Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pantry Organization & Vitacost Staples

I've been in an organizing mood, going through everything I see. Unfortunately, my tiny NYC apartment doesn't allow for many options. Not only have I been trying to physically organize my space, but I have also been trying to organize my head space-pretty much just my life. Between commuting, early morning yoga sessions, long hours at work, and a (sometimes) active social life, I need to streamline the grocery shopping, meal preppin' process. Otherwise, it would be Thai take-out every night (though typing it out now, doesn't sound like a bad thing...)

So I thought I would share how I set up my tiny "pantry" aka the cabinet above the stove, and a few of my staples I order from Vitacost. Online ordering and quick shipping is so convenient and having a few of these staples lets me whip up meals with limited fresh ingredients. So I'm not tempted to sign on to GrubHub.

Superfoods | I love ordering superfoods from Vitacost. If I am watching a healthy YouTube channel and an ingredient piques my interest, I can compare different brands, think about sizes, and check prices. So much cheaper than going to Whole Foods, and it prevents you from impulse buying all the things. I'd much rather see the crazy bill in an online check-out window where I can then proceed to *remove from cart*. Some of my favouries: Goji Berries, Maca Powder, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Cocoa Powder. Also thinking about ordering some Spirulina next. 

Bulk | Quinoa, cashews (for vegan mac&cheese or protein energy balls), cous cous, oats are all items that routinely get added to the cart. Then, I can refill the jars. In addition to cashews, almonds, pine nuts, really any nut, you can order for a good deal and size. I have also ordered canned items (beans, coconut milk), though I can usually find these in my grocery store for roughly the same price. 

Bars | Great to have on hand, and a box usually lasts me a while. I love the Kind bars to keep in my bag or office for a quick snack. I also order Preston's Cliff bars, so he won't steal mine. He could eat a box of Kind bars in like 2 days, defeating the whole purpose of an individually wrapped bar. :) I also like to order the individually wrapped almond butter packets. Throw one of those and an apple or banana for a portable snack.

Spices & Oils | All those cooking ingredients that I really don't want to have to think about having to buy when I'm in the aisles of the grocery store. That is how we ended up with 4 jars of Paprika. My grocery store has a really good selection of various oils and spices, but if yours doesn't, Vitacost has your back. Avocado oil, nutritional yeast, pink salt, coconut oil are my staples. 

Non-pantry related, but vitamins and beauty products are also available. I can't help but sneak a new beauty item in with my orders. Vitacost also runs a lot of additional discounts and promos. I try to order when one is happening to maximize the savings. 

If you want to try Vitacost, here is my referral link that will get you $5 off (and me too).
What are your pantry essentials? 
And let me know if I should share other kitchen areas- thinking maybe the fridge next? Or teas & coffees?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser & Boy Brow

You can tell I took this pic awhile ago with the winter sticker...Oh well, that means I have had plenty of time to test the products out! Here is the quick review:

Boy Brow | Definitely adding this to my arsenal of favourite brow products. I have been using it non stop. It makes it seem like you have naturally perfect eyebrows. It doesn't give a bold brow look, but if I am doing a bolder brow, I like to use it to fill in the beginning of my brow to have a nice fading in effect.

Milky Jelly Cleanser | Even after using this for several months now, I am not sure what to think.  I haven't been wowed, but I don't not like it? It leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated. It does an okay job removing make-up (doesn't quite remove all mascara, liquid liner). The texture matches it's namesake, and you only need a little bit of product per use. I think I just am not a fan of the scent-it's unscented fragrance wise but the scent reminds me of putty. Sorry that my description of this is not much help ;P

There are a few more products I want to order. I am curious about the super serums, and I want to try more of their coloured make-up products. And for the awesome stickers, of course.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Birchbox Refresh + Reset Limited Edition Box

I am so behind on blogging! I just got back from South Africa, and I can't wait to share the photos. But before that I needed to catch up on my backlog of post ideas that I took the pictures for without quite making it to the writing. First up, I wanted to share Birchbox's Refresh + Reset box. It's been on the site awhile now, but who knows when it might sell out!

