Before Its Too Late: Bath and Body Works Winter Candles

IMG_4563 Oh yes, it is that time of year again. The winter candle collection from Bath and Body Works is upon us and I dove in head-first. On Black Friday the entire B&BW store was running a deal: “Buy Three, Get Three Free.” Any lovers of the three-wick candles knows that even the 2 for $22 deal isn’t as good of a deal as this. I also had a holiday coupon that took $10 off of my final total as well. While I did some serious damage, winter scents are some of my favorites so I thought I would share my picks.

Vanilla Snow Flake: Vanilla Snow Flake is a warm scent that is more sweet than the other Bath and Body Works vanilla scents. When you light this candle, you feel like you are lbaking cookies and instantly get a feeling of being at home.

Twisted Peppermint: Lighting this candle feels like you are in a candy shop… the scent of peppermint is overwhelming in the best way possible. It’s very sweet so if you generally don’t like sweet scents, I would avoid this. For candy lovers, this smells like the best combination of peppermint and vanilla.

Hot Buttered Rum: OH BABY, this one is seriously the best of my winter picks. I have tried a lot of Bath and Body Candles but this one is slowly making its way up to number one in my heart. Lighting this is like entering into a warm cup of spiced coffee. The hints of vanilla add a warming calm for the winter. This scent adds the perfect amount of spice and warmth to get you through a cold winters night, or even when it is 75 and sunny, as Florida likes to do winter.

Holiday: Holiday is a super spiced, very typical Christmas scent. But, if you’re anything like me, Christmas scents linger on forever in your house. This one smells initially in the can of just cinnamon, but once its lit you smell mass amounts of cinnamon with a hint of Christmas tree. It was a very pleasing surprise.

‘Tis The Season: Initially I was worried that Holiday and ‘Tis The Season would smell too much alike, but after lighting them both, the subtle differences make both a reasonable choice. Personally, I prefer this over Holiday because the balance of cinnamon and pine is more equal. This scent feels more like an all-winter-long type of scent versus Holiday which smells more Christmas centered.

So there you have it! These were my personal choices for the Bath and Body Works winter candles. Since their semi-annual sale is going on right now, you can grab most of these for a little over the price I paid for them.

Comment below with your favorite winter candle scents or if you think I missed any Bath and Body ones.

Disappearing Girl

Disappearing is a bit of a nasty habit in my world. I find my schedule gets so busy sometimes (work, school, family life, etc.) that I suddenly fall off the grid. Have you have ever had the sensation of going through your daily life and then suddenly you look up and a whole month has passed? Well, that is what happened to this girl. While I fell in love with blogging over the summer, school came around and suddenly fall semester took over my life. Quite appropriately, I have coined myself  the disappearing girl in this post So, with my deepest apologies, here is a look as to what has been going on in my world.

 

July 28th, Warped Tour 2014

image_7Hot, sweaty, and oh so sweet. Here is a photo of John O’Callaghan of The Maine and I before the day had begun. Warped Orlando never fails to impress.

August 14th, Trevor bring home his new puppy.

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image_2Sweet, sweet Hazel. Trevor (my boyfriend) got a chocolate lab puppy, named her Hazel, and brought her into his home. She is now about three times this size and 30 times as hyper, but we love her endlessly.

September 4th/5th, We went to a Twenty One Pilots hometown show.

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If you are a fan of Twenty One Pilots then one thing is certain, you know the Columbus clique does not mess around. With this in mind, Trevor and I took a trip to Columbus, Ohio and watched our favorite band tear the stage up for two nights in a row. The trip was filled with 9 hour waits in line, countless bottles of water, and the most amazing live experience I have ever had. Every second was worth it.

October 27th, Taylor Swift released 1989.

image_1psIn case you were curious as to what I have been listening to for every second of every day since it has been released. Yes, this album kicks ass so hard.

November 2nd, I had a birthday.

