Friday, November 29, 2013

How To Recover From Shopaholism

My name is Veronica and I am a shopaholic. More than a shopaholic, I am a window-shopaholic. Few things feel better than browsing stores for hours (both online and at the mall), and marveling at shiny new products, perfect tops, gorgeous bikinis... and then I remember that I have bills to pay and I hesitate for a second... perhaps I can live without power for a week?  No, no, I have a toddler, I can't. And the cycle repeats itself countless times.

It all starts when I go online just to take a peak, only for two minutes, at say, the new Bath & Body Works candles. Next thing I know, I am re-planning my whole budget in my head trying to accommodate not only five different candles, but also two body lotions, three hand soaps, one room spray and one body wash. I add them to my cart, but I already know I will never checkout. I stare at them for embarrassing (and creepy!) periods of time, like a zombie. My fiancé has tried and failed to do an intervention. I have carts on several different sites including, but not limited to: DailylookAmazonTargetLushBath & Body WorksLuvocracy, you name it...

**This may or may not have happened to me before**

I started thinking about that thanks to Black Friday. If you don't know what this is, it is the day after Thanksgiving (aka today) when all the stores go on crazy, ridiculous, irresistible specials. Today is the day when us, the shopaholics, suffer the most: either by looking at our credit card statements after we have spent way way way too much, or by having the irresistible urge to spend but not being able to. That is why today I decided I would come up with my very own ways to overcome this addiction, and help fellow shopaholics along the way:

1. First and foremost, NEVER EVER watch "Confessions Of A Shopaholic" again. This movie is extremely counterproductive: I for one, trick myself into thinking that I can buy whatever I want because one day in the future I will just get my act together, easily get rid of all my debt and marry Hugh Dancy.

2. Pull that credit card statement out. It is scarier than watching The Shining on your own, but you gotta do it. Go over each and every item, and start making a plan on how to repay it. You will probably be so exhausted afterwards that you won't feel like going out shopping.

3. Enroll in a program to get rid of said debt, like this one from LearnVest. They will be more than happy to lecture you on your spending habits until you don't feel like doing it anymore.

4. Ask your boyfriend (or any guy, for that matter) to stay with you on a day you are particularly tempted to go shopping. They dread shopping so much that they will do anything in their power to prevent you from going.

5. If you are into alternative therapies, it couldn't hurt to try tapping. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: you tap your forehead. This therapy claims that by tapping on specific stress-reducing acupuncture points, you become more analytical and thus less likely to make impulse buys. Just, try and not do it at the mall or inside a store, you don't want to freak people out by going all jedi on them.

6. This one is not for the faint-hearted, and it requires you to be fully honest with yourself: take the 107 retail cards you carry. Study each one and decide which are actually useful (in terms of the rewards you get and how often you use them) and which ones only trick you into buying more unnecessary crap, only to get 20 cents off that unicorn horn powder that you "absolutely must have". Once you have identified them, take them, and snap away... you can do it!

7. Finally, repeat after me: I don't need yet another pair of boots; I don't need yet another pair of boots; I don't need yet another pair of boots... and breathe...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Ideas For Wedding Favors

I wrote here about what to give a couple for their wedding, when they already have all their basics. Today, I want to write from the opposite perspective: if you are the one getting married, what are you going to give your guests? The best favors are the ones that represent you as a couple, but which the guests will actually enjoy: If you or your fiancé are great at cooking or baking, giving out something made by you will mean a lot and you know it will be delicious. If you are the crafty type, a DIY favor is a great idea!

Brides have a million things in mind when planning for a wedding, so favors might not be their top priority, and then suddenly the guests end up with a pair of craft store feathered birds with the couple's initials (true story!). Planning a wedding is crazy, and little things that you hand't even thought of just keep popping out of nowhere, but it is a lovely gesture to spend just a little time (and by time I don't mean money) showing the guests just how much they mean to you. However, the internet is full of innumerable ideas that can easily overwhelm any bride (such as yours truly!), so I compiled here a neat little list of 10 wedding favors for you to choose from, all in one place. That way you can spend less time researching the favors and more time perfecting your dress/vows/cake.

