Astrid*Stars: March 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday Favorites: Trader Joes, Target and Books

Anyone else feel this week flew by? For whatever reason I woke up today going, "Whoa, it's time for Friday Favorites already?" I feel like it should barely be Wednesday, but I guess that's what happens when you have an early week, or maybe it's the fact that it's been such a hot spring week. I actually worked a couple of days this week (woohoo!) both babysitting and orientation at my new official job. Those days left me pretty tired so I'd go to sleep or just veg out in front of the TV.  These were my favorites that helped me get through the week.

Favorite Podcast:
Don't judge me, but I just started listening to Serial! I know it created a lot of buzz last year and that pretty much everyone (except me lol) already listened to it. I'd actually downloaded it a month ago, but finally had the opportunity to listen to it this week on my way to work, since the traffic heading there was atrocious enough that I could get through at least one full episode during my transit. I'm loving it and really it's no surprise 'cause I LOVE crime investigative journalism. Its also got me looking into crime shows/books.

Favorite Treat:

OMG these cookies are EVERYTHING! Ok so last Saturday I discovered these little delicious gems when I was babysitting. I was craving something sweet and well these hit the spot. They were so good, I ended up heading to Trader Joe's (seriously, they have the best stuff) and buying 2 boxes (yes 2). I ate the first box almost entirely by myself, but shared the second box with James (I left it at his house because of what happened to box #1 LOL). Basically is butter cookies with speculoos in between which is just devilish addictive genius! Don't say I didn't warn you.

Favorite Read: 

Lately, I've really been great at making time for reading. I started reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green while babysitting, but on Monday I finished the book by relaxing at Starbucks (how awesome is that barista's handwriting). For whatever reason, I was very wiped out at Monday, so instead of working on my blog, I sat down and read. Mind you, I had already been working on blog stuff earlier, so this was some nice "me time."

Favorite Target Finds:

Target is the other place that always has the best things! I needed to go buy some organization items, but like most people, I always happen to come across the stuff I don't need, but end up wanting badly, at Target. So for some reason I found myself in the stationary and found the cute breakfast food thank you (?) cards and the cute silver polaroid camera piggy bank! Both are totally me and the piggy bank made me want to re-do/decorate my room.

Favorite Quote: 

Every time you open the GoodReads app, a quote will appear as it loads your feed. I really loved this one since it basically says that no one can steal your thunder or what makes you unique. People can try to tear you down, but no matter what you can shine. It just seems perfect on those days when you're having a hard time believing in yourself.

So what are your Friday Favorites this week? Please share them with me and let me know how your week was. I hope you enjoyed my favorites and also, I will be posting my March Favorites on my beauty channel soon, so look out for it :)


Friday, March 27, 2015

Beauty Review: Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Beauty Review: InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum
*This Post is sponsored by Brandbacker and InstaNatural, but all opinions are 100% my own*

By now we have established that I love trying new skin care and beauty products. I love being able to do these beauty reviews so that I can share my thoughts with you about new(to me) products. Sometimes I fall in love with them, other times not so much or there's those special occasions where I like the product, but I don't think it fulfilled all the promised benefits. InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum falls into that last category.

Before elaborating on my experience and giving you my review, let's take a look at the Hyaluronic Acid Serum itself. It contains a nice blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Green Tea, all antioxidants, all great for the skin. In addition to the antioxidants, the serum's main ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, which is a natural hydrator for the skin, helping it retain moisture. Another great ingredient is Jojoba Oil, which also helps in hydrating the skin.

It's great to know that the serum contains all these great ingredients (and that it's 100% cruelty free), but what does it promise? Well for one, it promises improve the skin's texture and brightness due the moisture it offers. It also promises to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help achieve an overall healthy complexion. All sound great right, but did it deliver? Well sorta.
Before using InstaNatural Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Before Picture
The picture above is my before picture and was taken early in the morning about a month ago. I have no make up on at all. Prior to adding InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum to my skin care routine, my skin had been in really bad shape. It was dry and bumpy and just plain gross, which is why I wanted to try the serum in the first place. I know the picture is a bit blurry (only one where I don't look angry lol), but you might be able to tell that I had broken out a bit and that my skin looks a bit tight (read: dry).

