Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Product Review : Simple® Facial Wipes

It hasn't even been a year since I started wearing makeup and I can honestly say that I think I found the best make-up remover. Being a noob at makeup, I didn't know what I all needed, and didn't really think about taking it off at night. I know, quite idiotic because it should be obvious:

#1- Gets your bedding all dirty and possibly stained. 
#2- Leaves your pores clogged with makeup, leaving your face oily,  and becomes breading grounds for pimples. 

Needless to say I learned quite fast and made a trip to the store to pick out some make-up remover. I asked my mom for recommendations and I also asked one of the workers that was stationed in that section if she had any suggestions; she did, but I didn't take her or my mom's advice and chose a package of facial wipes.

It was almost as if it was calling my name and pulling me in like a space ship. Okay, not exactly, but I was pulled in from the packaging. It was just that, "simple". The wipes have no harsh chemicals and no artificial perfumes or dyes. For some reason, I prefer this kind of stuff to be scent-free. It was nice to know that it would be gentle on my skin and  would leave it clean & healthy. I also found their slogan quite cute: "Smile, It's Simple". Fun right?! Their products focus mainly on sensitive skin but are suitable for all skin types, and are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, & pH balanced. Quite nice if I do say so myself! Probably the best plus of all is that the wipes don't leave behind any residue! 

There was a deal going on where if you bought one you could get another half off, so I grabbed a moisturizing facial wash as well. I wanted to test out both products to see which I would prefer: a facial wipe, or a facial scrub. I think that I actually prefer the wipes over the scrub because I don't have a puddle around the sink after washing my face, and my hair doesn't get dripping wet. Putting that aside, I found that the wipes are quite nice because you can actually see the makeup being lifted from your skin and you know that you got it all. Another HUGE plus was the fact that it didn't sting my eyes when I was rubbing off my eye makeup. 

Overall I think I will give this product a 9.4/10 only because there is always room for improvement and this is one of the first products I have tried. 

I hope that this helped any of you that are in search of a good makeup removing product!
If you have any suggestions for myself, leave a comment down below, because I'm always looking to try new things!

Much love! Xx

Friday, November 20, 2015

Crockpot Hot Cocoa

It's that time of year again where the weather drops below comfort and you are willing to do anything to keep warm. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the brisk November weather but when it gets down into the 30's and the wind is throwing the fallen leaves across the road, I'd rather stay inside and snuggle under the warm covers. On days like today I like to stay in comfy clothes, grab a hot beverage and check on all of my social media. As usual, I spent my morning on Pinterest and found multiple food recipes that extends well past my culinary skills, and a couple of hot chocolate recipes that looked oh so inviting. I knew I needed to give them a shot, because I am a sucker for hot cocoa. Unfortunately for myself, their recipes wouldn't fit into my tiny crockpot. Plus, it's not like I'm serving 12 people; just me, myself, and I. So I had to do some tweaking to these recipes and create my own... Therefore, here is my tweaked Crockpot Hot Cocoa recipe for all you tiny crockpot owners:

First You'll want to round up your Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups of Milk
3/4 - 1 Cup of Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla
5oz Can of Evaporated Milk
1 Cup of Chocolate Chips
Your Choice of Garnish

Then put all of your ingredients in your crockpot and turn it on low. Stir occasionally.

Wait 2 hours or until your chocolate chips are melted & well mixed.

Serve in your favorite mug and top with your choice of garnish. I went for mini marshmallows (:

[ The recipe that I created serves 2-3 depending on the size of mug you choose ]

This recipe surprised me; It was so creamy and delicious and I can definitely see myself drinking this around the fire at Christmas time. I found that this homemade way is a lot more convenient because you can leave your crockpot on low and whenever you need a refill, you have your remaining hot cocoa steaming & ready to go. This hot cocoa was so satisfying that I might even get rid of my hot chocolate mix and k-cups.

Hot Chocolate is my go-to beverage on these cold Fall days; What is your go-to hot beverage?

Much Love! Xx

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Autumn Pinspiration

If you haven't noticed yet, Autumn is my absolute favorite season! Everything just seems to slow down and gives you time to reflect on the year you've had. With this being my first year living on my own and on a tight budget due to being a student, I can only dream of my apartment being decorated accordingly and smelling like delicious baked goods. I'll get there one day, but for now I'll leave you with this post. I wanted to to share with you how I think of fall & what I love about this time of year. Hopefully, these images will make you just as enthusiastic as I am!

I got this fun idea from A Rosie Outlook who did this on her blog, which if you'd like to check out her post you can click here.

Basically, I am taking images from my Pinterest boards and merging them into one to give you some Fall 'Inspiration', hence, the title "Autumn Pinspiration". 

