Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year in Review

It's finally new year's eve! I started this blog February of this year and I'm shocked I've kept up with it for so long. I wanted to sit down and write down some of the more memorable moments of this year. This isn't really about the blog posts, because sometimes I feel like, we care so much about new product launches and swatches and hauls, we kind of forget about real life. I love those bloggers that blog as their job, but we can't all do that. 

This year was my first full year as a working adult. It feels so weird thinking that less than two years ago, my friends and I were still in college. Thinking back, we used to stress out about grades all the time, but now we have to worry about paying back our student loans and thinking of ways to move out of our parents' house.

Beginning of this year I promised myself that I would travel abroad and I did it! I was thinking about traveling alone to Italy to visit a couple friends at first, but Katie and I decided to travel together. We visited Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Rome. It was an amazing trip. I love exploring and this was a good break from the boring and tedious job. Remember to treat yourself and take vacations once in a while, even tiny ones. I was so burnt out, I almost quit.

Art exhibit with Fanny!

A little bit of Shanghai in San Francisco. Missed these kids and all the fun we had studying abroad.

Barcelona adventures!

Birthday celebrations with the trio.

Silly photo booth props with Katie! It was a very Merry Christmas with friends.

Birthday wish? Be happy.

What was your favorite moment of 2014? :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Music Mondays

It's the last music post of 2014! Did you all have a good Christmas? It's been such a relaxing four days, I really don't want to go back to work. Hope everyone has a good week! It's the New Year!

Nicki Minaj gets a lot of criticism, but I was surprised I really liked some of the songs on this album. The song "Grand Piano" is beautiful and so different for her!

 A nice, chill song to listen to.

Demi Lovato's ballads always get to me and this one is no different, it gave me chills.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day with your family and friends and loved ones. I ate SO much this past week, my food baby never goes away! Decided to share some snaps with you all from this week. I love the holiday season. The hot cocoa, Christmas treats, and twinkly lights everywhere you go makes me feel all warm inside. It's also one of the only times of the year that my friends and I get to see each other all together. It gets harder to plan these hangouts as we get older, so I really do treasure the times we get to all chat.

The shopping center near my house really outdid themselves this year with the decorations. The twinkly lights were everywhere!

My little Christmas tree! It's not much, but it's enough!

My old middle and high school friends always get together this time of year and do a little gift exchange. It's not my birthday until this weekend, but they surprised me with a homemade cake. I was literally having the worst day and they made me forget all about it.

Christmas tree decorating followed by milk and cookies, followed by Love Actually of course. Missed hanging out with these girls.

How did you spend your Christmas? I can't believe this year is almost over!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Music Mondays

It's the last Christmas Music Mondays post this year! I hope you guys liked listening to all the songs!
I'm going to take a little break this week, so I'm probably not going to post anything until Friday. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your time with family and friends! :D

Look at all these people!

I love Kelly Clarkson's Christmas songs!

Thought this song was perfect for this week, since Christmas is so close!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas & Birthday Wishlist 2014

christmas and birthday wishlist 2014
Sorry about not posting on Wednesday everyone. Does anyone else feel this way? But whenever it's stormy and rainy out, my mood kind of turns gloomy too. It's been raining quite a lot here recently, this combined with working overtime just exhausted me out. But I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. My birthday is December 27th, two days after Christmas, so I thought it'd be a good idea to post what I've been eyeing lately.

ASOS Club L Dress in All Over Sequins  

Christmas and New Years is the perfect time to wear sequined dresses and I've had the hardest time trying to find one. I need to do some shopping ASAP.

ZARA Wool Duffle Coat with Fur Hood  
Saw this coat and it's gorgeous. It's so warm and I love the buckle details. Everyone needs a good Winter coat!

Aerie Blanket Scarf

Plaid scarves are suddenly so popular again! But this one from American Eagle looks so snuggly and soft. Perfect for this cold weather!

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow 
Charlotte Tilbury has officially landed in America! This is the one product I really want from her makeup line. The rose gold packaging is beautiful too.

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret
Do I need more lip pencils? No. But I mean, you can never have enough lip products! This is a limited edition holiday set from NARS. I am SO tempted to buy this.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Swatched these blushes in a Sephora recently and they are the softest blushes. The marbling looks amazing. They're sheer colors, so you can't really go wrong during application.

What do you want for Christmas?? Hope you all enjoyed reading this post! Remember to stay warm! :D

Monday, December 15, 2014

Music Mondays

Did everyone have a nice weekend? It felt very festive this week, especially with all the holiday parties and Christmas shopping! Enjoy! :D

One of my all time favorite songs. I listen to this all year round.

Pentatonix's Christmas videos are so beautiful.

I really like this cover by Meghan Trainor.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick

NARS Audacious Lipsticks retail for a whopping $32.00 USD each.  These are some of my most expensive lipsticks, but they are worth every penny. Creamy and long-lasting, I wish I could own every color. These have a semi-matte finish, and it comes in a huge range of colors. The only con is that these are transferable on contact. Packaging wise, it is so much better than the original matte finish that attracts so much dust and fingerprints. These are made of metal and have a magnetic closure. I noticed they also leave a stain on your lips, at least for the darker colors.

