Tag Archives: nail polish

April’s (OOPS) Birchbox

Oh dear. It’s June and I’m here to tell you about April’s Birchbox. Forgive me? Life has just been crazy. I feel like I’m always using that excuse on here!

If you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, check out my first reveal post (from November) here for more info. But wait…there’s more posts for you to catch up on too:

April’s box was a natural kind of “go-green” theme, perfect for the spring season that was just beginning around the time I received it.

So what was inside?

  • amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask – I can’t wait to try this out! I recently purchased a Neutrogena hair mask  but I’m always up for trying a competing product to see how they are different (if they differ at all). My hair can get pretty fried because I tend to go awhile between trims (I’m cheap and I straighten it every now and then) so this product is definitely applicable to me.
  • Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer – I’m always down to try a new lotion! I use moisturizer every day on my arms, legs, and face.
  • Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift – I love that this is a sample size that I can throw in a purse to have for freshening up! It smells really good.
  • Zoya True Spring Collection nail polish – Love the purple (right Meg?), I totally used this on my toes at the pool a couple weeks ago!
  • dropps Laundry Detergent – I love the idea of these, so quick and convenient! I’m sure in the long run though, buying these would be more expensive than buying bottled detergent. Is the convenience factor worth it? We’ll see, but probably not for awhile because my sister swiped them to take back to college with her…in August.

There you have it! April’s Birchbox, two months later. But really, are you surprised at all that I’m recapping/reviewing something late? If you are,  you must be new here 😉

Convenience vs price when it comes to household items – what wins for you?

Have you ever tried these products or anything similar?

March’s Birchbox

Please take a moment to vote for me (up to 10 times…a day…) in round one of the Hartford Courant 2012 Websters for CT’s Best Blogs! I’m nominated for Best Overall Blog, Best Health Blog, Best Food Blog, and Best Social Media Account! Thank you for those who nominated me, and voting for round one closes this Friday 3/30 at 11:59PM EST.

It’s that time again! I was going to say “it’s that time of the month”, but I didn’t want to alienate any male readers/any readers uncomfortable with that reference. ANYWAY, it’s time to recap what I got in my Birchbox this month!! Did you miss the last Birchbox recaps??

This month’s box was a special Teen Vogue edition! I don’t subscribe to Teen Vogue, but do enjoy reading it whenever it’s on my gym’s magazine rack and I need something to keep my mind off my high HR when I’m doing StepMill intervals. I was given the option of receiving a regular Birchbox (which is always catered to the preferences I filled out when I first signed up) or this special edition with products hand-picked by Beauty Director and Blogger Eva Chen. Eva did not disappoint!

Apparently some Teen Vogue boxes came with FRESH Lip Treatment that they sell at Sephora. I love that stuff and am kinda jealous that I didn’t get any in my box! #boxenvy

Don’t get me wrong – I still really liked this box! Not my favorite I’ve ever gotten, but quite high up there. Let’s check out the loot!

  • essie Luxeffects Nail Polish (silver glitter): I like essie a lot (and I’m in LOVE with their branding), though I tend to choose OPI when I go into my favorite salon for a mani and/or pedi. Now I can try out essie at home, and I love how sparkly that silver polish is. Perfect for a party! I’m curious as to how it will look after I put it on though – glitter nail polish always has the potential to be a major fail. So we’ll have to see!
  • kate spade new york Twirl: This smells SO GOOD. And thanks to a reader telling me in last month’s Birchbox post’s comments that the mini perfume bottles in my boxes DO in fact have sprayers on top (so I’ve been giving them to my mom for nothing, lucky mom), I deposited this little vial right into my purse. Now I always have perfume on the go and it smells fantastic. So then I smell fantastic. Everyone wins!
  • Kerastase Elixir Ultime: I’m really excited to start using this (in the rectangular black box at the bottom) and see if it makes a difference in how healthy my hair looks and feels. It’s a small spray bottle (the gold one on the left inside the box) of a keratin oil treatment. I just keep forgetting to use it in the morning…once I get that routine down, I’ll hopefully be able to see and report back some long-term benefits!
  • Twistband Hair Ties: I love this sky blue hair tie! However, I haven’t used it as a hair tie yet. I just slipped it on my right wrist immediately and haven’t taken it off since. Weird? Perhaps, but I like how it looks on my wrist! I want the sparkly ones…
  • tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint: This was a bummer. I went to put it on and I really liked the light pink, natural color it left on my lips. However, the crayon-like applicator also broke immediately halfway through applying it! Completely lame.
Please ignore my chipped green St. Patty’s nails.
Despite the disappointing lip tint, I like the rest of the box enough to give it two thumbs up!
Which product would you like to try most? Have you already tried any of them?

