A 101 in 1001 List Update

September 28, 2015

i'm officially nearing the end of my 101 in 1001 list.  which is crazy to me, since apparently it's been 817 days, even though it feels like i just started.  i do plan on making another one, though i haven't quite decided the start date for it.  so here's the update.  i think i did really well, and i have more time to finish the last few.

the ones in bold are finished, and they have the date when i finished them.  some i included notes on.
the ones in this purple color are the ones i have not done, and don't think i'll get to.
the ones in this blue color are the ones that i'm confident will happen before the end of the time frame.
and the couple in this red color are ones that i'm curious if you want an update on, so let me knowand there's one i have a question for you on.
progress: 87/101 are done.  9 more are almost done.  which leaves only 5 that won't happen!

travel  (5/7)

1. plan a vegas trip (4/15) - you can read that here
2. at least visit with sarah, somewhere (11/14) - she came into town for my birthday last year
3. visit meredith in california - she has come back here, so it's not like i haven't seen her, but i haven't made it out to cali and i don't think i will.  so many things are different!  you can see #64 for why.
4. see caitlin at some point (12/14) - she came in for christmas, and she'll be in this year as well
5. go to nashville - i was thinking of going for my 30th birthday, but i decided i wanted to stay here and save the money.  so nashville is still on the to do list.  since john and i are buying a house in march/april, it's not a trip i'll be spending the money on just yet, but we'll get there eventually.
6. work on my goal to visit most of the 50 states (17/50) (7/14)
7. take the amtrak somewhere (milwaukee, 7/14)

organize  (5/7)
8. get my apartment and possessions 100% organized (1/13)
9. organize my itunes music and make playlists (7/13)
10. get the apartment on a realistic cleaning schedule (10/13)
11. make sure everything currently in my apartment fits my personal style (7/13) - it's actually quite a bit more minimalist than that style quiz says, but i like it
12. organize all of my photos on iphoto and back them up multiple places (7/13)
13. completely declutter my parent's house - working on it!  i even got the giant playset moved out of the backyard.  we have a few more areas to hit, but it's more than 50% done
14. help mom organize her photos and send them to be scanned- most of them are done, i just need to look through one more time and see if i missed any

learn  (13/13)

15. read all the e-books on my amazon wish list (7/13)
16. watch 101 popular movies/tv series (3/14) - the quickness in which i checked that one off... damn
17. read 101 books (e-books count) (7/14) - since i was able to count e-books, i made it to this one in about a year, which is pretty good for me!  i know a lot of the e-books were way shorter than if i had read library books, but reading is reading.
18. go to a never-before-visited museum (11/13) - for my birthday that year, betsy took me for greek food and then we went to the new hellenic museum that opened in the west loop.
19. take a self-defense class (4/14)
20. take another dabble class (vegan cooking, 2/14)
21. watch all the seasons of a show i've never seen (30 rock, 7/13)
22. learn "two beers please, my friend will pay" in 5 new languages (1/14) - and i still know them!  spanish, french, italian, german, and vietnamese.  currently also memorizing it in polish
23. learn my camera's non-automatic settings (10/14)
24. read an entire book in one day (mockingjay, 7/13)
25. learn a quick makeup routine using favorite products (9/13) - i did a post on this when i first checked it off the list. since then, my skincare needs have changed (hellooooo turning 30!) and i went through and switched to all totally cruelty free brands.  do you guys want an updated post on this?
26. research donating bone marrow, and sign up to donate (7/13) - just had to send for the kit and do a home cheek swab and send it back (all free) so i'm all signed up!
27. complete a fitness challenge (30 day shred, 4/14)

shop  (10/10)
28. buy luxurious, fancy bedding (1/14)
29. find a signature fragrance (jewel by mark, 7/13) - they don't make this any more, but i still have mine that i love.  guess i gotta find a new one again!  do you have any favorites?  where do you start looking for a good fragrance?  i never shop for this stuff!
30. find a signature style/brand of jeans (ae skinny kick, paige skyline, 7/13) - i haven't been wearing the paige jeans much.  i like ae jeans, even though i'm too old to shop at ae.  i just like the way they feel and they last forever.
31. find a really perfect cross body bag (7/13)
32. fully decorate my apartment in my style (2/14)
33. get everything for a well-stocked home bar (2/14) - i did, in the old apartment, and then when i moved i got rid of my bar cart!  i just didn't need it.
34. invest in good makeup brushes (a gift from sarah, 11/13)
35. upgrade my phone (11/14) - my parents got me the iphone 6 for my birthday last year
36. go shopping on michigan avenue at christmas time (12/13)
37. hire a cleaning service for my apartment once (3/14) - we hire them regularly now actually!  worth it.