I recommend scrubbing your lips or wear lip balm underneath before applying. These are extremely pigmented, and these full coverage lipsticks do not look attractive with chapped lips.

Has anyone tried these lipsticks? Which one is your favorite color? :)

Left: Charlotte - oxblood burgundy   Right: Rita - Scarlet

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TARTE Magical Moments Deluxe Best Sellers Essentials Set

Hello my lovlies! I hate writing blog posts on products that are not carried anymore, but I really wanted to give my opinion on this little set. This was offered by Sephora during their Black Friday sale. I wanted to get my hands on this the most out of all their offerings this year. For only $10, it was a steal. 

Let's talk about the Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. I hate it. The formula was too wet and not volumizing at all. From all the four star reviews on Sephora, I thought I would love it. I always curl my lashes before applying mascara and after one swipe of this mascara, it straightened them all out. WHAT? Anyways, I kept applying a couple more coats, thinking it would at least lengthen or do something, but nope. It felt like I was applying black ink to my already black eyelashes. So glad I got a sample before purchasing the full size. I think this would work well for people that have naturally full and curly eyelashes. I apologize if this is one of your favorites, but it was not for me.

The mini Amazonian Clay blush and LipSurgence Lip Gloss are both in the shade Magic, which is limited edition. However, this pink coral color is very similar to some of Tarte's other shades, such as Blissful and Tipsy, but a bit more pink. The blush is matte and is perfect for that natural flush. The gloss has a bit of sparkle in it, but it's very creamy and has a nice vanilla fragrance to it.

Overall, I liked this set, with the exception of the mascara. I hope some of you were able to get your hands on this, if not, I'm sure Tarte will come out with something similar next year! They have tons of holiday sets out right now, so check those out! Thanks for reading! :D

Monday, December 8, 2014

Music Mondays

I watched the musical Annie with Katie today. It was my first time watching the musical and it was so adorable! It's set during Christmas time, so it put us all into the holiday spirit, even more adorable were the little kiddies sitting next to us. The cutest little boy asked behind me, "is that a real dog?" AHHH. I hope these songs will make your Mondays just a little bit brighter! :D

Kristin Bell. The whole time I was hearing Anna's voice! This song is so sweet, and I love that it's a modern Christmas song!

These girls' voices are all so good!

A classic Christmas song made even better with Sam Smith's beautiful vocals.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Michelle Reads: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

This book was super popular a while back and I finally got to finishing it. For those that don't know, Sophia Amoruso is the founder of the online store, Nasty Gal. I've never personally bought anything from there, but the clothes on the site are super trendy and they have tons of brands for everyone's price range. 

#GIRLBOSS is sort of her autobiography, but it's also very inspirational and teaches all the girls out there that if you put hard work into what you set out to do, you will succeed. Even if there are bumps and barriers along the way. It was very interesting reading how Sophia Amoruso started her business, how in seven years, she made her tiny, one person job into a multi-million dollar company. She's very personable and relatable in her writing, with lots of humor added in. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some inspiration and motivation. Everyone can be a GIRLBOSS. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to run your own company, but I guess own your life and take charge of it. Because only you can do it.

Has anyone read this book? And what were your thoughts on it? :)

*BTW I'm starting a new feature on the blog, kind of like my weekly Music Mondays posts. I will put up at least one Michelle Reads post a month. This also forces me to read more. Hope you all will like it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rome Photo Diary

Rome. The Eternal City. Our last stop was the place I wanted to see the most. This city is say the least. Once you arrive in the city center, you are bombarded by ruin after ruin, monument after monument, chiesa after basilica. How can anyone ever run out of things to do here? Even though I loved Rome, I think once is enough. Maybe when I'm older I'll want to come back. The city is beautiful, but the amount of tourists really turns you off. Be prepared. Having a local guide might be helpful too.

The ancient history of this city is so interesting and being able to see all these places and touching them was quite humbling actually. I felt so small and insignificant, compared to everything we saw. The artists of that time period created such awe-inspiring masterpieces and you wonder how they did even did it.

We made it to the Colosseo! Please buy your tickets in advance. You get to skip a very long line, unless you want to wait of course.

I wish we got to see the lower grounds.

These steps were so beautiful and quite easy to walk up too.

The Pantheon is literally in the middle of a busy square.


The Spanish Steps. Too many people.

The view was nice at the top though.


Caprese salad (I ate this everyday)

This staircase is actually two, just like a double helix. This is how you exit the Vatican Museum.

Saint Peter's

Every church we went into had it's own special thing about it. This was one of my favorites. There are huge sculptures of the twelve apostles in this hall.

Our last meal in Rome had to include pizza.

The best gelato I've ever had in my life was at Giolitti's. I would love some hazelnut gelato right about now please.

I hope you guys have liked reading about my Europe adventures. I actually really liked writing these posts and sharing my pictures with you all. If I travel some more, I'll try to do these photo diaries again. :D

Monday, December 1, 2014

Music Mondays

Today is December 1st, which means...CHRISTMAS SONGS. This month I will try to find my favorite Christmas songs for you all to get into the Christmas spirit. There's only 24 days left! :D

I love how they used kids in this video, even though the lyrics in this song are kind of creepy.

Pentatonix always has the really good covers.

Something to get you smiling on the Monday work grind. Can't wait for the Minions movie to come out!