Tiffany box pillows

I know I’m not alone when I say that I love the color of Tiffany and Co. boxes. That sweet mix of blue and green just makes me happy. So happy, in fact, that I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to it!

So, when I saw these pillows in Target a few weeks ago, bells went off in my head. Since they came in a set of two with a white ribbon tied around them, it was like, “Ding, ding, ding!”– these will be Tiffany box pillows! The pillows are a nice, soft, faux suede, and they do come in other colors as well. I snatched them up for $16.99 (as of this posting, they are now on sale online for $15.30). The ribbon that they’re tied with is a grosgrain ribbon (you know, the kind with the ridges on it) and it isn’t long enough for both pillows, so I ran over to Joann Fabrics and picked up a spool of white satin ribbon (with a coupon, of course!).

I watched a Youtube video on how to tie the bow just like they do at the Tiffany stores, and voila! I’m currently redecorating the room where I record my Youtube videos, and I think I know just where these will go!

Do you like?

Posted in decorating, home, saving money, simple pleasures

My bob haircut from Vidal Sassoon

One of the most frequent questions I receive on Youtube is about my  haircut. I have to admit, I LOVE my haircut. When I was a little kid, I had boyish short hair and in middle school and high school I had long hair and bangs/fringe. After high school, I had enough of the bangs and went through the grueling and awkward process of growing out my bangs. Because I have fine hair (and lots of it) that’s absolutely stick straight, I don’t think this was the most flattering look for me. It just looked limp, flat, and boring. And since I’m the kind of girl that likes to spend more time on my makeup and no more than 5 minutes on my hair, I never did anything with it.

In 2006 I decided to take the plunge and chop my hair off into something that would look sophisticated, polished, and stylish. But most importantly, I had to be able to style it quickly and easily. Knowing that they have an excellent reputation for cutting very precise bob haircuts, I booked an appointment at Vidal Sassoon. I remember my palms were sweating as the stylist made the first cuts, as I was chopping off about 8 inches of hair! Afterwards, I felt like a new woman. If you’ve ever cut off a significant length of hair, you know how great it feels. Your hair feels thicker, healthier, and bouncier than ever before. It’s amazing!

Long story short, I was thrilled with the results, and it’s sort of become my “signature” cut. I even had my blog logo girl designed with the same cut. Isn’t that cute?!

If you’re looking to get a similar haircut, my best suggestion is to bring pictures of what you’re looking for. For some inspiration, check out my Pinterest board. Ask the receptionist if there is someone at the salon who specializes in this type of cut, because not every stylist likes doing it or is patient enough to do it right. My bob is a-line, meaning it’s longer in the front and shorter in the back (so short in the back that they actually shave the back of my neck!). It blows dry in just a few minutes, and with a few swipes of a flat iron afterward, I’m ready to walk out the door!

 

Posted in beauty

My Travel Essentials

I adore traveling. Road trips, weekend getaways, backpacking through Italy, cruises, you name it…I’m there!

I do have a confession: I’m the world’s WORST packer! I don’t know why, but I always wait until the last minute to start packing, and it turns into a major event of cleaning out my closet and cleaning under the bathroom sink. It’s like I have to tear my whole house apart before I can decide what to pack!

When I travel, even if just for one night, I like to come home to a clean and organized house. I like to change the sheets on my bed, clean out the litter box, have all my laundry and dishes done and put away, and clean my kitchen and bathrooms. Something about coming home from a trip, opening my front door, and saying “Ahhhh, I’m home” just feels good to me. So inevitably, I end up spending my time cleaning instead of packing, and I stay up all night packing before I leave. Probably not the best habit to have!

Here are some of the travel essentials I always try to remember when I go on a trip.

1 and 2. These two palettes come from the LORAC Bejeweled Day & Night Jewelry Box that came out last winter. They are super slim and don’t take up much room in my makeup bag, yet give me tons of neutrals and fun shades to choose from when I’m doing my makeup. They’re really great quality, too!

3. My pink Tweezerman tweezers. Because you never know when a stray eyebrow hair will decide to grow!

4. A stretch jersey robe. It’s light, doesn’t take up much room in a suitcase, and I like wearing a robe when I’m getting ready– it sure beats trying to make a wrap out of those tiny hotel towels!

5. Evolu Travel Tower. This thing is genius. It’s made by Evolu, an all-natural skin care company out of New Zealand. The little jars stack on top of each other and it comes with a creme cleanser, day cream, night cream, exfoliator, eye gel, and cuticle cream. You can refill it with your own products when it runs out, and it’s super convenient!