Right after this picture, I applied the serum to my face. From there I would make sure to use it every morning after washing my face and applying toner, but before any makeup or even sunscreen. I also began applying it every night after washing my makeup off and again applying the toner. It became a synchronous routine. It was actually a very easy addition since I had been using another serum in my routine already (but I had finished it a few weeks prior).

After using InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid
After Picture
So the results? About a week into using the serum I began noticing that my skin felt a lot more hydrated than it had been in a while. This in turn meant that my skin's texture was also improving. I was very happy about this. As I used it more and more (I wanted to make sure it was working), I really started noticing how much more moisturized my skin was and how improved my skin looked. You might be able to tell in the After photo above, although I also think the lighting helps (sunnier morning).

It isn't until now looking at the pictures that I see a slight improvement in the dark circles, although again, that can be due to the lighting and more sleep. I'm not so sure about brightening (again lighting could be the culprit) or the fine wrinkles, but I am happy that my skin at least looks less zombie-like and tired, so therefore healthier. What I didn't like about the serum is that it feels very sticky as it dries. Also, it dries way to quickly, like you have to apply it as quickly as possible. Other than that, I think the product did it's job. It's not something I'd necessarily rush out to buy again, but I'm still satisfied with the improvements to my skin.
That being said, InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum is still a great product and may work even better for you. If you want to try it out, you can purchase it here. I hope you found my beauty review helpful and please let me know anything else you'd like me to review.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fashion Moment: Espadrilles

Fashion Moment: Espadrilles

Last week when I went shopping for new work flats, I noticed that Espadrilles were really having a Fashion Moment this spring. Espadrilles have been around for a while, but for some reason they seem to be back in style more than ever this year. I've especially been drawn to espadrille flats, they just seem so comfy and versatile as they come in a variety of materials and patterns and styles, but what exactly is an espadrille?

An Espadrille is defined as canvas shoe with a sole made of twisted (jute) rope. It is usually a casual shoe, although they can also be found as wedges and high-heels, but either way, they will have the defining characteristic of the twisted rope sole. This style of shoe originated in the 14th century in Spain and France, so yea these aren't anything new, but they are a perfect staple to add to your Spring wardrobe this year.

Among my favorites are the classic two toned espadrilles (like the ones shown above) as well as some of the more "modern" ones with fade bold stripes and the ones that have a perforated upper. I also love some of the more fun ones with sparkles and appliqu├ęs added and the sneaker ones seem like a good idea too. The number one on my wish list though is this (shown below) embroidered pair from Forever 21. They are just the perfect espadrille for Spring, aren't they?

Fashion Moment: Espadrilles
{Source: Forever 21}
Do you support this Fashion Moment? Share your thoughts with me in the comments and link your favorites for the season. I can't wait to see which ones you guys are keeping your eye on. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly Wishes #20

Weekly Wishes #20

Happy Monday every one! I am honestly so excited to start this week. I don't know what it is but Spring just is making me feel more alive and reborn almost(I talked a little about it here). Perhaps its the fact that the flowers are starting to bloom and I'm loving the pastels showing up at the stores. It can also be that I just started a 30-Day Blog Challenge (that I need to catch up on, oops lol) and that I finally start orientation for my new job this week. Either way, my weekly wishes this week will focus a lot on working on this blog because I feel like my mind just hit a huge refresh button.

1. Fill Content Calendar- Still working on that. 

2. Research Gardening- Ok so I was running around town more than I planned last week. However, my mom and me started brainstorming about the backyard again and we do know we want to start with planting some grass (not a euphemism, ahem). We know that the bulk for grass seeds is about $80 so that's a start. Also there's a nursery nearby that offers free gardening classes on Saturdays. Still need to see what else we want to plan though.

