Birchbox Review: December {Holiday Edition}

After reading some of the reviews of the Holiday Edition Birchbox for December from other bloggers I was eager to see what I received in my Birchbox. Luckily my box was filled with some fun products to try – a combination of hair care, perfume, skin care, and a mascara. Let’s take a look at what I got!

Davines Replumping Hair Filler Superactive | English Laundry Signature for Her Perfume 
Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara | SeaRX Microdermabrasion Face & Body Scrub
Davines Replumping Conditioner (Received on accident. See post)

This Davines Replumping Conditioner was sent to me on accident due to the fact that my insert card shows I should have received a Manna Kadar Lip Locked Lip Stain instead. I don’t mind so much given I love to try new hair care products more than makeup, however, I am always looking for that right makeup product that will push me outside my comfort zone – especially in the area of lip glosses and lipstick. Maybe next time.

With that being said, I am a new fan of Davines hair care products from previous Birchboxes. I still use their shampoo and conditioner and this conditioner doesn’t disappoint. I have color treated hair that also is styled with a blow drier and, on occasion, a hot iron. So, when it comes to conditioners I need whatever will put nutrients back into my hair to keep it healthy.

SeaRX Microdermabrasion Face & Body Scrub
I love the scent of this facial scrub and the Dead Sea minerals leave your skin feeling refreshed and exfoliated. Another plus is that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry or itchy like other major leading brands. I have natural skin and using this right after a workout gave me great results!

Birchbox Full-size: $28

English Laundry
Receiving new perfumes from Birchbox are always a favorite of mine. These little samples let me experiment with different fragrances, sometimes of which I would never try on my own doing. This English Laundry Signature for Her is light and “inspired by English gardens.” It’s notes are a wonderful balance between florals and earthy greens.

Birchbox Full-size: $70

Davines Replumping Hair Filler Superactive 
I was very eager to try this hair filler because I naturally have thin straight hair. Not that styling it has ever been an issue for me given my short bob haircut, but I was interested to see how it stacks up against my normal styling routine. This leave-in conditioner spray firms your hair and gives it some oomph without the use of mousse or other styling products, of which I’m a huge fan. I don’t like using a lot of product in my hair. Just spritz 5-10 sprays into towel-dried hair and style like normal. I found that the hair dryer activated its lovely scent and it actually thickens your hair! All you need is this replumping filler and a little spritz of hair spray and you’re good to go!

Birchbox Full-size: $39.50

Mirenesse 24hr Mascara
Another product I was excited to use from this months box was the iCurl 24hr mascara. I am always on the lookout for the perfect mascara that doesn’t leave my lashed weighted down or clumpy. I’m not into the hard and cracked spider look. I love the curved brush, which made for an easy application of both upper and lower lashes. However, I didn’t like that it doesn’t add volume to my lashes. Another downside for me was that the mascara clumped some of my lashes together and the 24hr hold didn’t allow for much wiggle room in the area of unclumping them. I did use a little of my Cover Girl mascara to add some volume which helped achieve the look I was going for. Overall it was okay but I don’t think I would invest in the full size version.

Birchbox Full-size: $29

If you’re interested in receiving your own beauty samples via Birchbox please consider using my referral link below!

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DIY Christmas Card Wall Display

It’s officially the time of giving and receiving holiday and Christmas cards. I absolutely love spending the intricate time of crafting my holiday cards but alas this year it was one expense we cut due to trying to save (boo!). I mean, these cards come out to be at least $100! (So, sorry in advance to all my family and friends who will not be receiving a card this year!)

However, receiving cards is always fun because I love using them as decoration throughout the house. Today I wanted to share with you some fun ideas you can use in your home to display your lovely Christmas cards! And the best part is, you don’t have to spend a fortune on pre-made displays!

1. Over the cabinets.
This display is easy to make and very simple to create. All you need is ribbon, clothespins, and I recommend Command Hooks on the inside of your cabinets to hold the ribbon in place. Decorate your kitchen cabinets with this lovely card display.
2. Shutter display.
This is more for the serious do-it-yourselfer with the use of an old window shutter. Simply paint red or in a festive color and slide the cards you receive in the slots. What a great addition to a family room or next to the tree. You could also hang your shutter card display too!
3/4. Washi Tape & string.
This is the simple of the simple of card displays. The only materials you need is Washi Tape, string, and clothespins! Also, a good eye for symmetry helps as you make the outline of your tree. Attach your cards and watch your tree begin to take shape!

5. Wall ribbon display.
This is similar to the over-the-cabinet concept of #1 but instead hang along your staircase. It makes for a fun display for your guests who are visiting either for your fun holiday party or Christmas day festivities.

