His & Hers Birchboxes

It's the last day of 2014 and I'm typing this while lying on the couch and snuggling...well, spooning a cat.  She just crawled up under my arms and won't budge even if I push her away.  So I guess that's what we're doing.  Ha ha!

Birchbox, Men's Box, Women's Box, Beauty Subscription Box

Steve and I got Birchbox subscriptions from my sister for Christmas this year.  In case you are unfamiliar with Birchbox, it's a monthly beauty subscription service.  You fill out a survey about things like your skin type, hair type and product preferences and then you get a box of samples to try in the mail each month.  The men's box is a little more expensive than the women's box and it has both grooming products and other things like gadgets or accessories.

Since this was a gift, our first boxes were Welcome Boxes so they contained "customer favorites."  We then went to the site to fill out our profile surveys so that the rest of the boxes more match our preferences so that the rest of the boxes should match us a bit better than these first ones.

Have a Safe & Happy New Year's Eve!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday [What I Ate 12.30.14]

This is the last Tasty Tuesday post for 2014!!!  I actually like doing these little food diary posts so I will be continuing with them in the new year.


For breakfast today I had coffee and cereal...well, graham crackers and almond milk.  This is a thing that my mom's side of the family does but we all make it differently.  Personally, I'm a fan of a lot of milk so it gets nice and soggy.  Also, check out this awesome coffee cup that Steve gave me for Christmas! :)


I made a grilled cheese and had some pickles for lunch.  I also had 2 glasses of water.


I've been making smoothies every single day this week.  I feel like this one was totally making up for my less than balanced breakfast and lunch.  It had spinach, oranges, banana, blueberries and strawberries in it.  I also had some scrabble which is just a snack mix homemade by my grandpa and uncle.


Lazy supper tonight!  We made linguine and meat sauce with ground beef, a jar of vodka sauce and some tomatoes and scallions that were in the fridge.  I drank so much water today!  Go me!  Ha ha!


We have so many treats leftover from Christmas and I'm not even sure we can eat them all.  Wait, who am I kidding.  They'll get eaten.  I went for the Lindt chocolates for dessert along with a cup of tea.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Lush Haul

Whoosh, Happy Hippy, Massage Bar, Beauty

Last Thursday I sat on the floor of my mom's living room with a very heavy and lumpy stocking.  It turned out to be stuffed with Lush products!  These are all products that I have never tried before so let me know if you have any opinions about any of them.

Happy Hippy Shower Gel
The Lush website says that Happy Hippy is one of their best sellers.  I can see why because it has a really nice grapefruit smell to it.  It isn't too overpowering though, just a little citrus-y.

Dirty Massage Bar
The massage bar starts melting from the heat in your skin so it can get messy quickly.  They work like any other massage oil or body butter.  It has shea and cocoa butters along with chocolate and spearmint so it feels really nice and smells really yummy.

Whoosh Shower Jelly
This stuff is really weird.  It's a big blob of jiggling jelly...like Jell-O.  The woman at Lush told my mom that you can break pieces off to use but otherwise you can just use it like it's a bar of soap....a very wiggly bar of soap.  Ha ha!  It smells really refreshing though so I think this would be good for an early morning wake up shower.

Once I give these all a good try I'll let you know how they are.  I like basically everything from Lush so I'm sure I'll like these, too.  :)

Do you have any favorite Lush products?
Leave a comment and let me know!


What I Wore This Week [12.26.14]

Welcome to the final installment of the weekly outfit series I've been doing all month!  If you're jumping in here, you can find the previous posts in this series in the following links:

Outfit No. 1

I wore this to go shopping at the mall with my grandma.  The white collared shirt is actually a sheer sleeveless top with cutouts but it works in the winter as a layer under the warmer sweater.  The sweater is from H&M.  On the bottom I wore my dark skinny jeans rolled up a little but still kind of tucked into my boots, which are from Call It Spring.

