Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stuff That's Been Making Me Happy

As the savvy reader may have ascertained, it's not all sunshine and sprinkles over here - although both of those things have definitely been featured on my blog before. (For sure.)

I haven't felt like myself since leaving Vancouver, which is kind of a long time for me to be feeling so low. It still feels like there's a big hole in my life, and I've been trying really hard to fill it in with saying "yes" to things, making plans with friends, buying new clothes and beauty goodies, getting my health in order (chiropractors, physical therapists, and acupuncturists, oh my!), being creative, eating junk food, lining up trips (heyo, Panama!), and exercising.

So how is it working? Well... it's not curing me of my blues, that's for damn sure. But it's all chipping in to keep me momentarily happy/preoccupied and make me forget about being sad for a little while everyday. Here's a random, unorganized look into some of the things that have been making me happy....

My sister Markie works for a Nike store, and shares her family discount with us. I've never taken advantage of the perk - a 30% discount - until the weekend before last, when I stopped into the Nike outlet store near my apartment. I picked up a new pair of trainers... the Nike Flex Supreme in black and pink:

Nike Flex Supreme trainers in black and pink
They ran large so I actually had to go back that night and exchange them for a half-size smaller. I also got a new pair of workout leggings - Nike Dri-Fit capris in the "tight" fit. These felt a litttttle loose on me, but the XS felt a little too - ahem - familiar (if you nahmsayin), so I stuck with a size small. From this trip to the Nike store, my takeaway was: Nike is clearly into vanity sizing. That makes me feel terribly insecure in ever shopping for that brand online, without trying on first.

Workout clothes!

Also pictured above are a grey American Eagle workout tank and a pink cotton Hollister tank top, both from my local TJ Maxx.  I love the hourglass seaming detail on the grey tank - it's super flattering! Having made a couple trips to that same TJ Maxx recently, I also picked up a few other new tops...

This chunky, oversized black cardigan by Max Studio:
Max Studio oversized black cardigan

And this woven oatmeal-colored sweater from the brand Dalia:

Oatmeal Dalia sweater

Oatmeal Dalia sweater

I'm obsessed with both of these sweaters. You can seriously catch me wearing each of them once or twice a week lately. Here's the last shirt I got from TJ's:

Blue button up plaid shirt
As a blue-eyed girl, shirts like this really make my eyes pop. So... shoutout to turning your face
into an optical illusion.

Blue button up plaid shirt

While killing time in Brookline's Coolidge Corner back in February, I stopped into a consignment shop (Second Time Around) and spotted this pale pink asymmetrical BCBG Max Azria sweater (shown below in both white and pink)...

Asymmetrical BCBG Max Azria sweater

... I'm a sucker for interesting hemlines, and I fell head over heels for this sweater's unique criss-cross front, high-lo hem (with BONUS banded hemline in the back!), fitted sleeves, and soft merino wool fabric. It was $50 at the consignment shop, which is certainly more JoBros than I'd normally toss up at a second-hand store, but it was such a "GOTTA EFFING HAVE IT" moment that I surrendered to the flow. Once I got home and discovered that this is originally a $200 sweater... well obviously I went from scolding myself to patting myself on the back.

Some weeks back I received a surprise package in the mail - a gift box of Lush goodies from my friend Stephanie. The Hello Gorgeous gift set includes the Sakura bath bomb, the Comforter Bubble Bar, Tender Is the Night massage bar, Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, and a 0.2oz pot each of Lemony Flutter cuticle butter and Gorgeous moisturizer. I've already enjoyed the bubble bar and the bath bomb, and am slowly starting to make my way through the other products as well. Thanks Steph!
Hello Gorgeous gift set from Lush
source  .
Would you believe that I only owned one face brush that I actually liked? I wanted to get a higher quality brush that would work for bronzer/blush, or just all-over the face for blending. This Eco Tools face brush is super fluffy and gentle on my skin:

In other beauty-related acquisitions, here's a bunch of stuff for me to play with:

1. Benefit Hello Flawless sample trio - a sample from Sephora that was included in a recent purchase (#7), this includes the Stay Flawless primer, Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow brightening sunscreen makeup, and the Hello Flawless power cover-up. I have no idea how to use any of these yet, but... someday an opportunity will present itself to figure it all out.

2. Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel - also a sample from that same Sephora purchase. Has anyone tried this gel before? Let me know!

3. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleaning Masque samples. To warm up one chilly evening, Kara and I popped into the Aesop store on Newbury St and were immediately given 100% of the attention of the lone store clerk. She gave us each a bunch of samples, and the 3 packets she gave me will be enough for one face mask. This one is a "perfectly formulated clay-based masque containing parsley seed and rosehip seed extracts. Suited to most skin types, this masque removes impurities and refreshes the skin." WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT.

4. ESCADA Joyful perfume - again, a sample from Sephora. The very accurate description of this scent: "ESCADA Joyful is inspired by positivity and a joyful spirit. The luminous scent embodies the beauty of a bouquet of flowers. Bright, fresh blooms of jubilant pink peony release a sense of elation. Juicy blackcurrant sorbet adds a cooling top, and the warmth of honeycomb and sandalwood give depth to the floral notes. The fragrance embodies beauty and confidence and invites you to experience each day filled with joy and positivity." Sidebar, you've got to check out the gorgeous bottle that the full-size version comes in!

