Friday, November 20, 2015

Birthday Babe

And so another week has come and gone.  It was a pretty good week for me, too.  I got a lot done, had some fun... yadda, yadda, yadda.  But, as good as it was, it doesn't hold a candle to the seven days prior during which I celebrated the anniversary of my very first appearance here on this Earth.  Yes, it was my birthday week and I took full advantage of everything the day afforded me, including rounding up some freebies from a few observant outlets.  So, if you have a moment to spare, I'd love to tell you about one of my b-day steals.  It's a glossy beauty from bareMinerals called Marvelous Moxie in the shade, appropriately named, Birthday Babe. 

Marvelous Moxie is a line of hydrating lipglosses from mineral-based makeup giant bareMinerals.  Keeping in line with other offerings from the brand, these lip lacquers are free of parabens and sulfates, relying instead on natural ingredients like shea and avocado butters to smooth lips and provide high shine.  Birthday Babe is a mid-tone, semi-sheer coral with visible multi-colored shimmer.  Fitted with a doe foot applicator, it glides on smoothly, is somewhat tacky and has a sweet, minty scent that translates to a slight tingle on the lips.

Now, even though I know this shade of gloss is not particularly unique (I believe I may have two dupes in my collection already), I do have to say that I am genuinely fond of it.  It did keep my lips feeling hydrated way after it had worn off and was an easy wear.  Besides, it was a full-sized freebie (WOW!) and will you just look at the packaging?  They wished me a happy birthday and even called me gorgeous!  I mean, you can't beat that, can you?  No.  I don't think so. 

So this glammy gloss goes right in the #WIN pile for me - a solid A+.  One caveat: Birthday Babe is an Ulta exclusive only being offered to birthday babes who are signed up for their rewards program.  But no need for dismay as bareMinerals has a comparable shade already in its Marvelous Moxie lineup.  And if sparkly coral doesn't float you boat, they have an array of hues that may tickle your fickle fancy instead.   Either way, if you're into lipglosses, these definitely deserve a look-see and I'm so glad I was able to pick one up! #HappyBirthdayToME!

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss is available at Ulta and Sephora, and retails for $18.   

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rebels With A Cause

Hey, guys!  Well, no sense in me beating around the mulberry bush and/or trying to play coy, so I'll just jump right into it with both feet: this past week was a very good week for me.  Besides getting a lot done as far as furthering some personal plans, B-Boy (aka Birthday Boy) and I took a much needed timeout to indulge in a week-long helping of sporadic shenanigans.  Oh, you know how we do; it was a total mash up of food, frivolity and fun that ran well into the week's end.  Yes, we were a couple of rebels with a cause... and here's just a small sampling of some of the "trouble" we were able to get into.

Now, I hardly ever order takeout or go out to eat during most weeks, opting for a casual chow down at home instead.  However, all that usually goes out the window when B-Boy is involved and last week was certainly no exception.  Before hooking up with my "partner in crime", I treated myself to a guilty pleasure that had been invading my daydreams for some time now: orange chicken with a side of fried rice.  Generally speaking, Chinese food is not my customary go-to, but when it comes to this particular dish, I easily (and eagerly) fall victim to its savory siren song every time.

In addition to going to the movies to see the latest Bond flick Spectre, we also tooled around a few shops, including one of my favorite stomping grounds - Sephora.  B-Boy patiently lingered outside its doors while I ogled some of their shoppers' rewards.

You guys know how infatuated I am with collecting miniature versions of perfumes, so this reward I found especially interesting.  However, despite having plenty of points to cover the tab, I didn't bite.  I decided to hold out for something better and wait.  I don't know what I'm waiting for, but I'm waiting nonetheless.  Oh, and speaking of biting... 

I almost missed out on taking this picture as I was elbow-deep in my mission of shoveling this huge portion of fried calamari down my impatient throat.  OH. EM. GEE.  This calamari was so G.O.O.D!  I am so serious, y'all.  I love seafood and this delectable delight rides high on my list of all time faves.