Outfit No. 2

I wore this for a night out (in - at their house) with friends.  I don't remember the name of the store where I got my knee high black boots but I really like them because they have black hardware and therefore have a really casual look to them.  My dark purple pants are the skinny low waist ones from H&M.  I layered a basic black tank under a gray cardigan with ruffles and sparkly buttons.  Both of those came from Target.  I wore black earrings and put my hair in a low ponytail.  I did an OOTD video for this outfit the other day as well so check it out if you'd like makeup details.

Outfit No. 3

I pulled out some ancient flare jeans!  These came from Target and so did the gray and yellow striped sweater.  The tank peeking out from underneath is actually pale yellow and is from....Target!  Ha ha!  All of these things are a million years old.  I wore my brown boots from Call It Spring again because it was raining.  The woven green scarf was a Christmas present from my mom last year.  I wore it in the house for most of the day because even with the heat on, these rainy December days are still chilly.  PLUS, this was the first official day of Winter!

Outfit No. 4

More rain today plus scrambling to get stuff done for Christmas plus being on vacation and sleeping in meant one thing for me: comfy jeans.  These are just old boot cut jeans...I keep clothes forever.  The sweater is newer from H&M this year and my socks are light pink with gray snowflakes on them.  But you probably can't see that.  Don't mind the laundry drying in the background of this photo.  With the tree in our bedroom and the mirror sitting in the middle of the office we're kind of pressed for space for these things!

Outfit No. 5

On Christmas Eve I wore all black!  I know...soooo festive.  Ha ha!  I wore a waterfall cardigan over a v-neck top.  My leggings were from Zara and I wore my knee-high black boots again.  To get a little color into the outfit I wore a pink and blue scarf that has some sparkly metallic thread in it.  I also wore a pretty bold lip which I wrote about yesterday.


The Christmas Lip

Merry Christmas!

I layered a few lip products last night to make this really pretty color.

full color lip liner

I started by lining and filling in my lips with Rimmel's Exaggerate Full Color Lip Liner in the color Red Diva (No. 024).  This is a dark red color.

Almay Liquid Lip Balm, Lipstick, Red, Pink

Then I used the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in No. 107.  This color is a very deep red and is normally quite drying.  I set that with powder and then swiped on a healthy amount of the Almay Liquid Lip Balm in the color Pink Pout (500).  This turned it into a shiny and sort of berry red color and the gloss, which is normally kind of sticky, soaked right into that lipstick and make it really comfortable to wear.

If you celebrate Christmas then I hope Santa was good to you!  Steve and I woke up to find a pile of presents under the tree and have been enjoying a quiet and relaxing morning so far.  So far we've had a cup of tea and split a cinnamon raisin english muffin covered in peanut butter because we thought we should pace ourselves because there is a LOT of food in our future later today. :)


Christmas Nails 2014

I have been planning to wear this red polish at Christmas for months.  Does that sound crazy?  It's such a perfect red color and I actually bought it to wear last year but never got around to it.  This is the NYC quick dry formula, which I think makes a multi-step manicure much easier.  I used the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Hardener as a base coat, then I put on one coat of the red.  The glitter in this Deborah Lippmann polish is a mix of tons of tiny silver and then some larger white glitter pieces.  I put two thin coats of that on to make sure that I got some of the big pieces on each nail.  I think it kind of looks like snow.  I used the Sally Hansen one as a top coat too because I couldn't find an actual top coat.  My nail polish collection is kind of a mess right now.  I felt like a top coat was important this time because I wanted the glitter to really stay put and I also would like this manicure to last through Friday, which will be a total of four days.

NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish - No. 205 Columbus Circle Crimson
Deborah Lippmann - When Lightening Strikes
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength - Hardener


What I Wore This Week [12.19.14]

Welcome to the newest installment of my weekly outfit series.  I started wearing Christmas socks and tried to get a little color and variety into my wardrobe while still staying warm.

Outfit No. 1

This is what I wore to a family party last weekend.  The top is just a basic long sleeved tee with a slight scoop neck from Ann Taylor.  I wore my dark blue skinny jeans, navy socks and silver flats.  The sweater is an over-sized vest that ties closed.  It's really thick and cozy.

