Deep Thoughts on Jamberry Nails

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Since I was confined to my bed with a sore throat and super stiff neck yesterday, I decided to pull out some Jamberry nails that super awesome reader Lindsay sent me.

It was actually really funny, because a couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out with some friends. We ordered in Thai food (pumpkin curry get in my belly) and everyone brought their Jamberry stuff to do nails while we ate and gossiped. And I'm always in for food and gossip, but I've never even bothered with Jamberry nails because I actually have no nails. Like, I have the hands of a small growth-stunted child. It's ridiculous. Also, I bite my nails when I drive, so there's that too.

So I told the girls that I'd come and eat and opt out of the nail stuff. And everyone was like "You should totally get some" and I was like "Guys, remember how I'm a child and can't be trusted with fancy things like nail wraps?" And I went home. Nailess.

But lo and behold, the very next day there was a big package of Jamberry nail stuff at my door and oh, the irony! Lindsay sent me the works: A few sheets of wraps, a heater, the manicure set, etc. And I decided I would try them, but I had to let my nails grow for a week.

So, fast-forward to yesterday, where I was working from my bed and binge-watching Scandal and feeling sorry for myself when I realized that my nails were probably long enough to bust out the Jamberry stuff. Here's what I started with:

I definitely had to YouTube an application video because I have tried to use nail stickers before and they SUCKED. Or maybe I SUCKED. 

Sally Hansen in 2013. Never forget.

But these are not the same. So, here's the gist: You push down your cuticles, try and find a good match from the nail sticker sheet and then peel it up. Then, you use a heat source (I had the fancy dancy heater) to warm up the wraps before you stick 'em on your nails.

There's a lot of rubbing.

That's what she said.

It took one episode of Scandal for me to do both hands, but I was going super slow so as not to screw the entire process up and make Lindsay disappointed in my abilities. 

Here's the finished product: 

Ignore my sleep-legging bedecked thigh in the background there. I can see the spots in this pic where I screwed up, but they're passable and I know what not to do next time. 

Some tips I learned from my hour-long foray into Jamberry nails:

  • The video I watched said err on the side of smaller when you're choosing the wrap size and I wish I had listened. Instead I was like "Gurl whatchyou talkin' bout" and went too big and sure enough, those were the ones with ripples in them. Like my pointer finger up there. 
  • Heating helps, so don't be bashful. I the wraps before I put them on, as soon as I got them on, and again while I was smoothing them out to make sure they really got the point. 
  • I kind of wish I had chosen a non French tip pattern. These look cool, but because my nails are so disproportionate and weird, a couple of nails had a smaller strip of silver than the others and it drives. me. crazy. Next time I'll just buy a random pattern. I'm eyeing these right now. 
  • They were really hard at first, but by the time I got to my right hand, the process was easy. Plus, Scandal was on so it was actually kind of enjoyable. I felt like a real, live girl who does her nails and watches dishy dramas with hot presidents (I don't know what's wrong with me, I've had a massive crush on Tony Goldwyn since he was the bad guy in Ghost and spent like, every casual scene just wandering around without a shirt on and he awakened feelings in my 14-year-old self I didn't know existed. 
  • I'm super glad Lindsay sent me the whole manicure set, because the scissors and cuticle pusher backer thingy were lifesavers. I know you could probably skip the heater if you wanted, because all my friends used blowdryers. But I still thought the heater was super handy to have. 
  • I really have no earthly idea how long they'll stay on. It's been 24 hours and I've clipped a few shorter to get rid of some excess but so far, so good. They stay on for two weeks, according to Jamberry, but I'm really hard on my hands so we'll see. I'll keep you updated. 
  • Also, if you have creepy baby hands like myself, the kids' wraps will fit. Lindsay sent me these babies for Addison and I'm not gonna lie, I'm probably going to steal some for myself. 
  • Each sheet is $15, but I only used the four smallest on the sheet (and probably shouldn't have used the big one on my pointer finger ugh) so I still have enough for two more applications. If you were really handy with the scissors you could totally cut up the big toe ones and use them on your fingers if you were so inclined. 

Aw baby mustaches and bows, you will be mine. 

All in all, my friends will probably say "I told you so" when I see them tonight. Because I was so against them and now I'm like "OK, I can see where these would be handy." 

Really, my only complaints would be 1) That I'm an idiot and didn't choose smaller wraps when I should have and 2) They're a little shinier than I would normally choose for my nails. I think using them only for a feature nail here or there would make more sense for someone like me.  But that's fairly subjective and coming from someone who maybe does her nails like, twice a year. 

If these stay on for longer than a week, I might have to reevaluate my choices in life. 

