Friday, August 29, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Hello 4 day weekend!! How can it be Labor Day weekend already? Wasn't Summer starting yesterday? Anyway, I am linking up with Lauren as I usually do! Here is what I loved about this week!

1. I've had two sub days already! Looks like the school year is off to a great start!

2. I am glad the schools are off today so I can play with my Birchbox goodies! Especially my Stila palette!

3. I have been busy preparing blogs for you! Keep reading to see what they are!

4. I have already ordered some Christmas presents! I really want to get a jump start on my shopping this year! Plus, I think I know what I want to get most of my family...including my parents! Am I the only one who thinks they are hard to shop for?

5. As crazy as it sounds, I am really looking forward to dressing for Fall. I mean the PSL is already out! (Speaking of, I have never had one before!)

What did you love about this week? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Don't forget to tweet with me during #FarmKings tonight!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birchbox Haul

One of the many reasons why I love Birchbox so much is because of their points system. For every product you review on the Birchbox website, they give you 10 points to say thanks! After a while those points add up and you can redeem them for full sized products from the Birchbox Shop! 

The decision has finally been made! I agonized for weeks over what I wanted to order. I tried numerous combinations of products in my cart, and finally settled on these ones! For you reference, I had $70 to spend. (Thanks surveys!)

I chose the Stila In the Know eyeshadow palette. Ever since getting my Meet Matte Nude palette, I have had a love of matte shadows. I swatched this in Ulta, and loved how creamy and pigmented they were! Plus that orange shade, Fire; perfect for Fall! ($39.00)

Next, I couldn't pass up trying the Coastal Scents Step One eye primer. I like to see how long shadow will last on my oily lids. As a bonus, I loved the price! ($9.95)

Continuing with the "eye" theme, I have heard nothing but rave reviews about Benefit's They're Real mascara. Being the frugal gal that I am, I did not want to pay $23 for a mascara that I may not like. So when I found this deluxe sample for only $10, I knew it had to go in my cart!

Lastly, I knew I wanted a Baggu bag. I own the Duck bag already and LOVE it! I wanted to purchase another one but it is currently out of stock. This bag has also received great reviews, so I wanted to try it out!

I added on a Pink Pewter hairband. This looked so chic and classy. I think this would look great as a hairband when my hair is down, or when I do the "princess roll" hairstyle that I love so much!

If you are a Birchbox subscriber and don't fill out your surveys to get points, shame on you!

If you aren't a Birchbox subscriber and want to be, use my referral link to sign up!

As usual, stay tuned for reviews on these products once I get to try them out!

Have you ever redeemed your points for some goodies? Have you ever tried any of the products I received? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bare Minerals 5 in 1 Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Review

This was one of those products that I was skeptical about trying. I am so glad I received this in my Ipsy bag because I really enjoy using this product! I received the Bare Minerals 5 in 1 Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude. (whew!)

From the Ulta Website:

  • 12-hour long-wearing color
  • Supercharged primer
  • Powerful brightening benefits
  • Smoothes the appearance of fine lines
  • Protects with Broad Spectrum SPF 15

This product has a doe foot applicator and goes on very smoothly. All you need is a swipe or two and your lids are set. I use a primer with this, and it does seem to last quite a while on me. The color is a taupey brown, and has a slight glitter. Just enough glitter to give some sheen, not anything gritty.

I have used this product when I am in a hurry to get ready. I feel that this can be a "one stop shop" when it comes to doing my eye makeup. I apply a primer to my lids first. Then all I need is a swipe or two of this cream eyeshadow. I blend it in using my fingers. Then I sweep a matte flesh tone eyeshadow from my browbone to my crease to pull everything together. I add eyeliner, curl my lashes, mascara and I am out the door!

This takes no time at all, and I like how this looks. Would I repurchase this? Good question. It is $18. I'm not sure that I would be willing to spend that much on a single eyeshadow product. I am never saying never though!

Have you ever tried this product? What were your thoughts? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, August 25, 2014

August Ipsy Bag

My Ipsy bag came in the mail! I love seeing what I get each month, and it did not disappoint! As usual, stay tuned for reviews once I try out some of the products! Here is what was in my bag this month!

Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: I have received a sample of this in a Birchbox before and liked it. The smell is clean, and fresh. I love trying out different dry shampoos!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: I love Urban Decay products, so I am interested to see how this mascara is! The brush is a very soft bristle brush. I'm always excited to see how different mascaras lengthen my lashes and how much volume I can get from different mascaras.

Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner: This is said to have anti-aging properties. The scent is citrusy and goes on very smoothly. This is USDA Organic. I don't believe this has SPF included.

Dr. Brant Pores No More Pore Refiner: I need pore refiners in my life. I have large pores, and I like to use some sort of primer before I apply my makeup to even things out. I have heard a lot about this product and I am excited to try it out!

