Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1 Power Serum

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I'll be honest, I'm not very experienced in the serum department. I had a bad experience with one, one time, and it kind of scarred me. It. Was. Awful. I won't name any names (Juice Beauty), but I tried a serum once, and it left my skin in shambles. It was oily, blotchy, and I had deep, painful spots. I shudder at the thought of it, still.


Anyway, I'm basically in love with this stuff and I highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to listen to me blab about it. Initially, I discovered it through Birchbox (I know, shocking) and was skeptical, given my past experience with serums, as well as the fact that it is marketed as an anti-aging product, but I decided to give it a go anyhow.

The serum contains amino acids that increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity. It also contains xylitol, which helps your skin retain moisture, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and lines, giving you a more youthful appearance. I'm not really considered "old" (or I don't like to think I am, anyway..)but I have been told that your mid to late 20's is the optimum time to use anti-aging products and that by the time you begin to look and feel like you actually need them, it's too late.

Honestly, I really don't care how it works, as long as it works. I mean, as long as you're not going to give me cancer or make my limbs fall off, by all means, concoct whatever potion you want. Just give. It. To. Me.

Anyway, according to the packaging, you should start to see results after a week of regular use. I, however, started seeing results by day four. My skin looked and felt more smooth to the touch. It also appeared more youthful because my skintone seemed to be more even. I suffer from very sensitive and (mostly) dry skin, but after four days of using this stuff, I could tell my skin was retaining more water than normal. Thankfully.

It's light. It doesn't leave you greasy or oily. It's kind of awesome, in my opinion. And I think you should try it. You can find it on Birchbox.com for $34. I don't really know if that's considered standard for a serum, but hey, it's a product that works, so whatareyougonnado?

Dolce&Gabbana Pour Femme Intense Eau de Parfum

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I have some slight commitment issues when it comes to fragrances. My tastes change so frequently that I really can't justify spending $80 - $130 on a bottle of perfume that I can't guarantee I will wear for any more than a month. I also feel the need to apply, reapply, and re-reapply my perfume an annoyingly obnoxious amount of times throughout the day and it's easier to carry around a rollerball or mini spray versus a gigantic (and heavy) glass bottle. Also, I have a friend who had a bottle Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck shatter in one of her favorite handbags, once. You could smell her coming from a mile away. In a good way of course, but still.

Anyway, I think I may have a new favorite fragrance. As in, I might consider purchasing the actual full size. It's warm and slightly sweet with a bit of spice. It's intoxicating, inviting, and I have literally been sniffing my wrists all day. I know I look like a nut, but Idon'tevencare. Don't judge.


The fragrance pen comes in a soft, velvety oxblood box with pretty gold lettering...What can I say? I'm a sucker for nice packaging.



The pen itself is simple and sleek with matching cap and gold letting. Again..with the pretty packaging..

At $27, this stuff is a real steal. It smells amazing and judging by my past experiences with rollerballs and mini sprays, it will definitely last for quite some time. Absolutely worth the money, in my opinion!

Shopping in New York, New York

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This weekend I took a trip to New York to visit my friend Amna, as well as spend a few days with my boyfriend in New Jersey. I flew out on Thursday at 6:15 am, which is a whole story in itself. I was meant to wake up at 3:30 am to shower, dress, and do a little last minute packing, but I wound up waking up at 5 am to Sandy asking if I was ready yet (she was taking me to the airport). When I realized what time it was, I did a mad dash for the shower and miraculously, was able to shower, do my hair, dress, and toss some random crap into my suitcase in 18 minutes. Impressive, I know. I did have to brush my teeth in the airport bathroom and do my makeup at my gate, but I'm fairly confident I'm not the only person who has had to do this. This is what I told myself as I sat by my gate with a lap full of cosmetics and makeup brushes, anyway.

Amna picked me up at the LaGuardia Airport, which is where our adventure began. Our first stop was an Indian buffet in Jackson Heights, which was uh-mazing. For my first Indian cuisine experience, I was thoroughly impressed. After lunch, we dropped my bag off at her apartment and headed out for a day of nails and shopping. The main event of the day (and a lot of why I was in town on that specific day): The Rebeca Minkoff sample sale. Can we just pause for a moment and revel in those words? Rebecca Minkoff. Sample. Sale. I know. You're super jealous, right? It's totally fine. I'm normally the jealous one in situations like these, but last weekend I was lucky enough to experience the holiness of RM sample price cuts. It was pretty bomb. PS, I would like you to meet my new baby.


