Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Big Wishes...


Lately I have been lusting after some big ticket items!


Yea... If I had $4000 to blow you would definitely be seeing me buzzing about town with this!  But is it practical not at all - you have to store it in the winter and I know if it got scraped I'd be PISSED.

Soooo then I thought I should get a new bike:
#2 An Antique Raleigh

ohhhh so cute - this I might actually get - I have a cruiser bike, but mine only has one gear so hills are EVIL!

Then my eye turned to fall fashion and this beauty:
#3 The "Rubie" by Mackage
ohhh that's a really, really nice purse! It's $295, so not crazy expensive but It's also really small 7"H x7"W.

So maybe I should get some shoes instead:
 #4 The "Clusive" by Nine West
These are the pewter version - I couldn't find a picture of the patent leather ones I really want...oh how I love fall fashion!

And with fall fashion comes new beauty delights!
#5 the Michael Kors Beauty Launch

So luxe, So beautifully packaged...WANT WANT WANT. 

I also have been wanting the luscious colors from -
#6 Fyrinnae Eyeshadows!
They have so many more gorgeous colors, and I want them all!  Pang @ Beauty Redefined by Pang did a great review of their products.
What are you wishing for?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club!


It's Friday and I am linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde for Book Club!

This week I read 2 books.

The first was "The Silver Star" by Jeanette Walls-

Here is the synopsis from - "The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls has written a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world—a triumph of imagination and storytelling.It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who “found something wrong with every place she ever lived,” takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations." 

My thoughts:  I love Jeannette Walls' non-fiction - The Glass Castle is Ah-mazing.  I believe this is her first stab at fiction and it's a good read, it's just that I am measuring it against her non-fiction, and you know how the say truth is crazier than fiction.  It's a good light read.

I also read "Honored Guest" by Joy Williams -

Here is the synopsis from : With her singular brand of gorgeous dark humor, Joy Williams explores the various ways–comic, tragic, and unnerving—we seek to accommodate diminishment and loss. A masseuse breaks her rich client's wrist bone, a friend visits at the hospital long after she is welcome, and a woman surrenders her husband to a creepily adoring student. From one of our most acclaimed writers, Honored Guest is a rich examination of our capacity for transformation and salvation.

My thoughts:  I have been racking my brain for 3 days trying to come up with the words to describe this book.  It's a collection of short stories that I personally wouldn't call dark humor - but rather "disturbing".  I mean disturbing in the sense that it's not the norm and all the stories are a little odd, and it will disturb you a bit - you will be like "ooookkkkk".  I didn't love it - but it was a good read for something different.

If your looking for more inner beauty inspiration check out Ember's post @ Budget, Splurge Beauty


Monday, July 22, 2013

Nina Ultra Pro - Tangerine Dream - Manicure


Today I want to share my weekly manicure - which honestly didn't turn out so well.  I used Nina Ultra Pro in "tangerine dream", I got it at Sally Beauty Supply for under $3.  I believe they have changed the formula since I bought this.

You can see this is one of the bottles that I have taken the time to "categorize" as I have the small swatch sticker on the top. It's a pretty cream coral but application is thick and super streaky.  I did 3 coats over a base coat.

You can see the streaky-ness on my ring finger, and yes my cuticles are terrible.  The color I had on prior to this was a blue that took a lot of remover to get off and I didn't lube up before I re-polished.  I need to get a hit off the Burt's Bees cuticle cream!  

So since I thought it looked bleck - I decided to add glitter!

I added "Rainbow Bridge" and that helped hide the imperfections and give it a little sparkle.  It's already chipping after one day so there will be another change soon!

Happy Monday!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream


Today I wanted to share another Burt's Bees product.  I have never been a huge fan of Burt's Bees because I feel like it's over priced - there are a lot better "natural" brands to be had for the price.  But I got some Burt's stuff as a gift and I will use it! 

So I have really been trying to keep my cuticles moisturized and I thought this little tin of cream would be perfect to make sure I put it on daily.

