Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday Favorites

TGIF!  Is it just me or does this week feel like its been a decade long?  Nothing happened in particular that made it a "long" week, but I just feel like we've been in the same week for a long time.  This weekend's forecast calls for another cold and snowy one here in St. Louis, which I'm not looking forward to.  Can it just be spring already!?  Well, anyways, here's a roundup of my 5 favorite things I found this week.


Who doesn't love Trader Joe's?  And who wouldn't want Valentine's treats from Trader Joe's?  Honestly,  won't pass judgment if you keep these treats for yourself...I'm planning to get all the cupcakes!


Love the idea of a girls' party to celebrate the women in your life.  This Galentine's Day Pizza Party (complete with HEART-SHAPED PIZZA) is honestly what Galentine Goals are made of.


Well...let's be honest here...the dog can't really talk back ;)
This adorable and funny Valentine's Day card is available by Unblushing on Etsy!


No green thumb?  No problem!
Yesterday while I was in Target, I came across these leaf stems that are so incredibly perfect and realistic looking, I fell in love.  I had to come home to figure out if there's a spot or large vase/basket for me to use them but fully intend on purchasing a few during my next Target run.  They definitely *spark joy*   :)


Another Target run find.  These marbleized mugs!  SO CUTE and a great Valentine's Day gift idea as well!  Pictured here is the pink but they're also available in orange, green, and purple!

Have a great weekend!
♥ always
Allison

Image Sources:  Refinery29, Etsy, Target, Rue Daily

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Non-Cheesy Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day...one of those days that people either love or they love to hate.  It's totally filled with all of those gimmicky "Hallmark" things and February 14th can be a painful reminder that one is more single than single this year but this holiday is also totally sweet with all the cutesy heart-shaped decorations, candy and let's not forget wine!  Valentine's Day doesn't require a significant other to be celebrated.  Celebrate the best girls in your life, your family, pets, or even yourself!  Of course, it's easy to run by Walgreens and grab a stuffed bear holding a heart (it is the thought that counts), but if you're searching for a more thoughtful gift for your S/O (or treating yo-self), here's some non-cheesy gifts that they will LOVE.

Personally, my boyfriend and I prefer experiences over gifts for this holiday.  Last year, we went to a concert at an intimate venue here in STL and it was hands down the best Valentine's Date.  Tickets to a concert, sporting event, play, movie, or any experience (cooking class, pottery making), the list could go on always make a great gift.


You've seen them drop their phone more than once.  The roses on this phone case will last much longer than the Valentine's bouquet and the case will help protect from any mishaps.


It's all in the signs.  Zodiac rings that are cool, minimal, and she'll want to wear every day.
Mejuri - Zodiac Ring


Men often have a hard time shopping and spending money on themselves so why not treat him to some new shoes so he can toss the old, worn out ones away?


What's Valentine's Day without a little poetry?
This Valentine Taco shirt (plus many, many more tees) are available at Gabriel Clothing Co.
Gabriel Clothing Co. - Roses are Red Tee



Nobody prints off photos nearly as much as they should these days.  This small, portable photo printer is perfect for girls nights, parties, and of course date nights.



A charming coffee table book for romantics who are crushing, committed, or anywhere in between.


Heart-shaped glitter earrings will have her all heart-eyes.


This mug says it all, "You're my person".


Because home is where the heart is...how adorable is this heart print welcome mat!?

♥ always
Allison

Photo Sources:  Casetify, Mejuri, Nordstrom, Amazon, Gabriel Clothing Co., Macy's, Target, Etsy

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Personalized Hair Care to Achieve Hair Goals? + GIVEAWAY

I was sent these products by Formulate for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A new year calls for a new hair care regimen, right?  About a month ago, I partnered up with Formulate and have been trying out their shampoo and conditioner since.  Formulate's purpose is to "solve the world's personal care struggles" by using a "chemist-to-consumer" movement.  They take all of your hair needs and concerns then formulate a unique shampoo and conditioner specifically for you.  On top of the specialized shampoo and conditioner, Formulate products are also sulfate, paraben, cruelty-free.



The very first step of starting out my journey with Formulate was filling out the "Hair Quiz" outlining my hair details and hair goals.  Up to 5 goals can be chosen using a point method.  At the end of the survey, there are fragrance options to select from and power of the scent: low, medium, or strong.  The entire Hair Quiz was multiple choice, making it low-stress, unintimidating, and impossible to fail!