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The day started off at a local favorite, Metro Diner, with  Trevor and my family. We ordered more food than we ever have in our lives. Before my birthday, I knew I could be expecting a huge surprise from Trevor. Little did I know how big the surprise would actually be.

image_1YEP. That’s right, New York City was the surprise. For my birthday/Christmas/two year anniversary, Trevor surprised me with a trip to New York. It has always been a dream of mine to go to NYC, especially as a writer. You can’t tell from this photo, but I cried when I pulled the snow globe from the bag.

The day didn’t finish there though…

image_2psI opened the next mystery bag to tickets to the Glamour Kills Holiday Festival. If you are going to the show, come say hello! Also, very important question for northern concert attendees: what the hell do you wear when in transit to the show even though you know you will be sweating during the show?! My Floridian self is going to be freezing but I don’t want to have to hold clothing during the show.

In addition to the show, we are also seeing Cabaret with Emma Stone and Chicago on Broadway.

November 4th, I did my civic duty and participated in voting for the first time

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Last Tuesday, Gus enjoys a lazy morning snooze.

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Truth be told, I’ve missing updating the Internet on the happenings of my world. Starting now, we change that. So, there was a glimpse into my life as it has been for the past few months. Now, let’s get this show on the road.

Pantene #ShineStrong Video Series

Recently, as part of Pantene’s #ShineStrong video campaign series, a video was released titled “Not Sorry”. This video depicts women who use the word “sorry” as a method of excusing themselves.

Let me just say, this video is so spot on. I have found myself saying sorry for virtually anything. The “Not Sorry” video is just another addition to the #ShineStrong videos.

The other one I came across is the labels that women receive in the workplace and around the world. For example, a woman washing her face is labeled as vain while the man who does so is labeled as neat.

I encourage you all to check out these videos and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. They are both pretty eye-opening.

This Week in The World of Sam

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Hello everyone!

This weekend is going to be chaotic and filled with music and good times. On Saturday, today, I am heading with my friends to go see Fall Out Boy and Paramore on Monumentour in Tampa. Then, right from there, we are heading to Orlando to crash at my cousins house and then go directly to Warped Tour on Sunday.

If you are going to Warped this weekend and need some last minute tips, check out this post where I shared mine.

I cannot wait to review the Tampa Monumentour show and share my Warped experience. Look out for my upcoming posts about these shows within the next week.

Style Inspiration

For several years, finding my “style” was something I didn’t view as important or was even remotely concerned with. Recently, though, I have been enjoying the world of fashion and beauty. The idea of slipping on a comfortable dress and feeling like a million bucks is something that I really resonate with. I now realize that you don’t have to give up comfort to feel nice and that “style” isn’t what every other girl is wearing, it is what you feel best in. To me, expressing myself through clothing is a method of creativity. Yes, for me this is quite a new idea but I am enjoying it.

I thought I would share how I have learned to appreciate style and how I found my personal style without having to focus on what everyone in my area was wearing. For those of you who are having trouble finding your personal style or even just want to emulate your personality more through your clothing, I hope my tips on how I found my “style” and how I apply it to my every day life helps.

1. Don’t Focus on Being Different or The Same

 If you like something, wear it. Odds are soon enough you will find your style. Style is a representation of who you are, what you feel, and who you want others to view you as. As sad as it sounds, we often attain an idea of people based on their initial looks. Don’t get too caught up in thinking about what people will see you as, just more of how you want to see yourself. If you are in the store and see an outfit you like, that can become a part of your style. Once you realize what you a drawn to, own it.

2. Keep Your Eyes Open

The most important thing I have found when building my style or trying to feel more myself in what I wear is that the best way to find something you like is to see it on someone else. For me, most of my style inspiration is from street style. Street style is basically what people wear as they walk down the street. What other people wear on a daily basis is usually a good judgement for what you might be interested in wearing. This is not to contradict my previous tip, but to coincide with it. Wearing what someone else wore doesn’t mean that you aren’t being yourself. You may find a new way to spice up what someone else had on and make it feel like you.