3. Create Content Calendars for YouTube Channel- Didn't happen, but it will.

This week's wishes:

 1. RE: Content Calendars- Definitely need to work on this!

2. 30-Day Blog Challenge- I need to stay on top of this, along with other posts I have planned/want to do. I fell off the wagon a bit over the weekend just because I had a lot of errands to run. But hey at least this means the blog will be getting more love this week and the weeks that follow :)

3. Stay on top of my Facebook Groups- I am a part of a lot of groups on Facebook, particularly blogger groups. I often will post a link to my blog and then forget to return the love until a week later. I also will forget to check up on the groups at times and I feel bad. So this week I want to begin setting aside a designated time to deal with this along with blog comments :)

4. Set up a Sponsors Page- I've been wanting to do this for some time now and my lack of knowledge sometimes keeps me from going through with it. One of the reasons I want to do this is because I'd like to help out other bloggers by sharing their blogs. I also want to do this because it makes the blog look more professional and helps me sustain the blog which in turn means better content for y'all.

Like I said, I really want to put more work into the blog this week. I just feel on fire right now and want to keep that alive. How about you? What do you wish to get done this week? Feel free to share in the comments and remember you can also join in on the fun and do your own Weekly Wishes posts by joining the link up hosted by The Nectar Collective:

The Nectar Collective


P.S. Don't forget about the Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway I have going on with other bloggers. It ends next week :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites for the week of March 16th

I hope everyone had a great week. Mine was pretty good if not busy. For one, I drove my mom to a couple of interviews since she's gotten the OK to go back to work after a year on disability. Yes she could have driven herself, but if you live in L.A. then you know parking can get crazy so by me driving her, it was one less thing to worry about. Plus, I didn't really have anything to do and I was able to get some work done while I waited. It was definitely a productive week. That being said, let's get to this week's Friday Favorites.

Favorite Song:

So happy that Mumford & Sons have released a new song! I'm a huge fan of theirs and while "Believe" does have a slightly different sound then their previous work, I can't stop singing it!

Favorite Quote:
{Source: Lululemon Blog}

Talking about believing, I love this quote that I found on Pinterest, but that was originally posted on the Lululemon Blog. The best way to love ourselves is to believe in ourselves. It is both freeing and reassuring. Plus if we don't believe in ourselves, who will?

Favorite Read:

This week I finally opened the March pick for the Girly Book Club I'm a part of (that is the official name of the club). This month we are reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (loved her books in HS) and I'm loving it. Its basically about 4 cousins/friends who spend each summer on their family's private Island. However, although they form part of a perfect family, they soon discover just how many lies are among them. I've had this on my list for a while and for the first time in a while, I've found myself staying up late reading. Loving this book and maybe will even do a review on it :)

Favorite Scent:

Yes I still have holiday candles! I stocked up on them because they are my favorite and this week I've been burning Hot Buttered Rum! It smells so good and makes me feel all cozy. Plus it has hints of vanilla and caramel. I am thinking of stocking up on some current seasonal candles though, so let me know your favorites in the comments.

Favorite Product:

This "natural eye" Aqua Shadow Duo from MakeUp Forever is perfection! it comes with this little instruction card and I love the results. What I love about it is that it's simple, gives a natural look that I can wear anywhere (even work) and you can easily toss it into your bag! I actually received this from Dirtsa like a year ago, but just started using it this week and the look is so pretty, I'm obsessed!

Favorite Picture:
{Source: Muffy Takes Manhattan Tumblr}
My final favorite for the week is this picture I found on Tumblr. I love roses and well this picture is a nice reminder that SPRING IS HERE! Which reminds me, I wrote a post to start of Spring with a fresh mind. You can read it here.

I hope everyone enjoyed their week and that you loved my favorites. Also, I was finally able to upload my February Favorites on YouTube. I wish you all a great weekend and don't forget to share your favorites from the week.


A Little Guide to ... Spring Cleaning Your Mind

A Little Guide to... Spring Cleaning Your Mind

Today, March 20th, 2015, marks the first day of Spring and also the first day of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge I'm embarking on (cuz I love Challenges). Winter is over (bet East Coasters are happy 'bout that), which means flowers blooming, lighter clothing and spring cleaning. While the New Year and its resolutions were only a couple of months away, Spring feels like a rebirth, a revival, a refresh button of sorts, perhaps to re-evaluate those previous resolutions. That being said, while Spring Cleaning usually brings to mind deep cleaning/decluttering your home, has anyone ever thought about Spring Cleaning your mind?