Black Friday 2011

First thing’s first: I recommend that you head over to a fellow FitFluential Ambassador Christine’s blog, Oatmeal in my Bowl, to check out her Oatmeal Toppings feature! It’s a great link round-up of topics like fitness, food/cooking, outdoors, and challenges. A great way to find new blogs, recipes, and routines. And I may be a bit biased, because she featured my Hotel Room Workout!

Image courtesy of oatmealinmybowl.com

Also, please head over to the lovely Katie’s blog to check out her recap of the Sunday Cafes do Brasil Week Press Brunch at Bistro Cassis! My brunch was on a Saturday at Casa Restaurant, so Katie’s recap will show you a new Brazilian coffee experience in NYC. Cafes do Brasil Week may be over, but that’s no reason you can’t learn more about the coffee and try it for yourself!

Now, let’s get to it. Happy Cyber Monday! Anyone out there doing some heavy-duty online shopping today? I would, but I had enough fun and spent enough money on Black Friday to account for several shopping trips, so I’m going to try to hold back on checking websites for deals. Try.

Does anyone else LOVE Black Friday? For me, it signals the official beginning of the holiday season. As I browsed racks of clothes and displays of accessories this past Friday, the Christmas music in every store really got me into the spirit. So did picking out gifts for friends and family! Well, a friend and a family member. I can’t lie, my Black Friday shopping is usually more about getting great deals on stuff for me than gifts for others. It’s not that I’m selfish – it’s just that most of the gifts I plan to get people don’t end up being part of the Black Friday deals!

Thanksgiving morning tradition

After finishing up a spin class on Thanksgiving morning, I grabbed a nonfat cafe au lait at Whole Foods and headed home to spend time doing an activity that I probably enjoy more than the Thanksgiving meal itself: browsing circulars and making a plan of attack while watching the Macy’s parade. I had my eyes set on a new camera, and luckily the very one I wanted was on sale at about 8 different places, and all for the exact same price! The pressure was off for my big purchase, leaving Hannah and I plenty of time to devote to shopping for fun stuff like clothes, accessories, and shoes. We decided to hit Kohl’s first, then the mall.

Hannah with her 2nd cup of Dunkin after we left Kohl's.

Usually my Nana Connie joins us for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. In fact, for as long as I can remember she has been up at the crack of dawn, before Hannah and I, ready to get going on finding those deals. When my Granddad was alive, he used to come with us too. There has been only one Black Friday other than this one that Nana C didn’t join us, and Hannah and I really missed her this year. She had to work, but I know she was with us in spirit as we hunted down those bargains. We owe our Black Friday addiction to her!

Nonfat cafe au lait with cinnamon.

I selected the Nordstrom’s cafe for my cup of coffee, but held off awhile before having it. I was still feeling pretty nauseous from the evening before. We hunted down some fabulous deals! Hannah didn’t really think they were that great, but I was very satisfied with my day’s purchases.

This year's loot.

Last year’s pile looked way more impressive, but it was also a combination of not just my stuff, but Hannah’s and Nana Connie’s.

You probably saw the Trader Joe’s bag creepin in this year’s photo. Of course – I was right nearby, how could I NOT make a stop? I went in to stock up on my favorite veggie chips, but ended up leaving with a bunch of goodies!

Lentil chips, veggie chips, and everything pretzel slims.

All of the above three carbalicious snacks have crazy large serving sizes, something which I am all about.

Roasted peppers for salads, horseradish hummus, dill pickles, and egg white salad.

I’ve seen the egg white salad on Monica’s blog before, but couldn’t remember whether or not she liked it. I guess I’ll find out if I do! I’ve already been devouring the pickles and peppers in my salads.

I’ve been dying to show you my favorite purchase of the entire day:

Wait…I didn't buy this. That's a joke.

KIDDING. No, that prize has to go to my new camera from Best Buy. I was correct to not be worried about finding it later on in the day. I didn’t arrive until about 1, and there were still plenty left. For $20 more, I also got a bundle with a case, memory card, and cute mini tripod!