3. Don’t Give Up What You Love

Being comfortable has always been super important to me so I decided that I would mesh this with any new outfit ideas. Not giving up what makes you happy and what you feel most like yourself in will help you find what your style truly is. In the same respect, just because you like something, doesn’t mean that everybody will. If you find something and are interested in wearing it, do just that. Don’t hold back.

While these tips seem miniscule and basic, I found that keeping these things in mind really helped me when I was deciding to pay more attention to what I was wearing. Don’t be afraid to be bold or basic, just as long as you feel great in whatever you are wearing.

 

 

 

 

 

Results and Thoughts: Alternative Press Music Awards

Alternative Press, a magazine dedicated to the appreciation of underground, alternative music, held their first annual awards show on Monday evening. The APMAs were truly unlike any awards show and felt like a positive experience overall for the community.The evening was hosted by Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, rightfully, and was filled with performances, results and dedications, and a bit of debauchery.

The categories and winners were as follows:

Best Vocalist presented by Victory Records – Brendon Urie, Panic! At The Disco
Best Live Band presented by Vans Warped Tour – Pierce The Veil
Breakthrough Band presented by Beats Music – Crown The Empire
Best Bassist presented by Dyin 2 Live – Jaime Preciado, Pierce The Veil
Best International Band presented by Zepeda Brothers Productions – Bring Me The Horizon
Artist Philanthropic Award presented by Sub City/Take Action – All Time Low
Best Guitarist presented by Gibson – Phil Manansala, Of Mice & Men
Vanguard Award presented by AXS TV – Billy Corgan
Best Drummer presented by DW Drums – Mike Fuentes, Pierce The Veil
Icon Award presented by Blackstar Amplification – Joan Jett
Most Dedicated Fans presented by Fearless Records – Black Veil Brides
Guitar Legend Award presented by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Slash
Song Of The Year presented by Epitaph Records – All Time Low w/Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil
Album Of The Year presented by Journeys – Bring Me The Horizon, Sempiternal
Artist Of The Year presented by Monster Energy – Fall Out Boy

Overall, the results seemed to depict what I had initially expected from the voting fans. The event being fan voted was the intention of the event. The slogan for the evening was “Your awards show. Your vote. Your night.” and though I appreciated this aspect, I felt as though it led some bands who deserved awards to get snubbed.

One band I wanted to see take an award home was Twenty One Pilots. The Ohio natives have blown up in the scene this past year with their album Vessel and deserved recognition.

Additionally,  I wanted to see an award go to Paramore for their self-titled album because this album has truly redefined Paramore as a band and music in the scene entirely. I would have also liked A Day to Remember to take home an award for Common Courtesy. That being said though, I am very pleased that Bring Me the Horizon won for best album. Sempiternal was one album that has been in released in the past year that should complete artistic talent and individuality.

As for next year, I hope to see voting done differently so that it feels fair. I do like the idea of fans voting, but it leaves lots of room for bands that don’t promote enough or bands that have fans that aren’t as inclined to sit on their computers and vote all day.

That being said, I really enjoyed the APMAs and cannot wait to see how this awards show improves as time goes on. For this genre of music, this event is a positive and progressive movement.

What did you think of the APMAs? What do you want to see next year?

New Series: Finding Carter

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When I saw the previews start to surface for Finding Carter, I was thoroughly intrigued by the concept of the show. The plot revolves around a 16 year old girl, Carter, who discovers that the mother she has known all her life is actually her kidnapper. While the plot was refreshing, and certainly more real than some of the “reality” television that MTV broadcasts, I still felt wary knowing that this show could end in one of those “wow, that plot could have been done really well” type of shows. Even so, as the show premiered last evening, I sat down to watch all two hours of this new teen drama.

The episode started off refreshing as a witty teenager who actually gets along with her mother (first big shock) heads out for a night with friends. Much to my surprise, MTV actually depicted what typical teenagers would do on a night out. The gang broke into a closed carousel, one of Carter’s friends smoking weed, and (as the perfectly typical cherry on top) a discussion of friends with benefits even ensued. The evening ends in the arrest of the group, leading the police to finally discover Carter who had been missing since she was three.

