Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Burgundy Hair!

I dyed my wig!

I color and cut my own hair. All the time (my hair is too long to see a real difference when I trim it). It could totally be because I'm a cheapskate, but I also just love to experiment. And I get bored with my hair easily. So, I've been a blonde for about 2 years now, and I was dying (see what I did there?) for a change. I've been in love with the maid's hair in American Horror Story since I first saw it, so that's what I went for. With a little twist.

Since I had really light hair, I knew this was going to be a bit of a process. I started with Ion Color Brilliance, in 7IR Medium Intense Red Blonde, thinking it was dark enough to do the trick.
Here's how that turned out!

Hey, Ariel! Is that you!?

Yes, yes it is. My hair was like, primary red after the first dye. Not exactly what I wanted, but I liked it. I've always wanted fire engine red hair, so this satisfied that need. However, this wasn't going to cut it for work.

The second time, I used Ion Color Brilliance, in 6RV Light Burgundy Blonde. It's a darker, more vibrant color that I hadn't seen the first time.
After the second round of dye, it was the American Horror Story maid hair color that I wanted! I've gotten a ridiculous amounts of compliments over it everywhere I went. I love it. In the sun, it looks super red, but in normal lighting, it's a nice dark/vibrant burgundy.

I did a masque after my second round, and OMG. This stuff is amazing. Amazing. It made my hair ridiculously soft.

 I love this color, and I can see mixing it with other colors to get the exact burgundy you want. I'm sure you could mix this color with a brunette or even a bit of black to make it less of a vibrant color!

Motivation Monday


I just want everyone to know that after last week, I never want to do another ab workout again. Ever. 
Like, never. 
Did you know you could pull your ab muscles? I sure didn't. But I found out when I couldn't use my torso to do anything. Get off the couch, sit up straight, lift my legs... nothing. I don't recommend doing that. So, for 3 days I was like that. I suppose I'll be nicer to my abs this week.
My current motivation: I have 4 months till my best friend's wedding. FOUR MONTHS.
Today is arm day, so here's a snazzy little guide.

Unfortunately, I do more than 4 moves while I'm at the gym.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Liz Earle Cleanser

I've decided I loooove this cleanser. Once I rack up the points, I'll be buying it from the Birchbox store.


I have a problem with LUSH masks. Like, a real problem. Brazened Honey is my newest fact mask and it's wonderful. Super exfoliating and it smells amazing. I like to use it with the Tea Tree toner tab.

3. Getting off work early!!

It has been five years since I've had any TV services. FIVE YEARS. I'm rather enjoying Supernatural marathons, HGTV, and the DIY network! :D

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Super Easy, Delicious Pad Thai

It was leg day at the gym, and I put boyfriend through a rigorous one. He was whining the whole time. That's what I like to hear! When we went to leave the gym, there was a monsoon happening, and I had to run through a puddle that was up to my knees! 
So, when I got home, I wanted an easy dinner. Like, easy and quick. This is about ate easy and quick as it gets. Besides heating up frozen food or leftovers...

Warning! As I said, this is a quick recipe. If I were you, I would get all of the ingredients ready, as it goes fast-paced.

4 oz. Rice noodles (I'm using brown rice noodles)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 green onions, sliced (keep your greens separate for the end)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. peanuts, chopped (optional)
Yields: about 2 good-sized servings

How to:

Start by cooking the noodles per directions on the box. Set the noodles aside in cold water once cooked.
While that's going, heat the olive oil in a skillet and toss in the green onion whites and garlic. Sauté those until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Next, add the whisked eggs and cook until they are almost done. Once you get to that point, set them aside on a plate.

 To make your Pad Thai sauce, whisk the tamari, brown sugar, and lime juice.

Toss the noodles into the skillet and dump the sauce on top. Mix well to coat all the noodles.

 Toss the egg back into the pan and mix it all up. Simmer until eggs are fully cooked.
Add the greens of the onions.

Serve it all up and garnish with the peanuts. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY Painted Desk

It's Done!!!

I've finally finished repainting my desk, and it looks 1,000,000 times better. I'm so happy with how it turned out.

Here's how it began:

I didn't want to have to sand, prime, and paint. So, I did a little research and found the Behr Primer + Paint! It did a wonderful job!
Here's the paint I got:

I took it all outside and started painting away! 

