Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sephora Haul

Two weekends ago, Sephora was offering 20% off to all VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) card holders. Well, guess who took full advantage of that offer? This girl right here! There were a few things I had been eyeing for a while but never got around to buying. So, when I got an e-mail from Sephora telling me about the 20% off, I got super excited and made a list of things I wanted to get. I think it's safe to say I got everything that was on my wishlist! 

1. First thing I grabbed was of course, the VICE 2 palette by Urban Decay. Eye makeup is my favorite type of makeup and so, naturally I always end up purchasing every good palette that comes out. I haven't used this palette just yet but when I do, I will be sure to do a review on it! 

2. I also purchased the Stila's Magnificent Metals Foil eye shadow (in 3 different colors). People seem to have a love/hate relationship with these and I can see why! These eye shadows can be a little difficult to work with and if you are just starting out with makeup, I wouldn't suggest these to you. I also wouldn't suggest these if you hate glitter. These eye shadows aren't meant for every day use as they are heavily pigmented and packed with glitter.

3. I also ended up getting the Kat Von D Spellbinding eye shadow book. I saw this palette randomly and was torn between this and the Vice 2 palette. Well, to not lose my sleep that night, I ended up purchasing both. Call me crazy but makeup is something you have with you for a very long time and if you use what you buy, there is no harm in it. Plus, it was 20% off so I couldn't resist :) 

4. I had been on a hunt for a good blush palette. Tarte had come out with one last month that I tried but ended up not buying because I wasn't a fan of it. Well, I'm glad I waited because Nars came out with one which is just perfect. I think blush is probably something that I NEVER buy. I have been using 2 MAC blushes I bought like 10 years ago (not really, but you get the point, right?) I was getting tired of both those blushes and so I invested in this Nars palette. You are seriously getting the bang for the buck with this palette! Individual blushes by Nars are priced at $29 each and this palette was $65 for 6 shades (which are only slightly smaller than the regular ones).

5. New foundation alert! I had been using Makeup Forever for a very long time but recently got introduced to the Kat Von D foundation! I was a little hesitant at first because of the thick consistency but when I tried it with my beauty blender, it worked flawlessly. So far I'm liking it! Other foundations claim to be "full coverage" but really aren't. However, when Kat Von D says "full coverage," She REALLY means it!

6. In addition to the foundation, I also got the Kat Von D primer. I'm not a primer person at all (primers seriously scare me)! This wasn't on my wish list or anything- I only bought it to use it on special occasions. 

7. I also bought the cute holiday set by Bite Beauty. The lipsticks are highly pigmented so again, not something I will use on regular basis. It's a nice travel set and a steal with the 20% off I got. 

8. Last thing pictured above is a single eye shadow from Urban Decay that I bought on a whim. I saw a sales associate wear it at Sephora and I really liked it. I never really buy single eye shadows but I thought it would be nice to add to my collection because the blacks that I have in my eye shadow palettes are very pigmented/dark. This is a nice soft black with some gold shimmer.

I ended up buying a couple other things on the last day of the sale that aren't included in the picture above (moisturizer, an eyeliner and a Stila artistry kit). I honestly wouldn't have bought all of the stuff I did if it weren't for the 20% VIB discount. Come to think of it, I pretty much got some of the stuff for free and lets be honest, who doesn't like free stuff? 

This concludes my Sephora Haul. I'm going to try and get a review on the Vice 2 palette up soon. 

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend :) 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

'tis the season

Happy Thursday y'all! 

I hope you all are having a fantastic week. The good news is: weekend is right around the corner :) Since the launch of the new ps4 is tomorrow, looks like we will be lounging around at home this weekend! But that's okay because it's starting to get painfully cold here in Chicago. 

This past weekend, hubs and I went and watched Thor 2 which, in my opinion, was amazing! I definitely liked it better than the first one. Even though it was almost 2 hours long, it didn't feel that long at all. Some movies just drag on and on and on for no reason to the point where you want to get up and throw your shoe at the screen. Thor 2, on the other hand, was very entertaining and I was kind of sad when it was over (mainly because I missed out on my second round of nachos, JK!) 

