On Top of the World

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt on top of the world. The sun was shining, I reached my goal at work, and I had a great hair day. For the above reasons, I needed a power-woman, executive-looking, "I Don't Know How She Does It" outfit. 

Yes...it was a LBD day.

This is probably one of my favorite thrifting finds ever. (Do I say that about every thrifting find? I think so.) I got this at the State College Goodwill several years ago for a few bucks, and after a little hemline shortening action by my mom, it is absolutely the perfect little black dress for any occasion. Modest enough that it works for the office, but it hugs in all the right places to still be a little bit sexy. With my favorite pair of snakeskin pumps and a necklace that my mom passed down to me, I felt like there was no stopping me. 

I also dyed my hair yesterday. It's totally one of those dye jobs where people don't notice unless you tell them, but I can tell and that is all that matters! Not to mention I am absolutely addicted to the way that special conditioner that comes with the box dye makes my hair feel. 

Come to think of it...the purse was also handed down from my mom. If you can't tell, she is a very stylish woman! I love having a mom to share clothes with.

What outfits make you feel on top of the world?


The Thirsty Games

So obviously seeing The Hunger Games was the big to-do for everyone in the world this weekend. Ian purchased our tickets online earlier in the week, and I was ready to be completely surprised as I had absolutely no idea what the story was about. You might say I hop on bandwagons. And I might say you're right.

We arrived at the movie theatre on Friday night with twenty minutes to spare, and spent those twenty minutes (plus about twenty more) driving around the parking lot looking for a place to park, dodging other fools who didn't get to the movie an hour early--Heaven forbid--having numerous near-death experiences as we fought for parking spaces. It was like The Hunger Games, Parking Lot Edition. I told Ian that driving around in a parking lot and not finding any space was probably what Hell is like.

Anyway. We FINALLY found a space after stalking a family right after they exited the theatre all the way back to their car, awkwardly waiting in the lane and blocking cars behind us so that we could shimmy on in there when they pulled out. Having already missed the first fifteen minutes of the movie, we ran inside and handed our printed out tickets to the lady at the counter.

The machine beeped at her when she scanned Ian's credit card. It beeped when she tried again. She called over her manager, who looked at the tickets with a frown.

"You didn't actually buy the tickets."


The guy leaned over and pointed to where it said in big bold letters: 'YOU ARE ALMOST THERE! CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!'

Oh gosh.

Naturally, I burst into giggles, even though I knew it wasn't funny. Ian frantically scanned his emails on his phone to see if he had actually clicked here to purchase. Turns out....whoops.

The movie theatre folks tried to find us extra tickets, but the movie was, unfortunately, completely sold out.

We could have sulked and gotten in the car and gone home. But we had spent forty minutes in that damn parking lot. That space was prime real estate, and unless some bumbling fool was about to pay a hefty mortgage, we were staying put.

So we went and had some drinks. And thus, the Thirsty Games commenced. 


BB Cream--Love It or Leave It?

By now, if you haven't heard of BB Cream, you probably don't watch TV or use the Internet. Or you're a boy. 

Since I'm always quick to jump on a blogger bandwagon, I saw that Garnier BB Cream was on sale at CVS this week for $10.00, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I had heard fantastic things about BB creams in general--their 'miracle skin perfecting' properties, claiming to be an all-in-one sunscreen, foundation, tinted moisturizer, and skin tone even-out-er. Um....yes please!

After I bought it, I decided maybe I would read some reviews of this particular brand (because doesn't that just make complete sense? Read reviews after you buy?) and it turns out, this particular brand of BB cream that has made its way to the US, isn't that great. People complained about the smell, the orange-tint it seems to leave on their face, and that it was overall  underwhelming. GREAT!

So I might have gone into it with a biased mindset. You know how when you read a negative movie review before you go see it, then you're naturally inclined to see everything awful about the movie that you might not have noticed if you went in with a clean slate? I really didn't want this to happen. Since I spent more than a movie ticket on it.

The verdict? Not great, but not bad. Let's do a before and after shot, shall we? (And yes, this is me posting for all the internet to see a photo of Bren sans makeup. Egads.)