Now, the calamari was just the appetizer... the prelude to the main course, you see.  And what a course it was!  To those familiar with my previous exploits, it's nothing new: fried catfish with mashed red potatoes and corn.  In lieu of broccoli as the green veggie, this time it was accompanied by string beans.  I'm not a fan of string beans at all, but its appearance on my plate did little to hamper my overall eating experience.  #YUM!

And while I'm stuffing my face with both hands, guess who ordered the lighter, greener fare?  Yes, it was a total gender role reversal that night!  Just to be clear, I am not an "Oh, I'll just have a salad" type of girl.  When I go out to eat, I EAT!  So while I'm in full-on Hungry Jack mode, it was B-Boy who played the "demure damsel" and noshed only on lettuce and cucumbers... and tomatoes... and some other healthy stuff.  Yeah.  I was a little surprised, but hey, that's what he wanted.  #BOOORING!  #Zzzzz!

And you know I had to top the night off with some sugar, honey!  Since my favorite pineapple upside down version wasn't available, I put an exclamation mark on the night's feast with a hunk of vanilla bean cheesecake, complete with a seismic dollop-ing of whipped cream.  Oh, my!  It was heaven on a plate.  I mean, I actually heard white robed angels singing gospels of praise while I slowly savored each bite in my mouth.  (OK, I didn't actually hear angels singing, but you get my drift.)  It was de-LISH!

So there you have it!  I had an awesome week, which was spent with awesome company eating super-dee-duper awesome food!  I mean, what more could you ask for?  Bonnie and Clyde were back at it again; two rebels on a mission to indulge in some gastro-centric mischief (as well as other delights).  And based on the evidence gathered, I think it's pretty safe to label this latest venture as #MISSIONACCOMPLISHED!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hair Love: CHI Iron Guard

OK, so I had been hearing about this product for quite awhile.  My sister, whose hairdresser uses it on her coif, is an ardent fan.  Now, I've said time and time again that I'm not on the lookout for any new hair products; when it comes to my hair, less is more and I've already locked in my star staples.  But you know how the story goes: cat, curiosity... et cetera, et cetera.  So I indulged and then deliberately waited two wash cycles just to be sure.  And now I'm ready to properly spill the beans on it.  It's CHI's 44 Iron Guard and guess what?  I really, REALLY like it!


Packaged in a fire engine red bottle that's signature to the brand, 44 Iron Guard is a hair thermal protectant from CHI - a company well-known for its fleet of flat irons as well as other tools and haircare products.  44 Iron Guard is formulated to help guard tresses against potential damage from heated tools while imparting a high impact shine and hairspray-like hold to styled 'dos.  It's a 3-in-1 dynamo that uses a fine mist of positively charged silk molecules to help build on the hair's strength and moisture from the inside out.


Now, I have to admit that I was a little scared to use a spray on my hair as a styling agent/heat protectant since I've been relying (successfully) on a serum after all these years.  So I did a blend of half 'n' half - using the spray as a base with a touch of serum on top before using my flat iron... and as far as I'm concerned, it lives up to its hype!  Along with the shine, it has awesome style memory as it kept my 'do looking fresh until it was time to wash it again.  I even tried it on its own (on a few sections), always spraying the Guard on my hand first then working it through my hair and it performed equally as well; however, I garnered a little more shine pairing it with the serum (understandably so).  Either way, my hair felt light and unencumbered, never crunchy or stiff as you only need a small amount to get the job done.     

So there you have it!  No, I do not NEED another hair product in my life... but, yes, this one's a keeper!  Worth noting to those sensitive to such things: Iron Guard does have a dissipating fragrance that I, personally, would describe as pleasantly modest.  And true to its name, not one hair on my head was scorched or damaged while using it, so - needless to say -  I really like this spray!  Yepper, CHI 44 Iron Guard is quite the brilliant performer and is going to fit in nicely as an added "gun" to my arsenal of hair products.  #WINNING! 

CHI 44 Iron Guard can be found at Walmart and Ulta, and retails for around $15/8.5 fl oz; $6/2 fl oz.