For the remainder of the weekend, we walked around Michigan Ave. and enjoyed the lovely weather. We love this time of the year! Everything is lit up and pretty with Christmas decorations. You see people in every corner of every store trying to get their Christmas shopping done. And then there is Christmas music blaring from the speakers...'tis the season to be jolly! Oh, and it also snowed last Monday. We got so excited that we went out for a walk and soon realized we didn't bundle up enough. The "wintery mix" of snow and rain kept hitting our faces. We had to grab some Starbucks to keep us warm, ha!

On another note, I have been painting my nails a lot lately. I only go to the nail salon to get my nails done for special occasions (even though I need to seriously get my cuticles done ASAP) BUTTT, I've been painting my nails at home and for once I tried on a new color which doesn't belong to the family of PINKS. I must admit, I'm really liking the grayish color on my nails. I used the color "Did You 'ear About Van Gogh?" by OPI. 

 Speaking of nail lacquers, have you guys checked out Sephora's Formula X? OMG y'all, it's like nail polish heaven. They have like a bajillion shades to choose from. I've been eyeing a few colors and perhaps I know what my next Sephora purchase is going to be! 

Well, I guess this is it for today. I have a lot on my to-do list today so lets hope I get it all done :)
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Part 2

As a continuation of my previous post on the month of October, I would like to write a little about Breast Cancer Awareness (sorry, I'm late). This month is especially important for me because about 2 years ago, my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer. Y'all, when I first found out, my world came crashing down. It's still hard for me to go back and think about that time because it was the most difficult time of my life. I seriously felt like I was reading a book by Nicholas Sparks. I just kept reminding myself, "with every difficulty, there is relief" (Quran 94: 5-6)

In this post I will go over a few important facts that all women should remember!
  • ALL women are recommended to have a mammogram after the age of 50
  • If you have a 1st degree relative with breast cancer, you are at risk (2-3 times) of developing breast cancer as well.  
  • When 2 or more 1st degree relatives have breast cancer, the risk may be 5-6 times higher
  • Early menarche (first period), late menopause or late first pregnancy increases risk as well. 
  • The use of oral contraceptive pills increases slightly increases your risk also
  • If a family member is diagnosed with cancer, you need to get a mammogram 10 years prior from the age that they were diagnosed (if your mother was diagnosed at 53 then you should get your first mammogram at 43)
  • Genetics plays a part in breast cancer and mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 and are responsible for 5% of all breast cancers (Angelina Jolie chose to go through a double mastectomy due to a mutation in one of these genes)
  • Do routine breast self-exams (BSE)
  • If you notice any irregularities (e.g. a lump), contact your health care provider immediately

We get so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves or ignore ourselves. The diagram above is a great example and a reminder, not just to prevent cancer, but perhaps other illness as well. 
I found this great website that helps explain what breast cancer is, the 4 stages, types, treatments, etc.  Statistics show that there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors (my mother included) in the United States. I think it's important to not only educate yourself but others around you as well!

{Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure October 2012}

I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure three weeks before my wedding last year in honor of my mother and I'm looking forward to contributing this great cause for as long as I live. 

And now, I end this post with a picture of my rock, who has been there for me through the tough time I experienced two years ago.

{Hubs being festive at his previous rotation working with a breast surgeon}

Happy Wednesday :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Part 1

October is officially my favorite month for two reasons: I got married in October and also because it's Breast Cancer Awareness month :)

