Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dinner Double Date Night // Enchiladas

OH MY GOODNESS! Have ya'll heard about Thug Kitchen yet?? This beyond hysterical website has some truly tasty meal compilations and I am lovin them. The verbiage can be a little brash but as long as you read it lightheartedly, the whole site and book will crack you up. One of my best friends, Nichole, introduced me to their website and wanted to get together for a double date with our hubbies so we could cook for them. She was given the cook book for Christmas by her wonderful husband, Naim, and we picked a scrumptious dish out of there to try. We went with the Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas and seriously, so so delicious! Ya'll need to try this dish.

So let's talk ingredients:

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 1/2 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 TBSP lime juice

1 large sweet potato, chopped into 
nickel-size pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, grated
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 tsp maple syrup
A pack of tortillas
 Sliced avocado
Chopped fresh cilantro 

Nichole and I split up the responsibilities, so while I made the sauce, she chopped up all of the filing ingredients. 

For the Sauce you want to put the vegetable broth and tomato paste in a sauce pan, whisk that all together until it's not chunky, and then add all of the seasonings into the pot. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes and then place it off to the side so that it can thicken slightly. For anyone who has ever cooked with me, they know that I never truly follow the ingredients so I added things that I felt needed to be heavier and the sauce came out soooo tasty.

While the sauce was simmering, Nichole cut the sweet potato (see photo below), boiled some water, and then let the sweet potato soften in the boiling water for about 5-10 minutes.

For the Filling, after the potatoes became soft, Nichole smashed them up with a potato masher while I placed the oil in a frying pan and added the chopped onions. We let the onions sizzle for a few minutes and then added the drained black beans and spices. Finish that off with the sweet potatoes and squash. (Now if I am being totally honest, we completely forgot to buy a squash lol, so we used grated carrots instead and it came out delicious). 

Once the filing is fully cooked, you're going to grab a baking dish and pour some of the sauce in the bottom to cover it. Then heat up the tortillas for 20 seconds in the microwave and place the filing in each tortilla, wrap it, and place them in the pan. Once the pan in filled with the enchiladas, pour the rest of the sauce on the top. 

In a preheated oven of 375 degrees, you are going to place the baking dish in for about 20 minutes with tin foil on top. Now the recipe itself doesn't call for cheese on the top, but Nichole and I felt it needed some lol, so we placed that on the top before we covered it with the foil. After the 20 minutes, take the foil off and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  

You can cut up the avocado and cilantro and place these items on top for additional flavor and garnish and then you are all done.

Please try this dish, and then come back and thank me lol. This was such an incredibly delicious meal. All of us loved it and ate the whole tray up. The different textures and flavors blended together for a heavenly taste combination of sweet and savory. And trust me, I do not do the explanation justice the way the folks at Thug Kitchen have done. Once you get a sample from this you will absolutely want to run to the store and purchase a copy of Thug Kitchen Cookbook for more incredible recipes! Enjoy lovelies! 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NBC Studios Tour // A Season for Friendship

One of my close friends, Jocilyn, has been dreaming about working for NBC for as long as I can remember. It's pretty much all she's ever talked about doing. With alot of hard work and dedication, she is doing exactly that now and she works in the Rockefeller building of all places. Super cool and I am so very proud of her! She has been inviting me to come up and visit her in New York for quite a while now, so we finally set a date and my girlfriend Tara and I jumped on a train and headed to NYC. I'm seriously so incredibly happy we had a chance to make it up there. It is so important to set aside time that you can use to cultivate and develop deeper friendships. Relationships are a lot of work but are completely worth it. You need to nurture relationships and put time and energy into them so they can grow to be that much stronger. I want to be the kind of friend who will set time aside to invest into the lives of the people around me that I care about. And in doing that, I get to go on some crazy adventures with my friends and create wonderful memories. So this is my NBC studios tour (well the pictures of it) that I got to experience with some amazing friends!

Tara and I on the train to NYC!

This is the incredibly gorgeous view from Jocilyn's NYC apartment. Looking to the right you can see the Hudson River and looking to the left you are able to see the bright lights of Broadway. It was seriously beautiful!

This is the amazing wall of Brian Williams's travels around the world. Each photo had its own story of the incredible places he has been and people he has interviewed. These lead right up to the door of the Nightly News Studio.

