Patriotic Nails

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The only time I get Holiday themed nails is usually for Halloween and Christmas… but I can now add 4th of July to that list. Since Justin and I are going out of town for the holiday this year, I thought it would be cute to do some patriotic nails.

I looked on Pinterest for ideas and there was SO MANY to choose from. I knew I didn’t want to go extreme, so I somewhat customized my own.

They turned out better than I expected, and I am so happy with them. I’ve been going to the same lady for years, and she always does a fantastic job.

Here are some of the Pinterest looks that inspired me:

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I hope that you get inspiration from these photos if you’re planning on getting your nails done for the 4th of July.

P.S. Happy Half Birthday to me……. Yes, I’m a total Christmas baby.

It’s almost Friday… I hear the weekend calling!

This entry was posted in Beauty.

When Life Gives You Peaches

national peaches and cream day

In honor of National Peaches and Cream day, I thought I’d share with you some delicious peach-inspired recipes that are perfect for the Summer. I absolutely love peaches — sliced by themselves, in a smoothie, and more recently in iced tea. Those are all pretty easy to make and have on hand. I wanted to look up a fun dessert and a cocktail to try a little something different. Hope you enjoy these recipes!

Peaches N Cream Cocktail 

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Take 1 oz. of Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon Irish Cream Liqueur, 0.5 oz. of Ciroc Peach, and mix into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Strain into a large shot glass.

Add whipped cream, and top with a sliced peach.

 

 

 

 

Peaches N Cream Jigglers
peaches ne cream What You’ll Need:

  • 1-3/4 cups boiling water, divided
  • 1 envelope (1/4 oz.) KNOX Unflavored Gelatine
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 envelope (1/4 oz.) KNOX Unflavored Gelatine

 

 

Add 1/2 cup boiling water to unflavored gelatine in medium bowl; stir until completely dissolved. Stir in milk. Pour into 8-inch square dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Refrigerate 25 to 30 min. or until set but not firm. Meanwhile, add remaining boiling water to peach gelatin mixes in separate medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Cool until ready to use.
Pour peach gelatin slowly over gelatine layer in dish. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm before cutting into 36 squares.

10 Makeup Setting Sprays You’ll Want For Summer

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Happy first day of Summer! To prep for the heat waves to come, stock up on setting sprays that will keep your makeup from sliding down your face. To reduce and eliminate any oily buildup after a long day spent outdoors, or (in my case) a few minutes.

I’ve gathered the top 10 makeup setting sprays on the market.

makeup setting spray

  1. Dermablend Set & Refresh Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray $24 — A long-lasting makeup setting spray that enhances your skin’s overall complexion throughout the day.
  2. Caudalie Grape Water $22 — A signature, 100% organic formula that’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin and extracted directly from grapes in Bordeaux, with the dual power to both increase hydration and reduce sensitivity.
  3. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Makeup Extender Spray $17 — Provides the ultimate fixing power to extend the vibrancy and freshness of your look from morning to night, with no cracking, fading, or running.
  4. Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist $27 — Keeps skin hydrated under dry conditions, increases skin-cell respiration, and helps maintain moisture for a soft and smooth finish.
  5. Tarte Miraculous Maracuja Makeup Setting Spray $28 –It’s formulated to help improve the wear of makeup for 16 hours while instantly refreshing skin throughout the day. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin C for a firmer, brighter, smoother look.
  6. Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Setting Spray $22 — Lock in your makeup look and look flawless for hours with this cooling, oil control mist that increases the longevity of your makeup. With 5 scents to choose from : green tea, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, and peach.
  7. Bliss Color Get Set & Go Makeup Setting Spray $24 — This weightless, non-sticky formula locks makeup in for longer wear. It’s infused with Kaolin clay, aloe vera and specialized polymers to help prevent fading, sliding, and caking.
  8. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray $30 — Giving your makeup some serious staying power, with over 16 hours of wear. It’s suitable for all skin types and features patented Temperature Control Technology — which lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep everything in place.
  9. Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting Spray $44 — The vitalizing and energizing mist contains glycerin, which acts as a natural humectant, helping attract moisture to the skin and providing hydrating effects for a moist, supple surface.
  10. Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray $8 — Only at ULTA! Stop the shine with this oil fixing spray which has a matte finish and keeps makeup in place with no smudging or fading.

It’s going to be over a hundred degrees every day for the next two weeks. I am not looking forward to that what-so-ever. I still like to wear either a tinted BB Cream, SPF, or moisturizer on my face to protect it, so setting it with a spray is essential to keep it from wearing off. Personally, I have the Makeup Revolution Fixing Spray and use it quite often. I bought it at ULTA a while ago and love the matte finish it gives my skin. I would like to splurge and try out a new one… I’m thinking the Gerard Cosmetics spray, because “Slay All Day” is the BEY word for ah-maz-ing!