food  (6/6)

38. try 5 popular chicago restaurants (geja's, shanghai, tanta, parthenon, la scarola, 11/13)
39. make perfect chocolate peanut butter fudge (12/13) - it's just 3 ingredients, i posted the recipe here
40. learn to make my dad's pasta sauce (11/14)
41. make glitter cupcakes (11/13)
42. decide on a long term healthier eating plan i can maintain (2/15) - i did earlier this year and was doing well at it, but i've been eating more crap lately.  gotta get back to it.
43. go one month without getting fast food (2/14)

personal  (7/13)
44. get to my goal weight - i do think i can check this off by the end of the time frame
45. keep nails nicer with monthly or bi-monthly mani/pedis (6/14)
46. figure out a skincare routine (10/13) - like the makeup, i did a post on this back when i checked it off.  but now i have rosacea in my cheeks and much drier skin, so i had to change everything up. and pick all cruelty free things.  do you care?  should i do a new post?
47. finally get my silver jewelry cleaned (7/13)
48. straighten my teeth (with that retainer i stopped using...) - the retainer broke, and now i have invisalign.  they'll be straightened out probably by christmas
49. whiten my teeth - i'm doing it more naturally (so no in office crazy whitening tricks) so it takes longer, but i see a difference and i'll definitely keep going
50. move into a more permanent living situation - this will happen in march/april!  since the list ends in march, i might not hit it right on time, but shortly after definitely counts
51. get a brazilian wax (4/15)
52. make my own mini happiness project (10/13)
53. fill my gratitude journal (8/13)
54. decide on a regular workout plan i can maintain (3/15)
55. learn new relaxation tips that work for me (7/13)
56. tone my arms - i feel like meh, not that important to me anymore

hawkeye  (4/4)
57. take hawkeye to a dog friendly hotel for a night (4/14) - the kimpton hotels are amazing for dogs.  seriously, take your dog to one.
58. have a hawkeye-specific savings account for future vet bills (5/14) - she's got her own bank account
59. teach hawkeye a new trick, besides 'sit pretty' and 'twirl' ('high five' and 'kiss', 2/14)
60. downsize her toys and figure out how to keep her things neater (7/13) - she's such a child when i try to declutter her toys.  literally won't touch them for 364 days, but then minute i try to take it out of the toy box to get rid of, it's her favorite toy ever... for 24 hours.  i was able to sneak a couple out, the rest are in a martha stewart toy box from petsmart.

relationships  (6/8)
61. take someone to the shedd aquarium - john and i are going to do this, soon!  our first free saturday coming up, we're going.  we actually tried a couple weeks ago but it was insanely packed so we did the field museum instead
62. watch a day of football with dad (10/13)
63. go to high tea with mom (12/13)
64. celebrate my best friend's wedding - when meredith moved to cali at the start of this list, her boyfriend bought an engagement ring.  instead, she got pregnant and had a baby in march of this year.  he still hasn't proposed!
65. take photos in a photo booth with john (9/13)
66. give all clutter-free gifts one christmas (no stuff) (12/13)
67. start and maintain a complete address book and birthday list (10/13)
68. (let her find out i'm dating her brother and then) be civil with julie (9/13) - we actually get along pretty well!  she lives in cleveland now, so that helps.

finances  (5/6)

69. get a new job - another one i don't totally care about any more.  i did get a raise, so i haven't really been searching for new jobs
70. figure out how to budget (4/14) - i use ynab and i love it
71. start a savings account (4/14)
72. pay off student loans (2/14)
73. pay off all other debt (4/14) - i'm debt free!  have been for over a year, it's awesome
74. save for lasik surgery save for ?after witnessing john get lasik, i'm positive i can't handle the aftercare and decided it's not for me!  the savings are now for the question mark fund - i'll decide later, but i'll still saved what lasik would have cost. (4/15)

entertainment  (8/9)
75. learn a new party game (jailbreak, 7/13)
76. tour a brewery (10/13)
77. make every drink on my cocktail hour pinterest board (2/14)
78. party at northalsted market days (8/13) - and 8/14 and 8/15 - i haven't missed it!
79. host a holiday party (7/14)
80. celebrate my 30th birthday (11/14)
81. find favorite red and white wines (apothic and cupcake, 7/13)
82. plan another bar crawl or themed party (4/14)
83. tailgate for an iowa game - tara is coming here october 17 and we'll be going to tailgate at northwestern!