Outfit No. 2

Another cozy sweater...I feel like this is all I've been wearing lately.  I bought this sweater from H&M in early Autumn this year.  These socks go all the way up to my knees by the way.  I think that they look like Christmas ornaments. :)

Outfit No. 3

This was what I wore to go Christmas shopping on Wednesday.  The white top is actually the same as the blue one from Outfit No. 1, just in a different color.  My sweater has the biggest turtleneck ever.  It's so huge that it makes it annoying to wear my hair down but I like it because I don't need to wear a scarf when I go out.  I wore my dark skinny jeans again....I just like them.

Outfit No. 4

I'm wearing different pant here!  Ha ha!  This feels like an outfit for warmer weather but I needed a change from just pants and a huge sweater.  I layered a tank top under a gray tee (with a sword wielding lion on it) under my Airport Greeting Cardigan from ModCloth.  My pointy flats are about 100 years old from Target.  They are navy and gray plaid flannel and the fabric has worn off the fronts but that's just from love.  And maybe a city full of brick sidewalks.

If you'd like to see the last three posts from this weekly outfit inspiration series you can find them with these links here:


Christmas Decor [Holiday 2014]

I put a ton of pictures of my Christmas tree up about a week ago.  Today I thought I'd share some of the other Christmas decorations that I have up in the house.

Since our regular tree is kind of small, I had to be really selective about the ornaments I put on it this year.  I took all of the snowman ornaments and put them on this super tiny tree that I have on a bookshelf in the office.  I also have a standing wooden snowman on the shelf next to the tree.

On the nightstand on my side of the bed I put these porcelain kissing angels that I've had since I was a little girl.  My sister also has a set.  Normally I would put them in the living room.  But even though Stella is pretty good about not knocking things over, if these broke, I'd probably cry for a week.

This is Steve's side of the bed.  The swirly tree is actually a tea light holder.  I just bought the wooded block last night at Barnes & Noble.  The pot is full of tiny cacti that I grew from seed.  They look like babies but they are actually about 8 or 9 years old.  I'm just terrible at remembering to water them so they are still very tiny.  Ha ha!  That's why I only grow cacti!

Onto the kitchen!  I swapped out my yellow flower fairy for this ice skating frog.  The Swedish horse had been on a shelf in the dining room, practically on the ceiling, but Stella knocked it to the ground (the one thing!) so I moved it in here.  This is also a special thing from my childhood.  My sister's is red.

We have a built in hutch in the corner of our dining room.  Some people collect Santas or snowmen but the thing that I collect for Christmas is the humble Christmas tree.  Well, maybe not so humble.  As far as trees go, these are pretty flamboyant.  The red one is made of feathers and the silver one looks like a disco ball.

I totally love the centerpiece that I put together for my dining room table.  The vase was from my wedding and I filled it with all of the red and green Christmas ball ornaments that I had...again, because I left a lot of things off of the tree.  The trees are made of wire and beads.  One is green, one is gold and both are totally covered in glitter.  Right now I'm burning the Christmas Cookie candle from Yankee Candle.  The runner is a handmade quilt that I received as a gift a few years ago.

I actually have a couple more trees that need to be put up.  One is a teeny, tiny one that I used to put up in my childhood bedroom and the other has nativity ornaments that goes with it.

Do you collect a certain type of holiday decoration?

Thanks for reading! :)


Tasty Tuesday [What I Ate - 12.16.14]


Before breakfast I drank an entire glass of water.  Then I had two scrambled eggs, a piece of toast with peanut butter and half of an orange.  I also had my usual cup of black coffee.


This was a weird lunch but I was busy doing a million things and kind of forgot to eat until I was really hungry.  But then it was 4pm so I just went for crackers, pepperoni and cheese.  Then I had another glass of water and the other half of the orange that I had started at breakfast.


For supper I had fish, which was cooked with lemon and garlic.  I made quinoa with chopped almonds and carrots in it.  I cooked it in part chicken stock and part water.  I also had kale and mushrooms and another glass of water.  For dessert Steve and I split the last three chocolate chip cookies that were in the freezer.  I forgot I was taking Tasty Tuesday pictures at that point though so I can only tell you about them.  They were good.  :)


Weekend Recap: Vlogging and Partying

Train Selfie
This weekend really kicked off the crazy end of the year business that will last for the next two weeks.  I spent Saturday morning hanging around the house with Steve and relaxing before going to work and then out with a friend.  Then on Sunday, after not enough sleep, we took the train out to my grandma's house for a party with my family where we ate lots of food (and cheesecake).