(By the way, I also think this post is quite fitting with the American Thanksgiving, which is today, as favors are a way to say thanks and show your appreciation to the people that mean the most to you and your new hubby!).

1. DIY Honey Favors from Bubby And Bean
There is something so romantic and nostalgic about these mini jars of honey, tied with ribbon, and complete with a personalized message. Plus, they are pretty easy to make (go have a look at the instructions!). It basically ticks all the boxes.

2. A bottle opener will always be useful. No one can ever have too many at home, can they? These, for instance, would go perfectly with a more romantic or vintage type of wedding:
Vintage key bottle opener from ebay

3. These beer cozies just scream "fun couple!". Also, you get to personalize the color and message so it fits your personality (and wedding!).

4. A lot of people are doing it these days, but a mix CD is definitely a great favor! Just make sure the music is varied, you don't want your elderly grandparents to have to sit through 12 Iron Maiden songs. Even better, if you are up for it, customize your favors according to age groups! Now that's a winner favor right there!

5. If you two are known for your witty sense of humor, and don't exactly have a ton of money to spend on the favors, something that will make your guests smile is a creative match box. Why with a clever line, of course!

6. I am totally in love with the idea of seed paper hearts! Not only are they ridiculously cute, they are also environmentally friendly, so it's a win-win!

7. Also for all the nature-loving brides out there, these succulents (or any small plant) in a vintage cup is also adorable:

8. Who doesn't love a good fortune cookie? Plus, they also give you a little room to get creative, and they won't be too expensive either.

9. If your wedding is taking place somewhere tropical or during the warmer months, a favor that is sure to be extremely appreciated by all the guests is a nice fan. You can get them in all sorts of shapes and sizes, easily adapting them to your budget and wedding style.

10. Finally, a nice shot glass is also an excellent favor.The great thing with these is that you get to be as creative / fun / romantic and personalized as you wish, and your guests still take a useful memento home.

***Last but not least***, for all of you my American readers celebrating today (and anyone else, for that matter!) I have compiled an awesome (modest, huh!?) list of Thanksgiving-themed cocktails for WhatTheFlicka, which you can find here. Go check it out, there is a cocktail for basically every taste and style! The best part? almost all of them are super easy to make!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Savior Products!

We all have several distinct categories in our closets. Allow me to explain:

First there are the products that you don't even know are there. One day you are spring cleaning and next thing you know you are wondering how on Earth did you end up with a couple of suspicious-looking frogs playing musical instruments.

Then there's stuff that you know it's there but never wear. You don't give it away though, because you are sure you'll wear it when you get invited to the King's granddaughter's christening/ a pig's birth / a pillow fight at the Renaissance fair. There's really no way to say this nicely: you won't. Give. It. Away.

Then there's a whole other bunch of stuff that you wear/use every now and then.

And finally, there's that stuff that you simply can't live without. You know what I'm talking about, right? That top that just goes with everything, or that cardigan you'll wear regardless of the weather because it makes any outfit look so cute, or the pants that you can dress up or down and have been known to wear (gasp!) three times in one week. Yeah, we all have them. Those garments or items that get you out of trouble; those that when you are running late and don't have time to pick the perfect outfit, you can just throw on and you know you look put together. My own stash is composed of these seven treasures items:

1. Large owl necklace from Forever 21:
This one goes with basically everything. From a casual top and jeans to a classier dress, this adds a little something extra. It is cute, fun and versatile, so I love it and wear it all the time.

2. LUSH's Dream Cream Body Lotion: I know this isn't a clothes item, but I'm telling ya': this little pot is a true savior when I am running late, and basically, whenever my skin is rebelling against me: it goes on really smoothly and absorbs immediately, barely has any scent (so it doesn't compete with my perfume), and is really soothing on dry and irritated skin.

3. Printed jeans: My go-to pants for when I'm feeling lazy: I simply put this on, grab a nice top and I'm good to go. The bonus is that the print makes it a lot less boring than your old jeans-and-t-shirt combo, so it gives the impression of having put a bit more thought to the whole outfit.