quirky  (9/9)
84. visit some place that's supposedly really haunted (10/14)
85. dye the tips of my hair a fun color, like pink, just once (10/13)
86. go to a psychic/tarot card/palm reader (6/14)
87. decide if i really want that tattoo, once and for all, and get it if i do (nope. 9/13)
88. try at least one thing from each of my pinterest boards (7/13)
89. get it over with and stand on the glass ledge at the sears tower (12/13) - i did this with tara and it was fucking terrifying.  never again.  i almost peed my pants.  she had actual tears.  it was bad.
90. make awesome matching halloween costumes with tara (10/13)
91. go ice skating (12/14)
92. play trivia at a bar (7/13)

blog  (3/3)

93. host a 'bucket list progress' link-up at least once (7/13) - i did a couple, it was a monthly thing.  but then i gave up because i'm just not good at hosting link-ups.  it's too much work.
94. try some of the ideas on 31 days to a better blog (7/13)
95. send a care package to a randomly chosen person who comments (8/13)

secret goals  (3/3)

96. win my march madness bracket (4/14) - i dominated.  i kicked everyone's ass.  i picked the correct final two teams - kentucky and uconn.  they were the 7th and 8th ranked teams, so no one else had them in their final four, let alone final 2.  it's my personal claim to fame.
97. celebrate 1 year with john (4/14) - check!  and year 2.
98. be in another winner's circle photo with our horse (9/13)

the list  (2/3)

99. save my change for 1001 days (10/14) - i stopped using strictly cash so i went with the change i had already been saving since before the list started.  it ended up being about $200.
100. celebrate when this list is completed - this one will definitely get checked off, early.  i'm close to done and i want to celebrate with betsy, who just finished hers and started a 2nd one.  and by celebrate, i mean play the crack machine and get her a shot of absinthe.  so we'll be doing this the next time she heads into the city
101. make a new list when this one is almost done (4/15) - my new list isn't totally finalized, since i have time still, but i came up with over 101 new ideas for the next list!

and there's my update!  i'm kind of excited to start the next one, but not until i'm sure i've checked everything off this list that i can.

The Before Photos: Fixing My Hair Thinning

September 25, 2015

by now you probably all read about the emotional meltdown i had over my sudden hair loss.  i went to the dermatologist and he called it 'excessive telogen effluvium,' in fact, in case you were curious.  most people lose about 50-100 hairs a day.  consistently losing over 150 a day is considered significant hair loss, and i was definitely over the 150.  hence the massive emotional meltdown.  he recommended Women’s ROGAINE® Foam (which is actually the #1 dermatologist recommended brand for hair regrowth.)  he expected me to freak out because it's something you associate with older generations, but i was willing to try anything, of course.  and turns out it's totally not something that's only common in older women.  1 in 3 women notice thinning hair in their lifetime and female pattern hair loss can start in your teens and 20s, with a 2nd noticeably large thinning in your early 40s.  for me, it started at 30, and it can worsen over time if you don't treat it.  so i'm treating it!

ROGAINE® products are for men and women with hereditary hair loss.  and Women’s ROGAINE® 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol is the first and only FDA-approved once daily treatment specifically for women for hereditary hair loss.  is my hair loss hereditary?  who knows!  i'm adopted, remember?  but hereditary hair loss accounts for 95% of all hair loss, so it's very probable.  and based on a 6 month clinical study, women showed that with once daily use of Women’s ROGAINE® 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol, 81% regrew hair, with new hairs coming in up to 48% thicker than before.  my dermatologist did mention this; he told me not to be worried if it didn’t start working right away, because the hairs that would eventually come in would be thicker and healthier than the ones falling out.  basically, exactly the results i'm looking for.

i don't know why i'm pointing to it like you can't see it... you can see it!  this is the main spot that's making me crazy and i really want to fix it fast.  it is starting to move along the part further back, but that's the biggest spot, and it's where i'm concentrating the foam.

