Monday, December 29, 2014

The Best of Birchbox 2014

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Hello, beauties! The end of the year has finally come, and with that means the end of my first year as a Birchbox subscriber. There have been loads of fantastic lotions, potions, and salves that have come through my mailbox this year, but there were several that were truly best in show. Today, I'm wrapping up 2014 by giving you the inside scoop on ten products that I feel were major standouts from this year's Birchbox samples!

It's been a good year for makeup. 2014 saw so many amazing beauty products, but there were five this year that absolutely made my boxes. Starting with eyes, the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette was a surefire winner. The neutral mini-quad I received has gotten a proper workout with loads of product left to see me into 2015. Plus, the stunning golds and browns ensure I have a look for any event. And to really make my peepers pop, I'll be topping things off with Benefit's They're Real Mascara. A beauty blogger darling, this mascara gives my lashes the oomph they need to flutter with a dash of glam.

Moving on to cheeks, this list wouldn't be complete without giving some love to ModelCo.'s Shimmering Bronzing Powder. All the way from Australia, this little beauty gives you a summer glow all year round, and the generous size has meant a sun-free bit of color well into winter. However, if a cheeky flush is more your speed, one can't do better than theBalm's How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream. This double duty product is great for women on-the-go whose makeup routine is all about keeping things low maintenance. Speaking of lips, we can't talk about makeup without mentioning the Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in New York. Bright enough for summer, but deep enough to complete any holiday party look, this super pigmented beauty is the ultimate red lip lover's dream!

On the hair care front, there were several worthwhile products to choose from. However, there was one duo that just couldn't be beat. I'm talking about the Bain de Terre Color Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner. Boasting a paraben-free formula packed with argan and monoi oils and a passion flower scent, these beauties kept my color looking fresh and whipped my hair into red carpet shape. A lovely way to bring the spa to your shower and give your hair a reviving treat!

When it comes to skincare this year, there were two items that stood head and shoulders above the rest. Top marks go to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, a cult beauty classic in the UK. It's ability to melt off the most stubborn of makeup and it's skin soothing natural ingredients make this a must have for any skincare fanatic. And it wouldn't be a proper wrap up without gushing about the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue. This little wonder saw my morning puffiness and persistent dark circles fade in a snap.

Finally, we round out the year with the best bits in body care and fragrance. With it's intoxicating floral scent and nourishing ingredients, the Gilchrist and Soames London Collection Body Lotion has to be given an enthusiastic mention. I've never been much of a lotion girl, but I absolutely want to bathe in this stuff. Gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it! As for fragrance, English Laundry's No. 7 perfume is top of the chart. This musky floral is a great alternative for those looking for a less powdery version of Chanel No. 5. I've been nursing my little phial all year long by making it my special occasion scent. It makes me feel very grown and womanly!

With all the fabulous samples I've received in 2014, I can only imagine what's in store for 2015. One thing's for sure. My mailbox and vanity are better with a Birchbox in it!

What were your favorite samples from Birchbox this year? Which samples would you love to receive in 2015?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Outfit Ideas

Hello, beauties! Christmas is only days away. That means it's time to start getting in the party spirit by planning our holiday get ups. Whether you're headed to a sparkling soiree or a cozy night in with the fam, I've got two outfit ideas sure to put some jingle in your step!

Christmas Eve in my family means a big party with the in-laws and their extended family. You'll find people wearing everything from jeans to their Sunday best. I love wearing something glitzy and festive to get in the holiday mood. Here's an outfit idea for all of us party goers looking to add a little glam to Christmas!

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Christmas day, on the other hand, is a totally different story. I want nothing more than to be cozy and warm, dressed in an outfit easy for spending time with rowdy family members and comfy for travel. Soft and oversized are my typical rule of thumb. Here's an ensemble for those of us looking forward to jeans and jumpers on Christmas morn!

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What are you wearing this holiday? Do you have a go to ensemble for Christmas parties?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

My Christmas 2014 Wish List



Hello, beauties! Christmas is just around the corner and, for me, that means finalizing my Chrimbo wish list. I'm a huge sucker for gift sets come this time of year. With their bespoke boxes, meticulously cultivated products, and high value at bargain prices, they are the ultimate purchase to go under the tree. See which holiday bits and bobs have made the cut for my letter to Santa this year!


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I'm crossing my fingers that one or two of these beauties make their way to me on Santa's sleigh! I've been eyeing several of these items for months, if not longer (ahem, I'm talking about you, Stila Convertible Color in Gladiola!), so I hope I'll unwrap one of these lovelies on Christmas morn.

What items are on your Christmas list this year? Are you a fan of gift boxes like me?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Birchbox | December 2014 - Review

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Hello, beauties! The year has flown by so fast, hasn't it? Seems like just yesterday when I received my first Birchbox. However, it's now December, and with that comes the final box of the year. This month's theme is Decked Out, and is packed with all the products you need to get holiday party ready. From hair to makeup to the perfect soiree scent, December's box will have you prepped and primed for all your year end events!

• Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser | Full-Size, $14.99 (Sample, $2.50)
The first step in any beauty routine is a clean face. My skin is a bit sensitive, so I don't need to put it through the ringer any more than necessary. This particular cleanser is free of harsh nasties, so it's perfect for getting my face in shape before a big night out. I'm not a fan of the scent, but I love the Acure Organics Day Cream, so this is worth giving a shot.

• Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara | Full-Size, $23.00 (Sample, $8.00)
I'm no stranger to the They're Real mascara, and it gets plenty of love in my makeup rotation. This mascara definitely adds length to my short, baby lashes. Perfect for those eye popping looks, this is going straight into my holiday travel bag!

• Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm | Full-Size, $36.00 (Sample, $4.80)
When it comes to BB creams, you can't do better than Dr. Jart+. Especially if you have pale skin like I do. And after a long night filled with friends, family and holiday cocktails, BB creams are the perfect way to make your face look awake and refreshed. I currently use the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, so I'm excited to try another offering from the brand. I just wish this sample wasn't so small so it could be given a proper test.