I wanted to do something fun on the top, and my favorite print is damask.
I found this stencil on and ordered it.

I went and got a little sample of the same paint in black and started sponging away.
I wanted to give it a worn look.

I ordered some new, black knobs, and...
The finished piece:

My little work space is all set up again, and I love the way it looks!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Motivation Monday

I made it!

Last week, I made it back into the gym for 3 days! Wooooooo! This week, I'm aiming for 4, as that's my goal every week. Tonight, though, I'm doing yoga at home.
As a psychology lady, I love knowing that I can fix my own problems with a balance lifestyle. I've done tons of research on exercise, food, and how it relates to your mind. I have self-diagnosed myself with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (I don't need a doctor to tell me what an anxiety attack is.) I loved the Health Psychology class I took in college, and I think that sparked my interest in the mind and health. I started exercising after my first couple of anxiety attacks, and it did wonders for my daily stress/anxiety levels. Once I got out of a dorm, I began eating a healthier vegetarian lifestyle, and I realized this also made me feel a whole world of difference. I was able to better control my stress and anxiety (although, it's still prevalent, especially with the job I hold now).
I always contemplate going to the doctor, telling them I know I have anxiety and that it's a huge issue sometimes, but I don't want to be on medication. Not when I can control this.

Working out and a well-balanced diet can manage a TON of common mental issues, including anxiety and depression. It can also help to manage symptoms of more severe mental disorders and developmental disabilities, such as autism. While in my Health Psychology course, we watched a video of a woman that had extremely advanced MS that changed her diet to the hunter gatherer diet and completely reversed all of her symptoms. It was amazing.

Here's a little something I found on Pinterest about the effects exercise has on your systems and mind!

This was my empty gym last week. It was marvelous! (:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Coral Lipsticks

This one is a darker shade, Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick, 109, but I'm loving the lighter shades too. 

2. This smoothie

It's been the most perfect mid-day snack while I'm at work, and perfect for before the gym.

3. Once Upon a Time

I don't even know how this happened (we have a Netflix problem), but boyfriend and I have finished the first two seasons now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Baked Vodka Sauce Penne

Vodka sauce is boyfriend's favorite. He loves it. He could probably eat it with a spoon. Alone. I've made this a few times, but decided to change it up a little. Instead of just plain old pasta in sauce, I dumped cheese on top and baked it... yum! It turned out amazing. We paired it with an Olive Garden style salad (lettuce, red onion, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Olive Garden Light Italian Dressing). It was a wonderful meal. Of course, as soon as he was done, boyfriend says, "I could go for a big bowl of gelato, now." He's an endless pit.

The recipe is ridiculously easy.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 cup vodka
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 pound Noodles of choice
Mozzarella cheese (optional)

How to:

In a sauce pan, melt the butter and sauté the diced onion in it for about 5 minutes.

Next, stir in the vodka and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring periodically.

While you're waiting, start the noodles and cook until al dente!

Now we can add the heavy cream! Then let that simmer another 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(I'm a little messy.)
While you're waiting for that to simmer, preheat your oven to 350 and spray a 9x13.

When you're finally done waiting for all that simmering, you can toss the pasta in the sauce, give it a good mix and dump it into your prepared dish. I sprinkled mine with mozzarella and parmesan.
Let that bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

Paired with the salad, this was amazing.
Let me know if you give this a try and how it turns out!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Birchbox Review - June 2014

June 2014

A little about Birchbox: It's a $10 monthly subscription that focuses more on skincare than makeup, but typically will include high end lotions, face creams, masks, acne care, BB creams, CC creams, sunscreens, perfumes, eye shadows, mascaras, lip colors, nail polishes, hair care, etc. Those are mostly what I've gotten. It's a great way to try new products without spending $30 on one product and hating it. If I recall correctly, when you sign up, you check things that you're interested and they type of skin/hair you have. Each box you receive, if you do reviews on the products, you can earn up to 50 points to use in the Birchbox store. That's where I've bought most of my high end products. 100 points = $10 in the store. I've gotten the Benefit 15 Hour Primer ($32, I absolutely loved it) for $5, including shipping. I also did a $56 order and only paid $4, including shipping. It's pretty great, I must say.
I've done a little messing around with the products I received this month in my box. I'm not always 100% fond of everything, but there's usually at least one product that I like. Let's start with that.