Introducing the Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair with Studs. She's beautiful, right?

After leaving the sample sale, we wandered around 5th Avenue and stopped at some of our favorite shops; Zara (we stopped at two because I was in search of a specific pair of shoes, but was unable to find them), Henri Bendel, Ferragamo, Sephora, etc.


We wrapped up the day with a nice warm bowl of ramen before heading back to Amna's apartment, where I went through her nail polish and basically insisted she do a show and tell of all her designer bags. It's entirly possible I may have developed a small love for Balenciaga. We shall see if it turns into a full blown obsession. 

Disney, Baby!

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Small confession: I've got myself a little bit 'o love for Disney movies. And by "a little bit", I mean it's borderline obsessive. I'd watch a Disney movie I've seen a bajillion times over a new movie with "real" people in it any day. And like any good mother, I'm trying to push my obsessions onto my child. Completely normal and acceptable, right? In an effort to do this, Sandy and I took M on a little trip to Disney World...you know, the place where all your dreams come true.

The plane ride there was effortless, to say the least. Literally, probably my best experience flying, ever, which is surprising because something bad always happens when I fly. Always. M played on his tablet the majority of the time and Sandy and I were able to get some reading done.

We spent our first day in the Magic Kingdom, hanging out with all the coolest and most popular Disney characters. My favorite part of the park was Fantasyland, which is where the majority of the Disney Princesses reside, but M was more impressed by Tomorrowland, which is where a good majority of the rides are. We drove some race cars, sailed through the stars on Dumbo's back, and hung out with Alice in Wonderland in her massive tea cups.

Tip: If you can't spring for the Fast Pass, definitely hit up the Magic Kingdom in the evening - especially during the parade and fireworks show. The lines for the rides are super short because everyone is at the parade. And you can see the fireworks from basically everywhere in the park.

Day two was spent at Epcot. M was not as thrilled with this park because there weren't as many rides compared to the Magic Kingdom, but there were enough sights for us to keep him entertained. I think the fact that we got him a stroller to ride in helped a lot too. Best $15 ever spent. Seriously.

Aside from the awesome architecture and props in each little "country", I was most impressed by Disney's ability to sculpt plants into characters. They're all throughout the park and the amount of detail put into them is amazing. I can only imagine the amount of maintenance they require.

We also hit up Universal Studios. I admit, I wasn't really looking forward to Universal because I assumed it would be a bunch of movie stuff and I'm not what one would call a "Movie Buff", however, it was a lot more fun than I expected. The highlight, for me, was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (obviously). We drank some butter beer, dined at the Three Broomsticks, and hung out with the conductor of the Hogwarts Express. M got himself a wand (the same wand Ron Weasley uses) and I managed to track down a Ravenclaw hoodie.

All in all, meltdowns included, the trip was a lot of fun. M and I are so lucky to have John and Sandy in our lives and this trip most certainly wouldn't have been possible without them. I can only imagine how well it would have gone if I had been there with M on my own...Ha.

I'm Disappointed in Mulberry

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As much as I hate to admit this, I have been slightly annoyed with Mulberry over the last year. However, after this last press release of their collaboration with model, Cara Delevingine, I have moved from slightly annoyed, to really annoyed, and borderline just plain fed up. I'm at a loss and am considering taking a break from the brand, if not walking away completely.

Over the last year, their prices have dramatically increased, and to be fair, I completely understand the move. Not only has the market changed as a whole, but their desire to have a more exclusive and specific "type" of clientele has become apparent. However, such a drastic change in prices over the course of 12 months seems a bit extreme, especially for such a young and not-so-mainstream brand.

This, along with the not-so-awesome quality leathers they have presented us over the last couple of years makes one really question what the hell the company is thinking. It makes zero sense. I understand the desire for a more exclusive clientele, but the clientele they seem to be aiming for are those who are dropping $4k on Chanel - a brand that has been around since the beginning of time it seems. One that has proven over the years that their products are worth every penny of their steep price tags. A brand that also uses the finest quality materials. NOT the medium grade leather that Mulberry has been pushing out recently.