• English Laundry Signature for Her | Full-Size, $20.00-$90.00 (Sample, $4.11)
Every party look is best finished off by that perfect signature scent. With it's blend of floral and woodsy notes, English Laundry's aptly named Signature for Her will be enticing loads of guys under the mistletoe this holiday season! It reminds me of a more complex version of Britney Spears' Fantasy perfume, which is a long time favorite of mine. I'm planning on wearing this to the Christmas Eve party at my in-laws.

• TONI&GUY Prep Heat Protection Mist | Full-Size, $15.00 (Sample, $7.59)
Now THIS is a sample! With all the party looks we do over a holiday season, our hair is more than put through its paces. To keep our tresses in tip top shape, a heat protectant is a must. And if you have dyed hair like me, you'll know that a good protectant will help keep color fade at bay. I foresee this TONI&GUY spray getting a proper workout this Christmas and New Year's.

TOTAL BOX VALUE: $27.00

All in all, I'm thoroughly impressed with the December box. Birchbox certainly ended the year with a bang! I've got all the bits and bobs I'll need to ring in a very beautiful new year. I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for my favorite subscription box!

What's been your favorite Birchbox sample this year? Will you be getting a Birchbox subscription in 2015?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder Gift Box - Review

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LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder Gift Box, $19.95
Hello, beauties! Still looking for the perfect LUSH gift for a loved one or yourself? Well, if the Festive Friends box or the Best Wishes set didn't tickle your fancy, then today's offering is sure to be a holiday winner. Let's take a peek inside, shall we?

The LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder gift box is the ultimate mini treat for those who love warm and citrusy scents. And with a little something for bath and body, including a bath bomb, hand cream, and LUSH's super fun FUN, you'll be having a glorious winter pamper in no time flat.

• Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion

No holiday is complete without a cheeky bubbly tipple. Now your whole body can indulge in the festivities! Celebrate's champagne scent and skin soothing ingredients such as almond oil and fair trade cocoa butter will have you merry and bright in record time!

• Golden Wonder Bath Bomb
If you're looking for something to make bath time a little more magical, then Golden Wonder is right up your street. Boasting a fruity cocktail scent made from sweet orange oil, cognac oil, and lime oil, your bath will become the ultimate party. And if that isn't enough, be on the lookout for this bath bomb's sparkling finale!

• Gold FUN
There's nothing like Chrimbo to bring on the nostalgia and make us feel like kids again. With it's caramel scent, reminiscent of warming, winter sweets, this playful, moldable soap puts the (Gold) FUN back in shower time. A holiday hit for kids from one to 92!

Out of the three sets featured this week, Golden Wonder has to be my favorite. It embodies the season with a touch of sparkle, a bit of bubbly, and a dash of sweet. And each product is sure to go to the top of my repurchase list!

Do you have a holiday beauty routine? Which of these products would you add to it?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes Gift Box - Review

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LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes Gift Box, $27.95
Hello, beauties! Still on the prowl for a prezzie for your favorite LUSH-ie? If so, no worries! Today I'm back with a sneaky peek inside yet another stunning LUSH holiday gift box. If you have a loved one who enjoys the gorgeous, spicy scents of Christmas, and can't get enough of their warming soaks in the bath, this is definitely one box to consider popping under the tree.

The LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes gift box is the perfect festive gift for those who are Christmas and bath time obsessed. Packed with three holiday items that pull their inspiration from all the best bits of the advent season, you'll be whisked away into your own private winter wonderland. Two limited edition bath bombs and one limited edition bubble bar will have you Fa-La-La-ing in no time! Have a look!

Cinders Bath Bomb
Inspired by cozy, crackling fires, the Cinders bath bomb is sure to warm your tired, winter-worn bones. Cinnamon, almond oil, and sweet orange oil gives this fizzer its sweet and spicy scent, and the addition of popping candy to simulate the sound of a roaring fire will heat you all the way through. Want to kick it up a notch? Pair it with this next item!

Holly Golightly Bubble Bar
Named after the classic Audrey Hepburn character, this glittering beauty is sure to be a new holiday favorite.  With its quintessential Christmas scent of clove, cinnamon, and patchouli, and hints of orange and lime, Holly Golightly is all you need to get into the Holly-day spirit. And it's large size means you can get two to three bubble filled baths out of it to help extend your Christmas cheer!

So White Bath Bomb
If drinking copious amounts of apple cider is one of your favorite holiday traditions, then the So White bath bomb is right up your street. It's crisp apple scent, created with a skilled blend of bergamot oil, rose absolute, orange flower absolute, and neroli oil, will have you feeling like you're soaking in a bath full of your beloved cider. Just imagine yourself as the cinnamon stick!

If these spicy treats hit the spot, buy one Best Wishes gift box for yourself and one for a friend for a very merry Christmas morn! Still not sure which gift set to buy for that LUSH fan in your life? Check back on Friday for one last fabulous gift idea.


What is your favorite Christmas scent? Which of these bathtime beauties would you want to give a go?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends Gift Box - Review

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LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends Gift Box, $29.95
Hello, beauties! With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start nabbing gifts for friends and family if you haven't already. Nothing makes shopping for those we love easier than well cultivated gift sets. Not only can you get products at a discount, but it helps take the guesswork out of buying prezzies for your favorite people. If you have a LUSHie in your life, or know someone who loves to indulge in a cheeky bath, then today's gift box is a no-brainer purchase!

The LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends gift box is a bath lover's dream. With four all-natural treats meant to help nourish the skin and soothe the mind, the recipient of this set will have everything they need for post-holiday relaxation. Festive Friends includes two limited edition bath bombs and two limited edition bubble bars. Whether used separately or together, these cute, little bath buddies will put a smile on any face. Let's take a look at what you'll get!

Butterbear Bath Bomb
Based on the year round best-seller, Butterball, this little guy is packed with sweet, melty cocoa butter to soften your winter worn skin. And with a hint of warming vanilla and restorative ylang-ylang, this bath bomb can turn any bath into a spa-like experience!

 • Dashing Santa Bath Bomb
Made with mandarin, orange absolute, and bergamot, this little fizzer is a citrus lover's best friend. Zipping around your bath and releasing his satsuma scented goodness, you'll be relaxing in yummy, scarlet waters in no time.