Here's what Burt's Bees has to say about it on their website: "Give your cuticles some TLC. Specially formulated, this buttery cream taps Sweet Almond Oil and Cocoa Seed Butter to moisturize and soften your cuticles while Vitamin E and Sunflower Oil nourish brittle nails. Feel pampered and polished from tips to toes.

• Moisturizes and softens cuticles with Sweet Almond Oil and Cocoa Seed Butter
• Nourishes brittle nails with Vitamin E and Sunflower Oil
• Fresh Lemon scent

I really like the texture it isn't to oily but moisturizes my cuticles nicely, and unlike the hand cream that has a terrible smell - this smells so lemony fresh!  I used it for three days straight, once a day, and I noticed my cuticles were definitely smoother and softer.  It's $6 at most retailers.  I still use Cuticle oil at night before I got to bed, but this is a great thing to have in your purse to get you to remember to give your hands some TLC!

Do you have a favorite Burt's product?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club!


Once again it's Friday and I am linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde for Book Club!

This week I read Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner.

Jerusalem Maiden

Here is the synopsis from
"In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris —and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient "Jerusalem maiden."
But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life —forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all: To whom must she be true, God or herself?"

My thoughts:  If you don't know a lot about Judaism this is going to be a crash course and bring a Yiddish dictionary.  Luckily I went to a college that required theological studies so I had a good basis.  The devotion these people have to their religion is truly amazing.  And this is a very interesting story...for about 3/4's of it.  Then it just becomes of "why God, why?!?" But you can't be all "why God, why" when you made the decisions.  And then of course it has a cutesy little ending.   uggg this story really shouldn't have cutesy ending.  But overall it's a pretty good read.

What have you read lately?

Also be sure to check out Budget Splurge Beauty's Inner Beauty post as well - and if you know how to navigate the student loan world - give her some advice :) 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Burt's Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Cream


This week has been really humid - so of course their blasting the AC at work and thus my skin is really dry.  Also I wash my hands a lot.  So I needed some TLC.  So I had gotten this Burt's Bees hand cream as a gift and thought I should give it a try.

From the Burt's Bees website:
"Help is on the way with this truly hydrating hand creme. Made with Honey, Jojoba Oil and Rosemary Extract, it’s specially designed to smooth and soften your super dry hands.

• Daily therapy for dry hands
• Smoothes and softens skin with Honey, Jojoba Oil and Rosemary Extract"
It retails for $10 for 2.6oz.
It didn't feel greasy, but for some reason it didn't really feel like it soaked in either, it feels watery/waxy .  And the smell - uff not so good.  I think it's the Honey - I just don't like honey scented things.  As far as it being "thoroughly therapeutic"  I think you would have to use it AM and PM to see real results.  I think I'll save my $10 for some L'Occitane shea butter hand cream - which is about the same price per ounce.

`What's your favorite hand cream?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Fitbit


So after I posted yesterday a few of you commented that you haven't heard of the .  I hadn't either until 3 weeks ago when I googled "fitness tracker", and the My Fitness Pal site popped up and the Fitbit site was just a few down.  I read both and it just seemed like the perfect match for what I was looking for.
I wanted:
  • a pedometer
  • a calorie tracker
  • a sleep monitor
  • and something that linked up to a "site" where I could access more in depth charts and graphs and analysis of my journey.
So I got on trusty and checked it out here.  It got good reviews there as well and it qualified for free shipping!  It's normally $99.95 but Amazon usually is about $10 cheaper. So in my basket it went.

Here's how they describe it: "If you want to turn fitness into a lifestyle, the One™ is for you. For starters, it never rests. During the day, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. Come nightfall, it measures your sleep quality, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you in the morning. The One™ motivates you to reach your goals by bringing greater fitness into your life – seamlessly, socially, 24 hours a day. "

I also didn't want a wrist band style tracker because I don't like wearing bracelets, it irritates me. (I can't even wear a watch) So something strapped to my wrist or arm 24/7 was not going to work. Plus its Itty - Bitty: Height - 1.89 inches   Width - .76 inches.

