My Dream Festival Lineup ft. TickPick


Today is the last day that Warped is in the Midwest, which means that I have yet again missed the tour. It's especially devastating this year because the lineup is amazing! Mayday Parade, Oceans Ate Alaska, and Tonight Alive are only a few of my favorite bands that are in Warped this year. As a coping mechanism, I threw together my dream festival lineup.


At first, I was going to embed here videos of my favorite songs from these bands, but I figured that would slow down the load time of the page, so I'll just be linking to those videos.




I Prevail: Scars

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows: Graveyard Dancing

Versus Me: (A)tension

Halestorm: Mz. Hyde

In This Moment: Sex Metal Barbie

Oceans Ate Alaska: Drunk in Love (Beyonce Cover)


Conversely, you can play these songs from my Spotify playlist below.


If you live in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon, Warped is headed your way! You can buy your tickets from TickPick.

TickPick is a website where you can find and buy tickets to concerts and other events like sporting events and theater shows. There are no fees, and there's even a feature that lets you place bids on tickets, so if there's a ticket on sale that's too expensive, and you have a different price you'd definitely pay for, you can place a bid for the seller's consideration.

Let me know if you're going to or if you went to Warped so that I can live vicariously through you!

What is your dream festival lineup?
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Influenster Ole Henriksen Voxbox Unboxing*


I have finally tried all of the products that came in my Influenster Ole Henriksen Voxbox. This is my first brand Voxbox, and tbh, I am still on the fence about whether I prefer it to theme Voxboxes. Either way, here is a list of the products:

1. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation, $38 (1.7 fl oz) at Sephora.com

2. Ole Henriksen Complexion Sponges, $6 (2 pc) at Ole Henriksen

3. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster, $48 (1 fl oz) at Sephora.com

4. Ole Henriksen Power Bright, $55 (6 pc) at Sephora.com

I will start with a description of the Power Bright, which is the three-step skin brightening system because there is more to cover.

Step 1: Truth Sugar Glow Polishing Mask

This is an exfoliating mask that feels like a lip scrub on your face, which is terrible for someone with sensitive skin like me. Needless to say, it felt harsh even though I tried to apply as little pressure as possible. However, it did make my skin brighter and tighter, and I think it even removed some of my blackheads and tightened my pores. It wasn't worth it for me, though, because some more sensitive areas were left red.

Step 2: Truth 25% Vitamin C Concentrate

I was expecting this to have a liquidy, serumy consistency, but it was denser and had a creamy texture that almost feels powdery during application. It forms a matte film on your face and kind of soothed the irritated areas from Step 1.

Step 3: Pure Truth Melting Cleanser

This product is very aptly named because it does "melt" when you apply it. You're supposed to apply this over the product from Step 2, and it turns everything into a lovely, light gel texture. The instructions said to expect tingling. Mine was clustered around the dry, irritated areas, which I'm not entirely sure is a good thing in my case. Afterwards, my skin did feel softer and firmer, so this system definitely works. The only caveat is skin irritation for people with sensitive skin, so that's something to consider.

The complexion sponges that came in the Voxbox were to be used to remove the product after Step 3. They came in two dried, compressed wafers that you run under water before using. This was probably my favorite part of the whole thing because the sponges literally puffed up once they touched water. I wish I'd taken a video of it! They also dry hard, but they're not compressed anymore.


This is the Sheer Transformation moisturizer that's supposed to even skin tone. I've only used it a few times, so I'm not sure if it actually does the trick. It's also a creamier product but with a gel-like texture.


This is the Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster, which is exactly as it sounds. It's a vitamin C concentrate serum that's supposed to boost collagen in your skin and in turn tighten it. I stopped using this after the first try because it's too harsh for my skin. It might be from the vitamin C, but I'm not sure.

Overall, these products do do what they claim to do, and you can see instant results. The only thing to consider is that if you have dry or sensitive skin, this might not be for you. On the plus side, everything (except the Sheer Transformation) smells of citrus!

What is your favorite skin brightening product?

*I received these complimentary products for review consideration.
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Weekly Reading | July 17, 2016


Beauty

I am slowly getting back into wearing lip color again, so last week, I read a couple of posts about lipstick. Also, I found some summer beauty hacks.

"Lipstick Finishes" via The Small Things Blog

Lifestyle

I am a huge proponent of online shopping, so I dug up some helpful articles about online shopping. On a more serious note, I found a post about maintaining friendships.


Food

Last week, I found recipes for three of my favorite foods: guacamole, egg yolk buns, and southern food (I guess this is more of a cuisine). As the cherry (Food pun intended) on top, the third post features healthier versions of the most popular southern foods.


