Standouts and Game Changers of 2018!

Another year is in the books, and you know we LOOOOOOOVE a good round-up of favorites! We’ve got beauty we can’t stop reaching for, life changing products, and things that just make life better. And away! We! Go!


LanoLips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

Pamela gifted this to me last year, and as winter tries to turn me into dust, this stuff is a lifesaver. I put it on my lips every night before bed, and it’s still a little bit there in the morning! It’s also great for those dry spots that show up around your nose, or cuticles, or basically anywhere. I hope to never be without it!

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncuffed

I know Lyn has gotten us all to buy something Fenty over the past year or so, and with good reason: this shit is bananas. I picked up the shade Uncuffed during one of the V.I.B. events late last year, and it is PERFECTION. The shade is the absolute perfect rosy mauve, which is my go-to shade for “I don’t want to look dead but I don’t want hot pink lips today” every day wear. The formula is truly weightless, and while it’s not 100% transfer-proof, it’s pretty locked in, and it fades without getting clumpy or flaky. I reach for this almost every day, and it lasts through coffee and lunch and life.

Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil

While I love the Kat Von D Brow Struck Dimension powder and think it’s seriously a stand out this year in the world of brow products, I find myself reaching for this $4 pencil nearly every day. It applies soooo quickly and easily and lasts all day. KVD comes out to play if I’m being fancy, but this guy is my ride or die right now.

Saalt Menstrual Cup

Early in the year, I was maybe 85% thinking about making the switch to menstrual cups; when Pamela told me she was switching, it was enough to make me take the plunge. After trying an ok, but not quite right cup the first go around, I found the Saalt cup on Amazon and it is my glass slipper. I like the Saalt because it is a softer silicone, made for “”active women. It’s totally comfortable, and haven’t had any leak issues despite deadlifting, working on my feet, dancing, sleeping… whatever. Plus, it just feels… well, less gross overall!! They last for years, so a bonus is that it feels great to not be throwing/flushing so much (including dolla bills) away. I also like that the company is owned by women who give back to women who may not have access to period care. I am seriously mad I got all the way to my 40’s before realizing cups are the way to go BTW- once you get past the learning curve (and yeah, it for sure takes a cycle or three to get the hang of it), my period is no longer such a pain in the ass. Well, obviously it still is a little, but for sure way less of one.

Apple AirPods

I have gone through about 17000 variations of arm bands, pockets, bluetooth devices, and fanny packs trying to listen to music or podcasts at the gym. My husband finally convinced me to YOLO and buy a pair of AirPods, and they are PURE WIZARDRY. I don’t even know why I resisted for so long. I haven’t ever liked the earbuds that come with Apple products, but somehow these feel mostly invisible in my ears, and yeah, they don’t fall out! I use them everywhere, too- not just the gym. Washing dishes? AirPods. Cleaning my office? AirPods. Grocery shopping? AirPods. The charge lasts forever- did you know they charge right in the case?? I probably charge them once a week or so, but I’ve never even come close to draining them. If I had any complaints, it’s that I wish they would get just a tiny bit louder, but it’s probably better for my health if they don’t. 😉

Spindrift Sparkling Water

For whatever reason, I, along with the hipsters, can’t get enough of sparkling water lately. BUT HAVE YOU TRIED SPINDRIFT?? It is sparkling water with real juice squeezed in!! Not a lot- just like, if you squeezed a lemon wedge into your drink. It’s enough, though, to make it crazy good. Like, CRAZY good. Does it add a few calories? Sure, but the worst offender (grapefruit) only has 15 calories per can. I haven’t gotten my hands on every flavor yet (so far I’ve only found it at Target and Costco), but the blackberry and grapefruit are worth having in your fridge AT ALL TIMES.


Drunk Elephant, everything: Okay–maybe not EVERYTHING–but a lot. This girl ain’t loyal when it comes to skin care products and I’m notorious for bouncing around and trying lots of things to see what’s magic. Well–I think Drunk Elephant might be it! My top favorite is the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum. It is pricey, but a little goes a long way and the results are immediate. It’s crazy to me how incredibly different my skin feels in the morning after using it at night. I also find the Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream is luxuriously divine. Wanna give them a shot and see what you think? The minis pack The Littles™ is a great introduction to the line.

