Christmas Time is here!

Guys!  It’s officially socially acceptable to blast my Christmas songs!  I’ve only been waiting, like, two months for this.

My family has eclectic Christmas music taste.  We each have distinct favorites, we like different styles, and though our Christmas playlists overlap, they’re usually pretty original.  Obviously, I think mine is the best, so I’m here to share.  I hope it gets you in the Christmas spirit!


If playlists aren’t your thing, I highly recommend Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas from Ella Fitzgerald and the Jackson 5 Christmas Album.

Currently – The November Edition

October was so busy that November is turning out to be (or at least feel like) a pretty restful month.  There have been lots pictures taken of the (finally) changing leaves, lots of time spent with my sister, and lots of lazy weekends.  Next up, Thanksgiving and my trip to San Francisco!

via my pins

Lately I’m …

Wearing:  My new Garmin Forerunner 35.  I love it — it’s light and easy to use!  Also, thanks to my mom, I had to get my hands on this lipstick in Ravishing Rose.  It’s the perfect fall pink and it keeps my lips from getting chapped.

Hearing:  Christmas tunes are already on (occasional) rotation around here.  Also, my sister got me hooked on Gretchen Rubin’s Happier 911 Songs playlist — you can read more about it here.

Watching:  The Big Fat Quiz makes me giggle.

Reading:  Loving these rules for female friendships.  As someone who has grown up with a bunch of city background noise, this is so interesting.  No one is coming to my kitchen for Thanksgiving, but I really should put some of these tips to work anyway.

Trying:  Don’t laugh — BBG, again.  Maybe somehow it will stick this time.

What have you been digging lately?

My Beauty Uniform

I’m a big fan of Cup of Jo’s “My Beauty Uniform” posts.  There’s something really interesting about other people’s beauty routines — it’s like peeking inside someone’s bathroom cabinet!  Plus, I feel like I always learn something.  So here’s a look into my (pretty exclusively drugstore) beauty regimen …

What’s your daily skincare routine?
In the mornings, I start by wiping down my face with a facial wipe that’s gentle on sensitive skin.  I’m not too picky, but right now I’m using Simple’s Cleansing Facial Wipes.  I use CeraVe’s AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (SPF always!) all over my face and neck.  Sometimes, if I’m a little bit patchier than usual, I’ll mix in a little bit of Aveeno’s Positively Radiant CC Cream (also with SPF) to even things out.  At night, I wash my face in the shower, alternating between CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser and Alba’s Good & Clean Toxin Release Scrub every other night.  I also use a gentle exfoliating washcloth nightly.  Every day I use Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing body wash and lotion all over.  I top it all off with Aquaphor Healing Ointment on my lips whenever I happen to think of it!  I’ve also recently been using nipple cream (yes, seriously) as lip balm thanks to a friend’s recommendation.

Do you have any tricks for troubleshooting blemishes?
I try to keep things really simple, even when my skin is looking rough, but I do like Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion for spot treatments.  When I don’t have Drying Lotion around, I swear by a dab of tea tree oil to clear pimples right up!

What other makeup do you wear?
Usually, I wear a light brown eyeliner along my upper lash line and black-brown Maybelline Falsies Mascara.  I’ve tried lots of drugstore mascaras, but I always come back to Falsies.  I’ve recently been really into eyebrows, so I’ll add some Maybelline Brow Drama Pomade Crayon or use the Maybelline Brow Drama Pro Palette.  Most everything I wear is “soft brown” because I find darker make-ups too jarring against my pale skin; sticking with brown keeps things looking natural.  I keep my lips pretty simple, with a light Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm or regular old Blistex.

What if you’re dressing up?
I’ll add some eye shadow and/or lipstick if I’m dressing up.  I like Almay’s Intense I-Color Everyday Neutrals palette, because it makes a semi-smoky eye easy.  Right now, I’m loving Revlon’s Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (in “Forever”).  I wish it stayed on a little better, like a stain, but I’m willing to let that go because I love the look.

