Buffalo Check Christmas and Home Decor

I absolutely love buffalo check (or plaid) and especially love it for Christmas!  I’m having an phone issue, so I can’t upload a picture of my front porch, but it is currently sporting a buffalo check be-ribboned wreath and welcome mat!

I started seeing it in Christmas decor last year and this year, it is EVERYWHERE!  I rounded up some of my fave buffalo check home and Christmas decor below.

Monogram Buffalo Check Throw

This monogrammable buffalo check throw from Nordstrom would make a great Christmas gift!  I love the subtle gray and white.

Buffalo Check Sherpa Throw

I have a similar sherpa throw and I am totally in love with how soft and warm it is.   I don’t know which of these I would buy, I am torn between gray and black and red!

Deer Ornament

How cute is this deer ornament?  It would make a great gift topper!

 

Buffalo Plaid Stocking

I am in love with this fur trimmed stocking!  It would look amazing with some of my other Christmas decor.

Mousepad

Technically a mousepad isn’t Christmas or home decor but I couldn’t resist! How cute would this be as part of a gift with the deer ornament as a topper?

Buffalo Check Pillow Cover

I have been trying to resist these buffalo check pillow covers since October!  I think having the red and black all year long would make me get tired of it and I can’t justify buying them just for Christmas.  I still love them though!!

 

Buffalo Check Duvet Cover

Same story with this duvet cover.  I have always wanted to have a Christmas bedroom and this would be perfect! but alas, the cost factor!  It would make a really cute boys room too.  Speaking of, I’ve seen some adorable buffalo check nurseries lately!

Do you love buffalo check like I do? What do you have in your home that’s buffalo check? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Must Have Monday

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was relaxing with a ton of Starbucks and Gilmore Girls marathoning and a dose of shopping.  I’ve never been a middle of the night Black Friday shopper.  Having worked retail in the past, I always feel bad for anyone who has to leave their family on Thanksgiving to go open a store, so I try not to shop until mid day on Friday.

Did you notice how many stores had their Black Friday sales start earlier in the week?  I swear every other email was another early Black Friday notice.  I was definitely on board for that!

I bought a few things online and I did venture out later on Friday and then again on Saturday for a few quick gifts.  I don’t even know why I bothered, I should have just shopped online for everything!  It wasn’t the crowds, it was more a woefully under staffed Macy’s that was annoying.

I did find a couple things I consider Must Have’s and am sharing today!

Voluspa Goji Tarroco Orange Candle

First up is this beautiful candle I found at a local gift shop (Gifted Hands for those of you that are local to Pittsburgh).  Though Voluspa can be found online at Nordstrom and a lot of other retailers.  I loved the red glass container (it looks slightly orange in the photo above but in person it is a really rich red) and can’t wait to use it once the candle is used up.   The note I notice the most from this one is the orange.  It has a great throw and you can definitely smell it throughout the house.  The red glass looks gorgeous at night when lit!

 

Alpaca Pajama Bottoms

One of the sales I hit up this weekend was the Lane Bryant 40% off everything sale.  I grabbed these Alpaca pajama pants.  I am definitely seeing Alpaca’s everywhere this Christmas!  These are super comfy and I am actually wearing them as I type this!

 

Halo Top Ice Cream

Every dieter’s fave, Halo Top Ice Cream!  It used to be sorta hard to find, but it is literally in every grocery store now.  I even found it in my small home town grocer.  My freezer currently has Cinnamon Roll and Peanut Butter Cup.  Available in a million flavors, it is perfect to hit that sweet craving when you are trying to cut calories.  The entire pint is less than 300 calories (varies depending on flavor) and is definitely the best low cal ice cream I’ve encountered.

What did you pick up during Black Friday weekend? Any must have’s? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Must Have Monday

I’ve been away from the blog for awhile now and have got a stockpile of things I’ve tried out and loved, so I thought I’d start off with a new series called Must Have Monday.   Let’s get started right away!

First off, the most delightful find of the season so far!  I’ve tried both the Dark Chocolaty Sea Salt and White Chocolatier Peppermint flavors and both are delicious.  There’s also a sugar cookie version, but I can’t speak personally for that one (though I am sure it is just as great).

For those of you that are local to Pittsburgh, I even like them even better than Pittsburgh Popcorn (shhhh!don’t tell!)  I really like Pittsburgh Popcorn and buy it all the time, but sometimes I find their chocolate mixes a bit overwhelming, meaning they clump together in giant clumps which are hard to eat.  This brand doesn’t do that giant clumping thing and I find it much easier to limit how much of it I eat.