Don't get me wrong, Mulberry has a knack for creating arm candy that can make even the most seasoned handbag fanatic go weak in the knees. It's why I fell in love with the brand in the first place. But, one thing I loved about them was that their prices reflected the quality and amazing craftsmanship. Little known fact (unless you have been paying attention): Mulberry has outsourced to Turkey and even, yes, China. That $2K bag you're carrying on your arm..the one you are so very proud of because, "Hey, Mulberry is made in the UK" could have been made in China. Check your Made In tag. I hope you're not disappointed!

And. AND. Now, they're collaborating with a "celebrity"? Really? REALLY?! Since when do they collaborate with celebrities? I admit, Cara has decent taste. I also shamefully admit to following her on Instagram. That doesn't mean I'm going to run out and buy a bag she "helped design" though. And let's be serious, I don't know if you guys have seen any of the pieces in her collection, but they're nothing to get too excited about.

Am I the only person who feels like a celebrity collaboration only opens up the doors for other collabs., which will eventually cheapen the brand? Everybody will want it. They will be mass produced, fakes will flood the market, and before you know it, everyone is carrying the same "it bag" that came from some warehouse in China and they completely lose their appeal. Does the Louis Vuitton Monogram ring any bells? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Sigh. I'm disappointed in you, Mulberry. You think we're not paying attention, but we totally are. And we don't like what we're seeing.

Disney Villains Collection by e.l.f.

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Photo: borrowed from www.eyeslipsface.com

Last year I was mildly obsessed with the Villains nail polish collection Disney came out with, so imagine my surprise and excitement when I discovered that ELF had come out with a collection this year!

After stalking the shit out of it online for a couple of days, I ran out to Walgreens and purchased the collection -- For only $9.99!

The collection features four of the evil villains from popular Disney movies; Cruella De Vil (from 101 Dalmatians), the Evil Queen (from Snow White), Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty), and Ursula (from The Little Mermaid). Each lovely lady is represented by three different gorgeous varnishes, all of which I have photographed below.

Cruella De Vil's collection consists of a bright, candy apple red, called Smokin Hot, which reminds me of the bright red lipstick she wears in the movie, as well as a soft, chocolatey brown called Smoky Brown, and a creamy pinkish nude, called Nude.

Smokin Hot

Smoky Brown

Nude
The Evil Queen is represented by three incredibly deep, rich colors, two of which are metallic (the shinier the better, I say!). The first is a gold, with slightly peach undertones, called Pot of Gold, a deep red, with slight gold undertones, called Cranberry, and a dark, cloudy gray, called Thunderstorm.

Pot of Gold

Cranberry

Thunderstorm
Maleficent's collection is consists of two more neutral tones, and what I would consider a top coat. The first of the two neutral colors is a creamy pink, called Bubbly Gum Pink, and the second, a mauve, called Mod Mauve. The top coat, Gina Girl, I was a bit disappointed with. The base is dark purple, but still very clear. It has chunks of purple, orange, and holographic glitter throughout it, but is quite difficult to work with, as it requires a lot of dipping and wiping the brush to get a sufficient amount of glitter payoff. 

Bubble Gum Pink

Mod Mauve

Gina Girl

The last evil villain, Ursula, is represented by more tropical colors. My favorite, Mint Cream, is a yummy light, cloudy green. The second is a bright orangy coral, called Coral Dream. And the third is a very dark (almost black) blue, that is chocked full of blue and teal micro glitter, called Sea Escape. How appropriate. 

Mint Cream

Coral Dream

Sea Escape

Overall, I'm really impressed by the collection. The color payoff of the varnishes is a lot better than I expected - I only did two coats in all of the photos above - and I got at least three days of wear (without a topcoat) before I had any chipping. 

The bottles are not what I would consider full size bottles, but I wouldn't consider them minis, either. However, for only $9.99, 12 medium size polishes isn't bad at all. You definitely get more than your money's worth. 

For more info on the Disney Villains Collection by e.l.f., visit elf.com or check them out at your local Walgreens!












Back with a Bang - Rebecca Minkoff Style!

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Since my personal life has seemed to level out a bit, I'm going to try to ease back into the blogging world. I'm not making any promises - I doubt I will be blogging daily, but I feel confident that I will at least be able to post a couple of times a week.


I figured, since it's been a while, why not start out with a bang - My most recent and exciting purchase...a new bag! Squee!

A friend of mine went to a Rebecca Minkoff sample sale over the summer and made an impulse purchase (to which I claimed first dibs in the event she decided she didn't want it) and sadly, we completely forgot about the bag...until a few weeks ago. We were both scouring the Interwebz, looking at handbags, when I suddenly recalled the dibsies I called. A few days later, the bag came in the mail and it was love at first sight.