Lately I've been doing a lot of reflecting, in part thanks to me recommitting to getting through May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. I'm only on Day 14 and so far, I feel as though my mind is slowly being cleansed of negativity. I don't mean to sound all holistic BS-y or spiritual or what have you, but through the affirmations and exercises, I've gotten the chance to start purging myself of my fears and therefore negative thoughts and talk. Here is my little guide to spring cleaning your mind:

1. Journaling- Lately, this has helped me vent and clear my mind of worries and negative thoughts. Its also helped with positive thoughts and ideas that pop into my head. It's a way to not only express myself, but also give myself some love. It spring cleans my mind by helping me clear my thoughts and almost act like a therapy since this helps me better reflect on them.

2. Unplugging from my Phone- If you've read my Weekly Wishes from this week or last week, you might have seen that I'm trying to avoid scrolling through my phone first thing in the morning.  This has really helped me start my day much clearer and happier since I don't get caught up in click-bait articles as soon as I start my day. The articles may seem harmless, but really what purpose do they serve me? Now I use that time to enjoy getting ready for the day, snuggling with Charlie and taking a look at what I have going on that day by writing in my Day Designer.

3. Exercise- Honestly, I've noticed a difference between the days I workout and the days I don't. When I workout, I'm focusing on ONE thing, Me. I'm not trying to multi-task or think about how I'm going to pay the bills or whatever. I'm focusing on my breathing, on getting through the workout and on not passing out (I kid, sorta). Through exercise, I'm able to release stress and relish in the endorphins it releases and in doing that, I cleanse my mind. After I workout, I feel much better prepared to take on a task or think about an idea. The exercise can be anything––yoga, spin class, kickbox cardio or even a stretch routine. 

Before you start thinking about spring cleaning your house, closet, (insert any other spring cleaning item), try to spring clean your mind. Doing so may actually help you in tackling the above mentioned tasks. I really hope my little guide can help you in spring cleaning your mind. And please feel free to suggest any other ways you can think of to achieve this.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In The Trenches

In The Trenches

First off I want to say Happy St. Paddy's Day (recently learned Patty's is incorrect LOL). Anyway, I am excited to share this post with you because I haven't done a fashion post in so long. A few weeks ago, I went out shopping with my sister and noticed that as stores were bringing in their new Spring clothing, a lot of trench coats were popping up.

I don't know about you, but I do love me a good trench coat. They are super versatile and just look good with anything (IMO). They are lightweight and perfect for the warm LA nights out yet hold up in the rain as well (my bestie from Seattle can attest to this). 

This year though, trench coats seem to have gotten a bit of a makeover. Usually when you think of a trench coat you thing of the usual beige long trench coat that belts at the waist. At the stores however, I saw trench coats in all different colors, particularly pastels. There were also navy blue and gray ones and some even came in this really nice faux suede fabric. 

They are also coming in different lengths and styles. Some come in a slouchier style, sometimes with no buttons or with only a few. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on one. My favorites so far come in the shorter, slouchier variety and in dusty grays and blues. A trench coat is definitely a staple I think ever woman should have in her closet, and its nice that with these "twists" to the classic trench coat can adapt to each woman's individual style. 

What do you think about these new trench coats? Which ones do you have your eye on? 


Weekly Wishes #19 (& Weekend Recap)

Weekly Wishes #19 by Astrid Stars and a Weekend Recap

How was everyone's week? I don't know about you, but I had a productive week and am still very much loving March. I've also just noticed how "happening" (I feel like I sound like a dad saying that, but oh well) the month is or at least how every weekend seems to have a holiday going on. I mean the weekend before it was DST starting and this past weekend it was Pi Day (more of that in a bit) and then St. Patty's day and more to come. So let's do this....

Last week's wishes were:

1. Set a bedtime alarm- Ok, I'll be honest, I just started doing this last night....sooo I guess I better set tonight's alarm. Also I failed this 'cause 1 day/1week is not enough to say if this worked.