Nightly News Camera. It's my filming debut! lol

Tara and I as newscasters 

So THIS is where Jocilyn works. Crazy right!? She's part of the MSNBC team and gets to work on multiple newscasts. This is one of the behind the scenes rooms that produces the shows we watch on MSNBC and she is apart of all of that. 

Jocilyn at work on one of the huge switcher boards

Yes! We got to see this incredibly awesome and iconic studio. So cool!

The Roots Dressing Room

The Tonight Show Studio

You know that iconic ice skating rink? The one that Buddy the Elf gets his first kiss on? Yep that's the one lol. This is the view of the gorgeous rink from the NBC lunch room. Who wants to have lunch here??? Yes please!

Another lunch room view of the gorgeous St. Patrick's Cathedral!

This is the final pic, and yes that is me sitting on the SNL stage! Sorry it's kind of blurry but my camera was having issues all day. This was obviously one of my favorite spots of the tour since so many amazing actors and musicians have stood on this very stage. I was loving it.

Making time for friends is one of the healthiest things you can for yourself. Two are always greater than one. Friends lift you up and bring strength to your life as well as alot of laughs. There are going to be seasons in your life when your responsibilities are piled sky high, so it is super important to take full advantage of precious moments of fun and excitement when you can with friends you love. What are some beautiful ways you have been enjoying life with your friends lately?


Monday, January 26, 2015

Lipstick Love Affair

I can not get enough of a good lipstick and there are some amazing ones out right now. I am also not the biggest fan of this cold season so I have been using these gorgeous springy pink colors to just bypass winter and head straight on to warmer weather. At the moment these are my go-to favs that practically live in my purse on a daily basis. 

1. L'oreal Nude Balm in #219 Plush Plum: I found this incredible color during a late night drugstore raid that I too often take. It is beyond beautiful. I know that it doesn't show up very well on the paper but on your lips it is a gorgeous light maroon color. Because it is a balm, this lip color is insanely moisturizing and is super helpful with this cold weather. Super affordable and never leaves my purse.

2. bareMinerals Pretty Amazing in Fearless: I purchased this lip color from the bareMinerals store while on vacation a few months back and have really enjoyed the deeply rich color. The consistency is very thick and creamy with just the right amount of moisture. 

3. Lorac Pro Matte Lip Color in Mauve: If you read my Ulta Beauty Haul post a few weeks ago, you saw this lovely little pencil like lipstick. I've worn it out several times since I purchased it and the staying power is incredible. I've gone through an entire Italian dinner out with my girlfriends and the color stayed beautiful through it all. This is the perfect date night lipstick.

4. Covergirl Jumbo Gloss Balm in Ballet Twist: This gorgeous soft pink color was on nonstop throughout the summer. I thought it would stay a warm weather product, but have found myself reaching for it more and more this past month. It lightens up the lips without too much drama and has a balmy, moisturizing consistency as well. I purchased this for its name but do not regret it at all.

5. Lipstick Queen in Pinky Nude: What I love most about Lipstick Queen is that they have two collections featuring each color. The Sinner collection is a deeper pigment with less moisture and the Saint collection is a more moisturizing product with a lighter pigment, and then you get to choose what works better for your lips. I prefer the Saint collection as I am a fan of moisturizing products (if you couldn't tell already). Love this stuff and it too never leaves my handbag.

What products have you been using this wintry season?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My 2015 Travel Wishlist

I am definitely a traveling enthusiast! It is by far one of my most favorite things to do. I love heading to new countries and learning the culture as well as meeting new people. It is where my heart is at. I started traveling at a very young age, always going on neat family vacations all over the US, and it became such a passion of mine. For as many countries as I have already been, there are always new places that I am excited to explore and this post is dedicated to those awesome spots that I would love to try to get to in 2015. I may not be able to get to them all, but this is definitely my Top 5 Wishlist for the year.

Uganda! This beautiful country has such a huge piece of my heart. It is the one country I have visited the most, the country I have lived in the longest (outside of the US), and a place I truly feel is my second home. The plans have already been organized for this gorgeous location and I will be headed there in a just a few short weeks! So stay tuned for some awesome posts about my travels and what I will be doing while I am there.

Italy! Pizza, romance, history, pizza....this has been a long time bucket list country for me. I've been to several European countries but never Italy and I've always wanted to check it out. Josh and I decided that this was going to be our 2015 vacation destination and have started the planning process. Nothing is set in stone yet but our hope is to check out this beautiful country over this summer, and head to both Rome and Venice.

