Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lifestyle: Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Hi, friends! A few weeks ago Ross and I took a trip to Multnomah Falls, right outside of Portland. I had been chomping at the bit before the move to see this incredible waterfall- the tallest in Oregon and the 2nd tallest year round waterfall in the US) and it was everything I imagined it would be. Ross and I hiked Multnomah Falls, which is about 2.5 miles round trip. I originally thought the hike was going to be a piece of cake; I mean, I am someone who actually enjoy walking so for me, 2.5 miles isn't a long walk. Wrong! I didn't take into account the change in elevation and being someone from the South, I am not used to these high altitudes. I kid you not, about a half a mile in, I was winded. We eventually made it to the top and I had such a feeling of accomplishment. The view the entire hike was stunning! Below are a few pictures from our hike. I would highly recommend visiting Multnomah Falls. Even if you are unable to do the hike, the view is unbelievably breathtaking and the pictures below do not do it justice.

A very nice man took our picture. It was so cold when we got there. 
Notice as you go through the pictures how the layers come off. Lol

 Multnomah Falls

 Can you spot the furry friend?!
 I was wearing two shirts, my Northface, and two pair of pants- yeah, it was cold!
For height comparison, I am just under 5'3'' 
 The increible view across from Multnomah Falls

Wild ferns!

 I have no idea what kind of plant this is, but I thought it was pretty!
 Almost at the top...

I meant to take a picture and accidentally took a video; what luck! 
The very top of the waterfall
 We made it to the top!
 The waterfall going down!

Top view of the bridge
After our hike, we went in the Multnomah Falls restaurant for lunch- the food was pretty good, too!

Daily Dose of Pretty
      • Even though I am 40 hours away from Alabama, I am still rocking my Crimson, White, and Houndstooth today! #RollTide #IronBowl2013
      • Eating a Lean Cuisine for lunch- the Roasted Turkey and Vegetables one- yum! 
      • Chevy had surgery on Wednesday. He had a mass on his ear removed, five teeth pulled, and was treated for severe ear infection. I guess that's the life of a (former) stray! #Rescue 
      • The guest bed was delivered yesterday! Looking forward to Ross' parents coming for a visit next month! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Beauty Products That Are NOT Worth The Hype {Drugstore Edition!}

Hello, Everyone! I did a post the other day on beauty products that I think are worth the hype. Well, today's blog is a bit more negative as I unintentionally throw a little shade. I don't enjoy negative posts, but I do think it's equally as important to let you know of things I like and things that didn't work out for me. I know that a lot of people really love and enjoy some of the products I will be mentioning in this post, but these are simply things that didn't work for me. 
So, let's just jump right in...

Photo Credit:
Covergirl Lash Blast has a huge colt following that, frankly, I just don't get! I remember when Covergirl launched Lash Blast years ago and I was so eager  to try their new, hot item. I mean, the name of the mascara literally screams awesomeness claiming to provide "instant volume and thickness." I remember thinking "What Volume?! What Thickness?! What a crappy mascara!!!" My lashes are a relativity long so (thankfully) I can make most mascaras work, regardless of the brush, formula, etc.; however, whenever I use this mascara it takes me a good 10-15 minutes just to build it up to where I have the desired volume and intensity. I have repurchased this mascara several times because I really want to like it, but I don't. I have also tried the Fusion kind- the one in the purple tube- and I swear it's the exact same formula in a different color tube! I'll stick Maybelline's Colossal and Almay's Get Up and Grow! Note: If you are wanting to get a CG mascara, I would recommend the Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash's an oldie, but a goodie!

Photo Credit:
I feel like everyone is obsessed with Essie Nail Polish and even though I do really enjoy a few of their shades- Fuji is probably one of my top favorites!- I think the brand as a whole is pretty hit and miss. For example, Sugar Daddy and Periwinkle are way too sheer and Sugar Daddy takes forever to dry! I mean, Essie's Butter Please takes probably 3 or 4 coats just to be opaque whereas Sally Hansen's Pacific Blue- another favorite!- is opaque in one cost and about $5-6 cheaper, depending on where you buy! I'm not trying to bash Essie because the shades that are opaque in one or two coats are beautiful, but as a whole, I think the brand is way over-hyped for the overall quality of the brand! 

Photo Credit:
I was devastated when Revlon discontinued the previous Colorstay Quads and replaced them with the newer formula- I know, First World Problems. LOL First of all, I feel like the old formula was buttery smooth where the new formula is harder and takes forever to build up the desired intensity and the older formula was easier to blend, too. They new Colorstay Quads have some beautiful shades, but I am just partial to Neutral Khakis, In the Buff, and Sterling Rose- from the older Colorstay line!