2. No phone upon waking up- I will admit this is hard sometimes, but I've managed to do better than expected. I was very successful with it for most of the week, but I caved this weekend. Also, it's hard to gage when it's "OK" to check my phone already when I don't have anything to get to right away. So I'm gonna try not using it within the first hour of waking up.

3. Plan my weekends- So this was a semi-success. I planned Friday night and Sunday accordingly, but Saturday was a bit of a hit or miss. First off, I need to plan at least 3 days ahead since my friends are busy or just need a heads up. Friday I went bowling with a Meetup group and it went OK. It was for newcomers (like me), but it felt rushed and the place was too loud to really get to know one another. I'm glad I went out, but it also felt like a waste of my time and money.

Weekly Wishes #19 by Astrid Stars and a Weekend Recap, including Pi Day
Republic of Pie, people in line for Pie

Weekly Wishes #19 by Astrid Stars and a Weekend Recap, including Pi Day
Pie List at Republic of Pie

Weekly Wishes #19 by Astrid Stars and a Weekend Recap, including Pi Day
Pumpkin Pie and Nutella Latte at Republic of Pie
Saturday was Pi Day (3.14, get it) and I got very excited, but also had a moment of sadness. See, I didn't realize the date until the night before and then when I asked who wanted to join me, everyone seemed busy or said they "might" be interested. Alas, I decided to just go ahead and go by myself to Republic of Pie, one of my favorite Pie places and work on the blog there. And then things got better. 

The Power of the Pi(e). James texted me while I was finishing up creating a content calendar for the blog (FINALLY did this LOL. Kudos to me right?). His phone service can be spotty sometimes so he had just seen my text from earlier that day. Basically, he would have joined me had he seen it earlier. This cheered me up and since I had finished setting up the calendar, I offered to deliver pie to him and his mom. In the end we ended up hanging out and having a good time talking and watching Brain Games (such a cool show). 

Weekly Wishes #19 by Astrid Stars and a Weekend Recap, including Farmer's Market
My Farmer's Market flowers :)

On Sunday, James and I decided to try "Sushi Sunday," and idea I got from Ingrid Nilsen (aka Miss Glamorazzi). Basically, we (well really I) have decided to designate Sundays for going out for Sushi. But before we even met up for Sushi, I decided to start my Sunday off right by heading to the Farmer's Market in Studio City (since I actually woke up early) and get my self some flowers, even in the 90+ degree heat. Anyway, Sushi Sunday was a success. We enjoyed our Sushi/Bento dinners and also some dessert at FatBurger (we are gluttons) and basked in our food comas. There was also awesome conversation as always, which is my favorite part of hanging out with him. 

4. Block out an hour a day for Design "stuff"- Yea, this didn't happen. 

This week's wishes:

1. Fill Content Calendar- So the calendar has been created as in its been set up. Now to put it to use and start filling it with content I'd like to plan for the blog.

2. Research Gardening- For my March Wishes, I mentioned wanted to learn to garden. Well I've decided to finally get the ball rolling this week. I need to research what I want to plant. I need to look into the kind of grass I'd like and also set a plan as to how I want to go about the whole shebang.

3. Create Content Calendars for YouTube Channel- Pretty self-explantory. I don't really need to do this for my Vlog Channel (although I do need an editing schedule and decide if I want to switch to weekly vlogs). I do need this for my Main/Beauty Channel however, it makes it so it's easier for me to grow the channel.

I will leave it at that since this post is probably my longest one ever. And I wanna go to bed LOL. Now it's your turn to share your wishes for the week. And remember you can also join in on the fun and do your own Weekly Wishes posts by joining the link up hosted by The Nectar Collective:

The Nectar Collective


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites AstridStars

Apologies for not posting a Friday Favorites last week. To make it up though, I'm combining last week's favorites with this week's. These past two weeks I've been all about positivity and good vibes. I've also started my spring cleaning and have been spending time with loved ones. Anyway, on to the favorites!

Favorite Dessert:

Aroma Cafe, AstridStars, Friday Favorites
{Source: Me}
This bread pudding from Aroma Cafe (in Studio City) is the bomb dot com! I got this when I finally took my sister to her Birthday lunch. I only ate half because it is pretty rich, but OMG is it delicious!