Forever 21 wasn’t having any sales, but their prices are usually fine by me anyway, especially their cheap accessories.

Ann Taylor Loft had 50% off of every single item in the store, so I got two shirts, and the Icing‘s buy one, get one 50% off earring promo and my tendency to think of multi-packs as a good value led to me being fairly stocked on earrings for about the next ten years.

Kohl’s completely surprised and impressed me with the Lauren Conrad collection. So much cute stuff! And I’m clearly obsessed with pleats. I love how everything this season is so delicate-looking.

My old high-school standby Hollister was selling everything at 40% off, even sale stuff! So I naturally headed straight for the clearance rack, but I did spring for a full-price (before the 40%) pair of corduroy jeggings as well.

Because I really need more yoga pants, or a skirt in the winter.

Another part of my family’s Black Friday tradition is the lunch we have each year with my dad. He doesn’t shop, just meets us for the food! This year we went somewhere I haven’t been in too long, Ruby Tuesday’s. I love it there, and I was also really craving their salad bar and veggie sides after my indulgent evening.

Garlic cheddar cheese biscuits!

I devoured a biscuit when they were placed in front of us, because at that point my nauseousness had subsided and I was starved.

Good thing I didn’t have to wait long to put in my order for the salad bar and help myself! I always ask for a side of pickles and a side of salsa to dump on my salads at Ruby’s as well. Does  anyone else think their croutons are the best thing in the world? I’ve never been able to find better ones!

Grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, and roasted spaghetti squash.

I got the Veggie Trio combo deal and chose the above items as my three sides to go with the salad bar. Ruby’s has so many sides options. I absolutely love it! How many restaurants offer spaghetti squash?! I’ve only seen it at Ruby’s and Bonefish.

My gym session later that day was less than stellar (easy elliptical), but it still made me feel better because I sweated out some of that wine, went home, showered, and got cozy.

Oh, and before heading home, I treated myself to one last Black Friday tradition: a manicure! More specifically, a polish change. As you can see, I was in desperate need.

OPI "I Brake for Manicures"

What was your best Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday purchase ever?

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday! Yeah, I’m trying to keep it optimistic. I had a great, productive, relaxing weekend though! I’m still feeling very organized and efficient, so I’m even gonna organize this post by subject – oh goodness! Maybe next weekend’s recap will be organized by day – craziness! Or, the exact opposite!


I went to Group Step both Friday evening and Saturday morning. I really love the new release, and I can especially tell since I didn’t mind doing the same routine twice in 24 hours! I ran into Lauren and Casey again at the Friday class, so that was fun. And one of my favorite instructors was there Saturday in addition to his usual Friday class. For Sunday’s workout, I woke up naturally at the ridiculous hour of 7am. Luckily there was a Spin class starting around that time, so I headed straight to the gym to get my sweat out of the way. I hadn’t been to Spin in a few months, so it was HARD. It was nice to switch up my routine though – classes like this always remind me how good it is to not get too comfortable with a few types of workouts. Of course, always do what you WANT to do in terms of exercise, but today’s Spin class fit conveniently into my schedule and reminded me of how tough it can be! Despite the fact that I was disgusting afterward, I was in a great mood.


Friday night, I met my former co-worker and friend Tom for dinner at a restaurant in town I’d had yet to try, the Diamond, to use a SaveNowCT deal. I was pleasantly surprised! It’s one of those bar and grill places, so I didn’t think I’d be able to find any options that would be delicious and not too…fried? And salads from those places are never worth the money! But I got the blackened chicken quesadilla with extra salsa and it was awesome! It came on an herb tortilla, a nice touch, and when I asked them to go light on the cheese they definitely complied. The balance between cheese and chicken was perfect. Their salsa was so fresh and chunky, not the Tostitos-style I was expecting! I also had a glass of Salmon Creek Cabernet before my food came, and it really hit the spot. Such a delicious house wine! Sorry, no photos (left my camera in the car because I was running late after Step), but the lighting would have been awful anyway.

I had lunch Saturday at one of my favorite places, Whole Foods, with a couple of fellow marketers. We had a great conversation and already have plans to meet again around the holiday season to restaurant-hop for the blog – they loved it!