some points i've already learned about the foam:
- it doesn't leave any residue.  i can put it on morning or night and it doesn't leave a color or make my hair greasy or anything.  i usually put it on at night before bed, since you can put it on wet or dry hair.
- it's fine for my color-treated hair.  no issues. 
- it doesn't interfere with my styling.  because you know i've been using a million volumizing products.  i can still use all of those and it doesn't make them any less effective. (although, i'm thankful for the Women’s ROGAINE® Foam, since it's for fixing the problem and not just covering it up like the other products are.)
- it's really, really easy.  i just massage it in along my part that i showed in the photos, about half a cap full of it.  then wash my hands.  takes about as much time as putting on eye cream, no big deal.
- you don't need a prescription, it's over the counter.  i picked up mine at walgreens, but i've seen it at all drug stores and online.
- they do say 'most women will regrow hair in as little as 12 weeks and see visible results in 24 weeks' so i'll report back.

so with all of that said, i have pretty high hopes for the product.  number one being regrowing the hair in that spot i showed you.  my dad actually uses the version for men and since he started before i did, he already sees results.  i should get a picture of his head for you, you can see the hairs growing.  i'll do that, because i will have a follow up post in december so you can see if it actually worked, or if i need a hawkeye wig.

"is ok mom, i share my hair wif you"

Products were provided by the Women's ROGAINE® Foam. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Three on Thursday

September 24, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, my weekly post of my favorites of the week (or of all time) - things i think are really worth you checking out.

1. zoya nail polishes i feel like cruelty free nail polishes can be hit or miss.  i don't love the elf ones, and the butter london are so expensive.  zoya is still pricey ($9) but they work so well.  i don't get my nails done very often so i like to have a few colors in stock at home.  by no means a collection - i'm talking like maybe 1 or 2 colors per season.  my two favorite colors for fall/winter (toni and ryan) are in a set right now for a bit of a discount - the fall flannel duo for $16.  and the duos are currently 3 for $30 plus free shipping, so that's 6 polishes... making each one like $5.  i think; math isn't my thing.  it's a good deal for zoya.  but they always have promos going on so if now is not the time for nail polish for you, keep an eye on the website for the next promo!
2. property brothers on netflix!  i love when any hgtv shows show up on netflix, but property brothers is a long time fave.  it's been on netflix for a bit, but they did add 2 new seasons.  if you haven't marathon-ed it, you need to.  also, someone figure out how i can get the property brothers to come fix the house john and i buy.

3. xhilaration lace thong underwear at target.  oh yes, i'm going there. okay here's the thing - for the longest time, i would only get the victoria's secret underwear.  the pink line, the ones that were always on sale 5 for $25.  i seriously hate so many other kinds.  i might be the pickiest underwear wearer in the world.  so i figured if i had to just get the vs ones, so be it.  but they're expensive, and when you have a gross dog who eats them if you accidentally leave them on the floor, you can no longer have nice things.  so i tried the target ones, and they're exactly the same.  and victoria's secret raised their prices, while the target ones are 5 for $20.  (they have other styles, all copying the vs ones, if the lace thong ones aren't your thing.  sizing runs a tad larger than vs, but nothing crazy.)  exactly the same.  stop wasting your money.

and no, i'm not putting the target photo of a woman in underwear on my blog!  not today at least.  happy thursday.

Cruelty Free Hair Care

September 22, 2015

let's just call it like it is - most of the drugstore, famous brands of shampoo and conditioner are not cruelty free.  you know it, i know it; we wouldn't be here if garnier fructis and herbal essences would get their shit together.  but hair care companies seem to like to test on animals even more than cosmetics.  i don't know why.  regardless, i'm going to try to give you all my favorite brands at various price points to help you out.

this post is a two part-er.  after i posted about my cruelty free makeup picks, a lot of people expressed interest in other ways to go cruelty free.  namely hair care and skin care.  these are pretty big topics.  tougher than makeup even, because there's just so many brands and so many different types of products.  obviously this is the hair care one - for skin care picks, visit Life as Louise, who's helping me out today!  she's been doing the whole cruelty free thing since high school, and just recently explored new skin care options for herself so she's sharing all those with you today as well.

