Spring in February OOTD

Can I just say that the weather was absolutley delightful in New England today?! There is nothing that brings out joyfulness in me more than that first taste of spring air. It was so nice to finally wear an outfit that wasn’t shielded by chunky scarves, knitted hats, and marshmallow coats. Now don’t get me wrong, I like those types of clothes but I’ve just had ENOUGH OF IT ALREADY, haha :). Dude maybe I should just move down South, lol.

Hence the beautiful weather, I decided to do an OOTD with some clothes I got recently for my birthday.  The whole entire outfit with the exception of the floppy hat (Forever 21) are from boutiques as I like supporting small, local New England businesses as much as I can.

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Now I love this outfit because you can wear it casually or for a night out. Versatility is something I always look for when shopping for clothes. It also hugs your curves in a flattering way, but isn’t too sexy. Not only am I in love with the print, but these pieces of clothing has two of my most favorite colors in it, maroon and navy! Additionally, I decided to wear my navy fleece lined leggings to pick up on the navy in the crop top/pencil skirt.

xoxo

Alex

 

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette and Acure Organics Lip Lush in Daaang Review

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Clean makeup is awesome. However, it is not awesome when it is unaffordable and/or doesn’t work to save its life. I have been reading green beauty blogs for years now and find a lot of value in learning about the pros and cons of these types of makeup products. Through the green beauty community, I have learned that a.) makeup free of harmful chemicals doesn’t have to stay on for just two minutes., b.) anything that you can find in the drugstore you can almost always find a natural dupe online., and most importantly c.) that green makeup doesn’t have to break the bank. Recently, I found two very affordable products, but whether or not they work you’ll have to read in my review to find out :). Here’s my honest review of an eye shadow palette and lip tint/gloss.

 

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The Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette for only $14 is a true gem amongst natural makeup. 100% vegan and cruelty-free,  it is clean, green, pressed, and you can create glowing, brightening looks within minutes on the fly. These shadows are super easy to apply and blend like a charm! I don’t even need a brush to do it, my fingers/an applicator work just as well. The only downside to these shadows is that they are not richly pigmented. Therefore, you will need to apply more than you might usually in order to get color payoff. However, I personally prefer subtle eye looks as apposed to bold ones, so this works okay for me. There are some wonderful ingredients in this palette such as coconut oil, brown kelp extract, and ginseng root. The Pacifica website does a great job describing the colors so I quoted them below:

Urchin- An iridescent jeweled purple with gold tones.  Use dry as a shadow, wet as a liner.  Perfect for smudging and a great substitute for black.
​Golden- A perfect gold with just the right amount of shimmer.  Use on the lids or line the eyes.
Coral Sand- A satin lid base or highlighter.
Skinny Dip- Matte nude base, a universal brightener.  Perfect for using on the inner eye to add brightness

Urchin, I think, is my most favorite purple eyeshadow ever. A lot of purples make me look like I have a black eye, but not this one. Because the Pacifica eye-shadows aren’t as richly pigmented, it wears more like a neutral brown with purple tones on me. It is thee PERFECT crease color and I especially love combining it with the golden shade. Also, might I add that the coral sand is an awesome coral/peachy color especially for my brown eyes. I learned somewhere along the way that peach is a great color for brown eyes and I totally think it’s true :).

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this eye palette. The shadows stays on all day, doesn’t crease, has little fallout when putting it on, blends well, and the colors are stunning. These are thee best powdered eyeshadows I’ve ever tried next to the Jane Iredale pressed eyeshadow and A LOT less expensive. I cannot stop raving about these eyeshadows and in my opinion, this palette puts a lot of conventional makeup brands to shame!

Now onto the next review. Here’s a picture of the Acure Organics Lip Lush in Daaang!:

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I’m not as enthusiastic about this product as the last one, but I still really, really like it. The ingredients in this first off, let me say, are SUPERB. The creme de la creme of makeup ingredients and online, it is only $5.99 (I paid $8 in the store I got it). It is packed with some fanfreakingtastic stuff such as argan oil, echinacea, and edelweiss stem cells, and cocoa seed butter. Now wonder this gloss taste like chocolate flowers (literally, I’m not even exaggerating in the slightest)!!!! The color in this tube is very deceptive and goes on a lot lighter than it looks. The true color is a sheer plum that is perfect for everyday wear and that you can even wear without any other makeup. Only downside to this gloss is that it does not last very long on the lips and you have to reapply it constantly like a lip balm. However, this gloss makes my lips feel as moisturized as when I put on a lip balm, so I don’t really mind it. Additionally, when you apply it, the color does get on your teeth, so make sure you have some floss handy. Overall though, would recommend!

