Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Hair Illusion

So, let me tell you a story. There is this doll of a woman that I know. We go to the same church. She is always so nice to me, and even humors me by laughing at me when I make inappropriate comments during church lessons for the sole purpose of making the "stuffy" people feel uncomfortable. For this I will love her forever. She also always compliments me on my hair and how thick it is. For this, I laugh at her. You see, my hair is really fine and flat. But she doesn't believe me! I tell her, "It's an illusion, doll...." 

She has told me to do a blog post on this topic time and time again, and she has finally worn me thin. I just need to make it known that I am NOT a hair stylist (for this I have one woman--you know who you are), more often than not I am in desperate need of a trim and color, and I really have no idea at all what I'm doing. All I know is that this (kinda) works for me, and if you have hair like mine, maybe it'll work for you, too. So here goes.

First some background. My hair is fine (as I said before) but it's not necessarily thin as by the definition. I have a lot of it, but the actual strands aren't thick. What that means is that my ends tend to break off easily, but it's hard to moisturize without looking greasy because it isn't voluminous enough to mask it. How do you volumize and moisturize your hair at the same time without spending a fortune?! Very stressful, I know. 

So the first thing I do if I want to pretend I have big, thick, southern style hair that doesn't break is to use these three beauties. (You can buy it all at Walgreens. Well, at least I did. You can do whatever you want to...)

I use the CHI Silk Infusion on my wet hair, focusing on my ends mostly. This makes my split ends beg for mercy. I use whatever is left over on my hands and kind of just "go over" the sides of my hair. Then I use the Organix purple stuff (I get tired of typing out entire brand names. Plus it sound pretentious and that's annoying) on my roots. I don't even know if it works but it smells really good. Then, we blow dry. I do it upside down using a straight brush, a paddle brush or a round brush--whichever is closer. (See? I'm SO not a stylist.) Then after it's dry, I spray the CHI Iron Guard all over (but mostly on my ends) so that I don't fry my hair with my straighter. Am I supposed to use this before I blow dry? I dunno. Prolly. Like I said, not a stylist.

And then here I am. All three products used and just finished drying. Flat. Blah. Boring. Limp. Sad.


Next I go in with a teasing comb (mine has three different layers. I notice a huge difference when I use this one instead of the one with just two layers) and hairspray. Go at the crown of your head first, and spray. Hit it with a blow dryer to dry the hairspray and then tease it like a gazillion (I don't count, but probably 10) times and then do the same to the layer just under it. I do 2-3 layers. Then do the same thing on the sides. After that I pull apart and spread out all the crazy teased hair, hit it one more time with hairspray and let it sit for a second. I usually let it sit while I'm brushing my teeth and then I'm good to go afterward.

Next, I take the other comb-y thing (If a teasing comb and a bristle brush had a baby it would be this) and comb out a thin layer on top of my hot mess of a head so that I don't look like I've been electrocuted. 

Finally, I take my flat iron and clean up my ends so that they're all going in the right direction (that's all I really need since my hair is already straight) and then quickly go over the rest so that it looks smooth. If I have extra time, I'll even go over the teased portions. I figured this trick out (that is probably TERRIBLE for my hair) and realized that it helps the volume to stay and not look frizzy or tangled where I teased it. 


And after that (which takes me about 10 minutes from wet to done), here we are. Honestly, this is like the longest I spend on my hair, EVER. It's usually braided, in a bun or wavy (from sleeping in a braid or a bun). But when I decide not to be a lazy bum, viola.



Let me know what you think and share with me your hair care wisdom!

P.S. I know I need to get my roots done. Stop judging me.

-L

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ipsy Vs. Birchbox: July Edition

Hey guys! Happy summertime!

I think this might be one of my very favorite monthly posts, and this month is no exception. I was given the suggestion to go a step further than just showing swatches, and to actually show you how I use the product, so I swallowed my pride and obliged. Also, I've added a couple of coupon codes for some of the products. Let me know if you like this!

Let's dig right in.

I'll start with Ipsy this time. The theme for Ipsy this month was "Beach Beauty".
First, I love the bag. I seriously immediately put it in our pool bag. It's a plastic, waterproof material that is perfect poolside.

