May Favorites

IT’S SUMMERTIME BABY! School is finally out, and I got my high school diploma; the world is mine for the taking! At least until I go to college in the fall.

Prom Dress

Though technically it’s an April favorite of mine, my prom didn’t take place until after my April Favorites were posted. Unlike last year, I didn’t shop around looking for a dress because I bought it from the first store I went in to. Once I saw it, I quickly fell in love with this floral A-Line gown from Rachel Allan.


Roots

While in Canada, my best friend and I were on the hunt for Canadian souvenirs. After going into endless junk shops, a store with the front decorated with a giant Canadian flag and beaver intrigued us. Roots is a Canadian chain store that specializes in leather goods and overpriced Canadian apparel. Everything inside was so Canadian, and I just couldn’t handle it.IMG_4073.JPG

IMG_4070.JPG

Big Little Lies

I’ve been watching a lot of HBO this month because we got a subscription, and I don’t really have anything better to do. It’s basically about first graders with rich helicopter moms that stars Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz.

big-little-lies

Fit Me Foundation

Finding the perfect drugstore foundation for your skin isn’t an easy task. I’ve used the same one for two years and it was time to switch it up. After a month of use, I can say this is the most full coverage drugstore liquid foundation I’ve ever used. It’s comparable to Clinique Redness Solution foundation that I used in the past. There is two different formulas of this from the Fit Me line made by Maybelline – the dewier one made for drier skin and matte formulas for oilier skin.

IMG_4090.JPG

Dream Big Candle

I don’t burn candles often enough to stock up on them, but I usually buy a new three wick candle each season. Though it’s just a repackaging of Tiki Beach, the Dream Big candle features a fun message that’s perfect for gift giving. The scent of Tiki Beach is more masculine compared to other summer scents, as it is a blend of Vanilla Musk, Orchids, and Toasted Coconut.

IMG_4083.JPG

April Favorites

April is my favorite month of the year. I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with something involving the weather. It’s not too hot, not too cold, and all you need is a light jacket. (If you understand that reference, you’re awesome.) Like every other month, I discover a new bunch of monthly favorites.

.
Kindle Fire Tablet

{https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Fire-7-Inch-Tablet-8GB/dp/B00TSUGXKE}

I’ve recently sold off my Wii U that I solely used for watching Amazon Prime and Netflix. I decided to test out one of Amazon’s tablets. Though I haven’t played around with it, it works seamlessly while I stream shows. Originally I was getting the 8GB version, but now that you can download shows on Netflix, it was a smart choice to get double the storage for an extra $20. Unlike the iPad, it also has external storage and charges fast.

.
Teardrop Ear Jackets

{http://www.target.com/p/sugarfix-by-baublebar-153-teardrop-ear-jackets/-/A-52231838}
Ever since I’ve discovered Baublebar, I’ve been obsessed with the jewelry. The only downside is that it’s overpriced for the quality of it. When I found out that Baublebar was teaming up with Target, I must say I was over the moon with excitement. From the collection, my favorite piece is the teardrop ear jackets, but the beaded tassel earrings are a close second.

.
Aussie 3 Minutes Miracle Moist

{https://www.amazon.com/Aussie-Minute-Miracle-Moist-Conditioner/dp/B000GCW1P4}

Naturally, I have dry hair and dying it and hot tools don’t help. I’ve been using Aussie 3 Minutes Miracle Moist mask on and off for the past two years, but I finally repurchased it this month. Though nothing replaces a good haircut to get rid of split ends, using this twice a week has done wonders to my hair.

.
Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

{http://www.ulta.com/professional-pro-x-advanced-cleansing-system?productId=xlsImpprod3000319}
This month I’ve been focusing more on my skin so that it looks nice for upcoming events. I use this brush in combination with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Foaming Scrub Pink Grapefruit and Olay Age Defying Classic Cleanser. This model is really similar to the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush, but it’s way more affordable. Personally, I feel like it cleans deeper than any normal washcloth or cleaning device can.

February Favorites

This month has flown by way too fast. Some of the highlights include finding the perfect prom dress, having a crazy late night adventure with my three best friends, and starting my senior project.

