How to Live Next Door to MAC and Not Go Bankrupt

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One of the best things about my apartment in Philadelphia is its prime location.  Amazing restaurants, cute cafes, fun bars, Free People, all literally steps away.  City living at its best.

Although all of these conveniences are great, nothing can compare to my next door neighbor.  Glamorous, inviting, chic, entertaining--and I always leave with a smile on my face.  MAC.  That's right. I live directly next door to MAC (Literally next door.  I am not exaggerating here).

A makeup maven's dream, a twenty-something who is trying to save up money to travel the world's nightmare.  As I consider myself to fall into both of these categories, I have found myself in a bit of a tricky situation.

Avoidance didn't work.  The more that I tried to stay away from the store the more it pulled me in.  Over the past few months, I have found that my best plan of attack is to enter MAC with a very strict game plan: know what I intend to purchase, quickly grab what I intend to purchase, frantically pay for what I intend to purchase, and bolt out of the store.  Where I seem to run into trouble is when the flawless employees start tempting me with lip glosses and eyeshadows that suddenly seem essential to my very survival.

A few days ago, I proudly left MAC with the exact two products I had planned to buy when I entered the store.  I even had to expertly turn down a lip gloss suggestion.  That is some will power right there.

So what products made the cut?  Patisserie and Teddy (a perfect nude/pink lipstick and gorgeous bronze/brown eyeliner, for those that are not fluent in MAC).

Reviews on both of these products will be up in a bit.  But I can say that after my first use of each, I am definitely happy with their addition to my makeup bag.

My top MAC products that I will continue to lust after for the moment are:

1. Mineralize Skin Finish Natural
2. Mineralize Skin Finish: Soft & Gentle
3. Cremesheen Lipstick: Shy Girl
4. 217 Blending Brush
5. All That Glitters eyeshadow

Thinking All That Glitters might be my next purchase. But I am going to try my hardest to resist this want.  Wish me luck.

Surviving the Two Week Detox: Week 1

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I have recently found myself on a bit of a fitness/health kick.  However, after 3 months of personal training appointments, spin classes, and gym sessions, I was disappointed to find myself, how should I put it--less ripped than I had anticipated.  I was looking to add something else into my routine, to hopefully start seeing some changes.  Naturally, I turned to everyone's favorite and most reliable health and fitness guru, Buzzfeed.

The plan seemed simple enough: two weeks of clean eating, recipes and shopping lists provided.  What really drew me to the plan was how it incorporated leftovers from each meal into the meals planned for the next day.  Because let's be honest, the last thing I was looking to do at 6AM before work was make a batch of quinoa for lunch.  Buzzfeed really put everything out there, what to prepare the night before, how to modify lunches to take on the go, basically making this thing as user friendly as possible.  I was sold.  (That and the fact that my friend tried it and lost 7 lbs. Not going to lie, that may have been the final push I needed to give this a go.)  

I think ultimately, I was sick of getting home at 7:30PM and having cereal for dinner.  I mean there is only so much Special K Chocolately Delight that one person should have to endure.

So armed with my week one shopping list, my reusable shopping bags (I can't face the judgement of going into Whole Foods without them. Also I love the environment, obviously), and my able bodied husband to help with the heavy lifting, I embarked on my first week of clean eating.  Here is what happened and what I learned (spoiler: I  survived it!)

I Consumed My First Green Smoothie

There is something about consuming kale in the form of a smoothie that has always seemed unappealing to me.  However day one of the detox hits you with the good stuff: liquid kale, the breakfast of champions.  I have to say--it was not what I expected.  I don't know if it was the frozen banana or the almond butter that did it, but I can now safely say that I enjoy drinking kale for breakfast. That is some serious growth right there people.

Shaved Asparagus is the New Lettuce

If you haven't tried shaved asparagus yet you aren't living life.  Maybe that's a bit extreme--I think I just mean that I really liked this salad.  Like a lot.  I can't say that I was exactly the most skilled shaver of asparagus (which is totally a thing).  But the end result was pretty amazing.  If you try nothing else from week one, try this.  You won't regret it.

Who Needs Tortillas When You Can Have Ridiculously Large Leaves of Cabbage?

Mango, chicken, and avocado tucked away in a big ass cabbage leaf.  And it was pretty great.  I must admit, me and cooked meats (I mean I guess also me and raw meats) do not always get along. However, this chicken really took me by surprise.  It did not taste too bird-like (I am the only one who hates when that happens?  Am I the only one who knows what I am talking about?  Most likely yes).  A healthy alternative for when that taco craving kicks in.  I would definitely make this one again.

Scallions Make the Best Omelette Ingredient

I love omelettes.  I could eat them for every meal of the day.  Scallions were an omelette filling that had never really been on my radar in the past.  I was not sure exactly how this combination was going to turn out.  To my surprise, it was delicious.  There was also some feta cheese thrown in there, which is always a good idea.

Fried Eggs & Lentils are a Match Made in Heaven

These lentils were out of this world.  Even my husband liked them--who lists skittles and beer among his favorite foods (what can I say, the guy has good taste).  The lentils were used in three different meals this week, and were fantastic in all of them.  This recipe initially called for salmon instead of fried eggs.  I personally am not the biggest seafood fan.  So I decided to substitute the fish with a protein used in a different meal.  So glad that I did. 

Overnight Oats are My New Best Friend

Easy, effortless, deliciousness in a mason jar. What more could a girl ask for in a breakfast food?

Chia Seeds are Only Intended for the Outrageously Wealthy

$10.99 for a bag?  Is that a joke? (spoiler: no it's not a joke.) 

Week two commences tomorrow.  And I am actually really looking forward to it.    

the one with the first post.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I may have finally reached my breaking point.

Every day for about the past 5 years, I have found myself scrolling through blogs, clicking through youtube videos, bookmarking pages that inspire me, living through the pictures and adventures of others.

Today, something different seems to be occurring.  Because here I sit, on my couch, in my Philadelphia apartment, hidden behind my laptop screen.  And I am the one creating the post.

And I have to be honest, it feels amazing.

There comes a time in life when it is time to be the creator, rather than sitting back and observing.  So here we go.  I am going to give this blogging thing a shot.  For real.