Urban Decay, Born to Run eyeshadow palette: I’m really unclear why this palette didn’t get much love when it came out. The layout is great–especially if you generally dislike the long, skinny shadow structure of the Naked palettes–this one is in squares and the rows act like little mini palettes. The color range is very unique and offers a lot of new looks. I also like that the palette itself is thin, but sturdy and it has a huge mirror so it’s great for travel. Definitely a good deal with 21 shadows and a lot of room to play.

Marc Jacobs Beauty, Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick: I tried one of these in Sugar, Sugar and then went HAM and bought a bunch. I’m crazy for these in so many ways. They are a gloss–but a stick and not goopy or sticky or messy. I think even you would like them, Jess! They give the perfect amount of reflection to make your lips look full and fab. And layered over pencils gives them even more versatility. Definitely worth the price.

Norman Kamli, Kamali Kulture Go Crew Neck Dress: This is the greatest, easiest dress of all time. I know that sounds crazy and like a huge over-exaggeration, but it’s not. It’s an instant classic LBD. It’s100% flattering, super soft, simple to pack, no wrinkle, forgiving, like pajamas but classy, any occasion dress. Put Vans on and it’s casual. Throw a necklace on and heels and it’s dressy. Grab boots and it’s somewhere in the middle. With tights–it’s perfect for winter. No tights–it’s a spring/fall/cool summer day dream. If I could wear it every day, I would. I honestly might order another one to have a back up, I love it that much.

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Apple, AirPods: Jess and I were going to do a joint review of these magical wonders, but never got around to it. (aah, life.) I agree with everything she said. I also bought them because Michael Boggs told me to–in fact–Team Boggs drove me to the Apple store and went with me to get them. I keep them in my pocket and use them constantly. They are super convenient so you can just pop them on and go. I walk a lot and always have them on, even if I’m just going a few blocks. They are also the only way I’ll talk on the phone anymore. I will legit tell someone I’ll call them back so I can grab them, if they aren’t immediately available. You don’t have to yell when talking and you can hear perfectly. Unlike Jess, I have had them die on me, but I’m also spacey about charging them. Which is silly because they charge super fast. I think it’s less than an hour to bring them back to full capacity. The only downsides are the volume isn’t super loud which Jess mentioned–I guess it’s good because it makes it so you can still be aware of your surroundings when walking with them–but on some podcasts I feel like I’d like a little more juice. When you wear them on an airplane, you have to keep your Bluetooth on to have them paired with your phone, so you can’t go into full “airplane” mode. And I do feel a little self-conscious wearing them because they are kinda douchey looking and I lose the effect of traditional headphones that say “I can’t hear you so don’t talk to me.” But aside from those few things, I can’t say enough about what a game changer they were for me this year. Bonus–I’ve had them for six months and haven’t lost them, which is huge!

(and side note: yes to fenty beauty too! and there are 10 new mattemoiselle plush matte lipsticks–thicc being my favorite!)

Schitt’s Creek: Another shout-out to Jess–she called this one and was ON ME  (and you) to watch it–and she was so right. I haven’t been this excited about a show in a long time. And it’s coming back on January 16th so you have time to get caught up before the new season comes out, if you didn’t take her advice the first time around to check it out. I’m the worst at binge-watching and we blew through this faster than any series ever. Also–my closet goals = David Rose and Dan Levy is a great IG follow, if you’re not already on it.


Milwaukee Bucks: YOU GUYS!!!! We have the best team in the entire NBA!!!! Seriously!!! We are #1 right now!!! I told you not to sleep on the Bucks two years ago and I’m telling you again–get on it!!! #fearthedeer

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! We love you all so much and are excited for new products, adventures and all the everything and nothings life invariably throws at us. We’d love to hear what rocked your world in 2018 or things you’d like us to check up on for you in upcoming posts. 

Because if 2018 taught us anything–life can be much too much sometimes (and also that it’s okay to declare “it’s my turn to take a selfish!”)–and 2019 could be more of the same.

So let’s do 2019 better–together.

My Recent Media Binges!

Thanks to the drudgery of winter, I’ve have time to catch up on some shows and podcasts. Let me tell you about my recent binges!