Here's what came in the box:

 Clockwise from top: The power adaptor to charge it - so far about every 4 days.  The little "plug" is the dongle that I put in one my USB ports on my laptop so the Fitbit can "sync" whenever I am within 20 feet. It will also sync with an Iphone if you download the app.  The Fitbit itself and the "holster" above it.  I could easily hold all that is pictured in one hand. 

Not pictured: the soft wristband (and I hesitate to call it a "band") you slip the Fitbit into and wear at night to sleep.  At first I was like "noooo Jasmine hates wrist things!" but it is so light weight and soft and LOOSE (thank goodness it's adjustable) that I don't notice it.

So that's my thoughts on my Fitbit it's perfect for me so far I love knowing when I've been a slacker and it motivates me to move my butt a bit more!  And the sleep information is so interesting!  Last night I was in bed for 7hrs and 28 minutes - but I only slept 6hrs and 54 minutes because I woke up 9 times!  I'm seeing if there is a pattern (I get up to go the bathroom around 3 - I've been doing that for years), and I always seem to wake up around 5 (I think it's the sun coming up).  But the other reasons ??? 

Do you use a fitness helper?  What exercises reduce arm fat!?!


Monday, July 15, 2013

The Blogger Confessionals...


Today I want to talk about something personal, but before I do I want to put a big ole' disclaimer on it.  ***People come in all shapes and sizes and what is right for some may not be right for others.  I am only talking about me!***

And the truth is...I am FAT.

Have you every seen a body shot of me...there are like two on this entire blog and I have posted almost 400 times.  I dislike my body very much right now.  I am 5'8" and 200lbs (I know this for a fact because I just went to the doctor last week). And if you read my blog often you know I love candies and cookies! LOVE.

So where I'm at is not terrible but it's bad and you know what it HURTS.  I can feel it in my knees and in my back and I just don't "look" like myself anymore.  I don't have the energy I used to and stupid things wind me. I have gained 30 pounds since we moved to Chicago less than 2 years ago.  That's more than 1 1/4 pounds a month! Needless to say this is why you never see a fashion post from me.  So something has got to change.

First thing I did a week ago - I installed the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. 

And I started tracking everything I ate.  WHOA.  I was putting so many empty calories into this body of mine that it seriously scared me straight - straight away from my box of cookies (I didn't even eat the last two!).  I mean it was all sugar and carbs and fat. You can only exist on Red Vines, Diet Coke and cookies for so long I guess.
I also got my Fitbit this weekend. 
This little baby tracks your steps, stairs, calories and sleep patterns.  And if you stay active your flower "grows" ;)  I wear it on my hip in it's little holster and at night I sleep with it in a wristband.  It also syncs up with My Fitness Pal.  So if I've been a good girl and done some biking or extra walking it adds calories to my diet for the day.  Can you say Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwich = 40 minutes of biking around the neighborhood.  I already earned 2 this week :) I also love the sleep tracking function - I knew I was waking up a lot at night! 
I don't know why I'm writing this.  I don't want anyone to say "Oh you're not fat." or something like that.  I don't really want any encouragement.  I just know a lot of us have thing we are "working thru" and sometimes putting those things out in the open helps make us more accountable.  I don't want to eat right and exercise for a week , a month or a year.  I want to change some seriously bad habits. 
So here's looking forward to some fashion posts :)
Be well...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Creepiest Shampoo commercial...


So I got sucked into watching old cosmetic TV commercials on You Tube last night and I came across this gem:

Is that not the creepiest shampoo (actually anything) commercial you have ever seen?  And why does he know what the girls at the office hair feels like?  And don't TELL me she didn't use a conditioner... and her mmmmm mmmmm creeps me out. 

Now we need to refresh your palate...


OMG, kills me EVERYTIME and I have watched it like 20 times!

Have a good day!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July Ipsy Bag - Beach Beauty!


Today I got my Ipsy bag and once again I was super impressed!

