Tuesday, March 31, 2015

But First, Coffee: The Shop!?

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I have exciting news!  I'm in the process of making a small storefront on a site called Customized Girl!  It's going to feature clothing and some accessories for beloved coffee-addicts like myself (and maybe some other fun stuff thrown in there in the future!)

There are some designs currently available and you can visit the But First, Coffee Storefront right now!  The shirts are designed by me and I make a small commission off each sale, but it's really more about getting a chance to combine my love of witty t-shirts with my love of coffee.  

I'm going to run some giveaways and feature new t-shirts in the upcoming months, so make sure to be following me here and/or instagram to stay tuned on that.

If you visit my storefront I'd love your feedback, both good and bad, as it will help me on my future creations!
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Under The Ash Tree


I'm posting on a Saturday, you know what that means! I have a great blog to tell you about! Ashley from Under The Ash Tree is here for a little take over to tell you some more about her blog! Let's do this!


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog:
Hi! My name is Ashley Hufford! I’m a writer and production assistant for the NHL, located in Brooklyn, NY! I started blogging in college when I moved to Florence, Italy and fell in love with travel. This past October I started my current blog “Under The Ash Tree,” where I write about everything from budget travel, to happiness, to personal finance and more. I love having my own little corner of the internet and, even more, I love the community I’ve met through blogging!

2. You know I gotta ask, how do you take your coffee (or tea, or whatever)?
I love my coffee and normally I drink it iced with a splash of Almond milk– I’m lactose intolerant, it’s the worst– but recently, Starbucks has started serving this yummy coconut milk, so I’ve been doing coconut milk lattes and they are delicious!

3.New York City is my absolute favorite city! If someone were to visit for ONE day, what would you tell them to do/go?
There are so many things I love about living in New York! If it’s your first visit, I know you have to check out Central Park & Times Square. But once you’ve done that I highly recommend that you jump on the subway and head downtown to Chelsea Market & The Highline. You haven’t really seen New York if you haven’t left Midtown and the Highline is my favorite park in the city. It’s on a former raised train platform and is so beautiful. It gives a unique view of New York and is 100% walkable which makes it the perfect thing to do. A few blocks away from one of the entraces is Chelsea Market which is a huge marketplace with tons of adorable shops and places to eat –and my favorite bookstore in the city . I also always recommend the Staten Island Ferry, which is a commuter Ferry for New Yorkers, but it offers the best view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Oh and it’s 100% free!


4. Tell us a little bit about one of your favorite posts you've written recently:
I’ve been writing a lot about Money & Travel, and how hard it is to balance the two. But by far my favorite post lately is my breakdown of the Europe trip my boyfriend and I look this summer.  We visited 7 countries – Iceland, Norway, Prague, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and the United Kingdom– for under $5,000 in total for two people. I try to encourage everyone to travel and how it is way more affordable than one might think.


5. Ok, let's get serious... what's your favorite meme?
I have no idea. I have a cat. I’m pretty he could be a meme…. There are cat memes right?
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Nail Polish Picks

 
Hola, friends! I don't want to get ahead of myself, but this week is the first in 2015 without bitter cold temperatures.  And you know what that means? Spring.Is.Coming.To.New.England.
 
Sure, it's still out on the horizon, but we can see it! And, in true form, my favorite way to celebrate is by putting away my oxblood and dark blue nail polishes and whipping out the spring colors! So, here are my favorites.
 
Essie 'Go Overboard' - If I happen to decide I'm in the mood for something darker, this is the perfect go-to for spring.  It's a beautiful dark teal that packs a bright punch! While it is darker, it still looks bright and happy on the nails.
 
Revlon 'Flirt' - A perfect spring color, Flirt is a purple-toned pink that is just too, well, flirty. 
 
Essie 'Go Ginza' - This color is one of my holy grail polish colors.  If I could only own 10 colors, this would be one and I think it belongs in every lady's collection.  It's a stunning powder lilac and when I wear it I get compliments from women aged 12-70.
 
OPI 'Mod About You' - Another holy grail polish, this is THE PERFECT pale pink color.  Often pale pink polishes tend to lack intensity and are a little more dull.  This one does not disappoint, it's a true powder pink.
 
Wet n Wild 'Wear Skinny Jeans' - This is my new addition for 2015 to the spring polish line up (you might remember it from yesterday's post, ha!).  It's a gorgeous pastel periwinkle.  I also love the quality of the Mega Last polishes from Wet n Wild. For $2 you get a seriously awesome polish.
 
Essie 'First Timer' - This was a cult favorite two springs ago, and I still whip it out every spring.  A bright, grass green, it is the perfect "I don't wanna be to serious" color for spring.
 
