recommendations

Sephora VIB Sale Picks and Wishlist | November 2017

by Jamie Sanford on November 10, 2017

The Sephora VIB sale event is back!

If you are a Sephora VIB member (it’s free to join), you can get 15%-20% off this weekend at Sephora and Sephora.com. I will definitely be stocking up on some products that I always need to replenish but are generally never on sale.

Check out the box below for my own wishlist as well as some tried and true favorites. Happy shopping!

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Loves & Recommendations #2

by Jamie Sanford on August 30, 2017


In an extension of my Product Picks, I wanted to share a regular post about things that I’m enjoying and recommending. Welcome to Loves & Recommendations #2!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

To see all of my product picks, click here.

My foray into fantasy hair continues, and I’m currently using Purple Rain by Arctic Fox. This color is particularly beautiful.

Coty Airspun Powder. I could probably write a whole blog post about this. It is so old school – note the “since 1935” on the package, but it is the best setting powder for foundation that I have ever used. I have tried using regular foundation powders, setting powders, and I love this one the most. It does have a scent, which I know isn’t for everyone, but the finish does not lie. You can get this at drugstores, and on Amazon, for an average price of about $7-$8. I don’t use the powder puff, I use a big fluffy powder brush to apply, and it gives the most amazing finish. Matte but not powdery and gross.

Safari Live! We came across the Safari Live channel while looking at other live channels on YouTube via the Xbox, and we have been HOOKED ever since. As in, putting safaris on our TV for 3 hours at a time, almost daily, becoming invested in the lives of the animals and the tour guides, it is a THING that we are doing. They broadcast 6 hours of live safaris from Africa every single day, and they archive them to watch later. You can interact with the guides through a Twitter hashtag, and you get so many amazing looks at beautiful animals. Warning – they do not shy away from live animal kills, so be prepared for that. The internet is so full of hate and vitriol, and finding Safari Live has been an escape that is very welcome. Check it out!

The AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker. I bought this in response to having sound issues with my iPad, where the audio levels are so low (only on certain YouTube videos), and it needed to be dealt with. I purchased this because it was the “Amazon’s Choice” product, and it is a wonderful item! It is smaller than I expected, but it connects without issue to both my iPad and Will’s Android phone. I actually think I might buy a second one, as this has been commandeered for use in the kitchen. I’m sure that for outdoor use, or to fill a room with music, I would buy something bigger, and with more promise of sound quality. However, for small personal needs – for podcasts while you cook or something similar, this is a great option.

The Popsocket. I saw someone on YouTube using this and bought it immediately. I love my iPhone 7 Plus, but it is enormous and unwieldy, even after months of use. This extra bit of stability is amazing. It took a few days to adjust to it, but I don’t think I could be without it now.

LinkedIn Learning. I had access to Lynda for a while, which was purchased by LinkedIn, and the content is available in both places. The beginner and intermediate courses in marketing topics are GREAT, and provide a good foundation of knowledge on topics. I haven’t yet explored the more advanced courses, but I have a membership now so I will have to try it out.

What are your recent favorites? Tell me on Twitter.

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Loves & Recommendations #1

by Jamie Sanford on February 23, 2017


In an extension of my Product Picks, I wanted to share a regular post about things that I’m enjoying and recommending. Welcome to Loves & Recommendations #1!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

To see all of my product picks, click here.

Arctic Fox semi-permanent hair dye.

The 4 oz bottles are $10.99, and the 8 oz bottles are $16.99.

I have been experimenting with fantasy hair over the last 5-6 months, and I switched from using Manic Panic to Arctic Fox after seeing a LOT of great videos on YouTube of regular people using Arctic Fox to get great color. I have a lot more to say about my experience with non-traditional hair colors, and will post about it soon, but spoiler alert, I will be saying great things about Arctic Fox products.

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Pewter.

I have been in love with this eyeliner for years, as made evident by this blog post. I bought another one in pewter, because it is my ride or die eyeliner. Available for $5.94 from Amazon.

TurboTax Deluxe.

Boring? Maybe, but I’ve been using it forever and will buy it every year that it makes sense for me to do my own taxes. It is so easy, and once you use it once, everything pulls over to your new return from the previous year. It took me no time at all for federal taxes this year, and until I buy a house and have much more complicated financials, I’m sticking with it. Around $40 on Amazon.

Paine’s Red Cedar incense trees.

I bought these for Will from his Christmas wishlist, and I love them so much that I bought a second box for our home. It smells so woodsy and fire-burn-y (not a word) and I love it. $8.92 on Amazon.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner.

I first purchased these years ago when a nearby Eckerd story was closing and everything was on sale. Neither Will or I were blonde, but it says on the back that you can use it on any color hair. Will ended up loving these products because they are minty, but for a long time I could not find them. A random search one day, and they are back in our life. What’s weird is that the set of 2 is over $20 on Amazon right now, but you can buy them separately for around $12.

