5 Things I'm Loving Lately

Coconut Milk Creamer in Hazelnut// This is definitely worth all of the hype! I don't care for the french vanilla flavor but the hazelnut is my favorite thing to add to my coffee. I've also been using unsweetened coconut milk in my cereal and am a big fan of the mocha fudge almond coconut milk ice cream!

Target $12 Drapey Tees// These are the perfect longer casual t-shirt! With a lot of shirts that are on the longer side (which I love) they're too tight around my hips/butt and if I try and get a bigger size they end up being too big in my shoulders-- not these! They fit perfect all the way through. There aren't many color choices online but my store had quite a few!

Brownie Brittle// I don't know how I just discovered it, but it's as good as it sounds. If you love the edges of brownies you will love Brownie Brittle.

Bumble & Bumble All Style Blow Dry// I almost never blow dry my hair but I had a sample of this stuff so I thought I would give it a try. I used the curling wand I got for Christmas so I was really happy this contains a heat protectant because I don't own one. I don't like using a lot of product in my hair so I love that this is an all-in-one product for the most part. My hair has never felt so soft, light, or healthy! I try not to use heat on my hair but I think this is a must-have for those times I do need to use a hair dryer!

Smashburger// We randomly stopped here for lunch one day last weekend and it was one of the best burgers I've ever had-- it felt really light and not greasy like a lot of burgers. The fries weren't my favorite, so I'd skip those but I'll definitely be back for another burger!

I can't believe it's the end of January! What Oscar nominated movies have you seen so far? We've seen The Grand Budapest Hotel (loved!) and Boyhood (did NOT love). I'm looking forward to seeing The Imitation Game next. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

[go linkup: oh hey friday; friday favorites]

Depotting and MAC swatches

Isn't there something about eye shadow palettes that just makes you feel like you need them all? With that being said they're one of the beauty products I can almost always convince myself I don't really need. The Naked Basics palette is the only one I own, though I've had my eye on quite a few for a while now...

Anyway, I'm trying to simplify and minimize this year so I finally ordered a z-palette from Amazon so I could store my loose eye shadows.

z palette; depotting

After watching a few videos and reading up on the instructions, it seemed like it was going to be super easy to depot my eyeshadows. It's something of a miracle that I didn't deeply wound myself using a knife trying to ply the shadows out of their pots! I found it easiersafer to use my nail & then when there was a bigger opening I put the knife in to wedge the pot out of the case.

Getting the shadow out of the actual pot was a little bit easier, but still slightly tricky. I put a piece of foil on my straightener and placed the pod on top of that. It seemed like it went from not melting at all to being completely melted, but as long as you're checking often there shouldn't be any problems and the eye shadow does easily come out once you have the glue melted.

The z-palette came with stickers so you can write the names of the shadow on the back and quickly stick it on the bottom before the glue dries.

I got the small palette, which will fit 9 MAC eye shadows (I only have 5 so it was perfect)-- it's so sleek and takes up WAY less space so it was definitely a good purchase.

mac swatches; naked lunch; soft brown; satin taupe; sable; vanilla
L to R: naked lunch | soft brown | satin taupe | sable | vanilla
Naked Lunch (frost) didn't want to swatch, I have a better picture here. This is a beauty blogger classic-- it's described as a minimal pink with light shimmer.

Soft brown (matte) is one I picked up after hearing Jaclyn Hill talk about it so much. It's a nice crease or transition color. It's described as a golden peachy-brown & it definitely pulls very orange on me.

Satin Taupe (frost) is taupe with silver shimmer- the silver in it makes it more cool toned & sometimes I prefer more golds in eyeshadows.

Sable (frost) is my newest eyeshadow. It's a medium brown/bronze with a hint of plum. This has been an interesting shadow. Swatched on my hand I thought it was the prettiest shadow ever, but on my lids it's very reddish, so I still need to play around with it a little bit to see how I like to wear it.

Vanilla (velvet) was my first MAC eyeshadow and it's a great versatile shade. It's described as a peachy-ivory with reflects. It's a nice highlight color that's in-between being matte or frosted.

I have two single Urban Decay shadows that I might add in as well. I still have my eye on sumptuous olive, but I definitely DO NOT need any more eye shadow.

What are your favorites? Any shadows you've recently discovered?

Training for Tuesday (January)


Book Chat: Dark Places

I first started reading Dark Places back in May but had trouble getting into it and it was due back at the library before I could ever finish it. When I saw that it was the book picked for the Between the Lines book club I figured I would finally give it a try again. I liked Gone Girl and I really liked Sharp Objects, but you could of have to be in a mood to read a book that you know is going to be dark and possibly disturbing.