Therefore, if you're interested in these and don't want to do the whole home party scene (which gives me like, heart palpitations because sales pressure makes me very nervous), you can buy from my girl Lindsay. She will not give you heart palpitations. Unless the nail wrap you choose is named Heart Palpitations. But I checked and there's none named that, so it's a moot point.

This is how I actually talk, guys. I'm SO bad at staying on topic. Ask my husband: It took me 10 minutes to tell him my friend's husband is a cop, because I spent most of the time retracing my entire history with said friend and that she used to have an above-ground pool and lived near the grocery store in my hometown, you know the grocery store that has the lobsters? 

So sorry. Moral of the story, my experience with Jamberry was mostly positive and you absolutely will see me with mustaches on my nails in the near future. 

What to Wear: When You Don't Feel Like Getting Dressed

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I was at the passport office yesterday and a woman wheeled her stroller in. Her 2-year-old was sick. Like, kind of looked like a zombie baby, red eyes, goopy face sick. And she proceeded to park his stroller beside my chair, where he coughed on me for 20 minutes.

I woke up sick this morning.

And, since I'm not a hypocrite, here's a repost of what I'm wearing today. Hint: It has an elastic waist.


There's probably a solid three feet of snow on my lawn, but you know what? I don't care because I don't have a single place to go today and that is glorious. I actually purposely plan all of my week's stuff on one or two days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are always my busiest days, but that means I can relax a bit on the other days. And, since the roads are a mess, I'm absolutely taking advantage of that fact. I plan on hiding in my house, getting some work done and reading while my son naps.

What I'm saying in the most roundabout, least fashion bloggy way is that I'm not getting dressed today.

And guess what? Anyone who posts pictures of their outfits is probably showing off what they wear about an eighth of the time. Because mark my words, the rest of the time, they're in their sweats, hiding from their well-meaning neighbors like EVERYONE ELSE.

SO I'm not lying when I tell you that while I have a very extensive closet of cute clothes, I also have a HUGE collection of lounge clothes too. And I'm wearing some right now. And that's OK. Although I will say that even if I'm hanging out in the house all day, I'll wear something more than PJs to get through it. Because even if no one else is going to see me, if I stay in PJs all day, I'll undoubtedly start feeling gross and unproductive and unshowered all day. Simply changing into cute, well-fitting lounge stuff means I'm still totally comfortable, but I don't end up wallowing in self pity, Downton Abbey and poor food choices all day.

Here are some super cute options for getting dressed when there's no point in actually getting dressed.


Volcom pocket tee / Victoria's Secret vintage top / Knit shirt / Black tank top, $24 / Activewear pants / American Eagle Outfitters stripe pants / Accessorize button shoes / Pastry snakeskin shoes, $47 / Minnetonka bow shoes / Gap Logo Lounge Pants / Aero 87 Lace Full-Zip Yoga Hoodie
Fit is EVERYTHING. There's a huge difference between a cute pair of lounge pants and wearing your hubby's sweats. If your lounge clothes make you look like you and your hubby have roughly the same body shape, it's a problem. Hoodies and yoga pants are totally fine. When they fit. Also, a cute pair of slippers or house-approved shoes helps too. I have mukluks that I love, but I'll also wear moccasins and sneakers around. Just don't tell my Canadian parents, who think it's appalling when I wear shoes in my house.

And now, what not to wear.

Lounge Don'ts!

Men's sweatpants, actual pajamas, that gross souvenir T-shirt that you wear when dyeing your hair and ONESIES. Do I really need to even say this? If you slept in it the night before, change out of it. UNLESS you're sick or just had a baby because those times don't count.

For the record, I'm hanging out in Calvin Klein yoga leggings and a Roots Canada half-zip sweater today. And that's pretty much how I'll stay all day.

And I'm thinking about eating the loaf of bread I bought my neighbor.

Also, I'm a horrible, awkward shell of a human being.

Alright, sock it to me. Are you a "get dolled up every day" type? Or are you more of a "Put on pants when I have to go to Wal-Mart" kinda gal?

What I Wore: Recharged

Monday, January 26, 2015

I had two loooong naps over the weekend and I can't lie: It was glorious. Now I'm ready to tackle the week. Until Wednesday, when I will become very tired and require more naps. Funny how that works, right?

Seriously though, there's something to be said for a recharging weekend like that. We went out to dinner, took the kids to the arcade, rented a movie. When I was like, 19, I would have thought it was boring. Now I'm like "Pleaaaase can we just stay inside and watch a movie?" Putting the kids to bed and watching 22 Jump Street is basically my dream date now.

Anyway, this is what I wore on Saturday, which was ideal for both napping and eating. 