This month's bag was different based on your profile and could have contained items from the following brands: Benefit, Coola, Demeter, derma/e, bh cosmetics, Nailtini, pop beauty & sexy hair.
I got the items below:

All sorts of fun!\
BH Cosmetics - California palettes $9.95/ value-  $1.50??
So first up - an eyeshadow palette from BH Cosmetics.  It has one shadow from each of their California Collection palettes.  You can buy a full palette for $9.95 on their site (with their current sale) and it has 16 eyeshadows and 4 blushes. 
As you can see they aren't super pigmented, but they are pretty colors and very soft.  I built them up a bit, and over a primer they do quite well.  Plus I love the size, perfect for the @ work makeup bag!
Derma/e Microdermabrasion Scrub: Full size $32.50 for 2oz./ 1oz value - $16.25 
This stuff is smells divine - lemony fresh. Here's the description from their website: "This salon-perfect formula uses an exclusive crystal blend including Dead Sea Salt and Volcanic Sand (rich in Silica) to buff away dull surface cells, help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars, and absorb excess skin oils. Enriched with natural astringents Lime and Lemon Peel, and antioxidants Grapeseed and Vitamin E, this fine treatment product retexturizes skin leaving it soft, smooth and younger-looking." The "grit" is medium in my opinion - not harsh like St. Ives (which is terrible for your face - seriously.  That's why it's so cheap.) 
I used a small bit on my hand - and it left it very soft.  If you have normal skin I would say you could use this once a week.  It's a bit pricey in my opinion for an exfoliant - but I will gladly use the 1 oz!
Coola Mineral Sunscreen: $36.00 for 1.7 oz/ .23oz = $4.87

I don't know much about Coola but here's the description from their website: "Keep the sun and environment at bay with this SPF 20 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen; a clear, Titanium Dioxide based formula (for those who are Zinc sensitive) made with 98% natural ingredients. Organic Acai Oil - high in Omegas-3/6/9, Vitamins B1/2/3, plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E - delivers a powerful defense against aging. Organic Sunflower Seed Extract promotes elasticity while organic Linseed Oil, containing Alpha-Linolenic Acids, reduces redness and irritation. The phyto-protector Plankton Extract rejuvenates, as organic Cucumber Extract calms skin."
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Anti-Aging
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles
So it has a lot of oils in it - which will scare a lot of people but you know I love my facial oils. I will definitely use this up!

pop beauty Lip Crayon Full Size - $4.17 - Usually only sold in a set of 6 for $25

I got Coral Crush and it is a lovely color! 

The consistency reminds me of the Revlon Balm Stains - and it's moisturizing like that, but it doesn't really leave that much of a stain.  I wish there were more colors of these available individually.
And finally...

Sexy Hair Weather Proof Spray 3.4 - $15.95/ 1.7 = $7.97

From their site:

"Big Sexy Hair Weatherproof Humidity Resistant Spray - Big Sexy Hair Weatherproof is a high-performance humidity resistant spray that promises to leave your hairstyles intact, removing any chance of humidity attacking mishaps."

Total Value of this months bag =$34.76

Once again I am so impressed and excited to use my goodies!

What did you get in your Ipsy bag?


Friday, July 12, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club


Today I am once again linking up for book club! 

This week I read 2 books, both of them pretty good and historically interesting!

First up - The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman
The Light Between Oceans

Here is the synopsis from "
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them."

My thoughts: I liked the book but you pretty much get the whole plot from the synopsis.  I also just couldn't like the wife either.  The information about the lighthouse industry in Australia was really interesting.  A lot of people are just raving about this book and giving it 5 stars - I mean its a good piece of fiction but is it super original - not really. 

Next up The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Synopsis from "1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. "\

My thoughts:  I really liked how you could look up the paintings referenced in the book on Cathy Marie Buchanan's website.  Also I had no idea about the "petit-rats", I assumed ballerina's came from the middle class.  But then again there was hardly a middle class in Paris in the 1800's.  And life was rough for these poor girls!  If you like historical fiction, art and ballet - you'll love this!