Here is a picture of me wearing the makeup:

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On the eyes: Urchin on the crease and Golden on the lid. Currently, my new favorite eyeshadow look.

Lip Note: I am wearing this lip lush over a nude-ish colored lipstick, so it’s not an exact representation of the color. But this does show how beautifully it pairs with other colors.

Do you own any of these products?

xoxo

Alex

 

 

 

 

Your Gluten-Free Bagel Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

I am a huge fan of bagels, lox, and cream cheese don’t get my wrong. However, I can’t eat cream cheese anymore because of my dairy allergy. Therefore, you have to get creative!

This recipe is based on a breakfast I had in a restaurant at a ski resort I went to at age 10.  Unfortunately, the ski vacation was terrible because it was too bitter cold to ski (below zero most days) and the accommodations were atrocious. It is somewhat depressing to say that discovering this unique bagel concoction was the highlight of our trip. We loved this bagel so much that we continued to make it at home and modified it throughout the years to both our liking and allergy needs. Without further adieu, here’s how to make “Your Gluten-Free Bagel Doesn’t Have To Be Boring”

Bagel

Ingredients:

Your gluten-free everything bagel of choice (or non-gluten-free bagel if you aren’t gf)

Hummus

Lox

Pea shoots or sprouts of choice

Lox

Cayenne Pepper

This recipe is so easy that you don’t really need step by step instructions on how to do it, it’s pretty self-explanatory :P. My only suggestion is that you put a dab of hummus on your plate and then mix in the cayenne pepper before putting it on the bagel. I also have really enjoyed this recipe with a few red onions in it; however, I did not have any hand.

What’s your favorite way to eat your bagel? Also, let me know if you decided to try this bagel recipe and what the outcome was :).

xoxo

Alex

Winter Musings

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Pristine white beauty

Echoes in my presence

Snow in the shape of flowers

Branches painted with frozen water vapor disguised as vanilla frosting

The season of enchanting blandness

Makes me have-

visions of an odd juxtaposition pulse through my brain

Of peaceful bliss and roaring exhilaration

 

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Remnants of my childhood lay before me

Buried beneath the snow I see

Wobbling on that trail of rocks

Soaring on that tire swing

Turning sticks and leaves into fairy houses

 

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These were the berries I’d feed to the fairies

My mind ponders on the taste of this mysterious fruit

But they are poison

Or at least I think, a fleeting memory tells me so

They mask their ugly with beauty

Hopefully they didn’t hurt the fairies

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This is what it would look like if winter could take a photograph of itself

Sunlight glistening through the trees

Traces of soothing purple and blue outlining the frosty branches

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In between the ephemeral lovely moments of winter

Hide a gloomy side

This evening I feel

white and listless on the inside with specks of sadness as blue as this picture

the desire to take the world on my shoulders and accomplish all of my plans

But instead of actually having the resolve to get off the couch and check them off one by one….

I want to sleep and dream about it

Envisioning myself cook up a storm, but wanting to spit out everything my tongue touches

Thanks symptom from recent virus

Knowing that my life is going to change soon before my eyes, but not feeling myself change with it

 

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Old habits latch onto me like a leach

My selfishness

Neediness

Messiness

To name a few

New Years resolutions are picked up by the snowy wind

Is winter a monster?

Like the picture of those trees

But I know that it’s just today

Hope you all enjoyed this!!! Photography and creative writing are two of my greatest passions so I thought that I’d combine the two tonight. I’m okay you guys just to let you know :). Just not having the best evening. Thought that I’d write this because I feel like everyone feels this way in the winter sometimes. “Dude, why are these New Years Resolutions, not working out?! Are they deep in the snow somewhere?!” Lol :P. 