4. My Kleenex box: Another non-clothes item, but allergies hit me so very hard and when I least expect it, so a good supply of tissues is a must for me. But on top of that, the box they come in is so cute that it adds a nice little touch to my dresser and I even use them everyday to dry my face, instead of using a face cloth, which might carry bacteria (and God knows how my face would react to that!)

5. Good ol' black leggings
The most basic of basics. The possibilities are endless: you can wear it a hundred different ways, so no one has to know that it's your fourth time already this week.

6. Dress from Desigual
Boy, is this practical for when I'm late for work! This dress with some black pumps, a messy hair bun, a nice lippie and you are set for the day. And not only is it appropriate for work: I have worn this to go to the mall, a friend's house, a barbecue and all sorts of social situations.

7. Matte gold flats
What would I do without these!? Since they are matte, they are absolutely perfect for daytime, and the color allows itself to be paired with almost whatever else you are wearing. And don't even get me started on how comfortable they are! A well-deserved treat for my poor feet after enduring high heels all week. I wear them so often, that they are a little worn by now, as you can probably tell:

Now over to you: what are your lifesaver products?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas is now less than a month away!! .. crazy how fast this year went by, and crazy how many things changed for us this year. I think it is worth a celebration, for all the things we accomplished, all the changes we went through, and all the great things ahead of us. This Christmas is also extra special, because for the first time ever, both my family and Sean's will come together to celebrate it! How awesome is that? Who knows when that will happen again, so we better make the best of it. And let's not forget that we are getting married four days before...!! This Christmas is gonna kick some serious ass!

I was adamant that I wanted a beautifully decorated home for those very reasons, and I'm convinced we don't have to spend a lot of money or buy a hundred things to achieve it. Some creativity is all that's needed to create a special home for the holidays.

You don't need to have the fanciest or tallest Christmas tree for it to be special. For instance, last week we received a Christmas tree that belonged to my grandmother, and is a lot more meaningful than a brand new one, even though it is pretty small and old. (I have to say here that we don't really have real pine tress here in Colombia, so 99% of our Christmas trees are fake).
When the parcel arrived, Tommy was so excited and eager to build it straight away: We let him put the mat down, build some of the branches, and then help decorate it. We even went and got him his own decorations at a department store so he would feel like an important part in this whole "event", and he loved it. It might not be a stunning tree, but it's definitely special and does provide our house with the Christmassy feel we want.

The final result after hanging all the decorations:

My personal favorite is this vintage Mickey and Minnie ball:

This beautiful bell also came with the tree. I think it'll look great hanging on our door:

The tree is looking a little sloppy, so I will tidy it up a bit and maybe get one or two more decorations. However, I'm thinking I will keep the whole Christmas decor minimalistic: hang the stockings, bring out our Christmas mantlepiece, buy a few Christmas hats, some LED lights around the house and that should be it. I'm not one to go too over the top, simplicity is always my ally when decorating.

Pssst: don't forget to enter my current giveaway!!  You might win a beautiful Denik notebook, perfect to give to someone special or keep to yourself!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Top 5: Favorite Instagrammers

I wrote here that one of my goals is to learn to take incredible photographs. Well... I can't say that I'm quite there yet but for now I have Instagram to provide me with an endless supply of amazing shots, incredible landscapes and foodporn (to name but a few things) all in one place.
Today I want to highlight the five accounts that have inspired me / wowed me the most:

1. @Kitkat_ch
The almost nostalgic landscapes, the incredibly cute fiat, the freshness of the shots... this account is the whole package!

2. @elenakalis
Stunning. Just stunning. Elena has a talent for underwater photography sure to transport you to a whole other world.

3. @missunderground
What I love most about her is the ability to portray a place that many people just don't stop to notice: the London Underground. Her photos are so clean and well executed that they are pleasure to watch.

