Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cream Blush Crush

cream blush

I was doing some cleaning this weekend and realized it was time to retire some of my cream blushes. I thought I would do some quick swatching and share them here before I tossed them.

Apparently they don't sell Illamasqua in the US anymore? Sephora used to carry it, which is when I got this blush in rude. It looks like you can get it through asos. It was an amazing quality blush-- with a really nice finish and great lasting power. Rude is a warm peachy pink with a dewy finish. I'm guessing because it's not easily available in the US anymore the pricing is the conversion from pounds because I didn't pay as much as they're selling it for through asos, but it's an option if you're really wanting it I guess!

I think this NARS cream blush was one of the first high-end beauty products I purchased when I first started reading blogs. I didn't think I'd be able to find it online but it looks like you can also order it through asos. This is the one I'm most sad to get rid of because it feels so nice on the skin-- even when I was swatching it on my hand I was tempted to keep it because it's so creamy and soft. Lokoum has a little bit of shimmer in it, but it doesn't show up on the skin.

You can still get a couple of these blushes through the NARS website in other colors for $30, but they now have moved more to the multiples, which are a cream blush in stick form. I haven't tried any, but if the formula is similar to the other cream blushes I imagine they're amazing.

I picked up this Too-Faced Cream Blush in tea rose on a whim one day when I was working across the street from an Ulta and stopped in far too often! I ended up really loving the color and being impressed with the product overall. This is a product I don't think I've ever seen anyone else talk about. It's actually a product that can be used on your lips as well, but I've never tried that so I can't say how that would work, but as a blush it's really lovely.

I've talked about this NYX cream blush in boho chic a few times-- and it's one of my favorites and a fraction of the price of the other blushes. I will say that the staying power of this doesn't come close to the higher-end brands. Also, I swear it doesn't look as purple-toned when I wear it on my cheeks! When I swatched it I was like whoa- because it's showing up so cool-toned!

top to bottom: NARS lokoum; Illamasqua rude; Too Faced tea rose; NYX boho chic
These next two were so hard for me to swatch because I couldn't fit them on my left hand. Anyway, you've probably heard me talk about the Argan Color Stick in pink peony. I got it in a JM kit back in the spring and since I got it, it has definitely been my most used cream blush-- probably my most used blush in general. I haven't used the Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee (berry bliss) as much since the winter/fall, but I'm excited to start using it again soon.

These blushes are much more sheer than the others I've included in this post. They're natural and buildable which is really nice-- especially for berry bliss, I definitely don't want purple blush. Another thing I love about the JM blushes is how good they feel on the skin. The cheek gelees are refreshing because they're more of a gel finish.

Since I'm getting rid of the first three that means I have space for more in my collection, right? Are you a fan of cream blushes or do you prefer powder? Tell me your favorites!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekending in August

Another summer weekend passes us by and we're blessed with another Monday. Its been a while since I linked up with Biana to share my weekend and even though it was pretty low-key I thought I'd share a few highlights today. 

Friday night was date night-- which consisted of chickpea curry I made, a trip to Target, and staying up way too late watching The Killing. I actually went to bed during the third episode but my husband stayed up and watched the entire thing. I wasn't so impressed but apparently the last couple of episodes got better. 

Saturday morning my husband had a soccer scrimmage in the morning so I slept in, treated myself to some Panera iced coffee (the iced carmel lattes are sooo good), and read We Were Liars before it had to go back to the library. 

Once he got home we ran some errands and I even convinced him to stop in Sephora with me so I could finally restock on my Josie Maran cleansing oil. It's pricey, but with how sensitive my skin is, I'd rather pay more for something that I know I really like. I managed to get in and out of Sephora with only one thing so that's always a win! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Books for your Summer Beach Bag (VOL. II)

Summer is quickly (and sadly) winding down, but I'm back with a few more books to share! A couple of months ago I posted about the first few books I read for the Book Sparks Summer Reading Challenge. Today I'm back to share a couple of the other books I read courtesy of Book Sparks and NetGalley!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quick Tips That Help Me Stay Organized in Blogging

I'm back from vacation and slowly but surely catching up on all things blog! I'm not a blogging expert but these are a few things I've come across over the past few months that have helped me stayed organized when it comes to blogging.

Mark all as read
I use Bloglovin' to read blogs so the group feature on Bloglovin' is extremely helpful in organizing what blogs I read. Even using the groups I still end up with hundreds of to-be read posts in my feed which can be overwhelming. I recently got into the habit of marking all as read at least 3x a week. Using that feature more often keeps me from getting overwhelmed when posts start to pile up.

Create a tab/label in your inbox for comment replies
This is essential for me when it comes to making sure I'm not missing any blog comments! I often read comments on my phone and will go back and respond when I'm on my computer. In gmail I created a filter that applies a label to any blog comments. When I get a new comment via blogger, it shows up in my email with the subject [Carly Blogs Here] followed by whatever the post title is. So I added that ([Carly Blogs Here]) to the filter and voila! I can easily click on the Blog Comments label in the left side bar and pull up all of my blog comments without any other emails mixed in.
*If you have more questions about this feel free to ask and I'll email you more detailed directions!