Sole cake with spinach and butternut squash puree.

I do love me some Whole Foods trips on Saturdays – they’re always giving out the best samples! I had the above dish the second after I walked in. It was perfect! The squash gave it such a nice, fall feel. Check out the cute little foldable spoon! I also had half of a chocolate chip cookie buttercream sandwich sample from the bakery. WOW is all I can say. I devoured it before I could get a photo.

I’m barely skimming the surface of what was in here but I do remember that there was: edamame, falafel, roasted veg, many bean salads, cabbage crunch salad, and eggplant!

I had to restrain myself once I got to the salad bar, as usual, and get a little container. That didn’t stop me from piling over a pound of food in there and finishing every last bite.

After lunch I went to my favorite package store. I have to be honest that they are only my favorite because I can always count on them to have free wine tastings on Saturday afternoons – and wouldn’t you know it, I found just what I was looking for, a free wine tasting. I rarely buy alcohol, unless I am at some kind of tasting, so I couldn’t leave without a bottle. I went for the most festive bottle, which, ironically, Katie blogged about last night!

Pinot noir!

Fun right? I like to buy a bottle if I find something I like at a tasting, and save it for whenever an occasion comes up, like the BBQ I attended last weekend. Who knows when I’ll break this bottle out, but I now have it and a bottle of chianti waiting in my house’s “Caitlin Reserve”!

Saturday’s dinner came courtesy of my dad and his best friend, who headed to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the state, Loco Perro, to pick up some delicious takeout for the Tennessee vs. Alabama game. I ate my meal on the floor in front of the fireplace (trying to keep warm – dammit it is getting too cold already for me). Unfortunately Tennessee did not fare well against Alabama, but we weren’t expecting a win. Still, there was the usual amount of anger, yelling, and head-shaking that accompanies any game that Tennessee loses. My dad is a die-hard fan – one of his retirement dreams is to live there and attend sporting events every single day. He doesn’t need much to be happy! I guess that’s where I get it from 🙂

Shredded chicken quesadilla, salsa, black beans.

Sunday’s eats were extremely routine (except for dinner, which I will post about later). Of course I spent the morning studying at Daybreak with Toasted Coconut coffee (I had Mocha Java on Saturday). I got so much done, and I’m so ahead of my work!

I did manage to get a photo of a random snack though…Good Neighbors black bean dip and baby carrots.


On Saturday I did a little shopping and pampering. A cute boutique in my town, Silver Dahlia, was having a huge one-day customer appreciation sale. Everything was 20% off, and all clearance was 50% off. I got two more charms for the charm key chain on my car keys. The books and the Class of 2011 charm are the new ones, and the other four I collected this summer! Unfortunately I now have no more room for charms. Probably a good thing, they’re a little pricey, at $3.95 per charm. I’m not sure what company makes them, but if anyone wants to know I can find out! I got my sister one for her birthday too.

I got another key chain too. I liked its message! And the other side says “Life is Good”.

After seeing an awesome nail color on Jenny’s blog last week, I found out the name of the color (OPI In the Espresso Lane) and went to my favorite nail parlor to get a polish change. I love polish changes – they are $4 cheaper than manicures and I think they look just as good! At the end, I got a little free massage with a warm piece of a plastic-like material around my shoulders. It felt sooo good, since I was already pretty cold.

Thanks to my dirty workout top for serving as my photo background…

I also saw two movies this weekend, 50/50 and Ides of March. I’d highly recommend both! “50/50” was very well done and not too depressing, despite what some (*cough* my parents) may have thought from the premise. “Ides of March” wasn’t what I was expecting exactly, but I still really liked it. I love me some Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling. In terms of female actresses, I really like Anna Kendrick, Marissa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood, so there was a lot to like about these movies.

Today I caught up with a lot of my shows and started a new one – Revenge. I LOVE THIS SHOW so far. I’m already almost three episodes in! I’m a big fan of Emily Van Camp from the “Everwood” days, so it’s good to see her back on TV.

That recap ended up being a lot longer than I thought it’d be! Props to you if you read it all. Even if you didn’t, maybe you can answer a few questions for me…

Have you seen any of the movies I mentioned, or “Revenge”? How about “Everwood” – any hidden fans out there?

Are you aware of the money-saving powers of the polish change?

What was your best workout, meal, and/or purchase of the weekend?