Drugstore Beauty Haul

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recently, I've rediscovered how great some of the cruelty free "drugstore" brands can be! There is something to be said for higher end makeup, however, I think you can always find great options in most product categories at more wallet-friendly prices too. 

I wanted to share some of the items I've picked up over the past couple weeks from places like Target, CVS, and Walgreens. Some of the products I am loving and using daily, and some of them have fallen a bit flat - but it's okay because it is much less heartbreaking to be let down by a $4.00 lipstick rather than a $20 one! ;)

The face products I picked up included... {swatches below}

// e.l.f. Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls ($4.00)
// Milani Blush in Luminoso ($8.00)
// Physicians Formula Bronzer in Butter Bronzer ($14.95)

I think all three of these products have been amazing, especially for their price points! If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the bronzer - it is just the perfect shade to give fairer skin tones a lovely glow. I've been using it every day since purchasing.

The blush is very nice, but a TINY bit goes a very long way. Not a problem though because it is really easy to blend out. I love the coral shade, especially to give my cheeks a little pop to liven my skin up (during the gloomy winter). 

The highlighter is really pretty - my only complaint is that I wish the color payoff was as pigmented on my cheeks as it is on my finger when I swatch it. I do have to put a couple layers on to get the desired "glowy" effect, but for $4.00 I'm not going to complain too much! I discovered if you pat it on with a brush (instead of swiping) it works much better. 

The lip products were the only slightly disappointing purchase...

// Milani Lip Pencil in Nude  ($5.00)
// Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Rose Creme ($6.00)

The products themselves aren't bad at all - but it is just the shades that are a bit off for me. I was really excited about the lipstick after seeing it on one of Alexandrea Garza's recent YouTube videos, so I ran out the next day at lunch and picked it up. Once I got a chance to try it on though...whomp whomp...the color just wasn't right on me. I would recommend checking this line out anyway though because the color range and formula are great! I am going to try and find a shade that works better for me.

Then, when we did our errands at Target over the weekend, I snuck over to the beauty aisles and grabbed a couple of things...because, of course right? No one can go into Target and only come out with what was on their shopping list.

I picked up two brushes and one eye product:

// EcoTools Full Powder Brush ($8.99)
// EcoTools Precision Blush Brush ($7.99)
// Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen in Bronze Beam ($12.00)

I love all three of these products! The brushes are amazing - really high quality for the price and I am definitely going to be picking up some more EcoTools in the future. The bristles are so soft and make application very easy and flawless. Looks like they've had an entire product line re-branding recently too. I remember the old "packaging" of this brand from a couple years ago, and this look they have now is much more updated and modern.

As for the bronze eye pencil - I am wearing it for the first time today, smudged out on my lid and lower lash line in sort of a cream shadow effect. It is a really nice consistency and the color is gorgeous. I haven't noticed any creasing so far which is a good sign as I've already had it on for 4 hours! This silky pencil is perfect for a daytime smokey look without going full-blown smokey eye!

*As always, all products are from cruelty-free companies that do not test on animals or sell in countries where animal testing is required by law.

Have you ladies tried any of these brands? What are some of your favorite drugstore beauty finds?? xx

Bumpdate // 23 Weeks

Thursday, January 26, 2017

As of Thursday, January 26th, I am 23 weeks pregnant...so instead of a whole trimester update at the end of my second (the way I did with my first), I thought I'd do an little update now!

And in case you were wondering...here are the deets on my little maternity fashion above:

Sweater // Forever 21
Tank // Target (must have!!)
Leggings // Blanqi (another must have!!)
Flats // Target (old - similar)

From our recent Anatomy Ultrasound <3

How far along? 23 weeks 4 days

Gender: Girl

Weight Gain? 5 lbs

Maternity Clothes?  Yep, started to become an issue the past couple weeks as my bump really popped! I've had to do a little shopping and buy some actual maternity items. Favorites so far are the Blanqi leggings and Target maternity tanks (Liz Lange).

Stretch Marks? None

Belly button in or out?  In

Sleep:  Having a hard time sleeping through the night (as it has been since day 1 of my pregnancy). Waking up 3-4 times a night, but typically able to get back to sleep without any problems.

Best moment this week:  Feeling our little girl moving around like crazy now! She "boops" me constantly and it is the craziest, but most amazing feeling in the world. She's going to be a dancer like her Mommy! ;) 

Also loved chopping off my hair. It was so long, and had been for years now...and I finally had enough - it was driving me crazy. So, last week I took a half day and went to the salon to have it drastically changed. I think we ended up cutting off close to 10 inches! And I just love how it turned out! 

