Ring In the New Year Manicure

New Years Nails!

Ring in 2013 with this confetti-riffic inspired manicure. Layers of bling on top of a simple nude polish make the perfect companion for noise makers & midnight smooches!

As easy as....
1. Start with a nude base (after your traditional base coat of course), a neutral background will help the colors of the glitter stand out and look like confetti. I used 2 coats of  Essie's "Sand Tropez" (which by the way is my favorite nude polish). 

2.  Next I applied a coat of Sephora's "Spark-tacular!" top coat to give it the colorful "confetti" effect. 

3. To finish it off with another layer of dimension I applied Nails Inc "Electric Lane" holographic top coat. This added the slight glitter sheen to make the confetti glitter POP!

Now pop that cork....

New Years Nails!

aud lang synge my dears,


Lush Haul


I remember the very first time I discovered Lush. It was 6 years ago and I was shopping with my BFF Erica in Los Angeles (if you have ever encountered a Lush store they are pretty hard to resist). Out of curiosity, we decided to check it out. Well, one thing Lush does REALLY well is design their stores and train their employees to provide consumers with the most hands-on and interactive experience one can have with soap and scented goodies. We spent about an hour playing in there and eventually left with a sack full of goodies that I have been addicted to ever since- I swear by this stuff. Not only is it fun to use and play with but it has also done wonders for my sensitive skin.


When Santa left me a Lush gift card in my stocking I could hardly contain my excitement. I rushed out the day after Christmas to load up on all my favorite organic, vegan, non-animal testing skin care products from the ever so fabulous Lush. Here is a write up of all of the goodies I got (and even some I didn't). Some I have used for years and some I am just now trying out for the first time.

Lush Crush
A sea salt based scrub that will make your skin smooth enough to woo Poseidon. I formerly used St. Ives Apricot Scrub on my face until I learned that the product cuts its almond shells into points that actually widen pores (eek, no bueno!). Since then this has been my #1 favorite face scrub and product from Lush. Not only is the scrub made form natural sea salt, it also has vodka and lime which brighten your complexion. I use it one or twice a week on my face at it makes it smooth as glass (seriously).  

Lush Crush
I'd like to introduce you to my secret weapon.... Vanishing Cream! I bloody love this stuff. It's the priciest product I purchase from Lush but totally worth it. Plus- you only need a little bit to cover your whole face so I can make a tiny pot of the stuff last me at least 5 months, if not more (using morning & night). I know I wont be able to do it justice so I'll allow the website to articulate it's greatness: "Vanishing Cream contains balancing lavender absolute, pore-tightening witch hazel (which helps brilliantly with eliminating blemishes) and grape seed oil to soften."

Lush Crush
A new product for me but I am already on the bandwagon. This little gem has cooling and soothing effects perfect for the end of a long day or to wake up sleep-riddled eyes after a long night's (or not....) sleep. Another great thing- a teeny-tiny dab of this stuff is enough for both eyes! 

Lush Crush
I love Lush's body butter & massage bars. Not only do they moisturize like crazy and smell divine (this one is scented of chocolate & honey) but they are simple to use and easy to travel with (just stick in a tin and TSA has no reason to bother you). Run the bar between your hands to warm it up and apply to body immediately after a shower to lock in moisture. 

Lush Crush
If you love the moisture of the body bars but hate the greasy feeling then dusting powders are the perfect companion for your skin. Simply dust these on your skin after you use the moisture bar for instant sheen and smoothness. The Lustre option also has a subtle golden sheen to it if you like that. I also love that both of these are jasmine scented. 

Lush Crush
Alright peeps- if your hands are victims of the bitter cold weather like mine are then this is the product for you! Lush has a plethora of hand creams that are sure to meet all of your needs, but my little ole heart settled for this option and I couldn't be more pleased. It's insanely moisturizing on my obnoxiously dry hands and does not leave a greasy residue. And surprise! surprise! it too smells absolutely fresh, clean, and nothing short of amazing. 