I tried to use a handwritten journal/planner for blogging, but I love that you can just click and drag in your iCal if you change up a post date. I know it sounds lazy, but it makes a difference. The to-do list on the side is the perfect way for me to keep post ideas.

Schedule tweets
I finally started using Hootsuite even though I use it only for Twitter. I don't like to overload anyone with a thousand scheduled posts, but on days I don't have a new post to promote I like to share my most recent one, or an old favorite from the archives. If you use multiple social media platforms for your blog I highly recommend this.

Know your linkups
If you often join in on linkups, keep a spreadsheet (or keep it in your calendar) of when they occur- this can help you with picking the best day to post and promote a post. I also find it helpful for linkups that don't occur weekly. Nicole at Treasure Tromp has a great directory of linkups if you're looking for some new ones to join!

I know this post probably didn't have any earth shattering information for anyone, but I hope it was a little bit helpful! I know these are all things I wasn't doing when I first started blogging.

Let me know your favorite blogging tips or tricks!
What motivates you or helps you stay organized when it comes to blogging?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Travel Essentials (Recent Somethings)

Hi!  I'm Shelby from over at Recent Somethings.  I absolutely love Carly and, not gonna lie, I am pretty darn pumped about this guest post.  

Since Ms. C. and her hub are off on a summer vacation with her family, I thought I would share my summertime travel essentials with y'all.  

Sadly (or not?), the first thing I usually throw in my suitcase is a bottle of wine and opener, along with a few snacks to keep us tied over.  But since I love my wine, a CamelBak bottle is key to staying hydrated.

A light robe is easy to pack and great for post-shower when you're getting ready, or just lounging around in the hotel room.  A portable iPod dock makes "getting ready" all the more fun, too.

Neutral flip flops are great to travel with since they match virtually everything and can be worn around the hotel room in lieu of slippers.

Also, don't forget your bikini - it takes up zero suitcase space - and you never know if there's a hot tub nearby!

Nothing's worse than being far from home and needing some meds.  Thanks to this travel container, an assortment of medicine (aspirin, Pepto, vitamins, Midol) is compact enough to bring it all.

The Sleep Fan app (free in the iTunes store) is a must for my fellow light-sleepers.  Plus, you can't forget it once it's downloaded. #travelperk

What are your travel essentials for summer?  Thanks so much for having me, Carly.  Cheers to your vacay!


I want to say a huge thank you to Shelby for sharing this guest post on my blog today! If you're not already following her blog definitely stop by and say hello! She shares an assortment of posts that are always amazing-- and usually hilarious! She has some of the best art work in her house, often shares useful household tips, and her recipe posts are not to be missed! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kissing July Goodbye

You may have noticed there haven't been many lifestyle posts around these parts lately. That hasn't been intentional, only it kind of has been because July was just an off month. I think this past week was more productive and busy than the entire month of July.

Anyway, here's a little recap of July, all out of order, with a few favorites thrown in at the end.

I had a little bit of extra time before heading to a meeting one afternoon so I stopped in the American Art Museum to see the Pop Art exhibit. It was pretty small, but Flying Pizza was definitely my favorite work on display. A couple years ago the NGA had a Roy Lichtenstein exhibit that I really enjoyed, so this one seemed a bit lacking. If you're ever in DC the American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery is definitely a museum to check out. There's a beautiful atrium (left photo above), and let me tell you, walking into that glorious air conditioning on a sweltering hot day was heavenly! Later that evening on the way to meet my husband for dinner I walked by the White House and got a pretty good picture just as the sun was starting to set.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

I CANNOT express to you how much I loved this recipe. This might be my favorite crock pot meal ever & you guys know I love my crock pot! I cut the recipe in half just in case it didn't turn out & that was the biggest mistake I could have made! I wish they would have photographed a little prettier, but honestly I was too hungry to mess around with plating the food.

The best part is these are EASY ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Chicken, cream cheese, a few spices, and some shredded cheese! Actually, the best part might be that you make it in your crock pot, so you don't have to use ANY other dishes which = easy cleanup!

I followed Tiffany's recipe exactly (cut in half) and used 12 inch tortilla instead of 6 inch because that's what I had on hand. I ended up with enough filling for 5 lightly filled shells-- if you have a choice, definitely go with the smaller shells for a better bread to filling ratio.

Ingredients (full recipe): 2 chicken breasts; 1 tsp chili powder, garlic powder, & cumin; 8 oz cream cheese; shredded cheese; 6 inch tortillas

Directions: Add chicken, spices, cream cheese with about 1/3 cup of water into your crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours; once chicken mixture is cooked preheat oven to 400 degrees and fill shells with chicken mixture & top with cheese; roll tortillas; spray lightly with cooking spray or olive oil; bake for ~12 minutes (detailed directions at Creme De La Crumb)

They're really good with salsa and my husband enjoyed them with some guacamole as well. I think they would have been good the next day, but we ate them all in one sitting... they were that good!