The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar
Sporting the same scent as The Olive Branch shower gel, this adorable penguin will leave you anything but cold. Orange flower absolute, Sicilian mandarin, lemon oil, and bergamot will whisk you away to warmer climes on these chilly winter nights. Pair it with Dashing Santa for an extra zesty soak!

The Christmas Hedgehog Bubble Bar
Pile on the bubbles with this little cutie! Borrowing its scent from the limited edition Noriko soap, The Christmas Hedgehog brings to mind a floral wonderland. Notes of lavender, rose absolute, and ylang ylang calms, whilst cocoa and shea butters leave your skin silky soft.

Whether you buy a set for yourself or a box for a loved one, Christmas morning will be a happy one with Festive Friends under the tree. Need more gift ideas for your LUSH obsessed friends? Stay tuned this week for more peeks inside of a few of LUSH's best holiday gift boxes.

Would you be excited to get a LUSH gift box this Christmas? Which bath bomb or bubble bar would you use first?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Friday, December 5, 2014

The Beauty Bloggers Society

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Hello, beauties! During a recent beauty bloggers chat on Twitter, a few of us started talking about how we don't feel that the blogging community is as supportive as it used to be. The chats, which started as a way to mingle, ask questions, share content, and grow as bloggers, had become nothing more than a free for all. It was hard to even find people to talk to as you had to slog through ridiculous amounts of links spammed in the hopes that someone, anyone, would click on it. You'd ask a genuine question and never hear an answer back. We felt that no one stopped to chat anymore or truly read each other's content. It was every blogger for themselves.

For awhile, I'd been bouncing around the idea of a blogging community in my head that was truly dedicated to beauty bloggers and helping them get seen, be helped, and make new friends. Oh, sure there are loads of beauty blogger communities on Facebook and such, but almost all of them are places where you do nothing more than drop your link and run. There's no guarantee that anyone will click on your content, no matter how good it is. Trust me when I say that unless you are established with name recognition, few people click on those dropped links.

The past few months, I've been part of a stellar blogging community on Facebook that aims to help members grow, expand their reach, and have their contents engaged with. I've loved being a part of that community and learned so much, but have often felt a little out of place being one of the very few beauty bloggers in the bunch. Sometimes it felt like beauty content was overlooked in favor of parenting blogs, DIY blogs, food blogs, and lifestyle blogs. And it was especially disheartening to receive loads of forced comments where people admitted that they really don't use makeup or skincare or any of that stuff, but, hey, nice post!

With all these things thrashing about in my mind, I decided that if I wanted a certain type of community and it wasn't out there, that I'd have to make it. So yesterday, I opened The Beauty Bloggers Society! I took all of the amazing things I loved about the blogging community I've been a part of, added my own twists, and created a space where beauty bloggers can come and really have their blogs read, their social media interacted with, and they can chat with other bloggers from all over the world.

If you are a beauty blogger, and you're interested in watching your followers grow, your engagement rise, learning new tips and tricks, and making new blogger friends, you should come and join us. However, I will warn that this is not like other groups where you just drop your links and run. You are expected to reciprocate to your fellow bloggers. You can choose what content you interact with, but you have to give back a little if you want to receive. My engagement stats increased by about 25% just on our first day open, so the system definitely works!

We have over 100 members already and it is only the second day open, so come on over and join us! See just how far you can take your blog and grow your skills to make you the best blogger you can be.

Are you interested in joining The Beauty Bloggers Society? Leave any questions or comments below!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Fresh Face Mask | Cupcake - Review

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LUSH Cosmetics Fresh Face Mask | Cupcake, $7.95
Hello, beauties! When it comes to our well earned pamper sessions, is there any skincare ritual more relaxing than a dreamy face mask? I'm a huge fan of slapping on a favorite facial while I soak in the tub or catch up on the latest episode of one of my guilty pleasures. Today's super sweet offering has become a fast favorite and a new staple in my autumn skincare routine!

LUSH's Cupcake Fresh Face Mask is a fabulously decadent treat for troubled skin. Formulated with teenagers and their changing skin needs in mind, Cupcake is meant to soften, soothe, and treat any problem areas. Filled with goodies like cocoa powder, spearmint, and sandalwood, this face mask is nothing short of an indulgent dessert for your face!

I am absolutely in love with this face mask. Not only does it smell heavenly, but it works like a dream. My skin is normal to oily with a few rogue dry patches that have been exacerbated by the particularly crisp autumn weather, and Cupcake has helped keep my skin soft and nourished. It has also helped to calm down the persistent redness I experience, as well. The one place that Cupcake falls short is helping to treat any spot outbreaks. However, my blemishes are a hormonal issue, so it may not be the fault of the product that my skin hasn't cleared whilst using it.

If you are looking for a new face mask to add to your skincare rotation this fall, I fully recommend giving Cupcake a try. Even if you don't need all the benefits it offers, it's a fab way to indulge in a bit of chocolate minus the guilt! And with a firm expiration date, it will give you loads of excuses to schedule in a good pamper session. Oh, go on, then!

Have you tried LUSH's Cupcake Fresh Face Mask? What masks do you like to treat yourself with?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Monday, December 1, 2014

30 Before 30 | #4 - Buy a House

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Hello, beauties! Back in early September, right after my 28th birthday, I posted a list of 30 goals I want to complete before I turn 30 in two years. On that list, clocking in at number four, was the goal of one day buying my first house. Well, on November 7th that goal became a reality. My dude and I are now the proud owners of our very own home!

Since we were married nearly three years ago, my husband and I have wanted to buy a house. However, we hadn't felt like it was a financial feasible goal until this past summer when my husband started a new, better paying job. Thinking that it would take us awhile to find a house we liked, and believing our first few bids would fall through, we started looking in mid-September with a summer 2015 deadline for owning a home.

We found a real estate agent and put together a list of homes we wanted to see. Scheduling in several viewings for our first weekend of looking, we were ready to dip our toes into the water. Little did we know that the house that would become ours would be in that very first batch. We loved the second home we saw so much that we put in a bid right there on the spot! By Sunday morning, September 21st, we were under contract.