Symptoms:  The heartburn is insane - I was having such a hard time with it...all day at various times and then at night when trying to get to sleep. I'm doing better now that the doctor gave me Pepcid though. It's also getting harder to move around in ways that I used to...for example, getting up and down off the floor is now quite a struggle. And I've had a bit of sciatica pain, but grateful it hasn't been worse as I know it really bothers some mamas.

Miss Anything?  Not particularly, the only thing was I would have liked to have a cocktail at my birthday dinner with Aaron earlier in January...but that's about it!

Movement?  All the time now!

Cravings?  Fresh fruit - can't get enough of it.

Queasy or sick?  Not at all

Looking forward to?  Starting to get things together for the nursery! We are supposed to start cleaning out the spare room soon, and I'm excited to start buying things off our wish list and putting it all together.

Our Wedding // The Details

Now that I have all the professional photos back and organized, I thought it was far time I did a couple posts to share pictures from our amazing wedding day! There are so many, I'm going to split it up into a series of five posts - first up, The Details <3

Photography // Jameykay and Arlie 
Shoes // Target (similar)
Silk Rose Linens // CV Linens
Wooden Sign, Guest Book, Mrs. Hanger // Etsy
 Emily's Rings // Blue Nile
Aaron's Ring // Staghead Designs  
Place Cards // Minted 

Currently Reading // January

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I might not have mentioned it on here, but one of my goals for 2017 was to read 12 books -- one a month. That might not seem like a lot, but last year I read a grand total of three (yikes)...so it will be a vast improvement from that. I want to make time to read because I have always loved it, and my busy life has gotten in the way the past couple years. But since I'm done with grad school and am no longer forced to read things that are dull and uninteresting, now I want to focus this year on getting through some good books, both new and old.

First up on my list for January was The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I loved reading The Girl on the Train last year, and this book seemed to be very similar in genre and style, so I figured I would enjoy it...and I was right.

Quick Synopisis //
This story follows Lo Blacklock. She is a journalist for a travel magazine, who has found herself on an exclusive cruise ship in the North Sea, set to network and write a piece on the experience - hoping to advance here career with this opportunity. 

Her first night on the ship, Lo hears what she believes to be a woman being thrown overboard...and then realizes the woman in the cabin next door to hers (Cabin 10 - who would have guessed?) is missing. But turns out all crew and guests are accounted for - so who was this woman she had seen and what happened to her?

Lo scrambles to get help and find clues, just trying to help the missing woman. However, with this meddling, she digs herself deeper and deeper into a dark and twisted consipracy, ending up in danger herself. 

My Thoughts // 4.5 stars
This story kept me really engaged the entire time, it was hard to put down - which is what I look for in a book! Once I got near the end, I powered through and had to finish because I needed to know what happened. I am usually pretty good at figuring thriller mystery novels out before reaching the end, but this one kept me guessing! I really enjoyed that Ware's writing and the clues throughout the book that kept you on your toes and questioning what was truly going on. 

Up Next //
I need to visit the bookstore this week to pick up my next book, but here are some that are on the list to check out...let me know your suggestions!!




Cruelty Free for Baby

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ever since I found out I was expecting, I have been on the hunt for how I can continue purchasing and using only cruelty free products when baby girl arrives. I was a bit surprised at the lack of resources out there! There are plenty when it comes to cosmetics and everyday household items, but not much information in the arena of babies. 

After some research though, I was able to find some great brands and products that I can't wait to try out! On the plus side to going cruelty free (as if more reasons are needed)...it tends to go hand in hand with products being much more organic and natural - free from nasty chemicals, additives, and fragrances. This is great for babies and their delicate and sensitive skin!

Devita Natural Skincare and Color Cosmetics is a brand that is cruelty free and 100% vegan. I discovered recently that they have a baby range - called "Oh My Devita Baby" with some great product options.

I am loving this sweet little Baby Bo Full Gift Set. It is the perfect gift for first-time mommys as it comes with two separate body wash/shampoo bottles (one unscented and one Calming Calendula), baby powder, diaper balm, lotion, and a sweet little stuffed toy. And once you decide what you like, each product can also be purchased individually!

Cruelty free baby products
I have recently fallen in love with Everyone (EO) Products, and was thrilled to find out they have line for infants, called Everyone Baby. I love the sound of their Chamomile + Lavender Collection which comes with baby wash, lotion, baby oil, a pack of wipes, and an organic cotton washcloth for only $24.99! My only wish is that these products were more readily available at local stores, such as Target. But for now, I will stick to ordering offline. 