All of these pictures represent the beauty and warmth Autumn brings, despite the chilly weather and gloomy/rainy days. Aside from Halloween, I think these pictures best represent what I enjoy about fall. Of course I couldn't fit everything in this post, but I managed to get a good handful of what brings me joy and happiness this time of year. I always enjoy having a good cup of steaming hot cocoa on those chilly mornings, while reading a book, and snuggling up in a blanket. Candles are an essential item during this time of year, however, I can never find one that I enjoy that still screams"AUTUMN"... If any of you have suggestions, please let me know! 

Living in the midwest has it's ups and downs during fall. First the weather is bipolar; one week you can wear skirts and t-shirts, and the next you're bringing out the long johns and mittens. But I think I enjoy those November days where it's a bit dreary and lightly raining, the best. Call me crazy, but it's those kinds of days that calms me and reminds me of my childhood. With chilly weather comes heavy and warmer clothing. My favorite fall clothing pieces are long socks and scarves. Both are an absolute must-have if I'm going for a walk in the park, or just out and about. 

 Another thing that is amazing about the midwest is the amount of farm land and rolling hills. Driving through the countryside during this time of year is full of bliss. The temperature isn't too hot or too cold, so you can roll down the windows and breathe in the crisp air, upon viewing miles and miles of colorful trees, and the occasional cow pasture or bundles of hay. Although, at this point most of the leaves are being raked up and thrown away; It's still nice to let your inner child come out and run through the leaves or jump into a pile of them.

Growing up, my family would always gather at my grandparents house during November, not only to celebrate Thanksgiving, but to mark the beginning of deer hunting season. This was always my favorite, even though I don't hunt and my parent's don't hunt, I always enjoyed getting together,  spending the afternoon baking with my grandma while the men went out into the woods.  

Even though I miss those traditions, the memories will never fade. And who knows, maybe I'll start making my own traditions.

I hope this post gets you into the Autumnal mood! And quite honestly, I'm already looking ahead for winter 'pinspiration'! 

For now, however, what is your favorite thing about Autumn?

Much Love! Xx

Friday, November 13, 2015

Books & Tag

Lately I've been obsessed with buying books. I never used to be into reading - in fact I hated it, but now I enjoy picking up a book and reading it. I don't know what it is but I prefer an actual paper copy that I can hold in my hand than an electronic copy. I now have a small collection that should keep me busy for quite awhile.

I found this tag awhile back while I was browsing for new blogs to enjoy, and stumbled upon one done by Drops Of Anna and felt in the spirit to fill out the tag as well and share it. If you'd like to check out her answers you can click Here. I hope you enjoy!

Do you get sick while reading in the car? 
Unfortunately, yes.

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why? 
I think i'd have to say Suzanne Collins. I choose her because I am picky and I find it difficult to find a book that draws me in and keeps me interested. When I was in elementary school I read her book "Gregor the Overlander" and I loved it; it was one of the only books that kept me turning the page wanting more. Then when I entered high school I read another one of her books. I bet you can guess what it is.. yep! It was "The Hunger Games". 

Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga?
I have not read the Harry Potter series, but I've seen the movies and I loved them. I have read the first Twilight and seen all of the movies, and it was alright. I remember when J.K. Rowling released a couple of the last Harry Potter books, and my brother ran to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy. Both him and my dad finished all of the books within days of purchasing them. So, to answer the question I'd say the Harry Potter series.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books...)?
Are we talking backpacks? Because I have a ton of stuff in there; mainly school supplies. But I also pack my laptop and power cables. I am looking to get a backpack or book bag for outside of school where I can store my laptop, journals/little notebooks & pens, and a camera. 

Do you smell your books?
Yes. A brand new book just smells SO amazing. #NoShame

Books with or without little illustrations?
Without illustrations.. Let my imagination draw a picture.

Hard Cover or Paper Back?
[ I added this one in myself ]
I prefer paper back over a hard cover, although I really couldn't tell you why. 

What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn't quality writing? 
Oh goodness, I have no idea; haven't read that many.

Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
I don't know if this counts but when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade my friend and I volunteered to read to the younger kids during morning recess just so we wouldn't have to go outside in the cold during the winter months.

What is the thinnest book on your shelf?
I have recently bought a couple books that were written by youtubers, so I'd have to say that the thinnest book would be "Really Professional Internet Person" by Jenn McCallister. 

What is the thickest book on your shelf?
I think that would have to be "The Fifth Wave" by Rick Yancey. I have yet to read it, but it sounded like a good one, so I picked it up.

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?
I do not write, no... But I do blog! (: I remember when I was younger I started writing a book based [some what] on a personal experience and I wanted to call it Parloot Dreams. What it means I have no idea; Is that a real word, I'm not sure. But I could never get passed the first chapter so I eventually gave up on it.

When did you get into reading?
I actually just started to get back into reading. Growing up I never bothered to pick up a book. The only reading I did was for school. In 5th grade I remember I joined a book club where we had a list of books to read and at the end of the year all of the local schools got together and had this giant book bowl where we were tested on our knowledge. I think i only read 2 or 3 from the list of like 50. . . I think we got 4th. 