J Cat Flying Solo Eyeshadow in Half Naked: This eyeshadow is very pretty. It is a gold/champagne color. The packaging also has a small mirror, and applicator already inside. I envision this being used on the lid, with a matte brown in the crease and a matte highlight on the brow bone.

What did you get in your August Ipsy bag? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Friday, it is a pleasure to see you again. I can't believe that school starts on Monday. What?! This summer has flown by, and hasn't felt like Summer because it has been really chilly here. Apparently this will be the 9th coldest summer or something. Anywho, I'm linking up with Lauren like always! Here is what I loved about this week!

1. Farm Kings. Did you watch the episode last week? Don't forget tonight, 10pm. GAC. I'll be live tweeting again! Follow me! Use the hashtag #FarmKings

2. I already have 2 sub days scheduled. On the second and fourth days of school. Um, what?!

3. My mom and I have been canning! Pico de gallo, and pasta sauce! It is a lot of work, but in the cold winter I'll be glad we did it! Yum!

4. My bestie and I are planning a get together! I can't wait!

5. I have some blogs scheduled already for next week! They are some great reviews of products I have been trying lately!

So what did you like about this week? How are you spending your last weekend of summer? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Review

There are times when I don't fall for the "hype" products. I may try them out, but not love them. In the case of the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, this was NOT the case! I LOVED it immediately! I had a 5 dollar off coupon for a beauty purchase at the Bon Ton, I knew I had to try this product.

The bottom lash mascara is already a cheaper product, $10. Yes, ten dollars! I consider this cheap for a Clinique product. This is a worthwhile investment because this will last you forever! I don't even have to dip the wand back in the tube to finish my other eye!

This mascara has the tiniest brush. This helps to coat every lash starting at the root. When I tried this the first time, I didn't realize my bottom lashes were so long! I was only coating the tips of the lashes.

The formula on this is wonderful! It does not smudge even in the hottest weather! It will not come off until you take it off.

This is available where Clinique products are sold. It is also available in black or brown and is $10.

I would definitely give this product a try if you are looking for a new mascara for those pesky bottom lashes.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara on left. Clinique on right.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A sale?

I want to know if any of my readers would be interested in doing a "virtual yard sale." I would post items either to my Instagram page or Facebook Fan page, and the first person to comment would buy the item. I would keep my prices low, and shipping would only be $5. With my recent weight loss, I have some shorts, and shirts that are too big, and want to sell.

I'd like to try this out in September, so I need you to let me know if you'd be interested!!

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weekend Haul

I bought some things at Wal-Mart this past weekend. Some I was looking for, and some I weren't! The best part of the haul is that it cost me under $20, which I love!

I found these Avia tennis shoes. These were in the clearance section for $10! They style is the Avia Burst, and are red and purple. I don't think I will be using these for walking, because they don't appear to be strong enough support. However, these will be great for running errands, or when I just want to look cute!

My next purchase was a Faded Glory lace trimmed tank. I needed a black one for a pair of pants I own, and I love how the lace adds a feminine touch to the shirt. This was on sale for $3!

Lastly, I wanted to buy some Conair Section and Set clips. I have been finding that when I use the clips to "set" my hair when I use the curling iron, they last better. They come in a set of 12, and I found that that was not enough for my hair, so I bought this second set. These were $1.98.

My last purchase is something that I bought a few days ago, but forgot to include it in the picture. It is Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara. Review coming soon!!

So that was my weekend haul! Did you buy anything this weekend? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wedding Weekend Recap

I still don't think I have fully recovered from these weddings last weekend. Each of them were beautiful and perfectly represented the couples. A lot of hard work was put into these weddings, and it most definitely showed. Every little detail was planned right down to the petals on the flowers.

Wedding A was Friday night. It was in a Catholic church and started at 3:30. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and a perfect day for a wedding! The church was absolutely beautiful, very ornate, and had the prettiest stained glass windows. The bride walked down the aisle to an organ and trumpet duet. Her gown was a strapless jewel encrusted top with a tulle bottom. She wore a very "blingy" necklace, and completed her look with wrist gloves. The bridal party wore strapless black gowns with a lace overlay. The groom and groomsmen all wore black tuxes.

The reception was in a hotel banquet room. Cocktail hour included cheese trays, bread and bean dip, chicken quesadillas, bacon wrapped scallops, and mozzarella cheese tarts. There was also an open bar. Inside the banquet room were the cookie tables, and dance floor. (More on cookie tables later!) There was so much food at this wedding! Pasta stations, chicken, beef, and ham, sweet and mashed potatoes, and 3 different kinds of salads. The cake was absolutely delicious! It was an almond torte made by a bakery in the Pittsburgh area.

