Must-have items for 2013

Hello internet friends,

I’m currently in Belize on my honeymoon, which means I’m either:
A) Soaking up some rays (with my SPF 70 lathered) on a sandy beach
B) Eating delicious tamales, meat, beans, and rice
C) Sharing cocktails with Jonathan at sunset
D) Reenacting all of the date nights from Ben’s season of The Bachelor: Belize

Before I departed on my adventure, I did a bit of shopping and found some absolute gems I need to share with you.

First, and most importantly, is this Sugar Lip Treatment from Fresh (plum is my favorite shade so far).  I’m very particular about my lip products for several reasons.  Lip gloss is too gooey and doesn’t stay on for more than a minute.  Lipstick is often very dry and doesn’t have SPF.  Chapstick is my go-to product, but it doesn’t usually have color, leaving my lips pale and plain.

This product is the perfect blend of lipstick and chapstick with SPF that makes my lips feel fantastic!  It’s not glossy, but it slides on and stays for a long time.  They have a whole range of colors too!

Click image for original source. From fresh.com

Click image for original source. From sephora.com

This next one isn’t so much a product, as it is a TV series that you need to watch if you’re a 20-30 something female.  “Girls” is a funnier and more intelligent “Sex in the City” with more realistic characters.  I love it with all my heart.

Click image for original source. From wikipedia.com

Click image for original source. From wikipedia.com

I’ve never had a good pair of sunglasses.  Mostly because I have a tendency to step on, lose, and scratch every pair I’ve ever owned.  However, this year, some little birdie decided I needed to protect my eyes from the sun and got me these Maui Jim Palms for Christmas.

Getting a nice pair of polarized lenses will save your eyeballs, make you look professional, and teach you how to treat your sunglasses well.

Click image for original source. From mauijim.com

Click image for original source. From mauijim.com

I normally buy the $2 flip-flops from Old Navy that bust about 3 months into wearing them, but these Teva Olowaho sandals are a much better alternative.  They have enough cushioning to keep my heels comfortable and enough give in the straps so that they don’t rub and cause blisters.  I have them in black, but I plan on getting a few more colors for summer.

Click image for original source. From amazon.com

Click image for original source. From amazon.com

The final product I found that I cannot live without is the Olive Body Butter from The Body Shop.  This bad boy has a mild smell compared to their potent fruity flavors, but I can’t get enough of the subtle earthy smell.  Also, the body butter is not greasy, which is a major plus.  This is a must!

Click image for original source. From thebodyshop.com

Click image for original source. From thebodyshop.com

What products have you fallen in love with during this shopping season?  What do I need to have to prepare for spring?

-Mads

 

Trends I’m not buying

I’m slowly entering into the world of professional adulthood, which means my clothes should too.  I recently lost 10 pounds…THAT’S RIGHT, WORLD…so now my old work pants fit.  Hoorah!

However, I’m left with zero dress shirt options.  Ideally, I would have 1-2 button up shirts, 3-4 semi-casual tees and long sleeves, and 1-2 cardigans.

Sounds like a fun shopping trip!  Wrong.  For the first time in my life, I shopped for 3 hours without finding a single garment worth purchasing.

Pick your jaws up off of the floor, and I’ll tell you why.

The stingray sleeve aka “batwings”:

I actually pretended I was a bat in several fitting rooms. There was nothing else I could do, but laugh.

I have some curves, and this style does nothing to accentuate the small part of my waist, while hiding my hip jiggle.  Instead, my torso becomes 1 indistinguishable blob.  The stingray sleeve is on 90% of tops out there.

The other 10% have this cute little feature: Asymmetry.

Hey, hey, my right side is longer than my left side.

Or better yet:

Aka "the butt flap"

I also am particularly fond of the new look I like to call “I’m a peasant girl who stumbled upon a hippie festival”:

The longer I look at this image, the more I'm confused about who this person is.

I realize that these looks work with some body types, but it’s definitely not mine.

I may have lost this shopping battle, but hopefully I win the war.  I’m headed into battle again this weekend.  Wish me luck!

What trends are you avoiding like the plague right now?  What trends are you loving?

-Mads

Winter break loves

It feels like a long time since we’ve caught up!  I am at a point where I have so many things to write about at once, that nothing is taking shape.  Tricky, I know.

Instead of regaling you with twisted tales of the winter course load I’m currently in the midst of (hello, domestic violence and drug abuse), I will keep things upbeat!  Here are some of the most fabulous things I fell in love with over winter break:

1) Immersion blenders

I actually made soup specifically to test out the blender.  I don’t know when I’ve ever had that much fun in the kitchen.  A side note, this curry sweet potato soup is delicious.

2) Moonshiners

This is one of the most horrific shows on television, but I Can’t. Stop. Watching.  My eyes were glued to the tv for several hours while I watched the antics of Tickle and Popcorn (yes, those are their names) play out in backwoods Virginia.  Jonathan pointed out that they would probably increase profits astronomically if they legalized their business, branded it, and distributed it.  I’m not sure Tickle and Popcorn would ever come up with a solid business plan.

3) Hue Slippers

The image doesn't even come close to how adorable these are.

These were in my Christmas stocking and I haven’t taken them off since Christmas morning.  I plan on buying them in all colors.