When it came down to it, I realized there weren't many brands solely dedicated to baby care - I was finding more and more that brands I already used (and loved) just happened to offer baby products. Fine by me! Here are some others I found...

Seventh Generation // Coconut Care range - this is also the brand I plan to use for diapers and baby wipes!
Cruelty free baby

Cruelty free baby

Acure Organics //  They offer a great range of items, but the ones I have my eye on right now are the Baby Buns diaper cream and Baby's Day Out - which is a 3 pack of sticks including healing balm, sunscreen, and bug spray.


Yes to Carrots // Also known as Yes to Babies & Toddlers. I was very happy to see one of my favorite brands had baby products. They only offer three things as of right now - wipes, shampoo/body wash, and lotion...but I'm hoping they expand their range in the future! And I'm sure these are all great products, based on how good their adult skin and body care is.

I'd love to hear from any mommas out there about your favorite cruelty-free baby products! xx 

Maternity Style

Friday, January 20, 2017

My maternity style so far has been pretty casual - and one thing is for sure, I just want to be comfortable! As your body grows and expands in areas that have never been that round, it can been odd feeling and uncomfortable at times, so the last thing I want to do is wear something just because it is cute or stylish. However, just because I want to be comfy, doesn't mean I have to sacrifice my personal style either! 

I came across the pin above and loved the look - mainly because it looks like something I would have worn prior to being pregnant too. I search around the internet (and my closet) and managed to re-create the look using a few items I already had and a few new things.

Striped Maternity Style

This looks is another I stumbled upon and loved - and it is perfect for winter! I picked up a pair of Blanqi maternity leggings after hearing such good things about them, and I have to say - I am probably going to live in them. They are expensive, but TOTALLY worth the price tag. Most comfortable thing ever. I might just have to go ahead an pick up one of their white tank tops too!

Cozy Maternity Style

The final look I've been trying to re-create is for when the weather warms up a bit. I love jean jackets, and this looks like such the perfect spring time maternity outfit! Now, I just need to get my hands on a grey midi dress.
Jean Jacket Maternity Style

What's in my Nightstand

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I've always loved posts like this - little "tours" around other blogger's homes, showing some of their furniture, decor, and organization. I saw a "What's in my beside table" video recently from one of my favorite YouTubers (Rhian - Wifelife) and thought I would do a quick post on what is in my nightstand!

My nightstand is actually a find from Craigslist - my husband is the king of finding awesome vintage pieces on there! It is an old solid wood, mid-century modern piece from the brand Heywood Wakefield, and came as a set with our dressers. I absolutely love the style...mid-century is our favorite and we try to incorporate pieces from this era or re-created in this style throughout our house. 

Sitting directly on top, I have an acrylic lamp from Target. This is eventually going to be replaced with something more "funky", but it will do for now. I also have a small Tibetan Buddha figurine -
Bhaiṣajyaguru, the Buddha of healing and medicine. I've always liked to have items like this around the house...just feel like it brings a good vibe and energy into the room.

Finally, I have the book I am currently reading, "The Woman in Cabin 10". I just started this the other day and it already has me hooked! Very gripping from the beginning, and I can't wait to read more each day. I will post a better review once I've finished.

In the shelf opening of the nightstand, I have a couple of items stashed. First is my jewelry box - it is a small one from Target that I got years ago, but it is the perfect size to hold my modest jewelry collection. I also have a crystal ring holder that was given to me from my grandma when I got engaged. It hold the necklaces I wear most often, and my wedding and engagement rings at night. I also keep my bottle of lavender pillow spray here - this one smells so good, but is not from a cruelty-free company, so I will be replacing it once it runs out. If anyone has some suggestions, I'd love to hear them! 

Inside the drawer, I have a real mix of things. 

From bottom to top: I always keep a relaxing candle and lighters on hand, so when I feel like burning something soothing, it is readily available. I also have a little acrylic organizer that holds an iPhone charger, sleep masks, tissues, hair clips, various lip balms and essential oils.

Above that, I keep the boxes for our wedding rings in this drawer, even thought the actual jewelry is stored elsewhere. 

At the top I have my new white silk pillow case that was a Christmas gift from Aaron. It hasn't been used yet though because I'm nervous lol! It was expensive and I don't want to ruin it with my greasy nighttime face creams ;) I also have my little external hard drive that has all my photos from throughout the years backed up on it.

Finally, I have a stack of all the letters and notes that Aaron has given me over the years - back to 2011 when we first started dating! I love keeping things like this and going back to read them from time to time.

What things are essential for you to keep in your nightstand or bedside table? xx
emily kay