4. @baristart
If this isn't talent, I don't know what is. This guy can represent literally any person, object or shape only by using the milk in your latte. I'm officially impressed.
Depicted here: Casper and Christina Ricci

5. @nowthisnews
Little snippets of news delivered right to your Instafeed. You choose which ones interest you and which don't, but mostly they are interesting 15-second pieces of information.


This doesn't feature into my "Top 5" for the sole reason that it makes me hungry all the time and craving all the wrong foods!  But I love it nonetheless, and every picture is more mouthwatering than the last!

By the way, don't forget to enter my current giveaway!  It's open until this friday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Very First Giveaway!!!

I normally don't do two posts in one day, but I thought today was special and it deserved a second post. And not just any post: a GIVEAWAY post!  My very first one on this blog!

The reason for this is that yesterday I got so many new visitors thanks to a mention on Little Chief Honeybee, and I thought it would be nice to show my appreciation for coming over and saying hello! And what more appropriate than to give away something I know you'd love!?

That's why after giving it some thought, it occurred to me that the perfect gift would be one of the notebooks that Kaelah herself designed!  If you are the winner, you will have a choice between this:

and this:

Both notebooks can be found here.

Of course, this giveaway is open to anyone, regardless if they came to my blog through LCH or not. And if you are the winner and you don't live in the States, don't worry. I will find a way to get it all the way to wherever it is that you are!

The rules are simple: follow Happy Life Of A City Girl on Bloglovin' and leave a comment below saying which post you have liked the best on this blog!  Easy peasy!

***Oh, and please leave a way to contact you in your comment and which notebook you'd prefer!***

This giveaway will be open until Friday, November 29th midnight, PST. I will then use a random generator to select the winner and will announce it on Monday, December 2nd.

I hope you like this giveaway, and I hope to keep seeing Kaelah's friends around here for a while!  :)

My Life List

I am a big (read: huge!) fan of making lists. I make lists for everything: from a good old grocery list, to lists of music to download, urgent to-do's, and even stuff I want to purchase in the upcoming months. I am a self-diagnosed day-dreamer, and I will admit that sometimes I can forget to live the present to its fullest because I'm too busy planning for the future (how silly!). So it occurred to me that I would use this little space on the Internet and make a list (which I'm great at!) of all the things I want to accomplish in my life (yes, a bucket list... get over it). That way, I can actually focus on life, knowing that I have my neat little list here to come back to when need be, and then carry on.

Without further ado, I present to you my Life List (sounds a lot less cliché than "bucket list", doesn't it?)

- Go to a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show
-  Learn to cook (at least three delicious and impressive dishes)
- Go to England
- Go to an Ashram in India
Become a vegetarian again
- Have another child. This time, have a natural birth. (I know this is out of my control... but still)
- Go to Greece
- Move back to New Zealand and settle there for good
My own photo, taken in 2010 in Auckland
- Have a big backyard with a trampoline, a slide, and enough space to ride a bike
- Go to a concert by either: Adele, David Guetta, Tracy Chapman or Pink (or all of them!)
- Become an expert at doing my own nails  (slowly, very slowly, getting there)
- Learn and practice Yoga
- Start meditating at least three nights a week
- Write a book, even if it never gets published
- Decorate my house and love it!
- Buy a professional camera  (accomplished last week!) and learn to take incredible photos (not quite there yet!)...
- I can start taking many more photos and capturing more of life's events
- Learn to make cupcakes (this would probably be bad news for my figure! but who cares?)
Wikipedia Image
- Start a retirement fund (booooring, but necessary)
- Bring my credit card debt back to a healthy amount
- Live in NYC, even for just a sabbatical month
- Become proficient in either Portuguese or French  (even better: on both!)
- Eat at a world-renowned chef's restaurant (such as Tom Colicchio's "Craft")
- Become involved with a charity
- Read another book in German
Available at Amazon