5. Full Lash Bloom mascara from Covergirl. This isn't something that normally happens to me, but I saw a beauty guru wearing this in a YouTube video and immediately wanted to know what mascara she was wearing. What struck me about the mascara was that her lashes looked soft and touchable - not hard or crispy. Imagine my surprise when that actually ended up being the chief claim that Covergirl makes about this mascara!

"With Full Lash Bloom Mascara, get exceptional lash fullness that’s soft - even to the touch. With our new petal-shaped brush and mousse formula with natural beeswax, lashes are never stiff or brittle."

It's not a thick lash, it's not a super lengthened lash, it's not a dramatic lash... but it's a nice, soft, everyday kind of lash.

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara

6. Benefit Roller Lash mascara - I got this as a 100-point VIB present to myself upon checkout for #7. This mascara claims to have an exciting "Hook 'n Roll" brush that "catches, lifts and curls." I love trying out new mascaras, and since my go-tos are usually drugstore brands, it's always exciting for me to try the higher-end stuff, too. I won't be opening this up till my current mascaras are done, but it's something to look forward to!

7. Shiseido Ibuki Multi-Solution Gel - this was the reason I was making that big purchase from Sephora in the first place. My face has been hurtin' for certain, for the last several months. If I could put a bag over my head, I would. I've tried all sorts of things to calm down my breakouts, and this gel is just the latest in the string of attempts. It claims to be "a uniquely textured beauty gel that targets breakouts, roughness, and the look of visible pores for clearer, smoother, and more beautiful skin." So far... I just don't know! It does seem to be making the breakouts go away faster, but it's not preventing them yet... which would be really god-damn ideal. I've been using it for 2-3 weeks now, and am hoping that I can see some really amazing results soon. Otherwise... paper bag, for the win.

Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel
Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel 8.  Twisted Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Scrub from Bath & Body Works. This isn't new, but I've been using it sparingly because it was a seasonal shower gel being sold back around Christmastime, and I can't bare the thought of running out. This sugary sweet peppermint scrub smells SO good that all I have to do is catch a faint waft of it to instantly feel happier. Sometimes I just pop open the cap and breathe it in, without even using it.

Twisted Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Scrub from Bath and Body Works

You know what else I've been loving? Game of Thrones. My golden goddess of a swan friend, Kate, gave me the first 3 seasons on a flashdrive back in early January, and I have been powering through them. What a good show! It's so exciting and SEXY all at once. I'm a little over halfway through Season 3, so now I'm fixing to get my hands on the 4th season, too.

Internet-wise, I've been loving Rap Genius. This is a lyrics/song interpretation website where I can get lost for hours at a time - especially if I'm educating myself on an entire album. One time I was going track-by-track through Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and it took me 20 minutes to get through the first chorus of All of the Lights. I've most definitely always been a person who focuses on the lyrics of songs, and even as a young child I would re-listen to songs intently to decipher the lyrics. As an adult, the interest clearly hasn't left me. Thanks for stoking my verbal fires, Rap Genius!

Lastly, my friends, guys. My friends have been making me happy and making me smile. Thank you to everyone who hangs out with me or chats with me or leaves me comments every day/week. It's more important to me than you probably even realize!

Well I hope that I sufficiently Debbed you out at the beginning of this blog and then swooped in swiftly with buckets and buckets of joy to make up for it.

What have you been into that helps to keep you smiling? Any good shopping websites or places to buy workout gear or any fun new beauty/fashion finds to share with me?



  1. Score! on the Max Azria sweater. When we thrift we always go well one of these would have cost this (enter dollar amount here) amount so we did well. I love thrifting and that shirt is super cute!

    1. I had a really fantastic local thrift store when I lived in Vancouver, but now that I'm living back in Boston I haven't really gone thrifting much at all :( Womp womppp.

  2. Love those shoes, girl! Let me know how they are after working out in them. I have worn my shoes into the ground and definitely need a new pair when I get back to America!

  3. I love the Nike stuff you bought and I'm also a sucker for cool hemlines. I hope you start to feel more like yourself and a lot happier sooner rather than later. Sending good vibes, luv!

    1. Hemlines seriously don't get enough attention as far as I'm concerned haha. And thank you for your good vibes, they are most welcome :)

  4. It takes a while to start feeling like yourself again after big changes like that... and even when you do, it can come in waves. All part of being human and having emotions, I guess! Listing out the things that are providing moments of happiness like this certainly helps though. Wish I had access to a Nike discount... oh, the many pairs of shoes I would buy!

    1. Thanks for the comment Alison, it's good to hear from people who have been through something similar and lived to tell the tale ;)

  5. Yay for all good things! We're addicted to GoT as well but we've only made it through the end of season 2 (we have about 2 hours every week together, in which we can either watch something, game, or look at house listings sadly, GoT is taking a backseat indefinitely. *saface* But I love me some Tyrian Lancaster, even though I'd totally be House Mormont).

    Double yay for LUSH and cosmetic goodies! Do you wear eyeshadows at all? I know you have sensitive skin....*plotplotplot*


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