Box Breakdown
Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara 
HUM Nutrition Raw Beauty Green Superfood Powder - Mint Chocolate Chip Infusion 
ARROW REFRESH On-the-Go Cleansing Cloths 
Avène Thermal Spring Water
Living proof. Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
R+Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditione
S'well 9 oz. Bottle in Amethyst Quartz
Pointe Studio Jett Grip Light Socks

I love when Birchbox does a bigger box with a theme. There is always a mix of beauty and lifestyle goodies at a great price point. Whether you want to sample everything yourself or give as a gift. I've been back on a fitness kick, so I was already digging the theme of this one. Additionally, I had already tried most of the products included and knew I loved them. You can't go wrong with a Swell bottle. You get most of the cost of the box back right there. I have accumulated a couple of Swells but just had to have this cute mini size.

I actually ended up bringing a lot of the beauty items with me on my trip since they were the perfect size. The Arrow Refresh Cloths and Avene Thermal Water were perfect for the long-haul flight (and after hiking and camping!) Dry shampoo is always a good thing, and the R+Co Conditioner is a fav. The Eyeko mascara gives your lashes amazing length and lasts all day while still keeping lashes fluttery. I mainly do hot yoga, so the socks won't be necessary, but they are great quality and would work well for some home practice. Maybe for practicing some up the wall inversions with the non-slip sole... Finally, the box also includes a few packets of Hum Raw Beauty in Mint Chocolate Chip. These packets are perfect for adding to a smoothie to make it taste like a milkshake. I blend it with almond milk, extra greens, and frozen banana and top it with some cocoa nibs. Yum.

Anyway, definitely check this one out. I feel like all the products are everyday essentials, even when not at the gym.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birchbox | April 2017

I have been discovering some great products in my Birchbox lately. This month's favourite is the this works! deep sleep pillow spray. I am pretty sure last night was my final spritz from this sample. Now, maybe it's placebo, or just the ritual of spraying my pillow before laying down-or the 6:30 am yoga classes-but lately I have been falling asleep much faster with less tossing and turning. And even if it isn't so, the scent is quite lovely. I definitely think I will be purchasing a full size, though I am also considering making a DIY with some essential oils. A couple of other sample shout-outs- I love the Michael Todd Blue Green Algae Toner and had almost forgotten about it, so I am excited for the reminder and the little sample size. I am also looking forward to using the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray and No. 4 Texturizing Spray. I have tried many products from both brands and have enjoyed everything, so I doubt these will be an exception.

Any must-have discoveries from BB lately? 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nail Art | Amethyst Geode

I didn't know how this nail art would turn out when the thought came into my head. I just love a gemstone mani. I've done turquoise nails and marble nails in the past (and need to again, I can't believe how old those posts are!) I've shown how to get an amethyst mani quickly with Zoya Carter, and here is the nail art way. I think this would be a great idea for so many of your glitter polishes.

I used two coats of Zoya Finley for my sparkly purple base. Then, I just took a brush to paint around my nail in a rough outline shape to look like the gray outside of a geode. I used Zoya August for the gray and the black creme shade from Wet n Wild. I used black on the outside, a mix of gray & black for the middle, and the gray shade for the closest concentric ring. I did all different shapes on the nail. Some purple completely outlined, while other nails were left open. I think my favourite design was the first one I did on the ring finger. It was quick to do-no straight lines needed-and you can be as messy as you want.

Over the weekend, I had an amethyst latte which went perfectly with my mani!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DIY Bath Bombs

It's been awhile since I've done a DIY. I have been itching to get crafty again. I love spending a weekend afternoon working on something fun. I decided to try out a beauty do it yourself for bath bombs. I love a trip to Lush but thought it would be fun to try to recreate that bath time experience. Costing a fraction of the price and able to be customized however you fancy.

I followed this video from Rachel Talbott. I love watching her DIY beauty videos and have tried a couple of her tips for at home pampering. After watching the video, I made an Amazon order and picked up the rest of the ingredients at my local drugstore. It was super easy, and now I am stocked up to make batches & batches of bath bombs. I used a 6 half circle mold which works out well since I usually end up breaking Lush bombs in half anyway!