Catch up on Hulu

Several friends tipped me off to this one- I love Sutton Foster, so once I had access to Hulu, it was first on my list. This is a 22 minute rom-com about a 40 year old woman who, for reasons, has to pose as a 26 year old millennial to get a job. With Darren Star as the producer, it fills that Sex and the City shaped hole in all of our hearts. It’s dumb, fluffy, somewhat predictable, has great outfits, and is just all around delightful- who knew Hillary Duff was so lovable? It also has some great commentary on a 40 year old’s view of youth (“are you one of those millennials who’s never smoked a cigarette and thinks your parents are heroes??”), which is obviously relatable. I binged this so fast I might need to watch it again.

Difficult People

Catch up on Hulu

Another justification of my Hulu subscription is this irreverent entry from Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner (whom I adore). It’s about best friends living in New York trying to make it as comedians, and they are kind of terrible people, but not so much in a cringe-y way, more in a “yeah, I would totally want to do that” way. The jokes fly fast and the cameos are amazing, and hey! Lyn’s sister worked on this show, so give it some love! Also, is there a list somewhere of all Arthur’s terms of endearment for Julie?? Wait, there is!

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

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Transitioning To Fall…. Kind Of.

Happy first day of autumn!! Ssshhh, never mind that it’s 90 degrees out. Here are some things that I am currently into (or hope to be into!) now that…. nevermind, I haven’t even thought about a sweater or cooking chili in a crock pot or hot apple cider or putting real socks on yet. Here are just some random things!

Later, Bronzer
While I am forever grateful to Lyn for turning me on to the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer (it’s seriously the best!!), once Labor Day came and went, I haven’t picked it up. I didn’t even make a conscious choice about it- it’s like, once I saw yellow school buses back on the street, bronzer time came to a halt. Instead, I’ve been favoring a romantic, mauve-y blush. I really love Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty, which you can get for free as your birthday present this year as a Sephora Beauty Insider! These blushes last forever, so any time you can snag one free or in a discovery set, do it. Anyway, this shade is a perfect soft rose without being too dreary or vampy. Aces.

I absolutely adore Kristen Bell. Did you guys see her singing to a group of nursing home residents and calling bingo when they all got stuck in the same hotel during hurricane Irma?? It was the best. I missed this show last fall when it originally aired, but recently caught up via Netflix, and it is SO GREAT. My husband just watched it too- he also found it laugh out loud funny- and he was all “why are we the only people in the whole world watching this?? It is the best!” I agree. The basic premise is that Eleanor (Kristen Bell) wakes up to learn that she is dead and in the afterlife, but not to worry, she is in “the good place”. She quickly realizes that there has been a clerical error and she doesn’t actually belong there (because she’s kind of a jerk), and hilarity ensues as she tries to fake her way through it. Ted Danson and the other supporting actors are top notch, the laughs are rapid fire, and it is forking hilarious. Why is this an almost fall thing? Because season 2 just started, and it is brilliant!
Back to Matte
Similarly, I have started gravitating back toward matte lips. Why does this happen during the season of dry lips?? No one knows. But it does. I recently picked up a lipstick from the Sephora Matte Rouge Collection in the shade No Superstar, which is a gorgeous rose-nude that flirts with being greige, but not enough to make you look dead. I find the formula to be a little drying, but it’s not terrible, especially if you prep your lips first with a little buff and chapstick. One weird thing though- it smells like grape bubble gum. The scent goes away pretty quickly, but dang, it is WEIRD.
Practical Vans
Lolololol- all Vans are practical! But I needed some legit comfy actual sneakers for work and for walks on these (ahem, soon to be) crisp mornings. I used to be faithful to Nikes for when I have to be on my feet all day, but my last pair (the Flyknit Free) made me angry- sure, they were super soft and light, but they were so flexible that I would just slide around in them. Someone at Vans must have heard my laments, because they came to the rescue and released these super rad Ultrarange sneaks! They weigh nothing (I thought the box was empty), they have the right level of squish with the right amount of structure, and they look like cool skate shoes while being sneaky practical and go with everything. Oh! They are also made out of a really light mesh, which is nice. I think these will be a good vacation pick if there’s going to be a lot of walking.
Pretty soon, I will be in full fall mode- I’m dying for jeans and jackets and boots and spooky nights and crunchy leaves and having scary movies on nonstop. But until then, these things will ease me in while still hanging on to summer, a little bit. Maybe.
What are you transitioning into as the season shifts? Are you watching anything good right now? I bought all of these things with my own money but I did happen to buy those Vans while Dick’s Sporting Goods was having a random $20 off shoes sale so obviously they were meant to be!