Lush Crush
Along with my poor hands, my lips are also falling victim to the cold winter climate. I actually love this scrub all through the year. It not only leaves my lips smooth and soft but I also believe that it gives them a little "plumpness" since they are much more prepped to absorb the moisture of my lip balm after a scrub down. They come in so many fabulous flavors too, including POPCORN!

Another new product to my beauty toolkit but I am so excited to try it out! You use this bar in the shower after you are clean to exfoliate and moisturize (yes two birds with one bar, can you believe it?!). Just rinse off the almond shell exfoliants and the moisturizers will stay on your skin. Pat dry when you exit the shower and you don't even need to lotion up... amazing, I can't wait!

Lush Crush
Another new product and my first cosmetic purchase from Lush (other than their lip balms). I love this product because you mix it with a facial moisturizer for a light, tinted cover-up or use it straight out of the jar as a concealer. Jackie Oats is the original shade and then there are different shades of pinks and yellows. My skin is olive/yellow so the dark yellow pigment matches perfectly. I've only used it for a couple of days but so far I love it, especially since I don't like to wear heavy make-up most days. 

I'm currently using a Burt's Bees face wash that I love so I didn't pick up any face cleansers but usually I'm addicted to the Angels on Bare Skin product. It's my favorite face cleanser along with it's charcoal scrub counterpart Dark Angles. 


Here are some other items that I have also tried & loved: 

So it's no mystery, I have a LUSH CRUSH! My favorite thing is that they are simply an honest, humble, and human & animal loving company that makes outstanding personal care products. 

cheers to starting the new year healthy & fresh-


Fast & Easy Christmas Decor for the Elf on a Budget

Still needing some Christmas cheer around the house? It's not too late! Here are some quick and easy ways to create a winter-wonderland that wont break the bank.

Given that I don't have any space to store a fake tree plus I love the smell of fresh pine I opted for a living Christmas tree this year. Even on its own it adds the perfect touch of winter charm to my tiny studio apartment. I would imagine many Christmas tree lots are hoping to sell all of their trees before Christmas so see if you can snag a great deal or find out if your local grocery store or Home Depot has some lone trees looking for a home to embrace. 

Once you have your tree adorn it with homemade crafts as simple as a strand of popcorn and dried oranges with glitter. Yarn pom-poms are also as easy as grade school and add the perfect colorful touch when you use rainbow yarn! I also found some random wood shapes at Hobby Lobby and decorated them with glitter and used twine to hang them up. 

Frame a segment of your home with a tiny strand of lights. This ads instant cheer without the clutter to any part of your home. Simply follow the natural architecture of the wall or arch. Find a spot that's close to an outlet to avoid the "hide the bright orange extension cord" battle.

Fill a glass jar or ceramic bowl with an army of cinnamon scented rainbow pine cones. Wrap the yarn around the pine cones (no need for glue or knots just tuck the ends of the yarn into the pine cone), the pine cons hold the yarn quite well. Not only are they the perfect burst of color but thy also make your home smell amazing. Add glitter to the tips of the pine cone for extra dazzle. 

Infuse vodka in a mason jar with cranberries and use for a purposeful and festive center piece for your table.  When you are ready for a festive drink mix cranberry juice with Sprite and an ounce of your infused vodka, garnish with a lime. Thanks to my friend Loy who shared this lovely treat with me!

Display your Christmas greetings in style with yarn & clothes pins. Tie one end of the yarn to your freezer door handle and tape the other end around the corner before the hinge of your freezer door. Then hang your cards up using clothes pins (I also tied pom poms to the string for fun). Simple. Easy. No mess, good cheer. BONUS- add glitter to the front of your clothes pins for an extra touch.

Easy enough with minimal effort- drape a strand of "old fashion" colored bulbs in front of your window for some instant warm & fuzzy that wont require a complete overhaul on your shabby-chic-bachelorette-pad. 

laughing all the way-


Gearing Up for the New Year

It’s hard to believe that amidst the holiday madness comes a brand new year full of fresh opportunities! Soon many of us will be off on our way to our holiday destinations and may not even return home until after the fall of the 2013 ball. How will you ensure that 2013 starts with a BANG! when you’re simply trying to survive the holiday chaos? Read on for some helpful suggestions to keep you sane, prepared, and excited for the year ahead….

desk organization | acrylic file holder
Get Organized
If you are anything like me you pounce at any opportunity to reset & recharge (ie: spring cleaning, my birthday, new years, seasons, and school years). In order to maximize this opportunity I want to ensure there is organization in all compartments of my life. From cleaning out my pantry, to organizing my desk, to making space in my closet, I have created a prioritized list of what must be accomplished before 2013 arrives. This will (hopefully!) ensure continued organization and bliss through the new year.