Wedding B was Saturday. It was in a nature concervancy and started also at 3:30. The ceremony took place in front of a pond, and trees in the background. The bride's dress was simple and had lace panels going up the bodice. She added a rose gold sash with diamond and rose gold pins. The groomsmen wore grey suits, and ties. The bride walked down the aisle to a string section.

Cocktail hour took place inside the house on the property. There were hummus and pita, cheese, grilled vegetables, and of course cookies (over 300 dozen!). The reception took place in a pavillion on the property, just steps from the ceremony site. The food at this reception included, chicken, beef, eggplant rollatini, squash and sweet potatoes, and salad. For dessert, there was a gelato bar that had 4 different flavors! It was perfect because the day was hot!

More on the Pittsburgh area cookie table tradition: It is said, that during the Great Depression when sugar and flour were scarce for lavish wedding cakes, families and friends would save ingredients and contribute small batches of cookies to create a table of sweets for the celebration. I personally have not been to a wedding where there has not been cookies, it is a tradition that I love and will carry with me many years to come!

So those were my weddings!! Thanks for coming along with me!!

Do you have traditions at the weddings you've attended? I'd love to hear about them! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, August 15, 2014

High Five for Friday

I'm sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. Those wedding recaps took much longer than I thought. I will either post it tomorrow or Monday. Keep your eyes peeled. I'm linking up with Lauren as usual today!

This is going to be a Farm Kings edition because their 4th season starts TONIGHT on GAC at 10pm!!

1. The time that I met them during their Fall Festival! They are so unbelievably nice!

2. They look like this with their shirts off.

3. Farm Kings grow local food, farm to table. You know what is in your food!!

4. They have expanded to having a Freedom Farms Sandwich Shop as well!

5. So are you going to watch? I would if I were you!

As per usual, I will be LIVE TWEETING the show! Make sure to follow me!! I'm @mandiiduke! Don't forget to use the hashtag #FarmKings when you're tweeting!!

So where are my Farm Kings fans at? Leave me a comment and let me know if you will be watching with me tonight!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIWW: Wedding Edition

First of all, thank you so much for voting on which dress I should wear to each wedding. Today, I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy to show you what I wore to each wedding!

Wedding A was in a Catholic church at 3:30. The reception was in a Banquet room of a hotel. I really like how this dress was a "party in the front, business in the back" type dress. The black indents on the waist also showed off my slightly skinnier frame, and made me look even thinner (win!).

Dress: Annabelle
Price: 12.99
Shoes: Worthington-JC Penney
Location: Ross Dress 4 Less

Wedding B was in a nature conservancy, also at 3:30. The reception was in the same location in a pavilion also on the property. I chose this orange lace dress because it was feminine and light. I love how the belt added just a hint of gold, and I chose rose gold accessories. (I absolutely LOVE rose gold!) Because the wedding was outside, I chose simple coral/pink and gold flats that zipped up the back.

Dress: AUW
Price: 19.99
Shoes: Forever
Location: Ross Dress 4 Less (both shoes and dress)

These were my outfits! Thanks again for voting, I really appreciate it! Stay tuned tomorrow for a recap of each wedding!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August Birchbox

So my Birchbox arrived, and I didn't even get the tracking info for it. It just showed up! This month was a great month, and I am loving what I received! Here is what was in my box!!

amika-Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I love me some dry shampoo! I also love the smell of amika products, so I have a feeling I will like this!

Laura Mercier-Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme: This cream looks really nice, and from what I swatched, it will absorb really well!

ModelCo-Shimmer Bronzer: The shimmer in this is really fine, so I don't expect it to come across as glitter or make my face look super shiny.

Supergoop!-Forever Young Hand Cream with SPF 40: Your hands are said to show the first signs of aging, and that you should apply sunscreen to them. I don't apply sunscreen there, but I think I am going to start!

The lifestyle extra this month is breath spray from Hello. I received the flavor pink grapefruit mint, and it is not too overpowering. This breath spray is alcohol free.

This was a great box and I will definitely use what I got!

Do you love Birchbox as much as I do? I'd love to know what was in your box! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Stick around tomorrow and Thursday for all of the wedding weekend recaps!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

High Five for Friday

So glad it is Friday! I'm linking up with Lauren as I usually do! Here is what I loved about this week! No pictures again this week...      :(

1. I have a wedding to go to today and tomorrow! Thanks for the dress advice!

2. My mom and I ended up making 8 different batches of cookies for these weddings we are going to.

3. I an going to try to be really good at these weddings eating wise. I don't want to lose all of the hard work I've put in to this point!

4. I have really started to plan some Fall outfits. Fall is becoming my second favorite season!

5. I can't wait to share some of the blog posts I have predrafted for you! You will just have to keep reading to find out what they are!!