I've heard and read all sorts of rants and raves about Rebecca Minkoff's crossbody bags and to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. They were nice, yes, but, let's be serious, I'm a big bag girl. The bigger the better. I like to carry my entire life, as well as the kitchen sink in my bag and a crossbody really just isn't practical for carrying all that cargo. However, I decided to give one a shot...and the rest is history. I'm kind of in love.


The lucky bag that popped my RM cherry is none other than the Tri-Zip Clutch. (sigh..she's beautiful, right?) It's the perfect size if you have a hard time parting with your stuff, but still want to give off the appearance that you're not the creepy bag girl from the Breakfast Club who has the most obscene and random shit on her at all times (even though you totally are). 



It's made of leather and features three (hence the Tri) front pockets that zip and have long leather tassels hanging from them. The lining is adorable - a deep cobalt blue with black polka dots. And best of all, the shoulder strap is adjustable, so it can be worn as a crossbody or over your shoulder. I've personally been wearing it as a crossbody..the whole 'hands free' thing is pretty convenient, especially when shopping.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed and pleased with my purchase. I don't feel like I need to baby the leather and I am happy with everything I can fit in the bag (cards/money I keep in an RM pouch, essential makeup products, phone, earbuds, glasses case, granola bar, and a small bottle of water). If you're looking for a new bag that won't send your bank account into shock, I recommend checking this little beauty out. It comes in several colors, but the RM site appears to have one on sale in tan right now for $165 (regular$330). Go look!

I Don't Expect You to Get It

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Now that I'm back in the dating scene, I've noticed that several of the men I have gone out with seem to have an issue with my feelings towards J. It's almost like they feel threatened by my past and I don't really know how I'm supposed to go about dealing with it, other than to not be honest when I'm asked what my relationship with my ex is/was like.

I don't expect them to understand what it was like to be married to a man who was in the Army. When your whole life is dedicated to this one person - Worrying about their safety, training phases, where you're going to be stationed next, etc. Your whole life revolves around them. And when you throw spending two and a half years, terrified someone is going to knock on your door and tell you that your husband and the father of your child isn't coming home, into the mix, it changes and complicates things. It also creates a bond that is imaginable. As much as I hate and still don't understand why J has done this to our family, I will always love him. Not in the same way, of course, but that bond we had will always be special to me. I don't expect them to understand it or even care, to be honest, but I would appreciate a little respect when I answer honestly. I don't hate him and I don't want to 'work things out'. Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

It's an Update, Bitches

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It's been a while. I know this and I apologize. M and I moved to Virginia to live with J's parents, as he and I have decided to part ways. It has been a few months, I have come to terms with it, and I'm ready to start this new chapter of my life. 'Cause I'm awesome and it's going to be fucking fabulous!

I have started working. I know, I know. Shocking. And I don't hate it! Again, shocking. I actually love it! The atmosphere is a lot of fun and the people I work with are a complete blast to be around.

I went to Ulta today and picked up a few new products. Well, 6 to be exact, so expect reviews within the next few days.

Until then!

Mushroom & Chicken Soup

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I can't get enough of this soup. Seriously. I keep it in the fridge and have a cup of it for lunch in my favorite mug as often as possible. It's delicious, hearty, and seriously mouth watering! I came across the original recipe at Spoonful.com and modified it to my liking. Enjoy!

Photo: www.spoonful.com


Ingredients
6 tbs of butter or margarine (I use Smart Balance)
1 onion chopped
3 tbs of white flour
2 tbs of salt
1.5 tsp of pepper
6 cups of chicken broth
1-2 lbs of mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of carrots
3-4 red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 yellow squash, chunked
1-2 cups of frozen corn kernels
2 tsp thyme
2 cups of light cream
2 chicken breasts, shredded

What to Do
Melt the butter and saute onion until it starts to go translucent.
Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add shredded chicken, carrots, potatoes, squash, and thyme and let simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.
Add mushrooms and corn and let simmer (covered) for 10 minutes.
Mix in cream and let simmer (covered) for 10 more minutes.

Tip: I shredded my chicken in my Kitchenaid. Super fast and mess free (aside form the bowl and beater, of course)!

For the Vegetarian: This soup is just as good chickenless and in vegetable broth. I was out of chicken broth one day and made it with vegetable instead and it was just as good!