alright so hair care.  i tried to make this a pretty broad list, giving you lots of different types of products and brands.  trying to get as many people as possible to make the switch to cruelty free, of course.  i will have a separate post on just what i use to get thick, fluffy hair, since a lot of you mentioned that you want to know!  i also realized how weirdly specific my hair care routine is (i use 3 different shampoos in a given week...) so i thought it deserved a post all its own.  so 'tips for thick luscious hair' coming soon.  i can't give an exact date because work has been killing me the last few months, but soon.  within the next 2 weeks.  promise.  in the mean time, this list should get you started.  if you have a must-use type of product that i missed in this list, let me know and i'll give you some recommendations.

shampoo: i love lush.  i mentioned big before, it's amazing.  lush has a lot of great shampoos, i'm a big fan.  expensive, but worth it.  i've tried the many different kinds from them and haven't had any duds, so if you're looking into their line, i don't think you can go wrong.  for drugstore?  mane n tail.  it actually doesn't show up on the cruelty free sites, though i don't know why - it's not tested on animals.  at least, not in the cruel way you'd think of.  it was originally made for show horses, for their manes and tails, hence the name and the picture on the bottle.  and then humans used it but they don't test it in a lab on ponies and they don't sell in china.  so it gets my stamp of approval.  and it's really good.  if you're on a budget, start here.

conditioner: pureology.  that's what's up and i'm not even going to pretend like there's anything else.  you want stuff that works?  get pureology.  it's going to be like $25 for a regular sized bottle of conditioner but sometimes, you just go with the best and they're the best.  i use their shampoo too.  drugstore?  paul mitchell or jason.  (i cannot even fully express my love for the jason apricot conditioner.  it smells like happiness and makes my hair so shiny but not greasy.)

leave-in: unite!  i swear by unite 7seconds and i always have.  my hair can get really tangled and knotty after a shower, particularly when i use a clarifying shampoo, so i have to use a leave in conditioner or detangler.  unite is expensive, but it's my favorite.  it's also a really good brand for other hair care items.  other brands that work (i've tried them but always come back to unite, take that for what it is) are: shea moisture - so many types for different kinds of hair!,

hairspray: this is a new category to me, because i never needed hair spray before my hair started falling out.  i went out and got giovanni and it's really been working for me.  the rest of their line also gets very good reviews, though i have not tried anything else yet.  andalou also worked for me, and the kenra 25 seems to be a cult favorite, though i do find it too strong hold for my taste.

frizz tamer: kms is amazing at this.  their anti humidity hair stay is so good, even if the frizz issue isn't totally humidity related.

root lifter/volumizer: southern belle mousse from drybar works really well on my hair, without making it too texturized or dry.  i'm also a fan of the rock your hair line when i'm in hair panic mode and want all things volume.

dry shampoo: kenra has a ton of products i love, including their dry shampoo.  they're pricey though.  batiste seems to be the drugstore one everyone loves - they are cruelty free, but they are owned by a parent company that is not (just like i mentioned urban decay in the makeup post.)  so that's a judgment call on your end!

as i was writing this list, i realized just how many specific items exist to make your hair do what you want.  it's crazy.  so i couldn't get into every single one - it wouldn't be fair to list something that i can't personally vouch for.  like sea salt beach wave spray; my hair is too thick so i can't use it, it just makes it knotted and gross.  so if you have any go-tos for cruelty free hair care, leave them in the comments so others can check them out too.  the brands i listed are really great and have every hair care item you could need that i left out, so i would trust those.

but if you're still curious whether your favorite products make the cut, there is something else i wanted to mention - phone apps!  download bunny free or cruelty-free.  (at least one of those is android compatible, and both work for iphone.)  they list all the companies so you can search for your brand.  and you can scan bar codes, so you can see right in the store if it's cruelty free or not and make your purchases accordingly.  what a cool feature.

and of course, go check out the cruelty free skin care picks!

Three on Thursday

September 17, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, my weekly post of my favorites of the week (or of all time) - things i think are really worth you checking out.