6. Q-tips. I love using these travel containers so my Q-tips don’t get dirty and/or all fluffed up in my makeup bag.

7. Slippers. I never travel without slippers. The idea of walking barefoot in a hotel room is just disgusting to me. My bare feet never touch anything on the hotel floor. These slippers are the from Bath and Body Works, but I don’t think they carry them anymore.

8. Boscia Clarifying Detox mask. This mask is amazing at calming redness and making breakouts go away. I bring it when I travel so I can give myself a nice facial in my room at night. Pretty skin is always a must!

Off we go!

Reader feedback: What item do you always forget when packing for a trip?

Posted in beauty, travel

Fall is in the Air

As sad as I am about saying goodbye to summer, autumn is a beautiful time of year full of family traditions, delicious food, and gorgeous scenery. The air feels just a little more crisp, vibrant shades of yellow and orange leaves speckle the streets, and the house feels cozier thanks to spicy candles and fuzzy fleece blankets. In my family, a fall tradition is going to a local farm to pick pumpkins and run through the corn maze. Yesterday was the annual fall farm trip, and we had so much fun! Normally the farm is full of people on weekends, but we were smart to go on a Sunday- everyone was at home watching football and it was almost like we had the place to ourselves!

These baby goats were twins (a boy and girl) and were only 10 days old! They were running all over the place, chasing each other, and climbing on everything. So cute!

The tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch took us past these cows. The driver stopped and gave us “cow candy” and we could feed them right out of our hands. As soon as the tractor stopped, they all came right over. They know what they’re doing!

Here we are coming up to the pumpkin patch. The tractor driver told us it was a great year for pumpkins. There were thousands of them! I also loved the white farm house in the distance.

Here were just some of the pumpkins we had to choose from.

These peach-colored pumpkins were so beautiful and unique.

My niece had a front-row seat on the tractor on the way back to the farm. She was pretty proud of her peach pumpkin!

We split up into teams and raced through the corn maze. My team won!

What a great way to start the fall. I’m looking forward to carving pumpkins, cooking chili, and putting up some festive decorations.

Reader feedback: What are your fall family traditions? What do you look forward to the most during this season?

Posted in simple pleasures

PINTEREST FOR GIFT IDEAS

If you’re like me, when my birthday or the holidays roll around and my family asks me what’s on my wish list, I struggle to figure out what to tell them. I know throughout the year I see things I love and despite my efforts to file them away in my memory, I draw a blank every time I’m asked this question. Or, if I really love something, I just buy it for myself and don’t even think that it would have made a good gift. So this year I’ve been testing a new plan. That plan is called Pinterest.

Pinterest Logo

We all know and love Pinterest for creating dream boards, learning about ways to decorate or things to cook, and oogling over cute puppies and kittens. I love fantasizing about soaking in a bath tub overlooking the serene blue waters in Bora Bora just as much as the next girl, but there are some practical ways to use Pinterest, too!

This may seem totally obvious to many of you, but how about using Pinterest to create a virtual wish list board? Maybe you call it “Cadie’s Christmas Cravings” or “Haley’s Hanukkah Hopes,” and then whenever you see something you love and is actually practical for someone to buy for you (save the mansion pins for your “Dream home” board), pin it! The next time someone asks your for your wish list, consult your Pinterest board and give ’em a few ideas. I’m not suggesting you should email blast your entire contact list or post a link on your Facebook timeline, but this will help you remember some things you may be lusting after, and the gift-giver in your life will be thrilled to get you something you love.

In case you’re curious, here’s a board I started awhile back. It began as a way for me to remember things that I actually wanted to buy, and as I bought them, I deleted the pins. Now I realized I can use it as a wish list, too!

TOMS 'Corduroy' Wedge | Nordstrom  I need these for fall!

I’m definitely lusting over these Toms wedges!

Reader feedback: What gift-giving time savers do you use? What are you wishing for this holiday season?

Posted in favorite things, simple pleasures

I’m Going Back to School

I’m a student again, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Here’s a little history about how I came to this decision.

When I graduated from high school, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Biology was my favorite subject in school, I loved learning about how the human body works, and I wanted to help people, so being a doctor seemed like the perfect fit. I started college and packed my schedule full of courses like cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and microbiology. I also decided to get a minor in psychology, so I was taking courses like social psychology, statistics, and biopsychology. I also spent a couple hours a week volunteering in a hospital. All while working two jobs to pay my way through school….whew- I was a busy girl! It’s amazing how much you can get done when you just stay busy.