Julie G 'Miami Beach' - A bright pinky-coral is just right if you want something with more of a pop!
here they are from right to left, top to bottom: Go Overboard, First Timer, Mod About You, Go Ginza, Miami Beach, Wear Skinny Jeans (not pictured: flirt)
What are your go-to colors for spring?
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's New at the Drugstore Haul

Hey there friends, sorry I've been gone a hot second. I know posts have been a little less dense the past few weeks, I've just been very busy.  Thanks for sticking with me. *high-five emoji*

I recently picked up some new goodies from the drugstore, as the drugstore has been coming out with tons of awesome new stuff lately.  I had to try some of it out for myself.  Here's what I got. 
(Of course, feel free to check out the video at the bottom to see my first impressions of each product.)

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel Mascara 'Medium/Dark' - I picked this up after enjoying the Maybelline Brow Drama so much.  I really like that this has a smaller spoolie, it makes applying to the brow hairs easier.  However, I'm still unsure on the formula. This one is going to have to take a few times to decide how I like it.

Physicians Formula Touch of Glow Foundation 'Light' - I just had to have this. There are so many illuminating foundations coming to the drugstore and I've somehow saved my wallet from all of them. This one's adorable packaging just totally grabbed me.  It's more of a light/medium coverage and not as dewy as I imagined, but it definitely does give the skin a brightening look.  I really want to get the L'Oreal Lumi Foundation to compare.

Wet n Wild Mega Last Nail Polish 'Wears Skinny Jeans' - Wet n Wild came out with 5 new Spring 2015 colors and this one was the ONLY one left at my Rite Aid. I was bummed because I wanted them all, but this color is still gorgeous.  I've already gotten compliments and I've been wearing it less than 24-hours. It's the perfect periwinkle-blue.  Plus, these Mega Last Nail Polishes always apply and wear really nicely.

Maybelline Rebel Bloom Lipstick 'Carnation Cabaret' - These are just like other Maybelline lipsticks.  The color is a rosy pink-purple.  The coverage isn't totally opaque, a little more of a buildable formula.  They are comfortable on the lips and great for everyday wear.

Revlon Kajal Liner 'Matte Coal' - I'm totally smitten with this stuff.  It's a beautiful creamy pencil and is intensely dark. The packaging includes a smudger as well since the formula is blends and smokes out amazingly for the perfect smoldering look.  I've only worn it twice, but the wear seems to be good, too, lasting all day.

Revlon Eye Art in 'Topaz Twinkle' (not pictured) - I'm OBSESSED with these.  Sorry for the missing picture, I'm not sure how I forgot to snap one! You can check it out in action on the video if you please.  It has two cream shadows, one of which is a glitter, both with doe-foot applicators.  The shimmer shade builds up and the glitter is crazy pigmented for a bold look. I can't wait to try some more.


Have you tried anything new from the drugstore recently?
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

BoxyCharm Unboxing - March 2015


Subscription box delivery day is always the best day of the month.  Recently I cancelled all my previous boxes, just to take a break. If you're a subscription addict you understand this...sometimes all the samples and products can get over-whelming.  Plus, about 2/3 of my lip collection is from boxes and I was overflowing (like, a good kind of overflowing, but still). 

But, at the beginning of the year I started receiving BoxyCharm, and it's currently my only monthly subscription box. For $21/month you get at least four full size products and an additional luxury sample. Click on these and you can see the February unboxing and Dec/Jan unboxings

So, let's take a gander at what was in my March 2015 BoxyCharm box*.


Oscar Blandi Hair Lift, Thickening and Strengthening Mousse, travel size.  I won't lie, I almost never, ever, ever buy mousse for my hair.  On a normal basis I don't use anything beyond some leave-in conditioner or hair oil.  But, I'm excited to give this a try and incorporate it into my hair curling routine to see if it helps with hold.  


LVX Nail Lacquer, 'Deco'.  I will never turn down a new polish in a subscription box and this is a beautiful bright blush, the color here really makes it look slightly more muted than it is. LVX chooses its colors based off of runway fashion, which is a kinda fun and unique idea. 


Previse Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic.  This is like a facial oil you emulsify and rub it your skin.  You leave it on the skin to absorb.  As a dry-skinned lady always looking for a radiant glow, I'm super pumped to try this.


Tarte LipSurgence in 'Charmed' and OFRA Black Eyeliner.  

When I opened my box and saw the LigSurgence I laughed to a friend I was with and said, "I feel like I get a LipSurgence is every subscription box there ever was." Then said friend laughed and said, "well that's good because this one is broken."  

Womp womp, I was the victim of traveling makeup casualties.  I can't blame BoxyCharm or Tarte, really, for this mishap. The postal service is anything but gentle with our stuff and sometimes things just don't make the trip.  Plus, pretty sure I owned this color already.  I do like the LipSurgences, they are sheer, lightweight balms with a minty scent. 