Top: Calvin Klein (here) (I also have this one in black and love it.) 
Jacket: Stoosh via Nordstrom (no longer available. I can't tell if it sold out fast or this brand just rotates through product really quickly) (similar) (super obsessed with this one)
Jeans: Calvin Klein (here)
Boots: Ardene - Canada (similar) (similar)
Bag: Coach (here) After a few weeks with this bag, I can say I'm definitely a fan. It's massive inside, so I can carry things like my Kindle, my obscene lip gloss collection, and an old-school planner. Yaaas. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that I got rid of the boots and wore moccasins to the arcade because come on, who wears heels to the arcade? My children would be happy to report, however, that they each came home with a pair of fuzzy dice, a dinosaur model, and a recorder for the low, low price of $20, my sanity, and about a gallon of hand sanitizer in the car.

The arcade is gross.

I just bundled the kids off to the bus, so now it's all work and Pandora from here on out. (Right now I'm listening to an instrumental version of Hotel California.)

Mondays really aren't so bad sometimes.

Freaky Friday

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Friday, guys! I just got home from a workout and might want to die. Everything hurts and I'm ravenously hungry, so food and a nap it is!

After Freaky Friday, natch.

Attention everyone: New fashion rule!! No wearing harem pants unless you are in a legitimate harem. See, it's handy and it's not as confusing as the whole white after Labor Day thing. 

How many bathroom mats does it take to make a hideous Muppet shrug? 

This looks like something Effie would wear in Hunger Games. 

Also, I hate that Hanging Tree song because in the middle they play Jennifer Lawrence saying "You" over and over again and it sounds like she's saying "Ew" repeatedly. 

"Little House on the Prairie: The Artsy Discovery Years" 

I always had cats growing up and they had the unfortunate habit of barfing into backpacks and my brothers and I wouldn't realize it until we got to school.

This sweater is bringing up some seriously repressed memories for me. 

Maybe it's because I've been listening to the Game of Thrones soundtrack lately, but this tunic makes me want to like, grow some grain, marry a cousin, and start a peasant uprising. 

My, aren't we fancy in our pom-pom bedecked pantaloons? 

If Seasonal Affective Disorder were a pair of pants.

No, seriously, I'm going to shower so I can go grab something to eat. Gotta look nice for my chicken. 

Review: RevelationsRX Masks!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blaaaaaargh the last few weeks have been bananas. Working in marketing means that in January, every client renews their budgets and suddenly needs all sorts of writing, which means I've been glued to my phone and computer like woah. Yesterday, I was quietly trying to chew through a turkey burger while on an hour-long conference and I was hungry and it was torturous.

The struggle.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, RevelationsRX sent me some of their super-cool new products to take for a test drive. At first, I was like AGHHH I'm too busy to do a product review. But it ended up being a really good thing.

Here's why: When stuff gets crazy, I go go go from morning until night. So I need to physically be made to stop, and these face masks MADE ME STOP. At least, for two 45-minute stints each week. And that was enough for me to stop, recharge, and do something that was good for me.

After the kids were in bed, natch. I cannot relax when they are buzzing around.

Anyway, RevelationsRX sent me the kits for two of their products: The Deep Hydrating Mask and Serum, and the Tired Eyes, Puffiness, and Dark Circles kit (IT'S LIKE THEY KNOW ME).

It's pretty straightforward: Each kit comes with four masks, along with a rollerball serum for use throughout the week.

Now, I've used cloth masks that stay in one piece before and I freaking hated them. Mostly because they were stiff and they never stay on, and you have to scare your children because you 100 percent look like Rubberface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

So I was super happy to find that while the masks were on that cloth stuff, they're actually made of coconut fibers and really actually conform to your face. Like, you put it on, let it conform and peel off the backing. The mask is super thin and it just glues itself down. So I looked like I had a plastic face, but not a scary murder face. I appreciate that.

No pictures exist of such face. You wear them for 45 minutes and I used that time to have a bath and read. Shockingly, I don't snap a lot of naked bathtime reading pics. I'm not Courtney Stoddard and I'm scared of the Cloud.

My favorite of the two was definitely the puffy eye patches. They work in  the same way: Glue themselves down and you wear 'em for 45 minutes. I've also been keeping the rollerball serum next to my bed. It's part of my morning and night routine now. You can't take that away from me.

I get pretty dry winter skin and these forced me to slow down and take care of it. You use them once a week, and I've gone through two of each of the masks and feel like my skin is super soft.

I've always struggled with dark circles under my eyes, so I've been pretty happy to see the puffiness go down and my eyes lighten up a bit. Seriously, I'm very vain about looking younger than I am (as referenced by this post-patch picture of me in a cheerleader ponytail and hoodie). Dark circles make me actually look my age. That's not cool, man.