Recipe for 6 Half-Sphere Bath Bombs:
1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Epsom Salt

3 tsp Almond Oil
1 tsp Water

From there you combine your wet ingredients to the dry slowly to reduce premature bubbling. To half of the mixture, to make three of the molds, I added 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for the energizing bombs, and for the other three, I added 2 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops peppermint essential oil for the aromatherapy bombs. I am going to pick up some clay, dried lavender, and dried eucalyptus to add, but it worked very well with just the essential oil. I accidentally doubled the wet ingredients, so as my bombs were drying they started to expand. I was worried they would lose all of their fizz, but they still activated when placed under the faucet. It also made them look like delicious scoops of ice cream! I am going to have to whip up another batch or two. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FItness Update 2017

It's been awhile since I've posted about fitness. Of course, every year-month-day, I tell myself that I want to make changes in my lifestyle, but it never seems to stick. I basically kept to my favourite yoga class once a week and having a few of staple healthy meals in rotation. Recently though, I started to post again on my fitness Instagram, @evladyfit. The resurgence started with posting daily pics from the #stretchrevolution challenge from Blogilates.

Around the same time, my yoga studio started a yoga challenge, #30daysoftangerine. Today is day 10, and I've gone every day (so far)! Before signing up, I really didn't think I could do it-I even set my goal at 20 classes. Now, I'm not sure if I can stop! It's really helped my sleep schedule. I have to make sure to wake up early for 6:30 am classes before work! Plus, daily exercise gets my body tired, so I don't have that tired but wired feeling at the end of the day. My posture has improved, and just a couple of days ago, I was able to do my first full wheel! It also forces me to dedicate a solid hour of just me time, which is so important for promoting mindfulness, setting intentions, and reducing anxiety.

I think the key is to find what works for you and that you genuinely enjoy. I am a planner, so I love setting up my classes for the week. And with it set, I think of it more like a meeting, so I can't miss it! That's the structure piece, and I just love the content of the classes-how they make me feel in my mind and body-before, during, and after hitting the mat. I feel like you have to try different methods, studios, even instructors can change how much you enjoy a class before finding your thang. Maybe you find you are someone that likes to mix up your exercise methods. Every once in awhile, I have been bouldering at Preston's climbing gym and sometimes he comes with me to yoga. Gotta keep it fun & interesting!

You also can't be too hard on yourself. Things change. We will be out of town this weekend, so I won't get my "gold star" for the days (literally), but hey, I'll be back Monday to start again. Same goes for month(s) long and year(s) long breaks too. I feel like you pick up little habits, tips, and tricks with you every time you start something new. Like, maybe you didn't stick with that meal prepping, but you found an easy healthy snack or a dinner recipe you love. Or what I am predicting will happen after this challenge-I won't be doing everyday yoga, but I now know my body can wake up early, and I enjoy it, so maybe I'll start doing a morning class before work in addition to the weekend.

In some ways, the start of spring seems more like the time for resolutions than the new year. Are you trying to up your fitness game before summer?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Birchbox | March 2017

Happy Monday! Just a quick Birchbox unboxing. My March box took awhile to arrive due to a snow storm, but I was so excited to receive this little box of spring! Looking forward to testing out everything.

This month I received a couple of hair care products. I love Beauty Protector products and have yet to try the volume spray. It will be great for using with heat tools as its a thermal protector and with braids. Thanks to beauty boxes I have so many little bottles of dry shampoo. The name of this one from evo is pretty funny too-Water Killer. I have been doing hot yoga daily so dry shampoo is a must! I also got a couple of eye make-up products. During sample selection I picked the Arrow Eye Brightener. I think this will look great as eyeliner and a brow highlight. I also received a little shimmery eyeshadow sampler from Coastal Scents. Finally, there was the Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream. I have been loving a good face cream lately to rehydrate and firm my face in the morning.

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Best Whole Foods Beauty Bag Yet

Happy Spring!! In name only here... At least that means the Whole Foods Beauty Bag is back! It is a great way to try a bunch of different natural beauty products. I love the 2015 and 2016 version, but 2017 has to be the best. I mean just look at how many products they included. I even convinced the sales associate checking me out to get one!

Piece & Co Organic Cotton Bag
Acure Pore Clarifying Red Clay Facial Mask
evanhealy Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm
Weleda Soothing Facial Lotion
derma e Hydrating Night Cream 
Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner 
Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk  
Trilogy CoQ10 Booster Oil
Juice Beauty Green Apply Peel Sensitive
Whole Foods Market Dry Skin Hand Cream Peony, Mint, & Blackberry
Pacifica Devocean Lipstick in Tenderness
Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara

So while you are picking up some groceries or a green juice, make sure to grab one-or two!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Internet Made Me Do It

I used to post wishlists all the time, but since trying to be more responsible, I have learned to avoid shopping. If you don't know exists, you can't know you need it, right? Well, recently there have been some cool new brands that have been getting my attention-thanks Facebook. I thought I'd share a few things I have dying to try and which ones I have.

