Wednesday, February 20, 2013


As you may recall, one of the items on my short list this year is to do something different each month. It doesn't have to be anything huge, but perhaps listen to a new band, try a new restaurant or in this case, travel to a new state. 

I was sent to Louisiana for a recruiting effort at LSU in Baton Rouge. I was pretty stoked because I had never been to Louisiana before, and i knew it was going to be warm (when temps were in the teens in St. Louis) and I would finish out the trip in New Orleans with one of my good friends, Brian! 
My trip to Baton Rouge was so pleasant and everything went very smoothly. I loved the people (southern people are just so damn NICE!) and the food was excellent. I stopped for some sushi at a place called The Drunken Fish on my way to LSU. I got a California roll, and a shrimp tempura roll - both were amazing as was the salad with a creamy ginger dressing. De-lish!  
For dinner, a coworker and I went to an amazing seafood restaurant called Parrain's where I ordered the special, Mahi-Mahi with fried oysters on top and a side of asparagus. This was honestly one of the best meals I've ever eaten! I have never been a fan of oysters but told myself I was going to like them when I was in Louisiana...and I did! 

Drunken Fish sushi
After my work duties were complete, I headed to New Orleans to meet my friend Brian. Our plan was to not have a plan, but rather walk around the French Quarter and do what we wanted to do. I have to say, walking around a city and people watching is one of my all-time favorite things in the world to do. I hate having a schedule and I hate being rushed. Brian and I had a very relaxing stroll around the streets, stopping in places to try a drink (or two). We even stopped for oysters and seafood cheesecake (sounds gross, but it's really good). I loved this city - we were there on a Monday night and it was so alive with people and activity (it helped the Superbowl was the coming weekend, and Mardi Gras is right around the corner). Below are some pics from the night: 

St. Louis representing in NOLA!

Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes

Oysters at Crescent City Brewery - I can't believe I ate these suckers.

I head back to Louisiana in a week for work again, and will once again spend a couple days in NOLA...I can't wait! 

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Short List Update

It's already mid-February so I thought I would post a quick 2013 Short List update! So far, I am making some decent progress on my list although there's still a lot to cover this year. Below are some of my updates: 

#2 Complete Insanity Asylum - Today (2/13/13) is the LAST day of Asylum!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. It was a great (and hard) program but I am ready to be finished. I have spent a lot of quality time with Shaun T, since I just got done with Insanity then moved right along to Asylum so I am ready for a new program (and a break from that man). My next Beachbody program will be Brazil Butt Lift, which I will start March 10. 

#6 Take a drawing class - signing up for Drawing: Beginner/Intermediate through St. Louis Community College. The class will start in April, and will last for 6 weeks (I think). Drawing is something I've always loved to do growing up, and I've lost the technique behind it so I am hoping to gain that from this class. 

#7 Play one song (well) on the guitar - Unfortunately, I am not musically inclined. When I was younger I played the violin, and not to brag but I was pretty good. My music teacher told my dad that I should keep up with it because my fingers moved like lightening..ha. Then, I decided (much against my dad's wishes) to play the saxophone  I hated was big, bulky, it squeaked..ugh. One of my regrets is that I didn't stick with the violin because I lost any musical ability that I had. Anyway, I signed up for online guitar lessons so we'll see how this goes. It could be a total train wreck or maybe I'll be the next (female) Jimi 

#19 Be introduced to something new every month. In January, I had to go to Baton Rouge, LA for work. I fell in LOVE with that place! After leaving BR I went to New Orleans to hang out with my good friend, Brian. That was such an amazing time that I can't wait to go back (which will be March..yeah!!). I am in the middle of writing a post about my's coming soon! 

Those are the updates for now...I feel like I am making some good progress. 4 items out of 28 isn't too bad. For those math lovers, 14% of my list has been completed! I am continually adding to it and trying to not change existing items too much (although I did change the due date of paying my Limited credit card off...shhh) 


Friday, February 1, 2013

2012 Product Review

Confession: I am a bit of a product-holic. I love makeup, skincare, and hair care products. One of my very favorite pastimes is to scour some of my favorite bloggers to see what they recommend, then review some more online, finally i go to Sephora and get samples to try them myself.I am not sure when this obsession with products started, since growing up and through my teen years I don't think I owned a bottle of foundation or knew how to properly apply eyeshadow (still struggle with this, by the way!) 
I was introduced to a lot of great products in 2012, some most of which have become staples in my makeup/skincare routine and I thought I would share (and yes, I realize this post is a bit late as we are already in February): 

                1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 

1. Clairsonic Mia 2
It took me a while to jump on the whole Clairsonic bandwagon. I just couldn't justify the cost of purchasing a device that a washcloth or $3 face brush could do. One day after talking with a friend about how much she loved hers I decided to at least do a bit of research. I have never been a stickler for washing my face at night (I know, I know...) and when I did I was sure that it wasn't as long or as deep of a clean as it should be. Nordstrom was having a sale one day and I broke down and bought it. I do love how I feel like my face gets a deep clean every time I use it. Have I noticed any miraculous transformations in my skin? Not anything drastic and I've been using it for at least 6 months. Because I do like how clean it makes my face feel, I thought it was list-worthy. 

2. Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara
if there are two products I love to buy, it would be mascara and lip gloss. I have an obsession with both and I'm constantly looking for the holy grail product that I'll use forever and ever. I would say this mascara has been a staple of mine for some time now, not to mention that it is a drugstore brand and retails for about $7 (holla!)

3. Make up Forever Aqua Rouge (in #2 Rosewood)
I love this lip stain/gloss combo. My friend in Austin let me try hers when I was there visiting and complimented me on how it looked so much that I was starting to get uncomfortable. ha..But for reals, this color will stay on your lips forever - I can put it on the am, drink my coffee on the way to work, drink water throughout the day - maybe put on another coat at lunch and it's still there when I get home from work. The gloss part does wear off a lot quicker, but that's OK. This has been my 'go to' for lip color since at least November of 2012. 

4. NARS blush - Orgasm
I finally gave in and bought this cult favorite! So glad I did, too because it is the perfect peachy/pink color and gives you that flushed, healthy glow. I was hesitant to spend over $20 on a blush (I've never been a big blush gal) but I think this one has turned me around and I can honestly say that I will be buying it again. 

5. Benefit's They're Real Mascara
See #2 above about the products I'm obsessed with. Normally, I don't like to buy pricey mascaras because (a) I feel like the drugstore brands are just as good, if not better and (b) you should throw mascaras out in like 6 months so why spend a lot of money on them?  This is a mascara also introduced to me by my Austin friend - she's a bad influence. Although, in her defense I am the one who introduced her to the magical kingdom of makeup known as Sephora... anyway, I digress... I love the way this mascara makes my lashes look longer and fuller. I am noticing that as I age my lashes are becoming more sparse so I will use just about anything to thicken those puppies up! 

6. Josie Moran's Argan Cleansing Oil
I've commented before on Josie Moran's products (specifically the argan oil I use on my hair) so when I saw oil for the face my first thought was, "oil? for your face? wouldn't that break me out?" the answer is yes, oil on your face is amazing. No, it will not break you out. This oil has such a hydrating texture and the best smell (although bitter taste if you accidentally get some on your careful!). I use it at night, just putting a small amount on my fingers then rubbing it into my skin. I then use my clairsonic to scrub my face and voila! Smooth, hydrated skin is yours. 

7. Butter London Nail Polish - Yummy Mummy
One day, when I was at Nordstrom minding my own business a sales lady came up to me and asked if she could get my opinion (whaa? this is a switch, but whatever) She asked which nail polish color I liked best on her - i guess these are the perks when you work in the cosmetic department. I was drawn to one color in particular because it was such a nice, neutral shade with just a hint of glimmer. Perfect for summer, but also great for fall/winter too. Anyway, I bought it that day and have been wearing it ever since. I will say that during the winter months I like to wear darker colors (OPI - You don't know Jaquues is a fav, as well as OPI Chocolate Mousse) so I don't break out the Yummy Mummy as often but it still remains on my 'list'! 

8. Philosophy Miracle Worker
Just to be totally honest and transparent, I have only been using this product for about 2 weeks now so I can't do a full review on it just yet. I bought it because I had been looking for a product with retinol in it to help with dullness and fine lines (and acne scars). So far, I like it OK. You use this particular product at night and just wipe the pad over your face. Easy peasy. I've read that it could make your face worse before it gets better, but since my face is pretty used to a lot of product and skin treatments it didn't do that for me. So far, i don't see any huge differences but I've been using it for a short while. Another thing to note, don't use it in conjunction with a glycolic face wash/product. Apparently the retinol and glycolic counteract each other...I typically use the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic face wash so this was an important piece of info especially since neither product is cheap! 

Well, there you have favorite products! However, since creating this list I did think of a couple other products that I have been using religiously and really like. Because of that, they deserve an honorable mention: 

Honorable Mention #1: organic extra virgin olive oil - yep..olive oil, like the kind you cook with. This stuff takes off eye makeup better than anything you'll ever use. Give it a try! Also, it is awesome because it is natural and cheap. I bought a huge bottle at Trader Joe's for like $6. You don't need a lot, just dab a corner of a cotton ball into the oil (I have a container I put some oil in) and swipe it across your eyes - you'll be amazed at how easy makeup comes off! 

Honorable Mention #2: organic coconut oil (are you thinking, "what is with this girl and her oils??") I've read about the benefits of coconut oil for some time - it does wonders for the skin, hair, nails, etc. I will do a coconut oil mask for my hair about once every couple weeks but I use it nightly on my eyelashes. I put some of the oil in a small container and every night i just rub them on my lashes. I read that it makes them grow and I think it really does! Even my coworker made the comment about how my lashes looked fuller! Also natural and cheap - a jar at Trader Joe's was almost $5. 

This was probably the longest post in all of blogging history! I hope this was helpful if you are trying to pick out some new products for 2013!