They are a perfect answer to that sweet and salty craving.  Super easy to just throw in a cute bowl and on your holiday party table to make it look like you made an effort ! Go ahead and tell people you made them yourself off a Pinterest pin. 🙂

I found them locally at Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, but they are also available online.  Get thee to the grocery store stat people!!

I picked up this set of 3 stud earrings a couple weeks ago at Nordstrom locally and have worn all of them ever since.  I wanted some studs that weren’t your typical and these definitely fit the bill.  I bought gold, but you can find them in a rose gold and silver (along with the gold) online.  They would make a really cute Christmas present and you could even split them up for gift giving!  Check them out here!

I’m loving all the “fancy” sweatshirts out right now and couldn’t wait to pick up a couple for the Fall/Winter. This isn’t the greatest photo of it, but this shirt from Lane Bryant is all kinds of adorbs!

It’s got bell sleeves and a black tie ribbon detail on the shoulders.  It’s not quite a sweatshirt, but heavier than a regular top.  Really cute with black skinny jeans!  I love how it’s both comfy and a little bit special at the same time.  It’s in heavy rotation for my weekend wear!  Check it out online here or in store.

I’d love to hear about your latest must have’s in the comments!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Everything!

 

Sorry for my prolonged absence from the blog, but I’ve had a ridiculous amount of stuff going on in my life the past few months.  I hope to have some more time in the near future to blog, but most likely I won’t be back to regular blogging until November.  I appreciate each and everyone of you that has been checking in over the past couple months to see any updates!  I promise, more to come on what’s been going on in the future! (Some BIG things)

In the meantime, it’s pumpkin spice season and I can’t let it pass without blogging about it!  I broke out my Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice tshirt last week while enjoying my fifth pumpkin spice Starbucks of the season and realized when someone asked me where I got it, that the company who made mine went out of business.  🙁

I decided to check out Etsy to see if anyone else sold a similar one and found an amazing amount of PS inspired stuff.  There are tons of tees, but I also found a lot of other stuff.  I thought I would put together a quick round up of my faves for everyone.


Basic AF Mug

How hilariously appropriate is this mug?  I absolutely need this one!  I might be basic, but I don’t care cause pumpkin spice is freaking delicious!!

 

Pumpkin Spice Socks
These socks crack me up!  I definitely need these for around the house.  Perfect thing to pair with a Starbucks gift card.

Pumpkin Spice Girl Tote

How cute is this tote for Fall?  Easy to tuck into a care package for your fave college student to use around campus.

Pumpkin Spice Tee

If you are like me and can’t say no to a PS, this is the shirt for you!

 

Pumpkin Spice Card

The perfect card to include with any gift this Fall!  And the shop (LilyandVal) is based in Pittsburgh, my hometown!  Even better!

Want to see the rest of my picks?  Check out my Pumpkin Spice Pinterest board here!

Thanks again for checking out the blog and I promise lots more to come soon!!

 

 

 

 

Essie Gel Couture Review

Essie Gel Couture Review

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know I love salon gel nails and nail art.  I wore them for about a year straight and there are a ton of great things about them.  The one thing I hate about them though, is the difficulty in getting the gel polish off without a trip to the salon.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve needed to be able to take my polish off with very little notice.  Since it is difficult to do a last minute appointment via the salon I prefer, and taking gel polish off a home is a giant PITA, I’ve opted to not have my nails done lately.

I looked for an alternative and thought you might be interested in my experiences.  My first try was the Essie Gel Couture system.  It’s a two step process, one being the color gel polish and the second being a clear gel top coat type polish.  The big selling point for me was that you are able to take the polish off with regular nail polish remover.

Since my nails were pretty beat up after stopping my salon gel, I opted for a pale pink color.  The consistency of the polish was pretty streaky for the first coat.  I actually had to do 3 coats to get a solid color and it showed every bump in my nails.  The brush is a bit larger than I was used to and is rounded, which some feel makes it easier to apply with. I personally found I needed a couple minutes to get used to the brush.

I thought the 2nd step might smooth out the polish a bit and it did to a certain extent.  I applied one coat of the clear gel like topcoat. No light is needed to cure the gel.

It dried fairly quickly considering I had to put on 3 coats of color, plus a top coat. I couldn’t wait to see how long it lasted.

I painted my nails on Sunday and this is what they looked like on Wednesday with very little abuse.  I am pretty easy on my nails in general and these absolutely did not hold up.  By Tuesday, I was noticing wear on my first two fingers on my left (non dominant) hand and as you can see, but Wednesday they were chipping.  You could also see every bump or knick in my nail bed through the polish.