Favorite Podcast:

Happier Podcast, Friday Favorites, AstridStars
{Source: Me}
I really enjoy listening to podcasts and I'm so happy to add this one to my usual favorites. The Happier Podcast is hosted by Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project and her sister Elizabeth Craft. I love that they are short so its perfect for the ride to and from the gym or even a short stair master workout. Plus its full of great tips to living a happier life.

Favorite Quote:

Quote, Perfect is the Enemy of Good, AstridStars, Friday Favorites
{Source: Luis La Torre Behance}
I actually heard this quote on the Happier Podcast and immediately fell in love. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and sometimes this takes away from the memory or lesson being taught at the time. This quote reminds me to just try my best and be happy with that rather than be miserable because things aren't my idea of perfect.

Favorite Makeup Product:

Benefit Eyeliner, Friday Favorites, AstridStars
{Source: Me}
I am loving the They're Real Push-Up Liner from Benefit. It's been on my wishlist for the longest time and I finally got my hands on it a couple of weeks ago during a shopping trip, but finally began using it this past week or so. I love that its a gel liner which allows for more precision as well as making it easier to fix if I mess up. I've never had better wings!

Favorite YouTube Channel:
{Source: Me}
So lately I've been taking advantage of the fact that I can play YouTube videos on my TV and have incorporated them into my morning routine. Mostly because there's not much going on in the mornings that I want to watch, especially since cutting down on cable. Anyway, point is this has led me to obsessively watch MarissaLace's Vlogs on her channel Marissa Kathryn (she recently changed the name). I seriously love watching her videos and find her so entertaining. Go check her out if you haven't seen her videos. Warning: will cause laughter! 

Favorite New Show:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Friday Favorites, AstridStars
{Source: Official Kimmy Schmidt Twitter}
If you haven't heard, Tina Fey has a new show on Netflix and its AWESOME! She doesn't star in it, but the adorably funny Ellie Kemper does! The show is called The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and premiered last week on Netflix. It's about Kimmy Schmidt (Kemper) who is one of four women who had been kept hostage for 15 years in an underground bunker. The show then follows Kimmy as she tries to create a new "normal" life and adjust to the present. I decided to binge watch this as I was spring cleaning my room and finished it in two days. And still have the theme song stuck in my head LOL. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend that you clear your weekend ASAP, put your pj's on and find it on Netflix!

What were your favorites for this Friday? 


Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekly Wishes #18

Weekly Wishes # 18

One week into March and I'm already having all sorts of love for this month. Seriously, so far this month has been fabulous to me. Plus is every else as happy as me that DST is here? I mean yes I did hate "losing" my one hour of sleep, though it didn't alter my plans much, but the gorgeous longer days are a good tradeoff. Makes me so excited for my weekly wishes.

These past two days have been sunny and make you just wanna get out and be outdoors. Aside from that though, I also had a great week, even before having days filled with sun past 6pm. I finally found a job I'm truly excited about, even if it is only part time. My first day as a CBS page is tomorrow and I'm very excited since I finally feel my career is moving forward again. Plus I had lots of fun with friends this week. Without further ado though, let's get to this week's wishes.

1. Set a bedtime alarm- So lately I've been listening to the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin (From the Happiness Project) and Elizabeth Craft and they gave the suggestion of a bedtime alarm. This is basically what it sounds like: Setting an alarm to tell you to go to bed. I really need to do this especially after my out of control sleep patterns this week (6am is not a good bedtime). This will also help promote a better sleep schedule so *fingers crossed* it works.

2. No phone upon waking up- I've been wanting to be more efficient with my time lately and one way to do this is to stop checking my phone first thing in the morning. Seriously, I always plan to have productive mornings but that goes down the drain as soon as I check my phone (i.e. texts, email, social media, etc). I will tell myself I'm only gonna check my notifications and then an hour or two later I'm still scrolling and my to-do lists slowly gets harder to accomplish since I've just wasted time. So no phone until I'm at least dressed and only if I really have time.