Let me know what you think of these setting sprays. Do you have a favorite? What would you recommend.

This entry was posted in Beauty.

Unconditional Love

father's day

Today, my dad and I are going to spend Father’s Day in Santa Cruz, something we used to do together every single year of my childhood and I cannot wait. It has been a few years since we have been back. I don’t get to see him very often due to our busy schedule’s, however when we get some quality bonding time it truly is special. I am so grateful to say I have the most wonderful father, who is still with us today. Being a cancer survivor (multiple times) he has taught me how precious life is, and I live every moment to the fullest.

Dad – You taught me that you don’t always have to understand me or agree with my decisions, in order to love me. You showed me how to choose my own path, and be my own person- what a wonderful way to give a daughter wings.

I hope that all of the amazing father’s out in the world get to spend a lovely day with their families.

This entry was posted in Travel.

Ultimate Summer Beach Hacks

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Justin and I just got back from a five day vacation in Southern California. We spent the day in Santa Monica on our way up to Long Beach, ended in Dana Point and then took Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Malibu on our way home. We spent a lot of time in Seal Beach and Laguna Niguel. My mother’s brother and sister both live in the SoCal area so I was able to see some family while we were on our trip.

Since it was over a hundred degrees in Fresno when we were gone, we were soaking up the sixty and seventy degree weather and trust me, we did not want to go home. One of the highlights of our trip was getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium of the Pacific. We got to feed the tropical fish, see the surgical room and quarantine area, the dive locker, and behind the aquarium where all the tanks are kept to run the facility. It was such a great experience, and we both loved it.

So now that we had a quick little “story time” session, let’s get on with the post… Something that was inspired by this trip — beach hacks. I feel like I’ve spent a majority of my life at the beach. My father used to live in Santa Cruz as a child and wanted to raise me there as well, so I spent every Summer and Spring Break there with my cousins, and we had a total blast. The beach is somewhere I feel the most happy at. It doesn’t matter if I’m in California, or all the way across the United States at Coney Island; if there’s an ocean near me, I’m smiling.

On our trip we spent at least a few days at different beaches. Of course I packed a beach bag with the most common essentials — towels, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, magazines, chairs. But somehow I forgot a few important things that would have made the day a lot easier (baby powder and a ziplock) which I’ll get into.

HERE are my TOP 10 BEACH HACKS that will make your beach day less-stressful:

  1. BABY POWDER — If you throw a bottle of baby powder in your beach bag, you can use it when your finished at the beach. You know all that extra sand you have on your body that never seems to wipe off? Just put some baby powder where the dried sand is and it will come right off. Genius!
  2. CONDITIONER — I could spend hours in the ocean — swimming, boogey boarding, surfing, ect. and my hair would be so insanely tangled when I get out. I learned a trick that if you put conditioner in your hair, it will give it a thick coat to protect it from the salt water. When you get out of the ocean, just rinse it out with cold water in a near beach shower and your hair will feel soft and smooth right away.
  3. ALOE VERA — I’m stubborn when it comes to putting on sunblock. I always want to get the best tan that I can so I’ll either put an accelerator on with no sunblock or a minor SPF 10 … which is really bad for you, I would not recommended it. For example, I did just that at the lake last weekend and came home to a wicked burn on my shoulders. I filled an ice cube tray with Aloe Vera and then put the cubes in a ziplock bag. It feels so good on the skin, and they are super easy to take with you to the beach, just toss them in your ice chest.
  4. KEEP YOUR FEET COOL — Place your sandals face down in the sand to keep them from getting hot.
  5. ZIPLOCK PROTECTOR — I need to remember to do this every time I go to the beach, because somehow about a tablespoon of sand always sneaks home with me through my phone. If you put your phone in a ziplock bag it will protect it from the sand and water… Plus your touch screen will still work.
  6. TOWEL POLICE — Attention fly-away towels, you are not going anywhere ever again! Buy towel anchors, sure your shoes make work just as fine, but sometimes there will be that one sandal that will blow away and ruin your whole set-up… it’s happened to me many times!
  7. DIAPER DISGUISE — I actually just read about this hack recently and thought it was too hilarious and perfect. If you don’t know where to keep your valuables such as your : phone, keys, money, ect. then place them in a rolled up diaper or pad. Ewww, nobody is going to think to look there.
  8. SCOTCH GUARD — The sun can be harsh, and very damaging to your materials. So spray scotch guard oj your umbrellas and beach chairs to preserve them and to help they last a long time.
  9. HAIR LIGHTENER — If you want to lighten your hair without the harsh chemicals then just do it naturally. Just add lemon to your hair and let it bake in the sun for some natural blonde locks.
  10. SNACK CONTAINERS — This is cool.. Recycle and re-use your old coffee mate containers and fill them up with dry snacks such as: Goldfish, chips, or candy.