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Setting a tentative close date for November 20th, we began gathering together paperwork and sending out all the needed documents to secure a home loan. Our agent told us to not expect to close too ahead of schedule, but, once again, fate had different plans. Our loan was approved and we received the clear to close on November 3rd, almost three weeks early! And on November 7th we signed the paperwork that made us homeowners and promptly moved in that night.

The process had its ups and downs, and I had my fair share of anxiety, but this home has been an absolute blessing. There just isn't another word for it. It had almost all the amenities we wanted, it's situated in an up and coming neighborhood, we paid a mint price for it, it appraised for over 10k more than we bid for it, the seller repainted and put in new carpeting, and they threw in all the appliances, gardening tools, and even an outdoor grill! I keep thinking this whole thing is too good to be true, but my mom keeps reassuring me that when the universe wants to make something happen, it clears a path.

The dude and I are absolutely over the moon and can't wait to start decorating to make this house truly our own. I'm sure there will be loads of home decor and renovation posts to come! So, that's why things have been quiet here at the blog lately, and that's one goal checked off out of 30. Only 29 more to go!


Do you own your own home? Share your home buying stories, renovation posts, decor wish lists, and more!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Southern Girl's Guide to Books #2

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Hello, beauties! Now that we're heading into the cooler months, there is nothing better than snuggling up with a cup of tea and a book worthy of getting lost in. Whether you enjoy books that slow burn or ones that keep you warm with their action-packed pages, these crisp autumn days are made for reading to your heart's content. Today, I'm bringing you three books perfect for settling in with this fall!

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Emma Paxton has been in and out of foster care since her mother abandoned her when she five. So when she connects with a twin sister she never knew she had, Emma is excited at the prospect of finally having a real family. However, Emma's dream comes crashing down when she arrives to meet her sister, Sutton, only to find that Sutton is dead, and her killer expects Emma to assume Sutton's life...or else. Now it's a race to solve Sutton's murder without anyone finding out who she truly is or suffer the same fate.

For fans of: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, Private by Kate Brian, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Hazel Lancaster is a terminal cancer patient living on borrowed time thanks to an experimental "miracle" treatment. Intelligent and bitingly sarcastic, Hazel finds the cancer support group her parents send her to a waste of the little time she has left. That is, until Augustus Waters walks through the door. In an instant, everything changes and Hazel learns that her cancer may be terminal, but love doesn't have to be.

For fans of: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, anything by Lurlene McDaniel

City of Bones by Cassandra Claire
After having a front row seat to a murder committed by a group of teens covered in strange tattoos, Clary Fray is pulled into the mysterious world of the Shadowhunters, a brotherhood of old that defends humanity from the evil hordes of the Downworld. Clary quickly learns that she has the gift of sight, the ability to see the supernatural, despite being normal, a mundane. Soon after, Clary's mother is kidnapped placing Clary at the center of the battle between the Shadowhunters and the Downworld. In order to solve the mystery of her powers and find her mother, Clary has to dive headfirst into a world she can hardly believe exists, all while dealing with her burgeoning feelings towards Jace, a young Shadowhunter with an even darker past.

For fans of: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

From reality to fantasy and everything in between, these picks are sure to get you through these cool autumn weeks! Now, make a cuppa, grab a new book, sit back, and relax!

Have you read any of these books? What's next on your to-read list?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Where I've Been (Or How Insecurity Is a Dream Killer)

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Hello, beauties! Long time, no see! As you may (or may not, I don't know your life) have noticed, I've been away from the blog for a month now. It wasn't my intention to be gone this long. In fact, it wasn't my intention to be gone at all. But sometimes things and people get in the way of your best intentions, and that is what brings me to today.

So, where have I been? Nowhere, really. I've been around, occasionally posting to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, but I've long been silent here on the blog. There were a lot of days that I wanted to post or wanted to be involved with the community, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't bring myself to sit at my laptop and craft a new post. I couldn't bear the thought of another blog chat. Needless to say, my laptop gathered a nice little layer of dust.

Why, you may ask? Well, things start farther back than this last month. From the time I was small, I have wanted to do something artistic with my life. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a singer (and eventually made a demo to test the waters). I wanted to be a model, an artist, whatever I could do to use my imagination. I wanted to be a writer.

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I still have fake news bulletins I'd write on my grandmother's typewriter as a child, binders of my short stories from middle school, and journals of my angsty teenage poetry. In college, I was published in my school's literary magazine, and later rose up to become one of its editors. I took classes to hone my skills. I worked on writing a science fiction novel. Even last year, I had a poem published in an upstart lit, photography, and art magazine.

While I've had multiple blogs over the years, everything from personal blogs to a wedding planning blog, I decided to open this one after being inspired by a friend's blog. I was going through one of the worst times in my life (see my post on my mental health journey) and felt that indulging in a creative outlet, especially one that I've loved so much, would help me find my purpose again and turn things around. To say that it changed my life would be an understatement. Writing again for an audience empowered me in ways that I can't begin to describe.

While I was excited about what the future held, people around me were not always as enthusiastic. Reactions to my blogging have run a full gamut. Some people have insinuated that I don't deserve success from blogging. I've had some who felt early on that I was gaining a following too fast. They'd had to work harder and longer to gain their own followings for their artistic endeavors, therefore it wasn't fair because they deserved success more. I've had people look down their noses at me for blogging, and others who continue to suggest I shoot for a "real" job instead of a dream job.

At first, I was hurt, but tried to shrug it off. But as with any poison, eventually it overtakes your system until there is nothing left. Growing up, I was told quite often that my artistic dreams were no more useful than basket weaving, and that I'd never make anything of myself. (Though, let me state that my mother was always a beacon of encouragement. She reads my blog and would be hurt if I didn't make mention of her support. Hi, mom!) I always said I'd prove those people wrong. Yet, here I was, finding myself surrounded by more people who reinforced those childhood barbs.

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Things have culminated in these last few months with me feeling deeply insecure. I started believing that I didn't deserve to be successful. I doubted my talents. I felt like I'd wasted my entire life working on my writing. I took a backseat to all the people around me, never letting myself shine for fear of angering them. I've toyed with the idea of giving up blogging altogether, my finger hovering over the delete button on numerous occasions. And the saddest part is I think that some people would actually be happy if I did.

