Beauty Bests: September

I really need to stop introducing new blog series! I can never seem to stick with them for long.

Another thing I’m struggling with is my blogging mojo. Life is busy — I work 40+ hours a week, and in the next 3 weeks I only have 5 days off of work (including today and tomorrow, my normal weekend). And right after that stretch I’m embarking on my first solo flight to visit my best friend in Salt Lake City…which I am super pumped for! And also nervous — I’ve been reading everything possible about airline travel. Not that I’m scared of flying (I actually love it) or that I haven’t flown much (I generally fly once or maybe twice a year) but that I’ve never flown without someone with me, whether my family or a big group so I hope I have everything I need. I’m traveling carry-on only for the first time too and I hope I’m not bringing too much stuff for my small bag. Do any seasoned solo flyers have tips for this newbie?

Enough travel talk (for now), let’s talk beauty. I am NOT a low-maintenance kind of girl when it comes to beauty products, but I don’t like to spend too much on makeup or hair stuff. With that being said, here are some of my favorite finds this month.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo (Sephora, $12)

image

Purple lips AREN'T weird, trust me!

This stuff is life-changing, y’all. Before trying it I hadn’t found a lipstick/lip stain that stayed put and didn’t feel too heavy. This is the answer to my prayers! First of all, it’s basically like getting two for the price of one, because it has one shade on each end. Second, the shades are perf…I absolutely love the bright magenta and fuschia hues. They’re the perfect pop of color that works for all seasons. And best of all, it stays on for most of the day. Trust me. I went for a run while wearing it (hey, it was after work!) and it barely faded. It will last through eating and drinking, too.

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara (Sephora, $10 for mini)

image

Minis are cuter anyway!

Another incredible product that will probably become my go-to mascara from now on. Not heavy or cakey like a lot of mascaras and it comes off easily with makeup removers or warm water. It gives me the length and volume I want without looking all spider-y. It comes in a full-size version, but I tried the mini because A) I’m cheap B) I wanted to make sure it was worth it and C) It works better for traveling (see above). I am stocking up on more before my trip!

Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil (Julep.com)

image

Looks like pee, but smells great.

Full disclosure: I got this as a freebie with my first Julep box (they mostly sell nail polish). But this stuff smells good and works well. I usually use makeup removing wipes, and lately I’ve been getting into more natural brands like Burt’s Bees, but this oil is less harsh on my eyes (it’s good for contact users like me) and it makes your skin soft. You only need a little bit, which is even better. Just lather up a little on your face and wash away with warm water.

Bobby Pins (any drugstore)

You know what bobby pins look like (I hope)! These suckers are extremely cheap, since they usually come in packs of like a million, so when you inevitably lose some, it’s okay. Since I’ve started doing the top bun thing more often, they’re a lifesaver for those little frizzies that stick out. And I also use them to do that little bouffant thing with my bangs now that I’m kinda sorta probably growing them out.

Tidy Detangling Comb (Sephora, $8)

image

Have to buy it if it's pink.

I used to brush out my hair after a shower with an actual brush. Bad! Then I realized a comb would be better for my hair, so I switched to this because it’s bigger than those cheap-o combs they give you on picture day in elementary school and it said it would keep my texture intact, which I was thrilled about. I’m all about leaving my hair natural (aka wavy) when I can and this comb absolutely keeps that in check. Now I also use this comb to detangle my ends when they’re dry and yep, still works wonders. Plus it’s pink, which means I had to get it.

What are some of your (cheap) beauty favorites? Any solo traveling tips?

Liebster.

Happy Friday! I honestly feel obligated to start out a post like that, but let’s be real — I now hate it when people get all hyped up about Friday. Because Friday isn’t my Friday. It’s generally my Wednesday, so nothing to get too excited about! But I realize most people have a normal work/school schedule, so happy Friday to all of you 🙂

liebster

What is happy about today is that I was nominated by the lovely Kaila from Healthy Helper to fill out the Liebster survey. You know I love surveys, so I’m alllllll over this. Thanks Kaila!

The Rules

1) You must link back to the person who nominated you

2) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you

3) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)

4) You must create 10 questions for your nominees

5) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

Kaila’s Questions

1. What was your favorite show as a middle schooler?

Is it totally embarrassing that I still watched Arthur at that age? It was a really good show though…and in my defense, my little sister was still 7 or 8 at the time, so completely acceptable 😉

2. What season were you born in?

Summer! I’m absolutely obsessed with my birthday. I’ve never had to go to school (or work now) on my birthday and I’ve spent many birthdays at a waterpark or on vacation. Summer has always been my favorite season, and it’s partly because it’s my birthday season. Just a month and two weeks until the big day!