Synopsis vis Goodreads: Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her borther's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back? She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find. Who did massacre the Day family?

I had a hard time getting into the book the second time around, but it's a fast read and once I was more invested into the story I wanted to keep reading until I got to the end. I know the Serial podcast was based on a true crime, but in a way as I was reading Dark Places it reminded me of that. I think mainly because of the lack of investigation and obvious evidence.

The book is told through multiple points of view and switches from present day back to the day of the crime. You're going through the book with Libby as she's trying to piece together what really happened that day. You're also getting to see the actual day from Ben's point of view and Patty's point of view-- the brother and mom.

There were a couple of disturbing parts, but overall most of the book read like a crime drama and I really enjoy Flynn's writing style. Despite hypothesizing all through the book I definitely did not guess or predict the ending.

I would give this book a solid 3.5 stars!

Book Club questions behind the cut, in case there are any spoilers!


With Love, Ulta

Up until a few months ago I would have quickly told you that I prefer Sephora to Ulta. I still love Sephora but I finally figured out how to make sure I'm getting the best deals from Ulta. I will (almost always) only make a purchase from Ulta if they're having double or triple points or an extra 200 points with your order. 200 points equals $6 back! 

Usually I don't pay attention to the emails they send out with the time sensitive promotions, but I happened to see one for a free six piece deluxe sample kit and it was products I've been wanting to try or already have used and love. So I got the products + 200 extra points!  


The One With the Chocolate Cake

We went out to dinner with a group of friends for my good friend's birthday this weekend and I experienced something so weird it deserves a blog entry.

We were at The Hamilton and had ordered dessert after our dinner, the chocolate gooey cake... it took a long time to come out, but it wasn't a big deal since we were all chatting anyway.

Our dessert finally arrived and the waiter gave us a brownie-- when we told him it was the wrong thing he said: "this is the new chocolate gooey cake" and walked away.

I think it's safe to say most people know the difference between a cake and a brownie...not to mention two other people had ordered the cake, so we clearly knew it wasn't the right thing.

One of the managers apologized and eventually brought us the real cake, but it was so crazy to me that our waiter never said anything about his blatant lie. In the food service industry, how can you bring someone something and tell them its something else not knowing if they have any allergies?

I was a little bit shocked that the manager wasn't more apologetic or concerned about it. I could be wrong, but isn't it a little bit insulting if someone tries to tell you that a brownie is the same thing as a piece of cake?

Have you ever experienced anything like this before? Would you have been as bothered by it as I was?

And when our bill came, we were charged for the brownie. Go figure. 

[linking up with joey for stuff & things!]

Fashion Favorites (Golden Globes 2015)

Happy Monday! I hate that I love watching award shows-- but I wanted to share some of my favorite looks from last night's Golden Globes. There were a lot of dresses I liked and everyone looked gorgeous, but there weren't too many that wowed me I guess.
images from eonline
Sienna Miller in Miu Miu. I'm not even that familiar with Sienna Miller as an actress but I thought her dress was stunning-- along with her hair and makeup. Perfection!

Emma Stone in Lanvin. I loved that this jumpsuit was so different from the other looks on the red carpet. I love the details in the bodice and the satin bow. I also loved her hair and makeup-- I was really digging the short tousled hair.


CBH BEST OF (2014)

I wanted to do a roundup of some of my favorite things from 2014 today. Some of these things were new to me last year, other were things I continued to love so much from previous years that I included them as well.
I didn't go too crazy with choosing beauty products, but these six products were definite standouts of the year.



Last year I attempted a 15 in 2014 list and about two months into the year I think I had lost interest in a lot of what was on it- so eventually I just forgot about it. I made a summer list, and an October list, and keeping things a little more in touch was definitely helpful for my goal setting.

With that being said, I don't have a real list of goals or plans for the year right now. I might put something together later, or come up with seasonal lists, or something similar...

But for now, in 2015 I want to BE BETTER.

Be a better friend.
Be a better wife.
Be a better daughter.
Be a better blogger.

If you read my looking back at 2014 post, you'll know that I've been thinking less about the stuff and more about the things we can't so easily measure. We get one shot at each day. Some days might not be so great, but they're still a blessing and something that is never guaranteed.

Some of the more concrete things I'd like to do this year?

Run a 5k (for real this time)
Read 50 Books
Leave my comfort zone & volunteer somewhere new
Complete the 52 week savings challenge
Find a balanced blogging schedule/routine

What are some of your goals for this next year? How do you find it easiest to make goals and stick to them?

Five on Friday (first of 2015)

Happy first Friday of 2015! I'm going to have a 2015ish post going up on Monday, but I wanted to share some holiday things before this week was over. I'm linking up with Amanda to share a few favorites.

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