What do I love? I love that it's a tinted moisturizer and I can use it instead of foundation, which I tend to feel adds a layer of greasy cake to my face. I love that it has SPF so that I don't fry my poor skin when I'm outside taking walks on my lunch break. My face tends to be very oil-prone, and surprisingly after a full day at the office, my oil was pretty manageable. However, I did set it with a layer of sheer powder, which helps. It provided nice coverage to my zits, and I think added a nice glow coming out of these winter months.

What could I do without? Definitely the smell. It smells like Garnier shampoo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I kind of feel like I'm rubbing shampoo on my face which is weird. I could see how it could come off a little too orange if I used too much, which is why I only use a very small dab. Overall, my skin tone really isn't too uneven to begin with so I didn't notice much of a difference on that. 

I'm not sure that I would buy this at full price, but I'm definitely happy with it for now at the price that I paid for it.

Have you tried any BB creams that you love? Do you think they are worth the splurge?


Kiss Me, I'm Irish! Czech Me Out!

I think that it's safe to say that I have absolutely zero Irish blood in me. Despite a few rounds of dyeing my hair red-ish, having a keen appreciation for beer, and enjoying flicks such as Disney's Luck of the Irish, I am totally one of those 'wear green once a year for Saint Patty's Day' folk.

Actually, no. I was never really into the whole hype. Going to Penn State kind of made me immune/adverse to hype of any sort, so I tended to avoid scenes were there were more people than usual acting stupid. (Just read my blog post from last year!

What changed this year? Being in a new place? Having a new appreciate for days to let loose? Who knows. I don't even like the color green. But Ian and I decided that this year, we were going all. out.

Which started with an light Irish brunch of Ham and cheese paninis with fried potatoes and Guinness.

Followed by forking over a ghastly cover at three in the afternoon to watch Irish dancers at a local pub and drinking an overpriced pint.

And having our photo taken by a patron who had been there much longer than we had.

With a little extra jig in our step, it was back home for Ian's Irish creation #2: Dublin Coddle.

And more Guinness. Obviously.

What is Dublin Coddle, you ask? Close your eyes with me and imagine the heartiest, most delicious, flavorful stew exploding in your mouth and there you have it. It's simply potatoes, carrots, parsnips, bacon, and Italian sausage boiled in beef stock until it makes an amazing stew-like substance. (Descriptive enough for you? They should pay me to write this stuff.)

For the evening, it was off to the Clarendon Ballroom to meet some friends in our very dressy green T-shirts. You might say we were a bit underdressed. But hey...at least I had beads. From Georgia the landlady.

And if you're wondering about the title....I was original and said "Kiss me, I'm Irish" to Ian on the way home that night. To which he replied a much more funny and creative (and more accurate) saying: "Czech me out!" Because I'm Czech. Get it?! That's why I married him, folks.


Spring Has Sprung....Kind Of

I don't know about you, but it seems to me like Spring has sprung.

So today I left my house with a little red coat, a bright pink flower brooch, and my sunglasses, only to be greeted with haze, humidity, and lower temperatures than I expected.

But I really liked my outfit. So I didn't change.

You might be surprised to know that absolutely nothing in this outfit was thrifted. Jeans and shoes are from Kohls, Coat is from TJ Maxx.

However, there was a little piece of this outfit from a thrifty source.

Take a wild guess.

As we were snappin' away, our landlady came out the door and was probably a little bewildered that her tenants were taking pictures on her porch.

So I asked for a photo.

And then she wanted a photo with Ian.

And then she wanted a photo of both of us.

And next thing you knew, we had a little evening photo shoot with Georgia.

Doesn't get much better than that!

(And yes...the brooch was a gift from my beautiful sister who probably found it in the depths of a PA antique store! Doesn't she have a great eye!?)

Here's to the weekend and Saint Patricks Day! I celebrated unknowingly with this green top. I'm thinking that a weekend of Guiness, Irish food, and baking something are in order.


Polka Dot Perfection

I walked away from Sunday's thrifting adventure with a bag full of new goodies. 

This bright red polka dot scarf was the very first thing I picked up, mostly just because it was red and polka dot, but also because there are so many things that you can do with a long, thin scarf like this. My first thought was to use it as a belt, and I immediately began thinking of how I was going to wear it to work the next day. I also found this perfect gray skirt, so when I wasn't able to sleep on Sunday night because of daylight savings, I lay there visualizing all my tops and which one I could match up with the belt and skirt. (What...thinking about outfits doesn't keep you up at night?)