 

 

Valentine’s OOTD and Makeup

This is my 19th year celebrating Valentine’s Day as a perpetually single woman.  As of recently, there seems to be this debate on the internet on the topic of Valentine’s day. Lots of folks are apparently saying that they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because they feel like its only for couples and/or has too much of a consumerism basis. While I can understand this viewpoint, I think that it’s nice to dedicate a day of the year for celebrating your loved ones. While it is vital to show those whom you cherish that you care everyday, we all get busy and it is hard to treat those we love specially, every day of the week. There is no reason that you can’t celebrate loving yourself and your friends/family on Valentine’s Day. One of the ways I like to celebrate the occasion is by dressing up and incorporating Valentine colors/symbols into my outfit. Here’s my Valentine’s OOTD and Makeup!

 

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Red and Black Flower Crown: Pac Sun 

Leather Jacket: Charlotte Russe

Floral Crop Top: J.C. Penney 

Red Cami: Some boutique that I can’t remember the name of 

Red Fleece Lined Leggings: From Pretty Little Things, a fantastic boutique in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

I thought that the red rose flower crown was perfect for the occasion! Red + Flowers + Roses = could you get any better?!?! To keep with Valentine’s Day colors chosen, I also wore a pink crop top with flowers on it and to keep with the red color scheme, chose a red cami and leggings from my closet. My tip for dressing up for any holiday is to look for colors and symbols that are representative.  For Valentine’s Day, this means colors such as red, purple, and pink, and symbols such as flowers, hearts, cuddly animals, chocolate and candy.

Now onto the makeup:

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For this non-toxic makeup look, I blended the eyeshadow colors ‘urchin’ and ‘coral sand’ together from my Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette as well as using ‘skinny dip’, a beige color, on the inner corners of my eyes to given me an awakened look. Urchin is the perfect color for Valentine’s Day, or really any day of the week, as it is described as a ‘soft jeweled iridescent purple’ but on the lid it wears more like a neutral brown. It still does have purple tones to it though, don’t get me wrong. This is good for me because if I wear too much purple on my lids, it looks as though somebody punched me square in the eyes.  Additionally, the matte peach shade was great to blend with because peach is a great color for brown eyes and is a nice, soft color, perfect for Valentine’s Day. For eyeliner, I did a simple line across the top of my lid using my Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner in Slate for a soft but yet eye popping look. For my cheeks I used my over-loved Vapour Organic Beauty Cream Blush in Lure. This plummy color is perfect for Valentine’s Day! Additionally, I used a plum colored lip gloss from Gabriel Cosmetics that I cannot find no matter how hard I try on their website. I think it’s discontinued :/.

What’s your go to Valentine’s Day outfit and makeup?!

xoxo

Alex

 

My Green Beauty Spring Wishlist

 

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I am a broke student. I’m always admiring different products and am sure to make my daily windows 10 pretend shopping run, but in reality, I have no money for these products. I often find myself thinking, “Oh wouldn’t this be fun to review,” and then, “…wait, I have no money to review this product, waaaah”. However, I do plan on searching for a part time job before starting college this fall and hope that when I do get hired, I’ll have some leftover money to purchase some of the following green beauty products I’ve had my eye on for awhile now. Check out my green beauty spring wishlist below.

1.) Jane Iredale PureLip Glosses: The colors of some of these lip glosses, hands down, are some of the most unique I’ve ever seen. It is hard to find some of these colors anywhere let alone in a lip gloss formula. I’ve also seen pictures of these lip glosses on other people and they look perfect with just the right amount of shimmer and shine. There are two types of females in this world I believe, lip gloss people and lipstick people. I love a good lipstick, but I’m most definitely a lip gloss person. I love that lip glosses give that one-two punch effect of moisturizing (my lips get insanely dry) while adding a splash of color to your lips. Plus they give me a poutey look that I like :). These glosses do have fd and c dyes in them, which I usually avoid, but these colors are just screaming my name. I’m still debating whether or not I should get these when I have the money, but I figure that as long as I don’t wear them like everyday I’m good. After all, it’s all about a balance in life, eh?!  The glosses I have my eye on right now are SnowberryKir RoyalePink SmoothieRed Currant, and Sugar Plum. Which color(s) would you pick?