- Become fully self-employed and work from home
Have my own office there (at home), where I can hang a huge world map and have a photo gallery
- Have a white Christmas again (hopefully, somewhere in the UK)
- Take my son to Scotland to meet that side of Sean's family
- Take a wine class and go to a wine tasting
- Build a big library full of books for my son
- Go to a LUSH Spa
- Be able to run for more than fifteen minutes without feeling like I'm going to die
- Take a trip with friends to an exotic location (somewhere like Sri Lanka, or Burkina Faso)
- Become a lot more crafty. Attempt a DIY project at least once a month.
- Spend one New Year's Eve in NY and watch the ball drop at midnight

I love having many dreams and aspirations: they are essential to motivate you and keep you going, and when times are bleak they become your best ally. But there is a thin line between striving for what you want, and never being satisfied with your life because you are always wanting that something else, something better, something bigger. I think I have a risk of going down that path if I don't stop now and focus. My life is amazing. Sure, it would bring me great joy to accomplish the stuff on this list, but it also gives me great joy to come home from work and find my toddler eagerly waiting for me; or my fiancé bringing me treats after work; or a visit from my mom; or going window-shopping; or pink things; or chocolate sundaes; or sitting at a café with a book. It's usually the simple things that give us greatest happiness, and the people who miss those won't ever feel truly happy. And I don't want that. And I won't let it happen.

Ok, so I know I've been talking about happiness very frequently lately, but after all, there's a reason I called my blog "The Happy Life Of A City Girl", right?

Please feel free to share what's on your Life List. Did you find something on my list that you also dream of achieving one day?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Source Of Inspiration

We are nearly there, the end of yet another week. I thought it was as good a time as any to share a poem I came across thanks to Kaelah from Little Chief Honeybee. I am currently going through sort of a tough time at work (I have to let two people go which is the single hardest thing for me to do!) so this couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I think it is so important to focus on the good, on the "I Have" and not the "I Don't", on the "I Achieved" and not the "I Can't". It is so easy to fall into a negativity spiral when things don't go our way, but in the greater picture of life, most things that are upsetting you today probably won't even matter one year from now, or five, or ten. There is a whole lot of life to live, so it is silly to go around life down and depressed when there is so much beauty in the world. That's what I love most about this poem: the reminder that happiness, true happiness, is within ourselves, and it is our choice (and only ours!) to find it.

Image taken from Sunday Satsang

Yes, it might be easier said than done, but when we are finally able to truly grasp what it means to be happy, our whole lives will change for the better. Bad, upsetting, stressful and sad things will continue to happen, but we will know that we are worth so much more than all of that. Our peace of mind and a happy spirit are invaluable, and we should never give "small" things the ability to control our life.

One of my favorite songs to listen to in the car is Kelly Clarkson's Catch My Breath. I absolutely love the line: "No one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that. I won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now". I think she is spot on: once you realize how simple it is not to let external stuff control your happiness, you will finally achieve it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Pre-Wedding Exercise And Fitness

Let me start by saying this: I am the least sporty person ever. Ever. Yes, I was the last one to get picked for a team, and I always had to stay during recess and practice my volleyball serve. I never played soccer, or basketball or tennis. I did love to swim but only for fun. I also enjoy going to the gym, and usually did before our big move to New Zealand last year, but after starting my sales manager job this year, and the blog, and with my son, and planning the wedding, finding a suitable gym ended up in the very last corner of my mind, along with getting regular haircuts and changing the car oil (big mistake!).

This week though, it hit me that I am less than five weeks away (!) from our wedding, and my dress would definitely look better if I lost three or four pounds... and I am nothing if not determined, dammit, so with my fiancé's help I worked out (see what I did there?) an exercise routine to help me at least be a little more toned for the big day. I started last night, and right now I am pretty much dying, but that means it's working, right? RIGHT!??