Let me first start of my saying that I really do enjoy the pigmentation on these Milani Color Statement Lipsticks, but the scent and taste literally makes me nauseous! When the line was re-released with the new packaging, I picked up Rose Hip- 14 because I thought it looked similar to MAC's Candy Yum Yum. The color has intense pigmentation and doesn't feel too drying on the lips, but that smell...ugh!, that plastic, fake fruity-chemical smell! All the bloggers and vloggers were going nuts over these shades {which are beautiful}, but I don't remember reading any blogs or watching any YouTube beauty videos where anyone talked about the smell. Sure, most all mentioned that there was a scent present, but no one talked about how overwhelmingly vile it was. I figured I might have gotten a bad batch and so I went out and purchased Nude Creme- 26 because I remember how much I loved the shade on EmilyNoel83 from BeautyBroadcast. When I swatched it in the car, it had that same nauseating scent, but the color was too perfect to return it so I gave it to my sister, who rocks the smokey eye and nude lip day or night. I still have Rose Hip and do wear it every now and then during the warmer months, but I always have to brace my self and mentally prepare myself for that smell. 

Photo Credit:
I know that it looks like I am picking on Covergirl by having two products from their brand in my post, but there are products from their line that are staples in my collection: CG quad in Country Woods, CG Single Enhancer Eyeshadow in  Mink (because that is my favorite shade in the Country Woods quad), and CG Outlast Stay Brillant Nail Polish in Perfect Penny. I had such high hopes for the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation, yet did nothing for my skin. I tried different application techniques to make this foundation work for me: fingers, brush, sponge, etc. but it never failed that by mid-day my skin would look patchy, like the foundation was breaking down and needed to be re-blended. Sometimes I would go to re-blend during the work day and then my skin would look unnatural and streaky. It really is a shame that this foundation didn't work for me because the color I had was a great match for my skin. Whenever Ross and I were packing things for our move across the country, I gave this foundation away to my sister's friend who is fair like I am. Hopefully it works for her! 

Daily Dose of Pretty...

  • I made Mexican Stuffed Shells this morning for Ross' dinner/my breakfast and they were delicious!
  • My Maracuja Oil came in today! I am almost out of my Argan Oil and I have been curious to see how the oils I've tried- and it hasn't been many- compare to each other and which I think are worth repurchasing. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in.
  • My sister and I have decided to start a blog together! I will still be blogging on Pretties and Pearls, but I will also be blogging on our joint blog, too. I will let you guys know when it's up and running! #SisterLove

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beauty Products That Are Worth The Hype {Drugstore Edition!}

Hey, y'all! Hope everyone is doing well. I am kicking this post off with a little mini series. I have been wanting to do "worth the hype?" blogs for months and now I am finally getting around to it! As you can tell from the title, this post is all about drugstore beauty items that I think are worth the hype. I will be doing two follow-up posts with things I don't think are worth the hype and things I wish got a little more love. 

 L to R: Concentrated swatch of Sunny; Sheered out swatch of Sunny
NYC Bronzer in Sunny has a huge cult follow and for good reason! I tend to prefer warmer, slightly orange based bronzers over ones that are more cool tone. On my fair skin, I feel like cool tone bonzers look a little muddy on my face. Not cute, ladies! Sunny is great for fair/medium skin girls (and guys) and it works beautifully as a contour or as a light dusting to give your skin a little warmth. This is a matte bronzer and is a steal at around $3 at the drugstore.

Random swatches from the Eye on Neutral palette.
Sonia Kashuk's Eye on Neutral palette is seriously God's gift to the drugstore, well, Target! The drugstore has been lacking for years in the matte eyeshadow department (or mattes in general, really) and finally Sonia Kashuk has listened to the beauty bloggers and vloggers plea for affordable, yet incredible matte neutrals. The shades are beautifully pigmented and are buttery smooth...the first two brulee-type shades don't have as much color pay off, but I have enough skin tone shadows, so I don't mind! I use this palette all. the. time! The matte colors look incredible on their own and I even use this palette in addition to some single shimmery shadows I have, to get a little more depth and contract. This palette is $19.99 at Target and for 10 eyeshadows that go on like a dream (remember, I'm not a fan of the top two!) and blend seamlessly, I give this palette two thumbs up!

L to R: First three swatches are from the Walking on Eggshells (trio); Envy (single); Panther (single); Nutty (single) 
Gorgeous, wearable colors and check out the intensity of that matte black!
Wet-n-Wild eyeshadows are hands down the best of the best at the drugstore; they are incredible pigmented, blend beautifully, and are very affordable! I remember way back when the quality wasn't up to snuff, but in recent years Wet-n-Wild has really stepped up its game! All of their eyeshadows are dreamy: palettes, trios, singles- I love them all! There is a bit of fall out with some of these shadows, but if you just tap off your brush before applying, fallout won't be an issue! 