The Bathery Charcoal Infused Exfoliating Gloves

http://www.target.com/p/the-bathery-charcoal-infused-exfoliating-gloves/-/A-51067994


Every year, winter takes its toll on my skin. This is why I picked up these exfoliating gloves at Target. I combine them with St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub for maximum results. I used this on my face, arms, and legs as directed on the packaging.

Think Thin Protein & Fiber Bars

http://shop.thinkproducts.com/thinkThin-Protein-and-Fiber-Bars/c/ThinkProducts@ThinkThinLean


Senioritis is alive and well in my life. I have masterminded a morning schedule that lets me sleep. On the day I have early morning classes, it’s easier for me to just grab something and eat in class. Think Thin bars have replaced Clif bars as my favorite meal replacement bar because they have way less sugar. The Protein & Fiber ones normally have less than 5 grams, and the plain protein ones have 0 grams.
ASSETS High-Waist Mid-Thigh Shaper

http://www.target.com/p/assets-by-sara-blakely-a-spanx-women-s-high-waist-mid-thigh-super-control-shaper/-/A-13785499

After years of use, my old pair of Spanx has fallen apart. I didn’t want to spend $50 on a new Spanx brand pair, so I decided to try a pair by Spanx’s sister company Assets. These go up to the chest and are made of a thin woven fabric. They are kind of tricky to get on, but overall pretty comfortable.

Rumours- Fleetwood Mac on Vinyl
https://www.amazon.com/Rumours-Fleetwood-Mac/dp/B004OKFISQ


I’ve been feeding my vinyl obsession by buying a new record once a month. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac is a masterpiece. Its rhythmic vibes echo the spirit of the 1970s and the broken relationship of the band. I purchased my copy at a vintage shop, but you can buy a new copy on Amazon.

 

A Cure For Wellness 


A Cure for Wellness is a hard movie to watch if you’re not a fan of squirmy animals like me. It follows Dane DeHaan’s character Lockhart as he goes to the Alps to find his boss at a spa. He is forced to stay there for a week and ends up uncovering the spa’s secrets.

January Favorites

Hello February! This month I thought a lot about the future: the future of my schooling, my relationships with others, and of course, this blog. I enrolled in summer classes, booked a trip, bought my prom dress, had my final color guard performance, and cooked my heart. What you don’t see here on my blog is that some of the recipes I attempt just don’t turn out well. I start the week off by cooking my first choice recipe. If it turns out good, it gets photographed, typed up, and posted on Saturday. About half of the time the recipe is a fail, so I either have to remake it or start from scratch with a new idea. Don’t worry… no food goes to waste, because someone always ends up eating it!
The Magicians (Netflix)

About a year ago, I heard about this series from Black Nerd Comedy, aka Andre Meadows on YouTube, who describes it as a grown-up version of Harry Potter. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a huge Potterhead. I thought that since it was just some random SyFy channel show, it would be canceled after one season. This series is a fresh take on what I feel like is the typical fantasy based story. I find The Magicians is more like the Percy Jackson books than Harry Potter. As it takes place in both New York and a fantasy realm, the people are divided into houses based on what they can do. The best way to think about it is taking the overall idea of Camp Half-Blood and replacing the demigods with the wizards from Harry Potter.


Salt Lamp

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001892AX2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I’m a sucker for anything that claims to help with seasonal allergies. In the past, I’ve tried nose strips, vapor rub on my feet, Neti Pots, and even drinking salt water. Supposedly salt lamps can help with congestion by purifying the air. I got one for Christmas from my mom, but I’m still skeptical if it actually works or not. Still, it makes a cool lamp and has an adjusted knob that’s great for at night.

IMG_3382.JPG

Beats Solo 3 Wireless

From the moment I get up, I have my headphones in and listening to something. I decided to upgrade my old Beats Solo 2 to the Solo 3 wireless because I like being able to control my phone with ease without having it in my hands. The sound quality hasn’t changed much, but the wireless feature is more convenient for me. For a full battery, it takes about an hour and a half to charge. That by itself usually lasts me a week.

IMG_3383.JPG

Split

January is kind of a dead month for movies, and the ones that did come out were garbage. I saw Split on its opening night, and I was really enjoying it until the “beast” came into the story. It’s already better than 90% of any other horror movie that’s going to come out this year, but it tries to make sense of a weird ending with a M. Night Shyamalan signature plot twist. Until the third act, it was set in a believable reality; then out of nowhere a guy is climbing up a wall. Up-and-comer Anya Taylor-Joy did a good job, but James McAvoy carried the story.