2.) Red Apple Lipsticks in Mayberry and Hibiscus: I’ve been wanting pretty much all of Red Apple’s lipsticks for the longest time now. The ingredients are superb and are free of gluten as well as some other nasties. Mayberry looks like the perfect nude, everyday color to me. Not too nude as it is has subtle dusty rose/berry tones, but not so bright and colorful that you have to be very particular about what you wear. I also feel like this color is perfect for any season, which I want. Hibiscus on the other hand, is the perfect spring color. A bold raspberry hue is what’s sported in this lipstick and I feel like this is the ultimate happy color, one that can cheer you up on a rainy April Day or just make the sunbeams radiate outside even more. Okay, maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself as I haven’t even tried this lipstick yet, but colors emote a lot of feelings in me, okay?! Sadly right now, it’s sold out, but I don’t have any money right now anyways, so hopefully it will be back in stock when I do.

3.) Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer: It is no secret that I have dark circles under my eyes, like big time. It is not from a lack of sleeping I swear, they just have always been there for as long as I can remember. In fact, I remember one girl in the 8th grade commenting how it looked like my eyeliner had smudged all the way down to my under eye area and that I hadn’t slept for days. I panicked and ran to the school bathroom and saw that it wasn’t my eyeliner that had smudged, but it was the dark circles that she was noticing. You’d think that this make me run out and purchase a concealer right away, right? Nope! Whenever I’d have some cash to spend on makeup products, I wanted it to be bright, colorful eye-shadows or lipsticks. However, I sampled this product a few years ago and it did make a significant difference. I appeared more awake and it made my eye looks more clean cut. Plus, it did not cake at all and you couldn’t even notice it was there, which was a super plus! I want to purchase this soon, but its also pretty expensive, as are most of the products are on this list, hence why I’m calling this my wishlist.

4.) Trader Joe’s Lavender Body Scrub: My shower routine is really boring. I just go in there, soap, shave, shampoo, conditioner and then I’m done. However, I believe that shower time is a time for self-care and to relax and unwind, so I think it’d be nice to add exfoliation into the routine.  Why not do it with something that smells divine and has stress relieving properties? Plus, I already adore the scent of lavender so it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll love it already. I think that this will be one of the first purchases I make as its pretty inexpensive at only $6.

Hope you all enjoyed this! Which one of these products are on your wishlist? Do you own/have tried any of these products? Be sure to let me know in the comments down below! Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss which fashion/other fantabulous products are on my wishlist!

xoxo
Alex

 

 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – New England’s Underated City

As a New Englander, one of my absolute favorite places to go is Portsmouth- a small coastal city right on the border of Maine. This city has been up and coming for awhile now and has grown significantly. It once was considered a ‘bad’ part of the state where lots of seedy activities took place, but over the past two decades, the city has come into its own and is now considered a family tourist attraction. I love Portsmouth because it has the charm of New England, but also has its own unique flavor to it. Since I’ve been to Portsmouth lots of times, I thought that I would write a travel guide for what to see and do in Portsmouth. It’s a place like no other and you’ll never forget it.

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In my opinion, there is no better place to experience a place’s culture than just walking the streets and not having a fixed plan. “Market Square” is often where the hub-bub is. You will often see musical performers playing as you walk by, which definitely gives Portsmouth its upbeat mood. The architecture of Portsmouth is also extremely old, which makes the downtown that more fascinating. It is often a great time to peek through the unique shops of Portsmouth. Here are some stores that are a must see!

Stores:

Bull Moose Music: Music junkies cannot miss this one of a kind music store. This store hosts a huge library of music by almost any artist you could think of. The prices of their good quality used cd’s are crazy awesome, many of them even being under $5! They also sell TV show and movie dvds, old records, and even video tapes, many of them being as little as 30 cents. It’s my sister’s absolute favorite place to go and I have to admit, I always have a good time too!

The Old Salt Cellar: My Mom recently took me to this store and I fell in love!!! The store sells exclusively Himalayan Salt Lamps and has every single type of Himalayan Salt Lamp imaginable, some even in the shape of animals! You will not hear about this store in any other travel guide to Portsmouth, but it’s a secret treasure that you can’t miss.

Marco Polo: Marco Polo is what I like to call the children’s store for all ages. It is extremely humorous and has lots of unique toys/books/signs that you can’t find anywhere else. Be warned though there is lots of dirty humor in there, so if you are offended by that type of thing, you might want to go elsewhere.

