Winter Travel Essentials.

suitcase

Our trip to Washington is almost here, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ve been on winter break for a while now, but both have been working a lot lately to have a little extra spending money while we’re away. We started packing this week, and wanted to share what we thought was worth while taking with us!

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey- This is one of my all time favorite books, which I don’t say lightly. I read it for the first time years ago, and since we were going to be spending plenty of time in the car surrounded by snow, it has inspired me to pick up a copy from the library to reread on the trip.

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer- We like to pack food for road trips to save money, and we don’t always have a place or the time to stop and wash our hands every time we eat, so this stuff has been a blessing on more than one occasion. It smells fantastic and leaves hands feeling fresh without drying them out.

Goodness Knows Cranberry Almond Dark Chocolate- When I did ballet, I always had these with me. They’re the perfect combination of tart, salty, and sweet, and only 150 calories per bar.

Lumene CC Cream- I have search high and low for a CC or BB cream that I wouldn’t have to use concealer with, and this is it. I ordered it during Cyber Monday from Dermstore for a steal and shipping was free! I don’t want to pack a lot of makeup on the trip with me because I want my mornings to be as fuss free as possible, so I’m just taking this with a couple lipsticks and mascara.

Pendleton Lambswool Plaid Throw- Sam’s mom is really good at finding things at thrift shops, and our adventure blanket was one of her finds. Like most Pendleton products, it’s very durable and warm. We always keep a blanket in the car in case we want to picnic or see a movie.

Emergen-C Super Orange- It seems like everyone around us is getting sick, so we’re super careful about taking these along with our daily vitamins. They’re a great way to get a little extra energy too, which never hurts when you’re driving a lot.

iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask- I have terrible insomnia, and cannot fall asleep unless it’s completely dark, which it hardly ever is. I started wearing this eye mask several months ago, and I’ve never slept better. The only downside is that it’s insanely pricey because it has copper infused silk to be gentle on delicate skin around eyes. My mother bought these for us on sale for like $10, so if you keep an eye out for them around the holidays, chances are you may find them discounted.

iluminage Rejuvenating Pillowcase- Same brand, same amazing benefits, same ridiculous price tag. This was another I was luck enough to grab while they were on sale during Black Friday. When I started wearing my hair natural, I read a lot about the benefits of silk pillows for your skin and hair, so I’ve been using it ever since. Understandably, most hotels don’t carry silk pillowcases so I make sure to pack one with me where ever I go.

The only other products that are worth mentioning that I’ve mentioned on previous posts would be Mario Badescu Facial Spray and Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme. I probably won’t be posting a whole lot during the trip so I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Take care,
The Wiesenbears

December Beauty Favorites.

It’s finally December, and our favorite holiday is just around the corner! With each assignment turned in, I’m feeling more and more free for winter break. These were several products I’ve been noticing myself use more lately as the holidays approach!

Gabrielle Chanel Eau De Parfum- I’ve mentioned before that a lot of perfumes give me headaches, but I really wanted to find a perfume to wear on our wedding. My momsy’s favorite perfume is Chanel No. 5 but it smells a little mature on me, so I was hoping to find something by Chanel that smelled more like me, and to me, Gabrielle is the perfect blend of classic and feminine.

I’m Not Really A Waitress by OPI Nail Lacquer – I remember the first time I wore this color after I started dating Sam and he went on and on about how much he loved it on me, so I always feel extra special when I wear it. It’s the most perfect Christmas red with a lovely pearl finish.

Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme- My mother bought this hand cream a couple years ago, and it’s been a staple of mine ever since. It’s so hydrating, but doesn’t leave my hands feeling tacky. A little goes a long ways so it lasts forever.

Neutrogena Night Calming Makeup Remover Towelettes- I tend to wear a little more makeup during the winter when we go to holiday parties, and these are the only makeup remover wipes I’ve used that aren’t too oily or too dry. I have fairly sensitive skin and certain chemicals will cause a reaction, but these are really gentle. Also it you have a Sam’s Club membership, they frequently have them in bunk for a steal.

Shea Moisture Head to Toe Argon Oil- This was a present from a friend and I’m so in love with it, I use it on my face at night, and will often run it through the ends of my hair to prevent breakage. It’s a dry oil, so leaves my hair and skin hydrated without feeling oily.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Zoe’s Red- This was the first deep red lipstick that I’ve liked with my skin tone. A couple years ago I read somewhere that it was going to be discontinued and I rushed to the store to pick up a couple extras, but lo and behold, it wasn’t discontinued and now I have plenty left when this one runs out.

Milani Keep It Sweet Sugar Lip Scrub- My lips get really dry in the winter, so this is an must-have for me. It’s exfoliating enough to smooth without being overly abrasive. Plus it smells just like sugar cookies!

FarmHouse Fresh Peat Perfection Mask- I hadn’t heard of peat until a couple weeks ago when I was given a sample of this mask. I went home that night and research how it’s used in body products and now I’m completely obsessed. The mask itself is really lovely, I apply it with a brush and let it dry for about 20 minutes before rinsing and my skin looks and feels great.

Our Money Saving Tips.

coinsBlack Friday has come and gone too soon, but it was fun while it lasted. It’s probably no surprise that this has been a pretty expensive year for us between planning the wedding, paying tuition, and some travel, but we have some tips we use to stay frugal and save a little along the way!