For fashion, travel, and health posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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July Drugstore.com Haul


Another month has come and gone, and we are now past the midpoint of 2016. Can you believe it? I actively try not to because that means that I have less and less time to finish writing up my current research. I'm also teaching a course in the fall that I've never taught before, so lesson plans need to be written up for that. Also, this stress reminds me that I still have an IRB application to finish, since I've started equating that with stress.

Anyway, retail therapy always helps, so here is my Drugstore.com haul for the month:

1. Garnier Skin Active Clean Plus Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes, $5.99 (25 sheets) at Ulta.com

I usually buy the Pond's Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes, but this Garnier one was on sale, so I decided to give it a try since I don't think Garnier has ever let me down.

2. Pantene Pro-V Color Revival Radiant Shampoo, $3.84 (12.6 fl oz) at Walmart.com

When I started coloring my hair in 2012, I started using the Tresemme Color Revitalize Shampoo and its corresponding conditioner because I had recently discovered Tresemme and loved it. I haven't ever stopped using that shampoo and conditioner because they work and they last me a good while, so I never saw a reason to switch brands. Four years is a long time, though, right? That's why I decided to break out of that routine and try this Pantene shampoo, which I've heard good things about.

3. Jergens Naturals Extra Moisturizing Liquid Hand Wash Refill, $3.49 (21.3 fl oz) at Walgreens.com

I bought the Jergens hand wash in May and was instantly hooked. It cleans well but still moisturizes your hands, and that signature cherry almond scent is delightful!

4. Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara in Very Black, $8.99 (0.22 fl oz) at Ulta.com

You can never own too many mascara. That's all I have to say about this, lol.

5. Palmer's Night Renewal Cream, $7.02 (2.7 fl oz) at Drugstore.com

Do you remember the fail in my June Drugstore.com and Walmart haul when I accidentally bought the Nivea Creme, thinking it was night cream? Yeah, it's currently sitting on my office desk, being used as hand cream, so this month, I decided to continue the search and found this! My Influenster Ole Henriksen Voxbox came, and I'm trying those products out at the moment (Stay tuned for the unboxing post!), so I've only tried this Palmer's night cream once since I bought it. The scent is not the best. It smells like how cocoa butter naturally smells, I'm guessing, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. It'll just take some time to get used to, especially after the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream's heavenly smell. Anyway, this Palmer's night cream has a gel-like cream consistency that doesn't apply easily, but it feels great on the skin!

What is your go-to facial towelette, shampoo, hand wash, mascara, or night cream?
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Weekly Reading | July 10, 2016


Fashion

Last week, I learned about the proper way to try on swimsuits, different ways to style yoga pants (Spoiler alert: you can wear them to work!), and how the clothes we wear impact the environment.


Travel

Here are some more reasons to travel, along with tips for first-time and seasoned flyers alike.


Health

Did you know that there is such a thing as headphone safety and that many common maladies can be attributed to dehydration? Although these are true, there are many health tips that are myths.


For more fashion posts as well as blogging and food posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Vegan Chocolate Pudding*




This is going to sound strange, but I never expected chocolate pudding to be this easy to make. I always just buy them whenever I feel like having some, but it turns out that all you need to make chocolate pudding is probably already in your kitchen.

I was sent an e-cookbook to review, and I figured I might as well try out some of the recipes to see if they work. I'm not the best in the kitchen when it comes to dessert, so it would give me the perfect opportunity to test how foolproof the recipes are.


Sam Kuma created this cookbook because he believes that veganism shouldn't stand in the way of enjoying chocolate. The book is divided into ten sections: Breakfast; Bakes and Cakes; Cookies; Candies; Fruits and Chocolate; Handy Snacks; Ice-Cream; Shakes and Smoothies; Sauces, Syrups and Frostings; and No Bake Desserts. With my horrendous dessert making skills, of course I opted to go with something in the No Bake Desserts section. Here's the recipe of the vegan chocolate pudding I tried:


The next line was pushed onto the next page, but all it says is "it cools...Enjoy!" It's followed by brief nutritional information.

Love Notes

What I like best about 101 Chocolate Vegan Recipes is the sheer amount of recipes. from Chocolate Mug Cake to Chickpea Blondies and from Dark Chocolate Truffles to White Hot Chocolate. All of the recipes also come with nutritional information, which is great if you track your calorie consumption!

Sad Faces

My biggest gripe with this e-cookbook is the style and formatting. From just this recipe, you can see that there are issues with formatting. The headings don't actually head the content, and text floods onto the next page in a way that doesn't make sense.