I just love summer!

I just love summer!

3. What Disney princess did you want to be when you were little?

I always identified with Belle, because I used to love reading (I was always in advanced reading classes as a kid and got to read all the exciting books) and I have long brown hair.

4. If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in another language, which would you choose?

Spanish. I know that sounds boring, but I took Spanish classes from second grade through my senior year of high school, and still didn’t pick up much of the language. I also want to live somewhere in the southwestern U.S., where Spanish really comes in handy!

5. If you could wear only one color or pattern for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Can you tell I love pink?

Can you tell I love pink?

Color: pink! Pattern: floral.

6. What’s your least favorite fictional couple? 

This is hard — I can’t even really think of any off hand! I guess I’ll say Chandler and Janice from Friends (still love that show!). Even though they didn’t end up together, they were totally not meant to be.

7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

This is going to sound weird, but I’ve had a few people tell me I have a really good voice. Not singing-wise, but for talking. It makes me feel good, since I’m still chasing after my goal of becoming a TV anchor someday and having a good speaking voice is key!

8. What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten?

A raw enchilada at my favorite vegan spot. I don’t even know how to describe it — it was different than a regular enchi, but sooooooo much better. And the side of ‘rawfried’ beans was spot on like refried beans, but made with nuts and zucchini!

Not my picture, but they looked a lot like these!

Not my picture, but they looked a lot like these!

9. If you had to choose to lose one of the five senses, which would you choose and why?

would choose smell, but since smell and taste are connected (and I don’t wanna lose my sense of taste), I’m going to go with touch. Yeah, it’d be a little weird not to feel things, and I’d have to be careful not to get burned, but it would probably be the easiest to go without.

10. Name 3 blogs you read on a daily basis.

Hungry Hungry Hippie (even though she’s not vegan anymore, her food always looks so good and her little guy is so cute), Happy.Healthy.Life. (the most drool-worthy vegan food ever), Extra Petite (not necessarily on a daily basis, but I love getting fashion inspiration from a fellow petite lady).

Since I don’t know 10 people to tag who haven’t done this yet, I’m going to cheat and tag anyone who wants to do this…and you can just answer the same 10 questions I did!

Answer any of the above!

Working Girl

Don’t worry–I didn’t completely disappear on y’all (and yes, I can now use y’all because I’m living in Oklahoma)! It’s been a crazy busy few weeks, and I’m finally able to catch my breath long enough to share some of it.

I started my first job on Monday. This is actually my second paid job, but this is my first full time job, so it’s kind of a big deal. And…it’s actually in the field I’ve been pursuing since high school. How many recent college grads can say that about their first job? I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity, and I’m making the very best of it.

Sneaky work selfie on my first day.

Sneaky work selfie on my first day.

I’ve also been living on my own, and while it’s not the first time I’ve done that, it’s the first time in a different state than my family, nearly 700 miles from the place I called home for 19 years of my life. I’m living in a bigger city, which is nice, and the climate is warmer but not too humid (which I appreciate coming from a dry climate) and everyone I’ve met so far is seriously so nice. It’s just a different culture down here, which is great, but a small part of me misses home. It’s hard to change your routine, but I know with time, I’ll get used to this.

Work hasn’t been too hard to get used to. I’m in a similar environment as I was in my internships for the past two summers, but I’m working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and mostly working through lunch. It helps that my coworkers are friendly and funny, so right now I’m just trying not to be the awkward new girl and hopefully make some friends in the newsroom AND make my boss happy with my work.

Apparently I overdress for my position...but I'm dressing for the position I WANT to have someday!

Apparently I overdress for my position…but I’m dressing for the position I WANT to have someday!

I’m taking on a lot more adult responsibilities, though. My car’s been having an issue, so I’m trying to live with that until I can take it in and (hopefully) afford to get it fixed. I had to deal with an ant invasion in my apartment–gross, but not awful. I have to figure out health insurance at work, pay my bills AND pay my parents back for things they bought for me. As much as I want to buy all the things now that I have a paycheck, I know I can’t do that. So I’m going to try to avoid the Target/Forever 21/Whole Foods temptations as much as possible, even though I plan on frequenting these stores. I just have to stick with a budget, and keep fun purchases to a minimum and limit them to things I will actually get some use out of.

