Winter Beauty Finds -1-

Winter in New York has been rough and my skin was definitely feeling the effects of the cold. Even though it is warming up now, January and February were very harsh on my skin and left me with red, wind blown, dry skin. Since I had a few gift-cards left over from Christmas, I took a trip to Ulta and Sephora to find some relief for my skin, and pick up a few other fun items. Now that I’ve been using them for a few weeks, I want to share my thoughts on the various products and if they are worth spending your dollars on.

First up are my Ulta finds.

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1. Batiste Dry Shampoo. I hard a lot of good things about this brand of dry shampoo, so when I saw it in Ulta I knew it had to come home with me. Overall I really like it. I chose the paisley version based on the fact that it was prettier than the regular packaging and I kind of regret it. The special edition packaging gives the shampoo a different scent and I am not a huge fan of this one. The dry shampoo itself works awesome and I have even gotten compliments on my hair from coworkers after using it. Totally worth purchasing.

2. Real Techniques Brushes. Prior to purchasing these, I already had two makeup brushes from the brand that I was really happy with and these are no different. They are some of the softest brushes I have ever owned and they do a great job in applying products to your face, both liquid and powder. When I purchased them, Ulta was running a buy one get one 50% off promotion, so that made the price even better. Totally worth purchasing.

3. OPI Dark Side of the Mood Nail Polish. OPI is one of my favorite nail polish brands. I love darker shades in the fall and winter and this color did not disappoint.

4. Hope in a Jar. This lotion just did not cut it against the cold and wind. Even if I applied it a twice a day, I was flaky and my skin was still red. I will try it out again when the weather gets warmer and my skin doesn’t need a really heavy moisturizer.

5. Nailtiques Formula 2. If you have brittle, splitting nails, this stuff is a godsend. After I get a gel manicure, my nails tend to get weak and peel. I apply this once a day for a few weeks and my nails are strong and shiny again.

6. Facial in a Box. This was an impulse purchase at the checkout, but I did enjoy using it. The little box comes with two facials with three steps. There is a mask, a peel and a lotion. It left my skin soft and hydrated.

7. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. I heard lots of good things about this pink lotion for a long time on YouTube and beauty blogs, so when I saw it in the checkout I had to get it. Overall, it works very well to dry out breakouts. I also used it on a cold sore and it did a great job drying it out and stopping the spread. Small bottle, worth the price!

Sephora Finds coming soon!

What are your favorite beauty products? Do you stick with tried and true products or do you like to try new things?

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Weekly Eats from Trader Joe’s

If we don’t go grocery shopping during the weekend, the following week is a disaster when it comes to eating. We usually rotate between two supermarkets for all of our groceries, depending on what we have run out of during the week. We go to BJ’s to buy things in bulk about once a month, but the rest of the weeks we stock up at Trader Joe’s.

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I’ve learned that the secret to being a successful shopper at Trader Joe’s on the weekends is to either shop early or shop late. We are always there either first thing, within an hour of the store opening or around 8 pm at night. Any other time is an overcrowded mess that makes me want to get out ASAP, which means that I end up forgetting a bunch of things.

Here are this week’s purchases:

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We are planning on making Greek couscous salad with seared pork chops, turkey meatballs with broccoli rabe and shrimp Caesar salad for our dinners. We usually have enough leftovers to make at least one of our meals to stretch into dinner the next day.

We also stocked up on fruit and veggies: grapefruit, pears, apples, grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, spinach and baby kale. We also got yogurt, cereal and some of Alex’s favorite bars. Oh, and of course ice cream!

We usually pick up a few of their frozen meals which are perfect for busy days. The Kung Pao Chicken was recommended by a coworker, but we are yet to try it. We also always pick up some seltzer. Tommy and I are not big soda drinkers and we almost never keep it in the house, but we both love our seltzer. We also pick up cold cuts at a local deli for sandwiches and snacking.

Where do you do your grocery shopping? What are your grocery staples?

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First Beach Day of the Year

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When the weather finally goes above freezing for the first time in weeks, what do you do? Go to the beach! When I woke up this morning and saw the amazing sunshine outside, I knew we had to get outdoors. Parts of the beach and boardwalk were still covered in snow and ice, but it […]

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Weekend in Review

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Monday again!? Why do the weekends always seems to zoom by so quickly? We had a great weekend over here, and it was made even greater by the fact that it was a three day weekend! The heating system at my job was being repaired on Friday, so they told us to stay home because […]

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Italian Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

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Sausage and peppers is a staple meal at our house. It is super quick to throw together and it always tastes soooo good! Last week, I was feeling a little adventurous and had a little extra time on my hands, so I decided to change it up a bit. Instead of our usual sausage and […]

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Valentine’s Weekend In Review

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This weekend was a COLD one, but we found lots of stuff to keep us cozy and warm indoors. The weekend started off on Friday with a Bake Sale at Alex’s preschool. Check out all that pink and heart covered deliciousness! We made cupcakes and chocolate covered pretzels for the sale and they were both […]

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Discovering Dinosaurs!

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After hearing the commercial on the radio 3,000 times, I was sold and I purchased tickets for us to Discover the Dinosaurs at the Javits Center. Yesterday, we braved the weather and headed to the city for some dino fun. We got there soon after they opened, so the crowds were not bad. The exhibit […]

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Recent Eats #WIAW

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Since it is Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to share some of my recent eats (or do a major photo dump from my cell phone). Tommy is away on business this week, so I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to dinner. Most of the time, Alex doesn’t want to eat what […]

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Beef Barley Soup

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If you live in the Northeast, chances are high that when you look out your window you see something like this. While I do love a good snow day, week after week of never melting snow has gotten old, really quickly. When I have to go out into this terrible weather, I always find myself […]

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Wedding Planning Weekly: Engagement Photos

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Even though we had pictures taken at our actual engagement, I still really wanted to have an engagement photo shoot. To be honest, Tommy and I suck at taking pictures together. We have a ton of pictures with one or both of us and Alex, or with other family members, but we never remember to […]

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