While I'd file the full face mask under "Great to have but not completely necessary," the eye patches are definitely keepers. I've tried eye patches before and didn't really see a difference, but these definitely made me feel like my eyes were brighter for the rest of the day. The serum is also loaded with caffeine and it's COLD so I felt like that really helped with puffy, tired eyes first thing in the morning.

The RevelationsRX line can be pricey, but I was super happy with the results. Luckily, they are offering free shipping and $15 off their products through this link. There, don't say I never do anything for you.

In the meantime, let's all be thankful for beauty products that force you to stop, do something nice for yourself, and read a good book simultaneously.

(This post was sponsored by RevelationsRX obviously, but the opinions are mine. I wouldn't steer you wrong.)

What I Wore: Black on Black

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yesterday, as I was cleaning up from breakfast, I sent my daughter to run up and have a quick shower before church. By the time I got upstairs, not only had she showered, she also drew herself a luxurious bath, using up all the hot water in the house.

So, because we had to sit around and wait for the water to warm up again for everyone's  shower, we were definitely late. And when I'm late, I default to monochromatic colors, and natural hair texture. When I blow dry my hair without a round brush, it grows to gospel country singer proportions and I have to get it under control. Still, it's way faster than the whole flat iron routine, even if we just called it a wash and skipped the first part of church anyway.

Eh, you win some, you lose some.

Top: Calvin Klein (here) (similar) (hahahaha)
Skirt: Freebird (similar) (similar)
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar) (so cute)

So basically, this is great for any occasion where you think you're going to be late, but you're so late you decide to can it. 

I think we've all been there, right?

10 Things I Learned From Losing 20 Pounds

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Okay, so as promised, here's my little spiel about losing weight last year. Bear with me, these thoughts have been floating around in my head all week so they might be a little disorganized. Therefore, I think a list is best to get organized and hopefully offer a few average-girl tips from what I've learned.

Last February was BANANAS. Between my kids' birthdays, our Disneyland trip, family coming to visit, and a baptism, I got a little lax on my eating habits. And by that, I mean I ate like two teenage boys instead of one out of pure convenience sake. And I didn't really think much of it, because sometimes you just eat a lot, right?

But when I had an OB/GYN appointment in March, I was totally shocked when I hopped on the scale and realized that I had seriously put on more than just a few pounds. And then, I saw a few pictures of myself from February and wasn't super happy with what I saw. The thing about being generally good at dressing yourself is the fact that you're really good at wearing stuff that flatters, so it kind of sneaked up on me.

But that's the thing, right? I wasn't super overweight and I've always been good about working out, but honestly, I simply didn't like where I was headed. That's the real reason I decided to start poking around the world of nutrition and fitness. Because I wanted to do better and I knew I could, simple as that.

So, here's some of the coolest/most important/most helpful stuff I learned along the way. I'm not a fitness guru: There are enough of those on Instagram. But I do think as a working mom of two with a mild interest in fitness, I have a unique perspective on this.

So, let's go and fitness motivation and such!

1. Being Fit is Empowering to Me.

When I started looking for a way to get back into shape, I focused specifically on methods that would build muscle. Look: I've been skinny. I have, genetically, a great metabolism, hence the 29 years of eating like all of my brothers combined. But I was over it and wanted to add muscle because you know what? Being strong makes me feel awesome. I like knowing I can throw weights around.

I chose to follow a plan called If it Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM. If you're interested, there's tons of resources online, but basically, it focuses on eating the right nutrition for your body and building muscle. I eat tons of protein and plenty of carbs and fat and all of that has been totally instrumental in building muscle.

The reason IIFYM appealed to me, besides the fact that it would help me build muscle, was that there's really no restriction whatsoever. No "safe" foods or "bad" foods: If it fits your daily allowance of carbs, fat, and protein, you eat it. That being said, it's a heck of a lot easier to meet your requirements when you eat good food, but it also meant that I could eat a sugar cookie without feeling like a total failure.

Sugar cookies eaten with a Diet Vanilla Coke are one of life's happiest things. I can't afford to lose that.

2. The Right Diet Plan Shouldn't be Life-Changing

I won't sit here and tell you I changed my life over three months. But I don't really think a wellness plan should be life-changing, really. Instead, I chose a method that was pretty close to the way I naturally eat. I like food. I didn't want to restrict anything. So tracking macros or nutrients was a way for me to continue eating almost as usual without overhauling my entire life and eventually slipping back into old ways.

Changing your life is super admirable, but not if it's completely unrealistic.