The first product I pulled out was Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray. This is a sea salt spray unlike any other. This spray is the best because it has a soy complex in it that keeps your hair from looking dry and frizzy, and also adds texture, as you can see in the pics. It came in a smaller than full size, but I know I will get dozens of uses out of it, and when it's out, I'll be keeping the bottle to refill for traveling.

Let me give you a little background on my hair. It is as straight as the day is long. All that I did this day was use dry shampoo and this spray, and this is what I got. You can use it on wet hair but I didn't do that this time. Even my hubby complimented me and asked me to do my hair like this more often. I will definitely repurchase this. In bulk.

And also, you can buy this at ulta.com, and here is a code for $5 off. You love me. You're welcome.
Code: 108723 
Valid through 08/15/2013

Next is this nail polish by Nailtini in the color Mai Tai. I love this! It's a great summer color-the perfect cross between orange and pink. It came in a full size bottle retailing at $13.00. (The entire subscription is just $10.00/month....are you following???!!!) I put it on and it lasted without chipping (with a topcoat) for a full week. And even then, I justified it for a few days after as chips were minimal. That's my kind of nail polish. Low maintenance!!
You can buy this on tinibeauty.com and this code will give you 30% off: hot4ipsy.

Then there is this eye shadow pallet by BH Cosmetics. It's the "California Collection" in the colors Hollywood (deep purple), San Francisco (neutral brown) and Malibu (gold). The pictures on the left are when I first put it on (using only a primer under it) and the pictures on the left are 8 hours later. It didn't crease, so I'm sold, baby.

Next was a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen or a tinted sunscreen that moisturizes. Take your pick. It's by Coola, which is probably this product's only redeeming trait. Honestly, I'm not a fan. It's an odd, very orange color. The sample size was incredibly small (maybe 2 uses). I love Coola, but this, not so much.
And last but not least, we have a lip crayon by POP Cosmedics in the color Fuscia Flirt (that middle one). I'm in love with this. I've worn it every single day since I got it. The size is great! It's a bit smaller than full size but it will last me a long time, as a little goes a long way.
Way to go this month, Ipsy. I'm a happy customer.

Next, let's go onto Birchbox!

The theme for Birchbox this month was Power Play. Frankly, I'm not really following the theme when it comes to the products, but I like them anyway.

First were these thick bobby pins by Birchbox. They come in a set of six for $5, and the sample came with two. Mine were the white and blue ones. I really like them. They hold my hair well, they're super sturdy, and they're cute. I might even buy more.

Next was this lipstick by ModelCo (a brand I really like) in the shade Peony. The line is called "Party Proof" with the idea that it'll last. It's a matte lipstick that is supposed to be more moisturizing than most matte lipsticks. I really liked it, but the color wasn't great. It's a "once in a while" color instead of an "every day, go-to" color. A lighter pink would have been more practical, for me anyway. The idea is great though. It does what it says it'll do and it doesn't transfer, yet it's not as big of a commitment as a lipstain.

Birchbox also sent over this hair oil by I.C.O.N India. The sample size was great and I liked it a lot! You can use it on dry hair, too. I've used it three times and I can definitely see the repair properties. It smells great, too! The full size is $40, so I probably won't buy it seeing as that's way too much to spend on hair oil, if you ask me. 
This next product is pretty nice. It's a foot lotion by a company called Pedi Cure which is hard for me to discuss considering I have a foot phobia. BUT, that being said, I used it and I really like it. It's like a pedicure in a bottle. Any callouses are pretty much gone after using it once (I used a lot and put socks on after overnight). The sample size was enough for at least four generous uses, and the full size is only $14. Okay, so bottom line is that I really recommend this but I just can't talk about it anymore because feet gross me out and I can't believe I actually used the word "callouses" and "foot" in the same paragraph. You'll like it, let's just not talk about it.
And lastly we have a Ceramidin (as in ceremides-a lipid already found in the skin) face cream by Dr. Jart. The sample they sent to me is the sensitive formula based on the profile you fill out when you sign up for Birchbox. I've used it the last 4 nights in a row. I use it at night and don't need any moisturizer the next day. It's an intense moisturizer but doesn't make your face look oily, shiny, greasy or anything else that would suck. It also kicks redness and helps even skin tone. The full size is $48, but I'm a splurger when it comes to skincare. I'll use it until the sample is gone (good size...I can probably get two weeks out of it) and then decide if I can't live without it. I wouldn't buy or need any other moisturizer or primer with this though, which justifies the cost. 