1. bic soleil razors.  i hate leg hair.  hate it.  i'm way too big a wuss to wax though, so shaving it is.  i'm 100% not one of those girls that likes winter so they can wear pants and never shave.  i have to shave.  and i swear to you, the closest shave comes from the bic soleil razors.  just the regular, basic ones!  which is not what you'd expect, right?  because they're disposable.  i mean, they last longer than those ones for a dollar but you don't replace the blades, you just use a new razor.  but i've tried the fancy ones like the venus or the hydrosilk with that moisturizing bar, but nothing beats the soleil razors.  which i get at walgreens for $10 for 8; a steal compared to the others.  it doesn't have a swivel head or anything fancy but i've been shaving my legs for like 15+ years, i think i can manage not to cut myself by now.  (fine, except that one time i had a mosquito bite i forgot i scratched and then shaved the scab off and it was like the psycho shower scene in there.)  i realize this is a really weird favorite recommendation, but i always spend money needlessly on stupid expensive razors that don't compare and i'm done.  and i'm also saving you the trouble.  i switch to a new razor when i finish a can of shave cream.  because otherwise, i'd never remember.

2. becca dorr on youtube.  i follow a lot of people on youtube - and i watch a lot of beauty videos, which is strange because i don't really try new things.  it's just fun to watch i guess.  but becca's channel is awesome.  it's newer, so not as many videos as the 'big name' vloggers, but her videos are great.  really good quality, fun to watch, plus i trust her opinion.  i trust anyone who can rock red lips like that.  a new empties video popped up today and i got super excited, so i think that's a sign that you should subscribe!  and she responds to comments and is active on other social media, which is always nice.

 Becca Dorr on YouTube

3. ardell accent lashes.  with duo lash glue.  or am i the only one that loves false lashes?  on the weekends of course.  nobody got time for false lashes at 7 a.m.  anyway, both are cruelty free.  i don't usually like full fake lashes, because they're kind of a pain to wear.  but accent falsies are just easier all around, plus i think they look better.  i like the 301s, but the 305s are good for extra drama.
Ardell Accent Lashes
lots of beauty favorites this week apparently!  i'm no expert by any means, but it's what works for me.  happy thursday!

My 2016 WeekDate Planner

September 16, 2015

just feeding your never ending planner addiction, it's what i do.  2016 is coming!  if you've been around these parts for over a year, you'll have seen these mentioned before.  for the new comers - this is the planner than lives in my purse.  the weekdate.

"you taunt me.  this is not food."

okay so here's my macbook air, it's the 13 inch one.  i feel like it gives a good size comparison for you (because stuart the cat is a fatty), even though the lighting in my room is less than stellar.

and here's why i love it so much:
1. the price.  no shelling out $60+ for a planner here.  you can even get a discount currently (more details later.)
2. the size.  i cannot carry giant planners in my purse.  it's too heavy and impractical for commuting to work.  this is so lightweight and thin, but at the same time, my pens don't bleed through (pens, pencils, and staedtler trips have all been tested.)
3. the setup!  even though it's small, the inside really packs in what you need.

the top part is the 'monthlies.'  say you always have book club on the first tuesday.  or you (like me!) put up the same type of blog post on the last or first day of the month.  that's where you'd note it.  so you only have to write it one time and you're done!  similarly, the bottom flap is the weeklies.  i note there my cleaning schedule for the apartment and my blog post schedule.  which is currently only consistent with the three on thursdays posts, but hey.  baby steps.  and in between is the actual calendar part.  i know it's kind of weird when i explain it, so i highly recommend watching their video.

1. given the size, there's not a ton of room to write.  so super detailed people aren't going to love this.  this doesn't apply to me, since there's the weekly and monthly area where i can write things once and be done and not take up planner room.  also i find that if i make lists or need to write something extensive, i end up doing it on my phone.
2. shipping international.  it's a hefty price tag for canadians, i'm sorry!  i think that's true of all planners going up your way, right guys?  i know, i know.  i'm sorry i don't have better news.  it does come in a sturdy box with the free pencil, if that makes you feel better.  but it is a lot to ship to canada, and other places outside the u.s. 
3. it will get a bit beat up by the end of the year.  it doesn't have that plastic-y stuff that the EC or plum papers have, but it is a thicker cover - like the outside of a tissue box.  i don't know, it's the first thing that came to mind.  and now you totally know what i mean, don't you?  anyway, if you're tossing it in and out of your purse like i do, the edges will show wear by the end.  that doesn't bother me but i know some people care.  it will not rip, by any means, but yeah, you'll see the color start to peel off a bit at the edges.