3. Protein is my Friend

I eat my weight in protein grams each day. That's a lot of protein. But it's definitely what made the difference for me. I'm a carb girl through and through, so I did have to learn to add protein to all of my meals. I prefer to get most of my protein from natural sources, but I do end up supplementing once a day. I love this brand of protein powder: I use it in shakes, stir it into Greek yogurt, and even use it in pancake batter. Sneaky!

4. I Hate Cardio, So I Stopped Doing It 

I've never been a fan of cardio, another reason why IIFYM was ideal for me. Because it works best with weightlifting, I was able to almost completely transition to weight-centric workouts with only one or two sessions of cardio each week. A spin class here and the elliptical there, but nothing too crazy.

Instead, I focus heavily on weights for 25 minutes a day. That's it. I focus on one area of the body each day so I also give my arms, legs, abs, and chest plenty of time to rest in between workouts, and I do one Pilates session a week for overall toning. is my faaaaaavorite site for weight workouts and the occasional HIIT. I just choose a challenging workout and go for it. Seriously, it's 25 minutes. I can push through just about anything for that amount of time.

5. There are Opportunities to Move Outside of the Gym

I don't have a gym membership. I've had one like, once in my life and I never used it. I did everything at home with three sets of dumbbells, a kettlebell, and a yoga mat. But more than my 25 minute workouts was just finding opportunities to move throughout the day, whether it was playing soccer with my kids or whatever. One of my younger brothers works out with gymnastics rings, so the last time I was home we brought them to the park and tried ridiculous tricks. I totally woke up sore the next time, so it counts.

6. My Goal Weight Wasn't My Ideal Weight

Ask my friends: I was obsessed with the idea of weighing 125 lbs for three months. I thought if I reached that, I'd be happy. And I did reach that goal weight, but honestly, it was a pain in the butt to maintain. My body seems to be its happiest at around 128, so I had to learn that this goal I'd set for myself wasn't some magical elixir to happiness and fitness. And, since I've been able to maintain for so long, I'd rather maintain a few pounds heavier than struggle at a lighter weight. It's a number on a scale, people.

Also, let's remember that the scale isn't the only measurement of success here. I don't know about you, but my weight fluctuates based on EVERYTHING, from sleep to stress to Papa John's pizza. Check the way your clothes fit, your energy levels, and before/after pictures (which I strongly recommend with IIFYM – the scale always goes up when I lift heavier, even though I look better).

7. Do the Work and Don't Feel Guilty

Another reason I wanted to build muscle: It torches calories. When I have muscle on my body, eat well, and exercise, I don't feel guilty when I pig out on the weekends or go out for burgers with my friends. Not only do I not feel guilty, but it doesn't affect the way I look. A handful of Cheetos won't make you fat. A handful of Cheetos coupled with a lack of exercise and processed food on the daily will. I, for one, hate feeling guilty. Lay the right groundwork and a Saturday night feast doesn't totally derail your progress.

8. Meal Planning Makes it Easy

I suck at meal planning. I definitely don't make my meals in advance. I do, however, punch my day's worth of meals into MyFitnessPal each morning for two reasons: First, to make sure my macros are on track so I can adjust them if necessary and second, I'm less likely to dive face-first into a pint of ice cream if my phone already says I'm supposed to snack on fruit.

Also, I found that when food isn't easy, I default to easy processed stuff. It costs more, but buying pre-chopped fruits and vegetables, buying a cooked rotisserie chicken, or using vegetable steamer bags makes healthy food just as easy as eating crap.

I also find that I eat a lot of the same food. I don't mind, it makes it easier for me. I know exactly how much protein is in a Costco turkey burger or their lime-cilantro shrimp (staples of my diet) so it's a no-brainer.

9. Fitness is Not Reserved for Fit People

My diet sucked in the past, but I've always been pretty good about exercising. Still, swapping out cardio for weightlifting was intimidating at first. Seriously, Instagram is packed with jacked women who dedicate their lives to this. I have 25 minutes tops.

But the thing is that fitness isn't only for fit people, even if it seems like everyone at the gym is Arnold quality. I freakin' love this commercial for This Girl Can. I don't care if you jiggle, if you can't fit into your skinny jeans or you feel like a complete idiot in your group workout class, find something you love and move your butt.

A couple of weeks ago I heard about a type of yoga and I decided to try it in my living room. Little did I know, it was yoga mixed with like, African dance and extreme pelvic thrusting. I laughed my face off, did a 30-minute workout, and shelved it forever. I felt like a complete idiot but guess what? I still got a workout in.