Compose Your Resolutions
 Don’t forget to make time to craft your resolutions for the new year. Last year I decided to roll out “Stackable Resolutions” and categorize the different areas of my life I was resolving to improve. If you’re interested then check out my Stackable Resolutions here! If you are also looking for some “resolutionspiration” check out “101 Creative Resolutions”  for some fun ideas and suggestions. You could also consider a new spin- instead of resolutions try a set of “Commandments” for the year like this idea from The Happiness Project. This year (in addition to traditional resolutions) I’m going to try setting an experiment for each month to be determined at the start of the month. For example: “If I drink fresh juice every day for breakfast for one month how will I feel/look/think at the end of the month?”. Then I plan to document the changes either in a journal or through daily photographs to see which changes are actually rendering improvements in the places I want to improve. I’m looking forward to a fun new spin on resolutions as well as my traditional approach.

De-clutter Your Tech
Often times I underestimate the significant presence of technology in my life and the impact of the “clutter”. When I think about it, my technology (iPhone, work computer, personal computer, email, ect) really is full of gunk and junk and I deal with it almost every day. It’s usually the last thing I think of when I think of “de-cluttering” my life but in anticipation of 2013 I’m going to reorganize my email & computer files, delete photo duplicates on my iPhone, clean up my web browser bookmarks and unsubscribe to all the email mailing lists I’m on. This will allow 2013 to have a fresh slate not only in the physical world but also the digital world. Here are some tips from *geeksugar to get you started!

Don’t Leave Your Home In Chaos
As we prepare for our departures & travels for holiday time with family our homes and work spaces can quickly resemble the pathway of Tasmanian Devil. From gift wrapping frenzies to packing madness it can be easy to put our messes behind us and head off to our holiday adventures in a hurry. There are two reasons why we should NOT allow ourselves to do this: 1. Whether we know it or not, the chaos left behind can weigh gloomily on our subconscious and thus diminish some of the joy of the holiday season and time with our loved ones. 2. When we do finally come home to our lives after the glitter of the holiday season has settled the LAST thing we will want to do is clean up wrapping paper scraps and sweep up pine needles. Do yourself a favor now, make time before you leave to tidy up; wash your sheets, put away your gift wrapping supplies, unload the dishwasher, and leave your home ready to welcome you with open arms in 2013. 

Prepare for Your Best New Year’s Eve Celebration Yet!
Whatever your New Year’s Eve plans may be ensure that they are nothing short of the most magnificent way to celebrate the end of 2012 and the efforts of your work. Here are a few lessons I learned last New Year’s Eve: Happy Brittany: Lessons Learned on New Year's Eve

good tidings to you & you-


Halloween for the Ghoul on a Budget

Happy All Hallows' Eve boys & ghouls! I read in the current issue of TIME magazine that adults are estimated to spend 1.4 billion dollars on Halloween costumes this year (compared to 1.1 billion for children). Surely we have better things to spend 1.4 billion dollars on right? Halloween can be celebrated at a much lower cost thus giving you more cash to enjoy a new fall wardrobe, vacation, or the opportunity to donate to a local shelter as the temperature begins to drop. See how Halloween can be ever-so-enjoyable, even for the ghoul on a budget.... 