Apart from that, the "procedure" is incomplete, I think. It reads like it should've gone through another round of edits before publication. Using this recipe as an example, nowhere in the recipe does it say the mixture in the sauce pan needs to be heated, but the sixth step mentions letting it cool, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it meant I had to heat the mixture and went ahead and did it.

Final Verdict

Overall, though, it's a decent e-cookbook for vegan chocolate recipes. I'm not vegan, but I appreciate that there are options out there for people who are. These recipes, at least the one I tried, are simple enough to follow and easy to make. To order your own copy of 101 Chocolate Vegan Recipes by Sam Kuma, click here.

What are your favorite sweet treats?

This complimentary product was provided for review consideration.

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Weekly Reading | June 26, 2016


Blogging

Following on the heels of last week's blogging posts, here are more tips and tricks to help us on our blogging journeys.

"How to Generate Blog Post Ideas" via Melyssa Griffin
"How to Create Catchy Headlines" via Elle and Company

Fashion

Now that summer is officially here, and we can't do anything about the heat, let's just get comfortable.

"Spring to Summer" via Night Chayde
"Comfortable Summer Fabrics" via Style by Jules

Food

I'm always up for trying new food, or at least live eat vicariously through others.

"The Easy Green Juice" via Bonjour Luce
"7 Incredible Veggie Burger Recipes" via Natasha Alexandrou on Bloglovin
"A Taste of Turkish Street Food" via A Pair of Ones

For more blogging posts as well as beauty and college posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Summer Style Ideas by Bloggers


The summer solstice, marking the first day of summer, was yesterday, which means that the season is officially here. At the onset of every season, new fashion trends make an appearance, and different women interpret these trends differently and showcase them through their individual styles, so if you're looking for fashion inspiration from real women, look no further than these lovely blogs run by even lovelier bloggers.


Mikayla is the blogger behind A Seersucker State of Mind, a fashion and Christian blog that includes style posts and devotions. Mikayla is a high school student from a small town in North Carolina. Not only does she love to blog, but she also spends her time on the sports field, on scrolling through yards of pins on Pinterest, modeling, photography, handlettering, and anything that requires creating and painting. Through A Seersucker State of Mind, she hopes to inspire her readers to wear what they feel best in!

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Laurel is a Toronto-based blogger who started Laurel Musical five years ago to express her creativity. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and can always be caught singing. Laurel Musical is a place where she shares music, beauty, fashion, and advice to help others feel their best!

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Pastel N Pink is a Charlotte-based fashion blog showing that looking good doesn't have to break the bank. Pastel N Pink started as a creative outlet where Amy can express her interest in fashion and give and gain inspiration to and from others. Her blog features posts such as her everyday personal style and trends she loves, with parts of her personal life sprinkled in.

Click here to view the featured outfit post.


Tatum is a brand-new PR gal living in NYC. She is obsessed with style, health and fitness, and exploring her new city. The Pace is where she keeps up with the world while setting her own stride.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Ashliegh is the fashion and travel blogger behind The Darling Daily (soon to be The Darling Nomadess). She started her blog in college, focusing on personal style but quickly evolving to include an array of content. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, dreaming up her next destination, reading non-fiction and classic literature, and cultivating a professional wardrobe.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sophia is a 21-year-old college student who is just trying to understand herself a little bit more. In a world full of chaos, Sofieyah gives her a sense of place and direction. She believes that beauty and fashion should not be discriminatory and hopes to become proof that you don't have to be thin and tall to look good in clothes. While beauty and fashion is central to her blog, it isn't central to her life. She also believes in personal growth and doesn't want her blog to just advertise outer beauty but to also be a mecca for one's inner beauty to shine.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Stephanie is a 22-year-old who currently resides in Richmond, VA, but the wanderlust is very strong in her veins, so she makes frequent trips to South Florida to visit her long-distance boyfriend. Her passions include eating her weight in French macarons and gelato, drinking boba milk tea, watching superhero movies, making friends via social media, and, of course, shopping. Drunk on Vogue is her style spirit encapsulated in a blog. Along with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle inspiration, her goal is to reach other women and remind them of their immense worth.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sadie is a 21-year-old southern belle studying fashion merchandising and marketing at MSU and is a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She loves meeting new people, traveling to new places, and finding new fashion styles. She created Hey Sadie Lee to share her take on comfortable southern fashion and to inspire others. There, you will find a lot of clothes, some lifestyle posts, and plenty of smiles! Her motto is, "Remember to love the life you live!"

Click here to read the featured outfit post.

For more fashion inspiration, check out the Style Ideas by Bloggers posts from past seasons.