What is your favorite classic book?
Don't think I have one. I'm trying to remember all of the books we had to read in high school and the only ones I can fully remember are "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "To Kill a Mockingbird", and "The Outsiders".

 In school was your favorite subject Language Arts/English?
Yes! I literally lived for Language Arts & English.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated...what would you do?
I'd still be thankful, because it's the thought that counts and I could always donate it. 

What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?
I'm not sure, the only one I could think of would probably be "The Maze Runner", but they are very well known now because of the movies. If any of you know any similar books to these three please let me know, I love these types of books!! Xx

What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?
I tend to repeat myself. I also eat snacks while Im typing so I get crumbs all over my laptop. Plus I get easily distracted and end up on tumblr or pinterest.

What is your favorite word?
I don't know if I have a favorite word at the moment... I do catch myself saying the word "happens" a lot. For me, it's a way of acknowledging something and then moving on from it instead of dwelling over it.  For example, I now live in a big city where parking is only 2 hours and then you have to move your car. Since the beginning of September I've gotten 2 parking tickets, which aren't cheap. Instead of getting angry over something so small I just told myself that it "happens". It's all part of the learning experience and you can't change it so you might as well except it and move on. Trust me, getting a parking ticket isn't the end of the world. 

Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb? Or all of them?
Possibly a Dork.. p o s s i b l y.

Vampires or fairies?
Fairies. They are small, mysterious, and unpredictable. Plus, they are magical and everybody loves fairies. . . I mean look at Tinkerbell, am I right?!

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Shape-shifters. Don't really have an explanation, but I guess you can build a story more off of shape-shifters than you could Angels. . .? Just my personal opinion; I could be wrong!

Spirits or werewolves? Why?
Werewolves, definitely werewolves. Although I do like a good ghost story, it just gets too real and too intense. Kind of hits home a bit because I'm convinced that the house I grew up in had some paranormal activity and I was deathly afraid to sleep in my room by myself up until 7th grade. Also, I am obsessed with Teen Wolf at the moment, so it has to be werewolves. 

Zombies or Vampires?
This is a hard one. Zombies would be interesting and have a thriller/suspense kind of plot, but vampires could be fun, dark, and mysterious. 

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?
Have to go with forbidden Love. I'm a sucker when it comes to those kinds of stories.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
Hands down action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in. I think that full on romance novels aren't realistic and I'd rather read about a strong relationship that feeds off of one another and builds over time is ideal. Plus, when they are in predicaments, you really see the other person for who they are, and you get to see them doing something crazy. i.e. The Hunger Games. Plus I enjoy reading about relationships that grow over time, not over night. 

That is all! I'd like to see you all fill in your own answers and share it with me! (:
If there are any books out there that you recommend I give a read, let me know in the comments down below! Thanks! Xx

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Product Review: OGX® Shampoo & Condioner

When it comes to shampoos I tend to stick with just one brand and trying numerous varieties. Growing up I stuck with the cheaper shampoos such as Suave and Garnier Fructis; which wasn't the best idea. Cheaper shampoos tend to contain mostly alcohol, which strips your hair of it's natural oils and thus, making your hair look dull & frizzy and feeling dry. It wasn't until a couple years ago that I decided to switch it up and give other shampoos a try. Venturing down the shampoo/conditioner aisle might be scary and never-ending. There are SO MANY different kinds to choose from and the prices can be a bit intimidating.

When I bought my first OGX shampoo & conditioner I was hoping that this was my holy grail, or at least a step up; which it definitely was! It left my hair feeling soft and clean not dry and frizzy. It even gave my hair a bit of life. I want to add that the smell is also very nice. The Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo (pictured above), has a lovely calming scent to it. It smells of a rich cocoa butter and a hint of tropical coconut.

I personally think that OGX is a great brand to use if you don't want to spend too much money but also have healthier feeling/looking hair. One bottle costs $7.99, which is a bit pricey when you realize that you need to buy both the shampoo and conditioner at that price - equaling about $16 just on hair product. BUT I think it is well worth the money and I can frequently find Buy one, Get one 50% off deals. So, if you stick to these kinds of sales it isn't as bad. In addition, they will last you a good five or so months, depending on how frequently you wash your hair. I wash my hair about every other day or every two days, and I have had this shampoo and conditioner since spring. 

I definitely recommend this shampoo/conditioner if you are looking to transition your hair back into a healthy status. I must stress that it doesn't happen over night but within the first few washes you will notice your hair feeling and looking much better

Overall I will give this shampoo & conditioner a 8.7/10. The price is very reasonable, and it leaves my hair healthy and soft, but there are other shampoos out there that I have yet to try out.

Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations! 

Much Love! Xx