The list of goals I chose for my hair are:
Prevent Thinning
Color Protection
Anti-Frizz
Mend Split Ends
Hydration

Why I selected these options:
  • Recently, I've noticed that the fine baby hairs at the side (between my temple and forehead) seemed to be thinning, making me self-conscious about my hairline.  I figured this wouldn't necessarily help with the damage already done but definitely wanted to prevent any more thinning.
  • Color protection because I typically dye my hair darker and wanted any help with preventing fading.
  • Anti-frizz since my hair is thick and reacts to humidity.  Also, those little baby hairs I mentioned before have a tendency to form those "devil horns" when I put my hair in a ponytail.
  • Mend Split Ends.  I chose this over the hair growth option since split ends are a reason that hair doesn't grow.  I figured mending my damaged ends would make my hair more healthy and grow over time.  Also, my hair is currently the longest its ever been so I don't necessarily need the length.
  • Hydration.  Using a blow-dryer and curling iron, it's going to cause hair to dry out so I can always use the hydration.
The fragrance I chose was Tidal:  "Tidal is a swirl of the shore with mineral notes from the sea, sun-drenched sand, and rich coconut.  Light and lifting, this coastal scent will carry you through the day, no waves needed." ...pretty much sounds like a vacation in a bottle, right!?  I selected medium afraid that the strong may be a little overpowering for me.


The trial process:
Since the products are created specifically for you and your needs, the turnaround time can take 3-4 weeks for them to arrive at your home.  I was so surprised when they arrived much quicker than anticipated.

I have used sulfate-free products in the past and honestly thought the current shampoo I was using was sulfate-free (which upon checking the bottle while filling out the survey, I realized that it is NOT in fact sulfate-free).  You might be asking what is it with all this sulfate-talk and what is so bad about them!?  Basically what sulfates (detergents) do is strip your hair (so if your hair is color or chemically treated, you're washing money down the drain at a faster rate), can cause hair loss, dry out your hair, and leave chemical build up over time.  If you want to know more, just Google it  ;)


Once the products arrived, the first thing I noticed was the flawless packaging.  The bottles are hexagon shapes, black and white with a straight-line font, extremely modern and cool.  They also come with PUMPS!  Very exciting!

The products also show up with this personalized card outlining your hair type, where you're headed to, how to get there, how you'll smell, and the ingredient insight.  My shampoo and conditioner include awesome ingredients like Lactic Acid, Vitamin E, and Pumpkin Seed Oil.  The card also lays out how many pumps to use to achieve the desired hair.  This is important (especially when splurging on quality products) because many people unknowingly overuse hair products.  It told me to use 4 pumps of shampoo and conditioner to achieve my Hair Goals!

Throughout the entire process, the Formulate team was awesome.  I worked with Caroline and she was very friendly, helpful and ready to answer any questions or concerns I had at any moment.  Formulate also offers an app to download, where you have information about your products and can change anything at any time!

Before Formulate

After Formulate

After a month of using my Formulate shampoo and conditioner, I've noticed a major change in my hair.  When I let it air dry, my natural wave appears a  more yet in a smoother less poofy way.  The second day (non-shampoo days), the waves are even better.  Those areas where I've been concerned about thinning have filled up a little bit.  Split ends are non-existent.  The frizz is gone (along with the ponytail devil horns).  My hair is healthy, hydrated, and holds styles much better.

The only things I would change for my next Formulate products I absolutely love the scent I chose but wish I would have gone with strong.  Another thing is that I may have slightlyyy overdone it with the hydration aspect so would scale back there a little bit.  But that's the extremely cool thing about working with Formulate: the formulations of the shampoo and conditioner are not permanent.  There is always the option to edit the product formulas.

Now's the time for you to have the opportunity to try Formulate!  One lucky reader will be selected to win their own customized Shampoo and Conditioner set! (a $49 value AND you won't even have to pay for shipping! WOO!)  Just follow the link below and click "ENTER MY GIVEAWAY" on the left-hand side to enter:

Formulate Shampoo + Conditioner Set Giveaway

Best of luck!
♥ always
Allison

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday Favorites

Cheers to 2019!  I'm honestly not sure where 2018 went, but wherever it did go, it went fast.  With the new year, I'm starting a new series fresh called "Friday Favorites".  I'll post about 5 things I've discovered over the week that I'd consider my favorite.  I hope you enjoy and continue to follow along!  Happy first Friday Favorites!

1. Trader Joe's Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly


My boyfriend and I were team stay-in for New Year's Eve this year so picked up apps and champagne from Trader Joe's.  We grabbed a jar of this pepper jelly, a triangle of brie cheese, some crackers and had a delicious and simple app to enjoy.  This also served as an amazing condiment for the coconut shrimp!  Then I came across this Griddled Pepper and Cream Cheese recipe that I fully intend on making very soon.



Pottery Barn released their spring line today in collaboration with fashion designer Monique Lhuillier.  This romantic "bridal-inspired" line features this gorgeous floral wine bucket that would make a stunning addition to a bar cart (married or not).