so essentially that was i long way of saying it's a good planner for minimalists and those who love efficiency.  if you're used to those $1 spot suckers at target, it's is a perfect upgrade with a much cooler setup.  you won't forget soccer practice, to pay the cable bill, or to give the dog it's flea medicine!  write it once and you're done, how neat is that?  if you're used to erin condrens and the like, you may not like the lack of extensive writing space and bells and whistles like stickers.

you can get them here.  (and oh hey yes, there's my quote and site there, from the last time i talked about my love for these!)  there's also a kickstarter campaign happening, to help fund more of weekdates in the future.  because it's not a giant company, it's just kay odell being awesome.  the kickstarter campaign would help their small company grow and get the word out on these planners.  and you get the same 2016 planner, at a bit of a discount!  there's an exclusive different cover you could pick too.  planners, discounts, small business support, what's not to like?

i really love these for carrying in my purse.  and for someone who has a good schedule going, or wants to get one going (weekly cleaning tasks, anyone?!), this is a really neat option.  so i say get it!

* i did get this particular weekdate to review, but i've purchased it many times on my own in the past.  it's why i wanted to work with them in the first place, so i could share something i really love.

Three on Thursday

September 10, 2015

1. talenti gelato in tahitian vanilla.  let's be honest here - all gelato is amazing.  and so are all the flavors.  i get the taleni gelato at whole foods and i love good old vanilla.  this vanilla is spectacular, just trust me.  the flavor is perfect and it's so creamy.  also, if you've seen the tip on pinterest and ignored it, storing your ice cream container in a ziploc bag in the freezer really will keep it frozen but soft enough to get your spoon it.  i was a skeptic too, but it works.

2. anastasia beverly hills lip gloss in black cherry.  these are majorly hyped (at least the liquid lipsticks are) and to be honest, i didn't love them originally.  the lipsticks did a weird crumbly thing and the gloss, at least in the lighter shade i originally tried, did this inside the lip thing where it kind of caked up.  it was weird.  definitely not worth the price.  but they've been reformulated.  i don't know if there was an official announcement about it, but if you check out the youtube reviews on the new fall lines, everyone agrees that they're different and those problems aren't happening anymore.  so i got the black cherry and i love it.  it's totally dark and vampy and perfect for fall and also reminds me of the 90s.  no weird caking.  it's awesome and i love it.  i prefer glosses, even if i have to reapply after eating/drinking, but there's really nice dark shades in the matte lipsticks as well.  (though none better than the charlotte tilbury in glastonberry.)
3. diy makeup setting spray.  (a) i posted two options for makeup setting spray in my cruelty free makeup post, because i use it often.  it works.  (b) i'm not really a diy kind of person.  ever.  but this diy makeup setting spray was at my skill level (none) so i figured i'd give it a try and see if it really was a viable option.  i love it!  it works just as well as the ben nye or the pixi stuff.  i mean, it's exactly the same.  plus the pixi stuff is not my favorite scent, whereas i can make this any scent i want (or none at all, which i think i prefer.)  so do this.  save your dollars.

 happy thursday!

Three on Thursday

September 3, 2015

i'm sticking with the 3 on thursday post.  it seems like a manageable number and i love alliteration.  so it's decided - 3 things each week that i just loved.  3 things i think are worth you checking out.  i'm going to try to spread them out (like, not all things to buy or 3 different colored lipsticks) so always check back for the good stuff on thursdays!  alright, this week:

1. bath and body works candle in harvest gathering.  they have a ton of amazing fall scents, but harvest gathering is my favorite of the bunch right now.  i also have leaves and sweater weather, but i'm telling you - harvest gathering is on point this year.  wait until it's on sale, of course.
2. go apple picking and then make these - caramel apple 'nachos.'  so. freaking. delicious. and regular caramel apples are a pain to eat, let's be honest.  this is way better.

3. lush big shampoo.  you want volume in your hair from a shampoo?  this is it.  it's not the easiest to work with (it's in a tub and thick) and i don't love the smell (that might be just me) but it works.  and mid-meltdown, that's what i cared about - massive volume.  nothing delivers like this does.  it's also vegan and cruelty free, of course.  i'll absolutely share the rest of my volumizing hair care line but this - this is the magic ingredient.

and that's that.  i'm having trouble stopping at 3 during these first posts, but i know in a few weeks i'll be happy i didn't give away all my favorites too quickly!  enjoy the rest of day 4 of the hostage situation.  i mean, thursday.  the weekend is almost here.

