Monday 3.12 #OOTD

Hi y’all! Today’s outfit is 100% courtesy of #Loft. I know you’ve seen this Bell Sleeve top before, the dark green color is perfect for winter and spring. And this pull on herring bone skirt is so comfortable, I usually wear it once a week. It can be layered with leggings, fun tights or nylons! Perfect for the office!

Loft is my go to for work clothes. They have tons of options at affordable prices that can keep your wardrobe up to date without your wallet suffocating! What do you find are your go to work brands?

Xo Steph

My Green Bell Sleeve Top

My Herring Bone Skirt (it looks way cuter in person!)

A Similar Circle Skirt in Gray

Starting off March with a #MaskMonday

Hi Y’all!

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve blogged, so I’m starting off on a new foot for my birthday month! Being one step closer to thirty has made me reprioritize and figure out how to better plan out my life. Which meant being more dedicated to my blog!

So to kick off this new week, we’re back to a #MaskMonday featuring the YesTo Ultra Hydrating Mud Mask from Ulta Beauty (buy it here). This mask is great for a few reasons: (1) It’s one of 3 in the package! (2) It’s hydrating and (3) It’s already made so no work required!

It’s easy to do this mask, which is at the top of the 3-pack.

  1. Wash your face to get off any make up or residual oils
  2. Apply the mask, which you can squeeze out of the package (it can get messy)
  3. Wait 10 minutes
  4. Wash off with warm water

A few highlights of this mask:

  1. It’s super light
  2. Your face feels super soft when you take it off
  3. It doesn’t feel hard or constricting when it dries

A few negatives:

  1. Because it’s a ‘cocoa’ type, it kinda smells like suntan lotion
  2. It makes a super mess trying to get out of the package.

Overall, this is a great mask to try if you’re a beginner or if you want to feel softer skin. Not sure what the long-term benefit is, but I had dry skin which does feel a bit more supple now. I would give it an 8.0/10.

xo Steph

Getting on the Fitness Train – BBG

So, back in January I told you guys how I wasn’t making New Years Resolutions… And while that’s still 100% true, as I approach my (eek) 29th birthday on Thursday (double eek) I started thinking about my health and my future and my brothers wedding in September and decided to get my jiggly butt into gear.

I started the BBG a few months back, but with work and school didn’t keep up with it. So we’re back for round 2. I’m in the second week and now I remember why I liked it. I chose regular BBG because I can do it at home if I can’t get to the gym. It’s in the Sweat app, which can be found in your phone’s App Store (Apple HERE).

Workout highlights:

  • There are short clips of each exercise for you to follow
  • Its circuit-based so the more you do it, you can see your progress each week.
  • There are modifications if you’re not quite at the strength level to complete the move.
  • You get trophies with confetti when you finish a workout (hey, whatever works right?)
  • They factor in a recovery requirement. I feel like this is something I always forget.

I’ll be updating you all on my progress but for comparisons sake, here’s my before picture. Hoping to be lean and more confident by bathing suit season!

When Heartbreak Sneaks Up On You…

Heartbreak is something that everyone experiences in their life, whether it be the loss of a family member, a friendship, a love. For most of us, that heartbreak lasts a little while (or a long while), but eventually dissipates. For others, that loss can create a little hole that may never fully heal. The problem with holes is that while sometimes they can close up, sometimes they can get bigger.

So what do we do when those heartbreaks come back and re-break your heart again? How do you try to repair those little holes? Is it even possible?

I always believed that I am a rational person, even if I can be a little emotional sometimes (who isn’t). I can make logical and clear arguments, I can plan life 3, 6, 9, 12 months out, I can find a work, life, grad school balance, I have healthy relationships with my friends and family. But like so many others, I have that little hole. And this week, that little hole caused me to shift from my normal, rational self, to a self-conscious, heartbroken, irrational woman. And after my heart stopped racing, and I stopped feeling like I either wanted to burst into tears or punch someone in the face, I started thinking– How do I rationalize this irrational reaction? And how can I use it to learn and have a (hopefully) less irrational reaction if it ever happens again? So here’s what happened, and how I’m dealing with it.