After my junior year, I completed an internship at a medical school, where I spent half the summer shadowing a pediatric oncologist/hematologist and the other half working in a lab. At the end of my internship, I presented a research project to the other students in the program as well as the faculty. When I left the internship and returned to school that fall for my senior year, I decided being a doctor wasn’t for me. I toyed with the idea of getting my PhD and becoming a researcher, but the thought of spending my days in a window-less lab did not appeal to me. So when I graduated from college, I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do with a degree in biology and a minor in psychology. Both of my college roommates were nursing majors and had jobs lined up at nearby hospitals, and I was searching frantically for a job.

Luckily, I ended up finding a job right out of college, working in a technical support role at a biotech company. It was a pretty boring job, but it introduced me to the corporate world and allowed me to save up enough money to buy my first home. At company meetings and events, I started talking to some of the sales and marketing people, and from my perspective, they had the “fun” jobs! They got to travel and represent the company at tradeshows, be out and about instead of chained to their chairs everyday, and interact with people. Long story short, this biology major ended up going after a job in sales and marketing. And that’s where I’ve been ever since!

Fast forward years later, and through a series of life events, I’ve found that my true passion is holistic wellness. If you watch my Youtube videos, you know that I try to limit my exposure to toxins in my beauty products. I’ve become much more aware of what I put on and in my body, and I have a strong desire to learn as much as I possibly can, for the sake of my own health, my family’s, and to teach others. I did a lot of research on different paths including becoming a registered dietician or a health coach with a program like IIN. After months of weighing the options and speaking to graduates of different programs, I decided on a program that is science-based, comprehensive, focuses on holistic nutrition, and because I still work full-time, offers home-study courses. I’m working on the Master Nutrition Therapy Program at the Nutrition Therapy Institute.

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So far I’m loving the subject matter and I’m excited to see where this will take me. I don’t know what the future holds, but I knew I had to take a step in the direction I was feeling called to follow. I also think having a deeper knowledge of health and nutrition will add to my credibility on this blog and in my Youtube videos. And I’m not gonna lie…going to pick out new pens and notebooks was pretty darn fun!

 

Reader feedback: Are you a student? Have you considered going back to school after being in your career for awhile?

Posted in About me, health, life

Sometimes you just need to get away

I’ve had a lot on my plate lately (more on that later!), so when I had the opportunity for a little getaway, I couldn’t pass it up! I took a nice little trip to the mountains for some fresh air, exercise, sunshine, and relaxation. It’s amazing how breaking out of your routine and changing the scenery can refresh your mind and spirit. I just wanted to share a few pictures from my mini vacation.

I loved the kitchen in the condo we stayed in. We stopped by the local grocery store to pick up a few snacks.

The view from our deck. You could see the gondolas going by, taking people to the top of the mountain (some hike or mountain bike down- how fun!).

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This photo shows the start of a hike to the top of a waterfall. Don’t be fooled by my fresh appearance…this hike turned out to be very grueling…about 2.2 miles of very steep, rocky terrain! The after photo was not so pretty. Smile  I also spotted a snake (I’m terrified of snakes, I don’t care how small they are!) on the trail, so needless to say, I was very happy when we made it to the top. The way back down was so much easier.

What’s this? A yellow leaf? Nooooooooo! I’m not ready for summer to be over yet!

To reward ourselves after the hike, we came back to the condo and relaxed by the gorgeous swimming pool. It was a very warm day, so a dip in the pool followed by a good hour of magazine reading was just what I needed.

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After this trip, I felt amazingly refreshed, energized, and ready to take on some big challenges that are coming up.

Reader feedback: What’s your favorite mini vacation? Whether it’s in your own backyard or thousands of miles away, how do you like to unwind?

Posted in simple pleasures, summer, travel

I had triplets!

Okay, well I didn’t exactly have triplets. But a few weeks ago, when I went outside on my deck, a bird flew out from a wall decoration. It scared the crap out of me! I looked over at the wall decoration, and everything appeared to be normal.

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Upon further inspection, I noticed this. Looks strangely like bird poop and feathers to me.

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In order to get a closer look, I pulled over one of my patio chairs and stood on it. I leaned in slowly just in case something else was going to jump out at me. Instead, I found this:

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Three perfect little eggs. A couple of days later, I decided to check back again. This time, here’s what I discovered.

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These three little babies were sleeping peacefully, but when they heard me approaching, they thought I was their mama.