The insecurity seeped into all areas of my life. I don't even feel like I know who I am any more. I have been made to feel like I'm not allowed to be anyone at all. I feel like I'm not allowed to write, or explore new things, or even change my damn hair. I feel small, trapped, pathetic, unable to just be. I feel like I'm taking up space that I don't deserve to have, that I haven't earned. I've felt ill just looking at my computer. The amount of nights I've spent upset over all this in the past few months has been unreal.

I have always been the kind of person who feels like there is enough room in this world for all of us to shine. I find joy in everyone's accomplishments, large or small. I've never felt intimidated by other people doing the same things as me, or sharing success with others. I don't see life as a competition. I've not been one to hold back any "secrets" to success, and I love being able to give a helping hand to those in need. But I have learned in this past year that not everyone I've surrounded myself with feels the same.

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So, where does that leave me? I'm still hurt and sorting through my insecurities, but I've also become angry. That fighting spirit leaves me wanting to have another go at it. It leaves me hopeful that I can slowly shed those insecurities, get my life back, and remove the influences that brought me to this point in the first place. It makes me want to reach for my dreams again.

With that being said, I'm hoping to be back at the blogging game. I'm going to start out slow and see where that leads me. I'm shooting for two posts a week and adding more as I find my groove again. While I know that I didn't have to explain myself, I wrote this post as much for me as it is for my readers. I need the catharsis and I was tired of holding everything inside, allowing the poison to continue to control me.

I leave you all with a final message. Don't be like me. If you have friends or family that are trying to pull you down, who expect you to remain in the shadows instead of shining the way you were born to do, who don't give you the support you deserve, let them go. Let. Them. Go. Do not let people stand in your way. Be gracious and supportive and positive, and surround yourself with others who treat you in kind. Do not ever let anyone steal your dreams from you. Ever. You are not their opinions of you. You are a wonder who brings value to this world. Never forget that.

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

30 Before 30 | My Goals

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Hello, beauties! It's no secret that I turned 28 a couple of weeks ago. In fact, my mother never fails to remind me just how close I'm creeping to the dreaded 3-0 (she finds this HI-larious). When I stop to think about all the things I've done in my life, though proud, I feel like I should have done more. Growing up poor, I didn't have as many opportunities as other kids, but I feel like I've made the most out of what I have.

However, now that I'm an adult, and especially now that I'm getting close to 30, I feel like I have the chance to really step out and add a few more experiences under my belt. Inspired by other people's 30 Before 30 posts, I decided that creating a tangible list of 30 things I want to do before 30 would be a way to set some realistic goals for the next two years! After careful consideration, here are my 30 goals for the next two years.

1. Get my passport.
2. Learn to make sushi.
3. Get a second tattoo.
4. Buy a house. (Completed 11/07/2014)
5. Grow the blog to 5000 followers.
6. Hit my goal weight (and stay there).
7. Take a cruise.
8. Attend a blogging event.
9. Pay off a debt.
10. Have dinner at a five star restaurant.
11. Adopt a pet from a shelter.
12. Spend a day at a spa.
13. Take a long weekend in Washington DC.
14. Go to the top of the Empire State Building.
15. Craft my perfect skincare routine.
16. Cultivate a wardrobe that I love.
17. Feed the tigers at Carolina Tiger Rescue.
18. Tour the Biltmore Estate.
19. Rent a cabin for a weekend.
20. See the leaves turning in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
21. Visit Williamsburg, VA during the holiday season.
22. Cross the Mile High Bridge.
23. Go to King's Dominion.
24. Take in dinner and a show at Medieval Times.
25. Attend a murder mystery dinner.
26. Go to Dollywood.
27. Ride a train.
28. Start a YouTube channel.
29. Reach 40,000 gamer points on XBOX Live. (Don't judge!)
30. Ride one of the world's top 10 tallest and fastest rollercoasters. (One is opening here next spring!)

I'm really excited to work towards all these goals! They're all things I've been wanting to do for ages, but always thought I just wouldn't have the time. Well, now I'm taking control and giving my life a little upgrade! Time to take the bull by the horns and go out there and create the life I want. The only way I fail is by not doing, right? And since I only have two years to complete the list, it means I'll need to get started soon! So, stay tuned and wish me luck!

Do you have a 30 Before 30 list? What are some of your goals?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Journey with Depression and Anxiety

Hello, beauties. Earlier this week, the world lost the inimitable Robin Williams. To those on the outside, he was known for his over the top humor, heartwarming soul, and kind spirit. On the inside, he spent years battling the demons of addiction and a depression that he ultimately could not overcome. People have wondered what a man with his level of talent and fame could possibly have to be depressed about, as if those things should be enough to stave away the inner turmoil that would lead someone to take their own life. The truth is depression cares not for how much is in your bank account, how big your house is, how many adoring fans you have, or any other marker of success. It strikes without warning and without discrimination.

The tragic death of Robin Williams has ignited a conversation about the realities of depression and how we as a society treat and, in many ways, demonize mental illness. It has also inspired people all over the world to share the stories of their own battles with mental illness. If you’ve followed my blog or my social media, then you may have seen me make mention of my own struggles. I’ve never shared the full story publicly. Not until now. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post, but in the end I felt that if it helped one person, or if it helped someone feel like they weren’t alone, then it would be worth it. So, here it is. This is my story.

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Me at 13. I'd already started having anxiety and suicidal thoughts by this age.
I can barely remember a time without anxiety. By the time I was five or six, I was already starting to experience physical symptoms that were brought on by intense feelings of dread and anxiety. I can remember being bullied on the bus and being physically ill when I’d think of having to face the kids who tormented me. Suicidal ideations didn’t begin until I was 12, and soon after at 15, I began to self-harm. I’d cut and carve to relieve a pain I had no idea how to cope with. I hid it from my friends and family by doing it in places no one could see like my stomach and thighs, and I carried a deep, unrelenting shame over it.