I was dragging like crazy at work yesterday, like dragging beyond the point that even several cups of coffee couldn't fix. But the good news is that it was still light enough outside when I got home that I could make my husband take pictures of me! The joys of being a blogger spouse!

Side note: I put runs in every.single.pair. of my panty hose, so I have to wear black tights until I invest in new ones.  

How would you wear this scarf? I can't wait to get creative. It kind of makes me want to run away to Disney World and go hang with Minnie Mouse.

Photos from here, here, here and here


A Seriously Awesome Weekend

Don't you love it when you have a seriously awesome weekend? Like, the kind of weekend where on Monday, you ask people how their weekend was mostly because you hope they'll ask about yours? 

Like seeing an old friend on Friday night who gave us a CD of photos he took at our wedding. (Thanks Andy!)

Or seeing a beautiful friend get married on Saturday.

And take glamour shots outside.

As if two days in a row of hanging out with friends from home weren't enough, I was super looking forward to Sunday afternoon because Miss Stephanie, who I met at the Quarter Life Vintage Shop & Social, invited to go on a thrifting adventure with some other bloggers in our area. I have always been jealous of when I read about bloggers who meet up and hang out with each other, and I was so excited to finally get to do it!

Steph was the photographer for the day and snapped some great photos as we putzed around Unique with Waverly and Michelle

Dresses/skirts with leggings or tights are a must when you shop here...no dressing rooms!

 What did I walk away with in that lovely orange bag? Stay tuned to find out!

Afterwards, we enjoyed some food and bevs at Sweetwater Tavern.

OK, OK, so now that I have told you about my weekend. How was yours?


Hoarders: Beauty Product Edition

You may not know by looking at me, but I'm kind of a beauty product hoarder.

By now, you all know that I love a good bargain, especially on good quality stuff! So when I see a heavily discounted beauty product at TJ Maxx, or a sale on makeup at Target, or just something new that I've never tried before, I have to have it. As a result, I have a mountain of hair gels, mousses, eye shadows, brushes, you name it, sitting around that rarely get used. 

And why would I throw them away? You never know when you're going to wish you had it.

However, there are things that I buy over and over again because they are just that reliable (and affordable!). 

**Note that I was not paid or anything like that to review these products! Maybe one day my blog will be popular enough for people to send me free things...but for now, you get my 100% unbiased opinion.

So let's start with when I get out of the shower with a head of wet and crazy hair. 

I happened to stumble across Rusk BioFoam for a lovely price at TJ Maxx (as you can see by the sticker I never peeled off). It's a hard product to describe. It's meant to be a root lifter, but I use it more like mousse throughout all of my hair. It's very light, and doesn't leave my hair feeling crunchy or stiff. Unfortunately, I haven't been seeing it lately at TJ's so I'm afraid it might have been discontinued. 

Next, I spray Frizz-Ease Protective Styling Spray throughout my wet hair to get ready to fry it to death with my blow dryer and flat iron. For real, I didn't realize how important this step was until I realized that since I've been using it, my hair didn't get so brittle just a few weeks after a hair cut.

Finally, I've been putting a little bit of Moroccan Oil on my ends before I blow dry. I got this stuff as a free sample from my salon in State College, and I go back and forth whether I like it or not. I've ever actually bought any (from what I've seen, it's a little pricy) but it definitely makes my hair feel smooth and it smells HEAVENLY!

After I dry my bangs and curl my hair with the flat iron, I set it all in place with Dove Hair Therapy Extra Hold Hairspray. It's definitely my favorite hairspray I've found so far. It's very light, non-sticky, and I can hardly tell I'm wearing it. It's especially good for keeping my bangs in place on a windy day.

Speaking of bangs, TRESemme Dry Shampoo has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to fringe. I've been using this stuff since college when I was a grody student who was too lazy to take showers every now and then. I'll be honest--if you want dry shampoo solely to soak up the grease and last all day, this stuff isn't the best because it works at first, and then leaves me feeling more greasy than before. However, it works wonders on bangs. Being blessed with a greasy forehead, after a night of sleep my bangs are not looking cute, but with just a spritz of this at the roots, I can blow them out looking like new. This stuff is also a great texturizer for fine hair like mine and can really boost volume.