I have been super busy traveling (valid excuse for not updating my blog, ha!) And when I say 'super busy' I'm talking about traveling to 2 different states and a country, all in one month! Well well well...going back to my one year wedding anniversary weekend in Vegas- let me start off by saying that it was AMAZING (I have the sweetest husband EVER, seriously)! We got there on a Thursday. Checked into our hotel (Aria), dropped our luggage into our room and went out for a stroll. We got hungry pretty fast so we grabbed dinner at Serendipity, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, went back to our room and passed out. Next morning we woke up pretty early, got ready and continued where we had left off the night before. By around 1 pm, Hubs left to go attend the Friday prayer and I went back to the hotel to offer my Friday prayer. After hubs was done, he picked me up from the hotel and we continued walking along the Las Vegas Blvd. At about 7 pm, we grabbed some popcorn and went to watch Cirque Du Soleil (Zarkana)- which, by the way, was aahhhh-mazing! After the show, we walked around some more and returned to our room by midnight. As I enter the room, I find a plate with chocolate covered strawberries, rose petals, a single red rose, gift bags and 2 cards on the bed. I read the card first and cried like a baby.  I will cry if I read the card right now and I will probably cry when I read it 10 years from now. It was the sweetest ever! When I opened the gift bag, I almost DIED. There they were, the beautiful Louboutins. Y'all, I fell in love. I think I jumped up and down for ten minutes in disbelief. Ahhhhhhhh. The second bag had the cutest Uggs ever (breast cancer edition).

Even though we were in a different state, hubs coordinated with the staff of Aria and put together a great surprise- leaving me speechless, once again.

The morning of our anniversary, we ate breakfast and explored the north end of the strip. We were so tired of walking so much that we had to stop by the mall and grab us some crocs. After purchasing the ever so great crocs, we ate our anniversary lunch at RA sushi which was followed by a romantic gondola ride at the Venetian. After the gondola ride, we walked over to Paris and went up the Eiffel Tower. Later, we grabbed some dinner and called it a night. We woke up early again on Sunday. I quickly packed and got ready. We went to eat the buffet over at the Cosmopolitan and after that we hoped on a plane back to Chicago. 

It has been a great one year with this sweet guy I have the honor of calling my husband. I have been blessed and I can't stop thanking God for sending such an amazing guy my way.

With that said, stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!

Happy November :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

robots in disguise

Hiya friends! 

As many of you may know, Transformers 4 is coming out summer of 2014. They have been filming here in Chicago for about a month now and guess who has been stalking them from set to set? Yup, this girl right here! What started the whole "stalking" process was when hubs and I were going out one afternoon and saw the street next to our place blocked off with cop cars and fire trucks. Upon closer look, we saw some pretty awesome cars lined up (Bugatti Veyron, Corvette Stingray, and Bumblebee to name a few). That is when we realized that they were filming Transformers 4 in our neighborhood! After they were done shooting, hubs and I were lucky enough to get some pictures with the cars before they took off to their next location.

Well, that wasn't the end of Transformers for us. About a week ago we found out that Michael Bay was about to film one of the biggest explosions at an abandoned silo in the south part of Chicago. Anxious to see what everyone was calling the "Mother of All" explosions, we reached the landmark and once again saw all the cop cars blocking the roads around the abandoned silo. While waiting to see the explosion, we got interviewed by CBS news. Y'all, I was seriously so nervous when the news reporter Jim Williams asked  if he could interview me but I won't lie, hubs and I sure did enjoy our few seconds of fame!


We were on the 6 'o' clock news on October 2nd and let me tell you, I've NEVER in my life waited so anxiously to watch the news like I did that day. 

Even though we waited almost 3 hours to see the explosion, it was a great experience just being there with other crazy fans like ourselves. What I find funny is that out of my entire interview, CBS chose to emphasize on the "stalking" part, which was true, hah! At least my hubby had something witty to say.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

current beauty favorites.

Lets face it! We are girls and we love makeup. I have been experimenting a lot with makeup lately (I wasn't lying when I said I'm a makeup hoarder). My first makeup product purchase was in my senior year of high school (yes, that's when I first started wearing makeup) and guess what it was? Mac foundation! After years and years of using mac, I realized that it wasn't working out for me and so I stopped using it. Ever since then I have been hunting for a good foundation and after some trial and error, I think I may have found it. But before I rant and rave about my favorite foundation, I will talk about my other beauty faves. 

1. L'Oreal Gel Liner- y'all, I'm seriously OBSESSED with this stuff. I'm usually switching eye liners left and right but ever since I discovered this (which by the way, was a long time ago), that's all I have been using.