Essie Gel Couture Review

I left the polish on til Friday just to see if they got worse.  It stayed about the same, but of course, my nails started shredding where the polish had worn off.

The polish did come off really easily with regular non-acetone nail polish remover.

Overall, I wouldn’t spend the almost $25 to buy both steps (each bottle is about $11.50 on average).  I had much better results with my Shellac Hack method I explained previously here.

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried Essie Gel Couture and how it worked for you in the comments!

 

Best Wrinkle Treatment Serum

Best Wrinkle Treatment

I have tried a lot of wrinkle treatment serums in my life and I have never really declared one was great.  Until now!  Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is as amazing as people say.

Over Christmas, Sephora had a two piece set of Sunday Riley products.  Since Sunday Riley is an expensive brand,  I figured the set was the best way to try it out, especially since I bought it during Sephora’s VIB event.  Here’s a link to what I bought on Sephora’s website.

The kit had both Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes.  I’ll talk about the Luna Sleeping Night Oil first.

From Sephora’s description:

Luna Sleeping Night Oil contains a powerful, yet gentle trans-retinol ester and moisturizing botanical oils to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and sun damage while preventing flakiness and irritation.

The Luna Sleeping Night Oil comes in a glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.  It makes for a slightly messy dispensing of the oil, but feels substantial and has held up.

The Luna Oil is odd.  It has a strong smell, which I had read about before trying.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t pleasant either.  It also goes on your face blue and you rub in until it blends into your skin and is absorbed.  I had high hopes, but really didn’t love it.

I like the idea of a night oil, especially because I have pretty dry skin in areas, but this just wasn’t it for me.  I saw a bit of change in my skin for the better, but nothing huge.  I think if I were using any moisturizer on a regular basis, I would have seen the same result.

Now on to Good Genes!

From Sephora’s description:

Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment exfoliates and moisturizes the skin while smoothing the appearance of fine lines.

The Good Genes formula is in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser.  Nice and substantial and has held up well to my use since December.

I had very high hopes for this stuff after doing research and reading about it online and I was not disappointed!  It is a bit stingy when you first apply it.  Like an astringent burn is what it was like for me, but that goes away quickly.  I use a about a pump and a half for my face and forehead and rub in well.

I have honestly noted a difference in my skin since I started using it.  How do I know this? I took pictures of my wrinkles and dark spots prior to starting and compared to photos after I used it for a month.  (And no, I am not sharing my wrinkles on the internet 🙂

I have never seen a change in wrinkle deepness before with any other product.  The other noticeable thing is the brightness of my skin.  Since the cells are turning over, my skin looks much brighter than it normally would in the dead of winter.

I personally use Good Genes at night, but I do know many people use it during the day.

Would I buy them again?  The Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a no.  The Good Genes is a yes!

I do have one other brand for wrinkle prevention/improvement to try from my VIB purchases, but if it isn’t better than Good Genes, I will be re-buying asap.

Have you tried Sunday Riley products yet?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

 

 

Keep Tulips From Drooping

I love to have tulips in the house during the winter, because they make me feel like Spring is still a possibility no matter how cold out it currently is!  I found tulips for $3 a bunch at our local grocery store the other day and had to grab some since it was artic here this weekend.

The one thing about tulips that can be a bummer, is their tendency to droop, as soon as you put them in the vase.  I tried a Pinterest trick this time and it worked!  I actually combined two common tricks, so not 100% sure which one was the secret, but both are so easy, I don’t mind repeating them both.

First, I left the tulips in their store binding overnight.  Meaning, I took them out of the plastic envelope/bag thing you carry them in, but I left them attached to each other by the bindings/bands and stuck them in a vase of water.  The reasoning behind this trick, is because tulips are hollow stemmed, keeping them together allows them to absorb the water without drooping.

I also added a penny to the water in the vase.  I’ve read about this trick for a couple years and always forget to do it.  I honestly don’t know the reason for it, but I am sure it changes the alkaline of the water.

It’s been a few days, and so far so good as you can see below.  Aren’t they so pretty?   A few of the leaves have drooped and the tulips aren’t standing straight up and down like a soldier, but I like them a little more natural myself.  This is a huge improvement from the last time I bought tulips, so I am declaring this a Pinterest Success!!

Keep Tulips from Drooping

Have you tried these tricks? I’d love to hear about it or any others in the comments!