Since moving to Seattle and moving into an apartment with abundant patio space, I have wanted to have a nice little herb garden to supply my culinary creations with some additional spunk and pizazz. Alas, my herb garden lived a very short life before inexplicably drying up. One thing that did survive – for now at least – was my Lavender plant.

I love Lavender. It is just so relaxing. As a result of my love for this little flower, I’ve aspired to make a Lavender Gin and Tonic for a while now. I’ve had a very variations of this in bars and restaurants, but I wanted to perfect this refresher at home.

This couldn’t be easier. Not really feeling the hefty price tags of Lavender Cocktail Shrubs or liqueurs, I opted for a dry soda instead. This is just about as easy as my all time fave – Deep Eddy Ruby Red and Soda. I crave the feeling of a fancy cocktail, but usually if it involves a mixer or a strainer, I’m already checked out. The one thing I wish I had was a straw – it would have helped me to keep from chomping on Lavender buds….

– 5 oz Dry Lavender Soda
– 3 oz Gin (Floral)
– 2 slices Lime
– A few sprigs of fresh lavender
– Ice
1. Put everything in a glass
2. Stir
3. Enjoy! 

The day after my Christmas party with friends, all I wanted was to have a thoroughly relaxing “me” day. First order of business was to take off all the jewelry that I passed out in glamorously fell asleep in. I love this tiny jewelry dish that my Mom sent to me in a care package a while ago. It’s a tiny glass Texas, with a gold heart over Austin <3 I can’t say how happy this makes me every time I come home. 
It is the perfect size for my ring, and whatever earrings that I’m currently wearing. On this particular occasion, I had worn my Megan Runser Good as Gold for BaubleBar “DIAMOND CAYMAN STUDS”. Megan is a fabulous friend who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In true style, she designed a Guest Bartender collection for BaubleBar. 100% of the proceeds go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I think I’ve worn these studs at least four times a week since getting them the day the collection launched. I love how just a bit of glitter can dress up even the most boring winter garb by day, but transition so well into luxurious statement earrings by night. Paying it forward never looked so good. Check out the rest of her collection here!

Next on my agenda was to just relaxxxx. One thing that helps me to instantly feel more at ease is to pamper my skin. I recently went to Uwajimaya – a truly massive Asian supermarket here in Seattle. I went with one thing on my mind – face masks. I love a good sheet mask, because they can be so hydrating but require basically no effort to apply or remove. I’ve heard such great things about the sheet masks made in Asia, but haven’t had a good place to find them until moving up here. 
This only makes up a small selection of the truly ridiculous amount of masks that I bought. Walking down the face mask aisle was pretty much like being a kid in a candy shop. I had to try each one. What’s nuts is, I didn’t even scratch the surface of what they had to offer. So far, I have tried masks with “Diamond Extract”, “Hyaluronic Acid”, and “Pearl Essence”. Each one has left my skin feeling refreshed, and particularly moisturized the day after. For about $1.50 to $2.00 a piece, they are definitely worth it!
I saw something that I just couldn’t leave without right as I checked out with my face masks. Bioderma. You have eluded me for so long. I have always wanted to try this cleanser, but have been weirded out by the idea of ordering it online. I love this so far. I have used it to completely remove my makeup a few times, but I really prefer to use it after my usual cleansing routine. It definitely helps to get rid of any lingering makeup, and really tones the skin while keeping the moisture in. 
I couldn’t not share my framed “Your the Shit” Calligraphy. Who doesn’t love some gilded script, especially when the message itself isn’t all that fancy? For all the cleansers and masks in the world, there are some things that you just can’t clean up – my sense of humor included. 🙂

As I walked home from work yesterday, something really struck me. I passed Whole Foods, a business that I’m already semi-obsessed with (ATX whaddup), and they had updated the signs on their windows. One read:
“Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love.”
It stood out to me, because I think that I’d treat my body, my health, better if it wasn’t mine. I stopped a moment, just to take that in. Do I not love myself enough to treat *me* the way I’d treat my family, friends, and other loved ones? Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m pretty great in a lot of ways, but I feel like I put so many things before my own self.
We are taught as kids to put other’s needs before ours, to do all that we can to excel in school, work, relationships – you name it – even if it is at the expense of our own well being. There’s going to be more time to take care of yourself later, after all the other multitude of responsibilities are taken care of first.
I know the ad was meant to tell me to eat more kale, or pass on that Christmas cookie (or three, or four), but I liked the deeper meaning. I sometimes need a reminder that barre class after work *is* a good idea, or that not eating out all the time is more than just an exercise in frugality, and that scheduling time for my own well being is just as important as any meeting on my calendar.
It is always useful to get a gentle nudge back into the right frame of mind, especially during the hectic and indulgent holiday season. Because you do only live once, after all.

I’m sure my definition of “going crazy” in a store is a bit different from everyone else’s, but for the sake of argument, I went crazy in Ulta this evening. Don’t you just love when you go in for one thing, and leave with six? Happy Haul-idays to me!

I went up the highway a bit to go to my preferred Target (I am a nut, I know), and I had no idea that there was an Ulta across the street from it this whole time! My old office in Austin was across the street from an Ulta, so needless to say I got quite used to popping in there after work on the reg. It has been a struggle not knowing where to find one for the past 3 months…
I went in looking for a nice/cheap lip liner to go with a new wintery, wine colored lipstick that I just received in the mail. I immediately headed towards the NYX section, as they do quite a good job with lip products. I picked out “Auburn” and really like how it pairs with my new lipstick (I’ll have another post about that soon).
I noticed that my face was looking a bit haggard – which might have something to do with the fact I’ve been basically out of my Laura Mercier powder for a few weeks now, but have refused to stop trying to use it. I’ve had amazing experiences with other IT Cosmetics face products before, so I am excited to try out their “Celebration Foundation Illuminator Powder”. It is described as a full coverage, anti-aging, brightening foundation. I chose the “Light” shade.
I’ve also been on the hunt for a new mascara for a while now. All this Seattle mist has had me in need of something a bit different. I tried the waterproof formulation of a drugstore mascara that I liked before, but found it to be too hard to remove at the end of the day. After picking up the much raved about “Lights, Camera, FLASHES” mascara by Tarte, the staff recommended that I check out the Per-fékt “Lash Perfection Gel”. Two people just went crazy over it, telling me that it is oil free, contains hyaluronic acid (my favorite thing), has lash building fibers, and is even water resistant! Whaaaaaa? Sounds pretty per-fekt to me 🙂 I can’t wait to share my results. 
I received a free gift with my purchase of the Per-fékt mascara – their Radiant Skin Perfecting Gel. Sounds like a good thing.
Lastly, I felt the need to pick up Tarte’s “Park Avenue Princess” Bronzer, almost purely because Ingrid Nilsen bought it. I know, I know….
…. but I really did need some new bronzer. Since it is the middle of the grey Seattle winter, I’m not even pretending to be tan. However, I do like to use some bronzer to do some light contouring, and needed a matte shade to do so properly. I picked up the Matte Waterproof version, even though the shimmer looked so nice… Decisions are hard sometimes.
Hope that you enjoyed this haul! Let me know if there are any products that I just need to try 🙂