$12 Homemade Costume: 
Yes my costume this year cost me only $12! You can save so much money by simply taking advantage of the things that you already have. After my trip back to my hometown of Las Cruces, NM last month I made my mind up that for Halloween I would represent the culture I grew up around and dress as a sugar skull, a symbol of Dia de Los Muertons (Nov 1st). Once I knew what I wanted to be I did some exploring on Pinterest and found some really cool ways to do makeup and hair that would fit my vision & budget. With that I grabbed some black & blue face paint from Target (just $1 a pop for a huge tube!) a pack of gems, eyelashes and a few big silk flowers that I clipped form their stems and twirled up in my hair. I used paint brushes I had at home to replicate a few of the face painting looks I found on Pinterest which simply required painting blue around my eye (just follow your brow bone all the way around) and a black design of a stitched smile (similar to Jack or Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas). Then I applied some dark red lip color to the middle of my lips and added the gem stones where I saw fit. I wore a long-sleeve black top and a pleated maxi skirt to finish the look (since the best part of the costume was all from the neck up anyway). While I have to admit it was difficult at first to paint on my own face I do appreciate the simplicity of the design of this look, it doesn't have to be perfect nor does it have to be expensive. 

$25 Ghostly Hosting:
On Saturday we had a get-together in our building and each apartment decorated their home and served drinks and snacks. For a girl on a budget I wanted to entertain my guest without breaking the bank. It actually turned out to be pretty simple, inexpensive and took hardly any time. To set the tone I grabbed a few bags of spider web decor from Hobby Lobby (they were 40% off too!) and draped spider webs all around the living area and kitchen using tape to hold it up. I love the spider webs because they are classic and spooky at the same time. Then I closed my curtains which made my home even spookier, lit all of my candles to set the tone (which also cast shadows on the spider webs) and found a "Haunted House" playlist on Spotify to set on repeat. For snacks and drinks we made a simple concoction of kiwi-watermelon Koolaid and vodka with a dash of green food coloring. I topped the drinks off with witch fingers that I found in packages for $1 at Target (*wash them first though). We roasted the pumpkin seeds from our Jack-O-Lanterns and served them in mason jars like the drinks. It was so simple and cost me less than $30 to host ~15 people.

$10  Spooky Movie Marathon:
One of the items in my fall bucket list was to watch all of the classic Halloween films. My $10 subscription to Netflix has made this incredibly easy and has even made checking my mailbox a more enjoyable experience. I'm also willing to bet that a lot of these classic thrillers would be $1 rentals at your friendly neighborhood Blockbuster, and for those of you who have cable you will surely be able to find a spooky movie marathon on tonight with hardly any effort at all. Pop some popcorn, make homemade caramel apples, brew some apple cider and stay in cozy and warm.

Free Happenings Around Town:
There are always great things to do at little to no cost around town or in your community, holidays are prime time for businesses to market their products or work. Follow a Twitter account of a local venue that hosts events, peruse local posters to see what peaks your interests and find out what your friends are up to. These are great opportunities where you can meet new friends or old friends, observe wild costumes, and celebrate Halloween for free. I know for me going somewhere new or attending an event where I don't know someone isn't always the easiest for my comfort level.... but take advantage of the fact that it's Halloween and everyone deserves to have a good time. 

$20-Free Ghost Stories Under the Covers 
Spend the night in devouring a spine-chilling read under the covers with your cat (or your luvah!). I love the traditional ritual of telling ghost stories under the covers at night. There is always something so delightful about eliminating the chaos of the modern world and doing things like they used to be done. I found this book about Tulsa hauntings at a local shop but what I love most about it is learning the history of Tulsa and Oklahoma You don't need a book to tell ghost stories though, just a creative imagination and a set of ears to listen to you (Penelope is great at this).

tricks, treat & manicured feet-


OMG Ombré!

Even though I've traded in my ombré locks for a deep auburn tress it doesn't mean I'm not still loving this effortless hair color trend. One of the reasons it has been my favorite hair color yet is because I'm pretty-freakin-proud of the fact that I managed to achieve this look on my own, at home! I actually haven't had my hair professionally colored since December of 2011 (which is a huge deal for me considering the fact that I've spent countless Thanksgiving dinners at my hair colorists house). Since moving to Tulsa however, I've somehow found a vein of bravery within me and have ventured out into the world of boxed dye and home hair coloring. Truth be told, I haven't been disappointed yet! Here's how I managed to accomplish the ever-so-effortless ombré effect on my hair: 


start with a base

I've been coloring my hair a medium-golden brown since last March, so my hair was already dark all over. My favorite color is the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam in 5G. I love the foam because it's pretty much hassle free, which make it easy for lazy hair goers like me. I just follow the instructions provided and slather the foam all over my head for the expected amount of time. Pretty stinkin' simple. 