Orlando! So it is true that Josh and I spent our honeymoon in Orlando, checking out Universal Studios and Disney World, but wouldn't you know just four short months after our visit, Universal opened Diagon Alley. Now as an avid Harry Potter fan I was beyond excited when I got to visit Hogsmeade on our honeymoon, but was super disappointed to miss out on Diagon Alley. So my hope is that we will be able to get back there sometime this year.  

Annapolis! This gorgeous location is in Maryland and just a few hours drive from where Josh and I live. My best friend and her husband went for their wedding anniversary and said that this adorable little fishing town was full of charm and history. Two of my most favorite things! This would be an adorable B&B get away weekend for my incredible husband and I to partake in, enjoy delicious food, and possibly do some fantastic antiquing. 

Houston! I have no idea why but I have always been infatuated with visiting Texas. Probably because I love the heat so much. I've been drawn to Houston in particular because it is such a short ride to the Gulf of Mexico. My parents live in Florida on the other side of the Gulf and it is truly one of my favorite places. The water is beautiful and the city looks like an amazing place to explore.

I don't know if I will be able to get to all of these places in 2015, but they are definitely a dream of mine and I think dreaming is a crucial part of our lives. What places would you like to travel to in 2015?

Photo Creds: Since I haven't been to half the places on my list, I didn't have photos just lying around of them. So here are the sources of where I found some of these gorgeous pictures. Uganda (these are actually mine); ItalyOrlandoAnnapolisHouston. One of the Orlando photos is mine (clearly since Josh and I are in the picture lol). 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Product Praise // TJ's Facial Cleansing Pads

My husband and I are Trader Joe's frequent shoppers. We absolutely love picking up our groceries there, not only for the amazing prices but also for the GMO-free products. This has always been an important factor to me ever since I started eating a vegetarian diet and did my research on the harm behind placing genetically modified items into my body. So I really do my very best to stay away from GMO products and pick up organic whenever I have the chance. 

However, it wasn't until recently that I realized how natural products can be just as beneficial on the skin. Trader Joe's has some wonderful all natural items for both the skin and hair. This product in particular, the Natural Facial Cleansing Pads, are my absolute favorite. I honestly believe that it is becoming a holy grail item for me. The container says that it is formulated with soothing botanical ingredients such as tea tree oil, calendula, and witch hazel. These ingredients leave your skin feeling refreshed and ultra clean.

These cleansing pads have honestly become part of my daily skincare routine. I have a combination skin type that tends to fall on the oilier side when I allow myself to sit around fresh faced (no makeup) for several hours. When I first used this product I wasn't even sure I entirely liked it. The pads are a tiny bit abrasive and the smell is somewhat overwhelming. The tea tree oil definitely shines through in an almost minty, tingly kind of way. However, after using just one pad on my entire face my skin is free of nasty oils without being dry in any capacity. It actually leaves my skin feeling super soft and nourished. Like honestly, I sit around and just feel the softness of my skin afterwards, it's incredible. I tend to use these first thing in the morning to wake myself up and get any sort of sleep ick off of my face but I will also use them at night after I have washed the makeup off of my face. The pad picks up any dirt and oil that I may have missed or that just did not fully come off with my face wash. 

This product truly is the exclamation point to my skincare routine and I feel like I would be lost without it. I will most definitely be stocking up for my travels in the upcoming season so that I will not have to go without them no matter where in the world I am. Let me know what your holy grail skincare item is. I'm always super interested in trying new items. Also let me know if you try this product and what your thoughts are! 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Upcycle and Repurpose // Candle Jars

If you are anything like me, then you have a ton of leftover candle jars lying around your home. I tend to have a candle burning in nearly every room of our house on a regular basis. It gives our home that cozy, warm and snuggly feeling that I so much enjoy throughout our space. That does however leave me with a ton of leftover jars once the candles have burned out. So here are a few of my fun upcycling ideas for these jars so that you don't have to just throw them out and waste these treasures once they are done burning. Let your candle jar live on!

The first thing you want to do is place all of your old candle jars in the freezer. It really helps to leave them in there over night so that all of the leftover wax is fully frozen. Once the wax is frozen it becomes super easy to get the excess out of the jars.

Using a knife, break apart the excess wax and toss the remaining bits.