Nice work, my Birchbox friends.

After using the products in both subscriptions for about a week now, I have to say that this month, I would choose Birchbox over Ipsy. I loved my Ipsy products, but I've found myself having fun with the Ipsy products here and there but consistently reaching for the Birchbox treasures. Consistency is key!!

You can check out an Ipsy subscription here, and/or a Birchbox subscription here. Remember, both are just $10/month and each has their own points system/benefits towards free product.

And don't forget to let me know if you're into me loading you up with coupon codes. If so, I have plenty more!! Hit me with lots of feedback as I'm into doing either a Birchbox or Ipsy giveaway. I want to know which one ya'll like best.

-L

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Little Things

Each night, before bed, I sit with Landon and we talk for a minute. I ask him what the best and worst parts of his day were, and then I tuck him in for the night.

Tonight, my Landon said to me, "The best part of my day was winning my race with Grandpa!"

It's the little things.

That's all I'm saying, people.

video



-L

Saturday, July 20, 2013

***CLOSED***Anniston's Accessories: Review and a Giveaway

Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Anniston's Accessories. Product was gratis, but review and all opinions are strictly my own.

***This giveaway has been closed. Winners were chosen using Random.org. The winners are Jessica Carter and Malae Talley. Contact me via email or facebook in the next 48 hours with your contact information! Congrats!***

Hey everybody! I'm excited about today because the only things that I love more than cute clothes for myself are cute clothes for my kids! I can't thank Ellie and Maylie enough for being such gorgeous models. It's hard work to be that pretty, but someone's gotta do it!

That being said, I'm thrilled to work with Jen, the owner and designer of Anniston's Accessories. I could talk all day long about how adorable these little diddies are, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!

(Above): Bows: Anniston's Accessories

One of the things I love most about these bows and clips are the backing! I don't know about you all, but I hate when there is fabric covering the backs of the clips. It makes it so hard to slide the clip into their hair, especially when they're smaller and their hair is so fine and soft anyway. Jen makes these clips with very thin, flat metal so that the clip won't hurt their heads, but it goes through their hair easily without pulling on or messing anything up!! 

(Above): Top: Old Navy; Leggings: Children's Place; Shoes: Anniston's Accessories; Headband: Anniston's Accessories

4th of July might be over, but we're down with being patriotic year round, especially with accessories this cute!


(Above): Top: Old Navy; Shorts: Old Navy; Headband: Anniston's Accessories; Leg Warmers: Anniston's Accessories

(Above): Top: Wal-Mart; Shorts: Children's Place; Shoes: Anniston's Accessories; Headband: Annison's Accessories

Are you ready to hear my VERY favorite thing about Anniston's Accessories? It's that you have the option to go to Jen and have her completely style your daughter from head to toe, but you also have the option to get a few pieces here and there to slowly build your collection and mix and match with what you already have in your little one's closet. 

(Above): Top: Children's Place; Skirt: Anniston's Accessories; Bows: Anniston's Accessories; Boat shoes: Old Navy

(Above-Maylie): Skirt: Anniston's Accessories; Bows: Anniston's Accessories


Nothing is making me happier than cute prints and bright colors, and the little ones are no exception. 

And lastly, I adore that a lot of the product is actually hand made by Jen herself. Not only that, but her company's namesake and inspiration is her daughter, Anniston. So obviously, Jen will stand for nothing but the best. But don't take my word for it. Run over to Anniston's Accessories facebook page or etsy shop and decide for yourself. Or you could just enter our giveaway!

Good luck! And please, let me know what you think!