2. Beauty Blender- if you don't have one, do yourself a favor and get one ASAP. It makes applying your foundation 10x easier. It's a bit pricey for a makeup sponge but seriously, it's worth every penny (buy it here)

3. MAC blush in coppertone- okay I won't consider this my "holy grail product" but I've been using this blush for years and I keep repurchasing it when I run out. I don't know why but it's almost like I'm afraid to try a new blush (weird, I know).

4. L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara- I am blessed with long lashes already but this mascara makes my lashes extra long. This is the best drug store mascara, IMO. I have a couple high end mascaras that I use but lately, I have been reaching out for this mascara while getting ready.

5. Makeup Forever (Mat Velvet +)- so I mentioned earlier that I had been on a hunt for a good foundation ever since I stopped using MAC. Well, this is it. I have been using this for quite some time now and I am loving it. One problem I had with MAC was the fact that my makeup would oxidize shortly after applying it. It was extremely annoying to constantly have to blot but thanks to this foundation, I don't have to do that anymore! This foundation stays put for as long as I wear it. With that said, I know everyone's skin is different and what works for one person may not work for another. So, in that case, the best thing to do is to get a sample first.

6. MAC Lipstick (Lovelorn)- lastly, I'm really enjoying using this lipstick. I don't usually wear lipstick until it's for a special occasion but this is the perfect pink for every day use. 

So, this is it for my current beauty favorites. What are some of your beauty faves?
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Destination: Happiness


Whether it's a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Aruba is the place to be! My husband booked a trip to Aruba for our honeymoon last October and I must admit, it was nothing short of beautiful. White sandy beaches and crystal clear water is all it took to make up for a relaxing vacation. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino- the most BEAUTIFUL resort on the beach! 
There is a ton of stuff to do on the island from trying out great eateries to amazing tax free shopping and much more! We had already mapped out what we were going to do each day we were there in advance. The best part about our trip was the fact that we were never bored. There was ALWAYS something to do! During the day we would walk around the beach, do some water sports, explore the island or go shopping and after dinner, we would usually grab some dessert, enjoy the Aruban night life or sometimes even go catch a movie.

Attached below are some of the pictures from our trip!

{Aruba, October 2012}

{left: famous tourist spot // right: breathtaking view from our room}
 We made so many sweet memories there and I can't wait to go back there again one day :) 

(More information about the island here )

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Monday, September 9, 2013

somethin' sweet

Hiya friends :)

So as I mentioned in my previous post, my love for desserts is endless! I love baking- especially when there is a minimal amount of effort required. Today I will be sharing a very easy and a fun way of making a candy cake.

You will need: 

  • Cake mix of your choice
  • Lots of Kit Kat bars
  • Bag of m&m's
  • Cake icing of your choice
  • Ribbon
  • Round baking pan (for the base of the cake)
  • Small sized disposable round foil pan for the top tier
After you have gathered all the supplies, follow the instructions on the cake mix and bake the cake. Once you are done baking the cake, wait for it to cool down completely (this is important so your cake doesn't break when you transfer it onto the cake plate). Once you transfer your cake onto a cake plate, ice the cake. You will then transfer the mini cake and place it on top of the cake base (and ice it). After the icing process is over, you will start attaching Kit Kat's (in sets of two) around the cake. You will then take a ribbon and tie it around both tiers to keep the cake from falling apart. The last step is to pour m&m's and voila, there you have it!

I had so much fun making this cake and hope you guys do too!

Happy baking :)
Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who am I?

I am a twenty-somethin' wife, University of Houston graduate and a lover of anything pink.

Random facts about me:
  •  I love traveling
  •  I love trying out new recipes 
  •  I love collecting books 
  •  I take pictures of just about anything and everything (thanks to my iphone)
  •  I think it's safe to say that I'm a makeup hoarder (ask hubs)
  •  My love for desserts is endless 
  •  I like painting
  •  I like to keep things organized
  •  Currently residing in Chicago but my heart's still in Texas
  •  Did I mention that I LOVE the color pink? 
{married my best friend October of 2012}

So now that I have semi introduced myself, thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy reading about my random life, thoughts and adventures :)