The WF salad bar here is even better than back home...and it's closer to my apartment and work!

The WF salad bar here is even better than back home…and it’s closer to my apartment and work!

Adult life isn’t always fun, but it sure beats being in school (even though I’m seriously considering enrolling in an online program to get my meteorology certificate). It takes a lot of planning, and a little bit of luck, but I think I can hack this new life of mine!

What’s been going on in your world lately? 

Throwback Thursday: My First Posts

Throwback Thursdays are still a thing, right? I love finding old pics and sharing them on Instagram. Sometimes embarrassing, sometimes cute, but always fun to look back on the past.

As of May 24, this little blog will be 3 years old! I’ve blogged at various other blogs since 2009 but none have been maintained as regularly as AlmostVegGirlie! I almost can’t believe it’s been that long since I decided to start my first food/lifestyle blog and it’s all thanks to you lovely readers and commenters for continuing to support me and my blogging. So thanks so much! And in honor of my 3 year blogiversary coming up in the next couple of months, I thought I’d do a little Throwback Thursday to some of my earliest posts. It’s seriously SO crazy to me how much my life has changed since I started this blog, but then again, how boring would life be if it were always the same? I know a lot of people fear change, but I’ve made the choice to embrace it as much as possible. It’s just such an inevitable part of life, and it makes things interesting.

My first photo on AlmostVegGirlie. Possibly an iPod touch photo...oh how times have changed!

My first photo on AlmostVegGirlie. Possibly an iPod touch photo…oh how times have changed!

I think the WIAW party was just starting to catch on when I started blogging–it’s come so far since then! I participated in my first WIAW 2 days after I started blogging and it looks a lot different than my more recent WIAWs. For a little background, I named my blog AlmostVegGirlie because at the time, I was mostly vegetarian, but still eating some poultry/seafood. My first WIAW featured not only some very non-vegan food (Greek yogurt, ground turkey tacos) but some not so great photos either. You live and you learn! But in true HLB fashion, I did enjoy green smoothies and Ezekiel wraps.

I used to eat overnight oats daily!

I used to eat overnight oats daily!

Once I got into the blogging groove, I also discovered some HLB trends. Overnight oats was a big one. I was never an oatmeal fan, but overnight oats I could get behind! I started soaking oats in almond milk every night and dressing them up every morning with all kinds of crazy toppings. At one point, I dedicated an entire blog page to my overnight oat creations! I don’t think I’ve touched overnight oats since 2012–I got seriously burned out, and I moved on to more nutrient-packed breakfasts. Sometimes, you gotta get away from the trends.

My first selfie on AVG...certainly not the last!

My first selfie on AVG…certainly not the last!

I actually created my Instagram account way back in 2011 with my iPod touch (which I still use on a daily basis 3+ years later) but back then, I knew practically no one in the blogging world or on Insta so my account was private and I used it just to be artistic with my photos. I feel cool (in a nerdy way) that I was an early adopter of the app. According to this site, I was in the first 1.45% of Instagram users! I’m still a little obsessed with Instagram–I browse it at least once per day and I upload my own photos a few times per week. It’s such a great social media tool! And if you follow me, you’ll know that the selfie reigns supreme 😉

My first experience with the Whole Foods salad bar...and I've been addicted ever since!

My first experience with the Whole Foods salad bar…and I’ve been addicted ever since!

Blogging introduced me to the wonderful world of Whole Foods, which is both a blessing and a curse. My family shopped at Whole Foods every so often for specialty products, but it wasn’t until I discovered HLBs love for the store that I started going there regularly. Now it’s my main go-to store and their salad bar is one of my favorite ‘restaurants’. Where else can you get a random selection of vegan-friendly food for under $10? I know the salad bar isn’t exactly cheap, but for me, it often beats a meal out because they have so many more plant based options than a regular restaurant. And trust me, I have many more photos documenting my love for the WF salad bar!

An unconventional 19th birthday present--my first homegrown strawberry.

An unconventional 19th birthday present–my first homegrown strawberry.

Let’s pretend I don’t look like I’m about 12 in that picture! That was actually taken on my 19th birthday…what a youngin’! I remember being excited then because I was about a month away from living in a single dorm room for my sophomore year–no more roommates for this girl. And here I am now, a college graduate, about to really live on my own, 600 miles from my family (more on that later!).

Looking all professional for my second round of Skype interviews.

Looking all professional for my second round of Skype interviews.