So my routine basically goes something like this:
  • Stretching
  • 5 minutes of star jumps  (Could I look any sillier!?)
  • 25 minutes of running (My first time exercising after eight months, I only managed 15 minutes, but hey, it's a start!)
  • 10 minutes of sit-ups (yeah, didn't actually get to those after running)
  • Stretching and warming down 

Me, right before working out. Not particularly looking forward to it, but totally enjoyed it

Yes, yes, it is ridiculously easy. Bear in mind though, that I haven't exercised at all in eight months, and I had never ran, so I am satisfied with yesterday's workout. Hopefully, by this time next month I will be fitter, healthier, and motivated to keep exercising, and not let life get in the way of things that are so important in the bigger picture, like exercising (and remembering to service your car!).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Charm Of Foreigners

Oh, foreigners... they are so fascinating! They come at you, with their sexy accent, all sorts of different traditions, their stubbles, their air of adventure, offering another world ready to be explored. They are different to what you are used to, and that is exciting and enthralling. There is something that feels so mysterious, almost forbidden, about them, thanks to the rush of entering a highly risky (or at least much more complex) relationship: two people are trying to make it work despite their different culture, background and sometimes language, on top of their personalities.

I for one know that it was the first thing that attracted me to my now-fiancé (followed by many others). He exuded adventure. I felt that he could transport me to a whole other world, different to anything I had ever known, and I couldn't resist it. The stars aligned or my chakras were clean or something, because he also found himself attracted to me, and we started dating. I taught him Spanish. He showed me New Zealand. He was shocked to discover that I had never celebrated Easter. I couldn't believe that children there don't really go trick-or-treating on Halloween. We argued over which meal was going to be the main one in our household (for him, it had to be dinner. For me, lunch was it). Well, technically, I was the foreigner in this case, as I was the one that came to his country, but you get the gist. How cliché of him, falling for the exchange student!  But I can't thank my stars enough that our paths crossed on that cold day of July, right before our Project Management class.

There are many challenging things about this sort of relationship, and let's not even discuss when one of them has to go back home. I can't tell you how many times I dreamed of that scene in Love Actually where Colin Firth learns Portuguese and goes to Portugal to propose to Aurelia. Way too cheesy, way too Hollywood, and not at all real life stuff. Except it sometimes is! Like when your boyfriend who barely speaks the language, quits his safe job, leaves his friends and family behind, and jumps on a plane with you because he can't bare to let you leave (Vanessa Hudgens could play me in the movie...hmmm yeah).

My adventure with my foreigner turned out to be a serious relationship about to become a marriage. There are still small and big challenges and a few sad times (one of us will always be away from home) associated with being with someone from opposite ends of the globe, but it is also rewarding in so many ways. It opened my world to things I never would have otherwise known or considered. As different as we are, that makes our relationship all the more interesting and rich.

I found this article by CNN, where American women ranked the sex appeal of foreign men by country. The first in the rank are the British. Also on the list are: Irish, Brazilian, Swedish, American, Spanish, Scottish, French, Greek and Puerto Rican; you know, just in case you were dreaming of living your own version of "The Holiday".

Cameron Diaz meets Jude Law when she is on holiday in the UK; they fall hopelessly in love and everything works out fine. They live happily for 20 years until she realizes her marriage is no longer exciting. She goes on another holiday, this time to South Africa, where she meets this tall, handsome African who can provide the excitement her life is lacking and teaches her Afrikaans.*
*Ok, I might have gone overboard a little there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Nighttime Skincare Routine Plus Reviews

Finding just the right products for your skin is no easy task: for me it has been a trial-and-error process, and it can sometimes be very daunting and disheartening when I have high hopes for a product and the results are disastrous (LUSH Fresh Farmacy, I'm looking at you!). Right now though, I am pretty satisfied with these four gems, and although my skin is far from perfect, they are delivering pretty satisfactory results at the moment:

Let's start with the first one:

Neutrogena Deep Clean Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes: These and The Body Shop's Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes are the only wipes I have ever tried that do not break me out. However, I prefer the Neutrogena ones, as the Tea Tree Oil tends to burn my face slightly, for some reason my face reacts to them (not strongly, though). And considering they are half the price ($6.39 USD) I am likely to just stick with Neutrogena.

They are the first product I use: they get rid of the first layer of makeup, and I also remove all of my eye makeup with these as the other products aren't really suitable for the eye area. I wouldn't recommend using only cleansing wipes, as they really can't get rid of all the dirt and gunk, and the face just doesn't feel clean. 