Do you have any favorite tools?
My sister turned me on to the impact of brushing your eyebrows up and out a long time ago, way before all this eyebrow make-up was a thing.  I like to keep disposable mascara wands on hand for precise up-and-out brushing, without or without make-up.  (I also use a wand to soften up the color from brow crayon I mentioned above.)

Are there any foods or drinks that help you feel your best?
Obviously, water is the big one.  When I put in the effort to stay really hydrated, it shows in my skin.  And having my body all flushed out keeps me feeling lighter.

What do you do to care for your hair?
I don’t do much to my hair on a regular basis.  I switch around from product to product when I run out, pretty much basing my decision on which one smells best.  I was my hair every time I shower and, once a week, I try to use a deep conditioner.  And, much to my sister’s dismay, I keep 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner on hand for those nights when I just cannot handle the two-part process — I’m the worst, I know.

And for styling?
I don’t use products when I style my hair because everything seems to make it look greasy right away!  I have a cheap straightener and a cheap curling iron, which I only use when I absolutely cannot get my hair to work with me.

Do you have any other non-beauty rituals that help you feel great?
I try to workout regularly so I feel good, but I also am convinced that when I sweat consistently, my skin looks better.  I’m also working on prioritizing sleep in a much bigger way; I swear, I might be one of those people who needs 9-10 hours a night to be my best.

The Two Best Things I’ve Done for Me Lately

I’ve been feeling a little all over the place lately (or maybe always).  It feels like I’ve got too many things in too many places, too many to-do’s that never get done, and way too little time to breathe.  So I’ve been trying to simplify things wherever I can.

First, I bought a pill box.  I have a few pills and supplements that I take everyday and, while it’s really not that big of a deal to open up a few bottles, it started to feel like such a pain.  It slowed me down, it felt tedious, it was just ugh.  So I went out and bought a basic 7-day pill box and it’s just the best.  I can’t even explain how or why it’s been such a big deal, but trust me.  It helps.

Second, I’ve finally got a system for my lists and calendars.  I try to keep track of everything so that I don’t forget something important like a must-buy or a birthday.  Here’s how I do it:

  • I keep my Google Calendar up to date and keep my running shopping lists on Google Keep.  This way they’re accessible anywhere (on my phone, computer, etc.) and I can add new dates/items in the moment.
  • A little while back, I bought a sugar paper planner that has monthly calendars, weekly calendars, and categorized to-do lists all in one.  I update these lists on Sunday nights/Monday mornings, so I know what’s coming in the week ahead.
  • Each day I list my must-do items for that day in their own to-do list.  This list is more granular than the week’s list that I keep in my planner; the granularity of the tasks keeps me motivated.

Any other simplifying tips?

Coming Up in November

Welcome to November!  As far as I’m concerned, we are now officially in the “holiday season”.

Halloweekend was a bunch of fun.  I had a friend in town, so we made a stop by a haunted house after a workout and a pizza dip binge.  My family and I celebrated our school’s homecoming game with our tradition of attending the parade bright and early and then heading to a nearby diner to eat (way too much) breakfast together.  I dragged myself out for a run for the first time in forever.  And I managed to squeeze in a good nap one afternoon.

So now, with Halloween under my belt, I can focus on cozy foods, family time, and crafting my perfect Christmas playlist (I’ll share, don’t worry).

Later this week, my boyfriend and I are going to see Vertigo in a theater; I’ve actually never seen it before, so I’m excited.  I’m planning (maybe “hoping” is more accurate) to give my apartment a good, deep clean this month, including a pantry clean-out and a closet purge.  Later this month, I’ll be visiting San Francisco.  My first time on the West Coast — it’s a big deal for a lifelong East Coast-er like me.  Of course, I’ve been devouring list after list of San Francisco must-do’s, but I’d love more suggestions so send them my way!  And I’ve started crafting my 2017 list of 52 Things in 52 Weeks, which has me super-excited for next year already.

What on your November to-do list?