10. As Much as it Sucks, Nutrition Really, Really Matters

I was deeeefinitely in the "work out to eat" camp before. I used to proudly proclaim that I did 60 minutes of cardio so I could eat bread. But yeah, nutrition matters. These days, I down about 1,700 calories made up of about 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent carbs. Once I cleaned up my nutrition, my workouts were so so so very much more effective. It was like my body was saying "Oh, that's what you were trying to do?"

Really, 20 pounds wasn't that much in the grand scheme of things. I'm a couple sizes smaller and a little lighter, but more importantly, I'm way more conscious about what I do to my body. I loved learning about nutrition and reading up on various theories and seeing hard work turn into something real.

Here's a before and after comparison. Like I said, 20 pounds didn't make or break me. I'm not suddenly wildly happy or a fitness guru, or making goals to run triathlons. I'm just really glad this dress fits better.

Does that make me shallow? 

What I Wore: Back on Track

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yay I'm working on my fancy new computer. My techie brother-in-law came to set it all up on Friday night while his wife  and I gossiped, ate Cosmos popcorn (seriously you guys that stuff) and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine so I feel like that was a fair trade-off. 

Also I vowed not to eat over my new keyboard and then remembered that vow after I was polishing off my second piece of toast this morning... over my keyboard. One day I'll learn. 

Speaking of food because it's 100 percent my favorite subject, I wore this outfit when we went to celebrate the New Year with copious amounts of food at Tucano's, which is one of those Brazilian BBQ places where they just carve meat onto your plate at regular intervals. Starting the year off with a belly full of steak just seemed right. 

Top: Vince Camuto (here in red) (short sleeve) (plus)
Jacket: Target foreeeeever ago (similar) (similar)
Jeans: Calvin Klein (here)
Boots: Frye (here) (similar) (love this brand)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)

Now that it's 12 days into 2015 (and I had my steak fix) I got back to eating the way I normally do, when shortbread cookies, homemade caramels and meatballs aren't a constant distraction. I hate to be the typical "New Year, New You" person, but there is something to be said for hitting the reset button after giving yourself plenty of leeway over the holidays. 

Last April(ish) I acknowledged that I could no longer eat the diet of a teenage boy and over the course of three months (!!) got rid of 20 pounds and actually maintained for the rest of the year. Knowing how to eat and plan my workouts this time around, I feel soooo much better about getting back to my regular routine. 

On Wednesday, I'll talk a little about why I decided to make the change and how it was super easy and not restrictive at all, so check back then, k? It'll be fun and not preachy, I promise. 

Freaky Friday

Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm in the middle of the great desktop switch-over of 2015, so I'm a little discombobulated today. I really, really rely on my computer, so when it's out of commission I don't know what to do with myself. I'm on my laptop right now, which I almost never use, so there's also a high chance of typos.

I'm off to a workout and then burgers after this. Because I have amazing friends who understand the importance of exercise, but also share my love of meat. So I'm hurrying because I can't afford to miss either of those options. 

One of my brothers spent the holidays in Japan and sent me many delightful  pictures of lost-in-translation products there. I feel like the "NEW" on these boots is like that. Like, someone was like "Can you make some new boots" and a person who didn't really understand nodded and was like "Oh, totally." 

I would like to point out that this top has a casual cape on the back. Like, you'd wear this button up to a PTA meeting and then charge out like you could fly. Also, the half-gloves aren't really helping the whole superhero situation.

 Just for future reference, I literally never want to see this much thigh meat. On anyone. 

 This was called the "Ladder to Success" dress, which looks suspiciously like my "Sleeping My Way to the Top" outfit.

 CULOTTES. Like all of us had as children. But worn with a bustier. ON AN ADULT PERSON. 

 Out of your league: As most women who wear mesh and leather tutus are.

 I was shoe shopping yesterday, because that's a thing I do, and these were posted under "Boots." Really? Because I feel like these are a highly bastardized version of something that a boot was at one point. Like the designer just kept going in a psychotic frenzy until he collapsed into his chair, closed his eyes and proclaimed "It is done." 

 I dare you to name one situation in which see-through pants are appropriate. 

 Oh hey, Pocahontas. Looking for John?

PS I just listened to a very interesting interview (I subscribe to the BBC History Extra podcast I know how lame I sound) and the historian was saying that John Smith always went on and on about how Pocahontas "saved his life," when really, he was subject to a "rebirth" ceremony, where he was welcomed into the tribe by the chief pretending to kill him, and the daughter of the chief ceremoniously saving his life as a new member of the tribe.

Also, John Smith was a known exaggerator and no one really liked him.

SO TAKE THAT, Disney and Mel Gibson.

Not only are these pants elasticized and acid wash, they also manage to make the legs look three inches long. That's a trifecta if I've ever heard of one. 