-L
-------------------------------------------------------------

ANNISTON'S ACCESSORIES' GIVEAWAY INFORMATION AND RULES:

Jen is graciously going to GIVE AWAY not one but TWO (yes, you read that right) pieces to two of you. She is giving away a chevron skirt AND a romper.



Remember that you don't have to have little ones to enter, win or enjoy these goodies. Nieces, little sisters, cousins, friends, etc. would fawn over these gorgeous pieces.

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is to follow these steps:

1. Like the Anniston's Accessories Facebook page
2. Share the Anniston's Accessories Facebook page
3. Leave a comment stating you've done both of those things

A second entry can be made (ONLY IF THE FIRST THREE CRITERIA ARE ALREADY MET) by:

1. Sharing this post on Facebook and
    Becomming a follower or referring an additional follower to this blog
2. Favor Anniston's Accessories Etsy Shop
3. Leave a comment stating you've done so

The giveaway will be open for one week and close on Saturday, July 27th. The two winners will have 48 hours to get back to me and claim their prizes, or another winner will be chosen. Winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

GNO 1.0 and the Spider

My best girl.

A coke run.

Sephora.

Chocolate shakes.

Pampering. (In the form of getting my toes done. Hot pink. Chevron. It happened.)

...and more dishing and gossip than I care to share with all of you. That's what she's for, thankyouverymuch.

Let's just say, this has now become a monthly tradition.

And I'm not even sorry.

See, the thing about a solid GNO (Girl's Night Out, for those of you not fluent in such language) is that you're probably gonna make sure your hair is done. You'll probably put on lipstick. You're gonna get dolled up because let's be real, we get more dressed up for our girlfriends than we do for our men. It's just the way we roll. BUT, the real secret sauce to a GNO is when you know that yes, you rocked that outfit, but your best girl would have loved you the same had you been in yogs (Yoga pants. Study the language, please. I don't have time for this kind of training...), a top knot and nursing a mean breakout.

Because those are the kind of best friends you need. They're the ones that count.

The only problem? We forgot to take a picture. I apologize for this, as it will not happen again. GNO 2.0 will be a story of pictures, my friends. So to pacify, here we are. Circa 2004.



And for the record I just looked down to see a spider on my arm. I screamed several expletives and  stood atop a chair for several minutes. My husband is currently on the hunt for it knowing I wont sleep until it's been killed so that it can't reproduce and lay nasty egg babies all over my house causing me to move out and have recurring nightmares with subsequent therapy. So, that being said, I guess we need men too.

Sometimes. 

We're getting a bug bomb. Tomorrow. He tried to hide but his day of reckoning is upon him. I don't play.

-L

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Skincare Guest Post: Becca Evans

Hey everybody! Today I'm really excited about a guest post from a friend of mine, Becca! I'm excited because:

a) I like her
b) I like her blog
c) She's going to talk about skincare, which I really like
d) She's pretty and that's what is most important in life, right? (Sometimes I worry I'll get a reader that will not pick up on my sarcasm and think I'm shallow...But then I think, "Eh, I'll still do it.")
e) I agree with her side note concerning sunscreen so naturally, we probably agree on everything. Naturally.

So, keep reading, and then zoom on over to her blog if you like what you see! And keep checking up on her blog. You might just see this crazy lady right here featured on Good As Gold, as well!