Obviously, Chapstick had to make the cut. To tell you the truth, I'm really not much of a lipstick/lip gloss kind of gal. Every now and then I have the urge to paint on some bright red lips, but most of the time lipstick just makes me self conscious and afraid to move because it'll smudge. I don't really do lip gloss because I don't like the sticky and shiny feeling. This is why I am never without a tube (or three) of Chapstick. You might say I'm addicted. I might say you're right.

Finally, when my hair is in place and I'm ready to do my makeup (typically running late at this point in the morning, and cursing for allowing myself five extra minutes of blog surfing), these two things are my very first stop in my makeup routine. BareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer is absolutely amazing. It's a little bit of a splurge--I pay about 18 dollars at Ulta for this little tube--but it lasts for MONTHS, and with a face that's prone to grease, it keeps my eye makeup from sliding right off within an hour. 

Once the primer is dried, I glide on some Physicians Formula Eyebrightener. One of my best friends and makeup guru, Shannon, introduced me to highlighter when she did my wedding makeup and I have never looked back. This stuff really makes my eyes pop, and on the weekends sometimes I just wear this all over my whole eye with some thick eyeliner and I am ready to go! For work, I usually wear browns or greys for my eyes, and then dab a little bit of this in the corners of my eyes as well as underneath my eyebrow. 

What are some of the beauty products you can't live without? Bring 'em on, because you all know I love trying new things. And there's plenty of room on my dresser for more.


Lesson Learned

I don't know about you, but after a weekend of shopping, dining, and laughing with my parents, I've got the Monday Blues a little bit. 

So this is a tale about a blue dress.

For an afternoon of shopping with my mom this weekend, I needed something comfy, cute, and warm. I found this Calvin Kline dress on a recent thrifting adventure, and thought for sure it was straight from the 80s. Naturally, I had to have it.

This was the purse that I bought from the Quarter Life Shop and Social from last week. I had been looking for a shoulder cross bag for a while now, and I loved the color and detail (and, of course, the price!) of this one.

So as my mom were sauntering around the mall, perusing the things on the sale rack at Lord and Taylor that we couldn't afford, I was pretty tickled to find this:

Turns out my Calvin Klein find was not from some grandma's closet. Turns out this very dress is for sale at your local high-end mall. For a much steeper price than I would ever pay for it.

Moral of the story: I am officially never shopping at department stores ever again.

Happy Monday.


Modern Vintage Shop & Social

A friend at work sent me a link for this event last week hosted by Quarter Life: The Beltway's Best Vintage and Thrift. When I saw that the event involved food, other vintage lovers, and shopping, I immediately took the day off of work so I could go. 

Never mind that it was in an area that I'd never heard of. Never mind that I've rarely ventured in DC outside of the monuments and museums. Also, never mind that I had never navigated the Metro by myself nor was I about to drive right into the city during rush hour. Ah, but minor details!

The rain almost turned me into a bum that day, but I wasn't about to waste a vacation day sitting in sweatpants perusing Pintrest. So I put on one of my favorite vintage dresses, slipped into my red rain boots, and decided I was going, gosh darnit!

My genius plan was to drive to Alexandria and park there to ride the Metro to Capitol Heights. After trying three separate stops until I finally found one with parking, I clomped in and got my adventure off to a great start by accidently putting twenty dollars on a fare card. Again, minor detail. I would use it for all the future trips I would make into the city. The trip itself was surprisingly smooth, and I arrived at Nana with plenty of time to spare. 

In fact, I was that awkward first person to the party.

But the gals at the shop were so sweet and welcoming, and Miss Lisa and I discovered a Pennsylvania connection almost right away. Not to mention the place was adorable, and they had cookies...and beer...and hummus...and cucumber sandwich things. 

Rockin' the rain boots. Photo by Lisa.

People starting trickling in and soon the place was abuzz with new and old friends and vintage lovers squealing over all the fabulous clothes and jewelry. The best thing about being at an event with fellow bloggers was that you could pull your camera out and start snapping photos and there were no weird looks.

Overall, it was a great time and I made some new friends (hey Thrift and Style, Tulle and Combat Boots, and Naja Diamond!) And I walked away with a lovely new purse--photos coming soon.

I left with a little extra bounce in my rain boot step, arrived at the Metro to go home, and realized that I lost the fare card. Which still had 17 bucks on it. I hiked back to the shop with no luck, and back to the station to buy a new one. 

So, you're welcome whoever found a free gift on the ground.

I would say it was worth it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...