Things I’m Loving Right Now: Summer Flings Edition

As we’ve pointed out about 87000 times on this blog, we love summer!! I got really mad at Target the other day when I came upon the Back-to-School section already on full blast. Uugh. But hey, we’re only about halfway through, and no one has even made any Labor Day party plans yet. So! Let me tell you about a few totally random things that I’m loving right now, and may or may not continue to love them once the leaves start to turn…

Urban Decay Go Naked Perfume Oil


Did you know that Urban Decay came out with a limited edition perfume oil last month? They did, and I sleepily snatched it up the morning I got the email about it’s release (we all shop in bed now, right?), and I have no regrets. The main notes are citrus and lavender, and UD describes it as “the scent of sun-warmed skin and salt air”. Since I want to be at the beach at all times, I didn’t even think twice about buying this. It is a perfect light scent- it lingers but never overpowers. It is an oil with a roller ball applicator, which also makes it perfect to pop in your purse or travel bag. And it really does smell like sunshine! I may need to stockpile a few for next year.

Breakfast Smoothies

I realize this is far from a newsflash, but I do love the ease of a breakfast smoothie in the summer. When it’s hot, I don’t feel like cooking breakfast on the stove, or like, chewing… and some mornings I really am just in too much of a hurry to sit down with a meal, or too antsy to get outside for a walk to work on my tan and get some fresh air. Plus, I recently rediscovered that my blender has a handy smoothie-cup accessory.

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You rock and so does this CD!

I believe in love at first sight. Call me a romantic. I think connections can be instant and lasting. And I think it extends to friendship, too.

I’ll never forget the day I met Christopher Ryan. The mythology of Mr. Ryan was strong. Christopher had been the tenor soloist in the church choir I sing with (CPC singers, holla!)–part of the esteemed alumni of paid section leaders/ringers that make the rest of us sound like we know what we’re doing. Everyone who knew him loved him, unequivocally. By the time I joined the choir, he had moved to NYC, but his presence still rang through the stories in the choir loft years after he sang his last C5 there.

It is no exaggeration when I say the talent we get through the choir is top notch. We seriously work with the best of the best. Our soloists have gone on to illustrious careers on Broadway, operas around the globe, professors at nationally recognized music programs and composers, conductors and featured soloists. The opportunity to finally meet Christopher Ryan in person came in 2009 when our tenor soloist, James Kryshak was a National Semi-Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions being held in New York City. My sister, Holly lives in NYC and I will take any excuse for a reason to visit. I asked Jim if I could go—he said yes—so I went! And I learned Christopher would be attending, too.

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“Empties” reviews: shower products, toothpaste, La Mer and more

Some of my favorite YouTube videos to watch are the “Empties” collections. Why do I want to look at other people’s trash, you ask? Perhaps it scratches the itch I’ve had to be a private investigator—an ambition born spending my youth watching Magnum PI, Moonlighting , Remington Steele and the criminally underrated, Riptide (i wanted both the robot AND the helicopter, sadly, i still have neither) with my mother.

But more likely, I find it helpful to get insight on products that were taken the distance. I like knowing if the trusted YouTuber plans to repurchase items, especially when it requires spending their own money on a product they might have gotten sent to them gratis from the company.

So I thought it might be fun to do my own “Empties” post and go through some products I’ve finished and give my take on them. Continue reading

These TV Shows Need To Come Back Already!!

I have no shame about the fact that I love television. As a young kid, I had a very specific attention span to get through an hour long episode of Sesame Street, followed by the soothing kindness of Mr. Rogers (unless the Purple Panda was on- that shit was terrifying!!). As I got older, the Justice League taught me lessons in truth, justice, and not to chew on pencils, Lynda Carter spun into my heart as Wonder Woman, and I would lose my mind if the opening credits to Batman included Batgirl’s motorcycle rolling in. We would have smorgasbord dinners Thursdays while watching The Cosby Show, and we loved the poorly drawn Simpsons interludes during The Tracy Ullman Show. Point is, TV and I have always been tight.

Did you know we’re living in the Golden Age of Television?? It’s a real thing, happening right now! There has never been a time with more quality content, yet my TiVo has tumbleweeds blowing through it. Why? Well, because shows take their sweet time between seasons now that we get our entertainment without the confinement of traditional television broadcasting rules. And this is driving me mental.

Some of my favorite show are taking FOR. FREAKING. EVER. to return to the airwaves. Specifically:

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