Glossier-I can't resist their cool girl, no make-up make-up looks, and simple packaging. So many of their products have a cult following. I ordered Boy Brow and Milky Jelly Cleanser. I will be posting a review soon. Plus, when you order they send you stickers. Awesome.

Bellabeat- I have always wanted a fitness tracker, but spending the money for an ugly band just didn't seem worth it-would I even wear it? The Leaf design by Bellabeat is tempting me. They are gorgeous-I am digging the Urban Rose Gold & Grey. I am this close to pressing the order button-if anyone has one let me know your thoughts!

Thinx- The NYC subways are covered with ads for Thinx. With how uncomfortable, inconvenient, and expensive having a period is I thought, "What do I have to lose by trying these out?" And now I recommend them to everyone. Their ad campaign might not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you have a period, the product is, whether you use these solo or want a back up for another method.

Betabrand-At first, you see the Yoga Dress Pant Facebook ads and laugh a little. Then, you slowly start imagining yourself sitting at the office completely comfy while still looking presentable. At least that's the impression I had. I have to admit this winter, I have only been wearing jeans to the office, but when it gets a bit warmer and I feel a little more up to dressing up-but still being comfy-I am going to have to order a couple pairs.

What other start-up/internet brand has you intrigued? Have you tried any of these brands-leave your thoughts in the comments!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A new old favourite-Wet n Wild Comfort Zone

I haven't posted an official favourites video or post in awhile-bad beauty blogger! I wanted to share the eyeshadow palette I have been reaching for on just about a daily basis, and one I think everyone should own if you don't already. Comfort Zone by Wet n Wild. It's an 8 pan eyeshadow palette that costs less than $5. The four shades on the right are perfect neutrals, and the left features a few classics with a twist-lush mossy shades, a silvery white gold, and an amazing teal burgundy duochrome (dupe for Mac Club). The pigmentation and formula is comparable to more expensive brands like Urban Decay. Pick up a few of their singles too while you're in the aisle or some of the gel polishes.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Heart Mani-Again!

One of my favourite nail art looks I have ever done was this 2014 Valentine's Day heart mani. I figured it was about time to recreate it with a twist. This time I went bolder, instead of pastels, and went in a rainbow across the nails, rather than one colour per nail. I think the 2014 version is still my fav,-love the touch of glitter-but I am glad I repeated this look again. I promise these little hearts are easier than they look!

What are your V-Day plans?


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snaps from San Fran

I went to California in early December for a work trip, and of course, I had to take advantage of the chance to explore San Fran with my partner-in-crime. After the work week was over, Preston met up with me, and we hit the pavement. It felt like a quick weekend, but we covered quite a bit of ground. And though these pics are now a couple of months old, I couldn't help but share them.

The Castro


Powell Street

The Mission


Inner Sunset

Golden Gate Bridge


Fishermans Warf

Birchbox | January 2017

 I have been loving my January Birchbox. Since my February box is out for delivery...I will just get right into it!

R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner
Juara Candlenut Body Creme
English Laundry Notting Hill Femme
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant
Burt's Bees Lipstick Brimming Berry

I feel like I have been using more products to style my hair, so I am excited to try the R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner to reset my hair after all the build-up. The Juara Candlenut Body Creme is the perfect sized tube to throw in my bag for an easy and delicious smelling hand cream. The Burt's Bees Lipstick is in regular rotation. It's super simple to apply while giving a bold colour with the texture of a lip balm. The Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant is a dry powder that turns into a paste. It reminds me a lot of the Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder. It makes your face feel super soft after using. I feel like I have so many perfume samples I need to use up, so I haven't gotten to the English Laundry scent yet.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nail Art | Eye Mani

I've been seeing this mani all over Instagram, especially on Olive + June. Evil eyes, eye lashes-all variations, so I decided to give it a go. I just freehanded the shapes for the eyes using a brush, but you could use paper re-enforcer stickers like in a half moon mani to get much crisper lines. Follow-up with a dotting tool in blue and black to make the iris and pupil. Feel free to add some lashes.

This mani may be a bit creepy for some people-perhaps with a crazier colour scheme these could be fun Halloween nails.

Would you wear an evil eye mani?