The title character, Carter, is played by the wonderful Kathryn Prescott (who you may remember from the original British Skins). When I say wonderful, I mean she is the lead of the show for a reason. Prescott, who is 23 in real life, plays the 16 year old as if she was an actual 16 year old girl. It is demeaning sometimes how shows depict all teens and young adults as if they have no feelings or emotions that really matter. The dynamics of Carter alone will keep me coming back to this show.

I cannot only commend Prescott, though, because all of the characters show much more depth than of any show adapted for teens has recently. Carter’s birth mother Elizabeth (played by Cynthia Watros) is a strong, determined woman. So far, in the premier and the following episode that played consecutively after, Elizabeth has only been focused on finding the woman that kidnapped Carter, whom Carter still refers to as “mom”. This adds tremendous depth to the story and leads us to wonder is Carter truly better off with her “real” family? The lingering question of Carter’s seemingly fit mother’s intentions when she kidnapped her is thickening as well and I for one cannot wait for the official revelation of her motive.

The most brilliant aspect of this new drama is how it incorporates true feelings, emotions, and story lines in with teenage drama that inevitably comes. The females characters on Finding Carter are not just viewed as “weak” or “strong”, but actual complex individuals, both the mothers and daughters. This aspect, as well as the depth of the other characters on the show, will keep me coming back for more. As far as teen dramas go, Finding Carter feels the most engaging of the many that air.

 

 

Photo by: Coloribus

Does It Work: Pinterest Shaving Hack

IMG_4283The Claim

I saw a pin a few days ago that claimed that shaving with Baby Oil Gel was a lasting alternative to average shaving with a shaving cream.

Here is the original pin that grabbed my attention: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/391742867559856263/

The pinner stated that they experienced very smooth skin and had to shave even less. Let me just say, if anything says I have to shave less and I know it is good for my skin, I’m down to try it.

I went to the baby aisle and picked up the gel, which ran for about $4, maybe less. That is roughly the same price I pay for my Skintimate Shave Gel, so in that regards it was not a steal. The pin claimed, though, that this method would result in less shaving, hence less need for the gel and so on and so forth.

I have pretty sensitive skin on my legs, resulting in me having to use sensitive razors and not being able to use cheap shaving creams either. Baby Oil is so hydrating that I knew it would be alright for my razor rash, but I wasn’t too sure how it would hold up to the claim of it providing a long-lasting shave.

The Experience

After I bought the gel, I was so excited to give it a go that I hopped into the shower and went to tame the beasts (my legs). I used my standard Venus Sensitive razor, which is really the only razor I can use.

Initially, I found it tough to shave with the gel being so thick, but once I got the hang of that, the actual shaving process wasn’t difficult. Though this was true, the gel still proved to be a problem. Since the gel has such a sticky consistency, the hair literally clung to the gel and the inside of the razor. My shower and shave time increased by over 5 minutes due to the fact that I had to hold the razor under water to remove the hair build up (gross, right?). I even attempted to swirl the razor in a cup of water to release some of the build up but this was unsuccessful. On top of all of that, once the gel finally came out of the razor, it stuck to the sides of my tub. My bath tub was covered with tiny black hairs that adhered to my tub due to the thickness of the gel.

Aside from the clumping and hairs, the biggest complain I had while using this method was that my razor had roughly half the longevity that it normally did. With traditional shaving methods, I got a few good days, maybe even a week, with the razors I use. With the Baby Oil method, the razor was shot after two uses. The lubricated strip on the razor withered away and the blades became rough and useless.

After my shave, my legs were magnificently soft. Like wow, these babies could stop the world kind of soft. But, when using Baby Oil you have to apply extra sun screen as it allows you to burn more, so that just aided to product waste.