Cruelty Free Makeup Picks

September 1, 2015

people sometimes seem like they're surprised by how gung-ho i am about all my products being cruelty free (and i'm working on the vegan thing, i continue to be stumped by cheese.)  so as a refresher, let me remind you - i love animals.  all of them, all the time.  i dislike most people individually and all people in groups.  all of the time.  insistence on cruelty free is just a natural extension of that.

i don't want my makeup tested on animals because those animals are kept in horrid conditions and the experiments are cruel and unnecessary.  a great way to end the practice is by speaking with your dollars.  so i only buy from companies that are certified cruelty free.  if that's not your jam, so be it, i'll see you on the next post.  but if you're interested in switching to cruelty free, stick around.

sometimes, it's hard to determine exactly which brands are cruelty free.  because the sales associates don't know and a lot of the products aren't marked.  i've had numerous sephora employees tell me that the sephora line or the makeup forever line is cruelty free.  they're only half right.  they're cruelty free... in america.  but they sell in china.  chinese law requires that makeup sold in in the chinese market must be tested on animals.  there are very few exceptions to this law.  so i don't think that qualifies them as cruelty free, even though the products sold here are.  the company is still profiting off the testing of animals, is it not?  most (but not all, i'll cover them below) drugstore brands are sold in china.  sorry - maybelline, cover girl, rimmel, all sold in china.  as are a lot of high end popular brands - mac, benefit, smashbox.  a strange way to check your brand?  check the sephora china website.  you can type your brand name (in english) into the search box.  if it's available, it is not cruelty free.

the other issue is with 'parent companies.'  because estee lauder owns like, a million things.  and there are other parent companies that own smaller makeup lines.  for example, urban decay.  i know, i know.  the beloved naked palettes.  urban decay, as it's own line, is cruelty free.  but they are owned by l'oreal, who is not cruelty free and sells in china and owns other lines that sell in china as well.  so that's always a judgment call you have to make, whether you think supporting urban decay is also supporting l'oreal.  or are you teaching the parent company that you support their smaller cruelty free lines?  i flip flop in my mind about this all the time, i think it could go either way.  as it stands, i do not buy anything from lines whose parent company is not cruelty free, except for tarte.  i just find that there's enough other options to satisfy my makeup needs that i simply don't have to.

so, cruelty free brands?  not as hard to find as those last two paragraphs make it seem, i promise!  there are higher end lines that you'd get from department stores (or sephora, but their fishy legalese turns me off so i don't tend to shop there) that are cruelty free.  too faced, lorac, becca, and charlotte tilbury are my favorites - they don't test on animals and they do not sell in china.  your anastasia beverly hills eyebrow stuff is safe too.  here's my personal picks of what i use when i get the high-end stuff. 

cruelty free makeup brands
(click to enlarge if you need to)

this does mean, often, that you're paying a little more.  but not always!  i don't think i could constantly buy high end.  my frugal inner self cringes when i splurge a little too much, and i often only buy the high end picks when i have a gift card.  so, drugstore brands to the rescue.  cruelty free budget picks include milani, pixi, and sonia kashuk, all of which are at target and all of which i've had great results with.  cruelty free does not have to break the bank, by any means.

i could list a ton of acceptable brands, but it would take forever.  if you have a favorite brand you're curious about, ask me in the comments.  you can always google 'is _____ cruelty free' and you'll find results from peta and leaping bunny right away answering your question.  some brands do take a bit more research, which i'm happy to do for you because i know where to dig.  i've been compared to elle woods in more ways than one, so don't worry, i don't mind checking for you.

i'll be back with my picks for other toiletries too, like shampoo and skincare lines.  if that's something you're interested in of course.  let me know.

shameless plug - if you found this post helpful, please hit save on it on bloglovin.  then more people will see it.  and pin the images.  free all the test animals!

[totally vegan and cruelty free is another story, because a lot of makeup contains beeswax.  i'm not the expert on this as i don't personally have an aversion to beeswax, but if it's a concern for you i can definitely direct you to some other websites.  makeup also contains carmine.  it's not animals but... don't look it up.  you did it anyway, didn't you?  yeah it's bugs.  your lipstick is colored with bugs.  sorry.]

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