-L
_______________________________________________________

Hi There! My name is Becs, and I blog (sometimes, if you're lucky) at my own little slice of webspace: Good As Gold. I am so excited to be here on Lyss' blog today, and am honored to guest post. Lyss and I have actually lived in the same neighborhood growing up, but actually didn't start bonding until we started dating boys who were each other's best friends (she actually married hers!). So basically, I like to think we're pretty much besties. (Although, ask her, and she may deny it... ha!) She is seriously the bomb, though. So thanks for having me! Today I'd like to talk about stress and my bad skin. In less than 3 weeks, I will be getting married to the love of my life, Trevor. Here's a photo of us so you can put a face with the name:
As you can imagine, I'm a little overwhelmed. We just bought a house and are working on some major painting projects, I have no idea what I'm doing about centerpieces at the wedding, and to be honest, I'm just a worrier by nature. In fact, I have had several exhaustion-induced moments of panic about how quickly the wedding is coming. I can't stop myself from thinking things like.... I need to make more money, our house is so empty, IKEA, I need to go to Ikea! What am I going to do with my hair? Should I put it up, or keep it down? I need to schedule an appointment with Jenna, STAT. What if Trevor hates me? What if he likes our future kids more than me? What if he will always want to be at work to get away from me? What if he RUNS AWAY. Ok, you get the point. I obviously am a little paranoid, but I can't help it! So much is going on, and my Capricorn control freak nature (holla zodiac sisters!) is causing me to BREAK. OUT. It's true. I have awful, acne ridden, dry, oily skin... especially when I am a little or a lot stressed out. This is not a good thing with my wedding coming quicker than I can even comprehend, so I have myself on a very strict routine. Today I wanted to share with you how I keep my skin clear even when my head is about to explode! ...and yes! One of those things is a liquid makeup!
1. Neutrogena Acne Scrub. I use this every single day, morning and night. I LOVE Neutrogena products, because they are always gentle on my skin, and seem to keep the break outs under control more than other products I have tried. I also love that this wash comes in a grapefruit scent. So refreshing!

2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. I actually just started using this product a few weeks ago, and the difference with my skin before and after using this makeup is UNREAL. My skin looked more clear within a few days of using this makeup. Plus, it has SPF 20 in it to make sure my face stays healthy. Let me just take this moment to also say: SPF IS YOUR FACES BFF. Don't forget.

3. Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate. Okay, so this is my 'splurge' item. I have to buy one of these every 2 months, and it's about $30, but it's probably one of the most important things you could splurge on. Moisturizer is a huge deal. And this one... oh man, it's like liquid gold. I cannot say enough about this product. It is a thicker moisturizer, but I don't feel like it masks onto my face. It soaks in very quickly, and is the perfect primer for your makeup in the morning as well.

4. Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment. Put this stuff on an oncoming zit as you go to bed, and in the morning, it will be gone. I really put a good glob on, and it has lasted me forever. I swear by this stuff, I used to have a topical medication from my derm, and this stuff is just as good!

5. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Invigorating Scrub. I use this once or twice a week to get off any buildup of dry skin, makeup, or if my skin is just looking a little dull. This does the job, but is very gentle on my sensitive skin.

Phew! We made it! I really feel like I have found the perfect secret to healthy skin. I know everyone's skin is different, but these products really work for me! Thanks again, Lyss for inviting me to share on your blog, and don't forget to come visit me over at Good as Gold! See you all there!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Living for Today

I have been reminded lately how short life can be. We live our lives with a "tomorrow attitude" and a "yesterday perspective". We spend our days planning what we will need to have, need to do and need to accomplish in our tomorrows instead of what and who we need to think about today. We worry about who has hurt or offended us yesterday instead of who we should forgive and love today. We are all just people. We are not invincible. We are not bulletproof. We have absolutely no guarantee for tomorrow, and I can't help but think that at the end of my life, I probably won't look back and think, "I wish I would have done more laundry. I wish I wouldn't have forgiven that person. I wish I never would have got back in touch with that friend. I wish I would have read less stories to my kids and I wish I would have spent more time at work."

Nah.

I don't think that's what I'll be thinking about.

We are human, and yes, part of having a good today is planning on tomorrow. We should save our money. We should sweep the floor. We should study for that test, and we should have those goals. Sure, too much living in the moment can be a dangerous mindset when important things are disregarded in the name of "living for today". But! Sometimes, you're halfway through folding a basket of laundry and you have to just ignore the rest, because there are babies who want you to read them stories. 

And life is too short to wish I'd finished that basket of laundry instead.

So I left it.

And I read stories.

I wish the things that reminded me of this weren't so tragic, but they are sometimes. And I've been reminded to worry less about yesterday, obsess less about tomorrow, and actually live for today a little bit more.

That doesn't involve laundry. It involves bedtime stories. 



-L 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Threads: Time Machine Edition

It's been a while since we've had a Thursday Threads!!

Lately, I've been realizing that so many of my day to day outfits seem to follow a decade-themed trend and I don't even realize it. I think that's one of the things that I love most about fashion: it's about taking what we know, adding a twist to it, and making it something new!!