L to R: Brightener and Fair
Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Concealer has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now! I love that it is thin in texture, but is opaque enough to conceal dark under eye circles. My shade is Fair in the concealer and I also enjoy the Brightner. I have been through three tubes of the Brightener. I only use the Eraser concealer under my eyes so I cannot attest to how well it covers blemishes.  My under eye area is very dry and I don't notice it sinking into my fine lines too bad. Oh, and have I mentioned how amazing the staying power is?! Incredible! You can find the Maybelline Erasers at the drugstore for around $7-10 bucks, depending on where you buy!

With Flash
Without Flash
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks have been in my makeup collection for as long as I can remember. I've always been a lipstick girl and these come in a wide range of colors, finishes, and textures. I prefer the Creme finish, personally, but I do have one that's a pearl finish that I enjoy wearing in Fall/Winter. I think these lipsticks are comfortable on the lips and the staying power is pretty decent, too. My favorites are Fire and Ice, Berry Haute, Primrose, and Coralberry!

Monday, November 18, 2013

NOTD: Leopard and Oxblood Nails

Hello, Lovelies!

It's been forever since my last NOTD post and I thought since this is such an amazing combo, I just had to share! Oxblood and Leopard are a very popular combo this time of year and I have finally jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to nail art! As we know, I'm a bit of a snooze when it comes to nails...just sticking to one color or on the very rare occasion, a glitter accent nail. I had never used nail strips until tonight and I must say, I'm a big fan! What a simple, quick way to get fabulous nails! I am using Revlon's Limited Edition Parfumerie nail polish in Bordeaux and Kiss Stick-On Strips in the Leopard design. If you are not familiar with this Limited Edition collection by Revlon, the nail polishes are scented once the nail polish dries. I have already worn this one once before and although I adore the fruity-wine notes, I'm not a fan of the longevity. I've read many a blog post and watched numerous YouTube videos and for the most part, people love the staying power. Bordeaux chipped in two days and Italian Leather (the deep green) chipped in less than 12 hours. I'm giving this one another shot to redeem itself- stay tuned for my thoughts!

Where to buy: I picked up two of the LE Revlon polishes at Rite Aid. I think they were $7-8/ea. I took advantage of the BOGO 50% off sale! I picked up the Kiss nail strips from Dollar General. I think it was around $2.

The color is pulling more classic red than oxblood. Trust me, it's a deeper red in real life. 

Daily Dose of Pretty
  • I had a lovely Skype date with my sister about an hour away. We had a cyber-nail party! 
  • I think I'm going to make Spinach Stuffed Shells for Ross' dinner/my breakfast in the morning. #NightShiftLife
  • I picked up a fabulous red table cloth the other day...getting in the Christmas spirit! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ellen Tracy Thick Stick Lip Color: Nude and Guava

Hi, friends. I mentioned in yesterday's post that I was out doing a little shopping yesterday. During my furniture and home decor shopping extravaganza, I saw these lip colors at Marshall's my $2.99 each. The colors I chose are Nude and Guava. There were two other colors: a hot pink/fuchsia and a red.
Top to Bottom (with flash): Nude and Guava
Top to Bottom (without flash): Nude and Guava

L to R: Tracy Ellen Thick Stick Lip Color in Nude and Guava 
Nude: This is probably the perfect nude for my skin tone...a little tawny, a little pink. I have a pretty neutral undertone to my skin, although there are days I swear it's a tad bit pink or a tad bit yellow. This shade has a slight sheen, but is not frosty or glittery in any way!

Guava: This was the first shade that caught my eye, as I am more drawn to brighter lips than neutral/nude lips. To be honest, I am still on the fence about the color. It's a lovely pinky-coral, but I can't decide if I like it or not. Seriously, I've been wearing this for about an hour or so and sometimes I look in the mirror and love the shade and how it looks against my fair skin and then sometimes I look at it and think it pulls too pink for my taste- if that's even possible. Like Nude, this shade has a slight sheen, but is not frosty or glittery in any way!

Overall Thoughts: The color feels very comfortable on the lips and I like that the bottom twists up so you don't have to worry about sharpening it. I cannot attest to it's staying power, as I just picked these up yesterday, but so far, I give these two thumbs up!