Book and Bar: This is truly a book store of its own. The book and bar stands out in that not only do they sell used books for amazing prices (I once got a hardcover for $5!!!), but they also are a cafe. They make delicious food and nourishing teas (and beers if that’s your thing). The architecture in this place is reminiscent of ancient Greece, which makes the atmosphere truly one of a kind. They also have events there, such as concerts.

Ms. Picwick’s Mercantile: This 20th century themed mercantile boasts an eclectic mix of home decor products, candles, kitchen accessories, stationery, books, toys, candy, beauty products, and unique foods. Pretty much all of the items I’ve seen in this store I truly have not been able to find anywhere else. Be prepared to be wowed the moment you walk in!

Clothes Shopping:
Lizology: A very feminine and chique woman’s boutique with bold cuts, fabrics, and styles. They also sell beautiful accessories. The help in this store is phenomenal and it is of my opinion, that you cannot walk out of Lizology without something awesome.

Alex and Ani: You’ve probably heard of the jewelry company Alex and Ani. They are famous for their bracelets with an antique finish. Their downtown Portsmouth store is always hustling and bustling. The sales associates there also always knowledgeable about their products and eager to help.

Nature:

Prescott Park/Prescott Park Arts Festival: Prescott Park is one of the most beautiful and enchanting parks I’ve ever been to period. Located on the waterfront and the bridge boarding Maine not far in sight, this park boasts lots of greenery to hang out and a pier you can walk on. My favorite part about this park are their magnificent and unique gardens. The flowers are planted in a very aesthetically pleasing way and make for some gorgeous photography!

Additionally, each summer they have an arts festival that lasts from June-August, that includes high quality low cost (by donation: recommended fee is $8) live performances with artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, Bruce Cockburn, Steve Earle and The Dukes, Shawn Colvin, and Dar Williams. They also have live musical theater performances such as Shrek the Musical and this year they are doing The Little Mermaid. You definitely cannot miss this Arts Festival!

Pierce Island: I feel like it took me way too long to discover this island. Pierce Island is a hidden gem, with movie picture perfect coastal nature trails, a greenery set off of a peninsula with picnic tables and grills, and ample places for biking. Plus, as a photo enthusiast Pierce Island is one of my favorite places to snap pictures!

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Walk the bridge lit up at night: Recently, Portsmouth has built a new bridge to replace an old one that was falling apart. While there has been much controversy about the new design, I personally like it, as it has wide sidewalks, bike lanes, and even lights up/changes colors every night. I feel like this would be a fun thing to do on a first date…..walk the bridge while it is lit up, looking out over the moonlit river, so romantic, *sigh* a girl can only dream right? :).

Restaurants:

Flatbread Pizza: The best pizza in town and their gluten-free crust is amazing. They even use a separate oven and put aluminum over the circular pizza plate for those who are Celiac. I love this restaurant because not only do they make great pizza, but are committed to utilizing the the most fresh ingredients as possible and therefore get a lot of their food from local and organic sources. Not to mention, they have THEE best house salad I’ve ever tasted, which is saying something since my mother is the queen of salad making.

The Juicery: Not only does this place have the best smoothies in town, but they also have unique ethnic dishes that are Japanese, Mexican, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and more. The food here is mostly organic and entirely vegan and overall is one of the best places to grab a quick bite to eat!

Popovers on the Square: This cafe has the most delectable salads and sandwiches and boasts many gluten-free options. Additionally, they have one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted; their almond cloud cookie. If you don’t go here fore anything else, go for the cookie!

Historical Sites:

The Old North Church: This church was founded in 1647 and is one of the oldest churches in New England. Famous historical figures, such as George Washington, have visited here. I recommend going inside this church during sunset as the light will bend through the stained glass in the most beautiful way.  When I was in that church I felt my heart warm up and I definitely felt more connected spiritually. Overall, architecture lovers and history buffs will rejoice and everyone who comes to Portsmouth should put this church high up on their list. Not to mention, it poses incredible photography opportunities proven with this photo here.

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Have any of you visited Portsmouth? If so, have you been to any of these places?

xoxo

Alex