3. Plan my weekends- Ok so this is a MUST for me. While I love spontaneity and making plans on the spot (it can be an adventure), lately I've noticed that unless I make plans earlier in the week, I end up spending my weekends in bed scratching my head as I try to figure out what I could be doing. With the days getting warmer and being so gorgeous I think it's a shame if I keep up this routine. So I need to start finding things to do and making plans to go do them, whether its planning a beach day, a day at the museum or making plans for brunch/drinks/whatever with friends. I also need to do this since my friends need to know in advance if they will be free or not.

4. Block out an hour a day for Design "stuff"- I've been trying unsuccessfully to design blog elements but it needs to be done so I am going to try to designate an hour a day at least to work on design-related items and maybe even some editing stuff. 

What do you hope to accomplish this week? And how are you liking March so far? Share in the comments and here's to the good vibes continuing this week. 

And remember you can also join in on the fun and do your own Weekly Wishes posts by joining the link up hosted by The Nectar Collective:

The Nectar Collective


P.S. There's a huge giveaway going on this month. Enter here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway || March 2015

March is starting off to be a great month for me. I am getting back to being healthy and working out, I'm being more productive and blogging more, and I might have a job soon again. I'm hoping March is going just as well for you. To make the month even better though, I've teamed up with some amazing bloggers to bring you the Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway this month. 

So what makes this giveaway totally aweseome? What makes it awesome is that the winner of this giveaway will receive a $750 gift card from Amazon. That's right, $750! I don't know about you, but I could do a lot with that money on Amazon. I know personally, I'd get a new lens for my camera and maybe some books to read at the beach as it begins to warm up with spring around the corner. Or you know whatever's been on your Amazon wish list (Students, this is also useful for them textbooks).

For your chance to win, read the details below:

Prize: $750 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck! 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/31 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask Review

*This post is sponsored by BrandBacker & InstaNatural, but my opinions are 100% my own*
One of my favorite ways to pamper my skin is by using masks. While I try to pamper my skin everyday with my daily routine and eating well, masks take pampering my skin to a whole different level. There are times however that I forget just how much my skin needs and appreciates a good mask. That's why I was happy when InstaNatural sent me their Dead Sea Mud Mask to review.

Like I mentioned, I love me some face masks, but my favorite are the mud based ones because they do such a great job of cleansing my skin while giving it some hydration. InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask comes from the sacred Dead Sea (kinda obvious in the name, DUH!) and acts as an all-natural detoxifier and purifier. It does this by working to absorb oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. This in turn helps get rid of acne, pimples and blackheads. It's also meant to even skin tone, giving you a more gorgeous complexion.

This was all I needed to hear. Honestly, this winter my skin has just been awful, it's been dry yet oily and I've been breaking out like crazy. My skin was definitely in need of the extra pampering. I needed to get my complexion back on the road to gorgeousness (always the goal right) and also get rid of my acne and frustrating blackheads. I actually remembered to take a before picture this time, which you can see above. The lighting helps disguise some of my acne, but it's there on my forehead, chin and on my cheeks.

After I washed my face, I applied the Dead Sea Mud Mask. Don't I just look gorgeous with the mask on? Seriously I should make it a look (NOT). Anyway, my first thoughts about the mask were, "Wow, this is really watery." I decided not to be quick to judge based on that because other masks I've used have also been on the thinner/waterier side, but build up. Unfortunately, putting on more did not help. It was still very thin and watery and putting more on actually just made it slide around on my face. But alas, the truth was in the results.

After waiting about 10 minutes or so for the mask to dry, I washed it all off. While I was initially less than impressed due to the consistency of the mask, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. My skin felt so soft, a huge difference to how it felt before which was dry and bumpy. Also, I did see less blackheads and my complexion seemed slightly more even. The mask itself felt good on my skin despite the thinness of it and after a few weeks, my skin improved and I see less acne. 

Overall, I was happy with InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask. I still wish it was a bit thicker in texture/consistency since it is a mud mask, but the results speak for themselves. For that reason alone, it will be staying in my rotation and I'm sure my skin won't mind the weekly pampering. If you would like to try the mask out for yourself, click here.

If you have tried this mask, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. If you haven't let me know if this review was helpful and share with me what are some of your favorite masks.