This month's total worth was $112 and the box is $21/month. For another month I'd say I'm still happy with BoxyCharm. They send a great mixture of items (beauty/hair/makeup), and a nice assortment of variations and colors you actually want. It's also a great mix of known and less-known products. 

Have you gotten on the BoxyCharm bandwagon yet?

What subscription box is your favorite?

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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: It's beginning to feel a lot like wedding planning

Hello there you good looking people.  Welcome to my first installment of Wedding Wednesday, well, not including the engagement story: which you can see here. 

Wedding Wednesday will be where I share my wedding planning process, since I got an overwhelming response to "please share the planning!"  It will NOT be an every Wednesday sorta thing, but just sporadically as related posts come along, and probably more regular when we get close to the day.

Right now we're just in the newborn stages of planning, we've just been mostly throwing around ideas. So today's post is going to be a rambling of thoughts and my initial ideas for the wedding's look. 

I totally bought one of the Essie bridal collection colors,  and shamelessly painted my nails while browsing bridal magazines. I will say, however, that I didn't buy said bridal magazines, they were from my stepmom, haha. I've also already hashtagged the wedding, another shameless adventure in engaged life on social media.  You can follow along at #MichaelAndKallieGetHitched if you'd like ;) 

We're planning on a date next May or June and want it to be a mini-destination wedding (meaning the next state over kinda thing).  We're looking at New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Berkshires, Upstate New York and Southern Vermont. Any wedding venue suggestions are greatly appreciated because I'm anticipating it to be one the hardest bits.  

I made a mood board, a new term introduced to me the day after I got engaged.  I have a friend who got married about a year and a half ago and she warned me about all the "questions" you'll ultimately get as you plan the wedding. Silly things like what color chargers for the tables and what kind of ribbon for the centerpieces.  I figured a mood board would help me keep a vision in mind when these types of things come up.
I don't own any of these photos

Luckily, I had a secret wedding board on Pinterest, I mean, who doesn't? And, my secret board had a pretty clear "mood" to it, so I went with it.  The palette is creams, blush pink and sage green complimented by a classic navy.  Since it's a Spring wedding, the overall mood is soft and light, with some fun, quirky bits thrown in there.  We want the day to feel special, but also relaxed and fun.

This weekend I got Michael to sit down with me and we wrote a tentative guest list and planned our general budget, because that's what everyone says you have to do first.  We're planning a "smaller" wedding of about 75 guests, and plan on spending the next 3-5 months finding the right spot! With a smaller group like that, we really want an Inn or a Bed & Breakfast in a classic New England town, something that will keep it feeling intimate and make the entire a weekend a mini-vacation for our family and friends.  We've found a few we're visiting in April, so I'll keep you posted!

We even chose our wedding party! Which is considerably larger than I thought, considering at one time we discussed just a Best Man and a Maid of Honor. We've been laughing out ourselves because it's kind of big for such a small wedding, and doesn't even include the typical mandatory family members. What can we say, we just want our favorite friends with us! We've picked up all the goodies we need to properly ask them to be in our wedding party, too, and I can't wait to share that post with you!
Welp, that's about it. Like I said, a ramble.  I will definitely have more concrete posts as I get more involved into the real planning of the wedding.
If you're planning or have planned a wedding, leave me all kinds of comments and words of encouragement below, I know I'll need it, haha!
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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Get the Perfect Winged Liner

We've all been there... two winged liner lines that are uneven. So, we just add a little bit more to one side to even it out...
...now a little bit more here to make it smooth...
...ok, make the length the same...
..anndd, now your entire eyelid is liquid liner. Great.
Not the look you were going for? I didn't think so.
Today I've got you covered, I'm going to share my tips and tricks for how I get the perfect winged liner.
Here's my basic tips:
1. Start with a good liner. You want something fluid, with a slim tip and a nice opaque formula. My current favorites are L'Oreal Infallible and NYX The Curve.  
2. Dot out the shape of the line.  This allows you to make sure your shape is how you want it, and both sides are fairly even (they are sisters, not twins).  Use your bottom lash line to help determine the shape your wing should be.
3. Connect the dots.
4. The dot that's for the tip of the wing should connect to your middle dot and the dot at the outer edge of your eye to create an angle. 
5. Fill in the area you've outlined.
6. Clean up the edge with a q-tip and a little makeup remover.
7. Fill in any gaps between your lashes with a black pencil liner, and run it along your tightline.
6. Mascara and you're done! 
Remember, a good wing takes practice, so take your time and don't get discouraged. AND remember you can use a q-tip and makeup remover to clean up any mistakes!

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All items were purchased with my own money unless specifically stated or marked with an asterisk (*). An asterisk identifies a product sent to me for review or as a gift. I do not accept compensation in exchange for a good review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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