3.  Miaou Junior Jeans from Shopbop


New year, new jeans, right!?  These leopard print jeans from shopbop are not only on sale right now, but will also put a fierce pep in your step to attack whatever 2019 might throw at you.



Starting fresh and decluttering for the new year sounds like a great idea but it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start.  This 30-Day Decluttering Checklist from Glitter Guide breaks it all down and makes the task much less intimidating.

5.  Alternative Christmas Light Uses


Already missing the magic and glow of the Christmas lights?  I know I am and already not looking forward to dismantling my Christmas decor this weekend.  Keep the pretty, twinkling lights going all year round with 13 Unexpected Ways to Use Christmas Lights After the Holidays.

Thanks for checking in and enjoy the first weekend of 2019!
♥ always
Allison

Photo Sources:  Pottery Barn, shopbop, thekitchn.com, Glitter Guide

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide Series: For Him

Okay, so it's down to the wire.  There's not much time to finish up Christmas shopping with Christmas Eve being on Monday.  You've probably gotten it all taken care of but if you're scrambling to find a last minute gift for the boyfriend, husband, dad, brother, some guy in your life, this guide is for you.


A record player is a great gift for anyone who loves music, not to mention countless records will make go-to presents for years to come.


Whether it's an anniversary, birthday, or another important date, a personalized star map print will show off the constellation of the night sky on that night.
Posterhaste - Personalized Star Map


For the adventure seeker, the bucket list of big and small adventures.


Good taste in music:  check.
Good taste in drinks:  check.
These coasters are upcycled from vintage vinyl records, the perfect gift for the music guy.
Uncommon Goods - Upcycled Record Coasters


Some like it hot, and who wouldn't like to sample 7 different hot sauces!?


Chicer than a cardboard beer case and it even has a nifty bottle opener attached, bonus points if you fill it with his favorite brew before gifting!
Foster & Rye - Acacia Wood Beer Caddy


Fun printed socks have become my go-to small gift or stocking stuffer option, and how fun are these Christmas camper socks!?
The Sock Drawer - Christmas Campers Socks


The classic Clubmaster sunglasses are effortlessly cool.


The casual and trendy grey and black Adidas will quickly become his go-to sneaker,


Nothing says winter vibes and stylish lumberjack quite like a red and black buffalo plaid flannel shirt.


A good-looking utility jacket with removable sherpa lining is cozy for winter and transitional for early spring and fall!

What gift ideas do you have for a guy in your life this year!?

Photo sources:  Lucky Brand, Urban Outfitters, Posterhaste, Amazon, Target, Uncommon Goods, Express, Nordstrom Rack, Foster & Rye, The Sock Drawer

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide Series: For Her

Since everyone typically has a female in their life to shop for a Christmas gift for, she could be a girlfriend, wife, fiancĂ©, best friend, sister, cousin, mom, this gift guide has got you covered.  Whether you choose an item from this post, or it inspires you for another, I'm happy to help you find a gift that'll show her how much she's appreciated!  Happy shopping!


Throw pillows are basically the equivalent of the adult stuffed animal.  These statement-making zodiac throw pillows by Holli Zollinger are as unique as her astrological sign.


Showcase beautiful jewelry with a hanging jewelry organizer.
Anthropologie - Hanging Jewelry Organizer


Newly engaged?  Just married?  Loves rings?  This shimmering agate adds a touch of elegance to a vanity and also helps organize jewelry.
Anthropologie - Agate Ring Holder


A beautiful marbled jewelry box to store precious treasures with care.
Urban Outfitters - Large Marbled Jewelry Box


A gift for a tween or teen, this reversible sequin tapestry is a canvas for doodles, messages, and also doubles as an insta-worthy backdrop.


Whimsical and charming plates that will make anyone smile.


She works out but loves tacos.  This workout mat tells everyone what's really on her mind.

This lip set of four hydrates lips and gives a healthy tint of color.


If she's a beauty buff, makeup and skincare sets are golden because she'll love trying different products.  The Meet The Fam Bestsellers Set from Milk Makeup will have her giddy!


The Instax Instant Camera is the photo lover must-have!


A luxurious faux fur pull-through stole scarf that takes a look from simply stylish to posh in one swoop.  



If music and festivals are her jam, the ultimate gift (oh, aside from tickets to her favorite band), is a pair of the retro Ray-Ban Round Metal frame sunglasses.  A look worn by legendary musicians, this is surely a gift that she will treasure.


For the trendy who like the classic and cozy style.


Soft and snuggle-worthy.  You can never go wrong with a cozy throw.

What do you hope to find under the tree on Christmas morning?

♥ always
Allison

Photo sources:  ban.do, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Ray-Ban, Sephora, Target, West Elm