How was your week? Leave me a comment and let me know what you loved about this week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's in My Overnight Bag

My cousin is getting married on Saturday, and on Sunday she is hosting a brunch at a hotel. This was scheduled for them to visit and open gifts, since they are from out of town. It will be a late night Saturday, so we have a hotel room booked. It will be so nice to not have to drive a long way home, and go right back to the hotel for 9 on Sunday. Does that make sense?

Love this bag!
While I was packing, I decided to show you what I am taking! This way, if you ever need ideas on what to pack, you can refer back to this post!


My bag is a quilted bag from LTD Commodities. Do you subscribe that that catalog? I absolutely love it! I have ordered so many Christmas presents from there. 

Makeup: I'm not showing this because it isn't packet yet! This is what I plan on taking though...

Mary Kay mineral powder foundation
Naked 2 palette
Pixi bronzer
Jordana Made 2 Last eye shadow pencil in Continuous Almond
Be Matte Blush in Melon
Urban Decay Primer Potion


Brunch clothes: You have to come back next Wednesday to see what I wore!
Black wedges

I also have a Modella travel case that I have and it has my body wash, shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste in it as well. I love this case and would not travel without it!

Another essential item is my contact case. I have a travel size solution, case, and I also have my glasses and a lens cleaning wipe as well. 

Lastly, I also have a hanger. I don't want to throw my dress in my bag after the wedding. So I can just hang it on my hanger and hang it in the car when I go home.

Do you pack similar items when you have an overnight bag? I'd love to hear about what you pack! Leave me a comment and let me know!!

P.S. Don't forget to vote on which dress I should wear!! One of the weddings is tomorrow so I need your help!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Help Me Decide

Alright blog readers, I have a challenge for you! This weekend I have two weddings. I have two dresses. I want YOU to help me decide what dress to wear to each wedding! Below, I will describe the settings of each, and post the pictures of the dresses.

I want you to leave me a comment telling me which dress you think I should wear to each wedding. Comment:  Orange Wedding A or Tribal Wedding B, or whatever combination you want me to wear!

Stay tuned next Wednesday to see which one I wore and get details on each dress!!

Wedding A:

This wedding is in a Catholic church, and the reception is in a hotel banquet room.

Wedding B:

This wedding is outdoors at a conservancy, and the reception is at the same venue. A beautiful garden wedding.

So, comment and let me know which dress I should wear! I'll post the results and details of each next Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Washi Tape DIY

If you remember this post about my Michael's haul, you know that I bought a few rolls of washi tape. I also bought a magnetic jar. While this jar was cute and practical, it needed something extra. So I had an idea! I added the red polka dot washi tape to the container.

Now this tutorial is really hard. I'm not sure if you can follow this, but try!  ;)

1. Find the seam on the jar
2. Place washi tape right below seam.
3. Carefully unroll tape and place it along the bottom (or wherever you wanted the tape) of the container.
4. Make sure to place tape in a straight line
5. When you get to the seam again, cut straight across with scissors.
6. Press really hard to adhere the tape.
7. Enjoy!

See, that was hard wasn't it?! If you complete this project, I'd love to see what you do with your washi tape!

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What's On: Your Wishlist

I'm linking up with Andrea over at Momfessionals today! I've mentioned this before, but I love her blog! Today's edition of What's On is Your Wishlist. I am thinking that this will be a great Christmas list starter. (Family: if you are reading this, you're welcome!) Aside from the husband, kids, house wish these are the items I have on my list!

1. I have been wanting this kit from Mally ever since I saw it in Ulta. Being an oily skin girl, I think I will LOVE the Poreless Face Defender. I already love the mascara, and I think this kit would be a great way to try some of her other products.

2. I have been lusting after a leopard print chiffon blouse since I passed one up several years ago. I'm very picky when it comes to the blouse I want.

3. I'd really like some new workout clothes. Nothing really expensive, but something cute would be nice!

As I was writing this post, I honestly can't think of anything else I would have on my wishlist. I guess I am a simple person that doesn't wish for much. Haha!

So that is what's on my wishlist! What is on yours? I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment!

Friday, August 1, 2014


This week has flown by! Next week will as well, as it is crazy busy! A picture-less H54F post today!I'm linking with Lauren, and here is what I loved about this week!

1. Last night, I met with the fitness group I'm a part of! It was so fun seeing everyone in real life, and not on Facebook!

2. I have 2 weddings next week! It will be a super busy weekend!

3. I have yet to decide what I want with my Birchbox points! I want the most bang for my buck!

4. I have started dreaming for Fall! Mainly because I found a few outfits I want to buy!

5. The next two weeks blog posts are going to be really fun! I can't wait for you to read them!

What did you love about this week? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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