figure out your blonde

 This is where it's time to get smart, you have to pick a reasonable blonde color. I opted for something not too platinum, yellow, or dramatic knowing that my hair was a pretty deep shade of brown. After perusing the hair product aisle at the drug store I settled on Revlon's Frost & Glow (Honey Highlights for Medium to Dark Brown Hair). Try to find a shade that's only 3ish shades lighter than your base color. While there I also picked up a back up of my trusty brown color foam, juuusst in case. 


watch this video

I'm such a visual person, so this video helped me see how the process was going to look. I knew it wouldn't bee too crazy, but I wanted to visualize how I would actually transfer the color to my hair. You don't need to watch the entire thing, just fast forward to see how she applies the color in two rounds starting with the tips so they color longer and then advancing up higher so that the color is gradual. The timing will change depending on the bleach that you use so mind the instructions of your kit.


do it!

Now go for it! I wrapped a towel around myself, mixed my color and prepped my materials, put on my gloves, separated my hair into two pieces and applied the dye/bleach to the tips for ~15 minutes and then applied it higher up my tips and let it sit for a remaining ~20 minutes. 

...and voilà

Also! Here are some handy tips I got from my lovely Instagram followers: 1. If you use the specific Revlon color I referenced, keep it on for longer than the box recommends. 2.  After the bleach apply a permanent hair color (blonde one) to the tips to lock moisture into your hair (I didn't do this but wish I had!). 3.Use a toothbrush, which I actually did to add highlights around my face, and it was rather easy actually- I just brushed a light coat of the color on to a few small pieces of hair around my face for the remaining 15-20 minutes of the color process.

ombré olé! 


The Charm of Fall

 Caramel Apples. State Fairs. Hollowed Pumpkins. Scarves. Crock-Pot-Creations. Falling Leaves. Red Lips. Spiced Tea. Horror Films. Boots. Warm Candles. Orange Sunsets.......

Spring is traditionally known as a time of rebirth & rejuvenation, but I see no reason why fall can't have the same spirit! It's the start of something new and the transition to the end of the year. It's the perfect time to re-organize your closet, learn a new skill, and do something spontaneous. Here are some ways to embrace the fall spirit with open arms....

1. Change it up: Start simple with a new lip color (magenta!), go a bit bolder and perhaps try a new hair color (auburn!) or adopt a new friend (Penelope!). Embrace the opportunity to take on something new, you'll never know unless you do and you will most likely end up pleasantly surprised.

2. Do something you have been putting off: Is there a book you haven't made time for yet that you have really wanted to read? Itching to clean out that junk drawer in your kitchen? Start now. Right now. Mark the time off on your calendar to complete your task. Pull that book down from the shelf and put it on your nightstand and plan to go to bed 30 minutes sooner so you can start the first chapter. Do it now. 

3. Learn something new: Ready to finally master a Crock-Pot meal? Interested in learning more about your neighborhood or exploring a new culture? Curious to know what political opinions and parties you want to vote for? Take on the scholarly spirit of the back-to-school season and learn something that peaks your interest. Make a habit of learning all the time through authentic experiences and relationships. You may even discover a talent or passion that you never knew you had!

4. Feed your soul: Plan a dinner with friends you haven't seen in a while, or retreat to a new destination for a quick weekend getaway. Send a thoughtful card to a relative or an old friend. Execute a scary-movie-marathon with your crush. Embrace the season with the people who mean the most to you and reconnect with the ones you have lost touch with, it'll be good for your soul.

5. Make a plan: Get ahead of yourself and plan out the things you want to do, try, and learn before the season sneaks away from you. Make a fall bucket list, plan something new for each weekend, or track down the art class schedule at your local community college. Take the brilliant ideas cooking in your head and go make them happen by making room for them in your life. 

We live a good life, don't forget it and don't let it forget you. 

pumpkin spice & everything nice-