Alright, I'm off to throw my hair in a ponytail and earn Cajun fries like it's my job. Happy weekend, everyone!

Jae Raids the Drugstore: Best and Worst Beauty Buys

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ooh, the holidays weren't not kind to my bank account when it came to purchasing beauty products. I blame it on the fact that I was in stores so often. I tend to shop for myself whilst shopping for others. Like, I budget for it.

I was in Nordstrom buying a gift for my mom, and I bought the same thing for myself and the guy was like "Do you want these gift wrapped?" and I said "Sure... Oh wait just one because the other is for myself. That's how it goes, right? One for you, one for me?" It was my Cara tassel necklace, FYI, which is totally on sale now.

ANYWAY, here's some heroes and losers for beauty products over the last month or so. Some were life changing and the others got a resounding "ehhhhhh" from me.

Redken 05 Wind Blown (About $14)

This stuff wins the prize for "thing I bought that I love forever and will never stop using until I die" in December. It was a pain to find, since I couldn't find it in any salons, so I had to order it. It seems spendy until you see what it does:

K, so the left is my hair after it has been blow-dried and styled like always. Fine, but the right is after I blasted it with Wind Blown, which is a dry finishing spray with minimum hold. It's more of a volumizer and it just makes your hair look shampoo commercial pretty. I've also tried it with wavy hair and it's pretty fantastic. I just lift up my hair and spray it into little pockets here and there. Seriously. Love this stuff. Ignore the spotty mirror and just bask in the big-hairedness.


Urban Decay Naked Lip Gloss in Sesso ($20) 


This came in my "On the Run" palette and while I've mostly been wearing the Dior Lip Glow for days, this stuff is fantastic for a classic gloss: Not sticky, gorgeous rose color and just a smidgen of shine. It's been my "going out" gloss. And it looks pretty flawless with the eyeshadow colors in the palette.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes ($20)


You know I have my old favorites when it comes to mascara (Diorshow Iconic Overcurl for department store and L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes for drugstore) but I'm still always trying new ones. And this one is definitely one of the most "buildable" mascaras I've ever tried. You know how sometimes, you go to put on the second coat and all hell breaks loose with clumping and sticking? This stuff layers up to three times and still looks perfect. I think it's because it takes some extra time to dry, so you're not layering over crusted mascara – it's still just a little tacky and comes out uber dramatic.

Doll10 H2Glo Highlighter in Champagne ($8)


This has been my sneaky secret weapon for the past few months: A really neutral-toned highlighter for the corners of my eyes, brow bones, cheekbones and the bow of my lips. It makes my face look totally awake, which I need after a month of late nights and partying and eating really crappy food. I still often use the ELF Highlighter, but I love how straightforward and simple it is to use the compact here. It comes with me everywhere.

Pacifica Island Vanilla Moisturizing Hand Wipes ($7)


I grabbed these on Black Friday at Ulta. Pacifica routinely has the most amazing scents (I have the Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter and it's out of this world) and I was like "YES! Why shouldn't I have non-baby wipes in my purse??" and suddenly I'm a grown up. Seriously, I've been buying Burt's Bees Baby Wipes for spills and messes around town for eons, but these smell amazing AND leave your hands feeling crazy soft. Yes, they're pricey when you can get a pack of wipes for $2, but it's the little things, people. It also doesn't hurt that the package is pretty. 

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Creme ($9)


Speaking of Burt's Bees, I get super dry, cracked skin during the winter and this is the only stuff that can even touch it. Honestly, I put on other hand cream and it actually feels like I'm drying my skin out. This stuff is crazy thick and smells really clean (my husband always comments on how good it smells). I actually keep a jar in my car because for some reason, driving around in the cold is havoc on my hands.

Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Velvet Eyeliner in Stag ($20)


Holy Hannah, this stuff is smooth. It glides on like you would not believe. I use it for tightlining and it looks super natural because it stays really close to the eyelid. I've also done a cat eye with it and it smudges beautifully and then just like, hangs around for the rest of the day. Also, the Stag color I got is a really, really dark brown, but I also have the black. I find myself using the brown a lot just because it goes with the golds and pinks in the Naked palettes really well. I keep the black for smokey eyes.

City Color Be Matte Lipstick ($7) 

(here, although I don't know why you would ever want to buy this)

This had the consistency of like, those truffles covered in cocoa powder that you get at Christmas, mixed with oil. So it managed to be super drying and unpleasantly greasy at the same time, which is kind of a feat of engineering. I hated it like Kim Kardashian hates subtlety. Ugh. Worst.

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Agran Oil Hairspray ($8)


Honestly, I felt like this was as effective as throwing candy sprinkles at my head and hoping it created volume.