I experienced my first breakdown when I was 16. That was the year I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. On top of that, I contracted mono and spent a semester out of school dealing with my physical and mental health. By the time I returned to school the next year, I was loaded down with meds and seeing a therapist every other week and things finally seemed to be looking up, albeit with strange lapses in memory (I still have parts of my 15th and 16th years that I don‘t remember). But that wouldn’t be the end of my journey.

I went off to college the summer I turned 19. I decided that I wanted to go to a school a couple of hours from home, but by the end of the first semester I was beginning to struggle and transferred to a college close to home. At first, things settled, but early 2008 saw a return of old patterns. Soon I was self harming again and my mental health was spiraling downward, but I did my best to hide as much of the pain that I was experiencing as possible. Then, my grandfather died on New Year’s Eve. After that, it was like a rock sinking to the bottom of a well.

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Me in NYC over Christmas 2008. Mere weeks before my grandfather passed and my second breakdown.
Spring semester of 2009 was the worst of my college career. I tried to escape my grief by sleeping all day, leaving my bed only to grab a bit of food or use the bathroom. My friends would stop by my room, banging on the door and begging to be let in, but I’d ignore them until they’d inevitably leave. I stopped going to my classes and saw my email inbox fill up with messages letting me know I was failing. I shut my phone off and holed myself up at my then boyfriend’s house not letting anyone know where I was. Not even my own mother. The next time I turned on my phone, I had messages from friends and family begging to know where I was, and when I finally talked to my mother she insisted I come home and get back into therapy.

Again, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and was started back on medication. Unfortunately, it was too late to salvage the school year. Even with my psychiatrist writing the administration asking them to be lenient due to my mental state, I was denied the ability to take incompletes and was failed in all of my classes. Depression and anxiety were not considered reason enough to miss class. Mental health issues were not regarded as something to be taken seriously.

Over the next few months, I gradually started to piece my life back together, and eventually I found myself back on solid ground. In 2010 I met a fantastic man, and in 2012 we were married. We honeymooned at Disney World, we made plans for our future, and everything seemed to be falling right into place. All that was about to change.

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Last summer after being diagnosed bipolar.
In the spring of 2013, right after our first wedding anniversary, I started having health problems. The maddening search to find out what was wrong led to me experiencing the worst breakdown of my life. I was fearful that I was dying and got to the point where I couldn’t be left alone. I was in a constant state of anxiety and the rollercoaster of emotions led me to being seriously suicidal for the first time since I was a teen. It got so bad that my husband ended up calling a crisis team out to our home in the middle of the night. I can’t even convey how surreal it felt having a counselor and social worker sitting at my dining room table discussing immediate treatment options, including the idea of having me committed to a hospital.

Luckily, we were able to get me in to see a psychiatrist in the next 48 hours, which is what kept me out of the hospital. This time around I had to see the psychiatrist once every three weeks, and I had to see a therapist each week. As before, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, but when I didn’t respond as hoped to my new medications, my psychiatrist started digging further. Soon I had a new diagnosis to go alongside my anxiety. Bipolar. I was stunned and afraid. Depression had been bad enough. What would people think? Would I ever lead a normal life?

With a new regimen of medicines, loads of therapy, and new tools to take into the world, I was able to reclaim my life. Getting back to an even place hasn’t been without it’s casualties. The medical bills wiped out our entire savings. With the frequent need for doctor visits and needing to be monitored as much as possible, we had to give up the apartment we were living in and move in with my mother. Needless to say, the last thing a grown child wants to do is move back in with their parents, especially when they are married. Another lovely effect was that my medication left me with a little parting gift of near 50 extra pounds, but it was a worthy trade off to be healthy again.

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Me now, and things are definitely looking brighter!
It’s the summer of 2014 now. I’m off medication and no longer needing visits with a therapist. My husband has got a new job and we’re actually looking to buy a house by the end of the year. Things are so different than they were a mere 12 months ago. But the knowledge of what I have lingers in my mind. The likelihood of another episode somewhere down the line is high. Each time I start feeling down, I worry that I’m hopping back on the Bipolar rollercoaster (and let me tell you that it is a shit ride). I can’t say that it doesn’t make me concerned for the future. But at the end of the day, I can only hope for the best.

Throughout my years dealing with mental illness, I’ve had all sorts of nasty things leveraged at me. I’ve been called a waste of space, worthless, weak, and a loser, among other things. I’ve been told that I need to get over it and learn to deal with life like everyone else, and that I should stop being overdramatic. You’d think it was a switch I could just turn off with the way some people talk about it. It shows just how little people understand mental illness, and that there is still an ugly stigma surrounding it.

I’m so lucky right now to have a husband who supports me and loves me no matter what. I have friends who understand what I’m going through and would be there at the drop of a hat without judgment. I’m also so happy to have this blog and all the fantastic people I’ve met because of it. I started this blog as I was coming out of things last year, and it was a large part of what helped me heal. Having something to focus on, to be proud of, to feel like I had a purpose for once, made such a difference. I don’t know where I’d be today without it.

So, that’s my story in a nutshell. Am I nervous about being judged or laughed at? Absolutely. I’m scared that admitting out loud to the world that I have a mental illness might change how people see me. At the same time, if my story can help anyone feel less alone or open to getting help, then there will be a firm positive from it. With a diagnosis, I better know how to care for myself, and am able to create a better life than I surely would have had if I’d never reached out my hand for help. I am alive, and there is nothing I am more thankful for.

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, please call one of the hotlines below:

US & Canada: 1-800-273-TALK
UK: 08457 90 90 90
Australia: 13 11 14

Please know that you are loved and you are never alone. Know that there is always someone there ready to help. Don’t give up. This world would not be the same without you in it. xx

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment - Review

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Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment*, $80.00
Hello, beauties! Whether from work, family, friends, or relationships, stress is something we’ve all experienced our fair share of. Not only can it affect our moods, but it can affect our performance, our weight, and even our health. When that dreaded anxiety hits, we want something that works to help calm the mind and soothe our worries. Aromatherapy treatments with essential oils have been studied and used for centuries, with their healing properties becoming more popular worldwide in the last few decades. So when I was contacted to trial a new stress treatment from organic beauty brand Tata Harper, I jumped at the chance to see whether a choice concoction of oils could really settle the nerves and give stress a fair kiss off!

The Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment is a natural solution to your stress woes. It’s blend of essential oils is meant to help dispel anxiety while promoting harmony and wellness. Linden blossom serves to relax the mind and is believed to help reduce blood pressure, which can easily skyrocket in those more nerve wracking situations. A note of rose otto is uplifting and is thought to have antidepressant properties, a positive for when times seem at their worst. A layer of neroli oil helps relieve tension and soothe the nerves, keeping you relaxed and in control. And lastly, famed frankincense means to ground you through daily turbulence.

The Aromatic Stress Treatment comes in a 5ml rollerball for easy on the go application. There are two modes of use. The first is to apply the oil to your pulse points such as the wrists, behind the ears, and the temples to engulf you in long lasting calm. The second way to use this oil is to apply it liberally to your palms, cup them over your nose, and take in five deep breaths for quick, potent relief. The oil is all-natural and not tested on animals, so you’ll be doing something good for the body and the soul alongside the mind.

So, the real question is does it work? I have been an anxiety sufferer for over ten years. I’ve tried all sorts of medications and alternative therapies. No, this will not work as well as a prescribed medication. However, if you have less frequent stress, this can absolutely be a useful tool in your arsenal. It’s no secret that the right blend of scents can relax us. Add this along with the ritual of applying the oil to the pulse points and taking a few moments to breathe it in deeply (deep breathing being a mainstay of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and I’ve found that for day to day moments of unrest, the Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment works to center me and untangle my thoughts. A win in any book.

If you are looking for an all natural solution for stress and anxiety, I definitely recommend giving the Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment a keen look. And if the scent of natural oils is your thing, this can double as a rich, heady perfume. You can purchase a vial of your very own at TataHarperSkincare.com.

What are your natural stress solutions? What do you like to do to relax after a hard day?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

 

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tips for Getting Your Best Brows Ever!

tips-for-eyebrows, brow-shaping-tips, brow-grooming-tips

Hello, beauties! It may come as a surprise, but our brows can make or break our faces. Whether you like wearing your brows thick and natural a la Cara Delavigne, or sharp and thin like classic movie stars, well groomed brows add structure to the face and make proper frames for our eyes. Today, I want to introduce you to some of my favorite tools and products that can help you achieve your best brows ever, and have you wanting to perfect that sexy brow raise!

The first thing you want to do is gather together all the tools you'll need to whip those brows into gear. Well-shaped brows are the best foundation for you to apply your choice of product. So to get them properly plucked and groomed, I recommend investing in a great pair of tweezers like the Tweezerman Studio Collection Slant Tweezers, $22.00. The sharper the tweezers, the easier it will be to pluck stray hairs with precision and less pain, which is always a plus.

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Once you've gotten a proper pair of tweezers, you're ready to shape your brows. Looking in a mirror, take stock of your natural brow shape. When grooming, you want to tweeze only the stray hairs outside of your natural brow shape. To minimize pain, pull the skin near the brows taut, and pull the hairs in the direction they grow. Pulling them straight out is far more painful than pulling them in the direction they grow naturally. And if redness occurs, taking an Ibuprofen will cut the inflammation down dramatically!

Next, you want to make sure you've got the proper brushes at your disposal to apply and blend your products of choice. If powder products are your thing, you'll want to have a nice angled brush. A lot of bloggers swear by more expensive brands, but I personally love my angled brush from EcoTools. It's sturdy and applies my powder products evenly, and you can't beat the budget price! I also suggest a double sided lash comb and brow brush as it helps to blend powder, tame unruly hairs, and removes excess product for a flawless finish.

When it comes to brow products, there are typically three different types of formulas you'll be dealing with. For a quick and easy, barely there look, gel products are the ultimate go-to. Much like a mascara for your brows, one swipe can give you a bit of tint and all-day taming power that is perfect for the girl on the go. One such product that I wholly recommend is Benefit's Gimme Brow, $22.00. It's so easy to use and perfect for brow beginners.

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Another type of brow product is the trusty brow pencil, and commonly what most women first experiment with. Pencils are fantastic at filling in sparse areas and adding a bit of extra drama for both day and night. For the most even application, start from the inner edge of your brows and pencil in short, light strokes all the way to the outer tip, staying within your natural brow shape. Blend by brushing your brow brush through your brows several times. This removes any excess product, and keeps your brows from looking markered on. When it comes to pencils, I love the budget friendly Wet n Wild ColorIcon Brow and Eye Liner, $1.49.

Lastly, if you are looking for glam, dramatic brows, you can't do better than a lush powder product. Applied with an angled brush, powder is a great way to get well-defined brows. Not for beginners, this is a product that should be worked up to as it requires a light hand and loads of precision. If you think you're ready to graduate to powder, a firm favorite of mine is the Urban Decay Brow Box, $29.00 . With your angled brush, dip it into the powder product that either matches your brows or is a shade or two darker. Then, with a steady hand, gently brush the powder through the brow. To add in that wanted red carpet feel, make sure to define the inner corners and outer points of the brows. Finish with a light brush of brow wax or a gentle swipe of clear brow gel to set your work.

Taming and defining your brows takes a bit of practice, but once you've got the basics down you'll be well on your way to getting glam, gorgeous brows! Today's tips are a great starting point. Remember to experiment, that practice makes perfect, and above all else, have fun!

What are your tried and true brow defining tips? What products are your favorite for getting the perfect brow?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Southern Girl's Guide to Books #1

stack of books, divergent, the maze runner, miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

Hello, beauties! One of my favorite parts of summer is grabbing some new reads perfect for days sitting poolside or relaxing at the beach. I tend to reach for quick, easy reads that keep me turning the pages long into the hot, humid nights. With a refreshing beverage of choice at my side (bloody marys, anyone?), I love going on action-packed thrill rides and heating up with steamy romances. Today's recommendations are of the former category, and will set your heart racing!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a dystopian future Chicago, society has separated itself into five factions based on distinct virtues: Erudite, Amity, Candor, Abnegation, and Dauntless. Upon turning 16, teenagers are tested to see which faction they are best suited for and where they will live out the rest of their days. But for Beatrice Prior things aren't so simple. Her test results reveal that she is suited for more than one faction, something called a "divergent". A person capable of defying the system. And in this society, being a divergent is a death sentence unless she can keep her newfound status a secret, even from those she loves.