Daily Dose of Pretty...
  • I made Roasted Cabbage Steaks today for a yummy and healthy late lunch. I found this recipe on Pinterest and I have a whole board dedicated to Healthy Eating
  • I attempted to come up with my own recipe last night. I had a bunch of left over randomness in the refrigerator and didn't want them to go bad so I made a double squash pasta. I used Spaghetti and Butternut Squash, Spinach, Cream Cheese, Garlic, and Onion with some EVOO and seasoning. In my mind, it was going to be a culinary delight, but for some reason it didn't turn out the way I had hoped and wasn't good at all! #Fail 
  • Ross goes back on night shift tonight. I am so incredibly grateful he has an amazing job, but these next 4-6 weeks of night shift training need to hurry up! I'm ready for my  fiancĂ© and I to return to a more normal schedule. It stinks not seeing him as much! 

Why I Haven't Blogged In A While

Hello, Pretties! 
If you read my post in May, you know that I graduated from college in May. The day after I graduated, I moved to Auburn, Alabama to be closer to my fiancĂ© and a month later (or should I say the longest month of my life- I hated not having a job!) got a job as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Director at a local nonprofit agency in my area. I loved my job, but because of work, I literally had no time to blog. I essentially had walked into a position that had been vacant for months and had an audit with the Corporation (the people who gave my program grant money) less than a month later. To say I was busy (and stressed) is an understatement, regardless, I was thankful to have a job and amazing co-workers and volunteers! So, with that said, I had no time to blog. 

I had been at my job for about three months and was really starting to catch on to the many things you need to know about the job and had just got back from a Conference, which gave me great ideas about growing the program and retaining the current volunteers we had. I walked in the door after the long drive from Tennessee (where the Conference was) when Ross told me he had received a job offer from the company that interviewed him literally three days prior. Oh, and the job was across the county- in Oregon! 

He had been looking for a job for months since the grant he was working under ends in December of this year AND this job was was what he worked so had for, getting his Ph.D. and learning certain computer skills (that, frankly, go way over my head). 

Let's fast forward to two months ago, when I turned in my resignation letter. I got back from the Conference on a Tuesday night and had a September 11th Event at Auburn University the next day. I knew I had to give my employer a month's notice to remain in good standing, so after he received the "official" offer that Wednesday I decided to turn in my notice on Monday, to give me a chance to think of what the hell I was going to say to my boss and write out a well thought out resignation letter. 

It's been a month and two days since I quit my job to move to Oregon with Ross and a month and a day since we left Alabama. Before we moved we had a lot to do: pack, get rid of literally anything that wouldn't fit in my car, sell his car, visit my family as much as possible, and I had to get things taken care of at work. I didn't want my replacement walking into the same mess I walked into. I wanted that person to have any and all information possible and for it to be readily available at their fingertips. So, I created a notebook that had everything I learned in my four months as well as contact information, everything s(he) needed to know about the grant I applied for (and was granted!), etc.

We have been in Oregon for three and a half weeks now. We have bought some furniture (well, a bed and kitchen table- couch, love seat, entertainment center and end tables will be delivered in about six weeks) and have many more things to buy. I am looking forward to volunteering somewhere in my area to give me something to do and to meet people. I will start the job search around the first of the year. 

Oregon is a beautiful state, but I sure do miss Alabama. There's nothing like Southern Hostility and sweet tea!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

FOTD: Purple Lips!

Hello, dolls! I woke up this morning feeling like complete crap (took a sleeping pill too late) and was in desperate need of a fabulous lipstick to perk up my day! For the look, I wanted it to be all about the lips with a defined, but not dramatic eye. I was also pleasantly surprised that when I got home from furniture and home decor shopping that my makeup still looked nice and my lips still had some color-with no touch-ups throughout the day!

Face: Revlon Whipped Foundation (in Buff), Maybelline Eraser (in Fair & Brightener), Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer (in Light).
Eyes: Coastal Scents Hot Pots: Peach Puff (inner third of my eyelid), Peach- previously known as S33 (on the rest of my lid), Midnight Rodeo (with a light hand I wedge this in my crease), Dreamsicle (all along my lower lash line), and Sundried (on the outer half of my lash line). I lined my upper lash line with Almay's Intense i-Color Liquid Liner (in Brown Topaz). I used two coats of Maybelline's Falsies Mascara (in Blackest Black).
Brows: Maybelline Expert Eyes Twin Eye and Brow Pencil (in Blonde)
Cheeks: I mixed Elf's Mellow Mauve and Milani's Corallina.
Lips: I layered Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick (in 660, Berry Haute) and JordanaTwist & Shine (in 06, Cranberry Crush).

The Goods...
L to R:  Coastal Scents Hot Pots: Peach Puff, Peach, Midnight Rodeo, and Sundried
L to R: Revlon Super Lustrous (in 660, Berry Haute) and JordanaTwist & Shine (in 06, Cranberry Crush).

The look about 6 or 7 hours later...
Don't mind the swatches. I bought two lip colors at Marshall's and wanted to see what they looked like. Chevy wanted to join in on the swatch party! 
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