Instant Oatmeal 
This month I found three big boxes of oatmeal that I forgot I bought a while back. Most mornings, I add in granola, such as Bear Naked V’nilla Almond Fit, and maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter if it’s too thin. It takes about two minutes to make and keeps me full until I get home.

 

2016 Favorites


HELLO 2017! Even though 2016 wasn’t the best year ever, I still found a lot of things I liked.


Easy on the eyes
Newt Scamander

A fellow Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander joins my long list of fictional characters that tickle my fancy. Though his eye contact skills are poor, I can overlook that.

newt

BagoGames Film Fallout Podcast #39 – Fantastic Beasts at The Edge of Seventeen November 23, 2016 From Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/31083632901 Via Creative Commons


Women who slayed
Leslie Jones

From being the number one fan of the Olympics to starring in one of the summer’s most anticipated films, Leslie Jones won 2016. Well, her website was hacked… but that didn’t stop her! It even made it into a couple of her different SNL skits.

lesil

Archivo:Leslie jones.jpg From Wiki Commons https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Leslie_jones.jpg Via Creative Commons


Biggest Obsession
Starbucks Mugs

Ever since I laid eyes on the You Are Here Mug Collection from Starbucks, I’ve been obsessed. Depicting the highlights of specific cities in an Art Deco style, these mugs are the number one souvenir I look for when I’m out of town.

Best of Binge-watching
Red Oak – Amazon
Though it’s not my typical series I would watch, Red Oak centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer. The talented ensemble cast brings to life the characters in the 80s coming of age comedy series.

Glad you came into my life
Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things

The duo introduced us to the eerie world of Stranger Things, serving as the showrunners of the critically acclaimed series. Centering around the disappearance of a young boy in the 1980s, viewers soon realize that not everything is as it seems when a girl with supernatural powers appears. Make a free Netflix account if you don’t have one; you will thank me later.

stange-things

Stranger Things logo Wiki Common Via Creative Commons


Best Splurge Item
Instant Camera – Fujifilm Instax 8

Every once and awhile, you have to treat yourself. Instant camera photography is kind of an expensive hobby, but I buy the film on sale or in bulk. This model is great in both low lighting and in direct sunlight. Each picture has the vintage feel that you can’t get with an Instagram filter.

Best Fashion Purchase
Old Navy – Original Mid Rise Jeans

Anyone with thighs knows that chafing is an issue that causes the inside of the jeans to fade and wear down with time. For the past four years, I’ve exclusively worn only Old Navy jeans. After ripping over half of my jeans last winter, I knew it was time to repurchase my beloved pants. I love these jeans because they are high quality, have a slight stretch to them, come in a vast range of sizes and colors, and are cost efficient. The problem I came across when I went to repurchase them was that Old Navy changed the jeans’ styles and sizes again. Following an hour of intense jean trying on, I found a new style of jeans that fit my body even better than before. I wear the Original Mid Rise Jeans in the regular length. I haven’t bought the skinny jean version because the straight cut fits like that on me already.

Gift Guide 2016

With 12 days until Christmas, 11 days until Hanukkah, and 13 days until Kwanzaa, this means you have a little under 2 weeks to get all of your holiday shopping done. I’ve compiled a list that I believe can work for anyone on your list. This could include your significant other, parents, Secret Santas, your squad, and even your creepy cousin.
Under $5

Archer Farms Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Corn Clusters 

Archer Farms always have fantastic products, and this festive corn is already gift-wrapped for the holidays.


PocketBac Sanitizers 
Besides being the holiday season, it’s also flu season. No one wants to be sick this time of the year. Treat someone with the gift of germ-free hands! Ocean is my favorite scent at Bath and Body Works, and this sanitizer is the perfect size for a pocket or stocking. I would recommend buying these in store because online you can only snag them in bulk.

Under $10

Lounge Pants

Buying someone clothes is the riskiest gift idea. To make this work, you MUST find out their exact size OR get a gift receipt. Old Navy has been having great sales lately on PJs/ loungewear. Personally, I’ve bought the llama flannel pants and the green reindeer ones.

Portable Charger
For any smartphone user, portable chargers are a lifesaver. Depending on how much you want to spend, chargers can range from $3-$50.