Note: Features were edited for clarity and length.

Where do you go to for style inspiration?
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Weekly Reading | June 19, 2016


Blogging

Some of you may know about the year-long hiatus from blogging that I took involuntarily when other aspects of my life consumed me. In that timeframe, I lost 80% of my readers and have since then been trying to build my blog and my readership back up (from the ground, basically). It's slow going, and it's tedious, and I sometimes wonder why I still do it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. We all love our blogs. Sometimes, we just need someone to give us a little push. Well, here are three someones.

"My 5 Blogging Mistakes" via A Little Dose of Makeup
"How to Get Featured by Bloglovin" via The Private Life of a Girl

Beauty

As the summer peeks over the horizon, we are slowly phasing out our layers of face products in favor of lighter (or even fewer) products. That's why it's increasingly important to turn to other ways of keeping your face in tip-top condition.

"3 Ways to Clean Your Brushes" via Charlotte Christmas
"What to Eat and Drink for Better Skin" via Because I'm Addicted

College

I would first like to point out that this smorgasbord of articles from one source was not planned. It just turned out that, since it's the end of the academic year, a lot of college-related posts are being published, and Society 19 is one of those websites that have a college focus. Nevertheless, these articles might come in handy for those of you who are incoming college freshmen.


For lifestyle, food, and home posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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June Drugstore.com and Walmart Haul (and an Online Shopping Experiment)


In my last Drugstore.com haul, while researching other websites where you can purchase those products, Walgreens came up a lot, and the prices were lower than those at Drugstore.com. Walgreens also offers free shipping on purchases exceeding $35, which was one of the reasons I cited for regularly purchasing from Drugstore.com, so this month, I decided to try an experiment of sorts.

Let me preface this by saying that I keep a shopping list of essentials that I add to throughout the month, which I then use to shop on Drugstore.com. What I did this time was shop normally on Drugstore.com, and once I have all of the products added to my cart, I went over to Walgreens and did the exact same thing.

Findings reveal (Yikes, the researcher side of me is showing) that my total on Drugstore.com was cheaper by a small margin, and I was able to add an extra product to my cart and still have the total be not too much more expensive than that at Walgreens. Basically, Drugstore.com is still the better option. With that being said, here is what I purchased this month:

1. Final Net Unscented All Day Hold Hairspray, $3.99 (12 fl oz) at Walgreens.com

I have actually never heard of Final Net before this, but it had a lot of favorable reviews on Drugstore.com, so I decided to give it a shot.

2. Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, $7.22 (8.5 fl oz) at Ulta.com

I am a chronic repurchasor of this product. The last time I used a different toner is back in December when I repurchased a Boots Expert toner in my December Drugstore.com haul. Then, in my March Macy's and Drugstore.com mini haul, I explained the reason behind my preference for this Neutrogena toner over the Boots Expert one.

3. Nivea Creme, $5.89 (6.8 fl oz) at Walmart.com

Apparently, this is a cult product, and I didn't even know it. I saw it while hunting for a new night cream, and the packaging misled me into thinking that this is a night cream. It's not, guys. It's body lotion, haha. I should've paid more attention to the product description. Either way, it doesn't matter. I apparently bought the travel size too, so I'll just throw it into my makeup bag and use it as a hand cream.

4. Zapzyt Maximum Strength 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel, $5.29 (1 fl oz) at Drugstore.com

This is also a repurchase. I bought the first one back in December too, and I still have quite a bit of product left over; I just don't want to run the risk of running out of it before my next haul in July. It's a spot treatment that works really well, even on sensitive skin such as mine. I'm using it in my fight against adult acne and scars from acne past (It's a fight that I seem to be winning, btw), and it's clearing up my face because when I feel a zit forming, I just slap some Zapzyt on there before bed, and in the morning, it'll either be completely gone, or it'll be tame enough where I don't have the urge to pop or pick at it.


I also picked up a couple of things from Walmart. I didn't actually go to Walmart for the express purpose of buying these. I was actually there for an eye appointment and had some time to kill afterwards while waiting for the bus. Here is what they are:

1. Garnier Micellar Water, $8.99 (13.5 fl oz) at Ulta.com

It's probably about time for me to try out micellar water for myself. This particular one is biphasic, which seems like it would work really well on my heavy eye makeup, so I'm excited to give it a try!

2. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream, $5.99 (1.7 fl oz) at Garnier

This is one of the first moisturizers that I fell in love with. The gel consistency is lightweight, soothing, and cooling, which makes it perfect for the summer! It also hydrates my skin without making it greasy.

Have you tried any of these products?
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