4) Hanna

Uhm, this movie was AWESOME!  Child assassin, incredible soundtrack, great acting…what more could you ask for?  This is the best action movie I’ve seen in a while.

5) Wedding planning (the fun parts)

I will post the engagement pictures as soon as I get them in the mail, but for now, just know that we had THE BEST TIME posing for the camera.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to start part-time modeling for the photo frame insert pictures.

Also, taste-testing the catered meals is also a major highlight of getting married.  They practically had to roll us out of there.  Mmmm!

What have you recently fallen in love with?  What was your favorite holiday gift?

-Mads

p.s. I forgot to add Adele.  You probably already knew that I love her, but I really want to emphasize how incredible she is.  Seriously, I can’t stop listening to her music/singing in the shower.

State of Affairs: Shoe Edition

If you are on Klout and fully understand what it means, can you please explain it to me?  From my understanding, Klout is a website that uses a meaningless algorithm to show your standing in the popularity contest influence among your friends.

In any case, Klout page got the grand idea that i was influential about shoes.  Now, anyone that has seen my shoe collection knows that I could not possibly know anything about shoes due to the sheer number of Old Navy flip flops I keep on hand.

Exhibit A:

My favorite part is that my toes have left a permanent impression. It's like a ghost is wearing them always.

There’s still some hope for me yet, though.  I do wear pumps from time to time and I keep a few on hand.

Exhibit B.

Excuse the awful carpet. We live in a rental.

Mostly I like to wear shoes that are comfortable that can get me from Point A to Point B without causing battle wounds.

Exhibit C:

Suuuuper attractive, right?

Clearly I have a need for some cute shoes that are comfortable enough to do some serious walking in.

Please help me!  Have you seen anything that can fill the void?  What have you bought recently that you can wear everywhere?

-Mads

What they don’t tell you about finding your wedding dress

Last weekend I went to shop for my wedding dress.  As a disclaimer to my post, I want you all to know that I hate shopping.  I really do.  I buy the majority of my goods online in order to avoid any mall situations and to be done with it.  I know it’s shocking, but it’s who I am.

That being said, I love the people I was with while shopping for my wedding dress and I love the dress itself.  BUT…the process was not the romantic cutesy stuff I was used to seeing on tv.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 5 things they don’t tell you about shopping for your wedding dress:

1) You don’t get champagne.  Maybe I went to a unique bridal salon, but I was expecting free champagne and instead came face to face with a “No Beverages” sign.  This was probably the biggest disappointment of the whole deal.

2) You don’t daintily step into each gown you try on.  For the majority of the time you will be sweating like a pig from shimmying your way into 100 pounds of fabric over and over again.  Then the consultant will pull you this way and that way trying to synch your fat into an hourglass shape and manhandling you with the “modesty panel”.

3) Your consultant won’t be Randy from “Say Yes to the Dress”.  My consultant decided that I *needed* a white gown, even though I repeatedly said I wanted my dress to be champagne.  After trying on 30 white gowns, I finally bought the ONLY one she brought me in champagne.

4)  You will be forced to try on things you hate.  I was expecting some of this, but I didn’t realize how violent the reaction between my body and chiffon would be.  I mean, I was stuck somewhere between looking like the ghost of Christmas past and toga party.  It was a lose-lose situation.

5)  Everybody will cry the “ohmygodthisisit” cry and you will not understand.  You will feel like, “Maybe I will never feel that about a dress.  Maybe I’m being too picky.  This really isn’t The One, is it?  Can I go home yet?  I am going to wear a pantsuit.  Seriously, why is everyone crying about this dress?”

And then…finally…when you think all hope is lost…you will find Your Dress.  The One.  The Ohmygodthisisit.  And your friends and family will agree with you because it will be the first time you have smiled all afternoon.  And you will sigh a sigh of immense relief because you know how beautiful you feel and how happy you are going to be on your wedding day.

What’s your dress shopping story?  Or, are you looking forward to or dreading dress hunting?

-Mads

Desert Oasis: Palm Springs Outlets

Palm Springs is lovely this time of year.  I had never been, so I was expecting golf courses, extreme heat, and old geezers.  Instead, the desert oasis offered poolside relaxation, bumpin’ nightlife, and OUTLET MALLS!

(I said “outlet malls” like Oprah says things…you know, all shout-y and announcer-y)

The Cabazon Outlet Mall is the biggest I’ve ever seen!  They have everything from Gap to Armani to Le Creuset.  I had to avoid Le Creuset with every fiber of my being, mainly because some day I will have a registry and I will want to pepper it with Le Creuset.  Jonathan thinks it’s a “white person thing”, but I think it’s a cook’s dream.

Anyway, I really wanted to do an outfit collage for you, but it is next to impossible to find outlet items online.  Bummer.

I did, however, find a picture of my favorite purchase of the day: COACH BRIEFCASE!

Coach Signature Hudson Commuter Bag

The original price was $379, but I got this puppy for $160!  It quickly went from a want to a Must Have once I found out the price.  I figure it will be perfect for grad school and future job stuff (in my dreams I have a job).  At this rate, I will have to apply for jobs haha.

What’s your best recent purchase?  Do you love outlets as much as I do?

-Mads