Tuesday, November 29, 2011

San Francisco!

Today, the day American Airlines files for bankruptcy, I'm flying on AA to San Francisco. Wish me luck! I absolutely love San Francisco, even though I've only been there twice. It's a love-at-first sight type of thing. One of my dear friends from college moved there a few years ago and I can't wait to see her. 

Here we are in 2007, enjoying a fantastic snow day that delayed the beginning of the Spring semester. UT closed for two days, which we quickly filled with snowmen, popcorn and chickflicks.

And, nearly five years later, we grew up. Reality hits with real jobs, bills and complicated schedules. A month ago, we all got together for a fabulous dinner at Moonshine. I was late, but made it in time for the picture. Priorities.

So, hopefully there's still an American Airlines crew to fly me to San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Wishlist

This is what I want to wear today, with red nails and a perfect top knot bun. 

But, I can be found cleaning the apartment, working on job applications and exercising in yoga pants.

Monday, November 14, 2011

recent reads

This weekend I started The Poisonwood Bible (by Barbara Kingsolver) after unassumingly picking it up at the bookstore. It completely captured my attention, drawing me into the missionaries' lives as they prepared to leave for Africa in the 1950s. Several friends have recommend the book to me and I'm excited to spend this week engulfed in a great read! 

In other book news, I recently finished Chelsea Handler's book, Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea. The things she can get away with saying are ridiculous and I was often laughing at the paperback hoping no one was watching. It's like getting cocktails with Chelsea, but she's the only one talking. It was hilariously entertaining. If you love her show, standup and personality, then you will love it. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Magical Powers of Moisturizing

Happy Sunday! I just got back from a four-day whirlwind in Tulsa for a beautiful, barn wedding. 
It was a great trip, but I'm so happy to be home! 

As previously mentioned, Winter has its way with my skin, drying it up completely and laughing all the way through the holidays. It's impossible to stick with the same moisturizer I use during the summer months, so I'm left researching moisturizers 
(for a completely appalling amount of time). 

This is the most important step for me- finding an amazing, creamy moisturizer that doesn't clog my pores, but lasts throughout the day.  

This is a basic, but fantastic moisturizer that is readily available at your nearest Whole Foods. It's creamy, but not greasy, and absorbs well into the skin. And, I love that it's a natural, vitamin-based product.

My other winter obsession is a nighttime oil. As oppose to using a separate night cream, I just apply an oil under my moisturizer before bed. It's calming and leaves you with a dewy complexion in the morning. 
Full disclaimer: I was not satisfied with this product when I first purchased it a few months ago. It's hard to tell if it delivers any of the results promised. BUT the moisture is incredible and since adding it back into my nightly skin-care routine under moisturizer, I can notice a bit more glow when I wake up in the morning. So, first impression aside, it's a recent recommendation.

Does anyone have a moisture mask recommendation? 
I'm not completely satisfied with my current one by AHAVA.

Monday, November 7, 2011

holiday decor

November is well underway, whether I'm ready or not. Which means the holidays will come and go well before I've had my fill of gingerbread lattes. 
Coffee drinks aside, the decorations are one of the best parts of the holidays. Twinkle lights earn the respect they deserve and red is everywhere without being too bold. While buying red and green peanut m&ms is the extent of my decoration so far, I've been brainstorming with great intentions.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas for holiday home decor.

Stovetop potpourri is such a romantic tradition. It was a staple to have cinnamon sticks on the stovetop growing up, and this collection of orange-peel, cranberries, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg is a variation I can't wait to try on a lazy Sunday. Because smell is everything.

Filling the canister with ornaments is a great, quirky way to bring the holidays into a space! I love this to help coordinate a color scheme or just bring character to the normal decorations.

And finally what holiday isn't complete without 80 wine bottles for the creation of this fabulous wine cork wreath. Love it.

More details and step by step instructions are available at the links below each image.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Recommendations for Winter Weather

Oh hey winter, thank you for drying out my skin. It's unbelievable how quickly my skin reverts to its finest desert-land impression. There are a million and one recommendations when it comes to adjusting to the dry air of winter, but only a few have proven noteworthy year after year. My skin is normal/dry and I opt for more moisturizer when all else fails. 
This is what I've learned.

The most important step is to switch to a gentle, cream-based face wash, or even a cleansing oil. Moisture is king, and I've found that the creamier the better. Last winter, I used an oil cleanser which I absolutely loved! The oil removed all makeup and left my skin silky smooth. However, it is a balancing act, because I don't want too much oil, resulting in horrendously clogged pores.  I want to glow like Kate Bosworth, is that too much to ask?

Cetaphil is a great basic wash for sensitive skin. It's inexpensive and never irritates your skin. I like to keep this in the shower as my go-to, everyday cleanser. And, since it's such a mild face wash, it's easy to follow up with exfoliating treatments or face masks.

Pond's Cold Cream is perfect for removing makeup and adding moisture. It's also readily available at all drugstores at fantastically reasonable price-point. I first bought this because I read that Jenny from the Block's mom uses it to this day, and that was good enough for me. (Best when followed with toner.)

Cleansing oil is best for PM use. Origins makes a great oil cleanser that smells as great as it feels. That's what I used last winter. DHC is not a brand I'm familiar with, but the cleansing oil has received some rave reviews. This is a recent discovery that I can't wait to try!

The cleansing process is followed by various moisturizers/serums/masks that I promise to post about soon! 
What are your favorite products?
I love to hear personal recommendations above all else.

Please take these recommendations with a grain of salt. I'm not an expert and merely spend thousands of hours researching the best face care regimens, because I don't want to waste my $5 on the wrong Pond's product. These are all personal recommendations that I happen to love, with out any strings attached.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a little burst of inspiration

Here's a soundtrack to complete the whole inspiration theme of the last couple of days. While I'm writing it serves as good "break" music as well. Every hour, one 10 minute break keeps me sane.
Also good for hibernation during cold winter days, as is expected tomorrow.

Animal- Mike Snow
try not to dance.

Fix You- Coldplay
absolutely perfect lyrics.

Give Me the Beat- Ghostland Observatory
the best personal theme song. (because everyone needs a theme song)

The Middle- Jimmy Eat World
take me back.

Louder Than Ever- Sarah Jaffe
hauntingly thoughtful.

Do You Realize?- The Flaming Lips

Guns and Horses- Ellie Goulding
Unique, powerful voice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

philosophical learnings and elle woods

In school, philosophy was always my favorite. I once petitioned to keep the philosophy teacher at my high school. (I was a very cool kid.) But all this popularity aside, thinking outside the box helps to put your own box in perspective. Have I lost you? I've lost myself. 

Anywho, here's a little tidbit I rediscovered today:

For it is no light undertaking to separate what is original from what is artificial in the present nature of man, and to have a proper understanding of a state which no longer exists, which perhaps never existed, which probably never will exist, and yet about which it is necessary to have accurate notions in order to judge properly our own present state. 
-Jean-Jacques Rosseau

Maybe we spend our whole lives trying to find our original self. 

But what does that mean?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

new novels of november

Ok, here’s my November thing. I love the little things. I love when my dog sleeps in and glares at me to turn the lights off in the morning. I love when the Brita is full. I love fresh coffee and cinnamon. But then an equally little thing comes to ruin the lot, and by one fell swoop my happiness subsides. But why? The coffee is still fresh, George still has the cutest of all the faces, but I let some other minute detail override the collection.

In November, I will appreciate the little things that I love with as much energy as I let the annoyances bring me down. It should prove a happy recipe.

I will also be participating in Write A Novel in November. Join me?