It still blows my mind how much things can change in 3 years…or even in just 3 months! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared at all about the future, but at the same time, I am so ready to start my new life. I really feel like an adult, and even though I know I’ll make mistakes and probably miss my old life, I’m excited for what’s to come!

What’s changed the most for you in the past few months or years?

My (Now) Crazy Life

Sorry I’ve been missing lately! I wish I could promise a more regular posting and commenting schedule but my life is about to get even crazier and busier in the next couple of weeks so I may not be around much. But I want to fill you in on what’s been happening in my (now) crazy life lately!

I don't always get manis...but when I do, I take shameless selfies to show them off!

I don’t always get manis…but when I do, I take shameless selfies to show them off!

It all started on Wednesday. I drove up 2 1/2 hours to my college town to reunite with one of my best friends. We hadn’t seen each other since before I graduated in December and a fun girls’ day was in order. We got sushi for lunch with her boyfriend (I got an avocado maki roll and it was the cheapest lunch ever–like $4!) and then drove over to our favorite nail salon to get manis and then drove down to the outlet mall for a little shopping. We didn’t buy much (I only ended up getting a coral dress from American Eagle for under $20) but we had fun trying on different outfits and just reconnecting. She’s graduating in May so we talked a lot about our future plans. And I filled her in about my new job! I haven’t talked about it a lot here yet, but let’s just say I’m moving out of state in a couple weeks…

Of course, this chipped a couple of days later.

Of course, this chipped a couple of days later.

My first time at a Trader Joes! I fell in love :)

My first time at a Trader Joes! I fell in love 🙂

On Friday my mom and I headed up to Denver for a busy day of shopping and food. We got lunch at Native Foods first (my last time getting to eat there for awhile 😦 ) and then the moment I’ve been waiting for for at least a year…we stopped at the new Trader Joes! Colorado finally got with the program and opened up a few TJs last month, but since none are where we live, we had to drive about an hour up to Denver to check out the store.

Their produce is so cheap but incredibly good!

Their produce is so cheap but incredibly good!

The store was a little smaller than I was expecting it to be, but then again I’m used to Whole Foods and Sprouts which are a little bigger. But the selection is incredible! They had so many products I’ve never seen anywhere else, and a lot of stuff (like their raw almond butter) is just much cheaper than at any other store. It made me a little sad that I’m moving to a state that doesn’t have any TJs. Of course, I ended up with a bunch of stuff, including dried persimmon (!), almond butter, tofu burgers and a pink sea salt grinder. My mom was mostly impressed with their beer and wine selection!

Where else can you find exotic dried fruits for less?

Where else can you find exotic dried fruits for less?

IKEA has my heart.

IKEA has my heart.

After a quick trip to our favorite ice cream place (they always offer 4 rotating vegan flavors and I got the spiced cider sorbet–just like apple cider!), it was off to IKEA! If you’ve never been to an IKEA, you won’t realize how awesome it is. It’s also a decent workout, as you have to walk through the entire store to get to the checkout. My mom and I went to check out some inexpensive furniture for my new apartment but we didn’t get anything other than a tabletop ironing board because we realized we won’t have enough room in the car to move it. And there’s no IKEA where I’m moving to, so any IKEA furniture will have to wait until I come back home to visit and I can take some back with me.

An amazing locally-made GF vegan cookie. So buttery and maple-y.

An amazing locally-made GF vegan cookie. So buttery and maple-y.

On Saturday my dad and I hit up a vegan pop-up market downtown. The weather was seriously crappy (windy, cloudy and cool) but luckily the market was held inside. It was a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be, but we got free samples of kale chips and green juice and I also got a couple locally-made gluten free vegan cookies. I wish I had bought more, because they were incredible.

I love sangria.

I love sangria.

After church, it was time for my celebratory dinner out. My family doesn’t go out to eat often (once a month, if that) but we always do for special occasions, like birthdays and apparently job offers! I chose Tapateria, where I had my birthday dinner in July and even though we couldn’t sit outside because of the weather, it was still just as nice of an experience as it was the first time. We ordered a lot of the same things as last time, like the incredible fresh garlic bread (everything is gluten free, which I love!), the warm olives and of course, the sangria. I don’t drink that often (again, probably about once or twice a month) but I love sangria and I plan on making my own this summer.

So fresh, so garlicky, so good.

So fresh, so garlicky, so good.