Here are a few of my takes on the "then and now". The most interesting part is that I put together the outfit ideas for "now" before I ever even searched for the "then". I'm amazed at how similar we dress today! I absolutely love it.

The 50's and 60's
If you ask me, the 50's and 60's were fashion's best decades. The skirts were perfect, be they slim and pencil or full and cinched at the waist (how is this ever not flattering?!), they were higher than the dropped lines of the 20's, and when women did wear pants (more towards the 60's) they were tapered and skinny, much like the "skinny jeans" we can't live without now. Women were sexy without being skimpy and Vogue was having a hay day. And don't even get me started on Coco Chanel.
Then:
 
(Above) This is my Grandma Bonnie in 1952. I love the red lips and long, curly bob. Not to mention the tiny details in her top. So many variations of this are so pretty right now. 
(Above) Right to Left: Aunt Lindy with my mom in the stroller and Grandma Bonnie with my uncle in the stroller. Circa 1968. Grandma's button up and tapered pants are definitely a precursor to lots of my favorite looks right now.

and Now:
 




I adore how vintage some of these outfits look, but they're still so trendy. And the rose/mauve with canary yellow? Yes, please! I could talk about my love affair with 50's and 60's fashion all day. What's more 50's than polka dots and Chanel red? They had it right. What's more 60's than a bow and lace? 

The 70's 
For the time, the prints and colors seemed loud, though they're washed out compared to the neon that would follow a few years later. Necklines got lower, platforms got taller and my personal favorite, the patterns got bolder. 

Then:
 


(Above): My grandma is the hottie in the white skirt and black collared top. 


and Now:


There's no denying the roots of these looks. We just don't even realize it! That being said, you will never catch me dead in a denim jumpsuit. Never.

The 80's 
When we think of the 80's we usually think of some pretty awful color combos, neon nightmares and horrendous hair. I think that was more of the glam 80's. Not everyone dressed like Madonna, just like not all of us dress like Ke$ha or Lady Gaga. The first few pictures are pretty extreme, and then the last few are things you might see on any given day. Isn't my mom such a babe? No wonder my dad was always chasing her. She's looking flyyyy!

Then-The Extreme:

Then-The Reality: 
(Above) The cast of 80's tv show, Thirtysomething. Note the cuffed, destructed boyfriend jeans. We love that right now! And the blazers and tights with an over sized sweater are so cute when it's cold, too!
 (Above) My mom (in 1985) is rocking two different trends that we all love. The colored (in this case white) bermudas and high, cinch waisted shorts. And she looks pretty great in front of my dad's old Firebird.
(Above) Here, Grandma Bonnie and Mom both show off great waistlines, and the length and cut of my mom's jeans are so flattering, as opposed to whatever it was that happened to all of our jeans in the 90's.
 (Above): Despite the toothpaste and curlers, my mom is such a babe! Stripes? Yes, please. Gold jewelry? Sign me up. That tiny little waist? Nope, this isn't photoshopped. She's that hot. 

and Now:





I have probably two dozen variations of the above outfits hanging in my closet right now! I'm a sucker for converse, especially their neon collection as of late, and the slight (but calmer) version of an acid wash in the denim is really cute. I don't know what is more 80's about the second outfit; the Keds or the high waisted shorts. I'll take them both in bulk though, thankyouverymuch. And who doesn't love destructed jeans and a blazer? Thankfully, the 80's have been tamed down a bit from the over the top bangs and blue eyeshadow, but you can't deny that we're lovin' our neon lately, we're rocking the Ray Ban's, our lipstick is getting brighter and  we're stackin' up the bracelets. We're tucking in our tops, we're mixing bold colors, and we're moving away from the horror that was low rise jeans. I'm just glad we ditched the scrunchie.

So now that we've returned from memory lane, I can't help but think that when I get dressed tomorrow, I'll be thinking about what decade inspired my clothes! 

Tell me what your favorite decade was for fashion! Which one was the worst? I tag you all to write a similar post and let's link up with it. I want to see your looks!

-L