 It has a lovely, soothing texture and it continues to get rid of all the makeup the wipes left behind. It claims to help prevent breakouts thanks to the salicylic acid. I am actually neutral on that: I don't think it particularly prevents them, but it also doesn't cause them. Plus, its texture calms my skin and it is very good at removing makeup and dirt.

Then I move on to LUSH's Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser:

I just have to say that this product is Heaven sent! Being a huge Lushie, I had heard all of the hype surrounding this product: nearly every day someone would express their disappointment that it had been discontinued, and I kept wondering what could possibly be so darn great about it. Then they brought it back (this time permanently) around a month and a half ago, and I decided I had to see for myself.

I have to say here, that I was extremely hesitant to purchase it, as the description states that this is for "all skin types". Now usually, I would stay miles away from any product that is meant for all skin types, as my face has declared war on anything that isn't specifically for oily skin. But this time curiosity got the best of me, and I ordered the small pot (Now I wish I had ordered the larger one!). The first thing I noticed is its yummy scent: it smells of corn and caramel, but not in an overpowering or overly sweet way, it is very subtle. Then, I grabbed a pinch of it, just a little pea-sized one, as a little goes a long way, and mixed it with water to create a paste. I massaged onto my whole face, and was afraid it would break me out because it felt very moisturizing. When I rinsed it off, it did leave my face feeling soft and supple, but also squeaky clean. I have now been using it for around two weeks, and not only does it not break me out at all, but my face is softer than ever. I never ever put moisturizer on at night because my face would just go nuts, but with this product I don't even have to! I have now become one of the thousands that swear by it.

If it is starting to get really cold where you live, then run don't walk to get this! your face will be desperately needing some hydration, no matter your skin type, and this product will give it just that in the nicest possible way.

Using these three products leaves my face completely makeup- and gunk-free. For my makeup and skin type, this is the only way I feel truly clean.

Finally, I top off my routine with Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion, a toner that unclogs pores and absorbs excess oil. Since I've been using it, I have definitely noticed a difference in the amount of oil on my face. It contains significant amounts of salicylic acid, so I don't recommend it for sensitive skin types, as it can be a little irritating (it does tingle a little when I put it on).

So far, my skin hasn't declared war on me with this routine, so I don't think I'll be changing it any time soon. Don't fix what ain't broken and all that, ya know?

Friday, November 15, 2013

10 Inevitable Things That Come With Adulthood

In some countries, adulthood begins when the person turns 18. In other countries, 21. For me, though, it begins when the person can relate to the following:

1. You suddenly realized that the issue about partying isn't getting permission from your parents anymore. It's getting permission from that tiny (strong!) voice inside your head that is telling you to stay in bed, put on your comfiest pj's and go grab a spoon and a Ben & Jerry's. 

2. It was social suicide to leave a party or event before a certain time. Now, it is one of the skills you are most proud of.

3. You distinctly remember that Christmas when you stopped receiving presents from every single uncle and aunty, and were asked to chip in for gifts for the "little ones". 

4. One of the most common conversation topics with your girlfriends isn't "why hasn't he called me yet!?" anymore, but instead "why hasn't he popped the question yet!?".

5. You learned that not changing the oil of your car is a very costly mistake.

6. You stopped keeping detailed track of how many days are left until your birthday/Easter/Halloween/Christmas. (I am, however, keeping track of exactly how many days are left until my wedding!). 

7. Sitting at a café with your laptop or a book is your new idea of heaven. (wait, is that just me?).

8. Going to bed past midnight isn't "cool" anymore, it is plain dumb. 

9. Super loud, ear-thumping music annoys the cr!p out of you, and you dream of throwing something at your teenage neighbor's stereo. Preferably his ridiculous high-top sneakers (what is he thinking!?)

10. You have found yourself nodding along when others make comments like: "When he grows up, he'll understand", or "She will thank her mother later" or "She will just ruin her life if she continues down that path". Even worse, you realized (shock horror!) that you made one of those comments yourself just the other day.

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