Once you have removed all of the wax, clean the jars so there is no remaining residue. Now I'm not gonna lie, cleaning these out was quite a process because of the glue left behind on the bottom of the jar from the wicks. I found that using a Brillo Pad was the simplest way to get all of the glue out while leaving no sticky residue behind.

So besides your empty candles, here are the other items I used to decorate and repurposed the jars. I picked most of these items up at Target in the crafting isles. Here are the necessary items:

The ribbon was actually a left over product that I saved from a purchase a while back. It came as the tied accessory to an item I bought and I knew that if I held on to it, it would come in handy one day. But you can purchase similar ribbon at your local craft store such as this one from Michaels

Start by labeling any and all of the tags to describe what will be in each jar. This I sketched out with a pencil first and then wrote over it with the silver pen so that the font looked exactly how I wanted it to. I also went on to Pinterest and looked up some fun font styles to imitate while I was writing.

Then using the scotch adhesive, I glued the twine around the top of the first candle jar as well as the tag to the front of it. I did this also to the second jar and I found it easiest to start gluing at the very top of the jar and steadily work downward about five layers of twine.

I finished the jar off by placing washi tape on the corners of the tag for an added boost of cuteness. Super simple!

For the last jar, I tied the ribbon around the front and glued the top and bottom ribbon seams to the jar. I really love using bendable ribbon with the wire in the top and bottom seams as it is easier to make a bow poof out more.

I finished this jar off by gluing its label and using the cute washi tape from the other jars so it could all match cohesively. 

I truly love all three of these adorable upcycled jars. I already started putting my makeup products in them and find them to be a fantastic and cute way to organize all of my different items. Let me know if you try any of these ideas and how it came out for you!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ulta Beauty Haul

I am consistently amazed at the beautiful blessings that are apart of my daily life. My family is such a beautiful and incredible blessing and I do not know where I would be without them. Over the holiday season my family was beyond generous in all that they did and I pray that their generosity is a legacy that I can bring to my future children one day.

Like many years before, my family, or Santa lol, blessed me with a gift card to one of my favorite places ever, Ulta. I was able to use this card to get some goodies that have been on my list for quite a while. I'm super excited to play with and use all of these different products. Here is what I picked up:

First was my Lorac Prop Palette. I have been dying to try this for such a long time now but never wanted to spend the bit of extra money that it cost ($42). But seriously, how gorgeous is this palette?! I'm in love with every single color and can't wait to see all of the different combinations I will be able to create with them when I start to play. The texture of these are super creamy and pigmented and I know they will all look beautiful. The palette also came with a free eye primer and I really do love this product. I've used it before and it is not cakey or heavy. It keeps my eye shadow looking fabulous on my eyes all day long.

I grabbed this highlighter as a recommendation from the sales woman there. I was looking for a good concealer that also has a highlight to it and the L'oreal Magic Lumi seems like it will do the trick perfectly. I picked this up in the shade #860 Fair. This product was decently prices, a teeny bit high for a drug store type of product, but only in the $13 range.

The brush I picked up was for the It brush collection that Ulta began selling a few months ago. Their brushes always look super plush and soft whenever I walk by so I wanted to give them a good try. They are average in their price range, not to eccentric for brushes. This is the Blending Crease Brush in #105 and it was in the $14 range.

Next I moved on to some fantastic lip products! I love me some good lippies. I'm not sure if I have mentioned that before but it is still just as true. The three different products I picked up range in consistency and color but all look amazing on. The first of the three that I picked up was this beautiful Lip Glaze from Stila in the color Sugar Plum. I love the Stila brand lip glosses because they are so incredibly smooth and silky on the lip. A little sticky yes, but not as bad as some other products I've used before. This was the cheapest of the bunch in the $8 range, however the pricing tends to vary.

The mid-range, price wise, lip product of the three that I picked up was the Lorac Pro Matte Lip Color in Mauve. This product is the slightly darker than the natural lip color and is very matte in its consistency without being super dry. This Lip Color was in the $16 price range.

The more high end priced product that I fell in love with was my Lipstick Queen Lip Color in Saint Pinky Nude. This seriously is one of my most favorite colors that I have purchased recently. It is a, my lip color but better with a perfect bit of moisture to top it off. This particular lipstick sits right at the $22 range, however their other colors can reach all the way up to the $50-$60 range. The product is pricey but gorgeous.