I wanted to be in love or feel like I truly trusted someone before I had sex with them.  Unfortunately, no one really tells you that once you pass like 21, it’s hard to tell people you’re with that you’re a virgin. And its even harder to meet someone when you’re 22 and working at a dance studio 6 days a week with the average age of the people you’re interacting with consistently is 6 years old. So when I got my first “big kid job” in downtown Boston, I was psyched. Fast forward about 2 months, a guy that I worked with had just broken up with his girlfriend. Red Flag- Yes, I know. Someone I work with, Red Flag #2- I double know. But we figured out a way to make it work (kinda). I think it’s a real thing when people say you never forget your first. Not the first time, but the first person you share that moment with. They occupy a special place in your heart, even if it is to look back at with a half smile. However, messy breakups also occupy your mind. We ended badly, but with the added pressure of being mutual friends with people we worked with. In the end, he got the friends, and I got the feeling of being all alone. Months later I found out one of our mutual work friends said “he’d still be with her if we hadn’t kept telling him not to answer her texts.” That kind of pain hurts on so many levels. That realization that people had potentially stopped you from getting a second chance. But I moved on, or at least I thought I had.

Flash forward to this week:
That guy been with his girlfriend for a while – we’re talking years. I know – you’re supposed to move on. But being around the first person you ever loved 5 days a week is still somewhat painful (no,  I didn’t leave my company after the horrible breakup and aftermath. I had worked hard for what I had, and I was building my career). For YEARS I had to mentally prepare myself for conversations with him. Act happy and bubbly around him, check. Give off the appearance things were fine, check. And after a while I believed it. I believed, though he had a part of my heart, that I could move on. That I could be fine, that I WAS FINE.
That illusion shattered when he went to Hawaii for a week. I said to coworkers ‘I bet they’ll get engaged. It’s been 4 years, it’s time.’ I was prepared for engagement. I was prepared to see the man who had a part of my heart pledge forever to someone with a pretty ring. What I wasn’t prepared for was ‘We eloped.’ All those emotions came flooding back. I was hurt – why wasn’t I good enough to get a ring, why did he pick her? I was angry, why did people feel like they had a right to interfere and stop me from getting a second chance? I had a minor panic attack. I couldn’t cope. That little hole in my heart was bigger than it’s ever been. And I didn’t know what to do. A full day of work and my second week of the semester were in front of me, and I was a puddle of emotion. And the sad fact… most people knew… And no one wanted to tell me, no one wanted to be the reason I could fall apart. Did they know I was this weak? Did they know I was still holding on to that sliver of hope? Who knows. But in that moment, I lost all confidence in myself.

So I did what anyone other self respecting 28 year old would do… I told a coworker I needed a drink at lunch. And we half talked about it, as I sipped my vodka tonic, hoping that would help me make it through the day. And I texted a friend from school saying I needed a drink after class to take the edge off. And I left work early and went to school and sat in the library and said ‘what now?’. I gave myself until I walked into our building the next day to let it all out. Be irrational, be sad, be heartbroken, cry.  Mourn that part of my life that officially would never happen again. Mourn all those ‘what ifs’ that I had been holding onto.

And then I said ‘How do I deal with this?”. So I decided to write this post. For no other reason than to help put all these feelings in one place. To help understand how I can be so emotional. And that’s when I realized that hole… that little feeling deep inside me that always thought there was a chance, that side look at him with that longing, was there. I thought it was gone, but it wasn’t.

So how do we deal with this? That little hole inside of us. I won’t lie, 3 vodka soda’s after class helped. The Lyft driver on my way home from school who talked me through it helped. The cupcake that my best friend/roommate left for me in the fridge (the same thing she did when he and I broke up all those years ago) helped. The tears that fell when I realized I could finally cry about it helped.

I guess the answer is, who knows what will finally close up the hole. And that’s ok. Heartbreak comes in all shapes on forms. It can cripple you, or it can make you stronger. Right now, cripple feels right, but I know, I can use this as fire to be stronger. To be a better me.

But that won’t make these kinds of days easier. That foresight isn’t here yet. For now, I accept the sadness and how it affects me, and know in my heart (the part that’s not consumed with that hole) that I will be better. That I will survive. And that I’m better off feeling this hurt. Because as Alfred Lord Tennyson says, ’tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.



Mask Monday, Week 4

Somehow it’s another Monday, I don’t understand why this keeps happening. And today was one of the Monday-est Mondays in a long time… The weather here is all over the place and my skin is DYING. Between the freezing cold and now using my Mia every day, my skin is completely freaking out. So I’m thankful for this L’Oréal Detox and Brighten Clay Mask (buy it HERE). I’ve been using this mask for a few months now and can confidently say, it’s one of my favorites.

Some highlights:

  1. It goes deep into your pores – You can see in the picture below that this mask really gets into your skin.
  2. It’s pretty light – It goes on smoothly and sits comfortably on your skin. It doesn’t feel super heavy like some other clay masks.
  3. Your skin feels soft afterwards – Unlike some of the paper masks or sticky masks, this makes your skin feel super soft afterwards.
  4. It comes off like a charm – Besides requiring you to give your sink a good rinse afterwards, it does come off easily.