Sample size: 1 fl oz. & 1 muslin cloth
Value: $8.17
So far, I'm really liking this product. It was a little weird at first, putting a face wash on my dry skin, but the muslin cloth is a wonderful exfoliator, not too rough and not too soft for my skin. I've used it about 3 or 4 times now, and it seems to be doing good for my skin. I have combination skin.

The Aloe Source Vitamin C Antioxidant Crème ($40 for 1oz.)
Sample size: .25 fl oz.
Value: $10
I think I'm liking this as well. It doesn't make my face greasy after I use it, and it absorbs quickly. I've been using it before bed. I can't say that my skin is improving, but it's a plus that it doesn't make my face oily!

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil ($18 for .07oz)
Sample size: about .035oz
Value: $9
I'm really loving coral lip colors! I thought it would make me look super pale (because I am pale) but it goes with my complexion well. And it's a fun summer color! This one goes on really smooth. It doesn't have the greatest longevity, but whatever.

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo ($24 for 8oz.)
Sample size: 2.5 fl oz.
Value: $7.50
I'm so-so on this. It's not a shampoo that suds up, so if you like that, it's not for you. It has an earthy smell. Again, I have oily hair. Like, on the 24 hour mark all the oils come rushing out of my skull. It's obnoxious. This shampoo didn't help much with that.

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner ($27.50 for 8oz.)
Sample size: 0.41 fl oz.
Value: $1.41
I liked this conditioner. It made my hair ridiculously soft and shiny. Of course, I got enough for one and a half uses, so who knows what could have happened after.

Davines OI / All in One Milk ($28 for 135 ml)
Sample size: 4 ml
Value: $0.83
This stuff was good! Tamed my frizz and helped out some of my dead ends! I still like my Moroccan oil, though. I'll probably stick with that.

Harvey Prince Hello ($55 for 50 ml)
Sample size: 1.5 ml
Value: $1.65
I'm really not a fan of high end perfumes. They all smell the same to me. This one is one of the better ones that I've smelled.

Total value of samples: $38.56
Considering I paid $10 for the box, I'm pretty happy with that. And this box had a couple items that I liked, so... I can't be mad.

Please let me know if you would like to see more of these in the coming months! (:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Motivation Monday

Mondays are a complete drag for me. I usually stay up way later than I should on Sunday night and have to fight to wake up in the morning. And I know I do this every week, so you think I would change it... nope. I want every second of my weekend. Even if I have to pay for it on Monday.
So one thing I don't want to do in the morning is anything extra. Like make breakfast or a smoothie... or brush my hair. Which I typically don't do. Ever. This morning, I made a super easy smoothie that just required me chucking all the ingredients in my ninja and blending. Here is a little recipe I made this morning (oats measurement is a guesstimate, as I'm too lazy for measuring cups):

Later today, after work, I AM HITTING THE GYM. It's been forever, maybe almost a month, and I feel extra lazy for not going. I have a love for the elliptical, and that's typically what I do my cardio on. I usually do about 30-45 minutes. After, I'll do some strength training. Today is leg day, because it's my favorite, and I just want an ass. The strength machines I typically do on leg day are the leg press, leg extension, leg curl, glute machine, squats, and lunges. When I'm feeling fancy, I'll throw in some other exercises. I found this little elliptical workout on Pinterest last night and thought I'd give it a try. Typically, I'll do HIIT training, but whatever. Either way, the struggle will be real tonight.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Things Are Comin'!

Yesterday, I received my Birchbix, and I thought, "I'm always looking for reviews on monthly subscriptions, so why don't I review!?" So that will be happening as soon as I try all the products.

Also, I started painting my desk yesterday! Pretty exciting... There will be a post on that soon. Umm... I think that's all. 
And I just wanted to share this picture that one of my individuals drew me yesterday. 
It's so good, I can't handle it. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. My clients

This week, we focused on art at the office. It was marvelous.

2. Miss Kitty

(yes, that's her name)
I missed her dearly while I was in California, and she won't leave me alone now.

3. This photo

No words necessary.