The Verdict

If it is not already obvious at this point, I am not still using the Baby Oil method. I used about 1/4 of the bottle and quit. The cost of replacing my very expensive sensitive razors was not worth the soft skin.

I feel as though my hair maybe didn’t grow as fast, but certainly nothing drastic as the Pinterest post had made it seem. I still found myself shaving every day and taking much longer while doing so because I had to de-clump my razor.

Although Baby Oil provides you with soft legs, the effect it has on your razors, your bath tub, and your wallet is not worth it.

In this case, this Pinterest post was a fail. If you want to follow me on Pinterest to see more of what I am liking, just click here!

 

Everyday Makeup: Full Face Drugstore Look

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Today’s Face of The Day is a simple, all drugstore makeup look that is super simple and quick. For my foundation, I went back to an old-faithful, my L’oreal True Match foundation in the shade N1: Soft Ivory. I blended this in with my Real Techniques Blending Sponge, which isn’t exactly drugstore, but it is drugstore price, so I decided to count it. Next, with my Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer in the shade Ultra Light I applied this to the dark circles under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, and a bit to my chin and forehead, again using the same sponge. I set all of this my Rimmel Stay Matte powder in 001 which is a translucent setting powder. I applied this all over with an e.l.f Kabuki Brush. The portion of this look that really tops it off is the eyes. I applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to The Bronze. I patted it all over my lid, focusing on the outer corner, with the e.l.f Eyeshadow Brush and blended it towards the crease with an e.l.f Blending Brush. Both of these brushes are $1 and do well with the color tattoos. I topped my eyes off with a ultra thin line of Maybelline Master Precise liner in black and a quick coat of the Maybelline Rocket Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara. For my brows, I used the e.l.f Eyebrow Kit in medium. Using an EOS balm, I moisturized my lips and topped it with my CoverGirl lipslick in demure (which unfortunately isn’t sold anymore). To finish off the look and add a shine to my face I added a touch of the CoverGirl Classic Color Blush in 570: Natural Glow with an Eco Tools Angled Brush.

So that was it! This look took me probably less than ten minutes. It is super affordable and a great everyday look. Plus, the Bad to The Bronze Color Tattoo brings out blue eyes beautifully.

Album Review: The Maine- Forever Halloween Deluxe Edition

the maine FH deluxe

I often think back to the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop days of The Maine and sit baffled. This band never fails to impress me with something new. I don’t know why I keep questioning that they won’t be able to top their latest work. At this point, the only option is to embrace the sheer brilliance that is The Maine.

That being said, Forever Halloween was a fantastic album. Since I never posted the review on this site, take my word for it, Forever Halloween was The Maine’s best album to date. Although I was sure nothing could top Pioneer, I was totally wrong. This re-release did just that again.

I was pretty skeptical of a re-release because sometimes they can feel, frankly, pointless. The point of this re-release was very clear. If The Maine hadn’t sold you on the power and solidity of their rock roots yet, after listening to this re-release there is no way around it.

The deluxe edition features five new songs that are a perfect mix of punk influences (see Ice Cave if you don’t believe me) and familiar pop-rock tunes from The Maine. Although the sound of these songs is very familiar to the band, they are nothing like we have heard before. These songs are pure rock and roll. I am a firm believer that this band will never stop impressing me.

If The Maine fell off of your radar, stop what you’re doing and put them back on. This re-release only has me craving more from this talented quintet. I have learned, and hopefully you have to, that this band is capable of anything. Of the five tracks, those that are most standout to me are Ice Cave, a fan favorite from live performances that finally has the studio release it deserves, and Bliss, a rock tune that’s pop influences are comfortably woven through. So Criminal, the first of the five, is probably the best mix of the band’s former work with their more recent releases. The sound of this song feels like The Maine.

It always seems that the everlasting question that arises with The Maine is: what more can they really do? This release coupled with that of the original Forever Halloween debunks all skepticism that I may have had lingering (though, at this point, it was slim to none).

 

The Maine- Forever Halloween Deluxe Edition: 10/10

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