I rounded off my trip with some new products from Toni & Guy as well as Dry Shampoo from the Psssst! brand. The Toni & Guy Flexible Hold Hairspray has such a deep musky smell which I love. I've never been into the more floral smells so this product is perfect for me. It gives you just the right hold without being sticky or firm. The other Toni & Guy product I purchased is the Sea Salt Texturising Spray. This gives the perfect amount of grit that I need in my hair to hold a great beach wave. Love each of these products and they are both in the $14 range. I purchased both of the Toni & Guy products on sale and was unable to find links to Ulta on their website but found them at Target.

And the last product I grabbed was the Psssst! Dry Shampoo. Love this stuff. Can't get enough of it. I have repurchased it multiple times and will continue to do so. It pulls the grease from my hair without leaving a ton of residue from the product. It also smells great and lasts for quite a while. This priced out right in the $5 range but I'm pretty sure I got it on sale. Ulta always has fantastic sales so I am constantly looking at their shelves for a good deal.

That's about it for my Ulta Haul. Hope you enjoyed and got some great ideas for items to purchase!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow Day Blues // Combating Against Wintry Lows

It is that time of year once again where the cold has just completely taken over everything in my little area of the world. I know that for many places it is still quite warm during January but for the Northeast in the US, it is freezing, literally. In the past week it has been several degrees below freezing every single day. Now for me, this type of weather always makes me not only sad, but a bit more secluded with each day. I never want to go outside or do anything active (which is extremely different then my normal part of the year, I'm always running about doing something) and I could never really understand why until I took a psychology course in College that discussed the affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly referred to as Seasonal Depression. I mean, it is literally code word SAD. Several symptoms that are equated to this disorder look like, having low energy, losing interest in the activities that you normally really love, changes in your appetite or weight, tiredness, and feeling agitated or moody, to name just a few. As I was reading about these in my class it completely hit me that this is exactly what I struggle with every winter and why I basically want to hibernate throughout this morbid season and rejoin the world in the spring. However, winter is a season that God created for a purpose and since He has made everything good in its season, I know that great things are meant to come out of winter. (Better things in summer, but great things in winter as well.) So I have spent the past few years developing fun remedies to combat this miserable feeling that tries to take over every January.

1. I love to snuggle up with a favorite flavored coffee. Nothing makes me happier than coffee and being able to enjoy a piping hot, fancy flavor puts a little more excitement into my morning. I love to experiment with new flavors and have fun little sample packets of different mixes.

2. I really enjoy lighting a candle, or ten. Nothing says cozy to me like a warm scented, fresh baked pastry like item sort of candle and I love to have these lit all over my home. They make my house smell fantastic while also helping me to forget the cold outside.

3. Take a warm bath with one of my favorite bath bombs from Lush, or just a really good tub salt. I truly love feeling all warm and cozy in a nice hot bath and it also gives me a little pamper time as well. I can read a good book, or watch a fun show on netflix and just truly relax.

4. I always plan exercise dates with friends. The very last thing I want to do in the winter is go outside, even if it is just to walk to the car, and I certainly am not in the mood to exercise. However, making dates with friends or my hubby forces me to trek outside for that human interaction I can't get home alone. I also try to make sure I am doing an exercise I enjoy. Like I've mentioned in a former post, Zumba always gets me up and excited.

5. Putting on a nice bit of makeup, even if it is only to go to the grocery store. I know it may seem silly, but for me I work from home and can sometimes go days without fancying up my face. So taking the time out to do a full face of makeup can sometimes give me the energy to want to go out into the world and show it off. It's just that little push that gets me more excited about my day.

I hope that these were a bit helpful for you. I know that I am not the only person who suffers with this wintry low feeling. If you tend to get the blues during the winter I really would suggest going out of your way to do a little extra for yourself, pamper yourself, and take some steps to create some life frills that you really enjoy that will assist in livening up days. I hope that you are doing your best to enjoy your winter season!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beauty Favs ~ Top 14 of 2014

Makeup is definitely one of the loves in my life. I have always been a very artistic, creative person and playing with makeup is really an art to me. I just love it and get super excited to mess around with different looks! So I thought it would be fun to list my Top 14 favorite makeup products of 2014. Now I'm not saying these are the absolute best products the world has ever created lol but they are definitely my go-to items that I honestly use on a daily basis. They are some of my absolute favs in every way. For the most part they are all fairly affordable and each of these items have either been repurchased or definitely will be when I run out. So here goes my Top 14:

1) Essie Nail polish in Chinchilly: This is a beautiful silvery purple and every time I wear it I get so many compliments. It matches with everything and lasts a solid week without chipping or peeling. I picked this up in a drug store when I was road tripping with Josh in the Carolinas.

