right along with them- and the pain of losing people who had shaped us, inspired us, and influenced us so much was, at times- too much to bear- especially given the tragic circumstances of their deaths.

With Prince’s passing- the pain is just as real and just as raw- like a scab that has been picked away at a still healing wound- but his death feels less like the loss of a fond childhood memory we clung to dearly and more like the loss of a close friend or family member. One who was always around- even when they weren’t physically there before our eyes. We have been robbed of a unique and truly incredible artist and presence in this world. Someone who still had so much more to share with us all and someone who still had so much time to continue evolving, inspiring and changing history as we knew it.

In these coming days as fans mourn, remember the man and the music, and cope- let me share what I’ve learned from Prince and from being a lifelong fan:

Never be afraid or ashamed to be yourself. Never be afraid or ashamed to test and break boundaries. Never be afraid or ashamed to venture outside the “norm” and do things your own way. Free yourself of the standards and/or expectations that others have set for you and do things the way you want to do them.

Do what feels right to you- and don’t apologize for it.

And create- as much as you can and as often as you can- and don’t stop creating.

PrinceTributesThe world is a little less purple today.

Rest in Peace you wild, brilliant, inspiring genius. You will be missed so much and by so many.

Be good to one another.