If you want more Inner Beauty readings check out Ember @ BudgetSplurgeBeauty
We're both committed to getting an Inner Beauty Blog Hop going!!  If you want to join let me know - we will link up on Fridays!

Until Next week!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Influenster - Colgate Box


This week I received the "Colgate Box" from Influenster!  Inside was a bottle of Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield (wow that's a lot of descriptors!).  It is supposed to "Kill germs on contact and keep working for 12 hours—even after eating and drinking." Well that's good -  I worry that during the day my Diet Coke habit is rotting my teeth so hopefully this will help!

It also claims to:
  • Kills 99% of Germs
  • Significantly Reduces Plaque
  • Helps Prevent Gingivitis
  • No Burn of Alcohol
  • Freshens Breath
    Here is all the info from the back:
    I do like that you don't have to wait 30 minutes to drink after using it because a lot of times at night I brush my teeth and then go to bed.  But I also need to take my vitamins and pills, and I need to drink to wash them down, and I don't want to wait 30 minutes.  Lazy, I know.
    So I will give this a run for the next 7 days and let you know my thoughts next week.
    Have you ever tried Colgate Total Advanced Pro-shield?
    What's your favorite mouthwash?  Dental product?
    And thank you to Influenster for choosing me for this box!

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club


    Once again I am linking up with Heather @ Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club!

    This week I read to pretty diverse books and both of the were just ... "meh".

    First up Miss Timmins' School for Girls by

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Happy 4th of July!


    Happy 4th of July from Chicago!
    Have a fun time if you live in the US, if not forgive us our Jingoism!
    I am going to St. Louis for the weekend so my blog will be quiet for a bit...
    But follow me on Instagram  (xjasminemariex) if you want to see what I'm up to!
    Oh and check out my earlier nail art post from today!

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    4th of July Manicure!


    So I got out my supplies popped in Breaking Bad Season 5 and started on my 4th of July nails. 

    I still am not really good at this but having this blog is making my try and try again!  (I use the Hallmark Crown Rewards card to scrape the plate by the way - I'm not super into greeting cards or something).  I also had a bottle of polish remover near by!

    My biggest "challenge" was painting the star plate 3 colors and then stamping 2 of my fingers.  You can see the 3 colors in the background, and the residue from swiping the plate on the paper towel.

    And here's how it turned out.  The colors didn't stamp quite as clearly as I would have liked - but it worked!

    And here's the rest of my hand I did a star on my pointer finger, and eventually added glitter to the light blue nails.

    And here's the final result!  I of course can see a multitude of imperfections.  But from a distance they look good!


    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    What have we here...


    I was at Walmart last week and came across this display by Fing'rs:

    And I literally said out loud "What have we hereeeee!"  There was stripping tape, and foils and studs and nail stickers!  You know nail art is super main stream when there is a display like this!  The prices were so-so, $2.48 for a few rolls of stripping tape is high, and the kits with the foil and studs for $6.48 are also way more than you would pay online, but not everyone buys from Amazon weekly like I do. 

    So here's what I got:

    Nail polish, a kit with foils and studs, and a pack of stones and sequins.
    I got "The Boys in Blue" on the left - it goes on pretty sheer, it took 3 coats to get the swatch you see.  I also got "Star Crossed Lovers" on the right, it is very thick and you definitely have to place the stars, but they are awfully pretty!  Each polish was $1.68.
    I also got the "Heart 2 Art" Embellish me kit #33041 - it comes with two packs of sequins and 2 packs of mini rhinestones.  I know these buggers are going to be tricky to place but for $2.48 I thought I could give it a try.
    My biggest expenditure was the Heavy Metal extreme nail art kit for $6.48.  I know I could get WAY more if I bought this stuff online, but the convenience of it is hard to beat.  It came with some foils in silver and gold, stud stickers and loose studs.  I just realized I better get some nail glue to put those studs on! 
    Overall it's not the BEST quality, but if you are doing nail art frequently you don't need it to last so it's a fun way to give it a try!
    Where is your favorite place to buy nail supplies?