2) Essie Nail polish in Wrapped in Rubies: This has been the perfect holiday color! I purchased it in the beginning of October and wore it week after week throughout the fall and holiday season. I just couldn't take it off. I also grabbed this one at a drug store that was in my area.

3) Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest (mix with Acai Berry Lip balm): I love me some Burt's Bees and this year I fell in love with their Lip Crayons. They are a fabulous texture that doesn't dry out the lip at all. The Redwood Forest is a gorgeous maroon color and was perfect during this past holiday season. The lip balm, I honestly put under all of my lipsticks to give me some extra moisture on my lips. They have a huge Burt's Bees section in Target that has these and so many others of their fantastic products.

4) Urban Decay Lipstick in Lovelight: I purchased this lipstick earlier in the year thinking that it would be my spring and summer color but the legend continues on! It is by far my favorite every day color lipstick. It lives in my purse so it can be with me at all times. It's silky and beautiful and I just love it! I grabbed this while I was out at Ulta.

5) Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder: By far my favorite affordable powder that I use to set my Covergirl foundation every day. It's extremely light and does not get cakey in any way throughout all the seasons in the whole year. It matches up with my skin tone beautifully and I wear it on most days. I like to pick this up at my local Ulta since they always have some good sales.

6) Covergirl's Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation: I just started using this foundation around September of this year but I very quickly fell in love. It blends out on my skin wonderfully and has a truly flawless finish to it, great for every day wear. This is easy to find at Target or any local drug store.

7) Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Prim: I love the Tarte blushes. They are so pigmented and gorgeous on the skin. This particular color Prim has been one of my favorites this year. It's just a very natural color and gives my checks the perfect little flush. You can grab this at an Ulta or Sephora.

8) Maybelline's The Rocket Mascara: I think this product wins for favorite find of 2014! I have always been a Covergirl Mascara girl, but this year I gave the Rocket a shot and I am so happy I did. It always leaves my lashes so thick and incredibly long. Totally worth the hype and you can get it at any local drug store!

9) Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (Liquid Eye Liner): Within the year 2014 I started getting more and more into winged liner. It's not an easy thing to accomplish however the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner makes it 1,000 times easier. The brush is super fine, really easy to use. I picked this up at Sephora.

10) Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black: This eyeliner has always been my favorite! It is so black and pigmented and defines my eyes beautifully. It also never runs under my eyes or on my lid at all, even in the dead of summer. It is a holy grail item for me for sure. This is another product that you can pick up at your local drug store.

11) Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde: I have never been one to do my brows, however after my wedding this year and I saw how wonderful they looked when they were penciled in, I was hooked. So I decided to try and up my brow game this year and I purchased the Brow Wiz. For a rookie eye brow doer, this product has made the transition extremely easy and I love using it. It creates a thick, natural looking brow for my normally thin and sad looking brows. I picked this up from my Sephora.

12) Lorac Eye Shadow Palette in Unzipped: This palette has been my true favorite this year. I wear it on most days and it is a gorgeous neutral palette that has a very creamy texture within each color. It has the perfect combination of shimmer and matte colors that compliment each other so well. Love this! For a high end palette this is a fairly affordable one and you can purchase it at your local Ulta.

13) BareMinerals Purifying Facial Cleanser: This quickly became my favorite face cleanser when I picked it up last spring. It cleans so incredibly well and gets all of the oil and makeup off of my face after a long day. This is my second purchase of this product and even with trying other brands this is still my favorite. I purchased this straight from BareMinerals.

14) Carol's Daughter Leave-in Conditioner in Black Vanilla: I had been trying to find a good leave-in conditioner for my hair for the better part of the year and heard about this product on a Youtube channel I enjoy. I decided to try it out and I really love it alot. Not only does it smell incredible in my hair but it leaves my hair super shiny without being greasy. It's super easy to brush through my hair once I spray this in and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to find a good leave-in conditioner. I picked this up at Target.

I hope this list gave you some good recommendations as we head into 2015. I love hearing what products other people use and enjoy because it helps me to find and try new items myself. So let me know what products you have enjoyed throughout 2014 and it may help just find a new favorite!
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