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Hope these tips and tricks help you next time you head to the beach!

This entry was posted in Travel.

DIY Turmeric Face Mask

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It’a almost the weekend, which means it’s almost time to pamper yourself.

I recently watched a YouTube video by beauty vlogger Bianca Renee creating a “Do It Yourself” face mask featuring the spice Turmeric. She recommends this easy, inexpensive mask that is suppose to work miracles on your skin. I know that Turmeric is good from your body, because after my father was diagnosed with cancer (who’s now in remission) they told him to eat a spoonful of Turmeric everyday to help cleanse the body of toxins. I never knew it would work the same way if you topically applied it to your skin.

Turmeric (yep, the kind that you cook with),  is naturally known to brighten skin, de-clog pores, treat acne and eczema, fight inflammation, ward off under-eye circles, soothe puffiness – and everything short of bringing about world peace.

To create the mask you’ll need:

  • Turmeric
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flour
  • Milk

turmeric

*** You could always replace the Coconut Oil with Olive Oil  if you have that instead.

Mix all the ingredients together, and apply all over the face (minus the eyebrows).

Leave on for 20 minutes and then gently wash away with luke warm water, and follow with a cleanser.

Check out the awesome video below, for step-by-step instructions! Have fun pampering yourself, I’m looking forward to a glass of wine and a good rom-com while letting this mask sit.

This entry was posted in Beauty.

New Makeup at Sephora

 

I always get excited when a bunch of new products hit the beauty store. Especially fun and bright colored products for the Summer. I stopped by my local Sephora a few days ago and could not believe how many new products were on the shelf. I had to swatch them all and see which ones were my favorite and what I wanted to put on my wish list.

I listed my favorite ten products that I thought were definitely worth showing you — a few of which I’m going to buy A.S.A.P. (Jaclyn Hill Face Palette, Givenchy Bronzer, Tarte Mascara, and Lancome Juicy Shaker).

During the Summer when my skin gets (A LOT) more sunshine than normal, I take advantage of experimenting with different bronzers and highlighters. My next mission is to conquer the “CONTOUR” !!! FACE

1. Givenchy Healthy Glow Bronzer $52 — A unique baked bronzing powder that creates the perfect sunkissed glow. This paraben free, smooth texture allows buildable results that makes it easy for contouring.

2. Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illumninator $42 — A portable cream stick highlighter in a first-ever universal shade for instant dew payoff.

3. Becca X Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette $52 — A limited edition iconic face palette that gives you all the glow you could want. It features five shades: two highlighters, two mineral blush shades, and a luminous blush hue in Rose Spritz.

4. Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled To Perfection $40 — An exclusive face contouring and highlighting kit to enhance and minimize facial features in just a few simple steps. It provides two essential sculpting shades, a matte highlighter, and a luminous light shade.

lips5. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick $17 — An innovative lip formula with six indulgent finishes including: matte, satin, metallic, high shine and shimmer. There are 20 shades exclusively sold at Sephora. Aloe Vera, Jojoba, Avocado, and Babassu oils nourish and soften lips making them feel extra hydrated to along with a bold pop of color.

6. Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade $33 — This is an intentive lip care pomade with a natural, self-adjusting, rosy tint that’s enriched with a melt-in gel that transforms into a shiny, rosy oil to immediately smooth and plump lips.

7. Lancome Juicy Shaker $21 — An addictive lip oil with a super-soft cushion applicator for a wash of color with a hint of shine. Peach kernel oil soften lips, while sweet almond oil conditions them.eyes8. Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Couture Mascara $29 –A revolutionary, intense, and super shiny formula that gives lashes length, volume, and curl with deep saturated color.

9. Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint Mascara $23 — A jet-black volume-packed mascara so anyone can master the tarte of the fringe. It’s infused with triple-black painted mineral pigments to insure there is never any flaking.

10. Urban Decay Alice Through The Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette $60 — A limited edition, pop-up palette featuring 20 exclusive shades: all inspired by character’s from Disney’s Through The Looking Glass.

This entry was posted in Beauty.

My Hair Routine

 

Summer Hair Care

When it comes to doing my hair, I like to keep the routine down to the bare minimum. The only thing that changes in my hair routine in the Summer, is that I do not blow dry my hair — at all, well maybe an if I’m in an emergency/rushed situation. Between April through late August, I let it air dry naturally, and only use a few products, if any.

Here’s how it goes: I like to shower at night, and “cleanse the day away”. It’s usually around 10:30 or 11PM by the time I get in. The first thing I do is get my hair and body wet, and shampoo my hair using the Aussie Volume Shampoo. I’ll let that sit for a minute while I wash the makeup off my face. Then I’ll rinse it all away. I then use the Aussie Smooth Conditioner and let that soak in my hair for about 10 minutes while I shave and then scrub my body. I’ll fully rinse again and then use a light scrub for my face.