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Sorry, babies, I don’t have any food! Look how precious they are with their little mouths open. They didn’t even have their eyes open yet. I decided to try not to disturb them for a few days, but my curiosity was killing me after about a week. Let me tell you, these birdies grow up FAST!

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The last time I went to check on them, all the birdies flew out of the nest, and now it’s empty. My sad little wall decoration is covered in bird poop, so before the summer is over, I plan to throw away those tired faux flowers, give the whole thing a good scrub, and get it all fixed up with some pretty new decorations.

It’s amazing to me how awesome Mother Nature is. There is constant rebirth, growth, and change. These little birdies reminded me that life is always evolving…these little birdies hatched from tiny little eggs, became helpless and vulnerable babies, and now they’re flying all by themselves. I’m also learning to fly. I’m setting my sights on some new goals, challenging myself in ways that scare me, and taking leaps of faith. I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

Posted in happiness, life, nature, simple pleasures

Getting back into the swing of things

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new website. This site is still a work in progress, so don’t be alarmed if certain links don’t quite work yet. I switched from Blogger to WordPress, and I’m still learning the ropes….go easy on me! 🙂

Chances are you arrived here from my Youtube channel, and I’m so glad you did! I starting making videos on Youtube almost 4 years ago, and so much has changed in my life since then. I started a new job, quit that job, started another job, met the love of my life, had back surgery, sent our 18-year old family cat to kitty heaven, lost my father to a heart attack, refinanced my home, had two of my best friends move to other states, and decided to get this Youtube and blog thing up and running again (there’s lots more in between, but those are the big things!). I’ve grown a lot, been blessed in amazing ways, and have become stronger.

I’ve seen this manifesto all over Facebook and Pinterest lately, and I absolutely love it. I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about my passions and how I can make them a bigger part of my life. I want to use my God-given gifts in a way that helps others, makes me feel good, and creates excitement and passion in my life every day.

I’m starting by dedicating more time to something I love: learning about holistic wellness, natural beauty products, healthy foods, and living with so much joy and purpose that it just oozes from my pores. 🙂 I’ve learned so much over the past few years, have been incredibly inspired by others, and feel like it’s my time.

I’m so happy you’re on this journey with me.

Reader feedback: Are you doing what you love? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Posted in About me, happiness, health

Get cash back when you shop online: Ebates really works!

A couple of years ago I discovered something I think EVERYONE should know about, especially if you do a lot of shopping online.  Have you heard of Ebates? This website is amazing! It takes 15 seconds to sign up online, and it’s free.  The way it works is simple: Whenever you want to shop online at Nordstrom, Sephora, The Body Shop, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, eBay, or thousands of other stores, go to Ebates first, and link to the retailer through them. You’ll get a percentage of CASH BACK on every purchase! Right now, you’ll get 10% back at The Body Shop and 6% back at Teavana for example. Plus, Ebates will tell you if there are any coupon/promotion codes to use for extra discounts/free shipping/etc.!

Every 3 months you’ll receive a check in the mail or a credit to your PayPal account. Here’s the payment schedule:

Purchases Posted Between                       Big Fat Check Sent

Jan 1-Mar 31                                                  May 15

Apr 1-June 30                                                 Aug 15

July 1-Sept 30                                                 Nov 15

Oct 1-Dec 31                                                  Feb 15

I’ve been using Ebates for about 2 years, and always receive my money on time.  As a matter of fact, I already received my Big Fat Check (via PayPal) for November.  It’s like a little bonus for the shopping I do online! This is especially handy during the holidays when it saves time to shop online and there are so many sales going on.  Do yourself a favor and do your shopping online, and use Ebates.  The rebate you get every couple of months is such a pleasant surprise!
You can also earn bonuses by referring friends. It’s a win-win situation, because when your friend signs up for Ebates and makes their first purchase, they will receive a $5 bonus, and so will you!

Are you convinced?  It’s free to signup, so go and get your $5 bonus and use Ebates next time you purchase something online.

My link is  http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=QF%2BXG5%2BWaM2v7EtWF%2BNTyA%3D%3D

This is seriously amazing for those of us who love shopping online! The only catch…you have to remember to use it!! Instead of going to Sephora/Nordstrom/etc. directly, go to Ebates first, and click on the link to your store. That’s how they track your cash back, so you can’t forget to use Ebates. Another note: this works internationally, as long as the vendor ships to your country.

Let me know if you have any questions about this amazing website.

Posted in deals, favorite things, sale, saving money