For fans of: Matched by Ally Condie, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
16-year-old Thomas wakes up in the Glade with no recollection of how he got there, and no memories of his former life. However, he has an eerie feeling that he's been here before, and a strange pull to the mysterious, unsolvable maze that lies beyond the Glade's walls. His new home is filled with other boys, but before Thomas has a chance to settle in, the Gladers are suddenly joined by a girl who claims that everything is going to change. When the boys start dying one by one, Thomas realizes that they have to escape now, and that he holds the answer to the maze, if only he could remember.

For fans of: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Growing up, Jacob's grandfather told him fantastical tales about his childhood at Miss Peregrine's Home for Children. Jacob's grandfather insisted that his stories of monsters and adventures were true, but Jacob's family wrote them off as the ramblings of a mad man. However, when Jacob finds his grandfather mauled to death by an unknown creature, he begins to be haunted by the monsters of his grandfather's tales. Determined to find out the truth once and for all, Jacob travels to the infamous home where his grandfather grew up, only to find that some fairy tales are very, very real.

For fans of: Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

From dystopian societies to strange tales and fantastical creatures, these stories are sure to be your new favorite page turners! I've loved each and every one, and I know that you will, too.

Have you read these books? What are your favorite summer reads?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

CoverGirl CG Smoothers Aquasmooth Foundation - Review

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CoverGirl CG Smoothers Aquasmooth Foundation, $8.99
Hello, beauties! Usually when it comes to makeup, we can't wait to try new products. With a vast array of brands, new releases, and coveted limited edition items, it's only natural to want things we've never had before over products we've already given a test. However, sometimes we come across a product so fantastic that it becomes a mainstay in our beauty arsenal. Today, we're talking about a fabulous foundation that I've been using for near 12 years that I can't imagine being without!

The CoverGirl CG Smoothers Aquasmooth foundation is a hybrid base that starts as a cream, goes on like a liquid, and sets to a satin powder finish. With medium to high coverage, this is a great foundation for those looking to cover redness, dark circles, and blemishes. It pulls a bit warm on the skin, so I recommend it more for warmer to neutral skin tones. There is also no fine line settling which is fantastic, but it does highlight dry patches so exfoliation is a must.

Typically when applying foundation, it is generally advised to avoid using sponges as they soak up too much product. However, with this foundation I'd suggest applying it with a sponge as I've found that application with a brush is a bit cakey, while fingers apply the base too streaky. Regardless of how you choose to apply it, once it's on you're totally set for the day while only needing to touch up with a bit of powder here and there.

This is the foundation I've gone to for years. Through high school, prom, graduation, into college, and even now. I always keep a compact or two of it in my makeup bag to fall back on, and it's the first one I recommend when asked for a drugstore foundation. So here, I recommend it to you. If you are looking for a bargain foundation, especially one that provides great coverage and doesn't melt at the first signs of our signature southern heat and humidity, you'd do well giving this lovely base a go. It's definitely Southern Charmed approved!

Have you tried the CoverGirl CG Smoothers Aquasmooth foundation? Do you have a favorite product you've reached for over the years?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Southern Girl's Guide

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Hello, beauties! When I started this blog last year, I fully intended for it to be about more than just beauty (see the fashion and lifestyle parts of my tagline). Don't get me wrong, I love makeup and skincare and all things girly. I like it a lot! But I also wanted this blog to be about the books I'm loving, the TV shows I'm binge watching, the movies I keep on replay, the music I jam to, and even the video games I've been beasting. I'm a pop culture-aholic, and I love sharing recommendations with people. Thus, the idea for The Southern Girl's Guide was born!

This new series will be all about the things I'm loving at the mo that I think y'all will love, too! From your new fave TV shows to the books you should get stuck into and everything in between, The Southern Girl's Guide will be a one stop shop for all the recommendations you can handle with handy, quick guides to see what fits your interests. No matter what your tastes, there will be a little something for everyone.

I'm super excited to start this series, and I feel like it will bring some much needed variety to the blog. Plus, it gives me a fun outlet to explore all the other obsessions in my life and share them with all y'all. Stay tuned for the first installment next week featuring three books that will have you turning pages well into these hot summer nights!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Origins Super Spot Remover - Review

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origins-super-spot-remover-acne-treatment
Origins Super Spot Remover, $15.00
Hello, beauties! It's always lovely to reminisce about our teen years. First kisses, school dances, nights out with friends, all dearly held memories. However, there are some parts of our youth that are better left squarely in the past. The dreaded acne, for example! Once we hit our twenties, we expect to be rid of those nasty spots for good. Unfortunately for some of us, that bit of the past has a way of haunting us well into our adult years. Recently, I've been having stubborn breakouts, and after pulling out all of my typical tricks (and some of my hair to boot), I realized it was time to get out a heavy hitter. Today we're taking a look at a little wonder product that has me banishing those pimples back to high school!

The Origins Super Spot Remover is a larger than life acne treatment in the tiniest of blue bottles. Boasting 1.5% salicylic acid, an ingredient known for it's zit zapping properties, a little dab of this gel before bed is all you need to send your spots packing. Overnight those lousy suckers shrink away and you wake up to visibly clearer skin. A little dryness may occur, but it's a small price to pay to get your skin looking its very best.

I'm always skeptical of products that claim to treat acne so quickly. Time after time, I've picked up treatments only to be left with the spots I started with days later. But after a recommendation from a friend and the allure of a 15 dollar price tag, I pushed my skepticism away and decided to give this one a go. I'm glad I did because after seeing the difference in my own skin, I am singing another tune completely.

If you've got mild to moderate acne and are at your wits end trying to treat it, before you go the route of expensive kits and doctors, try a bottle of Origins Super Spot Remover. A couple of swipes of this on a Q-tip in the morning and again before bed should have those nasty buggers cleared up in record time. This is a definite must have in any woman's skincare arsenal!

Have you tried the Origins Super Spot Remover? What are your tried and true products to battle acne?

Stay gorgeous (and spot-free), peaches!

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