  1. Membership Programs: Some membership-only companies offer discounts to university students, such as Sam’s Club. We got their Collegiate Membership last year and it cost about $45, but definitely paid itself off within a couple months. It’s been great to use towards items we use frequently so we can stock up like toothpaste and paper towels, and most of our kitchenware and electronics are from Sam’s Club as well. Unfortunately it isn’t always the cheapest place to find produce, but their rotisserie chickens, loafs of bread, and snacks are often a lot cheaper than purchasing from a market.
  2. Produce: We usually get most of our grocery’s from Smith’s Marketplace, which sells a lot of value brand products. If you’re enrolled in their free rewards programs, you’ll usually save several dollars each visit. We also like to get snack foods from Trader Joe’s because they’re often cheap and tasty.
  3. Meal Planning: I never really understood meal prepping until this past year. I use to get home early every night and make a different meal with the food we had, but this year has been a busy one, so I’m trying to be better at it. We go grocery shopping weekly, and write out all the ingredients needed and try to stick with it before we go to the store, or I’ll get caught up in the “Oh, that looks good!” and end up spending money on a bunch of food we don’t need, which will then go bad if we don’t eat in time. We try to make a big meal (so we’ll have plenty of left overs) with lots of fresh veggies then when we begin finishing it off, we’ll make a second meal that has mainly canned ingredients, like our vegetarian chili recipe, so nothing goes bad before we finish the first meal.
  4. Coupons: We’ve tried being really diligent about coupons in the past, and to be completely honest, it hasn’t always worked out. I get so overwhelmed with how many coupons are available, but usually don’t go towards what we use. So now I only look for coupons once I’ve meal planned that’ll actually apply to the food we’re going to get. Don’t get me wrong, coupons are great, but don’t feel obligated to get things with coupons you wouldn’t normally use unless you have the space to really stock up.
  5. Beauty:  I’ve found that my favorite beauty reward program is Ultamate Rewards. I like Ulta’s more than others because they offer both drugstore and high end products, so when I want to just grab a drugstore brand mascara, the points I get from purchasing can go towards something more expensive later.
  6. Make Loose Change Count: My mom and I use to pay for trips by saving loose change all year. We were able to pay for our flights and always had some spending money left over just from change. Sam and I don’t use cash all that often, but this year we decided that when we do we would put the change in a mason jar. It’s getting pretty full so we’re going to take it to the bank before the new year to see how much we were able to collect!

Take care,
The Wiesenbears

Black Friday,Yay!

heidi-sandstrom-173946It’s always seemed a little strange to me that the day after Thanksgiving there’s massive sales. Every year I cringe watching the news broadcasts people trampling each other for a $15 DVD player, but I can also see the fun side of Black Friday. I remember going shopping with my mom and grandma the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas presents for the family. Now I do most of my shopping online, so I don’t really feel the need to get a black eye over said $15 DVD player, but still found some deals from the convenience of home and local drugstore. Most of my purchases were beauty related, so I’ll share a couple of the products I’m most excited about!

BS-MALLS Premium 14 Piece Brush Set in Rose Gold- I’ve had the same makeup brushes for about four or five years, and although they’re still in working condition, they look like they’ve taken a beating, and I couldn’t resist these. I found them on Amazon for about $11, and not only are they gorgeous, but they have really great reviews so I’m really excited to try them.

Biore UV Aqua Rich SPF 50- I read an article about Japan being the front runner for sunscreen, they’re methods of determining how well sunscreens work (and feel) are a lot better than ours. This particular sunscreen came up often and until recently, it wasn’t available to buy this side of the pond, but thank goodness for the internet. I snagged it for $9, and shipping was free.

Jergens Shea Butter Body Lotion- I picked this up this morning at a drugstore on my way home from work, it was a couple dollars off so it was pretty cheap. I’ve always loved Jergens, but have never tried this one. I’ve also tried other Shea butter lotions before, but they were all really heavy and thick and I never felt like they absorbed into my skin. Although I’ve only used it twice, it spreads so much easier, and feels so moisturizing.

November Beauty Favorites.

The contents of a woman's purse emptied on a white surfaceI went on a little shopping spree for my birthday and have really enjoyed some of the products I purchased so I wanted to share, along with some I’ve just been using more lately. I also realized I need to keep a water bottle with me more often. It’s been so dry here and it makes my skin look dull and I feel blah unless I continually drink water. So make sure to stay hydrated!

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Eva’s Nude- This nude is so creamy and smooth, like all L’Oreal lipsticks I’ve tried. It’s a really great natural color that doesn’t make your lips look frosty or dead (maybe that’s just an olive complexion problem). It’s a perfect fit when you want to do dramatic eye makeup with neutral lips.

Buxon Full-On Lip Polish in Sophia- I actually got my first Buxon Lip Polish recently on recommendation and I loved it so much I went back for more. I’ve been wearing this over my Eva’s Nude lipstick and it makes a really beautiful nude pink.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezers- I thought all tweezers were the same until I bought these. I decided to stop paying to getting my eyebrows done this past summer, and necessity became the mother of invention. My eyebrows are not naturally very shapely, so I finally sat down one day and spent half an hour finding an eyebrow shape I could do, liked, and looked natural on me. These tweezers are so sharp and precise with a great grip, so I can get even the tiniest hairs.

tarte Tartiest Pro To Go Palette- I’ve only had this palette about a month, but I’m surprised how much I’ve enjoyed it. It’s very pigmented so you don’t need a whole lot to get full coverage on your lids. Plus, the colors are really beautiful and versatile as well so you can go as dramatic or natural as you’d like.

Chi Onyx Euroshine- I hardly ever straighten my hair, but once in a blue moon the mood will strike me and I’ll have to cancel all my plans for the day to straighten my extremely thick and wavy hair. This is the first straightener I have owned that I actually like because it never catches on my hair or feels like it’s crushing it, it just glides. It also heats up really fast, and gives you a lot of options for temperature settings.