Some Cons

  1. When it dries, it’s very stiff – Don’t expect to be able to move your face without breaking cracks in the mask.  Nose breathing is vital.
  2. The jar can dry out quickly – The glass jar comes with a white cap under the screw cap. This is the best way to keep it from dying out.

This mask feels comfortable and is definitely a good one to try if you’re new to Masks. Plus, the price tag is good since I got at around 8-10 full facial masks from the jar.

I would say 8/10.

Stay tuned for my review on a great mask for breakouts next week by ControlCorrective.

xoxo StephIMG_1142.jpgIMG_1140.JPG


#MaskMonday Review 3

Happy Monday everyone. After a whirlwind weekend,  I was actually really looking forward to tonight’s mask to help relax as I watched The Bachelor. (If you’ve been watching, can you believe the whining already??)

Anyway… Tonight I tried another one of the Yes To masks. If you remember, I tried a paper version of their masks in review 1 that I wasn’t in love with, so I figured I’d give their clay version a try. I am a big fan of clay masks in general because I feel like they really hydrate your skin. I’ve also been using my new Clarisonic Mia 1, so I wanted something less shocking to my skin.

I decided on the Cucumbers Calming Mud Mask (order it HERE or find it at your local Ulta Beauty). It comes in a little pouch, which I felt like you really needed to rip completely open to get all of the mask out.

A few highlights:

  1. It’s really easy to apply – The mud in the package is pretty easy to get out if you pull the entire package open (see picture). But the mask goes on smoothly. It
  2. My skin feels more hydrated than I thought – I definitely can feel the hydration, which is great. I was worried that I would want to put lotion on my face since it’s so dry out, but my skin is keeping the moisture in from the mask.
  3. I could move my face when I used it! – This is huge. Some clay masks harden to the point it hurts, but this one didn’t.

Some things I didn’t love:

  1. The Smell – It wasn’t offensive, but it didn’t have that fun cucumber smell like I assumed it would.
  2. It took a LOT of water to wash off – Most masks wash off with a bit of warm water and some rubbing. This one took a bit more effort, which was surprising because it didn’t feel that thick on my skin.

Overall, this is a great mask for beginners or someone who wants something low maintenance. Something to keep in mind is it costs around $4, but you only get one application. Some of the other mask types that come in jars can seem a bit more expensive, but your price per mask is lower.

I would say, overall, I give this mask a 7/10.

Next week, I’m going to review one of my go-to masks for Spot Treatment!

xo StephIMG_1107.jpg

#MaskMonday 2

Hi Everyone! Sorry for the late post, but I JUST got home from the Butler University/Providence College basketball game with my dad. Unfortunately, our Butler Bulldogs didn’t pull off a W, but I love being able to spend any time with my dad. And my aunt and uncle (a PC Alum) were able to come, so it was a fun day all around!

Tonight’s #MaskMonday is a new Pure-Clay mask from L’Oréal. I have used their masks before, but this one might be my favorite. You can buy it from Ulta Beauty here.

The mask that I used tonight was the Exfoliate & Refine Clay mask. One of the things that drew me to it was that it has exfoliating in it. So many masks just sit on your skin, but this one as I rubbed it in I got that feeling of exfoliation too.

The mask is pretty easy to use. You completely wash your skin and pat dry. Apply a thin layer along your face. Wait 10-15 minutes. (I waited 15 because I almost forgot it was on!) Wash off with warm water.

A few things I loved

  1. It’s so light! – Most mask are heavy on your skin, but this one I almost forgot I had on besides the light tingle. I could even move my face while it was on, which is super rare!
  2. It doesn’t smell atrocious! – Let’s be honest, some masks STINK. This one does have a slight smell, but you barely notice it after a minute or so.
  3. Exfoliation! – So many masks take off dead skin, but this one you can feel it working with the exfoliation. That’s the red algae extract, which gives it its red color.
  4. How your skin feels when it comes off! – Your skin feels so smooth when you wash it off. I don’t want to put anything else on my skin for the rest of the night. And my skin didn’t feel sticky or tacky like it did with the paper mask from last week.

The downside? I wish it came pre-portioned. When they come in the glass containers, I’m always worried I either use too much or not enough. While they say apply a “thin layer,” obviously this is all a matter of opinion.

Overall, this mask gets an 9/10.  I actually like it better than my normal mask from L’Oréal, which I NEVER thought would happen. I definitely will be using this one again!

Next week I’m going to trial the Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask!

Any questions, let me know!