Dinner at Grandma's


Homemade Fresh Veggie Sauce

I eat tons of fresh vegetables, often raw, all summer long.  But in the colder months it can be a little difficult to want anything other than steaming baked potatoes and hot chocolate.  I tend to gravitate towards things that can be consumed out of a mug while I'm wrapped in a blanket on the couch.  Obviously, that's not always the healthiest option.  Ha ha!

Vegetables, Healthy

We eat a decent amount of jarred tomato sauce in our house.  I almost always add something to it.  Onions, fresh tomatoes, green beans and peas are my standards.  But this time I started with the veggies because I had lots of them.

I chopped up an entire leek and while that was cooking in some olive oil, I chopped up a yellow pepper and half of a zucchini.  I kept the pieces pretty small because this is sauce and I wanted everything to get mushy quickly.

Once all of that cooked down I added kale and tomatoes.  I would've added the tomatoes sooner but I was cooking and taking pictures and chopping at the same time and I didn't think it through.  Honestly, chopping vegetables is easy but it can take a long time if you've got a lot to chop and I'm pretty sure that's why jarred sauce was invented.  If you read my Weekly Food Prep post from a few months ago, then you'll know that I try to keep some things pre-chopped in the fridge, like the kale.

Vegetables, Healthy

I let this cook way down (so it was more like sauce than the above picture shows).  Tomatoes and zucchini, and any other veggie that has a lot of water in it, will make the mixture wet so, the more of those kinds of things you include, the more like sauce it will be.  This is really good to put over pasta.  You can also add meat to it and if you need more you can always bulk it up with a little tomato sauce from a jar.


What I Wore This Week [12.12.14]

Welcome to Week Three of my Outfits of the Week Series.  I'm posting what I wear each week on Fridays during the month of December.  If you'd like to see the posts from the previous two weeks you can find them here: OOTW 1, OOTW 2

Outfit No. 1

I love this sweater from H&M.   It's almost the same exact outfit as this one but I wore black jeans this time instead of dark blue.

Outfit No. 2

To stay warm on a super rainy gross day I layered a thin gray knit top and a cozy knit poncho.  My mom made the poncho for me a few years ago and I love it because it totally doubles as a blanket!  I wore my dark blue skinny jeans and black ankle boots from Payless.

Outfit No. 3

I realized, through doing these weekly posts, that I pretty much just wear my dark blue skinny jeans and my black jeans over and over and over again.  Ha ha!  So for this outfit I broke out my super skinny jeans from H&M.  These are a dark purple or eggplant color.  I wore a basic black tee from Target and a black waterfall cardigan from Loft (old).  I also wore the same black ankle boots from the previous outfit.

Outfit No. 4

Back to dark blue on the bottom!  But this time I wore a dark gray turtleneck from Target and my favorite sweater ever!  It's a cape that I bought at a second hand store two years ago.  It's got pockets and it's like a vest with an attached cape.  It's so warm!  I don't feel like a mirror selfie can really do it justice so I did spin around a little on camera and included it in today's Vlogmas video, if you're interested. :)


Blue Snowy Nails

I've done my nails three times this month and every time I've gone for a festive red color.  As you may know, three times in a row with the same color is a lot for me.  That combined with the internet being a little saturated with red and green everything right now (and real life including the centerpiece on my dining room table that is staring me down as I type this) and I'm ready to move on.  But I still want to be festive.

I watched this video the other day from Layla on the Sprinkles of Style channel.  In her video she did a few cute easy things that weren't 'in-your-face-holidays!'  She did one nail that looked like sparkly snow.  I did a blue version of that.  Then I put a matte top coat on it and it came out really cool looking.  Ha ha Cool....like snow....cold....puns..... ;)

Polishes Used:
Urban Outfitters - Blue Velvet
Deborah Lippmann - When Lightning Strikes
Wet n Wild - Matte Top Coat No. 407C