It’s crazy that Saturday’s dinner was one of the last times I’ll be eating out with my family. I know it’s kinda hard on my parents too–my sister’s going off to college in the fall so they’ll officially be empty-nesters. I’m lucky to be so close with my family, so I know the transition period will be tough on all of us, but it’s nice to know that I’m always a phone call, text or 9 hour drive away from seeing them.

I'm finally an iPhone owner!

I’m finally an iPhone owner!

On Sunday, I officially became an iPhone owner! I’ve had an iPod touch since 2010 but all my smartphones have been Androids. I’ve been wanting an iPhone for awhile, and since T-Mobile finally offers them, I upgraded to the iPhone 5C. In pink, naturally. That phone is seriously my baby. I’m in love with iOS 7 and the feel of the phone. And I still have the best of both worlds, because my tablet still has all my Android stuff on it. Win win! The best part is, I can finally use emojis so…don’t be surprised if my Instagram is bombarded with them 😉

So there’s just a little glimpse into the craziness of my life lately. I’ve got one more post lined up for this week, and then I’m off to TX at the end of this week for spring break! Fair warning, my life will be even crazier post-spring break so I’ll try to keep up with commenting but I probably won’t post much for the next few weeks. See y’all in mid-April!

What were you up to this weekend? 

 

Fashion Friday: Tickled Pink

Aside from a very brief tomboy phase in late elementary school, when I professed my hatred for anything even a little girly, my favorite color has always been pink. I have pink shoes and purses, pink office supplies, a pink hair dryer and I was thisclose to getting a pink Kia Soul when I was getting a car for college. You could say I’m a little obsessed with the color pink. 

I also have a decent amount of pink in my closet, but much of it is brighter pink, like more of a magenta shade. I’ve never been really into baby pink but when I got a sheer button-down in that shade from American Eagle for Valentine’s Day (from my mom, what a sweet Valentine!) I fell in love. Light pink is perfect for spring, and it pairs especially well with black, which is one of my favorite pink pairings.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror. 

This outfit works for casual things, like running errands or hanging out but it can easily be dressed up by exchanging the black leggings for skinny black pants and strappy heels. I love the shirt because it’s sheer and see-through (I was wearing a matching pink cami underneath) so it’s great for warmer spring days but you also won’t freeze in it if you wear it to the office. And it’s the perfect fit, just a little loose without being sloppy.

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Jewelry is a must-have for me. I went very girly with a jeweled woven bracelet, white-and-pink watch (which BTW doesn’t work but I still wear it anyway haha I keep forgetting to get the battery changed) and a pink heart pendant necklace. My coral pink nails went great with the whole ensemble, and I dressed it up a little more with black wedge booties.

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

What are your thoughts on the color pink? Girly, fun, perfect for pairing with edgier colors, etc.?

 

Insta-January

We’re already over a month into 2014–craziness! Just over a month post-graduation, and I’m still trying to figure things out. Ah, such is the life of a (currently) unemployed 20-something.

I wanted to start a new kind of post as a way to look back on the previous month, and with my love for Instagram, what better way to do that than through the filter of my Insta account?

New-to-me Uber bar flavors, scored for $1 at Target.

New-to-me Uber bar flavors, scored for $1 at Target. #funfoodiefinds

Clothes shopping makes me happy...and shopping the sales makes my wallet happy.

Clothes shopping makes me happy…and shopping the sales makes my wallet happy. #shopsmart

Homemade grain free pizza  >>> delivery. Quick, vegan, healthy and tasty makes this a winner.

Homemade grain free pizza >>> delivery. Quick, vegan, healthy and tasty makes this a winner. #nograinsnoproblem

Dawwww it's little blonde baby me! #TBT

Dawwww it’s little blonde baby me! #babypictures

 

Banana softserve all day errry day! Blended with PlantFusion for a protein boost and topped with PB+stevia chocolate chips to make it dessert-worthy. #heaveninabowl

Banana softserve all day errry day! Blended with PlantFusion for a protein boost and topped with PB+stevia chocolate chips to make it dessert-worthy. #heaveninabowl

Iced coffee in January? Why not? #bejealous

Iced coffee in January? Why not? #bejealous

Where do I get my protein? From this delicious bowl, of course. #proteinpacked

Where do I get my protein? From this delicious bowl, of course. #proteinpacked

Snow is the bane of my existence...but it is really pretty. #ohtheweatheroutsideisfrightful

Snow is the bane of my existence…but it is really pretty. #ohtheweatheroutsideisfrightful

What were some of your favorite moments (Instagrammed or not) from January?