Once I’m out of the shower, I towel dry my hair and then spray The Healthy Sexy Hair Leave-In Conditioner all over while my hair is damp and use a wide tooth comb to make a part down the middle of my head. I let it air dry and then once it’s almost dry I’ll sleep on it.

When I wake up I have a lot of volume in my hiar, and my cowlick is usually out of control. I’ll tame the top strands with a straightener and then I’ll create loose waves with my curling wand — both are Jose Eber styling tools. Sometime’s if I need the curl to hold longer than normal I’ll spray on some hair spray. My curls can last for 2-3 days without touching them up… which is when the Batiste Dry Shampoo comes in handy. It’s a miracle worker. I wash my hair about every 2 days since that is what’s recommended. I’ve noticed that after doing this routine my hair has become much stronger and I have had less breakage.

When I’m laying out by the pool or spending my day at the beach, or a lake … I absolutely love using the Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Texturizing Spray. It gives my hair thickness, extra volume, and makes my waves look extra beachy.

I know a lot of women who use a substantial amount of products in their hair, but I prefer to have a low-key routine. It’s fast and easy, and healthy for my golden locks. Don’t get me wrong — I do color my hair, so it is by all means not the “healthiest”, but taking biotin pills help make my strands a little bit stronger.

 

Products mentioned:

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray $6.19

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner $17.95

Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray $17 (on sale now for $10.99)

Batiste Travel Size Dry Shampoo (Travel Size) $3.99

Aussie Volume Shampoo $5.22

Aussie Smooth Conditioner $4.94

Christine Nov

This entry was posted in Beauty.

Starbucks Sunset Menu

Move over frappuccinos, there are three new Starbucks drinks just in time for Summer!

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Starting June 14th you can get 3 different varieties of granitas, which are basically tea or coffee poured over finely shaved ice…. which pretty much sounds like a fancy slushy.

1. Teavana Youthberry White Tea Granita

This is the prettiest pink drink that looks just so incredibly refreshing. It contains lemonade flavored ice, with a tropical fruity tea topping.

2. Caramel Espresso Granita

Shaved ice with espresso shots, a little cream, and caramel drizzle.  Sounds like a frapp without the heavy milk and unnecessary coffee flavored syrup. 

3. Strawberry Lemon Limeade Granita

A pop of peachy orange, with lemonade flavored ice, strawberry slices, and limeade. 

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After reading this, you might be wondering what a granita is, because I had to look it up!

A granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and various flavorings which originated from Sicily, Italy.

The only “bad” part is that these drinks are only available after 3PM every day during Summer, which is part of their new Sunset Menu. They also added a couple sweet treats to go along with the drinks, including — a Chocolate Brownie Trifle and a Strawberry Shortcake Trifle.

Also, between June 14th through 26th you can bring your morning “treat” receipt in the afternoon and get a grande granita or trifle for just $3.

I’m curious to see what these taste like. I don’t tend  to drink a lot of frappuccino’s in the Summer because of their thick and creamy consistency, but I love that this contains ice instead of milk, yet it’s still blended. I look forward to trying the espresso drink, and eventually the other two. Let me know if and when you try some of these new concoctions.

This entry was posted in Drink.

Moment of Silence

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“In a press conference Monday morning, Orlando Police confirmed that 49 people had been killed and 53 injured minutes after 2am on Sunday June 12th at Pulse “the hottest gay bar” in the city, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. After opening fire on the crowd, an individual named Omar Mir Seddique Mateen had taken hostages and was ultimately killed in a stand-off with police. Mateen had called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS (the Islamic State) shortly before the massacre. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency, and investigated by an act of terrorism.”

“The fact that this shooting took place during Ramadan and that ISIS leadership in Raqqa has been urging attacks during this time, that the target was an LGBT nightclub during Pride, and – if accurate – that according to local law enforcement the shooter declared his allegiance to ISIS, indicates that this was an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism”, said House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff.

Because of the awful attack that happened yesterday, I needed to take some time to address the situation and pay my respect for the people involved in this horrific event. It hurts my heart to think that this could even happen. Our world needs to be more in a place of love, and acceptance — not hate. My prayers and thoughts go out to all the people and their families who were involved, injured, or killed by this terrible human being.

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I hope after reading this, you’ll take a moment out of your day to appreciate the life that you have an be grateful for every living day you have on this planet….Because in a matter of seconds it can all be taken away from you for absolutely no reason. Do nice things for people out of the goodness of your heart and try to make this world a better place.

This entry was posted in News.