ELF HD Blush in Superstar ($3) 


This, however, I like. For $3 you get a pretty darn pigmented cream blush, so let me warn you: It's potent like woah. As in, I *might* use a dot the size of a grain of couscous, because a little goes a long way. On the bright side, I'll be using the same bottle until I'm 80. It's a great option if you're not into powder blushes – I tend to use cream in the winter because my skin is drier and it needs the extra oomph of a more dimensional blush. I sound like a commercial, don't I?

ELF Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzer ($3)


So, you guys know I'm hyper loyal to Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer  for contouring cheeks, forehead and chin, but for really precise contouring, I think a cream-base like this one works better. I literally only use it down the sides of my nose, but for $3 it's worth it. Powder works for larger areas because it's buffed out. Cream can be a bit severe, so I use it before I put on foundation and it kind of blends out.

I never use the blush, so I have no idea if it's good or not.

Alright, that's it for my latest and greatest. Have you used anything that you need to talk about in a safe setting? The comments section is ideal. What have you loved and hated for the last few months? Have you tried anything here?

What I Wore: Arrested Development

Monday, January 5, 2015

Let it be know that this is a post about stunted growth, and not about Arrested Development the show. Which I really loved. Until that Netflix-produced last season, which was terrible. But everything before that. I positively worship Lucille as a matriarch. And loose seals as antagonists.

And if you never watched, you'd have no idea what I'm talking about.

But, luckily, this post is just about me looking very short and clinging to things I thought were cool in like, 1999. Do you ever find yourself doing that? You loved something when you were younger, but for whatever reason it was off-limits, so you end up overdoing it as an adult? I have four brothers, so growing up I never shopped or did anything very girly. I played sports and shared clothes with one of my younger brothers. I wore a lot of backwards hats also and rode bikes.

I'm girlier now and am way on the other side of the shopping spectrum, which I suspect there's probably some psycho-babble about me making up for lost time as a kid or something like that.

But I still love dressing like a tomboy sometimes. And I'm still more comfortable around men than women. And I wear a lot of ball caps, but never backwards. But last time I rode a bike at my parents' house, I fell off of it in front of traffic. So I'll just stick to the clothes.

Top: Victoria's Secret (here) I've bought like, 90 of these recently because they're super comfy and I like the fit. Size down, though, this was an XS. And it was way cheaper in store (if you live in Utah County, the Riverwoods store is your best bet).
Pants: Calvin Klein (here) I'm taking one of my oldest friends shopping for her bday today and these jeans are on the top of the list. I'm on my 3rd pair. 
Shoes - can I call them kicks? They're totally kicks. Nike (here in gray)
Watch: XOXO (similar)
Studs: F21

I've been living in these Nikes over the break, just because they were so comfy and paired up with jeans and leather pants in the perfect tomboy way. What can I say? I've never matured past my 16-year-old self.

I also still giggle when people say "balls." 

Freaky Friday

Friday, January 2, 2015

I feel like I haven't done a Freaky Friday in forever. Probably because I haven't. Also, thanks for all the kind responses on the Resolutions post. It's always crazy to me how much I have in common with you guys. But I guess that makes sense, when I'm talking to women who read a blog specifically called "How Not to Dress Like a Mom," right?

Buy this leg pack as a way to keep your credit cards safe at Disneyland but also to fulfill the dreams of young nerds everywhere. 

I love how this sweater makes it look like Oprah has elaborate curly pigtails. Also, it reminds me of this gif my brother sent me, which currently holds the top spot for best gif of all time, as voted by myself: 

Whilst celebrating New Year's Eve the other day, I saw like, a 14-year-old girl wearing a "Thug Life" shirt and I was like oh, you poor little white girl from Provo, why are you doing this?

This shirt, however, would be totally appropriate here. 

This was listed as a European style. Any Euro readers out there? I have a brother living in England and he hasn't told me about the rampant housecoat-over-Daisy Dukes trend yet. Please confirm/deny. 

Where does one wear a stylish scarecrow cardigan? Rave at the Emerald City? HAHAHA I kill myself.

Um, ma'am? It seems as though your hips have sprouted a pony hair mane. 

Speaking of which, I don't wanna judge anyone's grooming habits, but you may want to put "waxing appointment" at the top of your to-do list. 

I like this look. I'll call it sweaterdiaperskinnyleg. 

A viewing window for your leg meat, at last!

Alright, it's back to work for me. Fun fact about being a marketing writer: Every client does their marketing budget for the year in January, which means I have like, seven clients who are all like "YAY we're rich again can you write 9,000 words of copy now?" I've been up since 6 plugging away with no end in sight. This was my break. Pray for me. Or take on some of my overflow. Whatever works best. 


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