Unique Extra Dark “Splits”

I’m so glad that this brand is getting more exposure! We found these at a farmer’s market a while back, and they are the most polarizing snack I have ever had. Everyone loves or hates them. I love them, and my dad liked them when I gave him some, and I bought a pack of 2 before Christmas and sent him a bag along with keeping one for my house. You can get them for as little as $3/bag on Amazon.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Recommendation

by Jamie Sanford on November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I don’t really cook at all, but I have been sharing the hell out of this turkey preparation recipe that my husband will be using tomorrow to make turkey for us.  Naturally I see no other choice but to share it here as well.

Click here for the cheesecloth magic that Martha Stewart uses to make a turkey, that has been used to GREAT success in my house for the last few years.

Another shot of the turkey.Here’s a look at last year’s finished turkey.  The little potatoes and carrots around them were cooked with the breast, and were basted in the same liquid.  Super delicious but we learned a lesson about the carrots being too small and burning and getting very sad.  The non-blackened carrots were fabulous.

I’m serious people, you have time to alter your plans for how to cook the turkey.  This recipe involves coating the turkey in cheesecloth SOAKED in wine and butter.  It is no joke, and it is crazy delicious.  The turkey will be moist and yummy and the veggies you cook along with it will be outrageous as well.

Of course, I know people have attitude about how to make things like turkeys, so please leave your comments and preferences in the comments! Also, of course, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Lip Balm Reviews and Recommendations

by Jamie Sanford on July 27, 2011

Lip Balm Recommendations

I really love lip balm, I am constantly applying something to my lips to keep them moisturized and feeling healthy.  I’m not a big lipstick person, and I wear a lot of eyeliner so I like to keep the lip color to a minimum. You gotta keep the lips soft and moisturized though, chapped lips aren’t sexy. So, lip balm is a major part of my life.

So here are my lip balm reviews and recommendations!

Yes, I am 31 and recommending Boo Berry Lip Balm.  I bought this initially for some nostalgic goodness, but it turns out that this is a bangin’ lip balm. It is blue, super delicious and has a great texture, which can sometimes be a problem for me with lip balms.

Bonus is that the blue color can actually show up on the lips a bit, which I really like.  It gives my natural lip color a little something extra.

The Boo Berry Lip Balm is available from Perpetual Kid for $2.99.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is next on my lip balm list.  While I do own a tin and enjoy it, it is not my favorite lip balm. However, it’s a great multi-use product, I have used it before to tame some frizzy hair and I understand its good for moisturizing cuticles as well.  In a pinch it will be a fine lip balm, but the texture of it is a little slippery for me.  I like something with a bit more heft to it, the the Smith’s Rosebud Salve doesn’t have that for me.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is available from Amazon for $6.65.

Nivea Lip Care came into my life through the fabulous toiletries bag that one gets while flying Emirates.  It’s very nourishing and unisex, it has no color and doesn’t feel like a lipstick.  It’s about as light as it can be without being too light in texture for my personal taste.  It makes my lips feel soft and fabulous, and bonus to Emirates for providing quality products for those long flights when the stale air in the plane can wreak havoc on skin.

Nivea Lip Care “A Touch of Moisture” is available from Amazon for $2.50.

The classic, Chapstick is a great product.  Cherry is my favorite Chapstick flavor, so that’s what I’m sharing here, and I love it, but Chapstick isn’t as fulfilling for me as a lip treatment.  There are products on the market that are good for adding some color and are lip balm like, but don’t provide the name level of moisture that come from other thicker products.  However, having a Chapstick in your pocket or whatever is still a classic choice.  It will definitely keep your lips feeling moisturized and may even provide a little bit of color, but I would recommend using another product if your lips are already dry and chapped and need actual healing.

(Note that I am talking about Cherry Chapstick here – Medicated Chapstick is great when your lips aren’t in the best shape.)

Chapstick in Cherry is available from Amazon for $7.90 for a pack of 3.

I have run into a lot of Carmex haters, but this is a serious product. No, the look and feel of Carmex doesn’t have the sexy branding you can get from other products, but Carmex does the job.  If your lips are feeling dry or painful, slap on some Carmex and you are on your way to feeling better.  The only issue I’ve ever had with Carmex was my own fault, I left a pot of it in my car in the summer and nearly burned my lip off trying to put some on when I got in the car.  Carmex turns to LAVA in the sun.  So besides my own stupidity, I have nothing but love for Carmex.  I find it especially good for intense lip moisturizing overnight, put on a nice coat of Carmex before bed and your lips will be soft and supple when you wake up.

Carmex is available in a .5-ounce pot from Amazon for $2.05.

This is Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm.  It is my current favorite lip balm, but I only have 1 tube, and it’s on my desk at work.  Sadly, my husband hates the smell so I can’t be using it all the time at home without having to deal with a husband that doesn’t want to kiss me.  The smell is quite strong, it smells like beeswax candles to me, which is a scent that I really like.  The texture and weight of the product is amazing, it feels wonderful on my lips and leaves them feeling fabulous.

Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm is available on Amazon for $3.50.

I would love to get some opinions in the comments of this post, I know that everyone has their favorite lip balm and it seems to be a product that people are really into defending.  Let us have it!

Disclosure: I purchased all of the products mentioned in this post, with the exception of the Nivea Lip Care that I received via an Emirates flight toiletries bag.

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