6. Wine corks.
This is a fun and different approach to displaying your holiday cards (and one of my favorites). If you’re a wine lover, use those corks to create a card display. Hot glue the corks to a board and use push-pins to hang your cards. This is great for the kitchen or dining room!

7. Stair railing display.
Using string and clothespins, display your cards going up the stairs! Add some fun decorations (as seen in the picture) and they’ll be sure to pop!

All of these inspirations are easy to do and won’t cost you very much to assemble! Plus, they’re easy to remove and save for the following year. 
What displays do you have in your home during the holidays? Share in the comments 🙂

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Christmas Wish List 2014

Today I am linking up with The Circle over at In It’s Time and this month’s linky is all about Christmas Wish Lists! This year has been a big one: we got married, moved across the country to CA, and are still getting settled financially. Therefore we opted for no presents this year but instead got our matching tattoos, which we’ve had planned for a while now. We’re so happy with our results and excited to share this together. I don’t know, there’s no other feeling than getting inked with your love and sharing that bond together 🙂

                  Picasso’s drawing of his dachshund.

But, with all that being said there’s still some things I’ve had my eye on this year and here’s my top 6 selections for my Christmas Wish List:

1. Coordinates Collection
When I discovered this jewelry collection I found myself wanting at least three different pieces. These bangles and necklaces make for great personalized gifts! Just plug in a city and it generates the coordinates for you.

2. iPhone 6
We’ve both been due for an upgrade for a while but just haven’t had the time to actually get the new iPhone. I’m very much looking forward to upgrading soon!

3. Personalized Address Stamp
I’ve been through a couple different stamps and then we moved *insert sad face*. One item that’s a great gift (for anyone!) is a personalized address stamp. I’m also thinking that since we’re not planted anywhere 100% that I should just opt for the labels…hmph… #firstworldproblems

4. Hunter’s Rain Boots
Just recently have I learned that what CA doesn’t have in seasons it surely makes up for with rain. And one thing I don’t have are rain boots. It would be nice to have a pair for those moments of torrential downpours (especially lately). The only problem I have is which color?!

5. Burberry Scarf
If I could have one fancy-pants item on my wish list I would definitely pick this Burberry scarf I’ve pined for many years now. It’s lightweight and the colors are classic.

6. Good Morning Mug
This was once one of my favorite coffee mugs from World Market but it somehow got lost between moves. I would love to own another one again because it’s a large mug (this girl needs her coffee) and cute 🙂

Link-up and share out your Christmas wish lists!
In Its Time

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Holiday Date Night Ideas 2014

Date Nights are extremely important in our family – especially before the chaos of raising children in the future. Making the time to spend with your spouse can get pretty difficult with work, school, children (for those who have them), etc., and life just somehow seem to get in the way. I mean, one minute it’s Monday then before you know it a month has passed. Slowing down to appreciate one another and spend quality alone time with each other as adults  is fundamental to any relationship. With that being said, the holidays provide many opportunities to grow in our relationships and they’re just, as simply put, fun! I’ve made a list and wanted to share some of the date night ideas Philip and I have come up with to do this holiday season and I hope you can find some fun ideas to share with your family or loved one. What makes it even more special is that this is our first, yes first, Christmas as a married couple. Eeek!
These easy date night ideas are perfect for the holidays! Just grab your spouse, some hot cocoa, and have fun this Christmas season!
Top 20 Date Night Ideas
  1. Go ice skating together
  2. Fondue for two
  3. Get a picture with Santa
  4. Each year make or buy a new Christmas ornament together. Write the year on the back and hang on your tree. Watch your family collection grow!
  5. Write love letters to each other and seal them in an envelope. Put under the tree and open them on Christmas morning.
  6. Decorate a gingerbread house
  7. Make and decorate sugar cookies
  8. Snuggle up and watch a Christmas movie each night
  9. Host an ugly sweater party
  10. Make hot cocoa/eggnog from scratch
  11. Cook a new holiday recipe together (or take a cooking class)
  12. Make your own christmas ornaments (I used to do this as a kid growing up)
  13. Select your tree and decorate it while watching your favorite holiday movie or listen to your favorite holiday songs
  14. Try a new Living Social or Groupon deal
  15. Go wine tasting!
  16. Read The Book of Questions (we were hooked!)
  17. Make your own holiday cards and send them out to friends and family
  18. Participate in local holiday drives such as Operation Christmas Child, donate winter clothing or food to shelters.
  19. Drive around at night looking at Christmas decorations together.

There are literally thousands of different ideas to get you and your spouse in the holiday spirit all-the-while spending time enjoying each other. Keep your list of date nights handy and always add to them!

What date nights do you have with your love?

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