Under $25

Three Wick Candles

Candles are the number one thing I stock up on. They are especially useful for when someone buys you a gift and you didn’t get them anything. Then you grab a candle and BOOM – instant present. I’ve talked before about my love of Bath and Body Works Candles, but my favorite seasonal candles are Spice and Black Tie.

Waterproof Portable Speaker 

For untalented folks like me, the shower is the only place where we can safely sing without criticism. This speaker has a suction cup on the back and Bluetooth capability. I’ve found it to have about five hours of power, which will last me forever.

Under $50

Amazon Fire Stick 

The fire stick is one the greatest inventions in streaming history. It’s easy to install, and unlike other streaming devices, the stick allows Amazon Prime video service, Netflix, and YouTube.

Subscribe Boxes

Who doesn’t want a gift every month of the year? There’s a vast range of subscription boxes that suit all interests and price ranges. Most services are having holiday specials that include discounted pricing when you buy multiple months. Below, I’ll list some boxes that I’m subscribed to or have heard good things about.

  • Birchbox- Beauty
  • Loot crate/ Loot Wear- Geeky fashion & trinkets
  • Dollar Shave Club- High quality razor for cheap
  • Popsugar Must Haves- Lifestyle products
  • Barkbox- New toys & treats for your furry pal

November Favorites

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE! (Cue All I Want For Christmas) It’s the time of gift giving, family arguments, and overpriced ugly sweaters. This year couldn’t be over fast enough because a lot of amazing things are happening in 2017. Not to name everything, but I have graduation, my Chicago trip, my sister’s wedding, my moving out, and gtolley.com launching on January 1st. You heard it first; I’m changing up my blog and getting my own domain name. It’s going to be a busy year, but I still have one month left. So let’s get right into my monthly favorites!

What to listen to…
DNCE
I’m a child of the 00s, so of course I grew up on Disney Channel. Unlike my older sister, I wasn’t in distress when the Jonas Brothers called it quits in 2013. Under recommendation from a Snapchat story, I listened to the whole DNCE album in one sitting. Nothing this year compared to this. Joe Jonas’s R&B vocals mixed with the bubblegum pop and funk indie vibe the band gives off makes it the best album of the year.

What to wear…

UA Blitzing II Stretch Fit- Under Armour Hat

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens-ua-blitzing-ii-stretch-fit-cap/pid1254123-001

I’m always trying new fashion trends, and one I’ve been loving is the sporty/athleisure look. (It gives me an excuse to wear workout pants at school.) During my trip to Indianapolis this month, I was dragged into an Under Armour store and found the perfect hat. Sure, I look like a 34 year old soccer mom or Luke from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve embraced it.

IMG_5990.JPGWhat to stream…
The Crown

The Crown covers Queen Elizabeth following her marriage to Prince Philip and taking on the throne. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are the perfect castings for the royal couple, and their chemistry is phenomenal. Just a heads up: the first episode has more drama in it than every episode of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars combined.

img_3471What to see in theaters….
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts is a different perspective into the world of witches and wizards, taking place in 1920’s New York. We are no longer stuck behind a desk for seven years, as we are apparated straight into the action. I wasn’t old enough to understand the awe and wonder Harry Potter had on its viewers when it was first released. The breathtaking visuals and brilliant screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, caused me to have this feeling for the first time in many years. 2016 was filled with many rehashes of films we’ve already seen. Even being a reboot/ spin-off of the Potter franchise, Beasts is equally unique and brilliant as its predecessors. Although the Goldstein sisters stole the show for me, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne is an interesting enough lead to carry the inevitable following sequels.

img_3467

What to eat…

Pecan Pie

http://houseofyumm.com/pecan-pie/

‘Tis the season of eating endless amounts of leftovers from your holiday meal. As always for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bringing dessert. This year I spiced the typical pies by making them miniature. My favorite of the three types I made was the pecan, hands down. The recipe I used liked to stick to the pan, so I would recommend making this in a normal sized pie crust.

IMG_5884.JPG

What to buy for the house…

Little Christmas Tree- Target

My favorite place in the world is Target’s Dollar Spot. You never know what junk you might find there. Of course during my weekly trip there, I found this cute little tree for $3. It’s the perfect size for a dining room table or in an office.

IMG_5988.JPG